It’s a very quiet, very warm summer morning ~ I’m in my studio, the windows are wide open, I feel like I’m on a porch. It’s still dark, insects are cricking and shisking, birds are just now beginning their morning song, I have my tea, Girl’s asleep on the pillow, Jack’s on the ironing board in front of the pantry screen door, peering out into the dark (ever vigilant) . . . foghorns are blowing over the island . . . and in the background, softly wafting from our windows into the breaking morning light . . . MUSICA
Today I get to design advertising for our new book for Victoria and Teatime, two of my favorite magazines. Believe it or not, I’ve never put an ad in a magazine before! It’s exciting to think about how I want the ads to look. It just seems to make sense to have our book in the September annual “British” issue of Victoria, don’t you think? And Teatime? I can’t think of better places for a book about English charm. ♥
I had an idea the other day. When I paint, one of the things that’s always at my right hand is a little square of watercolor paper that I use to try out color — you can see it in the back of this photo . . . the little blotter with wisps of paint color. I couldn’t work without one of these nearby.
I use them to test my pen; I mix colors on them. This one has the stick on it that I picked up in the yard of Norman Rockwell’s studio.
Sometimes I will paint or write something I don’t care for, it’s not quite good enough, or I don’t like the colors I used, so I’ll want to do it over, but I don’t want to waste the paper, so I cut it up and save it and use it to dab my paint on. So that’s how some of the art and words show up on these paint daubers.
On this one I practiced pencil drawings of women’s hair. I tried drawing with pen and filling it in with color — these cards come in very handy.
I’ve done this for years, and when the card is covered in paint and squiggles, I throw it away and get myself a new one.
Until A FINE ROMANCE. About halfway through the painting of our book, I decided maybe I should start saving these squiggles. So I did. I was surprised on how fast they piled up.
And yesterday I cut them all up.
I got quite a handful of them. They look so festive!
They’re all on card stock and every one of them is covered on both sides with all the colors of the English Countryside; the colors of teatime, long walks, cottage gardens, the Yorkshire Dales, Jane Austen’s house, ocean liner sailing . . .
They’re kind of a little story all by themselves. Now I wish I’d never thrown any of them away!
But at least I have these . . . and there’s quite little pile of them. I thought, what good bookmarks these would make.
Not all of them have discernible art on them, but some definitely do, and no matter what, each of them is one of a kind. I never made the same mess twice! So, you know I’ve been setting dates for my book signings? I thought what would be fun . . .
. . . is if I would bring these bits and pieces that helped to make up the original pages of the book and give them away at the signings. ♥ The bookmarks will match the book!
And just in case you can’t get to a signing, or in case I run out before I get to your town (it’s bound to happen, but I promise, only one to a customer!), that big BOOKMARK in the middle is for you. You can print it at home, cut it out, and tuck it in your book when it comes.
I love planning these book events. The people at the bookstores are such hard workers and make me feel wonderful about coming to them. My first two book signings will be on Martha’s Vineyard, beginning with Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, on Julia Child’s Birthday ♥ (I just love that), on August 15th. You can keep track of the dates and see where I’ll be going as we begin adding new events this month. On the right side of the blog you’ll see COMING SOON, EVENTS. Scroll down for dates, times, links for directions, etc. I hope to see every single one of you somewhere on our long drive across America. ♥
And just a few more Small Treats: Did you notice that Kellee put up new summer computer wallpaper, stationery, and postcards you can print out? She did! Kellee changes everything for the season; you can always check for her updates if you go to “On-Line Shopping,” and then click on the left on “Free Stuff.”
Oops, I almost forgot to mention. This time, one of our continuous small treats include a giveaway . . . you see that Beatrix Potter Bookmark in the pile below? The little girl with the bunny?
Leave a comment, I will sign it and date it ~ in a few days I’ll send it to the winner of the drawing, to the lucky name that Vanna pulls from our giant top hat. ♥