September 30, 2011

Friday Find – September 30 {Fall Colours}

Well, here we are at the end of September … sighhhhh.  One saving grace for me about this time of year is the fabulous colour inspiration I get from looking outside.

Here are a couple of photos I’ve taken over the years of fall colours.  They continue to inspire my colour choices and combinations today!

cropped central park trees

Central Park, NYC


 Central Park, NYC


near Perth, Ontario


near Gracefield, Quebec


What season’s colours inspire you?

September 23, 2011

Friday Find – September 23 {Urban cows}

Browsing through October’s issue of Style at Home magazine I came across THE coolest wallpaper.  Check this out…



Now here it is in an application…


I love the “graphic-ness” of it, how you have to look closely to make out the cows.  This beats your grand-mothers Guernsey cow theme any day!

September 16, 2011

Friday Find – September 16 {MNO Pottery}

Friday again?!  Whoosh – did you feel that week go by?  Although, if asked I’ll deny it, I think it’s true what they say - as we get older gain life experience, life experience gains speed!!!

This week I’m going to share a discovery I made while visiting the scenic area of Browns Flat, New Brunswick this summer.  As I mentioned in a previous post on cedar shake shingles, we spent a week in a cottage in NB this summer surrounded by family, water (in the form of rain mostly), campfires, good food and wine and the occasional visit from friends. 

During our time in the area we happened to stop in at a local potter’s shop.  Darren Emenau of MNO Pottery (did you catch that slight of name???) creates some amazingly unique pieces from his self-built wood fired kiln on his property near Browns Flat.  We found Darren by stopping by his country store  on highway 102.

mno country store exterior mno country store

Darren produces a variety of pottery lines, some of which use local materials indigent to New Brunswick.  Here are a few examples:

caprie mno elastic mno flashing platter mno (I purchased a piece very similar to this)

Please visit Darren’s website, and if you are in the area, stop by his charming country store to see his work in person!  I’m certainly glad I did.

September 11, 2011

Shake it up!

During August our family spent a week at a vacation home in Browns Flat, New Brunswick on the St. John’s River.  With the exception of the uncooperative weather, and a little bit of SUV engine trouble, it was a fun week.  We played board games, card games, did a puzzle or two.  We ate some delicious meals and drank a couple, or more, bottles of wine.  There was canoeing, kayaking, fishing and swimming.  Hubby bought me a new lens for my Canon DLSR camera, so there was quite a bit of picture taking too – over the 7 days I took in the vicinity of 800 pictures (which I will share in another post)!  And the icing on the cake, was a lot of time spent with our grandson who was the star of the week.

With the rainy weather we spent quite a bit of time travelling the roads.  As we drove along highway 102 following  the scenic shoreline of the St. John River one thing struck me – how much I LOVED the use of cedar shake shingles on so many of the local homes.  The look seemed fitting for the area, so nautical, so weathered and so wonderfully “coastal”.   So, since its a little dangerous to drive and use a camera, when I got home I hit the world wide web to find homes with cedar shake shingles.  And I found A LOT of examples, in A LOT of styles … traditional, contemporary, natural, stained, painted … have a look at these:

The Little House on Cape Cod

Little House on Cape Cod

Orcas Island Cabin traditional exterior
Kenilworth Private Residence 2 traditional
chezerbey exterior modern exterior
Lake House traditional exterior
California Residence modern exterior
Porch shed eclectic exterior
Darling-Wright Residence traditional exterior
Arlington Green Cottage traditional exterior
Craftsman Green Renovation traditional entry
Rocky Ledge Entry contemporary entry
SchappacherWhite Ltd.  exterior

All images courtesy of

I’m having a hard time picking a favourite.  How about you???

