Happy New Year!

I want to say farewell to 2012 – it was a good year.

I remember as a child on the 1st day back to school following New Years the teacher would write in big numbers on the chalkboard the new year.  And I would think “Wow.  The future.”  The future held so many unknowns, so many mysteries.  But that was when I was 7, 8, 9, 10…. and at that age my learning curve was steep and my ‘unknown’ curve was even steeper.

As one gets older life is broken down into increments of time.  4 year university degree, 20 year mortgage, 2 year bank loan, net 60 days, 40 hour work week, 8 hour shift, 3 weeks holiday, 2 ½ hour movie, 4 hour drive, 6 week delivery date, etc.  Life is intervals of time mapped out in doable increments.

The future is not quite as much a mystery but life undoubtedly is.

So let’s welcome in the New Year and start 2013 as a new beginning with lots of wonderful opportunities that lay ahead in our future.

Health and happiness for the New Year.


Happy New Year.

O Christmas Tree

I have decided that there are as many different themes to the Christmas tree as there are ornaments .

Throughout this holiday season as I go around visiting friends and family I love to see the many variations of the ‘tannenbaum’.   Whether it is a pine, fir or balsam; artificial or faux; or even a corrugated cardboard tree all say Merry Christmas in their own personal way.

Here are just a few of the trees I would like to share.

The first tree is mine.  This year we decided to go back to ‘basics’ with a tree we cut from deep within the forest near out cottage.  It is a beautiful tree with a ‘gentle’ look to it but subsequently not strong enough to hold the weight of most of my ornaments.  So we made paper ornaments and I bought mini-mini lights.  And I thought a tree like this just had to have a Hudson Bay blanket for a tree skirt.

Modmissy Christmas Tree 2012

This is my friend’s tree.  As space was a restriction this narrow faux tree covered in snow and decorated with many glass ornaments that reflect the glow of warm blue lights this tree is perfect.  I love it!

Karen's tree

This tree is in a friend’s home where Hanukkah and Christmas are both acknowledged.  Tree ornaments of Santa Claus hang next to Dreidels and Star of David.  But the coolest thing is that when my friend had me put on a pair of special 3-D glasses all the mini-lights on the tree appeared as Star of David.  Truly a Chrismukkah tree!

This photo was taken through the lens of the 3-D glasses.

z Hannukah-Christmas Tree

Of course leave it to IKEA to come up with their interpretation of a ‘flat-packed’ Christmas tree.  The JULMYS Christmas tree is made from cardboard that can be decorated with the accompanying stickers or your own ornaments.  No fallen needles to clean up and easily stored away until next year.   How simple is that!?

Ikea Julmys Christmas tree

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Much pleasure thou can’st give me;
How often has the Christmas tree
Afforded me the greatest glee!
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Much pleasure thou can’st give me.

So….what does your Christmas tree look like?


My Christmas Door Wreath

The wreath:  A circle of flowers, boughs, or leaves worn on the head, placed on a memorial, or hung as a decoration.

The door wreath whether you celebrate Christmas or not, is a wonderful way to greet guests at this time of year. (especially if your door is ugly and needs replacing like mine – but that’s another blog!)

My childhood family’s first Christmas door wreath was a faux cedar one that my Mother was quite proud of.  Mom had paid a good penny for this wreath and subsequently that wreath adorned our door for many years.  It was very pretty at the onset but should have been laid to rest sooner than it was.  Note to self: cost cannot always be amortized!

As a kid I remember making my first Christmas wreath from IBM Punch Cards.

IBM Punch Card.

For those of you who may not know what an IBM Punch Card is (ie. too young) they are probably the earliest icon of the Technology Age.  Before computers of today these ~3” x 7” cards were coded or ‘punched’ with data and then fed into a computer to input information.  Seems primitive but we wouldn’t be where we are today if it were not for these cumbersome cards.

An IBM Punch Card Wreath

IBM Punch Card Wreath

When I moved into my first apartment I had a pine cone wreath that I purchased from a co-worker who was making and selling them.  But when the pine cones started falling off beyond repair this wreath became fire tinder.

Pine Cone Wreath

Over the years I have always purchased a natural pine or cedar bough wreath.  Beautiful.

But this year I decided to change it up.  Since my Christmas tree is not ‘strong’ enough to hold decorations I made a door wreath-ornament-holder.

So I started with this…

DIY door wreath

And DIY-ed this….

Door Wreath


I Believe

December has arrived – a month that is full of rich traditions, celebrations and holidays observed by many people in all parts of the world.

Many of these celebrations are linked to winter solstice with light being a significant symbol.  Others are religiously linked holy days hence the word ‘holiday’.

Hanukkah or ‘Festival of Lights’ is one of the most important Jewish holidays and celebrated for 8 days; December 8 – 16, 2012

Christmas – December 25th marks the birth of Jesus Christ.

