We all have something—or somewhere—that turns on serotonin just by holding it or seeing it: the woods where you grew up playing hide and seek, a closet full of your mother’s old copper-colored cookie cutters, that room in your house that’s where it feels like most peaceful. In the My Favorite Things feature, we invite residents of Northwest Arkansas to share those special things or places that bring them joy.
We have already described Gina Gallina in this newspaper as a “crochet superstar” – she has been practicing the art since she was 8 years old. Her highly creative projects have included runway shows for Northwest Arkansas Fashion Week; a larger-than-life crocheted strawberry called “Fayetteberry” displayed in front of the Walker-Stone House in Fayetteville; Collaboration with Jeremy Mason McGraw which included an exhibition called “Yarnography” at Bentonville’s Pressroom restaurant in 2013 and later “Yarnolutionary” where Gallina spectacularly crocheted an event that she calls “a Marie Antoinette style ball meets at.” Pee-Wee-Herman” featured six crocheted dresses, wigs and even chandeliers; the “yarn bombing” of the fabled bar Maxine’s in Fayetteville, where she and a team of fellow crocheters covered every square inch of the brick building; and her Queen Bee dress – a stunning full skirt ball gown with a bee motif – which was designed for Vogue Knitting Live and earned her national acclaim.
However, Gallina’s creativity finds other avenues as well, as in her colorful vintage Tupperware collection.
What I collect: I love collecting vintage Tupperware and vintage crochet doilies/magazines.
What excites you about these articles? Vintage Tupperware is simply beautiful. They don’t make the same colors anymore and Tupperware is very useful.
Did you collect these things on purpose or was it an accidental collection? It all started with me selling vintage items. At some point I couldn’t let it go, and now it’s a thing.
What is the most expensive piece in the collection? That would be the cookie cutter roller of the 1940s. It looks like a hammer, but the ends are measuring cups and knives. It has a small roller at the end for pressing in pie crusts. I’m in love. It’s all white – the original Tupperware before they start adding colour.
What is the cheapest item in the collection? Probably the lime green cheese grater. I see her everywhere. They are amazing! If you see one, you should pick it up.
Where do you find the most items in your collection? flea markets? thrift store? real estate sale? Everywhere, everywhere, everywhere. Mostly thrift stores.
Is there “one that got away”—that is, one that you renounced and didn’t buy? Yes. A canister of Harvest Gold for $20 in Bentonville. I saw it on Facebook Marketplace. (If you’re reading this and it hasn’t sold, please buy it!)
Is your collection complete or not yet complete? If it’s still going, will it ever be finished? When I die the collection will be complete.
What is the most significant piece in your collection and why is it more of an emotional hit? The small Tupperware bowls with lids. They are a series of pastel pinks, yellows and blues. My grandmother used these and they always remind me of them. I also have a huge white round canister. She had the exact same one that she kept all of her famous Italian biscotti (“S” cookies) in. Whenever we visited her house, we would make a short trip to this piece of Tupperware. Also, I loved popping open the Tupperware lids. still do These pieces keep her memory alive in my kitchen. I love how something so simple can bring so much joy and love.
Is there a white whale you’re after? ie is there a specific piece out there somewhere that you are always looking for? I feel like I already have the winning pieces. That’s the thing about Tupperware – there are so many out there. At this point, [I would love] one of the pastels. I’m missing lids for my drinking glasses – it would be great to find them. Everyone should be able to put a lid on their iced tea and toss it across the room without spilling a drop, right?
What are people saying about your collection? Impressive! OK that’s cool.
Will you ever run out of space for your collection and if so, do you have a plan for the event? Have you ever played Tetris? Also, the plan was to remove more modern pieces and incorporate them into regular cabinets.
What else are you collecting? I love old crochet doilies and old patterns. They are beautiful, easy to collect and store. They are a timeless piece of history. Someone took the time to make this loop after loop. I feel like I’ll save her if I find one. I absolutely adore her.
Follow Gina Gallina, her crochet projects and her Tupperware collections on Instagram at ginarosegallina. And send suggestions for your favorite collector to Becca Martin-Brown, Features Editor, at [email protected]