The Collector: Part 14 - The Dainty Squid

The Collector: Part 14

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I have another collection to share with you all today! It's been a while since my last post in this series but I definitely haven't forgotten. My tooth collection, mentioned in this post, is almost ready to share (I'm waiting on something I ordered to get here for it to be "complete", then I'll photograph it.) So in the mean time I'm going to talk about my vintage paint by number collection!
I've been collecting these for about three years (I started just around the time we bought our home). We just recently felt we had enough that we could bring them out of hiding from the basement up to display in the living room. I absolutely love how they all look together!

All of the paint by numbers have been found at thrift stores, flea market and garage sales. I've only bought one or two online because I can't justify the price (funny thing is - the ones I bought online aren't even hanging yet, they need frames!). The thrill of finding these for me, other than just their beauty, is their price. Even though they're not worth much in all reality I feel so sneaky and giggly when I find them for $2 or $3 at a flea market, like "hah, they don't really know what an amazing piece they're getting rid of"

This is kind of a photo heavy post - but here are some of photos of them and a few close up shots of my favorites...
It's hard to pick a top favorite, I really do love them all, but the one right about this (with the mountain and water) and the ship are almost always in my top two when I make myself choose. Funny thing is - we almost left the mountain one behind because it has a small boo boo (in the clouds, there is a tear, see it?) but for a dollar I couldn't leave it. I am so glad I brought it home, the colors are just gorgeous!!

I'm just completely smitten with them! A while back Kevin and I bought a few kits to do some of our own and realized just how time consuming they are. Needless to say, we didn't finish a single one and I now have a new appreciation for how much work gets put into these, even if they are just from a kit!

Do you collect paint by numbers? I know a lot of people do but I'd love to see photos of your collection if you have one!
xoxo

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64 thoughts

  1. paint by numbers are so cool, i always think they have a kind of futuristic style with the block colours, like a robot trying to paint a landscape! so jealous of your collection, the ducks are so good!

    robyncook.com xo

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  2. I have never done a paint by numbers, but the back of my Feist poster is a paint by numbers! I thought that was so cool. The landscape ones you have remind me of Bob Ross, but in pop art form I guess. Hahaha.

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  3. What a great collection. I now have three in mine. When it gets a little bigger, I will do a post and share with you! :) I agree that these are amazing because they are 1) fun to hunt for; 2) affordable when thrifted; and 3) just plain pretty! :)

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  4. Paint and color by number were my favorite things to do as a kid. I haven't done them in ages though. I think I might stop by the thrift store to see if I can find any that are unopened.

    Daydreams & Destinies

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    1. if you can't find any - craft stores have tons to choose from! so many pretty landscapes and horses!

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  5. That ship one is super pretty!

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  6. Those look so cool! It would be neat to add some vintage-textual element that identified the location in the painting. Great collection!

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  7. I never would have even considered a paint by numbers collection - but they look absolutely amazing in your house! So unique and fun! Thanks for always making me re-think things and also think outside my box!

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  8. The sailing ship brings back a flood of memories from my childhood! My parents had that same ship hanging over our living room sofa when I was a little girl (1960s). I always just took it for granted and never even thought that my mother may have painted it.

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  9. My Steady collects horse paint by numbers, and when he moved in back in the fall, I inherited them, so to speak. When I look at them sometimes I feel as though we're '70s-era 15-year-olds.

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  10. When I was little my grandma bought me pain by numbers and I did a lot of them. I love painting and they are my favorite...and your right, a lot of work goes into them. I love your collection :)

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  11. I love your collection! Even though they're all so different they look great together. I'm definitely going to keep my eyes open for them when I'm thrifting.

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  12. I LOVE that picture of your couch with your cats and the paint by numbers!!! So cute! Also, I think this is a great collection. I have just one of those, my best friend made it for me, it's a cat drinking out of a fishbowl. I would buy some more but I don't think it's such a big thing in the Netherlands, I have never seen any at the thrift store.

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  13. The tree painting is my favourite!

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  14. i collect them too! i need to take photos of my collection. I have mostly animal ones. and like you, i only really like to pick them up for cheap.

