Sep 22, 2011

Collecting Shoes


I was wondering to myself; "Who has the largest shoe collection in the world?" I did a little research. Guinness Book of World Records says it is Imelda Marcos, the former first lady of the Philippians. Her collection is said to be near 2,700. 

Did you know that the worlds largest collection of giant shoes is here in America? And all it costs to view is four quarters?

Holding the record title for largest collection of Converse is Joshaua Mueller.  He has 560 pairs. 

Darlene Flynn is recognized as a Guinness winner for having the largest collection of shoe memorabilia and paraphernalia. Her collection began with shoe figurines. 

The Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, Canada boasts the largest gallery collection of shoes. Displaying over 12,500 shoes, this amassment spans time. From artifacts of early civilizations to current catwalk trends, it's a gathering of shoes through the ages. Plus there is a nice selection of shoes of the famous. Including Elizabeth Taylor, Winston Churchill, Napoleon, John Lennon and Marylin Monroe...just to name a few. 

Man, it must be nice to be famous. Think of all the shoes that fame and fortune could buy. Ever wonder what the inside of a celebirty's shoe closet looks like? Follow these links below to find out! See the shoe closets of Khloe Kardashian, Justin Bieber, Christina Aguilera, Tamara Mellon, Miley Cyrus, stylest Rachel Zoe or Black Eye'd Pea Fergie. How about the sneaker collections of LeBron James or Jermaine Dupri? What about Jessica Alba, Eva Longoria, Mariah Carey, or Paula Abdul? All shoe addicts.

And last but not least a glimpse into the Vogue shoe closet. A clip from "God Save My Shoes."

Sep 20, 2011

Collecting Leaves

Fall is upon us.

Which means all those beautiful autumn leaves are about to fall upon us.  Now is the time to start collecting them.

Collecting and Pressing Leaves
Collecting leaves is a great way to gain experience at identifying trees. Prior to having apps to do such things, actual field work used to be the norm. Before you start gathering leaves be sure to familiarise yourself with Poison Ivy. "Leaves of three, let them be."

When selecting leaves for your collection, avoid any that have been damaged by insects, weather, or disease. It is best to collect a twig with a bud and all of it's leaves on a stem. Make sure the entire leaf is collected. Good leaf collections include the twig with a lateral or terminal bud.

As you collect, leaves may be stored between the pages of a magazine, phone book or a field guide. They should be handled with care while being transported to their final drying place.

It will take about a week to dry a leaf, depending on it's size. The best method for drying is with a leaf press. If a leaf press is not available you can layer individual leaves between pieces of newspaper. Do not dry leaves between pages of books because the moisture from the leaf will damage the paper.

After the leaf is dry add your identification tag. (If you were prepared you would have taken notes while gathering your leaves.) Your identification tag should include; common name, scientific name, collection date, location, description and your name. Dried leaves may be preserved by pressing between waxed paper.

Then what?

Pressed Leaf Craft and Display Ideas
I found so many craft ideas for dried or pressed leaves. Most of them were for the 5 year old demographic. I was able to find a few leaf projects with class. The most common answer being "pressed flower wall art." With a nice slideshow at Country Living and a more ornate pressed leaf butterfly project from our friends at Martha Stewart. I also found leaf wrapped votives over at and Martha gives us a great idea of wax dipping our leaves and displaying them in a window. Or without pressing and drying your leaves, you can create leaf prints, smoke prints or skeleton leaves.

Collected Leaf Art
Oh the amazing possibilities of leaf art.

British born Andy Goldsworthy makes stunning environmental sculptures, many involving leaves.

Lorenzo Duran is making detailed leaf cuts. 

And Jenny Lee Fowler is creating beautiful custom leaf silhouette portraits.

Fall for Fall.

Sep 13, 2011

Collecting Vintage Globes

It started with a rug. An inexpensive globe patterned rug that looked perfect in the middle of our living room. After a few years I had a good collection of globes. After this last move, only one remained-the old wooden globe from my childhood.

Globes are one of the oldest scientific tools still in use today. The first known globe was built by Crates of Mallus in c. 2nd century B.C. The oldest known western terrestrial globe was made in 1492 by Martin Behaim of Nuremberg. It still exists today, living at the Germanic Museum in Nuremberg.

The first U.S. maker of globes was James Wilson. Many globes were being produced in Chicago, which in the 20th century was considered the globe capitol of the United States. Globes gained popularity with the average man and became more common in households and schools. As globes were mass produced, tin toy globes, plastic blow ups, and educational school globes were everywhere.

If you are interested in information on collecting globes Omniterrum is by far the best online resource. Their vast and intellegent site covers every aspect of globe collecting. Including, dating your globe. They have a list of globe makers and manufactures. They also offer date by date geographical chages that would help signify the age of your globe. I also found this helpful list related to globe dating.

But....what do you do with all those globes once you've collected them? Towards the end of my globe gathering I kept them on a high shelf in my kitchen. Keeping company with my tin and wooden pedestal globes was a glass globe decanter that was so delecate I was terrified to use it! Curious for globe decorating tips? I found a few. Pottery Barn hung them from the ceeling. Apartment Thearpy put them on the floor. Better Homes and Gardens shoved them on a shelf like I did. And BlueBellBazar painted theirs with chalk paint!

Unsure how to clean your globe collection? Colleen over at Fresh Vintage offers this hilliarous and (beautifully photographed) advice.

All of the globes you see in this post are available for purchase on etsy. Thank you etsy sellers for the use of your lovely photographs!

Sep 11, 2011

Collecting Wooden Spools

Wooden spools are pretty rad.

I was quite dissappointed at the lack of information about spools and spool collecting out there. I wanted to post this badass essay about spool history and spool collectors. I wanted there to be a spool society or a spoolers guild. But I came up empty handed. 

What I did find in my spool data search was a conversation thread about why people collect wooden spools. It wasn't very informative. The end result was "for crafting projects." Most of the spool craft projects I came accross were really tacky. This site offered a list of spool project ideas. PetaPixel had this great DIY project (which is beautifuly photographed) detailing how to make your spools into photo holders. I like to keep my spools in jars. Sometimes I pour them out and look at them. 

Wooden spools have many shapes and sizes. This site is a good resource for idintifying some of the more unique shapes. They also have them available for purchase.

This spool heart has been floating around Pinterest for months.

I'm sorry the spool info was so slim. If you have any helpful info, links to sights, or book reccomendations on collecting wooden spools please let us know! 

I will leave you with this amazing video of a train made of wooden spools.
It's the best thing I found in my spool research!