September 9, 2011

Friday Find – September 9

We’ve recently repainted our stairwell and upper hallway.  I want this area to house a gallery of photos of family and friends.  I’ve been playing around with how to arrange this gallery and found the following example, that I think may be the winner:

art-wall-marthastewartSource: Martha Stewart via 

Although this one also caught my eye, since I’m dealing with two walls.  I love how the display goes around the corner and up the stairs:art-stairway-apt-therapy-400x360Source: apartment therapy via

Funny enough, my colour palette is along these shades as well.  Check out the great post on Wall Gallery Displays from the “Your Decorating Hotline” blog here.

What do you think?  Do you have a preference? Or other ideas?  Let me know!


I also wanted to share some news with you.  You may have noticed a new addition on my sidebar from  I’ve put together a book of photos I’ve taken with some inspirational quotes I’ve collected over the years.  Check it out here.  And if you are interested, it is available for purchase.  Enjoy!

September 7, 2011

Checking in on the Matawatchan Project

Recently, hubby and I spent the weekend with our friends at their log home property in Matawatchan.  You remember the Matawatchan project.  I wrote about it here and again here.  Well our friends A&N have been very busy over the last 18 months (yes it’s been that long since I last posted about this), and have made tremendous progress on the house, now with windows, doors, sunroom and screened porch.

Here’s a couple of shots of the progress we’ve seen:

IMG_1951 - Copy

The front of the home with a retaining wall that took A quite some effort to complete.

IMG_1979 - Copy

The front entrance and garden has a wonderful rustic appeal.


Here is the screened in porch where we spent a good portion of our weekend, with some great food and no shortage of red wine :).

Now, down to work…

One of the major areas they’ve been working on is the kitchen. Last we left off, we had settled on a kitchen layout that felt right.

matawatchan kitchen plan no msmts

Well, while we were reviewing the layout, we came across the fact that the stove would need a fan of some sort.  The first option was an overhead unit like this one:


Source:  Sarah Richardson Design (via Pinterest)

Not wanting to obstruct the views within the open layout first floor space, the overhead unit was vetoed. That left an integrated unit, like this.

P-ERV36-01-332x350 dacor


Two problems there, first, with a raised glass breakfast bar, the room for pop up vent was limited.  And secondly, where do you vent to?  After some discussion we decided to modify the floor plan somewhat to accommodate an outdoor venting of the stove.  Here is the new layout:


You’ll notice we’ve moved the stove over to the other side of the kitchen.  It’s now on an outside wall which facilitates the venting for the stove.  Not only that, there is now a really nice big space for food preparation.  A vent hood hasn’t been selected yet, but there’s plenty of room to house one now.

The next step for the kitchen is finalizing the cabinet configuration, that is drawers versus doors.

Currently A&N are trialling the new layout using a combination of cabinets they removed from their condo in the city with pieces they’ve used up to this point for their makeshift kitchen.  The reviews so far are good!




It’s a long term project, but I’m very excited to see the progress as we move towards the finished project.

In my next Matawatchan post I’ll tell you all about some of the issues we have with the master bedroom layout upstairs.

September 2, 2011

Friday Find–September 2

O.M.G.  How did it get to be September?  Wasn’t it May last week?  I’m not ready for September, I haven’t done everything I wanted to do, haven’t gone everywhere I wanted to go, haven’t seen everyone I wanted to see.  I’M NOT READY!!!!

In a vain attempt to hold onto summer, here’s a glimpse of the summer that I dream of:

After a week of antiquing in Paris, perhaps at Marché aux Puces St-Ouen de Clignancourt, which is the largest flea market in the world:

Marche Biron, Flea market Porte de Clignancourt, Saint-Ouen.  Photo Shadowgate from Novara, ITALY © Creative Commons Attribution 2.0


I would spend a week sailing the Mediterranean:



Do some scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef:



Spend some time  “volunteering” as a wine taster at a vineyard in Italy:



Hike my way through the Scottish Highlands:



Head out on a road trip through the Canadian Rockies:



And once I’m back home, spend a week with all of my family and friends at a huge summer home to celebrate the summer:



Hey … I think I just wrote my Bucket List!  Can you imagine doing all that in one summer?

I hope you had a fantastic summer and that you finish it off in style this weekend!!

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