Archives For souvenirs

Nesting Dolls Art

December 5, 2013 — 1 Comment

When I was in high school my Dad went to the Ukraine and brought me back two sets of nesting dolls. I still love them to this day. Maybe you’ve noticed them?

Little House Design: DIY nesting dolls art Little House Design: DIY nesting dolls art So cute right? I managed to keep them alive and well for like 12 years and then came Bob. I shouldn’t be surprised by now, I mean in the two years that I’ve had Bob he’s eaten $300 eye glasses, caused $500 worth of damage to my laptop, and then there there is the priceless damage to my sanity. My nesting dolls probably didn’t cost much but I really like them, so when I came home the three mini ones chewed up on the floor I was upset.

Have I mentioned Bob sucks? That dog is going to be the end of me.

Little House Design: DIY nesting dolls art But dang it if he isn’t super cute.

Anyway, the three mini-dolls were on my campaign dresser in that spot for like six months and then one day, just one day, he decides to eat them. Trust me, he got an earful (but no physical damage, I swear).

Little House Design: DIY nesting dolls art *tear*

*sigh*

Moving on…

So I decided to make destruction into art because sometimes art is the only answer.

My original idea was to create a sort of mosaic with all the broken pieces, but like most art projects I changed my mind midway through.

Little House Design: DIY nesting dolls art I bought a shadow box picture frame on sale at Michael’s for $5.99. The background was black so I covered it in a scrap piece of white fabric I had. My plan was to then glue all the pieces of the broken nesting dolls onto the fabric but then I noticed that amid the destruction, four nesting dolls had survived (mostly) unscathed. Then I found a second unexpected thing.

Little House Design: DIY nesting dolls art Inside of each of each nesting doll there was a tiny piece of paper, two of which survived the Bob mauling. I’m completely aware that these are the tags that come with some products that say “made in China” or “inspected by Veronica”, but come on, they have a cool design! they are in a foreign language! written in pretty script! And let’s be honest, they had me at tiny paper.

And then I called it a day. I kept all the little pieces and maybe some day I will do my original idea, but I like that I was able to save and display some of the original dolls. Bonus: Bob cannot get to them!

So where did I hang it up?

Little House Design: DIY nesting dolls art Little House Design: DIY nesting dolls art The bathroom, naturally.

 

 

 

Guys Ladies People, I love buying souvenirs. I know it’s lame and expensive, but I just can’t help myself. I love to travel and buying little things helps me remember all my fun trips. This past summer some friends and I went to Seattle to visit a friend of ours and it was such a great trip! Seattle is a very cool city. I’ve always wanted to visit the city and it finally happened. We also got lucky because the weather was super beautiful. We did some shopping but I never found anything that I liked enough to buy. Until I got to this bar and I saw their coasters. I know, weird. But they were those throwaway cardboard kind so I took two home with me. I didn’t really have a plan for them so they sat in a pile of random crap for the past five months. Then I unofficially decided to start updating my gallery walls and I put two and two together.

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All I did was tape two coasters to a piece of card stock so nothing super creative, but I actually really like it. This is exactly what I am looking to do with my gallery walls, update from the filler stuff (formally this frame housed a free printable I downloaded online and printed on crappy printer paper) and move toward gallery walls that reflect where I am in my life right now.

It’s the best when projects turn out great and it’s the extra best when said project is free!

Kitchen Photographs

October 23, 2013 — 2 Comments

This is my kitchen as of September 2013, enjoy!
Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

A Swiss Souvenir

August 8, 2013 — 1 Comment
I’ve discussed my love of souvenir collecting several times (here and here), but it bears repeating that I love buying things when I’m traveling to bring home and display. My gallery walls are like storyboards of my life so adding things from my travels only makes sense. It all started with my ink and pencil drawing collection but I expanded to other items like a painted feather from Mexico when the right drawing didn’t find me. While in Switzerland I couldn’t find a drawing I liked but I did find something equally cool.

I’m assuming what I got is considered very touristy in Switzerland but since I live in Indiana and I know very few people who’ve ever been to Switzerland I don’t think too many people will judge me. I decided to place it on the big blank blue wall in my bedroom which is currently awaiting further direction. Until I decide what I want this wall to function as, a little 3M hook makes my new piece temporary eye candy.

Have you ever seen a fabric calendar before? It felt nostalgic to get this piece for several reasons. One, it is a good reminder of my trip (the chalet I stayed in is very similar to the one depicted) and two, my Grandma used to have fabric calendars and she even made me a quilt of them once (which is now in storage because it is threadbare). I especially like all the iconic imagery in black and white, it’s graphic while still being sweet and vintage looking. Also, as soon as I saw it I knew it would look insane against my blue wall. Switzerland is surprisingly expensive, but I’m really glad I decided to grab this piece.

(If you are annoyed with how blurry these pictures are you may direct your complaints to my cast, which makes taking pictures a nearly futile adventure.)

