8-09-Bookshelf-Full I am not sure when I became a passionate collector, but I think I’ve always loved collections in one form or another.  My focus began with books and then grew into other treasures with the passage of time.

At some point, I started receiving catalogs for dolls, etc.  From one of these came my first significant doll collectibles.  “Dylan” and “Harmony,” the two “hippie” dolls pictured here were among the first.

HarmonyandDylanMy first Boyd’s bears joined my world in the early 2000’s, when I went to work for a foster family agency.  Our supervisor had a wonderfully playful office filled with bears and dolls.  I was so drawn to this place that I immediately began filling my office with similar collectibles.  The children—and even their foster parents!—loved my space.

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These collectibles soon overflowed into my home, until finally, they began to overcome me!  So I had to learn how to alternate those precious items, putting some on display and tucking others into closets.

Now I am in a “down-sized” space, so the garage is also my overflow venue.  But I lovingly rotate things into my living space, just so I can share everything with my world.

These Elvis and Betty Boop memorabilia, along with assorted dolls, rest on my hall tree…just inside my front door.

5-09-Memorabilia-Elvis, etc.

Then I discovered the Jim Shore collections.  Pictured here, you will note images crafted to represent storybooks and movies.  They connote a familiar theme…fantasies and illusions.

7-09-JimShoreFairytaleImagesMy accumulation of the Jim Shore Disney collections wasn’t just about the art.  By then, I had launched my whole “second childhood” series, of which I’ve spoken on various sites.  Even on my Amazon Profile Page, I have chosen to dedicate one of my “guides” to my quest for a second childhood.

Moving on from my beginning collections of books, bears, dolls, and Disney images, my first Coca Cola items came as a fluke.  They weren’t part of a statement or even a quest.

Living in the foothills at the time, with my house on the market, I had an empty guesthouse to decorate—by then, my last tenants had vacated the premises—and hoping to put my personal stamp on the space, I wandered into one of my favorite shops.  In the midst was a “Fifties Shop,” where I lingered for a bit and found the round Coca Cola table and chairs intriguing.  So I plunged in.  And, of course, right around the corner were all these smaller objects—lamps, miniature trains, etc.—all with the Coca Cola theme.  And then the jukebox—well, that had me hooked.

Party Time at Chez RaineVintage or KitschLater, I would go back and purchase the pub table and barstools—my grandkids get a kick out of them—and I don’t mind climbing up on those stools with my book and a glass of something cold.  And then I can pop a CD into my “jukebox” that is modernized for today’s music.

And it all takes me back…Coca Cola, hamburgers, milk shakes.  Well, you get the picture.

2-09-Raine&SomeFavoriteThingsJukeboxSo, as you can see, collections (and obsessions) take on a life of their own.

As I stroll around my home, sometimes I walk on by the things that have “called to me” from shops or yard sales or flea markets—those items so coveted that I’ve been willing to go out on hot days or rainy days, driving around until I find the very thing I want (or think I need!).

One thing I’ve learned in all these years…the things I pause to examine, to pick up and study closely, are not necessarily those objects that commanded a high price or even those items that seemed too beautiful to resist.

Instead, the most desirable objects are those that hold a sentimental attachment.

Like these old books, next to the cute Disney objects and the Quirky Doll—you might have seen her around!—that have their own story.

I did a blog post about these books over on my RAINY DAYS AND MONDAYS site.

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These books belonged to my mother, and as you can see, they have seen better days, having traversed some distance in time (from 1921 when her aunt gave them to her), which illustrates my point.  The value of the objects is in the sentimental journey they have traveled to come to us.

In life, we all travel our individual journeys, hopefully collecting friends, family, and perhaps, along the way, some sentimental objects that connote love and belonging.  I know that I have many such reminders of my life in my collections, which I have enjoyed sharing with all of you.