Ornaments from My Travels

Travel Christmas Ornaments by Natalie Parker

Oh my, I have lots of new travel ornaments to share with you this year!

We try and pick up an ornament for our tree during our travels.  It doesn’t have to be made as an ornament — many of the best ones we have are converted keychains.  Putting these up is my favorite part of decorating the tree.

The first two are from 2013 — we were on our trip during Christmas so it’s the first time they’ve gone on the tree.  The second four are from our big trip to Europe this fall.

The Ushuaia Penguin.  We didn’t make it to any of the gift shops on Antarctica (seriously, there are gift shops at some research stations) so this little penguin from Ushuaia was the next best thing.  So stinking cute.

Travel Christmas Ornaments by Natalie Parker

Pope Francis.  Pope Francis is Argentine and I could. not. wait. to see some Pope paraphernalia in Argentina.  This is a keychain that has a picture of the Vatican on the back.

Travel Christmas Ornaments by Natalie Parker

Coach from Buckingham Palace.  Yes, we already have an ornament from London and no, I generally don’t get a new one every time I revisit a city.  But we were in Buckingham Palace (the gift shop, but inside the palace walls).  I saw it, had to have it.  The end.

Travel Christmas Ornaments by Natalie Parker

Munich Beer Stein.  Another keychain, picked up at Oktoberfest.  I don’t feel like I need to describe the awesomeness of this one.

Travel Christmas Ornaments by Natalie Parker

Istanbul Eye.  We had a hard time finding something we liked in Istanbul.  This keychain has a bit of the city plus a charm to ward off the evil eye (frequently seen on our trip).

Travel Christmas Ornaments by Natalie Parker

Brussels Lace.  Brussels is very famous for its lace.  This ornament isn’t on the level of some of the amazing work we saw, but it was cute and reminds us of the trip, which is the entire point.

Travel Christmas Ornaments by Natalie Parker

Previously: 2011 – Camel from Egypt, 2012 – Great Wall from China & Double Decker from London, 2013 – Kangaroo from Australia.

Documenting my Christmas Ornaments

Documenting Christmas Ornaments 1

Now that I know how to use my camera, I’m taking on an ambitious project: taking pictures of our Christmas ornaments.

Do you document new Christmas ornaments?  I think it’s fun to remember what year we got each thing for our tree.  I’d like to document the ones Mr. P and I got each year since we moved in together.  That was 8 Christmases ago.  Yikes.

My goal this year is to capture all the ornaments from the first three years, plus keep a record of the ones I didn’t capture so it’s easier to do next year.

As we unpacked our decorations a couple weeks ago, I used post-it notes and took quick pictures of all the ornaments so I can remember which goes with what year.

Documenting Christmas Ornaments 2

Focusing on the first three years, I try and get a really nice photo of each ornament hanging on the tree.  This usually involves 10-15 photos each while I fiddle with settings.

One slightly annoying thing here is light.  Even if I take the photos all at the same time, the light is so different on each part of the tree!  I’m ending up with photos that individually look awesome but the lighting and thus coloring on the tree branches really varies!  I wonder what it will look like when I put these together in a scrapbook.

When I move the photos to my computer, I delete a ton of them and keep the best 2-3 for each ornament.  When I scrapbook this in the future, I think I’m only going to keep the one I decided to use for the book.  For now, everything gets sorted into folders by year and is ready for me to work with whenever I want!