Saturday, July 28, 2007

Scènes de mon bureau

I spent this Saturday morning taking a few snapshots from my little corner of the world at work. Although I try to take my art to work, I find that I can't always find the space and the time to complete any projects I have already started or want to begin. So, today I took my small digital camera to capture some of the beauty and inspiration I see on a regular basis to share with you.

Wherever I am, I'm never really alone. The gardens are always filled with chipmunks, groundhogs, rabbits, squirrels, varieties of birds, butterflies and insects. Many of them are so tame because they are used to so many people touring the gardens on a regular basis. And I find that I never finish my lunch on my own...there's always someone to share it with, and the animals are never shy!

"The man who has planted a garden feels that he has done something for the good of the world"

Vita Sackville-West

Thursday, July 26, 2007

It feels like I have been away for so long. In the past five days we have celebrated my brother's birthday, I have been working everyday from 9am-almost 8 pm, I have been doing researching on the side and have had no time to blog or create...two things I love! So, I have nothing to post or share, except a picture of Ben...who sends all his love to Nature Girl, who lost her beloved cat, Freddi, last night. Our pets are such a huge part of our lives and through blogging we get to share stories and photos of special times and memories that we have with them. Because we can relate to how much our pets mean to us, we can also relate to the deep sorrow we feel when one passes. I think it's helpful to know that other people send their blessings and thoughts during these times...and I'm sending mine Nature Girl's way...
"I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul"
--Jean Cocteau, French poet and filmmaker

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Forme Changée De Robe

Yesterday night I worked on altering the dress form mum and I found a few months ago at a garage sale. Although it isn't your conventional dress form, and it definitely isn't French, the antique lace, vintage broach, playing card, music sheet, glittered initial and other little 'French Nest' touches, have given it the vintage look it deserves.
I want to stamp something French around the neck, maybe a Parisian quote or French poem, or even a date to make it look really authentic!
Who would have thought that something that cost is $5 would look so cute in the end?

Friday, July 20, 2007

Et le gagnant est...

Benny has a nose for names, so naturally, he selected the winner for my 100th post give-away.

And Benny chose....

Andrea @ Southern Heart!
Please contact me at Andrea, with your contact information and I will send your package off to your nest from mine.
And thanks to everyone for commenting!
A very special thanks goes out to my lovely assistant, Mr. B!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

100th Post Give-Away

Well, today is the day...Today is my 100th post! Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you amazing women for always leaving such supportive comments. Your kind words and inspiring blogs mean so much.

To celebrate my 100th I have put together a little package for one lucky winner...just leave a comment and I will draw names this Friday....

The give-away package includes:

A Victoria magazine, Cavellini & Co. butterfly postcards, small book with inspirational quotes, cherry stationery, homemade seals, velum, bookmark, and a small gift bag filled with vintage pearls, flower seals, block letters, puzzle pieces, tags, admit one ticket stubs, and a vintage scrabble piece.

Good luck everyone!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Destination : Niagara-sur-le-Lac

Shaw Theatre

Main St., Niagara-on-the-Lake
Since we all had today off of work, we decided to head down to Niagara-on-the-Lake from some shopping. Niagara-on-the-Lake is a beautiful, picturesque town and is considered a national historic site. It is also considered Ontario's wine region, since it is situated among vineyards which stretch for miles. It is the perfect town to stop in for wine tastings and tours, shopping, browsing for antiques, watching a theatre performance at the Shaw Theatre, sailing, high tea at the Prince of Whales Hotel or shopping for real estate, especially if you're in the B&B business.

Two shops we particularly like are Serendipity and Cecile's Home & Gift shop, two stores with a French twist. They sell everything from table linens and home decor items, to books and toiletries, and are a must when visiting. I purchased a French print umbrella, which I will post the next time it rains (right now it's drying off on the front porch!), and I spotted a vintage French baker's rack. I didn't purchase it, but I have been thinking about it ever since! Unfortunately, we had no more room left in the car, but it's an area we visit often in the summer, so I will stop off again sometime this summer to snap it up!

