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June book for Audrey Eclectic Read-Along: Jane Eyre

We've done some regrouping with the idea of the Audrey Eclectic Read Along, and have decided on our June book! It will be....Jane Eyre!

However--- quickly--- I wanted to make mention that if you (so kindly!) signed the petition to release the Sudanese mother who just gave birth in prison who is sentenced to die for not converting her religion-- and are now receiving extremely political emails from the petition site- I am SO SORRY!

I've gotten a couple of emails myself and I was annoyed that because I signed one petition I am now being asked to sign more with a much more political bent, and I assume you are too. That was completely not my intention! I try my utmost to make this a politics free area here, because who am I to tell you what to think or believe--- and then that happens. My sincere apologies for that!

And also, there is an unsubcribe button at the bottom of the email where you can tell them you dont want to receive further information.

Ok--- So THAT said--- let's move on to Jane Eyre! :D

June first is TOMORROW! So head to the library or dig out that old copy of Jane Eyre and please join us in reading! I think it will be lots of fun! Visit our Read Along Page for more details.

Well, on to the weekend! Hope you have a great one!~

Original Painting: Winter Knitting

     Three cheers, the painting is done! For a while now I've wanted to do a knitting themed painting and finally--- here it is! This is "Winter Knitting." You'll have to pardon the winter theme I'll have going on in the next few months as I try to get a head-start on Christmas items. It is my *hope* to be ready for the Christmas season in a timely fashion and with a new baby (who is now suddenly very wiggly--- the back bends and twists! So much wiggle!) the earlier I start, the better!

   My inspiration for this was just a cozy home scene showing a mama and her knitting work. Gotta get it done while the baby sleeps, right?! I am still very enamoured with 'the cluttery home scene' and enjoy putting in lots of little details like tea cups, wallpaper, and books on a shelf. I love little details within larger images (surely I'm not the only one who is looking through the book stacks of homes featured in magazines?).

   With this one completed, I'm thinking ahead to other holiday and winter themed pieces, and also slowly getting to work on my latest commission. School is now officially out for the summer and we're getting into that new routine! I've been reading about Charlotte Mason and her teaching method, and so Audrey and I are trying out a Charlotte routine for our summer. We bought some workbooks for second grade and a fun art journal, and we're thinking about starting a bird watching journal for all the little feathered friends that come to our feeder outside our big dining room windows. It's keeping her busy and her mind engaged at least, which makes for a happy girl and happy mama. So far there hasnt been any groaning of "I'm booooorrredd!" because Mama sure has a stack of things for her to do (and "is your room clean?" is also a question that nips that in the bud!)

  As for me, I have a baby hat to finish up for a baby shower tomorrow, and other projects that need attention (there's always something!)

  Oh, and I nearly forgot! We've tweeked the Audrey Eclectic Read Along group a bit to be more for the mamas (or daddys) than the kids-- although kids are totally welcome! We are going to be reading Jane Eyre for our June book! I hope you can join us! 

Ok, baby fussing! must run!

Postcard from a painting Mama

     Ooooh, the baby is sleeping! So that means I can come by here and sit for a minute and write you very quickly, who knows how much time we have? ;)
   Robbie is cuddled up for a morning nap with his nuns ;) yes. Robbie's go-to sleep soother is currently the "Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles" Pandora channel ;) they really are lovely, and they have an Advent and Lent album. And since I'm starting on Christmas and winter art, well, the holiday tunes do help get me in the right frame of mind!

  When he is awake, Robbie just wants to be held and cuddled. Which I do love, but it makes painting tricky business! I always think of what Tasha Tudor said in Take Joy, about usually painting with a baby on her lap so here I am-- trying my best! painting with baby drool running down my arm! ;) 

I am happy to say that I just finished this latest painting this morning, and am excited to show it off to you all! I've been meaning to do a painting featuring knitting forever. And here it is, finally! With a baby in the mix, of course, because there's always a baby around here!

Also, I am slowly starting to take on commission work. Which means I'd be happy to talk with you about a custom piece, as long as you are fine with my turn-around time being slower than normal. I am carving out some painting time during naps and after little ones are in bed, and things are getting done slowly but surely!


Til next time--

Hello, Summer!

    Hello there, my friends!~
     I have sneaked into the art room tonight to write you while the baby sleeps. Little Robbie is a sweet, sweet baby but long naps? Not his things. After about 20 minutes, his little eyes pop open and it's "where's my mama?!"
   Miraculously, I have been doing a little bit of painting, and working on some other little projects and also thinking about Christmas art. Yep, Christmas art! 
   In a decidedly unChristmasy turn of events--- we had a festival and picnic at our church and there was a real honest-to-goodness May Pole that the kids got to dance around and weave the ribbons around the pole. Then man leading the dance told them when they were finished, that if anyone touched the pole once it was wrapped, they'd be kissed by the end of the day. You should have seen those kids scramble!

