Mother Nature has it in spades when it comes to design.

She is unequivocally the best ‘exterior Designer’ bar none!

And that fact was no more evidenced than on my recent holiday through the Rockies and Western Canada.

Colour, Composition, and Detail; Mother Nature has created the most beautiful landscape.

Mile after mile I witnessed breathtaking views.

Although I’ve seen it before, Moraine Lake, Alberta is still an “OMG!” moment.  The colour of the lake is awe-inspiring.   Moraine Lake

Benjamin Moore may have possibly captured the colour in its paint Dream I Can Fly  Benjamin Moore Dream I Can Fly

Nothing makes a statement like a black-and-white colour palette adding sophistication and drama to a natural setting.

And this rock’s black-and-white Yin-Yang pattern I found on the Sunshine Coast, British Columbia demonstrated that philosophy even further.  Sunshine Coast, granite rock

Sometimes it was the many shades of grey that Mother Nature revealed that made me stop and reflect.  Vancouver, CanadaVancouver, British Columbia

When it comes to composition, Mother Nature is a true Master.

Layers and layers of sweeping views.  Whistler Mountain, British Columbia

Brandywine Falls, British Columbia is Mother Nature’s remarkable ability to create yet another powerful statement.

From a height of 70-metres (230 ft.) water crashes down into a cavern that was formed from lava flows occurring from nearly 34,000 years ago.

It was all the water dropping perfectly into a tiny little pool below that had me mesmerized.

A stunning feat indeed.  Brandywine Falls, British Columbia

Of course Mother Nature thinks of all the details by providing comfortable seating for one to rest as they descend Whistler Mountain, British Columbia.  Whistler Mountain, British Columbia

Outstanding design abilities and creativity.

Mother Nature, please…..take a bow!

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White After Labour Day

The unofficial rule states that summer ended on Labour Day and wearing white           post-LD is gauche.

The white rule is so ingrained in my brain (my Mother’s decree) that I do make a conscious effort to refrain from donning white.

I have written many times about white; white accessories, white art, white food.

I even wrote about the decision of choosing the ‘right white’ when it came to paint colours.  I stated that “sometimes climbing a mountain is easier than choosing a paint colour” and of course I included a photo of myself and hubby climbing Cascade Mountain in Banff, Alberta, Canada.         Mt Cascade 25 years ago

Fast forward 25 years, hubby and I were once again climbing Cascade Mountain.  Mount Cascade.

(Different jacket, same colour.  And surprise, surprise…’s orange!)

But this time we climbed that mountain with our son.  Mount Cascade

This past August we took a road trip with our son through Alberta and British Columbia, Canada and returned to those wonderful mountains.  SuperFly Zipline

We hiked and biked, biked and hiked, then biked and hiked some more!  If there was a mountain we climbed it.  If there was a pathway we bike it.  Mount Cascade

Lake Louise

Whistler Mountain.

Lighthouse Park, Vancouver

Whistler Mountain

And oh look….glacier white.

A truly breathtaking holiday.  More to come!

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Understanding Change

Over the years we have shared many moments together here on this blog on the topic of “change”.          Change ..

I have written numerous times about how I enjoy “change”

 “I like change and I like to change often“ talking about my 6th living room sofa.

“I like to change up my holiday décor each year” never adhering to any traditions.

“I change the linens and accessories in my bedroom” often!   master bedroom changes

To some of you this probably sounds like way too much work.

I’ve suggested to you on numerous occasions,

“Go ahead, change it up.  Embrace the new.  Take the ‘Mod’ from MODMISSY and “Mod-ify”!

Well here’s the thing…..I recently found myself ‘eating’ those words!

This past year I experienced a huge change in my life – I became gluten-free.

And if there’s one thing you should know about me is that wheat/gluten played a large part in my diet and lifestyle.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner were all about bread, pasta and baked goods.

In fact one of my very first blog posts was Stand With Style April 2011 where I wrote that life gets better and tastes better when things are elevated.  Like my delicious homemade Buttermilk Apple Cake.  (made with wheat flour!)  elevate your

It has been a big adjustment figuring out what to put on my dessert tray, in my pasta bowl and my bread basket.

