Sunday, February 26, 2012

One Month to Go

Spring, this year, is March 24th ... that means that as of today, that most welcome of seasons is only one month away!

I find that fact encouraging as I contemplate the snowbanks that line the road, and navigate the uncleared snow in my path as I walk along.

Better to let my thoughts drift to my garden, turning over the possibilities ... what new varieties should I grow, just what should be done with the backyard now that we have a tall fence, how best to resurrect my Zen garden, and just where can I squeeze in some more rose bushes?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Red Is Best

What better colour is there in the dead of winter to brighten up all that black and white, but red?

Glorious, cheery, energising, radiant red.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Here's to Friday... and the Weekend

Friday is here. Won't you join me for a rejuvenating cup of tea? Shall we use the Japanese teapot for the fresh crisp taste of Sencha, or the gaiwan for something restorative and Chinese?

Here it is, freshly brewed and ready for serving.

Let me just place it here, ready for you to sip as your work week melts away, allowing the space for your anticipation of the weekend ahead to grow.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Second-hand Arrangement

The alstroemeria I blogged about on February 5th really are as long lasting as I said they were. They are only just now starting to fade. In order to get the very last mileage out of them before they head to the recycle bin, I decided to create an arrangement with some of them. I gathered some things that I already had around the house: the dried bittersweet from Christmas, some driftwood, a small vase that comes with its own frog to keep the flowers upright and of course, a few alstroemeria blooms.

Combining these few things and considering their placement carefully, I finished by setting the tiny black vase atop the flat driftwood.

The end result was an arrangement with an Ikebana feel to it. I love that there are no straight lines to be found in it. I think it's lovely in its simplicity.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Thrift Shop Find of the Week

With all the knitting and crocheting I have been doing lately, I have started to check out the wool and yarn in the thrift shops once again. And look what I found! These are a linen/cotton blend from Italy. I can only imagine what they would have cost originally, but they were just $2.99 for all three for me!

I decided to crochet some dishcloths, a couple of the traditional kind and this flouncy one. A very quick and easy project!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

It's Valentine's Day. Help yourself to a cookie. Which one would you like?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Afternoon Tea with Treats

These meringues were achieved by adding a drop of red colouring to the whipped egg whites. I thought they would be white with red swirls, but by the time they worked their way through the piping bag, they had turned pink with darker pink swirls. They still look lovely heart-shaped.

After baking all sorts of Valentine's themed treats, it is nice to sit back and relax with a hot mug of tea in one of my favourite mugs. I brought this Cath Kidston mug back from my trip to England this summer. I love its pretty floral pattern.

And of course it's only wise to try out some of that baking to make sure that it came out just right!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sweet Hyacinthes

These hyacinthes, bought at the grocery store, were crammed all together in one pot. Since I wanted to pot them individually, I uprooted them and cleared the soil away by running their roots under the kitchen tap. Each one was then placed in its own glass vase, with a few pebbles at the bottom and just enough water to reach the bottom of the bulb. They don't require soil to grow since all the nutrients are stored in the bulb. Once they have stopped blooming there will be no messy dirt to have to clean up, which is a plus.

I think they look lovely, even though the label promised that they would be blue. They are not pink, but rather a sort of pinky mauve shade, somewhere in-between blue and pink. The scent is quite strong and permeates the air in whichever room they are in. Makes me think I am in a florist's shop.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Lilies of the Incas

With nothing blooming in the garden, sometimes you just have to depend on the grocery store to provide a little pick-me-up. That's why I have these creamy alstroemeria flowers at hand. They are providing me with something to enjoy until the next of my indoor bubls are in bloom. These hardy flowers are often the workshorses of florist's arrangements as they last for a couple of weeks and are not expensive. Available in various shades, these delicate beauties are also known as the Peruvian lily or the Lily of the Incas.

The lovely pink shading underneath graduating to a pretty green is what drew me to this particular variety.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Wooly Baskets

I have been knitting up a storm since before the holidays, socks and scarves and squares for a throw. But now I've switched to crochet, something I haven't done in years. And before I knew it, I had crocheted these baskets to keep my knitting in!