Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Works in Progress


Hi everyone!

Thought I would pop in and say hi and tell you how things are going in the bedroom reno (which is really just paint, but seems so much more...)


First of all, my bedroom is VERY small. It seems especially small with a king-sized bed and two massive dressers. The latter belonged to my great-grandparents, so they stay; the former is a necessity for a happy marriage!

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, all I wished for Mother's Day was for my bedroom to be painted a lovely white.




I typically use Decorator's White by Benjamin Moore. However, this time, they insisted I use Simply White, which is apparently the colour of the year and a more creamy white.

I love it!

Two years ago I made a wall of art in my office and I love it. I decided to do it again in the bedroom and have no art or pictures on the other walls. The were two exception - small verdigris angel wings over the bed and my little shadow box containing earrings.




Below is the wall....






I just got this little pencil crayon sketch of a Scottie (above) at an antique store for song. I thought he was just lovely!

It's nice to look up and see photographs of places visited, loved ones.




And I love the picture of me and the kids done by the youngest many moons ago. If you squint you can see the little cafe at Giverny up above!




The little table between the two dressers is going to be painted, as are the chair legs (i think even I can manage that!)



 The chalkware Scottie came home with me, too. Just because...




And I'm leaving my housecoat on the door because it just seems to go with the floral, soothing vibe.




All in all, a very inexpensive, but wonderful change-up. It is amazing what a can of paint can do!

In other news, I was visiting my old stomping grounds this week, filming locales for the book trailer that I'll do and release this fall. It was so much fun! If you want to read about it, head over to wendymcleodmacknight.com and click on blog!

And I now have a fabulous bookmark to share:



So much fun!  What have you been up to the past two weeks?

xox Wendy

Monday, May 2, 2016

Whitewashing May



Gosh I love May! The days are longer, the trees are beginning to bud around here, the birds are singing...

And Barry is painting our bedroom.




Our room was painted last about 6 or 7 years ago when we went a lovely peacock blue.

But something has been happening inside of me these past few years. I have been choosing paler and paler colours (at least for me!).

It began in the dining room:





Moved along to the living room and hallway...





And has spilled into the bedroom, which, shockingly, I have chosen to paint white.

And not just any white: Simply White, Benjamin Moore's colour of the year:


OC-117:


I never thought I would go with white, but I just keep lightening up in life and this seemed to be the next step...

Plus, this picture kind of won me over:


paint: benjamin moore, simply white. natural frames.:



A freshly painted bedroom is the only thing I requested for Mother's Day. It is a work in progress and about halfway done.

Other than that, I am starting spring cleaning, writing about 40 hours a week, and hoping for the sun.

How about you?

Oh and ps: the J Crew Dress looked awful!  Sigh, still on the hunt...

xo wendy








Sunday, April 17, 2016

Spring Natterings


It seems to me that Spring arrives very suddenly. It's like a baby you've been waiting to give birth to for months and then all of a sudden you go from being an expectant parent to being an actual parent in the space of a few hours.

Last year, I worked myself to the bone doing Spring clean up. This year I am pacing myself. I do 90 minutes a day. I stop on the clock regardless of whether I am enjoying myself or not. The reason for this is two-fold:

  • I want to ease myself into the heavy Spring work so as not to hurt myself; and
  • I have so much else going on.

Am dreaming of this, but we are a ways off...



I am now in the process of doing revisions to the work I turned in, the fine tuning required before my agent attempts to sell it. She is enthusiastic, so I am enthusiastic. Still, this writing is a business, make no mistake, and it is all about finding a sympathetic editor who sees David in the pile of marble you send.  We shall see.

I did see something exciting today. It's a Mystery, Pig Face is actually available for pre-order on Amazon!  I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw it!

Go take a look here. It's like it's going to happen!






I have swapped out my winter clothing for my Spring-Summer clothing, which has resulted in me feeling quite cold by times. I did another ruthless purge, Truly, at times I think I will end up living in a monk's robe and sparkly shoes, though that doesn't seem so bad when you think of it.

