Isn't this a beautiful box? It came from my sister- and brother-in-law. When they visited us recently, they brought it back for all the family. There were little cakes in it which are traditionally given as presents in the Chinese spring festival. Very nice. Alas, against usual evidence I was not really interested in the cakes. I really only wanted the box, because I can't resist beautiful things. And lucky I was - the family was happy with the cakes, and I got my box!
The Chinese definitely have a knack for presenting things in lovely cardboard or wooden boxes, as I found out when I travelled to Shanghai two years ago. Whether you buy a lucky charm, a decorative teapot or a kite - they always came in beautiful handmade boxes with colour paper or fabric cover. I should really take a picture of all the Chinese boxes that have been amassed in our house, also thanks to a generous friend who lived in China and often brought back pressies for us.
Anyway - the box was far too nice to be hidden away in a drawer for a yet-unknown later use. So I have turned it into a display box for my Shanghai mementos. If you want to do this, just find a nice box. It doesn't have to have a lid or "doors" like mine - it will look great just as a 3D-display on your wall or on a shelf.
I started by pasting a Chinese-style paper onto the back of the box to make the inside more colourful. (Tommorow's blog entry will be about the source of my paper.) Then I simply glued paper mementos onto the "back wall" of my box. The bigger and heavier souvenirs like the Mao badge I stuck on with blu-tack. That way I can remove them should I need them. The hand-painted lucky charm is fastened with a thumb tack.
I finished the project just in time - I am going on holidays in a couple of days' time, and will probably come back with another handful of sugar sachets, ticket stubs, coins and stamps. So get collecting all the bits and pieces that you find on holidays, and make your own memory box. I already have my sights on a couple of other nice boxes in my son's room - and neither last year's trip to Namibia nor the family holiday in Silesia have been preserved for posterity yet. Watch this space!