If you follow me on instagram or have been to my home, you've probably noticed my Central Coast vintage travel pennant collection in the entryway of the dining + living room. I wrote about the collection over on the Ruby Rose blog and have crossposted the content below. While writing the story I took a gander on eBay and swiped up another pennant that I am super excited about, I can't wait for it to get here and put it up on wall. I'll 'gram it once it arrives!
Hiya Ruby Rose followers! My name is Kendra Aronson - not to be confused with the other Kendra who works at the shop - I do some behind-the-scenes work here for the biz. Today I'd like to share with you my love for collecting. I come from a family of pack rats, so naturally, hoarding treasures and amassing goodies is in my blood. When I was a little girl I used to collect Bazooka Joe gum comics, miniature tea sets, paper parasols (tiny papery umbrellas that you see in Mai Tai cocktails - those things are seriously hard to come by as a kid ordering non-alcoholic drinks!), scrapbooking stickers, postcards, tickets from concerts, museums, movies,....My latest collections include plants, plastic toy cameras, gems, and vintage travel pennants. Perhaps you remember this post back in October where I described my deep appreciation for the felted flag:
Vintage travel pennants can add character to any room with their simple graphics, brightly colored typography, and soft felt texture. They have a way of inducing nostalgia, tugging at our inner wanderlust, and relishing past adventures. Remember back in the day when travel pennants were sold at local corner stores, gift shops, and souvenir stands? They served as a little token - a tangible treasure - to remind us of our childhood field trips, our family road trips, and our dreamy holiday vacations. To this day, they still evoke the excitement of exploring and sightseeing.
I had just moved back to San Luis Obispo in April and by late-summer I was looking to spruce up my interiors. Our living room had a great white wall in the entrance of the home and instead of going with the obvious choice of posters or framed artwork, I wanted to showcase the spirit of the Central Coast - my new homebase. That white wall was a blank canvas and I wanted to fill it with something unique. I knew that once I started collecting pennants I had to set some personal parameters to make it extra special....and so it wouldn't get out of control!
All pennants must be from the Central Coast
According to Wikipedia, "The Central Coast is an area of California, United States, roughly spanning the area between the Monterey Bay and Point Mugu. It extends through Santa Cruz County, San Benito County, Monterey County, San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County, and Ventura County. The Central Coast is northwest of Los Angeles County and south of San Francisco and San Mateo Counties." I have to remind myself constantly of this definition when scouting for pennants, it's hard to pass up on sweet Southern California pennants (my hometown) and amazing Bay Area pennants (where I was living previously to relocating to SLO) but sticking to a specific territorial boundary was crucial in refining my vintage travel pennant collection.
All pennants must have a cohesive design layout.
Generally, pennants have illustrations on the left where the base of the pennant is widest, and the other two-thirds of the pennant have the name of the place. The ones I've collected thus far have this design layout. Some pennants will have the text overlaying the artwork and that looks to cluttered to me. For example, even though I need Santa Ines in my collection, I will pass on this one because of the design layout...and also because it is screenprinted on cheap felt from the 1970s.
All pennants must have similar fonts.
I am a font fanatic - pennants that I am drawn to ooze with handwritten/handpainted-esque typography. A terrific typeface can really make it, while a terrible typeface can really break it. For example, I need to add Big Basin to my collection but I am going to pass on this one because the font doesn't really jive with the aesthetic I'm seeking out.
Getting particular about the parameters has really helped me curate this collection. It's fun to constantly be on the lookout for the next one. [If you ever see a Pismo Beach pennant, let me know! Three have gotten away from me on eBay in bidding wars and I'm itching to add that one!] There is something so addicting about chasing down the next piece. I'm curious, do you collect anything? Are you as systematic as me in your collection habits? What is your most prized piece in your collection? I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below! :)