Saturday, March 22, 2014

Lovely Books~

I love lovely books..that speak to me..  entertain me.. teach me..or inspire me.
The ones above inspire me..
Through Jenni..I learned of  Mary Woodin.
I perused her book and stared painting with it next to me..
One fine day we had the boys..Lucas played chess with Jacques..and Max asked if he could be in my craft room with me..I love that..I set him up..and Oli:)..

..and all 3 of us paint or draw.. Max did watercolors..mostly skaters.they were terrific..
Oli   ..drew Mike Wazowski  ..once many times:)  He had found the ones Noah did and said he tried and got it..and continued..
Hard to explain how sweet the feeling is when I am painting and my 6 yr old grandson is painting on a table close to me..and a 4 yr old is on another's not a pretty's in the basement ..with 2 large windows..and at this time of year with no gardens hiding the windows..the light streams in..and there is such a peace..with those two with me:)..that that room becomes pretty to me.
I tried looking at certain paintings of Mary  Woodin and without tracing painted them..
the geranium leaf is from one of the geraniums I wintered blooming:)
My garden shears  kind of look like a friendly animal:)  But the practice felt great.
My mind is wandering towards gardens and seeds..and dahlias..(do I try again?)..
My heart skips a beat when I spot the first Violets..

And the list goes on and on..
Myosotis and Lily Of the Valley.. some much needed new garden tools..
Clematis and Roses  ..Peonies..Irises   Foxgloves and Blueberries..
Compost and dirt..and garlic!
Taking photos of ferns unfurling for this the 13th yr in a row..without tiring of seeing the same dance.

You can get inspiration from many types of books.. from childhood books..( the bottom one was my first dictionary..:)  we gave it away..but I found it on resellers..So nice! All illustrated.. present day children's books..  like the above from Sharon Lovejoy.. Beatrix Potter etc..
books from Fance..or recomemnded books..(  D Dewey and The Watercolor palette book recommended by Paris Breakfasts..Carol) books..and old books on techniques you bought years ago thinking it should be easy..(not..)..
The 2 Vivian Swift books I have~
There are so many books I could add here..
Some are packed away since 13 yrs..try and find the box.
Some are lent..some are lost..some that were lent became lost..
Some keep forever and look at time and time again..:)over and over again..
Treasures ,books are.

Not crazy about the Fabriano paper in the little book I have.. 90 lbs it's murky kind of~
Least favorite paints: Prang..there is like a gummy feeling to them..
I shouldn't be one to give an opinion.. 
But in case you are thinking of taking up this hobby..perhaps these comments will help~.

 A good book is all you need to motivate you:)

We're having a snowstorm right now..
I hate to admit it  but we are..
So I might just look at books..

By the way..reading Goldfinch..about halfway it a lot so far.
In th ekitchen ..not too much going on..
But Jacques is celebrating a birthday and last night my daughter and son-in-law had us over for a delicious dinner.
I was in charge of dessert..

A fun little bunting I found on the internet and I am so sorry I cannot remember where..Thank You Thank You..
Staples printed it up..I cut it and dresses up a white chocolate coconut cake   perfectly..

He's so nice..he loved it♥

I have had this cake recipe for so many many years.. in a binder..I cut it out of and In Style magazine we had..My girls loved it..I think it was part of a shower for Melissa Gilbert..anyway it was a feature in the magazine.. I'm not a box cake baker..but this one has been in our home for yrs..
I just Googled for fun..Instead of typing it all out..because typing is not my forté..
and lo and behold it's here.
Have a great weekend.


  1. I love your little watercolors, I thought they were a page from one of the books at first, theyre simple and sweet. It looks like you are having a lot of fun and I'm so glad you were inspired by mary woodin. Such wonderful memories you are creating with your grandsons :) Thanks for sharing all of your favorite books.

  2. What wonderful books! Sharon Lovejoy and Susan Branch! Two of my favorites! It is easy to see from the books featured here that water colors and gardening are favorite pasttimes of yours! There is nothing more special than having your grandsons join you as you paint. Memories are being made there. The cake looks absolutely delicious! Wonderful post!

