Friday, 11 January 2013

Impatient for Spring


I think I am suffering from fairy light withdrawal.

I like winter up until December 31st. I love the slow build up to Christmas - the dark afternoons don't bother me when you can rush home to a cosy home lit by fairy lights and candles, and everywhere is twinkling with Christmas lights. But as soon as the Christmas and New Year festivities have come to an end it all gets a bit bleak. January is a tiresome month; waistlines are feeling large and bank balances small in this house, and I'm sure that we're not alone in this. I am always impatient for spring to come at this time of year. The mildest day has me outside, sniffing the air, declaring to John that spring is on its way. He rolls his eyes, especially when I do this on New Years Day. I perk up a bit in February because it's my the month of my birthday and the half term holidays. Then March comes and it's still cold.

But this is not good, really, is it? I should be living in the moment not wishing these months away. I've been thinking about how I can perk up this dreary month and one easy way is with colour. Early spring plants and flowers are sneaking into the living room, a grey room that needs lots of colour on the sunniest day. I have a new velvet cushion in the most gorgeous shade of raspberry pink. It was a stealth purchase, that is, one made without John's knowledge or approval and just introduced quietly into the house without a murmur. When he spots it, I'll say it's been there for months and comment on how unobservant he is. I can make sure we get out and about lots, enjoy the winter landscapes and make the most of any sunny days. Or the snowy ones - apparently we may get some snow this weekend! We can enjoy stews and dumplings, roasts dinners and puddings. Those long evenings are perfect for crocheting a blanket to keep the knees warm. And I've left these fairy lights up. 

What about you, how do you get through the remainder of winter? What keeps you happy till spring comes?



40 comments:

  1. I'm working on clearing out all the stuff that is frustrating me on a daily basis, so I can start decorating the flat with lots of colour (but keeping it simple) So I spend my evenings crafting away. For some reason the dark evenings haven't affected me this year, unlike every other year. I stop knitting/crochet during summer because I never feel like it (too hot to hold yarn), and have a few projects that I'd like to get started on. Spring will come, and I like the way you've brought early flowers and some colour into your rooms. Keep up the wonderful crafting and spring will be here in no time :)

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  2. It's easy to wish the time away when it's bleak and dreary out - especially during out long Canadian winters. I try to work on bigger crafting projects and fill up my freezer with with comforting foods to eat. Of course a couple of seed catalogues to peruse don't hurt...
    Jenn

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  3. We get lulled into a false sense of security when the weather is spring like. Bringing spring into the house is a great idea! Love your header too! x

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  4. I agree! I am a fan of Winter until Jan. 1st and then I'm ready for Spring! I have been feeling cabin feverish this week with all the dreary weather (it's raining today) and being sick has not helped. I love your new cushion (which reminds me that I need freshen up our sofa pillows) and the gorgeous flowers give such a nice pop of color and life to a room! I think I need to pick up a bunch of tulips the next time I go to the market. Oh, and my fairy lights are still twinkling around my kitchen window. I do not see them coming down until Spring!

    Happy weekend!

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  5. I went and bought some flowers and a few colourful plants today - I too am feeling the need for a little colour after all the Christmas decs and lights have gone. I have been putting up some colourful prints and pictures and have bought a few new cushions too. We had some gorgeous sunshine here this afternoon and it was so lovely to get out in the garden for a change. xx

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  6. Despite the weather I love to go out for an early morning walk when all is quiet and calm. A few bright flowers and some colourful crochet and patchwork keep me happy during January.
    luv
    irene
    xxxx

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  7. I know what you mean! I am really ready for spring, looking for any signs of life in the garden, I'm SURE the days are a little bit longer, they are, aren't they? Have a great weekend! :) x

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  8. spring flowers are like little soul savers aren't they?!
    I am like you, struggling through January, i do try to like it, but find it long and dark and a bit miserable..... sorry January!
    Nice cushion! is it Laura Ashley? it looks very like mine from there ..... gorgeous.
    Have a happy weekend
    love jooles x

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    1. Yes, Laura Ashley in the sale...it's called "Nigella" - what could be more perfect? x

