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They’re a “Hoot”! My crazy owl collection

Hi, my name is Carrie and I am addicted to owls.

That’s right – The next time you see me, I could be on the crazy TLC show for hoarders due to the amount of owls I have (Just kidding – That’s a gross exaggeration…Does that show cause any other “Type A” people to experience an immediate panic attack just by catching a moment of it?).

::cringes:: But I digress…

ANYTHING owl gets snatched up by my eager fingers in a second when out shopping – My sister has gotten to the point where she literally has to hide them from me or else I can’t help but take them home.

They are just SO DARN CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!! The last time my sister challenged me to walk through my apartment to count all of my owl paraphernalia, I came away with a number somewhere in the 30′s…Last night in preparation for this post, I did the same thing and I am almost embarrassed to admit the new total.

54.

I know, I should be committed. But before you start imagining over sized owl posters and gaudy cartoon owl blankets, let me allay your fears and explain that I am a TASTEFUL owl collector (though my sister would definitely disagree – but she’s just especially annoyed with it because she’s currently living in my spare bedroom).

My owl collection is more of the miniature sort – I tend to go for the tiny glass figurines or ceramic variety. I love love LOVE vintage owls…Although I definitely have my fair share of chain retail store “hoots”, most of mine were found in heaps or sitting behind old dishware on a thrift store shelf. I guess old ladies used to collect owls like I do, because it’s a rarity that I leave a Goodwill without one in hand.

As you saw from this mornings “Thrift Store SCORE!” post, Etsy is another go-to place for vintage owls. Just take a look at this screen shot from a “Vintage Owls” search! Oh the strength it took not to click away…

Why owls, you ask? Well besides, again, being so gosh darn cute I guess I’m drawn to the solitary/wise connotations. I bought one recently from Barnes & Noble (he’s now perched in the newly redone half bath, in fact!) that came with its own owl trivia book. It is full of fun facts (did you know that a group of owls is called a “parliament”?) and also confirms the “wise owl” folklore.

For those of you who don’t know (and who actually care, like I do) it goes back to Greek mythology – Owls were the official symbolic animal of Athena, the goddess of wisdom. We see the birds depicted in all sorts of ancient artwork perched on Athena’s shoulder or on her outstretched hand.

Given their pretty swanky and legendary lineage in mythology, I’d say owls are a “wise” choice for favorite animal:)

Time to dive into my collection!

When I decided to do this post, I thought it might be fun (and a little bit of a punch in the gut) to see all of them side-by-side in a huge Photoshop-ed square. After taking photos of the ones that are out and about last night, that dream has finally become a reality…Hold onto your hats folks!

(Part of) My owl collection:

Overwhelmed yet? Well this is a photo of the living room at my apartment:

There are approximately 5 owls in this shot, but you probably only notice a few – They are that subtle! My dad recently came over for a visit, looked around and asked genuinely “Do you like owls?” – While I admit, he’s not the most observant guy, I figured the fact that he’d been to my apartment a number of times and hadn’t noticed them until now was a good sign that I wasn’t overdoing things…

Here are some details from my favorites around the house!

The little guy pictured below came from Michael’s (for about $5) and makes it possible for me to stamp happy little owls across pretty much anything I want! Linen napkins, canvas purses/bags, paper cuts outs – I even bought a huge box of blank cardstock and envelopes from Target so that I can create custom “Thank you”, “Happy Birthday”, “Thinking of You” cards without shelling out extra cash for the pre-printed ones!

This one is a souvenir from my trip to Boston last Summer – I picked it up for a few dollars at a cart in Quincy Market that was selling all sorts of Asian-style trinkets. There were SO many different owls to choose from, but I love the rainbow of colors on this one…I really cherish the owls that remind me of trips and the places I’ve been.

The hoot necklace pictured below was a gift from John, so you know it’s definitely up there on my list of favorites:)it’s so unique too! I love the clock (that actually works) in his belly…

I found this neat owl at the Estate Specialist – It was $8, so a bit of a splurge for a thrift store hoot, but it’s surprisingly heavy! I love how he takes on the texture and color of whatever I put him in front of – So mod.

UPDATE 4/26/11: It wasn’t so much of a splurge after all! I just found a listing for the exact same Lucite owl (apparently created by designer, Fratelli Guzzini) on ebay priced at $75!!! This hoot belongs in my “Thrift Store SCORE!”s!!!!!

This wooden owl bottle opener came from the VMFA (Virginia Museum of Fine Arts) in Richmond – It’s SUPER unique and functional, which I just couldn’t pass up on…

P.S. If you are ever in the Richmond area, I DEFINITELY recommend checking out the VMFA. I have a degree in art history, so I could spend hours there – But I recently took John and he enjoyed it too! It’s a beautiful museum with something for everyone (and admission is free!).

