Thursday, December 20, 2007

Cath Kidston, Eat Your Heart Out!

Poor Canadians. Living in the second largest country in the world with a major metropolis like Toronto, and yet, we are Cath deprived. As a result, our only option is to fake it. Here is my little cosy blatantly ripped off from the Cath one.
But don't you think mine has a bit more personality? And did you notice the knitted egg cosies? They are crocheted. Well, must go. I have a craving for steaming hot porridge with brown sugar and cream, so off I go. With a cup of tea and my newest cosy.

PS. If one more family member asks me if this is a hat and can they have it, I will burst.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I Need More Time

Don't you just love Blogger? You are never quite sure where your uploaded photos will end up. Big, small, here, there, it's like a game, actually. Anyhow, here are a couple of goodies I have found recently. A beautiful green tole tray, a brass french horn lamp and about 3 yards of the most softest green velvet.

I also thought I would give you a shot of my oversize poinsetta my father brought me today. It is so large the only spot it will fit and look decent is in the corner of my diningroom. I tried it on the table but it takes up over half of it.

And here is the tree. Decorated, with presents. I still need more time. I can't understand how all these other ladies do it. They are sending orders out, baking, decorating... I'm lucky if I can still serve a hot meal for dinner.

By the way, did I mention we got over 25cm of snow on Sunday? I am so hoping it will stay for the big day. Makes things awfully cosy feeling here.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Nigella for Dinner

Last night we feasted on Nigella. One Pan Sage and Onion Chicken and Sausage. My whole family really loves this dish and it is terribly simple to make but tastes like you slaved for hours in the kitchen. It is a wonderful dish to serve to company at this time of year. The aroma is quite heavenly. Grace at Rose Cottage had a little discussion about her a few weeks back and I commented on how Nigella has "an erotic earthiness while remaining totally unthreatening". Don't you agree?
And while my chicken was roasting so aromatically in the oven I was trying to repair this lovely quilt that has needed some tender loving care for so long. I have already done some patches with a vintage sheet that has come out fairly well. I just have some questions I am not sure about since I do NOT sew or quilt. How do you do corners? Do you nip some of the excess material or fold it in? If you do fold it in, it tends to get a wee bit bulky when sewing it up.

I am using this lovely fabric now from an old Gap kids dress. I took it all apart yesterday and ironed it into a neat little pile. It is a tiny gingham, a pink solid and a tiny rosebud pattern. The dress was so adorable I really hated taking it apart but the fabric is so perfect.

I also took a huge leap forward and got some decorating done. I know these pictures are horrible and I am hoping to get a new camera but there is a wee snag there as well. The cameras here are all 80.00 to 100.00 more expensive than in the U.S. The same model of the Canon Powershot I was checking out here, online is $249.00 on the Dell website. The same one on the U.S. website? $129.00. And they have the nerve to use the same photo and description. None of the american retailers will ship to Canada. Bah-humbug!

And my vintage balls. Believe me, they are much prettier in real life than what this ugly photo shows.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Browsing Old Victoria Magazines While I'm Supposed to be Cleaning and Decorating

How do you women do it? I have the tree up and that's about it. While looking through old Victoria magazines I came across our queen of all good things, Cath Kidston. These pictures were featured in an article back in January of 2000. The header was "Cozy Time ~ Snug Places to Dream". Apparently, that's all I do, dream. I don't organize, decorate or clean. Just dream.

I also have some contractors here fixing up little things and hoping to get my kitchen cupboards painted BEFORE the big day. What are my chances do you think? I know, not likely. But I can dream can't I?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Shrunken Head

What's with all the shrunken headers on Blogspot blogs??? I don't know what the problem is but there appears to be a glich with many of the blogs I visit like Dear Little Red House and Buttercup and Roses.

If anyone knows what's going on or how to fix this, it would be appreciated. Now my header is just a short silly looking thing. The odd thing is, on my daughter's laptop it still looks normal.

Not good for the tekkie challenged like me...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Vintage Roses

I seem to be collecting quite a few pieces with roses. Have we noticed that? The cake plate and server are James Kent Old Foley and it is magnificent. I think I will be putting it on ebay as I have so many cake plates already. But this is pristine. And to have the server, well that's just too beautiful. The teapot is also James Kent but I am keeping that. It holds two cups of tea and that is perfect when it is just me in the house having tea. The little creamer was too cute to pass up, with its little tiny rosebuds.
Look at the detail on the server. Oooooh I am so tempted to keep this!

On to other interesting little tidbits of my life. Do you know what the definition is for "magpie"? It is "a person who collects or hoards things".
Can I tell you how happy I am that I found The Vintage Magpie? And how delighted I am that she collects and hoards things? Like lovely buttons, charming fabric and delightful trimmmings?
I received this package in the mail today with my new bag made by Nicola. She also made me a wonderful tissue holder I boldly asked her to make to go with the bag.

