Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mystery Find-What is this thing?

This is my mystery item.....
I bought this funny old box for $2.00.  I was drawn to the color. opened strangely and at first I couldn't figure it out.  You have to open it and flip the lid. It has very small finger joints.
It says Clapp and Baileys Remnants on the bottom, and I am waiting for you Tamarah to tell me what it was used for....(I know it may seem obvious, but I Googled Clapp and Bailey and all I found was they may have made lace.  I am wondering what kind of remnants ie. lace, fabric, yarn, rugs) Also if anyone knows anything about Clapp and Bailey.
The lid flips open like this.....
Postscript: Tracy from Ms Bake It told me it is from 1881 and was used to store fabric remnants.  Thanks Tracy. oh.....and it smells like 1881 inside.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Muted Pallette

I came across this pretty little handpainted lidded jar in a thrift shop, and thought it would be a very pretty gift filled with lavender.  The colors are so muted, but gorgeous.  There is a soft brown and a pale greyish mauve......I found this little flower in the garden and thought the colors went beautifully with the jar and was especially simple and pretty with white ironstone. It has little "puffs" of pale mauve, grey and cream with little lacy edges.
The old door knob came from my kitchen island project.  I think the worn smooth old metal is gorgeous, and I find it interesting enough to leave around as an ornament.  My husband stumbled upon me while I was photographing it.  "Isn't it beautiful?" I said.  His reply...."Chania, it's a door knob"

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Makeover - Cottage Bedroom - Before and After

I have now finished the makeover on the 2nd bedroom at the cottage.  All it needed was a fresh coat of paint and the carpet removed to reveal the original wood floors.  This little cabinet was bought for the shop, however, I just couldn't let it go.   

When we bought the cottage, It had been on the market for a long time and had been reduced a couple of times.  I think the place looked like a frat house and that is what put people off.  Here is the before shot of this room.
Behind that dresser is a sink.  Yep, in a 76 square foot room, they took valuable space for a sink unit.  WHY??????  You can see how the ceiling looks low because of the wallpaper border hung 6" below it.  You can also see the "nook" with the plywood cover.  If you look really close, you can see the creepiest painting ever.  Next to the bunk bed, turned sideways is a painting of a naked persons butt, with their hands tied behind their back with a snake.  Now if you were staging a home for sale, would you leave that thing around??? 
Here's the room after.  The floor was quite nice, and an improvement on the carpet.  You can see the pylwood nook has been painted and a map installed over the wood.
There is 18" betweem the 2 beds, and this is the only way you can configure the room and still be able to open the door.  That nightstand barely fit.  I found these 2 hand sewn quilts at the local 2nd hand store.  Because they were quite colorful, and I didn't want this room to be cute, I painted the walls in Farrow and Ball's Cornforth White with Benjamin Moore's Oxford White trim.  I found 2 grey camp blankets in 2 different thrift shops which was lucky.
The bed frame on the left was a road find 15 years ago when my son still thought it was fun to go junk hunting with me.  It says Simmons Canada on it.  Since there is no closet in this room, and only 1 in the whole cottage, storage for linens etc is under the bed in Rubbermaid containers.
My daughter painted the picture above the bed here when she was in grade 4. 
 While I am not keen on this daybed anymore, it is in perfect condition, so I used it here.  It came from Ikea.  The little turquoise lamp is vintage and I had it re-wired.  You have to be careful with old lamps, sometimes the wires and plugs are in terrible condition. 
The quilts are made very simply with the prettiest floral rectangles. I bet someone saved old dresses and sheets to make these.
Looking from the day bed to the other side.....
An old caddy on the dresser holds books and odd Bits.  The old medicine cabinet is empty, but I thought renters may like a spot to stash their things.  I need to add several hooks on the wall to the left of this dresset to serve as a closet of sorts.  So that's it.  Une chambre minuscule. 

Friday, June 25, 2010

Faffing Around - Day 4 -Dealing with the Nook

I would like to start this post by saying to those of you who thought I was being a grumpy old cow about the jam, I relented.  I don't stay irritated for long, and took her a jar.

Any way, the spare bedroom has a weird Nook.  It is actually where the front window for the old cottage used to be.  This used to look out to the lake side.
The previous owners added a room behind it and covered the one side with hideous plastic panelling and a piece of scrap plywood here.
I painted it white and added some Bits...........I hung a little mobile made from old Dinky cars I bought from an old man who makes them with a pop can tab to hang it from,  but it was still looking a bit blah.
I had an idea to hang wallpaper in it, but my rule here is to re-use and re-cycle, not buy new, especially something frivolous like wallpaper.

