A few times in life I've found myself the confused owner of collections I hadn't planned. For example; as a kid I once posed for my annual school photo in a tee shirt with an embroidered Betty Boop on the pocket. My family saw this and immediately decided that I was "into" Betty Boop. I simply wore the shirt because Betty was in fat pants with big hoop earrings and I thought it was funny. Suddenly I had Betty Boop purses, coffee mugs, and figurines.
When I left Minnesota and moved to California, I really missed the intimate Christmases I had with my mom and dad. I love the holidays, and I especially love to decorate. My grandma Lola had painted a ceramic snowman, when my mom was a child. It's covered in glass glitter and plays "Frosty" when you turn the crank on it's butt. My mom mailed it to me so California Christmases would feel like home. I love the damn thing (even though it's cumbersome, breakable and I moved with it 4 times!) My roommate Alison, whom I lived with in California for 5 years, gave me a miniature toy box one year for Christmas. When you turn the crank it plays "Toyland", and some of the teeny toys inside spin around. The year after that she gave me a little match box that pushes out a small ice rink on one side. When it's wound up it also plays a Christmas song, and tiny ice skaters spin around!! Now I'm the proud owner of a Christmas music box collection. I always look for them when thrifting during the holidays.
My newest unplanned collection happened last summer when I was at a flea market with my parents. I was pretty pregnant and hot and broke. I had enough money in my pocket to procure one treasure. I spotted it on the first table we went to. It was a 1930's wooden, red children's piano. It had one key that wouldn't play, but all 3 legs. The guy was selling it for $25 and I was in love. I followed my dad around the rest of the flea market-2 more hours in the hot sun. I wouldn't buy anything, because I couldn't find a thing I liked more than that piano. At the very end I drug my overheated pregnant booty back up the hill, to that first table. I talked the guy down to $20, and rode home happily with my new toy....each bump on the way making the keys tink. A few months later my dad appeared at my house with a bag and an big smile on his face. "For your collection!" He said. I looked in the shopping bag and it was another small piano. "I don't have a miniature piano collection." I told him. "You do now!" He said. The new piano plays a little jazzy number when you lift the top. Here is the old red one that started it all: