social saturday

all miscellaneous posts related to the social aspect of the blog

Spring Cottage Bedroom Refresh

Amber glass bottles with feathers in them, sitting on top of three antique books

After I took down my Christmas decor, I left my room blank for a while. Aside from hanging a Valentine garland, it’s been rather spartan. It was nice to have a visual rest with blank surfaces for a while, but finally I felt the desire to put a bit of spring decor out.

glass and brass box with moss and a birds nest inside it

I found this glass and gold box last week on clearance, which was lovely since I’ve been looking for one for about a year now. I saw Sarah of She Holds Dearly has a box that she uses for seasonal decor. I loved the idea and decorated it with a little nest and eggs and moss for spring.

shelf styled with hats, purses, jewelry and spring decor, with a gallery wall above it

three antique books in brown, cream and green stacked together

I also received these beautiful vintage books from a friend who was decluttering, the colours work so well for this time of year. I love old books, but I usually only find ones with red covers in the thrift stores, and I don’t really decorate with red, so it’s nice to have some in other colours. The amber bottles worked perfectly to hold some feathers.

pink tulips and a stack of three antique books with bottles on the top

I already shared a sneak peek on the weekend of these beautiful tulips. I never get tired of tulips. I didn’t keep the bouquet in my bedroom, but just styled them on my dresser for a few pictures.

pink tulips in a crystal vase sitting on an antique dresser

jewelry, a straw hat and perfumes on a tray on top of an antique dresser

I’ve also shared a picture of my new quilt before; it’s the perfect colour for spring (though I’ve been using it all winter!), and I love how it pairs with the Battenberg lace pillows. I’d thought of going with blue and white for this room, but somehow that seemed too cold. The green is the perfect balance.

laura ashley green and white floral cottage style quilt with lace pillows

Spring is in the air, Dear Readers. I hope you’re enjoying it!

tulips and a glass box with a nest and moss inside

top of shelf with a jewelry stand, books, amber bottles and a nest

necklace stand on top of a shelf and a green and white floral quilt paired with lace pillows

bouquet of pink tulips in a crystal vase

pink tulips against a white beadboard background

Victory

bouquet of pink tulips in a crystal vase

Tulips are one my favourite flowers, not just because they are so fluid and delicate, but because they come at a time of year when I am most starved for the beauty of flowers. You can buy flowers all year round, of course, but there is something so special at this time of year, when Winter seems to stretch on forever with no end in sight, that you walk into the store and find masses of tulips for sale. Their vibrant colours- myriad shades of pinks, oranges, yellows and reds- remind me that Winter is not forever. And likewise, at this time of year when Easter arrives early on the calendar, they remind me that Death is not forever.

I have been reading Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth’s new book Incomparable and in the reading for Good Friday, she writes:

Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father into your hands I commit my spirit!” (Luke 23:46)

“Yet His dying words assure us our spirits will follow Him safely into God’s presence, where we will live with Him and with our Father forever. He died with resurrection- both His and ours- already in His eyes. . . For us who have trusted Christ for salvation, who have committed our souls into His hands, the fear of death can be overcome by the anticipation of spending eternity in His presence.”

This weekend I remember that Jesus claimed victory over death- and he still does over 2000 years later. I rejoice with the saints:

“Where, O death, is your victory?
    Where, O death, is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Corinthians 15:55-57

I pray that this season you will remember the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, and that you will accept the gift of salvation he offers to all that come to him.

Happy Resurrection weekend! He is Risen indeed!

This & That | Spring is in the Air

bright blue skies in Spring with bare tree branches silhouetted against it

Hello! I’ve decided to rename my “Social Saturday” posts to “This and That”. Not perhaps the most creative of titles, but I don’t always want to post these on Saturdays, and so a new name was needed.

Spring is definitely in the air… although today the wind is making it feel a lot colder than the thermometer says. A chilly day in Spring feels so much nicer than a chilly day in Fall, though, doesn’t it? And, the skies are vibrant blue, and the tree buds are beginning to swell. When it’s not too windy, I’ve been enjoying going for walks.

vintage 1970's blue floral patterned wallpaper

I’m coming out of winter hibernation and beginning to get in the mood for projects as well- last week I took down the wallpaper in the craft room. I loved this blue floral wallpaper- especially when this room was my bedroom. However, it was past it’s prime and curling around the edges. It wasn’t easy to remove, and I’ve only got the top layer off, but I am excited about giving this room a fresh coat of a paint and a bit of rearranging to make it function better as a work space. Right now it’s kind of got that haunted Victorian mansion look going on.

in the midst of pulling down vintage wallpaper off the wall

I mailed some floral postcards last week to herald the arrival of Spring. Flowers won’t be poking their heads up for a while, so until then, we’ll have to rely on photos and bouquets of tulips.

double petaled pink tulip in a bud vase and a pile of flower photo postcards

I was sick a while ago, and couldn’t read because of the congestion, so I listened to my favourite book, Jane Eyre. This is the version I listened to and the narrator was fabulous! Jane Eyre is my favourite book, and I loved listening to it for a change- it was a completely different experience.

stack of books to read and Victoria magazine beside a cup of tea

I discontinued my subscription to Victoria magazine, because it kept getting lost in the mail. However, I have been picking up the occasional issue off the newsstand. I really like the Spring issues of Victoria (so many beautiful flowers) and the March/ April issue was a good one. Jennifer L. Scott of the Daily Connoisseur is also their writer-in-residence this year, so I wanted to make sure to get a copy and read her essay.

scrapbooking binder for organizing stickers and papers

I’ve been looking for storage solutions for scrapbooking supplies, and came across this great idea on Pinterest- using a photo album for stickers and embellishments. It was so simple, I can’t believe I never thought of it before. I have been saving some business card page protectors for years, thinking that one day they would come in handy, and they finally did! I also have some 4×6 and 6×8 slotted pages and a few 8.5 x 11 pages for larger stickers, collected ephemera and paper scraps. I was able to condense several boxes down into one album and it’s so much easier to page through and find what I am looking for, rather than digging through boxes.

linen look photo mat for a silver vanity photo frame

I bought this photo frame years ago, and never really liked how it looked with a photo in it. It’s a 5×7 size, and the frame always seemed a bit too narrow. So I wrapped a photo mat with fabric and put a 4×6 photo in it and I love how it looks. It gives the frame just a bit of an edge, and I think the detail stands out better now.

