Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Multifarious Beauties Of Life At Staffordshire Cottage

Hello darlings, 
Pour some tea and lets visit for a few minutes. I seem to be running out of room as my collection of teacups are overflowing. That's certainly not an excuse to stop collecting, however, I do believe I will at some point need to purchase a lovely hutch to display them all. Most of them are inside my cabinets and so very much love peeking at them. 

A sweet painting for a dear friends mother. 
On this humid morning, I walk the path to release the chickens from their coop. They are so favorable. They storm the coop until I come to release them into the gardens for the day. They are the dandiest little weed removers. 
I caught a glimpse of the chickens out in the garden this morning and decided on a whim to step out and pull a few weeds. I then proceeded to plant more rose bushes, cleared my rose garden patch from weeds. I then raked and prepped a plot for making a little trail lined pebble walk for going to the chicken coop in the mornings. The grass is now a path of dirt and beings I walk nearly 100 percent of the time in bare feet, I want a path to walk upon.

It was also a bit of a reminder as I was taking notes of duties to perform in the gardens that the gardener and I have allowed the gardens to become wayward. Anyone that’s a gardener is surely aware that gardening is never quite complete. I have a constant tallying list of deeds that need completing and have most recently abandoned the idea for getting outside to take care of them all.

My book is to release in less than a month, and I still have a running list of particulars to complete beforehand. I am also formatting the book myself which I hadn’t intended to do, however, I am learning quite a bit about surprised bewilderment as a lady entrepreneur. I am a lady of many hats. I remind myself daily that I’m attempting this voyage alone with no outside assistance and that I mustn’t be strenuous on myself. There’s a season for all things and truly insist that I am indeed suited for this asperity.

Speaking of hats, here are a few pattern designs that I’m attempting to recreate myself so as to wear them with my darling Victorian skirt and blouses for my tea room book signings. The middle one is my most favorite.
courtesy of Pinterest 
courtesy of Pinterest

Courtesy of Pinterest
 I've decided to use an ink feather pen to sign my storybooks whilst I am at my tea party book signings. I believe it’ll be a delightful addition to my aesthetic.

I’m focusing on slow and steady, so as to not become overwhelmed. I remind myself each morning before and after meditation that all is well.

I worked on several more paintings and I am now contemplating a few different selections of watercolor boards. I have become disillusioned with the iron will of my boards so I’m reconsidering the use of smooth boards. I am planning a put to use a sampling of this handmade deckled paper next week and it will be a jubilant affair I am sure of it. I am gladdened to receive it in the post. Do you appreciate deckled paper?
Courtesy of Kelsey Pike Papercraft
I found several outstanding resources for learning about photography and I could not be more pleased. The Gardener drove me about town to practice. He’s a delight. He said, “Love, let’s go and try and find some rabbits to take pictures of at bunny haven. There weren’t any about at bunny haven, so I took some of the lake and a few ducklings.
The ladies are each laying one egg a day. Yesterday I cracked one open while baking oatmeal raisin cookies and it was a double yolked egg. There's nothing more approving of using my own organic eggs laid from my very own chicken darlings. I have begun adding an oatmeal cut to their hash and it seems to have increased their egg production. 
I keep ice water out in the gardens in certain spots so as to keep the ladies thirst quenched. I add rosemary and melaleuca which helps with mites, fleas and all sorts of other particulars to keep the ladies organically robust and healthy.
I have always adored the scenery in this photo. I take morning walks and each time I pass this plot with the gazebo in the lake I would say to myself, "how lovely." 

I was in need of a pretty backdrop for the Mercedes Benz sponsored shoot and I had been asking the universe to send me inspired action as to where to have the pictures taken. Why I hadn't thought to ask earlier is outside of my limits. It had not occurred to me one bit until the time was approaching for the deadline. I took my normal drive to the library to renew my books and thought, Oh my, I should ask that owner. I have forevermore loved that property, what a pretty scenery. 
I asked and they happily agreed. While visiting with the lady of the house, the more she spoke, she revealed her home was the set of a television series called Second Noah which aired from 1996-1998. She has the best stories about living in a home that was also the set of a television show.
My next door neighbors home was the set of a television show! Isn't that grand?

As my photography practice continues I noticed the light shining through and had to snap a few photos of my easel. A true art form. 
Have you seen the European wattle I made from crape myrtle branches?

I cataloged my seeds and made selections on what to plant soon.
a personal silhouette of myself, the chicken ladies and rabbit Oliver.

lovely sheep that are one mile from The Outlands in Carmel, California. I am dreaming of living there someday. I have plans to meet with the council in August during my book tour to discuss further details of curatorship.

This sweet image reminded me of my darling little Jack Russell terrier that passed away short;y after I left my marriage.
I shall leave you with a half-completed painting of my little storybook The Tale Of Merrymaid Scarlette Rose. 
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If you feel inclined I'd be ever so pleased. It's to the right on the side panel. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

My Quotidian Pursuits At The Cottage

Hello lovely friends,
These past few weeks have been full of all sorts of particulars. Let us have tea, shall we? I'm sipping some green tea {I am forever in need of an eensy bit of natural caffeine} with buttered biscuits {nothing fancy, the utmost simple Bisquick recipe} and the remaining bit of my strawberry preserves from last summer. 

I have managed to capture some delicate photographs as I've been really trying to create a much more lovely portfolio of imagery. I think I am well on my way to having never taken any professional photography classes. What do you think? 

