Friday, 30 January 2015

On Writing

For those of us who write, there's no greater joy than playing with words; using language to tell a story, evoke a memory or convey a sigh.

My love affair with writing began at a very early age, and as is true for all passionate love affairs, its course has never run smooth.

I'm a solitary person; the act of writing suits me but sometimes the words and ideas flow and life is a wonderful thing, and other times the screen stays blank and the blinking cursor ... well, you know.

I'm not educated in the art of writing, I'm not familiar with its rules, I just write.  I dabbled in freelancing for years and I loved it.  The money is very good if you're willing to do the pitching and can handle the emotional roller coaster; there’s the dizzy euphoria and head-swelling confidence when your work is accepted, and the soul-crushing, ego-sapping despair of a rejection.

Over and over again.

People write for different reasons and in all sorts of situations. Some people love the process of stringing words together, others do it for the sensation of words appearing out of nowhere, and then there's those who like the feeling of accomplishment.  I write because I need to ... like breathing.

Do you have a love/hate relationship with writing?  I'd love to hear about it!

As always, thank you kindly for stopping by!

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Why I Blog ...

Because I enjoy it.  Because I like documenting, and sharing things that make me happy.

organic tomatoes

Because I love to write and take pictures, I'm proud of my home, and I want to share with women who have interests similar to mine.

can there ever be enough books?

Because along with gardening and crocheting, it's a creative outlet for me, with feedback.  I love the feedback.  Thank you for that!

hooky goodness

Because I love connecting with other bloggers who teach and encourage me, who comfort me, make me laugh and make me cry, and most of all because I want to be a part of this sweet community through which we all thrive so beautifully.

beach bungalow's header 

And finally, because after blogging for many years, first at Beach Bungalow and now here, I feel I've found my voice.  I acted on the impulse deep within that said, “Go ahead, speak up.” And now I'm better because of it.

As always, thank you kindly for stopping by!

Linking to:  Under The Table & Dreaming

Sunday, 25 January 2015


Mine is blue, I love blue.  When I was a little girl it was red that made me happy.  I can't remember when the transition took place, but blue (in all its shades and variations) has been the colour I'm drawn to for a long, long time.

I'm drawn to all things blue, well except food.  Blueberries are beautiful; there's one!

There's been a lot of talk around the blogosphere lately about the 'colour of the year' and 'on trend' colour, and so on.  I don't care what the colour of the year is and I find it kind of sad that anyone would.

Following a colour trend because you LOVE it is one thing, but changing your surroundings on the whim of the 'fashion powers that be', is something else again. Colour choice is so deeply personal and should never be dictated.  Blindly following what everyone else is doing is limiting and you miss out on developing your own eye and your own sense of what is beautiful.

Beauty is and should be in the eye of the beholder; YOUR eye, not some designer's.

I say if you love bold colours, surround yourself with them.  If soft colours soothe your soul, wrap yourself in them.  Your the boss, you choose.

As always, thank you kindly for stopping by!

Linking to:  Cozy Little House, The Dedicated House

Saturday, 24 January 2015


Thank you for all the fabulous comments on my Bringing Vintage Back series.  I read and thoroughly enjoyed each and every one!

We set a strict budget for both rooms and stuck to it.  I think our kitchen and bath renovations are proof positive that you don't need a lot of money to make a huge difference.

Okay enough of that!

I recently found, and am hopelessly in love with this gorgeous specimen, "The Harlequin Blanket."

They look like diamonds, no?

So of course, I have to make one.  Now you can buy the pattern here, but I though it would be much more fun to figure it out myself ... plus I'm very cheap.

There are three parts to the blanket ... the basic diamond

The half diamond, and the vertical half diamond ...

I'll let you know how joining my little jewels goes; that's the part I usually enjoy the least.

As always, thank you kindly for stopping by!

Thursday, 22 January 2015


I've heard it said that the kitchen is the heart of the home.  It's certainly true for our home.

