Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Curse of The Collector

dun dun dunnnnnnnnn.....
Kind of a dramatic title, huh? I don't mean like The Collector herself is a curse (even if my husband says otherwise,) I mean being a collector is a curse. And it's not something you can change. Like, I am female. Well I suppose that could be changed, but I'm not about to have surgery to change from being a collector. Although it would probably be cheaper in the long run.
Honestly I'm not too bad of a pack rat. I've escaped the dreaded Curse of The Stash Hoarder from my mother. (I hope. Sometimes these things wait until later in life to rear their ugly heads.) Currently, I can't stand having more yarn, fabric, and fiber than I can reasonably use. And other than the too-pretty-to-knit yarn that I have laying around just for looks, I don't like having stash that isn't already intended for a specific project. I know, I know, some of you have that perplexed puppy look on your faces right now, your little heads cocked to the side in wonder and confusion. If it makes you feel better, I have a problem with...
Collectible dishes.
I don't even think "dishes" is the right word. More like pottery, or kitchenware. My biggest vice is Fiestaware. Actually I'm pretty full up on Fiesta at the moment, except for maybe another teapot or two :) I'm not one of those collectors who insists on having every single piece ever made in every color to consider my mission accomplished. I just want to collect the pieces and colors I like. And I use almost all of them, except of course the sapphire and red shakers. Touch and die.
Recently though I experienced the urge to expand my collection. Fiesta had a few go-along lines called Riviera, Harlequin, and Kitchen Kraft:


Kitchen Kraft

 I must not be a very good collector, because I'll be honest, I have a hard time putting some of these in the right category. I'm pretty sure all my sapphire pieces actually belong in the Harlequin category... Hrmm. More research is needed. Anyway, I can tell you for sure that I have three of the little jug pitchers from the first photo, that pink-ish pitcher from the first photo, and the creamer and sugar set from the third photo. Also soon to arrive fresh from ebay:

Do I know which line that really belongs to? No. (Although I have a sneaking suspicion that it's really Riviera.) I just know I love it, and I will cherish it and treat it right and put it to very, very good use. I would also put this set of silverware to good use:

Fiesta Masquerade Mirror Flatware
Which also reminds me that I wouldn't mind owning the Fiesta drinking glasses... See I just need to stop now.

There is one other line of collectibles with which I may be sliding down a slippery slope:

 These are pieces from the Lu Ray collection. They come in Windsor Blue, Persian Cream (the light yellow), Surf Green, Chatham Gray, and Sharon Pink. I mean come on, how can you not love something named Sharon Pink and Persian Cream? Sigh. I may just give those names to my next two children! 
I've found a few cups, saucers, plates, and bowls here and there at thrift stores and flea markets. That's my favorite kind of collecting, when you scavenge the pieces one by one and put them all together. But sometimes, when there is a dire need for a certain thing, ebay is an acceptable alternative. Last week I actually did find myself in dire need of a teapot for my desk at work. I have an electric kettle and I love having tea all day, but it's just not the same when you make it mug-by-mug. It's just a fact that tea tastes better in a delicate little cup, poured from a darling little pot, with the sound of the cup and saucer gently clinking together. So right at this moment I'm enjoying a hot pot of chai tea in my lovely little cups, and my desk is so much more cheerful and pretty. Only now I feel the need to begin collecting tiny little silver spoons for my tea set. Because the plastic ones are kinda ruining the experience. Well truthfully, being in a cubicle is kind of ruining the experience, but I do what I can.
Fortunately, so far this collection is serving a purpose and has not yet gone into full-on crazy mode involving butter dishes, egg cups, and shaker sets.  
So far.

But I am feeling the effects of another weakness, one I haven't even begun collecting yet: The Refrigerator Dish. I've always wanted refrigerator dishes. I don't really know what you do with the little ones, but I know they look fantastic. I know they make a satisfying clanking sound when you put the lid on. I know (well I don't know, but I can imagine) they feel deliciously cold and heavy in your hands.
What the heck is a refrigerator dish?

Kind of like Pyrex. Well, sometimes they are Pyrex:

I especially love the square pottery ones with the art deco styling:

And I really do like Pyrex, especially the amish ones and the friendship ones. Plus right now Pyrex is everywhere, everyone loves it and everyone's collecting it. I've thought about this a lot, and I think I know why Pyrex is so irresistible to collectors: It stacks neatly. It nests. It mix-and-matches. It creates perfect displays all by itself. I'm kind of having a hard time keeping my hands off it to be honest.
And that stuff is really useful. You can make sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes... 
I'm kinda hungry now.

What is your collecting weakness?


jenni said...

ooooh, persian cream. lovely. lovely.

Courtney Ingels said...

Aaaackkkk! Your pix are KILLING me. I LOVE vintage dishware/kitchenware. Pyrex refrigerator dishes are a FAVE. And that Jadite (assuming Fireking) lidded dish?? And the Amish pattern Pyrex? Yea. I know. I have hoarding tendencies too. But have been in the mood to clear things out. But not kitchen stuff. I got my beaters for my 50s Sunbeam Mixer! I made whipped cream ;)

SewSweetStitches said...

Court I'm so happy you finally got your beaters! I love your ability to clear out and keep only the best stuff. That's why your place looks like a magazine and mine looks like a garage sale :/

Court said...

Girl,you only saw like 2 rooms. Wait til you see upstairs. I may have to turn myself in to Hoarders Anonymous.

PS- Im gonna post some of my finds on your Facebook page. :-)

Kimmy said...

yup, i feel you. pyrex dishes & bowls and i barely bake ever. i like milk glass too. but really, how many vases can 1 girl have? it's out of hand a wee bit.