Monday, July 30, 2012

Hunter boots and Bensimons the "French Girl's Converse"

I had a wonderful time at the park with my DIL and grand daughter Isla!
We played on the swings and the slides for about an hour before going to the Village for a bite of lunch.
Afterwards we stopped in at Rainbird to peruse their rainy weather gear.
Fortunately we have been enjoying the sunny skies and warm days but we do know and fully expect  that rain will be in the forecast sometime soon...

Don't you think that red is about as cheerful a colour that one can wear?
 Aren't these just the bee's knee's?
These wee Hunters are modeled by our darling Miss Isla.
She will need some thick socks to keep her sweet toes warm in the winter but her feet will be dry!

"Grammy" got herself some colourful shoes.

I've heard a lot about this brand of shoe but never tried them on before...
as Joanna Goddard from A Cup of Jo says 
they are a French girl's Converse.

Introducing the Bensimon sneakers
Tennis Lacet Femme Basique

I'm going to wear these with my white capri's
a white tank and my Hermes scarf
the very first one that Mr. HB purchased for me in San Francisco.
I like to think of it as the best souvenir this girl could ever receive while on holiday.

Colour has been creeping into my comfort zone
I still love black and white clothing
I've been embracing bright pops of colour 
they bring with them an energy that is uplifting and fresh.

I particularly appreciate this when I have had a night with broken sleep...
choosing uplifting shades is a kick start to my morning.

I need a good night's sleep
8 hours is my preference
I am currently sleep deprived 
Chester our kitten is an early riser!

His wee tummy must be grumbling and he wants his food.
He jumps up on the bed and gently nuzzles me and starts his"motor boat purring" which is impossible to ignore.
So it's food for him and coffee for me
he can then curl up and go back to sleep 
but not me...
I am up for the day.

Chester is a lovely kitten
so affectionate and a great companion for Pepper.

I have been wearing the arty bangle with the usual suspects...
at first I thought it was too much and now I feel they are very friendly...
what do you think?

Love it or Hate it?
Speak up and be heard!
(this post is causing quite a stir!)

P.S. Here is Angelica Huston and her bangles...
from The French Style 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Roses on canvas...

I dabble in acrylics and enjoy the freedom of expression at the easel.
By no means do I consider myself an artist, I feel it's rather like making mud pies.
The mud pies that I made when I was a young girl imagining that I was really cooking.
Here now I feel like I am "an artist in training."
Art is so subjective and personal
really it's all over the map when it comes to form, style and expression.

I let the brush flow and keep it loose trying not to control or analyze it too much.
As you can see the forms are representations of roses...
Mr. HB says that roses are my muse.

I've been on a bit of a painting jag.
Staying up late at night painting at the easel in The Humble Bungalow kitchen.
The light is so much better in the kitchen than in my hobby room downstairs
 and with aging eyes I can see the details better.

I like these shades as they work in The Humble Bungalow interior with the dark wood walls and beams.

inspired by Jude the Obscure roses

I rarely use blues but a friend asked me to try some and see if they would work for her.

I have sold a few paintings
and had one commission to do a poppy painting for a friend.

if you squint your eyes you might "see" the poppies

I gave this to a lovely woman Lynn who runs a clothing consignment shop in the plaza
I think it's still hanging in her store.

This one is perched on the plate rail in The Humble Bungalow kitchen.

This one is in The Humble Bungalow living room.

I have a dozen or so more kicking around
gathering dust 
waiting to be overpainted if they fail to amuse.

this canvas has been over painted many times and has a build up of old acrylics 
which give it texture
I'm happy with the way this one turned out.
The petals feel frilly and frothy just the way I like my roses to be in a bouquet.

~ ~ ~

 A friend of mine has asked for one to donate to their annual island fundraiser
I'm very happy to oblige.
I'll be meeting her for lunch next week
and she has chosen a painting for her home and one for the event.

Jude The Obscure

“There is nothing more difficult for a truly creative painter than to paint a rose, 
because before he can do so he has first to forget all the roses that were ever painted.”
~ ~ ~
 Henri Matisse 

Thank you for stopping by
I hope that you will come by again...
I do appreciate your comments so please feel free to share your thoughts.
~ ~ ~

Friday, July 27, 2012

Slow Mo days....

