Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Enjoying January

January is a nesting month. The pages of the calendar are a bit clearer now, our schedules not quite so demanding. In cozy hibernation, much like artist Amber Alexander’s satisfied bear shown above, we have more time to read the books we’ve been saving, to see the films we’ve been curious about. Time to cook that recipe we’ve wanted to try. To pull out that difficult knitting pattern and work away with no deadline in sight. Time to to clean off our desks, clear the tinsel from our thoughts and prepare for the rest of the year. A wonderful time really, and here are a few of the things I’m especially enjoying whilst hibernating in this, the first month of the year.

Oh, and Amber's wonderful book-reading bear is named Byron and you can see more of her work HERE.



After all the knitting I did for Christmas presents, it’s been fun this month to knit a few special things just for myself and the Songwriter. In the holiday issue of Vogue knitting there were several patterns for cowls, or as I like to call them...Snoods. (Shown here on my two favourite models, who were kind to help out, even though neither of them has any need for warm clothing.) Trust me, these things are fabulous. When the cold winds blow, just tuck your chin down in their wooly warmth, or pull them up over your head. You’ll be in heaven! I am currently working on a splendid hat for The Songwriter. Terribly fun to knit and it reminds me of something Albus Dumbledore might wear.

You can see it HERE.

Edward and Apple kindly modeling my snoods!


I’m crazy about these wonderful personalized bookplates, so much so that I gave some to everyone in my book club for Christmas.

Be sure to check out the entire shop HERE.

So many delightful designs.



A hot cup of Horlick’s Light Chocolate Malt every night by the fire. One of life’s true pleasures in my humble opinion. We don’t have this particular incarnation here in the states, so I have to try and get it shipped in from the UK, but it’s worth every effort. More warming than brandy on a cold winter’s night.


House Portraits

I always feel as if our beloved cottage is really the fifth member of our family, so it seems fitting that its portrait would hang on the walls. Some years back, an artist who often does work for me (in fact, his work is in every room of our house, much like Carl Larsson’s) created such a portrait and we just adore it. If you are fortunate enough to dwell in a house that you love, it is such a delightful thing to have its portrait painted. Patricia van Essche can do just that and can do it beautifully. The illustration below is just one example of her work.

Go HERE to see more.


Fair Isle Gloves

The Songwriter surprised me with a wonderful gift at Christmas. A creamy brown pair of hand-knitted Fair Isle gloves, straight from Scotland. They are sold by Thistle and Broome, a site devoted to the art of my favourite place in the world. From teddy bears to Orkney chairs, dog leads to riding habits - all gorgeous and all handmade in Scotland. I had fallen in love with these gloves a while back. You may choose which of the knitters you’d like to create your very own pair.... mine were made by Agnes Bowie... and they arrive soon after, made exactly to your measurements.

Go visit, go shopping, HERE.


Wedding Dresses

I suppose it’s because my own wedding anniversary occurs this week, but I often think of weddings in January. I catch myself glancing at the bridal magazines, creating whole white rose extravaganzas in my mind as I stand in the check out line at the market. Recently, I have begun to get a bit bored with all the strapless wedding gowns. They all seem so similar to me. Perhaps that’s why this one captured my fancy. If the Songwriter and I were walking down the aisle again this month, this just might be the one I’d choose.

You can see more HERE.



Here in the states, Masterpiece Theatre is currently airing a brand new adaptation of Jane Austen’s, Emma, and it’s a winner. Wonderful performances, with sets and landscapes that are absolutely swoon-worthy. Romola Garai makes the most gorgeous Emma; she plays her with just the right balance of irritating conceit and utter charm. I really think this will be the definitive production of Emma for me from now on.

You can sneak a peek HERE.


Marvelous Meryl

And on the subject of film.... I am so enjoying watching marvelous Meryl Streep pick up award after award for her perfectly delicious performance in Julie and Julia. So well deserved! How I hope she wins the Oscar!



I adore this Cotton Milk Mask from Mario Badescu. If you’ve been playing outside all day in the cold, it’s just the best thing ever.

Go read about it HERE.


Dogs at Play

Watching Edward and Apple play every day, especially in the snow we had a couple ofweeks ago, is just about the most fun I can think of. Pure abandon. I have recently discovered a blog where everyone can enjoy the happy sight of dogs at play, on the beach no less!

Go take a look HERE.

I dare you not to smile.



These wonderful handmade shoes remind me that warmer weather will be here soon. I can see myself wearing these everywhere come Springtime.

Go see them HERE.


