social saturday

all miscellaneous posts related to the social aspect of the blog

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

Social Saturday | September 3

bachelor's buttons tiny bouquet with teacups in the background for a tea party

Happy Saturday Dear Readers! Here are a few things I’ve been up to in the past few weeks.

Thankful For- Tea parties with friends! We served Earl Grey Tea and Vanilla Cheesecakes with sugared pansies on top (this recipe, but with an almond crust). So pretty!

vanilla cheesecake cut into squares with purple and white sugared pansy decorations on top

ReadingBonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas. I recently read a different book about WWII and was interested in reading more about Bonhoeffer. And then when I visited a second hand book shop a couple of weeks ago, I found this one.

a very tiny fairy egg beside a normal sized egg

Loving– This adorable tiny little “fairy egg” or “fart egg” one of our hens laid. It was so small, yet was perfectly formed with a little yolk and everything! (Read more about fairy eggs here.)

Watching– So many home decorating channels on Youtube. I’ve been especially enjoying XO MaCenna renovating a 1910 fixer upper and Lone Fox working on a 1929 Spanish Revival home. Do you know of any other good home decor channels?

Making– Refinishing an antique dresser! It’s taking a lot longer than I first anticipated, but I think I’m going to love it once I’m done. If I ever finish it, that is…

spicy green peppers, tomatoes and peas fresh from the garden

Eating– Veggies from the garden; tomatoes, peas, cucumbers, potatoes, carrots…home grown produce is so delicious and flavourful!

Hope you have a great weekend, however you spend it!

bell pepper turning yellow and branches with dark berries on them

Social Saturday | August 13

sneak peek navy dress

Happy Saturday Dear Reader! It’s been a crazy week for me. I’ve had a lot of projects on the go, and a deadline to finish them for, because I am away at my friend’s wedding today. (I’m writing this post a few days before.)

I finally, with the amazing help of my mom, committed to making a bodice block/sloper. I tried doing this years ago through a Craftsy class, but it didn’t turn out well and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it. But, I found an excellent new tutorial on Youtube here, and it was a pretty straightforward process.

bodice block and staining a woodworking project

With a few fitting muslins, which we were able to do with the help of this tutorial, I now have a sloper that fits me pretty well. Once that was complete…I was then able to finally do some sewing for myself! That’s a sneak peek (at the top of the post) of what I’ll be wearing to the wedding this weekend. I’ll share some outfit photos soon.

When I haven’t been sewing, I’ve also been doing some woodworking projects…well my dad built this one, and I stained it. I’ll share it in a future post too. Next week I want to start on a refinishing project that’s been taunting me for a while. I had to get the sewing projects for the wedding out of the way, but once I get back, it will be time to get out the sandpaper and work on something a bit different!

wedding gift wrapped in a striped blue and white tea towel

Speaking of the wedding, here’s how I wrapped the gift. I wanted to try Japanese furoshiki, but the tea towel wasn’t soft enough, so I just folded it and tied with some twine. I included some of these recipe cards by Jenni Haikonen in the gift- they are so pretty!

felted wool baby shoes and a ruffled eyelet baby dress

I also sewed some more baby clothes a while ago and tried out a new style of dress and felted shoes, so of course I have to share them here. The dress turned out OK, but I’m not sure the bodice is the right size, so I decided to buy this pattern that I can customize in different ways. Baby clothes are the absolute cutest!

Well, that’s what has been keeping me busy lately. I can’t believe it’s already the middle of August. It doesn’t feel like summer should be almost over, and I’ve still got so many projects I want to work on while the weather is warm! I’d best get busy!

How has your summer been? Does it feel like the summer has gone by fast or slow for you? I hope you all have a lovely weekend, whatever you’re doing. ❤︎