02 March 2017

The Stories Behind my Knick-Knacks

I've written before about our minimalist tendencies...however, like most normal people, over time we tend to collect random knick-knacks. On a daily basis, we probably barely notice what's sitting on our shelves, but there's a story behind each piece...

Pewter Cup: A birthday gift for Angel from Dad. Bought in Thailand, because everyone knows Angel loves pewter cups.

Black Pearl: This was a model kit that I got to build. Again, a birthday present from Dad. I think model kits are the best!

Crystal Cat: A souvenir I bought for Angel at Downtown Disney when I went to DisneyWorld while he stayed home and worked. ;)

Other Cat: My baby sister gave it to him for his birthday. Angel likes cats a lot, therefore people are always giving him cats.

Joshua 24:15: A gift from his mom, and one of Angel's most treasured possessions. He's had this since he was in college and it's followed us everywhere.

Little Cross: A kids' group I was teaching made clay crafts for Easter so I made one too. Clay is fun!

Shells: Souvenirs from the beach of Pangkor Laut, where we went for our 6th anniversary.

Plate and Sword: Both gifts to Angel from his students.

Cat: Gift to Angel from our cousin, Shannon, who also likes cats. The cats are multiplying!

Sign: I made this for our porch in Michigan ages ago, probably in 2011 when we first moved in. Somehow one of my siblings, when they came to visit, brought it over here in their suitcase.

Angel's 2 Race Trophies: I like how the half marathon one says "4th Winner" instead of "3rd Loser". You can tell that no one in my family designed that trophy. The other one was for 9th in a 10k. Since this photo was taken, he's added a 1st place trophy to the collection. Guess we'll have a bunch of trophies to get rid of before our next move...

Rainbow: I made it in my aunt's glass workshop and she melted it in her kiln. Coolest art project ever.

Picture: from Beka, when she stayed at our place.

Chinese Soldiers: I think these are so funny, but Angel loves them. A gift from one of our coworkers and friends in China.

Candle: A taste of the American "fall" season, sent in a care package from my aunt


What I noticed, when creating this inventory, is that most of our knick-knacks are gifts, and nearly all of them have been acquired since we moved here. There's just a few, tiny specimens that followed us all the way from the USA to China to Malaysia, and that's not surprising. The little items filling up these few bookshelves are definitely not chosen for their aesthetic value, but for the sentiment--for the fond feelings we feel about these gifts. All the same, if we were to move internationally again. it's likely that very few would make the cut. Suitcases can only carry so much!

Are your knick-knacks mostly chosen by you for what they look like? Or are you more like us, you have a collection of random knick-knacks that are special because they were gifts?


  1. I love knick knacks! I collect theme every we travel.

  2. Our travel collection focuses on refrigerator magnets - tacky maybe, but compact. I love that yours are gifts with wonderful associations.

  3. I like your random knick knacks. You get to see a different side of someone looking at their knick knack collection.

  4. Thank you for sharing! Awesome collection- Love seeing the assortment.

  5. I love this! Every once in awhile I'll look at something that I have that I see every day and think about the story behind it. It always puts a smile on my face!

  6. How fun! I love knick knacks. So many great memories that go with most of them!

  7. How wonderful that your knick knacks have such a wonderful story behind them! <3

  8. I have never made a model kit, but I think the Black Pearl turned out great! I think a kit would be fun to try. I also think the picture from Beka is really pretty. I have a porcelain angel ornament that sits by my kitchen sink. It was actually left behind by the people that lived in the house before us and something seemed wrong about getting rid of it. It has suspicious eyes and it looks like it is always watching the person cooking and doing dishes. So now it is our little house-angel knick knack that has lived on my kitchen shelf for 7 years. Ha!

  9. This is such a cute idea for a blog post! Totally random story: I had a dream last night that I had to give away everything I loved. Then I got the chance to get it back, and I burst into tears holding in my hands all of the things that meant so much to me.

  10. It's so great that you have memories tied to all these little things. I love that certain items can remind you of certain people or certain times!
    Lianne | Makes, Bakes and Decor

  11. I love all the knick knacks and hearing why!! So many stories to be told!

  12. Awe i love this!! It's always interesting how knick knacks can have such meaning to us <3

  13. I like those little Chinese soldiers! Those are cute :)

  14. I love reading the stores behind your knick-knacks! That little glass rainbow is so cool! And all the cats are funny!

  15. I LOVe this! It's inspiring to have more meaning to my items as well!

  16. These are so sweet! So many good stories! We really don't have knick knacks around the house, but we do have ornaments from every place we travel for our Christmas tree. :)