Give me the Luxuries

Frank Lloyd Wright said, “Give me the luxuries of life, and I will do without the necessities.” This is how I feel about dishes, creamers, and any item having to do with food presentation that has a blue color.

In the early years of my marriage, I had been known to serve Beans and Rice three times a week because I spent most of the meat money in my budget at the Thrift shop. I have since repented of this “iniquity”, but only because I stash cash away as a monthly budgeted practice in an envelope labeled, “Dawn’s Personal.” After some ugly looks, “discussions,” and yes, even a few professional marriage counselling sessions that first year, My dear husband Michael and I agreed that each month on payday, there would be some cash set aside for each of us that was ‘unaccounted for.’ Each of us had a cash stuffed envelope with the words, “Personal” (i.e. ‘Michael’s Personal’, and ‘Dawn’s Personal’). We each could spend that small amount of (pre-decided on & budgeted) money on whatever we wanted, no questions asked. Michael usually spent his on Hot Rod car parts or guns in those early years; I spent mine on Transfer-ware.

Thirty years later, this simple practice still works. Our “Personal” envelopes are not some wicked secret we keep from each other, though; for when we spend our allotment, there is usually cause for public (family) celebration. When Michael discovered a rare pistol from the civil war times on Facebook Marketplace, it was placed in the middle of the dinner table that evening as a “centerpiece.” Far from being a secret, only jubilant congratulations and pats on the back are permitted for such a fantastic find.

The same can be said of my “Collections.” I have heard that a collection is never born overnight. One treasure is loved and adored, and is soon accompanied by another, and then one more! This gradual adding to a collection fans the flame of the fun that comes from so many months of seeking, and finding new additions.

But beware! This passion takes on a life of its own if one is not careful. To some, it matters not, but to those who live in a small cottage like we do, there must be limits to the art of collecting. Weeding out and replacing pieces with new favorites keeps the collector at work (or play in my case).

But displaying…

Displaying these marvelous treasures IS the best part, and also the biggest creative challenge in small quarters.

I enjoy displaying my cherished items fondly and lovingly. Any surface can be suitable for a collection of Transfer ware… in a cupboard, on a wall, in a tray, on a widow sill… the possibilities are endless. Professional decorators require that the connection of one item in a collection to another is clear. But I believe that collecting the things that appeal to me increases their appeal to others who see them. At least in my home, this has been my experience — that others notice and become more fond of the items on display.

What items do you enjoy collecting? Do you encourage your children to begin collections of their own? How do you display them? I would LOVE to see pictures in the comments below.

Hugs ~~Dawn L.

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