Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hudson Bay Blanket

Fairly New Hudson Bay Point Blanket.
It`s been piddling down rain for days..... the rain should be snow, it`s Canada after all. I prefer rain for driving, but find snow much cheerier.  I have a bit of an issue with animals on furniture, however my scoldings to Hannah Cat seem to fall on deaf ears.  I often tug a white blanket over the seat for easy laundering, however she has new perch....on the back with a lovely view of the bird bell hanging on the front tree. 

To cozy up the living room on this gloomy November day, I brought down a Hudson Bay Blanket that was stashed away. It`s a double and I no longer have a bed that size, so it doesn`t get used. A shame considering it is so lovely. I wrapped the sofa cushion and went all they way over the back for a soft woolly sit. I like it with the modern looking FELT PILLOW I made a few weeks ago.

Hannah Cat has her own plush little bed that she retreats to at bedtime.  She has already been admiring the new woolly wrap, lying on her back and bucking her feet and attacking it making a scrunched up nest of it. And from her new nest, she`s spied something interesting....some Christmas greens and a Santa garland flapping a wee bit when the central heating comes on...Sweet Cat...just leave it alone.

Linking up to Mod Mix Monday

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Costume Jewelry

Costume Jewelry... Jewelry made from inexpensive metals and imitation or semiprecious stones

This gorgeous heart necklace was a gift from me to my daughter. Although it is hard to tell from the photo, the heart is made from clear, sparkly glass, sitting in a silver metal heart setting. And it's huge,,,,the heart is about 2 1/2 " across.  The chain is a clever mix of odd links.

I did rather fancy it myself, so I borrowed it last night and wore it out to a party with a long grey knit top over skinny leg jeans and grey leopard print flats....Now I don't want to give it back...........

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Stocking Stuffers! Glittered Converse.

I am the self proclaimed Queen of Stocking Stuffers.  Although my son is married now, I do believe he is hoping  I'll still stuff a stocking for him.  What age do stockings stop at???

I start early in the Fall.  I take 2 large paper bags or boxes and label them in my closet.  One for the Girl Child and one for the Boy Child.  As mothers of boys know, it is far easier to fill the girl stocking.......although with boys, a couple of pairs of boxers fill a lot more than a couple of thongs (for those of you with grown girls).

I spotted these yesterday......key chains don;t come any cuter than these mini Converse knock offs with a little Swarovski bling......available in clear or my favourite....PINK.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Nurturing the College Kid

For College kids, it`s the last 3 weeks of school for the term....a rush of projects, exams and for most a time of GREAT stress.  It`s a time when comments from teachers like ``50% of you will fail this exam`` and ``if this class is the future of Fashion, then I`m very afraid``  For some kids that rolls off their shoulders, for others, it`s a kick in the teeth.... It negates what the positive teachers have done all year.  

My Girl Child is working on her second College Diploma.  Having had Boy Child in Uni too, I think I know what they need about now.  No lectures on how much they study, or how they leave everything to the last minute.  What they need is food.  To fuel their brains and late night rushes. Girl child had a day off from her Internship today, so arrived home last night.  We haven`t mentioned school. We went shopping for warm socks and I fed her home cooking.  She`s heading back with a big chicken pot pie and fresh Cauliflower Cheese soup. And a dozen breakfast muffins made with bananas, oats and honey to freeze and breakfast on during exam week.

This morning I made her a simple breakfast of a warm muffin and Greek yogurt with blackberries and pomegranates....served  with a pretty napkin.  A hug and kiss,a basket of clean laundry, a bag of Cadbury`s Buttons, and she`s back on her own to make her way through the next few weeks. Recipe for muffins below.  Do you have kids in College feeling the stress?.  What do you do?

Printed from COOKS.COM

1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter
2 eggs
2 ripe bananas, mashed (1 c.)
3/4 c. honey
1/4 c. milk
1 3/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 c. oatmeal
1 c. raisins
1/2 c. walnuts
Cream sugar and butter. Add egg, bananas, honey and milk. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and oatmeal. Stir until blended. Add nuts and raisins. Spoon in greased muffin tins. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. 18 muffins.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Missing UBC Student.