Another must is fudge from Maple Leaf Fudge. You cannot beat homemade Niagara-on-the-Lake fudge, made with real butter. This is a tradition of ours and we cannot leave without a slab of chocolate nut (made with imported Dutch chocolate!). It is, without a doubt, the best fudge I have ever had!

So, if you are looking for somewhere to visit this summer I suggest spending the day at Niagara-on-the-Lake. It is a town for all ages, so book a room at one of the beautiful b&b's, catch a play at one of the Shaw Theatres, grab a bite to eat at the Shaw Cafe, visit all of the beautiful boutiques, and don't forget to grab a slab of the best fudge you'll ever have to enjoy on the way home...
You will not be disappointed!
P.S.-Tomorrow is my 100th post and I plan on doing something very special to celebrate! I would love for you to all visit if you're able to!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Samedi Trouvailles De Brocante à domicile De Matin Et Pâtisseries Françaises

The garage sale finds were a little disappointing this only bargain was this cigar box at 25 cents. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it yet, but I don't think it needs any altering...although a bit of antique lace might look nice.

To make up for the lack of bargains, mum and I visited our favourite French bakery and treated ourselves to some pâtisseries. They specialize in everything from brioche, fruit and nut bread to divine French desserts like Crème Brulee, Meringue Chantilly, Pear Clafouti and assorted goodies. The aroma from the kitchen is heavenly and we enjoyed a fruit tart with a cup of cafe au lait.

Now, I am off to finish the strawberry tart!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Un Troisième Acompte

This is the third page of my altered book, which I completed today (at work!). Needless to say, it was a slow day, so I brought the book with me to work on along with my paper, ribbon, seals and all of the other little embellishments I plan on adding. And luckily, I managed to squeeze everything into one canvas bag.

Unfortunately, I couldn't fit my hot glue gun in the bag, so my seashell and pearl embellished....for lack of a better word, balls, are not quite finished. I know it sounds crude, but they really are pretty and dainty! I will post the, balls...tomorrow evening!
Tomorrow being Saturday, the 'Garage Sale Queens' will be heading out bright and early...the best ones have already been circled, chronologically ordered, and mapped out...(we take bargain hunting very seriously...the competition is getting fierce!) with plenty of time left over for a pit-stop to the nearest coffee shop! I will post my finds tomorrow as well.
I hope everyone has plans for a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Livre Changé

These are the first two pages of the altered book I am currently working on...
An altered book is a form of mixed media art in which the artist takes a book, be it old or new, and alters its appearance and personalizes the book using a variety of ephemera.
I took an antique book and plan on covering most of the pages with various papers, French sayings, seals and stamps, pom-poms, ribbon and rick-rack, antique buttons, sheet music, vintage playing cards and LIFE magazine clippings, ticket stubs, lace, metal works
and lots more.
I have a few other things going on right now as well, including two canvases and an altered suitcase, both of which I promise I will post as soon as they are finished.
I hope you enjoy the first few pages of my altered antique book...there is more to come in the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Plateau Changé De Cru



Ta Da! After keeping you all in suspense for a day and a half, I have finally completed my altered vintage tray project...I turned it into a blackboard! The final touch was the chalk, which I could not find anywhere. I went out with mum in search of it this morning, and it wasn't until 2 pm this afternoon that we came across a box in a teaching supplies store. I just knew I couldn't hold the reveal off any longer and felt guilty enough holding you all in suspense since Saturday morning. But, what's a blackboard without a written message in chalk?

I added a simple black and polka dot ribbon and a nest filled with eggs, a bird and, of course, the Eiffel Tower. I am so pleased with the result, and hope you are too!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Livres Français-Inspirés De Chiquenaude

I'm sorry to have to keep you all in suspense one more day longer, but I haven't finished off the tray...there is just one more last edition required before I post pictures, but I will be out to the craft store first thing tomorrow morning. I will post the finished product tomorrow afternoon, I promise!

