Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Like A Phoenix Rising From The Ashes

I know that I haven't blogged much recently, but there is a reason.  Last time I went to post, I got a message informing me that my blog storage capacity is full and I was then in a dilemma as to how to proceed

I've been thinking about my future as a blogger for quite a while.  With a full-time job, I don't have much time to sit down and blog and sometimes I am stretched to come up with material for my blog.  Also, this blog was based on our dream of moving to Nova Scotia, which we accomplished a year ago at the beginning of August.

Then there was the time required to set up a whole new blog. 

Anyway, to cut a long story short, thanks to some helpful advice from Heidi, I decided to continue.  From its inception in October 2007, it has been quite a journey.  Like a phoenix rising from the ashes.

Please join me for a cup of tea, a slice of cake and a cosy chat here.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Sewing Basket

I had been using the same wicker basket for my sewing supplies for the last 18 years or so.  It had definitely seen better days.  I had looked longingly for a new one and I saw this one on sale at Cath Kidston.

The savings on the basket just about covered the additional cost of posting it internationally, so I didn't feel too bad about the expense.  I would dearly love to order more from Cath Kidston, but their postage rates are on the high side.

The box was delivered to our door and I couldn't wait to open it.  I am delighted with my purchase and its pretty rose design.  I had intended ordering a pretty red sewing basket in the January sale, but by the time I went online to do so, the baskets were sold out.

If I get another 18 years out of this one, it will have justified the expense!  It is also far prettier than my old basket and brings a smile to my face whenever I see it.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Isle Madame

A couple of weeks ago, we went for a drive to Isle Madame, which is an island located at the south-eastern tip of Cape Breton.  This was the first time that I had visited and I found it to be a very pretty place.  The island was originally settled by the French in the 16th Century, hence its name.

The village of Arichat is one of the oldest communities in Nova Scotia and the Cannon Lookout commemorates an 18th Century battle during the American Revolution when John Paul Jones sailing aboard the USS Providence destroyed 15 ships, as well as damaging property along the shoreline before his return to Boston Massassachusetts.

All along the shoreline, there are beautiful views ~ this one below taken from just outside the village supermarket.

The water in the distance (behind the tree) is the Atlantic Ocean.

Another lookout point, where the waves of the Atlantic could be seen.

And a view along the shore ~ not much of a beach here, but it does show the wilder part of the coastline.

It was a lovely day out and I enjoyed exploring a new place.  There are so many places to visit, but not enough time to see everything this summer.....

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Christmas In July

I know that it may seem a strange title for a post, but there is a very good reason.  Fot the past couple of years, I have had these good intentions of starting my Christmas gifts early to enable me to be both creative and to make more personal gifts for my loved ones.  Those plans were thwarted due to work and other commitments, so once again this year, my thoughts have turned to Christmas in July.

Although I have not started creating gifts to give, I did acheive one goal, which was to find a frame and mount for a much-treasured Christmas card.  I received this card a number of years ago and it is of a snowy York Minster, which is the largest gothic Cathedral in Northern Europe.  York also happens to be one of my favourite places to visit.

The card was sent to us by some very dear friends and I had intended to get it framed ever since receiving it.  Finally, it is done and I'm very happy with the results.  This was another frame bargain and I mounted and framed it myself.

As for the Christmas planning, I am busy thinking about it and I hope to order some supplies and make a start before the end of the month. 

Monday, 16 July 2012

Thrifty Gardening

I had great plans to plant a herb garden when we moved in two months ago.  It wasn't long before I discovered that there is very little soil in most of the garden and I didn't think that my herbs would do well growing in the gravel.  I saw an idea at the garden centre: plant a stacked planter with a variety of herbs.   I bought the herbs some weeks ago and I've been trying to keep them alive until I was able to get organized and plant them.  The larger pot was a bargain buy because it was cracked and it cost $10.  My husband did a fibreglass repair and it is as good as new and we saved a considerable amount of money on the full price.

Another thrifty idea was to create plant labels from twigs.  I used maple as we have an overgrown tree in the garden.  Cut the branches into the length required and slice off the bark on one side of the end.  Allow the sap to dry before writing on them with an indelible marker.  I love this eco-friendly idea and they look so natural in the garden, as well as been much cheaper than herb markers.

Now all we need is for the sun to come out again and encourage a bit of growth.  I planted the usual Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme as well as Chives,  Greek Oregano, Basil and Spearmint (safely enclosed in a double pot to prevent a take-over).

I am very satisfied with the results and think that the fragrance of herbs at our door will be a welcome to visitors.  With any luck, it may also deter some of those nasty mosquitoes!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Beauty Is A Rose

This month has seen some beautiful roses in our garden.  Winchester Cathedral is a David Austin rose which we planted a few weeks ago.  It has a lovely old rose scent ~ an essential for any rose as far as I'm concerned.  I have no interest in buying roses without scent as the first thing I want to do when I see a rose is stick my nose in them!T

The buds are tinged pink at the edges, but the flowers are pure white.

