Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Cold Weather Indulgence

I love a scented candle, and the only thing more important than the scent is the jar that it comes in. I won't even pick up a candle to see what it smells like unless it is in a very attractive jar, one that I will eventually repurpose.
I use the jars to store and organize all sorts of things. Bath products, beads, findings, beach finds, and even candy have all found pretty little homes in what was once a candle jar.
The candle in the photo is unique in that it burns a wooden wick. It actually makes a small crackling sound, similar to that of a real fire.
I'm very sensitive to the smells that surround me, and so I always feel more calm when there is a soothing scent in the air. Whether it be from a nice candle or a pot of soup on the stove, the house just feels more like a home when it smells great. But there is something extra soothing about being in the company of a flame. Of course, nothing can beat a campfire or a real fireplace, but since I have access to neither this winter, a simple candle will accompany me nearly everywhere I go in the house - down to the basement to craft or do laundry, upstairs to have a bath, or to the living room to read.

Friday, November 19, 2010

My Favourite Part of Winter



I cannot honestly say that I look forward to the cold months in Canada. Unless you can count curling up on the couch with a good book. Cold weather does not mean ice skating, skiing and sledding for me. The cold weather drives me to do much less torcherous sports, like reading, and baking, and now this year, blogging.
But when the frost settles just right, as it does once in a blue moon. You will find me out and about (in my car) with my camera in tow, capturing all the beauty that a heavy hoar frost brings.
For this photo, all I had to do was step outside my front door. Everything was covered, but this ninebark shrub was the only thing that had all her leaves, and she looked amazing. So amazing, in fact, I felt inspired. Inspired to quickly take a picture, run back in, put the coffee on and sit in front of my picture window with my book, looking up from time to time to enjoy the view the hoar frost had created.
But what took hours for the frost to create, took only minutes for the wind to destroy, and so with coffee in hand, book in other, it was down to the basement for the occasional view of Old Paris above my loveseat.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Favourite Fall Bouquet



I've been doing this bouquet every October for several years now. I simply carve out a pumpkin, slip in some floral foam, and start arranging.
I tidy it up every couple of days, adding fresh water and removing the faded blooms, and once it no longer looks that great, it is very easy to clean up...just toss the whole works into the compost. Just be sure to remove your foam...it definitely is not biodegradable, unless of course, you have discovered the relatively new foam that is. Hopefully this healthier for us and our Earth foam will be become readily available soon. It also doesn't hurt to find out whether or not your florist is into the composting habit. There is a ton of waste in the fresh flower industry, and every little bit helps. My florist even encourages her clients to bring in their own, reusable container for a discount on their next arrangement. Reduce, reuse, recycle and create beautiful dirt whenever possible....

Friday, November 5, 2010

Halloween Treats




These lovely little cupcakes happened largely because of the Wilton company. The bat and spider candies - Wilton, the sprinkles - Wilton, the cupcake wrappers - Wilton, and even the recipe for the buttercream is courtesy of Wilton.
These were a huge hit and a huge mess by the time the kids had eaten an average of about 4 each.



These little ghost were a huge hit with the kids. At first I thought it was because they were so cute, but I was wrong. I overheard one of the kids say he wanted another because they had the most icing on them.


We always adapt our sugar cookies to all the different holidays and seasons. We do Christmas, and Easter and Spring and Fall cookies. We do the 'just because we can' cookies and create various shapes. For me it is a tradition that started when I was very young with my Grandma. Every Christmas she had several buckets of iced sugar cookies to give out during the holidays. I always think of her when working on them, and I hope she can feel the new found appreciation I have for all her hard work.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

An October Treat



I have a Sister who is obsessed with Autumn and even more so with Halloween. Her birthday is on the 11th of her favourite month of the year, and for some reason, I never have any doubt as to what to get her. This year I designed her a necklace and 3 pairs of earrings to go with it. All done in copper, semi-precious stones and glass, these pieces look great for fall. The dragon's vein agate pendant puts it over the top for Halloween, and is removable for a more subtle look. But since my Sister thinks it should be Halloween year round, I doubt she'll ever take it off.
Now Lynn has a busy lifestyle, working at least 2 jobs, raising 3 kids and taking care of her rather substantial home. But this year, she took the time to come visit me in Cold Lake, only a week before Halloween. She came because she wanted to share in one of my favourite times of the year, and help decorate the house for the occasion. It was a crazy, fun week-end. We indulged in a bit of wine, creme brulee, roast chicken dinner, and of course, crafting. Even when it was time to sit down for a bit, we were crocheting ghosts, bats, spiders, and pumpkins. My kids joined in on the fun too, making all kinds of cut outs for me to hang on my cabinets, and stretching cob webs from one end of the house to the other. By the end of Saturday, my house was officially haunted, and to be honest, even I was a little nervous with the surroundings, when I turned out the lights at night. We went shopping on Sunday, and came home with even more ideas, and crafting supplies.
Monday came too quickly, and my Little Sister had to head back to her own life. And while I know she was sad to leave, she was very excited to get back, and put a lot of those ideas into her own home.
Next year, in July, we are moving back to my Husband's family farm, and the town in which we both grew up, and my Sister and I will be neighbors. What fun it will be to get together much more often, to inspire each other, and share our creations. She will even be my children's bus driver...how perfect is that?