life lately

Tea and Tulips on a February Day

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist

It is in February when I start longing for the sunshine and flowers of spring and summer. November and December hold the anticipation of Christmas and the snow is fresh and clean and appealing. January brings the promise of a bright New Year and fireside days. But, by the time February comes along, the snow is not a novelty anymore, and the days seem cold and lifeless. The weather warms up just enough to tease us with promise of Spring, only to freeze again. It is in the later days of February that we start to look towards Spring with expectation. I am not one to buy cut flowers often, but sometimes a bouquet of flowers is just the perfect thing to brighten up those long winter days. My mom surprised me and my sister this year on Valentine’s Day with a bouquet of gorgeous yellow and purple tulips. Yellow and purple are two colours that go extremely well together, and these tulips created a beautifully simple, yet elegant, bouquet.

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist, tulip vase

I love tulips as they are one of those funny kinds of flowers that seem to have a mind of their own. As soon as you arrange them in a bouquet, they rearrange themselves and completely undo all the arranging you did to them. Tulips actually continue to grow in the vase, and these certainly did as soon as I put them in the vase. I promise you that they were arranged in some kind of order, but by the time I took these photos, they had drooped and flopped all over the place. It’s OK though, as it makes them seem that much more natural and alive; and they do give me hope that Winter is not forever!

What could be more inviting on a cold February day than a bouquet of Spring flowers and a piping hot cup of tea in a pretty china teacup?

Do you like to have bouquets of flowers in winter? And tea in a pretty cup?

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist, vase and teacup

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist, tulip details

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist, teacup top view and vase

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist, tulip detail

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist, teacup and vase

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist, horizontal tulips

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist, teacup

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist, tulip and teacup detail

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist, top view teacup

Here Comes The Sun

Here Comes The Sun, the artyologist, frosty day

Remember that rime frost that I posted back in November? Well, these pictures were taken the very next day. One day the cold fog blew in and froze the world into a beautiful sparkling white wonderland, and the next, the sun came out from behind the clouds and melted it all away.

Rarely have I seen as beautiful sight as a bright sky blue backdrop behind frosty white trees glittering in the sunlight. I was glad when I noticed that the sun was peeking out that day, because by the end of the day, the frost had completely melted off, and we were left with bare branches again. But we didn’t have the bare branches for long, as the area I live in is very foggy, so we are always guaranteed some good winter frosts. In fact, the frost blew in a couple of days ago and the world is encased in sparkling diamonds again. I don’t think the frost will melt off for quite a while either, as we are currently in very cold temperatures (-30 degrees Celsius right now!) so unless there is a strong wind, it’s going to last for a while. In weather like this, I’m happy to look out my window and enjoy the view, without feeling the need to brave the cold in order to get some photographs! Photos would be nice but. . . 😉

Here Comes The Sun, the artyologist, frosted tree tops

Here Comes The Sun, the artyologist, frosted grasses

Here Comes The Sun, the artyologist, frosted tree tops and graineries

Here Comes The Sun, the artyologist, chickadee friend

Here Comes The Sun, the artyologist, tree over the rooftop

Here Comes The Sun, the artyologist, frosted lacey grass

Christmas Day: A Comfy Yet Classy Outfit

A Christmas Day Outfit, the artyologist

Happy New Years everyone! I hope that you all had a lovely and relaxing holiday season. I’ve had a lovely couple of weeks spent with family and visiting friends. I was pretty much “unplugged” for a week of that, and I must say that, although I don’t think I’m really addicted to my technology, it was so nice to just relax and focus on something other than writing a blog post, posting on instagram, responding to comments and generally falling down the rabbit hole of social media and the blogosphere! I haven’t really been reading anyone else’s blog posts either- so that is one of the things I’m looking forward to doing now that I am getting back into the swing of everyday routines.

I had thought about sharing a “best of 2016” post, for my first post of the year, as I’ve seen many other bloggers doing- a sort of year in review. But then I thought that since I have been blogging less than a year, there wouldn’t be that much to share, as I don’t love a lot of my early posts, (back when I was still getting the hang of this whole blogging thing). And then I thought about sharing, “Goals for 2017” or some such thing, but I am not organized enough for that. 😉 So instead, what better way to start off a fresh New Year, than with an outfit post with pictures of an outfit from last year, right? So, today I’m sharing what I wore for Christmas Day.

Christmas Day: A Comfy Yet Classy Outfit, the artyologist, ornaments

I had two main requirements with what to wear on Christmas day this year. The first was finding something that was comfortable, as we all know that the key to a good Christmas outfit is something that you don’t have to fuss with. My other consideration was something that was nice enough to wear to church, as I didn’t want to spend the entire morning getting ready. This year, for the first time in my life, I got to attend church on Christmas, as the holiday fell on a Sunday this year. However, as Christmas morning is such a busy time for our family, as we open presents and have brunch in the morning, I didn’t have a lot of time to get ready, and so I wanted to wear something that I could throw on quickly and look nice without taking too much time out of an already full morning.