I have been searching for a couple of spring/summer dresses for some upcoming events. This is not so easy. My menopausal body seems disinterested in looking, um, tight, despite long walks and an attempt at eating less.  Worse, there are few stores in my city that cater to people over twenty years of age. I have found an inexpensive white dress and have the following on order from J Crew Factory to try.  We shall see.



Factory flutter-sleeve scalloped eyelet dress


In other news, my son comes home from university. It seems you can indeed learn to live without one of your appendages, though it has been very helpful that he is an excellent communicator; he calls almost daily just to say hi; his decision, not mine.  It has made the separation easier.  Now he is the hunt for summer work. He is also reuniting with a new girlfriend, who seems quite nice. We miss the old one, but this is his life, not mine, and my job is to make whoever shows up her welcome.

Other than that I am happy now that Grantchester and Call the Midwife are back and I await Game of Thrones with trepidation and excitement.






How is your Spring going?

xoxo Wendy

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Easter, when the Wendy Bird crawls out of her hole


Oh My - it has been one month since I last wrote!


My only excuse is that I had to get my manuscript into my agent by the end of this week and have been working 7 days a week.

Okay, that's a pretty good excuse...

But I wanted to pop in and tell you how things are going and share my life right now.

But first:

Hoppy Easter!







We will all be here for Easter. Son has decided to take an all-night bus home from Montreal tonight. I haven't seen him since the first week of January, so this is a good thing!

I haven't worked on the menu for the weekend, but there will be 8 of us for dinner, and at least 2 are vegans, so creativity is the name of the game!


The early publicity for my book (and I mean EARLY, since the book isn't released until next February!) has begun. I was interviewed on a blog this week (if you want the link pop over to wendymcleodmacknight.com and check in the news section) and have been interviewed by my local newspaper (this hasn't been printed yet).

It is very strange to answer questions about work that you spend most of your time holed up in a small office doing!  But I am sure I will get used to it (and I hope there will be more publicity in the future, since that's how you sell books!)

As for wardrobe-ing, I continue on the straight and narrow path. I have decided to be very thoughtful this year, as I've said before, and shop with a list of "needs" not wants. I have actually decided to use the 5 piece French wardrobe approach of only purchasing 5 things for spring/summer and 5 for fall/winter. This is forcing me to be very picky.

To be honest, I don't even have my list sorted out, although I did need a sleeveless creamy silk blouse and purchased this Kate Spade blouse from a local shop:


This top is awesome. Clean lines, and the trim adds interest.:


I think this may be the first Kate Spade piece I've ever owned (clothing-wise) but I loved the quality and the construction.

I think my other additions may be new sneakers, a black silk top and perhaps a dress and a pair of shorts. But right now, I have no plans for anything!

Having a (very) short list makes all the difference. I have shopped my closet exclusively all winter and loved it.

I will keep you posted! 

How about you? Any exciting purchases or big Easter plans? I'd love to hear about them!

xoxo Wendy

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Craftmanship of Haute Couture


Hi all,

I had a flying visit to NYC last weekend to attend the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (if you want to read more about THAT experience, visit my author blog at wendymcleodmacknight.com).

While I spent the entire weekend in a ballroom at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, I had enough time on Monday morning to pop over to the Metropolitan Museum of Art before catching a cab out to the airport for my flight home.

The last time I was at The Met, the Costume Institute section was closed, so I was delighted to find it open this time and more than delighted when I realized that the Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style exhibit was still on.

I'm not going to lie - I was only peripherally aware of her existence before this exhibit (though that is more than she is aware of mine!) and mostly in the context of her being one of Capote's Swans.

But as I read about her life, saw the videos and pictures, and most of all, looked at the outfits she had chosen for the exhibits, I fell madly in love with her.

The woman was glamour personified.

It was one of my first opportunities to see real haute couture up close.

It did not disappoint. The material and craftsmanship was breathtaking. Even as I write this, wearing a J Crew t-shirt that is only one year old and has a large hole in the underarm, I am struck but what a really fine artist can do with beautiful fabrics.






She was born glamorous and with a body made to wear these kinds of clothes...


And in an era where people still dressed elegantly....


