Friday, November 30, 2007

Advent candles

Tomorrow is December 1st - the first day of Advent. And, for those like me, who grew up in a quasi-Scandinavian family (one side Danish, the other side Irish), this means lighting the Advent candle and starting our countdown to Christmas. Here's a photo of some terrific Advent candles that would make a fun centrepiece for the kitchen table - or anywhere else, for that matter. My kids, husband, and I will be lighting ours tomorrow night -along with hot chocolate and cookies, of course! So, if you haven't got your's yet, there's still time to pick one up tomorrow, and start a new tradition, too. Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Photo by Gertrud K, on Flickr

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I'll have a blue Christmas

I'm absolutely loving blue Christmas trees this year! I can't get enough of them! Forget white, forget red -- blue is clearly where it's at. Here are some blue creations I love. And, if you want to see some more, go to Neutral Dwelling's blog, and check out her selection. She's found some beautiful images, too. BTW, if you decorate in blue this year, please send me your photos, and I'll post them up, so we can all take a look. That way, we can all enjoy our blue Christmases together!

Photo by OiMax, Flickr

Photo by OiMax, Flickr

Photo by Shutter.chick, Flickr

Photo by OiMax, Flickr

Photo by OiMax, Flickr

Monday, November 26, 2007

Alanna Baird

We're all trying to do our bit for the environment, but Ottawa artist Alanna Baird is taking it one step further -- taking old, tin can lids or recycled scrap copper -- and making them into the most beautiful fish sculptures imaginable. All of the tin comes from the community, and Alanna often finds little packages of lids tied to her doorknob, cleaned and left there by people she doesn't know, ready to be transformed into perfect fish scales. More recently, Alanna has started using scrap copper in her sculptures, which means they can be used and left outside. Here are a few photos of Alanna's remarkable fish --the first two are made from recycled tin lids; the last is made from recyled scrap copper. Hope you find them as beautiful as I do, and if you're interested in contacting Alanna or viewing more of her work, she's reachable through

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Soul Matters

I know you're all going to be out shopping this weekend, so here's a lovely little place to stop and browse for a while -- Soul Matters. This tranquil boutique opened recently at 1093 Bank Street in Old Ottawa South, and it's already one of my favourite destinations for items bringing peace and restfullness to me and my home. Here are a few shots of the store's interior and merchandise. And, once your done shopping, there's a cozy Second Cup only one door up where you can grab a latte, settle in with a good book, and continue your Zen experience. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Rosemary Leach

I'm very happy to show you some of Rosemary Leach's wonderful paintings tonight. Rosemary is based in Almonte, Ontario -- just outside of Ottawa -- and her colourful art is perfect for this rather cold, November evening. Her paintings are bold and happy, and a celebration of everyday objects and life. Enjoy and you can see more by visiting or by visiting the Lux Gallery in Carleton Place, where a selection of Rosemary's paintings are on display. BTW, I completely love the second image. I could just be in that kitchen or balcony when I look at it!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The view from the top

The other day I posted on Northern Art Glass and the beautiful work they do. Here is some work they're doing right now -- putting in new stained glass windows in the southwest tower of the East Block, on Canada's Parliament Hill. The work involves installing large windows on all four sides of the tower and on two levels. No small feat! Here are some shots, both inside and out. The view's incredible, isn't it? And, don't you think the tower looks like it has a face? Intentional or not -- who knows! It was a long time ago, but maybe someone was having some fun and seeing who'd notice! ...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Northern Art Glass

I live in an older home -- built in the mid-1960s -- when beautiful front doors and large front porches were'nt as common as they are now. Consequently, we're stuck at the moment with a very dark, front entranceway, and a huge slab of a front door with no window in it. Ughh! But not for long--hopefully! There is a solution to leaving the front door open all the time to let in light through the screen door - even when it's sub-zero outside - and, it's stained glass.

I love stained glass -- it's colours, patterns, and the way it makes colour dance around in the sunlight. So, a stained glass front door - for me - is the perfect solution. And, with skilled artisans in the city, such as those found at Northern Art Glass, it really is possible to come up with a beautiful, unique solution.