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  15. i collect them too. i think one of my ship paintings is the same one you have. ive got about 13 now and i have them all haning on one wall in my house. everytime i bring a new one home my husband rolls his eyes..."how much was it?" hehe. i cant attach a picture here that i can tell so ill put one up on my blog sometime today (www.ezzi-ink.blogspot.com)

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  16. I can't tell you how many of these I have painted as a kid. Living with my grandparents in the summertime, any rainy day I could be found doing those paint by numbers or hanging with my Grandpa using power tools.

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  17. I love paint by numbers! There was the most interesting chapter about them in a book I read on 50's visual culture called "As Seen on TV", by Karal Ann Marling. I've found a couple pieces that I like, but your area must have had more talented weekend painting enthusiasts than mine, all your pictures are GORGEOUS!Thanks for sharing your (good!) examples!

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  18. I love how they all look together! I want to hate the idea of paint by numbers, but they really do look fantastic. Great collection! x

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  19. I love paint by number pictures, I have two that my great uncle painted in my house and they are one of my favourite things! You can see them here http://goodnightprudence.blogspot.com/

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  20. Love them! Did you know Andy Warhol did a few paintings that were meant to look like paint-by-numbers paintings? He left some of the numbers blank. Here's a photo of one of them...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/wallyg/2372454142/

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  21. Paint by number paintings always make me think of my grandfather. He used to spend hours working on them. My mother and I used to search for elaborate or unique kits to bring him when we visited. I really wish I had one of his finished paintings now.

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  22. I remember when I was younger I loved painting these! You have a really beautiful collection!

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  23. I want to start a collection- I'll snatch one if I ever see it in a thrift shop! I have yet to see one, though... maybe I frequent the wrong shops? I'm asking my hubby's granny to leave us a few of hers in her will. OK, maybe not seriously... but I definitely admire them every time we visit Gran.

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  24. Wow! Your collection is so great! xo, rv

    http://aneclecticheap.blogspot.com/

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  25. wow these are beautiful! I had no idea that paint by numbers was anything more than a way to keep a child occupied. I think the ship is definitely my favorite - it looks super intricate! I kind of want to steal it from you and start my own collection ;)

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  26. I am a fellow auction lover and scored these two pictures for around $5!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/whimsicalwoodland/4417319134/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/whimsicalwoodland/4417319172/in/photostream/

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  27. Love them. Your house looks amazing.
    www.nerdburgerjewellery.blogspot.com

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  28. I hadn't come across paint by numbers but I've been swooning over the arrangement above your sofa for a while now :) I'd been looking for images like it to decorate my doll houes with and now thanks to you I know what search term to use :D Time for a miniature makeover!

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  29. The thing I love about paint-by-numbers is how the colors are all distinct and not blended. The clouds in the ship painting are the best thing ever with their rainbow of pastel colors. I don't have any myself, but I always admire them.

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  30. these are beautiful! I noticed this wall in a photo from a previous post so it's really great that you took some close up photos. Lovely!

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  31. The ship one reminds me of the Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the painting that was their way into Narnia that time!<3
    Lovely collection!

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  32. I've seen mention of this before...hmm...I think it was on the blog Pamplemousse? Hmm... Either way, that person's collection and yours are just so pretty! It's kind of ironic that putting so many of the same thing together highlight their beauty when you would expect the opposite. I love it! And I also love the frames you put everything in : ]

    (Side note: I watched the movie "Mona Lisa Smile" today and this post made me think of the paint by numbers scene). ; ]

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  33. Ohh, I am so jealous. I love the ship painting.

    http://tinydais.blogspot.com

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  34. I have a "horse weall" similar with thdifted horse paintings/tapestries and I have a paint by numbers one that I adore. Your house is heaven!

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  35. These are really cool! I love the colors. It's way more interesting than just hanging some generic print art you can get anywhere

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  36. I have a vintage PBN of the Last Supper that has been calling my name from the closet for years. All the paints are completely dried out, so I've gon back and forth a million times on whether to create a brand new palette, or to figure it all out from the box cover. Still undecided.

    OH and

    PBN + clock kits = tons of fun for everyone.

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  37. I love the ship! I did a pretty big paint by number a few years ago of Venice after I got back from Italy. I've been wanting to do another and looked at hobby lobby and I haven't seen any that I just love. I always look at thrift stores for them and haven't been able to find any. Great collection!!

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  38. Fantastic! I don't seem to see paint by numbers on my thrifting trips. Maybe the better spotters got there first! Inspired by your collection, I'm going to start keeping a better eye out for them. I love how they all look together on your wall.

