Wednesday, April 1, 2015


It's been a week of strong contrasts: crazy clouds, lamp-black shadows and bright light.
The new place has an established spring garden: the likes of which I've never gardened before. As a young member at Horticultural Society meetings in Victoria, I was always a tad envious of the white haired veterans and their lush, mature gardens… so densely planted that in order to make room, they would regularly spade up chunks of plants to share. I guess that'll be me now. 

Monday, March 30, 2015


Hey, pull up a chair. We can talk while I pack. 
Bought a cottage. Selling our house. Time to sort out the crazy lady cute stuff and move it into the studio.
We live in a very beautiful part of the world, on the Saanich Peninsula of Vancouver Island. Beautiful but chilly… so am beyond excited about inhabiting this little gardening dream spot near Saanich Inlet, where temperatures soar quite a bit higher in the summer months. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Cooking Class

Your spices this evening will be…
Kickin' up her heels; Valerie breezes thru prep 
and then takes on the dishes
Simmered beans with kale and swiss chard topped with shaved parmigiano
My friend Valerie was here for a visit and we attended a Mediterranean vegetarian cooking class with Chef Heidi Fink. On the menu: bruschetta, beans and greens, chickpea stew with couscous, romesco dip with crudités and anise biscotti.
We were assigned the making of the romesco, and, apart from not having a clue as to how to run the food processor; we did good. Everything was delicious; so back at the ranch I decided to have a go at beans and greens again. It took forever and a day (or two) of subsequent simmerings to get the beans to the tender stage. It was tasty but not as good as the batch served up by Heidi. 
And, note to self: this brand of greek olive oil—avoid those bargain oils because there is a high chance of them being blended/adulterated oils, not pure olive.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

call it clear

The song Call it Clear by Hallowe'en Alaska comes to mind while gazing at today's clear yellows. Top to bottom: Marsh marigolds at the park, a Forsythia allée at the local plant nursery, a not-bought thrift store painting and Marsh marigolds version II, (the poster edition).


In a 2014 Country Living UK interview with Emma Bridgewater, she was quoted as saying that over her lifetime, she was quite sure that she had spent way more money on dishes than on shoes. 
I smiled at this and then sauntered out into the front of the thrift shop where I had been doing my volunteer shift—sorting incoming goods, only to find yet another set of brown transferware dishes screaming to come live with me at my house.
This brings the count up to three full sets of brown transferware. And there are others. Oh yes. White restaurant ware, a Staffordshire Ridgway 'Corona' set, and a pale pink Melmac set. I am unrepentant, however. I adore my dishes. Things you use every day should be things you love. And swapping out one set for another when I feel like a change is an activity that brings me great pleasure.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Green with…

A seasonal bit 'o green spotted around these parts. 

Top, a treasured piece of shamrocky-goodness barkcloth fabric flanked by my new crochet book.
I'm invoking the faint hope clause—buoyed by the hopeful air of the title, that I will finally be able to conquer a tiny little corner of the crochet universe.

Bottom, a lovely Bengali kantha quilt purchased from Katharine Watson on her return from a 2012 trip to India (a very interesting series of posts from her trip… highly recommended reading).

Friday, March 6, 2015

o Marimekko

Using pictures to tell this story. A Marimekko exhibit at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria was a real pleasure to view. As a 60 year old; my personal timeline ran parallel to that of the candy-coloured fashion phenom. My first job in publishing in early 70s Toronto was located in a downtown waterfront building which also housed the Karelia store. In a world before digital access to everythinginstantly; it felt fresh and exciting to be exposed to design and home goods from exotic Finland. 
The AGGV show delighted the print ephemera geek in me with displays of vintage promotional materials; even more exciting to me than the fashion. This speaks volumes, actually, as I spent most of my 20s wearing short skirts and dresses topped with menswear sweaters and jackets.  Tomboy style, though at the time it just felt like zone 'comfort' (and maybe a little fashion 'lazy').