My Nephew attends UBC.  His roommate has gone missing.  He has not been heard from Since October 19. Please read the following and pass it on and pray that they find this boy safe. PLEASE If any of you would like to post this on your blog that would be great.  Word of mouth could help find this boy.  Imagine if this was your child.  You would want as many people as possible posting this.  Thank You.

Mitchell Gallivan
We are missing our beloved 19 year old son Mitchell. he's been gone since Oct 19  he is most likely in a wilderness setting in BC or Alberta

He is very stressed and suicidal. We think he's headed for a wilderness setting or comunal farm in BC or Vancouver but he could be anywhere. If you have suggestions on where else to search please let us know - our phone is 604 221-0737

From Vancouver Police Dept.
Missing: 19 Year old Vancouverite
October 26, 2011
Vancouver Police are asking for the public’s assistance to help find a missing Vancouver man. Family last had contact with 19 year old Mitchell Gallivan on Monday, October 17th, and he hasn’t been seen or heard from since.
Mitchell is white, 6’3” tall and 190 lbs., with short brown hair, blue eyes, and possibly a scruffy beard. It is unknown what clothing Mitchell was last wearing.
Mitchell may be en route to the Calgary area of Alberta to look for work. He might be travelling via Kamloops and could be spending time there.
Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Mitchell Gallivan is asked to contact their local police.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Home Boy!

Give him a kiss.....go on...
Not sure today why I was in such a melancholy mood.  Maybe the fatigue from a week of the worst flu ever just caught up to me. Or the grey, wet November day, not fitting into my jeans...a slew of thing perhaps.

Anyway, I was watching X-Factor ....usually a whole lot of cheese with a bit of drama mixed in......(lots of drama last week).  I watch because I love raw talent and actually usually prefer it before they start to get X-factored...raw and original. Tonight for Thanksgiving each song was dedicated to someone in each contestants life...beginning with a short video about that dedication.  From the young Rachel who was born to a crack user, abused and lived in a crack house as an infant, later to be adopted into a loving family, to the stories of Melanie, Marcus, Leroy and their struggles, to my favourite Chris...a 7 month clean drug addict...the stories were real and compelling.  I love teens and young adults and there is a fine group on this show this year.  Anyway, they were all so genuine...I found myself weeping like a fool....I really don't cry easily at TV and movies, but it really moved me.

When I was reading blogs tonight, I decided to go back one year, and there on November 22, 2010 was my post about losing my Gracie Dog, exactly one year ago.  So I had another cry about that.

And then....I checked my email and my sister had sent photos of her favourite pig.  He made a kiss, then he laughed.  It was just what I needed.

Photos by Belinda Wagg

Friday, November 18, 2011

Handsome Dog

I spotted this handsome boy at the Saturday Market in St. Pete's last weekend.
I've been sick as a dog this week, in bed for an 5 days.  Today was my first day out venturing into the world.
So, other than a cute photo of a dog from a week ago, I'm fresh out of blogging material.  I hope you all have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Absolutely Charming

I happened upon the most charming little restaurant in Gulfport, Florida, yesterday. As I entered past the higgledy-piggledy sign into the garden dining room, I was greeted by a canopy of trees garnished with patio lanterns, and rustic benches with the prettiest floral tablecloths, all out in an covered courtyard with a raffia roof and lace curtains. 

I don't think I have ever been quite so taken with a restaurant before. Pia's in Gulfport.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Can a Man Live with Pink?

Although I am more of a Hippy Kinda Girl, than a Girly Girl, but I've got to tell you I LOVE pink...From the palest ballet pink to hot fuchsia, pink is my accessory colour of choice.  I love how it bring white to life and it really doesn't have to be little girly.....

The problem with pink is a lot of men don't like living with it.  In my case, I'm lucky.  The Raz Man is easily distracted when it comes to pink.

