12/05/2013

All hot and bothered.



We are in the grip of winter now and my garden has been visited with many different species of birds, feasting on windfall apples and berries. With Christmas looming ever closer, despite my love for this season, it has the habit of filling me with mild panic. I have done hardly any shopping, have no tree or decoration in place and have been stricken with a horrible allergic skin condition which is driving me slowly crazy.



So instead of focusing on the negative I thought I would share with you some things that I have noticed and that you might enjoy. In my last few posts I have told you about my plans to publish my children’s books and over on the website of Martin West, my former publisher and now my mentor, I came across this charming book. You know how it is when you see something so simple and yet so clever and you say to yourself “I wish I had thought of that”? Here is a lovely picture book about a pair of socks; it is the brainchild of Japanese artist Noriko Matsubara. Bocchi and Pocchi are no ordinary pair of socks. They are the best of friends; then one night Pocchi disappears!

Now I know that many of my friends in the blogosphere are keen knitters, Noriko has a free pattern to knit these charming character socks. Would that not make a very special Christmas gift, a book and sock combo?



Whilst on the subject of gifts and knitting, my friend Frances has opened her Etsy shop. I am the proud owner of a pair of her wrist warmers, shown on a previous post. I also looked on as she knit the most beautiful scarf whilst in her stay in the UK.

Meanwhile, I have been busy with my granny squares, to date 30 pink and 30 white, for me something of a record. I hope to update you all on that soon.

We enjoyed a little break in a country cottage in Cumbria, taking the dog for some long and invigorating lakeshore walks and taking lots of photographs for future reference. Whilst taking a little R and R I bought myself a copy of Country Living December issue, and who should be featured there but none other than Celia Hart who came to a virtual tea party not so long ago!

The cottage had an Aga cooker in a rather small kitchen; the effect was a little overpowering. Anybody who has tried to cook a full English breakfast on an Aga will understand the phrase “slaving over a hot stove”, so when life gets you all hot and bothered, what better image than an expanse of tranquil water. And now, I shall take my leave, bye for now. x







12 comments:

Beth Niquette said...

Hey, girl--I'm so sorry about the skin allergy that's giving you so much grief. I do SO know what this like. I love the birdie drawing and that children's book about sox is just darling. lol

I'm just like you--Not one Christmas ornament up. Only a few Christmas gifts ready to go. (sigh) I just have SO much to do.

I think I'll go take a nap.

((hugs)) Chin up Friend! You aren't alone.

Frances said...

Valerie, thank you so much for mentioning my etsy shop. Coincidentally, I have added some wrist warmers (fingerless mitts) to the shop this afternoon, to take the place of some items that have now gone to their new homes.

Hoping that you will be feeling better soon!

Having some time in Cumbria sounds rather wonderful to me...it's another part of the UK that I have yet to actually visit. Maybe I will get there next spring,

I am way behind with any real Christmas decorating...just enjoying my current relaxed journey through the Advent weeks...busy, but relaxed.

The socks story and pattern are charming.

xo

Jeri Landers said...

I managed to get a "fruit" and dried-flower covered tree out on the porch and a wreath on the door.. that's about it so far. I'm still doing art shows at this late date.(One last show this weekend and then I too, can hustle around trying to catch up. But I never really get stressed about it. Sorry for the allergy! Don't let it drive you tooo crazy.

jone hallmark said...

lOvE the painting at the beginning of the post, Val...yum!
And, I, too, have nothing done to be ready for Xmas. I am doing a craft show this Saturday (two days!) and have had a one-track mind.
Tonight I went to dinner with friends and their tree was up and beautifully decorated. They had gifts for us and the meal was extraordinary. I am NOW motivated to get out th decorations......I need glitter in my life!
Want to hear more about your "books-to-be"
Happy Holidays! xo

jone hallmark said...

lOvE the painting at the beginning of the post, Val...yum!
And, I, too, have nothing done to be ready for Xmas. I am doing a craft show this Saturday (two days!) and have had a one-track mind.
Tonight I went to dinner with friends and their tree was up and beautifully decorated. They had gifts for us and the meal was extraordinary. I am NOW motivated to get out th decorations......I need glitter in my life!
Want to hear more about your "books-to-be"
Happy Holidays! xo

Jules Woolford said...

Poor you - hope you can find a solution to the mystery allergy soon. Christmas this year is all about deadlines - I've done nothing family/friend orientated!:)
Love the sock book btw!

The Weaver of Grass said...

I have an Aga and the book which came with the cooker when we bought it new has a 'how to' for the full English cooked in the large roasting pan in the oven. It is the easiest thing in the world to do and with no effort at all. Wish I had known your predicament. If you go again let me know in advance!

Frances Tyrrell said...

Ted looks happy beside the water - and what a beautiful, beautiful view when I look beyond him to the distant shore. What a perfect spot to holiday (even with the Aga?).
Looking again at your illustration, so perfect in detail, I see a charming twist - the upside down thistle. I brought some home from the fields today to gild for Christmas decor!
Get well soon.
F

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

That book ... it's awesome, what a find!

Hope you are feeling better now x

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

That book ... it's awesome, what a find!

Hope you are feeling better now x

Merisi said...

"despite my love for this season, it has the habit of filling me with mild panic"

Did I write this?
Warm hugs,
Merisi

Merisi said...

Loved that you found a way to get away to Cumbria. You captured a very serene lake scenery, magical!