post off: what do you collect?


Apartment Therapy had a nice little post on what designers collect. Angela collects antlers and refrigeratorware. I’ve developed a thing for vintage Pyrex. (Somehow I’ve just noticed the amazing site Pyrex Love! Such great photos, like the one above, and such great info.) So what do you collect? Share with us in comments, and include links if you have photos online. (If no photos online, feel free to contact letters at shelterrific dot com.) We may feature some of your fine collections in a future post. –Mary T.

From our partners

Homer Laughlin. My mom’s always been obsessed with Fiesta (which I can’t seem to stand) and then one day I bought some Duraprint tea cups only later realizing that even though they weren’t Fiesta, they were still Homer Laughlin. Dunce. Still get grief for all the mouthing off I gave to my mom about her collecting habits :)


i used to collect vintage aprons, but they’ve gotten too expensive (my $1 per apron limit was broached long ago) and I have enough at this point.

there’s a really awesome book about collections called In Flagrante Colletcto. The writing is really great and the pictures of the collections (dixie cup lids, naughtie nellies, shoe taps and all sorts of weirdness) are very nice. is the website for the book.

After going through a whole birdhouse collection stage (which I still buy, but only if they’re really top-notch or if they’re going to remind me of a specific trip or experience), I’ve turned my attention to vintage pitchers. Etsy is a great resource, and I just bought two beautiful ones for myself for my birthday. The one problem? I have yet to figure out an artful way to display them, so they’re kind of just scattered around my kitchen taking up counter space. Hmm.


I love the simple blue and white of English cornishware. I only have three pieces, but I guess that’s officially a collection, right?

Also, any old, grungy looking pewter. My husband has learned, over the years, not to ask if I’m going to clean any of them!


I collect Frankoma pottery. Most of my pieces are old, but I have a handful of the newer stuff. I’m working on getting all of the Teenagers of the Bible plate series. Odd, I know. I think I have around 35 pieces of Frankoma.

I also have some Depression glass and milkglass.

I collect too much.

I collect Polish pottery: It bakes everything so well, keeping everything moist. And, it’s pretty!


Do shot glasses and magnets count? My mom’s collecting habits broke me of collecting years ago when I was the one that had to dust it all. I still have all of my little things, but they stay in boxes. However, my husband try to collect one shot glass and/or one magnet whenever we travel someplace new. Yes, they are generally cheesy, but it keeps me from collecting something else I have a lot of – t-shirts. No pictures yet, but I think that I should get some!


Magnets have to count as much as Christmas ornaments! My kids still don’t get why we put a lobster on the tree every year. Thank a trip to Martha’s vineyard for that one.

I collect Pyrex too, here’s a small bit of it:
and in the corner cabinet
although I’m running out of room so I haven’t gotten anything new in awhile.

I also collect Moomin stuff (there are some plates in the above pic). My favorite is the clock:
and Iitala pieces


I also collect pyrex. Unfortunately, I am on a student’s budget and never go shopping for fear of spending too much on something I absolutely must have.

I’m a Pyrex collector too. I collect it, but also use it. My most beloved piece is my Friendship rectagular baker

Megan B

What don’t I collect?! I’ve recently started paring down some of my massive collections to a few choice pieces. Like all of my fabulous vintage Le Creuset enamel ware? Sold down to a few choice items I actually use. Kills me, though. I have a tiny spartan Pyrex collection, that now, thanks to Mary T’s Pyrex Love post, is sure to grow…. Thanks for getting it all started again!


Deb – your Polish pottery is lovely. I want some.

shelterrific » Blog Archive » blogwatch: shelterrific reader edition

[…] collections are found at Happy Mundane, who also shares our love for Jonathan Adler. (Just an aside: Do you […]

Mary T

polinium, I got my last piece at the Salvation Army for $3. : )


Let’s see-
Fire King Jadeite, specifically the Jane Ray and Alice patterns as well as any of the mixing bowls and shakers. Love this stuff. Damn you Martha for making it so overpriced!
Fire King peach lustre. Not my favorite but my grandmother started it for me, so I have kept it up and grown to like it.
I also collect a Homer Laughlin pattern, Virigina Rose is the blank with the Meadow Goldenrod design. My Mom has lots of Fiesta.
Vintage linens, vintage kitchen tools (though these have gotten expensive also), old books espeically old text books like McGuffie readers, etc..
And probably some other things I am forgetting….


Nothing now, thank heaven.

When I was young, I was made the unwilling victim of a collection of ceramic and glass unicorns. How? A relative gave me one, I thanked her, and the news spread like wildfire through the family that I loved unicorns. Which I did, for about three months when I was twelve.

Happily, the unicorns stopped coming around the time I turned 21. And I’m sure some young girls shopping at Good Will were made very happy by the collection.

But the idea of collecting anything now fills me with dread. Cold chills. Hair rising up on the back of my neck. Etc.

