One of the best things himself got me for Christmas was this printers tray. We were in a junk shop – I do love a junk shop – I have a deep love for old things – not so much ‘antique’ – which in my mind means something you would see on the antiques roadshow and could also mean ‘expensive’, but more the pre-loved, second hand and retro. I’ve been gathering enamel tea pots and retro coffee pots since before retro was seen as a good thing. And I just like the feel of a well worn table or sturdy old chair.
Hmm I have wandered off a bit there.. where was I? Ah yes, junk shop – luckily himself likes junk too, and so when a new junk shop opened up locally it seemed positively rude not to have a look.
And I noticed these old trays. They are left over from the days publishers used actual printers to print papers etc, and the letter blocks were kept in trays like this, which in turn were kept in vast cabinets full of trays so they could be easily found and used. Now everything is done on computers, and these trays redundant. As I was admiring the tray, with its pencil markings for each letter and ink stains, a cunning idea came to mind – I could put the tray on the wall picture style, and use it to display things. Little things. I am a hoarder of things, particularly found things, like clay tobacco pipes, sea glass, pretty shells…
No doubt by now you are rolling your eyes at my ‘cunning idea’ because of course, it is not a new one. Well it was to me. Only after I got ‘surprised’ (I think I hinted fairly loudly… ) with my present did I do some googling, and found out the printers tray has been quite a fad. There are hundreds of images of what other people have done with their printers trays. And tutorials on how to get the distressed look and how to complete it with the tray, all in one go, full of ‘finds’ gathered in one go to indicate an interesting life. And there are ‘altered printer trays’ – just as scrap bookers make ‘alterered pages’ with boxes and stick on butterflies etc – some people paint their trays, add background pictures and added trim.
Each to their own, but not for me – for me the point is it is an ever changing collection of ‘stuff’ that catches your own interest at any point in time. And the tray left as it was.
I was a bit grumpy about it at first as I couldn’t find anywhere for it to go, until we found a stretch of wall in the bathroom that the tray seems sized for. It is sitting empty, bar some of the tobacco pipes, and waiting to naturally fill up with my found items.