Thursday, March 21, 2013

If You Collect it, is it Junk?

By: Jaymie Leighton

From: The Vintage Kitchen Mystery Series
Author: Victoria Hamilton
Book 2 Title: Bowled Over

My sister, Becca, says I collect junk, but that's because, as a dealer in fine china and silver, she thinks anything that isn't bone china or silver is trash. It's true! Just ask her about my collection of Pyrex bowls, or vintage cookbooks. She doesn't get it.

But I know from the growing number of dealers and collectors of vintage kitchen collectibles that I'm not alone here. We all have our favorites. Some folks love the feel and look of old linens. I quite agree. There is nothing more beautiful than vintage damask. The older stuff has a lux feel and weight that is just not matched by the new stuff.

Others enjoy the look of vintage kitchen utensils. I'm with them! The old things are extremely functional, but I also like the colors; the cream and green painted bands, or smooth red of the handle... irreplaceable.

Still others are fascinated by old cookbooks. Absolutely! The recipes in them tend to be quite utilitarian, but even more fun sometimes are the truly weird recipes you come across, like Stuffed Possum,  or one I call Crown of Weenies, where you put hot dogs in a mould with Yorkshire pudding batter and bake. Hmm. Might be good, right? Or not.

And old bowls... now you're talking my language. I love the look and feel of old Pyrex, the bright colors, the smooth feel. And I use them all the time, though I'm careful. No microwaves for the old things, you know, and hand washing only.

I think we're beginning to see a theme here, and why my sister is cranky. My collecting has the vague overarching theme of 'kitchen stuff', but there is no one category. I want it all, and I think it contributes to a neat look in the kitchen, like time stopped sometime in the nineteen-fifties.

All I need now is a Hoosier kitchen cabinet on which to display my vintage finds. I've got some estate sales and auctions lined up for May, and I hope I'll find THE thing, a real Hoosier. If I do, there is nothing stopping me from buying it, even if I have to bonk someone over the head to get it. That's not a threat, it's a promise... LOL. But don't tell Becca. She'll freak if she finds out I'm looking for that one big piece for the kitchen that will hold and display the rest of my stuff.

So... do you collect? And if you do, is it in one specific area, or are you all over the map, like me? And what would you do to get that one special piece?


From the author: As you can see by the book cover, Jaymie finds her Hoosier - among other things - and murder happens.

 Read an excerpt on my website and watch my blog for release week fun!

Check out Victoria Hamilton online:
Victoria Hamilton Mysteries -
Twitter: @MysteryVictoria


  1. Ooh, Jaymie! I've got a possum-belly Hoosier -- well, the Merc has one, and while that doesn't make it exactly mine, as the manager of the Merc and part of the family that owns the business and the century-old building it occupies, close enough! We stock it with locally made jams and jellies, and the visitors adore it! Hope you find yours soon!

  2. Hey, Jaymie, I don't go in for the big stuff. I 'sort of' collect egg cups. For some reason, I enjoy seeing the various designs and colors sitting on a shelf. I seldom use them but they do serve a purpose -- giving me pleasure. Good luck with your search!

  3. I have a lovely Hoosier cabinet - bread box with shelves, flour bin, cookie sheet is absolutely wonderful. And depression glass, and china plates....saying you are collecting is simply a wonderful way to explain why you are not a hoarder.

  4. One person's treasures are another person's junk. My parents never understood my want for collecting "worthless" stuff. I still have a lot of cottage model tea pots, and I enjoy looking at them, especially the shop ones. My favourite? the bookshop of course, and the tea shop. But lack of room made me stop collecting them, and now I only collect books :)
    Which most people don't understand at all either. Why keep them when you have read them? Why buy new ones when you have so many still unread? But books make me happy, so I just do what I want.

    You go on collecting the things that make you smile, worth any money or not.

  5. I'm definitely all over the map, and I'm lucky that my family always kept things, rather than replacing them with ever newer items. So I have my great grandmother's Victorian dresser, my grandmother's double-damask tablecloth and napkins, and my mother's books. Plus all the stuff I've picked up at antique stores because I couldn't live without them. I have to admit, though, that I used the tablecloth only once. After washing it and ironing with starch, I decided to just take it out and feel it now and then.

  6. Hi Jaymie! I am a lover of all things vintage kitchen, I pyrex bowls (swoon worthy) and linens. I have a wonderful collection of vintage linens from my great Grandma and Grandma as well as Mom,many engraved with gorgeous family crest, but I will not use them. I keep them in my "hopeless" chest (LOL) and buy other vintage linens to use and display. I also collect wooden spoons and have quite a laughable collection in "4" crocks on my kitchen. Pie Plates and bowls are my love. My theory is you can never have enough of what you love and what makes you happay. I also have my Moms antiques, tablecloths and family silver items. Moms books from the early 1900's round out my love of all things family vintage. One exceptional tableclothis hand crochet flowers that is to beauitful to use. I adored the first book at the descriptions of vintage lovely kitchen finds and the new book is on my nightstand. Thanks for a great series. What I do for a item I want is to hunt it down and be the first in line if I can. That means arriving one hour early for half price day at the senior thrift shop where I find many vintage linens and kitchen items.

  7. I just had a treasured vintage Pyrex bowl break on me this week. I cried. But my collecting favorite is
    Fiestaware. Love that stuff. I have 8 place settings (all different colors), salt & pepper shakers (the small round ones, I still want the range ones), and my latest treasure was the sugar/creamer set on the little tray.

    1. The fortunate thing is, you can find a replacement bowl in Pyrex fairly easily... just check out local antique malls and online!

  8. I just love hearing about other people's collections... maybe that's the true sign of a collector is how much they enjoy hearing about others' hoards!! I'd like to visit each and every one of you to see your stuff!