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  9. Dear Gillian
    I am with you in that I inject some colour through whatever I can find; plants, cushions, pictures. I do like Winter, particularly on sunny days with blue skies, but am not a fan of dull, dreary, grey days at all. I am really looking forward to Spring now, just like everyone else seems to be.
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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  10. I understand how you feel. That's why I bought my orange tulips yesterday and put them in my most cheerful jug on the kitchen table. I *need* those bright colors and reminders that spring will eventually come. I've been sitting here reading blogs while I listen to a strong wind howl around the house and your photos have cheered me right up. :)

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  11. I know exactly what you mean about January, the only thing that gets me through it is my birthday in February too!
    have a great weekend and roll on spring!
    : )

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  12. I feel exactly the same and am longing for brighter longer days. Now that the decorations are down, I want to declutter and inject brightness and colour into the house - easier said than done in our northern climate. Your house looks very warm and welcoming with your lovely flowers and colourful cushion.

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  13. I just try and get out and about as much as possible and also injecting little bits of colour wherever possible. As for the bulging waistlines , I'm with you on that one.

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  14. Hubby's a Jan birthday, and I'm Feb so that probably helps. I do find it a cosy time of year full of promise for the new year. Love your Cyclamen, one of my favs :)

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  15. Love your felted ball garland! I've just bought some fairy lights for our mantlepiece to cheer up January. And trying to embrace the cosying up for a few more months with books and films and leftover Baileys from Christmas.

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  16. I'm fairly certain I was heard saying on New Year's Day that Spring was just round the corner. A lovely sunny day (was that the last time we saw the sun?) and the bulbs are coming through. I'm sure it will be here soon.
    But in the meantime, your home looks wonderfully bright. Have a good weekend. x

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  17. What beautiful photos as always.
    I just need to get through the weeks till I am driving to and from work in the daylight and that is getting closer every day.
    Xxx

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  18. Love the new cushion - gorgeous colour, it looks great against your sofa.
    Spring always takes so long to come doesn't it? Sometimes I think it would be better if Christmas happened in late Jan rather than Dec. I've left a set of fairy lights up too, just to keep the place looking jolly!

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  19. We have the opposite. Sweltering days! January sure is a funny month. Struggling to find my groove too.

    rachel ox

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  20. I love the gorgeous flowers dotted around your home ... I can't wait for spring too ... it wouldn't be so bad if the grey days would give way to bright frosty ones ... a chance to enjoy being outside and still appreciate a cosy home on your return ... I'm missing the twinkle of christmas lights and have been making a list the length of my arm of all the things I want to do around here ... have a lovely weekend ... Bee xx

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  21. LEAVE THE LIGHTS ON NOW AND FOREVER!! I have some in my window sill all year long. In summer I don't get to appreciate them as much with all the extra light. I am a winter person so this is actually my favorite time of year, this and fall. Our summers get so hot and hummid. The chiggars and gnats are the worst in summer.

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  22. I know what you mean about wishing the winter away for spring.The touches you've added to your home are lovely, and winter is the perfect time for knitting and crochet. And casseroles and puddings. And hot chocolates. Have a lovely weekend x

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  23. Yes, January is long and bleak after all the Christmas brightness and twinkles have been put away but lovely to have a few pots of early spring flowers around as a reminder of the Spring to come. My mother always plants bowls of hyacinths before Christmas and leaves them under a bed in a cold spare room ready to bring out at Epiphany to provide instant consolation for the absence of the Christmas tree. I am never organised enough to do this but must try! Love your "stealth" cushion - great thinking! E x

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  24. I said the same thing yesterday morning to be told 'no, it's going to freeze' - no artistic license or willingness to humour me!!. I don't enjoy January very much but I clean a lot, pre-spring cleaning so it is done!!
    Have a good weekend.
    Ivan x

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  25. yes I'm starting to long for the colour of spring, I find a candle lit in the evening still really helps! Heather x

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  26. I know how you feel-January is such a hard month to get through! We celebrate the very first stirrings of Spring on the 2nd of February and even though it's still cold and frosty until March/April, it's comforting to know that the Earth is waking up, slowly and surely!
    I find winter a struggle because of how dark it is-especially in Wales where it's frequently wet too! But as you said, there's wonderful warm winter food, snuggling in handmade blankets, walks in the snow and all the beauty of Winter :-)
    Stay warm! I love that new cushion and the flowers-your home looks so pretty and bright :-) Liz x

