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Tuesday, 31 May 2011

A Picnic In The Park With Teddy

How full of mystery and possibility is the notion of free time!  And in this rush, rush world, how rare! Like a golden gift dropping into my lap, I had a glorious free afternoon.  Sadly, while I had that gift, none of my friends did.  But I knew one little fellow who did so off we went to the park and not just any park would do.  No, no, it had to be that most whimsical of fancies, a Victorian glass conservatory.
As sometimes happens in life, a fork in the road.  Shall we choose Loveliness to the left or Beauty to the right?

No worries, either path will lead us to Leda and the Swan.

Of course, as Mr. Teddy will no doubt agree, no picnic is complete without a little refreshment and a little light reading.

And possibly, a cuppa tea would go down nicely as well.  Mr. Teddy asks that you be so kind as to excuse his general appearance.  He has endured many kisses and squeezes from sticky little fingers.

And lest you think we don’t know how to be serious, while Mr. Teddy satisfied himself with his hero Winnie-the-Pooh, I did very well with Through the Looking Glass.

And if anyone were to ask, “Ma’am, what are you doing footling around amongst the flowers with Teddy?”, my reply would be this, “There is only one rule to be followed during a Teddy Bear’s Picnic and a free afternoon and it is this: No Rules Apply.  Absolutely, none at all.”

I'm linking up to A Beach Cottage and the Good Life.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

The Princess and Her Bath

I have heard it said that the kitchen is the heart of the home.  And while I don't disagree with the idea that the kitchen nourishes the heart, I do think that the bathroom runs a close second in importance as it nourishes the soul.  At the end of a long day caught up in the hurly burly of the world's doings, surely there is nothing better than to soak in a tub of life giving water.  Along this vein, I have been obsessing over Pottery Barn's Petaluma Double Sink Console although not necessarily the console itself but what is underneath it.  Namely, I have been obsessing over the gigantic apothecary jars and the 10 million cotton buds (also known as Q-Tips in North America) one of them contains and all the other necessaries for one's toilette. 

Luckily, I came across some large size vintage Crown mason jars, one of which is an Imperial (!) pint, recently.  And so I came up with my own version of those apothecary jars due to the fact that I didn't think I could  fit such large jars in my bathroom and, secondly, 10 million cotton buds is a lot of boxes of cotton buds to buy.  I think an Imperial pint's worth is more than satisfactory.

And really, is there nothing more divine, more decadent and luxurious than a mile high stack of cloudlike towels tied with grosgrain ribbon?

Your Highness, your bath awaits.
I'm linking up to A Beach Cottage and Good Life Wednesdays.

Monday, 23 May 2011

In Praise of Victoria

Today is Victoria Day and through a serendipitous turn of events, I found a pair of vintage, velvety soft, suede, embroidered gloves at a church rummage sale.  They are for a young girl or a lady with very small hands.  They don’t fit me but I bought them any way because I was touched by how sweet and dainty they are.  Do you find yourself bringing home things sometimes “just because”?
And when I first saw them, tossed in a box with other discarded fripperies like scarves and hats, I longed for a time of little girls in white flounced dresses and petticoats, and ladies with hats, parasols and gloves.  In today’s rushing world, sometimes it is so lovely to dream of a gentler, slower,  more mannerly time.
Oh Queen Victoria, how I love your day!
I’m linking up to Southern Hospitality and Today’s Thrifty Treasures and Coastal Charm's Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

The Heart of the Home

Do you remember looking forward to "show and tell" at school?  Would you like to know what I have been doing lately?  I hope so as I would dearly love to do a bit of show and tell!  I have been renovating my kitchen which was in dire need of a surgical intervention.  It has been a long and arduous process circumscribed by a budget the size of this ===> .
I had replaced the stove, refrigerator and fume hood already in this photograph:
Due to budgetary reasons, the cabinetry and tile flooring had to stay for the time being.  Because of these elements that were staying, any new additions had to work with the existing colour scheme.  The people who lived here before me used the laminate countertop as a chopping board and it was in a sad state.  The porcelain sink was stained and scratched and the faucet was a drippy mess.  A granite countertop, stainless steel double sink, new faucet and dishwasher was installed.

I bought the countertop, sink and faucet from Home Depot.  At Home Depot, granite comes in different price brackets.  In my price range, I only had two choices.  One was a peachy pink which was clearly not an option.  The other option was the one I chose.  It looks black from far away but is actually made up of very dark green, iridescent clear, white, black and amber chunks.  When I look at it, I am reminded of a river rushing over pebbles.  It gives the space a warmth and depth that balances the severity of the stainless steel and grey tones.  When the old countertop was taken away, it left a gap where the partial laminate backsplash used to be.  I couldn't find any combination of tile to fit that gap.  Then in a moment of inspiration, I came up with the idea of having a custom made stainless steel backsplash to fit that gap.  Initially, the contractor I had asked to help me fabricate it brushed away my idea and I noticed he did so time and again with many of my ideas. Nonetheless, I prevailed and am so pleased with the result as it echoes the stainless steel appliances, the grey strip of tiles further up the back wall and was a cost effective solution that saved me the bother of retiling the entire backsplash.  I wanted to weld the old and the new together and still achieve a cohesive look.
When I started renovating my home, I was full of uncertainty but determined to try.  I had never owned, much less operated a power tool before and often had to rely on Google to show me what to do.   And I discovered that this journey has become a journey of self-discovery.  The process has pushed my creativity, imagination and resourcefulness to the limits.  At times, it has been difficult to stay true to my artistic vision in the face of doubting naysayers but that can be said about many aspects of life, wouldn’t you agree?
And they do say that the kitchen is the heart of the home.  Now I can say that the heart of L'Heure Bleue At Home has been refurbished, mended and sewn back together with care.  And, if I could, I would like nothing more than to invite you over for tea.

I am linking up to A Beach Cottage and Good Life Wednesdays.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Neptune's Goblet

Do you indulge in frivolous daydreams?  Please say yes!  I do.  Sometimes, I let my mind meander down funny little alleyways.  For example, there are times when I wonder to myself, “If Neptune were to indulge in a celebratory libation, how would he do it?”  Would he just open his mouth like a fish and let the waters of the ocean pour in?  But I think that, if he did drink anything, he would need a kingly vessel and I think I have just the one (and possibly another one for his wife).

It has shells impressed on the sides and very regal garlands.   It came all the way from France but I prefer to think that it was found washed up on a sea shore.

And I know that when there is Very Important Work To Do and laundry and vacuuming, it may be a tad silly to indulge in musings and imaginings.  But whenever I sip from this regal goblet, I think to myself,  “How delightful, how positively delicious it is that I am drinking from Neptune’s Goblet!”
I am linking up to A Beach Cottage and Good Life Wednesdays.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Someone To Watch Over Me

When it comes to Mother’s Day, I am at a loss.  My mother is at an age where she has all she needs and is disinclined to take in any more stuff, thank you very much.  As I ponder Mother’s Day, I am fast coming to the conclusion that the mothering instinct is everywhere.  It is there when one cares for a friend laid low, tends the earth or cares for what goes into the oceans of the world.  Or, even if one doesn’t have children of the two-legged variety, it is there in full force if one’s babies are of the four-legged, tailed variety.  They do say that a picture is worth a thousand words so I’ll just have to let these photographs say it all.

And I must say that, no matter how far I roam, it is a great comfort to know that somewhere in this wide world, there is someone to watch over me.

I am linking up with A Beach Cottage and Good Life Wednesdays.

Being Ruby is doing a giveaway of her beautiful artwork. Take a peek!
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