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My Happy List: January 16, 2018

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Happy Tuesday, My Lovelies!  I have so much to be happy for today, so prepare for a longer post than the norm!

Isn't this the perfect winter table setting?  It's from Shabby Chic, and it has inspired my tablescapes I'll share next week (and I might have been shopping recently on the Shabby Chic website, hint, hint!)

1.   All of our Christmas decor is put away.  As much as I love Christmas, it's a relief once it's over to store everything away and start with a fresh, clean slate.  I've been working on some pretty winter tablescapes in our breakfast room and dining room, so please stop by next Tuesday to see what I created.  Having a clean house and clean slate for the new year makes me happy!

Mustang Sally

2.   Our Westies make us all so happy!  Little Mustang Sally is so sweet.  She needs a haircut, and she has an appointment on Thursday for a wee trim.  I might need to post a before and after photo next week!

Journal entry

3.   I survived the Ultimate Blogging Bootcamp!  ....and I couldn't be HAPPIER!  I've been following Gina Luker for a while, and I enjoy her Facebook group's Blogging Over Breakfast every weekday morning at 7AM CST (the FB group is called Fundamentals of Blogging).  If you want to start a blog, grow your blog, better understand social media, or run your blog like a business, then this is the course for you.  I highly recommend it.  With the information and worksheets Gina shared, the bootcamp was a super investment; several fellow bootcampers stated that they've spent much more money on other courses and they didn't learn as much as they did in the Ultimate Blogging Bootcamp.  Based on what I learned, I have my work cut out for me the next several days!  Hang out with us every morning for Blogging Over Breakfast: I think you'll enjoy it.  Gina's super smart, down to earth, and authentic.  Plus she has such a big heart....she humbles me.  She's generous to a fault!

You might already follow Gina's DIY blog The Shabby Creek Cottage, and if you don't you should if you love farmhouse decor.

4.   Today I'm pleased to reveal January's Sketchy Reader letters:

The Indie Next List selection is A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline and my Favorite Book selection is The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan.  Both books made my Best Six Books of 2017 List.

For this letter I "copied" a part of a painting by Andrew Wyeth.
I used Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils because I wanted the colors to be brighter than Wyeth's palette.

“Frostbitten” (1962), watercolor on paper
This is the perfect thing to draw for a January literary letter!

A Piece of the World is about Andrew Wyeth and his friendship with Christina Olson, the subject of his iconic painting Christina's World. (shown below)

I chose A Piece of the World because I found Christina's life, although small and bound to her family farm, fascinating.  I also appreciated Kline's intensive research on Wyeth and his artistic process.  His chosen medium was egg tempura, a medium used by the masters (like Leonardo da Vinci).  Egg tempura lends a beautiful luminescence to paintings.  I've never tried mixing the pigments with eggs, but I'd like to try at some point.

You can read my review of A Piece of the World HERE.  You can order this letter HERE.

I chose The Keeper of Lost Things for several reasons.  Unique characters, magical realism, a ghost, mysteries, and romance make this book hard to categorize although I think it certainly is good enough to qualify as literature.  I also love how Hogan deftly intertwines two mysteries, and the resolution is genius.

You can order this letter HERE.

Writing and illustrating these letters each month make me happy!

What's making YOU happy today?

Until next time...

Ricki Jill


  1. You're so talented! I wish I could sketch like you. I must have seen that Wyeth painting many times but now you've really piqued my curiosity.
    And your Little Mustang Sally is adorable!

  2. I was going to say, "You are so talented!" I'll say Ditto to Madame X instead. Your art is beautiful!

  3. Lot's of fun things today!
    I love your winter theme right now. I took all the Christmas decorations down on the 2nd.
    Mustang Sally is beyond adorable!
    please show before and afters, lol!
    I do love that painting (Christina's World)
    Your sketchy Reader letters are gorgeous!!! A whole notebook of them would be fantastic!
    hugs to you.

  4. I've seen Christina's World at the museum in Delaware. His work is fascinating and so is the museum. I admire your talent, RJ. The Setchy Reader letters are a great project. I enjoy seeing them.

  5. RJ, your letters combined with your art, fabulous! Will look forward to your tablescapes and your new pretties. I love winter table setting and anything from Shabby Chic. Your bookcamp sounds like you learned a lot and enjoyed it tremendously. I hope you and Mustang Sally are warm and cozy tonight........

  6. I really, really want to read "A Piece of the World." I love Wyeth's work and I think his painting provided such wonderful inspiration. I love how you captured the essence and feel of his painting in yours but without the straight copy. It has such texture and a brilliance, a light. (Didn't you love the Wyeth postage stamps? I wish I'd bought extra sheets of them.)

    The Westie -- of Mustang Sally, you are adorable to the max! And what a pretty table setting! Of course you are happy!

  7. Ricki Jill, that clean slate you talk about makes me so happy. I'm enjoying January for that reason, and pretty much none other. We have snow today. It's more a bother than joy for me, but I'll try to embrace it since I can't control it. I love Wyeth's work, and would love to see the museum. Your interpretations are a visual treat.

  8. Yes, a clean slate makes me so happy! Right now I'm trying to be happy but we are iced in with no water again, I am so tired of being COLD! But on a happier note, we don't have to go anywhere today so it's ART day!! Looking forward to your tablescapes. Your watercolor is stunning!

  9. Well done! Your work is beautiful.

    Give Mustang Sally a pat from me.
    xx oo


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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