A few of my favorite things: Art and Ghosts
Hi there, this is Louise from Art and Ghosts (blog & shop), just popping in to say hello and to share a handful of my favorite things as part of Holly’s series. I currently live in the north of England in a small yet sweet little village located on the outskirts of the town where I grew up. My home is actually 160 years old, although extensively modernized throughout; the only reminder of days gone by being a strangely battered horseshoe tacked above what was once the kitchen door. Having only moved into the house last December, much of the surrounding countryside and even the house itself still feel so very new to me, which is something of a novelty. In this sense, the house itself could be said to be my most favorite thing of all.
My favorite room has to be the living room. Prior to moving here, I had lived in a fairly modern, third floor apartment for almost ten years, which comprised of four small, featureless rooms with tiny, shuttered windows. In contrast, my new home has a certain lopsided individuality, large windows, and best of all, a mantle piece! Being the central focus of the room, the mantle tends to get a makeover every few weeks or so, so that the objects on and surrounding it are continuously changing. I suppose you could say that it functions a little showcase for my favorite pictures, knick-knacks, etc. Most of all, I adore the serenity of this room, it seems to contain its very own ‘silence’, a sensation of stillness, relaxation.
My paternal grandmothers writing desk. We have something of a love-hate relationship, myself and the writing desk: love, due to enormous sentimental value, and hate due to the upper lid never failing to bite or nip my fingers whenever I attempt to open the top compartment. A family heirloom which found itself taking up residence here a short time ago, I am actually more attracted to its functionality as opposed to its age or aesthetic appeal, which in my own opinion, doesn’t leave a great deal to be desired. Almost every piece of furniture that I own tends to be white, contemporary, so the desk makes for quite a pleasant distraction.
My books. I am never quite complete when not engaged in reading. In this sense, I suppose that I consider reading to be a vital aspect of my existence, something which I could not live without. There are far too many of them, and no matter how much I attempt to downsize, the collection will simply keep on growing until it has overtaken my expectations – and space! I am the type of person who can spend hours sitting cross-legged in the corner of a musty old book store, or else browsing them online until dawn breaks.
Tea, cups, and saucers. I have a somewhat unhinged passion for tea. Isn’t there an old English mindset which considers tea as the cure for all ills? Well, I believe in it! As I have mentioned somewhere before, tea has quite a remarkable place in my life, something which I consider to be more of an ‘experience’ than a mere beverage, in much the same way as chocolate.
Treasured possessions, mostly gifts or purchases from online friends and artists. Something that I dearly love about being such a tiny part of a greater online community – our ability to share our passions with others of a similar mind, regardless of distance. For some reason, the novelty of this continues to remain so alive and fresh, for me, that sense of there being a personal, unique story behind each and every one of these possessions, whether vintage or handmade.
The dolls house, which I snapped up for less than £2, then had to carry home on a long distance bus ride in a broken plastic bag. Such is love, and a renewed passion to renovate! Dolls and dolls houses have always fascinated me. They also inspire me creatively, having been such a large and consistent element of my visual art work since as far back as I can remember. I just adore miniature worlds and the stories that we can invest in them, how they have the power to spark imagination, whilst also rekindling feelings and memories of childhood, when play and imagination were so essential to our perception and exploration of the world around us.
My village in winter time. One of my most favorite things of all. Words could never possibly express my love for the colder months, how it seems that I only ever come fully alive at this time. My senses literally rejoice the coming of autumn (as they are doing now!), the darker evenings, the longer nights. Perhaps this suits me so well because I am a confirmed night-owl, preferring to work through the night time, as late as my commitments will permit. Snow, especially, defines the very concept of magic for me.
What inspires me: Oh, too much! So many things that are intangible, like dreams, memories and sensations. The natural world, the seasons, ideas of places which I have never seen. I am besotted with music, both contemporary and classical, and can barely exist without it, especially when working. Each and every day I am hugely inspired by the passion and integrity of creative people, their own work and the thoughts they share amongst us. I am also quite obsessed with fairy tales, mythology, children’s literature and film.
The most unforgettable advice that I have heard so far is quite possibly one of the most simple, yet carrying it out can take a monumental effort: Have faith in your own feelings, to take notice of your intuition. If only I had done this on so many occasions! We have a tendency to push such things aside as mere irritations, but in my own experience I have often found them to be an invaluable source of truth.
Having said that…one more piece of advice, which I stumbled upon whilst browsing the internet this week: never, just absolutely NEVER make a decision when you are angry. This one really ought to speak for itself! Thanks so much for reading my little offering, and a huge thank-you to Holly for making me so welcome! — Take care, Lou x
(images: art and ghosts)