Saturday, April 21, 2018

My Love For Beatrix Potter

My cover for The Tale Of MerryMaid Scarlette Rose

Hello Mermaid Junkies,

How are you? I hope you're doing well.

I wanted to begin an eensy series about my book "The Tale Of MerryMaid Scarlette Rose ©®".
As I've been swimming my way, it's amazing how the universe is leading me on little adventures to continually take me on my voyage of the neverending love of Beatrix Potter. She's actually one of my spirit guides.

Let's talk about Beatrix Potter, shall we?

If you've ever read my about page you know that I have forever been enthralled with the wonderful woman that was Beatrix Potter ever since my teens.

I got pregnant with my first son at the ripe ol' age of nineteen. I have always cared and adored the old fashioned life. Let me share a little back story before we get into the Beatrix Potter part of this post.

I was born in the beautiful ol' state of Georgia. I grew up in the country. One of the only ways to escape my unpleasant childhood was to strike a lucky day of outings with my mom if she happened to get the family vehicle for the day. All growing up, my mother never had a vehicle, and we lived out in the sticks so the only time I could visit the public town library was either on a Saturday or a day my mom needed to run errands. I was in luck. So when that rarity happened, I'd select the maximum of books, and even then I'd ask my brothers (I have 3) to check out extra on their card so I'd have enough reading material to last my insatiable appetite.

I would regularly check out Laura Ingalls Wilder, Beatrix Potter, Strawberry Girl and Little Women. Those were my regulars and I'd read and reread them all through my childhood.
Heres the reason those books had such an impact on me. For me personally, when I was growing up in such an unpleasant childhood, where abuse was a constant, to read books created an outlet of escape for me. I would pretend I was Beatrix Potter and Laura Ingalls Wilder. It made me happy. I then started to want to dress like them, because that even made the pretend world even more real for me. I happen to believe that's why people love to play characters in movies. It's a way to escape. I truly think if a little Anthropology was done on most actors, their love of starring in a film would have a lot to do with the ability to escape something that happened to them in childhood. Or they are reliving a wonderful time in their lives and they enjoy reexperiencing that feeling again and again.

That may sound bizarre to the many people reading this if they came from an idyllic childhood, but to the others that can understand what happens in a destructive child's home, it's the way you survive. In order to survive, you create an escape. Now after living the Law of Attraction, it's also a beautiful testament to the ability of a child to figure out a way to create joy. Either way, It's something I think many can relate to me on.

As the decades passed my love for these women continued.

Heres a picture of my firstborn son in some clothing I made for him, with little oxford English saddled shoes and a stick wooden sign I made that reminded me of Beatrix. I would constantly play the Beatrix Potter movies on VHS for my children and even read the books to them on a regular basis. They will still watch those movies to this day. I think it reminds them of their happy childhood.

That continued throughout my children's lives. I would sew my own clothes reminiscent of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Beatrix Potter.
Beatrix Potter & Benjamin Bunny on the left. Me and Oliver TwistyTop on the right.
Me and Oliver TwistyTop dressed up for Halloween like Beatrix Potter and Benjamin Bunny.
I sewed this whole outfit for Halloween.
More homemade clothes I have sewn.
I learned to smock, cross-stitch, embroidery and even named my children Boyd's bunny and kittens after the Peter Rabbit books. Heres photos of my children's little-stuffed animals. They carried them everywhere, Moppet, Tabitha Twitchit, Peter Rabbit and Tom Kitten.
Fast forward to 30 plus years and as I have slowly begun to rediscover myself and all that I used to be, I am now constantly reminded off how much I had been trained away from, how much has flooded remembrance and why it all resonates with my soul. It's like I am being reborn again and again along this transformational journey.

That's the beautiful thing about a transformational journey/voyage, it brings you back to all you've ever loved originally and authentically.

So now let's talk about my process of writing a children's storybook, why I did it and how it came about.

As a young girl, I would constantly play in my fort. I would practically live in it. It was peaceful, I always found fun things to do, make and create. I would take my art books, paints, notebook paper and practice my penmanship or paint.

So the desire for me to write a book, and paint has always been there. But you won't have to guess why many people give up those notions and dreams of becoming a writer or an artist. We start listening to others around us. We take on their conditioned beliefs that certain things can't be done. We slowly disregard our inner compass. That's exactly what I did.

In 2014 I was living in California, and my oldest son had been serving a two-year mission for our church. He has always drawn, since he was about six years old, and I've never discouraged him from that.

He would send home boxes of extra things from his mission, as they had a two suitcase limit. That meant all his drawing books had to be shipped out. I had received another box from him and not thinking much about it, I set it on the dining room table. It sat there for over two weeks. At that particular time, I was extremely ill, and in complete pain and agony for 11 days. As I began to feel better,  I looked over at the dining table and was curious as to what was in the box. I opened it up and there were over fifty spiral notebooks of drawings.

I couldn't believe this! Something sparked inside of me looking at those books. I had long told my children all through their growing years that I was such a terrible artist that I couldn't even draw a stick figure. That shows you how much I had forgotten the woman/girl that I was.

All of those memories started to flood my mind. The endless nights I'd sit up and paint, all the art classes I took. The four-year art scholarship I received after graduation, that I ended up turning down for my then husband. I literally fell down on the couch and I think I cried a good solid half hour. That was the day I changed or actually began to transform back into who I was.

P.S. Now the mermaid metaphor makes much more sense to you, right? {hehh}

I had spent decades listening to other people tell me things such as, (in this video pay close attention to how conditioned away from my truth I was) "I was weird, embarrassing to be with because I dressed like Laura Ingalls Wilder, say they couldn't be seen with me in public if I was gonna dress that way, or that I needed to do something about my old-fashioned taste." I did for many many years. I caved and put on my pretty appropriate clothes like a mermaid would do. I put on my costume and played pretend for people. You learn to acclimate when you have pinched your inner being off for so long. You become someone else or at least you attempt to.

After that experience, a day later I went to the craft store and got a little palette of watercolors and some index cards. I opened an Etsy shop account and below are my first little paintings that sold for $4.00 each.

They aren't good at all, but I was selling them. I think it's so important to just do it because it feels good inside, and I also firmly believe people love a little heroic transformational story. Selling those little paintings gave me that boost and incentive to keep doing it. It brought back all of those happy childhood memories that I recalled when I'd spend my days held up in my fort painting.

Yours til my next swim, Raquel

Do you have a favorite hero? Do you like Beatrix Potter?


  1. How timely - I currently have two books about Beatrix Potter checked out from the library. I got them through curiosity about her gardens. Have only just started one ( just picked them up yesterday.)
    Also, how funny (sad?) ~ you can certainly draw more than stick figures 😊

  2. Oh isn’t that so lovely! I can’t wait to see how much you fall in love with her gardens and her. What have you been up to? Have you planted your garden for this season?

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