Just For July...A List and A Giveaway

Monday, July 2, 2012

Just For July... A List and A Giveaway!
Here in the South, we never know what to make of January. 
 We might awaken to a balmy day worthy of Springtime, or an ice storm of historic proportion.  It is just as likely that snow will cover our rooftops by noon as it is that a warm sun will tease the jonquil bulbs up from their mossy slumber.  
But July is a month we can count on. 
 Possessing neither the volatility of March nor the mystery of October,
 July steps woodenly along, one sweltering day at a time, till her thirty-one day
tenure is done.  The most guileless of months, July is blessed with no magic save fireflies and honeybees and her one concession to theatricality, the thunderstorm, never arrives unannounced - we can see those coming for miles.  
 Yes, she’s predictable and her repertoire wearing, but yes, we do love her still.
   For in her limited box of tricks sits a power few other months can accurately claim. 
 July can force us to relax. 
 When her humidity hangs in the air like glue and her heat can no longer be borne,
 July will command us to sit.  On porches, in gardens, in beach sand or clover - 
she shoves glasses of lemonade in our hot little hands and pushes us down, down, down. 
 We sigh, we close our eyes. 
 We kick off our shoes.  
And slowly we sense the icy weight of every other month melt 
in the rays of her sun, our shoulders getting lighter and lighter with each 
drop of stress that splatters on the ground around us.  
It is July. 
 And we are at ease. 
For July, a new list and a fabulous giveaway.
Don’t forget to leave a comment as your entry!

1. Beach House Ships
Inside every beach house that lives in my dreams - 
on rocky coasts or palm covered shorelines -
 there sits, on a long table by an open window, a ship. 
Handmade and incredibly detailed, this one is a wonder. 
 I think it would be most at home in a cottage in Whitby.
Find it HERE 

2. Beach Towel
My friends tease me when I go to the beach.
Do you only go out at night?”, they laugh, referring to the lightness of my skin.
Yes, well.... at night, at dusk, in early morning light.  
Laugh if you will.
But still, I need a beach towel when I do venture out.
And I adore this one.
Find it HERE.

3. Pink Lemonade Bars
I mean, really.
Are these perfect for summer, or what?
Find the recipe HERE.

4.  Itsy-Bitsy Knitting
With less than six months till Christmas (yes, really), I am already knitting my presents.
  While knitting is a passion of mine, this lady puts me in the shade.
I am totally gobsmacked at her talent. 
Just watch THIS and see what I mean.

5. Lady Mary Scarf
Love Lady Mary.
Love the colours of this scarf.
Imagine a dress of the palest pink, almost the colour of dawn.
And this scarf.
Perhaps it will tide me over till the third season of Downton.
Find it HERE

6. Nora Ephron
Few people can make the truth funny.
Nora Ephron could.
She was never mean, she was always in love with life.
Goodness, how I’ll miss her.

“I look out the window and I see the lights and the skyline and the people on the street rushing around looking for action, love, and the world's greatest chocolate chip cookie, and my heart does a little dance.”
Nora Ephron

7. Paper Lanterns
In the oldest neighbourhood in the oldest part of my city there is 
a beautifully restored Victorian house that I love to pass by at nighttime.  
Hanging from the ceiling of the wrap-around porch, like moons orbiting the windows,
 are large, colourful paper lanterns. 
 In summer, yellow and pink ones sway in the starlight,
 magically changing over to copper and gold
 when the first autumn breezes blow through. 
 In December, iced reds and greens are reflected in the frosted ground. 
The effect is utterly bewitching and it speaks to the delightful whimsy
 of those who live within the old house.  
It’s no secret that I adore chinese lanterns.  Nothing makes a summer dinner party more special than paper lanterns swaying in the trees outside.  Few sights are more enchanting.  So it was with amazement that I read about the recent celebration of the summer solstice that took place in Poland.  People gathered to launch over 17,000 paper lanterns up into the night sky in a staggeringly beautiful display.
Seems they do this every year.  
HERE'S a film of last year’s solstice..
Want some sky lanterns of your own?
Find them HERE.

8. Another Summer Book
Though Gillian Flynn is an excellent writer, and her new novel, Gone Girl, is shaping up to be one of THE books for summer, I’m not sure I’d want to sit next to her at a dinner party.  To be elbow to elbow with the person capable of dreaming up the diabolical happenings in this mystery just might give me the willies.  Gone Girl is a novel that keeps you guessing and one whose characters always manage to go farther that expected.  It grabs your attention from paragraph one and doesn’t let go till the end.  Just don’t you dare read ahead!  And one word of warning, Gone Girl has some fairly rough language, which is probably understandable given the situations in which these characters find themselves.  But if that sort of thing bothers you, I thought I’d let you know.
Find it HERE.

9. Matt and His Videos
See, there is this chap named Matt.  
Matt travels the globe dancing a rather goofy dance. 
 He gets others to dance along with him and he videos these dances. 
 The resulting videos make me cry.
Matt has just released his latest.  And I cried again.
Each one makes me feel so hopeful.
  Each one shows us humanity outside of politics and polarization. 
 I could go on and on... but just go watch them for yourself.
And if you cry, you’re not alone.
2008 is my favourite.
See them all HERE.

10. A Shopping Coupon from Novica
Yes, I do love this company.  I love their artful products.  
And I love that with each product I order,
 I receive a personal note from the artist who created it.
  And I love it that those artists are paid fairly for their beautiful work.
While I am addicted to their shawls, (I just purchased the one above in turquoise and black) you may prefer something else.  My shawl came from the Andes.  
Find one for yourself HERE.   
Or perhaps you'd be interested in silver cufflinks, silver floral bracelets, leather belts, or Alpaca sweaters for men all the way from Peru.
The generous people at Novica have once again provided readers of my blog with the opportunity to win a discount coupon worth $50 to use on whatever they wish. 
Snag something for this summer, or something for fall.
Go shopping HERE.
  To enter, just leave a comment on this post. 
For a second entry, become a follower of this blog if you are not already.  
Edward and I will draw the winning comment at midnight on July 4th! 
Good Luck to All!

Painting at top by Alain Bazard

Congratulations to Sarah S!  
She's the winner!!