21 February 2011

Dr Doolittle

Well, a brief update. It seems that the post I did a short time ago, intended to prove that I was sincere in wishing that the birds would come to visit has paid off.

Just a day after that, we were treated to a particularly warm, sunshiny day. I took a moment to gaze out my studio window and there in a tree toward the front of my yard, I saw some movement. And then things got quite active. There was a small cluster of teeny birds, frantically hopping and flitting about from branch to branch. I immediately refreshed the bowl of seed on my front porch and hoped to lure them closer. They weren't eager to come closer, but they didn't take off in full fright mode either. Encouraging. One swooped past my window and I was able to see that it was a teeny goldfinch. My favorite!!

Felted goldfinches by FeltForest.
Not long after as I walked out the back of the house, I had another treat. A woodpecker was industriously banging his head against a tree. I wasn't able to get a great look at him, but I suspect we shall meet again.

Then, a few days ago, I think I came very close to having a visitor to my suet feeder on the back deck. Trouble was, I came marching out the back door at the very same moment carrying a palm tree that was terribly in need of re-potting. Poor chickadee received such a fright from the wandering tree that he made a very hasty retreat.

Handcarved chickadee by FlyingJcreations.

The same day, I went out to investigate some tracks around the edge of the yard. They appeared to be rabbit tracks. It was hard to verify as the snow had melted and then crusted over through the day. But, fresh tracks in a skiff of new fresh snow yesterday confirmed it.

Surprise Party Rabbit by alfalfalovesme.

Finally this morning, a sudden movement caught my eye outside my kitchen window. It was a squirrel, frantically racing to and fro and skittering across the icy snow. He was very cute, and though I suspect in time he might become a bit of a menace, I was pleased to see him this morning.

Squirrel fascinator by amalie.

After the two months of absolute solitude, these fresh signs of life are so welcome. Clearly, the winter slumber is coming to an end and spring is nigh. What a glorious feeling.

18 February 2011

Green Thumbs and Fun Stuff

This year I am extra excited about the arrival of spring. Lurking all around my new home are little rocky gardens. Sleeping beneath the layer of crusty snow are plants and flowers waiting to wake up, stretch out their roots, extend their stems, unfurl their leaves and lift their petalled faces toward the sun. If the garden markers are accurate, some of my favorite flowers are to make an appearance. I can't claim to have a green thumb, but I am very keen to give it a go this year.

So, I have been browsing. I need inspiration. I need to know what goodies it might take to make me an expert gardener. Here's what I have found.

Naturally, the first thing I need is to look stylish, er, I mean, I need a way to carry my tools about while remaining hands free. This super-pretty gardener's apron is just the trick. I found this in the shop of SewMerry.

Now, with belt in place, and pockets at the ready, I found some delightful gardening implements. I like the look of this vintage trowel and hand fork. Because of their age and obvious use, I might be able to trick someone into believe that gardening is old hat for me. Only I would know how green I truly am. These were found in the vintage shop, GardenandWood.

I do in fact intend to try growing some little items from seed. I love the taste of a warm, sun-warmed tomato so they will be my first experiment. And, I also love the idea of walking out to the deck, snipping off a few sprigs of fresh herbs and tossing them into whatever I'm cooking. I found these wonderful herb seed packets beautifully presented in an accordian book in the shop, Ficurinia.

And what happens when I plant the seeds and they start to grow. Will I recognize them, or will I accidentally weed them out? And will I remember what went where? These garden markers from figandfern will help ease some of my garden angst.

Come on, spring. I can't wait too much longer.

16 February 2011

Oh, so sorry. This is going to be about me again. Please don't get bored and think, "Gosh, all she talks aboutlately is herself". Honestly, I swear I will gush about others again soon.

Here's the thing though, I just made some pretty, new things and I am really excited about them. I just thought I would share them with you quickly.

Silvery flowered teardrops. The three flowers on the long part of the drop are solid and static. The three in the curve swing jauntily, and have pretty pearl centres.

Gorgeous hoops with twisting vines and little flower pods made of pearls.

Wonderful ovals with teeny silvered flowers. Once again, these flowers have the teeniest pearl centres. Pretty!

Thanks for looking.

15 February 2011


Since we moved into our new home in December, I have been trying to lure all the tiny winter birds out of hiding so that they could bring a little woodland cheer to me each day. So far I have had no luck. No wonder, really. Last time I looked my suet block had a crust of snow edging the top, and a foot long icicle dangling below. While I pride myself on being the hostess with the mostess, it seems in this instance I have encountered an epic fail.

So, I am going to cheer myself here with some wonderful little flighted fellows that I have discovered on etsy.

This fabric bird sculpture has the exact correct amount of whimsy. I love the layering on the wings, and the dainty wire feet. Find this and others in the shop of abigailbrown.

I have fallen head over heels with these cast iron drawer pulls. I will be on the lookout for the perfect antique cabinet to make over with these lovelies. They can be found at careyleigh007.

I know that I will not lure any hummingbirds here at the moment, but I hope to encourage them to visit come summer. In the meantime, I found this lampwork hummy in the shop of GlassRoger.

Here's a bird that we certainly do not have a shortage of here. This cunning raven has a beak full of treasure. Created by twooden.

Well, I must fly. *snicker*. Have a lovely day.

