Monday, January 30, 2012

My Mum's Birthday

"Most of all other beautiful things in life come by twos and threes,
by dozens and hundreds. Plenty of roses, stars, sunsets, rainbows,
brothers and sisters, aunts and cousins, comrades and friends -
but only one mother in the whole world."
           ~Kate Douglas Wiggin

   It is my Mum's birthday today! She never asks for much on her birthday - maybe a small bag of Bernard Callebaut chocolate shavings (generally used to garnish cakes and other desserts but my Mum likes to eat them from a small glass dish with a teaspoon). I always struggle to think of something special to do for her - this year she foiled most of my ideas by insisting on tagging along whenever I tried to slip out to get something special for a surprise. I thought I would buy her a cake - but I couldn't get to the bakery. I thought I would get her some flowers but when I casually suggested on my day off we go to the little shopping complex where our favorite florist resides (thinking I could lose her for a moment and run to the flower shop) she said she would rather go somewhere else (and how could I insist I ask you??). After I failed for what must have been the third or fourth time I threw up my hands in exasperation and declared, "How am I supposed to do anything for your birthday when you upset all of my brilliant plans!!!" - to which she answered that all she wanted me to get her was Callebaut shavings . . . You see what I am up against. So I bought her her shavings (and some chocolates just to thwart her) and drew her a picture, I wrote a card, and now the only thing I can think to do is announce to the world (or those of you who might be reading this) how very, very much I love her. I think she is the loveliest person to ever exist and will always be my most cherished friend! I have put together a few bright and lovely photos that remind me of her and her ability to create beauty wherever she is. Her talent and passion has fuelled mine and her encouragement continues to sustain me. Happy Birthday Mummy!

Drawing by Jennelise

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Messy Victorian

"To be properly accomplished, young girls learned
such vital social graces as how to sit down, how to
pour tea, how to tip the maid after a country weekend,
how to put on gloves, how to write a thankyou note,
and how to receive a diamond or refuse a pearl."
                            ~Jeanine Larmouth

    I have been doing a lot of reading lately because I have had the flu (I am feeling much better now by the way - thankyou for all of your get well wishes!) and I found myself indulging in a few period romance novels. I love the language and the descriptions of social settings in Regency and Victorian stories. One afternoon I had just finished a book that I love and have read before and suddenly felt that I needed to tap into my novel's well of inspiration. I was still feverish and drippy at the time but I got out of bed anyway and cleared my vanity and began putting layer upon layer of things on it in an effort to create a "messy victorian" girl's dressing table. I thought - those Victorian girls must have had a little bit of clutter once in awhile what with all of the correspondences, party preparations, baubles and ornaments, etc that would have no doubt collected at some point on their desks and dressing tables. Certainly in upperclass households a maid might have tidied a little - but I was imagining the scene before the maid had been, just after a flurry of activity, perhaps captured in the moment after our imaginary young lady was interrupted in her activities. Flushed and short of breath I completed my little tableau and captured it with my camera before collapsing into bed for a rest before attempting to dismantle my creation and put my room back together. I hope you like the finished photos and the new drawing I have included! I think there might be a little bit of the graceful, fussy, feminine, and messy Victorian in all of us!

I am linking to these blog parties today:
What's It Wednesday
Feathered Nest Friday
Show and Tell Friday

Drawing by Jennelise

Monday, January 23, 2012

My Nana's Home

"It is as grandmothers that our mothers
come into the fullness of their grace."
                ~Christopher Morley

    My Grandparents - or Nana and Grandad as I have always called them - were born and grew up in England. My Mother was born in Hull Yorkshire and as a family they immigrated to Canada when she was four. My Nana has often felt homesick over the years and has travelled back to England often. She likes to have more traditional things around her in her home and there is a real English influence in her style. I went to my Grandparents house last week to take some pictures of my Nana's things  - she loves warm woods, bright colors, and LOTS of flowers! Because it is winter most of her flowers are artificial, but when spring arrives there will be bouquets of fresh flowers in every available vase! My Nana loves comfort and more than anything she wants her rooms to be places where her family are comfortable gathering together and visiting. I have had Christmas there all my life! Mostly I have taken photos of all her little treasures  - her flowers, ornaments, jewelry, and all of the pretty things that I have come to think of as uniquely her over the years. I hope you enjoy these few glimpses into my Nana's home...

Drawing by Jennelise