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#149803 - 08/25/09 07:38 AM I was called an amateur collector......
Beamus Offline
Elf Manager

Registered: 11/06/04
Posts: 805
Loc: Marana, AZ, USA
Thought this would be a funny topic....

When I was in the van on my way back to the airport after the event in KC, I was chatting with an older lady. I had mentioned that this was my first event that I actually attended. She said "Oh how cute! And how many trees do you have to put up every year?" I told her just one. She looked at me like I was a newbie and said "Humf, amateur!"

I told her I was no amateur, just because I put up one tree (and I bought that tree from Hallmark, an old display of theirs) and just now attended my first event. I put up one tree because I am so OCD (not really, but yeah) that I have to have a theme each year. Not to mention, I am one of those nut jobs that puts each grouping of ornaments in one box. Each box is then inventoried as to it's contents and it's location in the house mapped out. Also I am crazy about making sure each ornament stays packed in it's original box, with it's original packing, so it takes more time that usual. Not to mention I have been collection since I was 14 years old (I'm 39 now, that's 25 years), and have (with this years' ornaments close to 4000 ornaments!

I also told her (I told an artist this too), when I was a little girl of about 10, my mom took me to see the new Hallmark store that just opened in our home town. I looked at the beautiful ornaments and told her, "Mom, when I grow up I am going to have a tree filled with nothing but Hallmark ornaments!" She thought I was crazy. Well, now I am not so sure she was wrong....

So anyway, the lady apologized for her comment, then she looked at me the same way my mom looked at me at that store so long ago....NUT JOB!

I did not take offence at anything really, just thought it would be a funny story to share.

Bea

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#149809 - 08/25/09 09:47 AM Re: I was called an amateur collector...... [Re: Beamus]
StaceyN Offline
Santa's Helper

Registered: 12/22/00
Posts: 6485
Loc: Idaho

Hi Bea,

She probably said that because you look so young.

\:\)
_________________________


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#149811 - 08/25/09 10:27 AM Re: I was called an amateur collector...... [Re: Beamus]
grandma lise Offline
Santa's Helper

Registered: 07/17/09
Posts: 7848
Loc: Washington State
Oh my...thanks for the giggles this morning Beamus!

Both of you sound so much like some of the decorators that I've come to know and love over the years. And thanks also for confirming that I'm not the only collector with obsessive-compulsive tendencies...

Will try to share a story tonight.

Lisa

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#149813 - 08/25/09 11:48 AM Re: I was called an amateur collector...... [Re: grandma lise]
Beamus Offline
Elf Manager

Registered: 11/06/04
Posts: 805
Loc: Marana, AZ, USA
Well thank you Stacey! You just gave me a blood rush to my ego!

Bea

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#149839 - 08/25/09 06:06 PM Re: I was called an amateur collector...... [Re: Beamus]
luckdragon Offline
Santa's Helper

Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 8490
Loc: Greensboro, NC
14 was when I started collecting. Spooky!

Good that she apologized, but that was really rude to say that to anyone. Even if the person was truly a first-time collector.

I only put up one tree (only have 400) plus a wreath and some displays. This year, I'm taking down some curtains and putting some garland up with a light string to attach some ornaments to over the windows.
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/luckdragongirl

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#149845 - 08/25/09 07:22 PM Re: I was called an amateur collector...... [Re: luckdragon]
ornaholic Offline
Elf VP

Registered: 06/12/99
Posts: 1754
Loc: Ohio
My birth announcement was on a Hallmark announcement card, does that count? My Grandma had all the little nut cups, honeycomb centerpieces, etc....and it went from there! Somehow I don't have all the early merry minis. I wish they would make those again, with the old material.

The lady on the van probably didn't mean it to be rude. Ok, now who on YuleLog was the "old lady"? \:D If you're out there, you just have to come forward, even if you use a borrowed username! - Karen

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#149848 - 08/25/09 07:46 PM Re: I was called an amateur collector...... [Re: ornaholic]
deckthehalls Offline
Elf Manager

Registered: 02/04/05
Posts: 758
Loc: New Egypt NJ USA
When I was first hired it ws partly due yo my love of ornaments (that and having a completly open schedule) My first day was ornament debut. About four months after I started working one of my teen age co workers confided in me that there was so much talk about "the ornament specialist" that was coming he thought they were flying someone in for KC

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#149850 - 08/25/09 08:33 PM Re: I was called an amateur collector...... [Re: deckthehalls]
Qwackertoo Offline
Santa's Helper

