Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Looking For Magic in the Year of the Rabbit...A List

Looking For Magic in the Year of the Rabbit...A List

If it wasn’t for that lovely splash of red that occurs on the fourteenth, the entire month of February would be monochromatically grey. Skies and earth share the same hue, obliterating the horizon. The novelty of snow, once so brilliant and clear, has worn rather thin and begun to fray - it doesn’t fit us in quite the same fashion as it did just a few short weeks ago. In fact, there are some days when we would shed it completely, if only the bright cloaks of tulips and clover were safely within our grasp. We stare out the window at the bare naked trees and wonder if green has been permanently retired from Mother Nature’s palette.
Magic doesn’t easily find us.
We must go in search of it.
I was able to find a bit to share, starting with the painting above. That wonderful rabbit is the work of artist Amber Alexander.
You can see more of her work HERE.


1. Reading Aloud
As I mentioned in my previous posting, The Songwriter has recently been reading aloud to me at night and the experience has reminded me how wonderful it is to have someone read you a story.
If you have the opportunity to read aloud to someone, grab it.
Let your inner thespian loose and do all the character’s voices.
Make up a theme song for the story you’re reading.
You’ll have as much fun as your lucky listener.
I recently came across these marvelous handmade shadow puppets that would add such delightful drama to storytelling time.
Try the one above with St. George and The Dragon.
See more of these magical puppets HERE.
Find the book HERE.


2. Tea Parties
I occasionally entertain some of my younger friends at the dining table that sits deep inside the huge magnolia tree in my front garden. There, an antique chandelier hangs overhead, wind chimes and candles sway in the branches and, once inside, one is completely hidden away from anyone who might be passing by.
Unfortunately, this is not the month for such outdoor pursuits.
But how about a special tea party by the fire.
I can only think any child would love to be served tea and cakes on these amazing altered plates.
Whimsical and funny.
Find them HERE.


3. Stella’s Spring Coat
When I saw this magical new coat by Stella McCartney, I knew spring could not be far away.
Just imagine this paired with slim white trousers and pale pink toenail polish.
Find it HERE.


4. Handmade Coin Purse
Even an activity as mundane as fishing for the correct change can be elevated a bit when you are opening such a lovely little coin purse.
The beautiful tree serves to remind you that the leaves will be back on the trees in no time.
Find it HERE.


5. New Books
I suppose all of us are a bit like Mr. Mole in Wind in the Willows when Spring rolls around. We become focused on our homes... throwing open windows, fluffing pillows, arranging flowers. It’s always the time of year when I think about recovering a chair, or looking for a new lampshade. I’m often found out in the garden with a notebook in hand, mulling over new colour combinations for the flower beds. Will it again be white for the back garden and pink for the front? Or should I do something wild and plant orange everywhere I see? Fun decisions, all.
And just in time for this type of inspiration, there are four new books I’m anxious to see.
Take a look and see if you don’t feel the same.
Click on the photos to find the books.


6. Carpet Bags
I loved Mary Poppins when I was little.
I loved the way she could slide up a banister, loved how she could jump right inside a sidewalk painting.
Oh, how I wished for a talking parrot head umbrella for my very own.

And a carpet bag from which I could produce a floor lamp! Imagine.

Now, I don’t expect to find anything similar inside this bag, but one never knows.

And I just love this.

For short trips or overnight stays, this has magic sprinkled all over it.

Find it HERE.


7. Feathered Headbands
Every girl needs a bit of glamour on these steely grey days.
No matter how old she is.
Isn’t this the cutest thing ever?
Find it HERE


8. Magazines
Here in the states, so many magazines have disappeared over the past several years, victims of the turbulent economy. There are still a few that I wait for each month however, ones that cause me to smile each time I see them in my mailbox. Of course, my favourite magazine, UK Country Living, is far too costly to purchase through subscription and so I find it at the local book shop. It is a happy evening when I can spend it deep inside the pages of that delightful magazine, despite the fact that reading it always leaves me with a ardent wish to own a pig. Or maybe a couple of goats.
And just recently, I discovered a new magazine that has me totally entranced. It’s called Selvedge and it’s divine.
If you can find it, you’ll be glad.
See it HERE.


