social saturday

all miscellaneous posts related to the social aspect of the blog

Social Saturday | January 14

sun shining through frost covered trees

Happy Saturday, Dear Reader.

Here we are, well into the New Year by now…have you gotten used to writing “twenty twenty-three” yet? It always takes me a while! Here are some of the things I’ve been up to lately.

a sketchbook page with illustrations and new years goals on it

Do you make goals or resolutions for the New Year? While of course we can create resolutions at any time, there is something nice about turning the page and starting fresh, isn’t there? I drew some illustrations of my goals this year and hung them above my desk so I am more likely to look at them…. and hopefully remember them!

One of the biggest goals I have for this year is to create routines. I finally, after many years, created a good morning routine in 2022, so I’d like to extend that to other areas in my life. Things such as intentionally stopping in the afternoon and having “teatime” rather than always having a cup at my desk as I work, or unplugging an hour before bed and using that time to read and journal. I want to create simple, but flexible, routines that have a big impact when done consistently.

Another plan for this year, is reading all of the books on my list!  I always have a never ending TBR list, but then never actually get around to reading those books… so I have pulled all of the unread ones off my bookshelf and sat them on my nightstand, compiled a list of 16 books that have been on my list for a while, purchased the ones that are not available at the library, and finally put in a few requests through the library. I hope to read more than 16 books this year, so once I get through that list I will add more, but at least this way, I won’t have any 1/2 finished ones taunting me, and as soon as I finish one book, I can dive straight into another.

Another project I’ve been working on lately, is my hard drive. I have mentioned this “to-do” in past years, but this truly is the year! I’ve made some good progress already organizing my photos and folders. My goal is to finally get some photo books printed, so I’ve been busy organizing and sorting. I love to organize physical spaces, but the digital realm is another story altogether….

floral and polka dot fabric covered sketchbook tied with velvet ribbon

Here are a few projects (in the physical realm) that I’ve made. I recovered this sketchbook using a tutorial by Miss Mustard Seed. (I used Mod Podge) I haven’t ever really liked this sketchbook, so I hope that recovering it will inspire me to use it more often. We’ll see…if not, then I will pass it on and use the recovering techniques I learned from this one for another journal or sketchbook.

bouquet of flowers embroidered necklace

I also made a tiny embroidered necklace over Christmas…I made my sister one last Christmas and it took me an entire year to get around to making one for myself. I’ve got a couple more frames left; hopefully it doesn’t take me an entire year to make another!

floral wax seal with a wooden handle and a pair of forged scissors

Though tools are supposed to be utile, isn’t it so much nicer when you have pretty ones? I received these lovely iron scissors and a wax seal kit for Christmas. I haven’t used the wax seals yet, so I think it’s time I wrote some letters. And the scissors are so cute; I’ve always loved this style and shape. They are from Wicker and White Co. on Etsy.

Well, that’s pretty much all for this week. Oh, and I took this photo below one morning as the sun was coming up and tinting the frosty trees pink. Paired with the blue shadows, it was a stunning pastel ombre effect. I’m so glad to live in a world where there are beautiful scenes like this.

Hope your week was excellent and that your weekend is even better ❤︎

pink tinted frosty trees as the sun comes up

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

Ceramic nativity set lit by candlelight

O come, O come, Immanuel,

and ransom captive Israel

that mourns in lonely exile here,

until the Son of God appear.

Humanity groans in it’s wretched state- in lonely exile and captivity, enslaved to sin and without hope.

O come, O Bright and Morning Star,

and bring us comfort from afar!

Dispel the shadows of the night,

and turn our darkness into light.

But in the midst, God enters in, bringing Light in the form of a baby born in a stable. Immanuel, God With Us.

O come, O King of nations, bind

in one the hearts of all mankind.

Bid all our sad divisions cease

and be yourself our King of Peace.

And that’s not where the story ends. Through the Saviour, the King of Peace, who will bid all our sad divisions cease, there is a hope for the future.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel

shall come to you, O Israel.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas, with the hope that the message of this song, written over 1000 years ago, will bring you hope and comfort, and a reason to rejoice, in this Christmas season.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

(I recently learned that this beautiful hymn, one of my favourites, is an 8th century antiphonal chant that was, in 1851, turned into a seven verse hymn. In Latin it was originally “Veni Veni Emmanuel”.)

This & That (Aka. Social Saturday, but on a Wednesday)

A plate of cranberry tarts in front of a vase of holly berries and fairy lights

Happy Wednesday Dear Readers! It’s not Saturday, but I only had bits and pieces of things to post, and since some of the things I wanted to share are Christmas related, I didn’t feel like waiting until Social Saturday. (It kind of reminds me of The Lego Movie, where they change the name of the day from “Taco Tuesday to Freedom Friday… but still on a Tuesday!”)

