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!

All Images by MODMISSY

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Gone Fishing!

I have been lusting after warm weather, sunny blue skies and colour – lots of colour so this year I decided to ‘jump-start’ my spring season and have booked myself a Caribbean getaway.

See you in a week!

caribbean ocean

 

Image via Modmissy – all paint colours are Benjamin Moore

Spring

SPRING – it has finally arrived!!

Kick winter to the curb and do the ‘happy dance’!  You deserve it.

At this time of year the days are longer and brighter.

People just seem happier.  I attest this to colour – with the arrival of spring comes colour; bright, happy colours.

After a long dull winter colour is the mood booster we all need.

Colourful spring bulbs are popping up from the ground.  This photo was taken from my neighbour’s south-facing garden – and the white stuff is snow! Spring flowersIf you don’t have any spring flowers take a stroll through a retail venue and get your hit of colour from store displays.  The Hudson Bay Company is totally decked out for spring with colour everywhere throughout the store and a SPRING STARTS HERE event now on. 

Spring Starts Here HBC Spring Starts Here

While shopping for a desk lamp for an executive client’s office last week I came across this colourful display.  Unfortunately not what ‘Mr. President’ required but it made me pause and smile.

Spring color lamps

I love this colourful crockery display at Homesense

Spring Crockery

Spring spring is a wonderful thing,

All the colours make your heart sing.

Vibrant green and bright sky blue,

And hits of purple, pink and yellow too.

I adore this wonderful time of year,

It makes me happy and full of cheer!

Enjoy….

All images via Modmissy

My White Bedroom

‘Change’…..it’s time for change again.

When the weather starts getting warmer I change all the linens and accessories in my bedroom.  The room faces west and receives the hot afternoon sun so my summer bedroom gets the all-white treatment giving both a cooler look and feel.

Layers of white cotton linens on the bed give a ‘cool as cotton’ sensation.  I made the duvet cover from 2 sheets that we (hubby and I) brought back from Venice while travelling through Europe many years ago.  Hubby carried these king-sized sheets plus 2 cotton tablecloths in his knapsack for a month!  (had to throw out some of his clothing to fit them in!!)  The cotton chenille fringed bedspread is vintage and originates from the same era as my beloved orange lamps.  The cushions from West Elm provide the pop of colour on the bed.

The bergere chair is slipcovered in white cotton and the art above the dresser is exchanged for a white mirror.

My otherwise contemporary home gets a shabby chic makeover in the bedroom.  Bring on the summer!

 

My Front Porch – Summertime

I love going to fabric stores.  It is like an overload on the senses – looking, touching and imagining.  As I walk amongst the bolts of fabric, admiring the many beautiful fabrics, running my hands along them to feel them, my mind starts racing trying to envision where I could use them all.  So many gorgeous fabrics – not enough projects!

On a recent fabric store adventure I came across this fabulous orange/white fabric that I fell in love with – I bought 2 yards.

I decided to use the fabric for seat cushions on the chairs in my enclosed front porch.  My sewing skills gained from grade 7/8 Home Ec. are fairly rudimentary but I can sew cushion covers.

My front porch spring/summer cushions were looking faded and boring so the new orange/white gives the needed punch.  The patterned pillows which coordinated perfectly came from HomeSense thanks to a good friend who found them for me!  The twig furniture (hubby and I made many years ago), lots of potted flowers, good lighting to read with and candles in the evening makes this porch my summer oasis.

All Images via Modmissy

 

 

Garden Mirrors

My backyard is both my sanctuary and my little ‘green space’ in the city.  I look forward to being able to return to my summer hangout.  But until the warm weather is here I can patiently only watch spring’s progress in my backyard.  From my kitchen window, which is elevated above the backyard, I have a bird’s eye view to observe all the activity going on.  The buds on the trees are just starting to come out and some of the perennials are beginning to poke up out of the soil.  And the birds are so busy at this time of year.  Blue Jays, robins and cardinals are constantly flying about; looking for mates and starting to nest.  But here is the thing – I have a garden mirror that hangs on a wall in the backyard.  The mirror tucked in behind some greenery gives the appearance of creating visual space where none exists.  My yard is small so this ‘trompe l’oeil’ (French for ‘fool the eye’) is perfect for tricking one into believing that my backyard is spacious.  Same tactic as when a mirror is used inside a home.  But each spring I have to cover the mirror over with a plastic sheet to prevent birds from hurting themselves.  The birds, mostly robins, upon seeing their reflection in the mirror believe it to be another bird that is in their territory.  The bird fights itself to such a length that I have noticed blood on the mirror.  Not nice for the bird!  So I thought I would pass this info on to anyone who may have a garden mirror.  Cover over the mirror during springtime until the birds are finished mating.

