Tuesday, August 18

Clover yard looks awful





The clover yard isn't working. It looks terrible. It's overrun with crab grass, wild flowers, broad leaf weeds, dandelions, and other nasty weeds. It's impossible to keep the weeds at bay. The clover struggles as other weeds thrive, when we were under the impression the reverse would take place. The clover was supposed to dominate.

It's green, and pretty in a way. I'm so disappointed that we couldn't maintain the lush beautiful lawn from the very first season:
  

It's over. I will mow it bi-weekly to keep it short, and eventually we will rip it up and try something new. 

RIP clover.  

Thursday, June 11

Pillows



Forget anything I've said or even thought about pillows. Now that I have pillows-I-love, I love pillows! I found ten bright, cheery, incredibly preppy pillows for the outdoor sectional at Indigo.

Here's the scoop:
- citron, blue and orange
- indoor pillows with down inserts (we bring them inside when not in use)
- 50% off right now, between $19.95 - $27cdn

I thought I wanted bohemian/southern Californian deck accessories: a sectional that stepped out of the urban outfitters look-book, or even better, a deck that was styled by Morgan Satterfield. I pictured loads of kilims in many sizes, with rugs and brass and hanging plants. Still, I was reluctant to buy ten or more kilim pillows because as soon as I do, someone will sound a gong and declare them dead. Also, kilims are scratchy.

Next, I would like to cover the seats with something that isn't white. White does not mix with kids. Bad idea. Even Sunbrella fabric, with two incredibly filthy little boys, is not good. Sure you can wash it, but it gets dirty again within 30 minutes, and some stains do not lift*. I am on the hunt for a reasonably-priced chartreuse overdyed rug or two, or killer blue shibori cloths. Both would lend that boho vibe. (I know I can mix boho and preppy, because I searched on pinterest and it is a thing)

If you have used indoor pillows outside before, please raise your hand!


ps. Not sponsored
pps. The 16x16 sunbrella pillows that came with the sectional are not comfy, and squirrels ate half of them. 
ppps. One of my river birch behind the deck doesn't get as much light as the other. We had the large maples trimmed (just this morning) to allow more light to filter in.   
pppps. Indigo has everything in these colours, tea towels, dishes, throws...etc...and check out Anthropologie's Lemlem collection, too. Pretty close, but not.

*Knowing all this, I still buy white pillows!

Sunday, May 24

The Getaway Car


Ann Patchett, "This is the Story of a Happy Marriage".

The big library close to our house has four racks of books near the entrance, to tempt you, or encourage you to explore. I give them a glance to see what I'm missing. What's this? Shouldn't I know Ann Patchett? Ombre - and look at the back cover! Who poses for a cover photo swamped by a thousand books?! I think I've found my new favorite person!

The second short story in the book, "The Getaway Car, A Practical Memoir about Writing and Life" is the best thing I've read this year. I had to hurry up and finish so I could push it onto three* people I know who have to read it too (three is a lot - I really don't know that many people). She tells you how she accomplished success as a writer (spoiler: hard work). She talks about the doubt involved in taking an idea out of her head and turning it into words. She explains why she doesn't believe in writers' block. Plus, she clears this up for me: why books from our teen years stay with us, and now, books that are equally impressive, are forgotten a month later. "I think that what influences us in literature comes less from what we love and more from what we happen to pick up in moments when we are especially open." 

Read this if you want to write, if you want to create, or nourish any hobby outside of your day job.  Consider it an assignment, one I know you'll enjoy!


ps. Bel Canto next
pps. I can't find a decent link to the essay. It was published standalone in 2011, but is no longer available on Amazon, you might have to get the book. 
ppps. if you ever day dreamed about writing a novel, this essay is for YOU! YOU! YOU!

The Getaway Car Quotes: https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/17455290-the-getaway-car

*make that four

Saturday, April 25

New print, new watercolour




My first win from MaxSold - a cheap thrill!!

I love the red figure print by J.Joel. I know his work from artinteriors.ca, and this is his best!  I like the implied youth, androgyny and the colour mix.  The silver tee sparkles, and the same sheen is present in the mat.

The water colour landscape was a bonus. I can't make out the artist's name, which is something like Celia d. There's a white rectangular sticker on the back with "$12.00" and "243" written in a shaky hand, perhaps this owner bought it second hand themselves?  The frame backing is old, and has been opened and re-taped with masking tape that lost its stick. I peeked inside and at the bottom corner on the back of the water colour is another price, $2.85. It's like finding an old treasure. I think, for now, I will place it on the living room bookshelves.

Have you used MaxSold before? There was beautiful art listed this week out of Hamilton - but we already had the day planned out and couldn't sneak away from the city.

ps. I should be cooking right now! I want to make a tofu and black bean scramble this morning. ttfn!

Tuesday, April 14

Rummage Sale



Here's what I bought at a church rummage sale last weekend:
  • potato masher
  • two cutting boards
  • ladle
  • Kensuke Wakeshima* print "Sunrise Valley" 
  • (Russian?) countryside painting
What can I say, but: needed it, didn't need them but will use them, needed it, loved it and loved it! The print was $50. I already tossed out the frame and I will re-framed in white. The painting was $5. The biggest score was the potato masher - only twenty five cents, yo!!!