Bodhi Day ‘Day of Enlightenment’ celebrated on December 8th marks the day that the historical Buddha experienced enlightenment.

Kwanzaa celebrated December 26th to January 1st recognizes African heritage in North America

Saint Nicholas Day celebrated on December 6 in many parts of Europe.

Yalda, December 21st, is the Persian Winter Solstice Celebration.

Pancha Ganapati is a five-day Hindu festival celebrated from December 21st to December 25th.

And many more.

Whatever your beliefs I hope your December is full of happiness.

On that note I thought I would share mine…..


I Believe


Universal Children’s Day

Today is National Children’s Day in Canada.

Celebrated on different days in many places around the world, Children’s Day calls society to a greater awareness of the plight of millions of children globally who are denied the basic necessities of a happy childhood and education.

Children’s Day is also the time to reflect on the conditions in society which affect the lives and futures of our own children.

In the 1950’s the United Nations recommended that all countries should establish a Universal Children’s Day centered on the rights of children.

Celebrations throughout the world include parades, ceremonies and gift-giving.  Some countries have even established Children’s Day as a national holiday.  In one country all drivers are expected to drive with their lights on all day long to demonstrate extra vigilance over children’s safety.

The children of today are our future of tomorrow.

Take time today to make a child smile.


Opposites Attract

On this day, November 16th 1959, The Sound of Music opened on Broadway and on November 16th 2001, the first Harry Potter movie opened.  Both were blockbusters.

Set in 2 completely different eras, one in the mid-20th century and the other in the 21st century.  Maria is governess to 7 children of a widower and Harry is an orphan.  Maria flies around the countryside singing to the mountains, while Harry flies on a broomstick.  If The Sound of Music were to open in theatres today we might find it dated and if Harry Potter had been viewed in the 1950’s it might have been too modern.  Yet Maria finds magic through the sound of music and Harry finds magic through wizardry.

Opposites attract.

Mixing of eras, mixing of styles.  But a connection exists.

And thus in décor the same happens.  The juxtaposition of modern with antique, contemporary with vintage, in some way there is a wonderful partnership.  Pieces that blend and contrast at the same time give interest to a room.

A modern fabric will ‘pop’ new life onto an antique settee.

The warmth of the wood of this antique desk pairs well with a modern chair producing an office space that makes one reflect.

The mixture of chairs all within the same colour palette combined with modern abstract paintings and an antique sideboard creates a cohesive dining room.

I love the mix of ornate old character and clean modern pieces in a contemporary white space.

The boldly patterned wallpaper provides the perfect background for mixing of styles in this entryway.

Whatever your style, whatever your preference – mix it up and create your own ‘blockbuster’.

All decor images via houzz.com

Black and Orange

I love the colour orange and I love the colour black but I personally try to avoid pairing them together in my décor.  When combined I associate these two colours as Halloween-like.  But in honour of today being Halloween I thought I would share some items that do exist [successfully] in black and orange.

These terracotta coloured bricks appeared very orange in the bright afternoon sunlight combined with black wrought iron and trim work.

I saw this Enamel Vessel Pentad by Tom Dixon in a shop window.  Très décor!

The Magic Hole Chair designed by Philip Starck for Kartell.  Just a small pop of colour does make this black chair rather fun.

This contemporary coffee table designed by Jean Baptiste Sibertin Blanc is very mod!

This bathroom vanity definitely receives top marks for colour ingenuity!  Could you do it?

The Karlsson Mini Flip Wall Clock is something that I could set aside my no black/orange rule for.

Now wouldn’t this totally ‘decked out’ Porsche look great parked in front of my house!?

Hope you have a very fun-filled Halloween!

iYellow Wine Club at West Elm

Last night I attended iYellow Wine Club Presents+Design Series by Crush VQA Wines at West Elm.  Beautiful food was provided by Mildred’s Temple.  I sipped, noshed and strolled through West Elm – fabulous way to shop!

Believing that great design should be affordable, West Elm’s furniture collection helps create living spaces that are stylish and unique.  And while searching for inspiration in far-away places, West Elm offers accessories that have an artisanal and organic flair to them.  Since I am in the middle of a cottage reno my focus was on ‘cottage style’.  It was interesting to see how West Elm’s style could be interpreted  to a lakeside, seaside, weekend space.

I thought this collection provided a contemporary spin on a nautical blue & white theme.

I loved this bedroom setting with the mix of barn board and contemporary furniture pieces with bedding in white, blue and cinnamon.

The organic blown glass pendant lights give an artisanal feel to any space.

White and muted pottery gives a relaxed vibe to a weekend space.

Red and white vases that have a resemblance to boat buoys and colourful pottery give an air of coastal charm.

Of course I found something that would be perfect in my cottage space so this weekend I shall add a little West Elm style to my lakeside retreat.

All images via Modmissy