Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gathering In... A List For November

Gathering In
...a list for November

The days are shorter and the air is chilled.  There is a smattering of frost on my windowpane at dawn.  Edward is in absolute bouncy heaven and I have to admit that I share his joy with every fiber of my being.  It is November, the most anticipatory month of the year.  My head is swimming with preparations -   all those holiday meals soon to come, the flowers, the ribbons, favourite recipes to pull out, festive tables to set.   
 I get teased quite a bit for my habit of planning for Christmas  throughout the entire year.  But let them laugh, I say.  My handmade gifts are now completed, my shopping is all done.   I am totally free to wallow in the loveliness of now.  And make no mistake, November is a lovely month.
 In November there is always something scrumptious on my kitchen counter, for those who pop in for tea.  Lavish throws adorn every comfortable chair, and a stacks of new books teeter alongside.  Fresh flowers are always bedside in the guest room. To me, November is a sweet time of gathering in all those closest to you, be they human or canine, to the warmth of the home. Cozy fires, cozy dinners, good books and furry dogs, with visions of sugar plums fast on the way.

So please enjoy this list for November. 
 In no particular order, ten little magical bits to warm you right up in this most warm and wonderful month.


1.  Trays

Who wouldn’t wish for breakfast in bed to be served on a tray such as this one?
  This entire line is incredible - each piece fit to hang on the wall as art. 
I am completely besotted with them all.

See more HERE.


2.  Festive Tables

The year after my father died, I, swallowing hard, took on the role as Thanksgiving hostess.  Although daunting at first, it’s now a day I look forward to.  (The key to making it stress-free, I’ve discovered, is to prepare as much as possible in advance!  Getting up at five in the morning to cook is certain to make one grumpy beyond belief.)  And one of my favourite things about the entire process is planning the Thanksgiving table.  I have lots of antique china that I love to use.... which may sound nice until you have to hand wash every single piece... and choosing which plate to use with what is always such fun to me.  I recently came across this fabulous wool fabric by Liberty of London and thought what a magnificent autumnal tablecloth it would make, especially when paired with this William Yeoward china.  And maybe, at each place setting, individual mossy terracotta pots planted with pansies of orange, purple and blue.

Find the fabric HERE
and the china, HERE


3.  Waistcoat Vases

Aren’t these the best? 
I can just imagine them filled with big fat chrysanthemums and late garden roses on my Thanksgiving table. 
Made in Scotland by potter, Alan Gaff, they really do look like little waistcoats, don’t they?
 Utterly charming.

Find them HERE.


4.  Tea Set

For all those who knock on the door this month, 
for a cup of hot tea and a slice of blueberry cake,
 wouldn’t it just be lovely to serve them from this most whimsical of tea sets ever? 
It looks almost as though it simply danced straight off the set of Fantasia.

Find it HERE.


5.  A Furry Friend

I once had the enviable job of decorating a children’s playroom.  Being a person who can hardly pass by a toy store without stopping in to see all the stuffed animals lined up in a row, each one silently asking to come home with me, this was a dream project indeed and I dove into it with relish, commissioning a favourite artist to paint large animal portraits to line the walls and purchasing seven life-sized cushy creatures - giraffes and gorillas, grizzlies and goats.  It was unbelievable fun.  Personally, I think everyone,  no matter their age, should have a teddy bear of their very own. 
 Or, in my case, a monkey.  
Or maybe even a dog, like one from this adorable family of canines. 
One of these has to be just the right size for you, or someone you know.

See Them HERE


6.  Hot Water Bottle Cover

There is a cartoon that I love.  
It shows a husband and wife snuggled down in their four-poster on a cold winter night, with two or three dogs at their feet. 
 The wife is saying, “George dear, it’s freezing.  Put another dog on the bed, would you.” 
 On even the coldest of November nights, we here at The House of Edward always turn the heat completely to the off position.  Our central heating is provided by Edward, who takes his place at the foot of the bed, plops his wooly white heat across my ankles, and generates enough warmth for us all.  (More cold natured, Apple chooses to sleep in the windowseat.  Go figure.)  Before Edward, however, we were die hard fans of the Hot Water Bottle.  But who likes to feel that rubbery cover it comes with?  This is a most cozy solution. 
Everyone should own one. 
And, they are hand-knitted, beautifully.

See Them HERE


7.  A Happy Ending

The Songwriter has a cousin who has always owned Collies.  Yes, as a child she fell in love with Lassie, a love that has endured for the whole of her life.  The last Collie she and her husband adopted was an eight year old fellow who could no longer be cared for by his owners.  He lived with them, happily, for four years until his passing a few months ago.  Our cousin and her husband were grief stricken to lose him, but they knew in their hearts that another dog was out there somewhere that needed them.  And sure enough, just last week they found their Collie.  Discovered wandering alone and left unclaimed at the county animal control center, three year old Clara Grace was picked up by Collie Rescue and our cousins found her online.  We met them for breakfast the day they came to town to get her, and their excitement was contagious. 
This lovely photograph was taken on the journey back to their home. 
I think Clara Grace looks rather happy, don’t you?


