Monday, March 4, 2019

The Many Executions At Staffordshire Cottage

My dear friends, 

Did you have a delightful weekend? I had a lovely weekend, and I was quite productive. 

I had a pleasant visit with my parents, went shopping and got enough custom drapes to cover over half of the cottage windows. I'll show pictures tomorrow. I am currently hemming the last pair this evening. The ol' rabbits in tow. 

My father cut a piece of plywood for my table so that we might have a little dining table. I moved the pie safe into the kitchen, and I still have to strip and stain it. I also am several ageing mirrors for the work out room.

The intellectual is, quite simply, a human being who has a pencil in his or her hand when reading a book.
—George Steiner

In getting my books,” Edgar Allan Poe wrote in 1844, “I have always been solicitous of an ample margin; this is not so much through any love of the thing in itself, however agreeable, as for the facility it affords me of pencilling in suggested thoughts, agreements, and differences of opinion, or brief critical comments in general.”
I tend to always write in the margins of my books. Patricia Lockwood put it this way: There’s a way of reading that is like writing. You feel in collaboration… You have a pen in your hand, you’re going along in a way that’s, like, half creating it as you go. And you’re also strip-mining it for anything you can use… you’re sifting for what could be gold.

I love what she says here. I feel that way so often while mining for ideas about the books I'm writing. If we are present, we can always find ways to be inspired. 

On dress...

“Dress, then, is something more than a necessity of climate, something better than the condition of comfort, something higher than the elegance of civilisation.  The dress is the index of conscience, the evidence of our emotional nature.  It reveals, more clearly than speech expresses, the inner life of heart and soul in a people, and also the tendencies of individual character."
—Sarah Josepha Hale, 1866.
Manners, 1866
Collecting eggs from the ladies. I think its best to dress for the job that you want. I want to be a Victorian lady. I find most of my day to day shirts at the charity shop for about 50 cents to a dollar. I buy many white shirts and almost always sew my own dresses and skirts.

Then if I happen to get a stain on my shirts, I don't feel so down in the mouth as they only cost pennies and can easily be replaced.
I try to always give the ladies hash, oats, veggies and fruits in addition to their regular laying blend food.
The micro gingham is for a picnic basket. I am making a new liner and some pretty flowery napkins to coordinate. I shall have a picnic at the cemetery when it is complete. 
I tea-dyed all of my recent fabric purchases. To make them appear old, I like to throw them in an ol' bucket and let them sit for hours. I attain this by using half of a box of Lipton tea bags, boiling the water and then dropping the fabrics into the bucket. Make sure you run the materials through a rinse cycle, so they are all yet throughout. If not the dye will be uneven. 

Save the tea bags and reuse them again, by dying all of your labels, paper and planning sheets. 

Have you ever cordially met "Poppins?"  It is a second-hand bicycle that I painted, made leather grips and then Jeffrey bought me the basket for Christmas last year.  I still want a new leather seat like below.

 I have yet to collect my leather seat; however, I enjoyed taking Poppins on a delightful ride.
 My Beloved Gardener made me a yummy Mediterranean salad.
I was reframing many old family photos for a photo wall I am working on, and came upon the above photo of my two eldest sons, Carter and Sawyer. The sweet little outfits were made from linen and Pima cotton. I hand made them for Easter one year. They were a light robin eggs blue. The trim was an heirloom french entredeux in cream cotton lace.

What have you been busy with this beautiful new month of March?

Most affably yours til my next swim, Raquelxxx 


  1. Your dining area looks so beautiful. I love the pie safe.

    I look forward to seeing your window drapes. :)

    1. Oh my stars, I wrote you a lenghty reply and my internet went down. I was saying thank you so much. I really did score exceedingly on the fabric drapes. The entire stack was lined with black out fabric and they all matched my cottage decor. I was as pleased as punch.


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