Where Bloggers Create Party 2013. Tour my current studio here.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Grow Your Blog 2015

 Welcome to the third annual "Grow Your Blog" curated by Vicki Boster of 2 Bags Full. Do pop over to visit her and see her lovely knitted creations and fabulous fibre nests as well as links to the other bloggers taking part this year.

This is my first time participating. Welcome to my blog! My name is Jennifer and I live in Eastern Ontario, Canada. I've been blogging for 8 years now. Hard to believe it has been that long! A friend convinced me to give it a try so we could keep track of each other's life as I had moved away. Back then it was something my mom looked at daily. Now I have a number of regular followers from all over who drop by.  I never thought anyone beyond my mom and a few close friends would ever care to visit. I've met a lot of lovely people over the years!

I mostly share fun finds, pictures of our two dogs, the chickens gardens and whatever loveliness I come across my daily routine.

 We have lived on our little five acres for nine years now. We have begun to put the land to use and grew a large garden last summer. That also meant canning and freezing a lot.

                               I have three young adult sons, at various stages of leaving the nest.

                   My husband is rather handy and built this coop last summer for our hens.

         These are the girls. Edie, Esme, Ella, Etta, Ethel and Ruth. They give us lovely brown eggs. Each has its own distinct personality. I could easily spend an afternoon happily watching them going about their business.

 Then we got a rooster. This is my youngest son with Mr Mister. He's a most handsome Chantecler rooster. An heritage breed originating from Quebec. They are supposed to be winter hardy. Well, one heritage breed deserves some hens so we got two hens for him and then saved the eggs from those hens which in turn hatched into 7 chicks! That makes sixteen birds now.  We've also raised meat birds twice now and will do it again this spring.

 Besides the outside which takes up a fair bit of our time, I have always been a collector of one thing or another. antique dolls are my first love. China heads in particular.  I've actually been paring down on things so many have gone into my Etsy shop and from there to other homes around the world.

 Buttons are always fun to find when out thrifting. No time is more relaxing spent sorting through a tin of  buttons. You just never know what you will find.  These are also great for creative projects.

 I love to find groups of things, Instant collections.  These are both practical and pleasing to the eye.

 Antique ephemera is a treasure destined for my own collage and assemblage work. Not much time for creating of late but as life allows, I have plenty of ideas for future pieces. I do still trade artist trading cards with my mom each month.

 On our property is a little stone creamery which has been turned into a wee shop. All vintage and antique stuff perfect for the creative person looking for something special for their own projects. It is only open from April to November as it is not heated.

My studio normally does not look this tidy! Here is a rare glimpse of it in an unnatural state of peace and order.

In my own art I love to use old toys and small antique items or unusual things to create assemblages, usually in shadow boxes. The piece above is made up of an old paper doll and small toys.

 This piece features my grandfather. I printed photos from different times in his life on transparency.

More work of mine. Old dolls, toys, natural elements and ephemera are my favourite items to use.

 Hop on over to 2 Bags Full to find a list of links to other blog participants. Vicki will keep the list of links up for the rest of the year.
Thank you so much for dropping by!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Little Thrifted Fun

 I was out running a few errands yesterday and when in town, you stop at the Goodwill.
I found a few things.  The picture is from the Sally Ann, the rest, Goodwill. A stainless steel travel soap dish is on the left.

 The little mouth blown glass elephant is for Aaron. The sweet Dutch girl was made in Germany and was either a pin cushion or toothpick holder.  The little oval dish is German and rather looks like it is covered in barnacles, which is why I bought it.

 A kitschy egg separator chicken and some neat old measuring cups. I love that they say "Mary Ann's Accurate Measure, E Katzinger Co. Chicago" on the bottom.

 A funny plaster bank and one of those oft seen plastic figures. This one is rather sweet. Not too visible is a large funky flower pin to add to my collection.

 This was a great surprise! I got excited when I read the box and inside are what we all likely have in our own cookie cutter collections.

 It is marked, "Made in Canada."  I looked to see if I could find more info online but only one other like this came up.  Very cool to see the cutters in their original box. They look as though they have never even been removed from the box.