8. Christmas Gift Boxes, Horlicks and The Bartering System

I have been busy this past month creating lots of Christmas gift boxes to fill my Etsy Shoppe.  I usually try to work on these when The Songwriter is out of town, as I turn our entire cottage into a replica of Geppeto’s workshop when I’m at it.  

Christmas trees, Polar Bears, and snow covered Stags are in practically every chair, waiting their turn to adorn a gift box.  It was so much fun making these last year - I spent more time than ever at the post office, sending them on their way to be part of Christmas celebrations all over the place. 

If you’d like to see more, they are all in my Etsy Shoppe, HERE

Also, since this is a list of favourites, I have to confess that one of my favourite things in the whole world is a cup of Horlicks Light Chocolate Malt before bedtime.  (I can hear my British friends laughing even now, but I assure you that I’m quite serious.)  I load up my suitcases with the stuff whenever I’m there, as it’s nowhere to be found in the states.  Sadly, I have just run completely out.
  So here’s the deal.....  
If one of you lovely, laughing, British friends would be so kind as to send me a couple of tins of this elixir, I will be more than happy to exchange the Christmas Gift Box shown below.  Just email me, my address is there on the sidebar, and let me know!  You’d be giving me such a treat, and getting a lovely little Christmas box in return. 
Any takers?  
The first one of you to write gets the box, postage paid.

The Christmas Box below,

For a couple of these!

Good Deal?


9. Sherlock Holmes

I once had the privilege of meeting Jeremy Brett, the quintessential interpreter of Sherlock Holmes, at least in my opinion. It always seemed to me that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself must have sprinkled some sort of pixie dust over his book illustrations that caused them to spring to life in the form of Mr. Brett, so uncanny was his likeness to the great detective.  Any other version is always met by me with a sceptical eye.  So naturally, when I heard of the new PBS series, Sherlock Holmes, I was decidedly sniffy about the whole thing, but deigned to give it a look see.  What a sad thing it would have been if I had missed this one!  So creative, so witty, so beautifully done.  It is Holmes and Watson for the 21st century and, trust me, it works.
  I have circled my calendar for the upcoming episodes. 
They are truly a treat! 
Don’t miss them.

See more HERE.


10.  Father Christmas

Of course, this fellow, as illustrated here by the remarkably talented, Rima Staines of The Hermitage, hovers over this month like a fat, happy cloud.  I have always loved Rima’s colour palette,  it’s so perfect for this magical time of the year.  She tells me she’s busy at present with book covers and folk tales, as well as commissions, all of which makes me so happy.  Her imagination sparkles.  Any one of her pieces would fit perfectly into St. Nick’s bag, just catch him before he makes it into that chimney.

 You can find more of Rima’s work in her shoppe HERE.
or you can visit her remarkable blog HERE.

Enjoy, Enjoy November!


  1. Like you is was decidedly sniffy about the new Sherlock.Thankfully, the two guys who wrote it are absolute experts on the genre. They did 3 and more are now in the pipeline. Dr. Watson was made famous in the original version of 'The Office' and is quite, quite wonderful in a straight role.

    We have the china in magenta blue but I'm only allowed to bring it out at feast days.

  2. Hi Pamela,
    Your post is so beautiful and inspiring. The ten things on your list are lovely and your Christmas boxes are adorable! The table setting idea is so pretty. I'm going to check out the detailed links to everything especially your etsy shop. I'm so sorry for your cousins loss of their beloved doggie but am glad to hear they found Clara Grace. I've been watching Sherlock Holmes on PBS too and now simply must try Horlicks Chocolate Malt as well. Lastly Rima's illustrations are amazing, it makes me want to create more artwork too. I often wish I lived in your blog as it's so charming and just makes my heart smile. Enjoy this time of year! Bonnie

  3. Pamela, What a beautiful blog entry. All of the 10 items as so special and charming. I will read this entry many time. Thank you for your wonderful thoughts!

  4. Ooh! What a wonderful list!

    Would you believe I have just bought a hummingbird tray!! I couldn't decide between it and some divine bowls which I simply have to go back for asap.

    I love Rima too. One of the first blogs I ever came across. Pure magic!

  5. So much to comment on! Love your china choices, and yes, Clara Grace does look very happy - and it always makes me happy to hear of people taking in dogs and cats in need of a home. I third your endorsement of the new Sherlock Holmes. I hope this is the first of many series with this great pair.