Winter Walks

And finally, walks with Edward are fun at anytime of the year, but the winter ones are best. We both want to run. This passage by from a poem by Amy Lowell captures the joy Edward and I both feel when we’re out for a walk in the icy air.

"So with the stretch of the white road before me,

Shining snow crystals rainbowed by the sun,

Fields that are white, stained with long, cool, blue shadows,

Strong with the strength of my horse as we run.

Joy in the touch of the wind and the sunlight!

Joy! With the vigorous earth I am one."

Amy Lowell, from A Winter Ride


So, how about you?

What have you been enjoying about January?


  1. I love every single delicious bit of this post, Pamela! While you've been knitting, I've been crocheting, and I agree that it's fun to get a chance to knit an item or two for yourself after the holidays.

    Happy Anniversary! That wedding dress is absolutely stunning. I sometimes amuse myself by imagining what I would wear were I getting married now. I loved my wedding dress, but I would wear something very different now, which is kind of wonderful, I guess, because it reflects my own changes over the years. Fun to think about!

    Oh, and I am so excited about the new Emma. We've been looking forward to it all week.

    Have a wonderful week, my friend. xoxo

  2. Dear Pamela,
    I feel as if you should have been born here in the U.K.
    You have such a love for all things British.
    I love your models for the snoods, and the bookplates are beautiful.
    The portrait of the house is so special and the wedding dress, divine.
    We have been very quiet here. My birthday is February 1st ...that's when the fun begins again. XXXX

  3. Wonderful post, Pamela!

    Yes, stitching by the fire is definitely up there at the top of my list. And we are finding it hard to break out of the everybody~line~up~on~the~couch~under~a~quilt~and~watch~a~movie habit, now that we are back in school...sigh...

    And myself and Jay did actually get married a second time. Just because. :-)
    We're together twenty years this May and feeling the itch to do it again!

  4. You make me feel all warm and snuggled in. I'll spend a lot of time exploring the ideas on this post...it's so much fun to get out of my own experience and venture into someone else's.

  5. I enjoyed reading about your fun in January. I like my birthday, the snow and the beginning of a new year. It's more and I will think more about what that can be...


  6. Dear Pamela,There is so much about this post which I have found absolutely fascinating.

    Of course, I love the dogs with their snoods, Meryl Streep as Julia Child, and Horlicks takes me right back to my childhood in the 1950s.

    Your postings give me great pleasure. Thank you. Happy Anniversary!

  7. Can I just add, that I love the bear on the picture ??


  8. Fabulous post Pamela. First of all Happy Anniversay to you and The Songwriter. I love January for all of the reasons you mention. It's a wonderful time of year to be slightly laid-back. Your snoods are wonderful-and the models adorable. I do love the winter months for their nesting qualities.

  9. Edward and Apple look great in their snoods! Now you've got me wanting some Horlicks, something I haven't had for ages and ages. I must buy a jar next time I'm at the shops!

  10. January may be my favorite month as well for many of the same reasons that you give...it is my nesting month too... To begin with I have been enjoying catching up on reading many interesting blogs and websites...I have so thoroughly enjoyed this post in particular!
    I have been enjoying winter walks, soups and stews, reading, having time to learn photoshop, and celebrating my 33rd wedding anniversary...

  11. Amy Lowell loved horses and was describing an actual experience of hers. I'm writing a biography of her supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. In the meantime, I've published a collection of essays, "Amy Lowell Among Her Contemporaries," avaiable from iUniverse.com, bn.com, and amazon.com
    I'm interested in hearing from readers of her poetry.

  12. Hello P&E,

    Plenty here to enjoy on the long winter nights! We had a portrait done of our last guest house. I shall post an image of it!

  13. I just wanted to say how very much I have been enjoying your blog. It just warms me up inside!

  14. Aww, many thanks for include me in your January things. I must say, coming from you, I feel very splendid indeed.
    I must illustrate "The house of Edward!"
    Please send me a photo!

  15. Your post was just fasinating. Love the shoes, The dogs are Gorgeous.
    Choc. drink Horlicks sounds devine, never heard of it.


  16. Hi Pamela..I love everything on your list except horlicks...UGH!!..edward and apple look gorgeous in their snoods ( great word!!)..January is still pretty hectic for me workwise so can't wait for the 30th when everything returns to normal...have a lovely week.xx

  17. I'm in love with every minute detail of this gorgeous post. Leigh

  18. Delightful. Love how you strung the tidbits together.

    This is the most hectic January I've ever had. Work is good designing gardens & painters are in my house after a 20 year hiatus. Electrician, carpenter, plumber too.

