for the love of old books & burning Charlotte Brontë

Marian Parsonsa slice of life, Favorite Things25 Comments

I shared yesterday in my Instagram stories that I know the stress that comes with shopping a popular online sale.  I have been on the buying end of that scenario.

Just a few weeks ago, I was watching an Instagram account I follow, @sketchbookcoshop, give previews of their upcoming sale.  They make sketchbooks out of antique and vintage books, so each of their pieces is one-of-a-kind.  One, in particular, caught my fancy, so I sent a message to them.  “Can I purchase this one?”

“Sorry, you have to wait for the sale.”

I’ve said those very words to many people as I was getting ready for Lucketts Spring Markets.  I always struggled with the tension of making an immediate sale vs. saving the inventory for people who were paying to attend the event.  And do I offer holds for people shopping on the VIP day?  How and when do I make presale exceptions?  It’s tricky.  So, I understood their predicament and their answer.

I set my alarm for the day of the sale, so I wouldn’t miss it.  I hopped online just a few minutes before the sale launched and refreshed the page until the new sketchbooks started showing up.

Oh my goodness…I don’t even really have time to look at them!  I need to make a split-second decision and buy one I like!  I spotted the one with “Parson’s” on the front and put it in my cart.  I also added a green ledger and went to check out.  The green ledger disappeared from my cart.  It was already sold before I could check out.  AHHH! 

Jeff was watching all of this play out.  “Do you want me to get on there and try to buy one?”  “No, I’ve got it….”

And as I was trying to check out, Etsy, which never makes me sign in, was asking me to sign in!

I’m being thwarted!  AHHH!  I’ve been waiting for weeks for a sketchbook and I’m going to miss buying one!  

Now I think back on it, it was all very silly.  In that moment, though, it was intense!

I finally was able to check out and purchased the Parson’s sketchbook as well as another green ledger.  I couldn’t find the book I had admired weeks ago, so it must’ve sold before I could get it.  I kept checking my orders to make sure they had, indeed, gone through and they had.  I began to relax.

Later that day, I received a message from the shop that they accidentally sold me the wrong book. The picture didn’t match the one I actually purchased.  What would’ve been a bummer turned into a blessing.  The book I had bought instead of the green ledger was the very one I inquired about weeks earlier.

It was a happy ending this time, but I also know what it feels like to be on the losing end of a frantic sale.  I’ve learned, though, that new and exciting things that get my heart fluttering will come around again.  And it’s all just stuff.  (Really cool stuff, but still stuff just the same.)

Here are the sketchbooks…

Aren’t they so sweet?

And they are filled with hand-torn watercolor pages.  They are going to be a delight to use.

Speaking of old books, I also got a collection of antique and vintage books from jaysworld.  Jamie, the owner, sent these along to me and I ended up buying more.  I love that she sells them by the foot and by color, so you can use them for decorating.  They are perfect for adding height in a stack, to add texture and color to a shelf or display, and, of course, you can actually read them!

Jamie realized after seeing me share the books on Instagram that she left a T out of Matthew.  I had noticed it, too, but I just laughed knowingly…I’ve done the same thing on large hand-painted signs.  Years ago, I shared a sign on the blog (I don’t even remember what the word was) and someone asked me what it said.  I looked at it closer and realized I had left two letters out.  Well, it doesn’t say anything, apparently!  

I understood the spirit and thoughtfulness of the stamped letters and numbers, though.  It’s one of the “mustard seed” verses in the bible.

I stuck the books on my studio shelf for now, but I’ll be using them in the master bedroom and living room as accessories.

I also received some happy mail from Amy of Oldfield Society.  I bought some candles from her a few months ago and have loved them!  I’m not usually a big candle person, but she mixes the best scents.

She asked which one I’ve liked the best and I told her, “I burned Charlotte Brontë for weeks and couldn’t believe how long it lasted.  It’s definitely my favorite!”  So, she sent me another one.

And a fragance bottle as well to use with diffusing reeds.  I haven’t put that out, yet, because I’m afraid the cats might mess with it and spill Charlotte Brontë all over the floor.

Amy also sent me these matchbox houses!  Aren’t they the cutest things?!

I love clever home goods like these that make me smile when I carry out a simple task like lighting a match.  We all need little happy spots throughout the day whenever we can get them.

Amy will be listing the matchbox houses in her shop soon.

For those who missed buying the smaller paintings I listed yesterday (mini landscapes, linen landscapes, color charts), I will be painting more!  I especially love doing the studies on linen.

Also, the larger paintings are still for sale auction-style.  You can find the listings HERE.

for the love of old books & burning Charlotte Brontë

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25 Comments on “for the love of old books & burning Charlotte Brontë”

  1. I’m very happy that I got the index card “S” painting yesterday. I’m looking forward to having it in my home and one day passing it along to one of my daughters.

  2. I know what you mean….. I was “thwarted” out of 3 different paintings I wanted from your website yesterday because I wasn’t quick enough with the PayPal screen. Argh! Ended up with something just as pretty as the ones I wanted though… Will be faster on the draw next time. Can’t wait to have one of my very own “Marian paintings” in my house…. Thanks for all you do for us!

