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Collecting Vintage Trophies and a tale

I tend to be a deep thinking kind of girl.
One of those who takes the simplest of things  and turns it into a novel.

collecting vintage trophies for mantel styling

Like vintage silver trophies and what it has to do with
 the tale of a village filled with charming and interesting rabbits.



Did you know that I once wrote a book for my grandmother?
I started it when I was in grade school.... as I mentioned I have always been a day dreaming kind of girl... and one day, I dreamed up this village filled with interesting rabbits.

Each rabbit had a detailed story.
The village leader, the trouble maker, the young mother and 
the little stop and smell the roses rabbit who got lost.
They lived in burrows on the side of a hill that was next to a stream.
They loved the tall grasses that they could get lost in
and the rocky cliffs of the mountains that surrounded them
where they would climb and have fun.
They had festivals and celebrations at harvest time and they slept for months in their little homes inside the hill when it was time to nestle in for the winter.
There were things in the forest that scared them- like the loud sounds that would echo 
and they wondered about why the trees would fall all around them all of a sudden.

ranunculus flowers on mantel

And there was that rabbit who wandered off while on a hike
Who stopped to smell the flowers 
and didn't make it back to the village with the others.
And who took a wrong turn inside a cave.

When I was about 10 years old, I had written about a dozen pages in that book 
and gave it to my grandmother to read.
And then forgot all about it until we moved back to California with babies in tow.
And she pulled out those crinkled pages with loads of grammar issues and errors 
and asked me when I was going to finish that book.

The one with rabbits. 
She wanted to know what ever happened to that sweet little rabbit who was lost in the woods.
And I laughed a little.
How did she even remember that book? I had forgotten all about it.
I mean, it was a story I started writing when I was a little girl.

flowers on mantel in cottage

But as Grammy's dementia started to show itself-
 I decided I needed to finish writing the story for her/
And one night, 
I started writing it again.

I thought about the rabbits.
 I thought about the story and how each one of them was an intricate, detailed personality
and had many facets.
 I closed my eyes and imagined myself there in the burrows and in the tall grasses 
and dancing at the harvest festival.
And I started to write the story again from the beginning.
And after several months of evening work in between homeschooling and raising my babies
I finished it.

mantel styling with vintage silver trophies and ranunculus

And to be honest,  I felt a little sad that the story had wrapped up
but I was so excited to give it to my grandmother.
I tied that stack of several hundred pages in twine and placed them inside a box 
and then wrapped it up
and gave it to her for Christmas.
She loved it but
honestly, I am not sure if she ever really knew that it was THE book that she asked me to write for her but I would like to think that I finished it in time for her to know. 

pink flowers on mantel

And yes, every time I see a little rabbit in the yard... I think of Samuel
 and wonder what adventure he is embarking on next and how you never know just where 
that path might lead. 
Which brings me to those vintage trophies filled with blooms on the mantel...
which quite honestly
 has nothing to do with rabbits or a village.

But trophies do have to do with adventure - so we can go with that. And stories.
And accomplishments. And dreaming.
And little things that someone took time to acknowledge with a gorgeous trophy.
Whether they are perfectly polished or perfectly tarnished- I am in love with them and with the story
that might be behind them.

Vintage trophies have been on my list of must finds for quite awhile. 
The ones with little engraved words and old tarnished patina.
The ones with little details like funky stands and ribbons tied to them.
I love them.

But it seemed every time I would bump into an amazing array of them for sale- 
they were already sold.
And so treasure hunt continued.
For years.

several antique trophies on mantel

And not long ago,  I found a good start to the collection for these in a vintage shop in High Point...
and I recently found several more to add to the collection.
And I have now become obsessed again.

Vintage trophies are not only charming and adorable but they hint at more to the story.
They might have been an award or maybe represent an accomplishment.
They are engraved - often times with the names of the person who earned them
and they are definitely neat little treasures to collect.
This one was awarded to the best in the league for bowling...
that one for that amazing accomplishment at work
and this one... well, this one is special- it has to do with graduation.
They don't have to be blue ribbon winners- it just isn't about that.

Each one was for working hard or achieving something- 
which makes vintage trophies all the more interesting to collect and enjoy.
Grouped together on the mantel- it is almost like a story just waiting to unfold.