Registered: 04/13/99
Posts: 11860
Loc: Rocket City, U.S.A.
 Originally Posted By: deckthehalls
When I was first hired it ws partly due yo my love of ornaments (that and having a completly open schedule) My first day was ornament debut. About four months after I started working one of my teen age co workers confided in me that there was so much talk about "the ornament specialist" that was coming he thought they were flying someone in for KC


That is GREAT~! \:\)

Deana
_________________________

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#149852 - 08/25/09 08:37 PM Re: I was called an amateur collector...... [Re: Qwackertoo]
mel-gregory Offline
Santa's Helper

Registered: 04/26/99
Posts: 3299
Loc: Valencia, CA
I put up 2 trees only.. one with just home-made/hand-made ornaments and the other (9-footer) with the Hallmarks, glass, etc. I have about 1000 various ornaments total.. would not consider myself an 'amateur' collector, but not a 'professional' either. Somewhere in between.
_________________________

Melissa
Black Belt Mom

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#149854 - 08/25/09 08:46 PM Re: I was called an amateur collector...... [Re: mel-gregory]
MeowRalphMeow Offline
Elf VP

Registered: 05/30/09
Posts: 1396
Loc: Wisconsin
I guess I would be considered an amateur by that lady's standards also. I have been collecting Hallmark ornaments since 1974 when I was 11. I have several thousand ornaments (and usually get about 150 more each year), yet I have never attended a signing or any other event. I don't know why, but I never have. And I only put up one tree a year. Granted, it's a big tree and takes me over a week or so to decorate it, but that's enough for me and I am able to squeeze almost every ornament on the thing. I'm afraid, someday, it may fall through the floor from all of the weight. I am contemplating adding another tree.

So, I'll stick with one tree and be considered an amateur collector.

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#149863 - 08/25/09 10:01 PM Re: I was called an amateur collector...... [Re: MeowRalphMeow]
StaceyN Offline
Santa's Helper

Registered: 12/22/00
Posts: 6485
Loc: Idaho

Ralph, can I ask how big your tree is? I can only squeeze about 350-400 on 7 footer and that's the thicker tree. My narrow trees won't hold that many.
_________________________


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#149864 - 08/25/09 10:12 PM Re: I was called an amateur collector...... [Re: StaceyN]
MeowRalphMeow Offline
Elf VP

Registered: 05/30/09
Posts: 1396
Loc: Wisconsin
Stacey, my tree is about eight feet tall but is super-wide with tons of branches for hanging ornaments. I have ornaments going all the way to the inside of the tree, so people really have to look to see them all. I got the tree about twenty years ago and have never seen another like it since. Needless to say, I try to take care of it but its days are numbered. It's getting to the point where I can't hang everything on it. Last year, for example, I left off all of the glass ball ornaments due to the fact that I got two new cats and didn't want to risk them getting smashed.

It's amazing though how many ornaments you can fit on a tree by working at it. I have a lot of people stop at my place to see it, so I always try to hang the newer ornaments to the front where they can see them. I really have no theme. I just call it a pop culture tree. If I do "branch" out (forgive the pun) and get another tree, I will probably make that one all Disney ornaments since I have quite a few of those.

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#149866 - 08/25/09 10:21 PM Re: I was called an amateur collector...... [Re: MeowRalphMeow]
Collector Joy Offline
Santa's Helper

Registered: 11/13/07
Posts: 2999
Loc: Illinois
I have been saving Hallmark Ornaments since 1978, I think. That's my earliest dated Hallmark Ornament, didn't get many then, we had three daughters and couldn't afford Hallmark Ornaments.
Now, the girls are all married and out of the house, so my husband and I put up three trees every year. Ones a Longaberger Tree with their Little Baskets and Porcelain Snowflakes, now a 6' tree with all Hallmark Santa's and the 7-1/2' tree is all my other Hallmark ornaments.
The past Hallmark Event was my fifth Big Event and I've been to about 6 Signings. I'm also a Charter Member of the KOC.

