Good morning! Welcome to "Morning Musings".

Musings: to meditate, think, contemplate, deliberate, ponder, reflect, ruminate, reverie, daydream, introspection, dream, preoccupation, brood, cogitate.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady - November



Edith Holden begins her November entry in her 1906 "The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady". . . .

"The ninth month of the old Roman year which began with March.  The 11th of November was held to mark the beginning of Winter.  The Anglo-Saxon name for November was 'Blot-monath'; (Blood-month) the latter name probably alluding to the custom of slaughtering cattle about Martinmas for winter consumption.

1.   Steady drizzle of rain,--a regular November day.

3.   ....I brought home a little book on British Toad-stools today, with photographs of 65 different varieties.....In about half an hours' time I found 10 different species of fungus growing in the wood and adjoining field;--all brown in colour, with the exception of two,--one of these was the common Sulphur-Tuft,--a nice orange and yellow, the other was dull pink above, and a beautiful pale heliotrope beneath."

Edith went on to share the notes from the back of her book on Toad-stools. . . .

" ' The plant itself is composed of a number of minute threads, which run in all directions under ground;--and it is only when the plant growing in the ground becomes vigorous enough to produce seeds or spores that Mushrooms appear.  It will thus be that the Mushroom, the sole function of which is to produce spores is only the fruit of the Mushroom plant.'

10.  ....I found a very handsome species growing in tiers up the trunk of a Beech tree, where the bark had been torn away;  It was dark blue-black above, and pure white below--the gills being curiously waved and corruscated,--giving them the effect of white coral---and farther on in a little wood, I gathered some of the Common Polyporus from the side of a rotten stump; and a delicate little Stag's Horn Fungi or Claveria."

Edith saw and drew several birds this month--the Starling, Song Thrush, and Green Woodpecker.  She also saw Blackbirds and a Kingfisher.

This is the page she drew of the fungi she'd found. . . .

This month's DVD begins in London in 1917.  Edith has just learned that her brother Kenneth is very ill so she boards the train to go visit him.  Throughout the program Edith thinks back to 1906 and then through the years when her father died, the rift between her brothers and sisters over who would carry on the business, and eventually Kenneth's death which brings the brothers and sisters back together.  

In the biography it is the year 1911 when Edith and Ernest Smith marry.  She was 39 and he 32.  Edith continued her illustrating work and exhibiting her paintings at the Royal Academy while Ernest held a new position as the principal assistant to the Countess Feodora Gleichen, also a sculptor.  Edith helped promote the work of Ernest's brother, Frederick, also a sculptor.

Here are clips from Edith and Ernest's courtship from the DVD series. . . .
                       

Bunny Mummy's November Nature Notes from Edith's 1905 diary include photos of the November English countryside. 

In Ragged Robin's Part 8 she takes us to Elmdon Park near Edith's home in 1906.  Much has changed there but there is still at least one tree there that Edith would have seen--a Sweet Chestunt tree that has been there since the 1500s.

I decided I'd paint some of the fungi that Edith painted.  After inking in "November" I discovered I'd left the "B" out!  This did not bode well for my afternoon of drawing!  So I started again then drew the fungi on my drawing pad. . . .

I decided to leave out the log and the two fungi that I was not interested in.  It was not as easy as I thought it would be.  If I didn't have you all to hold my feet to the fire I might have given up on this one!  But after a few hours of reworking it this is what I ended up with. . . .

Here are the fungi I've found in our yard and woods over the years.  The yellow "globe" with white specks was photographed by Ken when we were in Eagles Mere.  The round one in the top right corner was almost as large as a soccer ball!  The pretty green and white "fans" were growing up the side of a live tree. . . .

My search on the Internet found this Country Diary Quilt fabric. . . .


Amazon has this mini-tea set for sale. . . .

Amazon also has this Crafts book for sale. . . .

And if you live in Britain Mark & Spencer has an appointment calendar for next year. . . .

Here are a few of my sketches from my morning journal.  These drawings are from "Henner's Lydia"--a book by Marguerite de Angeli about a little Amish girl (except the Tudor-style house which is from another of Angeli's books). . . .


The rabbit is my plush Velveteen Rabbit and the chipmunk and owl were from magazines. . . .

This drawing is from my very own imagination. . . .

Next month will be the last post on Edith's Diary.  If any of you have taken up the challenge and drawn some of Edith's drawings, I'd love for you to send me one so I can include it in next month's post.  You can find my e-mail address on my Profile page.


•*¨`*•. ☆ .•*¨`*•
Take Joy!

24 comments:

  1. Cathy, I've really enjoyed your posts and drawings about The Country Diary. I'm glad you felt your feet to the fire as you ended with a very nice drawing ...quite colorful as Edith's was. I'm reminded of the drawings we saw at the Armitt Museum in Ambleside of Beatrix Potter's many drawings of fungi. Your journal drawings are nice...I like the one from your imagination. ♥

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    1. Thank you, Martha Ellen. Yes, Beatrix Potter studied fungi and lichen extensively and was quite an authority on them.

