Saturday, November 24, 2007

Small Space Saturday: Souvenirs

On Saturdays I write about strategies for living in 300 square feet

Part of the fun of traveling is collecting souvenirs. I enjoy having something to remind me of all the neat places we've been.

Certain souvenirs lend themselves to full-time RV travel more than others. Think small and easy to keep clean. I collect lapel pins and store them on a cork bulletin board mounted on the bathroom wall.

This photo is actually almost two years old and we have many more pins now. My favorites capture the feel of a place using color and a well-designed graphic. The pins are very secure on the board, and because they are vertical, don't collect dust. I don't plan to ever wear them as pins, so I discard the clutch backs.

Other common souvenirs that would work well in an RV:

Stickers could be mounted on a smooth surface such as a whiteboard or a piece of cardboard. You may not want to stick them on a permanent surface such as the refrigerator as the next owner of your rig probably doesn't want them.

Patches would make a colorful reminder of your travels. From what I've seen, patches are more consistent in quality than either pins or stickers. The embroidery is bright and nice. How about sewing them onto throw pillows? Some folks attach them to a windbreaker or vest and wear that at RV rallies.

Tea spoons aren't as widely available as souvenirs, but can be very attractive. As a bonus, you could use several favorites to stir your coffee in the morning. Figuring out how to display them is tricky. If you have a glass-fronted cabinet, you could attach a spoon rack like this behind the glass to keep the dust down.

An open display cabinet would require more cleaning and perhaps a small bungee cord to hold the spoons in place.

Thimbles, like spoons, are both small and useful. If you sew, that is, which I don't. Again, there are display racks built just for thimbles that could be modified to use in an RV. Replacing a glass door on one of these racks with a piece of acrylic might be wise. Search eBay for "thimble display" or "spoon display" for more ideas.

Shot glasses. I see lots of shot glasses for sale in souvenir shops, so I suppose folks collect them. Because they are a bit bulky and breakable, you would have to be careful about how to store and display them. Any suggestions?

Post cards are a great, small, lightweight item to collect. Because their picture area is so much larger than pins or even patches, they can better capture the spirit of a local attraction. I don't think we have enough surface area to display post cards in Odyssey, though. They could be stored in a pretty recipe file box and left out on a table. When the mood strikes, you could leaf through the cards and take a walk down memory lane. If your decorating style is really eclectic, you could attach them to the ceiling. How about lining the inside of your basement bay doors with fun postcards? Inside cupboard door inside would work, too. You could have your "beach post card" cabinet, your "views from mountain tops" cabinet, etc. Most of the visual clutter would be hidden, but your memories would be easily accessible.

Magnets are an obvious choice if the front of your fridge is magnetic. They do tend to get dusty, though, if they are elaborate.

Keychains seem to be for sale everywhere. They could be clipped to a horizontal rail for display. I suppose they would clank together and make a noise that either charmed or annoyed you. How about pinning them to a vertical fabric surface?

What do you collect, and how do you display it?

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