Thursday, January 27, 2011

A few of my favourite things

There are little treasures around our home that add a charm creating a distinct style all our own. I love playing with items, moving them around periodically to create a new look with current pieces. If you have timeless classics they will always work and look great when teamed with a few trendy items.

We picked up this silver coffee carafe at the antique market this fall; it compliments the European style coffee cups (encased in leather sleeves that come off for washing). I use the cups every day and love having my morning coffee in them. The cups were a gift from a friend and former owner of Brassaii Bistro.

Antique carafe and my favourite coffee cups

One of the little 'friends' who has followed me from house to house, and made an appearance in every room of the house is this little bud vase. I don't recall where I bought this little guy who boldly holds up a glass bud vase {look at his little smile}. There were two vases but my Honey dropped one when he was cleaning a couple of years ago (and that is why I prefer to clean). I switch the flower or greenery depending on the season; buddy Angel looks charming no matter what flower he is sporting.

'I bring you flowers every day'

Girls need a space of their own

We had a generous amount of built-in shelves in our last two homes. Loads of space for me to spread out my books, pictures, magazines (sooo many), inspiration board and computer. Now we needed to inject some sensible storage into to our new apartment and have the charm of built-in appearance with the flexibility to move the shelves when we move. Well, there's only one word.......... IKEA. For the verasility of being able to move the units, the finished look and of course a great price; the Liatorp Ikea bookcases and desk did the trick.

This is our spare room (ha, there is no spare room in a small space. You use it all). The shelves and desk area are all Ikea. This gives me space for my books, magazines - hidden behind the lower cabinet doors, a desk area for my laptop/iPad/Printers/ and still a large enough surface on the desk area to create a dressing table area. Add a little sofa to the room, hang a chandelier and a white shag rug and magically it becomes a full functioning space.

Desk/Storage by IKEA :: Chair from Home Outfitters
Gilded light makeup mirror was a gift from my Uncle when I was 8 years old.
My Sister and I both were treated to these great mirrors.
I use mine everyday to apply my makeup.
Garden Angel with rose petals in the top leaf bowl adds to the Glamour

Everyone needs a little Glamour

We are currently living in a small two bedroom apartment while we decide on a permanent home. When Richard and I met three years ago he lived it a lovely French Chateau style house on an acre and a half deep wooded property. There were three interconnecting ponds and a 265 foot driveway that set the house back among the tall oaks on the land.

Tall Oaks Estate

Richard sold the property; we hadn't found a new house and so we leased a little Historical house in Old Oakville 'to try out the neighbourhood'. It was a big change for him to be in such a little house, but the house was so charming we loved it.
I painted almost the entire house in soft Historical colours and found our furniture actually was enhanced within the new surroundings.

The rooms were small, the main floor had been updated to an open concept which created great flow. The two bedrooms were small and another little room was converted to a dressing room complete with built-in closets.

Entry of the 1853 House we leased

Open concept - den/dining/kitchen area

This kitchen might be small but there was great pantry cupboards with ample space

A year later we still hadn't found 'the' house and the owner of this little charmer needed to sell the property..... so we moved. I didn't want to move again unless we were going in to our last home, but move we did. I cried - I was miserable. We didn't find another house to lease (ok, not one at a reasonable cost), so we leased a two bedroom apartment.
I measured every wall and inch to try and prepare a floor plan. What would we take? What would go in to storage? Pout .... actually it was POUT!!

Our new temporary space is small and maybe that will encourage us to settle on a final property. Here are a few pictures of our 'things' adjusting to the another location. I think it's proof that if you have good core decor items you can work them in anywhere.

Our sideboard hutch comes alive with a new 'old' mirror from Winterberry Lane.

Murano glass, silver vase from HomeSense 

A new mirror from Winterberry Lane brings style and grace to the front entry.

The kitchen in our apartment is limited (ok, yes - it's small). And then there is a useless little nook taking up space and not adding value to the need for more storage. We went on a hunt for an antique sideboard to keep the microwave and some dishes on.

This great sideboard had two front doors originally which we removed. Then we had the white/grey marble top cut and added. I love the sideboard - it is one of my favourite pieces in the apartment.

sideboard purchased at 'My Back Shed Too'

Visit My Back Shed too!  @  Ohh Beautiful Things

When you live in a limited space everything must have a place and must go back in place to keep order. At our other two homes we had generous cupboards/drawers at the back entry - great for dropping keys, cell phones, mail. We needed a front hall solution to fit in the 15 inch wide space at the door. This mustard yellow cabinet brings colour pop to the entry and is the perfect solution for storage, and one of the Buddha heads from Richard collection.

