In preparation for my visit to New England, I read large chunks of Alice Morse Earle's Home and Child Life in Colonial Times (abridged from two of her earlier books). What makes her history so fascinating was that she wrote at the end of the 19th century and could record many first-person accounts from the elderly people in her community about their lives and those of their parents and grandparents.
This book is full of all kinds of funny gossip and stories about life in America before 1850. The author is not afraid to interject with her own opinions, such as when she calls early children's books dry and tedious. I was frequently amused by her references to "life in olden days" as opposed to "now," which for her that meant the difference between things like buying ready-made ink versus making it yourself from bark(!) There are some excellent sections on what school was like, the reason the Colonials had such good handwriting, early toys, etc. As an aside, I was amused by her account of the primitive mail system that existed in the 18th century, and the story of one mailman who liked to skate down the Hudson River with letters on his back while he knitted socks and hats.
Reading about homes, and then coming back to my own, helps me see mine with new eyes. I am extremely fortunate to have my own "creative" room that is just mine (and the only room in the house where my husband can't leave a mess!) I think everyone who does anything artistic needs their own creative space.
I'm not a big fan of the popular minimalist trend. I like to have things neat and tidy, but I also think you should surround yourself with things you love, have meaning for you and inspire you. Here are some shots of my creative space:
The desk itself is a family heirloom. It used to be a lot messier, but a few months ago I was inspired by a secretary I saw at an antiques store. I bought a really cheap (under $10) desk organizer to hold all my notepads, maps, etc.
On the left is a mug from Stonehenge that my grandmother bought me on a trip to England back in the 1990's. I've used it as a pencil/pen holder ever since. The Canadian flag is from this year's Canada Day celebrations. Beside it is a notepad of CBC logos that I bought in Toronto earlier this year. Beside the mouse is a beautiful glass coaster with real pressed flowers. On the right you can see a stack of recently acquired paperbacks waiting to be read an reviewed!
I'm not really into Pinterest. I like to keep an actual bulletin board of things I enjoy, like postcards and a sprig of flowers from my garden.
And now we have made a full circle! The Sense and Sensibility iPod charger is another gift from my sister, and the Provence candle a gift from a friend. And the laptop of course is where all the magic happens...
Thank for coming with me on a tour of my creative space!