Thursday, October 18, 2012

Presidential fun

by Julie

You know what's as much fun as writing the White House Chef Mystery series? Collecting White House goodies! I've picked up a few knick-knacks and souvenirs over my many trips to Washington, D.C. and I have a sizable (huge!) library of White House-based books, movies, cookbooks, and other paraphernalia.

My favorite White House items, however, are those that have been given to me by good friends. Some have arrived by mail, some have been presented in person and I am so incredibly lucky to have such thoughtful people in my life. Before I received my first Secret Service medallion (see the group, pictured), I didn't even know such things were out there for "regular people" to acquire. Wow. You may not be able to make out the little crab at the far right, bottom. That was a Secret Service pin from the Baltimore, Maryland field office. Did an agent actually ever use it? No way to tell, but I love it just the same.

The plates are reproductions of presidential china. They're smaller than actual dinner plates may be, produced by The Danbury Mint. I received twelve as a very thoughtful gift. Now I'm hooked and on the lookout for more.

I don't know what drives people to collect but I am having a wonderful time building my collection. As I said, I've picked up quite a bit on my own, and I'm thrilled with my finds. But I cherish every gift I've received that adds to my stash and thought it would be fun to share a couple of photos with you today.

These two pictures represent only a small portion of the White House goodies I have here.

What do you collect? How did you get started?


signlady217 said...

I have snowmen (for the holidays). Several years ago I had been trying to decide between them, sleds/sleighs, and gingerbread, when a friend at work gave me a piece from the Boyd's Bears collection. It is two snowmen sitting on the ground and a caption that says "Some of my best friends are flakes!" That is just so me, it's hilarious! So that started my snowman collection and I have around 80 or so now, plus bags, boxes, tins, etc., that have pictures of snowmen or snowflakes on them. So enjoy getting them out each year and thinking of the people who gave them to me, or why/where I bought them.

I also have a number of sewing-related collectibles, too, which is not as extensive because I'd rather fill my shelf space with books! (Especially cozies!) :)

Aurian said...

Lol, before I discovered English language books, I collected lots of things. For instance, teapots in the shapes of cottages. Stopped that when I grew out of room to display them. Besides books I do still collect statues of Nene Thomas. And her callenders each year. I do love her faery art.
I do try to collect money as well, but well, that doesn't work out because of my other hobbies ;)

Aurian said...

O, and book swag, I just love it. I received some from Mia Marlowe and Karen Chance yesterday :).The latest fun thing is refrigerator magnets of books, I love those especially.

Book of Secrets said...

I collect plush javelinas (so cute!) and vintage gothic romance paperbacks. The covers are awesome!

Jeannie D. said...

Besides books and old cookbooks, I collect Shelia's houses. The ones from Savannah, and now I am collecting the New Orleans ones. I know I have at least 50 maybe more. Since moving to our new house. I haven't been able to display them. Have to get Hubby to make a dsplay rack for them.

Brittney said...

I collect hand made or specialty vases. I try not to buy many myself it's more special gifts my hubby gets me or that the two of us pick out together on a trip. That way I have a story to go with each one. He got me a beautiful carved wood vase that he gave to me as a wedding gift at our rehearsal dinner. That one will always hold a very special place in my heart.

Julie Hyzy said...

Signlady - I love snowmen, too and that "flakes" caption is too funny! Your collection sounds wonderful - especially that you take time to think of each one as you bring it out. Lovely!

Aurian - teapots! I used to collect them as well. And I ran out of room, too. Collecting money -- boy, I wish that worked! Book swag - I'm with you there, too!

Diana - I had to look up what a plush javelina is. You're right - so cute!

Jeannie - I had to look up those houses, as well. Wow, they're beautiful. I can see why you love them. Wouldn't it be great if we all had enough space for everything we love?

And it's fun to see how often books and book swag comes up, isn't it? In addition to my presidential/White House collection, I have so many books and book-related goodies. It's the best!

Julie Hyzy said...

Brittney - Isn't it great when each piece has a story behind it? What a wonderful gift your husband gave you and what a wonderful memory!

Karen B said...

Spoons, cat figurines, santas. I'm slowly weeding out a lot of these to a more manageable amount. And my biggest collection is, of course, those pesky dust-bunnies that just keep on multiplying!

Chèli said...

I used to collect so many things but my husband said I had to concentrate on just a few things so I collect teddy bears (nearly 400 in all shapes, sizes, colors, materials), books, and my ceramic Xmas village which takes nearly 2 months to setup with 3 people working on it.

Have you gotten the White Christmas ornaments yet?

I'm waiting impatiently for the new White House mystery.

Success and joy to you
Cheli's Shelves

Julie Hyzy said...

Karen B - You too? Every time I look there are a thousand more dust bunnies. Too bad we can't market them for something good. I'd be a millionaire LOL

Cheli - Wow, that's some village! And I love Teddy bears! I have collected a few White House Christmas ornaments over the years. I pick them up when I visit D.C. or when I receive them as gifts. I've been tempted to order online, but it's always so much more fun to have a memory to associate with one of my treasures.

Carol S said...

A friend gave me a small tin of chocolates from Air Force One, I think from the last Bush-era. Her son worked in the White House kitchen during Clinton and Bush years.
I also collect books that were made into movies, mainly from the 1940's and 50's, like The Egg and I, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, No Time for Sergeants, Giant, etc.

Adrienne said...

Ok, I admit it: I don't know what "book swag" is. I know I could "google" it but I'd much rather hear from book lovers what it means. The collection stories have been fun to read and educational: be careful what you collect or it may run you out of house and home (and money!) Enjoy your collections! You only live once! Adrienne in MN

Aurian said...

Book swag are book related items. Like bookmarks with the cover of the book(s) from an author on them, bookplates, preferably autographed of course, book covers without the book, magnets with the cover of a book on them, pens, even totebags and stickers and mugs. You name it.
The most awesome part is, getting it from the author directly, or in the mail, signed and all.

Julie Hyzy said...

Carol - oh wow! That is awesome. From my understanding, anyone who visits Camp David gets a commemorative windbreaker. I want one! Chocolates from Air Force One? Too cool!

Adrienne - exactly what Auran said!

And I agree - collections are to be enjoyed!

Adrienne said...

Thanks, Aurian! I guess I even own some book swag as I've received book marks from the Cozy Chicks, my most favorite mug, signed bookplates from the Cozies (can you see a theme here?)and post cards with the books on them. Gee, I didn't even know I had started an official collection. Cool! What fun!
So tell me, why is it called "swag" and not something like "stuff" :-)?
Adrienne in MN

Aurian said...

I have no idea where the word Swag comes from. Anyone?