Thank you so much, Nicola.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Few More Pics to Tickle Your Fancy

Isn't this livingroom gorgeous? The carpet, jardiniere, mirror, everything, I just love.
I like this one because the sofa is very similar to the one I have in our family room. Not sure about the red accents though.

And a delightfully organized linen cupboard all neatly stacked with ribbon and ricrac. The kitchen is simply lovely. How fresh and calming.


I will post some pictures tomorrow of my recent purchases. All roses. What's with me and the roses lately?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Self Indulgence

Yes, while I sat yesterday enjoying my new magazine and catalogue and yummy egg salad sandwich and a cup of tea, ironing was piled up to here and laundry was piled up to there. I should be tidying, organizing and cleaning. I should be making Christmas lists, devising and planning innovative Christmas gifts and browsing through cook books for delectable baked treats. Instead, today, I am staring at a very untidy, unorganized office/computer room/dumping ground that desperately needs tender loving care. It is a mess in here and my goal today is to get this room spic and span. The problem is it is not just my clutter but everyone elses as well so what do I do with all this detritus of not just my life but all the others?

Thinking I should make a cup of tea, sit and make a list. Maybe browse through the new Martha Stewart Living to give myself ideas...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Rummaging and Thrifting

This morning my mother and I sped off towards the enticing aroma of bake sales, Christmas Bazaars and Rummage sales. Honestly, the heavenly smells that waft up the stairs as you are entering the churches is to die for. Cookies, cakes, muffins, scones, rock buns, tea breads, it makes my mouth water just thinking about it. And the couple of churches that we went to that were predominantly italian parishes? Lasagna, cannelloni, cannoli, espresso... a gastronomic delight and on top of all that? Great deals! Now the bowl with roses I got last week but the other items were from this week. The pink ticking with blue roses is an apron, brand new. The frog was just a necessity. The lovely teacup and saucer with roses, well that was just too charming to pass up. And I am hoping that pink stuff is crochet thread? Not entirely sure but I loved the colours. The little mustard jar with the roses is late 19th century German. Love it.

The blue transferware was purchased last week as well. At the moment I don't know what to do with it. I have sooooo much blue and white transferware I've run out of space to display/store it. So these may go up for auction on ebay.

All in all, pretty productive the last little while.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My Newest Obsession: Crochet Trimmed Tea Towels and Samplers

Isn't that cushion sweet? I spent the better part of my knitting group last night sewing the top closed. Have I remarked before how lousy these particular skills are? Hopefully nobody will notice the sewing job, only the prettiness of the cross-stitch. Don't tell anyone but I got it for .99 cents. I know it is rude to brag about what you spend on items but really, .99 cents? Mother would be angry.
And, like I needed more obsessions. Vintage tea towels. The one on the top left I actually had and always used as a doily. The morning glory one (just delightful) and the one on the far right bottom I purchased together on ebay. The Wednesday one I also purchased on ebay, but separately and the top right one I picked up for .50 cents at a contents sale a few weeks back.


Anita, I have tried several times to leave a comment on your blog but I think blogger comments are not working. Lovely blog you have there and that quilt is simply scrumptious.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Another Birthday Gift

My mother and father just received this print in the mail that was another birthday gift for me. I think it is such a wonderful picture.

Thank you to the blogger that introduced me to this lovely, serene piece. I just wish to heck I could remember who showcased it a few months back. So sorry not giving you the credit you deserve but for the life of me I cannot find which one of you it was.

Now off to the framing store. I think I actually have an antique frame that is perfect for it.

Monday, November 12, 2007

And the Winner is...

Well, first I must show you the process. I also stuck Lisa at Pink Paint and Roses in although she did not leave a comment she did email me a sweet Happy Birthday so her name went in as well. An interesting story there. Lisa and I share the same birthday, and have so many things in common it is positively uncanny. She was also a great help when I was considering selling my items on ebay, so heck, she was thrown in the bowl with the rest of the ladies.

I swirled the names around vigorously. I must admit, however, there weren't any witnesses. I tried to rouse one daughter but classes do not start until 1:00 and pulling a teenager out of bed to pick a blog contest winner out of bowl, well, just wasn't happening. So trust you must. And the winner is...

Yes, the talented artist, Claire Louise Milne! Thank you, Clare for visiting my little site. Please email me your mailing address and I will post your little goodies. The prize includes a wonderful decorating book I picked up at a charity shop that looked simply delightful. It was indeed, delightful, so much so that I actually had the same book already at home. The other articles are a vintage pillowcase, a lovely piece of turquoise fabric and a vintage apron with roses. Oh, and Elizabeth? I am sending you out a little thank you for being such a faithful reader of this blog. Again, email me your address (hoping you have an address right now) and I will post it for you.