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  2. Hi Cathy, I always look forward to your monthly post showing your rendition of Edith' s watercolors. Your painting this month is perfect; you captured such fine detail. I'll try and remember to send you one of my paintings I did from Edith' s book. Have a wonderful weekend. Pat xx

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    1. Thank you, Pat. I hope you DO send me one of your paintings to post. You do such lovely work. It will help inspire me to keep working at my own.

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  3. I really have enjoyed your series and am in awe of your artistic talent. I love the diary and also have the craft book which is a beautiful book but a little old fashioned for todays taste.

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    1. I appreciate your generous words about my painting. Thank you for letting me know about the Craft book. I don't do needlework, but was wondering if I wanted to add it to my collection.

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  4. Greetings - I'm so happy to find your blog through the Stillwater Society Facebook page. I have both of Edith's books now, having just found the second one at a used book sale this month. It's encouraging to me that you did a drawing a month, and I will peruse each of your posts about the book. It's encouraging because I love to paint from her book, too. I've just gotten back into painting recently. I put my art on the shelf because of my mother's illness, and since her passing, I now have time to indulge "my artist". Art is so refreshing, and I'm really happy to have found your blog. We have many interests in common, so I'll be visiting often. Please stop over my way some time soon.
    Blessings,
    GG

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    1. Welcome to my web journal, Gail. I hope you will paint one of Edith's paintings and send it to me to post here next month

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  5. I'm going to be sorry to see this series end, but I know it is just the beginning of more creativity in your own art room. Well done, Cathy.

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    1. Thank you, Elaine. When I played the song at the top of the page while preparing this post I got a lump in my throat. I'll miss it, too! But you're right. I'm already thinking about what I'll do next year because I need something regular like this to keep me on track.

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  6. Wow, the year is nearly over! The first person who observed that time goes faster and faster the older you get truly nailed it. So have you got ideas for what you'll work on during 2016? Or are you wide open on the topic? Swamped with ideas - or stumped? Something tells me you're NOT stumped. You probably have so many options your head is spinning because you want to do them all. I've really enjoyed your "Edwardian" year, and am looking forward to seeing whatever you choose for your 2016 project. Take care and talk to you soon... 💛

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    1. Well, one idea is to choose another illustrator that I love and copy them all year long. I have many I can choose from! Or I might choose a different one every month unless, they, too, provide me with a year-long diary. I have another Edwardian Lady illustrator's diary from 1913 called "An Edwardian Lady's Flower Album" by Agnes Katherine Landale. It even has some biographical information at the beginning. But I also want to start my attempt at illustrating "Gabriel's Tale". There are 14 chapters, so I could easily take all year to do it. I will just have to wait and see who "speaks to me" when then time comes.

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  7. Oh, Bravo! on your fungi. Leaving the log out was hard for you, I know, but you've done brilliantly again. Edith was correct, November is a drizzly month, only ours is more torrential at the moment. I had to pass on that particular diary from Magic and Sparkle {Marks and Spencer} as the page layout is not suitable for my needs. I was so sad about that. I have the one with the big roses on the cover and it is so strange to see "twenty sixteen" on the cover.
    By the way, when I tried the link to the clip, it plays with no spoken dialogue but Welsh music. I wonder if it is place specific? ~~~Deb in Wales

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    1. Thank you Deborah. I didn't realize that was Welsh being sung! I think the person who posted it on YouTube might be Greek (I base on their other postings). Since it is just various clips they probably thought including the audio would be awkward. Perhaps they just like Welsh singing!

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    2. It is an old, Welsh folk song, Cariad Cywir, or True Love and is about unrequited love.

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    3. Thanks, Deborah, for this information.

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  8. I like the colors you have used for your fungi drawing. Each time I read these posts I'm inspired to draw but rarely get to it, I still might try when I can. Thanks for always "broadening my horizons!"

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    1. It has helped me a great deal to commit to doing these posts! It forces me to make time. And I'm always glad I do because I feel I'm getting a little further along my chosen path. I chose this particular painting to do because of the blue--an amazing color for a mushroom. My lavender/purple one is perhaps a little too lavender compared to Edith's but I couldn't help myself. I love lavender, too.

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  9. Wonderfull watercolors painting !

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    1. Thank you, Louisette! Welcome to Morning Musings! If you'd like to introduce yourself, go to the post before this one where you can meet other readers.

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  10. What a shame there is only one more month to go! Your picture is so lovely and what a selection of fungi you found too! Sarah x

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    1. Thank you, Sarah. It's much easier to photograph fungi than it is to paint them!

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  11. I always enjoy seeing your drawings, Cathy. You are very skilled. I hope you still have plans to illustrate that book you've talked about!

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    1. Thank you Kristie, but I really don't feel comfortable using the word "skilled" in conjunction with my painting! But I do appreciate your thinking it is. Maybe I'm just a very good "con" artist. ☺︎ But I do plan to illustrate my little story--starting in January--and you can count on me sharing it with you all as I go along. That's the only way I'll keep at it I've learned.

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