Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sulla Strada-And I Am Not Even a Tiny Bit Embarrassed.

As part of Project Genesis, (A project to find ways to make the world a better place, use less and do less damage) I wanted to show you some of my real treasures. 
Pieces that I have in my home or cottage that I absolutley love and would never get rid of.

All of them we found Sulla Strada......I will explain at then end of this post....

This gorgeous wrought iron Potting Stand weighs an absolute ton.  The perfect 1950's green paint makes it perfect for the cottage next to my little green deck chair.
I love the arches....I wonder who designed it....I use it to house my shell collection.
I bring back shells from holiday and put them in jars.  These are my Cuban shells in that jar on the left.

This art deco dresser is used in my spare bedroom.  It has beautiful carving and match booked veneers.
Carved feet and burled walnut.....

One of my favourite chairs....a Chinese Chippendale bamboo side chair.
Re-upholstered in a scrap of RM Coco animal print....

This plaster mirror in my living room also weighs an absolute ton. 
It came with a restoration and auction number on the back....
It works well with the scrubby old table...a perfect juxtaposition.

The bed on the left is an old metal bed that came complete with side rails.
It is an old Simmons bed frame.
It beacme the perfect mate for another twin bed at the cottage.
I have 2 of these cement flower urns that greet my guests at my front entry.

SO,  How is this in keeping with Project Genesis?????  Is this not consumption.....albeit vintage recycled items.????

My Secret...All of these things were found Sulla Strada.....


Yes, put out for Trash.  Garbage.  Rubbish.
And all rescued from the landfill site.

One mans junk........anothers treasure.
I have not an ounce of shame or embarassment stopping my car and hauling anything off the road.

If you want to see more Road Finds.  Take a look at the blog of Tamarah who is the absolute queen of Sulla Strada.  You can visit her blog here.

For more Project Genesis click here

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Farmers Wife...I Should Have Been a Farmers Wife

My cow friend....

I have always loved a farm.  When we were young, we would visit my grandparents in Lincolnshire...
My grandmother never let us be idle and during our stay would send us over to the
Green's Farm to help out.  We bagged and tied sacks of grain on the back of the trailer being pulled by the combine.  We gathered the eggs, bottle fed orphaned lambs and weren't allowed to come home until the Greens were finished with us.  I loved every minute of it.

When I was a teenager I spent a summer in Ontario working on a horse farm and another summer in Kentucky again working with thoroughbred horses.
We were up at 5, and working by 5:30.  Bailing hay, mucking out stalls, grooming yearlings and faffing around the farm.  When we weren't busy with the horses, we were painting barns and fence posts.  I remember I was painting a horse barn when I heard Elvis had died.

More than horses, I love cows.  One day I will photograph my cow paintings I have collected.  I stopped to photograph this cow last week and all of a sudden all his buddies were visiting too.
If I could pick anything I would do if I could magically change things, it would be to have a farm.
I would love to have livestock, grow my own food, maybe a shop selling my jams and jellies and farmhouse Bits.  Chickens and eggs and of course a donkey.  My granny had a donkey and it has always been a dream of mine to own one.  Hers was called Semolina.  It was the color of steamed semolina pudding.
I could grow hollyhocks and gladiolas and garlic....
I have been faffing around with the idea lately and trying to encourage my non-farmer type of a husband to consider a country life.  So far he's not remotely interested.......
Bit I still dream of it......

What do you dream about.....?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Photo Contest=Call for Entries

Simple stairs to the lake...picture by me

I absolutely love simplicity.  Photos that tell a story, but have a clean, bare bones feel.  An object without adornment or pretense.

If you peel back the layers of almost anything,
it is the underlying beauty of something in it's most basic form,
that is the most striking.

If you have a photo that illustrates this point, send it to me.. You can give a little explanation if you wish. my email is

I will then pick one that I feel represents the Beauty of Simplicity and the winner will receive something simple and beautiful as a prize. Deadline Aug 1. I will post the entries over theweek of August 1st.

Monotone.  Picture by me.

Simple Adornment with paint...Picture by me.

There are so many talented phoyographers out there in blogland, I thought it would be nice to see some of the great photos.  I already have some incredible entries.

Weathered Wood....Picture by me.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Urban Sprawl

I was Faffing Around on Tamarack Island on the Bruce Peninsula and came across these rows of bird houses.......a little surburb of charming bird cottages.....
Dozens and dozens of them....all on the fence posts of a local farm...
Tin roofs, turrets, willow porches, cedar shingles.....the architecture was varied...
The creativity was amazing.....was it a school project, a contest?  The work of a lone architect..?
I have no idea.  There was no sign......just the birds.
If I had to make an offer, it would be on this African inspired (maybe because I was born in Kenya) village hut with guest hut.  Made from a tin ceiling tile......
Wouldn't this make a great community project....???

Monday, July 26, 2010

Wedding Shower

There's just something about Wedding bits that photograph so well....I attended a bridal shower this weekend and couldn't resist playing around with the photos.

