Clearly, I love collecting. According to Michael, there isn’t a thing I don’t collect. Beautiful milkglass and jadeite, tiny salt cellars—everything is so precious. But I do have one rule I always abide by: nothing should be so precious that it can’t be used and enjoyed.
Keep Collections within Sight …
To prevent myself from crossing over to hoarder status, I keep track of my possessions by storing them in plain view. When done right, these displays can serve as both a useful storage space and a wonderful conversation piece. The dish pantry in my kitchen is my favorite collection point. It’s set up to tastefully create eye-catching contrasts (see how the green jadeite and white milkglass pops against the black bead board!) that I can enjoy every day.
… and Reach
As Jamie likes to remind me, I’m “vertically challenged,” which makes most everything in my cupboards and on my shelves out of reach (easy to say for someone well over 6 feet). So they installed a portable wooden ladder to challenge my God-given limitations. It reminds me of those ladders used to get those out-of-reach books in fancy libraries. This gives me access to about three times as much storage space. I keep the items I use most frequently at ground level, and the ones reserved for special occasions stored in what feels like outer space. “To the moon, Alice!” I say to Michael as I climb up the rungs.
Strive for organization
I make a point of keeping my collections neat and tidy. If things start stacking up, it looks cluttered and I loose track of my inventory. Balance is also important. Don’t put all your tiny little things on one shelf and overload another with too many tall pieces. Instead, aim for a variety of shapes and sizes on each shelf.
Enjoy a little whimsy
I just adore my quirky little cookie jars. Like all the pieces in my collection, they have a special story behind them and a special place in my heart. Dee Dee Pujols, the lovely wife of MLB player Albert Pujols, gave me Elvis when she was a guest on my show. I remember we made her delicious Home Run Chicken recipe.
And the alligator with that poor little fish in his mouth was given to me a few years back by the sweetest fan who knew how much I would love it. I swear some mornings I can hear Elvis singing “Don’t be Cruel” to that naughty gator.
I enjoy my dish pantry collection each and every day—seeing it and using the wonderful pieces in it. As far as I’m concerned, you’ve got to let a cookie jar hold cookies and a pie dish cradle a pie—it’s what they were made to do. And who am I to deny things their destiny?
doris in The Secret Garden on May 19, 2013 at 3:11 pm
I love reading about your family and seeing your pictures. I respect the fact that you are teaching your son's family values because so much of that seems to be going by the wayside anymore..maybe someday we will meet and by that time your son's may even have their own cooking show.lol..wishing you lots and lots of love from this country girl's kitchen to Brooke Deen's kitchen of love.
Linda Miller in The Makings for a Perfect Father’s Day on May 19, 2013 at 11:44 am
Love this idea. I want to do this for my sister n law for the new addition of the family. What a wonderful way to celebrate a new baby in the family.
Kimberly McKinney in How to Host a Sip and See on May 19, 2013 at 10:54 am
I love Orchids but fine it hard to kept alive for very long. I love the way you display
Syndie Reynolds in Paula’s Love of Orchids on May 13, 2013 at 10:59 pm