I spent several days cleaning and deciding on a few lovely pieces of furniture for the cottage. I love the refinement of the Victorian Ornate era, but I also love the simplistic primitive humility of a little plain cottage.
I spent one whole day cleaning out the kitchen cupboards, drawers, pantry and guest room. I made 3 trips to the donation center. I must say I feel so refreshed and the energy is full and bustling through the cottage as if there's anticipation of wonderment to ensue. 

I rehung several of my iron skillets, revived a few that were rusted. I also found a new one that I picked up at the thrift store. It's the perfect size for a few scrambled eggs for breakfast mornings.
My BG and I spent time at the fresh market. I am always admiring their displays. It has such a quaint ambiance about it. I believe its the dim lighting that creates a moodiness effect.  
I found some yummy Walker butter shortbread cookies for my tea. I am sorely addicted to those cookie biscuits. I can't help myself from eating the package in its entirety. 
I have gardened and walked this little row of pebbled rocks so many times and yet I came upon these three hearts and I was so tickled to know that I was being blessed by the universe with my most favorite of signs.
More playing with my camera, lighting, and angles. I have not a clue what I'm doing but this is my place of creating and figuring it out as I go along. I hope you'll be patient with me as I find my way.
The gardener and I have been sleeping on a certain side of the bed. I have an injury in my right arm and my BG wanted to switch sides to see if he fared better too. Do you have a certain side of the bed you sleep on?

This week I stripped the bed and started fresh. I donated all the old comforters and sheet sets to the thrift store and picked up a new set at TJ Maxx with a high thread count. We now have one sheet set and I have always gone with white, for white is very versatile. I can bleach them and hang them on the clothesline. There is nothing more refreshing than the faint smell of fresh sun-dried linens.
Some brie cheese tossed in the oven with a touch of garlic and olive oil. I also toasted some sourdough bread in the oven with some freshly grated parmesan cheese. This to me is a meal in itself.
I spent some time on the internet looking for a china teapot to match some thrift store plates that I picked up for a few dollars. I am seeking a bone china teapot, and truly want it to match. I love the softness of the pink in this plate. Soft pink is also one of my brand colors, so I love using it for flat lays and styling.
courtesy of pinterest
I kept Jayne Eyre the movie playing in the background for almost a solid two weeks. When I am working I play the soundtrack at nausea. What type of music do you enjoy?
courtesy of pinterest

Blue is another of my brand colors so I like playing with teacups as they are one of my favorite things to collect. I think I shall eventually gather my bearings on a signature style that is all my own. I did some cookie baking this week. Lemon poppy seed cookies, they are not my favorite, but its variety I seek. I won't be making these again for quite a long time.
When organizing and purging, I take everything out and then sort through. I ask myself these three questions as I hold the items: Do I love it truly? Does it hold a negative memory or energy for me? Is it useful?

The Gardener and I went driving and he helped me seek places to scout out for photo shoots for my blog.
courtesy of getty
I wrote a quite eloquent author proposal for the Mercedes Benz dealership. I am shooting the photos for it this weekend, if the weather permits.

Florida weather has a peculiar way of teaching its residents a sense of adapting to the fickleness. Just when we are getting comfortable, the temperatures rise or we get rain showers with an inconsistency. The mugginess is definetly something to get used to.
I hung some photos of precarious gentleman folk in the hall, and painted up a few silhouettes of the gardener and i.
I made the gardener his tea. I love to try all sorts of different kinds. loose leaf tea is my favorite. We have a darling Teavana tea room in the mall about ten miles away from the cottage. I love to go there, smell and taste the samples of the day.
Yard sales and estate sales will never elude the gardener and I, even if we never buy a thing it's still so much fun to window shop.
Our Brandywine tomatoes have finally stopped dropping, but I can say we had the best bounty we've ever had. They were so wonderful. I had sliced tomatoes and cucumbers every day with my black eyed peas and johnny cake cornbread. The most perfect southern meal to be had surely.
This was an image, as well as the one below I found on Pinterest and its a great inspirational piece for a painting I'd like to paint this week. Do you keep secret pinterest boards?
I ripped apart a bunch more fencing and I plan to patch the pieces together and create a makeshift desk so that I can have a surface to sew on.
I'm purely desperate to get my hands back to smocking, embroidery, and sewing some beautiful summer dresses. I found a wonderfully soft weaved Pima cotton, and I'll be making a shirt out of it with ruffled sleeves, pearl buttons, and a peter pan collar. 
Heres my pile of original victorian clothes that I've collected over the past few years that need to be mended. I have such a pile, I think I may be forced to find new uses for them, as they seem to find themselves in the mending pile more so than I am able to wear them. They are in constant need of being tended to. 
Heres another cabinet {below} that holds medicines, vitamins and essential oils. I aged labels from the office supply store and then used my quill pen to calligraphy on the bottles. 
Here's a TTT {Treasure Trove Tip} when I had to start all over from scratch and I no longer had a supply of old bottles, I made sure that whenever we bought new spices, I'd always buy glass. I then would age the lids with paint to make them appear like they were rusted, and soak the labels off. The metal file drawers were one of the few things that my ex-husband mailed down to me so I stamped some labels with rubber stamps for the bottles. The oils and gummy vitamins are always being used up so I keep them in the same bottles and just hide those in the metal drawers.
 I spent many hours working on my book author proposal so that I can afford to pay for my 13 city book tour. I think it's going to be so much fun, that I can hardly wait. 
How have you been spending your spring thus far? Ihope your'e having a lovely time. 
If you havent signed up for my newletter "The Current" I'd love it if you did. I'm working on a giveaway for signing up, but I havent thought of anything spectacular yet. Do you have any ideas? I'd love to hear from you.