9. Macbook Air
I’m rarely excited by technology, I’m really not.
But I simply couldn’t resist this.
Like magic, it’s less than an inch thick, thin as a saltine cracker and weighs less than two and a half pounds.
It’s going with
me everywhere.


10. Valentines
There was a little boy in my first grade class who always wore a bright red blazer, complete with a crest on the pocket, and he gave me a Valentine on Valentine’s Day. The significant thing about this story is that I remember it. Valentine’s Day is like that. Memories are made on this day.
So, go out to lunch together and split a slice of Key Lime Pie.
Take a walk in the fresh air and hold hands.
Steal a kiss in a romantic movie.
Or, fill one of these boxes with chocolates, or diamonds, and give it to someone you love. I only have two left, and I’ve popped them into my etsy shoppe.
Find one HERE. SOLD
And the other one HERE. SOLD


11. Garden Gates
The most charming gate I’ve ever opened guarded a tiny church in the village of Buttermere in the Lake District of England.
But this one has its own special charm.
Can’t you just imagine this one in your very own rose garden?
Find it HERE.


12. Finished Sweaters!
I love this photograph of Vanessa Redgrave and her daughter, Natasha.
And, once upon a time, if I had been told that I would knit my very own sweater and wear it out to Sunday lunch, I would have certainly have expected magic, and lots of it, would have to be involved.
But lo! That is precisely what happened.
And I am proud as a peacock!!
Here’s the finished product.
Believe me, magic exists.
Even in February.


  1. I have been uplifted and transported by this most inspired post, Pamela...there IS hope and spring shall return again this year, I just KNOW it :>}
    Thank you! After days upon days of sodden grey skies and an equally sodden, lifeless garden, I have now taken heart!

  2. Great post - I love that coat by Stella McCartney and your sweater is beautiful, such a gorgeous rich autumnal colour. The books reminded me of one I have that I've never read so I shall take it off my bookshelf and dip into in the evenings - Seasons At Seven Gates Farm. I subscribe to Country Living too and Country Homes and Interiors too. Have you come across that one? Have just also ordered (at enormous expense!) an issue of Jeanne d'Arc magazine which seems to be getting rave reviews from various bloggers.

  3. A lovely post with the theme being beauty.
    I love your cable knit sweater. You chose a beautiful color, and it will look stunning with your hair and skin color. Enjoy wearing it!

  4. Lovely lovely post Pamela!!
    I especially liked the charming photograph of Dame Vanessa Redgrave and Natasha. I once had the good fortune to see Vanessa when we were travelling on the same train, typically she was not in 'First Class' but just travelling like the rest of us!
    And those gorgeous feathered headbands for babies...what a way to begin their fashion impact of a lifetime! ;))))

    Sending hugs,

  5. Lovely, lovely post Pamela - thanks for searching the world for beautiful things for me!
    I'll take the coat, and an invite to a tea party please...

  6. LOVE IT LOVE IT....and the sweater is devine..like your posts...:))

  7. The garden gate of black iron would suit the South, which has an affinity for wrought iron. I am thinking of the little pocket gardens of Savannah, Charleston, and New Orleans.

  8. These posts of yours are always inspiring and make me smile like a child waiting to open a present, Pamela. I want it all, of course. Perhaps a stop at a bookstore after my meeting. A latte (I'll insist on a real cup or mug, please) and a pile of magazines to while away a few hours might just find a spot on my docket today.

    Thank you.

  9. Congratulations on your beautiful finished sweater! Once again you have surpassed me in your talents on a shared beginning adventure. I just might be inspired to pick up the needles again if life will allow me the time. :)

  10. I just love all of your lists Pamela and this one in particular - with the hope of spring around the corner as we deal with another day of cold & snow. The garden gate, the carpet bag and your hand knitted sweater are my favourites. Thanks for making my Monday a little perkier...the drive to work on icey roads will be a little easier with thoughts of your lovely post.

