May 26, 2012

Collecting Coral

Mine is a body that should die at sea!
And have for a grave instead of a grave
6 feet deep and the length of me, 
All the water that is under wave! 
(excerpt from "Burial" by Edna St. Vincent Millay)

What a magnificent animal. Coral is in the Anthozoa class of marine organisms, which also includes sea anemones. These builders of reefs are an integral part of the sea's ecosystem. By secreting calcium carbonate, they create hard skeletons which build up over time to form coral colonies known as "reefs". Spanning over 1,600 miles, The Great Barrier Reef is the largest. 

Coral reefs are being threatened by many things including coral mining. If you are interested in having one of these nautical natural history pieces in your home, it is best to find one that has already been mined vs. going into the sea and gathering it yourself. Organizations like the United States Coral Reef Task Force are working to protect what is left of the worlds coral. This includes the conservation, restoration and protection of. As the reef population dwindles, it is important to do our part to keep what is left in the ocean, in the ocean. That being said, there are many places to find coral like aquarium stores, garage sales and the internet (especially places like ebay and etsy).

If you are interested in collecting corals you may find these titles (available on helpful; "The Super Simple Guide To Corals," "Corals; A Quick Reference Guide,"  and "Aquarium Corals: Selection, Husbandry and Natural History." If you are looking to identify corals in your collection you may want to use the Coral Genus Identification CD. The Coral Science website (found here) is also a great resource of information and links. If you are curious to see a large coral collection in action check out the Waikiki Aquarium's massive coral collection, said to be one of the largest in the world. And please take the time to check out the crotchet coral exhibit at the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum. It is amazing.

Thank you etsy sellers for the use of your beautiful images. Everything you see here is available for purchase on Etsy.

May 5, 2012

Finders Keepers: The Heart of Collecting

Ooooh this looks so good!

"Meet the collectors of antique telephones and talking machines, confectionery molds, snow globes, handcuffs, brewianna and other interesting artifacts as they tell their unique tales of research, preservation and passionate pursuit. It's a fascinating and revealing look into a special fraternity of modern hunters and gatherers."

May 3, 2012

Collecting Garden Gnomes

April showers bring may flowers and who better to serve and protect those blooming beauties than a delightful garden gnome? 

The Garden Gnome has been gracing us with his (and sometimes her) presence for a few hundred years. Sometime near the end of the 18th century "House Gnomes" had become all the rage. They were mostly porcelain-most likely manufactured in the Thuirngia area of Germany, a thriving ceramics local. World War II had a devastating effect on the production of all ceramics, especially unnecessary pieces; like yard decorations. 

Not only has the Gnome been labeled as kitsch, but has also been the butt of many jokes and the focus of one extremely involved prank. The prank has been called a few things including "The Roaming Gnome," or "The Traveling Gnome." It involves a stolen gnome being photographed next to various "sights" (as if traveling) and then, most times, being returned. One extreme group dedicated to this Gnome trick goes by the name "Garden Gnome Liberationists," and has been in the news since 1998, when it's leader was involved in the theft of 150 gnomes, getting himself in to some serious (french) legal trouble. 

"Gnome Wants To See The World" from Amelie

If you are interested in learning more about Gnomes, I'd suggest this very well written article. Also helpful would be these titles, available on "Garden Gnomes: A History," "Gnomes," or "Gnomeland: An Introduction To The Little People." Also, do not miss this "Real Life Gnome" displaying the largest collection of Gnome memorabilia!

There is no place like Gnome.

May 1, 2012

I will be back soon, with more collections! 
(I'm awaiting a Dr.'s appointment for some wrist pain that has been keeping me from the keypad)