The Art of Collecting

No Apartment Farm would be complete with a collection or two. I like to collect items that are useful as well as beautiful and interesting. I find the key to maintaining and enjoying a collection is not to go overboard– pick something you truly love, and limit what you purchase. Also, don’t collect everything under the sun. I only have one large collection– milk glass. I love the stuff and I can’t get enough of it. My collection includes bakeware, dinnerware, serving pieces and items like vases and candlesticks. I use my collection on a regular basis. I have a milk glass hen on a nest that I use for a sugar bowl, and with it on my table daily are a diamond-pattern sugar bowl (which holds cinnamon sugar) and a creamer (which we use for syrups and gravies). I also have a set of salad plates, tumblers and teacups with saucers that we use for Sunday brunches. One of my favorite things is a glass set I picked up for $5– It’s a large hobnail pitcher with 6 matching tumblers. I have a mini hobnail pitcher that matches it. I also have many hobnail planters and various compotes. As the mood strikes I use them for storage (one compote holds small desk items in our office), planters, or candleholders. I love the look of milk glass with a tealight inside. I also love actually using my milk glass– it would be so boring all lined up in a curio cabinet. Another item I’ve started collecting (since I’ve been married) is our china pattern, which is Churchill Blue Willow. I know a lot of people who would scoff, but we use our “good china” for everyday. Yes, it’s gotten chipped. And that first chip was difficult, but I’m over it. It gives it great provenance. I want to surround myself only with what I love and will use. I think that’s a good rule of thumb to keep in mind when starting and maintaining a collection.