Anyway, enough about Lego and onto the Christmas content.

rolling out pastry to make tart shells and tart pans filled with cranberry tarts

Firstly, the baking has begun. Today, we’re making Christmas tarts, which is our family’s main seasonal tradition. Pretty much all of our traditions revolve around food. That’s pretty grand, now that I think about it. We make Cranberry Tarts, (also called Mock Cherry Pie) and Coconut Tarts. Discovering that I am sensitive to gluten was so sad, because I couldn’t eat the tarts anymore, until we found this excellent gluten free pastry recipe.

cup of tea with a piece of christmas cake sitting on the saucer

The other recipe we make every year is my mom’s excellent Mincemeat Christmas Cake. Our house is divided on this, with people either loving it or hating it. I love mincemeat, so I’m firmly in the “Love It” camp. Do you like spiced mincemeats and Christmas cakes?

New this year, we also tried making our own chocolate covered cherries. They’re still full of everything that’s bad for you, but they did turn out very good! They have more of a Creme Egg style centre, rather than a liquid centre, but apparently the longer you wait, the runnier they get. We followed this recipe, which was really easy to make, and we had everything on hand already.

advent scripture cards hanging from mini clothespins on a string across the mantle

In other Christmas news, we have started a new Advent tradition. We were a bit late to the party, only getting these hung up on the weekend, but we purchased the printable “Truth for The Day” Advent Cards from Home Made Lovely, and strung them across the mantle with mini clothespins. I absolutely love how they look- the illustrations are adorable- and it’s so fun to turn over the card each day as we approach Christmas.  I also just love how we decorated the mantle this year! My Grandma gave my mom these silver deer candlesticks she had, and they look so great against the stone fireplace. And of course the fairy lights on top of the garland add such a nice sparkle.

mantle decorated for christmas with a silver deer candlestick and a garland with fairy lights

Another download, a free one this time, is this adorable printable from Sincerely Marie Designs for 12 Days of Christmas ornaments. I haven’t printed them yet, since I want to see if I can transfer them onto small wood cookies. I saw a set of ornaments like that earlier this year, and I think that would be so cute.

baby headbands with bows and fabric yo-yos

Onto other topics, I’ve been making baby headbands again. We’ve got so many little ones on the way in my church, so I’ve been working on making these yo-yos and bows and have been listening to The Silmarillion audiobook as I stitch.  I tried reading the book, but it was so dry I had to give up. Then I thought to get an audio book from the library, which is so much more enjoyable. (The copy I got is voiced by Martin Shaw).

felted beret and mittens with a flower added to the hat

I also made a brown felted wool flower to add to the wool beret I made a couple of years ago. I never wear this hat, because it’s too stiff to maneuver and “flop” and so it always just looked like it needed something; the felt flower is the perfect touch. I also made some felted wool mittens to match earlier this year, but I don’t think I ever posted them, so here they are now. If you want to make your own, here’s my tutorial.

screenshot of poshmark shop new listings

I also made a few more headbands and hair clips for my Poshmark shop. That pink flower is one-of-a-kind. While I love how it turned out, I won’t make another out of that pink satin, because it was so hard to singe the edges! Once they started melting, they kept going, and I had to throw away so many petals with holes in them. It would look so pretty tucked into an updo for a formal occasion, wouldn’t it? I also added some more photography and other artwork, including some of my favourite mini art cards and paintings.

reorganized closet with capsule winter wardrobe hanging

In other topics, I also recently reorganized my closet; the way I had set it up last January just wasn’t working for me anymore. Basically I had categories too spread out, with some things on shelves, some in drawers and some hanging. I have now separated it, putting all of my loungewear and working clothes (as in grungy work) out of the closet and into my dresser drawer. I took all of my sweaters and cardigans off of the shelf and hung them on padded hangers. Then I put my large purses on the top shelf above the rod, my berets on my shoe shelf, all of the winter hats on stands on my dresser, and my scarves and fur collars on the back of my door (except for one that is too big, which is hanging). It is working so much better for me to be able to clearly see at a glance all of the pieces in my winter capsule wardrobe, without being distracted by loungewear and other things that don’t go in that capsule! I have found over the years that if I don’t have things out where I can see them, I just won’t remember to wear them, so it’s working so much better to have out-of-season items stored on the side shelves in my closet, and the in-season items out in front.

