Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Seeking Creative Inspiration

Today I set off with one goal in mind- to be inspired. I was desperate for some creative infusion, some inspiration, some color, and some feeling. So I headed off to Eureka Springs, Arkansas to see what I could see. I had done minimal research on the town, other than to discover it doesn't have hot springs or mineral springs. It is natural springs that you used to be able to drink. And that while it is gay and family friendly, it isn't dog friendly. So I left my dog behind, and struck out alone. 

Here are a few of the scenes that I found that inspired me. 

Upon arriving in town I just drove around and found myself following the signs to "East Mountain Overlook." This was the scene I found. (Have I mentioned Arkansas is green and more green?) After spotting the beautiful hotel across the hills, I had to go find it. It is the Crescent Hotel and is built in true Southern Victorian style. I loved it! The staff were incredibly kind and attentive- and I wasn't even a guest there!

Just below the Hotel was St Elizabeth's Chapel. A beautiful, quaint little Catholic Church with statues, stained glass, and beautiful gardens.

Each of these little statues had "Pray for XYZ Family" on them. The Christ statue at the end was donated by a family trust. I thought that was so beautiful. Of all the ways families can spend trust money, I think it is wonderful that they chose to make a beautiful prayer garden with a beautiful statue of Christ.

I was in the mood for beauty and art. There were many beautiful stained glass windows throughout the town. This was my favorite of all of them. It is an angel comforting the ill.

After the chapel and the hotel I worked my way down into the quaint little historic district. Like so many quaint, historic districts, there are lots of kitschy little shops selling anything but authentic or vintage materials, and an overabundance of fake leather jackets and tacky t-shirts. But hiding among the rocks was a few beautiful gems.

The architecture and colors of the town really stood out for me. I loved looking up at my surroundings. I found myself staring at buildings and colors than I did at the t-shirts hanging in the store windows.

This town is, after all, built around springs. There are dozens of them all around. Some are big, some are little, some have picturesque gardens, some are in people's backyards. This was one of my favorites. I found inspiration in the colors, the coolness (it is set down about 10 feet below street level and very chilly), and yet the calmness of it. I was sitting on the circular stairs leading down to the spring when I took this picture. After I took it I just sat and took it all in and enjoyed the serenity.

 I asked a sweet older couple walking by to take a picture of me for evidence that I was really there. I found out that they were high school sweethearts from Oklahoma, and have been coming to Eureka Springs since they were kids for the "healing properties." Life long love like that is very inspiring.

This old house may not seem like an inspirational seed, but it was. It stood out for having character and being independent. In a town of quaint, cute, Victorian, and syrupy sweet, it was fun to see stubbornness and a rebel attitude at its best.

After 3 years of living in Utah, I still marvel at all the colors and shades of green you can see in just one spot in Arkansas.

Another spring that just jumped out at me. I loved the ivy, the colors, the walls, even the little gate protecting it.

 In the yard of a little yellow B&B (there are B&B's about every other building in Eureka Springs), I found this miniature rose bush. From this angle you can see the little children statues and the steeple of the church beyond.

To me this is southern living at its finest. A big huge sitting porch with a ceiling fan, white wicker furniture, and a porch swing. Not to mention it is pink and has flowers growing in every nook and cranny. Every house in this town makes you want to sit down, drink a lemonade, and take a nap in the breeze.

I found what I was in search of. I even found myself sitting in a beautiful cafe, writing a story, sipping a cold Diet Coke, and looking out over this beautiful view- (if you look VERY closely, you can see a little white spec just tot he let of center at the top of the treeline in the distance. That is the 7 story Christ statue from the "Great Passion Play." I didn't get the chance to go out there to see it. Maybe next time.)

All in all, I found what I was looking for. I found myself finally remembering who I am, what I like, and what it is I like to do. Here's just a few of those things I remembered and discovered. 
I like antiques. Not replicas, not shabby chic from Target, but actual, true, antiques. 
I love just about all dishware from the 60s and 70s. 
I love Delft pottery and Wedgewood China. 
I love cheeseburgers (and I ate my first one since moving to Arkansas). 
I love to write. 
I love colors. 
I love dresses and hats from the 40s. 
I love furniture that tells a story and doesn't come from a big box store. 
I love fresh flowers in every room. Even when I am completely broke, I still find a way to have fresh flowers by my bed. (Tonight they are beautiful white calla lillies in a beautiful antique milk white vase I bought for $3.)
Nothing makes me happier than a little girl with long curly hair in a sun-dress running through a flower garden. 
I love colorful words that paint a picture. Not all words have to make a point directly. Sometimes it is the picture that you remember better.
Also, last but not least, I love kittens. Which is how this little lady came home with me. Her name is Sweet Pea.

I came home inspired to finally make my apartment my home, and not just the rooms that hold all my earthy belongings. I put out a few of my new treasures (all purchased at the antiques shop), cleaned up my room, and got busy decorating from the inspiration and scenes I saw today. I'm going to bed and starting off this week contented, happy, inspired, and feeling more like the woman I want to be. 


  1. Interesting. The statues and chapel you mention reminded me of how beautiful the Vatican is. If you haven't had the chance to go you should. It is breathtaking.

    Beautiful pictures by the way!

  2. Enjoyed your post! It always seems like those little getaways help the mind the most. It is also a great reminder of making the list of the "I love and like" instead of the "I don't have" or whatever...which is sometimes a struggle.

    Enjoy your week!

  3. Anonymous9:11 PM

    I love the pictures they are beautiful and the kitten so cute, your so pretty. IM enjoying your blog, thank you it's inspiring to me

  4. Anonymous3:57 PM

    I enjoyed the journey you took me on as I read about the town you explored. It was peaceful and inspiring. I feel the need to go out and connect with nature again. That is a town that is now on my list of places to see.


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