Monday, November 26, 2007
This engraving is from my collection and once appeared in the British publication 'The Guardian', December 25th 1859. As you can see we have always enjoyed decorating our homes, shops and places of worship with symbols of the season.
Now we begin to bake, cook, decorate and search for gifts to express ourselves with the things we hold close to the heart. Just remember to take it all in stride and do not be overwhelmed.
These words of wisdom written to a young lass named Katie in December of 1881 says it all.
"It is not much the world can give
With all it's subtle art;
And gold and gems are not the things
To satisfy the heart:
But oh if those who cluster round
The alter and the hearth,
Have gentle words and loving smiles
How beautiful is earth."
Posted by Susan McShannon-Monteith at Monday, November 26, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Living nestled amongst the Great Lakes we are often affected by lake effect snow. Sometimes falling as much as 3" an hour it may not take long to cover the ground. This morning started with ice pellets and soon changed to gently falling snow.
It blankets the grass and makes for a picture postcard view from the window.
For those of you that don't live in a region that experiences one of Nature's wonders it is hard to describe. It can be soft and billowing or harsh and stinging. Today we were honored by the gentle kind that brought many visitors to the back yard.
A beautiful hawk that frequents the area at this time of year.
Posted by Susan McShannon-Monteith at Thursday, November 22, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Two is a pair and three is the beginning of a collection. I collect buttons.
When I was a young girl I would spend Sundays with my fraternal Grandmother. In the morning we would walk to church. After the service we'd return home for a wee spot of tea as she put it. Agnace (the early Scottish spelling of Agnes) would bring out her button box and I would delight in its contents and the stories she told as we would sip sweet tea from her best cups and saucers.
I would line them up in rows by color or size, beauty or plainness on the freshly starched linen tablecloth. She would show me which ones were off my father and uncle's rompers, my great-granny's house dress or something new she'd purchased at a church bazaar. Every one had a tale to tell and I would sit there mesmerized as she spoke.
Years later when my Gramma passed away the button box became mine and so the collection began.
I have buttons from the Victorian and Edwardian eras, jet glass porcelain, mother of pearl and abalone. Some that are Bakelite and once adorned the big coats of the 1940s. The colors, sizes, shapes and beauty are endless.
One of my favorites comes from the uniform of a young man in the Continental Army of George Washington. It came North with the owner and his family searching for free land and a fresh start. (My maternal side.)
As tiny as they are my buttons have connected me to the past and are a passion I hope someday to pass along.
Posted by Susan McShannon-Monteith at Thursday, November 15, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
The trees that were once vibrant with ruby reds and golden yellows are now naked, standing tall like sentries guarding the forest.
The daylight is much shorter and the moonlight beaming down seems brighter in the crisp cold air. The frost covers the field outside the window and reflects the sunlight like little diamonds as it rises in the east.
I call it a phase of transition. Not quite winter blanketed by snow and the beauty of the foliage long past, it is a time when home provides warmth and comfort like a cocoon.
May you enjoy your cocoon as you plan for the holiday season ahead.
Empress Ling and Tallulah enjoying the last warm rays of the late afternoon sun before it disappears beyond the horizon.
Posted by Susan McShannon-Monteith at Friday, November 09, 2007
Sunday, November 4, 2007
On Saturday I went on a little treasure hunt. I've been looking for a petite cabinet for my bathroom. Upon the suggestion of my friend Joanne, I made a trip to a quaint shop in Historic Crystal Beach.
A beautiful sunny afternoon and the lure of fulfilling my wish brought me to Mia's. It is housed in an old building on Erie Road overlooking a pastel coloured, gated community where once the infamous Crystal Beach amusement park stood.
As I ventured into the shop I was immediately charmed by the surroundings. Mia greeted me with her infectious smile and vibrant personality. We talked for some time about her offerings and the treasures that delighted me. From a pale subdued bedstead to brightly coloured girly dressers, this shop has it all.
Mia collects vintage castoffs and breathes new life into them. Some are painted, others newly upholstered...all one of a kinds.
She has clients from as far away as Toronto who have discovered the secret of her talent. Mia works out of her shop and is open during the winter. You can visit www.miasupholstery.701.com for hours and location.
If you're looking for that special piece or decorating ideas come visit Mia's. It's worth the trip to Crystal Beach. And if you close your eyes outside the shop and listen you may even catch a whisper from the old wooden roller coaster and the screams of delight a century ago.
Oh yes, I bought my cabinet and a shelf too. I couldn't leave empty handed!
Posted by Susan McShannon-Monteith at Sunday, November 04, 2007
Thursday, November 1, 2007
I had a wonderful time last evening at the Bloglandia Halloween Ball and I think I'm ready for bed. But for some strange reason I can't explain, this crown won't come off my head!
Thank you so much for all who dropped by and a special salute to the dynamic trio.
Posted by Susan McShannon-Monteith at Thursday, November 01, 2007