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Episode 418 - On Hand
Hand me Downs
Keep those old treasures...
People often ask me to talk about my favourite collectibles. One thing I discovered in bringing together my collection is that virtually each and every item is a hand-me-down. Each one has a story that goes along with it, having come from a family member or close friend. Kind of gives you a new way of looking at these cherished items.

A beautiful china plate with a floral design was a gift from my Mom. The plate itself is beautiful, but the fact that the design was painted by one of her friends makes it extra special. She and her friends collected these plates; forty years ago you'd see a bunch of them in their homes. Nowadays they are very rare. So to everyone out there, if you have a beautiful piece of hand-painted china with a little bit of a story behind it, it's a great thing to collect and certainly a welcomed hand-me-down.

The story goes that my grandparents immigrated to Canada with very little money. My grandmother arrived with a beautiful cream and sugar set and a salad service. Imagine crossing the Atlantic with a salad service! Well, the set may not be worth a lot of money but it's the sentimental quality that I value the most. In the years to come I'll determine which nieces and nephews will get to hang onto this family treasure.

Other collectibles handed down to me include old linens and a colourful cup and saucer set, whose wild colours make for a wonderful conversation piece. As well, a lovely plate on which a gravy boat rests made its way to me. It is a turn-of-the-century English ceramic called Majolica, characterized by vegetables, fruit, or in this case, a shell motif. Not only would it be perfect for gravy, I also think it would be nice in the bathroom, filled with cottonballs, oils, or some nice bath soaps.

Hand-me-downs don't have to be old. They can also be new. A friend of mine had some oversized napkins made for his home. When he decided to change the colour scheme in his dining room, I was the lucky recipient of these beautiful napkins that no longer worked for him. Now, they certainly worked for me.

One person's garbage can be another person's treasure. The ups of hand-me-downs are plenty. When somebody lets you know that they're ready to get rid of some stuff, don't forget to let them know to send them your way.