I hope you enjoy my first Guest-Requested MUSICA . . . for you, dear Girlfriends, from my darling friend Margot, the Magical Mother of Scarlet (the elf), the Grandmother of Georgette (the gnome), and dog mother of Yoda (the Naked Leprechaun). 

Scarlett and baby

Scarlet kindly granted me permission to show you her new baby! Thank you Scarlet! Those little baby pants are a very soft wool, and with the pointed white hat, there was no doubt that Scarlet had given birth to a gnome.



Totally worth waiting for, don’t you think? Didn’t Scarlet do a fabulous job?  This was our Baby Snuggle Tea, where Scarlet brought her three-week old baby girl Georgie to meet and greet Margot’s best girlfriends.

Let the Fun Begin


We each got to hold her . . . she made us feel like we must be really interesting looking.


scarlett and georgette

Scarlet’s already a wonderful Mom . . . Georgie went out like a light when Scarlet put her into this little wrap. (I’m thinking about getting one of these for Girl Kitty, she would LOVE it.)



We are going to enjoy watching this little gnome grow and thrive, she comes from a family of extremely creative people.

natural beauty

scarlett and wolfie

This is Scarlet and her adorable brother Wolfie at my house for an Easter Egg hunt many years ago ~ it’s been fun watching them grow up.

watercolor flowers

Margot art

This is the baby announcement Margot painted when Scarlet was born.  Is it not the most adorable thing you have ever seen???  Me, too!  I think it should go into the Smithsonian for best baby announcement ever.  Maybe I’m biased.

watercolor flowers


Margot loves to celebrate her July birthday at the beach.

watercolor flowers


This is Margot’s dog.  Its name is, of course, Yoda. 

Margot and Tom

To make Yoda feel better about “everything,” Margot and her fiancé-for-life, Tom, modeled themselves on Yoda for Halloween.  Look at the top of Tom’s head! Look how happy they are!  Don’t they know what they look like?

halloweenA scientific comparison of Yoda’s hand and Margot’s hand.

Tom and Margot

Just so you know, Tom and Margot don’t always dress like Yoda.  But they always do have fun, and . . .

fun is good


Last summer, Joe and I went sailing around Edgartown Harbor.  I took a picture of this little pointed beach. Later, we went to Margot’s art show . . .


And this was one of her new paintings! It looks like the same place! 

Creativity is Magic


If Margot seems familiar to you, I’ve mentioned her before, along with her wonderful book, the Survival Guide for Landlocked Mermaids.  If you haven’t seen it, I asked Kellee to put some up in our web store.


Besides everything else, Margot is a very famous local muralist on Martha’s Vineyard . . . not only Martha’s Vineyard ~ Margot’s done projects in many parts of the country.  Here she is doing a mural for the Oak Bluff’s Steamship (ferry boat) Authority. That’s not the real sky, that’s the sky Margot made.



This is a project Margot did at her art studio at home.  It’s for a private home. The home owners had an indoor balcony off their bedroom and asked Margot to paint some ambience for it.


But this has been Margot’s most ambitious project so far and one for which she will go down in Martha’s Vineyard history. You can see the “before” in the top photo, and the “after” down below, Margot painted the mural behind the musicians.

The Whaling Church

It was for this historical  building in Edgartown called The Whaling Church which was built in 1843. You can listen to a story about the renovation of this church and see Margot in action by clicking that link.


During the restoration, they found this old photo and discovered that in the 19th century there had been an amazing mural that had been painted over. 

IMG_5842Using the photograph as a guide, Margot made a working drawing so she could reconstruct the mural as close to the original as possible. I thought you’d like to see some of the photos I took while she was in the process of doing it. 


This was the space as it was before the new mural began.


And this is it while Margot was working on it.  Every so often we girlfriends would come over to see what she was up to. We knew it was big, but we had no idea!  I could not wrap my mind around the fact that what we were looking at was a flat wall.

on a flat wall

I had to get closer, and the closer I got, the harder it was to believe.

A complete flat wall . . . if you try to jump onto that checkered floor, you will body-slam yourself into a wall. 


Hard to believe, but it’s true.


