Archives for April 2010

How I decorate with memories
from vacations & special places

How I decorate with memories <br>from vacations & special places

I have been blessed to have traveled to some lovely and memorable places in my life. I think traveling has stretched and shaped my sense of what is beautiful in this world, I am so grateful for the opportunities I have had. I am definitely inspired by travel!

Some of the places I’ve been are far away lands like Italy, Germany, France, Budapest and England, sometimes the adventure has been a little closer like the East coast or over to Canada or Hawaii. Most often I go to places closer to home in the Northwest like the quaint neighborhoods of Portland and Seattle or my beloved Cannon Beach. But no matter where I’ve been, I try to collect sketches, drawings or paintings from my travels to not only decorate my home but to remind me of great memories and beautiful places.

How I decorate with memories <br>from vacations & special places

How I decorate with memories <br>from vacations & special places

Sometimes I choose art depicting beautiful scenery I fell in love with during my travels, sometimes memorable experiences like of a gondola in Venice, and sometimes of architecture I loved like castles in Europe or a street in a favorite town or a charming hotel where my husband and I spent an anniversary.

They are all unique, but they each hold special memories that I love to hold onto and treasure. I think it is part of my naturally romantic view of life, I want to hold on to beautiful places and memories as long as I can!

How I decorate with memories <br>from vacations & special places

Having these memories framed on my walls or sitting on bookshelves or window sills makes me smile (at least inside!) every time I pass by! I have very little art or decor in my home that isn’t directly related to a personal memory. Ever since my husband and I got married and bought our first travel art during an anniversary trip, I have collected memories to keep.

How I decorate with memories <br>from vacations & special places

Why would I invest in random art for my walls that ends up discarded when the next design fad comes along? My art will always be right at home with me, whatever style of home I have. More important than the art itself is what it means to me! I love what it represents.

Since I usually have very little money to spend, I almost always buy fairly inexpensive prints, or art directly from an artist on the street. It doesn’t have to be fancy! Sometimes I just buy hotel postcards or greeting cards (particularly line drawings), area maps, brochures, and now and then I bring home a book or some other piece that reminds me of a special place (for instance, I brought home The Orient Express book by Agatha Christie after a trip on the famous train!).

How I decorate with memories <br>from vacations & special places

In this house I haven’t yet put up all of my travel art  since I wanted to paint my walls first. I am eagerly awaiting the day all of my travel memories are where I can see them!

I wish I had it all out right now so I could show you more, but I guess that will save something fun for a future post.

Unfortunately there are many places I have been that I didn’t bring home any art, so I am going to start finding it on ebay or ordering it online so I can enjoy more of those sweet memories.

How I decorate with memories <br>from vacations & special places

Even if you haven’t traveled far from home, you can use this same idea of travel art for preserving special memories close to home. I have line drawings and sketches I have bought from favorite cafes, old neighborhood movie theatres, favorite neighborhoods, houses I have lived in and a favorite flower from a local park. Simple memories are so much more powerful when they are in visual form!

How I decorate with memories <br>from vacations & special places

One of my water colors from a vacation is of a Westie at the beach, our 15 year old dog Winston has always LOVED our traditional family beach vacations so it makes a sweet memory!

If you don’t happen to have anything else from your vacations, you could also enlarge and frame your vacation photos  as a way of preserving those memories while decorating a wall. I have a little project in mind do just that!

For more inspiration, check out my framed maps of places I’ve been!

What do you like to bring home from travels?
And, what has inspired you this week?

Let’s link up our posts, shall we?! And be a pal, link back to this post if you include your linky!

Want to see what I was inspired by? As in, my vacation post? Head on over here to see where I’ve been the past week and what it meant to me!

My Dream Vacation Come True

My Dream Vacation Come True

No, I didn’t travel to another country this week. But it was fun pretending I did while in Disney World! My family was gifted tickets to Florida to go to a church planter’s conference in Orlando (kind of like going to a blogging conference but for people who are starting churches like we are!). I was so excited, such an amazing gift! It was awesome getting to hear one of my favorite pastors and author Francis Chan! It was very inspiring.

After the conference we got to spend a few days at Disney World with our kids. It was a real blessing to have some time ALL TOGETHER as a family away from home in a magical place like Disney World! I’ll tell you the story after I show you a few pictures from Epcot and the hotel I thought you might enjoy!

My Dream Vacation Come True

My Dream Vacation Come True

My Dream Vacation Come True

My Dream Vacation Come True

My Dream Vacation Come True

My Dream Vacation Come True

My Dream Vacation Come True

My Dream Vacation Come True

Remember the night I couldn’t blog because of the storm? It was a major thunder and lightening storm. I snapped a pic (above) outside of our window.

My Dream Vacation Come True

My Dream Vacation Come True

My Dream Vacation Come True

While I loved all the architectural delights, food and fun things about our trip, nothing delighted me more than seeing my kids (and my nephew, who is just five weeks older than my son and like his twin) having the time of their lives! PRICELESS.

My Dream Vacation Come True

I have been dreaming of taking a special family trip like this for years, but one thing after another prevented us from going. Job losses, failed home sales, loss of income, paying for kids’ braces, schools and college educations…and my oldest daughter got married. You just don’t always have the money to take a large family anywhere but the closest beach for a vacation! Nothing wrong with those vacations (they are some of our BEST memories!), but I just dreamed of doing something outside of the norm as a family. Florida is basically the opposite corner of the country from us so it was not something we could do on a whim.

We’ve been to both Disney World and Land before at various times over the past 20 years, but NEVER all of us together at the same time. So a whole family, special trip like this was a dream for me.

I thought this trip was a dream that might never come to be!

My Dream Vacation Come True

This was a very rare opportunity and such a meaningful trip for us! So grateful we were given this gift of memories to last a lifetime!

We even made it extra special by surprising my son and his cousin about the trip. We woke them up at 4:30 AM and said, “Get dressed and get in the car!” and off we went into the night towards the airport. They didn’t even know where we were going until we got to Denver and switched planes!  It was a blast!

Next surprise for them was that our girls were going to come later in the week, after we attended the conference! One morning just before we headed to Disney World, the boys woke up in our hotel room and our girls were there, asleep in our room! It was great fun pulling off big surprises to make this trip even more memorable for the kids.  And for me.

This really was a dream come true! Aw. I get teary just talking about it.

My Dream Vacation Come True
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