Location, Location, Location

It’s often said that where you buy a home is all about location, location, location.

And I agree.

But the neighbours are a big part of that detail too.

Good neighbours are good, great neighbours are great.

And so it was on a recent Friday evening that I dined alfresco with my great neighbours at our annual Laneway Party.

(A laneway being the lane at the back of houses shared between 2 adjacent streets providing each neighbour access to their parking/garage/backyard.)

Introductions were made,            Laneway Party

 

There was a meet and greet for all ages,    Laneway Party

 

Entertainment for the kids – a piñata stuffed full of candy,   Laneway Party

Metro’s finest on horseback visited (entertainment for the adults!)   Police on Horseback

 

The table was set with white linen and real utensils – no plastic here.  Laneway Party

Laneway Party

 

Platters of food, candlelight and plenty of wine kept the revellers going into the night,  Laneway Party

Plus it helped that the kids were occupied with movies in ‘Bill’s Man Cave’.  Remember Bill (& his lovely wife)?     Laneway Party

 

A head count was done around the table and 53 neighbours were seated for dinner!  Laneway Party

 

These 2 ‘party planners’ were pleased!  Thanks to all who helped to make the party a great success!            Laneway Party

All in all a fabulous evening shared with my ‘great’ neighbours making my home’s location the best!

All images via MODMISSY

Canada Flag Pillow

Last summer I wrote about being inspired by a pillow I saw in the July issue of Canadian House and Home magazine and decided to design and sew my own version.  I wanted my pillow in neutral colours to match the cottage décor so I used linen and canvas.  See hereCanada Flag pillow

This summer, my son requested a Canada Flag pillow for his bed at university – in the “true north and strong” colours.

So I started with this,           Making a flag

And cut and sewed,       Making a flag

And ended up with this,       Canada Flag Pillow

I frayed the edges,    Frayed Edge Pillow

And used a striped fabric for the backing,  Red and White Striped Pillow

Love it! And my son is thrilled.

All images via Modmissy

 

Sewing a Silver Lining!

In my Junior High years (grade 7 and 8) my school principal decided to try out a new method of teaching/learning and used my class for the experiment.  We were his lab rats!

Needless to say I did not learn much in those 2 very crucial years.  (The principal was fired soon after!)

But for all negatives there is a positive and the silver lining here was that my school thought it would be useful for us teens to learn some life skills.

So we were bused one afternoon a week to another school that had facilities to teach us in ‘home ec’ and woodworking.

Home ec (as in home economics) taught us how to cook and sew.

And the woodworking class taught us how to use tools and build things.

I eventually learned what an adjective was and how to do fractions, finished high school and went on to higher learning but those life skills I was taught in grade 7 and 8 have been invaluable.

And well used.

Cooking is something I do on a daily basis with rave reviews from the family.

And I always have a sewing project on the go.

My sewing projects are usually quite basic but I do turn out some good results.  I have sewn a million cushion covers over the years and if you’ve ever been to a fabric store you may understand how fabulous fabrics have a way of following you out the store and inspiring sewing projects.  I recently fell in love with this colourful ‘mod’ fabric,   Retro Wavy Fabric

and thought the fabric would be the perfect accompaniment to my retro bedside lamps.

Wavy Pillows

Apparently everyone at university is ‘Irish’ and celebrates St Patrick’s Day in a big way so this past March my son requested a pair of ‘celebratory’ pants to be sewn by his obliging Mother.

Three yards of this,                   3 leaf clover fabric

Produced these,                      St Patricks Day Pants

A big hit with all the St Patty’s Day revellers.

I even got orders for next year!  NOT!

My woodworking skills have been used much less.  Although I did produce my initials in woodworking class and have kept them all these years as a reminder that I can indeed build things,                Modmissy Woodworking

Instead I married a man whose building skills far outweigh mine and we decided early in the relationship that I was a better cook/sewer and he was a better builder.

That’s fine by me.

Cheers!

All images via Modmissy

Summer is Here!

The first day of summer begins tomorrow.

Yippeeeee!

Although at the same time I am very sad.  Boohoooo!

