September 28, 2012

the souvenir treatment

As you might have guessed, I like to do a little bit of shopping on vacation. (last vacation related post, promise) But I never really gravitate toward souvenir type things. We've already got enough crap at home, we don't need any additional t-shirts or koozie holders.

But there is one exception. Sea shells. For some weird reason I'm wicked psycho about seashells. It is physically not possible for me to walk down the beach without bending over every two steps to pick up a shell. It's great cardio. I even have a type of shell that I look for each year - this year was sand dollars. (told you - psycho much?!)

This means however that each year, at the end of our annual beach trip, I have a huge basket of seashells that I can't bring myself to leave behind. So I also pick up these old glass canisters from the local architectural salvage thinking I'll store all my shells like some awesome organized person.

And each year they sit in the garage of some awesome unorganized person.

So this year, damn it, I was going to get these things cleaned and put in their place.

First things first, I followed these steps to clean the shells. I had to do them in batches and they took forever to dry, but otherwise not hard at all.

I wanted to add a label to mark each year but I didn't want to stick or spray anything on the canisters. So I went to Michael's and picked up some labels Martha made some for me, and grabbed the twine from the garage. (which ironically was right next the the shells on the shelf)

I didn't want anything to precious or perfect but rather relaxed and easy - just like vacation. So I just wrote the year on each label and tied them around the top of the jar with the twine.


Each year lined up and ready to go.

For now they are living on the bookshelves in the family room so I can look at them while I watch TV and remember good times. (the trips, not the tv show) Dynomite!
btw - I HATE taking pictures in the basement. Crap lighting.

What do you bring back from vacation? Does it end up in the closet? Have you found a special place for it?


  1. I love this! And I usually hate schotzcky type crap, but this is beautiful. And full of memories. And contained. I love how you put the date on the old jars too. LOVELY!

  2. Love the jars almost more than the shells! I love being able to hoard things without it looking tacky!

  3. So this is crazy but I do the exact same thing at our beach house every summer. I can't seem to make it down our stretch of beach without looking at the sand most of the way! I pick up these special 'shells' called lucky stones on our beach. And I have a special way of storing them too - in antique turquoise glass mason jars. I have a bazillion of them since I've collected since I was a kid and my Mom's family collected when she was a kid.
    I love stuff like this! And your jars are lovely.

  4. That's so cool! What a great idea, and they look great on your bookshelves.

  5. So well done! Martha would approve : )

  6. LOVE your blog - just stumbled upon it today! I am going to post a link on my "flash friday" post today!

  7. Oh my gosh, I love this idea!!! I have a bunch thrown in a mason jar but not in a pretty way...actually they are shoved in the back of a cabinet right now while I wait to do something with them. When we moved up here I wanted to bring a piece of home with me.

  8. This looks great. This year we brought back watercolor prints. Come to think of it, where are they now?

  9. So nice idea, I love this ^_^

  10. I love this! They look so nice on your shelves! I try to always pick up jewellery or art when I travel!

  11. Hahahaha, ok, I am right there with you. I'm about the shells, I'm about the stones, I'm about the little pieces of driftwood and such. And I'm about storing my collections in nifty glass jars.

    I'm also about 20 years ahead of you, and I laugh myself silly every time I walk past my collection of souvenirs . I've got more jars of rocks than you could shake a stick at, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

  12. I love that idea and the way they look! I also love to cllect seashells on our beach trips, but didn't know about cleaning them. I will have to read that one! They look so pretty on your shelves. :)

  13. THis is going to be a great tradition! I love those jars! Great find!

  14. Awesome bookshelf styling! (I'm a terrible seashell/seaglass horder too. It's all I can do at the beach. A real problem.)

  15. yes, the bookshelf looks great and is happy. pretty colors...

  16. Such a sweet idea! And the jars look lovely.

  17. Such an awesome idea, its like a scrapbook but WAY better!


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