The kids are finishing up their last weeks of school, and families everywhere are thinking ahead to their summer vacations. Where will you go this year - backpacking in Europe? Lounging on the beach? Or maybe even exploring the nature trails half an hour from your house? Whatever your summer plans are, they're sure to create lasting memories, and people are always looking for good ways to keep those memories fresh. You could take up videography or scrapbooking, but why not frame your vacation memories? Framed art is more than just sticking a picture on your wall. With techniques like shadowboxing and multiple-opening mats, you can create stunning vignettes of your summer adventures.
First, it's a good idea to give some thought to your souvenirs while you travel. This is especially important if you're traveling on a tight budget, or if your transportation makes it difficult to lug around lots of extraneous goods. Most tourist traps will have a wide selection of location-themed trinkets, and these can be really fun. But at some point you think, "How many paper weights shaped like surfing dolphins do I really need?" What's more, you feel a certain sense of disappointment when, while exploring some new and exotic location, you find the same t-shirt of a cute kitten in a hammock that you bought at the state park back home. While you probably don't want to go overboard with these types of things, keep in mind that keychains, t-shirts, buttons, and other novelties make great accents for shadowbox displays! So do shells, pebbles, feathers, and so on.
Usually, the cheapest and most abundant souvenirs you're going to end up with are photographs! Photographs are lightweight and easy to acquire, and they make a great visual narrative of your vacation. Digital photography makes this especially easy and economical. However, given the cost of printing, you may be reluctant to print enough vacation photos to fill a photo album or a scrapbook. You might consider selecting a handful of the very best photos from your vacation to be printed and displayed. There are multitudes of options after you have your photos selected. You could frame each individually and arrange them in a collage on your wall, or you could arrange the photos within one frame using a multiple-opening mat. Photos could be incorporated within an arrangement for a shadowbox, alongside 3-dimensional keepsakes or simply tiered for dramatic effect. With photographs, the possibilities are endless!
One last type of souvenir is original artwork from local artists of the region you're visiting. You might check out local galleries, or in larger cities, even see artists making and selling their work right out on the street! Original art pieces are something unique, and they will be forever connected in your mind to the place they came from. Not to mention they will look beautiful in your home! These might be a little tricky to transport, depending on how they're packaged. Hard tubes will protect artwork but will take p space while flat envelopes store easily but are susceptible to damage. Still, artwork is lightweight, and sometimes surprisingly affordable. Inexpensive drawings and paintings can be framed to reflect their sentimental value and will be preserved for generations. And don't be concerned about canvas paintings that have been cut off of their stretcher bars! These can easily be re-stretched, or even mounted and framed like paintings on paper. Start an art collection from around the world - you won't regret it!
Above all, have fun, stay safe, and make great memories during these summer months!