Here are a few examples of lovely custom front doors produced by Northern Art Glass Enjoy and I'll keep you posted on my project!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sara Seggie - Part II

I've posted on Sara Seggie before (October 18th) and you know how I love her mosaic work. One of Sara's creations -- a guitar with glass bonded to the surface in intricate designs -- is now on display in the front window of the Ottawa Folklore Centre on Bank Street. Here it is for you to take a look at. And, congratulations, Sara. It looks fabulous, and definitely stood out when I drove by this morning!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Frank Prendergast

Cabinetry can be purely functional or it can be an artform. In the case of third generation, Ottawa carpenter, Frank Prendergast, of Neoform Cabinetry,, it is most definitely both. Frank first got in touch with me a couple of weeks ago, and I was immediately blown away by his beautiful, creative work. Today, he sent me some photos, and I'm very happy to post them for you tonight. After just one look, I'm sure you'll feel the same way. It's not too often we see such creative use of space, and the combination of classic and innovative materials, to make such one-of-a-kind designs. Here for your viewing pleasure, with little descriptions courtesy of moi, is the marvellous work of Frank Prendergast. Enjoy and be amazed!

This one called Puzzle Wall is a real charmer -- well, anything with babies usually is. But, here, Frank has outdone himself, creating a 7' x 8' patchwork of plastic wall laminates including 12 drawers and 10 cupboards. If I had this one in my kids' rooms, I'd have no shortage of storage space, that's for sure!

This lovely work -- called Cubist Inukshuk -- was originally commissioned as a hallway table for a very small space. Frank thought, "this table doesn't have to be flat", and provided his clients with a multi-tiered Inukshuk that gave lots of places to put things. Ingenious! There'd be absolutely no excuse to lose my car keys here!

The Fulcrum -- a yellow and green cabinet -- that provides lots of storage space, without falling over -- and a real attention grabber in any room.

Another beautiful piece that incorporates steel, with more traditional materials. I LOVE the rich blue interior. A hidden little secret until you open it up!

Shuffle Cabinets -- I sometimes think the smaller the space, the more creative you get to be. Frank designed these cabinets so they can go in either a kitchen or a dining room (if you run out of room in the kitchen). This is two-tone lacquer gloss cabinetry -- my personal favourite for a kitchen.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Newbury Interiors

If you're heading down to Westboro this weekend, do check out one of Ottawa's newest interior furnishings stores, Newbury Interiors, at 427 Richmond Road. This gem of a store is an absolutely terrific newcomer to the Ottawa design scene, and I'm sure you won't be disappointed when you visit. Here are some photos of lamps I loved, plus a stunningly upholstered chair by Harden --(don't you just love the orange?) -- and a couple of accessory shots. I've also included a shot of NI's washroom -- visible to the store --because I just love the wallpaper they've chosen. This is a classy, creative store with panache. Enjoy -- and have fun shopping!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Sarah Hallman

I'm always amazed by people who are so incredibly artistic and can work in so many different mediums. Ottawa artist Sarah Hallman is one of those people: not only is she an incredible singer/songwriter, but she's also an amazing textile and graphic designer, print maker, painter, and glass works artist. Here are some samples of her work, and, if you're interested in seeing more, and hearing clips from her new CD, visit It's a great site, full of atmosphere, and well worth the visit.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Funky Lighting

I absolutely love lighting! Nothing say funky like a unique lamp. And, if a room needs a little drama or pizzaz, injecting that perfect fixture does wonders. Suddenly, a ho-hum room becomes a show stopper! Here are a few favourites I found during a recent visit to Architectural Antiques, 356 Richmond Road, in Westboro -- home to antique and reproduction fixtures. I love them all, but my favourite is definitely the flower chandelier made of glass. Sooo beautiful when it's lit up -- this photo doesn't do it justice. And, just so you know, the first fixture is made of glass crystals, and the last two are made of shells.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Moo-Cow Adventure (2)

Well, it's been about a week since I posted my first installment of the great Moo-Cow Adventure, and since then, things have been coming along really well. I've found fabrics for the Roman shade and the back of the duvet cover -- at Fabricland, no less, and cotton, of course-- that work beautifully with the Moo-Cow fabric. I've also located a great little rug through Sears -- now on order -- and a fabulous pillow case for an accent pillow. Better yet, I've had the room painted in absolutely fantastic P & L colours and a chair rail installed, and things are looking fabulous!! Here's the photo of the room all painted -- obviously, the bed and other things are to come -- so stay tuned for my next installment.