Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wonderful Things For Spring... A List and Giveaway!

Wonderful Things for Spring....
A List and Giveaway
1. Antique Tiles
As someone whose every day was once occupied with creating beautiful rooms for clients, I’ll let you in on a little professional secret.  Every room needs old things.  Rooms that are filled with sparkling new, just out of the crate items can seem sterile as a hospital nursery.  Take my word for it, for a room to beckon you in and make you reluctant to leave, it needs some patina of age - a faded cushion, an old painting, a lamp with a questionable past.   Antiques ground a room, they give it secrets to uncover, a bit of mystery, a bit of history.  (No doubt it would be interesting to hopscotch this line of thinking over to antique people and the value they bring to society, but we’ll save that for another day.) 
 Just take a look at the antique tile above..  Isn't it wonderful? 
 I have a fascination for antique tiles, they are like little works of art.
  Just imagine a collection of carefully chosen ones around a library fireplace, above a red Aga, or perhaps surrounding a picture frame in a high-ceilinged foyer with a Versailles patterned floor. 
 Love them too?
  See more HERE.

2. Little Creatures
Just off Carnaby Street in London is a tiny little shop for people with decidedly quirky tastes.  How do I know this?  It’s one of The Songwriter’s favourite stops each time we are there.  While I’m floating through the scarves at Liberty, which is just around the corner, he is off to visit this world of little creatures, usually selecting a new one to accompany us back home. 
 I think he’d love this little fellow, too.  I certainly do. 
 Just look at the details in his little outfit - the wee little buttons on his waistcoat, that perfectly turned collar.  
His name is Floyd, he lives in Staffordshire and, most delightfully,
 he likes to reread the collections of John Arbuthnot.
Meet him HERE.

3. Tea Towels
Ever since the release of the film Something’s Gotta Give, a certain type of kitchen has seemed to gain greater and greater prominence here in the states.  Copious amounts of white subway tiles, dark countertops, white cabinets - it quickly became the kitchen to have.  I loved that kitchen, too, though my own is quite different. 
 The cabinets are old, distressed and painted with trees. 
 The tiny little ones above the stove are painted with faces exactly like the door knockers Maxfield Parrish created.  Benevolent conspirators, they grin down at me as I cook.
  And I have rotating tea towels that hang on the arm of the oven. 
Each one special, each one provoking a smile first thing in the morning. 
Just like the one above, that just happens to be hanging in my kitchen this morning.
I found it on a marvelous site.
  They even have commemorative ones for the Queen’s Jubilee. 
 Such fun!
Pick up one for yourself HERE.

4. A Handmade Hat
Put this on your head and have your picture taken!
Incredibly, beautifully handmade.
Find it HERE

5. Strawberries
I am ravenous for this time of the year, for this is the season of the perfect strawberry. 
 Fat, juicy and red all the way through.  
Strawberries are my desert island food.  You know, “if you were stranded on a desert island, what food would you wish to have?”. 
 Forget chocolate. 
 Throw out ice cream. 
 For me, it would always be a divine strawberry, eaten very slowly to best taste that sweet essence of red.  
 Of course there are so many ways to enjoy them. 
 Strawberry cakes, strawberry pies..... strawberry jam! 
 I saw this fabulous recipe, more like a tutorial actually, on the blog of the glorious French Basketeer and I almost swooned! 
 Andrea walks us through all the steps of creating strawberry jam, very clearly and with pictures.
 You just know you want to make some!  
Follow along HERE.

6. A Summer Knitting Pattern
In a divine shade of blue cotton yarn.
With white trousers, white shirt, and white moccasins.
On a sailboat off Cape Cod.
In July.
Knit it for yourself, HERE.

7. A Summer Throw
The windows are open wide and there’s a view to the sea.
There are pillows on the white sofas in the palest colour of pink.
And this throw is tossed on the ottoman for naptime.
Love it!
Find it HERE.

