28 February 2010

Nature's First Green is Gold

Nature's first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf's a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

Thank you to Robert Frost for today's inspiration.

From jewelry designer, SigaliotJewelry these stunning earrings featuring gold-plated oak leaves enhanced with green resin.

From catherinefilippelli come these beautiful bee motif soaps. These are infused with lime peel and lime essential oil, as well as forest honey.

Handmade glass beads in a new spring green colour, generously flecked with goldleaf. These beads are from the studio of HavanaBeads.

An ethereal image aptly titled after Frost's poem comes from BigBeanPhotos.

27 February 2010

Titiana and Puck

If you are familiar with Midsummer Night's dream you are familiar with Titiana, the mythical queen of the fairy world, and wife to Oberon.

The Queen of the Fairies would of course be in possession of all the most beautiful fairy adornments. I imagine too, that she would be richly decorated in the regal hues of deep purples and blues. Can't you picture her then with these stunning magenta wings? These wings have been crafted by UpFromTheAshes.

Imagine her graceful fae neck wrapped in this stunning felted foliage to protect against cool woodland evenings. This scarf has been created by TheFaerieMarket.

In the play, we meet Titiana as she waits in the forest for the arrival of Theseus and Hippolyta's wedding. To adorn herself for this aristocratic event, surely Titiana would have donned her best finery. Drawing on the bounty of her forest, she may have donned this blackberry wedding mask constructed by TheArtOfTheMask.

It is as she waits for the wedding, and during a quarrel with Oberon, that things take an odd turn for Titiana. Oberon's henchman, Puck has cast a misguided enchantment over Titiana which causes her to fall in love with the unwitting Nick Bottom, a common weaver. Coincidentally, Puck is also responsible for the head of a donkey of which Nick has become endowed.

This dapper donkey is illustrated by berkleyillustration.

In the end, things work out for Titiana.

Puck, well somewhat remoreseful for his antics tells us:

If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.

26 February 2010

Laundry Day

I can't say that laundry day is my favorite day of the week. I do enjoy the end result though. Bath towels still hot from the dryer, fresh scented pyjamas, and crisp sheets to snuggle into.

Today, I bring you a few things to make the laundry-day experience just that little bit more enjoyable.

Before you begin, always remember to sort your clothes properly. I think we have all lived through the heartbreak of turning a perfectly good load of white clothing into a baby pink nightmare with the overlooked addition of one errant red sock.

This wall decal from empressivedesigns, will bring a smile to any laundry room.Next, for an eco-friendly washing alternative, try this natural laundry soap from carvelcountrysoaps. These small jars hold enough powder to clean up to 32 loads in a regular machine, and up to 64 loads in an HE washer.

For a natural and eco-friendly alternative to dryer sheets, try these dryer balls. Etsy seller ElasIdea makes these woolen balls from re-purposed sweaters. By thumping around in your dryer, they naturally soften and fluff your fabrics. Their use also reduces overall drying time, which is good not only for your fabrics, but also your utility bills!

Now, with spring on the way we can again look forward to the fresh scent of line-dried laundry. I can think of only a few things that smell more heavenly than laundry dried by sun and breeze. Here, is a taste of those warm sunny laundry days to come. This photo is from andieedwardsart.

Ooopppsss.... that's the spin cycle done. I better get on with it.

25 February 2010

Beauty in the Ordinary

I love that there are people out there who are still able to see the beauty in the seemingly mundane. There are a few kindred spirits still about who appreciate that our ordinary everyday items do have a forgotten beauty within. In an unguarded moment we may be surprised to discover just how sublime they can be.

Clothespegs by leaca.

Tarnished spoons by kariherer.

Beer Bottles by f2images.

Spools of thread by ajawin.

Keys by honeytree.

24 February 2010

Robin Red-Breast

This past weekend I saw the first of the spring robins. Just yet another sign that spring, glorious spring, is a mere few weeks away.

Welcome back, Robin. This one's for you.

The beauty of the robin egg. Nature's perfect shape, meets the world's most beautiful shade of blue. These papier mache eggs are from the shop of thebrokenhouse.

Delicate eggs find a safe home in a sturdy nest. This beautiful acrylic painting comes from the studio of jodyvanB.

And today's star of the show... Robin, herself. This enchanting photo comes from RetrospectPhoto.
I am staying tuned for many more of those hints of spring to present themselves.

22 February 2010

Scrappy Crafters

Humans are becoming progressively more wasteful. It used to be that items were used as long as they were usable, mended as needed, and then repurposed if possible. It is refreshing to see that slowly, this common-sense practice is once again gaining ground. There is so much truth to the adage: One man's trash, is another's treasure.

Today, we look at some of the most creative uses of fabric scraps.

First, a stunning piece from vidals, California based designer. This multi-strand, braided textile necklace is created with recycled scraps of pinky peach jersey from factory left overs. She has finished it with ivory rope trim which complements the ivory flower that was salvaged from the trim of a blouse.

A very simple, yet sweet keychain was made by handbag designer, lynndavid. She calls these scraps "just too cute to toss out". I couldn't agree more.

