Friday, January 4, 2013

What the (arma)dilly-yo!?

I love anything with a cute little animal on it.  I'm impressed (in awe of?) wildlife and maybe I'm just a little too easily amused by personified objects.  This has been an ongoing problem for me.  Stuffed animal and doll storage was a huuuge issue when I was a kid:

My bed, circa 1991.  The slightest movement resulted in random lights flickering and sound effects heard, or worse: an avalanche.  (And don't think I didn't take a trip down memory lane 'researching' those names!)

I've finally accepted that Beanie Babies will never, ever, be as popular as they once were.  (Seriously?  I waited in line for over an hour for a stuffed platypus named Patti?  What the...)  And it wasn't until embarrassingly recently that I whittled down my stuffed animal collection to the essential dozen or so relegated to a single plastic storage bin.  Save for my main squeeze, Bear, the creatively named plush toy (that's actually a puppet with a workable mouth and arms!) who remains a fixture in my bedroom...

Today I collect animals in the form of random figurines that I get from thrift stores, usually made of brass but I don't discriminate and also have critters made of ceramic, chalkware or other materials...and in other non-figurine decor things, like wall art and trivets!  Weird color? Sold!  Homely looking?  Sold!  Big-ass eyeballs?  Sold!  Here are some favorites:

I'm like a unicorn.  But cooler.
How often do you come across cheetahs hatching from eggs?  Not often enough.  (Fun fact: Platypuses, like Patti the Beanie Baby, are one of the only mammals that hatch from eggs.  Cheetahs are not.)  I discovered this miracle of nature a few years ago while organizing the shelves one afternoon at the thrift store I worked at.  Customers were not amused by this discovery.  Co-workers were not impressed by it's rarity.  It made my day to become its proud owner and it makes quite the conversation piece.

This guy is usually hanging by his tail from my curtain rod.  I also got him from the thrift store where I was working.  He's kind of tattered and completely useless as an eyeglass case (what we think it's designed for) but how could I resist those sparkly eyes and big, dopey ears?

I've got brass birds perched throughout the house and this (tiny!) elephant is  supposed to hold matches.

Animals on the walls.  How adorable is the long-legged owl?!

And a few more critters I rounded up for pictures: bunnies and squirrels and frogs, oh my!

Stay tuned for my episode of Hoarders where I sing amongst my figurine collection like a deranged Snow White in an enchanted animal kingdom.  (And also, stay tuned for some of them making an appearance in the shop.)

They make for great (not at all creepy) accents throughout the home.  Station one in a windowsill, on a bookshelf, a nightstand, part of a tablescape, whatever.  Add some whimsy to your vintage-y vignette!

The more random the animal, the better.  I feel like cat and dog related items are everywhere.  (And a cat lady without a cat figurine collecting dust somewhere in her house is not a cat lady...)  Owls had their heyday in the seventies and have made a huge comeback (hipster spirit animal?) and foxes more recently had their moment in fashion.  I'm still searching for a brass monkey.  One of these days...

Last year I found this belt with an armadillo buckle while out thrifting; and I even styled one of the skirts from the Holidayz Collection with it:

Skirt is available here

Aaand since that's almost impossible to see, here ya go:

Ready for his close-up...

The cashier thought it was an anteater, or an aardvark, but I'm pretty sure it's an armadillo...and that's only because I remembered what they looked like from this level on Donkey Kong Country.  (Granted, mine my kid brother's was for Nintendo 64, but this looks about the same...)  It's not like armadillos are the too-often seen squirrels and pigeons in my neck of the woods...  So I was all "OMG!  Isn't that an armadillo! What?  That's sooo random!  And sooo cute!  I love it!"  (And once again, like with the hatching cheetah, no one else in the aisle was amused or impressed by my find...)

But.  When I was at Madewell recently, I saw this necklace and ring (apparently not even online yet) with armadillos, too!

Awww, look at that little guy!
And here he is again...with Mom!  Hanging on a necklace!  With tassels!

Great minds thinking alike, Madewell, great minds...  So armadillos are officially trending.  Get yours now: the belt is in the shop and we'll have some other (non-armadillo but equally cute and random) friends joining him...because the animal collection (of mostly figurines) is coming soon here!  Prepare to be amused!  And impressed!

Here's a shot of the whole gang going to the shop...they were a hard bunch to round up for a group picture.  Kitty is not impressed.

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