nature

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

Last Days of Summer

blue bachelor's buttons flowers

I can’t believe that it’s already the last day of August..where did the summer go? I had so many projects I wanted to complete over the warm months, but between the humidity and the heat waves, that didn’t go exactly as planned. (I am working on a furniture refinishing project and have been getting up early in the morning to go and work on it outside before the sun heats up too much!)

We’re currently in one last, well, I hope it’s the last, burst of high temperatures. I am hopeful that when we turn the page to September, the weather will cool off a bit. It’s already starting to feel like the end of summer though; the sun sets earlier, the nights are chilly, the flowers are fading and we’re harvesting vegetables from the garden. There truly is a change in the air and the sunlight that signals the changing of the seasons…and I love it!

Here are some of the flowers from the month of August before it’s time to enjoy the fall leaves.

hydrangea flower blooms

bumblebee in a hollyhock flower

There were so many bumblebees on the hollyhock blooms, but as soon as I tried to take a picture of them, they all left, so this is the best I got. They must be camera shy!

pink hollyhock blooms with light striping

My mom grew so many lilies and they all had such abundant blooms this year!

light pink asiatic lily

orange tiger lily and white asiatic lily

broken heart double asiatic lily

orange and yellow sunflower and burgandy and orange daylily

white yarrow and pink blooming sedum

blue sea holly

blue and burgundy purple bachelors buttons blooms

A One Day Bouquet

lilac bouquet in a tiny bottle sitting on a windowsill with a lace curtain

Lilacs are one of those flowers that are best enjoyed outside on the hedge…but I just can’t resist cutting a bouquet to bring inside! Their large, bouncy blooms are perfect for creating wild, abundant bouquets.

light purple lilac blooms covering a hedge

If you cut lilacs and either smash the stems or cut them vertically, they are supposed to last longer, but I didn’t have much luck getting these to last more than a day. But, even if the blooms only last a day or two, it’s still worth it to enjoy their beautiful scent wafting through the house.

dark purple lilac blooms covering a hedge

And apparently the conditions were perfect this year for lilacs, because we got two full weeks of lovely, scented blooms to enjoy. And when the first bouquet wilted, I just went and cut another!

light purple lilac blooms framing an vine covered roof in the background

hedge row covered in light and dark purple lilac blooms

close up of a dark purple lilac bloom

Do you have lilac bushes, or access to some? Have you had any luck getting lilac bouquets to last longer?

lilac bouquet sitting on top of a bookshelf with a vintage mirror behind reflecting the blooms

bouquet of lilacs sitting on a bookshelf in front of a wall covered in vintage pictures

bouquet of lilacs sitting on top of an antique dresser with a mirror

lilac bouquet sitting on top of a dresser with beadboard in the background

lilac bouquet sitting on a dresser with a vintage hand mirror reflecting the blooms

A World Where There are Octobers

woman spinning in front of a row of yellow trees

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables 

The leaves are going quickly. Only days ago this row of trees in our backyard were covered in bright golden colours and by today they are mostly gone. Bare branches are left in stark contrast to the pale azure autumn skies. The bright yellow leaves are slowly deepening in colour, and the days are cool and crisp. I love this time of year and, like Anne, I am glad I live in a place where I get to fully enjoy Octobers.

woman walking in front of a large row of trees

mountain ash tree berries and woman wearing a wrap skirt and navy blue t-shirt

I am also happy that my sister was able to get these photos for me when she did, since I think this is the last time I’ll be pulling out this linen wrap skirt for this year. It’s time to reach for the tights and woollens and scarves!

patchwork quilt purse

This is the patchwork purse I mentioned that I was making. It took quite a while to finish, since I decided to hand stitch it to give more control over some of the very tiny pieces of fabric. I’m not a skilled quilter, and since I didn’t follow any pattern (each piece was fitted in place as I sewed) it ended up quite quirky! I think it gives it a rather authentic 1970’s feel though, don’t you?

After I finished the quilt, I then appliquéd it onto a canvas backing and then lined the entire thing to give it some strength, especially since the last one I made came apart. I was able to use so many unique pieces of fabric that I’ve saved over the years- you can even see in the picture above that I used a piece of the fabric from this skirt! Well, at least I know that this bag will coordinate with almost everything in my wardrobe…

woman spinning in front of autumn leaves

woman standing in front of golden trees looking into the distance

woman twirling in front of autumn trees

detail of a gold heart necklace

Friendship necklaces used to be such a “thing” when I was a kid, but they kind of went out of favour, didn’t they? A few years ago I found this friendship necklace; the heart cut out of the centre of this piece forms the other necklace! I like that it’s so delicate and minimal.

woman wearing a wrap skirt and carrying a patchwork bag

mountain ash berries

patchwork quilted purse

cognac coloured ballet flats

Why is it so hard to find brown shoes? Have you ever noticed that? Since deciding that brown is my “neutral” I have had the hardest time finding nice shoes that aren’t black. I was so glad to be able to find these from Vionic. I think it’s about time to put them away for the season, though. They are perforated, which is lovely for warm days, but a bit chilly for autumn!

I hope you are faring well and enjoying your October, whatever it’s looking like for you!

mountain ash tree

poplar branch in golden sunset light

After the Rain

pink ruffled flowers with raindrops on them

We’ve had such a hot, dry summer with heat wave after heat wave. I don’t love hot weather, so I was very happy when we had a nice cloudy day recently with a good rain. Unfortunately, it’s been so dry that the rain didn’t make much of a difference to the water table, and we really could do with several days in a row of a steady, soaking rain…but at least we had that small reprieve. And when it had finished raining and the clouds had passed, there were millions of diamonds left behind frosting each and every petal.

dark purple blue pansy covered in rain drops

astilbe and a burgundy daylily

Astilbe and a Burgundy Daylily

rose mallow with rain drops on the petals

Pink Mallow or Lavatera

rose mallow and german statice flowers in the garden

Mallow and German Statice

pale periwinkle blue delphinium flower

Delphinium

sedum and daylily covered in rain droplets

Sedum and Orange and Yellow Daylily

pink climbing rose

John Cabot climbing rose