This green hoot is the very first owl I ever bought:)I think I was drawn to the green color – It’s my absolute favorite color! He started QUITE a fad, as you can tell…

Okay, I think I’ve gushed MORE then enough over my owl collection…But now you will understand if I get super excited about a new owl find:)

What do you guys collect??

(Photo Credit for TLC “Hoarding: Buried Alive”: here; Etsy screen shot: here; Athena/Owl image: here)

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  • April 21, 2011 - 11:48 pm

    lindsay @ a design story - Hi… I am new to your blog… it is ADORABLE! I found it jumping through a few other blogs!!
    I love owls too… you have a great collection! I have the same obession, only mine is all things aqua and turqouise. It is a serious addition.
    {Hopefully neither of us ever get featured on the Hoarders show}ReplyCancel

    • April 22, 2011 - 10:45 am

      Carrie - Hi there! Glad you found us!! I love the idea of a color-coordinated owl collection – And I’m thankful I’m not the only one with an owl obsession =)ReplyCancel

      • August 28, 2012 - 8:34 am

        Sam Wilson - Hi Carrie, We have an extensive collection of Owl ornaments of all different shapes & Sizes. Feel free to visit our eBay page to have a browse. If you do find that you like something, or even all of it. I’m positive we can come to a amiable agreement for transaction.

        http://stores.ebay.co.uk/xSimplyFloorsx

        Regards.ReplyCancel

        • August 28, 2012 - 8:40 am

          Carrie - Thanks for passing that along!! I’ll definitely check it out.ReplyCancel

  • September 8, 2011 - 11:12 am

    cheshta sabharwal - i was really lokkin forward to a designer encouraging owls…glaD…using u nd ur collection as my case study on my project report!..thanks…wat an obnoxious way of depicting owls..grt work!!!..;))ReplyCancel

    • September 8, 2011 - 1:33 pm

      Carrie - I wanna read it when you’re done!ReplyCancel

  • July 14, 2012 - 6:53 pm

    Joe reda - I have a very old oil painting by james lechay of a black owl if your interested get back to meReplyCancel

    • July 15, 2012 - 11:56 am

      Carrie - Thanks for letting me know! Can you email me a photo? (DreamGreenDIY@gmail.com)ReplyCancel

  • January 5, 2013 - 9:11 am

    julia - Now and then antiques on line has some beautiful owl things, check it out :-) http://www.nowandthenantiqueshop.co.ukReplyCancel

  • January 20, 2013 - 1:35 pm

    Aran - Are you sure you are not me? Owlaholic, art history degree with a love of art galleries and museums, whose favourite colour is green. I am definitely over the top with owls though well beyond 50 and into, I think I am at least to 1,000 or so by now. Collected since I was 12 and that was in 1973.ReplyCancel

    • January 20, 2013 - 4:01 pm

      Carrie - Haha – Love it!!! Excited to have found my twin =)ReplyCancel

  • February 6, 2013 - 9:40 pm

    Bonnie Wood - Hey Ladies, I have collected owls for about 40 years. And I have them from my travels abroad (I have been to 26 countries.) I have owls made out of just about everything you can image (from crystal, lapis, silk, all kinds of metals, pecan shells, Mount St. Helen’s ash, etc. Plus, I have nature photos, pictures, and other wall hangings. Please let me know if you are ever interested. And I will try to take photos or a video of them. Getting older and will down size some time in the next couple of years.ReplyCancel

    • February 7, 2013 - 7:19 am

      Carrie - Thanks, Bonnie! Your collection sounds incredible…I’m trying to slow down on my own collection, but will let you know if that changes!ReplyCancel

      • February 7, 2013 - 8:52 am

        Bonnie Wood - I understand that completely. I have been doing the same for the past 10 years. Maybe one day, I will try to sell some on ebay or craigs list!ReplyCancel

        • February 7, 2013 - 9:14 am

          Carrie - You should!! It would be a great way to get a return on your investment =)ReplyCancel

          • February 7, 2013 - 6:54 pm

            Aran - Once my friends and family have all picked their favourites to remind them of me, I’m planning to leave the collection to the World Owl Trust. WOT have a shop they can sell them in, should keep them in stock for a good while.

          • February 7, 2013 - 6:57 pm

            Carrie - What a sweet idea!!

  • February 10, 2014 - 9:37 am

    James - Owls, man.

    My mother had been collecting owls since the 1960s. She recently passed on and we’re been, among other things, collecting up her owl collection. We’re not done, and we’re already in the 300-400 item range. We’re half-seriously considering starting a museum.ReplyCancel

    • February 10, 2014 - 12:08 pm

      Carrie - Wow! That’s sounds like an incredible collection!!ReplyCancel

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