Summer time means time to read, shop, relax, socialize, dabble in acrylics, and garden.
I have had my nose firmly planted in The American Heiress and am completely wrapped up in the plot.
Life is pretty much in the slow lane here right now and there's not a lot happening.

I have been getting up and sipping a mug of good coffee while reading my favourite blogs.

I've noticed how the light changes the colours emanating from the garden as the sun moves slowly overhead.
Time to relax and restore.
Time to ponder all that gifts that daily life can bring.
Time for gratitude.
Simple life,
with a pace that brings with it peace and freedom to choose what to do each day.

Time to stop and smell the flowers.

It's funny really when I think about it, 
I don't really need to go away to have a great holiday.
I am ever so happy in our wee Humble Bungalow Home and Garden.
With ample time to tend to the domestics without the crazy schedule of working
working seems to complicate my life...
stress just ebbs away when summer holidays arrive.

As I age I feel more like listening to my inner voice 
which seems happiest here at home
going about my daily round slowly
methodically with measured breaks
time just to sit and be still
and ponder....

Gosh this post rather got away from me 
it's not quite what i had intended but them sometimes that happens...

I'll close for now
find some calm place to sit and reflect on all that is good today.
Be Well.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Flowers for the wedding and my OOTD.

A group of friends got together to arrange flowers for the wedding of my best friend's niece.
It was a well organized assembly line for the table arrangements and corsages.
M who has done quite a few weddings showed her crew which flowers to use and how to build the bouquets.
Once created, the posies were tied and popped into vintage sealer jars of water.
I stood a little ways away getting the promised interior flowers done and was happy listening to the friendly banter and talk of weddings and grand children with a great group of friends.

I busied myself with the two vintage wicker urns and flowers for inside the house.

we worked under the Marquis tent as it was sprinkling rain

one of the corsages

Front hallway with Jude the Obscure in a Weller vase

guest room

Dining room table 
limelight hydrangeas and Lady's Mantle

guest room

new upper bathroom
(see previous post for the sneak peek)

inside the heritage designated tea house
looking out to the tent space
and lawns beyond

Weddings are such an exciting event especially when they involve people that we adore and dearly love
we're "almost family" 
and consider ourselves fortunate to be included in this celebration of love.

The sun shone for the wedding and we had a fabulous time.

It was such a memorable day
and the happy couple are spending their honeymoon in Hawaii.
I wish them many years of health and happiness.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My BFF's renovation ~ a sneak peek.

One day I plan to do a very large post on my BFF's heritage home and garden...
she has given me permission and believe me when you see her home you will love it.

Today I have decided to show you a sneak peek of the upstairs bathroom which is located off their vast bedroom and sitting area that overlooks Haro Strait.
I'll show you that when they have it decorated and finished.

picture taken by my BFF
the light fixtures, mirrors, cabinets and pictures are still to come
(that's why it's a sneak peek)

Look at all the marble
and the floors are heated!

I can just imagine soaking in the tub
windows wide
watching the boats go by...

I brought over the small float as a bathroom gift.
The shades of green look like they were meant to be together.

Restoration Hardware towels
on an arts and crafts shelf
garden roses
of course!

I love the vintage vase she chose to use
it reminds me of sea glass.

Two sinks are on opposite walls
(if the sink looks familiar we have the same one!)

The glass doors will be up soon...

and we mustn't forget the WC

They have been working hard and co-ordinating the trades exceptionally well.

I hope that you enjoyed the sneak peek.
Thank you to my BFF for allowing me to show off her great space before it was complete.

On the reno front downstairs in The Humble Bungalow
we have the tile lady on the scene this week working in our bathroom.
The woodwork is finished and Mr. HB needs to paint prime and paint it...
I hope to show you some progress before you've completely forgotten that we are having a reno!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Date night our 38th anniversary and thoughts on marriage...