Another great find from HomeSense

 We are continuing our search for 'the' house ::  but in the meantime our familiar things, mixed with some new things suddenly brings the Glamour home.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Celebrating Dad

Today - January 27th, is my Father's Birthday. He passed away very suddenly 12 years ago, far too early in life at only 63 years old. We will raise a glass of cheer to him at dinner as we do each year and celebrate the incredible man he was.

Everyone loved my Dad, he was just one of those warm and happy personalities. He worked hard (owned his own business), always put 'his girls' first, was devoted to his family, had a great sense of humour and did 'what was right'. He was one of the good guys.

I was always a Daddy's girl and knew without him telling me that he 'had my back'. I miss him so very much every day. Today I celebrate his life and the incredible man that he was. Happy Birthday Dad ~ ~ i love YOU.

Pool tubing with DaddyO
Ha, here we are swimming in the family pool. I think I was 20. My Dad didn't swim - thus the tube to float around in. Then when my Son was born and I took him to baby swim classes at six months; my Dad came to see him at swim classes and said ' there will be more Grandchildren, I think need to take lessons too'. And so my Father signed up and took swim lessons so that he could confidently swim with the kids.

                          Here's to you Dad, we celebrate you today.

Cardinal visits connect me with my Dad

Friday, January 21, 2011

Glamourous Style

I love this Dior gown (1953) and the fur stole completes the look of glamour. 

More elegance in brown :: 1948 Vogue (by John Rawlings)
 There is so much more to a vintage couture gown than good looks. The feel of wearing a soft chiffon draped gown or the rustling of a taffeta skirt is luxurious. The brown taffeta full skirt reminds me of a cocktail length taffeta full skirt I have (a'la Liptons - to you remember that store). The skirt has a drop yoke waist, box pleats and the skirt base floats just above the ankle in the front and drops slightly lower in the back. I always felt like waltzing when I wore it.
Dior 1952 :: Wrapped in soft and feminine.

Jacques Fath 1953 :: Simplicity. Wonderfully the courtyards in Paris still look the same today. This is a beautiful setting for a gorgeous gown.

Jacques Fath (1948) :: the floaty ruffles are complimented by the delicate seed beaded bodice.

Jean Patou 1955 :: The dropped yoke waist is so complimentary to a ladies waistline.

 Barbara Goalen 1952

The simplicity of this style, even her hairstyle, is timeless.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Le Chapeau

Any woman who has worn a fashion hat knows the experience is special. Wide brim, netted, with floral adornments; fashion hats are true show stoppers. British woman lead by example and never shy away from vivid colours and large scale accompaniments when donning a fashion hat. 
Oddly enough, when I was in my twenties I wore many large scale hats with beautiful flowers, ribbons, netting. Maybe it was the fashion at the time :: I honestly don't recall. But I do know how incredible it felt when I wore one of my pretty chapeau's.
Here are a few of my favourites from some of the best designers in the world  ::

This hat is so spectacular and deserves to be worn with a simple, elegant dress so that nothing distracts from it.

Large pore netting romantically frames the face.

Thankfully gone are the days when a cigarette was chic. The chapeau is Sooo chic.                                               

Bare shoulders frame this incredible hat.

 **pictures above are not my own.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I'm a Big Girl Now

I LOVE seeing Baby K sitting up to the table, her little hands grabbing for anything to put in her mouth. Like a little bird she opens her mouth before the vegies get scooped off of the plate. Kya is a good little eater and her Mama makes the baby food fresh.
Hey, somebody pass the sweet potatoes..........

I am thankful for our healthy Granddaughter, for the devoted care my Daughter gives her Daughter........ and for the sight of those little hands hanging on to the table edge. We are blessed.

My Beauties

Here they are - my beautiful girls playing in the snow. 
I had a golden opportunity for picture taking on a recent walk in our neighbourhood with my gorgeous Daughter and Granddaughter. 

 Baby Kya was fascinated by the geese squawking at the waters edge in Oakville. We are lucky to have so many pretty streets in our neighbourhood to explore, and they look especially romantic with a fresh falling of fluffy snow.

And yes, Grandma got in on the act of running in the snow with Baby K in her new sleigh. Just us three girls out playing in the snow............. it was so much fun.