Definitely a year of learning and maybe now I am a bit more understanding of how ‘change’ is not always an easy experience.

I am adapting though; can you tell which chocolate cake is the gluten-free version!!??  Gluten free chocolate cake

Bon Appetit!

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Hole In One

I have been remiss in not writing.

I apologize.

Over the last few weeks I had sunk into a ‘hole’ as far as ideas and writing goes.

Although I have been busy, I just had nothing interesting to tell you.    bored

But today I had to write as this day marks a momentous occasion.

Forty six years ago today on June 11, 1969, my Mother (R.I.P.) scored her hole-in-one on the golf course.   Hole-in-One

Beating the odds of about 1 in 12,000 my Mother ‘aced’ the 6th hole.

I still remember her recounting the play-by-play details of her proud achievement.

My Mother loved golf.

I do not follow in my Mother’s footsteps as I am not a golfer, although I do own a pair of golf pants made from the most outrageous fabric.  Very mod indeed!     Golf PantsInterestingly I am currently staging a home for sale of which the homeowner is an avid golfer.

Hanging in his home office is a 4 ft. X 4 ft. framed picture of the winners of the Masters Golf Tournament from 1934 to 1997; Tiger Woods being the 1997 winner.    MastersHave a great weekend and may all your shots land exactly where you want them!

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Earth Day 2015

Today is Earth Day.

A day when over a billion people in more than 192 countries give thanks to our tiny orb and demonstrate awareness in support for the environment.

This year my nod to Earth Day occurred on my way to the recycle box.

In an “OMG” moment I realized that something I had barely used I was throwing out. Truly a blatant waste of the earth’s resources!  Sinful right?

The item plaguing me with guilt was a fabric sample brochure from Keilhauer; a company whose corporate goal is to be ‘environmentally benign’. Far be it for me to mess with a company Mission Statement!

Surely I could think of some way to ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’.

Back in the house I went with brochure in hand.

And got my creative juices flowing.

Keilhauer Haven fabric

I started with this,

I really liked these,  felted wool

Tried this,     Keilhauer Haven

But then was inspired by this,     Colour inspiration

Came up with this,     Haven Keilhauer

Which finally ended up looking like this,   Haven art

Let’s all try to make the 3R’s part of our daily lives.


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Bedside Reading

Years ago while being interviewed for a pharmaceutical sales job I was asked “what books was I currently reading”.

I paused, thought and then answered, “the dictionary and the thesaurus”.

I did not land that job.

(I wonder what book would have gotten me hired!?)

I was single at the time and the idea of sitting indoors by myself and reading a novel or a lengthy piece of non-fiction was just not on my (very social) agenda!

But the truth was I really was reading the dictionary.  A great big lexicon was always open, sitting on an antique hutch in the apartment I shared with a girlfriend. Actually it was part of our humble décor.     Dictionary Webster

Any interesting word we happened to stumble upon in that dictionary was written on a scrap of paper and taped to our brown fridge.  Roomie and I then tried to incorporate these words into our vocabulary. (true story)

Fast forward to today; I am an avid reader.

And once again I was recently asked what books I had on my bedside table.

To be honest I don’t place books on my bedside table.  Its clutter.  For me. Bedside Table Eileen Gray

And the few chosen books I do keep in my home often do dual duty.  They must be a good read and look beautiful.

So right now I am reading, THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO COCO CHANNEL from my stack of beautiful black coffee table books.   Coco Channel coffee table book

I also just finished a John Grisham novel that someone passed on to me.  It is a beautiful mint green and chocolate chip coloured hardcover book.  Definitely a keeper to be used as a prop for my home staging business.     Book John Grishman

Along with Coco Channel I am reading OF MICE AND MEN by John Steinbeck.  This is the first time I’m reading this 1937 classic novel; I realize there is no time limit on being current!  This book also makes it as a beautiful staging prop due to the lovely lavender colour on the cover.  Of Mice and Men

Of course I always have close at hand my cherished copy of MARILYN by Normal Mailer.  It is a beautiful linen coloured hardcover book full of wonderful photos of Marilyn Monroe; although far too special to be used as a home staging prop. Marilyn Monroe

So…..what are you reading?  Or decorating with?

