Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Behind the scenes...I lead an very un-glamourous life!

Life here in The Humble Bungalow seems to revolve around washing up...
are your hands always in hot water?

"The Glove" is back!
It has been MIA on the blog for quite sometime but that doesn't mean that it was not playing a high profile role in the day to day home keeping tasks helping The Hostess with her domestics.

I spend a lot of time at the sink and in the laundry room tending to the laundry.
I admit that I am a bit obsessed about the laundry and have developed respect for the stalwart LG workhorses that work overtime in the basement.

It pays to have the tools on hand.

A great product that I recommend highly...

Ecologically and environmentally friendly.

Not everyone is a fan of "the glove!"
Chester punctured holes in the thumb...
well I guess that's just the high cost of doing business.

These domestic "helpers" are revered here...

Up the creek without a paddle?
Not this Hostess.
I can sit and gaze out the window...
but only AFTER I do the ironing.

Pepper keeps me company...

as does Chester!

I like to hang a lot of my clothes to air dry.
I think it keeps them looking new longer...no pilling.

The LG washing machine has a fine woolen setting which is wonderful for my cashmere sweaters.

Having a designated work space is essential to my domestic regime.
Some of the on going tasks required are dirty jobs...
and no one really notices them but me.
Yet they are important for me as I prefer keeping on top of things.

Look who is on the job as we speak!

Someone is purr-fectly content....

Well no more dilly-dallying I must get back to the tasks at hand...

Hope you are having a fabulous week.
Thank you for stopping by my blog...I really enjoy your comments so don't be shy to share your thoughts.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

I'll have cream with that please...

Taking Tea is a daily ritual and I boil the kettle many times over the course of the day.
Packets and tins of Decaf Typhoo, Twinnings Earl Grey, Silk Road assorted blends, Murchies Golden Jubilee and Harrods Stronger Tea and English Breakfast fill my tea cabinet.

Coffee on the other hand is an occasional treat and I prefer a decaf Americano in which I must use cream.
Cream is rich and higher on the WW point scale so it is with moderation that I indulge...
cream is a rich shade and one that I am drawn to like a moth to a flame.
Perhaps that is why I adore the lustrous nacre of pearls.

I collect vintage cream ware.
McCoy, Beswick, Weller and a few other makers.

I have whittled down my cream ware collection and kept only my favourite pieces.

Pottery from Thetis Island
made by a woman named Nice.
I was immediately drawn to the aquatic nature of her work.

Arts and Crafts Weller pottery.
I bought this at an auction...
I was so excited that I raised my hand and bid against myself which was extremely embarrassing.

This Weller piece was acquired by absentee bid...
I had learned my lesson the hard way!

I love this cheerful pin which is fun to wear in the summertime.
The pin is unsigned and I have no idea who might have made it but that does not diminish my appreciation for it's beauty and design.
While it might look good against this carpet on the cat platform it looks much better on a jacket.

I opted to wear it on my Gap denim jacket white tee and jeans and paired it with some gold sandals by Franco Sarto.

These orchid blooms are technically white
 they take on a creamy disposition when placed beside the dark wood panelling and offer a source of cheer.

Orchids are such a great value and these easy to grow phalaenopsis or window sill orchids are your best bet if you are a novice orchid keeper.

They are often on sale and less expensive than a bouquet of flowers and they bloom for months on end and re bloom if you water them once a week and keep them on a bright window out of direct sunlight.
They like humidity so they are happy above a kitchen sink or in a bathroom or in our case near a single paned window on the south side of the house where draughts are common.

As I am saving in earnest for my trip to Paris I will be thinking of ways to add luxury without breaking the bank.
Having a few orchids in the bungalow feels like a wee bit of luxury and on a shoestring budget.
Shoestring being a relative term and it does depend on your circumstances...
what might be a shoestring for me would be different for others and visa versa.

Give yourself permission to indulge in a few luxurious moments of reflection...
think about all that you have to be grateful for in your life
 perhaps you'll be taking tea in a beautiful china patterned tea cup
 or sipping a coffee with cream 
you might be at a cafe watching the world go by...
you might be fortunate enough to be seated at a sidewalk cafe in Paris!

