Saturday, March 29, 2008

leaf melting on ice

Spring will not be denied. We never got around to raking all the leaves in the garden last fall and piles some up around the roses to protect them. Natured decided to press through anyway and force a daffodil up through the leaves that were left around the rose bushes.

On the side of the driveway, snow and ice continue to melt. A leaf was on the ice and because of it's dark colour, it melted the ice quicker.

It's amazing how nature works and how much there is to see if only we will look.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Beaded Eggs

Fair thee well Winter months and welcome Spring! Easter weekend, spring and a full moon, this weekend has it all. I got my beaded eggs out for my window display.

The gold egg has a silver bead band in the middle. This egg was made back when silver was used in the making of beads which is why this egg now appears to have a blackish band around the middle. The silver has tarnished. These three eggs are resting on a bed of dried freesia from a bouquet Paul gave me. I haven't made any of these in some years but I have lots of requests for them.

They are very easy to make.

First I blow out an egg and then seal the hole with a bit of tissue and glue.

In order to start with an even line, I put an elastic band around the egg and use a pencil to draw a starting line.

After removing the elastic, I use a toothpick to apply white glue and a pin to attach the beads.

I never have a design in mind, the shape of the beads and egg help to determine that.

These are tedious to make but most of mine were done while watching television. Or rather, listening to television. The first egg I ever beaded got broken when I had one of my Irish temper tantrums and threw it at Paul. When it broke, it was like fine china hitting a cement floor. So ended my days of egg tossing. I missed him and lost one of my beautiful eggs. Perhaps it may have been more satisfying if I'd have hit my mark LOL.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Saint Patrick's Day

My mother was a collector and passed that passion on to me. When she passed away this past January, I inheirited all of her collcetions as I have no living sibling. I have to decide what to keep and what to let go. I will keep her china collections of course. My dad used to buy her Belleek and she wanted me to keep that. It's the only thing she asked me not to part with.

There are several other pieces but these were her favourites. My dad bought her the harp during their first trip to Barbados about twenty-six years ago. I would love to find out more about the teacups which are Royal Albert. There is a set of six, two yellows, two pinks and two greens. If you are familiar with these, I'd love to hear from you.

May those that love us, love us.
And those that don't love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn't turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles
So we will know them by their limping.
~Irish Blessing

My grandmother, Eleanor, came to Canada from Monaghan County, Ireland when she was just sixteen years old. She came to live here with her two elder sisters, Sarah and Mariah. Imagine such a trip at such a tender age. She never again saw her mother but continued to send money to her right up until her mother's death. Her father came to Canada to see his daughters and one of his sons. There was always this delightful story of how my mother took a rag and cleaned his shoes and then climbed up on his knee and washed his face. His daughters, in an attempt to impress him with Canada, took him to see Niagara Falls. His comment on the Horseshoe Falls was, "Sure and it would be something it they ran the otherway."

My grandmother told us so many stories of Ireland and her family that I almost feel as though I grew up there. My grandmother never lost her Irish accent and when she talked with her sisters one of the things they used to say was 'do yah mind the time . . " or "do yah mind Mister Peeps and the time he . . ."

My grandmother used to tell us stories of Faulkland Castle where my great, great grandparents Lord and Lady Martin lived. The castle has long since left our family and fallen to ruins. These are pictures of their portraits and they don't really look the part of the Lord and Lady.

What fine memories I have of my Irish family. Below is one of the piggies from my mother's pig collection.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Baxter, my Granddog

This is Baxter, my granddog. Alex got him from the Toronto Humane Society. For a Christening gift Paul and I are paying for his obedience training. His pointer tendencies lead him to believe that my rat, gerbil, chinchillas and guinea pigs should all be hunted. My dog Brady is a border collie X. He can be trusted with all the animals. All he wants to do is herd them. Not BAXTER!

Don't be fooled by this sweet little face.

This is Bax having lunch on Alex's finger

Baxter's nose.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

window rabbits and a guilty cat

These cute bunnies came from an antique shop in Brighton, a little town just ten minutes east of Colborne. It's an excellect shop because they mix old with new. These bunnies are sold separately but they look like such a nice pair that I bought both. They are in my Easter window display. I need to sew a lace curtain for behind the window because I'm not fond of the wall paper the previous owners had in the kitchen. It's a navy blue plaid and while it's nice enough paper, it's not kitcheny enough for me. I've got so much to do in the house and the kitchen is on the bottom of the list.

Paul's cat Jasmine decided to join us for dinner the other day. Sadly for her, I don't dine with my pets so she had to make a hasty exit from the table but not before I got a picture of her eyeing the last chick'n nugget in the pan. Both Paul and I are Flexitarians so I doubt she would have eaten it even if it were offered.

After scolding one's cat one looks into its face
and is seized by the ugly suspicion that it understood every word.
And has filed it for reference.
~Charlotte Gray

At Lotsa Stuff, Leslie the proprietess had this chicken pulling a wagon of chicks. I loved it so much and when I was tidying the other day, I found a bag on the dining table and they were in it.

I love Paul so much. He never makes a show of gift giving. Something could sit there for days and he wouldn't say a word. I on the other hand hate keeping secrets and would do something famboyant in order to get the recipient of the gift to notice it sitting there.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Nippon - Weeding out

When we moved into this house last summer, my mother and I combined some of our collections. In the china cabinet, my mother's Nippon collections share space with my Sadler teapots. I'm only keeping a few choice pieces of Nippon. Some of it I plan to pass on at a yard sale this comming August.

Colborne hosts an event called Trash 'N Treasures. Because of the move we didn't participate last year but will this summer. I plan to have an old fashioned lemonade stand set up as well. Perhaps offer a few baked goods but that will depend on if my son has his bakery up and running by then. I don't want to cut into his business.

Monday, March 3, 2008

There's a certain slant of light

There's a certain slant of light,
On winter afternoons,
That oppresses, like the weight
Of cathedral tunes.

Heavenly hurt it gives us;
We can find no scar,
But internal difference
Where the meanings are.

None may teach it anything,
'Tis the seal, despair,
-An imperial affliction
Sent us of the air.

When it comes, the landscape listens,
Shadows hold their breath;
When it goes, 'tis like the distance
On the look of death.

~Emily Dickinson

At first glance this seemingly depressing peom by Dickinson manages to capture that feeling in all of us that comes to the surface once in a while. Some call it cabin fever, others SAD. Paul and I were on one of our winter drives which we take often. I do get cabin fever and need a change in scenery from time to time. My cabin fever is not however restricted to winter. I believe in getting out of the house. Besides what could be better than arriving back to your beautiful home all refreshed and inspired? The sun was shining so beautifully on the snow this day creating a spectactular sight. That's one of the things I love about late winter. In early winter the sky is usually grey and the landscape shadowless and without expression. This picture is taken from a hill that looks over Lake Ontario just outside Castleton. The day started sunny but by the time we got home, the clouds had taken over the sky and the snow was again without shadows. Spring is just around the corner and Dickinson's poem reminds us of the coming death of winter through the heat of the sun shining on the snow.