Image of the American Series of figurines (1983-1985) from Red Rose Tea. I had every one of these as child.
When I was seven my grandparents gave me a wooden printer's tray with a hook on the back to hang on my wall to display my collections. I mostly collected the little porcelain figurines that came in Red Rose Tea. Did you collect those, too? (Gosh, it makes me so happy to see that they are still making these. The yellow starfish in the 2012 Nautical series is making me want to start collecting again. I absolutely loved these figurines as a child.)
I think most people collect one thing or another, and in my adult life I collect sewing supplies. Sewing as a hobby, and now as business, too, helps me to justify my collecting habit. Surely they'll come a time when I have a use for a card of bakelite buttons or a single Vera linen napkin. Best to get it now so I'll have it when that day comes.
I try very hard not to spend a lot of money an any of these things. And thankfully when you collect sewing supplies and notions it is remarkably easy to find beautiful vintage things for very little money. Many times I've walked into a thrift store or a church basement for a rummage sale and walked out with entire sewing boxes filled to the brim with all kinds of wonderful goodness for just a few bucks. The Wellesley dump? So many free sewing treasures just waiting for me to swing by after morning drop-off.
But all of this is for a purpose. It's because I sew. I find value in these supplies that other people no longer have a use for or that have long gone out of print. I get great pleasure from using all of the supplies and materials I collect and that is something I love about sewing.