There's an antique/old junk store my husband and I drop into once in a while, just to see what interesting items we can find. One time we found this old mandolin. It's not playable at all, and is a bit rough around the edges, but it looks beautiful.
Recently I bought a CD; 'Kevin Breit & the Upper York Mandolin Orchestra'. Of course I had to play the CD while I was painting the mandolin. It really gave me appreciation for the instrument and seemed to bring it alive!