Wednesday, July 30, 2014

my favorite things

part of my Homer Laughlin Harlequinware collection
After a week of sharing tacky, tasteless tchotchkes on Instagram, Facebook and here on my blog, I was asked what types of collectibles I found more tasteful. Here are a few of the things you'll find around my house.

more Homer Laughlin Harlquinware, a lighter weight version of Fiesta
My collection of Harlequinware started some time in the mid-1980s, when I received a picnic set from my paternal grandparents' summer home in East Hampton.

I was the only one Aunt Elsie liked, apparently...she left me this silver piece
miniature willow ware tea set and white ironstone
I have a little thing for white ironstone, and willow ware, just the right amount of it, not too much.

majolica gurgling fish jugs
I also have a thing for majolica, although it is something we do not see everyday in the young city of Portland. The luminous colors are a natural in my kitchen.

majolica relish dish
At one time I had a large collection of fish objects, over 100 items all over the house. After a while, the collection had gone way overboard. A little of this, a little of that seemed to work better.

collection of Mexican pottery from my grandmother
Although I did not really collect my grandmother "Oma's" little collection of Mexican pottery, it reminds me of her. Also something to crow about is Ken Pincus pottery here, there and everywhere.

handmade pottery bowl by Portland artist Ken Pincus
pottery, wood, copper, a winning combination in my opinion
Earthy objects, copper, wood, organic handmade pottery, and small paintings are things I like.

Maine ocean scene, oil on canvas by Gustave Cimiotti (1875-1969)
oil on board by unknown artist, found in Maine
In my home, cultural objects are part of the mix. Northwest Coast Native American art is a personal favorite. Living in the region, it's nice to recognize the native culture.

carved cedar panel by Ken Humpherville, Tsimshian, Metis, Cree Nation
"Sea Bear Spirit" bentwood cedar chest by Andy Wilbur, Skokomish Nation
Of course, a house wouldn't be a home without Mom's needlepoint work. She has made many beautiful pillows for me, and I have a few of her needlepoint covered brick doorstops, too.

needlepoint pillow with quilt design, from Mom
a second needlepoint pillow with quilt design, from Mom
Those are some of my favorite things, not to mention quilts, of course. What kinds of tchotchkes do you enjoy? Tasteful? or Tacky?


  1. Those PLATES.... OMG. I love them!

    Who are you on Insta? Sharing of tacky tchotckes sounds right up my alley!

  2. I have a thing for old wooden bobbins and spindles. Glass candle holders. Quilts, baskets full of yarn, books books books. Vintage kitchenware, A&C style furniture. All accessorized with grey and brown fur provided by the resident felines.

  3. Those pillows are beautiful. What a colorful, and amazing collection of treasures you have!

  4. What a collection! I've been in a long stage of "cheap and functional" with only a few things gifted by my mother in law, but I'm starting to long for some really unique pieces that can tell a story too. Unfortunately my grandparents and parents don't have much cool pieces to hand down to me as I inherited their mindset

  5. I collect quilt fabric, tasteful. Also have hundreds of pieces of Fiestaware. Come to think of it, I also have 50 picnic plates. Those are plates from all sorts of places, one of kind, but great chat them up at a large gathering. All items are tasteful.

  6. Love the photos of your belongings so need to find your Instagram account immediately:) I collect textiles from around the world so for the most part am tasteful but do love the tacky so a few 50's Dachshund flower vases, lamps made of strange objects and oddities that make us laugh have definitely found their way into the house. My husband drew the line at a taxidermy scene of squirrels playing tennis that I found on Ebay. It was equal parts horrifying and compelling...