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What do you love and collect?

I love my colander. I bought it in a shop at a vineyard. It is large and shiny and the drain holes in it are actually grapes and vines. I have enjoyed this colander so much and I want to put it in the middle of my kitchen table but I use it all the time so it sits on my counter instead. I was thinking about collecting colanders now. Do you have a collection?

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  1. Teapots. I am an avid tea drinker, and probably have about 20 different teapots. My most prized are a pair of antique single serving size brown clay pots, made in southern Ohio for Irish railway workers in the 1800's.

    I have a lot of single serving size teapots (people keep giving them too me as gifts), and it's been very nice to have so many -- easy to make several teas to try my new teas, and once I had a tea tasting party, and was able to brew eight different teas each in a little pot. Very fun.

    5 Replies
    1. re: AnnaEA

      Teapots--me, too. I have all sorts of shapes and sizes. One of my favorites is a Yixing pot shaped like a dragon and a ceramic pot in the shape of an alligator, who is a purse (a true alligator purse).

      Also, same as Yes Please, all sorts of glasses/vessels from various places--margarita glasses from Cabo that look like the holy grail of margaritas, my Pazzo dancing skeletons coffee mug (also from Cabo), a green Bacardi glass and a giant latte bowl from Quebec with artwork of a cat on it, and wine glasses from near and far. My favorite champagne flutes are the ones we got when we visited Schramsberg with their signature tuxedoed frog on them.

      1. re: kattyeyes

        My wife collects tea pots as well. I've really come to enjoy them. I'm a sucker for a nice soup tureen especially antiques.

        1. re: kattyeyes

          To kattyeyes - I got an Yixing teapot for you, young lady: a cat sitting on a Ming style armchair. From Jade Garden Arts & Crafts, 76 Mulberry between Bayard and Canal in NY Chinatown, closer to Bayard. They have a lot of very nice ones for not very much money (and some doozies for a lot, one they had a while back in the shape of a Buddha's hand citron seemed almost alive).

          1. re: buttertart

            Ohhhhhhhhhh! That sounds like it has my name on it. Thank you for letting me know. We are due for a trip to the city again soon--thank you kindly for telling me!

            1. re: kattyeyes

              The shop doesn't look like too awfully much from the outside but they have some very nice things indeed. If the cat one isn't on display, ask Shirley, they may well have more.

      2. Funky bowls and serving plates- its a sickness. I just love being in eclectic shops and finding an unusual print or shape. I wonder if there's a pottery collectors anonymous??

        5 Replies
        1. re: fmcoxe6188

          This is my weakness, I find them in the off season at the thrift shops around here, they are so psychedelic, some of them. Bowls like carrots, plates shaped as ducks, a dish with the coolest corn cobs embedded on it, you could never find these new now. I treasure them ,but if they broke, they only cost me a buck or two.

          1. re: coll

            I love great serving bowls and plates too and have found a few wonderful pieces at discount stores like Home Goods. One of them is shaped just like a carrot! :) It's really very well done and one of my favorite serving pieces. I received this particular bowl as a gift from one of my SILs for Christmas one year - but I know she found it at Home Goods because a little bit of the sticker was still there. ;)

            1. re: flourgirl

              There's a Home Goods that opened right down the road a year or two ago, but I try to stay out of there. I feel like throwing out everything I have and starting over when I go in there!

              1. re: coll

                I hear ya. That store can be downright dangerous to the pocketbook. I have to drive a ways to get to the closest one so I only head there nowadays when I REALLY need something. And thanks to judicious shopping over the years (much of which WAS purchased in the discount stores) I have a well stocked kitchen and pantry and can't really justify too many more purchases - but I really love the serving pieces I have found in these stores over the years. So, like you, I have wonderful things that I love serving food in/on and I didn't pay much for them. Can't beat that!

                1. re: coll

                  I got to indulge that urge last year - when my stepson, who shares my love of cooking, turned 21 I decided he needed better than the student-grade kitchen he had, so for his birthday present I went to Home Goods and basically bought one of everything. Great fun for me, and his kitchen is now the envy of all his contemporaries.

          2. beer glasses. i'm an all round bon vivant so yes i love beer as well. unfortunately i have forced myself to stop getting new glasses as i've run out of (cupboard) space! i've got 3 or 4 dozens German and Belgian glasses in total and do use them every single day for my beers [in rotation].

            2 Replies
            1. re: Pata_Negra

              Along similar lines....vintage beer bottle openers, especially the kind that work in reverse where you push down instead of lift up to remove bottle caps.

              http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Metal-Pab...

              1. re: fourunder

                Glasses in general! Wine, champagne, martini, highball, lowball, juice glasses. I have water goblets, margarita glasses, ice cream, fruit and dessert glasses and lots of each kind. There are so many variants: color, shape, pattern, thickness of glass, frosted or clear.

                I was obsessed!

                Until I ran out of cupboard space, had more unused glasses than used and when my boyfriend went to get something out of the cupboard his jaw dropped at my collection. I have not bought another glass since then and don't even look anymore!

