Please come visit me at my new location at Meg North.com! Thanks and see you over there.
Monday, November 30
Sunday, November 29
Hello dearies, I hope you like the new lovely look! Inspired by fellow cottage-owners, my own dear nest, and the lovely lives of such old souls as Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, Beatrix Potter, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Edith Wharton, and Emily Dickinson, I've decided to bring a bit of color and gorgeousness to my blog. Let me know if you like it.
I adore this beautiful painting of a lady reading in her bright garden room. The warm hues of the furniture contrasts beautifully with the blue wallpaper and the flowers in her window.
~ Header Painting: An Interior with a Woman Reading, by Carl Larsson
Thursday, November 19
Check out my Etsy store for my new Victorian Christmas book! I'm sorry to have been quiet for a week, but I needed to finish it. It's beautiful and has the most exquisite old-time imagery.
Book Kingdom ETSY Store
Take a look and thank you ladies!
Thursday, November 12
Monday, November 9
A world within a wheel.
A slice within a pie.
I see it all in a grain of sand.
I see it all in a sky.
So while I ogle at the sky above
and ponder my speck of sand,
I find places where I can soar.
I find places where I can land.
~ Meg North
**painting by Winslow Homer
Sunday, November 8
1. That it IS the past. That it is not now. There's something magical about that.
2. I can put as much of my magical, fantastical daydreaming on it and it doesn't change. The past conforms to my imaginings more than the present ... or the future.
3. Spencerian handwriting
4. Fountain pens
5. Lovely little inkwells, like those made of glass or pottery
6. Quill pens - the thought of Keats or Thomas Jefferson having to create their own writing utensils from feathers and pen-knives
7. Chunky hand-knit mittens, especially in muted colors like colonial blue, gray, and old red
8. Cameo necklaces
9. Grand olde Steinway and Chickering pianos
10. A fireplace in each room
11. Weathered wooden kitchen utensils, like huge spoons that have stirred countless stews
12. How the Victorians called them 'receipts,' not recipes
13. Beeton's Household Book of Management - it's the chunkiest, most wonderful book
14. Love letters
15. The penny post and penny postcards. Too cute!
16. Delicate gorgeous china, like antique Spode or Johnson's Brothers. Transferware in lovely shades of blue, crimson, and black
17. Natural Christmas decorations, like real pine boughs, oranges and apples, pine cones, and dried fruits
18. Damask tablecloths and napkins
19. Beeswax candles
20. Pewter and brass candlesticks
21. Gas-light globe chandeliers, especially the ones with swooping arms
23. Walking sticks
24. Godey's Lady's Book and the gorgeous illustrations of ladies walking about
25. Daguerreotype and ambrotype photographs, with everyone looking slightly haloed and fuzzy, like antique angels
26. The smell of old books
27. Crinkly old paper, how silky smooth it is in the hand
28. Down mattresses and pillows
29. Winding curving staircases, with carved balusters and thick stair treads
30. Charming Victorian paintings of puppies, kittens, and puppies
31. Sparkly brooches
32. Curved-heel Victorian boots in black or brown
33. Old-fashioned calico patterns
34. The general store, with its wooden barrels of pickles, glass apothecary jars, and penny candy
35. Plum pudding
36. Dickens' Christmas tales
37. Top hats
38. Sailor shell valentines and shell pictures
39. Those funny striped long bathing suits
40. Button hooks for doing up your buttoned shoes and buttoned gloves
41. Stone barns
42. The old-fashioned horse and plow
43. Lemon drops
44. The milkman leaving glass bottles of milk on your doorstep
45. The comforting clack-clack-clack of typewriter keys
46. Huge feathered and decorated Edwardian hats
47. Capes, made of wool or velvet or satin
48. Open-air brougham carriages, and going for a drive in the country
49. Elaborate Edwardian picnics, with a huge basket, wine bottles, gorgeous linen tablecloth, and the men in their straw boater hats
