Guest Blog – Souvenirs de la Reine

While The Antiques Diva’s away scoring Italian souvenirs of her own, la Reine is behind the blog today in this special

Guest Blog – Souvenirs de la Reine!

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Dear Diva Readers,
top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>One of the shopping strategies of our cher Antiques Diva is that we must buy only what we truly love: it need not be expensive, or even antique, but it must be meaningful to us. Most of us shoppers are also collectors. And as with most collectors, la Reine and the Antique Diva’s space and budget are limited, yet our need to keep treasured souvenirs is not. We forget that the word souvenir is actually French for remembrance; thus our souvenirs are in fact, our memories. And we must always find space for our memories.

The Antiques Diva, Lady Lotus, The Tampa Gal, English Rose and I, la Reine, have shared many treasured holidays together and have accumulated an abundant supply of souvenirs. But our most treasured souvenirs are those we look at daily, cost us almost nothing, and make us pause and smile, and remember. As you’ve learned in our Antiques Diva’s blog posts, South Florida is one of our regular reunion destinations, enjoying the sun, sand, seashells, and friendship renewal.

A daily activity is gathering up seashells to admire and cart home. But what to do with these shells once they are sorted, cleaned and carefully carried to our homes in the 4 corners?

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Et Voila – Our Souvenirs de la Mer:

to 10px; WIDTH: 240px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 320px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SjH6_Mks3MI/AAAAAAAADFo/c2ZQTGU0ZZQ/s320/photo1.jpg” border=”0″ />Many days of wandering the beaches yielded bagfuls of shells, picked up for their color, their size, or simply because they caught our eye. Mounded in a crystal bowl, centered with a tall white pillar candle, this makes a welcoming centerpiece for a beach house dining table.

to 10px; WIDTH: 240px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 320px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SjH7MMWrIyI/AAAAAAAADFw/XMvkp43QGqk/s320/photo2.jpg” border=”0″ />One morning was spent collecting shells of all kinds and shapes at Ocean Park in Boynton Beach. These shells were glued to a simple wooden frame, which displays a photo taken on this trip.

to 10px; WIDTH: 240px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 320px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SjH6-5L5_wI/AAAAAAAADFg/grco8_-N0V4/s320/photo.jpg” border=”0″ />Another shelling excursion on Captiva Island yielded an assortment of augers and cats’ paws and cockles, all tiny enough to fit into a decorative bottle that was filled with clear scented oil, reeds were added, and a fragrance dispenser was created!

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 240px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SjH7MEIHlKI/AAAAAAAADF4/UpycOoWiyMA/s320/souvenirs+de+la+reine2.jpg” border=”0″ />A morning walk on a quiet beach resulted in a few handfuls of sand, some pretty shells and tiny driftwood and coral. A quick trip to an accessories store yielded a beautiful sea-green clear glass plate, and produced a decorative bathroom display.

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 240px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SjH6-4ItYJI/AAAAAAAADFY/exf7Ljom3eM/s320/IMG_2983.JPG” border=”0″ />Captiva Island also was a treasure chest of capiz shells, small clear circles from the insides of mollusks that are coveted for decorative household items and jewelry for their luminous and pearlescent qualities. Lady Lotus spent several mornings selecting dozens of tiny capiz, and glued these to a beige linen lampshade, thus fashioning a shimmering souvenir of our holiday!

Seashells have resulted in bookends, soap dishes, mantle displays: almost anything you can hot-glue a seashell to! Et voila, les souvenirs!

a bientot,

la Reine

(seen right, La Reine, The Diva, English Rose and Lady Lotus)

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Author: Toma Clark Haines

Toma Clark Haines is a Global Tastemaker, Speaker, Writer & Entrepreneur; and founder and CEO The Antiques Diva® & Co, Europe, Asia and America's largest Antiques Sourcing & Touring Company.

  • What a fun post! I've made various different souvenirs from our many years of collecting shells. I've even gone so far as to drag two huge conch shells back from the Bahamas…after we ate the conch. My suitcase was rancid but after all of my efforts, I still have two big-beautiful conch shells at my home in the U.S.-and on my recent visit I was so comforted by the sight of them.