Nurse Sally Nissen
Collecting kitchenalia is something I can’t stop. I pick up all sorts of kitchen items in my travels. My interest started around the time I moved to Brisbane from Nambour [Sunshine Coast] to study my nursing degree at Queensland University of Technology.
I started op-shopping with my sister [Paula, 36], which we still do together when we get the chance. I find items from op shops, antique shores and online. One of my favourite places is Paddington Antique Centre [in Brisbane’s inner west, which has just celebrated its 30th anniversary]. I’m there, on average, once a month. There’s another awesome op shop at Ulmarra, in northern NSW.
I love anything orange and I have lots of orange items, including canisters, kitchen scales, butter dishes, a milk jug, sugar container, cake server, mixing bowls, serving bowls and a bread bin. I have 11 different collections of canisters that make up about 50 individual pieces. One of the collections is an orange and yellow sunflower canister set I inherited from my husband’s grandmother [Berenice] when she died a few years ago.
My husband [Paul, 37] collects cigarette cases and shot glasses. We shop together sometimes. Paul and I met at the Normanby Hotel [at Red Hill, inner-west Brisbane] and three years ago we eloped to Las Vegas. About a year later, we had an Alice in Wonderland- themed celebration in our back yard, and I wore a ’50s-inspired white dress with a pink petticoat.
I also collect snow globes – I have about 50; I buy one wherever we travel and Paul buys a shot glass. Babushka dolls are another item I collect and I have about 15 from places such as New Zealand, Dubai, Germany, Prague, and an Alice in
Wonderland one from Melbourne. I may not know the story behind each item but I’m sure there is some meaning and history behind it all. I also buy vintage handbags, old sewing paraphernalia, material, books, clothes, material, jewellery and accessories.
Mum [Pam, 60] used to sew all our clothes when we were kids and when I’m not busy with work – at Princess Alexandra Hospital [South Brisbane], in infection control – I try to make some of my clothes. I also make stuffed animals or bibs for friends’ babies. I can’t help pick up things as I go.
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I like having older stuff. I may not know the story behind each item but I’m sure there is some meaning and history.