Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Why Did I Collect These?

Ah this cleaning out business. Sometimes it really takes you down memory lane let me tell you. And when you are zooming down memory lane, screaming to get off the collecting bus, you often say to yourself….

Why did I collect these things? How did I start down this crazy road?

That is sort of how I feel about these.

IMG_8823APlease ignore the dust and, dare I say it, mouse missiles that are on the top. I found the container on the top shelf down in the basement. Remember, we are dealing with the usual fall mice invasion here at Chez Knit. The top has since been thoroughly washed. Have no fear.

Hmmmm? Oh! What’s in the container? Sorry, I guess I got sidetracked there for a second. The container contains one of my unaccountable collections from my childhood.


What? You didn’t collect paper napkins while you were growing up? You think that is an odd thing to collect?


Yes, one of the crazy things that I collected when I was little was paper napkins. And obviously by the size of the container it wasn’t a passing fancy. I don’t think that I even remembered that I had this collection still. Obviously I have carted it from one house to another but I don’t think that I have opened the box in a LONG time.

When I found it and opened it I just stood there for a moment and looked at the stacks and stacks of napkins and remembered all the hours, and I do mean hours, of fun I had looking at the collection and rearranging the collection and thinking about the collection and OBVIOUSLY collecting the collection. And I had some help as you will see.

I am just going to give you a glimpse of what was in there. We don’t have time to look at all of them although I KNOW that you would like me to show you ever single one. You know you would. I sorted through all of them for you and took some pictures of the best of them. At the end I will tell you what I have decided to do with them, or some of them at least.

IMG_8830A I will admit that there was more than one napkin that seemed to have been used prior to being added to the collection. I am really hoping that it is just age spots that can be taken care of with some magic cream from L’Oreal. Otherwise it is just gross.

But of course I seem to deal with “gross” more often than I would like.

IMG_8831A I have no idea where this one came from up it was obviously from a baby shower. Too cute.

IMG_8836A There were loads of napkins that just screamed 1960’s. SCREAMED I tell you. I know that this color is not existent anywhere at the moment.

There were several napkins with some sort of note attached to let me know that they had been saved specifically for me.

IMG_8846A IMG_8853AThis note has my Grandma Pringle’s distinctive handwriting.

IMG_8851A  There were a bunch of napkins that were from wedding receptions, some for people that I had never even heard of. This one happens to be from MY parental units. Note that would mean that they have been married for 51 years!!!

IMG_8848A There were piles and piles of mundane napkins that would have been for every day use. I can’t imagine where they all came from and how I got them all home. I can just see myself as a young girl surreptitiously sticking napkins into my pocket as I go from house to house.

A napkin nabber of the first order.

IMG_8857A There were loads of napkins from various birthday parties. I can’t think that they were all from my birthday parties because if they are then I am A LOT older than I think I am.

IMG_8854A There were various napkins from organizations that I had been involved with or perhaps a parent or grandparent. There were a bunch from Iowa agricultural associations. Pioneer Girls happens to be the “Christian” equivalent of Girl Scouts. I am going to confess right here that, despite many years in Pioneer Girls……

I hated it. I would have much rather been home eating black olives and reading a book.

Sorry mom.

IMG_8860A I love this one.

IMG_8862A There are a bunch of napkins from different eating establishments from my childhood. This particular place had great pizza if I am not mistaken. I just love the picture.

IMG_8870There are bunches from different countries. My Pringle grandparents spent many summers being tour guides for groups in Europe and the Middle East. If you have ever read any books in the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters you will know about Shepheard’s Hotel. I didn’t know I had this and if you had been here when I was sorting through the bin you would have heard me squeal.

It wasn’t pretty.

And just as an aside, this particular napkin would not be very good at absorbing anything. It sort of has the consistency of waxy tissue paper.

And finally these were my particular favorite
IMG_8873A These are rice paper napkins. They are as soft as a baby’s patookis and they are just lovely. I think someone brought them to me from Japan but I just can’t remember who.

And now what am I going to do with all of these. Well, I didn’t want to just put them all back in the gigantic bin and put them back in the basement. That isn’t a part of the cleaning out rules. So, I kept back the ones that I loved the most and those I will frame in some way that I can enjoy them all the time.

The others I have consigned to the “circular file”. I did, just for a moment, think that we could actually use them as napkins. But I quickly dope slapped myself and disposed of them.

But I had a good time going down memory lane.


  1. OMG! Big Banjo Pizza! I think there was a time in the mid 70s when my mom went to help my dad with his business that we practically lived on this stuff during the week--this, and Jakes Pizza, with an occasional trip to Seven Dwarfs...the food police would've been all over my parents nowadays.
    Anyway, Great great collection. Too bad you can't make them into a quilt.

  2. Napkins? WOW.

    I used to collect sals shakers and bells, but after about 10, I stopped.

  3. We lived out in the country and I collected rocks. The problem was that all rocks (from the gravel road) looked alike...nary a piece of petrified wood or agate in all those years of collecting. Sigh!!! I did have some nice pieces of fools' gold, though. Traded one for a genuine arrowhead and felt guilty for getting the best of the swap.

  4. Here's what you can do to preserve your treasures. Pick your favorites and make coasters out of them. Go to this link and it will show you how to do it:

  5. That's amazing! I've kept a few here and there over the years, but only from weddings that had the names and dates on them. I might have five, including my own wedding napking. I'm glad you mentioned that you had decided to frame them--I can see a beautiful arrangement or two happening. I know you'll post pictures! :-)

  6. Just learning more and more about ya everyday!! Love it!

  7. Although it's odd to collect napkins I have to say that some of those just rock. I want to frame the Halloween one and some are completely vintage and awesome now!

  8. I don't remember ever reading this blog. The vision of you undertaking this collection is amusing. But as far as collections go, it is cheap and flat. Congrats on being able to part with them.


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