I have cut a couple and taken them indoors so that I can admire them when I'm not in the garden.

Cows' Dairy

A trip to Cows' Dairy was an essential part of our visit to Charlottetown.  The only dilemma was which of the many flavours of ice-cream to order.  I decided on the strawberry, made with fresh strawberries and it was delicious...sorry about the absence of a photograph, but it disappeared rather too fast for me to get the camera out!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Red Sands

Prince Edward Island is known for its red sand beaches and cliffs.  During our day on the Island, we visited the north shore; an area called North Rustico and we strolled on the beach and paddled in the sea.  This shore is on the Gulf of the St Lawrence.

The warm waters were inviting and it was a delight to feel the sand beneath my feet.

We walked right along the shore, which we had largely to ourselves, as most people were sunbathing further up the beach.

It was a lovely conclusion to our day on the Island before we headed back to the ferry bound for Nova Scotia.  Although our time here was limited, it did inspire dreams of future visits....

Friday, 6 July 2012


Our first stop after arriving on Prince Edward Island was the provincial capital, Charlottetown, which is located on the south shore.  Charlottetown is known as the 'Birthplace of Confederation' because it was here in on 1st July 1867 that what was then the Dominion of Canada came into being.  The three British colonies became four Canadian Provinces: Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Nova Scotia.

There are many heritage buildings in Charlottetown, including the Old Bonded Warehouse (above), which is located on Water Street. 

Quiet tree-lined streets offered a welcome relief from the sun, which was scorching during our visit.

One of the sights which I enjoyed most was the colourful buildings, each painted differently.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Island Bound

Yesterday, we set off bright and early for the 8 am ferry.  We were booked on the mv Holiday Island for the crossing to Prince Edward Island.  It was a glorious start to the day as we stood on deck and felt the wind in our faces.  The only thing that was lacking was wildlife.  I missed a brief sighting of the fin of a whale when I went inside, although I did catch glimpses of a couple on the return trip.

The ferry crosses the Northumberland Strait between Caribou, Nova Scotia and Wood Islands, PEI and the journey takes about 75 minutes.  This saves a considerably longer trip by road to the Confederation Bridge, which is at the western tip of the Island.

On our approach, we saw sandbanks and the red of the shoreline.

The entrance to the harbour is guarded by the Wood Islands Lighthouse.

The end of our crossing, but the start of a day of adventure.  More in the next post...

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Under Construction

We managed to pick the hottest weekend of the year to start our construction project.  We have been building a greenhouse during the past two days.  Firstly, there was a base to build, which was filled with limestone.

Then the fun began, as we tried to work out which part went where.

Starting to take shape here, at which point we abandoned the job for the night.  We had spent five hours in 28 degrees of heat and drank gallons of water as we tried to keep cool.

This morning, we resumed our task and started putting in the panels.  Soon it was even hotter than yesterday, as the mercury climbed to 31 degrees.  I have to admit that the finials were the finishing touch for me and also what sold this particular model ~ I like a touch of class and nostalgia for a bygone age.

Our finished greenhouse.  It was so hot inside that it was a relief to be able to escape.  I've put some tomato plants in since I took this photo earlier.  With the amount of heat that they are receiving, I'm hopeful of a bumper crop.

Monday, 25 June 2012

It's A Jungle Out There

We moved almost eight weeks ago and once we had unpacked, I expected to have some free time for blogging.  What I hadn't taken into consideration was that once the garden started growing; it was going to look like a jungle.  Beds that appeared to have a few small plants in them have gone rampant and we are dealing with the invasion of the hostas.

The first photo is of a bed beside our shed, which we decided to remove...more of that in a later post. 

There are some flowers worth saving, including these lupins, which grow wild here in Nova Scotia.

I haven't got to this bed yet, as it is going to be a major operation making sense of it and there is stil a very overgrown bed in the front garden which requires urgent attention.  Now where did I put my gardening gloves...?

Baking Made Easy

I find Lorraine Pascale's approach to baking very refreshing, especially since she makes it all look so effortless.  Having purchased her book Baking Made Easy a few weeks ago; I have enjoyed making her bread sticks.  What I like most about Lorraine's approach to baking is that she provides simple, yet tasty recipes with a minimum of fuss and convinces the reader that anyone is able to get great results.  Her book is filled with delicious recipes and is beautifully illustrated with inspiring photographs.

With the aid of a machine to mix the dough, it is very easy and less of a workout for the arms! 

Five minutes to mix the dough.  Leave it to prove for 30 minutes and bake for 20 minutes.

Freshly baked bread in under an hour.  Seasoned with either Maldon Sea Salt or black pepper.  Delicious!

Saturday, 16 June 2012

A Taste of Home

A cheap and simple frame and mount from the dollar store and a postcard which I have been saving for a long time.  The result is very satisfying ~ a little taste of home ~ now hanging on the wall of my kitchen.