Thursday, 17 April 2014

Bing Goes To Market!

When I heard that a brand new, weekly indoor market was coming to town, I decided to dust off a lifelong dream of being a vendor in a market, and signed up for a booth. My mission? To introduce the Glamping concept to my little corner of Vancouver Island.

Next thing I knew, Bing had been invited to make a guest appearance outside the venue on the Sidney Saturday Market opening day. The town crier was there, along with crowds of local folks who couldn't wait to check out the market. Bing was a hit, I sold some wares, and everybody had a whole lot of fun. 

The only calamity was that I wasn't able to get a picture of Bing in all her decorated cuteness parked out on main street in front of the market!! But here's a photo of her little backside, taken by Matt B Photoraphy: 

Here's me at my booth (note my copies of the Glamping books in the background!): 

What am I selling? Well, all sorts of wares, some vintage, some handmade, perfect for any glamper. And a gorgeous selection of vintage dresses! I lucked out and got the room with a very fifties black and white checkered floor and a giant window. The room used to be a beauty school, and is still equipped with mirrored tables that the market organizer fashioned into a change room for me so that people can try on my dresses. 

Here's my corner of the market. Practically a proper boudoir, wouldn't you say? See my lovely sister reflected in the mirror? She came along and helped me BIG TIME! Thanks again, Liz!)

Vintage dresses.

I repainted this folding table with Cottage Paint by Linda Lock. Here's her website:

Similar to Annie Sloan's Chalk Paints, Lock's products make for quick restoration projects with beautiful results. (I'll post some before and after photos of some of my projects in another blog entry!)

A French stencil is always a good idea, if you ask me. I added a touch of gold on the crown to give the table a hint of sparkle. Although I would have loved it for myself, this little table sold on the first day.

Some Laura Ashley and Adrienne Vittadini pillowcase sets, all freshly laundered, starched and pressed. No wrinkled, musty linens at my booth, thank you!

The beautifully woven orange apron was hand loomed in Quebec. Stunning!

Here's a glamping chandelier and lampshade upcycled from brass shade frames I found in a salvage shop and covered with fabric scraps. They were fun projects, and I love them. The chandelier is fitted with a pendant light kit that plugs into a wall outlet.

Although I've displayed the white and red one as a lampshade, it could also be fashioned into a pendant light or glamping "chandelier" by adding some LED lights on the inside.

I put the beauty school props to use modeling my hats. The one below I crocheted with household twine embellished with a lovely silk scarf around the wide brim.

See anything you like? A birdhouse washcloth, maybe? Or perhaps a glamping cutlery set for two complete with vintage linen napkins and stainless cutlery in a lovely rose pattern, contained within a caddy fashioned from a fabric covered tin can?

The best part of market Opening Day was sharing Bing with hundreds of folks who were fascinated and charmed by the whole idea of Glamping. It's a new concept around these parts, but I think I converted several folks to our ranks on this day.

This Saturday marks Week Three, and already, exciting things are afoot for me. Stay tuned!

Sunday, 16 March 2014

A Patch Project

My little girl always has a drawer full of pants in decent shape save gaping holes in the knees. It was time to buy new ones, but I had neither the time nor the inclination for a big shopping trip.

Why not patch them? I thought. I needed a fun project on a rainy afternoon, and I also needed to save money. I got out my stash of scrap fabrics and had some fun.

I didn't worry about perfection; after all, I'm only aiming to extend the life of the pants for a few more weeks (dare I hope for months?). I used fusible webbing and mostly, fabrics that won't fray, like the cheetah print fleece and a recycled felted sweater.

Quick, easy and thrifty, and most importantly, Ariel loves them!

Do you have ideas for patching or otherwise extending the life of kids' clothes that you can share? I'd love to hear them!

Monday, 20 January 2014

Pyrex Makes Perfect

For me, vintage collectibles become extra special if I can use them the way they were originally intended. That's not always possible. Old enamel pots, for example, aren't the wisest choice for cooking, since they might leach toxins into food. And nobody wants rusty cookies; old tin cans are best used only for display.

Pyrex is one collectible that remains useful throughout the decades. Oven safe, strong, and microwavable, these glass dishes can be put into service, doing the jobs they've already done for decades. 

Pyrex has been a part of my life since my earliest memories of cooking with my mother using her set of pastel mixing bowls. Like milk glass, these creamy, opaque dishes are as useful as they are visually appealing, with enough variety in pattern and colour to keep collectors happy forever. 

Pyrex is readily available, too. I see bowls, butter dishes, and other pieces every time I visit a vintage store (often with a price tag that reflects its popularity). In Thrift stores, though, I don't usually see anything but odd little mismatched pieces. Happily, my luck changed a few days ago. 