Weird right?

Here’s my thinking.

Even though this past winter was a very long, cold, snowy one it was ok for me.  As I explained, it might have been freezing and snowy but it was sunny almost every day, and who doesn’t love the sun plus having a warm winter coat and good snow tires made it even more acceptable.  I was almost sad to see winter go.

So now winter is gone, spring just finished and summer is here.

But summer is so short and goes too quickly – and then its winter again!

So if winter was long it meant summer was longer away.

Understand?

So here’s to slowly savouring a summer of lasting wonderfulness.

Enjoy!                        Summer words

Image design by Modmissy

Sofas of My Past

Are we products of our youth or formed by our surroundings?

Do past memories influence decisions in our lives today?

My case in point – the sofa.

I can still vividly recall the sofas of my youth and the impact their design had on me.

For real!

My first childhood friend was a child of parents newly emigrated from Italy.  They barely spoke English but their hard work and commitment to success in this new country was strong.  They took pride in ownership of their home and its contents.  I remember their sofa.  We would sit on it while we watched cartoons, drinking Brio cola and eating Nutella® sandwiches.  It was soft beige in colour but I could not tell you what the fabric content was as I actually never felt it – the sofa was covered in plastic.  The entire sofa was actually upholstered with clear plastic shielding the decorative fabric.  So no matter if we spilled our Brio colas or dropped our Nutella sandwiches the plastic protected that sofa! Plastic upholstered sofa

My next childhood friend had a green sofa that we sat on hour after hour while listening to records on the family Hi-Fi record player (my friend loved music).  But for the life of me I could not figure out how to sit on that sofa without falling off.  Truly!  The fabric on this sofa was polyester – 1st generation polyester and slippery as hell.  If you sat on the sofa the seat cushions would slip forward and soon you would find yourself sitting on the floor.  Or at least I would, my friend’s family had somehow figured out the secret behind keeping the cushions from sliding.                     1970 sofa

My teenage friend was a child of parents newly emigrated from Germany.  Now they had a very different sofa.  Or at least different from what I had at home.  Their living room was all decorated in teak.  Teak sofa, teak chairs.  My friend’s living room was the essence of Danish design; very ‘Mid-Century Modern’ as it is called today.  I admired it then and I just had the opportunity to once again admire it after a recent visit to my friend’s parents’ home and it still looks wonderful.               Danishteakclassics

So in retrospect, I have never had a sofa covered in plastic although I do occasionally in summer throw a sheet over my leather sofa to prevent sticking.  I avoid synthetic fabrics on my sofas and prefer natural fabrics – linens, cottons, leather and wool.  And I am smitten with all things Mid-Century!

Images: 1. www.multiplemayhemmamma.com 2. www.ancientpoint.com
3. ww.danishteakclassics.com

      

Robins Egg Blue

You know that spring is here when the birds are back.

Or maybe they were here throughout the winter but like me they kept a low profile outside.

Whatever.  It’s great to hear their song and see them busily flying about.

And the other day I had the good fortune to find the remains of a hatched Robin’s egg.   Robins EggSuperstitions have it that if a bird poops on you good things are coming your way so I am going to believe that finding the hatched Robin’s egg was a sign of upcoming good fortune!

Of course I had to do a colour check with my Benjamin Moore® paint charts to see if indeed the paint colour was aptly named.                     Birds Egg Benjamin Moore

I thought it was pretty close.

Interestingly enough I just staged a home that was painted Benjamin Moore Bird’s Egg in the bathroom.  With white beadboard and Carrera Marble it was a calm, spa-like space.

Benjamin Moore Birds Egg Bathroom

So here’s to Spring and all the wonderful things it brings and to summer just around the corner.

Enjoy!

All images via Modmissy

Not Your Grandmother’s Wallpaper

On a recent visit to my favourite paint store (everyone should have a ‘favourite’ paint store with knowledgeable staff, great products and lots of inspiration) to have some custom tinted paint for an outdoor project (details to follow) I noticed that there were some new wallpaper sample books.

