This is a repeat of one of my first posts. I was trying to get my readers to ‘know’ me and this sort of sums up some of my traits. (I like to shop, get a bargain, make something out of nothing, fix things and be original.

I am a collector of many things. (Three is a collection). But my cat collection is huge.

Gift from Peter…guess he ‘knows’ me

Here are four of my crystal cats. The two on the right are Baccarat and the one on the left is the Swarovski cutie in the previous photo.

I have been collecting cat figurines for over forty years. Some were found on trips and in flea markets. Many were received as gifts from family and friends. I try to find small ones to fit in my curio case, but if there is a larger one I like, it goes on a bookshelf or coffee table.

This is a bank I am jeweling.

If you don’t have a collection of something, I highly recommend it as a fun hobby. Mine started many years ago, when I went to a garage sale. There was a little girl with her own table of toys and dolls and in the midst of the Barbies was a tiny ceramic cat with a missing ear. “How much?” “Twenty five cents.” I gave her one dollar and made her day.

I took my adopted cat home and replaced his ear with a mixture of spackle and glue. Then I painted it to match with some craft paint and a coat of nail polish. Even tho’ I have more than a hundred cats now, it has always been my favorite.

I have met many interesting people through my collecting hobby. While on a Mediterranean cruise I mentioned to a woman that at our next stop, Nice, France, I wanted to find a cat for my collection. She asked if she could go with me. I said, “What do you collect”. She said “Nothing”. So I started her on her new hobby. She couldn’t decide what to collect, but when we got to the curio shop, they had hundreds of angels and so I recommended she collect angels. It took her more than an hour to select one. Meanwhile I found a beautiful Lalique cat.

You can choose whatever you want. Cats, dogs, pigs, cows, angels, butterflies, owls. Once you decide, you will be amazed at how many different ones you will find. Sometimes your figurine might have a little flaw, but it is fun to repair them and makes  you feel very accomplished. My best “deal” was a Herend cat from a fine shop. It was $120, but the tip of the tail was broken, so it was marked down to $10. It was white porcelain and very easy to fix with a little spackle and white nail polish.

This is the top of my curio cabinet and cat silhouette is over my bedroom door

To display your collection, you will need a case or a shelf. I have outgrown several over the years. You can use all sorts of things as stands to make your collection more interesting. To get various heights and make more room on each shelf, I have used small boxes, upsidedown wine glasses, perfume bottles, and little tin cans and jars.

As your collection grows you will search for ways to expand your cabinet.  If your shelves are far apart, you can add another layer of glass shelves simply by laying a narrow piece of glass (like from a medicine cabinet) across two wine glasses.  I have six of these “additions” in my cabinet.

Simply placing an item on a mirror gives it a whole different look. And it is fun to mix in photos and other momentos with your collection. Thimbles, jewelry and little rocks here and there add variety.

Look in the grocery store for small bottles with flat tops, such as a pretty olive jar from Italy, or a jam jar from France. Asian and Mexican markets have great jars and cans. My most interesting stands are two cans of Spam, one regular and one Lite.

See if you can find the can of Spam in the first photo. No prize for this contest.

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