A photo of a robin in spring – let’s protect him.

My garden mirror in spring before plant foilage covers over.

My garden mirror in summer somewhat hidden from surrounding foilage.

All images via Modmissy

My Pysanky

One day when my son was very young he asked me, “hey mom, what’s with the Easter bunny?”  Wanting to set a good example by always telling the truth I explained to him that actually there was no bunny that secretly came hopping into our house leaving eggs behind.  I explained that the eggs (that I hid for him) represented spring and all the new life that is born at this time of year. Ie. Spring flowers, baby birds, buds on the trees, and of course bunnies.  He thought this was a good answer.  As traditions go, each year at this time my sister-in-law (SIL) has an egg painting/tea party for all her female friends and family.  All of us gather on a Sunday afternoon to share stories, eat, drink tea and paint eggs.  My SIL inherited her mothers collection of beautiful bone china tea cups, so to honour her mother and the tea cups we celebrate.  A good friend of my SIL has taught us, or ‘patiently’ tries to teach us, the Ukrainian method of painting ‘pysanky’.  Pysanky are Ukrainian Easter eggs decorated using a wax-resist (batik) method.  Using a stylus or ‘pysak’ the design is written with beeswax melted onto the egg.  The egg is then dipped into coloured dye and then more beeswax is applied creating a layering of pattern.  The application of beeswax in sequence with dipping into dyes in order of light dyes to dark dyes creates the pysanky.   Historically in Ukrainian culture the pysanky were made at night when the children were sleeping.  The women in the family would gather together secretly and create the pysanky to give to their family.  The patterns and colour combinations were handed down from mother to daughter and carefully guarded.  To give a pysanka is to give a symbolic gift of life.  Each year at this time I display my pysanky in a crystal bowl that I inherited from my mother.  My pysanky designs are improving but it is the gathering of women, drinking tea and sharing that I think is real special.

Images via Modmissy

Colours of Spring

It’s here.  Spring!  And it arrived in Toronto with an unbelievable temperature of 25˚ Celsius. (77˚ Fahrenheit)  Considering it is still March this warm weather is just not the norm for this time of year.  The elevated temperature makes for the sudden burst of spring flowers rising up from the ground.  The colours of spring have arrived!  Inspiration grabbing hold of me, I decided to take a walk through my neighborhood with my camera and Benjamin Moore Colour deck in hand.  Climbing (precariously!) through some of my neighbours’ yards I took photos of spring flowers matched up with a Benjamin Moore paint colour.  Some kind neighbours even toured me through their backyards proudly showing me their beautiful spring flowers.  Thought I would share with you too.

Purple Crocus = Purple Hyacinth 2073-40

 

Yellow Crocus = Sunshine 2021-30

 

Glory-of-the-Snow = Summer blue 2067-50

 

Hellebore = Precious Pink 2084-40

 

Not sure what this flower is but I inadvertently walked into a bog to photograph! = Grape Green 2027-40

 

 

Pink Snowdrop = Spring Blossom 2172-70

 

Spring Heather =Taste of Berry 2085-40

All images via Modmissy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Anticipation of Spring

Today we are greeted by the first day of March which really means only 19 more days until the first day of spring!  Thinking of it this way makes it a little easier to get through these last days of winter.  The greys of winter will soon be banished by the colours of spring.  I can’t wait.  When I saw this photo I was reminded of spring flowers. 

New for spring from Ikea www.ikea.com is the GAVIK table lamp.  Made of coloured transparent double glass the lamp when lit spreads beautiful effects in any room.  In anticipation of spring I thought I would also share with you a poem by Lord Alfred Tennyson about flowers.  Enjoy

The Flower by Lord Alfred Tennyson

Once in a golden hour
I cast to earth a seed.
Up there came a flower,
The people said, a weed.

To and fro they went
Thro’ my garden bower,
And muttering discontent
Cursed me and my flower.

Then it grew so tall
It wore a crown of light,
But thieves from o’er the wall
Stole the seed by night.

Sow’d it far and wide
By every town and tower,
Till all the people cried,
“Splendid is the flower!”

Read my little fable:
He that runs may read.
Most can raise the flowers now,
For all have got the seed.

And some are pretty enough,
And some are poor indeed;
And now again the people
Call it but a weed.