Then I remembered the marina office had maps for visitors....I could just stroll there in my painting clothes and pink Crocs without anyone seeing me and pick one up.  I asked the Harbormaster for one and maybe because of my attire or un-diffused hair, he didn't recognise me (we have dealt with him many times) and he proceeded to point out where we were on the map as if I was some kind of deranged lost jam for him:)
Now, I hate to cut a straight line, so I was thrilled that this map fit exactly with no cutting.....1/8 inch each side all around left......perfect....
Now if I wanted to be trendy, I could take the pins out of my voo-doo dolls and place them on the map showing all the places I have been around here............

Faffing Around - Day 3

It is Day 3.  It rained in the night which was lovely and cooling and everything looked fresh outside at 5 am when I was standing in the garden with Gracie in my nightgown.  There is a skunk about so I have to create some noise when we go I have been shaking a tin of stones which is very irritating when you are half awake. 
Did not have the "Resort" breakfast, and decided to get to work early on that 2nd bedroom.  I am right into the painting and have the trim almost done when my neighbor knocks.  I answer the door with my hair wild, paint on my arms, goofy pants and jam on my face. (noticed that later).
Apparently I had forgotten an "old bucket" at the side of the house and the rain dripping on it had disturbed her.  She was quite irritated and mentioned it was the second time I had left something under the eaves that kept her awake. That's no "old bucket" but my vintage sap bucket, part of the decor, enhancing the vintage cottage vibe.   I promise to move it and don't give her the jar of homemade jam I had set aside for her:)
I spent a couple of hours faffing about with this old metal cabinet I purchased at a garage sale.  I tried it all over the place and settled on the kitchen by the fridge to store platters and jam jars and ugly things like the fire extinguisher.
The painting is finished.  Now I need to put everything back and pretty it up.
I collect these old shell boxes and have moved a couple over here.  I had a few peony's in the garden, picked them, plus one from the complaining neighbors side for good measure :)

Spent the evening chatting to a boater about his life re-entering the dating game after 30 years of being married (lost his wife).  Amazing what people will tell you if you don't ask.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Faffing Around - Day 2 - and a Small Earthquake.

Ok, It's day two......I've decided to get off my butt, quit drinking 4 cappucinos in the morning (as well as the afternoon mohitos) and start organizing my kitchen.  Plans are moving right along with the island, and Ken came by today with some barnboard.  It appears he has a friend who has a barn he is slowly (2 years now) taking down.  Ken went by the barn, no-one home, but removed a few boards anyway, and left the guy a note.  Hey, it's the country, it's casual and easygoing up here. 

Some renters bought me this blue jug from a local potter to thank me for renting to them (not sure why...maybe they broke something they didn't tell me about).  Anyway, I thought it looked pretty with
flowers from the garden. 
I had purchased this wooden box last week while shopping for the Shop.  I am the type of person who likes things out in the open, but I like them corralled somewhat or it gets out of hand.  That ridiculously tall peppermill wouldn't fit on the counter under the cupboards, so it has to sit on the island.  Problem is when the washing machine is running (under the island) during the spin cycle, it shakes it off (and anything else near the edge) onto the floor.  Problem solved.
Which brings me to the earthquake.  I get up around 5 am for my dog and can't get back to sleep, so I sometimes have a little nap in the afternoon.  I lay down in the afternoon, went dead asleep, and was woken by the bed shaking (don't) and the ceiling fan swaying.  Remember, this little wooden house shakes with the washing machine spin cycle. I could hear my bottles and jars of Bits tinkling.  I ran to the doorway and tried to call my deaf and still sleeping dog to stand in the doorway with me,(I think that is protocol for Tornados I got confused) but then it ended.  5.5.  they said origianlly, down grading that to a 5.0, epicentre in Quebec.  Aparently Georgian Bay has a fault line going through it, so it was quite strong here.  Buildings in Toronto and Ottawa were evacuated as well as the local "Moms Restaurant"  Scared the crap out of me. 
The cupboards were painted last week and I have to find new hardware.  The blue you can see on the island is an undercoat only.

