Monday, January 17, 2011

Simple Pleasures.... A List and A Giveaway

Simple Pleasures
A List and A Giveaway

Five inches of snow is not much, I know. But trust me, here in the southern US, five inches of snow, that turned to ice, is more than enough to stop the mail, close the schools, clear the supermarket shelves and totally strand even the most intrepid of travelers. Here at The House of Edward, we were well prepared for the storm and found it to be a completely pleasurable experience. True, Edward quickly decided that walking on the ice-packed snow was less than thrilling, but there was a fire in the fireplace most of the time, and as Edward is really a fireside sort of fellow, he was most satisfied. The clear light of the snow that flooded our rooms found us indulging in the quieter pleasures of life - knitting and reading, baking and writing, a bit of dreaming, a bit of planning, and the occasional flight of fancy. As we now watch the snow dissipate from our lanes and our gardens and begin to make our way back out in the real world, I thought you all might enjoy this list, crafted especially for snowbound days. Oh, and keep reading, for there’s a wonderful giveaway at the bottom to brighten these wintry hours.


1. Lamplight
Lamps are the jewelry of every room.
Little bits of beauty that provide the crucial difference between a cozy environment and a harsh one.
You need warm, inviting lighting to set the perfect mood on a snowy day and this fabulous lampshade will give you just that.
Find it HERE.


2. Candlelight
Of course, the very best lighting, as any woman will tell you, is candlelight.
These candles are wonderful.
So many colours.
I purchased some for myself.
Find them HERE.


3. Knitting
Yes, okay, here I go again.
But really, isn’t knitting is the best activity on a snowy day?
(Well, reading is up there, of course, but I’m coming to that.)
I’m currently knitting the sweater shown above, and here’s some good news, my favourite knit shop is now online, so you can order their fabulous yarns from anywhere in the world!
They even have the brand new line from that prolifically talented blogger and knit designer, Brooklyn Tweed.
Visit them HERE.


4. Miss Hargreaves
Oh, Miss Hargreaves. Where have you been all my life?
Imagine a young Englishman in the 1930’s, a rather cheeky inventor of tales. Whilst on a holiday in Ireland, this young man, Norman is his name, invents a fictional friend during a conversation with an elderly vicar - a fictional friend of most singular personality and pursuits. He embellishes and embroiders her till she seems almost real. Then imagine that one afternoon, she arrives in his village, complete with her parrot, Dr. Pepusch, her Beddlington Terrier, Sarah. and a hip bath. (Her harp arrives later.) The game, as they say, is afoot. And it’s a complete romp. The perfect book for a cold January day, I can tell you.
I had seen this book on the sidebar of my favourite book blog, Cornflower Books. If you haven’t visited there, you really should. So, so many intriguing titles listed there, I’ll never manage to get to them all. But what fun trying!
Find Miss Hargreaves HERE.
Find Cornflower Books HERE.


5. Socks
These lowly little garments - so ubiquitious, so ordinary - become very important when one is snowbound.
They need to be warm and wooly, and if they can also be a bit magical, more’s the better.
These socks fit the bill so nicely.
Find them HERE.


6. Bed Trays
Snuggled in bed on a snowy evening - a January wind howling outside, dogs sighing softly beside me - with a pot of hot tea, a good book and maybe a cupcake... not much better, is there? Especially when you have your own bed tray like this one, large with pockets on both sides for morning newspapers and magazines. I found this tray, rather worse for wear, at an antique show years ago. I snatched it up, cleaned it up, and told an artist who works with me to just “use your imagination and paint it like Camelot”. And he did, only with animals! To say I was thrilled is an understatement. It’s a treasure and a well-used one.
And by the way, if you decide you do want a cupcake, or two, try this recipe... it’s my favourite!


7. Cupcake Stand
And of course, once you make those Coconut Cupcakes of Ina’s, you simply must complete the experience by putting one in it’s very own cupcake stand.
I am in love with this!
Find it HERE.


8. Flights of Fancy
The mind tends to wander a bit when shut up inside and, during this snowbound week, mine was no exception.
I found myself wondering what life would be like to live in this magnificent setting in Iceland.
I don’t know.... I think I’d be afraid Edward might fall off!
See it HERE.


9. Thoughts of Spring
I love living in a place that has four distinct seasons, each with its own individual personality and feel. As magnificently wintry as this winter is shaping up to be, I know full well that the new greens of Spring will soon awaken from their sleep and begin to stretch leafy arms up from the frozen soil and over the hillsides.
So naturally, I am planning for Spring.
Seed catalogs, garden colour palettes, maybe a new checkerboard pattern for the back porch floor?
Wouldn’t this onion domed playhouse be the most sublime addition to any garden?
Find it HERE.


