Wednesday 22 August 2018

My Literary House!

Anyone who knows me will know that I love my books, reading is one of my ultimate favourite past-times. But it isn't just the reading that I love, it is the world that each book creates, the feeling of belonging somewhere, of immersing yourself in a whole new universe. To me books come to life, the characters are my greatest friends or deadliest enemies, the worlds they create are places for me to escape to, to forget about my own troubles.
When I fall in love with a book, I fall completely, and as such love to enjoy that world to it's full extent.
Which is why I made my house a literary palace, a place where the walls reflected the worlds of books I loved, and why I was heartbroken to have to leave it.

That's right - I had to say goodbye to my literary house!!!  It was the worst moment ever, and I shed more than a few tears, but I took pictures before I left and I want to share them with you now.

So let me walk you through what was once my world.

As you entered the house you were in a narrow hallway, on the left hand wall I had funky photo frames where I displayed photos of my friends and family. Under these photos I had a tribute to 'Alice in Wonderland' with the simple saying - 'We're all Mad here!"

Next to the doorway I painted my own 'Sigil'.
I am a huge fan of a series called 'Skulduggery Pleasant' by Derek Landy, and in the book some of the characters have hidden symbols either on themselves or in their homes, these hold powers that when touched activate. So right next to my front door, I painted the Skulduggery Pleasant logo.
I joked that in order to gain freedom from the house you must touch the sigil to activate the door! Even if it didn't work - it looked pretty cool.
Took me hours to get it right with all the twisty bits at the bottom!

As you walked through the hallway, you came to the dining room, on the left hand wall I painted another quote from Alice In Wonderland with some illustrations of the Hatter's hat, a tea cup and the Cheshire Cat's smiling face.

On the opposite wall to that I painted the five Faction symbols from Divergent - I absolutely love those books and the faction symbols were what I thought represented the books the best. They are probably one of the things that took me the longest to get right, especially the sign for 'Erudite' and 'Abnegation' but I was so pleased with how they turned out. My plan was to write the faction names around each symbol but I never got round to it.

Then on the back wall in the Dining room that lead to the kitchen, I drew a Gruffalo and his child. I am a massive fan of these books and the film version and definitely wanted him on my wall.
It took me a couple of days to finish them both, getting them in proportion and colouring them with the fur effect, but they came out so well.
The Gruffalo did start to peel and was due some repair work when I left, but overall he looked awesome, and he was pointing at the kitchen, as though he was getting ready to sneak in and steal our food.
The final picture I had in my Dining room, fit perfectly between two doorframes. It is from 'The Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy' which is one of my husband's favourite books. And he is a character that you can't help but love.
It is of course, Marvin the Paranoid Android
 He came up with the answer to the most important question - 'What is the meaning of Life' and the answer is of course '42' which is made up of 'Life, the Universe and Everything' - hence the Venn diagram above his head. (My husband is also a Maths genius so the Venn diagram was for his benefit)

I always say that my husband is my 42, so I had to have Marvin on the walls somewhere. Although made of what looks like simple shapes, he was harder to draw than you would expect! But he made me smile everytime I walked past him.

The next part of the tour takes you upstairs, on the wall at the bottom of the staircase, I had the following quote:
This then lead you to the top of the stairs where you really did enter Narnia. I had the famous Lamppost landmark surrounded by snowy fir trees.
This was the full height of the wall, from floor to ceiling, and involved balancing on chairs at the top of the stairs (fully safe of course).
I loved being able to have the feeling of Narnia in my house, the stories always held a feeling of magic and wonder to me and it felt very homely and comforting.

On the wall opposite I had a quote from my all time favourite series - Harry Potter! Anyone who knows me, will tell you that I am a total Harry Potter obsessive. I have t-shirts, socks, bags, phone cases, pictures, merchandise, bracelets - you name it, I probably have it. So right by my upstairs light switch, I had the following quote:
And yes, I even had 'Nox' and 'Lumos' on the light switch. This was one of my favourite quotes from Harry Potter and a good message to remind you of each day.

The next wall decoration was actually the first one I did and the biggest. My friend Loushae and I spent an entire day in the study (which is actually a pretty small room), painting this masterpiece, and it was one of the most enjoyable and frustrating days of my life, but I loved every minute.
We created a wall size version of 'The Marauders Map'

Apart from 'Solemnly' being spelt wrong and there only being 3 Tables in the Great Hall instead of 4, I think we did an amazing job, and although I lived with those mistakes for over 2 years, I could never bring myself to change them - it was our little quirk and a point of laughter whenever we showed it off to anyone. We measured each line, each gap, each corridor and placed each set of footprints within it. The Whomping Willow in the middle probably took the most work, and trying to scale it so that we could fit in as much of Hogwarts as possible, this is merely a fraction of rooms and corridors, but it was our masterpiece and something that I will always be proud of.

That just leaves me with 2 more pictures. The next one is my absolute favourite and the one I was most proud of. I wanted to show this off to anyone and everyone that came round my house, and think it is the one that actually looks the best.
I became a huge fan of 'The Hunger Games' when the series came out, I have read the books multiple times and seen the films countless times. I only have to hear the music and I feel all emotional. They are incredible books and something that really made me feel like part of a world.
The most obvious symbol of Panem and more importantly the Rebellion that Katniss was part of, was of course - The Mockingjay, so above my staircase I created this:
It took me hours, I did every detail and every bit of shading by hand, leaning across my staircase, stretching up but it was worth every minute.
Everytime I went down my stairs or across my hallway I would see this and get the same warm feeling, it made me happy everyday and this is the painting i will miss the most.

So that leaves me with my final picture, as you head back down the stairs and out of the front door, I bid you farewell with a quote from The Hitch-hikers guide, complete with dolphins at either side, we say 'So long... and thanks for all the fish'

For anyone coming round our house who didn't know the series, it was funny to see the confused looks on their faces, it was always a topic for conversation. And what better way to say goodbye.

So that was my literary house, I was lucky because I was renting the property from family and I had permission to draw whatever I wanted on the walls and make the house my own. I had so many more plans for other pictures and designs.
But then both my husband and I got jobs in Milton Keynes and after commuting back and forth for a year we decided to move to MK, to save petrol and reduce the stress of traveling back and forth on a by-pass in peak traffic everyday.
So now we have moved house and we are renting the traditional way, from a proper landlord which of course means that the walls are not to be drawn on. So I have left behind all my wonderful pictures, and hope that one day I will own my own home and be able to re-create all my masterpieces and add even more, but until then, I cry with the knowledge that my wonderful pictures have been painted over and forgotten by everyone else. But I will always have the pictures to remind me.

What did you think of my pictures? Which one was your favourite?
Who would you have painted if you had the chance?

-- All images copyrighted to their franchise, I don't claim to own any of the pictures or quotes, merely my drawings of them --

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Not entirely forgotten by others. I shall always remember them fondly. I have such a talented daughter!