good things come

Friday, December 31, 2010

scenes from the last few days of 2010

Wow ! what an amazing year 2010 has been. At the very end of 2009 my former, increasingly sad & lonely life, was turned upside down by a chance meeting in the park where Miss D and walk each day. I've landed softly in a big feather bed of good things. I met that fateful day, the near perfect Prince who takes such good care of us, who loves animals as much as I do, who's as smart as whip - possibly smarter and who's turning this beautiful old brick house and spacious tangled terracotta gardens into a home - into our home.

My creative life shaken also by the loss of my main gig - most (80%) of my self employed design eggs ($) unfortunately were hangin' out in one darn basket. I always knew in the back of mind that I needed to find more customers, a stable of them ideally, but like so many things in life you float along day to day always with the best of intentions I'll get to that tomorrow. I'm now in a place that many others find themselves - dreaming & scheming new, exciting & more self reliant ways to make a living, ways to afford to stay in this little village by the sea that I love. By nature I am an optimist, although run away fast if I'm having one of my scheduled dips into doom & gloom, I've decided to welcome this new year believing that 2010 was about building and that the months that loom ahead on our horizon will be peppered with lots more good things.

Happiest New Year to all.
My word for 2011 - firework - uh huh !

I love this song so much, les anthem for 2011

11 things & 1 word

Thursday, December 30, 2010

juniper - blue sky + ever green

I'm still blowin' and a sneezin' and whining ... the latter as little as possible. It's the kind of cold that's just plain irritating, where you just don't feel like doing anything & doing barely anything for nearly 4 days is way long enough. I just realized that the big day is only 2 days away. The big annual clean off les slate, my favourite time to set a few new goals, dream some new dreams and of course set my own personal bar(s) even higher than before. Well why not ?

An idea I spied over at Ali Edward's blog - is to choose one word to be a guide or mantra for this new year ... I like that idea and a word came to me instantly. In past years I've always favoured making the big, long traditional list of new years resolutions (mostly unreasonable & often unattainable is my normal tendency) but somehow that's seeming tired and I've realized this year so likely doomed to failure ... as in so many other years. No resolutions. Just a list of things. Something new this new year.

New to me anyway - I've decided to do a bucket list for 2011. Simple - eleven is such a lovely and reasonably small number - 11 things - goals, dreams, new experiences ... the exercise of making the list is really what the whole thing's all about - figuring out what you want in your life. It's that simple (or so it seems) but I do so love the process of planning* a new adventure -
Hello 2011 !

Off to the lands of steamy bubbles, scented this morning with soothing tea tree, eucalyptus & lavender oils sure to clear my head just a little & Hey ! I think I see the sun coming up, hooray !

*planning is a craft I've delicately honed ... now the doing ... we're still working on that one

a little whinge

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

love ... love will keep us together - gouache & digital illustration

just stop, stop 'cause I really love you
stop, stop I'll be thinking about you
look in my heart, and let love keep us together

Captain & Tennille

More wild howling wind, blowing icy and frigid in off the water
The harbour's been churned up and murky for a week now
I have a cold, the first sickness in four years
Fishermen's Friends and 3 ply tissue with aloe lotion, my sidekicks
I have hearts are on my agenda today ... lots + lots of hearts

I'm off now to hang my head over a sink of steaming eucalyptus water
and to see if I can't find a darn Prince to whinge a bit to


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

wallpaper samples from Osborne & Little

We have a tiny little half bath, powder room on the main floor of this old brick house. A small sink, a small toilet and a gigantic window that looks out onto the wild petite forest that is our backyard. It's a very small but very tall room and I think perfect for wallpaper. I said this to the handsome Prince the other night as we were discussing the remaining living room/dining room projects. One of which is to move the door of this bathroom so that instead of having to wind your way back through the kitchen, then through the laundry room/mud room/pantry to get to the powder room - the bathroom door will be on the living room side in a good sized vestibule area (read wasted space) between the kitchen and dining room. I feel a floor plan coming on ...