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Gotta Run!

“Gotta run!”

The catch phrase of today.

Everybody is on the move.  Go, go, go!

Subsequently multi-tasking has taken on a whole new meaning.  Eating on the run, driving and texting, walking and talking on a cell phone and even applying makeup or shaving while driving.

Unfortunately in many people’s haste the once beautiful ceremony of drinking tea (or coffee),  Tea Set Whitehas been reduced to drinking from a paper cup while ‘on the run’.  And the worse part of reducing this historical ritual to a “gotta run” activity is the random placement of finished cups.            Tim Hortons coffee cupStarbucks Coffee Grande

Starbucks Coffee Cup

McCafe Coffee Cup

So today if you can take time to smell the roses tea/coffee. And please don’t litter!Tea Set SilverAll Images via MODMISSY

Welcome Spring

Today is the first day of Spring.

Or at least that’s what my calendar tells me because where I live the temperature keeps dancing around the freezing mark.

Mother Nature teases with blue skies and sunshine, Toronto CN TowerAnd due to the piles of snow in my back yard I certainly could not entertain the idea of setting up my patio furniture this weekend.

But one can anticipate.  And plan.

Actually a few weeks ago I attended a few Spring Previews showcasing what’s on trend for Spring 2015.

The Home Depot’s campaign of ‘Spring Starts Here’ certainly brightened a cold, snowy day in February.                                          Spring Starts Here Home DepotA fabulous lineup of outdoor furniture, colourful BBQ’s and zippy looking lawnmowers helped chase away the winter blahs. Home Depot Spring 2015  KitchenAid bbq                                       Ryobi lawnmower Then I sledded (still lots of snow) across town to Loblaws Outdoor Living 2015 Spring preview for a glimpse into what’s hot for this year.  These gorgeous colourful beach towels are Loblaws’ interpretation of “A Heat Wave”, “Soft With a Pop” and “Very Vivid” colour palettes introduced into their outdoor furniture and accessories. Loblaw Outdoor Living 2015As for this season BBQ’s, Loblaw’s knows that backyard cooks get personal with their BBQ’s so each one has been named based on their character; the Ami BBQ is trustworthy and petit while Troy is tough, powerful and big.   Choose as you may! Loblaw BBQAnyways I’m glad spring has finally arrived and with it the onset of COLOUR.

Bring it on!

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What is Art?

I love this foyer.  The simple but striking red and blue striped runner creates a strong presence amidst the white backdrop.  Bold but elemental in design; a real show-stopper.

Right?  Wouldn’t you agree? Voice of Fire Actually it’s not a foyer and it’s not a runner but rather the powerful vertical painting, Voice of Fire, acrylic on canvas, 1967, by Barnet Newman hanging in the National Gallery of Canada.  Voice of Fire (1)I visited the National Gallery this past weekend and had a chance to sit in Gallery C214, where this 8 ft. x 18 ft. painting hangs.  The walls in this gallery soar to almost 40 feet high toward a room-length skylight and when the National Gallery was built in 1988 it was decided that an “assertive anchor” was needed for this space.

Assertive indeed!  When the painting first appeared in the National Gallery it created huge controversy.  “How could 3 simple stripes cost $1.8 million?”

And many asked, “Is this really art?”

After viewing this painting I headed towards the area of International Art where the Old Masters paintings hang.  I came across this painting by Nicolas Poussin, The Martyrdom of Saint Erasmus, 1628–1629. The Martyrdom of St Eramus

This oil on canvas painting with its ‘forceful diagonals, rich colours and strong light effects’ definitely has history as it is almost 400 years old but I ask you, “does disembowelment make for art!!??”  (Yes I’m talking about the ripping out of a person’s intestines.  Yikes!)

Voice of Fire may be controversial but isn’t The Martyrdom of Saint Erasmus offensive?

So I ask you “what is the definition of art”…..????

It’s all about interpretation I suppose.

And oh by the way Voice of Fire is now valued at more than $40 million!

PS.  If you find yourself in Ottawa check out the National Gallery of Canada and see for yourself.National Gallery of Canada


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