Friday, September 10, 2010

Travel Tips: Taking it home and making it yours

I kinda think that shopping is the best part of traveling but don't tell anyone I said that. When we go to new places, I LOVE to see what they are selling -- from the supermarket to the convenience store. And more than anything, more than anything, I love outdoor markets, artisan fairs and farmer's markets. Oh, and more than that, flea markets -- but I rarely find them when we're traveling. I think you can learn more about a place and its people by the stuff they sell. That's probably not the case with outdoor markets near cruise ship ports and stuff like that but it's still fun to check them out.

The picture above depicts a little vignette on the mantel in our shared office/studio. The painting is from St. Martin. We love artwork involving figures holding large weapons. Who doesn't? The plaster wigwam is from a little trip Mr. Lemon and I took just a couple of months after we started dating. We stayed in Number 11 of the Wigwam Motel. The mask is a vejigante piece from Puerto Rico. What makes it great is that we actually met the artist and got to talk to him at this amazing festival held yearly in Barranquitas. The cement door is not from a trip but sure looks good there. We got it at Crafty Bastards a couple of years ago.

We try not to buy a bunch of crap when we're on vacation. We try to pick out something special like local art or a traditional craft. When we come home we incorporate the stuff into our daily lives. We went a little crazy in Mexico and picked up the boxes because they were so awesome. The bottlecaps are from cool beers Mr. Lemon imbibed (his favorite travel activity is definitely beer). He had the little skeletons before we met. I made the Lovers book. It is about us. I included the doorway in the shot so that you can better see the layout of the house. That yellow paint is from the kitchen. You are looking out our office door into the living room which has the kitchen doorway off of it.

These fruits are painted coconuts that I got shortly after we bought the house. We had the retro/fruity vibe going on and I was way too excited when I found these. They are from a different trip to Mexico for work.

These amazing puppets are from someone else's trip but they rock. This is the mantel from our living room. It is identical to the one in the office. You can see from this photo how tall they are as that is the ceiling there in the upper left corner. And the painting on the right is from our honeymoon trip to Belize. How fitting. Even though all these items are from different corners of the globe, they all work together because they are so "us."

I went to a million thrift stores with my friend Sandi last week and I kept finding all these souvenir plates and spoons and toothpick holders. Wow. And while I think they're all beautiful for their kitsch value, they're just not the things you hold on to -- and certainly not the things your kids are going to hold on to when you die, right?

Special thanks to Mr. Lemon for putting up with my need to do so much shopping on trips.