California, You Stole My Heart

Saturday, July 29, 2017
I must say for many years I had some very preconceived notions about California. That is until I moved there and never wanted to leave. They say everything is in perfect timing and all things happen the way they're supposed to, I believe that wholeheartedly. I also believe with all that I am, that I will once again return and place my roots down permanently. I'm sure I'll be that little MerryMaid that swims away to Carmel, to never return. There are so many delightful things about Carmel, I'm not quite sure where to begin, but I will be superlative in the likelihood you're encouraged to take a trip to the land of fruit and honey. 

 I grew up on the coast of Florida, so I was made presently aware that California has bounteous oranges as well. These are the trees in my yard, and I have never tasted of such a delicious fruit in all my days. I kept a constant supply of freshly squeezed orange juice in the icebox. 

Upon moving to California, I once again just as in my youth would preserve fruits and make all sorts of canned particulars. There isn't anything quite like the view of a cupboard filled to the brim of all things one has canned himself/herself. I sometimes would just stand there admiring the beauty of nature in a bottle. 
 Being married to a Gardener sure is an encouraging aptitude to have. I have often told him that one day I will have an entire rose garden, and I am jolly that they grow with profuseness in California. It surely must be because of the dry heat, and the breeze from the ocean. Tickling the air with just enough salt and dewy mist to create such wonderment. I love that you can cut basket upon basket fulls of roses daily, and did you know they grow all year round in California. I remember driving the shoreline of Pebble Beach and the Big Sur and I saw roses growing like wild. There was so much beauty, I could barely take it all in. I felt like I was at Disney World. 
You know in order to see everything, it'll take at least a week to see an allotted portion. I didn't even mention the breathtakingly sweet scent of Lavender. It grows like a weed in California. I had bushels hanging from an iron copper pot rack and would bury my nose in them daily. Each day I'd leave the windows open. With a screen door, it feels like you can just step outside and you're at the ocean. The smell of the salty ocean breeze consumes one's, soul. And I do declare once you've been bitten by the whimsical, MerryMaid bliss of California, I don't think one's capable of a reappearance of being indistinguishable. 
In town they have so many art galleries, I think I was told that Carmel has the most of any city in the US. I believe all the artists go to Carmel, as a way to live a fairytale life. It surely is a tiny piece of heaven and bliss all rolled into one. They even have a Cottage of Sweets. My favorite was the delectable fudge and the rock candy. Doesn't this image look like it isn't real? It is, I assure you I took the photo myself. The thatched roof with dewy moss growing, and the people are so kind and friendly. They wore the most charming clothes in the Cottage of Sweets too. Imagine a Norman Rockwell picture, and there you have it. 

 I'll share more about this little gem in the coming months, as of now... mums the word. But is it dreamy, or what?!!!
 I love that people will just stack rocks, I stopped and just mediated by the water, thinking of how the Universe created such a majestic place as Carmel. 
 It's completely time- honored to drive past oodles of these little-thatched cottages in Carmel. 
 The land is full of sycamores, willows, pines, and blackberries. 
Me in my back yard in California, collecting roses. Oh, and did I mention confederate jasmine and creeping fig grows on every door way, cottage and fence that it can attach to. 
                    I filled an entire box of beach-combed particulars, and that was just in one day. 
 My dream home...
Driving along this shoreline you think it's the road to heaven, and it surely is in my eyes. 

Yours til my next swim, Raquel

Happy Birthday Beatrix Potter!

Friday, July 28, 2017
I'd be remiss if I didn't share this day with a relishing of one of my greatest mentors and spirit guides. I've had an extensive love and deep appreciation for Beatrix since I was in my early teens. 

When I knew I was to become a mother, I bought all of the VHS videos of Beatrix's stories for my children to watch, and all of her little books to read to my littles as they were growing. 

I went on a lovely little trip to a book store back in the nineties, before having children and found a little journal of parchment and it had Beatrix Potter's quote and a sketch from Beatrix of Peter on the front. It ties with a pretty little ribbon. It's still to this day one of my favorite tiny journals. That was at the time also, that I began my fascination with her, straight away I knew I'd want to emulate her, which I most assurdely have. I wrote in my journal in April of 1993 that one day I'd have a little house bunny like Beatrix and name him Oliver. I was manifesting long before I even realized it. 

I'd later really invest many of candlelit nights reading and imagining a life like Beatrix. I think that's why I have watched Miss Potter about 100 times. 

I will celebrate today by having tea and biscuits from Britain (a recipe I found in a European recipe book years ago) and watch Miss Potter. I think I've read almost every book and documentary there is to be found on Beatrix. 

