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

To Melaine: My Sweet Savannah & new friend

~ 'A delightful surprise from a new friend '~

What can I say except thank you for the wonderful post about my crazy idea called "blogging" &  the polished pebble

Melaine,  AKA My Sweet Savannah, found my blog, somehow, and asked to do a post about it....No big deal right?

Wrong...big deal

here is a link to her post  

Thanks Melaine
you are the best of the best


Crystal Cove: Seaside inspiration Part II

Fast forward from 1930 to 2010 and here we are:  lets take a tour....
To get into the park you need to park on the North side of Pacific Coast Highway and walk through a tunnel under the Highway and down to the beach.  It's a short walk but there are shuttles if you need them.
The entire project underway today, is a joint effort by many non-profit entities. The goal is to ensure public access to this important and historically significant place along the California coast.  
  When the project is finally completed it will encompass the restoration of 46 cottages as well as provide much needed  educational and marine research facilities.
As you get closer to the beach some of the old palms and tropical plants that were planted in the 20s and 30s for the movie sets are very noticeable.  A few of the more famous movies shot at this location were Treasure Island, The Sea Wolf and Stromsweapt.  The idea was to recreated the tropics in Southern California.  There were no power lines or streetlights so it worked perfectly as a movie set.
The first few cottages you see are now the  park offices and visitors center

Everywhere you look there are examples of intact classic beach colony architecture.  This really is the last survivor of its type as most commutnies like this gave way to development with the increase in population.
The little store sells artwork and fun little quirky collectibles
The first cottage you can enter on the beach is what was once the store and soda fountain in the 50s.  It is actually the newest of all of the cottages.  It is used now
 as a teaching and outreach facility for school children and daily visitors.
How cute is that little stove?
They found dozens of prohibition liquor bottles from the rum running days as the renovations got under way. 

Is that the most wonderful sign!!!
Below is cottage 27, built in 1931 and available for overnight lodging.  It also sports a great deck.

As you walk farther down the beach you can really see how much will  be necessary to bring this project full circle.  While there is still money coming in, some of the funds earmarked for Crystal Cove have been use elsewhere.
I'm sure there is a concern that if many of the cottages are not delt with soon, especially those right on the sand, time and mother nature will slowly eat away at what is left 

This is cottage 11, built in the late 1920s, it is one of the few that has more elaborate wood work and trim.  The interior boasts tongue and groove knotty pine trim and a circular fireplace  This cottage will eventually become overnight lodging but wow, how much work will this one be.

Above is the Carter cottage #7.  When the schooner Esther Buhne wrecked on Balboa Point in 1927 several cottage were said to have been built from the teak wood that washed ashore and this was probably one of them.
The coveites got their mail right down on the beach!!  

Part of the old wooden board walk below.

At the farthest south end of the cove sits the Beaches cottage, made famous in 1988 in the movie starring Bette Middler. Off by itself, nestled into the cliff side, it has wonderful views of the tide pools.  This iconic house will eventually become the marine research facility for scientics and graduate students.
This is my favorite and I cant wait to see it all fixed up.  Something about the brown shingle and the turquoise trim is so inciting.  The house has a lot of trees and old succulents around the property, which just add to the charm

I love how the ceiling rafters on the porch were painted that great turquoise
Can you imagine how many wonderful summers of BBQs, swimming and great conversation happened in this little home?   
This cottage is often painted and photographed because of the location and the classic beach vernacular architecture.

Above are the tide pools just steps away from the porch of the Beaches cottage
One of the things you notice troughtout the park is the vegetation.  It is so lush and colorful 
I loved these nasturtiums growing in old lobster traps
Another little cottage, dressed up in green and white with old glory peeking out of the window

Each of the cottages has a story to tell and I suppose that is what makes this such an interesting place to stay, especially with children. Hi-de-Ho neighbor!

So quintessential "beachy"  

It really is hard to believe at times that this is a state park and we can stay in these for around $100 per night
Even if you come for the day to enjoy the beach, there is so much to do.  You can go up this little trail to the famous Shake Shack on PCH for a sandwich.  They have picnic tables and the view is amazing
The cove also has a nice little restaurant called the Beachcomber, with a great bar and lots of outdoor seating

Each of the 46 cottages will eventually be overhauled and upgraded.  They are literally being taken apart, piece by piece, and put back together again.
What an amazing legacy this will be for the future.  There is a wonderful sense of the carefree spirit of the past, something very hard to find in 2010.

I hope you enjoyed this tour of Crystal Cove.  I spent a great afternoon just walking around and looking at the buildings.  It really is fascinating. 
For more information go to 

Have a great week