Monday, March 17

Collecting Keys

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I really only collect one thing. Keys. Especially old keys. 


My friend who collects antiques {click here to meet Karen} gave me my first one and an obsession a passion was born. 


These two keys are reproductions, so it didn't hurt a bit to paint them to go with my wall grouping

Why do I love them so much? Maybe it's because a key represents possibilities. It is a symbol of making wonderful things happen. When I look at a key I love to imagine the story behind it - and there's always a story! What was opened with it? A door? A chest? Was it a house nearby or an apartment on the other side of the world? But wait, there's more - who owned the key? And how many others held a copy? See what I mean?


A lot of my keys are in shadowboxes - it's fun to mix up the collections
with books, buttons, ribbon, pretty paper etc.
Many of my keys were obtained on vacations. I usually label them with a tag that indicates where they came from & what year I got them. I have keys from Arkansas, New Orleans, Hawaii, England, Paris, Scotland, Ireland, Hungary, Peru, and New York. When I look at the keys, it brings back those happy memories of the fun things we've done. 
Hunny & I placing a "LOVE LOCK" on the Siene River bridge in Paris. 
The lock came with two keys - we kept one & threw one in the river.
Sometimes people I love give me keys as gifts. One of my favorites came from my son while he was serving a church mission in England. I hadn't seen him for over a year & I missed him so much. He sent a key to one of his friends with a hand-made card & instructions to surprise me with it on my birthday. Oh my! I can't describe how much it meant to me! 

If you want to start a collection, here are some good things to know:
  • Watch out for reproductions {unless you don't care - I prefer the real thing}
  • They aren't expensive. I've been able to find them for less than $10 a key - pretty cheap for a souvenir
  • Don't look in the nice antique shops for them! You'll find old keys at flea markets & less expensive shops. Skeleton keys are still widely used in the UK.  When I asked our bed & breakfast hostess if she knew where I could buy them, she brought up a whole bucket from her basement & let me choose some for free!
  • Every year Hallmark comes out with a new Santa key design
  • Keys are great displayed in shadow boxes or frames
  • Watch out - collecting keys is fun & addictive

2 comments:

  1. I have been collecting keys since I was nine years old 1977! Thanks for sharing your passion! I share this passion with you!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for stopping by & leaving your sweet comment Kelleen. It is so nice to "meet" you & to hear about your collection. I would love to see it! Please email me pictures if you can. And happy collecting!

      Warmly, Michelle

      Warmly, Michelle

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