    I can't even fake multi-tasking all of this!! Your posts are calming.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  19. Hi Pamela,

    This is such a wonderful post and I have loved everything you have shared. Happy Anniversary to you and the Songwriter.
    Love the photo of Edward and Apple modeling the snoods and the wonderful painting of the Bear on sofa.
    My husband and I have just celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary, yesterday.
    We have been enjoying Summer days and some lovely long lunches with family and friends.

    Happy week

  20. A beautiful post, I loved every word and every image!
    Jeanne :)

  21. Okay, so love this! Love: Book snuggling, Carl Larssen, Mario Badescu - I use his AHA Botanical Body Soap!, Hand knits - though I have no skill of my own there, Unique gloves, Dogs in sweaters-so long as they seem to like them, and your snoods are a GREAT idea! ;) Bookplates, though I haven't used them in years! Great reminder! MALTED CHOCOLATE- (don't know Horlick's & as Malt is usually from Barley which has gluten sadly I can no longer indulge...but wouldifIcould)Masterpiece Classic, Jane Austen, Meryl, and Winter walks! And yes, that hat is oh so Dumbledore and yet would perfectly suit your guy!

    Love them all. Thanks for all the warmth and inspiration. Hope you are very well!

    w.v. = "fauna"! Enjoy yours!

  22. what a lovely post, so many good things packed into it! I love winter walks too and have enjoyed several this month. Also seeing the first lambs at the city farm; all the birds in the woods and on the river; beautiful skies and lots of reading.

  23. Oh, you list is delicious and I adore PVE's drawings. She is fabulous and so talented. I am so happy to count her as my friend!
    I have been hibernating too of sorts: after hour reading feasts: 'The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society', 'The Help','Sepulchre', 'The Swan Thieves'.
    Walks with dog and family, lot's of cooking too!
    And lovely evenings at home with friends!

    Love your choice of winter wedding dresses, happy anniversary!

    And Emma, yes!

    Enjoy the winter bliss!


  24. OH! I must wish you two a very Joyous Anniversary!

  25. Lovely post, - chock-a-block with interesting things to do and see and dream about. No excuse for January blahs when you have shared such delightful bits, Pamela.

    Many thanks....

  26. Every single thing in this post is breathtaking, Pamela. Must definitely order myself a pair of those gloves. Happy Anniversary to you and your love!

  27. I love those snoods, are they easy to knit?
    I adore your cottage!
    Lovely blog to read in my lunch hour, thank you.

  28. I love posts like this. Full of luscious things to see and explore. I had a pair of gloves like that my granmother made years ago. I wore them out:( So beautiful! Happy Anniversary:)

  29. Fascinating post Pamela. I really enjoyed following all the links. My particular favourites are that wonderful hat you are knitting for the Songwriter, and those wonderful fairisle gloves. I really would like a pair of those. Emma is a story I have always enjoyed. Finally a very Happy Anniversary to you both.

  30. As always Pamela, a charming post. What do I love best about January?
    In fact - about the whole year - that is Horlicks every night for my bedtime drink - not the chocolate variety but the plain malt one. The farmer gets the supper every night and I always have this lovely steaming cup of malty Horlicks. So glad you like it too.

  31. Hia Pamela, I've enjoyed the sea fog that came in for a couple of days, the crisp air, but mostly sitting by the fire pampering this horrible cold while knitting socks and hand sewing details for some family Christmas quilts.

    Just this week I opened an old book and saw the first bookplates I ever bought- cream and crackly looking with a pewter coloured unicorn on it's hind legs. I usually put the date on it too of when I read the book and where I was. Bookplates are so special.

    Good luck with the hat creating and knitting.

  32. Nice looking pups, and those knitted booties are great!
    Thanks,for sharing.....

  33. Your list is quite delightful and makes me think that January is a time to stop, relect and appreciate all that we take for granted. Our days our made up of many little pleasures.


  34. What a FUN collection of beautiful things!
    I love them ALL! Especially Emma, which I recorded, so I can watch it again and again. I can't wait for next Sunday!

  35. I love these, especially the Emma that's airing on PBS..The best of all the Emma's hands down!

  36. What a delightful list of lovely things to enjoy in January - Horlicks - now that takes me back to my childhood holidays near the sea - we would walk along the beach and into the town to have a mug of horlicks before returning to our B&B for the night:)

  37. Would you believe, I didn't know about Thistle and Broome! Having looked at their website, I see they 'live' quite near me. Discoveries from afar!

    I agree about the power of Fair Isle gloves - beautiful winter stalwarts.

  38. Your snoods are MARVELOUS. So are the models!



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!