Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Welcome Twenty-sixteen

Tomorrow is the first page of a 365 blank book. 
The pages are empty, just waiting for your story to unfold. 
It's your story.
Time to live your dreams,
and celebrate each fresh new page.

Wishing you a New Year filled with fun,
love and good health.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas

Mary, did you know
 when you kiss your Baby Boy, that you kiss the face of God?

Did you know
that your Baby Boy is heaven's perfect Lamb? 
The sleeping Child you're holding is the Great, I Am.

Merry Christmas.

Wishing you and your families a Merry Christmas
and a New Year filled with peace.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Cardinal House - just one more Christmas decor post

We have a beautiful antique French wedding trousseau cabinet (via Eloquence) in our master bedroom. Last year I found the perfect Christmas garland for the top. The crown is so ornate that I didn't want to take away from it and needed something to fit the era of the cabinet - a tough call since it is about 130 years old. But I think this loose greenery works well. The flocked natural twig wreath hangs over our bed and is reflected back in the mirror.

The master bath has a simple festive dressing with the addition of preserved boxwood wreaths to the vitrine. It's actually a great all season look, but once you tuck a little Christmas bell in or hang holiday linen it takes you through the season.

I love having the vitrine in the master bath.

We are fortunate to have an outdoor space that can be used throughout the year. The lanai is covered, so even in pouring rain you can sit out and not get wet. Our outdoor fireplace is still waiting to have the stone face finished - :(. But it didn't stop me from hanging a huge wreath over it anyway. But since it's not complete I'll save the picture of it for the ta-da moment of the before and after.

The lanai was spruced up for Christmas with plaid cushion covers. Two yards of fabric, a couple of hours at the sewing machine and everything went from summer patterns to winter wonderland.

My granddaughter Kya, got in on the act and helped sew the envelopes for the cushions. It doesn't get any easier than straight lines and stuffing the cushions in.

The garden Angels get moved around each season.

The dining room hutch is all about decor - I rarely use it to hold items for dinner. So faux garland, lights and a collection of gold Angels that I've had for many years, complete the look.

The banister on the main floor is lit each night via fiber optic battery pack lights - just enough glow to add some 'pretty'. White satin ribbon, pine cones and few white berries keep it simple.

The kitchen sideboard and bistro shelves are in constant motion when we host dinners at our house. It's the perfect place to set up wine or a dessert buffet. Fresh greenery and berries tucked into the silver trumpet vase adds a festive vibe and doesn't take up space on the countertop.

From our house to yours,
Joyeux Noel.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Cardinal House Christmas : part two

I love our fireplace mantel at anytime, but at Christmas it is even more fun to play with and dress. 
Click HERE for details on where this historic mantel came from. 

This year I layered the greenery. Starting with two very full faux garland, topped with two faux white flocked garland end to end, and enhanced with fresh cedar branches tucked in to the mix. Various sizes and finishes of tree ornaments with pine cones along with warm white lights and fresh roses finish the garland.

I love playing with the Christmas decorations. It's all about layering the pieces and adding a little something new each year.

This morning I sat in the living room with my morning cup of coffee and enjoyed the festive view. 
After all, isn't it about stopping to enjoy the roses.

I hope you take time to enjoy the festive views in your own home.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Cardinal House Christmas

Cardinal House wreath made by moi

It is our second Christmas at Cardinal House, and I continue to tweak the holiday decor from last year. We hosted a family dinner on Saturday and once more found out just how comfortable the layout of the house is for big gatherings. It was just Richard's side of the family - thirty of us sat down at one long table for dinner together. 

Noisy.   Joyous.   Fun.

our welcome sign - bonsoir is on the reverse side

This year I played with red for the outdoor holiday look.
But inside, it's all about tradition and blending with the decor. A four foot real tree is nestled in my vintage champagne bucket that sits in front of an antique mirror near the front entrance. It's lightly lit with fiber optic battery operated lights - just enough glow and sparkle at night.

Throughout the house fresh greenery and flowers are intermingled with preserved and faux. I use greenery preserve spray and make sure I have fresh boughs on hand for the week of Christmas to freshen anything that is not in water.

A dozen grocery store bought roses and florist picks are an inexpensive way to add fullness and elegance to the fireplace garland.

next ............ more Cardinal House Christmas to share with you.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Santa has a new fashion look.

Santa Claus has a brand new look. 
His diet has been void of cookies since last Christmas Eve, and he's obviously been working hard on his physique. No longer are you able to call him 'old Saint Nick' - he's buff and a fashion trend setter. Gone is the large fur trimmed red coat, pants and hat; Fashion Santa is stepping out in style.

Paul Mason - Fashion Santa

Meet model Paul Mason - a'ka Fashion Santa. The Mississauga native started modeling 30 years ago, and this Christmas marks the second holiday season that he is working with the fashion team at Yorkdale Mall. He sports seasonal fashions from top men's retailers at Yorkdale and poses for selfies with Fashion Santa fans. For each uploaded selfie of Fashion Santa using the hashtag #YorkdaleFashionSanta, the mall is donating $1 to SickKids Hospital.

