|In the five years since the pond's inception, one has come to the conclusion |
that one shouldn't get too attached to one's fish,
and that naming them is probably a very bad idea ...
So this week, in lieu of more gardening ideas, a brief treatise on Art instead, and how one is working towards covering every square inch of wall space in the Gothic Mansion while trying not to break the bank.
Firstly, one should always be on the lookout for framed prints in the malls, and while they don't come along very often, occasionally one will run across something suitable and at a very good price to boot. For example, the following picture by Swedish artist Knut Ekwall was purchased at the Woodward's “Going Out of Business Sale” which, if you live in Canada, will give you a rough idea of how old the insomniac actually is, as that store hasn't been in existence for a very long time.
This picture provided inspiration for numerous decorating ideas replicated in the Gothic Mansion. For example, the greenery-yallery colour so popular with the 19th-century Aesthetic Movement has been reproduced on the upper half of the hallway and stairwell walls. As well, numerous peacock feathers have been artfully arrayed in vases throughout the Mansion, until such time that a complete taxidermied peacock can be procured (interpret procured as afforded). One considered crowding the plate rails with bric-a-brac as shown, but eventually scrapped that idea because of the dusting involved.
|Consolation or Away to School, Knut Ekwall|
Although the next two pictures are not one's taste in the slightest and most certainly would never be hung in the Mansion, they have been included here to illustrate a few clever ideas for wall decoration. For example, the artistically displayed collection of antlers and taxidermy shown in the background; although one would almost consider selling one's soul for an owl mounted in that particular pose, one has had to be content with a small collection (two, to be precise) of antique Bavarian antler mounts. Speaking of antler mounts, a shipment from Austria has just arrived, looking uncannily similar to those in the picture, and should be repainted, remounted and ready for sale in the Attic within the week ... two, at the very most.
|The Girl with the Letter, Knut Ekwall|
This next picture provides an excellent example of filling every available space on one's wall with plates intermixed with art and mirrors, plus pampas grass and other foliage tucked in behind to provide additional places for the dust to accumulate. The insomniac recommends your neighbourhood thrift store for the procurement of inexpensive plates to replicate this look in your own mansion. Note also the use of the easel in the foreground displaying an album of some type - also perfect for displaying a larger piece of framed art. On closer examination of this picture, the insomniac has decided a few imitation marble busts on top of the door headers is an admirable idea, and is planning a midnight eBay excursion already. So many decorating ideas to be obtained from Art!
|The Proposal, Knut Ekwall|
Another picture from the Woodward's close-out sale, purchased not because one is fond of parrots at all, but because the dress looked like something the insomniac would enjoy wearing around the Mansion. And also because it was marked 70% off.
|The Music Lesson, Francis Sydney Muschamp|
As well as purchasing framed pictures at tremendous discounts, the insomniac also invests in common posters but will add an extravagant looking frame, with the result appearing almost museum-worthy. If size permits, the framing is done by the insomniac herself to save money, but if the poster is quite large, as was this one, the services of whatever framing establishment has a 50% off sale are utilized. Usually, a sudden rush of picture framing is done in November to ready the Mansion for the annual Christmas Pot-Luck, along with a flurry of dusting that has been left undone for far too long.
|Lady of Shalott, Sidney Harold Meteyard|
This poster definitely had to wait for a sale, not only due to its size but because the insomniac is incapable of cutting a mat in any shape other than a square or rectangle. Ophelia and The Lady of Shalott are popular subjects in the Gothic Mansion, as is anything done by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
|Ophelia, Sir John Everett Millais|
Etsy and eBay are an excellent source for the procurement of inexpensive antique prints; this trio of antique monastery and abbey prints were purchased on eBay and framed using the distress technique described in Crafting Day with the Insomniac. Also displayed, a purse from Chintz of Darkness (whose blog and Etsy store the insomniac misses so, so much) hung with an old crucifix (eBay) on a piece of frayed ribbon, and a reproduction Gothic cast iron shelf.
|L-R: Hurstmonceaux Castle, Der Klosterhof (The Monastery), Melrose Abbey|
Another suggestion would be to solicit donations from family members of ancestral portraits that no-one else would consider hanging on their walls, similar to the ones bequeathed to the insomniac and that enabled the creation of The Family Portrait Wall down the second floor hallway. Obviously, one has disregarded one's own advice to “avoid nasty pictures of grim-looking old women at all costs”, previously mentioned in Gothic Home Decor and the Dread of Downsizing. The forbidding looking woman in the ornate oval frame is the insomniac's Great Aunt Lainie from Switzerland, and related or not, one definitely tries to avoid catching her eye during the 2:00 a.m. trip down the hallway en route to the commode ...
|Greenery-yallery walls ...|
This next picture hangs in the aforementioned commode, the only one in existence in the Gothic Mansion, and was a wedding gift from the insomniac's Sister-in-Law who, one is well aware, reads this blog on a weekly basis thus explaining the reason for its inclusion. Although in all honesty, the insomniac really does like the picture, as well she should since she picked it out herself ... but that was a long time ago, and there is a slight chance that statement might be incorrect. Be prepared for a retraction next week.
|The Bath, Jean-Leon Gerome|
And because Art shouldn't always start with a Capital A, two postcards that were purchased in Germany; the top postcard in a frame the spouse discovered in Bruges and was consequently forced to lug around in a suitcase for three weeks along with a rather large Art Nouveau plate the insomniac just had to have, causing a fair amount of cursing whenever said suitcase had to be lifted up onto the train's luggage racks, and the bottom framed in a very fortunate $4.99 thrift store find. Both pictures always managing to bring a smile to one's face, despite the risk of crow's feet.
|Scrooge McDuck - Man Wearing a Golden Helmet|
Donald Duck - The Alchemist
For now, let us end with these few examples, although it is by no means a complete inventory of the Art in the Gothic Mansion. Perhaps in future, one will elaborate further on artists of whom one has accumulated a fair number of pictures, and accordingly, has devoted entire rooms to their display - the Rossetti Dining Room, the Waterhouse Parlour, the Bouguereau Hallway, the Maxfield Parrish Stairwell, the Mucha Kitchen and Pantry ... and let's not forget the teensy-weensy portion of the real third-floor attic not already reserved for the insomniac's Sewing slash Craft slash
Until next time, the insomniac wishes you nights of blissful sleep filled with pleasant dreams ... but should you happen to awake at 2:00 a.m., try to avoid Great Aunt Lainie's watchful gaze on your way down the hall. Goodnight, my pretties.
PostScript: By the time this post appears, the Insomniac's Attic Blog will have received One Thousand Page Views. Now while one can safely assume a good portion of the views in Calgary can be attributed to the insomniac's constant checking and re-checking for grammatical errors, her long-suffering spouse, none of her family nor any of her close friends live in Macedonia, Russia or the United Arab Emirates and therefore people entirely unknown to the insomniac are actually reading this drivel ... which kind of boggles the mind.
Thank you, my pretties, for reading one's drivel. It's quite humbling.