1. Ink bottles
I have been collecting ink bottles for a long time although I very rarely add to the collection anymore. Mostly because I don’t come across any I don’t already have. I have around 70 bottles made from glass and pottery. My favourites date to the 1800s. I have a few large bottles that still have ink in them. Ink would have been decanted into wells from these bottles.
I have a collection of trunks, suitcases and hat boxes. They are all over the house and are used to store such disparate things such as bedding, DVDs and old journals. Again I have mostly stopped collecting as I have run out of room. The one exception is my (early) Christmas present. This old chest reminds me of hidden passage ways in old Enid Blyton books.
You can never have too many baskets. I have baskets on the dining room wall, use them to house ribbons and sewing projects, firewood, fruit, the uses are endless. My sister gave me this gorgeous picnic basket.
I collect one off pieces of cutlery because they are beautiful. I put them to use mostly as serving utensils. Part of the challenge is working out what they were originally used for.
5. Serviettes and tablecloths
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while this will come as no surprise. I have a growing collection of beautiful vintage serviettes, doilies and cloths. Some of the serviettes I find are re-tasked through various sewing projects but every now and again I find some worthy of being used as originally intended. Paper napkins never appear in my house. If we eat whilst watching a movie I just drag out some of the more casual serviettes. The love of serviettes comes from my Nana who liked to set the table well. Indeed my collection started with pieces I inherited.
6. Fabric in general
I love fabric. I have a sizeable stash and love adding to it. I have some lovely Japanese textiles, some brightly coloured dupion silks and cottons galore. I have a pink and yellow sari my Mum brought back from Singapore. And a fabulous orange throw for the lounge. One of those collections I need to keep in check. Which reminds me of another related collection that deserves mention on its own.
7. Mud cloths
From Mali in Africa Mudcloths are made from narrow strips of heavy woven cotton that are literally dyed with oxide rich mud. I am really passionate about these cloths. I would buy everyone I found if I could afford to and boringly if I had more space. You see, sadly, mud cloths can’t be washed so they can’t be used in many traditional ways. I used to have them as throws on the bed and couch but they started to get grotty. Also someone must have spilt some water because I have an orange stain on the couch where I used to have one positioned. So we have them on walls and draped around the place. They are always earthy colours and so so beautiful.
8. 50s outdoor furniture
Recently I began picking up old chairs rom the tip that we have re-painted and re-timbered and given new life. I really like them. So now I’m on the lookout for tables to do up or mosaic and plant holders.
9. Nature’s flotsam and jetsam
I’ve always been one to pick up rocks or shells. I know I always did it as a child. As an adult I am no different. I have baskets of leaves and interesting pieces of dried lichen. Boxes of tiny weeny shells with holes destined to be used in some art project or other (and yes I have used some of them). I have bird nests and a few feathers. I find this collection unruly but useful and inspiring.
10. Collections come in endless and wonderous variety – what’s your favourite?