Keep It Strict, Keep It Small: Limiting Collections

I love matryoshkas, with their rosy cheeks, darling headscarves, and cheerful apron-wearing can-do attitude. But how to avoid receiving only matryoshka-themed gifts for the rest of my life and having an apartment cluttered with them?A quick look through Etsy reveals 2,854 handmade results for "matryoshka", and Ebay boasts 3,784 results for "nesting doll". It could get so out of hand, so quickly. When I decided I would like to bring matryoshkas back into my life (I had a gorgeous set as a child, still packed away at my parents house), I quickly laid down some parameters:

  • Orphaned matryoshkas only! No full sets or mostly-complete sets, just independent little ladies in need of a good home.

  • Traditional hand-painted folk-style is a must. No cats or Chicago Bulls. Classic, simple, Russian, flowers, headscarves- you get the idea.

  • Cost is definitely a concern. I don't think I've paid more than $10 including shipping for any of mine, and would like to keep it that way. It's tough with such tempting ones out there, but I can't drop $18 on matryoshkas! I will definitely be keeping an eye on this cutie, though.

So far I've only found 3 matryoshkas that fit these parameters, acquiring a new one about every nine months. But I must confess that there have been, of course, some exceptions to these rules: the chocolate nesting doll from my friend Sarah, the silver matryoshka necklace made by my friend Holly, the holiday cards I sent last winter, and probably a few others as well. There's no point in being too strict, right?

Image: Tess Wilson