Written by Ann Wilson
Tuck foliage, flowers and nubby twigs or bark into vellum packets marked with the plant name, and the date and location where you collected it. You're preserving evocative scents and tantalizing textures for future enjoyment.
Keep stress levels low with reminders of days spent away from the office. Tack itineraries, ticket stubs, photos and unspent foreign currency on a bulletin board behind your desk. Expand the exhibit with postcards you mailed to yourself; you'll look back fondly on the ports of call (and have the start of a nifty stamp collection).
Whether you're in a Parisian bistro or a Maine cabin, memorable moments unfold when you share a fine (or even so-so) vintage with friends. Retain and highlight those memories by framing wine labels; fasten them to your favorite handmade paper or a fabric remnant.
Opalescent seashells produce oceans of decorative cachet in maritime mobiles or breezy wind chimes. Make the stringing holes with a small drill bit or gently wielded sharp nail and hammer. Keep shells properly spaced with knots tied above and below each hole. Hang in front of a sunny window and enjoy the sea-given shimmer.
Piece together driftwood pieces (another freebie souvenir) with glue or small brads to fashion a gnarled frame with as much style as any modern mirror.
Convert travel photos to black-and-white or sepia. Frame them in white and exhibit them alongside similarly framed vintage photographs with the same geographical connection. Add pops of color with collected botanicals that remind you of that region or season.
Dangle keepsake cups (come on, we know you have plenty!) from ceiling-mounted pothooks to energize a room's lofty reaches and draw eyes high.
Rocks make for way-cool, no-cost collections. Stress their handsome shapes, earthen hues and metallic veining by making them into mini sculptures (use dabs of hot glue to keep stacks stacked) or marshaling them along a mantel or bookshelf. Or, just pile them on a desktop to look at or use as worry-bead-like tension relievers.
Relive the journey by setting up a tabletop display of collectibles from it. Make the area a focal point by creating a backdrop of swooping ropes and attaching exotic-locale postcards with clothespins.
Fill clear glass jars with sand-and-surf finds—shells, tide-polished stones or smooth sea glass. Paint and stencil jar lids to turn mismatched containers into a seaworthy set.
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