my collection of curiosities - The Dainty Squid

my collection of curiosities

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sharing my vanity the week before last inspired me to share another corner of my office before the whole room tour. I know I've showcased my collection of curiosities a few times here on the blog (see here + here) but it's an ever-changing ever-growing kind of thing, and I just really love sharing photos of these things. I collect a lot of things but these might be some of my favorites.
skulls, pig skull, bonescollection of teeth, skullsoddities, skulls, dead butterflies
 My last apartment was essentially perfect for my collection of oddities so I was little nervous that anything after that just wouldn't compare. While this place doesn't have awesome built in cabinets, I do have a lot more room to spread out my collection. I loved having it all in one room, kind of like a mini museum but since this apartment is much larger I've been able to spread out my collection. What's in this cabinet is all my natural type stuff. Real teeth, bones, skulls, dead butterflies, whiskers, claws, a snake skin, etc.

The current pride of my collection are the whiskers, seen in the fourth photo. I've been collecting them for a few years now and it's still so strangely satisfying to find them. Even if it usually happens when I'm laying on the carpet stretching and one pokes into me. I even have a few of Klaus' that I've found in his bedding.

Someday I'd love to make everything look more organized. I love the way it's sort of chaotic but the idea of labeling everything including what year they're from, what they are, and where they came from has popped into my head quite a few times lately. Maybe when I grow old I'll be able to have my own little museum that will be on Roadside America. "Ms. Kaylah's marvelous collection of oddities." The description will be something about a green haired old lady with colorful wrinkly tattoos who has tons of weird stuff you can go inside her place and see for a small fee. Hehe!
A super quick Q+A of things that always get asked:
Where do you get all those things? Here and there! Estate sales, ebay, the trash (seriously...), and sometimes folks are even nice enough to send me things that would fit in my collection perfectly. Yes, I am totally interested in any dentures, teeth, or weird things you may find!
Did you kill all those butterflies? No way. I found all of them dead on the beach a few years back. Monarch butterflies migrate and sometimes they just don't make it. No idea what caused so many to die there that day but there were tons.
Did you kill  _____? Nope, everything in my collection was found dead.
Do you clean your own skulls? I do.
Will you share a tutorial on cleaning skulls? I've thought long and hard about this one and I've come to the conclusion it's probably not really the best idea since it is a rather gross hobby. I also have yet to find any super comprehensive tutorials but as soon as I do I will link to them in case anyone is interested.

I'm excited to share the rest of this room, and then the rest of my collections. This place is pretty darn cute, I'm super proud of how it's coming along.
xoxo

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48 thoughts

  1. One of my favorite posts lately!! I love that you share your awesome hobby with all of us! The way you display everything looks fantastic! I hope it never stops growing!

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  2. LOVE! I recently tried a "Home-Minimizing" challenge to clean up my clutter a bit. But, truth be told, I love these sorts of oddities! The way you displayed them is a real treasure trove. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Erika

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  3. I LOVE your collection so much! The dead lizard is so cute! I think your jars of oddities might be my favorite part and that butterfly collection...just...wow :)

    I love your Roadside America idea too-that would be the coolest!

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    1. Thanks so much, Mindi! I'm rather fond of all the things in jars too.

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  4. I really hope you'll find/write a tutorial on cleaning bones because I've recently developed an interest in bones and the like (thanks to you) and I'm not sure how to go about cleaning them, and I'd love to hear about methods and what to do and not do from someone that does it!

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    1. There are lots of tutorials online about cleaning bones! I just haven't found anything that I feel covers *everything*

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  5. great collection!
    i'd pay monies...

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    1. Hehe, well I'll be sure to announce it when I open a museum in my house! :P

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  6. I love your collection! It's just amazing.

    I am super interested in cleaning skulls/bones but I haven't find a good tutorial from someone that does it in an apt in the city. That could also be that my google skills have been lacking lately.

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    1. I don't do it in the city. It smells way too bad. I do all my bone cleaning at my parents out in the country.