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  27. Love your velvet cushion and totally understand that need for a little raspberry injection into your day. We both scored velvet cushions in the same week you know. As for the spring thing, well just hang in there and keep visiting a few of our down under Aussie blogs for your dose of sunshine until the real thing turns up. I know just when I am losing the plot with this stinking hot summer heat, when all i can smell is bushfire every time I open the house and my thighs are stuck together they are so sweaty, I know I can just pop over to polkadot petticoat in Alaska and soak up all that snow and moose and suddenly it's all alot cooler! mel x

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  28. You've done a great job bringing some sunshine and colour into your home! It's so super hot here today so your wintry weather actually appeals a bit. Especially when you add a yummy stew to the mix :-) But I do rememeber those bleak, post-Xmas January days. I'd always be happy when Feb rolled around! x

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  29. Love this post. Take a look at my latest piece on www.savistamagazine.com under the Home & Garden icon. It's about sprucing up your home in winter. Also under Lifestyle is a piece of mine on Watercolours. Enjoy, as they say!

    But what keeps me happy in these dark post-Christmas days? Fresh flowers - I've freesias in the sitting room right now, the scent is wonderful. Also, giving myself a post-Christmas treat in January. I've just bought myself Christian Dior's Diorissimo (eau de toilette) which, as I expect you know, smells of lily of the valley, a spring-like fragrance. Flowers, books, scent are always pick me ups for me.
    Margaret P

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  30. I love it Gillian, your home looks so fresh and perky despite the winter gloom (and I'm more than impressed by how ordered and calm it looks despite the cheerful presence of Bella and Angus)! Like you I'm longing for Spring... it can't come soon enough x

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  31. This year I decided against a natural Christmas tree and went for a fake with lights attached to it already. So what to do with the three set of lights that I have - one went on the mantlepiece and the other two were placed on the headboard of our brass bed and on the one in the spare room. The rooms looked a bit depressing when they were pulled down - so, off I went to Ikea and purchased - heart shaped fairy lights for our bed, well, it will be Valentine's Day soon, some cubed ones for the spare bedroom and KP wanted some too - so she's got star ones! My amaryllis is growing well but other than that I have not purchased any cut flowers yet - think I will this week. Love that cushion!
    June

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  32. Love the cushion. I too am filling the house with daffs in an attempt to usher in spring. However I am secretly very excited about the prospect of snow

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  33. I like to get outdoors on fine days, it's just so easy to stay cooped up indoors on bleak, dull days, but as soon as the sun shines it does me the wonder of good to go for a long walk. Saying that, I don't know what's wrong with me this year, I just don't seem to have the inclination to get outside. I must make more of an effort.

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  34. Get out as much as you can. Bird watch!! Encourage them into your garden and keep a tally with Bella and Angus. The RSPB are having a garden birdwatch count at the end of Jan. It's pretty grim in St Ives in January. Very quiet, but grey, rainy. I look at the horizon and remind myself that brighter weather is on it's way. xx

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  35. Beautiful pictures :) well, as we don't really have a real winter here, I probably don't miss spring...it's already +20. but I do understand you, as my native country is still under the winter's spell.
    crafting and cooking something tasty are the best ways of spending the rest of winter :)

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  36. I am the same Gillian though with the freshness of snow I'm starting to enjoy January - even if it's just the anticipation - a little bit.

    I'm sure February & March will hit me hard though...until the clocks go forwards.

    Nina x

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  37. Music usually helps me. And getting outside always helps but I am terrible about going out when it's cold, so I guess I'm unwilling to help myself sometimes. Also, I try to never read difficult or depressing books in Winter - although I am reading Mrs. Dalloway right not, so I'm not doing very good there. Geez - maybe I'm no help at all!

    love the felt ball garland, by the way.

    x
    Jenny

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  38. that felt ball garland is gorgeous - I think that would cheer me up in the dark winter months...did you make it?

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    1. Hello. Thank you. Yes, I made it and it was very easy. I bought felt balls from etsy and just threaded a needle and pushed them through each ball until they were all strung together. The post is here, if you're interested:

      http://www.talesfromahappyhouse.com/2012/10/a-felt-ball-garland.html

      Gillian x

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