Monday, August 30, 2010

Vancouver Shops: Granville Market

No need to introduce Vancouver’s Granville Market as it’s a well known food-lover’s haven. Truly a feast for the eyes and the stomach! The vendors have a real knack for displaying their goods in such a way that it is hard to resist their charms. We found it impossible not to sample various bakeries’ croissants the morning we spent there. It’s a great place to wander with a coffee while you shop for all sorts of delicious and enticing produce to further your enjoyment later at home.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Nitobe Memorial Garden

The Nitobe Memorial Gardem is a traditional Japanese Tea and Stroll garden. Locatedon the UBC campus in Vancouver, it is one of the most authentic Japanese gardens in North America, and among the top five Japanese gardens outside of Japan.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Vancouver Shops: Thomas Hobbs, Florist

Welcome to Thomas Hobbs, Florist of Vancouver. No matter which way you turn in this shop you encounter beauty. Someone has a wonderful eye for creating lovely displays. Not only the colours and textures, but the lovely mingling scents of various plants make this a delightful shop to wander in. And once you've toured the first floor, you can take the spiral staircase and get a bird's eye view.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pacific Ocean

We arrived in Vancouver yesterday for a week’s stay. The day was hot and sunny and what better way to begin than with a refreshing dip in the Pacific Ocean. For me, any trip to the beach is incomplete unless I’ve had a chance to beachcomb. No doubt my finds will find themselves in some creative project down the road. These ones were found on Jericho Beach.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Table Transformation

Back on May 26th I posted an entry about finding this table in my friend’s backyard under a tree and mentioned that I planned to restore it. Well, many months later, the work is finished. After a really good scrub with soap and water and a drying in the sun, I gave it a complete sanding to remove all the loose flaking paint. Unfortunately a lot of the green went with it, revealing a white layer underneath. The knob crumbled into several pieces leaving behind a red plastic fragment, so I went off to Lee Valley Tools and selected a ceramic knob to replace it. After cutting off a rotting portion of the legs to even it out, my table transformation is complete!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Candy Store

This has to be my favourite candy shop, as much for the decor as for the candy. The wallpaper and wall colour (lighter and brighter than in these photos) are as pretty as the pastel coloured sweets and what's really lovely is how sparse the shop is. So often every space in a shop is filled with merchandise, creating a sense of overload. This store is "eye candy" in every sense of the word.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Guest Room Makeover

Thought it would be fun to post the “before and after” photos of my “guest room” makeover. My eldest is away at camp so when my dear friend A. gave me the good news that she would be coming to stay at our house for a few days I decided that she could use his room. The only problem was that it looked like the typical teen’s room, messy messy and not very pretty or inviting. So I set myself the challenge to transform it temporarily into the most welcoming space I could without spending much or doing anything that couldn’t be undone once eldest son returns. Making do as much as possible with things that I already had, I came up with the following result.

Best part was that I hardly spent anything at all. Used some leftover green paint to brighten up the bulletin board, borrowed youngest son’s green rug and green cushion, took the duvet out of storage, added a few framed pictures and books, filled up a couple of vases with fresh flowers, lined the bedside shelf with green placemats from the kitchen, brought up the wicker chair from the basement, and made up a little welcome basket filled with goodies to pamper our guest. One of my best ideas for the basket was a selection of postcards from our city’s most well-known landmarks (adding stamps to the cards so that A. could write and mail them without any inconvenience... which she did). I bet the recipients will be thrilled to receive them too.

So what exactly was the total expenditure for the guest room makeover? I found the bedskirt at V.V.’s, a Pottery Barn score for $3.99. The fern pillowcase was 99 cents. The wee wicker welcome basket was $1.99. Total cost: $6.97.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cozy Corner

I'm so pleased with the $15 dollar chairs now that I've painted them blue and also with the $1.99 blue gingham tablecloth, a find from V.V.'s. The little cafe scene is tucked away in a cozy corner of the garden. A lovely place for afternoon tea.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Cumberland Market

If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, what kind of peppers did Peter Piper pick? Why Purple Peppers, of course! I saw these gorgeous purple peppers at the Cumberland Market today. I loved the re-use of old wicker basket chairs by one ot the food vendors. What a great idea! Cumberland Market in Cumberland, Ontario has a wonderful small town market on Saturdays. The produce is local and the prices are good. And best of all, the atmosphere is very friendly and welcoming. Definitely worth a visit.

Monday, August 2, 2010


The Echinacea are now in full bloom. Looking at this cream-coloured variety I shouldn't have been surprised to learn that coneflowers, as they are also known, are part of the daisy family. Able to stand up to sun and wind as well as drought conditions, they should be easy to grow in this area, but I admit that the ones in my garden don't seem to flourish. Even so, this year I had these beautiful blooms to photograph.