            2. Gin bottles. A lot of these new makers have really interesting bottles with great shapes and textures. Cut and smooth the top of a 1L bottle and you have a unique looking vase.

              3 Replies
              1. Corks. We have a giant vase of them and smaller vases for the overflow, which we've been accumulating since college. At some point I wanted them for some art project, but I've since forgotten what that was. Now it's just a shrine (of shame) to how much we've drunk over the years.

                17 Replies
                1. re: cimui

                  My belly is a shrine of shame to how much I've drunk over the years. Your corks, however, sound like a unique accent piece! I wanted to do the same with a small rectangular vase I had, but I don't drink enough wine and a vase of Jim Beam caps doesn't have the same visual appeal.

                  1. re: JungMann

                    Hah -- but I bet a whole row of Jim Bean bottles would be quite lovely, even empty!

                    If one were to judge on the basis of your gut, I'd think that your gut had produced a few bottles over the year rather than consumed them. It has room for a few more if you ask me. :)

                    1. re: JungMann

                      You've gotta start collecting Jim Beam in the collectible bottles, then. Did ya know?

                      http://www.jimbeamclub.com/

                      I used to have to dust my uncle's collection back when. He had Charlie McCarthy, the Black and White dogs, more bottles than I can even remember, but Charlie and the dogs stand out in my mind. ;) HA! Found 'em!
                      http://www.jimbeamclub.com/pictorials...

                    2. re: cimui

                      Oh, how funny! DH does the same thing! I've used a few of the corks when I've cooked octopus. But for the most part, they are all there. We've got a large bowl where all the corks are kept with a bunch of smaller vases for overflow as well. DH wanted to do an art project with them at some point -- perhaps attach them to the walls of our future wine cellar (I wish! But it's fun dreaming) so you've got an entire wine cellar covered in corks.

                      Personally I don't collect anything for the fear of it bringing out my obsessive tendencies (that I keep buried deep inside of me) where I wouldn't be satisfied until I collect every single item of whatever it is out there.

                      1. re: Miss Needle

                        Ok, I'm intrigued. How do corks come into the picture when you cook octopus?! My ulterior motive for collecting them is that they also double as doggie pacifiers.

                        Cool frakkin' idea, by the way, to cover a wine cellar with corks! I love it! In fact, I'm going to adopt your cork covered wine cellar fantasy, too. When you get there, I'm going to bring by some big fat bags of corks and help you hot glue gun (?) 'em on. :)

                        1. re: cimui

                          You can make trivets with corks, too.

                          One of our local restaurants has a wine cellar where you can sit and eat, and they've used corks along the chair rail as a decorative motif. Very cool!

                          1. re: kattyeyes

                            I *really* like the trivets idea, kattyeyes. I have to get myself a hot glue gun and play with that.

                          2. re: cimui

                            Ha ha. A cork would make an awesome doggie pacifier! I've read that cooking an octopus with a cork in it is supposed to make it tender. I think it's supposed to be an Italian trick. I've only cooked octopus with corks, and it's been pretty tender -- a lot more tender than when I've eaten it at friends' houses, my parents' home, and at most restaurants. As I haven't done a scientific study, I'm not sure if it's because of the cork or because of the type of octopus I get or the cooking techniques I use. But it doesn't hurt to always throw a cork in.

                            We'll set a date for the cork covered wine cellar! Invino's idea of a cork bar sounds interesting as well -- though I think that would only make a small dent in our cork collection!

                            1. re: Miss Needle

                              Fascinating!! Wonder if it'd help to throw a cork on the grill with the octopus... ;)

                        2. re: cimui

                          A friend of mine made a wreath using corks, Cimui. Not bad looking either. Looked like this without the bow:
                          http://www.wineenthusiast.com/templat...

                          1. re: Gio

                            Ooh, very nice! A new reason to save yet more corks! :)

                            1. re: Gio

                              that's pretty cool. your friend is very craftsy!

                              1. re: cimui

                                My former boss would save corks all year and for Xmas she would make those cute cork reindeer for everybody in the office. I still have some, even though it was 15 years ago....
                                My hubby also saves corks-has a full wooden wine box in our wine cellar in Krakow, and an almost full one in our California house. I am not sure what he is planning to do with them, maybe sell them by a pound :-))))
                                I personally collect china dish sets. Have 7 at the moment, and I better stop, because my other half is losing his patience (and if he does, his cork collection will suffer as well) !

                                1. re: polish_girl

                                  I've seen really cool bulletin boards made of wine corks, with that many you could do a whole wall!
                                  http://www.ehow.com/how_2182520_wine-...

                                  1. re: coll

                                    None of the things mentioned are IT, but I remember seeing some sort of project on TV that used massive numbers of old corks. All I can recall is thinking that it was a very good idea. So don't chuck them all without trying to find some uses first, lest you later wish you'd kept them.

                              2. re: Gio

                                I'm also a cork collector. I've seen a photo of baseboard trim made of wine corks that kind of intrigues me. In fact, this website has a bunch of ideas: http://lovemyearth.blogspot.com/2007/...