FINYS FINDS - COLLECTIBLES
Since my daughter died by suicide some 27 years ago, I have been collecting rare and varied objects.
This has been a real fun journey, and if you are also a collector, you will understand the "buzz" that comes with finding that rare, or hard to find, object that you collect.
It started off by selling on Ebay, where I soon met a buy other collectors who bought from me. I was going to Swap Meets and garage (or yard) sales regularly and finding the odd thing to sell on Ebay.
I met a lady in the US who collected buttons.
BUTTONS - I said - who ever heard of collecting such a thing!
Within months I was also a collector of buttons and had scoured the town for those old buttons. In those days, they were not easy to find, and soon after I joined a collectors button group in the US. Here, they felt sorry for me as I could not find many in Perth, so they all sent me some samples.
Imagine my surprise when I received parcel after parcel of these rare old buttons, the likes of which I had never seen!
Eventually this progressed, and I went to the US to meet these ladies and to attend my first "button convention". Here I was greeted by the many people I had got to know online, and I was totally in awe of this event.
Here I was, in the middle of a huge hall, with perhaps 70 sellers of old buttons. They had all sorts and such beautiful and old ones.
I was so in awe I just walked round in a daze for a few hours until I learnt that most of them accepted credit cards. I then commenced to buy with the idea that it is going on my card - it is not real money I am spending.
Then to my delight, I won an auction of a jar of buttons. I had heard many stories about the ladies finding these at auctions and yard sales but had never had the pleasure of finding one for myself.
I took this up to my hotel room, and poured them all out on the king sized bed, and trawled through them with such delight - I thought all my Christmases had come at once!
I ended up spending many hundreds of US dollars at this convention and had such a good time meeting everyone who had sent me buttons and emailed regularly with me.
I then went home, and carded many of these rare and indeed, beautiful old buttons to the delight of my friends and family who, at this stage, thought I had lost my "marbles".
SALT & PEPPER SHAKERS
Eventually I decided I had enough buttons, and moved on to salt and pepper shakers which I had found at a small shop in Perth and was selling on Ebay.
To my surprise, after listing one, a lady again in the US contacted me, and told me these were a "hot" item at the moment, and I should find more to sell on Ebay!
This I did, and I think I went to every shop in Perth that might sell this type of vintage product. I had great success as many of the ones found in Western Australia were quite different to those found in the US. Therefore my selling them was a huge success and the prices were amazing!
Eventually I decided to keep anymore "good" ones, or ones that I liked for myself, and ended up with a collection of about 350 sets. For this I also travelled some 3000 kms to go to Melbourne to look at a whole collection that a lady was selling.
I ended up buy most of this and that was what really got me fascinated by these rare items.
Once again, my family thought I had "lost my marbles" when I announced I was going on a trip to the US to a Salt and Pepper Convention.
This was a zany, fun filled event where people set up in their rooms and sold their sets - what fun I had going from room to room and buying, buying, buying. I thought I had "died and gone to heaven" here.
They also had display of "themed" display, all made out of salt and pepper shakers.
Packed them all up carefully and flew back home, having made more collectible friends who were quite crazy. They would chant "SALT AND PEPPERS, SALT AND PEPPERS, SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE when we gathered in the hotel for breakfast or some such.
I was horrified the first few times, and tried to hide under the table as there were members of the public there also. Eventually I was also chanting the chant with all the others.
They even had a dress like your favourite salt and pepper shaker, and this was so funny and clever, I will never forget it. What a fun group of people.
So home I was, and then I had to go out and buy display cupboards, as I do not believe in collecting things that are not on display. My partner at the time used to call it "Finy's rubbish" however this changed dramatically when we separated and suddenly my "rubbish" was to be valued by a valuer!
OK, so I did not stop at these two things.
Whilst on my travels at second hand stores and swap meets, I found the oldest, divine children's book with early illustration plates, and guess what!
Yes, I started collecting children's books. I also sold some of these as at the time, they fetched excellent prices, and I had to keep selling to pay for all my habits of buying!
CHILDREN'S BOOKS used to have the most exquisite black and white as well as sometimes colour "plates". I quickly found many absolute classics, some first editions as old as 100 years. I paid as much at $250 for one Peter Pan book and this was an original published around 1911, and is still one of my most treasured books.
The artists of the last century and indeed the first half of this century were often exquisite, and one of my favourites is Ida Outhwaite Rentoul who wrote and illustrated a series of books.
I also collected fairy books and have of the Edith Howes collection.
Then I progressed to other books including, but not limited to old dictionaries; dogs; medical and nursing books, movie books, Australian artists and writers, Enid Blyton, Alice in Wonderland, and more!
Eventually I had to get rid of some and kept mainly those with dust covers, and all these books are vintage if not antique, and a delight to look at.
I specialised in collecting sets where there were sets available - e.g. Noddy books by Enid Blyton, Secret Seven, Famous Five.
Now I have to say, I digressed yet again, and found some delightful old German bottle stoppers, all with "pourers" through their nose or head.
Eventually I had a small stand built for these and they now adorn my large entry hall!
And with all this in mind, I think I had better stop before someone calls me a "hoarder". However I re-iterate, there are very few items that I now have that are not on display so at least I can look at my collections (which are many!) while I walk around my house!