Hi, my name is Beth and I collect a lot of stuff. I’m deathly afraid that someday I’m going to be a candidate for Hoarders because I can’t seem to get rid of my stuff and I can’t seem to give up my collections. And now, I have a daughter, so I don’t see the reason to get rid of some of them because she is a girl and she might want these someday. Yeah, I know justification when I see it. So, what do I collect?
I’ve been collecting dolls since I was about 7 years old. My grandmother gave me my very first Madame Alexander doll that year (Austria) and then gave me at least two a year until I was 13 (maybe 12, I’m kind of fuzzy about precisely when the family blow up happened). I have a lot of country ones (Brazil, Spain, France, China, and so forth). I have a Bride. I have a few from Little Women (an original/old school Beth in a fluffy pink dress). But I also have age dolls (figurines with ages). I have Ginny dolls and clothes and accessories. I now have two American girl dolls with some clothes and accessories.
My husband would say there’s no rhyme, reason, or logic to my book collections, but I think there is. There are certain authors whose books I automatically buy when they come out, in hardcover. Jasper FForde, for example (though truth to tell, my best bud bought the last two at signings he was doing near her home, no I’m not jealous . . . much). I collect cookbooks. When I travel, I try to find a cookbook from the place that I’m in. I have some really interesting cookbooks as a result. My favorite is likely City Tavern Cookbook: Two Hundred Years Of Classic Recipes From America’s First Gourmet Restaurant. I went there with a group of academic friends, had a wonderful time, and bought the book specifically for the recipe for Thomas Jefferson’s Sweet Potato Biscuits. I have some great collections of children’s books and writing books. Also, knitting, quilting, and general craft/art for kids books. My office is nearly over-run with books. Seriously.
I don’t collect supplies; I collect projects. For example, I found patterns for quilts for my kids that I want to make. I found some of the fabric. Then I pursued the rest of the fabric. When am I making the quilts? Likely not for a couple of years. Ben is heavy into character bedding and I figure Katie will go through the same thing before she’s willing to sleep under a quilt made by mama. I have cross-stitch kits that I put together — the pattern, the floss, the yarn — ready to stitch. Enough so that I could never buy another one and be stitching into my 70s, I suspect. I have yarn and needles for projects I want to make set aside for the projects. Yup. They’re collections. Seriously.
Many of my friends will not be surprised to discover this as they’ve been commandeered to send me postcards when they travel. I don’t like them pristine. I want them to have been mailed with a note about why this postcard. It’s lots of fun and I have some great cards from great friends. If you’re going somewhere cool and want to send me a postcard, I won’t say no .
My master closet looks like a toy store exploded in it. I find things I think my kids will like, I buy them and put them in the closet. Then, I wait. I always have something to bring out if the kids are anxious or having a tough day or if I desperately need them to be engaged, I have things I can pull out. I do need to do some toy rotation so that they’re not overwhelmed by stuff.
So, yeah, I collect a heck of a lot of stuff. If you want to see what others are collecting, head over to Girl Talk Thursday and find out!