Margot has worked two freezing winters on this project . . . the first year she did the front of the church, and this winter, she trudged through one snow storm after another to complete the sides and back.


I think you can see the passion in Margot’s eyes as she explains to Lowely and Barbara (and me) what she has been creating.  Note: no matter WHAT else Margot is wearing, no matter if she has been dipped in paint, she always has on a pretty scarf and cute earrings.


The patience, the sheer energy this took! (Margot is 61; she said I could tell you.)


tromp l'oeil

Here’s a close up of some of her detailed brushwork . . .


See the flat walls, that’s what it looked like before Margot got her brush onto it.  Not to mention the fact that she was up and down this scaffolding, carrying paint and brushes, twenty times a day.  If I got up there once, I would cling there, a ball of dripping adrenalin, until the fire department came to rescue me.

you make it look so easy


Yoda came to work, dressed for action, every day.  Margot says sleeping with Yoda is like sleeping with a naked leprechaun.


Whirling Yoda

Yoda does the happy dance.

oh happy day

Scarlett with gnome

Margot didn’t have to do the whole thing alone, besides Yoda, she had Scarlet and an incognito Georgie, as the perfect assistants.

it takes a village

IMG_5834And every so often we would all trek over to Edgartown to check out Margot’s progress, sit in awe as she explained how she was doing this impossible thing, and take her to lunch.


We did the right thing by giving her no advice.



So here is the “before” of the back of the church which Margot finished about two weeks ago.


It’s very subtle, but you can see the panels on both the bottom floor and the top, the gold leaf details below and around the clock. Tromp L’oeil  panels also go both sides of the church.


The panels look raised, but they are completely flat too, all the way from the edge of the window trim.


The eye, she is fooled! I have to say, the whole island is proud of what Margot has accomplished here; generations will applaud what it took to do this.  ♥ Thank you, also, to Chris Scott and all the supporters of the Preservation Trust, for bringing back to the island history that had been lost.



See what I mean?  Flat. Margot explains these stripes of color in this link.

And I bet now you’re saying to yourself, I’d LOVE to see what that girl’s house looks like inside . . . right? Mas Margot MUSICA  

Come with me to the Casbah. . . and . . .

cake love how to be happy

Margot Datz House

Oh, yeah.  Margot, along with Scarlet and Wolfie’s dad, Charlie Blair (the afore mentioned “fisherman”) who is now the  Harbormaster of Edgartown, built this log cabin.  And then Margot did things to it.  See that sofa?  Just an old run-of-the-mill brown sofa, but not after Margot got her hands on it, recovered  and fattened up those cushions, and voila! And the panels around the windows?  She made them. Wah ~ Wah.

If you do it with heart

Margot Datz House

     How about this magical “doll house” Margot made for above the fireplace?  She used to make lots of doll sculptures that she called “individuals” for obvious reasons.  She fashioned them from high-fired stoneware and fabric. The hair, she said, came from Poodle Parlors, and I’m told that if you had a dog with a very nice tail, you had better watch it when Margot was around.

Margot Datz House

It is the perfect creative surrounding for costume parties at Margot’s.  But, you say, I wonder if she has anything cute in her closet?  Is it all paint-spattered jeans, or what?

OK, you asked for it ~ because Margot puts Vanna to shame. (Don’t tell Vanna I said that.)


For starters, she wears diamonds on her feet.



Poor thing, she simply has no personality. Tsk Tsk.

november 2010 817

quote clothes

studio 709

As you can see, I keep my camera ready to see what cute thing she wears next. I try to talk her into doing a whole book of clothes.  Then make them, then sell them to me.  In normal sizes.


Darling Margot, Mother, Grandmother, Original, Artiste Extraordinaire, Hard-worker, Funny, Smart, Problem-Solver,  World-Class Survivor.  Great Cook, Excellent Bargain Finder, and All around Good Dresser. And Best Friend to Many and to Lucky Me.




