Monday, November 8, 2010


Travel is very conflicting, don't you think?   We all love to travel and to sleep in pretty hotel rooms, we love to be home and sleep in our own bed.  Can't wait to leave, can't wait to return.  Unless you are plopped on a beach for a week, travel is not restful or relaxing, but an adventure.  And it is addictive.

Part of the fun is collecting items for my home as I travel along.  Each of my little finds serve as reminders of villages, crazy-busy cities, people, monuments, etc. 

Several years ago on a visit to London I had purchased two French furniture drawings in water color from Abbott and Holder.  I regretted not buying more.  So a few months ago while browsing at Abbott and Holder, I asked the manager if he had any more the little faded gems.  He dug around and by the next morning had unearthed five!  All for a reasonable price.  I bought them all.  Haven't had them framed yet--framing sometimes is more money than the actual artwork.  But one by one they will be matted, framed, and placed on a wall to remind me of my visit.

This gorgeous silver journal was hidden on a "sale" shelf at Liberty.  Marked down because of a slight tear on the last page of the book--half-off, it quickly became mine.  I thought it was fitting to fill it with notes from my Oxford class.

And, remember these beauties?  What I didn't show you was how pretty the books are inside.

Matching bookmarks and endpapers.

Really, Persephone thinks of everything.

Belgian is known for its chocolates, linens, and lace.  For me, chocolates and linen are a definite yes, but lace, not so much.  So I purchased one dozen of these unbleached linen napkins. Thanksgiving will be the perfect dinner to be introduced to the family.

In Brussels, we stopped by a tiny little needlepoint shop full of tapestries and pillows.  These whimsical and colorful pillows caught my eye.  I purchased a total of five different patterns.

Hen and Hammock sells an authentic English Sussex Trug made from sweet chestnut.  Harder to find than you might think and too much money to have shipped to the states, I placed an order to be delivered to Christ Church College.  Then I had to figure out how to get it home in the flimsy box it came in.

Suddenly the thought came to me to reinforce it from the inside (thank you, Dad!)  and I did so with extra cardboard found on campus.  By reinforcing the box and padding the trug with clothes, I was able to check this on my flight (with several "fragile" stickers) and lo and behold it made it home in perfect condition.

Twice, I have carried large breakable bowls onto the plane to bring home (from Ireland and Austria).  It was worth the inconvience to cart these heavy bowls made by local artisans because not only are they beautiful, but I am reminded of who I was with and where I was when each were purchased.

Sometimes you have to be creative in getting your new acquisition home.  I once kept every empty plastic water bottle from a trip and used them to pad my breakables stashed in my luggage and it worked--nothing was broken. It's worth a bit of inconvenience to bring home tangible memories of great adventures, don't you think?


  1. Love Love Love your French furniture prints!
    made your tortilla soup last week and it was amazing!

  2. You are so right about the conflict of traveling. We love to travel but really love to come home to our own bed. Your pictures are getting me rather excited for my impending trip to London.

  3. Now that you have more prints maybe you will stop trying to take mine:)As you know we like to collect writing pens and christmas tree ornaments. They are very small to bring back and give us great memories as we are decorating our christmas tree.

  4. Jill: I'll snap more pics when they are framed. And I'm on the hunt for more good soup recipes now that it has finally cooled down.

    Thomas: Take lots of pics and post them like mad.

    Lori: I gave up on bribing you so I had to buy up the rest!

  5. Like Jill, I adore those prints. Can't wait to see them framed! The silver journal is beautiful too; what a unique find. So glad I get to travel and acquire stuff vicariously through you. Much easier to store that way. :-)