Monday, January 31, 2011

New York, New York!

Being a bit of a procrastinator, it was only this weekend that I finally sent off photos from the last few years to be printed. This included photos from a recent trip I took in October to New York City with some girlfriends. I had only been a couple of times before, but always on business, so I never really got a chance to truly check things out. Well this time, we walked just about everywhere on Manhattan Island south of Central Park. Whew!

The visit to New York was fantastic - I finally got to walk around Central Park (see girlfriends posing in the photo above!), which is so much more beautiful than I had imagined. 

We also made a point of walking through Grand Central Station, which is jaw-droppingly stunning. It's hard to tell in this photo, but the ceiling is a gorgeous shade of teal, and is covered with stars and astrological symbols. It's awesome!

We were so productive, we even took the ferry over to Staten Island, which gives you a great view of Manhattan on the return trip.

We even were able to take pictures at sunset from Brooklyn Bridge.

Amazing! The goal for the next visit is to stay in Brooklyn. It seems so intersting and bursting with things to discover. And I hear there's a giant flea market there, which would be a total treasure trove! Can't wait!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Art Wall Continued...

Well I thought since I had an artwork theme going yesterday, and Hamilton has such amazing artists, I should probably share some more great artwork that we have picked up since we moved here...

This is the second print we purchased from Matt McInnes entitled Hamilton Theatres. I adore this one because of all the great colours in it, which contrast perfectly with the graphic illustrations - and the background is covered in hot pink dots! What more can you ask for?! (we still need to find a thrift-store frame for this one...)

This piece is called ZigZag by Emmy Skensved - I actually won this by bidding volunteer hours at Hamilton's very first Timeraiser event. (This, by the way, is an incredible event which will be here for it's 3rd year this fall. It's basically a silent auction for local artwork, but instead of bidding with dollars, bids are based on hours that you pledge to volunteer with a local charity. Great idea!) I have to admit this one is not my boyfriend's favourite, but I LOVE it. I definately have a weakness for stripes. And check out Emmy's website - she does some seriously beautiful and incredible work and has had exhibitions across Canada from Halifax to Vancouver (at venues ranging from local galleries to the National Gallery of Canada), not to mention Italy, Switzerland and Germany.

It's the Pigott Building!! This painting was our very first art purchase - we found it while on an Art Bus tour when we had stopped in at the Tiger Group Studio Gallery. The piece is by Robin Laffier and features what is possibly our favourite Hamilton landmark. My favourite thing about this one is that it's so dark and moody and crackled. Delicious.

This last one isn't on the wall yet, but as soon as I find a thrift-store frame for it, it's going up. My sister and I bought this off of a guy one night at the Pepperjack Cafe. We didn't actually see this band play, but their poster was awesome, so we had to go home with it!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Art Wall

As I've mentioned, this past weekend was a pretty quiet affair. The absolutely frigid temperatures made it very difficult for my boyfriend and I to go outside at all. The good news here is that we FINALLY got around to hanging the most recent additions to our "Hamilton Art Wall".

A very humble beginning, I know, but these things take time...

We have a couple of other pieces that still have no frames, but so far this wall includes artwork from some of our favourite, incredible local artists including Paul Elia (from his Hamilton Strip series), Amy Kenny, and Matt McInnes.

Our somewhat ambitious goal is to eventually cover all the walls of our living room in Hamilton art - I'll keep you posted on our progress!

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Inside Joys of Winter

As I'm sure I've mentioned before, I am not a cold-weather person. Especially with this weekend's very much sub-zero temperatures. I only leave the house when absolutely required - to walk my dog. But once I'm outside even I have to admit that, despite the temperature, the snow does make everything look lovely...

Snow-covered seed heads on tall grasses in our garden.

Snow-covered candleholder that I never remember to bring indoors for the winter.

However, my favourite winter activities still involve snuggling up indoors to enjoy the weather......

Beautiful frost crawling across our house's old drafty windows (doesn't this look like trees?).

And the perfect excuse to make comfort food & snacks like my nana's recipe for Nuts & Bolts. A total old-school snack, not health food, and not really good for you at all, but damn delicious!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

New at Relish Vintage

Well, it's Thursday again - time to show you the newest favourite items from my shop Relish Vintage on Etsy.

Vintage bowls, daisy glasses, and bud vases. So cute!

I'm always getting and posting new items, so keep an eye on the shop for that something you just can't live without!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ode to the Wall Decal

I've seen them for years, but only somewhat recently have I personally discovered how truly awesome wall decals are. Last winter, about this time, my boyfriend and I ordered a beautiful wall decal from Decor Designs and put it up in our bedroom. (Sidenote: I generally have no patience for instructions but for really large decals, it is definately worthwhile and necessary to actually follow the instructions to put them up properly!)

And voila!

And can I just also mention that this one we put up is six feet tall?! This is absolutely one of my favourite decorative elements in our house. You know, along with the artwork, favourite vintage pieces, favourite refinished furniture, and awesome original architectural details. Right up there.

Here are some other beautiful and inspiring wall decals....

"Winter Tree" wall decal by NouWall on Etsy.

"Birch Forest" wall decal by Wall Decors on Etsy.

"Oriental Bamboo" wall decal by Wall Decors on Etsy.

"Birds on a Wire" wall decal by Surface Inspired on Etsy.

