Fanfreluche collects all sorts of things

by fanfreluche

A little about me Fanfreluche (aka Nathalie in real life): a collector of vintage collectibles, ephemeras and various memorabilia and antiques.

I collect therefore I am

confession of a serial collector

I admit it, I am a serial collector. There, you have it. When I see something old that I find either beautiful, unusual or just plain weird, the first thing that cross my mind is "that could make an interesting collection", or "I can use it for...". It has always been that way, as long as I can remember.

It must have started when I was about 7 years old ( that's the oldest memory I have of wanting to collect something). My father is to blame in a way because he was always bringing me little things to add to my room: bird nest, sea shells, cute unusual rocks and other little items. Plus he had what I called a "treasure box": an old tin box filled with antique Roman coins, old matchboxes and other trinkets. I spent hours and hours looking at the treasure box, making up stories about these old coins. He was also a stamp collector and got me hook on stamp collecting.

Then there was also aunt Edma and Stella (not really my aunts, they were my father"s aunts, but I loved them very much and called them auntie). Their house was filled with antiques, and at 7 years old I knew what I wanted in the future: a house filled with antiques! I remember they were giving me the Red Rose tea Wade figurines and they kept drinking lots and lots so I could complete the Nursery Favourites set.

So, by the age of 8 I became a collector. It started with worldwide stamps. And with the years it expended, I touched all kind of collectibles and antiques: stamps, coins, banknotes, minerals and fossils, magic the gathering cards, vintage t-shirts, vintage china, vintage jewellery and so much more. 

You're a hoarder!!

No I'm not

Now, I know what you imagine: my house filled and overstuffed with useless junk. I know what you think, you've seen those TV shows about "hoarders". If I had kept all those things I collected over the years, then yes you would be right. I would be living in an over stuffed apartment, not a tidy place like I keep right now. I would long have lost track of what I collect and what I need to complete these collections.

You see I love buying antique and collectibles, but over the years I dropped many collections for various reasons: money, lack of time, lost interest.

When I buy something, there is a reason to it besides the fact that I find the item interesting: either it is to complete one of my collection, or I will use it around the house (I am a sucker for vintage household stuff), or it is a good piece to resell (I do ok spotting good underprice little known collectibles), or the object is so curious I need to have it so I can find more about it.

What I buy to collect

My collection includes:

France used postage stamps and covers
A collection I started early in my collecting life: I must have been about 14 years old. I dropped my worldwide stamps collection to start more specialized collection, including France and Canada stamps.

Notgeld or German emergency money
I bought my first Notgeld I was a teen, on approval (not the best way to buy stuff usually but i did not knew better at the time). I did not really start collecting Notgeld seriously till about 5 years ago tho. I specialized in whimsical and weird banknotes: witches and witchcraft, animals, propaganda.

Postcards and collectibles from my hometown: Plessisville
I collect anything and everything on Plessisville (in Quebec province, Canada)

Vintage photos
My husband's grand-father left a huge photo collection from his early travel to Africa, Asia and the Middle East. That was enough to get me going on a new collection of unusual vintage photos. Anything weird I love it: funny, bizarre, unusual. I am also spending time scanning and classifying the old collection of my husband's grand-father. These photos have a great historical and ethnological value.

1950's vintage photo: creepy scary Santa Claus
1950's vintage photo: creepy scary Sa...

Vintage things I buy to use in the house

Vintage and antiques have a second life in my home

I do buy a lot of things in garage sales, brocantes and antique shops to use around the house. that includes:

vintage linens:  there is nothing more comfortable than old linen bed sheets, plus they don't contain toxic chemicals and pesticides like the sheets you buy nowadays. They look great and will last another life time (contrarly to modern bed sheets that will last a couple of years at best). I also use them as window drapes and tablecloths.

vintage French pottery:  I use them as flower pots and planters mostly. I love rustic, folk-art style antique French pottery such as Savoy and Alsace pottery pieces. 

vintage tin cans and sand pails: They make unique flower pots and planters. The old tin sand pails (such as those from the Ohio art company)  are great for a child room. Powdered milk tins are also original. They can be used around the house as well to store various trinkets. 

Vintage Central's dairy powdered milk tin can
Vintage Central's dairy powdered milk...

Antiquarian books with color plates: I just love old books with color plates. Any topic will do: fauna, flora, maps, costumes, children books. The older the better. I always love the surprise of opening a book and see what treasures it holds.

I frame the plates I like, keep the rest for later use. I also make the nicer ones available in my zazzle store on various support such as postcards, ipad cases, mugs and so on.

I buy these books for the plates, and can get deals by looking for books in poor shape. I will never, ever tear a nice book apart for the plates.

Updated: 04/08/2022, fanfreluche
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Sheri_Oz on 01/18/2012

I also love to collect. But that Santa photo gave me a scare - not because it was creepy but because for a second it looked like a photo (minus the Santa) from my family album - the mother from that angle looked like my mother, the curtains similar to in our old living room. And the age diff between the two children, like betw me and my brother. Now that's spooky!

Guest on 09/25/2011

I love to collect...and there is a fine line between hoarding and collecting LOL
Most people who don't share your love of collecting will claim you're hoarding,unless, of course, you cannot walk through the house.;-)

zteve on 09/12/2011

Really interesting! I especially love old books with illustrations, post cards and photos though anything antique I find fascinating.

sheilamarie on 06/24/2011

I have had some collections in the past, but since I tend to be a pack rat, I have had to let them go. Wait! What about those stones piled in a corner? And those shells in my bathroom? And those bits of driftwood? The coins and the postcards may be gone, but other things seem to stick to me when I go out for a walk!

Michey on 06/23/2011

I love vintage and antiques staff so I am with you on this, Great post!

Ladymermaid on 06/13/2011 are the same as myself. I love antiques and collectibles. They melt my heart and I have absolutely no resistance to them ;)

ajgodinho on 06/10/2011

You have some wonderful collections, Nathalie. I used to collect stamps and coins too. I gave my stamp collection to one of my cousins, but still do have my coins. Great to see you here at Wizzley!

BarbRad on 06/05/2011

I really enjoyed reading this. My Cousin Edna tried to get me interested in collecting things. First it was American coins, and she got me a lot of those blue coin albums. I did that for a couple of years, but lost interest later on. I did stamps for a while, and still can't bear to through a lovely stamp away. I passed these things to my kids and have no idea where they are now. I do still collect postcards, but don't pay much attention to the collection anymore. Somehow there's just not time. I most enjoy the old postcards where people actually wrote on them and mailed them.

If I could be said to collect anything, it would probably be books, but I collect them for their content -- not their age or condition. We collect certain authors and subjects. I really should weed through these and make some space for what I really use by clearing out what I know now I will probably never read.

petunia on 06/02/2011

Your childhood seemed to naturally lead you to collecting things! I don't think all children are encouraged to create collections. I know I wasn't. But I collect anyway - all sorts of stuff - no real order. I like the way you settled on a smaller niche with your French and Canadian stamps. You seem to be a very organized collector. Those vintage photos are a real treasure - lots of story writing ideas there, I'd bet!

Sylvestermouse on 06/01/2011

LOL! A serial collector! That is entirely too funny! I am a fellow "serial collector." I have so many treasures! I love those little purses (evening purses) that women used to carry to the theater. I also collect plates :) For many years, they were an inexpensive way for me to surround myself with beautiful art. My all time favorite collection was a gift from my husband, decades ago now, He brought them back to me from Germany. They are the "Lady and the Unicorn" collection. I still have them on display in my den.
To Us! Long Live the Serial Collectors! (Still ROFLOL)

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