  6. If no-one else has beaten me to it, I am happy to send you the Horlicks.

    I am always so sorry when October leaves us but you have made me a little more enthusiastic about November.

  7. OMG!!!

    I'm speechless. What a list!

    Those trays are beyond description! And the website is a WOW.

    And the tables, tea set, vases!!!!!

    And I've been enjoying Sherlock, too.

  8. Lovely....and I'm a big Holmes fan!!! I LOVE the serie now on dutch television,Jeremy Brett is great:)
    Rima's art is amazing!

  9. whimsy carefully executed!

    Aloha from Honolulu

    Comfort Spiral


  10. HI Pamela
    That is one of my favourite Beatrix Potter illustrations,.. I love all her bunnies at christmas series,,,

    Your christmas boxes are as adorable as ever.. ciao xx Julie

  11. I've seen the first two and I'm so in love with the new Sherlock Holmes series! great fun but I have to keep rewinding it to catch something I missed because it moves so fast!

    What a sweet collie is Clara Grace!

  12. Pamela...first off, amazing post, second of all, these trays have been on my wish list for a while now, they're brilliant...thirdly, the Waistcoat vases are too cute & clever... fourthly, Clara Grace has the look of absolute peace and calm delightful joy, bless your cousins for rescuing her...fifthly, must see Sherlock Holmes, thank you, and lastly (I'm skipping about and only going to six)...I had no idea you made such lovely creations, you boxes are all charm and enchantment, so happy to have learned about them, just lovely!

    The other gathered list ideas are wonderful have set the November mood!
    xo J~

  13. What a wonderful post with so much in it. I am so glad that superbly beautiful Collie has found the perfect home and I too and a longstanding fan of Rima's work.

    I am quite envious at how organised you are about Christmas and if we could get Hot Horlicks here, I would be the first to stock up your larder. Unfortunately, the only thing like it we have now is Ovaltine and Milo.

  14. Ooooh what a lovely list!

    Admittedly, I am partial to #7, having adopted a collie girl of my own four years ago...found wandering the busy streets, she has been MY navigator ever since...and I now know that I will/can never be without a collie again.

    And as for #9, you have phrased it so well. I share your sentiments about Sherlock H. exactly! Although I never *met* Jeremy Brett in person, I had the great privilege of seeing him perform Sherlock on stage in London. My skepticism over this new Masterpiece Theater series was HUGE. And you are so right - it really works! Calendars circled here, too :>]

  15. Dear Pamela,
    Such beautiful delights on your list. I love the teaset, waistcoat vases and one should always have a hot water bottle handy. There is nothing more comforting than cuddling a hot water bottle, especially with such a hamdsome and soft cover as that one.
    I, too, love November.....I actually love every month, as they all have something wonderful to offer.
    The new Sherlock Holmes was shown here a while ago now and I LOVED it. Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes was brilliant....I think that he was nearly the new Dr, Who and I think that he would have been really good in the part.....and Martin Freeman's Watson was so good, and so different. You must now look out for the stunning Downton Abbey that is on here at the moment. I think that you will love it. It is written by Julian Fellowes and Maggie Smith is in it amongst some other wonderful actors.
    I see that someone has offered to send you the Horlicks but, if you ever need anymore or anything else from the UK, I am very happy to do it. ....and there is no need for you to send me anything !!
    Enjot November.....I know you will. XXXX

  16. Hi,
    I think that I love all months of the year. But thanks to you, November is a favorite right now. Gorgeous description !

    We can really enjoy this month now !


  17. Ten things and yet more in this lovely post, which is like a gateway to the holidays and beyond. All lovely, indeed, and you boxes are beautiful, Pamela. I love November and I love the anticipation of what lies ahead almost as much as what does come.

    I love the new Sherlock. It is edgy and fun and so well cast and on Sunday night here at 8! There I sit, with a cup of tea and a blanket and, truth be known, I am so intent on the dialogue that the tea grows cold as I watch.

  18. You can order Horlicks from British Delights, 63 Power Rd, Westford, MA 01886-4110 - (978) 392-0077

  19. I love Rima's work she is incredibly talented! I have some of her drawings on my walls.

    Thank you for all the lovely places to visit they've given me plenty tho investigate for Christmas presents Pamela.


  20. An absolutely delightful post from start to finish, Pamela. Loved every minute of it. I love Horlicks too!

  21. Dearest blog friend, what a charming post! I agree with all of your notions on gathering and celebrating, preparing the holiday season and the delights of this special time of year. Back home in Germany I used to hate November for its cold and rather unfriendly wet and gary cold nature. No Thanksgiving either! But since living in New York my expectations have changed to crisp but sunny days, bare trees, with the red of some oak trees sprinkled in, a dog running happy through the park and long walks with the family, now that the soccer season is over and weekends belong to us again!
    I wish I could send you Horlick's elixir, but alas, I am on this side of the Atlantic....

