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What I collect and how my collections got started

Updated on March 7, 2013

Gifts of Frogs

I have always been a bit of a dilettante. By that I mean that I have difficulty concentrating on just one thing. This trait of mine definitely shows in the the things I collect. My collections are not really even very intentional. Sometimes I inherited an item and grew to love it and people saw it in my home and gave me more examples of that item.

For example, During the 1990's I bought a house and the previous owners had left a ceramic frog in the kitchen. He was kind of cute so I put him on the kitchen window sill. The next thing I knew, everyone I knew was giving me frogs!

I got frogs for my birthday, frogs for thank you gifts, frogs for no reason except that a friend saw a cute frog and thought of me.

Eventually I realized that I had become a frog collector.

When I moved to Florida, I sold all the frogs in a yard sale. I have one frog left and he sits in my butterfly garden.

For the birds

I love birds, so I guess it's no surprise that I love birdhouses. I have many different kind of birds that nest in my garden. I once had a baby screech owl living in my carport, but for the most part, the birds can fend for themselves. Some of these sweet little birdhouses grace my bedroom on a shelf and the others are on my porch or patio.

I bought one birdhouse at a giant feed and seed store in Texas. I made the gourd birdhouse out of, of course, a gourd. Someone gave me a wooden one with a flower glued on it, and the others - I have no idea where they came from!

A home for the birds

Everybody needs a birdhouse! I chose this one because I live in a "vintage" mobile home and I think this birdhouse is adorable. How much was it again?


I was born in England, and although my family emigrated to Canada when I was six, I still have a fondness for teapots. I don't use them much - it's so much easier to use tea bags, and I only actually bought one of them. The rest just "came" to me. They sit around on shelves in my kitchen and dining area and I like to look at them.


Oh-oh! I should have never seen this blue and white willow pattern teapot!

My newest collection

There's no place like "gnome"

I think gnomes are fascinating creatures. I love to read about them in books like "Lord of the Rings."

Among my favorite books when I was growing was the "Noddy series. Written by British author, Enid Blyton, the Noddy series is about a little wooden man named Noddy and his best friend, Big Ears, who is a gnome.

I didn't have any gnomes, however, until a few weeks ago when one of my neighbors had an estate sale for his parents, who had gone into an assisted living facility. These folks had a huge collection of gnomes, some were quite old, and I suddenly felt that it might be nice to have a gnome in my butterfly garden. I asked how much they were and he said he'd take $20 for the whole collection. I couldn't resist. I knew I couldn't decide which one to buy anyway, so I bought the whole lot.

I ended up giving about half of them to my next door neighbor, who collects gnomes and fairies. I kept the ones made of materials I could put outside, such as terra cotta, resin and concrete.

There's no place like gnome!

Gnomes: the guardians of the garden

Little Houses

Blame Mom for this one

My mother went to England for a visit and brought back a tiny plaster thatched roof cottage. After she died, I had the little cottage on a shelf and my children began to give me other little houses, followed by little shops, libraries, Victorian houses, and other tiny buildings.

I now have a whole town!

As with my other collections, I have never bought a single little house for myself.

Collectible tiny houses

This would make a great gift for a minipin owner.

Blue and white china

I started out with a few plates of the blue willow design. My mother loved these plates and hung them on the wall. I kept her collection and added to it with other gifts, such as a small Dutch Delft pair of clogs from a former mother-in-law and two mugs with rabbits on them given to me me by a friend who observed my blue and white china collection.

I also have more Blue Willow plates in a wrought iron plate rack on my kitchen wall.

Blue and White

I love any blue and white china, but the Blue Willow pattern is my favorite.

Amazon Spotlight Personal Review

The Willow Pattern Story
The Willow Pattern Story

When I was a Children's Librarian, I ordered this book for my library's collection. I just loved it. It's about two lovers in ancient China whose love was forbidden by the Emperor. I won't tell you any more - but it's a lovely story.



I love little boxes! They are useful for keeping things in too. When my children lost their baby teeth, I kept them in a little silver box for years and years, until they started to look kind of gross.

I keep sea shells in one box, paper clips in another, and one stores my push pins for the bulletin board.

I have wood boxes. ceramic boxes, boxes made of fabric and paper mache.

Boxes are cool!

Decorative Boxes

These book boxes are really cool!

Folk Art

I enjoy folk art from different countries, like the "molas" from South America, which is a kind of reverse applique made of colorful cotton cloth, ceramics from Mexico, a wooden hook shaped like an elephant from Africa, three little wooden elephants from India, fans from Japan, albrijes from Mexico (brightly painted wooden animals and creatures) and too much other stuff to mention.

Practically my whole house is decorated with folk art - at least the parts that aren't decorated with little houses, teapots, blue and white china, boxes, birdhouses, etc.


I love to make personal shrines out of cigar boxes. They resemble this "retablo" from Mexico.

Stop Me!

Please someone tell me I have enough collections.

I don't have the space for any more stuff. I'll have to add another room on to my house.

I'd love to know what other people collect and how they got started.

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    • tfsherman lm profile image

      tfsherman lm 5 years ago

      Wait a minute -- I collect little boxes, folk art and gnomes too!

    • Flowerchild1946 profile image

      Carol Brooks 5 years ago from Florida

      Thank you for the comment - and the collecting confession! I love my trinkets too.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 5 years ago from Vermont

      I have lots of funky collections although the biggest set - old tools and tinware - got sold to pay the bills after I went back to school to finish my degree. I still have many more, like baskets, tin boxes, masks, flags, uniforms ... it goes on and on. I love my little trinkets.