Pretty pastel fabric scraps add a fun splash to plain kraft paper cards. These lovely notes come courtesy of shopscrapyard.

If you have scrap fabric, chances are you also have a stash of needles. Maybe you find yourself constantly wondering where you might have left them? Here's a solution to that problem. This "poppet" is a hanging pincushion. Find it in the shop of sanourra.

If you wish to start your own scrap collection, maybe this bowl would be the perfect spot to start depositing your odds and ends. This bowl from CornerstoneLAE, is made up from four lengths of scrap quilting fabric.

Once your scrap bowl is brimming with bits, I hope you have fun coming up with some fun ideas of your own of how to put your scrap to good use.

Favorite Things - February 22

My favorite thing today is a place - a delightful little cafe in Charlottetown, PEI. Since discovering it last year it is a must-go destination anytime I am on the Island.

This wonderful cafe is called Leonhard's. I discovered Leonhard's quite by accident over a year ago, when out with my mother on a chilly day, we decided to find somewhere to warm up with a hot cup of tea. The moment we walked in, I knew that I had wandered into someplace special. The window was filled with baskets of croissants and cookies; behind the counter was a rack to house home-baked breads; the far end of the counter was my Mecca - a display case filled with mouth-watering European cakes and pastries.

Since that first visit, I have been back every time that I am in Charlottetown. Beyond the cakes, pastries and coffee, I have also gone back to explore their lunch menu. I like to keep my lunch light when visiting (a simple sandwich on their home-baked bread) so that I can be sure to indulge in the decadent dessert offerings.

Beyond the delicious offerings, I love to visit for the ambiance. You can tell that this space is a true labour of love. Touches of Old Europe meet Island cottage, creating a cozy space that prevails upon you to linger. The service too, is superior: efficient, but with that characteristic Island charm.

If ever you find yourself in Charlottetown, be sure to visit Leonhard's Cafe and Bakery, 42 University Ave.

(mmmm.... this is the Vanilla Roll that I enjoyed with my latte during my last visit. It was transcendental!)

21 February 2010

Neapolitan Ice Cream

I love ice cream. But, I like only two-thirds of a scoop of Neapolitan ice-cream. Chocolate - good. Vanilla - good. Strawberry - meh, no thank you.

In fact, once when I was a child I was invited to a birthday party. Cake and ice-cream naturally were on the menu. What a disappointment though to learn that the ice cream in question was the ubiquitous Neapolitan. Having been taught that it is rude to not eat everything that you are served by your host, I was at a loss. Cake and two-thirds of my ice cream eaten, I was left with the dilemma of what to do with this pink blob, that due to the nearby fireplace was rapidly melting into a thick messy puddle. hhhmmmmm... that fireplace could be pretty handy. When no one was looking, I slyly slid the remaining blob into the fire and proudly presented my cleaned plate to the hostess. I was praised for cleaning my plate as opposed to all the other children who had left large melty pink puddles upon their own.

Flavour aside, I do still love the colour combination of brown, pink and white. The inventor of this ice cream certainly got that aspect right. Clearly, I'm not the only one who agrees. Following, some etsy sellers who pay homage to this popular ice cream flavour!

These daintily scalloped hearts capture not just the Neapolitan colours, but also the scents . You can find these in the etsy shop of SoStinkingSweet. (Great shop name!)

No secret that I am a bit of stationery junkie, and this personalized set from FreshlySkweezed makes me feel more than just a little squidgy inside.

For something completely different, how about this fascinator/mini veil as a wedding accessory. I love it! I just really do think that Canadians should embrace the British tradition of buying and wearing hats for fancy occasions. I really think such a trend could work for me. This delightful accessory was found in the shop of hairbowswonderworld.

Mix the pretty colours of Neapolitan with the sweetness of love birds, and you have the cutest clutch in town. This clutch was designed by BrianaEdelmanDesigns.

Finally, how could we celebrate the ice cream of our childhood without included a mini item. These super-adorable baby shoes are handcrafted by smallbeansbaby.

Well, that's it. Strangely, I have a craving that needs to be fulfilled.

20 February 2010

Alice in Wonderland - Oddities

The first three characters that Alice met while on her adventure have been real doozies, haven't they? Would you believe that there was a whole cast of other oddballs and many more head-scratching moments.

Let's meet for instance the Cheshire cat. A grinning cat would be one thing, but "a grin without a cat?" is rather extraordinary indeed. Here is a grin without a cat, found in the shop of Livethislife777.

And what of a hookah-smoking Caterpillar? Truly absurd! For those sage caterpillars amongst us, here is a hookah that you may enjoy. It has been crafted by JustinCroweStudio.

Gosh, and with all the shrinking, growing, flamingo croquet, tea parties, and whatnot, what an adventure this was. I must say though, that one of the wonderful recurring themes throughout, is cake. Cake makes Alice grow taller (hmmm, I need some of that!), and stones hurled at her turn to cake (hmmm, I would love some of those stones, too). Since cake plays a big role in this story, and because I love cake, may I suggest a treat from thecupcakemint.

I bet that Alice was rather relieved when her sister woke up and she discovered that all of this nonsense was just a dream. Lucky for us, too, since we got to share in the adventure.

