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DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION
FROM SHAVING MUGS TO SHOPPING BAGS, COLLECTORS SHOW OFF THE THINGS THEY LOVE

Kathleen Locke displays antique kitchen tools on a wreath she made for the kitchen. Frank Vicario lines the shelves flanking his fireplace with cookie jars. Hazel M. Spoonley displays mustache cups and shaving mugs on shelves in her bathroom.

And Lila L. Weinberg has a novel way of perking up the walls in her finished basement: with colorfully designed shopping bags she framed like artwork.

With a little creativity, collecting and decorating go hand in hand.

So say Buffalo News readers who, after Part One of this story ran in November, shared many more ideas about surrounding themselves with their favorite things.

Rosa Hunter, for one, collects chicken figurines and amasses them in orderly fashion on display ledges and knickknack shelves throughout her Buffalo home.

Ronald Sikora converted a bedroom in his North Tonawanda home into a "Globe Room" and decorates it not only with globes of all sizes but also with world maps and globe-themed accessories, right down to the blanket throw on the guest bed.

Jackie Crown, who wrote to The News from Coudersport, Pa., fills the spaces above her kitchen cabinets with old teapots and coffee pots. She also lines the chair rail in the eating area with vintage photographs and accessorizes shelves with turn-of-the-century white granite ware.

And Andrea Kalinowski displays a collection of Buffalo Pottery on a 16-foot mantel that extends the entire width of the family room.

"We've used our collections as our decorating scheme for years. We love to be surrounded by our 'stuff' and are able to admire it on a daily basis," wrote Kalinowski, who also collects dolls, glass baskets, hatpins, perfume bottles, celluloid boxes, beaded bags and more.

Even everyday items such as coffee mugs can be displayed in interesting ways.

Just ask Virginia L. Reich, of Amherst. She has 58 mugs hanging from hooks running all around the closed soffit areas above the kitchen cabinets.

"It was my husband's idea to display them this way. At holiday time, I remove some and put up Christmas mugs," said Reich, who takes the mugs down several times a year to wash them.

For other readers, curio cabinets are the key to amassing their collectibles.

Terry Szefel of Lancaster uses two of them to display her beloved bells, which number well over 100. One holds the bells given to her by friends and relatives. The other, the bells from her four children and husband.

"My oldest son used to travel to different states a lot with his job. He brought back a bell every time he came home. We used to joke that he could not come home unless he had a bell," she said.

The nice thing about curios is that they keep collectibles all in one place rather than scattered across end tables, bookcases and entertainment centers, Szefel said.

"You don't have to keep moving them every time you dust, and you also don't have to worry about breakage," she said.

Similarly, shelves and wall racks also come in handy for keeping breakables out of the way while creating an attractive focal point in a room.

Dorothy LaCombe of Hamburg has two 8-foot-long shelves above her living room windows to accommodate her collection of miniature homes, including Norman Rockwell designs.

"I leave them up all year because they are wonderful to look at," said LaCombe, who also collects and displays in her home miniature trains and train stations, spoons, mugs with her name on them, toothpick holders and thimbles.

She even found a unique way to show off her collection of 250 handkerchiefs: she hung them in a 3- by 4-foot frame in her hallway.

Cheryl Philipps of Snyder displays her collection of tea cups on two 18-cup racks hanging on her dining room wall.

She then customized the racks to better suit her needs.

"I've added tea cup hooks to show off a set of 12 Norman Rockwell mugs, and I utilize the top shelves for teapots," she said.

And Susan Bushman of Hamburg displays her collection of eyewash cups and bottles in four glass cases on her bathroom walls. With a little modification, the racks have worked out well, said Bushman, who estimates she now owns about 65 cups.

"My husband, Peter, extended the backs of the cases to hold the larger items. We enjoy looking at them every day, plus anyone visiting has a full view of my collection," she said.

Other collectors design their own display pieces to suit their needs.

For his collection of nearly 200 miniature oil lamps, Ron Dole of North Collins custom-built a wall shelf that measures 5 feet long by 3 feet high.

"I'm in the process of building another one that will be 7 feet long and 3 feet high. The shelves that the oil lamps are on, and the new one I'm building, will both be in the living room, on adjoining walls. I have an L-shaped couch, and the shelves are above each section. I also have more in the china cabinet, in the dining room," said Dole, via e-mail.

"Dusting them, as you could guess, is a very big chore," he added.

Readers do special things with holiday collectibles this time of year as well.

Florence Edmondson of Williamsville displays her collection of 35 tiny Christmas ornaments on small suction cups in the bay window in the front of her house so she can look at them all season long.

There's an ornament for each of the 35 panes, she said.

Then, of course, there's Andrea K. Raines of Orchard Park and her collection of pig ornaments. The ornaments are just part of the much larger inventory of All Things Pig in the Raines household.

At the beginning of December, she puts up a Christmas tree in her kitchen and fills it with an ever-expanding array of pig ornaments -- each with its own special story.

"It keeps getting larger as I acquire more and more ornaments for it," said Raines, who also fills her home with pig banks, planters, music boxes, pictures and other pig-themed collectibles.

Like most collectors, there's no stopping her. And there's always space for more.

"Old, new, cheap, expensive -- they are all part of my collection, and what a grand time it has been collecting them," she said.

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