Friday, April 30, 2010

I'm so excited!

I have finally upgraded my camera to a digital, serious camera. My hubby and daughter have each a small digital camera that I have been using, but they just didn't seem to capture a great shot, like my old film Canon EOS. So I finally caved last night and bought a Canon EOS Rebel XSi. Without even trying, I captured these lovely Spring flowers from my garden:
It was hard slogging, but I find cleaned out the pond. When it gets a bit warmer, I can add the aquatic plants, but you can see my lily over-wintered nicely.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Artist's Studios

My sister Carol (artist) is building a studio addition to her home. What better inspiration for a post? So, here you go Carol...

 Milkfad via s909Photobucket

Jane Schouten of All The Luck In The World via Jubella
 The Urban Hippie via Flickr

Palm Tree Princess via Flickr

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Waystrode Manor

My father has searched our family tree and managed to go back a number of years. A lovely past-time that has become a popular one as the web has allowed us to log and share our ancestry. New shows like Ancestors and African American Lives (PBS) have made it even more popular to search your family name. Web sites like and .ca

King John had given Waystrode Manor (below) to a knight (not related) and it eventually passed to John Style (a descendant) and remained in the family for 300 years. It was up for sale a few years ago and these photos are via the estate agent's brochure: Cluttons (where you can browse some more dreamlike properties).

The manor sits on 8 acres (perfect size) and is about 30 miles from Central London, just outside the village of Cowden.  Here's the description given in the brochure (sorry the pics were a bit blurry):

Doesn't it look like some sort of Gingerbread House? I can't imagine the sense of history one would get living here! Someone has gone to a lot of trouble to upkeep it.

I believe these next few shots are of the "flat" or Guest House.

How much fun would it be to decorate the caravan!

You can by your own gypsy caravan here at Les Verdines where the following photos come from:

This last one is where I can really see me using one. How romantic is a midnight stroll to your little guest caravan for the night! We have been waffling over building a bunkie at the cottage. Wouldn't this make a nice substitute!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Entries and Hallways

I have to say, I am enjoying the Restoration Hardware e-newsletter. I almost posted on their wonderful garden pots and urns last week (but got too busy). But today, they sent this wonderful picture (below) of their new Shutter Entry Lockers. I love the louvered drawers! So that inspired me to look for more fetching entryway solutions.

This one has to be my favourite. It reminds me of England. The thing to remember here, is to let as much sunlight into a small, narrow hallway. The black door off sets the clean, white hall, leaving it open to show off colourful art, the beautiful stained glass window, runner, stool and curtain for closet. Simple, yet so effective.

I always have a try to hold my keys. Mine go onto a silver antique plate that was a gift from my friend, Nancy. I am still trying to "train" my husband to use it as he is always asking "Have you seen my keys?"
here's an interesting one. It is a buffalo horn, molded into a tray. $36 US,

This one is a little bright for my taste, but again, the stain glass window fetches my eye. Also, at first, I thought I was looking at mirrored doors. Obviously, it is a glassed in entry (very smart to cut the breeze in a small open room). Having said that, a mirrored entry closet would work wonders to expand the space.

Somehow, I have always loved checked black and white floors at an entrance. This one is beautiful. Again, the transom windowed black door, with great hardware sets the stage. Elegant, yet not stuffy. Note how the candle sconce and sticks echoes the gold of the ceiling fixture. This is originally a paint shot for Martin Senour Paints and should also be noted - a beautiful job.

How dark this hallway would be without the windows around the doors.  Here's what you can do with a wide long hallway entrance - as much as possible! Just don't overdue it. The runner and the long bench gives it its cohesiveness. 

Here's how you can incorporate a new trendy colour without going hog-wild. Turquoise become a fresh, soothing welcome. The (Pottery Barn?) bench and hooks provide adequate storage. What I like about this treatment, is the art display on top. You've got a high ceiling, so makes the most of it.

This could be my favourite too. Why leave it to one?? I obviously love windowed, white entrances. Here, the rich dark wood makes the white pop. Note here, the use of colour is limited. Very calm, classic.

One of my favourite lighting stores in Toronto is Royal Lighting, not to mention Union Lighting and Sescolite. But Royal is where you will find this darling:
Sorry - a little blurry, but worth posting. I love the use of colour here: the pillow and who would think to have two similar lamps in different colours and different coloured shades? The effect is perfect! This warm, friendly country entrance give you a lot to look at.

Here's that stain glass again. I must be fond of it too. The arched doors work great here. Very English. I wish we could see the flooring. I can imagine either sisal on dark hardwood or black and white check.