   Something else that was really fun was that my good friend Patricia was able to go on the trip of a lifetime--- she got to go tour Tasha Tudor's house and garden! I was so excited for her, and of course made her tell me all the details. Its definitely on my list of things I'd like to do some day! I just need to get myself back up to New England!

   Well, I think that is all I have to share for the moment. I hope to get some good work done on my painting (it's got knitting in it!) so that I can share it with you very soon!~

   Hope you are well and having a great start to your summer!~

  Good Morning!~ Hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend-- we made our first harvest of the flowers in the yard to make a pretty bouquet for the table and I was so happy to see that we were able to find so many pretty things. For my Mother's Day, Audrey and I went to the plant nursery and picked out a beautiful rose bush--- a David Austin Rose in the color "Lady of Shalott." Sometimes I go outside to just peek at it and see the pretty apricot blooms. I'm a bit plant love-sick, haha!

  Another sweet treat arrived for me yesterday from our friend Winnie--- she sent me the sweetest package of things from her recent trip to Holland! Including chocolate, dutch cookies, a sweet pair of little dutch clogs, a beautiful post card, and a delftware bead that I am now determined to add to something knitted. Thank you so much, Winnie!

   In other news--- the Audrey Eclectic Read-Along is starting up! :D I created a facebook group where people can chat about the books as we read, but dont fret--- I know not everyone has facebook so we can also chat here on the blog as well. First up is "Little House on the Prairie." Its one of my favorite books, and just captured my heart as a kid. As you can see, my copy is pretty crumbly! It was bad shape when I got my hands on it in the 5th grade, haha, but somehow its still holding together! I will make a blog button for the facebook group (which is an open group, so even if you dont have a facebook account, you can still view the conversations there) when I get the time. I'm often typing on borrowed time with this little one on my lap!

   Well, must go for now! Talk soon, and hope you are well!~

     Here in Oklahoma, we're already seeing 90 degree days and there is now a state-wide burn ban. Oh springtime, why are you so fleeting? However, i am looking forward to making the best of the sweltering summer since I wont be so bone tired (I was so tired and pregnant forever, wasn't I?) and I'm looking forward to summer reading, knitting for fall, and lazy days of not having to get up for the school rush.
   A couple of weeks ago I got my new basket at the Jenks Herb Fair and I'm in no certain terms in love with it. I've seen these African woven baskets around for ages and always loved them, so I finally broke down and decided I'd give myself a little treat. Of course I wasted no time in filling it with yarn. And magazines. Girl's gotta have her Early American Life on hand, right? No time for Vogue or some other such silly nonsense ;)
   I also had an idea for a fun summer project that might last even longer--- a book club, or rather maybe a 'read-along' for us here at Audrey Eclectic! Since my girl is now such an avid reader (and little brother such a good listener when Sissy comes to read) I thought it would be fun to dig into my trove of favorite children's classics to read together. I love reading those old favorites again as an adult, especially to share with my own little ones. I thought perhaps we all might have fun reading and sharing together, any thoughts? I was thinking a perfect book to start with would be Little House on the Prairie, because I have very vivid summer vacation memories about this book. Its very tattered, and the librarian was going to dispose of it at my school, but let me have it instead. I took it home and began reading it and I was hooked on Little House right away. That summer reading was the start of a life-long love. And I'd love to spark something like that for Audrey. And thought maybe my friends here would like to do it too?
  Anyhow-- another bright and hot day here. We've been sprinkling seeds in the flower beds--- sunflower, zenia, all sorts of cottagey things. We've also started a bird habitat garden outside our large dining room windows that we're very excited about! I'll share more about that later--- but til then, let me know what you think about the Audrey Eclectic Read-Along. I think it would be fun!~

The Spring Season

    Last week, the kids and I and some little friends went out to Shepherd's Cross in Claremore, Ok. for their "Wooly Weekend", where they sheer the sheep and do demonstrations on working with wool. We went on a Friday, and despite a field trip group also arriving at the same time, we were able to hang back and enjoy the beautiful day there with the sheep, and also ramble through the gardens of the farmhouse there on the farm.
   We always enjoy our time there, and its fun to see my art on display, and also get to look through the new yarns created from the sheep that live right there on the farm. There is also just such a peaceful and old fashioned feeling there, especially at the house and the garden, which leaves me feeling so inspired. 
   The girls swung on the swing hanging from a huge old tree in the backyard and hid in the old lilac grove while my friend Holly and I got to chat.
   The new season of spring is finally here, and I'm glad to see it. I'm still trying to keep up with things--- housework and laundry seem to be constantly nearing crisis status, but I know this will pass (although sometimes I do get overwhelmed in the moment). But just like a time comes for the sheep to be sheared, the babies to be fed and cuddled, the paintings to get done, everything has its season. I need to keep reminding myself this more and more.