  11. Dear Pamela, You are so clever in conjuring up your special lists....quite like the rabbit out of the hat. As always there is much temptation for me in your list and I really do wish that I had not been enticed by yet more books!!

  12. Such a gathering of good things.
    Loved the photo of Natasha Richardson and Vanessa Redgrave.
    How knitting knits us together.....

  13. Lovely pictures Pamela - love that feathered headband. I do know what you mean about the magic of snow disappearing after a few weeks. I once went to Russia for Christmas and New Year and landing back at Gatwick in January, when the fields were green was magical.

  14. Dear Pamela,
    Lots of lovely things to cheer February up, I love that handmade coin purse and the books look very interesting....not that I need cheering up in this month.....snowdrops, violets and my birthday are three good reasons to like February. I've had the best time so far and I'm not finished celebrating yet !!!!
    ......and, many, many thanks for your lovely comment and birthday wishes. They made my birthday even more special.
    I think that we have plenty in your list to help us through February.
    Have a lovely week Pamela. XXXX

  15. fab list pamela....esp that baby...simply divine!!!xx

  16. I love grey.....but not in skies or earth! I do see a little green peeking through, Galanthus leaves, they're always first. We southerners are usually spoiled in Winter however this year has been quite a change.

    Wonderful list, love everything!
    Thanks for finding so much beauty to brighten these long, dreary days. I'll take the change purse, but stuffed with large bills to purchase something from Stella's expensive range - gorgeous!

    Hope you watched Masterpiece last night - I LOVED learning more about Alistair, seeing England in its heyday, Hollywood when it was fabulous, and touring the unspoiled USA - almost like it was when I arrived!

  17. great post, Pamela. I too enjoy the photo of Vanessa and Natasha.
    so sweet.
    Thank you for including Willamina:)
    happy spring!

  18. Pamela,
    I could spend an entire day in this post! Way to much good stuff here, but the rabbit painting stole my heart and made me smile!

  19. I read this post at a time when I really needed it :-) thank you for your ongoing inspiration and ability to find beauty in life... and of course for your continued support over at mine :-)


    PS. The jumper is simply DIVINE!!!! well done.

  20. Wonderful post. We need cheerful, beautiful things at this time of year. Your sweater is gorgeous. When I was a student I worked at a theatre in Nottingham guiding people to their seats - one evening Vanessa Redgrave and her then partner Franco Nero were in the audience to watch her sister Lynn Redgrave in a play called Zoo, Zoo, Widdershins, Zoo.

  21. SO much to drool over in this post, Pamela. I want them all! I believe that tonight will be the night we'll read a story out loud, while we sit around the fire.

  22. Dear friend, we must just now do the same thing: Pour over some blogs or write a post... Thanks for stopping by! I haven't been here in a few days and your post delights me so!
    Just a couple of days back I spent a Sunday in Hudson on Hudson and photographed a beautiful garden gate...
    All you tell evokes memories or sparks my imagination! Thank you for this!
    Your book selection looks inviting, I have Charlotte Moss' book on my wish list!
    And your sweater is absolutely gorgeous! How long did it take you?
    Also: Stop by and check out my second blog part (House and Living), I posted on different British TV series, you might find inspiring!
    I just got 'Lark Rise to Candleford', can't wait to see it!

    A warm hug!

  23. I'm saving for a new Macbook. They are the best things ever! The English Hideaways books looks wonderful, I must add it to my list. And that carpet bag is stunning! I spend February distracting myself with lovely things to take my mind off the grey, dreary weather xx

  24. Glorious post and wonderful ideas to take the chill away. You are magical and special Pamela.

  25. Having a lovely time catching up, so many treats here too. Thanks for your kind words also.

    Love that sweater, you are a serious knitter, wow.


I love to read your comments! Each and every one! Though I'm always reading your comments, I may not respond in the comment section. If you want to write me directly, you may do so at pamela@pamelaterry.net. Thank you for reading!