Not related to closets entirely, but sort of, I enjoyed this post by Gillian Dunn, about using your special items everyday.

I also was going to share this post about Carolyn Bessette Kennedy’s fashion inspiration in my last Social Saturday, and I forgot, so here it is now. I love how classic her looks are. You can obviously tell it’s the 90’s and yet it’s still elegant. (And I absolutely love her neutral palette.)

And finally, unrelated to anything, this post about the themes in A Tale of Two Cities (one of my favourite books!) is very good. I read the book back in May, but didn’t see this blog post until a while later. It’s a very good article, but DO NOT read it if you haven’t read A Tale of Two Cities, since there are major spoilers!

Well, I think that’s all that I have for today. I hope your week and your December is going well…there’s only 11 days until Christmas!

Social Saturday | November 12

several books and a magazine spread out on a vintage quilt

Hello and happy Saturday, Dear Readers. It’s a snowy day today, so it’s the perfect time to settle down with some books or blog posts to read. Here are a few I’ve enjoyed lately.

I recently received my birthday gifts and my Victoria magazine in the mail on the same day. I got these three new books: Nora Murphy’s Country House Style, Feels Like Home by Marion Parsons and How Not to Kill Your Houseplant by Veronica Peerless. I’ve really been enjoying reading decorating books lately, getting some from the library and now a few for my own shelf.

And, here’s a list of some more books that sound good…a few more to add to my never ending “To Be Read” list!

I liked this article from Verily Magazine about choosing a personal decorating style you love, rather than just following what is popular and trendy.

Also from Verily, I’ve filed away this one to refer to next time I need to stretch new shoes.

This was a fun peek into a vintage magazine from 1908, from Wearing History Blog. I always enjoy seeing the “ideal” fashions from each period portrayed in magazines and catalogues.

I loved this article about Marilyn Monroe’s style! She is one of the most famous fashion icons for a reason.

I have read, and written, a lot about fast fashion (you can read more posts in the “sustainable fashion” category on my sidebar) but every time someone talks about it, I always seem to learn something new. Mostly I learn that the fashion industry is very corrupt and has no incentive to change. I wouldn’t have bought from Shein anyway, but this video by Karolina Zebrowska definitely solidified that decision. Of course we all need to wear clothes, and we can’t always afford to buy ethical brands (I own some fast fashion pieces myself), but the key difference I see is in the attitude we have when we approach our clothing. We might not have the power to revolutionize the fashion industry, but we each do have the ability to revolutionize our own closets by choosing to buy only what we need and then loving and caring for those pieces well, no matter their price tag.

In this video by The Minimal Mom, she asks a great question to help with decluttering!

I came across this quote yesterday and thought it was timely, considering my post on Wednesday.

“Be satisfied with the fact that although your art or talent may never be accepted by the world as anything ‘great’, and may never be your career, it can be used to enrich your day by day life: enrich it for you, and for the people with whom you live….and come to the recognition of the fact that it is important for you to BE creative in this area to the extent of your talent: important for you as a person who IS a creative creature.” – Edith Schaeffer

Also by Edith Schaeffer, I really liked this one too.

“If you have been afraid that your love of beautiful flowers and the flickering flame of the candle is somehow less spiritual than living in starkness and ugliness, remember that He who created you to be creative gave you the things with which to make beauty and the sensitivity to appreciate and respond to His creation.”

And finally, revisiting one of my favourite posts, “Home”, from one of my favourite bloggers, The Palest Ink. She has a beautiful way of weaving words with Biblical truths.

That’s all for today’s post, and I hope you have a lovely weekend!

Social Saturday | October 1

oak tree in fall covered in gold and brown leaves

Happy Saturday, dear Readers, and welcome to October (My favourite month!) How was your week? I’ve got a quick little post for today because I wanted to share a couple of links with you all.

The first is this calligraphy course I’ve signed up for! I’ve always wanted to learn calligraphy, so when I learned about this modern brush calligraphy course, by Becca of The Happy Ever Crafter, I was so excited to join! I’ve got my supplies ready, and can’t wait to learn a new skill. The class starts on Monday, so there is still time to join if you too want to learn calligraphy!

And the other link is to this article from Verily about the recent Persuasion Netflix film. I didn’t watch the movie, and had no intention of doing so, but I did really enjoy this examination of why this “modernized” version of one of my favourite Austen stories was such a miss, and how Hollywood fails at presenting different kinds of heroines.

Well, that’s all I have to say today. I hope you have a lovely weekend, whatever you’re up to!

a hollyhock bloom with a bumblebee inside it and a yellow sunflower