Thursday, 26 March 2009

Little Things

We all like to collect something. Bills, dodgy boyfriends ... wrinkles.

Throughout my life I have spent many an hour engaged in the thrill of the hunt - looking for that one item to add to my collection.

When I was young it was rabbit figurines, then later it became lego, game+watches and transformers.

Years later I met and moved in with a collector and then it was glow-in-the-dark things, children's books, more lego, fisher price toys, coins, action figures, stamps, comic books, Japanese pottery, ceramic kettles, robots, CDs, DVDs, fabric and notions etc etc until the collections became a collection all of their own. Collecting for collectings sake. Compulsive and automatic.

We started to run out of room. And dusting took forever.

All this stuff became burdensome. Like a weight around our necks. It had to stop.

It was just stuff. And more stuff did not equal more happy.

We decided, resolutely, that we had owned it once, but now it was time to let it go.

Slowly, bit by bit, the collections were broken down. Stuff was given away, sold at markets, put on ebay, taken to the op-shop. Given to those who needed it - or just wanted it more than we.

Some stuff was difficult to let go of. So some stuff was allowed to be kept.

My inner collector went back to basics - to where it all began.

My grandmother's minature tea set. Some cheap, made in Japan, badly painted little thing that as a small girl I coveted with all my heart.

Not only was it small - the teapot worked! Cute and practical. I was smitten.

Eventually it was gifted to me. It is the foundation of my new collection. A collection so small it fits into a little box. Less than half a shoe box. Not burdensome at all.

A minature collection. Of Little Things.

There is only one rule for this collection. It must not only be minature - it must also be functional. It must do the thing that it's full size counterpart does.

A teapot must pour. A pencil must write. Simple.

So here are my Little Things:

2 inch tall Little Golden Book. Appropriate title for such a small book, don't you think?

My Granpa's Lilliputian dictionaries. He carried these with him during the war. They are a bit fragile now and the spines have split. Mainly because as a small child I used to obsess over them. Typical. Survived months of living rough, criss-crossing Europe in the Polish Free Army.

Only to be nearly destroyed 30 years later by a precocious 4 year old.

I believe the world's smallest comic book - actually the business card from Lambiek, the world's best comic book shop in Amsterdam.

Cards anyone? We could get a game of Canaster going - but they are a bugger to shuffle.

Perfect for a bit of 3 card Monty in a flea bag coffin hotel.

My tool kit of sorts. All working. Five cent coin for size reference (19mm). I declared the pocket knife going through Swiss customs. They laughed at me.

I haven't used the pencil yet (because I haven't found a sharpener small enough).

Smallest wooden block set - comes in a matchbox. Not made any more apparently - choking hazard much?

All that remains of my once 180 strong miniature fragrance collection. Amassed after spending my Uni days as a Fragrance Consultant at various department stores (i.e. one of those annoying, overly made up types that insist on giving you pieces of cardboard drenched in stink as you enter the store).

Real leather baseball, tarot cards, my smallest Japanese tea set (not an actually working teapot, cheats - I know), small sewing kit - for small holes only, Barbie doll coat hanger and the smallest set of Maneki Neko I have found (only beckons small treasures - lost buttons, beads and such like).

And of course my little rubber ducky...

Thanks Pip for an awesome theme that I just couldn't resist!

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