And I mean new, as in edgy, sexy wallpaper samples.  Definitely not your Grandma’s kind of wallpaper!

I know that fashion is cyclical and although these wallpaper samples may have been similar in some ways to styles of the past, these newest wallpapers are ‘pumped up’ about a 100 notches.

So what was hip and bold for the 1970’s as seen in this wallpaper sample from a client’s home (before renovation),              Wallpaper 1970s

And the norm for the wallpaper of the 1950’s as found in my home under old wallboard,  Wallpaper 1950s

The newest wallpapers are taking walls by storm     Wallpaper striped

No longer being seen in only traditional or classic-style rooms; wallpaper presents a modern visage in a contemporary space.    Wallpaper Chevron

Wallpaper modernAnd it’s about marketing – these contemporary wallpapers are presented in books akin to glossy design magazines with fashion-forward photography.

I suddenly found myself re-thinking my sentiments on wallpaper.  When we moved into our home 15 years ago about 90% of the walls and ceilings were covered in wallpaper.  I couldn’t get rid of the stuff fast enough!

But now…..who knows, maybe a feature wall in striking contemporary wallpaper might just be the detail I’m looking for.

‘Hang’ here for details to follow!

All images via Modmissy

Image 3, 4, 5:  Metropolis by Michalsky Living

Happy Mother’s Day

Yesterday was Mother’s Day – a day of celebration worldwide.

While being a Mother is the most important job it is also the world’s toughest job.

The job requires excellent negotiation and interpersonal skills.

Ability to wear many hats – degree in medicine, finance and the culinary arts.

Work in a chaotic environment while keeping up a happy disposition.

This is an all-encompassing position.  Working 24 hours a day 365 days a year.   No breaks, no holidays.

And by the way there is no monetary payment.

But it is the best job!

Yesterday my son surprised me with brunch at the water’s edge.

My #1 set up a bistro table and 2 chairs complete with tablecloth and glass plates at Lake Ontario overlooking the Toronto skyline which by the way is the location where I shot the photo for my blog headline picture.

The view was sensational, the menu was delish, and the company was perfect!           Toronto Skyline

 

To all the Mothers worldwide I say thank you.

Curbside Treasures – A Nod to Earth Day

Yesterday marked the 44th anniversary of Earth Day celebrated worldwide by over a billion people.

Hopefully this day makes us pause and reflect on our precious planet and in its honour do something thoughtful towards sustaining this orb of ours

Keeping the 3 R’s – reduce, reuse and recycle in mind, my nod to Earth Day (and every day) is to always being on the lookout for curbside treasures.

What say is a curbside treasure?  An item that is no longer useful to one person is walked to the curb and discovered by another person.

This ‘sharing’ of treasures results in keeping unnecessary stuff out of landfill sites.  All good.

These are some of the curbside treasures I have found over the years.

A very recent find is an Eileen Gray side table.  Amazing!               Eileen Gray End Table

The MR Chair by Mies Van Der Rohe.  I had to replace the leather but there it was – curbside                                      MR Chair

I also found a Wassily Chair which will be heading to university with my son next year.  Lucky guy.                                                       Wassily Chair

I have written many posts on my previous curbside treasures.  My purple stool.  A coveted paintingMy antique spool bed.

It always saddens me when I see something like this.  As a rule I never pick up upholstered items but a perfectly good white slipcovered chair (IKEA – Ektorp Armchair) I’m sure could have been given to someone (family/friend/student) before it was ruined curbside and destined for a landfill site.                    IKEA Ektorp Chair

My sister and brother-in-law just built a gorgeous new kitchen and were undecided about the style of new stools for their island.  While walking the dog one evening they found this curved plywood/chrome stool curbside which was a very nice stand-in until they made their final decision.                                                  Curved plywood stool

Another evening walk found this piece of art curbside by a friend of mine.  Turns out (after a long forgotten stint in his garage) the painting is worth $$$.  My friend had it professionally cleaned and re-framed and this curbside treasure now has a new life hanging on his wall.                                          Curbside Art

Have a fabulous Earth Day and please…….recycle responsibly!

All images via Modmissy