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  7. Your collection is just great! So many lovely and interesting things! I understand your decision to not share the bone cleaning process, but I am very interested in trying it myself! I have tried a few times with birds, but my process was quite amateur and didn't really turn out great. Could you recommend some resources for a newbIe to bone cleaning? Thanks for having such an interesting blog, I really love it!

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    1. Thanks!

      I don't have off the top of my head but google will be your best friend. I'm sure there are some out there that should be of help.

      PS. If you're in the US be careful with birds. A majority of them are protected and illegal to have ANY part of. :)

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    2. I will, and I haven't heard of anything of the sort in Norway, so I think I'll be fine :D Thanks for the heads up anyway :)

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  8. My best friend has a shelf very similar! I love your skulls, definitely my favorite.

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  9. I can't believe you have a full snake "skin"! Those jars are my favourite the one with the snake skin and the one with the butterflies :)

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    1. Isn't that so awesome?! I actually got the snake skin in the mail from a pal. It's one of my favorite things.

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  10. Such a beautiful collection! I'm and slowly filling my classroom with curiosities too. :D

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  11. What a morbidly beautiful collection!

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  12. Such a beautiful collection!!!! An opossum died in our yard this year and I tried to find it to send you the skull... but I think another critter got to it before I could find it. That jar of monarchs is stunning!

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    1. Haha! Well it's the thought that counts! :)

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  13. I think you would really enjoy this webseries: The Brain Scoop. https://www.youtube.com/user/thebrainscoop/videos?flow=list&view=0&sort=da There's a series of episodes where they process a wolf for a museum collection: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLL8_5VpX9TxqmWlfuT-RgSHRqUc0TGxnw Super interesting stuff.

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  14. Your collection is so fascinating and amazing! :)

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  15. I absolutely adore your collection! Maybe someday my own will live up to yours, its so awesome having interesting things around the house to enjoy and talk about. I have a few bone pieces here and there, but unfortunately living in California I am suuuper limited on what I'm legally allowed to own. Bummer! For now I'm mostly sticking to insects, beetles in particular. More, someday!

    the beetle girl

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  16. i love that little jar of cat whiskers. i want some but even with three cats i've NEVER found one!

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    1. Seriously?! I always seem to find them when I change my sheet, or in the carpet when I'm laying on the floor.

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  17. I find your collections so inspiring.

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  18. I have a question: How do you keep that area clean? Of dust, cat/dog hair, etc? I swear, I have smaller, similar display areas in my apartment (which also has two cats and a dog) and dusting just doesn't seem to do the trick, especially on the skulls.

    Do you wipe things down with a damp rag every week or so? Or are you just super lucky with your dusting? It probably doesn't always look as spotless as it does for a photoshoot like this, but I'd still love to know. Thanks! =)

    Kim

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    1. The cabinet actually has glass doors so things really don't get dusty.

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  19. This is so awesome. The butterfly jar is envy inducing, but it also piques my curiosity, I need to know what happened to them all!

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  20. i love seeing your collections! you have so many amazing things! :-) xx

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  21. Ok so... weird question, but how often do you have to dust? And what have you found works best for dusting fragile and porous items? Right now I only display my gems and minerals because cleaning them is at least straight forward!

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    1. I actually never dust that. The cabinet has glass doors so it doesn't get dusty.

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  22. Wow, the crocodile head is awesome!

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  23. This collection is so great! I'd love it if you did a tutorial for cleaning skulls but I totally get why you might not want to. Interesting to read the comment that keeping some bird parts in the US is illegal, should probably go check out my own laws...

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  24. If you ever get a chance to visit NY I'd love to take you to Evolution. It's full of wonders like these, but packed into a tiny two story shop. I know you'd love it!

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  25. LOVE this post! Keep 'em coming! We'd love stories of each individual piece, too!

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  26. I adore your whole collection of curiosities, but I especially love your jar of butterflies.

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