Collections, Collections

300 pairs of sneakers. That’s what a young actor recently claimed he already has in his collection. Not nearly Imeldific, of course, but it got me thinking: in varying degrees, most of us seem to be collectors of something. I don’t mean clutter or dustballs or cobwebs. I mean stuff. Things. Knicknacks.

Some of us may hoard books, old vinyl records, concert ticket stubs, movie posters. Maybe you have a thing for baseball caps, bottlecaps, figurines, vintage cars, show programmes or stuffed toys. Three women in my family collect refrigerator magnets. And who does not know at least one cousin who keeps a shelf-full of tsotchkes from every wedding, baptism and debut she ever went to?

When we were kids, my sisters and I collected stationery, preferably from Sanrio (or from Sanrio clones — I remember a notebook cover printed with “Oh my sadness. Lookiking out of those grey eyes.”). My eldest sister still has some of the Hello Kitty pencils from those days and they are part of a growing stockpile of colorful pencils. But her more showoff-able collection: tiny chairs.  

Aren’t those just adorable? She has more than two dozen pieces now, each measuring only a few inches tall. There’s a small swing set, a piano bench, a rocking chair from Vigan, a Shaker-style chair, a butaka (wooden lounge chair), several ‘wrought iron’ ones. She keeps them in a glassed-in shelf, still largely off-limits to her daughter who may touch but not play with them.

My own collection? Bookmarks. Not those on my browser but tangible ones — made of paper, yarn, cloth, leather, metal, plastic, stone, wood, or wire. They’re from everywhere: the Philippines, Korea, Istanbul, USA, Mexico, Germany, Melbourne, Tuscany, etc. Most were acquired by me personally but several are from family and friends .

The oldest that I have are two from 1978 (!) — featuring Andy Gibb and Peter Frampton. They were handed down to me by a sister who preferred Shaun Cassidy, haha. (Kids, I greatly encourage you to click on those links. 😉 )

OK, so now it’s your turn. What do you collect? Books, matchboxes, pilfered hotel towels? Tell us about it in the comments. Better yet, I hope some of you write about your own collection, then let us know (by providing a link in the comments or via a pingback) so we can all go check out your post.

Don’t be shy now. Hey, I showed you Peter Frampton! 😉


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56 thoughts on “Collections, Collections

  1. Fun post tita bud! The teeny chairs are darling. Your bookmarks are cool, a fun item to collect. I used to collect a bunch of stuff-teddy bears, lighthouses, dishes and on and on. Then I decided to declutter. Live simpler. Dusting all the “stuff” was time lost. But I do have a thing for boots. I have a post in draft about my love for boots but it needs work. I like to buy em and wear em, I guess that is collecting 🙂 Imeldific. Love it! May have to borrow that word.

    • I use my bookmarks, too, and I have two boxes where I keep them when unused. It’s the books that I have to dust, though. I hope you get around to blogging about your boots collection. 🙂

  2. my Mr collects coffee cups/mugs from any city/country/place he’s ever been too. It has expanded to all the places I’ve been too as well. It’s pretty impressive collection now

    • My sister (the chair collector) also used to collect coffee mugs. I don’t know when she stopped adding to them. Some of them have really weird shapes that you can’t drink from and some are only for display, haha. Where do you keep your mugs?

      • they are everywhere, some are in the kitchen because we use them, and last year he made me buy a shelf and put it in the living room for “the most prized possessions”. So most expensive and most beautiful mugs are in the living room (thanks God he agreed to put a shelf in the corner, where it is not that obvious).

  3. The problem with me and collecting is that I don’t know when to stop. I used to collect antique glassware, cat figurines. If I had money I’d collect art. But it’s just as well I don’t have any because that would probably go way overboard too.

    • Thanks, Renee. Hey, I’m kind of obsessive with my little kitchen tools and gadgets, too (especially when they have Cooks Illustrated stamps of approval, haha).

  4. Yeah, I did salvaged most of my CD’s to the computer. I also have this “Best Albums” CD wallet that was not left in the car so it didn’t got stolen. The real burial, as you noticed, was for CD inlays I dear so treasured. waahhhhh 😦

    Hey, you should really have your sister hop on to wordpress! She got an awesome blog as well. Hehe. 😀 I think you can easily transport/export from one blog to another with wordpress.