Joyce

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#149872 - 08/25/09 11:17 PM Re: I was called an amateur collector...... [Re: Collector Joy]
homemadebycarol Offline
Santa's Helper

Registered: 05/04/99
Posts: 3942
Loc: Reno, NV
I bought my first ornament when I was a freshman in high school (the 1982 Cookie Mouse although I gave it away) but didn't start seriously collecting until I graduated from college in 1990. Although I have over 1200 Hallmarks, decorate several trees (2 full size, several smaller trees and countless wreaths, garlands and swags) and take 4-5 weeks to get everything up for Christmas, I'd consider myself an amateur compared to a lot of folks here. I've seen some amazing decorating displays from yuleloggers and at past Hallmark events. I don't have half the creativity a lot of the "professional collectors" have but I love seeing what they come up with.
_________________________
http://pastrychefbaking.blogspot.com

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#149878 - 08/26/09 12:18 AM Re: I was called an amateur collector...... [Re: homemadebycarol]
luckdragon Offline
Santa's Helper

Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 8490
Loc: Greensboro, NC
I've never been to an event. They're never near by, and I can't afford to travel to one.

I wouldn't get to go to doll signings if I didn't live almost across the street from the US's largest doll store. I'm so excited since there's a doll signing next month! I may go both days depending on if I have to work or not. I could always load the car, drive a few over, get the ribbons tied to their wrists, wait in line, get them signed, drive home, get another load, etc. I would walk but you can't take outside bags into the store, and it's on a busy street that I'd have to cross carrying the dolls. Would be irritating. It takes like two minutes to drive there for me though. lol Talk about convient! I'm debating on taking an artist proof I have to get signed. They put the doll into production but changed the wig style and clothing, so mine's one of a kind since these particular proofs were one-of-a-kinds and sold to the store at a doll show.

While I started collecting in 1998, my oldest are 2 1975 ornaments (8 years older than me). Thrift stores rock! Technically the day I bought my first ornament (1998 Puppy Love #8), I bought 1997 Hallmark Archives #1 for half off. I was tickled pink to find it since that was the ornament from the 1997 Dream Book that my aunt gave me when she finished with it that made me want to start collecting. I ended up going back to the store and buying 1997 Mickey's Holiday Parade #1 for half off as well as 1997 All-Weather Walker for half off. Then, I saved up my allowance and bought the second in Hallmark Archives and Mickey's Holiday Parade. And that was it for me that year.
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/luckdragongirl

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#149880 - 08/26/09 02:30 AM Re: I was called an amateur collector...... [Re: luckdragon]
grandma lise Offline
Santa's Helper

Registered: 07/17/09
Posts: 7848
Loc: Washington State
I decorated my first tree in 1980 with perforated, paper ornaments that I carefully assembled after purchasing from Current, Inc. That stationary company brightened my middle and high school years with their cheerful illustrations of plants and small animals.

My grandmother thoughtfully sent me six wooden soldiers to add to my tree.

Two years later I discovered Hallmark ornaments through a friend. Another fourteen years would pass before I decorated my first theme tree with molded and painted cotton fiber ornaments that I created with Brown Bag Cookie molds for a raffle tree at Festival of Trees. I was quite the novice and didn't even think about the tree skirt until it was pointed out that I needed to provide one!

Five years later, inspired by the Festival of Trees Decorators and by Joanne Eschrich's beaded snowflakes and icicles from her Frostlight Faeries Collection, I designed my first theme tree. I would sit at the foot of that tree repeatedly, daily. It just made me happy all over. I was hooked.

In the years that followed, I couldn't stop. Next was Looney Tunes with lots of brightly colored glass balls; then a full glass, non-Hallmark tree that featured children, birds, pinecones and nuts; a tin tree; another tree that featured children but this time with Hallmark's chalkware and felt ornaments; then Winnie the Pooh; and then last year, The Grinch! During this time I designed three trees for the Cancer Center: a Kringlewood Farms tree that included the Nick and Christopher series ornaments, and from Target, painted, carved wood ornaments and jingle bells painted brown; another Looney Tunes tree; and for this year, a four foot, Snoopy and Woodstock tree.

What's my status as a decorator? Ameteur, definately.

My trees are formula trees: Hallmark ornaments, lights, glass balls, garland, topper and tree skirt. The most I'll do with ribbon is pull out my bow maker to accent a topper.

I'm am in absolute awe of decorators who have just the right touch with ribbon and color. Even more so with those who make their own topper, ornaments, and garland. It's so seemingly effortless for them. Perhaps, someday, it will be for me too. I'm not even 50 years old yet. I've got time!

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#149882 - 08/26/09 06:31 AM Re: I was called an amateur collector...... [Re: grandma lise]
LucAndre
Unregistered


I think the suggestion that being an "amateur" makes you less of a collector is what upsets me. Truly those labels are unimportant.

