29 September 2014

Simple Autumn Centrepiece

In my last post, I mentioned that I bought what I thought might be a mini dough bowl that I was planning to use for my Autumn decor.  I gathered some leaves from the yard, placed three baby boos in it, scattered some faux acorns and voila!  A simple Autumn centrepiece for my dining room table!

It's so perfect that I can see this little dough bowl being used every season.  I usually find the best things when I'm not looking for them.

I have to say that I'm smitten!  It isn't often that something catches my eye and I just know it's meant to come home with me.  The vendor I bought it from was downsizing and I assured her that it would have a good home.  :)

What have you found that you just knew was meant for you?

22 September 2014

Happy Autumn!

My favourite time of year officially arrives tonight but I've already started added Autumn touches to my home.  I'm trying to keep things soft and natural.  I did add a few touches of orange but somehow they seemed overdone so I removed them.  They might return as the season progresses - especially if I manage to find some bittersweet!

I covered old books with Kraft paper to give them a uniform look.  I bought several baby boo pumpkins from the grocery store and scattered them about.  An ironstone soap dish is filled with faux acorns (the squirrels beat me to the real ones!) and I added dried hydrangeas from my garden to a wooden box.

Later in the week I'll share my latest find.  It looks like a small version of a baguette dough bowl - perfect for baby boos and maybe a candle or two!

Autumn - the year's last, loveliest smile.
- William Cullen Bryant

4 September 2014

Home work

Happy September! Just when I was about to welcome the cooler temperatures and get ready for an early Fall, Summer decided to appear! It's been hot and humid here this week, making me not feel at all like decorating for Autumn.   I know it will be short lived and by next week, we'll be back to normal (cooler) temperatures. The leaves are already changing and falling!  This is the earliest I ever remember that happening.

September always feels like the month of new beginnings.  I'm more inspired to make changes in September than I am in January!  On my list of things to do is to freshen up my home.  I love my home but ... it's been awhile since I've shown it some love.  

It's easy to get sidetracked by all the lovely rooms I see on blogs and Pinterest.  And I'll admit that there are days when I feel totally frustrated because I'll never have the budget or the energy to accomplish the wonderful ideas that I pin.  What I can do is make my home more functional.   I can make it feel, well, like home.  My home.  I might not be able to build those bookshelves I want but I can paint and I can sew.  I can also rearrange the furniture and accessories seasonally to keep things fresh.

I created and printed a collage of photos I've pinned on my Pinterest boards that best represent how I want my home to look.  I like the look of wood, natural or painted a dark colour.  I like neutral colours on my walls and furniture so I can add pops of colour seasonally.  I like lots of light coming in through the windows.  I like things clean and uncluttered.   I also came up with three words to indicate how I want my home to feel - cosy, simple, classic.  These little reminders will help keep me on track  when I'm choosing new paint colours or purchasing something to add to my decor.  I've started a mood board on the bulletin board by my computer and I'll be adding to it and editing it as I begin to make changes in my home.  I haven't done this since design school and I've got to admit, it's kind of fun!

Home is where we feel at ease, where we belong, where we can create surroundings that reflect our tastes and pleasures. - Terence Conran

27 August 2014

Late Summer garden

Oh my goodness!  Where has August gone?  We're getting my father settled back into his home this week so I should be back to blogging regularly again starting next week.  I've always felt September was the month of fresh beginnings and as much as I love Summer, a part of me is anxious to start decorating for Fall.

I thought I'd show you a few photos of my late Summer garden.  Of course, it would probably have been better to photograph it when everything was blooming but I didn't.  Maybe next year.

This is the front of our home.  I love my little birdbath and it is used constantly.  I have to fill it daily (sometimes twice a day!).  The grape hyacinths are beginning to come up here and there around the base of the birdbath.

The Autumn Joy sedum are just beginning to turn pink.  These add really lovely colour to the garden in late Summer and Fall and are one of those plants that thrive no matter what. 

The purple coneflowers are new this year and are planted on the street side of the fence.  We're still working on this part of the garden and I'm hoping that by next year, it will look much more finished (and all those stones will be gone!).

We added the flagstone path last year leading from our porch to our front gate.  I love our path.  I'm still working on the porch trying to make it a little more inviting and have a few ideas that I'll be trying out in the next couple of weeks.  Of course, the big green plastic watering can doesn't do much!  Note to self - remove ugly plastic things before taking photos.

Outside of our kitchen is our courtyard.  It's tiny and quaint but it's my favourite spot for sitting and enjoying a cup of coffee or a cold drink.

Looking back towards the kitchen window - a hydrangea, fern, clematis and lace cap hydrangea.

Caught in the act!  This little rabbit is responsible for all the damage in my garden!  I caught it nibbling on my sweet peas - again.

So that's a little peek into my garden!  We've made a lot of changes over the past two years and it's finally starting to come together the way I envisioned.  Of course, a garden is never finished but I feel we're at least making progress.

I hope you enjoy this last bit of Summer ... see you next week!

30 July 2014

Summer blues

Blue is my all time favourite colour and I love blue hydrangeas!  Paired with blue and white transfer ware, they make the perfect Summer display.

In the past, my cut hydrangeas always wilted which made me hesitant to cut them to bring inside.  I'd pinned a tip about preventing cut hydrangeas from wilting by dipping the stems in boiling water for 30 seconds before arranging them so I decided to try it.  Guess what?  It worked!  My hydrangeas stayed fresh and wilt free for over a week.

We've been dealing with leaks this week.  I discovered a leak in the basement from a broken pipe that needed to be repaired immediately.  Thankfully, I have a very talented brother who fixed it and saved us a fortune by not having to hire a plumber!  While he was here, he replaced my kitchen faucet.  I've learned that plumbing repairs never go as planned.  We're dealing with builder's grade materials that are aging and wearing out so we also ended up replacing both drains in the sink because one was rusted through and broke as soon as it was touched.  A few trips to Home Depot and about two days of work had everything running smoothly again and I have a lovely new kitchen faucet.  In the middle of this, our fridge was leaking from a clogged drain that is also now thankfully fixed.  And a shower faucet that hasn't worked in almost two years has finally been replaced.  Our home is nice and dry again and everything is working as it should.  A good feeling!