Easter at Our Place – 2017

Here’s a look at what our place looked like this Easter.

After originally thinking that we’d be spending a quiet weekend on our own, one thing led to another and we ended up with a group of long-time friends coming over to enjoy Nick’s cooking. We had a jolly good time, and if you celebrate this holiday, I hope you that you did too!

First thing I’ll show you, and the thing that got the ball rolling on this get together, is our brand-new-to-us vintage corner cabinet!

How does a cabinet instigate a dinner party, you ask? Well, this was my first ever Craigslist transaction — after seeing the listing a week ago Saturday, I wrote to the lady selling it. It is made of walnut and although is from the 40s only had two previous owners, the seller and the elderly lady she bought it from a few years ago, who’d gotten it new, so it’s in near perfect condition.

She seller said it was ours with the understanding that we had to have it out of her place before Tuesday because she was moving to the west coast. Yikes, I hadn’t anticipated needing to organize some way to move this deceptively heavy piece with such short notice and began looking up info for renting a van. Then, I thought of my pal Leslie and her trusty large vehicle that she uses for her business … she’s a professional organizer and move facilitator. (here is her site). I wrote asking for help and, sure enough, the lady was there for me. We had it all coordinated and moved to our place before noon on Monday. Here’s to good friends!

Anyway, while we were driving the cabinet to our place, she and I got talking about Easter, and presto, plans to enjoy it together were made. Luckily, her man Chops and some other beloved friends, Isabel, Barb and Andrea, were able to join us as well.

During the week, I began filling the cabinet with some of my collected vintage dishes. I decided that this would be a great place to display some of the coloured pieces that were formally stored in cupboards, behind the things we used regularly.

^ To add to the seasonal theme, I included the three chick napkin rings I recently thrifted for 50 cents each (written about in this post.) The vase and green planter dish on top are also thrift store finds (you can see a post about the vase here and the planter here).

^ The little lady figurine is something I got a while ago on ebay. She’s a “Joseph’s Original” and was part of a series of birthstone figurines. Holding the clear stone as she is, she’s the one to represent the month of April, which is when my birthday is. (I also have the ones for January and July, which represent my sister and mother.) ^

^ My sister gave me this cotton mouse doll ages ago. He’s handmade and his clothes come off, including his shoes. ^

^ As for other Easter decor, I hung the garland I made a couple of years ago (you can see the tutorial in this post). ^

^ Nearby is a vintage calendar tea-towel from 1978. This was included in a lot of textiles I got from ebay a few years ago, but finding that the “little house on the prairie” look was not really my style, I put it away. Then in February, when going through my vintage linens to aid in choosing colours for a crocheted heart garland I was making (seen here), I came upon it, and noticed that the calendar for 2017 is exactly the same one as that from 1978. So, while this is 39 years old, it works for this year! Good thing I found it at the beginning of the year, because it would be a drag to notice the dates worked sometime in December! ^

^ I can never resist picking up a pot of bulbs that are only green shoots when you get them but promise to give you mini daffodils. These ones came to flower exactly when I’d hoped they would! The little plush chickens sitting at the base of the vase are cat toys that I never had the heart to give to Eddie to play with. ^

^ Here is the greeting card display I made almost a year and a half ago at Christmas (the tutorial is found in this post). This thing is one of the most used things I’ve ever made, aside from a particular crocheted scarf that I wear and wear! After Christmas it held Nick’s birthday cards and a few thank you cards. Then it was changed up with a collection of Vintage Valentines (as seen in this post). Following that came my birthday cards, after which it was put away for a few months, to be taken out again last Christmas. Right now it holds my birthday cards from this year, as I happened to share my birthday with Easter weekend, this year. I’ll be backing up and telling you about that soon! ^

^ Moving from the kitchen area into the living room, here are some vintage egg-cups decorated with a set of metallic Easter eggs. The eggs are new this year but everything else here is just our regular decor. ^

^ This display was out last year too — The squirrel is something my friend Julie gave me (written about here), and the rabbit is a thrifted find (seen in this post). The ceramic duckling candy dish is something I found at Michael’s last year and is holding some almonds covered in dark chocolate. ^

^ These wooden flowers and the small tablecloth printed with chicks, seen on the dining table below, were found in an estate sale that I helped Leslie with. My role at the sale was to evaluate and price the huge assortment of collectibles and vintage pieces that the clients had, the flowers and cloth being amoungst those things. I swear they were on full display during the sale and I even specifically pointed them out to people, but nobody wanted them! What?!! So, after the sale, the client generously said that Leslie and I could have whatever we wanted from the leftovers. I insisted on paying the man a flat rate and picked up a bunch of great things that nobody else was interesting in having. The next stop for much of it was the charity shops, so these treasures are better off in my care! ^

