C.S. Alexis works in an art gallery located in the Calumet region of Northwest Indiana. Come see her at One Best Life at Tinker's Attic.
Coins And Tokens
Guitar Picks From Here And There
Collecting For Your Home Décor
Almost everyone has had the pleasure of collecting certain items that catch their fancy at one time in life or another. Baseball cards and marbles for little boys are popular with another generation, where hot wheels and autographed sport jerseys, ball caps and T-shirts are some things people might collect today. Little girls like Barbie dolls and butterflies, earrings and bangles just to name a few. Below is a group of things that I like to collect and now share with all of you.
From The Kitchen Waste
Not So Odd
One not so odd thing that I have managed to get the entire household to jump in and collect is organic waste. It took some doing but for the most part we all collect anything that can go into the compost pile on a daily basis. I make coffee everyday so the filter and grounds all go to the compost. We also add all fruit and vegetable peelings. There are houseplant leaves, yard leaves and grass clippings that make up the majority of what we collect for the compost. I often bring home pumpkins that are out of season, bales of straw, bagged grass and leaves from other houses curbside waste pile. A few extra bags of grass clippings can really boost your own compost production. Getting the entire household to pitch in is easy when they figure out collecting is directly related to the quality of fresh garden produce they will enjoy for their efforts. I would actually urge all gardeners to take up collecting organic material if they are not already in the habit.
The Old Bricks Still Working
This item I like to collect has a sentimental appeal at first. The bricks I pick up come from Lake Michigan. They can be found in rock piles along the beaches. Some of the bricks are small rounded pieces and some of them are larger. Most of what I get come in two colors. One is orange and the other is yellow. Now my attraction is because of the buildings and structures that these bricks have paid the due of creation. Old bricks that have fallen from time, left to wash on the beach in the weather. I use them in my garden. I use them for splash areas, also for trim and border type affects. Sometimes they set in a heap until I need them but I always like to bring some home when I find them.
Sticks and Branches
Sounds a little crazy. I never put them in the trash. They fall in the yard throughout the year. I gather them up and pile them near the compost. Many times you cannot figure out where the compost begins and the stick pile ends. They work together as one mass. The sticks I use for all kinds of things. Most often they become the beginning of a fire in the fire-pit. We use it at night when we hang out in the yard. Dibble stick for plantings at hand, make a marker for freshly planted seeds, tie a string to a couple of stout ones to make a light weight trellis. Sticks come in handy for many chores around the yard. The pile also serves as a wintertime nest for various animals. I am sure that rabbits, terrapins, mice, voles and maybe even an opossum or raccoon enjoy the large compost and stick pile through the cold months.this collecting behavior serves many purposes and is actually one of my favorites.
My Favorite Jar Of Things
Little Things In A Jar
This has been on going behavior for about thirty two years. It might sound weird but visual stimulation is a key here. It comes from the combination of the jar shape, the collected materials inside and the color and texture of the package as a unit. Collecting in jars can be fun because you can stick to one theme such as the beach or the ocean or you can go eclectic and mix it up. I have this one jar I have been keeping for about thirty years.The interesting thing about a jar full of collected items is that you can keep a bored child busy with it for quite some time. I have used these jars as a way to entertain children who come to visit and get bored waiting for their parents to leave. It is especially good with children between the ages of 5 to 9. You do have to make sure the kids are careful with your jars ingredients but, that teaches them respect and consideration so it is good for self discipline too! Very small children are better with a basket of collected items that are safe for them to handle. What you put in the jar is totally up to you.
The Dots On A Cube
Dice have always been a fascinating thing to me. These little cubes with the dots on each side have been around for a long time and they have warmed a spot in my collecting heart. I do not seek them out but I always put them in a jar when I find one, two or, three. It started when my Mother took a trip to Las Vegas and brought me back a couple of shooters from some casino. I have been keeping the dice every since. I would say it has been some 40 plus years. I do not collect these for another reason. Throwing the bones is an ancient term for tossing the dice. Which leads me to another thing I enjoy collecting.
Walking, Crawling, Swimming and Flying No Longer
Hollows Of Life
Some will be fragments of past lives, like the bones of a bird or the teeth of a shark. My collection was quite extensive but a recent mishap lost much of this collection. My newest favorites are a couple of Horseshoe Crab shells. They made a long trip from Florida via my suitcase. I have them pictured here amongst other things.The thing about this collection that attracts my attention is the life gone by. There was a time when the item was alive and functioning on this planet. That is very cool to me anyway. These you have to take care with because they can often have a foul odor unless they are cleaned and dried properly. That does not stop me from bringing them to the house. I bleach, bake or boil anything that can stand the pressure. I let the sun cure what is too fragile to scrub.