And while we are talking about gifts I thought I would show you two of the most loveliest gifts. A teacup and saucer from my sister-in-law, who absolutely knows my taste. It is Zandra Rhodes, and it is so charming. I just love it.

The pretty orchid is from my mother.
Thank you so much for entering my little contest and please feel free to comment. I do like them you know!
And, as another little gift, some truly wonderful blogs I have found inspiring:

Have a wonderful day ladies. Hope to hear from you soon.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hallowe'en Greetings and a Knitty, Vintage and Rosy Contest

Last night I went to my knitting group and came home to watch my favourite movie, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Not that silly Johnny Depp movie but the real deal. I watch this every single Hallowe'en and always hope one day, Icabod will make it across the bridge safely. I absolutely love this movie. Did you know that Sleepy Hollow is a real town in Westchester County, New York? It used to be called North Tarrytown, New York and was renamed in 1997. This is a picture of The Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow. For more fascinating information on Ichabod you can go here.

Now those that are close and dear to my heart know that tomorrow, November 1, is my birthday. In celebration of this auspicious occasion, I am having a contest. Quite simple, really. Just leave a comment and I will put the name/s in a hat and the winner will receive goodies. Something vintage, maybe a book, magazine or all of the above. I will give you a few days to decide to come out of Lurkville. Simple, really.
Happy Hallowe'en!

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Just browsing through some books and pictures I have saved on my computer. The above one has been on the computer for a while and I can't remember where I got it from but isn't it lovely? Don't you want to sit with a cup of tea and knit or crochet there?
This bedroom is just adorable. The sun is streaming in and the pillows look so plump and inviting, don't they? I was going to show you more pictures from this book but my online resizer wasn't working properly so this is the only one you are getting for now. You do use an online resizer don't you?

I changed my banner again. I hope you like it. Oh, and I am now selling on ebay, did you notice?

I am also thinking about a little contest since it is my birthday coming up and I feel the need to celebrate with all of you! More to come.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Take a Moment to Enjoy the View...

When life is really driving you to distraction, isn't it nice to just sit and relax with a cup of tea and a lovely package of goodies from your friend in Finland. Outi from White Country was kind enough to know my personality and send me items in our swap that I would have bought for myself.

A gorgeous green polka dot square from Greengate (I will treasure this as there are no Greengates here in Canada), a lovely hanky with crocheted trim, a handmade pincushion that is already displayed on my desk and gorgeous magazines.

How wonderful is that? Thank you so much, Outi.

I am still crocheting hexagons. With a passion. And loving it. 'nuff said.

Did I mention we have been babysitting a pug? No, thought not. But I have been terribly busy with this little guy as the cat has brought home fleas and they are on the dog and I have had to do a major clean/spray/greenhouse gas emission to the whole house. In the process, I have washed and dryed every blanket the poor thing has come in contact with. Which meant about 12-14 blankets. Well, I am a knitter, crocheter, fibre lover and some of the blankets are wool. Wool does not like agitation or heat. So, unfortunately, there has been some re-sizing done to some of the blankets in our house. Not happy but what can you do? Needs must or something like that.

And how is your week shaping up?

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Hexagon of Love

Finally, a crocheted hexagon Granny would be proud of. I have been trying to make these little guys for a while now and have finally mastered the hexagon. I spoke before of the ones I tried to make and they were a mess. They were kind of crocheted circles (try sewing those together!). I have tried to colour match the Cath Kidston colours and I think I have succeeded. Not 100% sure about the green though. It is not the Lamb's Pride Cotton Fleece like the other colours. My yarn store did not have the green I needed so I went with the wool/mohair. However, I am really loving the pink/red combination. So cosy! The hexagon pattern is free online. Very easy pattern. Believe me, I NEED easy. And it didn't look like a circle!

I really owe Alex at Moonstitches a great big thank you. It was her that motivated me. Hers are truly lovely and her eye for colour is brilliant. She is now trying to make the Nanny McPhee blanket and it is looking terrific.

Can't you just feel the Granny Square love spreading across the world?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Happy to be Home

Boston was wonderful! What a lovely town with interesting architecture, fasinating people and young, fresh faces. I wish I could have stayed longer as our schedule did not allow much sightseeing but what I did see was delightful. DN2 is in love with Northeastern University and thinks it would suit her to a tee. I, however, think that a ten hour drive is a wee bit too far away from mum. Oh, did I mention that tuition is $46, 000.00 per year? No, I think I forgot that little tidbit. But it is a great school with much to offer. The grounds are well kept and the arena is about to embark on a huge expansion (bonus if you are there for the hockey program).

