Saturday, August 20, 2011

Freshening things up

This was my last week of summer vacation, and I spent most of it scrubbing, scraping and painting. We live in a small, sweet old house that is in need of some work. We've been holding off on fixing things up till we have enough money saved for real renovations, but it had gotten to the point where things were really starting to get grubby. Several cans of white paint later, the house is looking a lot fresher.

Before kitchen yellow
When we moved in, we made the rookie move of painting each room a bold, vibrant colour. The old kitchen paint was aptly named "Highlighter Yellow", which made the room look even smaller than it was.

shelving coverup
Now it's a wash of white with blue accents. I've always loved white and blue for a kitchen. So crisp and clean.

Our small kitchen lacks cabinet space, so most of our food, baking dishes, and kitchen appliances are stored in big plastic bins on these utility shelves–not very attractive. I bought 8 metres of old-fashioned kitchen toweling and made curtains to hide the clutter.

Freshened up kitchen
Much better!

denim weave
My favourite part is this little wall hanging. It's actually a denim rag rug, but looks rather fetching as a wall decoration. DH is not so sure about it, but I love it!

Now that the big work is done, I can concentrate on spending the rest of this weekend with more relaxing occupations.

sweet little fabric piles
I spent the afternoon sorting some of my favourite fabric scraps into coordinated piles. I've got a plan for these, though I don't yet want to reveal what that is.

I hope you are having a lovely weekend too!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Unmistakable signs

Despite the still warm weather, there are signs that fall is right around the corner.

little fruit
Ripening fruit.

first sign of fall
Ready-to-pick apples.

first red leaf
Reddening leaves.

nightfall on our street
Rapid nightfall.

big cables
Return of thick, squishy goodness on the needles...

What changes have you noticed?

(oh and a big thank you for all the photo love!)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A whole new way of seeing

This weekend, I've been seeing things in a different light.

little lichen citadel

black eyed susan
You see, Christmas came early around here.

queen anne's consort
We took the plunge and invested in a DSLR.

I headed out to one of my favourite places, Mer Bleue bog.

cow parsnip consort
I had so much fun discovering all the things my new camera can do.

caterpillar lichen
I feel like I have bionic eyes.

closed queen anne's lace
It's almost as if I can now see into the heart of nature.

at attention
Sweeeet macro lens....

Do not fear though, I didn't set aside my beloved knitting.

gentle knitting
My needles have been flitting furiously, as I have an exciting project that is keeping me very busy. I will tell you more about it in a couple of weeks.

diner by candlelight
Hope you all have a sweet week filled with beautiful sights. Night night...

(Edit: for those who asked, we bought a Nikon 5100. What a fantastic camera!)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Glorious Geninne

I had the good fortune recently of attending a wonderful workshop with the very talented and inspiring Geninne D. Zlatkis. The focus of the workshop was making hand-carved stamps.

IMG_5870 Geninne's workshop
(photo by Margie Oomen)

IMG_5863 Geninne's workshop

considering what to stamp on his egg
(photo by Margie Oomen)

We also picked up some valuable watercolour tips from the master.

Geninne's workshop 6
(photo by Margie Oomen)

The highlight of the workshop was of course, the people.
Geninne's workshop 2

Geninne was an encouraging and inspiring teacher with a warm, open spirit. It was such a pleasure learning from her, and working alongside a roomful of beautiful, creative women. And I also got to see Margie and Arounna again, and meet the incredibly sweet Sonia all the way from France. What a treat!

The centre tag with the ginko leaf design is one of my favourites. The beautiful crocheted-covered stones are by Margie. Wouldn't a crocheted stone workshop with Margie be AMAZING? (hint hint)
Geninne's workshop

The workshop itself was held at Bookhou, a beautiful store on Queen street in Toronto.

before the creative crowd
(photo by Margie Oomen)
As you can see, the workspace was all decked out with beautiful flowers, and inspiring art from the Winged Migration show. We were also treated to a gourmet lunch (had the BEST butter tarts EVER). Hard not to be inspired in such a place! If you get a chance, I highly recommend a Bookhou workshop, or just pop by the shop for a gander. It's well worth the trip!

Friday, August 5, 2011

The woman with the 5 elephants

One of the highlights of our NYC trip was seeing "The woman with the 5 elephants". If you get a chance, please do yourself a favour and see this beautiful documentary.

Swetlana Geier is such an inspiration. I loved her intelligence, humour, courage and beauty.

Some of what I've been up to

It's been rather quiet here, I know. But life has been anything but quiet. We hit the road in July. For a totally impromtu, unplanned, but invigorating holiday.

Mainly to see this,

photo taken from Savage Beauty catalog, by Solve Sundsbo
(photos from the Savage Beauty catalog, Solve Sundsbo)

sit here,

highline oasis
and eat these.

It was great. We weren't planning on going this year, but I guess traditions are hard to break.

More of what I've been up to (including some knitting) soon...