8. Family Love
Though they did remove a tooth once, Edward still loves his veterinarian.  He trots in the office with a smile on his face every time we visit.
  Not so for the poor chap in the photo above. 
 Seems he’s quite frightened about the whole idea. 
 I absolutely adore this photograph. 
 Those hands tightly clasped around his back.  
That furry paw hanging over his friend’s arm. 
 True family love. 
 Which, of course, is what every dog deserves to know.
  Much more preferable than being strapped to the roof of a car, don’t you think?

9. Watering Can
With fifty-four hydrangea bushes and beds and beds of flowers, I do my share of watering this time of year.  
Love this fairy-tale watering can.
I imagine blue and yellow butterflies would drift lazily around me every time I picked it up.
Find it HERE.

10. Something To Look Forward To
Like every devoted reader of American Vogue, I am besotted with the divine Grace Coddington.  Yes, Anna Wintour may run the show, but as Vogue’s longtime creative director, Grace is the one with the eye.  I just read this week that she is finally publishing her memoirs in November and I simply cannot wait.  Not a salacious tell-all, but the tale of her life and art.
How long till November??
Pre-order it HERE.

11. Shakespeare
Have you ever referred to yourself as a “night owl”?
Have you ever been “up in arms” about something?
  Have you gone on a “wild goose chase” or perhaps had “too much of a good thing”?  
Then my friend, you have quoted William Shakespeare. 
 So much of our everyday speech originates with this Elizabethan writer, his words are woven into our language so seamlessly we hardly recognize it anymore. When we walk the “primrose path”. When we see something “vanish into thin air”. When I “have not slept one wink” or when I “wear my heart on my sleeve”. “Fair play.  Good riddance.  High Time”.  Even when we are “dead as a doornail”, we are still quoting Shakespeare.
April is his birthday month and in honour of dear ubiquitous Shakespeare, Edward and I are giving away a gorgeously illustrated copy of his sonnets.  
Perfect for a Springtime reverie.
Easy to enter, just leave a comment on this post.
We’ll draw the winner at the next full moon.
That’s Sunday the sixth, at midnight!
Good luck and Happy Spring!

Update:  May 6th - Congratulations to "Pondside"!
Winner of the book.


  1. Hello Pamela:
    What a tantalising list of delicious goodies you tempt us with here. Of everything you show here, the handmade hat is our favourite . The talent and skill of that designer is simply wonderful and there are so many charming and unusual things on the website that one could easily fill one's entire wardrobe at a stroke.

    And, as you say, what more perfect a way is there to celebrate Spring than to remind oneself of Shakespeare's sonnets. So English, so very apt, 'such stuff as dreams are made on'......

  2. I just love knowing where word things come from - and I have to admit (albeit sheepishly) that I didn't know these were from Shakespeare! I used to think of myself as educated... think I have to work on some subjects I might be lacking in! Happy spring...

  3. Aha...well, I do allude and quote from the bard often, sometimes unconsciously, most times with purpose. Although not the owl specific, my poem NIGHTBIRDS does refer to the condition of living in the after hours...including everything and everyone--and more-- surely you already know how much I enjoy your spot. In case you don't--I do, I DO-DO DO:-)

  4. Ooops--perhaps this URL will post properly so those who want a read can access it more easily--

  5. what a wonderful list of things and a lovely giveaway too! Shakespeare made such a difference to the English language!

    I love antique tiles so much that I was almost tempted to buy a flat purely based on the tiles round the fireplace!

  6. Ah, William Shakespeare. Beautiful post, Pamela, thank you. The websites are terrific. Joyeux Printemps!

  7. Ah, such sweet liquor, Spring's breath. Adore the watering can--imagined butterflies and all.

  8. Lovely, just lovely! I always feel serene visiting your blog and glimpsing your world. You provide so many things to ponder, things to enjoy, things to share. It's a pleasure every time I visit.

    LOVE the dog picture!! I've seen it somewhere before, but it still makes me laugh every time I see that big old baby of a dog!! :)

    I am not a particularly knowledgeable fan of The Bard. Like many, I only know bits and pieces (usually the things we HAD to read in high school. Although I can quote from some of the more famous speeches, I never realized how much of his writing has filtered into our everyday speech! Interesting!

