September 29, 2010

Peaches and Pink Pillows

Another few weeks have passed me by since I last posted. Firstly I finished my Interior decorating course, which I thoroughly enjoyed and whizzed through it faster than I anticipated.  I will only actually receive my Diploma once the monthly payments are completed, which is a few months away still. Not that I am rushing out to find a new career, it's just something I have wanted to do for a very long time and has given me plenty of knowledge in the field, to use in my own home and hopefully one day to earn some money too decorating for other people.
Now that Autumn is in the air and the fruit is being harvested I did some baking over the weekend. Having been given a large quantity of fresh peaches from my neighbours' tree I googled up this recipe for a healthy peach upside down cake, found on Sumi's blog:
Substituting granulated cane sugar for fruit sugar I was even able to have a piece myself, warm from the oven and it was delicious!

With my course completed I decided to give my Etsy shop another go. I do believe I have said that before, but this time I am determined to make a go of it. Having taken a year off while working at Wheaton's and then another long break as I concentrated on my studying and enjoying the summer months with my family it is about time to get back to the sewing machine. I have been making curtains for a friend recently so everything was set up and ready.
I had to come up with something that was flat enough to be posted from Canada as a 'light package' this means it has to be no deeper when packaged than 2cm. Not always easy to achieve, my poor birds and elephants have been squished into zip n'seal bags many times to achieve this dimension! The new trial run I decided on was 'Bunting' or otherwise known as a garland. A series of fabric flags to be strung up either indoors or out for Birthday parties, garden parties, weddings etc. Or to decorate a pretty bedroom. It was most likely a fluke, but I listed my first one pictured below and it sold the next day!

Now I am off to buy some more tape to finish another one in more of a Cath Kidston colour scheme this time, as opposed to the Rachel Ashwell style of the one sold.  My latest CK catalogue just arrived in the mail from the UK, so that will give me even more inspiration.
In my last post I briefly mentioned Amber's new camera. The one she has been saving up for over the past two years. The Canon Rebel T1i is her pride and joy and she loves it. She has been taking photos since the age of 12 and has a following on Deviant Art (link on the right). Of course with her sister Jemma living in the city, she is a little stuck for subjects to take pictures of, with people being her preferred medium to photograph. So apart from photos of herself and the odd family picnic snaps she has been a little starved of inspiration and subjects.
One project she had been wanting to try for a while was to use a painting I have in my bedroom as inspiration. The painting entitled 'The Pink Pillow' by the incredibly talented artist Francine Van Hove, I bought the print many years ago in England.
Amber asked if I would be her model for the first time, while she attempted to re-create the painting in a photo. I agreed to but only if I could do a less revealing pose than the original! 
It was a bit of fun I have to admit!  

September 01, 2010

Long hot summer days - I love them

Having just finished the above lunch outside on the deck under the brolly. Home grown and organic of course from our garden, well mostly ;) I am now in the mood to write a little post, which is long overdue.
If there is one thing I have learned over the years we have lived in Canada, it's to make the most of the warm summer days while they last. This year has been one of the hottest on record in Nova Scotia and we will remember June, July and August 2010 seemingly going on forever. But, as we all know all good things come to an end and as I write this, storm Earl is heading up the coastline towards us, predicted to hit sometime on Saturday morning.
Securing the roof tiles, tying down the outdoor furniture and hoping the hydrangeas don't get completely flattened with the predicted rain and wind. Who knows, sometimes these storms skirt around us and head back out so sea.
Now I can't cram everything into this page, but I can give a quick summary.
Apart from the usual summer activities of wood stacking, fruit picking, mowing, catching racoons and skunks by mistake (I could write an interesting post on that one!), feeding the hummingbirds, squirrels, chipmunks, finches and spotting the occasional groundhog, well I could go on and on......
We have tackled a few painting projects, after working at an auction centre several times in July and August. Assisting the auctioneer throughout the nerve wracking bidding process I spotted a few nice pieces and my hand just flew up in the air of its own accord! In fact the girls have both taken a liking to sanding and wielding a paintbrush this summer (wonder where they get that from?) Amber sanding her new/old dressing table picked up at the auction for $30.
Jemma painting her table (mentioned in a previous post) now in use in her apartment.
Several BBQ's were had making the most of the balmy evenings, usually finishing off with special friends gathered around an open fire under a starlit sky.
Exploring Halifax on foot while visiting Jem (and feeling needed as a Mummy again when I stay overnight). Amber even spent a whole week with her and they enjoyed their familiar sister time together, while Craig and I got a taste of empty nesting :D
Amber learned how to play tennis and started to really enjoy it by the end of August winning all her games in a final tournament. She also managed to save up enough money to buy her fancy Canon camera.
Jemma has changed her focus from Science at University to Business and Asian studies and feels much happier about starting her second year, having registering 40 foreign students she has been kept busy with enrolling and admin.
Hazel x