Now admit it, you must agree that this is much better than the "Who Shot JR?" dream.

19 February 2010

Alice in Wonderland - Meeting the Queen

Poor Alice. As if tumbling down a hole, and having tea with a mercury-laden hatter weren't enough, it is certainly better than having the phrase "Off with her head" hurled in your direction. Unfortunately, this was her introduction to the Queen of Hearts.

The Queen of Hearts is a complicated monarch: furious and irrational, yet an aficionado of calming, genteel activities.

One of these activities is a form of gardening. In this I mean that she enjoys ordering her playing card minions to paint her white roses red to suit her preference. When she is unhappy with the results, more beheading may be in order. Although this rose is particularly beautiful, I am not sure that it would pass muster with the queen. I would disagree, and I am sure so would photographer theeye.

The queen of hearts has a fondness for croquet, albeit the flamingo and hedge-hog variety. Imagining that this may cause some angst amongst the animal-lovers, I would humbly suggest that the Queen return to the more traditional tools of the game. They look a little bland in comparison perhaps, but may this lovely photo will sway her. This photo was captured by etsy seller dorndorf.

Now despite her irrational personality, we must still respect the monarch's reign. And as we know, no queen would be her regal self without a proper crown. This imaginative tiara is made up of reclaimed clock hands, with Swarovski crystals adding a bit of sparkle. It comes from EJPCreations.

What an odd cast of characters. Can you believe there are still more to come tomorrow?

18 February 2010

Alice in Wonderland - Tea With the Hatter Makes Alice Emotional

I love a good tea party, but I hate riddles. Therefore, I don't think I could bear to sit through an afternoon with the Mad Hatter and his mates. Even our polite and mild-mannered Alice grew frustrated by her tea-date.

Now, in fairness to the Hatter, he may not be entirely to blame for his baffling and titchy habits. Did you know that in the Victorian era mercury was used in the manufacture of hats. The resultant mercury poisoning caused many a hatter to tremble and appear as though insane. Today, mercury poisoning is still refered to as Mad Hatters Disease. But we are not here for a neurotoxicology lesson, are we.

Rest assured, today's hats are mercury free. And if you wish to find a hat fit for hatter, try this lovely one on for size. It is by dashandbag who we recently met, along with the White Rabbit.

Of course no tea party would be complete without a proper teapot. This one from magnoliapottery looks like it is befitting the table of our Mad Hatter friend.
If you are going to storm out of a teaparty, you best have a nearby door in a tree to exit through. Lucky for us, NothinButWood has kindly provided one.

Oh, but it is terribly small. A quick nibble on a mushroom will help shrink us down to size. Thank you GeorgiaGriegoFineArt for the quick nosh.

Could there truly be adventures awaiting us? Wait until tomorrow to see.

17 February 2010

Alice in Wonderland - Don't Be Late

As you may know, Alice's troubles all began when she spotted a fastidiously dressed yet tardy rabbit, and decided to follow him down a rabbit hole.

Although the white rabbit's name was never revealed, I do believe that it could be Edgar. After all, look how dignified this rabbit by the same name appears, and imagine how dapper he would be in the proper waistcoat. Edgar is an illustration by etsy seller, amberalexander.

Did you know that if one of us came across the White Rabbit in today's world, we would probably label him "steampunk". That's right, his dapper appearance is in fact thoroughly modern. His pocket watch might have been re-purposed into earrings, or a necklace, or simply given a modern make-over like this one seen here by analoguepeople.

What good is a pocket watch without a proper waistcoat pocket from which to suspend it? (A waistcoat by the way is simply the British word for vest.) I think our rabbit would look smashing in this Victorian-inspired tapestry waistcoat. This was created by dashandbag.

Oh, I think that is one perfectly outfitted rabbit. But, ladies remember, don't fall for a slick looking rabbit. It will lead to trouble every time. Tomorrow, we will meet another troublesome character.

16 February 2010

Alice in Wonderland

With the release of Tim Burton's version of "Alice in Wonderland" due to hit the big screen soon, I thought it would be fun to do a little Alice themed series. Day by day, we will look at key characters and events in the book and find some fun items to fit the theme.

Today, we will start at the obvious starting place: Alice, herself. I have scoured etsy and have found some perfectly sweet items for the modern-day Alice.

In early illustrations, Alice is often pictured in a blue dress with a white apron over top.
That's a little old-fashioned. Instead, I have found this darling blue pinafore. It has the traditional blue, but it also has this lively, swirly print, that has a whimsical wonderland meets Who-ville quality to it. This reversible pinafore is by threeyellowstarfish.

Maryjanes, always a smart footwear choice would look absolutely perfect with this pinafore. These sweet vintage little girls shoes are found in the shop of vireovintage.

Naturally, a modern day Alice would want to accessory just a little. With all that sliding down tunnels and flamingo croquet, it would be best to keep the hair out of one's eyes. This headband would do the trick nicely, and fashionably. It is by BabyKDesigns.

Why, that darling little girl actually looks a little like Alice, doesn't she?

Join me tomorrow as we continue on with more adventures in Wonderland.