I like nice things as much as the next girl, but I don't like a lot of clutter and stuff in my house. I came up with a way of shopping some years ago that works really well for me, and it comes in especially handy for big ticket items I could never really afford. No, not credit cards. In fact there's no cash exchanged at all. I just claim the coveted item as "mine," and then leave it right where it it, usually in a beautiful store or gallery, reasoning that it looks better there than it would in my house, it will be safe there, and I can go back and see it when I want to. Last time I checked, the gorgeous antique Chinese bronze rhino with the beautiful green patina was still in the window of the gallery I left it in, somewhere in Seattle. It makes me happy to visit it, but I have no need to actually possess it.

I know a lot of people who collect things. I've tried a few times, but have been pretty unsuccessful since the giant coffee can full of marbles I had in the 4th grade. It was quite a collection, but I have no idea what ever happened to it. I used to gather cow-things for my kitchen, when I lived in Nevada, but that didn't last. Now I have only a painting of cows that my Mom gave me just before she died, and my Dad still spends hours in card shops looking for cow birthday cards for me, which I cherish, of course, but don't display in a lighted hutch. 

When Rick and I got married in 1992, and spent our honeymoon in Victoria, BC, we were smitten with the whole English tea thing, and decided to start a teapot collection. We bought a lovely pink one there, and still have exactly one in the collection. It's enough. I will admit to a rather sizable collection of jewelry, which I can't defend. I've been accumulating these personal adornments since I was a baby, and still have some of my very tiny jewelry. But lately, I'm feeling like it's time to start dispersing some of it to my kids. I don't wear most of it anyway.

Yesterday, my very savvy daughter Lauren invited me to a website called Pinterest. I'm sure everyone but me already knew about this site, but I'm happy to know about it now. At first I thought, Oh great, another way of wasting time on the internet... But when I took just a slightly longer look, I began to see some great creative potential in Pinterest. Once signed up, you can create "boards" by categories pre-assigned, or all your own, where you "pin" pictures from all over the web, of anything that interests you. You can follow other people's boards, and they can follow you, which is not what's important to me. What I like about it is it gives me a place to create beautiful collections of things I don't have to keep. And best of all, it encourages me to keep a sharp eye out for objects and images of great design and loveliness. It's good for my Artist Eye.

Today I'm mildly obsessed with my "Turquoise" board, perhaps because it's a rainy day in Taos, and I missed the blue sky's cheery greeting this morning. Tomorrow I might spend some time looking for beautiful food, or tiny homes to make my heart sing, or dare I admit it, jewelry... Who knows, I might even add to my teapot "collection" now that I can do it without having to dust it.

PS - my username on Pinterest is, what else, kimmiles, in case you want to follow me. I suggest you lead yourself instead though!


  1. Now THATS the kind of collections I could get into. My mother had well over 1000 ceramic cats. She had had a small family tavern for years and her customers kept giving them to her. When she retired she had boxes of them in the basement and every flat surface of her small home.

    If nothing else, this taught me to avoid "collections!" I had a hard time taking pictures until the digital age.

  2. I feel for Merikay. My Mom was a "collector" also. But she got hoodwinked by people like Franklin Mint and bought all the commemorative coins, and had a collection of David Winter Christmas cottages. The saddest thing was when we cleaned out her house and tried to sell this stuff we couldn't even get what she paid for it. I like the Pinterest idea much better!

  3. I will confess to a pottery collection with this caveat: If there is a need for a pitcher for beverages, or a vase or box, those things are biding their time as fine art on the mantle or elsewhere waiting to be functional.Other than that, I possess a fine collection of dust (bunnies), too! neat website-thanks for that.


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