10. Keep Moving
Edward decided early in the week that icy snow wasn’t his favourite medium on which to travel, even with his natural four wheel drive. He slipped and slid, his paws crunching through the packed snow with every step. He marched through a couple of walks like a drum major, before coming to the conclusion that he found this a most unenjoyable experience. After that, he refused to participate and settled down by the fire.
But a dog, and a woman, need to move around a bit to keep lethargy at bay, so.... we danced. The Songwriter turned the music up to ten, usually The Stones, and we danced in the kitchen like crazy. Edward and Apple love to do this. Before long, they are both rolling and tumbling all over the kitchen floor, and soon are off chasing each other through the house - over ottomans, under tables, up and down on beds and sofas. Eventually, all four of us collapse in a heap, heart rates up, exercise done. And it’s so much fun!!


And as an Extra Treat....

11. Stealing Magnolias
A Very Special Giveaway to Warm the January Hours
A friend of ours escaped the snows of this past week in a land far away from his home in the icy hills of Tennessee. He hid out in New Orleans, and what a lucky fellow he was. I feel a bit like I’ve spent a few precious days in that most enchanting of cities myself, for I have had my nose in a marvelous new book called Stealing Magnolias.
Stealing Magnolias, by Debra Shriver, is a unique paean to the exotic world that is New Orleans. And truly, to enter New Orleans is to enter another world. From its lyrical language to its extraordinary cuisine, from its slightly decadent decor to the lush gardens that break their natural boundries and spill over the courtyards and sidewalks as if bewitched. New Orleans is like no other city in America, or in the world, I dare say. Americans love even the idea of New Orleans, for it proves we are fascinating. No matter how boring or pedestrian we may otherwise appear, we can always point to New Orleans as evidence to the contrary.

It is a place where the improvisational notes of a jazz riff mix and mingle with the heady fragrance of gardenias as both waft through the twists and turns of the French Quarter and out over the cool waters of the Mississippi River. Just think of the vocabulary of this city.... words such as “etouffee” and “jambalaya”, “muffuletta” and “”remoulade”... and of course, “voodoo”, “zydeco” and “mardi gras” - words that roll off the tongue like incantations.
This lovely book manages to capture the illusive quality of New Orleans right between its glossy covers as it leads the reader through all the wonders of this incredible city. There is luscious photography throughout and you’ll even find recipes for both a Banana Pudding Trifle and a love potion!
I’m tickled to offer this magnificent book as a giveaway. I know the lucky winner will treasure it.
You can read more about it HERE.

How to enter?
Just become a follower of this blog if you’re not already and leave a comment here on this post.
The drawing will be at midnight on the 19th, the night of the full moon.
Appropriate, for as Tennesee Williams once said...
New Orleans and the moon have always seemed to me to have an understanding between them”.

Good Luck! and Stay Warm!


Congratulations to Doris!
She's the winner of Stealing Magnolias!
Doris, please email me your address, okay?


  1. That home in New Zealand is mesmerizing. I'd be afraid of falling off as well!


  2. I love this blog so much.

  3. What a wonderful blog - just found you!

  4. i have your blog in my favorites.

    been snowed in as well.

  5. Those pictures are amazing! I too would be nervous of living there. I'd always imagine being swallowed up by something!!!

    I follow you on GFC and please count me in if it is open for overseas entrants.

  6. Your post struck every chord...
    That play house, gosh to be a kid again with parents with a large budget....just dreaming'!
    Our kids just reached that doomed age, where plays of the imagination seem so yesterday!!!
    And the book, yes please, I am in for it.
    And Mrs.Hargreaves waits patiently on my amazon wish list...
    Your post is a visual and otherwise delight!

  7. Beautiful post! I have been a subscriber for a while using Google Reader....but now am an actual follower!

  8. Been a follower for a long time and enjoy it so. In fact several of the beautiful illustrations you've posted have served as seasonal wallpaper on my laptop!!

  9. You and Edward are both darling! I've really enjoyed your blog since finding it. The book Stealing Magnolias sounds wonderful. Thanks for the chance to win it.

  10. Pamela you are just so wonderful and talented at all you do!

    I would adore the book Stealing Magnolias!

    Art by Karena

  11. loved the simple pleasures... each one a sigh of complete satisfaction.

  12. Your list of things to do when it snows could have been written by me.) I love the bed tray that your friend painted but most of all I love the picture of the bear and the mental image of Edward, Apple, The Songwriter and you all dancing to the great music of the Stones:)
    The book on New Orleans looks and sounds beautiful, sadly these days when I hear the words New Orleans I see the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Katrina. You've brought back the image of the traditional excitement and beauty of a city I've sadly never yet had chance to visit. A lovely post, I've really enjoyed reading it.

  13. Pamela, I just fall into your blog, you know? And while I am there nothing ever seems so bad... I can be dancing in the kitchen with you and Edward, marvelling over lamps and fairytale socks (fairytale socks?!! How lovely are they?!), reading Miss Hargreaves, and pondering impossible homes far away in New Zealand, or magical places like New Orleans. Stay warm, stay cosy, and please do enter me for the fab giveaway. :)

  14. Lovely post, Pamela, and I'm always delighted to see Miss Hargreaves has reached new people! It's probably my favourite novel - I read it every year, more or less.

