life lately

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 | 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. ❤︎

Peonies in Bloom

large pink peony blooms fading in colour around the edges

This is slowly and unintentionally turning into a flower blog…. there are just so many beautiful flowers in my mom’s garden all bursting into glorious colour, though, and I can’t resist indulging myself in taking tons of photos of them! And then, of course, cutting some of the blooms and bringing them indoors to enjoy. Peonies are probably my favourite flowers (if I had to choose just one), but the bad part about them is the bugs also love them. So, you always have to shake all of them off otherwise you inadvertently bring a million tiny beetles into the house. But that extra work is worth it, because they smell heavenly!

pink peony blooms, one cut and placed on a windowsill in a tiny vase

I love these dark pink ones, since they fade to light pink as they open. They are almost all gone now: short lived, but so enjoyable.

pink peony bloom from the side, dark pink fading to light pink at the tips

White peonies aren’t my favourite variety, but this variety with the dark magenta centre is so vibrant that I do enjoy them. They are difficult to take pictures of, though.

single white peony bloom opening with a dark magenta pink splash in the centre

a white pink peony bloom with a dark pink centre

We have several more peony blooms that haven’t opened yet- one new variety called “Raspberry Sundae” that I’m so excited to see. I’ll try to get some photos to post here…and then photos of all of the other flowers that are blooming right now too.

What flowers are blooming where you live? What is your favourite flower?

small pink peony bloom in various shades of pink

masses of pink peony blooms

a single peony bloom in a vase on a windowsill with a lace curtain

Social Saturday | May 28

three red tulip blooms

Hello and happy Saturday Dear Readers! How was your week?

Here is a round up of some of things I’ve been enjoying lately, paired with some photos I’ve take over the past month. I love all the tiny leaves and cheerful flowers at this time of the year, don’t you? It’s been lovely watching all the flowers and leaves slowly open, the birdsong floating through the air, rain showers and the quiet and busy hum of the bumblebees as they go from bloom to bloom…

red tulip blooms and blossoms

  • What I’ve been working on: a sewing project that I’ve had in the works for several years… I finished it and will be sharing it next week. It’s nice to finally be able to check that one off the “to do” list!
  • As I’ve been sewing in the evenings, I have been listening to the audiobook of “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens. It’s one of my favourite books- I listened to a recording of it a few years ago, and decided it was time for a re-read/listen: I’m about 2/3 of the way through now. I don’t particularly love reading Dickens, but I absolutely love listening to his stories! If you decide to read or listen to it, just make sure you don’t start the final 1/4 of the book in the evening, otherwise you’ll have to stay up until 3 AM to find out the ending! (That’s what I did the first time I listened to it- I was very tired the next day, but it was worth it!)

green sedum plant

  • I’ve also just finished reading “Facepaint: The History of Makeup” by Lisa Eldridge. It was such an interesting and in depth look at the history of makeup from ancient times to the present day. I enjoyed not only the text but also the photography, and the photos of all her vintage makeup collection. Why don’t more makeup brands today make pretty packaging? There’s so much boring plastic out there…

    tiny leaves growing on the trees

    • I have also been borrowing some more decorating books from the library, and “For the Love of White” by Chrissie Rucker was another good one. Most of the homes in the book are too modern for my own taste, but I think it can be inspiring to look at decorating styles that fall outside of our niches. Sometimes we can get in a rut, with home decor, fashion… anything really, if we focus too narrowly on what we already know we like. Curated Instagram feeds and Pinterest boards with suggestions of photos “you might like” can, over time, stifle creativity, whereas seeing new things, styled in ways different than we normally would, can be extremely inspiring. I’ve always grown up in homes full of colour, and it’s taken me a while to realize that I actually really like White as a colour, not just a neutral, so this book (full of homes from England) was particularly calming and lovely!

    peony plants coming up

    • This blog post, from Farmhouse on Boone, taught me something new. Before the days of refrigeration people had so many ingenious methods of food preservation, and water glassing eggs is one of them. My mom has chickens, so maybe we’ll try this in the future? I love discovering new-old ways of preserving food!

    Well, that’s all for this week. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, whatever you have planned!

    yellow wood tulips and white and peach daffodils

    miniature purpley blue johnny jump

    tiny green leaves unfurling on a branch