I hope you enjoyed our Baby Snuggle and Grandma Snuggle, our elf, our gnome and our naked leprechaun . . . I know you will LOVE Margot’s paintings, you can see some of them and “Like” her on Facebook at  Margot Datz Designs or go to her website at


With love from me to you Girlfriends.  Hope you enjoyed that!  I am working hard on our book, and making progress!  Thank you for all your wonderful supportive comments.  You’ll never know how much they mean to me.  HAPPY SPRING!  XOXO

Posted in Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , | 403 Comments

The Kitchen Garden Book Winner

Well, sorry Girls, I have bad news: I just read that this wonderful little Kitchen Garden book is now going for $900.00 on Amazon ~ I think I Kitchen Gardenshave to keep it.

HAHAHAHA April Fools! (I’m not keeping it, but the $900 is, unfortunately, not a joke!) MUSICA . . . 

Vanna, (our “almost real” “random number generator”) as many of you know, is Irish to the tips of her little green-polished toes (this is the “almost real part.”) She went out last night, didn’t get in until after dawn (faith and begorrah, Girlfriend!), so we will go forth without her and save our drawing for last. This way everyone stays a winner for another ten minutes!  Yay!

pink flowers


For lots of us, Spring arrives on the inside our houses MUCH sooner than it does on the outside.  Our sanity requires we look beyond reality to a better world, a future world. Intrepid pioneers of the seasons that we are, we forge on, strengthened by our three sweaters and two pairs of socks.

flower border


Despite the way it looks outside my kitchen door . . .



Inside, it looks like this.



You know I love to decorate the shelf on top of my stove, it’s my first go-to place to mess with when the seasons change.


the stove

I change it every season, never with an actual plan, just whatever is hanging around that says “spring” and “cheerfulness” to me, I grab it and put it on top of the stove

spring bunny

flower border


This was one of the perkier entries in my stovetop hall of fame.


springThis was last year . . . lambs R Us.

flower border

stove top

Here’s this year’s version, seem to be leaning a bit more “bunny.”

flower border


I don’t usually stop with the stove . . .


I made the fireplace mantle ready for a spring tea party



I decorated with lambs and bunnies and sheep . . .

pink rose


More sheep more bunnies. . .

daffodilsbaby boy The tea party was small because it was a Baby Snuggle for one of my girlfriends (Margot) whose daughter Scarlett just had her first child . . . a darling three-week-old 8½ pound girl named Georgette .  (I’m still waiting for permission to put a photo of Georgie on the blog, but not holding my breath, not everyone “believes” in blogs. I can only tell you this:  Margot is magic: she gave birth to an elf, which would be Scarlett, and Scarlett, in turn, has given the world a gnome.)  There were six of us, baby shoewe’d all known Scarlet since she was born, so we were the lucky ones to have our own private viewing and cooing party.I can’t tell you how adorable this child was, head bouncing with big wide eyes looking right at you, a rosebud mouth with little pink tongue.  Fingers that went in all directions.   

pink flowers

lamb cake

I almost made a Lamb Cake.  But I decided to save it for Easter.  which is just around the corner . . . so, just in case, here’s the RECIPE for YOU.

Easter chick

Tea Party

Here’s our tea party. You can just make out the gnome legs in the very left of this photo, wrapped in red wool with white stripes. The rest of her was even cuter.


Milk CakeAnd we had milk-milk-milk Cake . . . bathed in more milk.

pink border

Milk CakeAnd here’s the RECIPE for that, just in case you’re a new kid on the block and haven’t had a chance to try this luscious old-fashioned thing.


For tea, the girls had a choice of this, or . . . 

my own tea blend

. . .this.  Can you smell the bergamot, the lavender and rose petals . . . they took this.


I do hear Vanna stirring, have faith Girlfriends.  She came in after I got up, so she needs her beauty sleep bad.  In the meantime . . .

Kitchen GardensAs you know, this $900 book :-) is illustrated by Tasha Tudor . . . (although I do have to say, the author is wonderful, Mary Mason Campbell fits Tasha Tudor’s work to a Tee).

Kitchen gardens

Some of the drawings are in color. . .

Tasha Tudor Illustrations

But there are also lots of black and white line drawings . . .

Tasha Tudor

Like this one . . . when I see something like this, I always think “wouldn’t that be fun to color in?”

Feed Your Creative Heart

flower border

Tasha Tudor illustration

Or this one . . .?