Our 38th anniversary was Friday July the 20th.
We kept it simple and went out for an early dinner as we had both had very busy days...
(I was arranging flowers for the wedding and Mr/ HB was working on the renovation downstairs)
we sipped a cocktail and dined on some some delicious food in one of our favourite local eateries.

Zambri's used to be a tiny hole in the wall in an out of the way spot with almost a cult following of dedicated diners.
Local foodies and chefs were known to frequent the place on their days off and some strayed in after hours to see what was left after the crowds had departed.
It has moved and is now located in the upscale architectural gem, The Atrium building.
The food tastes as good as it did when we sat on mismatched chairs and distressed wooden tables that invariably needed to be leveled with coasters to keep them from wobbling!
Their new decor is state of the art,
crisp linen table cloths,
twinkling lights above a bar
an open concept inside the restaurant and then Atrium space where we sat, which feels airy and bright.

a Tanqueray martini
~ ~ ~
 bread and olives
( I ate one wee slice of bread ~ the olives were a sweet bite of salty heaven)

we shared a Caesar salad

pasta for our main course
mine was penne with gorgonzola and green peas
I've had this many times and I cannot tell you how much I love it.

Mr. HB had pasta with Dungeness Crab Ragu
we took ourselves home 
for a cozy evening watching our new fave show Newsroom by the brilliant Aaron Sorkin.

38 years is a long time plus we knew each other for several years before getting married

We have no secret as to why we have managed to stay married so long
but we ALWAYS celebrate our anniversary
cards always 
gifts optional.

Mr. HB has been very generous over the years 
I have some special pieces of jewelry that he has given me to mark the occasion of our 10th, 25th, and 30th dates.

In earlier times when the children were young and money was tight we'd have our parents take the kids overnight so that we could go out and enjoy a bite of food together. 
Dinner out once or twice a year back then was a real treat.

Things change, 
kids grow up and move out 
and we are fortunate enough that we still enjoy each other's company.
Every evening when Mr. HB comes home from work 
we take the time to sit and chat and catch up on each other's days doings.

I think communication is huge in a marriage.
Sharing dreams and having goals
planning ahead
working side by side
in the house and in the garden 
never taking the other for granted
compliments go a long way ~ they must be genuine and heartfelt
apologizing when you know you are wrong
sharing laughter
are all things that we have worked on to keep our marriage strong
I do think there is luck involved
we were fortunate enough to meet in our teens
 still surrounded by friends that we grew up with 
who are also long time married folks
probably helps a lot...

I highly recommend this restaurant
it has won many awards
and we have never been disappointed by the service or the food.

Do you have a special place that you like to go?

If a young bride were to ask you for tips on the longevity of marriage what would you say?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Statement pieces

On occasion, when I am going out to something rather arty I like to wear unusual jewelry.
Jewelry that makes a statement.
If it could talk it might say I am not "pedestrian."
I really am...
but by choosing jewelry that may convey a little daring and a shout out
 "look at me" I feel like I have risen to the occasion.

Here are a few of my fun pieces to illustrate my point...

all pieces are vintage and found locally

The necklace is by Guy Vidal a Canadian designer
it has two faces
very modernist in pewter.

The strange ET characters are from Denmark by Tennesmed.

The antique brooch with the natural pearl is unmarked
a gift from my lovely daughter.

All these pieces have been worn to events where they have garnered interest from complete strangers.
I think of them as conversation starters.

They come in handy when I am standing in the lobby waiting for the second act to start and Mr. HB has gone in search of refreshments...
smiles, remarks and queries break the ice and offer an easy opening for a casual chit chat.

I notice the other women who are wearing large colourful ethnic beads and baubles too.
There are usually stories behind these gems
souvenirs from trips abroad
or found in
antique shops and galleries from around the world
or perhaps thrifted from a local shop.

I am drawn to 
lapis lazuli
cherry red garnets
nuggets of jade
twisted strands of mixed metals and stones
the meshing of unlikely partners 
that go together to create something of lasting beauty.

I am always on the lookout for a knock out piece to add to my small collection.

sterling designed bangle
presenting many personalities

Is there something in your jewelry drawer that makes a statement?
How do you feel when you wear it?
Do you feel more creative just putting it on?

What statements do your accessories make?