My Indoor Sandbox
Thanks to the new year and winter, now is always the time of year when I find myself yearning to make travel plans for the upcoming year. But even on the coldest, snowiest day of the year I can find warmth on my wall, in the form of a collection of sand bottles (93 currently) from around the world that I started over 15 years ago on my first visit, of all places, to Death Valley. On that trip alone, I collected four different colors and textures in sand and dirt, even green and purple.
I joke with family and friends that I’m cheap and easy to buy for, just grab some dirt from your next trip! Two samples which always raise eyebrows: the bottle of water (from the Athabasca Glacier in Alberta, Canada) and the empty bottle from the Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii. I don’t consider myself to be superstitious, but after reading some letters from visitors that took lava rock home and the awful luck that found them, I decided to demonstrate some unusual restraint in lining my pockets. My husband lives secretly in fear that we’ll be arrested going through airport security with my finds and my father says that there’s no predicting the explosion that will occur at my home if the bottles fall from the wall and the worldly contents mix.
Since the sand was featured on the Prêt à Voyager blog earlier this week, a couple people have written me, wanting to get the dirt on, well, just how to best display dirt. I originally found my glass jars at Pier 1 Imports, about 15 years ago. Since then, I’ve also found them at local craft stores, organization stores and cooking stores. And doing a search for spice jars will bring up a substantial list of links. Thankfully, I made the decision early on to utilize different styles of jars, so now I have complete flexibility in finding future jars. I also like the shelf appeal of seeing different vessels from afar, and focusing in on the different colors and textures of the sand when up close.
The funny thing about collections? If you’re a neat freak like me, you like ‘em nice and tidy. And frankly, we all want something in this world that we feel like we have a firm grasp on, even if it is an inanimate collection of jars. But a collection is like a child… you give birth to it, it grows and before you know it, it’s too big for this and that and it has a life all its own. Of course what you see in these pics is the first half of the collection, the controlled beginning, when I had the nursery, I mean, shelves, all planned out. What you don’t see is the newer half, shoved in various pigeonholes on bookshelves. They rightfully want the same attention bestowed upon the first born.