This was another lovely surprise. A sweet little composition souvenir doll, from Mexico.
Everything was also half price too. Bonus!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Sorting, Gathering, & Storing

 It only took 7 months but I finally got the chance to fill up my little three drawer cabinet. I found this last summer when out on my birthday hitting a few yard sale with my son.

 Three nicely sized drawers perfect for storing a collection of vintage greeting cards. And look! Little spots to put labels, affording even more efficient storage and classification of one's finds.

 Once I started to go through the cards I was amazed to find that some themes were more popular than others. It was time to cut out little dividers for each theme.
I was surprised to find that sailing ships were a recurring image on Christmas cards and also how many "belated birthday" cards there were in my stash. A divider for each different category within a category. How satisfyingly organised.

              Love it! And now it is all gathered into one place. Neat and tidy. Next, antique postcards, in the smaller wooden cabinet right next to this one.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Bitter Winter Days

                  It was a bitter cold, hazy morning, depending on where you looked.

               To the west the sky was blue and you could see the hoar frost on the trees.

                                                     A good day to stay inside.

                          Even the fine hairy bits on the hanging plants are covered in frost.
For a little warm weather encouragement, check this out, HERE.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Little Box of Surprises

                                                       I found this box on Etsy.

               Inside were some long lengths of feather tree garland and a few little glass balls.

Inside the lid, I was surprised to find this: Dennison's Handy Box No. 80.  Well, doesn't everyone need a "Handy Box?"


 I saw my first Balangandan at a friend's house. It was a fascinating cluster of metal fruit. She referred to it as slave charms. Given to a slave for "extra" favours.
She grew up in South Africa.
On the clasp that holds the charms, Africa and Brazil are represented by the two birds (parrots?).
It was worn on a chain at the waist. Or hung on the wall when not worn.

 I see it referred to as "Penca De Balangandan."  I cannot find a definitive source for information on it and Wiki doesn't even know the word exists. There are many different types of these, in silver and other metals, often with carved wooden or semi-precious stone pieces too.  What little I have gleaned is from other folks with one for sale.

                               It is a very special, unique, historical addition to my kitchen.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Victorian Young Man Dummy Board

 Jen at Earth Angels Studio had a sale before Christmas and I was smitten by this young fellow.

He is about three feet tall and is paper on wood.  A very smart looking gentleman. He will find a spot in my studio.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Ice Storms & After Christmas Baking

 It snowed all day Saturday and rained that night freezing heavily on everything outside.

                                                      All day Sunday it rained and rained.

 The chickens were happy to poke about under the coop where they are protected from the weather.

 I was prepared to get my usual list of baking completed before the holidays however things didn't go as planned. I didn't want any fruit leftover so weighed it all out and instead of the normal variety of baked goods, I made six batches of mini fruit cakes. Beloved by all, even those who claim to hate fruitcake, these are our family's favourite. Three inch loaves and five inch loaves.

 Large cupcakes, mini cupcakes, lots of cupcakes.  Maybe it's the brandy glaze I brush on after they come out of the oven.

Another favourite is the soft ginger cookie. These still need to be dipped into white chocolate and cinnamon.

Speaking of cinnamon, we received a wonderful care package from Switzerland again this year. It is always a boxful of warmth and love, and chocolate too. Swiss chocolate!  My favourite is the never seen this side of the world, Lindt Cinnamon chocolate bar.  It only comes out at Christmastime. How lovely!
It's a cold, wintry week before us.  Not unexpected for January in Canada.  Stay warm and cosy.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Foggy Christmas, Snowy New Year's

  It was a foggy, almost snowless Christmas last week.  We went from mild temps to very cold. It was a nice, quiet Christmas.

            This morning, we woke to big fluffy flakes and a snowy landscape. Winter has returned.

                            Yesterday began with a pot of homemade butternut squash soup.

 Since I was already in the kitchen I figured I would keep going and for "dinner" I made my own potato "chips" and turned it into chips and salsa, compliments of a recipe from Willow Bird Baking blog.

 Julie also had a lovely recipe for a Honey Drizzled Cranberry Brie Pastry Braid which was super easy to make and looks great too.

It was very tasty.  I also made her recipe for Hot Cranberry Orange Cake on Christmas day but never got a picture of it as it disappeared fairly quickly.

Happy New Year to all of you who are kind enough to drop by. I pray it is a good year for everyone.


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