If you get a chance to get in to see this exhibit before it closes in February, you will not be sorry!

As an update, It's a Mystery, Pig-Face! has a real publication date - the first week of February, 2017! It is a long time away, I know, but I guess that's the publishing business. Meanwhile, I have been on a very tight deadline to complete and pass in my next book, which is a completely different middle grade novel. Busy times indeed.

How's my minimalist 2016 going? Very well. Thus far I have bought one thing - a black blazer that I needed to replace an old one. I am missing all the sales, but really, that's a good thing!
Hope you are all well, and if you can recommend any books about Jacqueline de Ribes, please do - I am dying to learn more about her! I did find this wonderful article here.

xoxo wendy

Thursday, January 28, 2016

As January Ends...


I wish I could say January plodded along, but in fact, it has felt like it's flown by!

We are very busy these days and I've been loving watching movies and cooking on my downtime! 

The Feng Shui and shopping my own closet are going very well and Mercury is finally out of retrograde so things can quiet down.

While I have not visited any online shopping sites, I do get the odd email, some with pictures and I assume others are in the January blahs because in a two day period I got two emails about how I need to embrace the bright pink lip!



Apparently, the year of the nude year (there was a year? how did I miss that?) has passed and now we must all love pink.

Fortunately, I do.

Bright pink is fun.

*:


It makes one think of robust health and is one of my favourite Valentine colours.

how to wear bright lipstick // pink lips:


My favourite hot pink lipsticks/pencils belong to Nars:

NARS Funny Face Semi Matte Lipstick - Funny Face ($27) ❤ liked on Polyvore featuring beauty products, makeup, lip makeup, lipstick, beauty, lips, nars, funny face, long wear lipstick and long wearing lipstick:
Funny Face

And Yu:

NARS satin lip pencil in yu:



I wholeheartedly endorse a little pink this time of year. It, and pink champagne, cure all that ails one.

Handwriting on the Wine #design #packaging PD:


Of course, the lipstick would be in the frugal category, the pink champagne, not so much.

Since I have all of the above in the house, I think I will follow the lead of the pinterest picture below and put all my pink books together. I think it would be swell to see them all together and might tide me over until my peonies are in bloom again!




Just the idea makes me happy! 

Hmmm - it seems like those blogger emails were onto something with their pink lipsticks!

Hope you are enjoying the winter weather and thinking warm thoughts!
xoxo Wendy

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Why Retire? Or Why Not?



I was thinking about retirement today for two reasons:

1 - Grace Coddington has decided at age 74 that she doesn't want to be tied solely to Vogue anymore, but wishes to do other, varied, things;



and


2) Stan Lee. I was thinking of 90 year old Stan because he is still SO active in the Marvel Universe of comics, movies, TV shows and products.



In so many traditional occupations, there is an expectation that an individual "retires" from their work around age 60 or 65.

This is not necessarily the case in the entertainment business, where in-demand talent can work on for decades past their peers in more traditional work places - think Betty White, George Burns, and so on.

Lots of people are thrilled to retire. Now is the time for them to pursue long-buried hobbies (that can now potentially turn into careers), travel, spend more time with their families.

And yet I am intrigued by those who work until the day they die. My great-grandfather worked at his boot factory well into his eighties. Granted, those were the days before pensions, but still, from what I have been told, he loved what he did and going to work made him feel valued and valuable.

I once read a study that said the earlier you retire the longer you live. that no longer seems to be borne out by the facts.

There is research  now that indicates people who love what they do may in fact live longer.

The best decision I ever made was to leave my job. Personally, I was so young I do not consider it a retirement but a career transition.

My new job, writing between 30 and 40 hours a week, thrills me.  The worst days writing are better than my best days working at my old job (even though I sometimes loved that job very much!)

I guess the key to all things in life is to find something you love and DO IT. Do it hard and with purpose and embrace it.

I hope to live to be a very old lady and I hope to be working the whole way there.  Perhaps it won't be 30 or 40 hours a week, but it will be something, and it will make me happy.

Something to think about!

And for those of you on the east coast - hope you are all dug out! 

xoxo wendy