    May I please have your permission to copy those Shakespeare quotes for a future post on my blog??? I would imagine not too many non-Shakespearean scholars would know the origin of these phrases that pepper our conversations.

  9. I smiled to learn that some of the verbal expressions I use, come from William Shakespeare. I must be in good company. Edward...please...choose me, choose me!
    Great post Pamela.

  10. Lovely, all so lovely! Makes Spring extra special seeing such beautiful things through your eyes....the rabbit Floyd, the strawberries, Grace C. such an icon in the fashion and publishing world. So Will S. was responsible for all those quirky English quotes......I always thought my Mum made them up when I was a child, ha! ha!

    Such a great post Pamela - thank you, thank you.

  11. I do love your lists! You always choose such lovely things.

  12. I am mad with envy about your 54 hydrangea bushes...what a dream that must be!! Your wonderful list today is, as always, fun and charming! Oh, please do enter me into your drawing for the Bard's sonnets!
    Happy Spring, Blessed Beltane!

  13. Pamela, dear, you always tell us of such unique and wondrous things!! Of course I would love to have the book of sonnets by Shakespeare! You are wonderful!

    Art by Karena

  14. Oh, that poor doggie... what a great human he has to hold him so tightly on the dreaded vet visit!

    Shakespeare's Sonnets would be a wonderful gift for springtime!

  15. What beautiful images and ideas. I completely agree that all new is so boring. I love all my older things best. The art nouveau tiles ARE heaven. Love the dog, wish I had a big shaggy mop to hug!

    Thanks so much for sharing all this loveliness. Enjoying a cool mist over the trees in the park across the road...from indoors. Not sure we're going to get spring...or summer for that matter.

  16. That photo of the dog at the vets is one of the funniest things I've ever seen .

  17. What wonderful treasures! All perfect!

  18. Pamela,

    This is such a beautiful trove of treasures! I love the hat, it is the most unusual and beautiful hat that I have ever seen.

    I also love the little rabbit, I am headed over to the link to see what other amazing things I can find.

    Have a wonderful day and thank you for sharing your wonderful finds, Elizabeth

  19. This is just too funny! Our 16 year old teen is having to "sludge" (his words) through Romeo and Juliet for his English class. To win this would be fabulous...I could kindly pass along to him!


  20. I smashed fresh strawberries yesterday noon to spoon over waffles for lunch. Yummers. I woke up this morning thinking about smashed strawberries on toast for breakfast. They're not as good as the ones I used to pick warm from the fields to eat, but then nothing tastes as good as memories. Have you ever tried any alpine varieties? Those little gems really pack a flavor punch.

    It is difficult to have a favorite passage from Shakespeare's plays, there are so many fine ones, but I do love Portia's court speech from Merchant of Venice: "The quality of mercy is not strained..." And my favorite sonnet is 116: "Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds..."

    What are some of your favorites?

    I also love the illustrations you use for your posts and look forward to them almost as much as I do your stories. So, when you say you have a "gorgeously illustrated copy of (Shakespeare's) sonnets" to give away, I'm ready to jump into the pool with my shoes on.

  21. What wonderful treasures! The watering can is the best ! I love old things too. I have a Giveaway in my blogg too, so visit me ! Mayby you will like it !
    Hugs from Greece -Agni

  22. Your list is like no other!!! I always am just a little thrilled to link up to the blog and find another one! And I keep every single reading list!!! Little jewels every one!

  23. So many treasures to enjoy today, especially the watering can and those mouth-watering strawberries.
    You are always generous with the giveaways. Thank you for the chance to win!

  24. What a wonderful list, quite inspiring.I just loved the dog at the vets, tickled my giggle button. And the piece about Shakespeare intrigued me. Thank you for a lovely blog read. Regards Mandy Currie (

  25. Looks like you did some shopping in England. Love those antique tiles. I remember way back in the 80's seeing a picture of Tricia Guild's kitchen backsplash that was a patchwork of Victorian tiles and I was smitten. Always wanted to do that. The tea towels are charming - I'd love the William Morris designs they offer. The dog at the vet's is too adorable - reminds me how my 55 lb baby tries to climb in my lap in the waiting room. I'm sure the volume of Shakespeare's sonnets would be delectable.

