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Monday 26 May 2014

Loft Love & Hidden Histories...

One of my favourite pastimes when I go back to our family home is to climb our loft ladder, shut out the world as I know it and while away the hours getting lost in hidden family memories. From faded photos of us as teeny Mice to scrap books bursting with newspaper clippings and playschool artwork - there's something so fascinating about going back in time and uncovering family stories from the past.

The latest gem I stumbled upon was a set of beautiful ink sketches by our late Granny, Joan. Artistic flair runs in the Mouse family - our Mum was an amazing artist, and we have her work all over the walls of our family home. When our Mum was at art college, her part-time job was to dress the dancers at the Royal Opera House – no ordinary M&S or John Lewis Saturday shop job like us Mice had! This led to her stealing time in the wings between dressing commitments to sketch out the stage scene unfolding before her eyes. She later went on to sell her work, with my Dad’s help, at Enfield Art Fair and impressively, even Liberty in London – yes, I told you she was super talented! That artistic eye and talent lives on through all of us Mice in one way or another and it's a great passion we all share as sisters. 

So, there were no surprises when I uncovered our Granny's beautiful sketches a few weekends ago, but, although I knew that she was a fashion illustrator, I'd never actually seen any of her work. When mid-way through a spot of loft digging I found an old, dog-eared and dusty art portfolio I assumed it would be filled with more of our childhood artwork but instead inside lay the most beautiful and detailed sketches. Some half finished and some mounted magazine prints...

I later found out that Granny used to freelance for a fashion wholesaler, Elizabeth Henry, drawing magazine advertisements for the brand. I wish adverts nowadays looked more like these - so stylish and timelessly classic. 

Not a usual post for us, but this family find really inspired me to do a little more delving when it comes to what our parents and grandparents used to get up to in their lifetimes before we arrived and took the limelight!

1 comment

  1. Just catching up on 3BM in the sunshine - these drawings are incredible! Beautiful post, Lissie x