Lisa Jacobs' Japanese Stacking Coffee Mugs

Categories: Collections
Jacobsmugs_550.jpg
Claire Lawton
Now that's a cute mug shot.
Lisa Jacobs just finished cleaning more than 100 mugs.

"It's a good thing you came over," she said, polishing off her last floral printed ones. "I've been looking for an excuse to dust them off ... "

By day she's a K-8 art teacher. But by night and weekend she's busy creating clothes and accessories that she sells at Conspire. And oh yeah, you might also recognize her as the Sticker Club Girl. Every Tuesday, she hosts "Sticker Club," where a handful of craft-o-philes draw, paint, knit and sew in her backyard.

Jacobs' house is a museum of collections -- brass butterflies decorate her living room walls and antique dishes and ashtrays are carefully displayed in, on and around her bookshelves. We didn't even get to see her collection of antique fabrics because we were so taken by the large collection of whimsical mugs that lived on the shelf by the patio door.

Jacobsself_550.jpg
Claire Lawton
"I can't bring myself to start shopping for the mugs online because I know I'll go crazy. I'll find every mug on every etsy site and I know I'll have to have them."

So she thrifts -- two to three times per week.
 
Jmugs_550.jpg
Claire Lawton
Her collecting began innocently. She grew up admiring a wire tree in her mom's kitchen. On it hung four Japanese mugs decorated with tiny apple slices.

"My mom and I are opposites. She didn't collect anything, so I grew up admiring collections and wanting my own. I collected antique furniture and stored it on my parents' patio. I had to promise them that I'd take everything when I moved out."

And she did. She also took a job at the Antique Trove -- a place that inspired collection-envy at a young age (even today, she says she gets jealous when her friends find vintage stacking mugs around town).

Fifteen years after her first find (the one she's holding in the photo), she's at least one hundred mugs wiser. She was counting as she washed, but lost the number when her service guy came over to fix the air-conditioning.

"I'm constantly creating things during school and at home," she says while re-arranging a few of the mugs on the top shelf, "but collecting is like my hidden talent."

We're on the hunt! If you have an unusual collection or know someone who does, leave the info in the comments section ...

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