^ The dining table was covered in a thrifted cloth, and the plates were part of my vintage Corelle dish collection. The pretty cutlery is Community Stainless from the 70s, in the pattern Rose Shadow, and came from another estate that I help Leslie organize. I was reluctant to accept such a generous gift of 8 place-settings, but they were otherwise going to go unused, so I agreed to be their caregiver, with the understanding that they be returned to Leslie whenever she wants them. ^

^ The centre piece was 6 beautifully painted Ukrainian Easter Eggs, called Pysanky, that I recently bought directly from Ukraine via ebay. My desire to have some was piqued after I saw an art exhibit featuring the work of Dave Melnychuk, which I wrote about in this post. ^

Now, back to the kitchen and our guests …

^ The wooden toadstool, which is actually a nutcracker, is from the Czech Republic and was given to us by Andrea after her trip to her family’s homeland a couple of years ago. ^

^ Twinsies! ^

Dinner was a roasted turkey with all the fixings, completely prepared by Nick, except for the salad dressing, cranberry sauce and Roasted Red Pepper and Feta appetizer spread that I made (the recipe for which is here. People really love this stuff!).

Andrea brought some very nice cheeses and a jar of special fig jam, that we had to start, along with some of Nick’s freshly baked caraway rye bread.

Leslie brought dessert, which was a Bailey’s Bundt Cake, served with caramel whipped cream and sliced strawberries. It was sooo good.

^ Our party animal was there too, allowing me to carry him around like a squishy baby. ^

It was funny how everyone started in the kitchen, moved to the living room/dining area of dinner, and then returned to the kitchen afterwards! I suggested we sit down for dessert but people were happy where they were, so I gathered up the candles and brought them to the kitchen.

All-in-all, it was a great day … thank you very much for taking the time to read about it!
xo loulou

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Posted in Collecting, Dinner Details, Holidays : Easter, Home style | Tagged | 1 Comment

Dinner and Art with Meghan

In addition to having compatible mindsets in general, my friend Meghan and I share an interest in visual art. That being so, almost all of our get-togethers include checking out some sort of art exhibit or show. Oh, and there’s also usually some food and drink involved too!

Our recent outing began with us meeting at one of her favourite restaurants — Pero, on Bloor West near Ossington. They serve Eritrean-Ethiopian cuisine, which typically involves a savory stew served over-top and alongside large crepe-like things called “injera”. The food is eaten with your hands, using the injera to scoop it up.

Pero is clearly arranged with the comfort of their customers in mind, with a couple of areas perfect for lounging, as well as standard tables. Since our six o’clock dinner was a relatively early for a Friday evening, we got to choose what looked to us like the best seat in the house — a table within a tent, moodily lit by a lovely chandelier and candles, and whatever light seeps through the large adjacent window.

The friendly server suggested we share a mixed platter, so we took her up on that. Not only was it delicious, it was fun to eat too!

We were so cozy ensconced there in our tent that we almost didn’t want to make our next move. The incessant cold drizzle that fell beyond the window did little to motivate us.

Evenutally, we rinsed our fingers in the flower-strewn bowl of warm water that was offered for that purpose, said our goodbyes to the very welcoming staff, and set out on the 20 minute walk westward, that took us to the contemporary art gallery, Mercer Union.

We were there to attend the opening reception for a show called “A Magical Substance Flows Into Me”, by Berlin based artist Jumana Manna.

The exhibit included a feature-length film that depicts the varied musical traditions of the multitude of communities living in and around Jerusalem.

Sat upon a set-up of carpet covered boxes in the middle of a large room, the audience watched the beautifully shot movie on a large screen in the corner. Unfortunately, this being a reception with drinks and such, people were understandably talking throughout, so we couldn’t hear a single word of it, and didn’t really understand what was going on. But, as previously mentioned, it’s a beautiful looking movie which piqued our interest. We hope to get back to the gallery to watch it in full another time.

In a second room, there was this shelf holding a series of plaster sculptures, some shaped like body parts. According to Manna “Listening collapses the division of self and other, or of singular and plural, or inside and outside. This idea of the body as a medium and as a place of resonance has been something that has followed me throughout the making of these works. The sculptures are vessels, similar to our bodies, that may be filled with fluids, air or sound; sound is taking place in space but is also spreading within us.” [Quote taken from Mercer Union’s description.]

Thanks for checking out my blog. It being Easter weekend, I believe that tomorrow is a holiday for many, so I hope you have a good one!

xo loulou

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Posted in Art, Poetry and Theatre, Restaurants of Toronto | Tagged | 4 Comments