Whether you travel in the car around your state, or have a chance to do international travel to popular or exotic places, chances are you may come home with a few souvenirs. I know people who collect shot glasses, spoons, or t-shirts from the Hard Rock Cafe. My own preference follows the dictum of William Morris, who said “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” I add to that “or interesting and unusual.” Also, I’d rather my item be made in the country I bought it in. An item bought in France and made in China just seems…tacky. (My mother-in-law once bought me a large wooden cowbell. Made in India. While she was in San Francisco.)
I know people who have furnished their house with antiques and fixtures that they acquired abroad. That’s out of my budget. . Here’s how I have collected and displayed some of my trip memories. They need to fit in my carry-on!
Most of my souvenirs are my photos. As I have upgraded my cameras over the years, and get better quality photos, I’ve used many of them to display memories. After sorting and discarding the ones that are blurry or boring, I store them all on SmugMug.com (I tried out several sites before picking this one, and I’ve used it for several years.) Almost every piece of artwork in my house is either a photo I’ve taken, or that friends have supplied, family portraits, and inexpensive artwork I’ve picked up from street artists or museum gift shops. Below are a few of the photo collections I have:
If you look at the second photo above in the lower right-hand corner, you might be able to tell that it’s a picture of a corner sidewalk cafe, taken in Paris by my son Richard. My other son Travis and I were sitting at the table have a mid-day snack. A couple of years ago, I received this watercolor, painted by Richard and framed by Travis. Sorry for the bit of glare from the glass, but I didn’t want to remove to photograph.
The photo below is from a fish vendor in Paris. Kitty took this picture, and when I saw it, it reminded me very much of buying scallops at a market in Montmartre, before I knew Kitty! I asked to buy a copy, but she graciously let me use it free of charge. It’s hanging in my kitchen.
My next post will be about some of the other items I have collected from my trips. How do you display your souvenirs?