1) Haitian Metal Art- When I stayed in Croix-des-Bouquets for The Haiti Empowerment Project through Ohio State, we spent some time checking out the metal art shops. Since each piece is hand-crafted, no two will be exactly the same. So much work goes into each piece--I mean, look at those details. My professor that led the trip took us into a store that was owned by an artisan she knew. The profits he made from the metal art went towards funding a local school, so I was sure to buy something from his shop since it went to such a good cause. The piece I bought from him is the first one pictured below, and it only cost about fifteen U.S. dollars. One thing that I thought was really neat was that the shops all carried a lot of OSU metal art because of my professor's project! There is even a school in Croix-des-Bouquets that is named after Ohio State.
|from inside the shop|
3. Zulu Wire Baskets from South Africa- My friends started teasing me on my trip and accused me of being obsessed with these, but can you blame me? Look at that beautiful design...and baskets are so practical to have around the house. These baskets are made out of telephone wire and are usually started from the center. I guess mostly men make these, since telephone wire can be tough to work with.
4. La Vache qui Rit mug from France- This was given to me as a birthday gift from two lovely gals that I met in France when I was doing my study abroad program. I don't drink out of this mug, but keep it on display since it reminds me of the two girls that gave it to me and of my experience in France. My friends and I would eat Laughing Cow cheese quite frequently and would spread it over our baguettes. We are still in contact even though our trip was over a decade ago!
5. Felt Box from Mongolia: This box is made out of sheep's wool, which I guess is a common type of souvenir in Mongolia. I brought back a bunch of these for my friends and keep some jewelry inside of it.
6. Tray from Haiti: The guest house we stayed in all week had a little souvenir shop. Artisans from the area stopped by and sold their wares to the owner of the guest house if she thought that they might sell. This was the only tray in the shop and was not in plain sight, so I'm glad I stumbled upon it. The wooden tray is made from stained glass and the colorful mosaic design appealed to me.
7. Framed Postcards from Europe- When my friend Mandi and I went to Europe for nine months, we bought a postcard from every city in Europe that we visited. Upon my return, I had quite the collection. My mom brought me into Hobby Lobby to pick out frames for them, but none fit well, so she had them custom-made to fit my postcards. I have 6 large frames like this, and just thought it was really sweet of my mom to do this for me!
Which souvenir is your favorite? How have the places you've been influenced your style?