28 March 2011

Adding Softness

Well, the process of turning a house into a home continues here. Our living room has been virtually empty since we moved in three months ago. The squashy couch needed to live in the basement alongside the TV. They are a match made in heaven, and separating them just would not do. We have a new (to us) couch arriving today. I'm very excited to have it in place. And, so that it would not be lonely as it adjusted to its new life here, last week we bought two simple chairs to go with it.

Once these spring days of ours warm just a touch more, the room will painted something other than its uninspiring taupe. I think I have settled on a pale blue-grey. But my mind is a changeable one, so it won't really be decided until after the paint hits the walls, and even that is not a sure thing.

I do love creamy white furniture as it leaves the doors wide open for accessorizing. There's a word that makes me giddy with expectation. So, I am at the moment happily wiling away hours searching for scrumptious pillows and cushions to add some softness to the room.

Here are some of the pillows that I have so far spied on etsy and that I have fallen a little in love with:

Silk-screened pillow by joom.

A combination of hand-printed linen and lush velvet from MayaWilsonSource. I love the small hint of fuchsia - a subtle, playful pop.

A pillow print of an original painting by heiditheartist. What a gorgeous way to combine a fine art piece into a room.

Monograms are so stately. This pillow is a perfect shade of blue and has just enough hints of yellow to lend a slight nod to the colour palette of the adjoining room. This pillow is from the shop of Sistudiodesign.

22 March 2011


When I set out to attract birds to my yard, I had hoped for this:

I had never anticipated that I would be this successful:

A pheasant of all things! He wasn't really interested in the seed that I had set out. I don't know where he came from. He scooted across the front yard and disappeared somewhere around the side. I had hoped for a better photo, and maybe in the future I will be more quick capturing the shot.

20 March 2011

Welcome Spring

It is the first day of spring and what a glorious day it has been. The new season was ushered in with a full, super-moon. The skies were clear and the view of the moon was spectacular. It was exceedingly bright.

This afternoon, with 5 degrees and warm sunshine to draw me outside, I took a poke around the gardens to see if there was any chance that there may be any sign of new life. I was absolutely ecstatic when I discovered all the springtime delights awaiting me. I honestly have no idea what the various shoots and sprouts will eventually become, but I am eagerly awaiting the surprise.

Around the front of the house, I even found this little surprise. The flower portion looks like a common dandelion, yet the stalk of it looks decidedly more stocky. I imagine it is a common weed, but after months of staring out at a blanket of white, it is still a welcome sight.

Even the trees seem eager to shake of the dormancy of winter. Buds are plentiful and plump, and it will hopefully not be long before the first nature's first gold arrives.

16 March 2011

Inspiration and a Charity

I don't need to share with anyone the shocking news that the country of Japan is in crisis - rocked by an 8.9 magnitude earthquake; a significant portion flattened by an ensuing tsunami; gripped by the fear of nuclear meltdowns, and; threatened by a vlocano all at once.

As the world sat in shock, listening and watching as the bad news continued, charitable organizations sprung into action.

Today, I was inspired by a young co-worker. She is in her very early twenties, and has a huge dream to visit Japan. Since the start of the year, she has been saving her pennies and taking any extra available shift at work so she could make her dream a reality this year. Today, setting her dream aside, she instead donated all her funds to the Canadian Red Cross Society for their Japan Relief Fund.

Hers was such a generous offering, and her gesture inspired me.

Until April 15th, I am donating 50% from the purchase price of all items sold in my etsy shop to the Canadian Red Cross - Japan Earthquake Relief Fund.

If you do not wish to make a purchase but would like to support the cause, please follow the link below.

9 March 2011

Avian Success

I did it!! I had an actual visitor to my feeder today. I didn't scare the little one away, and he popped back and forth between the feeder and the tree for several little morsels.

I don't know why this is so, but I feel as though this is one of my life's greatest victories.

A Handmade Life

Apart from creating my String Me Along jewellery line, I love to find other ways to indulge my creative whimsies. I've always loved spending time messing about in my kitchen, and since I have moved into my new home, my creative juices are extending to planting and decorating.

Here are some of my recent projects.

In true messing about style, I have become addicted to making marshmallows. Such a surprisingly easy confection to make, and a truly delicious end result. My co-workers have grown to love me since I always bring the bulk of the batch in for them to snack on. Last week, I did a minor experiment, expanding my marshmallow repertoire from dreamy vanilla bean, to heavenly toasted coconut. I followed the basic marshmallow recipe from marthastewart.com. Before adding them to the dish to firm, I liberally sprinkled the bottom of the pan with toasted coconut along with the powdered sugar. I did the same with the top of the marshmallows, and pressed in the coconut. It added a lovely flavour, and a fantastic texture.

I have never been blessed with a green thumb, but I am striving to improve my lot in life. Today, I am happy to say that my luck does seem to be changing. Last week, I sowed these little pots of arugula sprouts. I can't wait to wake up every morning to see how much they have grown. I tend to them religiously. I should be careful that I don't baby them too much. Sometimes, I do think if I was more aloof, I would be more successful.

And, finally, with spring upon us and Easter just 40 days away, I thought it might be nice to have a spring themed decoration for my front door. I also decided that I want to create something purely from scratch. No store bought elements. So, I decided that rather than adding to my green bin, I am going to use some of my compostables as decoration. I have started collecting my egg shells. After cleaning them thoroughly, I have been using my discarded coffee grounds to sprinkle over to spot-dye some brown speckles onto the eggs. Once I receive the desired effect I will tea stain them with our discarded tea leaves.

Since I have a wooded area at my disposal, I plan to seek out some small branches to twist into a wreath form, and from there I will drape it with moss which grows liberally around the edges of my yard.
Assuming that I am happy with the end result, I will share photos in the near future. In the meantime, I have some baking experiments in mind that should provide me with a good harvest of egg shells.

8 March 2011

Red Velvet Cake

It was my Mom's birthday celebration this past weekend. I made a red velvet cake as a transport vessel for the many, many candles. It was delicious, and I am sad that it is now gone. That does not mean, though, that we can't celebrate the rich, sumptuous nature of red velvet.

Red velvet rickrack ribbon. Isn't this fabulous? Find it in the shop of ixhop.

As if vintage dresses aren't perfect enough, here is one in gorgeous red velvet. This is in the shop of mintagestyle.

A classic tomato shaped pin cushion in pluffy red velvet lives in the shop of jilverbick.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.... Creme fraiche whipped soap in red velvet flavour/scent. Find this in Savor.
And finally, a red velvet cake ball. Doesn't this look like a perfect little treat. This delectable little bite can be found in goincrazyinME.

Hope you enjoyed this delicious tour.