Thursday, June 25, 2015

*Beyond the Books* I Collect These

There are so many things to go on this list, but most of my collections are in boxes at my parents house because they weren't worth moving to Germany (and in some cases I was worried I wouldn't be allowed to take them back home.) So after I wrote that introduction, I started to think about the things I have collected while here in Germany, and found a fair few things to photograph that I also use occasionally.

First and foremost, I collect books. There are two other bookshelves full of books not pictured here, but it's not possible for me to get a single picture of the entire room. I have books in piles and bags on the floor that I've recently bought at the thrift store and still need to put up on my shelves. I have stacks of books that sit on my windowsill in the office and on the floor next to my desk. I have a closet full of children's books in the hallway outside of their rooms (I think it's supposed to be a linen closet, but I needed it more for the books.) This collection should surprise no one.
One of the things my husband and I have started collecting while living here in Germany is beer steins. Most of these steins were won at a 4th of July carnival on base. My husband is obsessed with the game that is sort of like beer pong, except you have to bounce the ping pong ball off the counter in front of you and into one of the displayed steins, and if you do, you win it. It's certainly better than winning a goldfish that's going to die in a week.
 Another thing I started collecting in Germany is wine glasses. When we first moved here, we owned two champagne flutes that my cousin gave us on our marriage day, that was it. I now have a massive collection of assorted wine glasses that I've collected at various wine festivals where I pay a 2 euro pfand, which is basically just a security deposit, when I buy a glass of wine, and then I keep the glass rather than returning it to get my 2 euro back. This is also a good way for me to know how many glasses of wine I consumed at any particular festival.
 Then I have a shot glass collection (and this picture doesn't show all of them because I have my more recent shot glasses in the cabinet with my wine glasses). These are just most of the shot glasses I bought before I was even 21 and old enough to buy alcohol. I got the blue one on the left my junior year of high school at band camp (held at Bethany College in Kansas). The one next to it came from my senior class trip to South Padre Island, Texas. Basically shot glasses are the things I buy to commemorate places I've been.
 This is a small portion of my character shaped cake pan collection. When I was growing up my mother always made my siblings and me character cakes for our birthdays (my favorite was 3-D Garfield), and I really wanted to do the same for my kids, so when I see any shaped cake pan at the thrift store or on an online yard sale group, I buy it so my kids can have a wide selection of shapes to choose from (and I'm not spending a fortune on the pans).
 Another item I collect here in Germany are gluhwein mugs. Gluhwein is a spiced wine served warm at the Christmas markets (or Weihnachtsmarkts). Like the wine glasses, when you buy a mug of gluhwein, you pay a pfand, usually only 1 or 1.5 euro for the mugs, and then you can keep the mug if you wish. Our first Christmas here, we even used these as part of our Christmas presents for all of our family back home (I had to drink a LOT of gluhwein that year.)
 We also have a collection of old Disney movies on VHS (we're currently looking to buy a VHS to DVD converter so we can burn them all to discs and get rid of this collection). We bought all of these at our local thrift store for 25 cents a piece (or less sometimes if we caught a sale).

There are other things I've realized that I collect here that I didn't photograph, like bottle tops, German take-out menus (which I plan to use for accents while scrapbooking in the future), cardboard coasters from restaurants, and postcards (which I collect for reasons similar to my shot glasses). Some of the things I have collected and stored at my parents house are jars of dirt from different places (because it's easy to ask someone to bring you back a present when it's not going to cost them anything). My favorite dirt present story is from my cousin (the same one that bought my champagne flutes). She got me dirt from a Las Vegas construction site while drunk with her mom at 2 in the afternoon, and she's pretty sure they only just barely escaped getting arrested for trespassing to get the dirt. I also have a keychain collection that I left at my parents house, along with old keys to vehicles I've owned in the past and then junked because I drove them to death.

So what do you collect? - Katie


  1. I love the collection of mugs....I have a ton myself but I wouldn't really call it a collection, more of an 'doesn't this cup/mug look cute, I must have it' and then they live in the bottom cupboard, only to be seen when a predecessor smashes.

    1. I haven't used any of my mugs since the day I got each of them, because we have "normal" mugs for use with coffee, hot tea, and hot cocoa in our house. These are really more keepsakes than anything, like my shot glasses. - Katie