  3. Love all the things you buy. Loved the paintings you were selling. The regret with not getting things you try to buy is similar to looking at lovelies and knowing that it would be irresponsible to add to the cart. So maybe I should stop looking…

  4. I click on every single link you add, and you are a fabulous finder/shopper!!! Thanks for that escape in the middle of my day! I did get a chuckle out of “burning Charlotte Bronte for weeks”……anyone else laugh at that?

  5. I’m so happy you were able to get the lovely books you longed for.
    I’m So sad I missed your email about the sale by just a couple hours and ALL your beautiful paintings were gone. Is it possible to send the email out the day before sale so we can all get ready for the battle? You have a lot of fans and we all want just a small piece of you in our homes! 💕

  6. LOVE your choices of sketchbooks! Look forward to exploring more of those!!!…..
    I had to wait around for an appointment this morning, and so to pass time I thought I’d go to Michael’s,… there are just some areas in there that I know I have to avoid when there’s a deadline, ….lol…, papers! brushes, sketchpads, sketch books……I made sure I walked PAST the papers section FAST without looking..because it’s just tooooo tempting!!!!! the swirly colored patterns, textures,.. oh I want to make my own paper even….. oh myyy,…in the end, I
    was happy to get some canvas boards and wrapped canvas’s, I feel rich with simple things…lol
    ….hope you have fun with your new books and paints! looks like watercolors are in the future with THOSE beautiful papers and books ! 🙂
    those cutest little match book houses you got from Amy would make adorable little watercolor sketches, really pretty colors ! have fun <3
    also, I'm watching your paintings as they fly off the shelves on Daily Paintworks 🙂
    I'm WATCHING YOUR COW PAINTING, called "GRAZING" !!!! Your Cow painting is SO CUTE, seeing you paint him makes him even MORE special and of course I want to buy him!!!! I see some competition! LOL….BUT I LOVE IT!!!

  7. No offense Marion but I get the shopping angst when I try to purchase one of your mini paintings. I haven’t succeeded yet but I keep trying. Enjoy your new found treasures.

    1. I know! That’s why I was sharing that story. I know what it’s like to be on the buying end and it can be frustrating. I wish that I could make it so that everyone gets the painting they want without any stress!

  8. Your’re kidding! The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table? It was one of my father’s favorite…I even think I have his old copy in my library. Horrible book, actually… he acted like it gave him permission to be an ogre! Now I’m laughing that it showed up again in this context. My dad was cool that way.

    1. and yes we do all want a little piece of you in our homes!!! and I also laughed at burning Charlotte Bronte all day

  9. When I read my emails each morning, if there is one from you Marian I usually find it to be a nice start to my day.

    Unfortunately by the time I was awake here in Australia & received the sale email about your paintings everything apart from the few auction items had long sold.

    It feels like turning up at the fair the day after the event. 🙂

  10. Marian, I collect old books mostly for decorating. I love the idea of an old book for sketching, but what about journaling? Please send me the website. Or perhaps something you could get into.

  11. Great topic for today, that’s for sure. You have no idea of my frustration. My first attempt at purchasing one of your paintings was going great until you emailed and advised that you no longer were using that method of sale. Then the next few times I was not aware of the sale as they were announced on Instagram. When you finally said you would post the sales for those that subscribed to your emails I was elated. Every day since them I have anxiously awaited your emails every day. That is until yesterday when I made a 6 hour trip to see a friend I haven’t seen in months due to Covid. I can not express the shear emotional disappointment I experienced when I got home to find out the one day I wasn’t able to check your email was the day of the sale. My first thought was that I am just not destined to purchase one of your paintings. But soon there after I came to conclusion that you just haven’t painted my painting yet. Maybe next time.

    1. I think that’s a great way to look at it! I just haven’t painted yours, yet. I need a better system, that is for sure! I mistakenly thought I could schedule the posts to all go live at a specific date and time, but I can’t, so I listed them yesterday and notified my e-mail list. It just wasn’t enough lead-time, though, for those who weren’t at their computer! I’ll figure it out!

  12. Would you share the website where you can buy reproductions of your paintings, the ones on canvas? I have two of them and I really enjoy them. I missed the sale because that day I didn’t check my email under after dinner.

  13. I love all the things you purchased, the books are really awesome! I need to have your address as I have some happy mail to send to you. Can you please send me a email to let me know your address? You do so much to inspire me I would love to return the favor and send you a little something. I will look forward to hearing from you!

  14. Love the old books & the sketchpads! How lucky you are to find them. Still would like to have the French “pots” you have found. Enjoy all & have a great day! Thanks !!!

  15. Oh my, I thought you were going to burn Charlotte Bronte books. Given that Agnes Grey is my favorite (Ann Bronte) book, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing so I was thrilled to see it was just the candle…

  16. Sounds like you are leaving them wanting more Marian, and that is a good place to be! So, funny story–I purchased 2 of your original oils auction style last year. I was soooo nervous because there was one I really wanted. I was sitting at my computer watching, and for some very strange reason my husband became oddly interested. I showed him my 2 favorites, and every time the price went up, he insisted on outbidding on both. I ended up with both because of an oddly aggressive husband, which was totally out of character. Well I love them both and have no regrets! Your sketchbooks are awesome. I keep hoping you will paint with watercolor more, because I am totally smitten with that medium. Happy painting☺️

  17. Speaking of kitties, please make sure that the diffusing oils are safe for pets.

    Loved the story about the angst of buying items online. Sounds like my husband and ebay.

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