Thursday, June 16, 2011

More Treasures ...

Dear husband (aka Bill or more affectionally, Bear) & dear youngest daughter travelled to Calgary a few weeks ago, leaving me along with two puppies who followed me everywhere. Needing some space after long days at work, stress filled moments & lapping puppies looking for some attention, I treated myself on Friday afternoon to a walk thru the Antique Mall. Phoned dear husband first, as he was then travelling home. Wanted to let him know where I was, on the off chance that he drove faster than usual & beat me home if my wandering turned in to hours, which it often does. Hey, it's a big place & I can just go to my favorite booths but really have to wander thru each one, on both floors. Promising to not spend anything or at least a very small amount, I ended up splurging on a few things that cost me a grand total of, wait for it .... $20.48. Yes, I am a big spender on pay day!

Why is it that ...

I have time to read every one's blog everyday but can't find two minutes to update mine?

I'll never have followers & comments if I keep this trend up.

Part of the issue is when I think of it, I'm doing something else, like driving.

The other issue is when I want to upload pictures to complement a great post, my laptop doesn't let me if I'm at home. We're wireless but there seems to be some little gremlin in our system that will allow me to upload & post at work but bring the thing home & it gets picky about working after hours.

Maybe it's trying to tell me to leave it at work & stop trying to use it at home, where I should be relaxing & practicing the self~care I teach!

Smart laptop ... message taken.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sundays are for catching up ...

... at least at our house!

We catch up on sleep (love our yummy sleep), catch up on housework (love our clean house to start the week), catch up on shopping (love having a full fridge for the week) & catch up on emails that sometimes get read but sit until we have extra time.

Today we slept until after 10:30. A delicious, lazy wake up to the day. I didn't sleep well all week with my family away, so the chance to sleep a full night was amazing. Grabbed the newspaper & my laptop & crawled back in to bed until 2:30, at which point it was time to finally emerge from our warm & cozy cocoon. We've had terrible windstorms all week & there was no gardening this weekend. Thankfully, we had already done our yard clean up once the snow melted, so there was no guilt for not putzing in the dirt. I had a nice long hot bath & got ready to go shopping. I had cleaned house the day before, so that was one thing off our list we didn't have to accomplish.

Once Bear was ready, we ventured out into the wind to the mall to find some new jeans for me. Tried on a few pairs & still need to decide what look I like. The bonus to this trip was discovering that all our working out at the gym is paying off. I used to wear size 3 to 5 in jeans but had creeped up to a size 9 over the last few years. Yikes! I've now lost 6 pounds but really losing weight wasn't what I needed to do. I just needed to get back into the great shape I had been. And today I discovered that I am back down to a 3 to 5 in jeans. So happy!! I didn't buy any jeans but found an awesome pair of olive green skinny cargo pants (size 3) along with a floral, long, flowing sleeveless shirt & a cream buttonless summer sweater that also "flows". Love the lightness of the clothes at this time of year. Helps now to be back in to shape. Worth all the sweat & achiness.

Almost mindful of our budget, I am happy to report this clothing spree trip only cost $42.00. The pants were $88 to begin with but had been marked down to $19. Awesome bargain for the right size, right color & the best part: right comfort level of softness for my little bod!

Stopped for groceries then headed to Home Depot to exchange our new closet rod for the right size. Yup. The "measure 20 times 'cause we can renovate anything couple" didn't measure properly & ended up buying a too big sized rod. All is well now with a shiny smaller, fits right rod & 30 new hangers to hold the overflow of clothes that can now hang in our mini walk~in closet that used to be our shower.

Dinner, trip to the gym, home to do laundry, time out to watch "Game of Thrones" & then adding up an expense report to submit to work this week. I love getting paid back for all the little things I need to buy for my programs. This one adds up to over $1,350. Lovely!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

New Teapot ...

One of my favorite childhood memories is going to my gramma & grampa's house after piano lessons each week. The music teacher lived down the street from their house, which was across the street from my school.

It was one day a week that I didn't have to go to childcare.

It was one day a week that I walked into a warm house, with an unlocked door, cookies cooling on a plate & a warm cup of tea poured just as I came up the walk.

Tea at gramma & grampa's house was really just warm milk with drops of tea in it but I felt grown up with my own china tea cup. And anytime all the family was together, out came all the tea cups, all different, for all the grandkids.

After gramma died, grampa invited us to the house to take home our tea cups. I had mine until the year we had a house fire. It was one of the only precious things that was lost that I was upset about, partly because I had never thought to take a picture of it. I have a picture in my head of the pattern but have never come across one. In the fall, my aunt gave me a tea cup from her own collection, with a promise that each time I use it, I'll think of both her & gramma. It's not the same pattern but it comes with the same sentiment granted to me when I was 8 years old.