*Kensuke Wakeshima's art was part of the summer 2014 exhibition, titled: “Artists from Postwar Japan Days of Struggle in New York, 1960s–1970”  I came across very little biographical information online. 

ps. to the people in line, the ones who jeered at the CHURCH VOLUNTEERS when they didn't open the doors on time, I am judging you.

Friday, April 10

I would love to tell you about what I am reading!


Are you kidding, this is my favorite question of all time/these days.

Yesterday, I started reading two books, James Baldwin's "Go tell it on the Mountain" and Jonathan Safran Foer's "Eating Animals".

I am working my way through Kurt Vonnegut's works. I wanted to read them all back-to-back-to-back, until I realized he published three billion books. I've read twelve:
Slaughterhouse-Five  
Cat's Cradle 
Breakfast of Champions 
The Sirens of Titan
Mother Night 
Galápagos
Welcome to the Monkey House 
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater
Slapstick or Lonesome No More! 
Timequake
Hocus Pocus
Deadeye Dick

I rated "Slaughthouse Five" (one of my favorite novels of all time), "Welcome to the Monkey House" and "Mother Night" five out of five stars (on Goodreads). The only book I didn't get into was "God Bless You, Mr Rosewater" (It was ok). I appreciate Vonnegut's wit. He sees through society's bull crap. Watch him express his opinions on Youtube - you will be hooked! BUT, I needed to step away for a while when his stories started to tangle together (overlapping characters and themes), and I developed my very own old-man-chip-on-my-shoulder. He is part of the reason I dropped the Internet. (Kids these days, jeesh!)  So, I read Douglas Adam's "Watership Down" to cleanse my palate - who doesn't love little bunny stories (five stars, fantastic book!).

After her Celine Ad came out, I read a few Joan Didion books. I started with "Blue Nights" (not for me), then "A Year of Magical Thinking" (Who is this b*tch?). Then I wanted to see for myself how she earned legend status and checked "Slouching Towards Bethlehem" out of the library. Ah, ok, I gave it four stars. I fell in love with her essay, "Goodbye to all that", and I am not surprised to hear they are making it into a movie. I read the "White Album" too, and then had my fill. 

Instead of reading Didion, I switched to her list of recommended books. I gave Hemingway's "A Farewell to Arms" a second reading (loved it again), and two days ago finished Orwell's "Down and Out in London and Paris". The James Baldwin I am currently reading is on that list.

Otherwise, you will find me reading about food, catching up on Time's List of Top 150 English Language novels of the Twentieth Century (I've read 76/150), reading books I should have read by now (Sherlock Holmes, for example), and reading what friends have recommended: "Paradise Elsewhere" by Kathy Page was haunting, and I put "Big Little Lies" by Liane Moriarty on hold at the library, I bought a used copy of "Rebecca's Tale" I am excited to read.

You can find me on Goodreads. I don't write up reviews of the books I've read, I only rate them.

Thanks for asking "Betty" (is that you, mom?!)

Monday, April 6

Moose




Moose blanket, $19.97 from Walmart.ca  I love it! The moose silhouette is very Charles Patcher, no? 

We are waiting for the contractor to let us know when they can start the cottage reno. The guys plan to stay for a week and do everything at once. They say maybe this spring, but I think the fall is more likely. We are ready when they are!

In the meantime, I loaded up the place with new things and vintage things and old things from home. I want it stuffed with blankets, art, beach towels, baskets, books and rugs. Originally, I dug a minimalist decor, since there would be less to take care of and clean. A year later, things are settling in boho and twee.

Sunday, March 29

His and hers




In the master bedroom, his & hers dressers, instead of one long dresser.

When we transferred the furniture into the new room, we placed our existing dresser on this wall. It looked too small. I was nervous to try twin tall dressers because I couldn't find examples online. Well, here you go, Pinterest*. It works! Maybe I will pin this to kick things off.



*now worth $11billion? What!?

ps. I IG'd the dressers ages and ages ago, wanted to get it up on the blog
pps. My big idea over the bed is done! but I just can't share it online. I don't have a thick enough skin. I might change my mind.

Wednesday, March 25

New Prints



I bought two new prints from "...Of Things Past" consignment store. I bought the tiny tree first, and went back for the fish. I had to have the fish.

"Pasaje" (?), numbered 45/50, by Elizabeth Schippert (the tiny tree).
What I love? The itty bitty tree (4cm high) and the pen strokes. The minty colour is very Blogger 2014 (or was that 2013*?). I hung it high on the closet door in the office, leaving space for more.

"Shipwreck Dreaming/Approach", numbered 12/20, by Wendy Cain (the fish).
Wendy Cain is a teacher of printmaking and papermaking at OCAD university. You can find her work for sale at Open Studio in Toronto. I love the layered black on grey; the texture of the grey net; the thick creamy paper; the fine, evenly spaced lines of the comb shape at the bottom; the fish going up. I like the wacky creativity. I hung it in the hallway for now.


*I haven't been online over the last few months, I wanted to put the time into reading books and drawing. Everything is well!  I am feeling out of touch with the trends (are there still trends? If you don't know about them, do they still matter?)

Saturday, December 20

Recycling fun


A few months ago, I saw something like this online*.

We tried hotwheels, squinkies, those disney cars drifter things and trash wheels. Marbles or squinkie balls work the best (of course).


*I like to google image search for cardboard box race track to keep up with the latest!