Pretty Balloons, Coconut Cupcakes, Buttercream Cake.

I love photographing food, especially when Di prepares makes the photographing easy......

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

Bits On My Messy Desk

I am quite nosy.  I like to see peoples stuff. 
Particularly their desks....People tend have their personal bits and pieces around them more than other areas of the house.

These are some Bits on my desk. 
 Handpainted footed Italian bowl.....for stamps, post it notes etc. 
An old silver sugar bowl holds pens.
Bunny Rabbit pottery-I bought this at an art gallery in Old Montreal. 
 He holds paper clips, eye glasses and staples.
I like to surround myself with little Bits.
 like this Wobbly Knee Cow-a romantic gift from my husband.
Scraps of Ribbon
....I am planning to do a piece of art with monogrammed ribbons with brand names such as
 Crabtree and Evelyn, Tiffany Birks etc.
  I have asked people to save me their lettered ribbons from special packages.

I collect rabbit figures....the one on the right is made from paper machean an old chocolate mold.
The ears got broken off the other one
...but he's still very cute

You can see what awful hand writing I have.
Fiber Artist Susan Lemz sent me this gorgeous book mark.
She machine stitched all these threads to a piece of cardboard and made a feather design.
I am going to frame it
....the colors are Lovely.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

And Now to Fashion..........

 I find myself Dilly-Dallying over what to wear to a pair of summer weddings. Just found that Bloch-the ballet shoe company-has started to make ballet flats for day and evening wear. Black dress with tapered waist, flared skirt and gorgeous ruffled hem........

Cream ruffles with shiny pearls and gleaming gold. For the Toronto wedding.

 The papaya linen dress will be great for the country wedding.......I found these patent shoes with a peekaboo silk under lace.......perfect to slip into for dancing.

So now I just have to make sure I have no paint on the back of my arm, and I'm good to go.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Cottage Kitchen Reveal

The newly painted kitchen.

The bones of this cottage were so good when we bought it, I couldn't believe that it had languished on the market for 2 summers with absolutely no offers.  Everything had been upgraded a few years before, but perhaps not with the most up to date materials.
Kitchen before-a bit of an ugly duckling for sure....
After-same cupboards, coat of paint.
Before: Loads un knotty pine.  Two Eyesores on one wall...the furnace and the electrical box
After-Painted winscotting.Farrow and Ball Strong White.  Wall color Farrow and Ball Light Blue
After-  Paint By Behr.  Color Taylor's Chalk by Martha Stewart
Looking through to the dining room.  Although only 900 sq ft, this room makes the place feel huge.
I found that old ladder at my favorite shop:The Lofty Lion.  Vintage oil paintings $12.00 - $35.00.
The vintage cabinet holds my McCoy pottery
The bench is from Romania-something I purchased on impulse and now regret. Somewhat.
It just serves as a shelf for my magazines and books.
On the other side, I put this cabient here to house bowls, jam, and other bits that wouldn't fit in the cupboards.  I use all the vintage bowls.  I bought everything for the kitchen, except for a few mugs, glasses and pots and pans, second hand.  All the cutlery, plates, bowls, mixing bowls etc are used or made by local potters.
The electrical cabinet now fades away, distracted by the cabinet and shelf.
I bought this white cabinet on my birthday 2 years ago.  It has no glass, but I find it easier to get my stuff in and out.  The yellow chair I have had for donkeys years.  My father in law shook his head at that purchase and the crackled painted finish that he thought was absolute crap. 
I collect old canning jars.  Very handy as they look pretty and keep the odd roaming
cottage mouse away.
  I found this very old and possibly Quebecois shelf at the Hospital garage sale last weekend. Along with some other dishware and Christmas decorations, I made a donation of $40.00 for the lot. 
Looking back into the kitchen.  I am told by the neighbor that the original wood floors lie underneath this peel and stick tile under a layer of plywood.  When all of our renters are done in the fall, we are going to expose the wood floors.
The cabinet hardware was the most expensive thing in the whole kitchen costing $210.00 for 23 glass and brushed nickel knobs and 10 drawer pulls.  I tried many online sources but these ones were the ones I loved and were in stock.  I have no patience so I like stock items.
Removing the counters was not in the budget, so I painted them with Melamine paint.
  So far holding up OK. Not delicate at all which is good when you rent it out.  I don;t want renters to have to be fussy over my finishes.
And then, there's all those things I have collected for years.  Globes, measuring cups, scales, jars.  They all found a home out of the way of Blake who hates things not useful or practical!
The rug is a Dash and Albert Indoor/Outdoor rug (you can hose them down) from the Razmataz shop.

This is the last room to be finished.  Now the projects are all done, I suggested that we look for another old dog and flip this one.  So far, I have yet to convince Blake of that.....This one was so much fun because there are few design sources around this area, so making do with old, second hand and vintage finds from all the local sources was so much part of the enjoyment.