Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Best Souvenir Ever

Every other year or so, our little family of three loads down the Jeep with what seems like too much stuff, setting out for a road trip of great proportions.  While we always plan which hotels we'll be using ahead of time, we don't really have much of a solid agenda until we get where we're going.  I always sit down and research all of the possibilities in each hub several weeks before we embark and bring a list, from which we choose our adventures as the mood sees fit while we're on the road.  This year, we trekked through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, with our hotels parked in New Orleans, Buloxi, and Orange Beach respectively.  What we brought home with us is what I consider the best souvenir ever...REDECORATING!

About a month before our vacation, my three years of begging finally paid off and I conned the hubby into repainting and redecorating our master bedroom.  We yanked the hideous builder's special ceiling fan down and replaced it with a gorgeous chandelier that looks like a crown.  The walls went from puke-pink to a serene seafoam.  The patio door lost the makeshift blackout shade and was upgraded into a "window" with floor to ceiling drapes.  Our outdated 80s dresser and folky night stands got a facelift, too, with a fresh coat of cream paint, now creating a beautiful matching set.  I even sold my huge jewelry dresser and created an open-air jewelry box out of an old type-set drawer (be on the lookout soon for a DIY post!).  I'm slowly completing the sewing projects this renovation shams and pillows, done.  New bedskirt and skirt for my secretary desk, not so much.  Plus, I'm really trying to save up for a huge furry rug.  But I digress...

While we were out and about meandering throughout the south, I pulled up pinterest on my phone and started hardcore pinning ideas for my new sanctuary.  I like eclectic, mismatched-yet-coordinated pieces that look like they've been collected over time with loving care but reckless abandon.  Only, I want them all NOW.  I found myself repeatedly pinning collections of plates hung on the wall.  So while we were pulled over for a stretch break, I inundated the hubby with as many pristine examples as possible, and much to my surprise, he agreed to hit "a few" antique stores along our path.  Heeheehee.  Got him.

After scouring approximately two thousand antique stores in two weeks, we ended up with a new suitcase full of vintage cake plates, teacup saucers, soap dishes, and photo frames.  We agreed ahead of time to focus on three distinct subject matters:  birds, flowers, and victorian scenes....any of which containing gold accents was a bonus.  We found and purchased any that we loved, not paying too much attention to size other than making sure that we had a good variety of diameters and shapes to work with.  And I got to show Jason my incredible haggling skills...I saved us at least 10-20% on almost everything we found, and over half in some cases!  I knew growing up poor would one day pay off.

Perfection wasn't a requirement for us.  This little lady came from a shop in New Orleans, and she was just too lovely to let that chip in the corner of her frame keep her from coming home with us!

I may be mildly obsessed with birds.  I had to have this one because it makes me looks like a couple of old married birds arguing about something trivial.  How could I not include them?

And sometimes, you just have to buy something that is a likeness of yourself. 

Once we got home, I laid them all out on the floor, playing with the arrangement, until I found one I loved, and that he could live with.  I used post-its to number each plate in an order that seemed to make sense to me at the time...and I took a good photo as a back up.  Then I used craft paper to trace each plate, cutting it out and numbering it.  I taped my arrangement onto the wall to see if I liked it as much in practice, and discovered that I needed to edit my collection a bit due to space constraints.  After a final collage was agreed upon, we followed the directions precisely on the plate discs, creating a consistent hanging method for all of our plates.  I found the plate discs at Hobby Lobby, and they came in several sizes.  Some of my plates were pretty small, so I had to cut down even the smallest disc to fit.

Once that was done, all that was left to do was hang the plates.  After much deliberation, my tried-and-true method of hold-it-up-there-and-then-eyeball-it won out over all other more man-type suggestions, and an hour later, voila!  I still absolutely love this little menagerie, and find great joy in the memories that are stirred from each individual plate.  I love the color and texture each adds, and how they all just go together.  Totally my happy place.  

1 comment:

  1. I still love how you did this…very impressive!


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