50. Fingerless crochet mitts
51. Stagecoach and six team
52. Men's waistcoast, how they came in different patterns and styles
53. Pocket-watches and fobs
54. The monocle!
55. Impressionist artists like Monet
56. Swirly Art Nouveau lamps and paintings
57. Chunky hand-thrown stoneware and pottery
58. Cast-iron footed stoves
59. Horses' hooves clip-clopping in the streets
60. Foggy Victorian London streets
61. Jack the Ripper!
62. Elaborate patterned wallpaper
63. Antique Persian rugs
64. Queen Anne Victorian homes with turrets, corbels, enormous porches, and varying roof heights
65. Old vanilla-hued real pearls
66. Hat pins
67. Shining your shoes
68. All-in-one homesteads, with the huge farm house, big wooden barn, enormous kitchen garden, and pasturelands
69. Old farm tools, like sickles, scythes, and plows
70. One-room pioneer cabins
72. Gorgeous Stradivarius violins
73. Civil War military music, with fife and drums
74. 19th-century desks, with the tooled leather tops, multi-compartments, and drop front
75. The lack of plastic!
76. Polished silverware
77. Calling cards
78. Waltzes and old-fashioned Regency and Victorian dances
79. Graniteware dishes, pots and pans
80. Mourning jewelry, with jet beads and draped strands
81. Alphonse Mucha posters
82. McGuffey School books
83. Old-fashioned children's games, like marbles, jacks, stick and hoop
84. Voluptuous, curvy sofas and chairs, with sensual upholstery and carvings
85. The different rooms in the Victorian home, like the parlor, the hall, the dining room, the nursery
86. Period occupations, like chimney sweep, flower-seller, etc.
87. Claw-foot bath tubs
88. Edwardian children's literature: Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz
89. Wild West taverns
90. How even the homes in the city kept farm animals, like horses, cows, pigs, sheep, goats, ducks, and geese
91. Old fonts, like the Wild West pioneer font, scrolled Victorian fonts, and typewriter fonts
92. After dinner, folks used to read to each other around the fire, play games, chat, or read
93. Monogrammed handkerchiefs
94. The language of flowers
95. Hand-stitched quilts
96. The first Singer sewing machines
97. Classic novels - Dickens, Mark Twain, the Brontes, Jane Austen, Alcott, etc.
98. All the poets - Keats, Byron, Shelley, Dickinson, Whitman, Longfellow, Poe, Tennyson, the Brownings
99. The composers - Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Schumann, Bach, etc.
100. The Titanic
101. Old-fashioned white clapboard New England churches
Oh, there are so many more! I may do a second post!
Thursday, November 5
When Christmas comes around,
I love to think of the Past.
Of holiday Feasts, Gingerbread Treats,
Homespun Delights at Last.
Family Gathered One and All,
To Celebrate the Old-Time Way,
Spices, Pine Boughs, and Sweets,
Add Flavor to this special Day.
~ Meg North
I give tours at the Longfellow House in Portland, Maine, and we dress up the home in a Colonial style Christmas each year. Simple natural decorations, a large family feast with snow white linens and gorgeous china, and traditions of carol singing and candles on the tree speak to beauty, love, and family. My husband and I bought a house this fall, so I am looking forward to decorating it in an old-style for Christmas.
*All photographs copyright Country Living.
~ Meg North
Monday, November 2
The talented and sweet Miss Elena Eous has nominated me for this blog award! I feel so honored. Thank you!
Winning this award involves two things:
1) Nominating three blogs for it.
2) Answering a few questions about myself.
The blogs I will be nominating are...
1) Carousel Dreams
2) The Art of Being Feminine
3) Over the hills and far away .....
And here is the Q&A:
What's your current obsession?
Getting out of my day job! I've been out of college and in the work world for about five years now, and it's just not what it's cracked up to be for this creative soul. I've drifted from job to job trying to find where I fit and I've finally decided I don't fit in anywhere. So I'm finishing stories and nonfiction and starting on the path to being a freelance writer and publisher. If I can't find a way, I'll make it myself!
