Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Displaying Collections

There are quite a few things that I collect...hopefully not in that I'm-a-crazy-packrat way, but things that I have made into a display or hope to someday.

1. Coasters and matchbooks
I have a cool shadow box of all of the coasters I've collected. I think I originally got the idea from a Pottery Barn photo where they filled one with postcards, but I can't find it. Most of the coasters were picked up from local pubs, but there are some good ones in there. My favorite is the one from Harry's Bar in Florence.

I've been collecting matchbooks as well, which are harder to pick up on travels now that they have to be checked in your luggage. I prefer matches over the coasters because although they're smaller, they usually have the location on them and it's easy to pick up several on any given trip. Once I had enough, I was planning on putting them all in a matching shadow box and displaying it with the coasters. After seeing this photo though, I might have to change my mind!

2. Postcards

I collect postcards for pretty much everywhere I go (they are pretty cheap in terms of collections), and loooove receiving them. (Hint hint.) I had been looking for the perfect multi-opening mosaic frame (all the same size openings) to put these in for quite a while when my mom got me one last year for Christmas. I've ended up putting photos in it instead (I think the postcards might be a little too big anyway), so I'm still looking for something creative for these. I might try to find matching frames (hello, IKEA) for all of them, but there's still the issue of variance in size. But after seeing this on Apartment Therapy, I was thinking an adaptation of it to make it look more like a clothesline would be charming - plus, you could flip them over to see the message any time you felt like it. Easy peasy!

3. Corks

I remember seeing corks collected prettily in a hurricane globe in, again, a Pottery Barn catalog, and I think SIL saves these too. (I think she might make a trivet with them?) I originally thought about saving them to make cork escort cards for the wedding like the one below. (We certainly would have had enough over the course of the year, and it would've been super cute if we'd had the reception at a vineyard I considered.)
via flickr

I've saved only a couple here and there, so I asked the caterer at our wedding reception to save all of the corks from our wine bottles. She probably thought I was crazy. I really should have asked her to save them from the champagne bottles instead. Champagne corks are much more...cushier. (Although you could make neat patterns displaying a wine cork sideways.) I know I kept one from the first bottle of champagne that was given to us when we got engaged, and I know I've kept some others related to celebrating our nuptials. I like that they symbolize such happy moments. (Although I saved one tonight from dinner with the in-laws that we broke out just to celebrate Wednesday.) I really am that crazy packrat, aren't I. Anyway, thoughts on something to do with them? Maybe a trivet or some kind of bulletin board.

4. Maps

I don't collect maps per se, but we always keep the fold-up maps (and good brochures, ticket stubs, etc.) from trips. Right now all of the travel mementos are in plastic bags or folders, where eventually they hope to make their way into a scrapbook. (And I mean eventually.) How cute is this?via Chris Kenny

If I were ever able to save up enough museum tags (the ones you put on your shirt), that'd be really cool to display in a grid, since they're all roughly the same size and are usually colorful.

5. Sand
This one's my favorite. An aunt of mine had a sand collection of beaches she had been to on her mantle, and I loved looking at (and touching) the differences from the whitest, smooth sand to a black, grainy sand. I didn't start collecting them myself until a few years ago, and it's amazing to see the difference in sand from beaches on the same island! I totally am the crazy person who's scared to be stopped in customs for taking foreign soil. (That doesn't count, right?) I think DH's embarrassed when I do it, so I have to be sneaky about it. According to this guy, who's a pretty big sand collector, it's technically illegal. I should pretend to be doing scientific research like he suggests! (He makes a good point on his site about sand collecting being a free hobby -- much better than spending $5 on a magnet or a keychain everywhere you go.)

Now, I boxed these up when I moved last year and haven't yet located the box they were in. I'm really hoping nothing happened to them because a) I had some really good ones, and b) the friends that hiked forever with me to get the sand when we were at Atlantis resort in Nassau on a cruise would kill me if they found out I lost it. (They were nice about it, considering a) the directions we followed to get to the beach totally took us wayyyy out of the way, when if we had kept walking through the ginormous hotel we would have made it to the entrance of the public beach, since they won't let you on the private one; and b) the sand should really count since we didn't actually go to the beach that day, but I'm making it count because I wanted to go to the beach.)

What do you think makes something collectable? I seem to tend toward things that remind me of somewhere I've been, don't yell "tourist" (hello, thimbles), and are inexpensive. What do you collect?

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