Ok, I unwittingly had a bit of a "birds and trees" theme going there. Birds and trees have such lovely silhouettes that they just seem to lend themselves well to decals. But there are all kinds of images out there. Hope that gets you excited to do some decorating!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ahh, The Perfect Party Dress

Although we're still in January, summer wedding planning has already begun. So far, I have three weddings to attend, which is the perfect excuse to spend hours online drooling over beautiful vintage Mad Men-esque party dresses. I've spent way too much time over the last couple of months scoping out tons of these dresses on Etsy. This has not helped me narrow down my selection - I still want just about every other dress I see.

Someday I will own some of these dresses, and I will wear them everywhere I go, just because I can. Besides, wouldn't life be more fun if it was spent wearing party dresses?!

 vintage 1950s dress bombshell pin-up girl cotton full circle skirt dress with sequins  ... twirling in circles  -featured item-
Photo from Traven7 on Etsy.

vintage 1950s dress  ...gorgeous cascading plumes on polished cotton with bullet bust and a full circle skirt bombshell pin-up dress
Photo from Traven7 on Etsy.

1950's Vintage Black Floral-Flocked Taffeta and Champagne-Pink Ruffle Chiffon-Couture Sweetheart Shelf-Bust Strapless Nipped-Waist Princess Ballerina-Cupcake Rockabilly Zig-Zag Tulle Circle-Skirt Bombshell Formal Wedding Evening Cocktail Party Dress
Photo from Timeless Vixen Vintage on Etsy.

Monday, January 17, 2011

In Our Own Back Yard!

Sadly, I didn't make it down to Art Crawl this past Friday, but I was checking out HMag over the weekend and discovered that HIStory + HERitage has a very cool exhibit on display called "SLEEK: Hamilton's Modernist Residential Architecture". (The exhibit will be open until Feb 11, 2011 at HIStory + HERitage at 165 James Street North.)

There are some seriously cool examples of modern homes in this exhibit, not to mention amazing mid-century and vintage decor. And a couple of these homes are even in my neighbourhood! Photos and the locations of the homes can be seen online at Historical Hamilton. My favourite is the Gerrie House, which I've walked by with my dog a hundred times. So, so cool. Here are a few photos of the Gerrie House, taken by photographer Jeff Tessier. Definately take the time to head downtown and check out this exhibit!

Photo credit to Jeff Tessier.

Um, please check the pendant lights above the dining table, the shag rug, the adorable floral prints on the wall, and the drop-dead-gorgeous hide-covered chairs...

Photo credit to Jeff Tessier.

Did I mention the chairs? I'm drooling.

Photo credit to Jeff Tessier.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

New at Relish Vintage This Week

Every Thursday I'll be posting new items that have been added to my online shop Relish Vintage. There's always all kinds of yummy things on here, but I'm always adding more! Here are a few of my favourites from this past week...

Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Let it Snow!

Finally, we got some real snow! Doesn't all this lovely fresh snow just make the winter so much more bearable? It's so lovely and clean-looking, and makes hiking with my dog along the escarpment trails so much more fun. I'll have to find a hill to go sledding on while the snow is still here. And did I mention how much my dog Bertha loves the snow? Well, if not, this is her, helping me do the shovelling this morning...

But don't be fooled, she could never get by in this world without her creature comforts! We tried taking her camping with us once, and while we all sat around a campfire on a cold, damp night, she refused to get out of the van. She may look like a serious dog, but she's really a great big faker...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Winter Delights

Although I am admittedly a warm-weather person, one of my favourite things about winter weather is the excuse to curl up in a comfy chair and spend hours reading old books.

So this is where I'll be spending lots of time over the next few months catching up on some long-overdue quality time with my books...

I realized over the holidays that I have so many unread books on my shelves that I'm already stocked up for the next year or so. Between getting lovely books as holiday gifts and having a slight addiction to buying lovely old hardcovers, I've always got about 10 or 20 books just begging to be read.

PS - thrift stores are an incredible source for cheap old books, and for treasure you find, you prevent it from ending up in a landfill. Just in case you needed help justifying your book shopping!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Here We Go!

Well, here we go!

Since we're now well into January, I finally had to cave and take down my Christmas tree. So now this is what the corner of my living room looks like. Empty. Now my to-do list will include some furniture re-arranging...

Now, I'm not one to make New Year's resolutions, but this year I've made two: to start a blog (check!) and to learn how to use Facebook. I know, this second one seems silly, but I really can't seem to get my head around it. I've had a Facebook account for a couple of years, and still can't figure out how to post photos. So that will be my project for later this week. Sadly, I think this will include several mind-numbing hours of watching tutorials on YouTube. Yuck.

So back to the starting-a-blog resolution. My plan for this space is to share with you all kinds of things: amazing/pretty/super-cool things I come across in my travels or online, funny stories that happen to me and the trials, tribulations and (most importantly) successes of all the little projects I create for myself around the house.

For example, today's project was to finally install curtains in our bedroom. I'm ashamed to say it, but we've lived in this house for 3 years, and I still had not put up curtains. (Luckily, our windows face a wall, so privacy's not too big of an issue, but still!) Trying to drill holes into 120-year old walls is tricky. First, the walls are double-brick, then lathe-and-plaster, so do I need plugs for solid walls, or hollow walls? I never know, so always just end up guessing. So I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. Here is the result....



Made a few really messy holes in the wall, but luckily managed to cover them up. Here's hoping we don't wake up to curtain rods falling on our head in the night!