Tasha Tudor

Or this . . . the little pots, the shirt, the hat, fun, right?


sb border

Vintage line drawing

There are many wonderful line drawings in vintage books . . . Like this one in The Twin Lambs, illustrated by Marjorie Flack.

Christmas Book

And this one, illustrated by Lois Lenski from Once on Christmas . . . (I’m thinking green dress, red hair, yellow book)

susan branch starry light border

Beatrix Potter

And this one, a print of one of the original children’s letters by Beatrix Potter from one of my favorites, The Tale of Beatrix Potter by Margaret Lane.



I play coloring book sometimes with line drawings like these ~ and whoever wins the Kitchen Gardens book, or for any of you who’ve maybe wanted to give it a try in one of your own vintage books ~ it’s a fun way to learn a little about watercoloring while being perfectly thrilled with the outcome of your first try.  

See that   Now see that . . .↓ 

Beatrix Potter

I watercolored this one and got to feel a little bit Potterish while I did it. Speaking of that, I got my Beatrix Potter online Newsletter today; it’s called Pottering About, Here’s a link if you’d like to see it, or get it automatically sent to your email box.


Beatrix potter

Its hard to stop! The littlest palest color makes such a difference.  (Course dried flowers help too.)


The Live Dolls

This is the one that got me started . . . many years ago I found these pages in an antique store.  It used to be a book, but the cover and the binding were gone ~ what was left was a few pages,  all line drawings, and all in black and white. Until they came home to my house.


The Live Dolls

I had a wonderful time painting these.  If you ever enjoyed coloring books, I think you would like this!



The pages came from a book that was published in 1901 called The Story of Live Dolls.  The author is Josephine Scribner Gates. On the title page it says:

The Story of the Live Dolls

Being an account of how, on a certain June morning, all of the Dolls in the Village of Cloverdale Came Alive.

sb border

It’s a charming fairytale about girls and their dolls.


The drawings were done by Mabel Rogers.  I love her art, and was surprised to see nothing on Wikipedia about her, and really nothing for Google Images either.  But we’re remembering her . . .



Over a hundred years later. 

flower border

The Live Dolls

I thought I would frame them and hang them all in a line around the top of the wainscoting in the guest bedroom.  Which I never did.  I still have them.



So you can see the before and after, this was the last page I painted, and I took photos while I did it:


You get to choose the colors . . .


The Live Dolls

And fill between the lines . . . and if you go outside?  Just part of the charm.



And use your three-haired brush to exacting perfection.

 OK Girls, I’ve held you prisoner long enough . . . Vanna has rallied, she came out just a few moments ago wearing a fish special deliverycostume.  (Don’t ask.)   It’s covered with shiny green scalloped scales, she is wearing three inch yellow patent leather slip-on heels, and a shiny yellow bathing cap.  She looks FABULOUS.   She is almost ready to do her famous high dive into the vat with our almost 3,000 Girlfriend’s names.  She will swim to the bottom as if she is a corkscrew, thereby mixing and twirling the little slips in a swirling mad vortex. She will then come streaming to the top, winning slip in hand, her work for today will be done.

Wish her luck.  Good Luck Vanna!

A r e   w e   r e a d y  ?

On your mark, get set:  You go girl!

bookShe’s down!  The green toes were the last things I saw . . . There’s swirling, more swirling, bits of paper flying through the air, I’m waiting, we’re waiting, still waiting . . . she’s coming, she’s coming . . . I see her, I see her ~ ~ I think . . . yes, I think, BOOM, she’s UP, she’s GOT one!!!!  

Please give it to me Vanna, take a bow, you may go back to bed with all our gratitude for a job well done. ♥  

It wouldn’t be the same without you Vanna.  Know that.

Sooooooo, let’s see, what does this say?

The winner of the Loovly little boook is

K A T H Y    T O W E R S

get-attachment.aspx thankyou Every one of you . . .get-attachment.aspx

Congratulations, Kathy!  This was a big one and you made it! Look for an email in your box, please send me your address, I’ll sign your little book and it will go off to you asap. 

And for everyone else . . . in a nutshell:

for the rest of us

flower border


 LOOK, what we have to look forward too!

 Fun, Girlfriends, Thank you.  We have to keep meeting like this! XOXOXO

Posted in Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 394 Comments