Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thursday Children: Inspired by Carpets


Yup, you read that right. My personal preference is Oriental carpets. That’s probably because, as a child, I longed for a flying carpet almost as much as I wanted a horse. Yeah, I obsessively begged my mom to read me The Arabian Nights, the way some kids wanted to hear Cinderella. 

But the inspiration I continue to get from them is not just because I can almost taste the adventures I could go on with a flying carpet. It’s also from the tales hidden in the patterns, designs and colors of the rugs.  Look at this one with its birds and stylized flowers. Sure, a lot of these patterns have real stories and symbolic meanings, but that’s an added bonus for people who want to actually research them. I like to use my imagination.

 There’s another layer of inspiration as well. History. Where and when was the carpet originally made, and by who? What was the weaver’s life like? I enjoy daydreaming about the first person to buy the carpet, the home it was in, what happened there, and how the valuable rug ended up—maybe a century later--as threadbare rag thrown out on a porch for a dog to lie on. 


(I bought this one at a yard say for a dollar. Yeah, it was a dog’s bed at one point and it’s a mess)

Worn out carpets. Flying carpets. Patterns, designs, the symbol and story. The rug itself in its pristine or worn beauty.  There is a lot to be inspired by.

So here’s my challenge to you:  the next time you’re sitting in a hotel lobby—they have notoriously gaudy and oddly patterned rugs—spend some time considering the carpet and see if inspiration strikes you.  Who knows, maybe you’ll be motivated to write a bit of flash fiction or the best novel of your life.  

If I’ve inspired you to read more about Oriental rugs and carpets, Wikipedia actually has some good articles. Here’s one on Persian rugs http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persian_rug


AND THE WINNER!  of a copy of The Bolyne  King is Michaele Stoughton!  Please leave your email in the comment here or DM it to me on Twitter.









24 comments:

  1. Oh wow! Thank you!
    My email is michaelestoughton@gmail.com

    Flying carpets? I've never really given them a thought before. That's pretty cool!

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  2. Now you're going to dream about flying for sure :)

    I'll email you.

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  3. Oh very cool! I love weird patterns and stuff. Never looked at rugs like that though. Might have to try it sometime.

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    1. Now that it's in your mind, rugs will probably draw your eye. Of course, there are those mysterious inspiring stains--like what was dragged into this elevator and taken down three floors, then dragged out.

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  4. Have you ever read The Wish by Roald Dahl? If not, you must. We have an Oriental that's at least 50 years old. It was my grandmother's then my mother's and now mine. My mom always used to say that the sand it left on the floor was from the desert where it was made. Not sure if that's true, but it always made the rug seem extra-exotic, along with the concept of tiny children's fingers making the 400 knots per square inch...

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    1. Super cool. I'll have to check it out. The rugs in the first two photos came to me the same way. Absolutely, love the idea of the sand coming from the desert.

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  6. Very interesting! I can see how carpets would inspire the imagination- the next time I go to a home decorative store, I'm going straight for the carpets, who knows what kind of manuscript I'll come up with MWAHAHAHAHAHA (maniacal laughter)!! : )

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  7. I've done it now. There's going to be evil carpet stories all over the place ;)

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  8. I like carpets, too. I bet they'd be fun in a story. Thanks for sharing.

    http://otherworlddiner.blogspot.com/2013/03/inspiration-car-rides-conversation-and.html

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  9. After this post, I'm thinking I better add some to my WIP :)

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  10. I LOVED oriental carpets when I was a kid. My mom had several, and they always looked like a giant maze. I usually used them as a play surface for my toys (and sometimes... army men!)

    Funny how something as simple as a pattern on a carpet can spark your imagination.

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  11. As a kid I did the same thing. If we'd been in the same house it would have been army men vs the trolls :)

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  12. Wonderful post. I think I'll call you Scheherazade from now on!

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    1. Maybe I'll get that flying carpet after all--and sparkles!

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  13. Great post! I love textile patterns...so much so I have an entire tattoo sleeve based off them ;)

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    1. Now you're giving me character idea. Hmmmm.

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  14. I was an antique rug restorer and a "Gallerina" who wrote about and put on exhibits of antique rugs in my "pre" life, so I can certainly relate.

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    1. What an interesting profession. I hope you kept some for yourself. I get depressed when I see wonderful old rugs that are worn and in tatters.

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  15. If you find a nice one in your digging around 4 x 6 - let me know! I'd love an oriental rug like that for my writing office!

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    1. I'll keep that in mind. The second one down is in my writing attic.

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  16. I absolutely understand your rug fascination. When I was little, I longed for a flying carpet...but all we had were those rag rugs from the 70s. My brother and I used them anyway - we'd take them outside and "fly" around the yard. I now have a gorgeous rug from my aunt, but no place to put it! :/

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  17. That means you have to choose your next place to live based on the rug.

    By the way, I suspect those rag rugs were just as magic as the oriental ones. I used surfboard across the kitchen floor on them.

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  18. Ah we had such fun pretending to ride them when we were young. I love how you've pulled out the stories behind them makes me want to get on the carpet story bandwagon... Great post!

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