  3. What treasures, the books and the boys. Happy birthday to Jacques.


  4. That's quite a collection. Love having my books as inspiration. Susan Branch is the best....I will check out your cake looks wonderful. Happy weekend.

    1. Gracias por su comentario Nana colección de libros es sensacional yo soy lectora compulsiva jejej..feliz cuMpleaños a Jacques bendiciones también,abrazos:):)

  5. I second Bonnie's comment - your boys and your books are such treasures. i hope Jacques had a very happy birthday and all of you have a lovely weekend.

  6. Happy birthday to Jacques!!
    I love books Monique, other lovely post!! xxxx

  7. Happy Belated Birthday Jacques. I also love books - read and re-read them over and over again.
    Loved the pictures and I printed the cake recipe - thank you.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  8. Happy Birthday to Jacques. I have a similar cake I make Jerry for his birthday. March birthday boys must have something for cocunut topped cakes. It is a yellow cake with lemon curd and white icing topped with cocunut. I use a box yellow cake but make the lemon curd from a recipe in my old Fannie Farmer cookbook. The lemon is used between the split layers.

    1. That sounds great..I am thinking lemon curd for a soon to be little cake..
      Now you have reinforced the thought!

    2. He will love it. Just an FYI, if you assemble the cake ahead of time put skewers through the layers. The lemon curd makes them slip a bit. Remove them before serving of course!

  9. Susan Branch and Beatrix Potter and Monique from Le Table de Nana :) are all my favorite! I just got done making a wish list on Amazon for all the BP characters and her postcard collection. I so long for the day when my two precious angels grandkids can join me in my craft room. They still have a couple of years to go, sweetpea still likes to taste everything :) Are you an illustrator for any books yet? If not, you oughta be :) Hope the snow melts soon!! <3 -Bev

    1. My only aspirations are to be in my family's life for a while see them laugh with them..It's my only and best look:)...
      Looking at them.
      I must look at your BP order..
      I forgot to photo my small collection of BP books..small and dear.
      I could not illustrate anything as I copy..I just love to sit and be quiet and maybe listen to music while playing with paints.
      Nancy gave Jacques Il Divo and Andrea Bocelli..listening now..
      Thank nice.

  10. It's still winter here too, so I think I will pull out my Susan Branch "Summer" book and start dreaming ;-) Happy Birthday to J.

  11. So pretty, M. everything! Love the little bunting.
    I am worried about my clematis, it is not looking too good now that the mound of ice has finally disappeared. I am hoping!
    My Lily Grace turned 13 on Fri. and they took her to Park City, Utah to ski. I am sure the 10 yo is already planning where they will take him for his 13th! I think they opened a can of worms!
    I am feeling the urge to go buy pansies so I can see some color outside!

    1. That is quite an event..13:)

      I never forget her name because of Lily P..and her dress!
      I bet your clematis soars..if not..remember that it is not unusual for one to disappear for a yr and then retutn..the next..

  12. I so agree about the books and the boys. It must have been great fun with the painting. Chilly here, but no snow until Monday. I'm always wondering in what area you live...

    1. A very small town outside of MontrealQC.
      I guess a snowtown:)

  13. Oh, I can just imagine the quiet contentedness of all of you painting!

    1. The most sooothing quiet ..unimaginable.
      Max is like that though..applies himself and just zens into what he is doing:)
      I could almost hear us breathing :)

  14. Happy Birthday to Jacques, it looks like a delicious cake you made, it must have been a great day, being able to paint with your alphabet boys. Times to treasure, it doesn't last very long before you know it they'll be teenagers :)
    What lovely sketch's you showed, I thought they were from one of your lovely selection of books.. I also have Sara Midda's south of France a Sketch Book after Carol G recommended it.I'll be popping over to Amazon to have a look at some of your other titles I've seen that sound interesting.

    1. You would enjoy many of them:)

      I know how quickly they grow..and will miss these warm and fuzzy days with them.

  15. Dear Nana - you are a ray of sunshine and inspiration this morning! Your watercolors and photographs have suddenly reminded me of the daybooks I used to make - though they were mostly words, not pictures. Your watercolors are enchanting, and your fern project? Wow, I hope you put them here, right in front of my nose, so I don't miss them . Thank you, thank you for today's post!