However, as I've told you all before, I always have one than one thing going so I haven't completely disappointed you. I have been working on French-inspired flip books all afternoon, and completed them about five minutes ago! They took some time to complete, but I'm really happy with them.

The first book is a flip book inspired by the theme of wishes...birthday wishes, travel wishes, everyday wishes...whatever the wish may be what better way to celebrate the everyday than with a wish!

The second book is French-inspired and is meant to look like French postcards. And on both books are antique playing cards and buttons, vintage lace, music notes from antique music sheets, pearls, metalworks, seals and ribbon...ohh lala!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Samedi Trouvailles De Brocante à domicile De Matin

Mum and I did our usual Saturday morning garage sales and came home with some fabulous finds...

Our first stop was a multi-family garage sale packed to the brim with home decor items. I came across a gorgeous red enamel fisherman's lantern from Pottery Barn for $1 and a wire purse and pair of shoes, which I will place next to my wire dress form...I think it will look très chic!

Then I came across a gorgeous vintage tray that was tossed to one side...and I snagged it for 50 cents! I have something creative in all know how I like taking different pieces and giving them a twist, and the shape and design of this is perfect for what I have in mind...I'll show you the result tomorrow! But first, I'll give you a few hints as to what I may be doing with it:

  1. It takes 24-hours to dry

  2. You probably loved doing this as a child

  3. It's silver and black and write all over!

Now I'm heading off for a girls night. Tonight we're off to see 'License to Wed' which I've heard is hilarious, stuff our faces with buttered popcorn and then finish off the night with a trip to a dessert bar! Have a fabulous night, ladies!

Friday, July 6, 2007


My friend Q tagged me for a meme, Eight Random Facts about myself.

  1. I have been a vegetarian since I was seven, am an animal rights activist (if you see a girl with red hair and a picket sign in front of a circus, call out 'Hi Kate!' because it's probably me!) and a member of PETA

  2. I have dual citizenship - British/Canadian - and have lived in experience that was wonderful for my family and I. The American people went out of their way to make us feel welcome wherever we went, and we love their patriotism

  3. I have had my art displayed in an art gallery downtown

  4. I love to swim and sail...anything having to do with the water, true to my birth sign: Aquarius, the fish

  5. I love, love, love to of the most comfortable places for me to be is in a classroom and I love to teach

  6. I always carry around a book with me...usually a non-fiction, fiction and an autobiography so that if I get bored with one, I can move on to another!

  7. I am a chocoholic...but hey, everyone needs at least one vice, right?

  8. I am a perfectionist - I thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken!

Now, since tag was one of my favourite games as a child at recess, I am tagging all of you!

Here are the guidelines:

*Players start with Eight Random Facts/habits about themselves.
*People who are tagged write their blog and their eight random facts.
*At the end of the post, players choose eight people to be tagged and list their names.
*Don't forget to leave a comment on each tagged blog telling them they have been tagged.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Un travail en marche...

It feels like it has been ages since my last post, but I have been busy trying to complete these composition books that I have neglected for a few weeks now. I am almost finished, I just have a few more finishing touches to add, but I thought I would post what I have completed so far...

I am working with two of my favourite materials, which are these gorgeous glittery block letters and 'Art Blanche' composition version of a blank canvas!

I will post the finished products later this week...Enjoy!

Monday, July 2, 2007

140th Anniversaire Heureux Canada!

Picture of small cabin in the Maritimes

I was too busy watching the fireworks and being part of the festivities yesterday to blog, but the thought is still there...Happy 140th Birthday Canada! Our town, even though it's small (but still growing), always puts on a huge celebration every year that takes place just steps from our home at the lake. So I knew that within minutes of being home from work that I would be on the phone to my friends, planning on where we would meet.

My family and I had just enough time to celebrate with our traditional Canada Day dinner, which of course, has to include a red and white cake...for us, that's cheesecake with raspberry sauce!

The fireworks display never disappoints and at the end of the display we all rise to sing O Canada...a wonderful tribute to our country.
This is my 90th post and in the theme of celebrating, I have put begun to put together three packages to celebrate my upcoming 100th post...only 10 more posts!