There are no crying children sitting on his knee or sticky candy canes. Fashion Santa gladly snuggles up with Fido for a puppy selfie shot, while mature women are somewhat giddy as they tuck next to him for a picture. 
Fashion Santa was looking very Vogue when I saw him at the mall on Saturday. I however - was having a bad hair day, so I skipped the opportunity for a selfie. But I love the concept, the excitement around the entire campaign and the charitable donations to SickKids.

Read Fashion Santa's blog here :

And if you are in the Greater Toronto area, stop by and share your naughty/nice list with him.

.......... Fashion Santa's coming to town.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Early American Modernist Painter - Florine Stettheimer

When you think of early Modernism Art, Florine Stetheimer's effervescent style is not what would first come to mind. It was in 1892, at twenty-one years of age that Stetheimer began her formal study of art at New York's Art Students League. Florine's family traveled back and forth from America to Europe;  it was not until twenty-two years after beginning her art studies and was once again settled in New York, that she began painting in her unique and stylized manner that she is known for today.

Cathedrals of Broadway, Florine Stettheimer

The gilded frames that surround the works are the artists design. Other installations in galleries around the world feature frames with a scalloped loop motif as well.

Theater lifestyle portrayed in The Cathedrals of Broadway.

Florine's decorative, bright palettes displayed personal stories and depictions of the affluent American lifestyle. The rich colours that fill the theatrical like portrayals on the canvases are most often anchored with red, which is Florine's favourite colour.

A portion of the painting - The Cathedrals of Broadway.

Some of Florine's best known work hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City : The Cathedral Series - The Cathedrals of Broadway (1929), The Cathedrals of Fifth Avenue (1931), The Cathedrals of Wall Street (1939), and The Cathedrals of Art (1942).

The final painting in The Cathedral series - The Cathedrals of Art, was unfinished at the time of the artists death in 1944. It was on our recent visit to the Met that my son and I had the opportunity to enjoy the paintings at length. I noticed that one of the paintings in the series does not have an American flag painted within the rendering, as the other three do. This is one of the outstanding elements in the unfinished work of The Cathedrals of Art.

A portion of The Cathedrals of Wall Street.

Tucked to the lower right side of the painting The Cathedrals of Wall Street, is a self portrait of Florine. She portrays herself wearing a dress in her most cherished colour - red.

portion of The Cathedrals of Fifth Avenue.

from The Cathedrals of Fifth Avenue

The whimsical portraits of life through Florine's eyes shows her unique talent as a great Modernist Artist. It is a life and work to be celebrated.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Have a GLAMOUROUS weekend

The raking of the leaves continues.
When our property is covered with red and gold from the trees, my garden focus shifts to adding more fresh flowers throughout the house and bringing  preserved cuttings indoors.
Two staples for me are dried hydrangea from the garden and preserved boxwood. The wreaths tend to get duplicated throughout the house, but these two are my among favourites.

Whatever the weekend brings your way - Enjoy!

Paris. Always a good idea.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Hello New York

I'm hoping there are other bloggers who have the same intentions that I do. I take pictures of interesting things, all excited about the moment and then...... I get carried away with things in life and do not post.

Yes, I realize that the pictures and information from my trip to New York are still not up. Maybe I'm still basking in the fun from the incredible time that my son and I had together. We walked our feet off. That is an understatement. Five days exploring from morning to well into the evening.

Dallas was impressed with the Apple store in Grand Central Station. The juxtaposition of new technology surrounded by history is an extravagant combination. He stood there for awhile taking in the architectural beauty of the building and contemplating the new Apple products.

Our first evening in New York we had dinner at the Rock Center Cafe. It was a warm night that brought the opportunity to capture the last of dinning outside.

We stayed right in the bustle of Times Square at the Hilton on 42nd. Crazy - busy - noisy. But the hotel is very clean and quiet, has great service and was central to everything we wanted to do. So it worked well.

view from our room at the Hilton Times Square

Our first morning we lingered over breakfast at the Boathouse in Central Park, and then began the long days of exploring together. We literally walked the entire city......

We jumped on the train a couple of times - off to World Trade Center, the Stock Exchange, Battery Park. Dallas takes the train to work in Toronto, so he was a lot quicker at figuring out the routes we needed than I was.

Visiting the World Trade Center memorial site was solemn and emotional. The picture of the tree below is the survivor tree. It's a callery pear tree that was found badly damaged after the 9/11 terror attacks. The tree was recovered and renewed off site by the city's Parks and Recreation department. Only one year later the tree produced leaves and birds nested in the branches. The survivor tree was replanted at the memorial site in 2010. It is a true testament of survival and rebirth.

After exploring all day we would head back to the hotel to freshen up and go back out for dinner. And of course there was the crazy fun of taking in the lights of Time Square at night.

With my handsome son at Time Square.

 One of our favourite visits on the trip was our time at the Metropolitan Museum. Dallas and I could have easily spent another two days exploring the extensive art collections. I will share more from the Met in another post.

Dallas was thrilled to find Van Gogh's self portrait (circa 1889).

And of course, there was time for a bit of shopping. Even though my feet hurt from the days of walking, I still managed to try on shoes for my wedding.

New York, New York  
We had so much fun.