While discussing the revamping of this small bathroom I said I'd love for this room to be a Jolt, a Smack ! of Oh My !! (in the best way) when you open that door, a shock, a delightful surprise, an oasis of crazed colour & pattern in our otherwise we do love our neutrals off-white to chocolate and everything in between home. & Oh how I do love red, especially that hot vivid orangey red and I do so love these vintage, big, brash, traditional & wacky (don't exist in the real world) floral wallpaper patterns (mod leaf the exception & expected ho hum motif & colour way). The photo at left is of a bathroom decoupaged with pages from the beautiful Taschen book The Cabinet of Natural Curiosities - bought the book ages ago, have the gallon of mod podge - lets dec o' page !! ;-)

Thinking about beauty, pattern, colour, motif & les natural curiosities this tres snowy, wild + windy early morning. It seems Madam winter has arrived in our little seaside village with a fury.

we three cats

Monday, December 27, 2010

Oliver, Virgil (the cat formerly known as Gus) and BleetNess with Miss D in last photo

we three cats of 29 Black Street
well ... we pretty much rule the roost

{ s a l e }

Sunday, December 26, 2010

big boxing day sale dans la etsy shop three days only + scenes from a tres happy christmas

check out Missy D she slept with her head tucked on big ol' Juicy's furry back the whole time

lily gilding

Saturday, December 25, 2010

gilding our Christmas by the sea lily with seafood chowder

Christmas dinner - chowder with fresh haddock, scallops, shrimp, lobster, cream & butter
December 25th is the most excellent time of the year for some big ol' lily gilding

If you stop by later I promise to post the recipe but right now Missy D and I are off to spend Christmas morning with our 5 year old best friend and my dogson Juicy - hooray !

& a merry christmas Sally ;-)

Christmas by the Sea Chowder

2 medium carrots grated
2 large stalks of celery finely chopped (and celery tops)
1 large onion finely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper chopped
1 tbsp. oil
1 tbsp. butter
1-3 tsps. Old Bay Seasoning (if you have it)
fresh garlic minced
8 medium white potatoes (chop 4 of them into small cubes)
14 large sea scallops* - cut into pieces
1 dozen large zipperback shrimp in shell
1 lb fresh haddock
1/2 lb lobster meat (knuckles & claws)
1 lb of haddock fillets (or any white fish or salmon)
1 cup of water
1 cup of clam or seafood** broth (I used chicken stock)
1 pint blend cream (10% milk fat)
additional milk to thin as needed
2-3 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley
2-3 green onions finely minced
salt & pepper to taste

Cook 4 (of the 8) potatoes whole in boiling salted water until just cooked. Cool and refrigerate.

Put oil and butter in the bottom of a dutch oven or large pot, add carrots, celery, green pepper onions, garlic and Old Bay Seasoning - saute gently until the vegetables soften and the onion becomes clear. Add potatoes, broth & water. Cover, turn the heat to low and let this simmer until the potatoes are cooked & beginning to fall apart (about 5 mins). The potatoes cooked in the chowder help to thicken and add body. Add scallops, haddock & shrimp put lid back on and let this simmer for another 5 mins or until fish and scallops are white and opaque looking - no longer translucent. Add cooked lobster meat. Add milk or cream. Peel the previously cooked potatoes and cut into large chunks & add. Cover again and on low heat bring the chowder back up to a simmer. Pour into bowls and garnish with chopped fresh parsley & minced green onions. Serve.

* because we love vegetables here at Black Street. When I reheat our chowder this evening I will add 2-3 cups of frozen corn to the pot. And just before serving I'll quickly saute 1 medium sliced zucchini and a handful of fresh asparagus chunks in garlicky olive oil in a very hot pan. The chowder is so delicious with this last addition of crunchy garlicky green goodness. Enjoy !

ta da !

Friday, December 24, 2010

the small park that hugs our harbour & steps away from our front door, the last ship of the year

Low light, late afternoon, blurry photos of it in it's spectacularity ! doors slide back + forth - sigh

Music to load components by and this song that suddenly appeared in my brain on my blustery drizzly walk back from the post-office yesterday afternoon. Isn't it weird. I wonder where do these little memory bombs come from ... and why ?

Merry, merry, merry Christmas to all from les Gang at 29 Black Street.

handsome Sam(uel) wearing his dashing red harness avec les entertainment centre