My pink rug is from Dash and Albert available through www.razmataz.ca
Take this rug....when he first saw it, he said "we're having a pink rug?" to which I replied "it's not pink, it's Peony"..... to which he backed off because he's not sure how to feel about Peony. The contractor here to examine the BIG LEAK the other day asked me if my husband minds all the pink. Nope..He's comfortable with his masculinity.  Pink doesn't make him sweat!

Pink flowers are a double whammy...................................I like to push the envelope with him .........

 I like to boost the hippie quotient with pink flowery elephants with bells hanging from the door knobs....

Can you tell I sell Dash and Albert rugs?

 Pink elephants and bells to welcome you into the house...
What does your man think of PINK

Monday, November 7, 2011

Florida Dining - A Compilation of Bits

When we sold our cottage, the buyers bought all the dining room furniture, so when we packed up the leftovers to bring to Florida, and since we had a half empty truck, I scrambled to throw in some old bits that we could use for the dining room.  About 15 years ago, I begged my mother in law for this old desk she owned from a Bell Canada office, likely from the 1940's.  It was in my dining room, but because I needed a table in that could extend to seat large numbers, I loaned this out for a bit.  I decided to use it as my dining table here as it is long and narrow.

The 2 arm chairs came from friend who sold them to me for $50 each when she moved to Dubai.  I wasn't sure about the velvet seats and back, given that this is Florida, however them seem to work well. They tie in with some of the bolder colours I am using here.

I needed some extra chairs and found the Tolix chairs at Pottery Barn and like them because it mixes up the look a bit and also they can be used on the patio.  I can also get 3 on one side which allows for the bench seat to be used for extra dining.

You can see the futon/sofa/dining bench behind the table here.  Because we have 2 bedrooms only we need guest space, so this futon serves double duty.  It folds out to a double bed quite comfortably.

I can move the chairs to the other side and pull the futon up to serve as a banquette....it sits a little high so it works really well.  I bought this grain sack pillow with the Fleur-de-Lys design in vintage buttons years ago from and Etsy seller (sorry forgot who) long before Grain and feed sacks became popular.  I thought from the listing it was about 20" wide, so imagine my surprise when I received it and it was almost 4' wide.  The thing is HUGE.  This is the only place it fits.  The blue actually ties in the blue on the velvet chairs.

That gorgeous piece of art came from my neighbors garage sale 20 years ago.  They used to own a restaurant and it was hung in there for years.  It never worked in our house...it needed a Florida house to look right. I think I paid about 10 bucks for it.

So there you have it...old bits mixed with new...modern and vintage.  I am linking up to Nita Mod Vintage Life today for her always fun Mod Mix Party.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Paddle Boarding and Cruising

Photo: http://www.standupfitness.com
I've wanted to try paddle boarding for months.  When I knew we were back in St. Petersburg in November, I called Christian at Stand Up Fitness here in the City to book a lesson.  I will say, I was really nervous.  I am NOT in shape and was worried that I would never get to a standing position, or that I would get blown or carried by the current to the opposite side of Tampa Bay and cause a big, embarrassing Search and Rescue event that would make the 6 O'Clock news. 

My fears were completely unfounded.  Christian was a fabulous teacher and immediately made me feel confident.  I managed to stand up first try and although, I was tense and could use to relax my legs and feet more, I had a fabulous time paddling around the Bay.  I fell off twice, but it is easy to re-board and stand back up.  Much harder to paddle and get anywhere when the wind is pulling you.

What I liked about it is, you don't have to be extremely fit...pretty well anyone can try...(I am 50).  Secondly if you get carried out too far, you can easily lay on your belly and paddle back with your arms and rescue yourself.  Third (and everyone asks me this) you don't have to wear a weensie bikini or bather. I don't like to parade in a bather, especially when tourists are watching the activities.  The guys wore Bathing shorts, some with long sleeved Tshirts on top.  A couple came with wet suits, which made me laugh because they obviously have never swam in Georgian Bay.  I wore my bather with a tank top over top and knee length yoga pants, because I didn't want to fall out of my suit from one end or the other or be a-- end in the air should I capsize. 

I honestly had so much fun and can't wait to try again.  Thank you Christian for all the encouragement.