I have removed the carpet in the spare bedroom to expose the wood floors (I found a trap door of sorts, but I am not going to open it while I am alone here. Tomorrow, I plan to paint the spare bedroom.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Faffing Around Day 1 - A Lesson in Self Indulgence.

I have been abandoned at the cottage which I thought a lovely way to get my butt in gear and do some things around here, bike ride, walk and read 2 books on my pile. 

 It's a bit like "survivor"  a warning of a Rogue  Bear, no car, no money (bank machine refuses me money and bank says I have to go the nearest branch of my bank which is 40 km awayto sort it out)  and very slow internet.  Luckily I have lots of old jams jars where I stuff my loose change, so I have been walking to the grocery store with little bag of coins.

The picture above was taken at noon when I finally got dressed and hung up my nightie after sloth-ing on the sofa all morning reading fluffy design books.
I've been cooking.....treating myself to a French Toast breakfast with fresh blueberries.
Followed by more reading....
but so far not the Autobiography I brought with me to read.
My "working" week is turning into more of a 5 day retreat.....a rest if you over indulgence of
frothy coffees (my friend gave me her old espresso machine) and afternoon Mohitos with the locals on my deck. 
I am actually networking.  Over drinks I got chatting about my newest project - refacing the kitchen island with old panelled doors.  Turns out Ken, (neighbor) loves workiing with old "Bits" and is super excited and willing to build it for me.....
By the end of day 1, I had finished my half read novel and "read" a whole stack of "picture books"
And...I lay on one of the boats docks in the sunshine....a lovely feeling as the dock sways.....and listened to the "wind chimes" of the pulleys clanging on the sail boats.
Pure-Self Indulgence...

Monday, June 21, 2010

On a Sad Note......

Yesterday, I posted about an elderly gentleman who had wandered away from the nursing home here in Lion's Head on Saturday. Mnay of you have emailed me to say you were sending prayers his way for his rescue, and wanted to know when they found him.  Sadly his body was found last night very close to the Home. 

This has shaken this little village to the core.  Everyone here knew him and his family.  He grew up here.  In a small community like this the fire and rescue department is mostly a volunteer one.  For the entire weekend they joined with the Provincial Police, helicopters, police dogs and hundreds of locals to search for him.  It was truly a community in action and brought out the absolute best in people.  A few hundred people missed out on their own Father's Day here to find this Father.  His name was Clayton.

Weekend Haul

As I mentioned in my previous post, it was the weekend of the annual "Garage Sale Trail" here in the Northern Bruce Peninsula.  A ton of sales, scattered through the country side, and a find the treasure.  Our first stop was "White's Garage" an auto shop.  First one in the door, I managed to snag myself this white metal cabinet.  It has 3 nice useful shelves and a drawer and I am going to use it for my canning supplies here in the cottage.  (will post pictures later) .  I also got these wire baskets which have also found a home.  I gave the spiderman lunch box to my husband for fathers day.  Because every 50 year old man needs a lunch box....
I got 2 of these nice old birdhouses.  I am trying to get birds to nest here, so I will hang these up for next Spring hoping for a new family.... We can't feed the birds this year because of the Rogue Bear and we can't encourage him, although I hoping to spot him.  I am all alone here this week, so I kinda hoping and kinda not hoping to see him.
Crown Jars.....gorgeous pale pale green with Crown motif on front.  The crowns changed slightly over the years, so I like to pick through them to get the different ones. 
 I could do a post on canning jars and their history.  I do actually use them for tea bags, dog treats etc and it is damp near the water and we have had the occasional mouse....
This little hand painted flower vase was made in Japan.  Haven't got a spot yet for it...but so pretty.
This was my favourite piece...a metal pail 30" high from the Lambton Creamery.......this one goes right to the shop.  It would make a great unbrella stand.....

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Weird and Bittersweet Weekend

  This has been a very weird weekend so far.  The weather has been fabulous.  We came to the cottage on Friday afternoon anxious to wake up here in the peace and quiet of the Bruce Peninsula.  It was also the weekend of the Garage Sale Trail, a huge garage sale event.  I was woken up to a noise that seemed right outside my bedroom window.  Not thinking that bears came this close, I assumed it was a raccoon.  The next morning my neighbor said there was a black bear 5 feet from her bathroom window.!!  Glad I                                                wasn't outside letting Gracie out for a pee.!

