Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Take a Break: Start/Display a Collection

Recently, I spent a very delightful weekend in Maine at the home of Nancy Carlisle, author of “America’s Kitchen.” Nancy and her husband Alex Scala are amazing collectors. Going to auctions and tag sales, they have put together simple yet wonderful collections of various sorts, all very practical or decorative, but not to excess. A group of old Corelle coffee mugs were a cheery welcome on a misty Maine morning, and who wouldn’t love a nightlight that is actually an airplane lamp where the body lights up? I have a feeling just about everything in their island home meets the description “If they have it, someone else had it.”

This post is inspired by Nancy and Alex as well as Lisa Congdon’s A Collection a Day Blog and now book.

As Congdon noted This is a blog documenting a project that will span exactly one year, from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010. On each of those 365 days, I will photograph or draw (and occasionally paint) one collection. Most of the collections are real and exist in my home or studio; those I will photograph. Some are imagined; those I will draw or (occasionally) paint.

While you can start a collection of just about anything, here are a few “rules” you might want to follow:

• Items to be collected are inexpensive and relatively easy to obtain.

• They have/had a practical application.

• They can be easily contained in your living space

• The items have meaning to you.

Before you say, “this is just what I need, more junk around the house,” consider the “junk” you have and see if by grouping it together you already have a “collection.” Try creating a display so it’s no longer clutter, but something interesting to enjoy. Displayed together, no matter how inexpensive they might be individually, your collection will look like a million bucks. Whether you have a collection, starting to put one together and/or realizing you already have a collection, below are some good links on ways to go about displaying them:

Stylish Ways to Display Collections from Real Simple

10 How-Tos for Organizing and Displaying Collections

Creative Tips for Displaying Collections with Style

Of course there is also the possibility that you can take your collection, newly found or existing, and turn it into hard cold cash by putting it on E-Bay.

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