I had a lot to sort through, being a natural born magpie, a flea-market addict always jonesing for junk. Actually, I leave the junk on the shelves - it's the treasures I take home.
I often wonder about what it is that sets junk apart from treasures. It's got to be whether the object has a meaning to me or not. Treasuredness, I reckon, is in the eye of the collector.
So lets have a quick look at what's on my look-out-for list when I go bargain hunting:
- vintage toys and children's books
- old buttons and sewing equipment
- embroideries that have a certain character
- paper ephemera of various description (what namely category do vintage Hungarian cheese labels come under?)
Over the years I came across many magpie crushes and hoarded the ones that came under my 'must-have bargain' label. Yet I gave up some, actually, most of these collections on more than one occasion during a big cull. Why, you might ask?
Well, there was the broken marriage mega spring clean, then there was the recent uproot-to-move-countries downsizing operation.
I did bring some things beyond the absolutely necessary of course - beloved objects I could not let go of.
For example, I brought with me 5 kilos of vintage buttons. And that was the absolute must-keep selection! I went through it all selling and giving away dozens of kilos jar by jar, box by box...still 5 whole kilos remained that I wanted.
I'm pleased I did keep the ones I did. Yet while I see the roots of my attraction to vintage toys and kids' books, I can't really define the roots of my attachment to old buttons.
Could it be some primitive desire to have lots of small pretty things in piles that make tiny 'clink' and 'tock' sounds when you count them - are they a subconscious representation of money and wealth?
Or is it something stemming from the female psyche of our prehistoric gatherer-hoarder-stasher cave woman existence?
Looking through my pile of beloved buttons is the perfect occasion to be ruminating on that dilemma. And, starting with this little constellation of buttonsy goodness above, I'll be showing my collection off to you readers here instead of just squirrelling them all away for myself.
Is there anyone else out there who has the stashing bug? What do you reckon it is with hoarding buttons?