  I set out early Saturday morning with my neighbor and our morning took us from the east side of the peninsula on Georgian Bay to the west side on Lake Huron.  We found some wonderful Bits! Will post my finds later.
What seemed like a peaceful and fun morning changed when I recieved a call from my daughter to say that a friend had been killed in an accident.  He was the best friend of a work mate of hers.  Of course she was shocked and saddened. 
I faffed around the cottage for the rest of the day, trying out settings on my camera for pictures.  At lunch I went off to buy some sugar to make jam.  I had picked up berries from a farm on the way up.
On the way to the grocery store I passed an old guy hobbling down the street and thought how difficult this looked for him.  He was walking quickly though, and I wondered where he was going.
I went home and spent the afternoon making jam.  I love making jam and could spend the whole day in the kitchen with the music going and jam bubbling.  My favorite part is listening to the tops snap as they cool and seal.  I have always said I should have been a Farmer's Wife! 
Later in the afternoon, an OPP helicopter started circling and continued for hours.  The police boat is in the water right in front of our cottage.  They came and put it on the trailer and removed it.  I wondered if there was a sailor missing somewhere.  The marina was busy and nothing seemed out of place.  At around 8:30 I went off for a little bike ride to discover the whole town crawling with police.  They were looking for a man who had wandered away from the nursing home.  Apparently, it was the old hobbling fellow I had seen over 8 hours ago.  I was the last and only one to have seen him.  I had to give a statement.  I felt awful as we had no idea they were looking for him.

I lay awake for hours thinking of these 2 families and the poor old fellow happy it was a warm night at least,  and the bears.....So we sit here this morning hoping that a family will get good news today.  It is a wierd and erie feeling here.  It is so quiet and everyone is sad and concerned.  We pray this poor fellow is found safe today.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Dinner for your Dad. The easiest, most scrumptious Pork Tenderloin recipe

For Fathers Day Sunday, I thought you may like a wonderfully easy recipe to make for your dad.  I know it sounds complex and pompous, but it is SO ridiculously easy.  And impressive.

  This recipe is from my friend Deb, who calls it
Marriage Proposal Pork Tenderloin.
Apparently, she gave this recipe to a friend......... who cooked it for a man....who got down on his knee at the dinner table.........
So, save this one for your next dinner date too.....Good Luck Girls.
I made this last night, and my knife was dull, so it wasn't sliced as nicely as it could have been, considering it was to be in a photo shoot.  Which it didn't know until last minute.  I also forgot to Drizzle the Glaze over it, but it was too late.  B..was starving and had demolished the presentation by the time I remembered.  Some food stylist I he gets a little aggitated when I say "can you turn your dinner to the the right...moved that crouton to the top please".....Dinner is Dinner, not a Blog Post...
In Ontario, I can get a pork tenderloin for about $5.00.  One feeds 3 people, so they are a really good value.  Not only that, this recipes takes 2 minutes to prepare and turns out "restaurant quality" every time.  I parboiled a couple of potatoes, sliced them into wedges and then lightly crisped them in Rosemary Infused Butter. 
2 sticks of salted butter
2 tsp freshly chopped rosemary.
As Jamie Oliver would say "Waz it up" in the blender.
Place in ice cube tray. When frozen remove cubes and store them in a Zippy bag for later. (yummy on whole grain nutty bread.)

I don`t make herbed butter ahead so, I just threw some fresh rosemary in a pan with a little butter and let it sizzle and infuse itself.
Some Rabbit had left me a lettuce for my dinner, so I grabbed it while the going was good and left him the stalks in the veggie garden.  It was the absolute TOUGHEST  most BITTER lettuce goodness....that poor Peter.!  But........ it was all about the photoshoot and it looked vibrantly lovely on the plate.

2 pork tenderloins
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tblsp fresh rosemary chopped
3 cloves fresh garlic

Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in oven-proof frypan. Season tenderloins with salt and pepper. Brown on all sides over medium high heat. Add in 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary and 3 cloves minced garlic, bring to boil and remove from heat. Roast in 350 F oven uncovered, turning tenderloins once, for 20 minutes.

Let the meat rest for 5 minutes.  Slice on an angle in 1/2 " slices.  Drizzle a little of the remaining glaze hot from the pan over the top.

If you want to make applesauce, take 2 peeled cored and diced apples, add 1/2 cup water and boil down till mushy and smashable with a fork.