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Short Stories: Literary Holiday Cards

Nov 4, 2013

by AmandaAWhite

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Here at Etsy, we believe that the story behind an object is often just as fascinating as the object itself. Short Stories is our series dedicated to telling the tales behind extraordinary pieces found or created by Etsy sellers.

Here’s Amanda with the story of how the homes of famous writers inspired her holiday cards.

I started this project on writers’ houses (which is taking over my artistic life right now) completely by a series of accidents.

First, I was blown away by a visit to Keats House in Hampstead, which is such a beautiful, emotionally charged building that I immediately wanted to capture it in a painting. Only I knew paint wasn’t the right medium.

At about the same time, my daughters were having one of their regular decluttering sessions and a large stack of Vogues suddenly appeared by the waste bin. I hate waste! So it just came to me in one of those famous light bulb moments that recycling these lovely pages was the way to go.

Wentworth Place, John Keats’ house.

Scissors, glue and paper have, for the time being, ousted my paints and brushes. Not long after uploading my first collaged efforts, Keats House got in touch with me out of the blue with a view to producing cards and prints for them…and I haven’t looked back.

Chawton Cottage, Jane Austen’s Hampshire home.

This work combines my love of books, literature, and research with art, along with the challenge of creating little contemporary worlds and conveying a sense of the spirit of the places and the people who lived there. I get very caught up in them, especially if they relate to my favourite groups: the Romantics and the Bloomsbury Set. I suppose my original training in theatre design is part of the mix, too.

Monk’s House, Virginia Woolf’s home.

My latest big customer is the Virginia Woolf house museum, Monk’s House, which is run by the National Trust. They actually found me through Etsy, which was a great thrill!

Editor’s note: The house in the top image is Haworth Parsonage, home of the Brontë sisters.

All artwork and photos by Amanda White.

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