  22. Always a pleasure to read your blog! That Collie indeed looks very happy...

  23. Lovely ~Lovely post and how I love that tangerine china. You have inspired me. your christmas boxes are just so.. divine.

  24. A most inspiring post, and inspired list. I LOVE just doesn't get any better than this one.

    Thanks, Pamela. xo Lidy

  25. Hello! Since you mention having met Jeremy Brett and having enjoyed his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in the Granada series, I thought you might be interested in this website:

    And--I love your gift list! Shall have to check out some of these items when time permits :)

  26. Hi Pamela,
    I love your post, & your Christmas boxes are delightful.
    I haven't seen the new Sherlock Holmes yet, but it sounds like a "must see". So I think I'll get the Horlicks in and settle down.
    Thank you so much for including my H.W.B.Sweater in amongst your top 10.

    Karen x

  27. Pamela, your list has taken away the growing darkness of November.. and made me smile... thank you

  28. Oh my...Pamela, how did I miss this wonderful post? Goodness, after reading I am ashamed of my cranky mood today. I feel instantly uplifted. Thank you!

    The trays on that site are really extraordinary. I know so many (including myself, hee hee) that would love to receive one for the holidays! All of your suggestions are lovely...Ohhh, and I ADORE Jeremy Brett. I actually have that entire series on DVD (a Christmas present from my mother last year). I never get tired of watching it. However, I haven't seen this new series. I will definitely be looking for it!

    I love Clara Grace's sweet, happy face. She made me smile. So glad she has a good home!


  29. That collie is actually smiling.

  30. My first time to come here,I like the blog!

  31. How did your labels go...I spent the day crafting too and had the most lovely timexxxx
    I agree November has beautiful days. but I miss the light especially now the clocks have gone back and I come home in the dark,... sad face
    your list of ten will give me some lovely things to look at when I have finished this I love following the link to things so thank you lots
    Hugs Lynn xxxx

  32. Have just found your blog and its delightful! Inspirational images. Have also been to your website which is gorgeous. I too follow the William Morris motto ... but no-one else in my home does! Aaagh!

  33. What a wonderful post - the colour of the fabric and china is amazing and I love the quirky pottery. I'm a fan of the late Jeremy Brett's Sherlock Holmes too but, I did love Sherlock - the writing was excellent and the choice of cast spot on - can't wait for more but I think they have to make them around the film of The Hobbit as Martin Freeman is playing Bilbo Baggins:)

  34. What a lovely post!
    So many of your items pull at my heart strings. I love collies- my maternal grandparents in Dublin always had collies and always called them "Rex". I have a beautiful painting of one over my kitchen fireplace.
    I also love me some Horlicks- it reminds me of winter nights in England by the fire, and hot water bottles- I have many- I just like the idea of them!
    William Yeoward's orange place setting is divine, especially with that fabric, those "waistcoat" vases are very special, and lastly, but not leastly, I love your Christmas boxes (though I am madly jealous that you are completely prepared already. That is a very special talent)
    I have never seen the Sherlock Holmes show but I am going to tell my husband about it, so thanks for all the great shares.

    I raise my hot malty-milky drink to you!


  35. Pamela and Edward,
    Thank you so much for your information on Gretel Parker. We will get in touch with her. Your thoughtfulness is very speciual!

  36. What a fabulous post....and a list full or gorgeousness (is that a word?) to mull over this first really chilly morning.

    Guess what I'm looking for today - a hot water bottle, and then I may just order one of those lovely hand-knitted cover from a Crooked Sixpence! I wore bedsocks last night, apparently this last birthday has given me cold feet, ha! ha! Like you, don't enjoy running heat at night, and no doggies to warm my toes.

    Sherlock H. is amazingly fresh and different. Your boxes are beautiful. You're way ahead of me with Christmas at home, but I'm at least adding it to my little booth at the antiques shop.

    As always - you have inspired me Pamela, thanks, thanks, thanks.

  37. Has anyone taken you up on your Horlick's offer yet? I would be so happy to oblige you . . .
    We have one of those very blue bottles on our kitchen shelf, but I think you might like an unopened one! Just send me your address:

    This gorgeous, inspiring post makes me resolve to love November more. (It is one of my least favorite months, despite my fondness for tea trays and teapots.) We are going to be in the States for Thanksgiving this year -- which is such a special treat. We do try to keep the tradition alive, but it's just not the same here . . . especially when the children are at school until late.


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