Friday, August 10, 2012

My napkin rings

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When I found out we would be moving overseas (and thus doing a lot of traveling to make the most of it), I started thinking a lot more about what it would be nice to "collect" from places.  Around the time we were getting married, we started looking for a Christmas ornament (or at least something that could be used as one, like a small trinket or 3D magnet) everywhere we traveled.  At one point I tried to look for interesting plates--not plates that had pictures of the place and the name on it, but colorful, pretty plates I could hang on the wall.  This didn't go so well since mostly all I found were the former.  In general, I find this to be the main challenge when trying to collect unique souvenirs--finding something that's not just a tacky tourist-shop trinket but a beautiful memory.

So I began thinking that what I really want was something that would be 1) small, 2) travel easily, 3) useful or easily displayed, and 4) not say the name of the place on it.  I finally decided on napkin rings.  I had always thought it would be fun to make my own for each member of our family for something unique, but small.  So while we have been living in Europe I have been searching endlessly for napkins rings.  Let me just say, it's not easy.  If one wanted to move to Europe and collect egg cups, she would be in luck.  You can't walk two steps without finding assortments of different styles, colors, and designs.  But napkin rings are a challenge (and especially annoying with the egg cups because many egg cups masquerade as napkin rings until you pick them up and realize they have a solid bottom).  However, I think the challenge has made it all the more fun--it's a hunt we get to do together and we feel that much more victorious when we have found one.  

And so, I present to you below, our napkin ring collection thus far:

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Marburg, Germany

Dresden, Germany


Heidelberg, Germany

Berlin, Germany

Sansoucci Palace, Potsdam, Germany

What about you?  Do you collect anything?  How did it start?  Are you happy that you have collected?


  1. these are beautiful! but i have to say, a beautifully decorated egg cup would be nice to have. i eat a hard boiled egg every morning! (hint, hint, wink, wink!)

  2. Haha, you would fit right in here! Traditional German breakfast includes an egg that is somewhere between soft- and hard-boiled. I guess that's why egg cups are EVERYWHERE. Our furnished apartment (that didn't include a cooking pot or casserole dish) even came with a set, just to show you how essential they think they are.

  3. Very nice. I collect memories, mostly in photos. And I collect friends, and put them into photos.

  4. What a great idea! I do like to bring home mementos, but I don't look for the same type of thing. I tend to look for things that to me will "represent" the place I went, whether that's something that represents the culture (a piece of Delft or Beleek) or a specific memory i made in that place (like a painted gecko from the place where I was attacked by a gecko). I love this napkin ring idea, though! I've had napkin rings on my list of things to find at a flea market someday.

  5. I'll look forward to napkin ring searching with you during our travels next month.

  6. so cute. we collect ornaments.

  7. Ashley: We do that with our Christmas ornament collection--trying to pick something that was a big memory of the trip. For instance, Paris was a mini picnic basket with a baguette, cheese, and wine since we ate that for lunch every day (not the wine every day!) and Switzerland is a cow with a bell around his neck for all the cows we hiked past with their NOISY bells!

    Jennifer: Stay tuned for a post in the next month or so about our ornament collection!

  8. such a cute idea! I love the rose one! I'm following you off a guest post you did on newlywed catholic =)

  9. erp, i mean catholic newlywed haha


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