Monday, November 27, 2006

The Road Less Travelled

I deal with a long-term struggle between collecting and clutter. Flylady has helped. Flylady has helped a lot!

I have over 200 children's series books dating back to the 1930s. And not just Nancy Drew. I collected the obscure ones: Trixie Belden, the Dana Girls, the Sky Boys, Honey Bunch, and more. Those books are actually in boxes somewhere at my parents' house.

I used to collected trinket boxes, but I've gotten rid of most of them.

I got rid of the vintage hat collection too.

I have more Hello Kitty whatnots than a woman my age should reasonably own.

I have a lot of vintage handkerchiefs, but I actually use them. The threadbare ones are starched, ironed, and neatly folded in a vintage hatbox under my dresser.

I have a huge collection, like 150+, of huck towels with what is known as Swedish weaving. A few years ago, my husband pointed out that it was possible to rotate them in and out of display. I've collected them since college and love their graphic geometry. One day, I'm afraid Martha Stewart will discover them.

I have about 50 advertisements of square dancers and quite of bit of 1950s square dance ephemera and glassware. I also have many 78s and old LPs of square dancers. The papers and records are stowed away, but the glassware is on display.

I own over twenty vintage squaw dresses. I do wear the ones that fit.

I have started a bowl of pressed pennies and I've been hoarding the state quarters.
I own about eight charm bracelets.

I eat my morning yogurt with vintage baby spoons.

I have an enormous collection of Alice in Wonderland ephemera: matchbooks, foreign language editions, advertisements, postcards, you name it.

I own four overshot coverlets (two repros, two originals) and have them on the bed in the guest room.

I have a fairly extensive library, particularly rich in illustrated books, Pre-Raphaelite art, textile books, cookbooks, Victorian novels and scholarship, children's books, fairy tales, and Civil War books.

I haven't even mentioned the yarn and fabric stashes, because stashes aren't really collections; they're stashes. And rubber stamps, knitting needles, and sewing implements are tools, aren't they?

You may be seeing a few themes here: mainly ephemera and textiles. Or you may simply be seeing hoarding.

This long preface is to set the backstory for a dilemma I faced in Memphis this weekend.

We were junking, and I came across a white cotton knitted thingamajiggy. It was too small to be a bed spread, too big for a doily. I actually strongly suspect that it was a cradle cover and I would date it to the nineteenth-century.

It was in excellent condition for its age: a few repairable holes and no spots that a little Oxyclean soak wouldn't cure.

It was knit in lovely bands of horizontal ribbing and leafy vines. It was surrounded with a ruffled knit border. They had it displayed upside down, with the purl side showing, as any knitter would have known.

They only wanted $25 for it.

I didn't buy it, and I'm not sure I can hold up under the lost opportunity. Thank god it's a ten-hour round trip away.

1 comment:

Margaret said...

It's genetic. I've done a lot of purging over the past few years--amazing what moving, divorce and homelessness help you lose. I used to collect and collect and collect. When I was homeless, I had only my truck, my shoes, my clothes and my dogs, but the only thing I missed was my cat. After that, chucking things out became easy. That said, I prefer selling them on eBay to some other collector than simply chucking them out.