Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Holiday souvenirs . . . what do you buy?

What do you buy when you're travelling? . . . things that remind you of your adventures but not too bulky and heavy or fragile . . . things that are small, inexpensive and useful . . .

With apologies for the rubbish photographs (we are shrouded in thick autumnal fog in Suffolk this week), these are some of the things that fell out of my bag when I unpacked after our travels through Oregon and North California . . .

But I've discovered a new favourite souvenir – not only is it light weight and unbreakable but you meet lovely people to chat to in gorgeous shops and when you get home you have hours of happiness making it into wearable things which reminds you of the places you went to on your adventures . . .

Here's my holiday stash . . .

from left to right we have

• Miro 'Portland' by Abstract Fiber bought from Knit Purl in the Pearl District in Portland, Oregon

• Royal Platinum Alpaca 'Spice Rack', Hand Dyed by Royal Fiber Spinnery bought from Brownsville Stitching Parlor in Brownsville, Oregon.

• Gombe Superfine Alpaca 'Desert Varnish' by Curious Creek Fibers bought from the Mendocino Yarn Shop in Mendocino, California

• Sonoma 'Chocolate Cherries' by Baah! bought from North Coast Knittery in Eureka, California

Knitting and yarn is BIG and COOL in the Pacific NW, the shops were overflowing with beautiful yarn (most of which is sourced from the UK, Ireland and Europe) and buzzing (click-clacking?) with enthusistic knitters. Just stepping through the doorway and whispering that you knit, is your passport to be welcomed like an old friend who speaks a common language.

Oh yes . . .  and thank you to Cliff for waiting patiently while I selected xx

Before I finish, I've got to show you this . . . it's my souvenir from Portland Saturday (& Sunday) Art Market . . . I couldn't resist buying a handbag from Mugwump, aka Suzanne Keolker. She makes funky accessories from upcycled books and stuff that is heading to landfill.



  1. How fabulous! A wonderful way to carry your holiday memories with you!

  2. I collect pine cones from the places I visit, but if I am purchasing, my favourite souvenirs are:
    a)fridge magnet or model boat, but only if they depict the area and are not the generic kind.
    b)herbs or seeds/bulbs from the area
    c)Bag for Life - best value

  3. As mine are usually walking holidays and i have to carry all my stuff i stick to fridge magnets as they are light and easy to carry :-) but have been known to sneak in a stone or crystal !

  4. I never travel anywhere without a book (or kindle) and knitting. Socks and cowls are ideal for travelling as they are so small. I have even stood outside shops knitting whilst my daughters go strip TopShop bare!

  5. I collect rocks and shells when I'm on holiday - I hardly ever buy holiday souvenirs. Yarn is a great idea though, as whatever you make with it will be a holiday memory!

  6. I've seen bags made from books before, but I have to say that one is the BEST and absolutely appropriate for you. The yarns you chose all rather have the colors of the northwest and its woods.

  7. Sea glass is a must! Also art work, although now I have children, the pennies don't usually stretch that far, mind you there's always the second hand shops! Ada :)

  8. I agree with Dan and Vintage Sheet Addict; pieces of material indigenous to the area plus sketches are my top souvenirs. Your yarn, however, is inspired as your memories will be revived and woven into anything you make.

  9. Celia, I do like your west coast souvenirs!

    I would also have wanted to take some of that yarn home with me. When traveling, I like to find things that are actually from the place I am visiting...could be a little pebble, samples of a crafts artist's work, fabric, art supplies, some locally published books, some vintage china ...whatever it is, it must be from the location. That is a way for me to thank the area for its hospitality to me.


  10. What a great handbag! Chocolate Cherries made my swoon. Sweet yarn choices :)

  11. Oh yes, it has to be yarn, trouble is I never want to use it once I get it home...

  12. Yarn, threads, beads and any associated accessories! Look forward to seeing what you decide to knit with it. And that handbag is fab!

  13. Yarn sounds like the perfect souvenir. Love the bag too

  14. Well, Celia, I expect you remember how many cards I stuffed into my bag in Cambridge. And how I agonised over the cushions-and-matching-mugs I couldn't stuff in!
    And now I want, no, I NEED a cat bag.That is a sheer delight!

  15. How fun that you came to my neck of the woods! I live in Corvallis, OR, and yes- yarn is BIG here!! Hope you enjoyed your stay in the PNW!

  16. Welcome back from your travels, I love that bag!!

  17. thats souvenir are very cute.how they make it.i very like the last of thats photos.

  18. this made me giggle, wait i have to go find a post of mine to show you! LOVE your souviners!

    1. well, there are a few posts actually, if you are interested, put in the word medocino in the search box at the top left of my blog, that will bring up the posts. i bought the same curious creek wool at the same yarn shop! and you can see my redwood post also :)


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