With their patina, their age, their quirks- it all equals charm.
I have shared them before in a couple of stylings for the holidays-

vintage trophy with pear and Christmas greens

In the buffet deux corps

table styling with vintage silver trophies

And in a table setting.
And  I will be sharing that fantastic source that I found for trophies coming up
if you would like to start up a collection of them as well.

vintage silver trophy with ranunculus

For now... I am off to get a run in this morning before a busy day- 
and
I'll let you know if I see any little rabbits wandering around out on the trail.
;)

Happy Monday everyone

21 comments

  1. That is a touching story about you and your grandmother. Surely she connected with the story.
    I do love your photography, which puts everything into such a romantic filter that I'm sure I smell like roses just from viewing the photos. (That is a compliment to you.)
    My kid brought home a trophy this weekend. Not the top, not the bottom--actually, just above the middle. Is pleased enough by the result. I just praise. And thank my lucky stars to have such a great kid.

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    1. Thank you so much. She was 'gone' so often but would come back a bit from time to time. I would like to think that she remembered the story and know that she was the reason it was finished so many years later. I think that your kid and the trophy sound wonderful! :)

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  2. Sweet story Courtney! I love rabbits and have had a few as pets throughout the years. We have the sweetest little guy who's been a big part of our family. HIs name is Whiskers and he's almost 8 years old. He's seen my youngest daughter all the way through elementary school and middle school. As I write this, he's snacking on his afternoon treat of Romaine<3

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    1. I had rabbits when I was growing up too- perhaps where some of that story came from. They are so sweet and lovable. Whiskers sounds like a charmer! :)

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  3. I am so touched by your about Grandmother's book - a gift and a gesture that are priceless.
    I had to smile when I read about your use for trophies because the trophies won by various family members over the years are put to similar use in our household. Warm regards, Elizabeth

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    1. Trophies are so good all around! So special that you have some family ones! I love that!!

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  4. Have you considered publishing your rabbit story? I can imagine it with watercolor illustrations.
    Wonderful trophy collection! I especially like the one holding the pear... such interesting handles!

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    1. I have. It just seemed like after my grandmother passed it was moved to the back burner. Might be time to consider it again. :)

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  5. Courtney, I suspect your book written for your grandmother is amazing. You are such a talented individual. You should publish it!
    I love vintage trophies too. I don't actually have any, but I wish I did. '-)

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  6. What a wonderful and sentimental story Courtney!..How great that you were able to finish it for your Grandmother...Now is the time to move to the next level and turn it into a beautiful published children's book! Love the trophies...I find some wonderful ones at an estate sale several years ago...the owner's of the house were a couple who had no children ... but their "children" were their precious dogs who won many awards...I bought several and my favorite one was for the "Best B - t - h" in Show!

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    1. You are so sweet Shirley- thank you! Love that you found dog trophies!!! And your favorite sounds hilarious! I think I definitely need some dog trophies too! xo

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  7. I hope you decide to publish your rabbit book. It sounds delightful!

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  8. Courtney, your images are divine! What kind of roses are these? I want to grow them and have them delivered to my house every day! (in my dreams) :)

    Love the memories of you and your grandmother and the bunny book. So sweet.

    And you know, I too am obsessed with silver trophies and loving cups. There is just "something" about them. I agree.

    xoxox
    Alison

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    1. Thank you so much! These are actually ranunculus- they are some of my favorite flowers! :)

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  9. Oh I love this! Such a precious story!

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  10. A rabbit tale and watercolor pictures for the story, delightful:). With beautiful flowers too! Your grandmother is smiling down watching you live a bountiful life.
    Years ago you posted a Thanksgiving story that warmed my heart and other readers too.
    Have a wonderful evening,
    Kathleen in Az

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  11. Love your sweet bunny story and that you wrote the book for your grandmother... I had little dwarf bunnies for a while they are just too cute... Your photos are so pretty love the flowers the trophies are so cool.. Love how you used them in the photos to hold flowers and fruit.

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  12. Such a sweet story, Courtney, thank you for sharing it!

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  13. You are just the coolest of cool Courtney. Love your stories. I am a creative writer as well. My stories take twists and turns that don't make sense of the other at the time until the end. We are both whimsical girls. And I wouldn't want it any other way. Keep them coming!

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