Today is Beatrix Potter's 151st Birthday!
Beatrix with Benjamin Bouncer, the bunny which became the inspiration behind The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
Me with my house bunny, Oliver.
Me reading her biography for the 4th time. I catch something new each time I read it. I also will happily announce that I don't feel like such a peculiar woman because I also love to taxidermy animals. Beatrix was known to capture little mice, bats, toads, snakes, lizards and the like, as a way to see them and draw them true to life. Then she would let them free. She would also freeze dead carcasses so she could paint them realistically. It may sound odd to some that read this, but to me, it's what makes for a beautiful artist. She so very much appreciated art form and nature. 

I said in the beginning of this post that Beatrix is one of my spirit guides. After my transformational journey (tale) began, I really dove into learning and understanding more about Spirit Guides from Abraham Hicks teachings and the Law of Attraction. I realized that I was perfectly capable of channeling anyone, alive or dead to enlist as a spirit guide to encourage my dreams along. So of course Beatrix would be one of them.

I also realized that even those that aren't here in physical any longer, still from the nonphysical are very much interested in the same type of things they were when they were in the physical. Hence, Beatrix is very much alive with regards to expansion on the other side. I promise there are days that when I'm painting a little Mermaidling or Little Woman, I can here Beatrix say things like; shadow her nose here, or add a white dot of paint to that rabbit's eyes. She's always so forthcoming when I'm painting people. She will say ask Tasha Tudor about that, as people were never my forte'. 

Honestly, Beatrix has inspired my children's series of little story books about animals and MerryMaids. I think when they go to press and are published people will see such a similarity, and I will happily say," They remind you of Beatrix Potter because she helped me write and illustrate every one of them."

Yours til my next swim, Raquel

To New Beginnings

Saturday, July 8, 2017
Hello Darlings,

I shall try and give you little bits and pieces of myself here on my brand NEW blog. I'm perfectly beyond enthuastic to begin a new and share my life with you; my friends.

I spend my days sewing fun things, lots of gardening, resting at the nearest beach, reading, playing with my rabbit, making all sorts of dyes for my paintings, creating notes of smell with my apothecary of homemade oils and creating and sending out lovely little videos on my youtube channel MermaidJunkieTV.

I have to keep pinching myself as it still seems like a dream. I have been a writer and an artist since I was a child, and after having lost my way through the decades, I have such an appreciation for where I am now. I feel as though I've truly found my treasure. It reminds me of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. She had the power all along. I had the power all along, and I'm realizing each and every day of this in my beautiful unaccustomed life.

It's been a lazily spring thus far. I've spent the last month tending to my tiny MerryMaid heart, nurturing and giving myself scads of self-care and copious amounts of unconditional love. I spend my days here at the cottage writing and illustrating away at my children's books. Three of which is expected to be complete by December, published and out by Spring of 2018.

My BG {Beloved Gardener} and I spend our weekends going on little outings to farmers markets, antique shops, the beach, gardening, planting new flowers, tending the yards and watching beautiful old romance movies, such as Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, The Duchess, The Notebook and so many more, but those are a few of our favorites. Our special movie together is Tombstone. I should very well enjoy planning a quaint western outlaw party in the near future, perhaps in September/ October when the weather on the coast is tolerable.

I suppose I should swim along now. I have a few loads of laundry in the wash, some dishes to wash up and I must clean the bunny hutch. Thank you for swimming by.

Yours til my next swim, Raquel

Where To Begin

Sunday, July 2, 2017
I could very well start at the beginning, but I believe living in the now and following my bliss is most definitely supreme.

I live a fairy-tale life. After spending decades of disregarding my bestowed gifts and childhood dreams of being an Illustrator and Author, I feel quite comfortable in now saying, I have finally "swum home."

I am an Artist living in a little coastal cottage called "Staffordshire" with my Beloved Gardener and rabbit.

I create customized paintings, (which I call MerryMaidlings or Little Women), taxidermied ocean life pieces, essential oil healing blends, and personalized treasure chest tools to encourage and inspire ones transformational tale (journey) through the Law of Attraction (specifically Abraham-Hicks teachings).

I infuse each piece with floral/herb and seaweed tinctures. The floral/herb tinctures and blends I create are from my gardens here at my little cottage and the seaweed sourcing is from a little family owned business that hand harvests Irish seaweed from around the shores and the coast of Ireland.
I believe that complimenting each custom piece with tinctures and fragrant waters sends out a little bit of my heart and love into the universe.

I most assuredly admire each beautiful soul that purchases my art. It brings such wonderment and magic to my MerryMaid heart.

I am significantly inspired by Tasha Tudor and Beatrix Potter, I discreetly embody their way of living through emulation by living a very antiquated lifestyle.
I am also in the process of writing and illustrating a children's book series. Three of which will be released Spring of 2018. 

I am especially happy for all of the beautiful adventures that await me. I surely would love it if you swam along with me.

Yours til my next swim, Raquel