In my last post I shared about my mini-collection of travel drawings. This post will be all about other types of souvenirs. It isn’t necessary to buy stuff when you travel but most people do. There is a whole industry based on it after all. On my most recent trip to Mexico I took a city tour of Cozumel and the tour guide said that the only employer on the island is tourism… crazy, right? A whole island whose only major employer is people like you and me who go there and spending money. My guide to buying a good souvenir is this: it should be something beautiful and functional. Simple, right? Here are a few examples of my functional and beautiful souvenirs that tell a story about my travels.

I tried my hardest to find a pencil drawing when I was in Mexico. I really, really wanted one for my collection but there were just none to be found. Thankfully at the last minute I came across this amazing booth of feather paintings. I’d never heard of painting on feathers before but apparently it is a Mayan art. They wouldn’t let me take pictures but there were some crazy cool ones like The Last Supper on a peacock feather. I chose a dark blue duck feather with a painted gold Mayan calendar. I had just gone to a Mayan ruin and learned all about the Mayan calendar so it was apropos for me to get it. What I particularly love about it is that the colors are great. The deep blue feather and the gold paint look amazing together. It came framed so I didn’t have to worry about getting it framed immediately which was nice. The last photo is where I hung it my house. It looks great on my gallery wall.

The second thing I bought in Mexico was this painted ceramic skull. They were everywhere in Mexico. The vendors didn’t like tourist to take pictures so I can’t show you here but there were a lot to choose from. I can’t say exactly why I chose this particular one. Like I said these skulls were everywhere and at first I didn’t buy one because I wasn’t sure what I would use it for. And like my souvenir buying guideline says whatever you buy should be ‘functional’ and I wasn’t sure what function a painted skull would serve in my home… but then, it hit me. A bookend! Here you can see it serving its function beautifully on the bookcase in my bedroom.

Have you ever been to New Orleans? If you have then you’ll instantly recognize this as the symbol of the city, a fleur de lis. And since it is the symbol of the city it is on everything. Seriously, everything. Underwear, plates, magnets, wineglasses, etc. I was there for a week so I had plenty of time to look around. I found this metal hook in a very cool shop. It looks great in my kitchen and it’s the perfect place to hang my dog’s leash. Another perfectly beautiful and functional souvenir.

It’s hard to see in this picture but the vignette on the dresser has two souvenirs. The first is this piece of coral.

This piece of coral is from The Outer Banks, North Carolina. Did you know there is coral in the ocean there? I sure didn’t, but there were lots of shops that had coral like this. I wanted one of those super huge pieces but they were upwards of $50. This little piece (about 5″ in diameter) was around $15. I’ve had it for about four years and it has held up surprisingly well. It is definitely more beautiful than functional but I think it is a great souvenir. It evokes that beachy feeling and it can be used in so many places. I’ve used it as a bookend, on a nightstand, and currently it is decorating the top of my red lacquer jewelry box. The second item is the red picture frame.

Yes, those are the iconic Mickey ears. The secret’s out… I’m a Disney-girl! Will you still read my blog? Just kidding, you’d better. I grew up going to Disney World, but unlike most people my family still goes even though my siblings and I are all grown. We are, unashamedly, a “Disney family” but my parent’s house isn’t all Disney-fied like some Disney lovers’ homes. We try and show some restraint when we are there. No one knows how to market their products like Disney so it is really hard not to buy everything in sight. For how many times I’ve been to the parks it is pretty amazing that I only have two Disney things out in my house. The first is that little red picture frame. I love it. It isn’t for everyone but I love read and despite being a cartoon character those Mickey ears are a classic symbol. The second is another picture frame that is hanging in my living room.

It is very subtle. The Mickey influence is there but it’s not too crazy. And it’s such a sweet picture of my brother riding the teacups. Picture frames can be a really cool souvenir. Most obviously because you can put a picture of your trip in it but also because it is my personal opinion that homes can’t have too many picture frames. I always try and choose frames that are a solid color and aren’t glaringly obvious about where they are from. Okay… maybe the Mickey frames are a little obvious, but some rules are meant to be broken 🙂

This post has become confession time because I have another one… I’m obsessed with miniatures. I mean, …it’s bad. I have to repeat to myself over and over again when faced with teeny tiny things… “Step away from the miniatures. Step away from the miniatures.” Miniatures are a slippery slope because you start out with one and the next thing you know you’re on Hoarders. They are like Pringles and Oreos, one is never enough. But again I am good at breaking my own rules, or at least talking my way around them. A couple of years ago I went to Atlanta and toured the Coca-Cola factory. It was a fun tour and as you can imagine the gift shop was really cool. I limited myself to two purchases. A shot glass and a salt and pepper shaker set. The shot glass is a mini-Coke cup. ADORABLE. I love that pale green glass. I didn’t have a shot glass before and sometimes it is nice to have one around (you know, after a hard day). I will admit that this is my second set of salt and pepper shakers but the nice thing about these is that the holes are small so I use them on the dining table. My other set has a lot of holes and pours really fast so I use those for salting large things I’m cooking and this set for guests. That was a long-winded post but I hope you were a little inspired to buy cool things next time you travel. Remember: beauty and function will never disappoint.