"Luxury is anything you don't need, right? I mean, you need food, water, clothing, shelter... but good wine, good food, beautiful interiors, nice clothes; those aren't necessities, they are luxuries - it's all luxury."

~ Marc Jacobs ~

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Ooh La La Paris with Jamie Cat Callan...fingers crossed!

I'm dreaming of Paris...
I've wanted to go to Paris for a long time.
I think it all started when I was a preteen and wore Evening in Paris cologne...those beautiful shaped cobalt blue perfume sets were regular gifts at Christmas and birthdays. Dabbing cologne on my pulse points made me feel very feminine and grown up.
I adore Audrey Hepburn and have watched all of her films many times.
I am particularly fond of her role in Sabrina...
do you remember when Sabrina comes back from Paris after attending cooking school with her new chic coiffure and her haute couture ensemble?
She exudes French Chic Style.

I am surprised that it has taken me so long to actually get motivated to go to Paris as I have wanted to go there for as long as I can remember...

Our two children arrived when I was in my early 20's so I could not just pack up and leave them...
then I was busy with my career.
It is only now that I am retired that I feel ready to make the trip.
It could be my 60th birthday present!

The French classes are starting up again next month after the summer break and I have registered and paid my dues.
I hope to join in the Cafe Pause locally one afternoon a week to converse entirely in French with others interested in practising the art of conversation...how better to prepare for interactions in Paris than to chat over a coffee?

My Paris plans have changed as my travel mate is having second thoughts so I have my name on Jamie Cat Callan's Ooh La La Paris Tour waiting list for next May. 
You may know Jamie through her books...
if you haven't read her books you are in for a treat.
I love her writing style and her Parisian flair.
Her books are the perfect summer read especially of you are dreaming of Paris and French Chic Style.

Jamie graciously entertained 12 lucky women this past May while they saw the highlights of the city and were privileged enough to get "behind the scenes" in several exclusive shops.
By all accounts they had a delightful time...
I now have my hopes pinned on joining Jamie as she leads this tour next year.
I think I'll be re-reading Jamie's books to get me prepped for the tour!

I am saving in earnest for my trip to Paris.
A while back I mentioned that I was trying to figure out how to sell some of my modernist jewelry and I have recently rented a shelf in the local antique mall Vanity Fair on Fort Street.
So far I have successfully sold a beautiful Robert Larin bracelet.

I plan to keep the theme of my shelf in the modernist style...
I have some teak Dansk items, and lots of Swedish and Finnish art glass.
There are bangles and darling daughter is going to put some jewelry in as well.
I hope that this venture will prove to be a viable way to add to my savings...

Summertime is a great time to pick up a good book...
books do not have a season but I find more time to read when we are aboard our boat.
It is a much smaller space than the Humble Bungalow and there is no garden to take care of...
so when I have the boat ship shape it leaves me time to read.

In the spirit of thrift (and saving for Paris!) these books were borrowed from our public library.

I watched a TV series that sounds a lot like this book

I'll be visiting the Riviera (vicariously) when I delve into the pages of this one!

I'll continue to work hard to save for my Paris dream trip.
Are you dreaming and saving for something special?

I will be posting sporadically over the next week as I have a blog break planned so if you don't hear from me do not fret I will be back soon.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Peeking Inside the Humble Bungalow...Summer 2014.

I was inspired this Monday by Dani BP Mop Philosopher's post...
Dani purchased a chevet after a 2 year search and it is the perfect piece for her bathroom.

We have been collecting arts and crafts quarter sawn oak furniture for the past 32 years and it took quite some time to find. We had to consider the size and scale of each piece as our Humble Bungalow is small and we were mindful  of our limited budget as we were undertaking restoration projects from the very beginning of our ownership.

We still need to do our master bedroom and there are new front stairs and an exterior paint job on the do list...
it is a labour of love being stewards of a heritage designated home.

