A few of my favorite things: Sarah Ahearn
Hello! Thanks for having me Holly! I’m Sarah Ahearn and I’m a mixed media painter from New England. I’m thrilled to be here to share some of my favorite things with you about HOME. I confess, that like Holly, I am smack dab in the middle of a move too! Needless to say, this was a fun (yet tricky, ahem, no internet yet) post to put together. AND, since our current apartment is beautiful, (tin ceilings & hardwood floors) but completely empty except for our new bed and the coffee pot, I’ve done this post all about our old apartment. All of this being said, it was enjoyable to think about my favorite things about HOME when I’m just moving into a new one like Holly and Thorsten. Anyway, we’re off this weekend to get the rest of our stuff which has been in storage for 7 months, and I can’t wait to rediscover it all and set up our new place. that’s the BEST part about moving, isn’t it!? All of this said, I thought I’d share some of my favorite bits from our previous apartment with you while we are in this transition. Here it goes!
For the past 6 years, we’ve lived on the second floor of an old house in Ithaca, New York where my husband was in graduate school. I especially loved the back porch because it felt like you were high up in a tree house when the leaves were out on the trees. I spent many lazy summer days relaxing out on the screened in porch reading and (confession…) napping! Our guests were the lucky ones who got to spend the night in full view of the stars and wake up with the birds and morning sunshine.
One of my favorite things to do when I’m out and about is to look for vintage bargains to display. I scored these paperback books at a library book sale on $1. day, which meant as many books as you can fit in your shopping bag for $1! I loaded up a grocery bag with these colorful paged books and planned to display them horizontally, but when I stacked them up like this i just loved how they looked! The little red star was a surprise bonus! I added the little bird and block and it was just one of those things that worked together. That little bit of whimsy and color made me so happy to see when I walked in the door.
One of my first “vintage finds” was this old typewriter. It works well and I use it all the time in my own mixed media artwork. But, one day I decided to stick these Polaroids on it just to get them out of the way as I was organizing my desk. It was a happy accident and I loved how they looked together! I had just rediscovered my Polaroid camera and took some of my favorite snapshots while on vacation on the Cape Cod.
I love my little collections of inspirations are all over our house. I have to say that these collected little bits are some of my favorite things! I love to find new ways to display my collection of found photos, ticket stubs, drawings, vintage ephemera, buttons, fabric bits and paint chips. I especially like to have my old family photos (that’s me in the green chair & in the strawberry shortcake dress!) out on display for all to see rather than tucked away in an album. In addition to familiar faces, I love seeing long forgotten photographs (look at the two lovely ladies!) of strangers from a day gone by that I’ve found by digging through boxes at antique shops and flea markets.
See the above photo of the paper on the chalkboard? It is one of my absolute favorite finds when I found this old French receipt that was tucked inside a book that i had bought at an antique shop. I typed this Hunderwasser quote on it (with that aforementioned typewriter) and have it hanging by my desk to look at each and everyday. It reminds me that artistic inspiration is everywhere….
My inspirations tend to be bits from my everyday life… in no particular order, here are some examples: smiling dogs, farm fresh tomatoes, vintage children’s books, salty evening air, crinkly old maps, lemon yellow, zinnias & marigolds, tiny coffee cups, dinner parties, heavy round cups of tea, anything having to do with Paris and the idea of living there someday, wanderlust, summer starlight, finally filled up sketchbooks, mexican sunflowers, pink champagne, bring green grass, fading polaroid pictures, warm rain, handwritten alphabets…
And people… my dashing husband who supports and pushes me to be my best everyday. The lovely and amazing blogger friends and artists I’ve met online (such as Holly!), and a handful of artists~ Joseph Cornell, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, and the poetry of e.e. cummings.
My favorite book: The Day-to-Day Life of Albert Hastings. Susannah Conway had a wonderful interview with this author in her post here: Ink on my fingers.
And music… Feist
As for advice: Just be yourself. Be kind. (Pretty simple thoughts, but extremely important in everyday life…)
A funnier bit of advice: When I was little, one of the things my mom always told us was to be sure to say something nice when we were at someone else’s house for dinner. but, since I was a picky eater, she told me to say “what a pretty tablecloth!” if I could not find anything nice to say about the food. But, if things were really bad all around I could say “so how about those Red Sox?!” : ) moms are funny.
Holly thanks so much for asking me to be a part of the favorite things, and best of luck with your new & exciting adventure! So looking forward to seeing what you have in store for us AND possibly visiting you in Europe when we go on a sabbatic year and live there in a few years!!! (Academia sure has it’s perks!) lots of love, -*sarah
(images: sarah ahearn)