  16. Bon Dimanche!

    I can't imagine boring you again with yet more ferns unfurling!
    I bet your daybooks were lovely Katrina..Hope your snow is melting!

  17. I have seen that shovel and those gloves somewhere :) Love your little paintings and how wonderful to have two of your boys painting with you. I will have to try with Mack and see what happens. He is good at puzzles and building - not so much drawing :)

    Jacques' cake is so pretty and reminds me of a snowy day. It sounds delicious. I have seen those cake flags on Etsy too. I'm impressed you made you own. We have snow showers in the forecast for tomorrow night. Just a little, hopefully, since so much has melted and I like seeing grass again.

    Your book collection is wonderful. I love the title Roots Shoots Buckets and Boots :)

  18. Roots Shoots Buckets and Boots is the one Max has picked to draw from:)
    It would be great for you to have..Kids would like it..but you too:)
    Oh why do we have so much snow still?

    They would be familiar:)

  19. I love these titles. So pretty. So inspiring. You've got me ready to replenish my library.

  20. I am excited to be following you:)
    I read about you in one of our Cdn magazines..and then..voilâ and Carol..were friends!

  21. I can so picture a cookbook with your beautiful photos and now also your sweet drawings and lovely handwriting... In the mean time it is lovely to stop in here and catch the breathe of spring that you've created. We have snow predicted for this week also. Talk about March Madness!

  22. What a lovely post. I love peaking at others books. I can't imagine not having books. Happy Birthday to J. Love your cake. Very sweet working/painting with the grands. You always make me think of a million things.

  23. YOUR watercolors are lovely!
    There's definitely a book there.
    But please put the Talens in a box and forget about it!

    1. I know!! Oh you are funny..I know..I think they were for elementary school paints..
      There is a book there..It's Mary Woodin's I copied the wee things..
      It's her book:)

  24. By the way, knowing your baking skills (fab) i thought the picture of the camera was a CAKE!

  25. Lovely books. This cake looks ever so beautiful and tempting.



  26. Bonjour ma chère Nana,
    Il est bon d'avoir des livres autour de soi... Ils sont comme des amis... toujours disponibles.
    Qu'il doit être agréable de partager des moments de peinture avec ses petits-enfants ! Il me tarde de voir grandir les miens et de passer de tels doux moments avec eux...
    Tes aquarelles sont charmantes et délicates. Tu es talentueuse ma chère.
    Gros bisous à toi... je t'envoie un peu de mon soleil !

    1. Une joie que tu auras ..sans aucun doute M~A:)

  27. What a lovely post Monique. You are always doing something charming. I love the picture in my mind of you painting with the boys, so sweet. Love that cake, it's so fun!

  28. Love that cake...and the pics of all the books.....and how you do so much creative work with your alpha boys:-)
    It's such a charming post Monique.
    I love stopping by here with my cup of coffee in hand before I start my day xx

    1. You are nice..especially with your so so so so busy days these days!!

  29. Reading and playing is the best thing to do when it is snowing outside! I can see why your thoughts have turned to sunshine and flowers! Enjoy creating...

  30. Monique, I love your lifestyle, and how you spend time in you craft room and garden. You are the best granny for your little ones, I wish my kids can enjoy the same. But we don't have anybody here-((
    The cake looks so good and delicious. Wonderful post. Always so good to visit your blog. Thank you for letting me be a part of your life-))



    1. is no wonder I love my visits chez vous too...

  31. We love some of the same books & some of your others I'm going to look up. I wish we could visit each other's libraries of books like these. Might I copy you sometime & do a post on some of the books in my collection?...YOUR paintings, delicate & lovely!! Painting with the boys: such bliss!

  32. Rita..I cannot wait to see the books you love..
    Thank you:)

  33. Monique, I have many of the same books as you do. I Love them. I love your paintings, always have done. I need to practice more. I am always in too big of a rush and just do the same old thing all the time. I need to break free and do something different. Love and hugs! xxoo

  34. Oh my gosh Marie nothing of yours looks rushed!!