Welcome to Happy Land . . . with Musica . . .
You might be wondering where I’ve been . . . I’ve been right here . . .
And I just finished page sixty of our book, the English Diary! Only two more gazillion pages to go, but we are getting there!
C R E A T I V I T Y
I’ve been focused like a laser, not letting myself get led down the primrose path; getting up really early, making tea, going through the house, flipping on lights, throwing the ball for Jack, and watching the sun come up, sometimes turning on a little French music to get me going — smoothing out a clean piece of watercolor paper, and in my imagination and through my paintbrush, I stand at the ship’s rail looking out over the Atlantic Ocean, or wander through English cottage gardens. Before I start work I draw my Angel Card and find out which wonderful word should guide my day. I loved this morning’s word!
I try to put my very best on every page . . . I want it to be something I can be proud of and something you will love. It is a little strange when you think that at one time these pages did not exist and now, here it is, slowly but surely, taking shape and becoming a book. Making something out of nothing. Kind of like cooking!
I thought you might like to see a little bit of it, although I hope you don’t mind if I don’t show it too close! I want it to be a surprise! But I also think you deserve to see that it’s really happening! You are so patient!
I’m handwriting it, like I’ve done with all my books, which is the thing that takes the longest. I actually kept the diary every day while we were in England, but I scribbled it quickly (and sloppily) so I could get it all down and not forget the details — I took my writing with me everywhere, always had it in the car, took it to pubs, even brought it along when we went on walks so I could write or sketch if we stopped for tea, and in the different gardens we visited; I painted too, especially in places like Beatrix Potter’s house where we weren’t allowed to take photos, so I would have it when we got home. Now I’m copying the words over neatly, in my “good handwriting,” painting borders and illustrating the pages, adding souvenirs and photographs. It’s pretty darn cute if I do say so myself.
My studio is filled with inspiration; especially books. I believe™ in the concept of “Book Osmosis,” where, if you surround yourself with the creativity and brilliantness of others, it will rub off on you; plus, I want to be sure I’m giving the correct name for the flowers we saw, the birds and the trees . . . And of course, wherever I go, so goeth Beatrix Potter. ♥ Because love is as love does. ♥
I’m having fun choosing and laying out the photos . . . more opportunity for the imagination to stay in England!
Lately the book is all I think about; I love it so much, I’m probably getting a little compulsive about it (this is where Joe would look up and say, “probably?”); I think about it all the time; that age-old question, “what do they want to know about, what can I give them that will bring them there?” I wake up every morning, with my foot wiggling, by brain clicking; sometimes, it’s the “AHA” ideas of things to add to the book that gets me bounding down the stairs. My life, in all other respects, has narrowed to the essentials. Eat (we still have lobster on beach every so often; this is not a forced-labor camp), sleep, walk, knit, read, and create. Notice what came first? (Not necessarily in that order, I should add!) I watched Miss Potter again last night, and knit. See, not all bad!
My “true treasures of home” . . . here the children are this morning, a rare moment in peaceable kingdom; and I did not order them into this position (like I even could) — But, this togetherness won’t last; already you notice Girl’s face is saying, “Take him back, I’m begging you; look at him . . . he’s looking at me again. Make him stop.” And he is repeating the same question over and over at a thousand words a minute, “What’d she say, what’d she say, what’s she saying? Tell me what she said!”
And while I’m consumed with my work, and Jack is consumed with Girl, the world continues to turn; fall arrived yesterday, and was crowned with a sunset rainbow last night, right outside our front door! I think I have never seen brighter colors on a rainbow! It’s supposed to be cool and dry for at least a week; I’m wearing a sweater right now; we had to put a down comforter on the bed last night (windows open, crisp ocean breeze coming in, heaven)! Joe and I just planned a leaf-peeping, four-day getaway for the end of this month for a surprise for us, since we have been working so hard. Meanderment (meandering wonderment) in the van . . . no plan! Back roads! New England!!! Leaves! Ponds! Oh my. Dreamy.
And, on the other side of the house from the rainbow, this was the sky . . . everything so beautiful on Martha’s Vineyard in the fall, everything except our kitchen.
Which I won’t show you, it is too much of a nightmare. Having an old house with lots of nooks and crannies, wainscoting, chair rails, window trim, scalloped aprons hanging from the ceiling and the like, are, 99.9% of the time, so wonderful I have no words. That other .1% — is when you have to paint them. Joe is doing a great job. He has the patience of Job.
It will never be done. But I don’t care . . . he does that; I paint; we plan our getaway; Girl plots revenge; Jack keeps us laughing; everyone is staying out of trouble. Life is good in the Heart of the Home. Hope it’s the same for you! ♥ Have a wonderful day!
P.S. Leave me a little message (be sure to mention where you’re from! Inquiring minds want to know, right Girlfriends?) and you’ll be entered into a contest for a FREE, signed copy of my (out of print) AUTUMN BOOK! You may already have it, but wouldn’t it make a wonderful gift for someone you love? ‘Cause it’s that time of year! ♥