With the glorious and bright summer sunshine and riotous blooms in the garden it has been easy to forget that we live in a dark and cozy heritage home.

You can plainly see our front stairs are in dire need of repair and the paint on the exterior is peeling.
Having said that, heritage homes are always in need of maintenance.
Thank goodness ours is not as vast as Chatsworth or Highclere Castle!

Our Humble Bungalow is filled with dark arts and crafts oak furnishings...
many have been reupholstered at a local shop which is considerably more expensive than buying new reproduction pieces.
Wendy has blogged about this recently too...

We like to add a few bits and bobs to perk up the space.
You can see that we have kept our Christmas fairy lights strung up along the beams near the ceiling...
nothing like plugging them in when we entertain for a twinkle effect and more lighting!

Rugs underfoot are a must as our 1912 bungalow can be frightfully cold and draughty in winter.

Runner rugs and area rugs add a punch of colour...
we purchased these new at Chintz and Co.

Original art hung on Bradbury and Bradbury hand made period wallpaper.

We have art in our bathroom too..

Our dear friend Cheryl Fortier gave us this one that she painted when she was in France.

Arts and crafts book shelf re purposed for towels.

Our bathroom renovation was done by a contractor friend and designed by Mr. HB
It has in floor heating and I love the results...

The standing lamps in the living room were purchased new through Sager's Furniture and they are from California. They are oak and of a scale that suits the rest of the furniture.

The lights in the rest of our bungalow were made at Waterglass Studio in town.

Mr. HB designed the kitchen and many people think it is the original one which we take as quite the compliment!
(please overlook the tea towel left casually on top of the granite countertop...)

I hope you've enjoyed the tour today...

It's such fun when other bloggers fuel and inspire a response...
 to one that they have posted.

Be Well and Be Kind.

Monday, August 18, 2014

I've got the Blues...

I love a fresh pedicure and all the pampering that one receives from a fabuluos spa....
I love Bliss in the Cadboro Bay Village.

"The Skies the Limit"
 is the newest shade of polish that I opted for when I had my pedicure.
It is a lovely shade of turquoise blue as I have been in a blue mood.
Not blue as in sad blue but blissed out on blue...

I'm over the moon about blues, which is refreshing and new.

I was crazy for orange awhile back but blue is the new kid on the block!

The Climbing Royal Sunset is in it's second flush of flowering.

Such a stalwart and hardy rose it's like the "energizer bunny" of roses!

But I digress...
I was meant to be focusing on blues...

The Rosie Project is my favourite book so far this summer.
It is a light read and totally entertaining...
run out and get your hands on a copy and let me know if you agree that it is a winner.

Darling daughter and I had lunch at a local French bakery...
they sell the most wonderful baguettes in town and serve up tasty sandwiches and pizza.
In case you were wondering Fol Epi translates as "wild wheat stalk."

Pizza Margherita

I opted for the coffee tonic as it was a very hot day and darling daughter had the caffe shakerato.

The atmosphere at Fol Epi is casual, the food delicious, and the views over the harbour are quite lovely.
It's a super popular spot for a quick bite.
The outdoor seating was full...
 so we sat inside which was a good idea because we needed shelter from the scorching sun.
Sated and rested we then toddled off to the thrift shops...

I picked up this pretty paperweight in the Sally Ann for a toonie.

I pulled out this Hermes scarf to wear with my Gap denim jacket as the weather was cloudy. 
I love the pop of red.

How wonderful this kite looks flying against the blue sky.

On a sad note these beautiful hydrangeas are almost done...

Do you remember the Blue Man ?
It was a collaboration with a student from school.

Play doh was a wonderful learning tool that I used with an autistic student.
We talked about the science of the human body while the rest of the class were studying at a much higher level.
Adapted programs are key to our special needs children in the school system.

In our province the teachers are negotiating a new contract with the province who are under funding our educational system. Teachers are on the front line and they justifiably want to have more control over class size and composition...education is very near and dear to my heart.

I hope that the mediator rules in favour of the teachers.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” 

~ Nelson Mandela ~