Friday, 27 February 2015

Elderberry Hedge - "Antiquities And Things Found" Shop

        "Nicholas' started his treasure hunting early in life alongside his parents. Their adventures took them up tremendously tall trees, across fox-watched fields and Nicholas loved every heart-pounding minute of it!  
        While he was still young, Nicholas and his parents returned home after an extended journey only to discover that their house had been heavily damaged by a fallen branch from the great willow tree they nested under. So they all set out to look for a new house to call home.
        Nicholas journeyed outside the Hedge toward the great Manor house, to his favourite place to sniff around - the old forgotten garden! Nicholas loved the garden! The nooks and crannies to be crawled over... the forest of weeds and plants and saplings all vying for their place in the sun! It was wonderful!! 
        Nicholas hiked up the highest mound of earth at the garden edge to get up above the foliage 
and take a look around.  It was from this vantage point that Nicholas made a most wonderful discovery! Getting his bearings and scrambling down this small hill, he raced toward his prize!
        There, laying in the tall grass was, in Nicholas' mind, the possibility for the most luxurious of homes! Nicholas approached his discovery and took a few moments to determine the best way to get his treasure back to the Hedge. With a bit of prying at first - for the grasses and weeds had long ago assumed claim on this prize - Nicholas freed his find of it's earthly bonds and began the slow journey across the grassy slope toward the Hedge..." 

 Here is a sketch of Nicholas' family home and Antique shop...
Can you guess what Nicholas' treasure may have been?

        "Nicholas' parents were elated and bewildered over their son's offering. Elated because, they like Nicholas immediately saw the luxurious home possibilities that could come of it and bewildered because they had no idea that their son, although adventurous, could ever have dragged these heavy leather work boots all the way home by himself!  Proud parents they were that day, on all counts!!
        While Nicholas and his father sat down to scratch out plans for the boots and their future home, Nicholas' mother scampered off to her favourite dustbins and dumping grounds in search of one more special item...."
Looking at the completed house, can you determine what Nicholas' mother returned home with?

Here is a quick sketch showing only in part the 
home that Nicholas' family built for themselves:

 Complete with multiple reading nooks, libraries, galleries, 
lofts and ladders, Nicholas' family home truly is luxurious!

The ladies boot that Nicholas' mother returned home with became 
a beautiful focal point on the exterior of their home but inside it 
housed a lovely circular staircase allowing one to travel easily from 
the first floor to the third floor and a trap door and ladder built into 
the heel that leads to a secret tunnel which exits into the woods!

Nicholas' shop is wonky and wonderful! 
It was built with love, so not all the walls are straight and 
unless you are very familiar with the floors I would suggest not taking
Nicholas' up on any offers to play a round of marbles in the parlour!

Nicholas and his parents spent many wonderful years finishing their house
and filling it up with the treasures from their many, many adventures.

Nicholas now shuffles around it, knowing every creak and every shadow.
The small nooks and dusty rooms have become as old friends to him - 
always there, reminding him of wondrous adventures of the past
and inspiring him to travels anew.   

  Elderberry Hedge
""Antiquities and Things Found" Shop"
(Watercolour and gouache, approx. 9" x 12")  

Thank you for coming along with me as I worked away on this piece!
It took me almost 20 hours to complete it and I learned a lot!!

Like Nicholas' stories, there is still a lot more to tell but you'll have to wait!
The little secrets I've hidden in this painting are known only by myself and my family.
I won't say anymore except that when they were added I actually cried....

From the moment Nicholas popped out of my pencil and I audibly exclaimed, "Oh, hello!"
I knew that he would become a dear character to me! I look forward to more
of his stories and admiring more of his treasures, as time permits!

Wishing you a day filled with the treasures
of family and friends!
♥ Cath-


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