Natchez woman hooked on putting like things together

Published 11:58 pm Sunday, February 15, 2009

NATCHEZ — The Dart has found a number of collectors through the years, but when it landed on Hampton Court it found Stella Ford, who doesn’t just collect — she collects collections.

The first hint was in her yard. A casual passerby might think that the snowmen out front were Christmas decorations that never made it back into the house, but that’s not the case. There are snowmen in the house, too.

“I always do a theme for the time of year,” Ford said. “I’ll keep the snowmen until March, and then I’ll put out pink flamingoes for the summer.”

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It’s in the house where Ford’s collection enthusiasm is most obvious. Porcelain angels stand at attention atop shelves, cows sit atop her refrigerator and swing in the kitchen window, cookie jars and Coca-Cola memorabilia abound.

But Ford is no packrat. Things are in order, and some of the collections — cows, Coca-Cola and cookie jars — overlap.

“I don’t like to have a whole lot of different things, but I like to have several themes to go together,” she said.

The collection collecting started approximately 15 years ago, when someone gave her a canister decorated as a cow that would let out a moo when she opened it.

“I had a friend who collected cows, and I always thought, ‘Who would want to collect cows?’” Ford said. “But when I got that canister, I was hooked.”

Collecting is a hobby, but Ford said she believes having a collection for a given part of the house is good decorating.

“To me, they make the house feel lived in and happy,” she said.

And with decorating in mind, she has begun to change the colors in her living room and kitchen to match the Coca-Cola memorabilia she keeps there.

“I just like putting colors together,” she said.

At first, her impulse to expand her collections was a passion.

“It was kind of like a fever,” Ford said.

But since moving back to the area in 2005, that has quelled considerably because there is not as much interest in her collectibles as there was in California.

“I only add to my collections a couple of times a year now,” she said. “It’s a lot harder to find items around here.”