As my children are no longer small and grandchildren are not on the horizon yet I rely on the work of my favourite illustrators, old friends and new who have captured that sense of childlike innocence and wonder and fun that we love so much.
I have collected a few books of my most loved illustrators and of course the internet gives great opportunity to find new artists to add to my list of favourites.
An old friend is Carl Larsson whose work I discovered many years ago, in a book from the local library. His wife Karin is just as fascinating to me with the wonderful textile art she made and the clothes she designed and the life they lived together with their children in the Swedish countryside.
I have one Larsson print and the book Carl Larsson's Home, Family and Farm which is a compilations of books that were published throughout the last century. Oh and an old biscuit tin decorated with a Larsson print
The above pictures are all part of various prints in my book. They are not named but I think they are from the top: The Kitchen, The Apple Harvest, and the fourth one is Crayfishing. I can't find the name of the third picture but it is Brita standing on the path as Spadarvet according to my book.
It is easy to find galleries of Carl Larsson work on line, Google is your friend.
I love the quiet energy in his work, it feels as though the children have just frozen for a second in time and will have moved on, much like taking photos in a busy bustling family.
Though the clothes are not the clothes of today, they look comfortable allowing for easy movement. I know from what I have read that Karin designed and made many of her own clothes and the children's.
The colours of the paintings are of course very attractive to me, I love to see a home filled with colour, the furnishings, walls and the people's clothing. It is a relief from all the white walls of today's homes that seem to feature on so many interior design blogs and sites.
Seek out a little bit of Carl Larsson's family goodness if you can, it is a feast for the eyes and the imagination.