I bought my first Hallmark ornament in 1984, the sixth in the "Here Comes Santa" series. As a poor college student I could only afford that one ornament, so I started off slow. Now I buy as many as I like which could be 200 or more or less each year. It's also fun to see if I can find older ones at a great deal on ebay or thrift stores or even room hopping.

This year was my first "big" event too, I did go to one signing. I also had heard similar comments about not being a serious collector or I would have been there many times before. I could never justify the cost in the past. I used to say, "think of how many ornaments I can buy with the all the money I would spend on attending an event." This year I finally made it happen and I am glad I did.

I now have a rather large house and last year I started in October and ended up with 10 tress, swags, wreaths, and assorted areas of Hallmark ornaments. My largest tree is 11 feet an has an assortment. All my other tress have some type of theme. I don't have an exact count yet on how many I have but I know it's over 1200.

For me, as I said, I buy what I like. I don't just buy so I can add another number to my collection. I know there are some who buy and never take them out of the box. I can enjoy all my collection because I have the space and choose to put them all out.

My opinion is that it's not how many ornaments we have or how many tress we decorate. It's not about how many years we've been collecting or even how many events we have attended. It's not about labeling someone an amateur of professional collector.

It IS about the enjoyment our collection gives to us and to others.

My fellow collectors THAT is what is important!

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#149884 - 08/26/09 07:17 AM Re: I was called an amateur collector...... [Re: ]
KATIE ANN Offline
Elf VP

Registered: 01/18/04
Posts: 1566
Loc: ST. ALBANS, WV, US
I used to know a lady that was a "professional" collector. You would not believe the number of ornaments that she had. She kept
them in boxes and never ever put up a tree.
_________________________
Katie Ann

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#149886 - 08/26/09 07:49 AM Re: I was called an amateur collector...... [Re: KATIE ANN]
Qwackertoo Offline
Santa's Helper

Registered: 04/13/99
Posts: 11860
Loc: Rocket City, U.S.A.
Bea, I think unless you are somebody like Clara, who has turned her collecting into being the author of the Hallmark "history" books and for several years a "gig" at attending the events sponsored by Hallmark (whatever their relationship was/is) . . . that not many could be classified as "professional" collectors in the strictest sense of the word. Only others I might consider including in that category would be those that own EVERY SINGLE ornament Hallmark has ever made.

I'm perfectly happy to be an amateur collector and I'm definitely an amateur decorator. I enjoy my ornaments and decorating for the holidays for my family and friends which makes ME happy and that is all that counts when you get right down to it. \:\)

I'm thinking the lady who said that meant no harm OR disrespect and perhaps she could have chosen a different description, like "newbie" to events or ??? . . . just like there are casual collectors and serious collectors and some in-between. I would think I might fall into the in-between group, since I don't attend events anymore, change in personal priorities, nor do I mind a "hole" in my series, nor do I strive to own all the limited or colorways in any particular series . . . etc. etc. Heck, I remember the first few years I collected Hallmark ornaments, I didn't even OWN A FULL SIZE TREE~!!! What would that have been called? I loved the ornaments so much and thought how wonderful it would be to have a tree filled with nothing but Hallmark's. At that time, I only had two Hallmark miniatures trees in my little one bedroom apartment but had several of those Christmas storage boxes full of ornaments. I had my eye on an Alaskan Black Forest Tree or something like that at the time that was very expensive, funny I never bought that tree, but I admired them at this wonderful shop they had in D/FW that was nothing but Christmas decorations called Tis The Season and I would spend hours in there looking at all the pretty trees, decorations, garlands & accessories. \:\)

Deana
_________________________

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#149924 - 08/26/09 09:01 PM Re: I was called an amateur collector...... [Re: KATIE ANN]
meam2you Offline
Elf Engineer - Toy Design

Registered: 08/13/06
Posts: 495
Loc: North Canton, OH
 Originally Posted By: KATIE ANN
I used to know a lady that was a "professional" collector. You would not believe the number of ornaments that she had. She kept
them in boxes and never ever put up a tree.


That's sad...could it have maybe been a true obsession, rather than a hobby for her? I can't imagine spending all that money and then never really enjoying her collection.

And on a not so serious note.....let's think about this:

amateur collector = no monetary compensation for collecting stuff
professional collector = I get paid to collect stuff
not caring what kind of a collector I am because I just love my collection = priceless
_________________________
Leigh

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