Friday, April 14, 2017

The Key Things

The key things here are actual keys. I have a love for keys, especially interesting ones. I think this might have started when we closed on this house almost 27 years ago and they handed us our house keys.

John and I just looked at each other, laughed and put them on our key rings. They are more than four inches long and have quite a bit of heft, but we actually used them for a while until we got around to installing different locks.

We were also the recipients of two slightly smaller keys, one to the root cellar and one for the barn. 

Now these keys have a home on the kitchen wall.

My everyday keys are a bit boring with a routine Subaru key and a regular old Kwikset house key, but I also carry a tiny key that I found inside the wall when we were redoing the kitchen and the key to happiness.

Ryan inherited my fascination with keys and when he was four, he wanted some of his own. Santa was thrilled to find these rings of antique keys to start Ryan's collection.

Once people knew that Ryan was collecting keys it seemed that friends and family were happy to gift him with lots of unique keys and locks.

There are keys within keys,

beautiful engraved locks,

and this tiny one with its own self-referential keyhole.

Ryan's obsession grew to include 26 pounds of keys, locks, and key chains.

Keys lock doors, keep valuables safe, and can maybe even open hearts and minds. Originating from the Old English word meaning "serving to open, explain, or resolve", keys really are a key thing.


  1. what a treasure!! I have a few old keys that were my gram's but not as many as you do. Oh the stories they could tell if they only could talk.

  2. What a great post, I loved seeing all your photos of keys!

  3. Oooooo! I love seeing all of your keys. (And Ryan's.) My dad also has quite a key collection (although nowhere near 26 pounds). The old keys are so interesting and . . . artful. When my sister and I visited Tuscany, our hotel room key was this HUGE, old-fashioned key (at least 4 or 5 inches long) hanging from a fat, silk tassle. It was really lovely -- but hard to carry around easily (and so much heft). We were so afraid we were going to lose it somewhere -- but we didn't.

  4. Such a fun post and a great collection! Thanks Bonny! (And Ryan!)

  5. I love all the old keys! These are fantastic! And, I love that you shared this with Ryan! Great keys!

  6. I have a thing for keys too - especially old ones! I have a collection of tiny ones that I keep in a tin. I've used a few of them here and there on my cross-stitch projects. And then have some medium sized ones hanging on my wall!

    Linda in VA

  7. The keys are fascinating. I had no idea keys came in so many size, shapes, styles.

  8. It's been a long while since I've read a post and said "wow" and "cool" (out loud :-) so many times. I love how you captured the beauty, utility and plain-darned-interesting-ness of keys! I love that self-referential one ("cool"!) and of course Ryan's collection. ...and I'm curious - does it reside in New Jersey or Colorado?

  9. Oh, those are so cool. We had some working skeleton keys in our house, too (though not the literal "keys to the house"!), and have had some small collections along the way.

  10. What fun! Like so many others, I love old keys. My mother in law mounted some for us on burlap and framed've prompted me to take a picture...will share next week on my blog.


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