  15. Your list is similar to mine, however, I've never seen an Onion-shaped garden house. Its website is now listed on my 'favorites'.
    I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog. You have an elegant way with words.
    I would love to be included in the giveaway book. My favorite chair and fireplace is waiting for it. :)
    Stay warm and cozy.

  16. I have a dear friend who lives in New Zealand. She found it so enchanting that after coming back home from her trip to New Zealand, she decided to move there!
    Thank you for sharing all the lovely delightful things...
    I want to read Mrs Hargreaves, the book about the woman who was imagined by the young!
    We have had a few snow days here too, although we are used to it in the NorthEast.
    I would be delighted to be considered for your give away. ( I used to live on the border of Louisiana and Texas.) <3

  17. What a wonderful list!

    And giveaway!!!

  18. I love it when you come up with a new list - your posts are always fab but the lists are my absolute favourite. I'm a little confused on "the flght of fancy"...isn't it in Iceland? I'm a follower and would love to win the giveaway. Thanks for the tip on "Miss Hargreaves" - I can't wait to read it. Rock On & Keep Moving - a good mantra for the January days.

  19. Hello Pamela

    I love your list and the house in New Zealand leaves me wondering too. I would be afraid my daughter would fall off the cliff.

    Have a nice week-end!

    Tracy :)

  20. While I have been following your blog for YEARS now, today I am officially following you via GFC!!! Would LOVE to win this! Hugs to Edward and Apple and thank you for your wonderful blog!

  21. Oh Marian!
    You are right!
    I guess I had New Zealand on the brain. I'm correcting now!!

  22. I've just found your blog through RobinHill Quilts and am enjoying it so much. Edward is definitely a beauty. The photo of the Icelandic house on the cliff is spectacular.

  23. A wonderful post of your pleasures. They are my favorites too. I am already a follower. I don't always leave a comment, but enjoy reading your beautiful posts. xo

  24. A great inspiring post and a even better giveaway. Count me in please...I am of course a faithful follower already.

  25. I would love to have the book! And this is always my favorite post, when you list some of your favs! Those socks are very cute! I'm going to follow some of the links to see what I can find! I'm a follower and love your blog! ♥

  26. Another lovely post, Pamela. I love the play house and the socks are wonderful. Thanks for sharing your wonderful list and I so look forward to the books.

  27. I love these posts of yours! Very Howard Carter, 'I see... wonderful things'!
    Adore the playhouse, need the socks.

  28. Really enjoy your blog, but never commented.

  29. What a great post Pamela! Each photograph is just awesome, love your blog and have been a follower!


  30. Great post Pamela...I always enjoy learning a little more about you :) A lovely giveaway, very thoughtful...

    Jeanne xxx

  31. Our lovely snow came in the evening a few nights ago but melted away in the morning...i whs it had stuck around just a teensy bit longer, nothing better than snow days...or your lists! Love the cupcake stand, and Ina's coconut cupcakes which look like little (big actually) snowballs themselves!
    Starting to slightly think of spring...
    xo J~

  32. I wanna be holed up at your place with 5 inches of snow.

    I just do.

  33. Your blog always takes me to a serene place and leaves me with so many ideas to carry into my life! Thank you so much for sharing your world with me.

  34. Just discovered your beautiful blog and love it!

  35. So glad you got your snow and all the pleasures that come with it.

  36. This is my first time leaving a comment but I always check out your blog every couple of days.

    Love your writing and pictures.

    Toronto Life

  37. I always enjoy your lists so much.

  38. Your lists are always divine, Pamela.

    I have a piece of scrach paper covered with jottings now! But what I really covet is that one-of-a-kind bed tray. I'm well-known for my love of drinking tea in bed . . . and if I had a gorgeous bed tray I might start taking my meals there.

    Thanks for your kind words and advice on my post about suffering from winter SADness. We actually got a bit of sun today and I took a long, long walk and tried to soak up as much of its goodness as possible. xx

  39. Great list the socks!!
    Love islands but that house near the edge would be a bit scary.............I used to sleepwalk as a child, yikes!!!!!

    Don't include me in the giveaway as I have recently reviewed this beautiful book for the publisher so am fortunate to already own a copy. The lucky winner will love it.


  40. If the book is as wonderful as the cover, I want it!

    Also, those socks are a riot!

  41. Wow! Beautiful post! Thank you!I was thrilled to find out that you are a knitter! I knit a lot and blog about it too.

  42. Our snow in England has just about all gone now - but I found another pastime for snowbound days ... wandering through lovely blogs like yours. Would love the book, though its a long way to send it!

  43. Beautiful post, and I have added "Miss Hargreaves" to my list of books to read.

    I am a follower and would love to win the New Orleans book!
    How delightful!

    I am having a give-away on my blog also, that lasts for a couple more days. . .
    ~ Violet


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