My next bit of new is that the above mentioned daughter has been chosen for Team Ontario. I couldn't be more proud! She will be competing against the other provinces in November and the final game will be televised on TSN (the Canadian Sports Network).

And finally, a reply from Flickr regarding Naked Guy:

Hello btchwstix:Thanks for writing in to Flickr Customer Care, and many,many apologies for the massive delay in our response.The photo you linked to appears to be moderated adequately,it's "restricted", by the photo owner according to Flickr'scontent filtering system, the details of which you mayreview here:,Joe

My reply:

About Corners of My Home
A place to share the favorite little spots in your home--the spots that make you truly feel something--joy, peace, whatever it may be. It doesn't need to be a literal corner--perhaps just a nook or cranny or object. This is a place to photograph spaces please - no pets or people. Thank you!

Joe: It is stated on the first page of "Corners of My Home" there are to be "no pets or people".

How does this not violate the restrictions?


I am quite sure that if he cannot be categorized as a "people" he can certainly be categorized as a "pet". And did I mention it has taken them over a month for a reply? Still kind of peeved at the whole thing.

Well, that about sums things up. Have a good one.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Simple and Beautiful

These little gems I just crocheted fit this category to a tee. All cotton yarn with a wee trim for a bit of flair. Will make washing up just a teeny bit more pleasant, yes?

There's a lot to be said about simple and beautiful. Jane over at Jane's Apron spoke of her love of Johnson Brothers ironstone. She chose this when she got married over all the more elegant china. I have always loved Johnson Brothers and still have the Blue Willow I bought shortly after I got married. My mother is partial to the "Pareek" style they had many years ago. All this thought has made me think of the lovely things we have around our homes that are just "simple and beautiful" that we take for granted everyday.

I am off to Boston on Thursday morning for a hockey. DN2 will be playing some exhibition games against some university teams down there. I am looking forward to visiting an Anthropologie store and maybe a yarn store if I can convince 20 or so other parents on the team bus that this is where they really want to be.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Knitting and Swapping

How's that for some quick knitting? This is the Gum-nut hat from TinyHappy. I think I have spoken about this little hat pattern before. I have knit a few of them and they always come out cute as a button. By the way, there is a cute little flower button there but I couldn't quite capture it in the picture. I am still busily working on the afghan for my SIL's housewarming gift and that shouldn't be too much longer, just a few more inches and the fringe.

The other picture is of some Lamb's Pride I tried to colour match with some Cath Kidston fabric. I just love this colour combination. Soothing and fresh. I think I will do some crochet with it, possibly trying something from 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns.
And I am very exciting to be doing my first ever Swap. Outi and I are getting together to try one and I am so terribly pleased. I know, I'm late for the party again, but who knew the anticipation would feel so utterly wonderful? If you have not visited her before I urge you to do so. The Scandinavian esthetic is so fresh and calming, like a breath of fresh Baltic air.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Delish Cranberry Flaxseed Muffins

Just whipped up a batch of these and thought you may wish to try them. Healthy, yet tasty. So rare to have the two together.

Cranberry Flaxseed Muffins

1 cup butter

2 cups sugar (I always cut this down to 1 1/2 or so)

4 eggs

4 cups flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1 tin whole berry cranberries

1/2 cup flaxseed (toasted, if you prefer)

1 teaspoon vanilla

On low speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter and the sugar til fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix til blended. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Mix the dry ingredients with the butter mixture alternately with the milk. Add the cranberries and the flaxseed, then vanilla.

Grease muffin tins or use cups. Fill to almost rim. Bake at 375 degrees for 22-24 minutes.

This will yield you about 24 muffins. Feel free to half the recipe, it will work just as well.

All my family loves these muffins. They are moist and not too sweet. They go great with tea, coffee or that afterschool glass of milk.

Hope you enjoy them!



Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Cath Kidston and a Cup of Tea

I received my Cath Kidston cataloque the other day and it was like receiving a special magazine in the mail. I had to pick the right moment to sit and have my tea and browse the lovely items.

But I must say, that cute apron reminds me of my gardening apron, yes?

I love almost everything in the catalogue, however, the loose flowery dresses are a definite no for me. Laura Ashley's didn't look good on me and I just know these wouldn't. But it's always good to know the things you won't look good in. Saves time and money. Everything else is so adorable. Why are there no Cath Kidstons in Canada? Can't we petition or something?

We had the wedding on Saturday and it was a glorious day. What beautiful weather we had. Thank goodness that's over, now to school scheduling, hockey registrations and of course, knitting and crochet! Love, love, love the fall.