Finally, for today, I haven’t made them yet, but I am interested to try this 1700’s recipe for Ratafia Biscuits. They sound very similar to a recipe I have for lemon cookies, and are naturally gluten free. Maybe it’s time to start planning a tea party…

Hope your week is going well!

❤︎ Nicole

Happy Heart Day

Heart shaped plate with pink hearts on it filled with chocolate truffles sitting on a lace tablecloth

Happy Valentines Day dear Reader! I’ve come down with a cold, so just a quick post today.

Lately I’ve been…

(Re)reading: Mrs. Sharp’s Traditions, which has a lovely chapter about Valentines Day, and turning it into a celebration of family, not just romantic love. I, of course, love that sentiment, as Valentines Day has always been one of my favourite holidays.

two heart garlands, one with red clay and raffia hearts and one made of paper

Loving: I don’t do a lot to celebrate Valentines Day, but each year I send out cards, hang my heart garland and try to make some sort of themed dessert. This year it was raspberry chocolate truffles!

scrapbooking pages and photographs spread out across my desk

Making: My mom and I have been sorting through years worth of family photos, and I’ve started scrapbooking again! I started scrapbooking 20 years ago, but I took a long break from it. I was originally planning to put my photos into regular albums, but then decided to scrapbook them. I won’t necessarily make them as fancy as the pages I used to do, but I like that the 12×12 format will give me a place to put all the documents and keepsakes I’ve gathered over the years alongside the photos.   

Finding: New artists to love on Redbubble. I had a voucher to use, and while browsing came across this lovely Jane Eyre painting by Zuzana Čupová. I love Jane Eyre, and fell in love with this painting the moment I saw it. It fits perfectly into my gallery wall. I also really love the artwork of Oh Jess Marie and purchased some of her adorable tea and book themed greeting cards and stickers. (Ps. the print quality on everything I got from Redbubble was great!)

framed jane eyre watercolour painting artwork hanging in a gallery wall

Thankful for: Videos to watch and podcasts to listen to while I am sick and don’t feel up to reading. A few of my favourites lately are Aly Art, Relatable by Allie Beth Stuckey and Farmhouse on Boone.

And, finally, on this day of love, I will leave you with this verse about the best love!

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”- Romans 5:8

Social Saturday | January 27

a stack of books to read sitting in front of a wall with a floral picture hanging on it

Hello and happy Saturday Dear Reader! What are your plans for this weekend? Mine are to write this post, do some crafting, tidying and reading and I’m not sure what else.

Here’s what I’ve been up to lately…

Reading: All of the books in the stack above. Well, not all at the same time. I’ve finished The Life Giving Home, A Proper Pursuit, and Digital Madness and am now halfway through The Pastor’s Wife. After I finished The Lifegiving Home I was inspired to pull out one of my favourite books, Mrs. Sharp’s Traditions again. So many good books, so little time…

cornflower botanical painting by Jenni Haikonen

Loving: This beautiful cornflower botanical watercolour by one of my favourite artists, Jenni Haikonen. I received it for Christmas from my parents.

Making: So many projects on the go, all the time, but my current sewing project is a wool skirt out of piece of wool that was originally a pleated skirt. I liked the colourway of the plaid so decided to pick it out and make a new skirt that was more my style. I got the idea of unpicking wool skirts from American Duchess years ago. There was just enough fabric I could squeeze a 4 panel 1/2 circle skirt, while still managing to avoid a few stains as well as match the plaid across the seams!

embroidery and crochet crafts and a length of plaid with a skirt pattern on it

Thankful For: Art and Craft night with friends. Yesterday I hosted a creative get together with 9 other ladies. We each brought our current craft project, like a guild or sewing circle, and worked on it in the company of others. We had a wide variety of talent including crochet animals and dishcloths, a knitted doll, sketching, acrylic painting, embroidery, scrapbooking and fabric and bead ornaments. It was fun seeing what everyone was working on, but most of all we enjoyed the company and conversation.

Listening To: Anúna. I don’t know why I didn’t know about this group until now, because I love Riverdance, Celtic Woman and other choral music. I discovered them in December while listening to Christmas music on Youtube (their Christmas playlist is gorgeous) and now I am hooked. I particularly love this one, “Sleepsong“.

Vintage Vogue magazine from 1892 framed in a black and brass frame

In other news, I framed this Vogue cover from 1892 (no, it’s not original! It’s just a copy I cut off of a dust jacket) to add to my gallery wall.

And some of the other crafts I’ve been making are more of these photo cards. I’ve been using photos I had printed and then stamp them and glue them to a card. I made some kraft envelopes for them too, and decided to list them in my shop. I’ve also listed some more baby/girl’s headbands as well.

cards and headbands for sale in my shop

Well, that’s all for now. I’d better finish this post up and get busy with my other projects before the day runs away from me! I hope you have a lovely Saturday, whatever you are up to.

❤︎ Nicole