02:: Good Things Gathered

Good morning, friends– How are you? I hope you are safe and warm and well. This has been a hard week here in the southern plain states, and it’s been a lot to handle. We are safe and have heat and electricity though, so we are very fortunate compared to so many others in the area and in nearby Texas. We are all a bit weary and ready for the warmer temperatures that are coming our way next week. I am very much looking forward to spring.

Even as we bunker down and stay close to home, I do have a “Good Things Gathered” post to share with you. All of these are things from just around the house, nothing new, but things and projects that are keeping my mind off of dire weather and keeping my hands busy. I did finish last week’s knitting project of the mittens made out of handspun yarn for the mitt-along– and I’ve started on a new pair! With each mitten I get a little better at constructing them. And its nice to get in the groove of making them.

My mittens from last week– finished!

For my Good Things Gathered this week, I have some cozy favorites to share with you:

  1. The Scent of Water by Elizabeth Goudge is one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors. During this rough week, I’ve taken it off it’s spot on the book shelf and am rereading it. This book is so wonderful and so soothing and has all my favorite things in it. This book was the first Elizabeth Goudge book I ever read, and I got it on the recommendation of a friend. I was stressing out and telling her that “I just want to read a book about things that happen in a little English village, its all gentle and nice and nothing traumatic happens.” I sort of “LOL” at this now, because at the time, we hadn’t even heard of the Corona Virus, and I was already at my wits end. She suggested The Scent of Water and it started me on a mad love affair with Goudge’s books. A brief introduction of the story is– a woman gets an unexpected letter one day telling her that she has inherited an old house in the English countryside from an aunt she hasn’t seen since childhood. She decides to leave her life in the city (1950s/early 1960s London from the era the book was written) and move into the old house. The story includes the lives of several people in the village she moves to, the story of the aunt who left her the house, a found diary and even a ghost. And like all Goudge books, the house and the gardens and countryside are all characters in the book itself. It is such a balm and I highly suggest it. If anyone is ever wondering what Goudge to start with when they’re interested in her, The Scent of Water is number 1 on my list. Start here. You wont be sorry!

2. American Farmhouses: Country Style and Design is a book I’ve had for many years (I love a good decorating book!) and the other day I decided to grab an armful of books off my shelf to look through. This one quickly became one of my favorites that I’ve looked through. So many of the rooms and homes it features are timeless and don’t feel dated at all. I am really becoming interested in the more ‘farmhouse look’ and decorating in a more neutral, subdued color palette (I know! ME?!?). Recently we repaired some cracks and repainted over the general scruffiness of the walls in our bedroom and we painted it Westhighland White (which is also the color we painted the exterior of the house in 2019! I guess we like that color!) I have honestly surprised myself with my gravitation towards white and creams, because not that long ago I was a very ‘more is more’ person with color and pattern. At our previous home, our bedroom was painted a deep, intense peacock green and it was gorgeous. But I guess we all develop different tastes and evolve in our style. This old house is full of so much original woodwork, that I like how neutrals really make it stand out. Also, for all intents and purposes, I consider blue a neutral 😉 blue and cream are my favorites. This book is full of beautiful old houses, many of them with creamy backdrops and lots of inspiration. I love the farmhouse look, as I love old stuff, but I don’t like things too precious or formal. If you come across this book, I highly suggest it!

3. Mittens. I’m still knitting mittens! And I’m still using the Tin Can Knits pattern “The World’s Simplest Mittens.” With each mitten I think I get better, so I just keep on making them. The thing with mittens though is you have to make two, haha. I just started this new set the other day and I’m using some wonderful wool my friend Winnie brought me a couple of years ago from Ireland. She’d gone on vacation there and was nice enough to think of me when she spotted this Donegal wool. The yarn is from Blarney Woollen Mills and is such a nice warm wool. The little flecks of color within the gray is really fun— and dare I say— heathered? I’m looking forward to having these finished as I made them my size! I’m sure they’ll be done just as it starts to be 60 degrees next week….

