Spring has officially arrived in Ottawa! Technically, it’s officially arrived across Canada as of March 20th… but we actually have the sunshine to prove it now! Spring is my absolute favourite season. It’s so full of promise and possibility. Plus, my birthday, wedding anniversary, and favourite sports all convene in the spring. Once, I was able to play hockey AND rugby on my birthday… it was the best day of my life.
Most importantly, this spring heralds the release of Captain America: Civil War. If you love me, best to see me before May 4th – I’ll be emotionally compromised for the foreseeable future after that date.
I’ve been busy working on my office for the last couple weeks. (You can follow my adventures on Instagram!) I’m trying this whole “taking my time” thing and it’s agony. I just want to have everything done right away! But, at the same time, it’s been really nice sitting back and thinking about what I want to get out of my space. Usually, when I tackle a room I have a mental image in mind right away. With this room, I’m having to approach each step at a time, unsure of how the “feel” will change as I add and edit and curate, because I’m trying things outside my usual comfort zone.
I’m hoarding pics of the office for a proper reveal, but I was able to capture some shots from my dining room this weekend, so let’s take a peek!
I made these
allergen collectors tissue paper peonies years ago and can’t bring myself to bin them. Until very recently any plant I touched withered and died, so I embraced the faux.
Also, I know that my seascape painting is comically undersized for this space and I like it that way. Sometimes you just gotta embrace what you have and love it for what it is.
In university, I worked at Chapters, which is a bookstore-cum-lifestyle store in Canada. I had a sweet employee discount, but I was so broke I couldn’t actually take advantage of it… until I gave my notice at the end of school and bought these teacups and saucers as my I-can’t-believe-I-made-it-through-school gift to myself. (That’s a totally legit thing. Trust me.) I paid $35, but at the time, it was every penny I had to my name. I will cherish them til the day they scatter my ashes in a beautiful fireworks display. Maybe even after.
Do me a solid and pretend that the table cloth is properly hemmed. Also, pretend it’s ironed. Pretend I care about all that stuff and not just throwing a sheet over my table because it’s scuffed and I’m too lazy to refinish it right now. Suspension of disbelief, ok?
I’m in love with these 70s-era cantilevered brass chairs. I scored four of them for (I think) $35. Same as my teacups! Must be the magic number… The upholstery is in dire need of a refresh – I’m already on the hunt for the perfect velvet. It’s harder than I would have thought to find pink velvet that doesn’t cost ten bajillion dollars a yard.
There’s only three seats at the table because 1) only three people were going to be eating and 2) the fourth chair’s wicker is damaged. We’re planning to do something fun and string the back like a lacrosse stick. Fingers crossed that it looks cool and intentional and not like pre-teens got ahold of my dining chairs.
Isn’t the mini cutlery just darling? I think they’re meant for appetisers, but we don’t host very often, so I plopped them on the breakfast table like they belonged. They just sat there and did nothing but look pretty and get in the way of napkin use. But I’ll probably set them out again and again because I’m a rebel like that (in that it is not rebellious at all).
This mirror was $3 at a charity shop in a little town called Zurich, Ontario. My parents’ families live in Southern Ontario and visiting the thrifts down there is a magical treat. I think it’s the last place in the world where thrifting is still, well, thrifty.
Thrifting is still a less-expensive option in the cities, but the shops have gotten wise to the trendiness and prices have gone up considerably since the recession began in 2008… nearly a decade ago. Oh my god. I need a minute….
Speaking of thrift, here’s another beaut. I got this enamel pendant for $15 at the ReStore. It replaced a spectacular boob light that I will spare from your eyeballs. Both my parents liked the boob light, which makes me question every compliment they’ve ever given me. Am I really just a walking boob light? C’mon parents. Be real with me.
These are a few personal touches on display: my grandparent’s wedding photo; a photo of my husband’s late grandfather; my late grandmother’s cookbook. Beside the photo of Dede is a container full of champagne corks. Each cork is from a special event over the past ten years. I write the date and event on each cork. Since we only pop open the bubbly for special occasions, it’s a manageable collection that really makes me smile.
Of course, there’s a story behind this clock, too. My great-grandfather made it in honour of his late wife. Her maiden name was Kathleen Hamilton and this clock style is known as the Lady Hamilton. The really neat part is that he built it the same year I was born and I’m named after my great-grandmother! I also have a wee obsession with clocks, so when my grandpa was downsizing a couple years ago, I was the very lucky recipient of the clock. A true grandfather’s clock!
The rest of the place settings are a combination of my grandmother and great-grandmother’s fine china, thrifted crystalware, and silverware given to be by my mom. I fucking love it.
Hey, look! It’s plants that I haven’t killed yet! Go little houseplants! Special guest star: a weird pineapple fork holder that my mom loaned to me because she heard pineapples were “in.” Thanks, Mom!
OK. So that’s it! Plants, plates, and brunch! Not bad! Sidebar: how great is that pink skull trivet? It’s made by Leishman Pottery and is a new line that they’ve made in collaboration with their daughter. Greg’s mom is an artisan and the Leishmans have been friends and fellow exhibitors of hers for years.
Does your dinnerware tell a story? What about the items you collect? I just love when everything has a story!