Sunday, 10 January 2016

Brightening Up January

We have had some moments of sunshine in amongst the dreary rain showers over the last few days, now that term has started and I'm back at work. I've noticed them as I flit around school, and just for a couple of minutes it's felt wonderful. The sky has been bright and clear, and my reactive glasses have turned into sunglasses by the time I got indoors again. It has felt like a foretaste of spring, even though there's a good while to go before it arrives. In the garden bulbs are coming up and a single pale yellow daffodil is blooming, certainly the earliest one I can remember for a very long time, a result of the incredibly mild temperatures we've had so far this winter. The weather forecast is predicting more wintry weather next week with snow falling in some places, and dropping temperatures. I'm ready, but I hope that nature can cope with this, now that it thinks spring is here.


Indoors I've followed my yearly tradition of having bulbs on the kitchen windowsill as soon as Christmas is over. The hyacinth bulbs which I potted up back in October have come up a lovely shade of soft pink with the most delicious fragrance. They really are such a treat, and not very expensive at all if you buy the bulbs in the autumn and put them in a pot full of compost yourself. From mid-spring onwards when they have finished blooming I always plant them outside in the garden and enjoy them growing there in following years.



This one is changing colour from green to the palest blue.


I've squeezed in a bit of creativity this weekend with some jewellery-making. It only took me 20 minutes to make a pair of cranberry-coloured earrings and a ceramic button necklace. You may notice that it's got a small crack across it. After I bought the button in Cornwall last summer I managed to drop it onto our newly-tiled kitchen floor. You can imagine how cross I was! However it was a clean break and I repaired it with some superglue, and I think it's not too noticeable, as it's far too nice a button to throw away.


After the excess of Christmas I'm enjoying a simpler diet again and am drinking herb teas. We have quite a collection of them in our kitchen cupboard as D is very keen on them, but this Rose Lemonade tea is one of mine. As you know, I love roses to smell, admire and to cook with. This tea really captures the essence of a scented garden and makes me dream of summer.


In recent years I've enjoy dispelling the January gloom with some sparkly light in the form of fairy lights festooned around the dining room, and this year is no exception.


And on the kitchen shelves too. You can't have enough of them in my opinion. They brighten the house and are often half price or less in the sales after Christmas.


On the subject of light, I thought I'd show you the scented candles which I made last month. I couldn't reveal them before as they were Christmas presents for my friends. I made three batches of soy wax candles in different colours and added essential oils to them. There were sweet orange, geranium and lavender and lavender and lemon ones. I had such fun making them and packaging them up in pretty cellophane and ribbons.


I bought these vintage teacups last summer at a garden which we visited, and filled them with lemon and lavender-scented wax in a pale yellow colour. They do smell good.


I love lighting candles at this dark time of year, and am calmed and cheered by their flickering flames.


It's even better if they're in a twinkly glass holder.



Three years ago when it last snowed properly here I took a couple of candles outside in the snow for a mini photo-shoot. I love the wintry combination of fire and ice, and enjoyed watching the flames reflecting off the white fluffy crystals around them. 



Who knows? Perhaps we'll have some of the white stuff here this week. It's certainly turned a lot colder. Wherever you are I hope you stay cosy and enjoy a bit of sparkle too.
See you soon x

32 comments:

  1. Do you freeze your candles, they burn for much longer, I have a tub of tea lights in my freezer. Love your home made ones, a perfect present.

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    1. I haven't of that before - what a good idea! I shall definitely give it a try.
      Cathy x

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  2. A lovely blog post full of pretty thing - the hyacinths, the candles and twinkly lights. What a shame about the button necklace but I still love it. xx

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    1. Thank you - we all need some prettiness at this time of year!
      Cathy x

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  3. Your candles are so pretty aren't they, I am sure that your friends loved them. The tea sounds delicious! xx

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  4. Your post has brightened up a January evening! Your necklace looks so pretty and the candles must have been a wonderful gift. Have you tried the rhurbarb tea from Taylors? I will have to look out for the Rose Lemonade flavour. Sarah x

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    1. Yes, I've got the Sweet Rhubarb as well - both flavours are delicious.
      Cathy x

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  5. What gorgeous candles. You're right, they're wonderful at this time of year aren't they. We've had a few moments of sunshine too, and a whole row of daffodils blooming outside of the allotments. Spring will not be as colourful this year I think, it is most confusing to see the flowers now. Wishing you a good week. CJ xx

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    1. Thank you :) Yes, it does seem odd to see daffodils out in January. I hope all the spring flowers aren't over too soon.
      Cathy x

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  6. There's something special about the flickering flames of candles and the dribbly wax. x

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    1. I agree, a bit magical and very calming.
      Cathy x

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  7. You've inspired me! I shall arrange my white lights across the mantle-piece to bring back some sparkle on these grey days. It all looks rather bland and bare since the Christmas decorations were taken down.

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    1. That's a good idea - sparkle is a must at this dark time of year!
      Cathy x

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  8. So many lovely things. Your candles look so pretty in their little teacups; I do love a nice scented candle. The ceramic button pendant is lovely too and I wouldn't have noticed the crack if you hadn't pointed it out. The rose tea sounds delicious - is it decaff? Enjoy your blooms and fairy lights. xx

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    1. Thank you :) I think the tea must be decaff. I can definitely recommend it.
      Cathy x

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  9. muuuuuum your cups of tea looks ssooooo gooood !!!

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    1. The taste of roses and lemons is a delicious one!
      Cathy x

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  10. We had a bit of snow over the weekend - smartly followed by a bit of rain which proceeded to wash it all away! Definitely still doing the candle and fairly light thing to banish the dark and on Friday, there was just enough of a break in the rain for me to notice it was slightly lighter when I came out from work - YaY!

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    1. Yes, I've noticed it too - still waiting for snow here.
      Cathy x

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  11. Lots of loevly things, I do like your candles & the heart button makes a lovely necklace x

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  12. I like the name of your blog.
    Your teacup candles are beautiful.
    Rose tea. Yum!

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    1. Thank you for dropping by - it's lovely to meet you :)
      Cathy x

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  13. Your post was full of pinky goodness! I love the jewelry: I would not have noticed the crack in the button if you hadn't said - I think it turned out great. I adore those candles in the teacups too: I have a bag of soy wax pellets in the basement, and geraniaum is my favourite essential oil so I think I should just get busy!

    Happy Days!
    Jenn
    @JennsCraftyWorld

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    1. Ooh yes, a bit of candle-making is a good idea! Have fun :)
      Cathy x

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  14. Loving your geraniums and candles. I too have left my fairy lights up as a I think their cheery light is so important to bring cheer to the dark days of January. I recognize the light holders from Ikea. ( I use one of the small ones as a dainty sugar basin!) Alison.

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    1. Thank you for visiting :) Ikea do make some lovely candle-holders and lanterns, don't they? I use the small one for sweets sometimes, but it must make a perfect sugar basin.
      Cathy x

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  15. Such a pretty post, Cathy. Flowers, candles and tea, these are a few of my favorite things.
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. Thank you Amalia - it's a good combination, isn't it?
      Cathy x

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  16. Mhhhh, it is as I can smell the candles! Isn't lavender the best smell? Someday (when my days has more hours...) I might make some too!

    Take care
    Anne
    Crochet Between Worlds

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    1. I agree that lavender is a wonderful smell! I hope you find time for a bit of candle-making.
      Cathy x

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