What's your zodiac sign?
Aquarius, pouring water from the jar. I pour stories and poems from my head for the world. Being an Aquarius is kind of like being electrified by rainbow lightning - I get flashes of intuition, jokes, humor, creativity, and restless urges. I get a bit cranky if forced to stay in one place too long!
What's your latest purchase?
Coffee! I don't buy much, but I did treat myself to Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge's "Foolsgold" which is a great book. Her first book "Poemcrazy" is my hands-down all-time favorite book about writing.
What do you think about the girl who gave you this award?
Miss Elena is an extremely talented, bright, sweet, and old-soul wonderful girl. She has wonderful ambitions and I wish her all the best.
What did you last have for dinner?
My roommate Carl made crock-pot chicken and rice soup, with veggies. I'm really weird when it comes to food. Sometimes I forget to eat, some days all I want to do is cook, I have a ravenous sweet tooth, and I've tried being vegetarian, too. I like to mix it up!
What's your favourite decade?
The 1850's. It was a time of massive change here in America, as we led up to the Civil War. It was also the last of that "Gone with the Wind" romantic era, and my FAVORITE people of all time were still alive - Lincoln, Emily Dickinson, Emerson, Hawthorne, Louisa Alcott, Longfellow, Whitman, Thoreau.
What are your must haves for summer?
A good pair of sandals, a summery perfume, and my Audrey Hepburn sunglasses. Oh, and some lobster forks and butter for our Maine lobster.
What would you love to be able to do?
Be a full-time writer and publisher. I wrote my first story when I was four, so it's been a lifelong passion. Running my own freelance writing business would give me plenty of freedom to do other things that catch my fancy - travel, garden, go to writer's conferences.
What is your favourite piece in your closet?
I'm not a shoe person, but my comfortable T-strap pumps make any outfit I wear look pretty and romantic. I also have this fur vest I adore, since I'm freezing all the time. :)
What's your dream job?
Famous author, like Stephen King or J. K. Rowling or Roald Dahl or L. Frank Baum. You get the idea! Wicked famous, as in everybody knows my characters, my novels are made into movies, and my stories become part of the human fabric of storytelling, reading, and popular film culture.
What's your favourite magazine?
It's a romantic magazine called Victoria. It disappeared for a couple of years but now it's back! I adore it.
What do you consider a fashion no-no?
I wish women wouldn't wear their bra straps out in public. Also, I don't like the sweats-and-t-shirt look. Like it or not, we are a visual species. I just don't want to see that sloppy look in public!
Describe your personal style:
I'm currently in a fashion transition, from comfy college student to romantic and feminine woman. I'm trying not to purchase the same-old silhouettes I've bought for years, and am experimenting with different looks. It takes a bit of time, though, especially since fashion is not one of my passions. I'd rather spend the money on books!
Who is your favourite Beatle?
My stepdad is a huge fan, and I went through a Beatles music phase when I was 14. I liked Paul at the time, but I like John more now. He had such a message of love, peace, and harmony. I love to play "Imagine" on the piano. Gorgeous song.
What are you proud of?
My life is really good right now, better than it's ever been. I adore my husband, have the funniest pug on the planet, we just bought the cutest house, my first novel is finished and self-published, and I'm getting my freelance writing business off the ground. I guess I'm most proud that the twists and turns in my first 27 years of life have led to where I am now - enjoying the results of my efforts. I've finally gotten in tune with my Introvert personality, I've stopped trying to be someone I'm not, and I'm being more Meg-like than I ever have. Getting away from the modern carousel of buy-buy-buy, achieve-achieve-achieve, conform-conform-conform really helps me. The less I follow the crowd, the more I can hear myself and that's when I'm happiest. Yay for rebel Aquarians everywhere!