It's so easy to cycle everywhere here so I bought a bike yesterday.  Since this is Florida, I went with a Beach Cruiser that should do me through my 80's.  All tricked out with a leopard saddle, handle grips and a peace bell.

Cruisers are so popular here, and attract a more casual, enjoy the scenery, type of rider.  The even have cruise nights here where you meet at the bike shop and cruise the neighborhood viewing all the historic homes, then ride along Coffee Pot Bayou  downtown to the pub.....and I'm in like a dirty shirt for that.

Tonight there is a Porch Party at our neighbors, tomorrow is the Farmers Market, followed by Bungalow Fest...a tour of ten historically significant bunglalows in the Historic Kenwood district.  The Raz Man doesn't know it yet, but he's Taking the Tour. Wishing you a fun and lovely weekend.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Lurking.....and what I love about Florida

I found this bad boy lurking in the garden in Florida....

A different season than last time we were here....much more temperate and enjoyable to be outside....We have an enormous cactus that is growing weird tufty things.

The neighbors Hibiscus is in full bloom....reminds me of my old boss who used to graft his own hibiscus and would occasionally bring me one of his prized blooms....in a test tube carried on his bike to work.  (he was a bit of a nerd, but a brilliant surgeon)
Sadly he died young.

I don't like Bird of Paradise in a vase, but love it in a garden. ....very majestic looking.

Loving the purse wine wine bottles available in Florida............Personal or Convenience size......

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Living Room Saga

New slips.
Thanks so much to all who weighed in last week on my LIVING ROOM STYLING ISSUES living room.  I really appreciated all (but one)(I think it was a joke) of the comments and opinions.  What I learned was, although I had pieces I loved in here, some didn't work work because they were too dark and they sucked the life out of the room, or the scale was off.

I also know that I can't have anything yellow or beige with yellow undertones. I had 2 William Birch style chairs covered in a taupe cotton velvet.  Although I loved the fabric and have used it many times for clients, it was dull and lifeless in here.  So my thoughts turned to slipcovers.  A basic slip was quoted at $250 for labor and 7 yards of fabric so @ 20 per yard, that was around $390 per chair...times two = $780.00.  Not in the budget.  So I Google'd slip covers and found Ballard Designs had a very similar chair, exact measurements, sold the slips separately and shipped to Canada.  Price $118.00 each. 

Last week I followed Mark's advice.  He has been de-cluttering for a year and hopes to rid his house of 365 items.  I sold 2 brand new dresses to my friend (labels on, in a size I thought I could squeeze into), a dresser on Craigslist and then took several bags of clothes and shoes to a new shop that buys FOR CASH them on the spot.  Anything they wouldn't take went to the Salvation Army.  In total I made a little over $200.00.  Almost enough to cover the slipcovers. The slips arrived yesterday and fit really well. Which was a real Fluke.

What I discovered here in my room is, it is important to balance not only the scale and weight of the left to the right side, but to balance the light.  The slipcovers made all the difference.  On the right side my felt pillow adds a subtle hint of colour.

It feels much brighter in there now...works well with the white table and my sofa.  The carpet needs to be bigger (keep tripping on the edge) but I am hoping to find something old at a market that is a bit faded. the Hannah cat approves and enjoys the hand knitted blanket found at a thrift shop.

I am joining White Wednesday at FADED CHARM

Wedding Photos

© Justin Guzzo Desforges 2011 photography
Although the wedding was held in the Bahamas, one week later a reception was held in the Old Port in Montreal.  The whole evening was spectacular, from the flowers, the meal, the venue (Auberge du Gabriel) the cake made by the bride's sister, and the sheer fun and excitement of getting the core group together again with other friends and relatives. 

© Justin guzzo Desforges 2011
After a disappointing photographer in the Bahamas for the Montreal event they hired photographer© Justin Guzzo Desforges and he was absolutley brilliant.  He really captured the spirit of the evening, and especially Old Montreal. 

© Justin guzzo Desforges 2011
Both sides of the room were lit with candles resting on the 400 year old walls.
© Justin guzzo Desforges 2011
The venue is pictured below, behind the boys in black....above...a kiss in the street before the grand entrance.