Here's what I spotted on a bottom shelf of my local Salvation Army, in perfect condition and priced at an affordable $5.50 CDN: 

The handles, colour and pattern easily identify the piece as a mid-century Cinderella bowl in beautiful turquoise Butterprint. Who could ever resist turquoise anything, especially if it has a practical use? 

This smaller, nesting bowl came with it, priced at $3.50. These are the largest two in what originally would have been a set of four bowls, alternating in colour. 

The handles make them practical as both prep and serving dishes. 

The powder blue serving bowl shown below is Pyrex too. I found it nesting inside the Cinderella bowls, priced at $1.50. The glass has a slight swirl of white for a marble look, and the fluted edges are so dainty. My heart fluttered the minute I spied it. Sold!

I don't know this bowl's vintage, but it sports a "Made in Canada" label on the bottom. So far, I haven't been able to identify it. Perhaps it's newer?

So there you have it: three pieces of Thrift store eye candy that sweeten up my china cabinet and add an irresistible splash of turquoise to the dining room. 

Looks like the beginning of a new collection, wouldn't you say?

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Will You Take Tea With Me?

My children are darlings. Kind, thoughtful, and already adept gift givers, even at the tender ages of three and eight. They know what speaks to my heart. It seems Bing did not have a tea pot, and everyone knows tea tastes better when served in vintage tea cups.

So here's what this lucky mama got for Christmas:

 From Ariel

Royal Albert, Made in England

From Graham

 Consort, Made in England

From both of them

 Globe 6 cup, by London Pottery Co.

Vintage flowers and red with white polka dots? Add 'em up and it equals love to me.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy New Year!

On this, the first day of the year, let me wish all of you a whole year full of productivity, merry-making, good health and safe and happy travels exploring the world.

Welcome, 2014!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Handmade Halloween

Ariel's food sensitivities mean she can't eat store bought candy.

So what to do when Halloween rolls around? Obviously, there's no point Trick Or Treating. But Halloween is her favourite holiday. She loves the spooky, dress up season even more than (gasp) Christmas. Could I allow her fun to be diminished just because she can't participate in the big candy gobble? 

No way.

Halloween's not about candy anyway. Okay, well, maybe it is mostly about candy. But leave out the bother of tromping around the neighbourhood lugging heavy bags full of belly-ache inducing sweets, and suddenly the whole evening opens up, full of possibilities for Halloween fun we normally don't have time for. 

So instead of Trick Or Treating this year, we're staying home to party. The kids and I are more excited about Halloween than ever before. We won't have to rush through dinner, we won't have to drag Graham's tired little legs through the dark, cold night, and we won't have to miss out on greeting all the kids that come to our door. Instead, we'll crank our spooky tunes, turn on the orange and purple lights, don our costumes, and just enjoy the magic of the night.

Will there be candy? Of course. Thanks mainly to recipes printed in the October/November issue of MaryJanes Farm Magazine, we made candy corns, coconut-almond chocolates, caramel toffee, and black cherry gum drops.

And, of course, pumpkin pie. 

I made everything myself, so I know every ingredient. We'll feast on them all evening knowing that, as candies go, they're not so bad for us. And making them together created lasting memories, too. 

If there's time, I may even make another cake like this seasonal one that I made for my sister's fall birthday:

What about the kids who come to our door? Well, no, they won't get candy. The days of being able to hand out homemade treats disappeared during my childhood. Instead, we've got a big bowl full of handmade hair barrettes, ties, wrist cuffs and brooch pins:

Plus a selection of fun goodies that should appeal to kids of all ages, boys or girls: 

So tell me: 

Who's coming to Trick Or Treat at my house? 

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, 3 October 2013

The Trip I Missed...

...blogging about. We actually took this trip in mid-August, but things were so busy right after that I didn't blog about this particular trip.

So here are the details!

Where: Gordon's Bay Campground, Cowichan Lake, BC

With: Two very special families. Between us, there were six adults, six kids (a boy and girl per couple), and one pooch (ours).

Special Mention: "Sparky," a brand new electric car driven by our friends Derek and Sarah, who recently launched a new family adventure based on making saving the environment fun! Read Sarah's inspiring blog here:

First, we had to put Bing on the ferry (she attracted lots of admirers!):

Then we had to find our perfect spot in the woods and set up camp. 

Pssst! I see an adorable camper playing hide and seek with the tents!

After that, we headed to the lake for a quick play before dinner.

Time for some chillaxin'!!

The sun came out again on Day Two and gloried up our swimming spot.

Beautiful British Columbia!

What could be a better end to a tri-family camping trip, than lunch at a 1950s diner? At the fabulous J&V's Burgers and Pizza, the milkshakes are as good as they come and the music rocks back to the good 'ole days. The only thing I forgot to pack was my poodle skirt!!

My pals.

Milkshakes taste so much better when shared with my special guy.

Next summer, we'll do it all again. Right gang?