So, when trying to decide what fell into that criteria, this skirt instantly came to mind. This skirt strikes the perfect balance: it is able to dress up or down, depending on the situation, and it is also so comfortable and warm. I have worn this combination of striped shirt and skirt several times now (I am actually wearing it right now as I type this, so it’s definitely a tried and true!). I’ve also worn this skirt with a chiffon blouse here, and with a myriad of other combinations that I haven’t shown on the blog. It is just so versatile, which is why I decided to wear it on Christmas day. The one problem that I used to have with this skirt, which is why last winter it didn’t get as much use as it has this year, is that last winter I only had brown winter boots. I find it very hard to pair brown and grey- I have seen it successfully done before- but I always get so stuck on that combination. Maybe it is because I have too many neutrals going on in my wardrobe in both cool and warm tones: a navy purse, a camel coat, brown boots. a grey skirt, a black hat- yikes! What a disaster that would be all paired together.

Christmas Day: A Comfy Yet Classy Outfit, the artyologist, boots

In order to create a more cohesive wardrobe, I have recently purchased two pairs of black winter boots though (shh… don’t tell anyone!) I purchased a pair of black, faux fur lined ankle boots in November, when a couple of weeks later, I came across these lace up boots in another shoe store. I could not say no to these boots as I have been looking for a pair of Edwardian styled boots for years. When the right boots come along, you can’t say no. They are definitely an investment- and besides they were on sale 😉

So, that is what I wore on Christmas day- and it proved to be a good outfit choice. It wasn’t overtly “christmassy”- in fact the only Christmas item was the earrings. I’m not really into holiday themed outfits though- so it was fine with me.

How was your Christmas and New Year? What are your main considerations for a good Holiday outfit? Do you like to wear very “holiday” themed items, or not?

Outfit Details:

Skirt: Vintage

Shirt: Had for many years

Necklace and Earrings: Also had for many years

Boots: Dkode

Tights: Hue

Christmas Day: A Comfy Yet Classy Outfit, the artyologist, christmas tree

Christmas Day: A Comfy Yet Classy Outfit, the artyologist, opening gift

Christmas Day: A Comfy Yet Classy Outfit, the artyologist, nativity ornament

Christmas Day: A Comfy Yet Classy Outfit, the artyologist, necklace

Christmas Day: A Comfy Yet Classy Outfit, the artyologist, in front of tree

The Beginnings of a Collection: Blue and White Ceramics

The Beginnings of a Collection: Blue and White Ceramics, the artyologist

My Grandma recently downsized to a new apartment, and wanted to pass on some things she doesn’t use anymore, and no longer had the space for in her new place. She asked if my sister and I would like some of her blue and white ceramics- and we both immediately said yes!

I have always loved blue and white ceramics. They are a popular style, and come from such far flung places around the world including Holland (Delft Tile) all the way to Vietnam. I love hand painted ceramics and am always drawn to crisp blue and white colours. I am always so amazed at the talent and detail that goes into them. I took a pottery course once. Suffice it to say, we will not be handing those pieces down through the generations. 🙁

I already owned this pitcher, which I purchased from Ten Thousand Villages last year, so I was very happy to add these beautiful new pieces, to create a small collection.

In my family we didn’t get much handed down in the way of clothes, like many vintage lovers I know, who have gotten dresses, hats and jewelry from past relatives. However, from both sides of my family, I have gotten dishes. Not all of them are antique, but they are each special, because they are a part of our family history. They will become heirlooms, even if they aren’t very old right now, like these pieces. Really, if you think about it, everything that is antique and old today, was at some point brand new. However, someone thought it was special enough to preserve. And so it will be with these. They will always remind us of our Grandma, and they will be preserved and passed down. And maybe someday, my distant great-great-granddaughter will be using this very same pitcher, or candy dish herself, getting ready to pass it down to the next generation too. It’s a nice thought anyways 🙂

Do you have any special collections? Do you have any pieces (of anything – not just dishes!) passed down from your family? If not, have you ever thought of starting a new collection of heirlooms yourself?

The Beginnings of a Collection: Blue and White Ceramics, the artyologist

The blue teapot is my sisters, and the white one is mine.

The Beginnings of a Collection: Blue and White Ceramics, the artyologist

Such a neat design for the candy dish. 

The Beginnings of a Collection: Blue and White Ceramics, the artyologist

I use this pitcher often, not as a pitcher, but as a vase! It makes a lovely vase for weedy roadside bouquets like the ones I picked here, or for pussy willow branches in the spring. It’ll probably be lovely for some evergreen boughs this winter too! And, on the right is the beautiful lattice design bowl of my sister’s.

The Beginnings of A Collection: Blue and White Ceramics, the artyologist

The little teapot is a tiny little knick-knack that my Grandma gave me years ago. It is a favour that Red Rose used to include in their teas years ago!

The Beginnings of A Collection: Blue and White Ceramics, the artyologist

The Beginnings of A Collection: Blue and White Ceramics, the artyologist

The entire “collection”, (to date!)