Thursday, December 1, 2011

the collectors: vintage eyeglasses


i just love seeing what folks are collecting. i guess i kind of feel it tells us just a little bit about what inspires them, what they love, and what they choose to surround themselves with in their home. today, i'm delighted to present the next in the rikrak studio's collections series:  quick questions with a wonderful artist on what they're collecting, (apart from their art supplies! ) you can also check out my  *the collectors* series on Etsy, based on these posts! hope you'll just love magpie ethel's  charming vintage eyeglasses collection.


What does your collection say about your personal aesthetic?
Does it reflect your love of  kitsch or things mid-century modern ?
Do you adore rustic or favor Edwardian?
How about this wonderful collection that asks: why choose only one style when you can  reinvent yourself everyday?

Who are you? I’m Laurie of Magpie Ethel.  I am a stay at home mom who has loves vintage, estate sales and crafting.  I call myself a vintage crafter as I craft primarily with vintage finds.  I live in Portland, Oregon in an old house filled with estate sale goodies and lots of charm and collections.

What are you collecting? Today I am showing off my collection of vintage eyewear. 

When did you start? I have gone to estate sales for years and have picked them up here and there if the price is right.

How many do you have? I have about 10 or 12 pairs. I also collect vintage sunglasses that I display with the other glasses.

Where do you find them? I find them at estate sales primarily.

Where do you keep them? i keep them in a metal bowl in my sitting room.  I have never figured out a great way to display them in my little house.

What‘s an interesting story behind one? I used to wear a pair of vintage tortoise shell nerdy frames in college.  I think I found them at a thrift store and liked the frames.  The lenses were a crazy prescription that made me dizzy if i wore them.  I popped out the lenses and just wore the frames. I wear contacts, so I would just wear the frames to give me that cool retro nerdy look.  This was in the 80s.

What piece would you like to add? I would love to add some that are crazy with rhinestones in a cat eye style

Why do you love them? I think they just are fun to wear.  They act like a bit of a disguise sometimes and make you look entirely different.

Which one is your favourite? I probably like the ones with the colored frames the best - especially the pink frames. 

What else do you collect? I collect a ton and  have many, many collections. I do a weekly post called "Collection Challenge" on my blog ( where I feature a different collection each week.  I just passed my 80th post with collections. I think I may rename my posts "Hoarders Challenge".  Some of my past posts have included vintage drinking straws,  vintage squeaky rubber toys and old advertising spoons. I collect things that make me smile and many of them have a graphic appeal to them.


Charming! Thanks so much!
Laurie’s wonderful shop showcases both her delightfully ecclectic  personal crafting style and her fabulous personality.  It’s a veritable wonderland of whimsical bygone eras. And her lovely blog is a happy place where styles brilliantly intersect (ps: you should see all of her collections! WOW!)  

What do you collect?
Please tell us in the notes below. Wed love to hear!
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  1. she's so stinking adorable! Such a cute collection :)

  2. Love this one! I think I should start collecting glasses. :>

  3. yay! i totally agree, kristi & heather!

  4. So excited to see Laurie / Magpie Ethel featured here! She is an extraordinary vintage crafter and a prolific collector of many, many interesting vintage things. :-)

  5. oooh, collections are so fun! :)

  6. I collect vintage alphabet letters... take a look!


thanks so much for your comments, nicies!
it's a joy to read what everyone writes here.
thank you!