    Loulou

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  39. These are all gorgeous! What an interesting collection.

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  40. These are gorgeous. Makes me want to find some kits to paint myself.

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  41. I've never heard of anyone collecting paint by number paintings.. but now I see why you would! This looks awesome!

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  42. I also collect paint by numbers but my collection isn't nearly as vast and lovely as yours!! I've been having a hard time finding them for decent prices here in Boston, I'm hoping to do a little thrifting elsewhere to see if my luck will change. Love them!

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  43. Those are really nice! I bought a kit before Christmas with the idea of completing it and giving it to a friend for Christmas...Its soooo time consuming! I cant imagine finishing one and then selling it at a garage sale or taking it to the thrift store...you'd have to be out of your mind! ha! I want to finish mine because Im curious to know if it would turn out looking as good as the ones you have...or if there is some sort of Paint By Numbers skill that a person must be gifted with...
    Thanks for sharing!

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  44. I also collect paint by numbers, although I try to stick with cutesy and animal themed ones. My two favorites that I have are a big eyed ballerina and a totally rad horse. I once stumbled upon this amazing estate sale that was FULL of awesomeness: 1960s Christmas decorations, mid-century furniture, and billions of paint by numbers. I had to duke it out with another lady for a gigantic mountain scene. It was the biggest paint by number I had ever seen, seriously like 5 feet across. She ended up buying it. I got a bunch of other awesome stuff though, so I shouldn't complain.

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  45. I love that such a forgotten/mundane thing is so beautiful! Grouped together like this, I love it.

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  46. <3 the ship at sea! What a great collection!!

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  47. I am officially jealous! Your collection is fantastic!!! Yes, I have a collection... well a trio (that has taken me so so long to find). You can see them on my blog here: http://awonderfullifeinfullframe.blogspot.com/2012/02/paint-by-number.html Will keep searching every chance I get. My problem is that I too try to find the steal of a deal of these... just can't spend the big bucks for them... it is the thrill of the hunt.

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  48. I've just started collecting them. They're not very popular in Aus. I did find and start my collection with two gorgeous kitten pics a few weeks ago. I now really want one of a deer beside a stream. Do you have any deer ones?

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  49. What a wonderful collections! Those are really amazing paintings. Loved & inspired all the collections!

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  50. Oh my dear goodness, I wish there was more of a prevalence of these things around here (Australia) so that I could have some of them on my walls!
    I love the crispness of paint by numbers, they're a little bit like vectors, but with a lot more love and personality in them.

    So lovely :)

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  51. Me, too! I have two gorgeous ones that you can see in the link below, if you're interested. One is a lovely autumn woodland with a deer standing by a river, the other is a beautiful summer day in front of a tall mountain and there's a man fishing!

    xx.

    http://jeezejulia.com/2012/02/23/modswap/

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  52. I'm crazy jealous of your beautiful collection!! :) I've been hunting for them here to no avail...I need a ship in my life! I've been thinking about painting one, too - I remember my mom used to have these gorgeous horse ones, it would be dreamy to find a vintage set and paint it with new mixed-to-match paint (since I'm sure it'd be all dry and crackly)... :) one day!

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  53. I've never heard of anyone collecting these before! They look amazing though.

    I had a teddy bear paint-by-numbers when I was a kid. I was so impressed with how it turned out.

    Becky
    xx

    http://www.beckybedbug.com

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  54. I'm up to about 20 and have them hanging on both sides of my stairwell, similar to what you've done. I also love find ing them on the cheap, but it's so hard to do so anymore!!

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  55. I started out with 2 that my dad painted in the 60's and have about 8 now. They are so hard to find in my area, but I love it when I do!

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  56. Back in my early teens I used to make a few paint by numbers and they might not be so challenging but they are definitely time consuming! You have a gorgeous collection out here, it reminds me of Elsie's collection: http://abeautifulmess.typepad.com/my_weblog/2010/07/mini-home-tour.html how beautiful do those look on your walls! :)

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  57. Wow that is a good deal! The ones I find are always priced like 30 bucks!!!

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  58. I love this. My grandmother was actually buried with a paint by numbers that she had done and was very proud of (along with her bowling trophies)

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  59. I love your collection so much, that I decited I want to create such paintings myself :) best wishes from the Netherlands xMM

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