Editor's Pick

For Your Inner Pack Rat: A Collection A Day

I recently stumbled across a simple but neat little blog by illustrator Lisa Congdon. Each day she features a carefully arranged collection — like a set of miniature globes, various manifestations of the letter P, or imagined collections that she's illustrated. I asked her to share a few of her favorites and the stories behind them. But you can see the rest on her blog and soon-to-be book, A Collection A Day, 2010.

  • Day 236: Vintage school supplies is my oldest and largest collection. I was a teacher in the early '90s and the first classroom I worked in had tons of stuff from the '40s and '50s packed away in the closet. The principal told me I could throw the stuff away or take it. I took it, and the collection expanded from there.
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    Day 236: Vintage school supplies is my oldest and largest collection. I was a teacher in the early '90s and the first classroom I worked in had tons of stuff from the '40s and '50s packed away in the closet. The principal told me I could throw the stuff away or take it. I took it, and the collection expanded from there.
    Lisa Congdon
  • Day 211: This is an imaginary collection of vintage sneakers. Most people from my generation (I grew up in the 70s and 80s) appreciate sneakers.
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    Day 211: This is an imaginary collection of vintage sneakers. Most people from my generation (I grew up in the 70s and 80s) appreciate sneakers.
    Lisa Congdon
  • Day 163: I've collected mid-century Scandinavian and Japanese enamelware for about 10 years. This is a very small part of my collection, which includes loads of Catherineholm pieces. Those are my favorite.
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    Day 163: I've collected mid-century Scandinavian and Japanese enamelware for about 10 years. This is a very small part of my collection, which includes loads of Catherineholm pieces. Those are my favorite.
    Lisa Congdon
  • Day 126: I am a sucker for typography and so I collect letters and numbers. This is my collection of 5's. Five is my favorite number so that's why I have so many.
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    Day 126: I am a sucker for typography and so I collect letters and numbers. This is my collection of 5's. Five is my favorite number so that's why I have so many.
    Lisa Congdon
  • Day 107: Individually bread ties are not all that interesting, but grouped together they are really striking. My friend Aurora sold me her jar of bread ties for a really great price. That's where these came from. I keep the jar of bread ties on display in my studio. It's really cool looking.
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    Day 107: Individually bread ties are not all that interesting, but grouped together they are really striking. My friend Aurora sold me her jar of bread ties for a really great price. That's where these came from. I keep the jar of bread ties on display in my studio. It's really cool looking.
    Lisa Congdon
  • Day 97: My mom is an amazing textile artist and when I was little there were always these little tomato pin cushions laying around the house. They are very nostalgic for me. I found most of these at antique malls in various parts of the country.
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    Day 97: My mom is an amazing textile artist and when I was little there were always these little tomato pin cushions laying around the house. They are very nostalgic for me. I found most of these at antique malls in various parts of the country.
    Lisa Congdon
  • Day 89:  I got these vintage hair pins at a junk shop outside Fairfax, Calif. My partner and I were driving back from Stinson Beach and we spotted this crazy shop that was packed with junk. Nothing was priced so we were just grabbing stuff that we thought looked interesting and my partner found these. I find them completely precious.
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    Day 89: I got these vintage hair pins at a junk shop outside Fairfax, Calif. My partner and I were driving back from Stinson Beach and we spotted this crazy shop that was packed with junk. Nothing was priced so we were just grabbing stuff that we thought looked interesting and my partner found these. I find them completely precious.
    Lisa Congdon
  • Day 74: Every week or two I draw a collection instead of photographing one. I gave myself permission to do this when I started the project. I draw for a living so this is partly my way of inserting my imaginary collections into the mix. I love vintage light bulbs; turns out after I drew this I acquired some real ones, which you can see on Day 158.
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    Day 74: Every week or two I draw a collection instead of photographing one. I gave myself permission to do this when I started the project. I draw for a living so this is partly my way of inserting my imaginary collections into the mix. I love vintage light bulbs; turns out after I drew this I acquired some real ones, which you can see on Day 158.
    Lisa Congdon
  • Day 65: I go by the name Lisa but my given name is Elisabeth. I find the letter E to be much more interesting that the letter L, so I started collecting E's years ago.
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    Day 65: I go by the name Lisa but my given name is Elisabeth. I find the letter E to be much more interesting that the letter L, so I started collecting E's years ago.
    Lisa Congdon
  • Day 8: I am not a religious person, but I love old religious artifacts like missals and bibles and other vintage religious items that have distinct iconography. I love the beauty and formality of vintage missals the gold writing and fancy typefaces (always best when they are written in French or German). I have acquired these at flea markets, mostly.
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    Day 8: I am not a religious person, but I love old religious artifacts like missals and bibles and other vintage religious items that have distinct iconography. I love the beauty and formality of vintage missals the gold writing and fancy typefaces (always best when they are written in French or German). I have acquired these at flea markets, mostly.
    Lisa Congdon
  • Day 6: I really love the beauty in mundane, every day objects, and clothespins are an example of that kind of collection for me. I usually try to find clothespins that are interesting color or look really worn and used.
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    Day 6: I really love the beauty in mundane, every day objects, and clothespins are an example of that kind of collection for me. I usually try to find clothespins that are interesting color or look really worn and used.
    Lisa Congdon
  • Day 1: I love erasers. I am not sure if it has anything to do with being an artist and the role that they play in my daily work or it's just because I love their typography and pink tones. I have found most of my erasers at  a place in San Francisco where people can dump off used materials for teachers and artists to reuse. I dig through boxes of old school supplies to find them.
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    Day 1: I love erasers. I am not sure if it has anything to do with being an artist and the role that they play in my daily work or it's just because I love their typography and pink tones. I have found most of my erasers at a place in San Francisco where people can dump off used materials for teachers and artists to reuse. I dig through boxes of old school supplies to find them.
    Lisa Congdon

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