Collecting tea pots started a few years ago. I love looking for different colors & styles but always floral, vintage & fine china. Here's the latest find:

With the cream & sugar bowls:

I almost didn't buy this new treasure because I thought the small green leaves would not look well with our sage green walls. But I was wrong & it turns out, they are the perfect shade of green. Not bad for $12!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pictures from our last "Treasure Hunt"

Beautiful shelf to fill. Needs paint but perfect.

Top hat glass vase. Can't wait to put some flowers in from our garden.

Watercolor in lilac & sage green that will need a new frame to fit our style.

Hanging glass heart with pink ribbon.

"Bearington Bear" Bunny in pinks & greens.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dreary Afternoon ...

... but it was brightened by our trip to the Antique Mall. Not just because we found some great treasures but because, by chance, I got to meet my favorite booth vendor. Jane is originally from England & has lived in Canada for the last 30 years. She loves to feature lace, china & vintage linens in her booth, all the things I love! We had a lovely chat today & I told her that her booth is always the first one I check out each time we venture into the Antique Mall. I so appreciated the time she spent with me, answering my questions & talking about how she manages her booth & life. We've talked about someday having a booth ourselves, so it was an added bonus to have her share some trade secrets with us! Now that I've met her, it will make my treasure hunting even more special.

Today, our finds included a very heavy & detailed but simple wooden display shelf that will require a new coat of paint & perhaps some floral wallpaper for the back "wall" for $12.50; a small watercolor in a frame that really does not fit our style but for $10, the scene & the size were well worth ditching the frame; a small dark pink, decorative vase shaped like a top hat for $10 (we saw a very similar one in white, with no details & several chips on it for twice the price); a vintage, floral, fringed pillow that is perfect for the lonely armchair in our living room for $8, from Jane's booth; a "still tagged" Bearington Bear in pale pinks & greens for $5 (often retails for $30ish dollars in this size); & finally a pink, floral, glass heart that hangs by a pretty ribbon, with tags on, for $5.

Pictures to follow.

Our weekend was filled with fun family activities as our two oldest children who live in Calgary were up for visits & events. It was action-packed but worth the extra energy. And the wind down was our treasure hunting to end off the warm weekend, full of laughter & food, & the perfect end to a dreary afternoon.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

New Finds...

I love our local charity shop. It accepts donations of gently used household items & clothing for sale. The building is supplied by our community, the staff is very small & the volunteers carry the load. All the funds raised thru the sales of items come back to our community in the form of grants for local non-profits. The items are amazing & so reasonably priced that I don't ever go to the VV, GW or SA outlets because I find their stuff often dirty, broken & over priced.

I love my new "Mom" pot. It cost an entire $1 & my plan is to pot a nice spring plant in it, something that will flower all year. This piece of pottery is perfect for my new scrapbooking/painting/writing/library room that is slowly coming into it's own. Pictures to follow one day, once I'm done gathering & the renovations are complete. For now, the new finds!

The new lamp for my desk. Crystal bottom with rosettes in pink & green on the bottom of the shade. I love the soft glow it casts on the walls & the ceiling. The cost? Found at the Antique Mall for $5.

Not quite vintage but still fits within the theme of the space. I loved this the moment I found it & for the very reseasonable fee of .75 cents, who can argue the price on such a pretty paintbrush holder. I never envisioned it as a vase, even though that is the most likely the intended use for it. But in my space, for all my paintbrushes, its perfect!

Beautiful vintage, brocade tiny purse. I have this hanging in our living room on the door handle of my grandmother's antique corner cabinet where we store many of her things gifted to us, like her silver collection, pictures & letters. This purse was discovered at a store that sells vintage items out in the country when we were out for a weekend drive. We paid an incredible $8 for it.

I've discovered that the Bear (my husband) & I are not alone in our quest to create a cozy haven with vintage items. There's a whole new world out there where others share this love of old. I've found the most intriguing websites & blogs that share the journey of others who are busy each day collecting, reusing & treasure hunting. Unfortunately, we do not live in an area where there are frequent sales like seem to happen in the U.S. but we do have weekly garage sales in the spring & summer, we have our favorite charity shop & we visit the Antique Mall in the city often. We've even discovered on our travels that other communities will have the kinds of shops we love to spend hours in, so a new favorite traveling activity is "treasure hunting."

Can't wait for our next trip!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Creating ...

... this blog, to document the process of changing our urban home to a vintage haven. Our dream is to one day live in the country, in a brand new home, built to look as if it has been standing for a century. We bought our land more than 10 years ago but between raising children, pursuing our artistic dreams & creating unique careers, building a  new home hasn't been the biggest priority.

One day.

For now, we dream, gather, strategize, research & hunt for treasures to fill our current home, with the intent of one day moving it all to the country.