By Kate Riley June 2, 2015

Did you catch the June issue of Country Living? It had so many great features, from the spotlight on classic pickup trucks to travel trailers, and a beautiful barn house feature on page 64, I recognized the image of mercury glass bottles from designer Rachel Halvorson’s portfolio (below). In the issue Miranda Lambert reveals she collects vintage salt and pepper shakers, and it got me thinking about the things we collect and how our collections are a window to our heart, often attached to some fond memory or collected simply because they speak to us in some way.

In my twenties I collected cheap mini monuments since I traveled a lot more back then, silly but sentimental, having them still reminds me of the many countries I visited. In my thirties I turned to decorative vessels, I have a mini collection of silver (I polished it yesterday), now I want to collect vintage glass but it’s pricey. I look for it everywhere and whenever I get to NYC I stop into The End of History to splurge on something new. I also subscribe to the notion that one really cannot have too many white shapely ceramic objects!

white pottery collection

rikki snyder

milk glass collection

 country living

mercury glass collection (2)

rachel halvorson


Collections look fantastic when gathered together in a single spot, they enhance each other by being so close together, it also allows for better appreciation.

jadeite collection

country living

fiestaware collection

country living

pyrex collection

bluebird notes

blue burleigh china collection


transferware collection


ironstone collection

tone on tone

blue and white china bhg

better homes and gardens


Do you collect anything special? Dishes, vessels, or mementos? Instagram them if you do using #thingsicollect or link to a post you mention it or simply share what you collect and why…


  1. i’ve cut way back on the collecting of collections as to my mind it didn’t help in simplifying my spaces and head. while raising a gaggle of kids, maybe that plays into it? however, gee the pyrex look so easy and sweet and bright. so, alright, forget everythings i just said. i’m back int he saddle! beauty pics. thanks for sharing.

  2. After I moved across states, I’ve cut back on my collecting. Before I moved, I had a garage sale and made almost $3,000 – the cost of the moving truck. I no longer have space for “extra” stuff. I did keep a few fairy figurines, but had to put them away when my daughter was born.

  3. I have antique silver plate pieces, but we use them so it’s not a collection that I display. I love when a collection is displayed properly (like in your example photos) but most of the time people scatter the pieces around the house. My guess is because it makes them happy to see the collected items in each room, so I can’t fault them for that.

  4. I could only collect practical things, never things that I would have to dust! I collect silver napkin rings, especially ones from estate sales that have other people’s initials or names on them! Friends love to see “who” they get when they eat at our house :)

  5. Pencils, from places I travel–each has a special memory with the advantage of being compact and inexpensive. I display them on my desk in a pretty glass.

  6. Beautiful pics! I love seeing the collections, but sold my two collections a few years ago in order to down-size and simplify my life. I had collected Fiestaware and Dessert Rose china. I now only have a few pieces of the Fiestaware left.

  7. Some of those collections are great! I love blue and white together and want to collect more so i’m working on that! I do however collect vintage tea cups, theres something about a dainty beautiful tea cup that makes me happy :)

    Lauren Baxter | LB Designs

  8. when my husband and I married, he didn’t care for my blue willow set of dishes and I really did not like his set of rustic brown stoneware at all. We compromised with all colors of Fiestaware and we love it. I also have a set of various antique sterling flatware and serve ware. But we use all this regularly and I don’t keep buying it (well, only because sterling is so expensive). and we don’t really display it. So perhaps this is not a collection. I have shed boxes of books and pyrex and mason jars etc.
    The only thing I like to collect now is rocks, smooth fat oval rocks from Oregon beach are my favorite, one from Assisi, one from South Africa, one from everywhere we go.

  9. I don’t have collections as above but I do have a number of cat pictures that I really like and since my 3 kitties share my master, I’ve made that the cat art room with my pictures arranged in vignettes throughout the large room (I did throw in one large horizontal one over the bed of birds sitting on a wire with their backs to the camera and thumbing their beaks at all the cats in the room. I feel good every time I walk in the room and apparently my 3 furballs do too as we all rest and sleep very well.

  10. I have had many collections over the years. I am trying to cut back as it can take over.

    I have a collection of tea pots ( I love tea!), porcelain dolls (which unfortunately are all packed away as I no longer have the space to properly display them) and lots and lots of vintage crochet patterns – I am an avid crocheter. Actually, I collect lots of books too.

    I also collect unusual things like antique/vintage tea leaf reading tea cup and saucer sets, and vintage tarot cards.

  11. I collect vintage plaid tin baskets & white ironstone but like most of the comments, don’t have a great place to display them. There are a few pieces here & there around the house but most are still in the basement from I got married & moved into my husband’s house almost 5 years ago. Still holding out hope (& a few Pinterest boards) for the ultimate kitchen remodel that will allow for all to be properly displayed!

  12. About 5 years ago I bought a beautiful vintage articulated owl necklace, which started my hobby/collection. As I have quickly learned, all kinds of owl pieces as well as owl necklaces were VERY popular in the late 1960’s through the 1970’s. There are hundreds of different styles, with color variations, too. Some are very large–4″+ long with moving parts–and some are simply one-piece, but each has an individual look. In addition to owls, there were also turtles, lions, dogs, cats, fish, etc. It was quite the must-have jewelery of the time. At this point, I have over 60 different owls, and another 20 miscellaneous creatures. I collect only the vintage necklaces, nothing new. The older necklaces were made of heavier metals and generally were of a finer quality.

    The necklaces are displayed on a wooden wall in my dressing room, and I do wear them frequently. From the beginning I have been very strict and confined my collection to owl necklaces. It’s been hard sometimes, keeping friends and family from overwhelming me with owl chotskies, but it’s a necessity. It’s a fun inexpensive little hobby that always starts a conversatin. Strangers will stop me and tell me they love my necklace. I know I do.

    There is a collector of vintage owl necklaces who has photographed all the different types and styles he has in his collection. The following link will take you to his website, if you are interested in seeing/learning more:

  13. what don’t I collect?! Ha! Vintage postcards, globes (even before it was trendy) vintage ornaments (I have a huge collections after 10+ years) Christmas houses (the Japanese ones that came out in the 50s. I’m drawing a blank on the name of them now.)

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