They Fit In The Jars Too
Yes it is different but, this collecting started because I would salvage parts from the broken pieces when I first started dabbling with jewelry making. From time to time I still pilfer from old costume jewelry. Mostly, I just have these items because I like some unique thing about the piece. The kids seem to like these pieces too! Maybe it is the Peter Pan part of me that won't let go!
Maybe I Am A Wee Bit Odd
Lots of people keep rocks I think. I get them for memories of the places I travel to. Not always too impressive, some of the rocks I keep because I like the way they feel in my hand. I do not classify or worry with anything more than a personal attraction or function I will use them for. Many of the rocks I keep wind up in my aquarium.
Rusty objects catch my attention for some reason. I like old stuff. Rust always speaks old to me. Big washers are always cool. I like giant nails and chains and the more rust the better I like them. I never do much with the rusty stuff I keep.I keep it just because. Guess you could call me a pack-rat. Go ahead it won't hurt my feelings.
A Rusty Washer Becomes A Stylish Bracelet
A Herd Of My Own
I was known for taking in critters that were misplaced when I owned land in Texas but now I am speaking of a horse of a different color. I have some sort of infatuation or simple attraction to those little not so furry friends small children seem to have a hard time hanging on to. I picked up a small rubber dolphin in the street where I was getting in my car just yesterday. Tiny toys are fun for me and the best thing is they will fit in the jars.
A Few Places To Look For That Rare Item
In another one of my life times I had this thing for collecting odd looking shoes. I would purchase a pair that were unique and out of the ordinary. I no longer go there but, It seems Paul Edmondson has a brother who likes to collect shoes. He left a comment on this HubPage expressing his interest in these shoes of a different décor.
Coins have been a very popular collectible throughout history. This HubPage tells the story of a few rare coins that made there way into one of my collection boxes many years ago. It is quite a story, well worth reading and sharing with your friends. So be sure to check it out too.
smw1962 on November 15, 2015:
I really enjoyed reading this hub as I also collect many of the same things you do. My husband thinks I'm crazy, but I love picking up a small bone and then maybe displaying it with a broken piece of jewelry. I find it much more interesting than anything you'd get at the store.
Sarah Forester from Australia on April 04, 2014:
I'm a dice and card collector myself.
c on August 09, 2012:
tuyetnhi tavia on June 16, 2012:
darylle burns on May 16, 2012:
i think your idea of collecting is cool u love so that's it.Well i just started collecting and its fun but my girl is starting to call me a horder but its cool i am loving the 50s and 60 comic books and my baseball cards and hey one day i may just have that collection that i need to make my million haha well just wanted to say thanks for giving my some more ideas by looking at your page of things i can start collecting or even more less what i should be looking for.I have a goole acc so hey im a rookie.
Laura Brown from Barrie, Ontario, Canada on April 13, 2012:
This was a really nice idea for a post. I enjoyed reading about your odd collections and started thinking about some of my own. Some stuff I hadn't even thought as a collection.
skye2day from Rocky Mountains on January 04, 2012:
cs fun stuff you are weird JK NOT Great stuff here I enjoyed the ideas. Thank You.
email@example.com from Northern California on December 26, 2011:
wonderful suggestions and weird stuff. i collect blown glass from thrift stores or yard sales only
Kris Heeter from Indiana on December 18, 2011:
I have to admit I'm a "hollows of life" collector. I did research on sea urchins and sand dollars and loved collecting them the calcified skeletal "tests" and occasionally preserving a complete sea urchin:) Just ran across a few when cleaning the other day!
Victor Mavedzenge from Oakland, California on June 01, 2011:
Funny what we get pleasure from.A refreshing hub.
dusy7969 from San Diego, California on May 14, 2011:
Good hub.I used many of things in the collection which you show above in the picture.I really enjoy this picture.So thanks this informative and useful sharing.
weirdbutproudofit on May 07, 2011:
sorry :( I know its not a ustream. I got it wrong... HEHE :D
weirdbutproudofit on May 07, 2011:
HEY NICE USTREAM! i am a big fan of collecting things. ANY TIPS 4 ME?
Fayme Harper from Lucerne Valley, CA, USA on March 26, 2011:
I love the way your mind works. Antiques Road Show had an item that was originally a vase, then covered with plaster in which was set all manner of special things like coins, rings, bows, buttons, and other ephema of a life well lived. They were popular in Victorian times. I just wish I could remember what they called it so I could do a web search for it. I know you'd love it.
C.S.Alexis (author) from NW Indiana on June 18, 2010:
yes I do collect all of the things pictured above but I have become content with "less is more" so if it will not fit in a jar I usually pass!
lose on June 17, 2010:
i love your idias do you colect all of them!
i love the way you made that old washer into a braslet see ya xxxxxxxxxxxxx
isinson on May 20, 2010:
cute things to collect. I've tried putting little colorful hair pins and clips, little rolled parchment papers, buttons and other stuffs in a wine bottle. And I've decorated the outside of the bottle too which added to the little decorations we have at home. this is nice ;)
????????????? on January 01, 2010:
i collect tonnes of stuff
Leah Kay, The Pup from Anywhere-USA on May 08, 2009:
(Written by Sharon)
I love to collect from Mother Earth. She puts out most facinating things! I love unique and unusual rocks and shellsand a fossil or two!
