Everybody needs somewhere to put all those little bits and bobs that manage to accumulate throughout the days, weeks, and months. You know the things I mean; concert ticket stubs, interesting coins, pebbles, bits of beach glass, marbles, buttons, broken jewelry, little handwritten notes, and other tiny treasures. The fact is, tossing them into a kitchen drawer or a bedside table means they are out of our sight and eventually out of our thoughts. Some items are too special to seal up in a plastic bag or shoe box, and sometimes things just get shuffled into the wrong pile and thrown away.
Today’s Strange Stuff is also practical, all these “Altered Art” Boxes are not only strange and wonderful to look at, but a special place to hold all your own strange and wonderful things. All created by different hands, they would definitely stand out on a coffee table, dresser top, or desk. Not only will you have somewhere to put all those small things, but it might help you edit your existing stash down to just the most special things that will fit into your new box of curiosities.
Some of these are way out there, it is the day for strange and odd items after all, but the idea still holds. There are many wonderful storage boxes and Altered Art boxes on Etsy, and they range in size from tiny Altoids Tins to an entire chests of drawers. You can find something to fit every taste and style, from contemporary to shabby chic, but I particularly like the odd little boxes in today’s post.
Does everyone collect the little bits of things they come across? I know it’s not just me, but some people don’t have the sort of sentimental connection to objects that others do. I am by no means a hoarder of everything I find in my travels, but I do like to hold on to things that have special meaning. What do you hold onto and what are your most treasured objects? Do they have a fitting place to stay? If not then you need to start thinking about where they belong, and how you can keep them safe and still enjoy looking through them every now and again. As a girl I would visit with my grandmother, and we would sit at her amazing vintage wooden vanity with it’s huge mirror, and go through the one drawer in the middle where she kept her most wonderful things. The gloves she wore to my parent’s wedding, the beaded handbags she used in her younger days, some fabulous “paste” rhinestone jewelry, and a collection of linen hankies, some with embroidery accents made by herself or her sisters and friends. Such wonderful memories.
In my mother’s home, there is a vintage box that is covered in a opalescent blue mother of pearl mosaic, it has a hinged lid, and if you open that lid and peek inside, you will find the most astonishing things. All collected from her yard, there is a monarch butterfly that somehow lost it’s way, a real fuzzy bumble bee that met a similar fate, along with a dragon fly and some other specimens. It sounds a bit macabre perhaps, but when you look closely at these amazingly preserved found “bugs” you get a real appreciation for the awesome beauty of nature.
What do I love best about this little box of curiosities? All these tiny corpses were found by my young nieces and nephew as they explored their grandmother’s backyard, and the box sits in my mothers somewhat formal living room, along with all her other prized possessions. Every time the grand-kids see it, they feel compelled to peek inside and revisit those amazing creatures, and remember who found which one. I can only imagine the surprised looks of her contemporaries as they come over to have a luncheon or card night, and open this lovely little box and find, well, dead insects. Only those with a true appreciation for the precious and delicate creatures of this world will understand why they belong exactly where they are.
Treasure the little things and place them in a fitting home, it is a wonderful tribute to the memories they trigger. Your children or grandchildren will treasure them all the more if you spend a little time sharing your collection with them, telling them about the items and where they came from. You will smile every time you see your box of curiosities, and seeing the box alone will begin to remind you of what is inside. It will be even more fun if your box is one of these strange and wonderful finds from Etsy.
NOTE: All artwork, products, and images in this post are the intellectual property and copyright of their respective creators, and the Etsy store indicated in the links under the items. No infringement is intended.