Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Travelife kind of Christmas tree

Last weekend, I got around to putting up my Christmas tree, which is really a Travelife sort of tree. I try to buy an ornament or two from every country I visit -- or at least to buy an ornament from countries that do sell ornaments -- and so my Christmas tree is decorated with Christmas ornaments from all over the world.

STORIES BEHIND BAUBLES



These Christmas ornaments remind me of my travels and the memories associated with them. And because each ornament has a story, it becomes even more memorable.

Last week in South Africa, all the Christmas displays were already out, and so I was able to get two types of ornaments as the two newest additions to the tree. Neither were expensive. In fact, these can probably be called souvenirs on the kitschy side of things. But I liked them just the same.

Scroll down to read more...




BEADED ORNAMENTS FROM CAPE TOWN

I found these beaded ornaments, supposedly handmade by African tribal women, in an upscale crafts shop in Cape Town. I'd been looking for animal skins and interesting home accents on a Saturday afternoon and the concierge at the Mount Nelson hotel had directed me to this shop, among others.



It had lots of interesting items I would have loved to bring home, including very colorful pillows. But as I didn't have much time to shop, I ended up just with a box of these beaded ornaments as a nice little souvenir from Cape Town.

A HANDPAINTED GIRAFFE 
FROM THE V&A WATERFRONT,
STILL IN CAPE TOWN

I bought this giraffe ornament on my last afternoon in Cape Town, after a very nice steak lunch by the waterfront.



We stumbled into this crafts market by accident, after a very nice lunch by the waterfront; and inside, one of the shops sold all kinds of handpainted little items.

I thought it would be good to buy an animal-themed Christmas ornament from South Africa to remind me of the wonderful safari at Sabi Sabi.

MORE ANIMALS FROM SOUTH AFRICA

At that time, I hadn't yet bought my zebra skin rug, so I was still looking for animal-themed items for my home. Immediately after I made this little purchase, however, we walked into the next shop, which was selling animal skins at pretty reasonable prices, and I bought a beautiful zebra skin carpet.



I also bought a springbok skin to just drape over a chair, ironically at a dinky souvenir shop on my last day in South Africa at the Cape of Good Hope. It still makes me laugh to remember how I found this beautiful springbok skin in such a kitschy tourist shop, especially as it looks so beautiful in my living room



Now, my house is literally and suddenly filled with animals.

TURKISH EVIL EYE
FROM ISTANBUL'S GRAND BAZAAR


I've been to Turkey so many times, but on one of my earlier visits, I picked up a bunch of these evil eye ornaments at the entrance of the Grand Bazaar, on my last day in Turkey, before heading to the airport to board the night flight to Istanbul.

The Turks place the evil eye ornaments in their homes to ward off evil spirits. But I thought they would also look lovely and special on a Christmas tree, so I haggled and went home with about two dozen of these in all kinds of jewel colors.

OTHER CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS
FROM TRAVELS PAST

A porcelain ornament
from the Christmas market in Vienna


A butterfly ornament
from a Beijing crafts store

A capiz ornament
from our very own Philippines

A handcrafted brass ball
from an art gallery in London

An embroidered cloth ornament
from the Central Market in Kuala Lumpur

No comments:

Post a Comment