Wednesday, March 18, 2020

The Art Of Distraction

When in times of uncertainty it might appear to some that I am a wee bit silly to write about such things such as what I’ve been doing to improve the cottage for the foundation {The Carter Settlement}, what books I’m reading or how I’m finding joy while being at home. However, the power of focus is, well, ‘a powerful thing.’

I also feel as though I have, for the most part, mastered the art of distraction. I was reminded the other day of when my children were young, and I wanted to get them to either stop fussing with each other or say, they were moody because they were fighting back naptime, I would always use the art of distraction. So, what better way to create joy or should I say #takejoy than to distract you from the mire of your thoughts through the power of distraction. Who wants to swim to a blog and read all negativity, any ol' way. So, I shall do my best, dear friends.  

When life hands you lemons, how often have you taken those lemons and through perhaps just sheer determination of not wanting to feel defeat, or leaning into a situation that you dislike; have you ’made lemonade?’
I posted on Instagram most assuredly we might find some refuge in some good ol’ fashioned distraction. So I wanted to share with you many of the happenings at Scarlette Rose Cottage since last I posted about the naming of the cottage {here, and if you're new to my blog, what this project is all about.}
 One day last week, I made banana nut bread, and it was delicious. It didn't last long. 
I did some spring planning with my dear ol' spirited friend Beatrix Potter last year; however, Jeffrey and I moved, so I started up a new plan with Scarlette Rose Cottage and drew our garden plans for Spring and Summer gardening. Do you like sketching up plans for your garden? I obtained the idea from this book from Marta McDowell. I have highlighted the bloody hell out of it.   
I wanted to show you these, well... just because. They have also been working like a charm. I plan to do an entire post devoted to my Mermaid Manifesting Jar concept. You are going to love it. It's right, peachy keen If I do say so myself. {smile}

This recipe is called Coffee and Pecan~Sponge Cake. It's from Beatrix Potter's Country Cooking. Honestly, I am generally not a cake kind of gal, {you already know this about me} however, I like to make desserts to have with my tea time and I had all of the ingredients for this one. And in a time like this, the less venturing out to the market, the better I am for it. I'm not frightened or anything, however, I genuinely despise having to leave the house to pick up one ingredient when I'm right in the thick of baking.

This photo isn't that clear; however, I thought to show you how much my dear husband was so kind to pull over to the side of the road and let me pretend this was my victorian home. Just for a moment.
Right outside of Scarlette Rose Cottage, my beloved gardener and I planted our first small garden of organic heirloom vegetables. We planted various tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and squash.

If you follow me on InstagramI posted about several days of painting the cottage walls, trim and ceiling. I also made this darling wattle fence. If you recall when I lived in Tampa, I also made one for Staffordshire Cottage. I’m quite mad for a wattle fence. Can you tell? {Smile}
 This is the walls in the cottage before I got hold of them. This room has been closed up for several years with storage and much of my father's old Elvis memorabilia. First off I painted all of the walls a white satin. Afterwards, I then painted the trim a victorian American Heritage tan colour from Sherwin Williams. Then I used a gel stain and kept applying it and then wiping it to create the wood effect. See, the black trim was painted. And even though it is wood, I did not feel like stripping it all down and then staining it. That would have been an everliving nightmare. Furthermore, the trim is on the tall ceiling too, and I don't think I would have had the stamina for it. 

Have you ever tried to make a wattle fence? I can never get enough of them. I love those little boxed in gardens that you may have seen on Pinterest. I think they are spectacular!
Jeffrey also transplanted several crape myrtles, Bougainvillaeas and I’m warming him up to the notion of having a very old wisteria plant transplanted. It feels of spring, and I told Momma that I feel like Beatrix with all of her planting, and sketching to create a beautiful garden. It will be so lovely for my folks as we will inevitably be leaving all of the beautiful plants when we move to our forever home. I'm sure we will find a well-loved mature garden in our new home, so this is all gardening experience, and it's quite delightful to watch it unfold. I'm also planning to make a trellis from leftover sticks and attach them to the cottage exterior. It gets full sun on the side by the clothesline, and I love wisteria! It reminds me of Beatrix’s home at Hilltop. Wisteria is the epitome of an English garden. Is it not? Here's another lovely thing. Of all the many years my folks have lived here at Carter's Cottage {my father was born here} has been to uncover the many plants and flowers that have been on the property, and I never knew of them until recently.
The lights that I found for the cottage are Victorian reproduction school room lights. Think Mr Mosley's schoolroom on Downton Abbey. {Smile} Here's one of them. I actually have two; however, I felt only one photo was needed. Ya know because they're the same and all.

My inlaws {the ones that cancelled their trip to England} gave me these two Duncan Phyfe chairs for the cottage. They were my sister, inlaws grandmothers. Jeffrey isn't a fan of the green one, but I think she's quite dandy. 

And the last item is this old cast iron cookstove that my father picked up for me at the flea market. Wasn't that a treat? I've ordered parts for it, as the hearth and one of the lids we're missing. If you find things that need a bit of tender loving care, they will be quite lovely once given a little cherishing.

My manuscript is coming along nicely. I am going to the Blick store this week, as I need to collect some more painting block books for the illustrations. Time is getting close, and I am always amazed at how much time passes with the blink of an eye. It seems it was just October, and I felt I had plenty of time.

I also made several more Mermaid Junkie bananas and sold them. The proceeds went to The Carter Settlement. I am so appreciative of all the outpouring of support. I love you, darling folks, for being an inspiration to me to continue onward. Thank you again for buying my products. I wish I could hug your neck. Here are hugs and kisses sent your way through the internet. Sending sentiments through the internet seems to be the most satisfactory anyhow.

I'm also adorning Margaret {my dress form} with some cotton calico as I'm making another work skirt. This one is going to have a ruffle at the bottom. I'm using a pattern that I found from the mid-1800s. It's actually the one that looks very much like the one I made my Tasha Tudor dress for Halloween. I am going to change the collar this go-round. I want to make it a peter pan collar, as that's my most favourite, furthermore I think I look better in that type of draping around my neck. It's much more becoming on my neckline, IMO.
 I also picked up these few items for the cottage too. A little cross-stitch. Who can pass up a cross-stitch for a dollar? Noone, that's who! {heh}

The cast iron oil lamp holder will be perfect for the cottage as well. You know I probably have way too many kerosene lamps, but for many reasons, I can't stop collecting them. Errr...

Oh, and look at the darling egg whipper! The handle is my favourite colour, green! 

The little building in this painting is the barn Jeffrey and I will be tearing down, and I apologize, but It's the only picture I have to show you. You have an imagination, so I know you appreciate it. 

We are planning to use the wood for the cottage floors, and we will be laying it ourselves. I plan to make it look very ragged and placed haphazardly {ya know how Tasha Tudor had her home built.} She intentionally had her son build it to appear as though it was made in the 1800s. She landed that vision with perfection. What emboldened souls Tasha Tudor And Beatrix Potter are. Their spirits surely live on, and I'm fully intending on carrying their sweet countenance into the 21st century with vigour and enlightenment! It thrills me to the everliving bone to even type such a notion! It's quite delicious!
Happy Belated St. Patrick's Day to you!

Most affably yours til my next swim, Raquelxxx


  1. Looks like it's all coming together - Yay! Looking forward to the reveal. :-)

    1. Oh, thank you! I'm excited too, and it's taking some time, but I think it'll be worth it in the end. Xoxoxox


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