Sunday, February 28, 2010

Anyone seen this mitten?

For some reason, around this time of year, one tends to find a lot of lost mittens and gloves. Maybe it's because the weather is warming up and people walk along clutching them rather than wearing them. Perhaps they drop one as they are walking along. I know that I have been spotting the odd lost glove or mitten on my way to work. Two just last week, and one the week before. Whenever I come across them I pick them up and try to find a post to stick them on in the hopes they'll be noticed by their owners. I have several odd mittens here at home myself. Their mates are missing but I keep them, hoping that at some point I'll find the one that's gone astray.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Winter Garden

With the garden still hidden under snow, perhaps it's time to create a little indoor garden. I found this black box at a thrift shop for $2.99. So many of my finds seem to be priced at $2.99, must be the magic thrift shop price.

The box was originally used to hold paper serviettes I think, but I had another use in mind. To make my garden I poured in some craft sand, and added a few stones and a piece of twisted wood -- all items I gathered from around the house. Presto, a relaxing indoors zen garden.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Perking Up Winter

What does it take to add a jolt of energy to a room? Just a vase and a bunch of bright orange gerbera blooms. Place in any room that needs an instant perk up.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sweeten the Day

What better way to sweeten up this winter day than with these sugar cubes from various cafes in France? Each one sporting its own unique design. Cafe au lait anyone?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Stay Close to Nature

Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature and it will never
fail you. Frank Lloyd Wright

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Warming Up a Snowy Afternoon

With more snow falling in soft flakes today, it was the perfect time for a comforting cup of tea and a homemade treat... blueberries baked in phyllo pastry. After a morning of running errands, into the oven they went, the layers of phyllo dough browning to a delicious crispness and the blueberries softening in juicy perfection.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Nothing Wasted

These button brooches are so easy to make and look so adorable. Covered button kits are available at most fabric stores. Just like my night light shade project, choosing the material is the hardest part of the task! Once the buttons have been covered in fabric, a jewelery pin is glued to the back to turn it into a brooch. These three were made from a strip of vintage material (barely the width of the button) that I had cut off the edge of a tablecloth to eliminate a hole. Nothing is ever wasted.

Friday, February 19, 2010

From Tired to Perky

A gift over a week ago, these flowers were starting to look a little tired, so I cut the stems short and placed them in a teacup. They suddenly looked so much perkier. A sweet cheery and informal arrangement.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sloppy Comfort in Style

Ah, cosy socks, just what one needs in the middle of winter. Aren't the patterns of this pair lovely? And the soft muted colours are quite beautiful. I cannot take credit for knitting them however. They are yet another find on one of my thrifting expeditions. So much work was involved in this intricate pattern, and yet somehow they ended up in a thrift shop with a price tag marked $2.99. How could I resist? They are just the type of thick wooly socks that you want to pad about the house in on weekends. They keep your feet toasty warm and strike just the right balance between sloppy comfort and stylishness.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Light Up the Night Makeover

It’s been much too long since I posted a creative project, but happily I have one for you today. It was inspired when I found this night light at a local thrift shop for the princely sum of 59 cents. I thought that it might benefit from a new shade.

Once I’d stripped it of the shiny green synthetic silk covering and plastic pearls and beads, I was left with a frame covered in a plastic sheeting material. The plastic sheet was easy to remove and made a very handy template. (This was a stroke of luck, because I didn’t really know what was behind the green fabric.) After deciding which paper I wanted to use (choosing among all the possibilities was the hardest part of the project), I traced around the template and cut out a new cover, allowing an extra border all around. I spread the back of the paper with glue and stuck it to the plastic sheet which had been placed back on the frame, folding the paper border around the frame and sticking it to the back of the plastic, thereby holding everything in place. Total time was around five minutes!

I like the less fussy, more natural look it has now. Very tranquil and relaxing, it casts a lovely soft glow at night.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Today's Sentiment

Happy Valentine's Day to you!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Rose Heart

This huge hanging heart with its large pink roses, in a florist's window, took me by surprise as I was passing by with a friend today. It must have been about three feet wide. I had to stop and take a photograph to share with you.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Won't You Join Me?

Come in and sit down, won't you? Would you care for a freshly baked cookie, along with a refeshing cup of tea?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cupcake Anyone?

I wonder how many people were baking Valentine's Day treats for their children to take to school this week? This chocolate cupcake was topped with buttercream icing, some candy sprinkles and a candy heart sentiment.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Tasty Twosome

Two salt-water taffy candies in Valentine colours wrapped in a glassine envelope to serve as a little gift at each place on a table set for a Valentine's Day meal.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Valentine Countdown

Only one week to go until Valentine's Day!

Clematis Heads

Took myself off to my back garden this afternoon with my camera and wondered what I might find poking out of the snow. It didn't look promising. I took a few shots at close range and then came in out of the cold. Much to my surprise there was startling beauty lying in wait for me!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Chocolat s.v.p.

Chocolate, what better antidote to the February blues? Badly in need of such a pick-me-up, I looked up this recipe for Pots de creme au chocolat from Paris Bistro Cooking, a book with pictures so incredibly charming it is just as much an antidote as chocolate. Not only mouth-watering photos of the food, but also gorgeous descriptions of the featured French bistros and accompanying images of their exteriors and interiors. A lovely way to be transported to France on a wintry afternoon.
The pot de creme looks a little crusty on the top, but underneath it was the silky smooth creamy mixture that one would expect.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Outside the Bay Window

Came across my little sketchbook with this wee sketch in it, from several years ago. It shows the birch trees in our front garden. These days, a bird feeder hangs from one of its limbs and the birds, mostly chickadees, use the branches as a launching pad, alighting at the feeder for a bite or two then flitting back to the safety of the branches.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Florals at Play

A quick look around our home reveals lots of different florals at play. They abound in a lampshade, and comforters and endless numbers of vintage flowered pillowcases. I pulled out some of my pink ones, but there are also yellow ones, and blue ones just waiting their turn to brighten up a February day with their cheery colours.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Willing Participants

Paperwhites are one of the easiest bulbs to grow indoors. The bulbs have already been given the necessary period of cold temperatures before they are sold so all you need to do is plant them in a container of some sort and water. In a couple of weeks you’ll have clusters of sweet, white, star-shaped flowers. This process of getting flowers to bloom indoors in the winter is often called “forcing”, which hardly seems the case with paperwhites. No forcing needed, they are willing participants.