Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Perfect Teapot

Some time ago I blogged about my hunt for the perfect teapot, and this summer I found it! I knew I'd know it when I saw it, and I saw it and knew it. It was in a little shop in a town called Sparta, in Southwestern Ontario. You can find wonderful candles - the smell of the place is out of this world -  there too, and rooms and rooms of fascinating stuff!

My day trip to Sparta was a lot of fun, and we had tea at a great tearoom. The owner, an Englishwoman with a lovely accent, is an avid collector of teapots, and in the following days I'm going to share some of the photos I took of her fabulous collection! I'm envious to the max, but I'd never have room for her 350 beautiful teapots.

Anyway, on to my own acquisition... isn't my new teapot lovely?

What makes it perfect? Well, it's new, so I don't have to worry about hairline cracks or fractures in a vintage or antique pot. It's an oblong shape I like, it is capacious. And dang, but it's pretty! The pattern is kind of an Indian scene typical in English porcelain.

It's so pretty, I crocheted it its own sweater! Check out the tea cozy I made up. Now I just have to finish it off with some cute dangles from the ties, some teacup charms, or something. I was going to do pom poms, but then I thought, I'm going to need to wash this at some point, and poms have a way of disintegrating.

However... the cozy doesn't really keep the tea warm for long. I'm considering going on to create another layer on the inside. I'll debate that, while I go on to other projects.

So, does finding the perfect treasure makes you want to redo your decor, or find a special spot for your lovely acquisition??

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Antiquing... what's the vintage equivalent?

Well, vacation - such as it was - is over. Too hot to do much, so what time I did spend doing anything was either in a friend's pool, or vintage-hunting. I know people call it 'antiquing', as in "I'm going antiquing with the girls this weekend", but I don't buy many antiques, mostly vintage. So what to call it... 'vintaging'?

Anyway, in the weeks to come I will be photographing and writing about my various finds - not that many, really, because of small space and low budget - but some pretty little things. I don't worry much about being 'matchy-matchy', so my new teapot, sugar bowl and creamer are all different patterns! But so pretty together... kinda shabby chic!

See you soon!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Writing Inspiration - Reading for Writers

Do you read while you write?

That's a question I'd like to ask all the other mystery writers out there.

Time is a factor, or course. When I'm in the midst of writing a book, sometimes all I have time to do is write. My only reading is confined to research, and I collapse at the end of a long day, staring at the idiots who inhabit Reality TV-Land, as they squabble about their tiny lives.

But right now I'm working on the planning of a new series. I don't take that lightly; I believe that the planning stages are what will sustain you through the series, every layer you plan adding to the depth of your characters. I'm cautiously optimistic, but there have been some bumps along the way. Then who should come along to help me out, but Dame Agatha herself!!

I'm serious

I read Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks... no, not the actual notebooks, but the book by John Curran. What I found was, while reading the book I was reminded of all the many methods writers have to conceal evidence, misdirect, and mislead. No one was better at that than the Queen of Mystery herself! I am not lifting any of her methods or tricks, but reading through her thought processes (weird how familiar the notes feel, sometimes; I can see her thinking things through on paper, like I do. Too bad I will never achieve her level of brilliance!!) illuminates a path that all mystery writers must tread, eventually. How can we successfully conceal the perp and his or her motives from the reader?

But lately I started reading Roberta Isleib's 'Asking for Murder', one of her advice column mysteries. And darned if it didn't have the same affect, but in a vastly different way! If you've never read the series, I urge you to pick up the books, starting with the first one, Deadly Advice.  

Here's what I've figured out, about why her book has triggered such a flood of creativity. A truly great mystery writer inspires me, reminding me that while any mystery novel is of course, ultimately about the mystery, at its core a mystery novel is also about the affect of trauma on the human heart, and how the investigation is inevitably cluttered and complicated by the secrets of the soul, the rich interweaving of human experience that is both our glory and sometimes, our downfall. It's all about the people, and their interactions.

I do so loooove writing mysteries!