  26. Always delightful! Loved the doggie in his owners arms.

  27. I love these lists you post, Pamela. They are always rich and inspiring. Shakespeare's sonnets would be, for me, much ado about many things - and a true joy.

  28. Hello Pamela

    Another fabulous post. I love tea towels and have quite a selection. I wish I had an AGA! the ultimate stove.
    I love the songwriters favourite store in London, I must find it when next there.

    I am heading back to re-read this post.
    Wishing you a week of joy

    Helen xx

  29. Oh my goodness, what a fabulous hat. Thanks for a terrific post. Also, I just noticed Edward in his fetching green tie, please pass along my compliments! N.G.

  30. Oh your list is tantalizing and beautiful, speaks of you and you are gracing us with a give away! Count me in!
    Happy May! Will be away for a little while....
    Thinking of you!

  31. i simply love stopping by your house. i learn, i'm entertained, i'm amazed, i'm enchanted...
    make that usually...
    all in the same post!
    like today.
    tammy j

  32. Each picture I cam to I thought - Oh that is going to be my favourite picture - first Floyd, the the hat, then the strawberries - all exquisite and, as usual, lovely writing to accompany the pictures Pamela.

  33. Better than any retail therapy, your pictures and links set me off dreaming of possibility and pleasure.

  34. The thing I love about your 'lists' that I want to read them again and again. I scroll through, thinking that 'I like that one' and 'that one' and 'that one'...thinking all the while that I will mention my favourites at the end. I get to the end and realise I love them all! How do you do that???

    There is something about Grace...that reminds me of you..that creative just may be soul mates.

    Shakespeare?? Yes controversial as he is these or not, if you selected something... I would love to win it.

    Best wishes to you and the gang...

    Jeanne xx

  35. Hi Pamela
    That shot of puppy is just fabulous!!! poor thing looks panicked but loved!!!

    Thanks for popping by and your kind comment.. hope you have a terrific week.. ciao xxx Julie

  36. I do love that amazing hat.
    Your blog is wonderful, Pamela.
    Thank you, very much.
    Hugs from Chili.

  37. I spent quite a long time dreaming on that tile website. They are wonderful! As are all the things you list here, and oh - that lovely dog, and lovely owner, holding him so safely. Beautiful pic. As for the Shakespeare sonnets - oh yes please! The book sounds divine and just perfect for welcoming Spring.

  38. I so agree with you about antiques, every room needs something old to give it some patina. I love all the items you have listed. And the idea of old tiles for a fireplace surround or above a red AGA, oh my, such a great image in my mind! I would love to participate in your Shakespeare sonnet giveaway!

  39. What a host of lovely inspiration. I just love Grace Coddington's style!
    I just signed up as your latest follower and I look forward to popping back for some more inspiration!

  40. What a great list! I love the hat - and the strawberries remind me that summer is coming although with this non stop rain it's hard to see!!!

  41. I could not help smiling at the poor dog at the vet, almost bigger than his owner!

    Please put my name in the strawberry hat.

    Have you been watching Miranda by any chance ? - such fun!

  42. Just in time to play along! Would love to win:-)

    Fingers crossed

  43. Hi,
    I love Shakespeare!
    Once saw a cartoon of someone trying to lose weight,
    & the words,
    "Oh, that this too, too solid flesh would melt!"
    (I say that every day.)

  44. What a lovely post. I adore Shakespeare, and would enjoy his sonnets while sitting on my porch swing looking over the roses - which of course by any other name would smell as sweet! ::Jill

  45. I have English tiles on my bathroom.. I bought them over there and stored them forever... Finally had a chance to use them ... Love the dog pic! Love your fiat!

  46. I was almost tempted to buy a flat purely based on the tiles round the fireplace, Send gifts to Pakistan from UK.


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 Thank you for reading!