Thursday, May 11, 2006
There is a lot of stuff in my attic. For one, we have a ton of flattened moving boxes. Why did we keep the boxes? I guess to avoid going out to find more boxes when we inevitably move again.
There's also a cat up there. Jackie is pretty reclusive, and spends a lot of her time lounging on a pile of - you guessed it! - flattened moving boxes.
Then you've got the Christmas decorations, HWWLLB's recently established quilting studio, and a few boxes of random stuff like photos, old dishes from Granny Pea, camping stuff, and art supplies.
And then we have the antique store. Well, it could be an antique store. It's actually Bugheart's corner storage space in my attic, but as I opened storage box after train case after hatbox on Sunday trying to photograph everything that was up there, I realized that I could have been making a tidy profit off all this stuff all along. But I didn't because I'm not that kind of friend. Also, I had never gone snooping to see what all was up there.
So what all is up there? Enough to fill a photo set on Flickr, I'll tell you. Vintage cameras, vintage shoes, vintage typewriters, vintage housewares, vintage plastic bags full of unidentifiable vintage items... it's amazing. I'm sure you'll be seeing some of the goodies coming up some time soon on the Great Monday Give-Away, so if you like vintage what-nots, as Bugheart (and I) obviously do, you'll be in heaven.
See, Miss Bugheart is a collector. She collects mostly stuff from the fifties, like traincases, cameras, furniture, and containers of any kind. She loves clothes from the sixties though (the colors suit her amazingly well), like Vested Gentress wrap skirts and cardigans with huge buttons. I love her collections, and I never cease to marvel at how varied they are, and how much use she gets out of them. So three years ago when she moved from a spacious co-op house in Chapel Hill to a tiny (and I mean TINY) apartment in Our Nation's Capitol, she had to store some stuff. As she already has a small army of storage spaces containing various vintage items dotting this great nation's landscape, it only seemed right to offer her a corner of our roomy attic. Thus the antique store was born.
I myself am not a collector. I like to joke that my hobby is throwing away other people's collections. It has always bothered me when people assume that because I like cats, I would like a cat-related dust-catcher to display on my bookshelf, or because I have a Hello Kitty pencil sharpener, of course I will want a Hello Kitty stuffed doll/purse to carry my... um... business cards?
Every year at Christmas, my aunt generously gives me a piece of Christmas-themed Lenox. She has even passed this tradition on to her son and daughter, my cousins, who now also give me (and my lucky sister, also a minimalist), Lenox items. For those of you who have never experienced such opulence, Lenox is a maker of china, I guess, and their products include all sorts of very useful items like candy dishes, teapots, curios, whosits and whatsits. In case you're curious, among my treasures I have this, this and a Santa & Rudolph teapot that I only wish they had up on the website. Well, okay, so I don't have them anymore. This spring I unloaded my Lenox "collection" at a charity yard sale. I'll say this: they fetched a nice sum for the benefiting organization. People will pay a lot of money for collectibles.
Do I feel a little guilty for ditching all my Christmas presents? Um... maybe a little. But I mostly feel good, and lighter, for having rid myself of a "collection." Is this one of those hugely-human categorizable personality traits, like lumpers and splitters? Collectors and throwers-away? Maybe that's why I love Bugheart so much - opposites attract, right? Or maybe I just wish I looked as good as she does in sixties cardigans with giant buttons.