I love to go somewhere for vacation and bring back a random momento that I can use as a decoration. One of these things is framing posters that remind me of a trip we have taken. Postcards and even greeting cards can work too. This kind of evolved from when Brad and I were first starting out and couldn't really afford to decorate but I wanted to be proud of our apartment and sort of "nest". I would find posters which I liked because I couldn't afford real artwork (yes, even prints) and then I would find frames at estate sales to put them in. To this day, I have most, if not all of them hanging in our house and they have never lost their appeal to me. I am even a little nostalgic when I look at them because they represent a particular time in our lives - whether it be when we lived in Denver or we had just had our first baby or whatever.
A HUGE slip up was when I decided to mix humor and decorating. When we lived in Dallas, my best friend and I used to go to antique stores and yard sales (and anywhere else really - i.e. I remember a lot of runs to Sonic) all of the time rather than working. Well, one day we came across some black and white stills of old seventies t.v. shows and we were howling laughing at them all. I found a shot of "Good Times" in which the entire family is surrounding J.J. with his arms outstretched - clearly in the midst of his "Dyn-o-mite" mantra. Anyway, I bought it and shortly thereafter we moved back to Columbus. My friend, we'll just call her Angela (that's her real name), was coming to visit and we had a picture wall going up the stairs with black and white family photos. As a joke I put the J.J. picture in one of the frames for her visit to make her laugh and of course it worked. Anyway, I left it up there because I have a strange sense of humor and I was young and kind of thought that everyone who saw it would see it for what it is - a joke. To say that my humor was misunderstood by the Upper Arlington crowd is a massive understatement. During a party at our house, my husband's boss and his mother were attending (I think you know where this is going) I was forced to explain at length why a picture of Jimmy Walker next to my newborn in her greatgrandfather's Christening gown was a "surprise element" in the picture wall, etc. etc. It was beyond humiliating. I felt like I had just set a cross ablaze in the middle of our living room. The picture came down immediately thereafter and I replaced it with a respectable one of my mother smoking a cigarette on her wedding day.
Here is a photo of a cool poster that I got for free when my husband and I went to McMenamins Grand Lodge in Oregon (gotta do a post on that), a post card from Vermont and a hilarious card someone gave me that hangs in my bathroom. It states, "Sometimes I just wish I could pee on everything in the whole wide world" above a disgusted dog's face.
An ammendment: I suppose it is OKAY to use humor in decorating as long as it cannot be misconstrued into being offensive. Anyway, if you see a poster or advertisement at a restaurant or bar or whatever and you are drawn to it - ask the Manager if you can have it after the promotion is finished and nine times out of ten he will give it to you right there on the spot.