Every Monday, our gypsies travel to various places around the world and share with us their exciting findings. Today, we put a different spin on it – one of our Crew members, Claudia Neubacher, invites us to her house and shares with us her beautiful collection of bits and bobs… Today, gypsy travels to… Claudia’s own ‘museum at home’.
Do you have any private collections at home that are being displayed in cabinets, on shelves and every other spot you can cram with treasured bits and pieces? Well, I do and they are my everyday source of inspiration and I really never tire of looking at them. My collections are a mix of old and new treasures: some are inherited (teacups, porcelain, silverware); some are souvenirs given to me by my sister, who is a flight attendant; others are souvenirs from my own travels, handmade treasures I got from my dear creative friends, and found treasures from the wonderful Vienna “Naschmarkt” fleamarket. I simply love objects that tell stories!
I love how these all blend together and form a time traveller’s melange of the old, vintage and exotic. Often friends, who come over, say that my flat feels as if they were visiting a museum – filled with sometimes more, sometimes less mysterious treasures to look at and wonder over. And honestly, I couldn’t get a laud that was more lovely! So now, you actually get a tour around my living room and my studio. Welcome to my flat!
Let’s start with the first of my three cabinets that hold treasures I took over from my mom and grandma. Over the years, I have also added a few newly bought cups and bowls myself but the majority is old and vintage porcelain and silverware like the beautiful silver tea pot and the chandeliers, the old mustard glass container to the left, the knife benches and the thimbles.
I especially love the small old purse in the front that is hand carved in ebony (I think). It still has the little note inside that it was given with for Christmas back in 1912 to one of my great-grandmothers. The note says that she should honour the “Heller” – which was the smallest coin back then. There are also some old coins in it as well. The oldest one dates back to 1893!
And the old spoon with the inscription (that I haven’t deciphered yet) is hand carved from a horn. Maybe I will find out one day what it was meant for but for now it remains one of my mystery objects.
The same cabinet also holds my collection of Japanese cups, sushi plates, bowls, china ink sticks and vases. I love the colours and floral patterns and especially the cups’ and bowls’ elegant shapes.
On top of this cabinet, there are my beloved bugs (the ones in the lower box are souvenirs my husband and I brought from a beautiful trip to Venice, where we found them in a tiny shop that was stuffed to the brim with dissected bugs from all over the world), an African mask which was a gift from my husband, some vintage tin tea boxes that I found in a fully crammed old garage in one of my friends’ old houses when emptying it for renovation and the Egyptian statue, which was a travel souvenir from our fantastic Nile cruise.
Here’s a little peek at our Chinese tableware collection in the other cabinet. I still remember carrying all the gorgeous bowls and spoons home from Hong Kong in my cabin luggage on the plane and being very nervous about not breaking them.
More souvenirs from my travels can be found in my third cabinet. A tea pot and a most amazing sphere that has several smaller spheres in it that were all hand carved from the outside towards the center and can be moved around! The large shell was a beach find during our trip to the Caribbean (which was absolutely fantastic). And did you spot the little salamander in the resin heart? Another Hong Kong treasure. The blingy bracelets in the small bowl were a gift from my wonderful sister.
On my writing desk, there’s another souvenir from our trip to Hong Kong – the old tea pot to the right. The little Japanese garden was given to me by my sister. She always finds the most amazing and fun things when being at work and, being a flight attendant, she often has to spend one or several days at the destination before returning to Austria. And as she loves to go shopping and hunting down cool stuff, I sometimes get a lovely surprise like this one.
To the left on my writing desk sits “Eugene”, my wise “trophy-owl” that I bought from a lovely lady that had the booth next to mine when I sold some handmade wire and beads jewellery on an advent fair several years ago. I loved all of her charming pottery creatures but Eugene was a must-have as he was eye-balling me all the time! He still reminds me of the adventure of selling handmade stuff for the very first time! That was so exciting!
You can also spot two kaleidoscopes and two mice in a jar. One of them was my travel mate on my trip to Prague… my sister had one too and they both enjoyed the trip to this beautiful city as much as we did… gimme a second… ah, here’s a picture of them on the famous Charles Bridge with the Hradschin in the back. Oh yes – those chaps really knew how to have a great time!
But back to my collections… Sometimes I even use bookshelves to display some smaller bits ‘n pieces – like these old toy cars from Lesney. I guess they belonged to my uncles and were a gift my mom brought for them from her one year’s stay in England where she was working as an au pair.
In my craft room, I have this lovely shelf that I love so much. It’s not old but I like the vintage look. It holds crafty stuff, some smaller projects I did and some found objects as well.
The skull was a flea market find and came with two more. I remember the guy who sold them to me asked what in god’s name I needed them for. And I remember how cool I felt when I answered that I needed them for some art projects. You should have seen his admiring look!
And to finish this guided tour through my private museum, here’s something cute: the wooden teddy bear sits right next to the door in my studio – and it makes me smile every time I look at it. I think we need little things that make us happy, that inspire and spark imagination. Right?
I hope you enjoyed peeking into my cabinets and at my writing desk! How about you? Do you have any collections that you love to surround you with too? Well, I guess I am not alone. Aren’t we all a bit gypsy when it comes to hoarding beautiful, inspiring treasures? And by hoarding beautiful things we are able to create our own little wonderlands right where we live, laugh and create.
Thank you for joining me in my little museum at home.