Friday, April 29, 2016

Are you a collector?

Well, that is a silly question. Quilters collect fabric ... even though that stash is multiplying in dark places. And, we seem to be collecting all kinds of tools to make our work more convenient, faster, and up-to-date. I have a quilting friend with an amazing collection of thimbles.

A few weeks ago I worked with Boy Scouts at a "Merit badge day".

In the morning I worked with young scouts that had to pass off knot tying and other basic skills such as plant identification...
But in the afternoon I held a class for the "Collections" merit badge.

Sure, I collect postage stamps and coins but they have badges of their own. The collections is for anything else and I have as much fun as the scouts learning about the kinds of things they collect.

Of course there are sports cards or sports team items, but there are always other interesting things and it is really neat to hear about how those collections got started and have grown. Some probably have great value and others have memories of places they have visited and lived over their short lives.

Not too long ago, I saw a post by my blogging friend, Debbie showing a small but lovely collection of cats.

Well, I really don't collect cats. I do have quite an owl collection but very few have been added by me.

Long ago the step tansu, here in my greenhouse holding plants, was on the landing of our home. People coming into the entryway might look at a ceramic cat on one of the steps and think ... Oh, a cat!... Julie collects cats.

Well, in those days my kids were also bringing home strays ... and I'll admit I brought one home too so, the house did have cats  (and dogs too).

Well, the next visit might include a gifted cat.

(Since the owl collection was in the restroom, those were seen even more and owls began to fly in too.)
by now too many to count.

Today when I was watering my collection of plants and taking down my laundry, I glanced around and began to wonder how many cats I actually had collected.

Some of those have stayed on the steps and are watching over my cacti which are going into blooming mode.

There seem to be a few birds mixed into the equation as well. (are they in danger of multiplying?)

(and there is a hand-carved mouse peeping down from the top step)

A sleeping cat is taking up a lot of room on a side table

and another bird rests on his tummy.

Two more cats rest on the floor at the foot of that table and in front of the sliding door.

And, if I had not been looking for cats, I would have missed this cactus which has begun to bloom in front of the west-side doors.

Only those cats had noticed and they were good at keeping the secret.

The spiky little cactus seems to be sending it's flower spikes over for those two cats to enjoy.

Those will probably begin to bloom this weekend.

And here is another flower spike that recently appeared.

I was gifted part of a cactus collection a few months ago from a friend who's wife had been an avid collector of cacti from South Africa.

I have no knowledge about these varieties and all my books only cover those from South America and  U.S. south.

Therefore, I have no idea what to expect or even how to care for them.
Since they had been sitting outside from the time the owner passed away last year, I guess they are able to thrive on neglect ... don't mind a very hot or very cold greenhouse ... and can go without water for a week of scout camp.

So ... along with the cats, it seems I am collecting varieties of plants.
And... when I came down to my laptop, what should I see but a cat on the windowsill and one on top of the hutch ... and a cat bank ... Oh my, I think my collections are taking over!

Better get back to quilting!


  1. Aren't you glad you don't have to feed that brood? How that poor mouse has survived in that house full of cats and owls I'll never know. <3 G

  2. What a varied collection, but so cheap to keep, no fur to get off the furniture and beds, and best of all, they can keep you company in every room or doorway. I do like the blue one, but then the one almost hiding behind the flowering cactus, he would be my pick for today.

  3. I like how you set the kitties with the plants, a lot of mine are the type you put on shelves or small and I think they are in every room of the house, lol. Time for a yard sale;)


  4. Collections breed in dark corners! I have inherited some of Mummy's collection of cats but am hoping that visitors don't think I collect cats and start gifting me more! I think you have picked up the Japanese way of exhibiting your treasures with style.

  5. Re. Fabric, I collect Civil War/Repoduction fabrics and Japanese taupes/ Indigos. Your blog post started a conversation over the breakfast table, boxes, tins and containers, I have a "thing" for them. It gave me an idea for my blog, thank you Julie.

  6. It is interesting to see how you can become a collector without even realising it!

  7. it is a wonder to me how "things" accumulate and suddenly there is a collection xx

  8. You have about as many cats as I do! Maybe more! Like you, very few are of my own purchasing... Someone sees that I like cats and they bring me a cat trinket and then another one comes and another. Unfortunately my living cats eat my collection of plants.