In older homes though, kitchens were smaller and often separated from the rest of the house by walls and doors.  Our house, built in 1958, was no exception.

So ...

view from the dining room

This wall had to come down.  We knew it the first time we walked into the house with our estate agent.  It was one of the first questions we asked her, "Is this a load bearing wall?"

"No", she said.

So down it came.

The whole kitchen was gutted ... all the seventies 'improvements' gone, never to be seen again.

 No vintage charm buried in these walls.

And then we rebuilt with an idea of what this kitchen must have looked like in its glory days ... with a cast iron sink ...

Butcher block counters ...

Subway tile ...

 Schoolhouse light fixtures

A bead board ceiling and hardwood floor

And the arch that replaced the separating wall

Today our kitchen is the place everyone gravitates to, where cooking and eating is a pleasure, where recipes are shared, and where special occasions as well as day to day life happens.

The door you see in the picture above opens to the back garden where flowers, vegetables, and an apple tree grow happily together, where my four-year-old granddaughter picks blackberries still warm from the sun ...

and a certain blonde charmer has been known to chase a squirrel or two.

As always, thank you kindly for stopping by.

Monday, 19 January 2015


How does the saying go ... imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?

Well this room is guilty ... of imitation, that is.  You see it's not vintage at all, but it sure is doing a good job of flattery, isn't it?

You see, below is how this room looked when we moved in.  But we knew, from the year the house was built, that it couldn't possibly have looked like this way back then.

So we went digging ... and found this behind the 1970s 'improvements'.


Can you believe it?  Beautiful, original tile work ... and in BLUE!!!  We were so excited at first, but as we uncovered more, we had to face the fact that it couldn't be saved; too much damage had been done.

So we (oh, by 'we' I mean the handyman) ... had no choice but to gut it.

And started over ...

We did out best to bring the vintage back.  The arch over the tub, the subway tile, the porcelain checkerboard flooring (above), the fixtures and even the toilet, were all chosen for their vintage-ness.  

The sink though, is my favourite.

Next up ... bringing vintage back in the kitchen.

Linking to:  The Dedicated House, Cozy Little House

Saturday, 17 January 2015


For all that I have:

Summer 2014

Our first real snowfall of 2015

the neighbourhood

For the mishmash of things inside that we love and make us happy.  I have no time for the latest trends or fads though, so I have no idea what my 'decorating style' is.

For this blog I love to write and share, and the pleasure of being at home, making something ... always making something, with Ben nearby or napping at my feet ... this is my idea of heaven.

For the joy of collecting pretty things ... jadeite, picture frames, teacups, vases, s&p shakers, floral prints, antique plates, candlesticks, teapots, ceramic pitchers, books, family photos ... I know I'm forgetting something ...

For the love of writing, and the countless novels sitting in a drawer somewhere, unfinished and forgotten.  My secret dream (not so secret now) is to publish someday. But after so many stops and starts, it doesn't look likely to happen.  And that's okay.  I've made peace with it and for that again ... I'm grateful.

the reading, writing, blogging room

For the meditative pleasure of crocheting and the way it has taken over my time lately (I hope I haven't bored you silly with my little projects).  I find I've gotten a little carried away with colour; the brighter the better seems to be the order of the day, and I'm currently completely infatuated with garland!

For the pristine beauty of winter, which is not my favourite season, but then again, either is summer. It's spring that makes my heart sing (really loudly) and I'm anxiously awaiting its arrival.  But I took a walk through the frozen garden yesterday (a short one, it was -15 out there) and said a little prayer for my roses.  They took quite a beating last year with the ice storm and I'm hoping they'll be back with a vengeance and put on their usual beautiful show.

For Impromptu and all the great women I've met through its writing.  I'm constantly amazed by the kindness and generosity of my readers.

And finally, I'm grateful for the deeper appreciation of all things that seems to come with the passing of the years ... 

"Embrace your life journey with gratitude, so that how you travel your path is more important than reaching your ultimate destination." 

Linking to:  My Little Home and Garden, Mod Vintage Life