4. And well….tea. Tea always helps. I am pretty basic in my tea consumption. These days I’m drinking “English Tea Time” from Bigelow Tea, and this is decaf so I can have it in the afternoon and evening. In the morning and early afternoon I’m happy to have my coffee– I’m a fan of Gevalia coffee these days, I just drink the ‘house’ flavor. Gevalia is a Swedish brand, and you know I love my Swedish stuff! Always fun to have a little fika (a Swedish coffee break), right?

Well, those are a few Good Things I have to share with you this week. It’s humble, but it’s just…..been ‘those kind of days.’ I am really looking forward to normal days again when I knew what the days and week ahead hold….where I can count on the weather, the house, and the world in general not falling down around our ears. I miss antiquing and estate sales, I miss little road trips and going to historical homes and museums. I know life will never be the same as it was before the pandemic hit, but I am ready for…..the mundane! A routine! Relaxing out of emergency mode. That sounds so so good. And I know you’re ready too.

Sending a virtual hug your way—

Let us remember to-

take joy~
H

Ooooh, and I amost forgot! A bonus entry of a Good Thing Gathered— a show on PBS (in the US) that we’ve all been enjoying, All Creatures Great and Small. Its a new series out of the UK based off the beloved books by James Hariot. We’re all loving it and I’m adoring all the knitwear shown in the show (I need a knitted sweater vest!) and it’s so interesting to me to see life and a veterinarian practice with absolutely no plastic. It’s set in the 1930s so the clothes and decor are all fabulous. Plus, its set in the stunning Yorkshire Dales. I’ll leave the trailer for the show here, you might enjoy it too! You can watch it on Sunday evenings on PBS and also stream it for free on the PBS Passport App.

4 thoughts on “02:: Good Things Gathered

  1. There is nothing I don’t love on this list!! I absolutely love when other people show photos of their homes painted lots of pretty, vibrant colors. But I finally recognized in my own home I am drawn to creamy white walls, with color and interest coming from textiles. So, I highly approve of painting your walls white! I think when you come to New York I will make you sit down and help me knit a pair of mittens. I don’t think I can do it, but it couldn’t hurt to try (I need a person to show me- learning myself will not work haha!) All Creatures is definitely a comfort show (as Alice calls gentle shows that make you feel good.) We WILL get through this!

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  2. I’m ordering the Elizabeth Goudge book today—sounds wonderful. I really relate to just wanting to read a gentle book—I love anything with a village, countryside and garden involved❤️All Creatures has been so good—will probably rewatch until the next season—love everything in Mrs. Hall’s kitchen and the knitwear, style and sweetness. Just ordered the book since I haven’t read it since I was younger. Thanks for these lovely thoughts—stay warm!❤️

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  3. Finding a new post of Good Things Gathering was such a fun way to muse over with my morning’s first cup of coffee! This gathering contains all the sorts of topics I love as well. One positive outcome of this pandemic has been the time to just read and dream and I have been doing a lot of that the past 12 months. A farmhouse look has appealed to me even though I live in the most common of common concrete block house from 1960. It takes a lot to try and give it a Farmhouse feel , and I have discovered, it is based on both heart and stylistic elements. There is no “right”way to make it happen. It seems to evolve out of my memories and needs of my heart.

    I was just thinking about Elizabeth Gouge the other day and wanting another book to read and sounds like this one might be a good solution too. I am glad you brought this author to my attention because her stories are always interesting and full of the human struggles to find your way in life.

    Your new mittens are looking wonderful and I am so glad your donegal wool is working up beautifully for you. Thanks too for the link to the pattern and tutorials. I just looked it over and I am going to need all of those steps to get that thumb gusset right!

    Yes, Yes to the latest All Creatures Great and Small!! We have been watching the season on PBS and this coming week is the season finale. I am going to miss these wonderful episodes each week because the 1930s are one of my favorite eras. Especially in England! Years ago, I read all of the books and loved them but the TV creation of the stories is even better because of the visuals of the countryside and the people. I am attached to this series just like I was to Downton Abby.

    Thanks again for sharing this new topic on Good Things. It is helping pull me along in this new life that has been uprooted and profoundly changed by the Covid Virus!

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  4. I love James Herriot. I need to watch that show! That is also my favorite mitten knitting pattern for handspun yarn. I always wondered what Gouge book to start with. Such a comforting post. 🥰

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