Last of the larder: Time to can, man!

Dill pickles, pickled garlic and some lentil soup in a jar I made for Christmas and never gave away.

Dill pickles, pickled garlic and some lentil soup in a jar I made for Christmas and never gave away.

I’ve cleaned out the cupboard and I’m down to my last bits of preserves from the last year. I’ve got dill pickles, pickled garlic and some lentil soup in a jar I made for Christmas and never gave away.

Somewhere in the deepest, darkest recesses of our storage I must also have some of last fall’s chili sauce because I can’t have given it all away or eaten it.

Or did I?

A novel approach to holiday decorating

My neighbour in the condo appears to have gotten creative.
They have posted this on their front door for the holidays. A neat idea but hard to store I suspect. I tried to read the pages to see if it was a ChrIstmas book but surmised it was likely the book on the shelf that was already falling apart.

Laven-don’t—Better things to do with lavender than I did

OK so I’m no Martha Stewart. I’ve never crafted and I’ve never been topless on Saturday Night Live.

So when I picked some lavender off the newly planted plant this autumn I naively thought I could be creative enough to do something nice with it. Sadly this lovely purple plan went from this:


to this sad attempt at arts and crafts:

Sad attempt at arts and crafts

You see this is why I took music in school and not art. Though to be fair my flute has been gathering dust for nigh on 20 years now too.

I strung up what I could in a pitiful knot and tied it to the chain on our bedroom ceiling fan/light.

Not with ribbon but string. Not a bundle but a handful. Not good. Not at all.

So I went to Pinterest and looked at what normal people do with lavender. Apparently smarter and craftier people are out there in the world sharing this type of information.

I especially like the linen water and scrub. These all seem like good ideas.

Good ideas for next year at this point, but good nonetheless.

Pinkish is the new red

We finally stained the picnic table but it can be said that the colour is not reflective of the name of the stain.
Pinky picnic table

I considered calling this post, “Redwood my ass” but thought better of it when thinking about what search terms would be used that combined “wood” and “ass”.

We have had the table for a year but just got around to staining it. It has darkened somewhat but not to a degree I would call redwood.

New beds for the boys

Not only do we need a new bed but so do the boys.

It’s time to upgrade from the cardboard boxes collected from the local grocery store. I’ve found a few on Etsy that are also a bit of an upgrade from the local box pet store.

Source: via Ariel on Pinterest


I like this teepee. I saw it recently in a magazine and it will be great if our fat cats can get out of it.

Source: via Ariel on Pinterest


This felted bed is cute but it looks like something that would get chewed mighty quickly.

Source: via Ariel on Pinterest


This one is great but alas it appears nicer than our current furniture. It will have to wait until we get new furniture as well.

Definitely some things to think about!

Shades of the old country — Pantone 2013 colour of the year

The folks at Pantone have announced their 2013 colour and for me it is a classic that harkens back to the old country. Well ancestral country anyway.

Source: via Toni McCarthy on Pinterest ********************************************************** *******************************************************************************************************************************

It’s Emerald green this year. Perhaps some shades from Ireland will bring a little vibrant colour into our home.

I’ve toyed with the idea of green in our palettes. We’ve painted the upstairs bathroom in the condo an olive-green and I’ve started painting the patio furniture a lime-green. I do like this emerald though I don’t think it will work in the condo. Perhaps the schoolhouse would relish some green to match our emerald-green roof. Something to think about.

Art for the dining room? There’s A New Hope for us…

My recent purchase of art just arrived.

We may not agree on much in the household decorating area but this was a solid yes on both our parts. These, once framed, will grace the space over our dining room table.

Source: via Ariel on Pinterest xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Finally decorating in a nerd-esque style is socially acceptable. These will go nicely with our Tintin triptych and my Valentine’s day gift of 2010. Most girls don’t want an A-Team action figure shadow box display but I am not most girls.

Photos: thinking “outside the frame”

We are going through old photos looking for something to put on our desolate condo walls.

I’m realizing I haven’t printed any photos in some time. I am going to have to get on that. In the meantime Pat is sorting through old frames we have collected and trying to come up with a photo wall “vision”.

He will hate all of these but I thought I would share my findings from a recent Pinterest search. I don’t like all of them either but they are definitely representative of thinking “outside the frame”.

Source: via Ariel on Pinterest dkdkdkddddkdkdkdkdkdkdkdkdkdkdkd

Source: via Ariel on Pinterest

It was so easy going green

Our four-year old patio furniture from Ikea has had it.

We have a little set we use on our balcony at the condo. That brown acacia stuff that we have just doesn’t weather very well. With each passing year it gets more and more decrepid looking. For awhile I kidded myself and thought it was just maturing and would turn a lovely darkened colour. It went gray and scaly. So I decided it can’t get any worse and tried my hand at painting it.

And yes for all my safey friends out there, I did wear all the appropriate personal protective equipment, except for a mask. I didn’t even make a mess except a small patch of grass I will cut next week anyway. At least the paint went downwind.

I think it went well. This test chair worked out to be very simple and I hope to get the rest done next weekend. This might inspire me to do more for the schoolhouse. I’d love to get some nice old Kawartha chairs (yes we call them Kawartha chairs ’cause we ain’t in Muskoka!) and do them up nicely. Wait and see!