12 February 2011

Flowers, Flowers Everywhere

Aplogizing in advance. I'm not usually so "Look at ME!!", but I have a few more things that I want to share.

There has been a profusion of new flowers appearing in my shop. I shared yesterday the new leather flower bracelet. I will hint that you should keep your eyes peeled for variations in this design. And here, today, is another charming design using the same leather flowers. This time they have been paired with a selection of the lucite flower cabochons to make sweet bobby pins. They kinda make me smile.

The cabochons have been arriving in sweet new shapes and very pretty springtime colours. If you will, I would like to share a few more with you.

These flowers are a new favorite of mine. They look like a ballerina's swirling tutu, and are the perfect pointe toe pastel shades as well.

Beautiful faded roses, like those that you would find, dried, in a hidden chest, long-forgotten in an estate's attic. Attached here, to a beautiful filigree cuff bracelet, but soon to find their way into other new styles.

The original styles of flowers are also being used in some new and exciting ways.

Here I have mated some fabulous hued pinky-red flowers with a matte silver, mod-style vine.

There are plenty more styles to come. Most of the items above are already listed in my etsy shop. Just click the photo to find the way.

10 February 2011

Water Cooler Gossip

When I am at home, I work alone. Gossip can be pretty dry some days, so I'm going to share all shop news with you lucky folks for a change.

So first off, I may have shared this news before Christmas, but let's do it again. String Me Along Jewellery designs are now being sold at be. style your life boutique in lovely Sackville, NB. So far, so good. Early reports indicate that my work seems to be quite popular and that makes me truly ecstatic. Thank you to be. and to the kind folks at Mt. A and in Sackville who have purchased my pieces. *high five*

There are loads of new styles creeping into my shop as we speak. Some of my favorite pieces are made using matte silvery components.

These are my favorites, but alas they were sold off etsy. As we speak replacement parts (and various other goodies) are on a jetplane making their arduous journey toward my waiting studio. Once they arrive, I will activate the listing again in my shop.

And today, this is where the gossip gets a little juicy, I went a little rock-n-roll. Newly listed in my shop is this bracelet that features painted leather and hard-rock lavastone. I am thrilled with the outcome. I have to admit, I started with a similar design last night, and ended less then thrilled with the result. Today, I re-discovered the lavastone and cried "PERFECT!". I hope you agree.

This piece currently is listed in my etsy shop.

As for the old stand-bys, the dainty lucite flowers that I love, I have new spring colours in shop, and in the works, and I also have mixed them with some other fresh new components. Keep checking the shop. Its beginning to look a bit like spring in there.

Happy Thursday to you. Thanks for letting me chat at ya.

1 February 2011

Favorite Things - Monday, January 31

Today's favorite thing ties in with one of my New Year's Resolutions. And, I admit up front that this is not a New Year's Resolution that involves discipline or fortitude, so much as it does delight and frivolity.

Fresh flowers. This year I resolved to always have fresh flowers somewhere within my home. I always thought of them as a treat. Something that I would use to dress a table for company or accept as a peace offering when my husband screwed up. But why confine it to those rare occassions. After all, I don't have company every week, and lucky for me my husband does not screw up all that often.

This year, I decided the $5 a week that it takes to add that little splash of colour and freshness to my home should just be a natural part of my household budget. No really, I did say $5. I don't believe that a bouquet needs to be elaborate. I don't need fresh long stemmed roses, and strange add-ins like Bird of Paradise. I get the same enjoyment from a daisy that I do from an orchid.

It needs only to be simple. One type of bloom in various shades of the same colour in a simple vase can be quite glorious in their own right. For instance I have to admit that until recently I absolutely loathed the lowly carnation. I always saw it as a cheap filler flower, the odd-man-out add-in in a grocery store bouqet. Stuck in beside roses and lilies it looks uncomfortable and out-of-place. Group them together however, and let them be the star of the show, and they shine. A tightly cowded ball of feathery ruffles floating above the rim of a squat vase. Tuck them down low so no stems show. Add in some sweet daisies along the edge for a little variety and texture if you wish, but it is not necessary.

Still, you think, $5 is not going to get you a tightly crowded ball of chrysanthemums. Not at first. You might need to spend $10 the first week. But the truth is, the $5 grocery store bouquets have a surprisingly long life. I buy the ones that go on sale. Not quite fresh enough to sell at full price, but not yet ready for the compost bin either. If you are good to them and allow them fresh water every couple days, you could see them last for up to three weeks. I'm not kidding. Here it is the end of January, and some daises that I bought for New Year's Eve dinner are still gracing my table.

Each week I pluck out the flowers that have wilted and faded and mix in the new blooms from my latest $5 investment. When I look over the sleeves of flowers at the grocery store I look for flowers that are similar in bloom and in the same colour family. You can be more adventurous of course, but just keep in mind that you will be adding to your already existing mix. Also look for flowers that have a good long lifespan. Hydrangea is a great option, and you only need one or two and then a few filler flowers. Chrysanthemum, daisies, freesia, any type of greenery, berries, these are all good bets. Ask the floral experts if you need help choosing.

The result: since December 30 I have had a vase of flowers constantly residing on my kitchen table, and the cost has been no more than $30. Now, how's that for bringing a little daily joy to one's budget constant life.