    • Sayang talaga ang CD art! That’s how I felt, too when a typhoon destroyed all the covers of our vinyl records.

      I’m still convincing my sister to transfer here because the wordpress’ community support is just amazing. She is the REAL writer in the family (published and all that, plus she got a national award for travel writing, waah!) so I’m even willing to be the one to do the exporting, etc. Let’s hope she gets around to it. 🙂

  5. Moving countries and moving houses has made me less inclined to collect these days, but I suppose I did (and still do) collect books to some degree. I also like to collect cute little storage tins. For a while I collected letter openers, but then switched to magnets. Unfortunately, I have nowhere magnetic to stick them anymore! A shame, since they were the cheapest thing to collect! 😉

    • I like little storage tins, especially the ones for tea! 🙂 As for those magnets, I saw a picture in a magazine where apartment dwellers put up a metal sheet in one wall area and stuck all their ref magnets to it. It was kind of cool.

      • I’ve thought about making some sort of metal hanger for my magnets. I just don’t know where to hang it. Maybe in the guest room or the stairwell. We found a lovely tea tin a few years ago … and proceeded to keep coffee in it. 😀

    • Kidding aside though I had a collection of coins from around the globe and from eras past when I was in high school. I had a “mickey mouse” bill from the japanese occupation, old centavo coins from early 20th century. then someone got hold of my lock box. I was so mad. I had to let go. It makes me cringe thinking about it.

      • Yargs, sayang! When we moved, we inadvertently left a box full of shot glasses from the 60s at our old apartment. When we went back for it, the workers who were starting to renovate the place denied seeing the box. Yup, still makes me cringe, too almost 2 years later.

    • My nieces would LOVE to use the chairs in their dollhouse, but off limits talaga. Understandable naman kasi even the detailing in the chairs is amazing.

  6. woah! those tiny chairs are soooooo cute! your sister has a unique collection 🙂 and your bookmark collection are amazing…while I was reading through it I thought you’re referring to the common bookmarks…but when I saw the pictures, another woah! very unique pieces 🙂

  7. I love the tiny chairs, they’re too cute. The only collection I have are the xmas ornaments I pick up on our travels. It’s a fun way to remember our trips when we hang them up on our tree every year. My husband on the other hand collects movie posters. Two of our bedroom closets are full of poster tubes. he’s a borderline hoarder haha

    • I love the Christmas ornaments idea! It must be so cool putting them up while talking about past travels. Now, as to those posters…
      Actually, I am one to talk. I still have some posters from the 90s promoting the telecast of the Oscars, haha.

  8. the tiny chairs are awesome! So are the bookmarks! Im a big book collector. There are sooo many book vendors in the streets out here in NYC and I always stop and browse and read and look; i like old books especially, always on the hunt for first editions and what not. For a big reader, Im surprised i never collected book marks!

    • My bookmark collection started organically, out of my love for books and reading, too. You must have an enviable book collection by now. Old books seem to have a lot more gravitas than paperbacks, no? 🙂

  9. We collect miniature lighthouses and anything lighthouse — wind chimes, candle holders, mugs, paintings, magnets… And to be corny like Mikhail: we collect lighthouse MEMORIES, hekhekhek!!! We have been to about 15 lighthouses, so far.

    I remember some of those little chairs from garage sales! There’s another on its way to Chimmy 🙂

  10. I love the chairs! I love anything in miniature! This post is so well timed as I realised the other day that I have an accidental collection of sushi kitsch! Sushi printed fabric, mini sushi key rings, wind-up walking sushi…! I shall blog it soon!

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  12. This is my fist time seeing little chairs like that, where does that come from? Souvenir shops? I have no idea. Anyway, I have a lot of bookmarks as well, but they just got piled up and I don’t even use some of them I just like looking at them. I hoard books. But I recently am under the supervision of my brother, as he says I have spending problems regarding this matter. Hahaha. BOOKS! I think I might post my books as well. Thanks for this post 🙂

    Have a great day!

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  14. Cute chairs, cuter niece 🙂 I adore your bookmark collection. I used to collect old sindhoor (vermilion powder used by Indian women) boxes, but gave them all away when we moved into an apartment and decided to de-clutter our lives 😀

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