Wonderful collections are like "jewelry" for your home.
We get all dressed up and run out the door..... And darn I forgot my earrings.
This is what a great collection can do, complete the outfit or the picture as the case may be.
  It can also express your interests and your history

There is a wonderful book called The Collectors Eye by Christine Churchill.  It was published in 2002 but remains current and is fun to read.

She calls collecting:  "sleuthing for style"...I love that. 

She says; "When your heart starts beating fast in fear that you've missed out, you know you're hooked".
She goes on to say"Perhaps the most important lesson learned from collectors is Trading Up and Paring Down...the more specific you become about what you collect, the better the results".
What I find when I see a really striking collection of things is that they tend to reveal themselves as a single item when grouped together.  
Whether you are collecting pottery or basket balls, grouping like items together is at the core of a great collection.
How interesting are these chunky metal vases, at least I think they are vases.  It is the sameness of the scallops and rust that look so great as a group.
Something as simple as a vintage Ball canning jar can look like a collection.  You can find tons of these on Ebay with little zinc lids for about $5-10 dollars each.  
This grouping of old photography is so quirky.  I don't think I would have thought to frame these with a brown frame but it works perfectly with the mid-century table.

These very interesting pieces above from Ohio potter Burley Winter are from the 20s and 30s.
Today we can enjoy catalogs offering up a few vintage finds such as the glass jars from Pottery Barn.  Just a group of 3 will stand in as collection.

Architectural detailing is getting harder to find but think "salvage yards and flea markets" for your first score.  A fun way to get started is to go to a flea market with say, $100 dollars, to start your collection and put yourself on a mission:  today I will only buy things made of wicker.  See how you come out at the end of the day.  It's actually very fun to shop that way.
Below is my collection of Roseville.  It's not a huge collection but whenever I see a really interesting piece I usually buy it.  Roseville is very "cottage-y" looking but I could see it in a stark white setting as well.  The vases look like little ladies with their hands on their hips!!! 

The wisteria vase on the right is probably the most collectable piece I own.
Rusty great.
Wireware is under collected and you can find it at just about any antique mall.
This little guy was on ebay for $9 dollars!

The first serious collection I began about 15 years ago are these Firkins.  What is a Firkin?  Well, think of it as the tupperware of the late 1800s.  Families would store flour and grains in these.  Often they are signed in pencil on the lids as to whom they once belonged to.

Most collectors are looking for original paint and copper nail construction.  The 
Shakers made many of these and when you come across one that can be authenticated as Shaker you're going to pay($) dearly.  Karin Blake, a designer I really love was sort of a muse for this collection.

I like them for the chunky colorful stacks that they make.

For a while there, every time I bought one of these, my then elementary school aged son would scream:   "Hey Dad!!!!!...Mom just bought another freaking' firkin!!!"

~*Oh the joys of collecting*~

thanks for stopping by

  1. Loving your blog! I am so happy to have found you!

  2. I LOVE YOUR FREAKIN' TURQUOISE FIRKIN! Will buy it if you ever part with it.

  3. I love this post and have only recently started collecting antique white ironstone. Love your firkin's and the history of them...I had no idea! Your roseville collection is lovely.

  4. Fun post Kelley! "sleuthing for style"- love that!

  5. Great post about collections. I love the stack of wicker. I just found a demi john with the wicker on it at a flea market of ten dollars. They are usually $65 and up. The lady at the counter could not believe it. I am also collecting white dishware and ironstone. Love going on the hunt. Love your blog.


  6. Another freakin firkin?! I am still laughing! oy.

  7. I like the firkins but I think I like the word better......

  8. Hello Kelley - I'm new to your blog! So happy to have found you. Love your post. Your Roseville collection is so FAB! You are right, the handles do look like little ladies' arms on their hips! So sweet.

    I look forward to getting to know you!


  9. Hi Kelley,

    As I am sitting here typing to you, it is Thursday afternoon 2-20pm....tomorrow is Good Friday, and I just wanted to call in and wish you and your family a very Happy and safe Easter. I enjoyed your post today on Collections, the interior decorating and the feeling that you want to create something different with what you collect, is I think what drives most people (well it does for me anyway!!) and to try and create no only something different, but something close to perfection. Speaking of collecting, I came across an antique round breadboard last weekend and snapped it tally now is 2!!!hahaha, does this count as a collection?? Anyway, better go, take care and will call in again soon.
    Tasmania, Australia

  10. great post Kelley....
    the freakin Firkin' line cracked me up!
    Wishing you and your family a blessed Easter full of sunshine, happiness & loads of love,

  11. What an entertaining blog you write. And lots of collections which make me happy to view. Glad to have discovered you. Peggy

  12. I learn so much from you! This article on collections is filled with good advice. My problem is that I do not know what I truly want to collect. There are so many wonderful things from which to's hard to decide!

    Have a blessed Easter.
    Jane (artfully graced)

  13. Hi Jane, that is such a great comment! If I'm thinking about collecting something new, which I try not to do these days, I pick something that no one else is collecting right now. It may have been hot ten years ago, so your chances of getting someone's older collection for much less are pretty good. Joan from: for the love of a house, should weigh in here. She was an antiques dealer so I bet she has some great suggestions!

    Hi Peggy: thanks for discovering me too : )

    Hi Rosie Campbell: I just love your name!!

    Happy Easter everybody!


  14. HI Kelley, as you know I am so happy to have found your blog, it's a wonderful breath of fresh air!

    I have a thing for Roseville, the colors, the thirties-looking shapes and have a really nice collection.

    As for freakin' firkins...glad to know what those things are called!!



  15. Hi Kelley,

    We give birth to them, feed them, care for them and then what do they do? They tell on us! Love your collections and love all the info I get here. When we moved in here there was a pretty big Roseville vase in the basement, it has 2 small chips so it's probably worthless though.


  16. Great post. Love your firkins. I have a few collections: Bauer and USA mixing bowls, vintagey floral prints, things like that. My favorite collection, chicken salt and pepper shakers, needs a new home and I'm having trouble deciding what to do. The way they're displayed now is a little too "granny" - I'd like to upgrade them to be a bit more "chic". (is that even possible?) I may showcase one at time under a glass cloche just for fun.

  17. I like that "f" word...very funny and new to me!
    I love to see what other people collect, it's so interesting and you have some amazing things!

  18. Just found your blog from MY SWEET SAVANNAH. Love it, and I am now a proud follower.

  19. Oh I so love your blog and your beautiful Freakin Frikins:0 such a cute story:) Please tell me where can I findsome?? What to sell any? Do you have any tips on how to buy them. Love all the colors that you have and for sure love Love your style!! Elma2179@yahoo,com

  20. You can still find Firkins at Antique stores and many internet Auctions specializing in Americana and Folk Art. The really rare ones are harder to find but still out there. From time to time some good ones pop up on Ebay too! Happy Firkin Hunting Elma!

  21. Who knew I owned a "Firkin." I just considered it a flour bucket!!!

  22. Milk paints on your firkins? Wonderful colours!

  23. I am late to this particular posting - but I laughed out loud at your son's comments!
    great post on collecting - I have a few collections of my own...

  24. All this talk of collecting makes me want to go to a flea market!


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