Sunday, September 18, 2011

L'Armoire Magique

I have read this book many times in English, as a girl, and as a mother, to my children.  Knowing the story well helps me read it in French.  It's by C.S. Lewis.  The illustrations are by Pauline Baynes.

Here is an illustration of the wardrobe which takes Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy to a magic land called Narnia,

and brings them back home again after a wonderful adventure.

Here is my own magic wardrobe.  I bought it for my son because his room doesn't have a closet for his clothes.  It's a junktique.  It's nothing special, at least, not yet.

It has a key.  Turning a key is the way adventures sometimes begin.

After I scrubbed the horrible black attic dust off of it, the wax turned white.  I kind of like the way it looks.

The inside holds three shelves, which I removed for cleaning.

This string was stapled to the inside of the door.  I wonder if someone hung notes or cards inside.  What do those penciled numbers mean?

Did cups hang from the large hooks in the ceiling, or clothes hangers?

I'm going to paint it sky blue and perhaps use this painting I did in acrylic, (copying a fairy tale illustration by Russian illustrator Boris Zvorykin,

and changing the people in it into my husband and daughter.)  For me, this beautiful place is the Valley of Love and Delight, which we sing about in the Quaker hymn, 'Tis a Gift to Be Simple.

It also looks a lot like Switzerland.

Or, perhaps I will paint Robert the Bruce or another wonderful armored hero for my son.  I think he would like that.


Rosemary said...

Dear beth- your lucky son. Having looked at your work, I know that it will be a real treasure when it is finished. If it was a wardrobe in a previous life, the string may have been for hanging ties on?

Phyllis said...

What a beautiful wardrobe...such possibilities...I can't wait to see it finished!

Rachel~At the Butterfly Ball said...

So glad to see you back! Can't wait to see more of your new life there and creativity!

Beth said...

I'll bet you are right, Rosemary. But it must have been used in a kitchen or garage or basement, at some point, too. There were black rings staining the shelves....paint cans? I don't know. Now that it is clean it feels like it belongs to us and is ready for a new life. love, Beth

Francesca said...

It'a a beautiful wardrobe, magic indeed. We sang Simple gifts yesterday at Canterbury Shaker Village, NH (it was also wool day there). Heaven on Earth, as in your family!!! The illustrations you chose are really awesome. Can't wait to see it finished. By the way, I got the sock pattern you recommended and used it for my husband. He was happy with the result.Thanks.

Beth said...

Dear Francesca,
I will have to visit Canterbury Shaker Village someday. It sounds wonderful, perhaps it is a living history museum? I make a point of visiting any which are nearby. Isn't that a great sock pattern? love, Beth

Jessica said...

Thats a beautiful wardrobe Beth, I cant wait to see what touches you add to its history.
We are reading The lion, the witch and the wardrobe right now, i will have to show my eldest this pic tomorrow and see if she thinks it might hold some magic too:)

Appleshoe said...

Hello Beth, it's a lovely wardrobe. I'm sure however you chose to paint it, it will turn out magnificently. I rather like the way the wood is now. Take care.

nunu said...

oh i love where this is going! "the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe" is one of my all-time favorite childhood fantasy books and i love that you are making it come to life for your son. the best is it'll be a great project for you too. i hope you share your progress here with us. i always loved that european homes often had large wardrobes such as these. and of course the old fashioned keys in all of my grandparent's doors were so magical to me as well. brings back memories.