Monday, August 15, 2011

Souvenir Plate Collection

Now that the kitchen is painted, we've finally gotten a chance to hang some things on our poor, bare walls. I can't believe how homey it makes our house feel to hang some things up. I also can't believe we've tolerated this for over a year. Note: need to start spending a bit more time and thought on decorating!

Even though we're far from finished decorating, I wanted to share one of my favorite things that we have hung in the kitchen so far - our vintage souvenir plate collection!

vintage souvenir plate collection display

What I love about this collection is that each piece was hand selected and each is special to us as a couple. I keep an eye out for these at flea markets and estate sales, but we have one hard and fast rule: We can only purchase a plate that depicts a place where we have visited together. So even if I find a plate that I just love from a place that we have both been to separately, I cannot buy it for our collection. After we have visited as a couple, the place becomes fair game.
vintage souvenir plate collection display

We have plates from Iowa, Minnesota, Texas, Jamestown (VA), Springfield (IL), Glacier National Park, London, Vienna, The Great Smokey Mountains, several from Indiana, and more. I'm currently on the lookout for a nice Colorado plate to remember our recent vacation.

vintage souvenir plate collection display

These plates are often thought of as "kitschy", but I think they are fun in an arrangement. I hope to add more plates (especially the smaller sizes) to fill in the space even more, but I plan to keep the collection within reason - I definitely don't want it taking over the kitchen, or the house!

salzburg vintage souvenir plate

Here's my favorite: A plate from Salzburg, Austria. I would have to say that Salzburg is one of my absolute favorite places in the world... and it's very special to my husband and I. We visited in college as part of our wind ensemble tour (nerdy band kids!) and we fell in love with the city (and each other... sappy, I know). Several years later, we came back to Salzburg for our honeymoon. I would live there if I could.

indianapolis motor speedway vintage souvenir plate

Here's hubby's favorite: A plate from the Indianpolis Motor Speedway, site of the Indy 500. When we lived in Indianapolis, this was my husband's favorite place to be. If he had a free Saturday with nothing going on, he would go out to visit the museum; during the month of the Indy 500 he practically lived out there, watching qualifying and practices, getting autographs from all the drivers. It's safe to say that this is what he misses most about living in Indiana.

prague vintage souvenir ashtray(?)/></a><br />
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Here's our most unusual piece: An ashtray (I believe) from Prague. Typically I would not buy an ashtray, but this was just too cool. I love the shape and the scalloped edge and especially the little ceramic pipe attached to it. This was an etsy find.

vintage souvenir plate collection display

Hope you enjoyed this short tour of our little collection!

On an only slightly unrelated note: Does anyone have any tips for taking photos indoors? I can take beautiful photos outside in natural light, but my house is kind of dark, even during the day, not to mention in the evening when I am actually at home to take pictures. I know flash makes it look yucky, but without flash, I can't seem to get the room bright enough to take a nice, clear, pleasing quality photo. Any tips are welcomed! [p.s. do I just need to get a nicer camera? I'm currently just using a decent quality point-and-shoot.]


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    happy monday!

  2. Great collection with such sweet memories attached.

    I have trouble taking pics inside, and I have a nice point and shoot Nikon. If the ceiling fan is on it totally distorts the pic. The lighting has to be perfect, too. I wish I knew how to make them come out better myself. Good luck!

  3. I love your "rules" for your plate collection. The desplay is lovely and a great conversation starter I'm sure for people who visit your home.

  4. Tripods help a lot. Also early morning photos & evening photos (when the light is not too harsh) seem to look nicer. I don't know how the light looks in your kitchen, but sometimes adding a lamp or some kind of extra light while you are taking photos is great too.

  5. I love your plate collection. It's displayed so beautifully!

    As for indoor photos. Yes, I've been playing with my camera because I have the same exact problem! Either my pictures come out too dark and dull or in some lighting, people's faces come out bright, bright white!

    I have found that the exposure button helps a lot. Mine is located right on the back of my camera (point and shoot/Nikon). It's the symbol that looks like a square with a diagonal line and a + on one side of the line and a - on the other side.

    If I brighten the exposure, then the darker rooms look brighter. If I lessen the exposure then my people's faces aren't bright white.

    You kind of have to experement.

  6. that's a wonderful collection! I am always tempted by these plates when I see them at thrift stores. I love that you have only got plates of places you have visited together.


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