Curious Collection – Estate Sale Finds

Friday morning, my alarm sounds off at 4AM and I muster up consciousness to drive over half an hour north for first dibs on an estate sale I saw online. For those unfamiliar with estate sale hunting, some places with desirable items create sign up lists that are posted outside the home a few hours before starting time, and then crazy people like me get filed in by that order. The clipboard goes out at 5AM; I arrive at 5:06 and a dozen people are already scrambling in the dark to get their names on the list. I’m number 17. Next comes the waiting game… Doors don’t open until 8AM, so me and a couple other dedicated buyers camp out in our cars along the street until go time. I decide to pee in a bottle because I can’t drive to a restroom and risk losing my perfect parking spot. The things we do for the hunt…

Estate sales gather groups of people almost as eclectic as the items we’re vying for – all different shapes, sizes, ages, backgrounds. People who can’t stop talking to you about their interests. People who all know each other from other estate sales they’ve staked out. People who resell weird things and people like me who just collect weird things. Despite our differences, there’s a unique sense of camaraderie and we all wish each other “Good luck”.


In the end, here’s the haul I came back with: a beautiful vintage goat mount, a good sized antler rack with hunting tag still attached, an old hand saw, vintage tobacco tins, old shears, and a load of gorgeous hard-cover books (one of which is from 1900 and has a hand-written note inside dated 1905).

Curious Collection – Wasp Nest

On our exploration through the woods of the nearby park, I stumbled upon big chunks of wasp nest near the opening of some unknown creature’s burrow. Natural curiosities like this absolutely fascinate me. Seriously, how incredible are these organically-formed geometric patterns? The wasps make these paper hexagonal nests by chewing up wood fibers and mixing with saliva to create a wood pulp. And make the most beautiful spit wad art. ;) I’m reminded of something I wrote in my book a few years ago (Is it totally vain to quote yourself? Oh well, I’m doing it anyways.).

“As a believer, holding a skull in my hands or studying the pattern on a butterfly wing, I am awestruck by God’s artistry. You don’t have to travel up to the mountains or visit the Grand Canyon in order to experience the incredible glory of God’s creation. Just gaze at a skull or a seashell, running your fingers over the intricate and precisely designed formations. God is the ultimate Creator and I am constantly inspired by His handiwork.”

I tucked a few pieces away in one of my curio boxes, but I just loved how well this tall piece fit in my glass dome. I’ve been trying to find something to display here and I think this is a perfect new addition to my shelf.

Curious Collections – Christmas Home Tour

I’ve been pretty MIA lately here on the blog, but I just wanted to pop in a show off a few cozy images of my home all decked out for Christmas. It may still look crazy cluttered, but I cleared out A LOT of my living room collection. I took everything off the shelves and started over. I’m so much happier with the way this space feels now that there’s a bit of breathing room. I have some wild ideas I’m brainstorming on to possibly open up a curated online shop and start selling pieces from my collection. 2014 feels like a year of downsizing. I’ll always be a collector, but not everything I collect needs to fill every nook and cranny of my house. But we’ll see what comes of these crazy ideas of mine in the new year, haha.

I kept the Christmas decor fairly simple this year. Just a few touches of green and gold to liven up the place. We also opted for a smaller tree, which I absolutely adore. My sister wouldn’t let me pick a scraggly Charlie Brown tree, so we compromised on this guy and decorated with lovely gold ribbon from Costco, a few pinecone ornaments homemade several years ago, and some dainty laser cut wood snowflake ornaments I picked up at Solo.

Hope everyone is having a fantastic holiday seasons so far!

Curious Collections – Halloween Home Tour

Finalizing the personalization of my little craftsman style home in San Diego has been an ongoing work-in-progress ever since we moved in last August. Since renewing our lease for another year, I’ve been inspired again to complete the look of my living room (at least for now – my collection grows every week and I have to keep finding new ways to display things). For now, here’s how the place is looking all done up for Halloween!

There’s no feeling more enchanting than having this room greet me every day when I walk through the front door. It’s cozy and curious and filled to the brim with my favorite things. I’ve been fascinated with natural history and old antique stores since I was a kid, and I’ve tried to bring the warmth and pleasant memories of those places into my own living space. It makes decorating for Halloween incredibly easy when all I have to do is add a few pumpkins and some cheesecloth to my already creepy eclectic interior!

Curious Collection – Glass & Brass Curio Boxes

As a hoarder of glass (glass jars, glass bottles, glass domes, glass terrariums) I have an undeniable radar that zones in on these vintage glass and brass curio boxes whenever scanning across the dusty piles of treasures at antique malls. I love contrasting the sleek and geometric look with natural elements like bones and dried flowers. I just snatched up the larger box at my favorite local antique shop for $12 and filled it with coyote foot bones.

In other news, my sister and I won’t be moving out of our current place like we originally anticipated we would at the end of our lease. At first I was excited about the idea of decorating a new space, but our search only made me fall more and more in love with this place and we eventually decided on staying. If we moved anywhere smaller, I don’t think I’d be able to display nearly half my collection of junk! Our housemates are moving out though, and I’ll be switching into his old room so I have more natural light in my workspace. I’ve been pinning ideas like crazy and I’m so excited for a change of scenery, even if it is within my own house. Can’t wait to share photos of my (hopefully) new and improved living space!