I collect books about the moon that were published prior to the landing of 1969! I also collect old drawers (not panties!), wishbones, hair, old pie tins and old cameras.

I collect a lot of different things- it ranges from bread bag ties, clip boards, and mesh bags to chairs, rubber ducks, and vintage plates. Photos of my collections are here:


I love most kitsch, but I’ve been able to scale back on buying it, at least a little bit. I can’t promise that if an “I wuv you” big-eye figurine threw itself at me, I wouldn’t leave with it.

I also collect those little elves with felt bodies and plastic faces that I remember from my 70s childhood, and tacky tinsel tree-toppers.

I have a fine collection of Jesus and nativity kitsch, but the collection isn’t displayed at the moment as I’m having a li’l crisis of faith. Which is too bad because my resurrection snowglobe rules. I also have a lot of fabulous folk-art wall crosses that are in a box waiting for me to sort things out. Right now it all just makes me feel guilty, so I’m thinking of opening an etsy store and getting rid of everything.

I think the hardest thing for me is recognizing when it’s time to let go of a collection, when its combined weight has over-shadowed the enjoyment of owning it. It feels like such a responsibility, and therefore getting rid of it is a betrayal. But seriously, stuff that hasn’t been unpacked in three moves should be set free to go live with someone else, right?

My fiance and I are trying to be more green which involves more simplying and downsizing then collecting but it also involves trying to grow our own food so our latest collection is heirloom seeds…


I am always tempted to buy the retro pyrex I see at thrift stores but I just don’t have the storage.

I have been collecting odd ball elephants items. I have a piggy bank, two cookie jars, a lamp and a few odds and ends. I try to limit myself to things I can use and from thrift stores. I think it’s genetic my grandmother collected all things related to owls. Her collection was massive from jewelery, plates, figures, clothes etc. I have a sister who also collects massive amounts of hippos.

I didn’t really think I collected anything until this weekend I realized that I inadvertently started collecting vintage housewife pamphlets…odd, I know.


i collect:

– vintage dog planters
– salt & pepper shakers
– pyrex
– vintage christmas
– i also have over 50 prints/illustrations/etc. from various artists (all under $50) that i never think of as a collection, but mostly because i can’t handle another collection


I collect all kinds of ordinary things (Charley Harper prints, old Santas, hand-colored photos, Rookwood – I could go on and on), but my friend (and Mary T’s, by the way) Cathy takes the cake for individuality. Literally. She collects plaster food. The kind that was used for refrigerator displays in the 50s. Especially meat. She has hot dogs, rib roasts, a ham, a beautiful layer cake and more. She has some great meat sign and posters from butchers, etc.
She also collects body parts. Not as scary as it sounds. Doll heads (arms, hands and legs, too).

Mary T

Cherlyn is correct — in fact, we’ve featured photos of some of Cathy’s collections previously! Check here:

shelterrific » Blog Archive » post off: do you use your “good china?”

[…] use it all the time. The same should hold true for all precious collectibles — even the Pyrex! What about you, do you use your heirloom quality homegoods, or keep them for “display […]


I collect Pyrex as well. But by Pyrex, I mean lab glassware. I just moved into a new apartment and am planning on putting up a swath of pegboard in my living room so I can display it in all of its mad scientist glory.

shelterrific » Blog Archive » reader collection showcase: how now design

[…] loved the submissions we received in response to our What Do You Collect? post off, and we think you will, too. Our first showcase of collections comes from Abbey […]

Tiny oil paintings and specifically landscapes from all over the world.
I have a middle eastern landscape, an asian one, an old one of the mountains in Wyoming, like that.
I display them on a picture molding ledge that runs the whole length of my hallway.
If anyone knows of a good source of these let me know.
The biggest one is only 4″ and the smallest 2″. I am obsessed with them.

Oh, also Pez dispensers for my kids. We have 70 and display them on top of the picture molded windown frames.
They are constantly thowing stuffed animals to know them down, and I am always getting on chairs putting them back up!!
Exhausting but always fun to look at when they are all up there.

A few years ago, I got my first cake stand, and have been collecting them ever since. my favorites are the vintage stands – especially ones out of depression glass. Having a collection in mind, makes it so fun when shopping at antique shops and on Etsy because you’re always looking for the next best one.

shelterrific » Blog Archive » it’s a pyrex spectacular at white elephant vintage

[…] do you have a tv in your bedroom? don’t miss movie décor: miss pettigrew’s pad post off: what do you collect? #browsecats ul { list-style-type:none; margin:0px; padding:0px; } #browsecats li { […]


I’ve had several over the years – angels since I was born near Christmas and snowglobes come to mind. I still have a lot of the angels and a couple of the snowglobes. The only active collection I’ve got going now, though, is pink plates. OH, and dog hair.

Saw this today and it made me think of this thread!