Karner_Krafts on January 26, 2009:
I thought I was the only one who couldn't resist picking up rusty washers or any sort of metal piece! There is something about metal that is captivating. I also collect rocks, I feel that each rock is a piece of God's art. I display them around our little apartment. I also collect dolls and jewelry in any condition. You can bid on jewelry grabbags on shopgoodwill.com I am addicted to them you never know what you will get I've even found real gold and silver jewelry! I also collect buttons. I collect pieces of wood and sticks too. I really enjoy making something out of nothing. However every now and then I have to clear my head and sacrifice some things to make room for new ones, we have a limited amount of space in our apartment and my husband hates clutter.
C.S.Alexis (author) from NW Indiana on January 08, 2009:
Thanks for reading here.
My how children often do not care for things. I had a special collection that was passed down to me from an Aunt when I was a child. I foolishly sold it and realize now what a mistake that was. I have a dear friend who only collects naturally shaped HEART rocks. Thanks so much for sharing.
Cherish77 on January 08, 2009:
interesting collections. My dad collects coins too. As a kid I collected rocks. I should have mentioned that in my hub. I don't have any of my rocks anymore though, they got lost over the years, which saddens me. I should have taken better care of them. My favorite was a heart shaped rock, my Grandpa had given me at my baptim when I was 8.
Lgali on January 05, 2009:
very interesting hub
trish1048 on January 05, 2009:
A soulmate! I started out collecting cabbage rose pink depression glass. It never materialized into a full set, but it did something to my brain that said, collecting is fun!
Well, some 30 yrs later, I can probably officially be called a hoarder. No, you don't have to have a map to walk through my house, but yikes! My addiction, which is what I have come to realize it was, came to a screeching halt with the loss of my 2nd job. I no longer have discretionary income, and thank God, I'm not spending my main income on collectibles! I am still sane enough to know I have bills to pay. But miss it? certainly. I too have given away boxes of things, and even sold at fleamarkets for a few summers, but the problem with that was I was spending the money I was making on new junque to bring home (notice I didn't spell it junk, which denotes tacky to me) LOL. I think today, they call it recycling.
My comment would be too long to tell you tales of my collecting days and all the things I have come to find collectible. Now, I just need to reach the point of sorting, starting with even one drawer, all the stuff I really don't need, don't use and have no room for.
Thanks for sharing!
C.S.Alexis (author) from NW Indiana on December 12, 2008:
Thanks for visiting!
larrybass from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on December 11, 2008:
Great hub! I too have a number of found dice and guitar picks which somehow please me too. Thanx for making such an interesting hub!
All the best,
C.S.Alexis (author) from NW Indiana on November 29, 2008:
I am also a collector of beads. Some of the best I have found have been in old costume jewelry. I too used them for my own jewelry designs. I never made necklaces though. Glad you stopped in to comment. Thanks so much. C.S.
SweetiePie from Southern California, USA on November 29, 2008:
For the last twenty years I have been collecting many types of beads and recently I turned these into a necklace. Great ideas and I like your collections.
C.S.Alexis (author) from NW Indiana on November 29, 2008:
Most of my stuff was taken by the flood but, I salvaged my Mother's plates and her Christmas Village. I gave all of my Beatles /music albums to a friend in Texas when I moved here. You reminded me that it took almost 3 months to empty my house in Tx. because of all I had collected over 23 years there. One of my friends said they had never seen so many strange things in somebodies home. HA! Thanks for stopping by! C.S.
Merle Ann Johnson from NW in the land of the Free on November 29, 2008:
OMG am so glad I am not alone in collecting so much...but in recent months I have managed to break away from a bunch...just getting too crowded now...Yikes I have taken like...10 boxes to the Goodwill...as well as given many things to people that just had to have them ?? I know they have a good home so don't feel too badly about it...LOL Silly I know , but well am not alone :o) G-Ma :o) Hugs
Shirley Anderson from Ontario, Canada on November 28, 2008:
I used to have many collections. It was hard letting some of them go, but out of necessity, I did. Still have my collector's plates, movies and Beatles items, though.
C.S.Alexis (author) from NW Indiana on November 28, 2008:
I believe you could be at a starting point with those birds! I know many Mothers who would not toss a single picture by the wayside. You might want to hit the dollar store and pick up some inexpensive frames for them. Use them every year and then you will have them to pass on when the children have families of their own.
Thanks for reading my hub. C.S.
sisterkate from Chicago, IL on November 28, 2008:
Is the stack of turkey pictures my kids brought home this week an art collection? I like it.
Thanks for a creative hub.