Vegetarian Party Food : Three Quick Crostini Toppings
Tying a Basic Macrame Knot : DIY Cat Toy

Picnics and BBQs! (Swipe and Click)

    Party Food : Mini Pizza Muffins with Dipping Sauce

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day : Decorating with Green

    cross stitch on paper shamrock clover for st patricks day decor

    Greetings from our home to yours. Given all that is going on around the world right now, I hope you're doing ok.

    Since the annual St. Patrick's Day parade in Toronto was cancelled, as were those in many cities around the world, and nobody will be going out for beer and cheerful music tonight, I imagine that, for the most part, this holiday will come and go with barely a notice. In fact, from what we hear today, all occasions in the near future will pass with little celebration. My thoughts and concerns are foremost with the sick and their families, and my gratitude goes out to everyone contributing to the essential services, and I don't want to downplay the seriousness of what is going on around the world in any way with my plans to share a little seasonal fun on these pages.

    In the past, I only changed displays around once in a while, and decorated for holidays mostly when company would be coming over. But recently I’ve been really enjoying looking into cupboards and moving things around. Anyway, as I was setting these displays up, my mister, Nick, said it seemed like I was decorating for nobody. He actually made up a little song about it, which made me laugh. But that’s not true, because I enjoy seeing things in a different light, and then having something to photograph. Also, I'm decorating for you, my dear online friends!

    Last week in this post, I wrote about some pieces of vintage green glass that I'd found at the thrift store in recent months. Today, you'll see each of those items, plus, pretty well, every green thing that we own. I love a theme and found it enjoyable to poke about the place, pulling out anything that would work. I hope you like what I've come up with.

    Thrift Store Finds : Gorgeous Green Glass

    vintage green glass pieces found at thrift store anchor hocking hazel atlas indiana jeannette

    Well, it seems I have a new collection! Before last fall, I had a few random pieces of green glass. Then, I found an interestingly shaped vase and the gates opened up; with each visit, I began noticing all the green glass pieces on the thrift store shelves. I didn't worry about spending too much, as all of this together came to about $25 Cdn, as much as could easily be spent on a single nice "first-hand" item to decorate your home.

    While having been previously used, you'd never know it. Each piece is perfect, without a single chip or scratch in the batch. Everything was made in the USA, where several different companies used to make excellent glass.

    Here's what we have ...

    Winter Decorating 2020 : Snow, Stars and Glistening Crystal

    decorating for winter with old things

    Hello Friends!

    I'd planned to write about a comedy show I'd been to, or a visit with a friend that took place last week, however, catching a cold kept me from experiencing those pleasures. Instead, I stayed close to home, and so, here are some photos of what that currently looks like.

    As you may have noticed, I enjoy decorating for holidays, returning everything to, pretty well, exactly the way it was before afterward. But, this year I intend to shake things up more, moving items around and pulling seldom seen treasures out of cupboards. So, after taking down the Valentine things, I put together this Wintery look, using things I already had around the house. There are many thrifted items in the mix, along with gifts, family memorabilia and a surprising number of things rescued from other people's trash. (It's quite common to find boxes of good stuff beside the sidewalks in Toronto, with the intention being you take what you want.)

    It was fun to do, like playing a little scavenger-hunt game, trying to find things around the house that fit the theme. Since Winter is nearly over, I'm now looking forward to seeing what I can hunt and gather for Spring. There might also be a shelf or two set up with St. Patrick's Day decor, as well.

    I hope you enjoy my first "between the holidays" decorating look. While the overall theme was "winter", I wasn't overly strict with it, as you will see.

    How to Cross-Stitch on Paper : Revised Method

    how to make a birthday card initial cross stitched on paper

    Update : I’ve made a YouTube Video on how to Cross Stitch on Paper, including the two methods of transferring the pattern …


    Hello! Here's one for the crafty readers, particularly those who enjoy quick little stitching projects.

    A while back I wrote this post describing how to cross-stitch on paper. The method involved using graph-paper to transfer the patterns, with the suggestion to download and print up some if you didn't have it on hand. I was using the small supply I had left over from my old DayTimer Date Book.

    Well, I ran out of that and our printer called it quits and we decided not to replace it. I'm sure kids must still use graph-paper in math class but I haven't seen it for sale anywhere, so, basically I was out of a supply that was necessary to do the craft.

    But, that turned out to be no problem because I figured out a method that doesn't require it at all. Instead, it calls for a sheet of "Plastic Canvas" that's meant for needlepoint projects and is available at craft stores. It comes in different hole-sizes, so look for some that is "10 Mesh", meaning that there are 10 holes per inch. I found mine at Michael's for about $1. “7 Mesh” is more common (here’s an example on Amazon) and would work, too, but your cross-stitches would end up being bigger. You only ever need to get one piece because you'll use it over and over again, whenever the urge to cross-stitch on paper strikes you.

    Art : Two New Exhibits at the AGO – Illusions: The Art of Magic and Diane Arbus Photography

    poster outside the ago in toronto illusions the art of magic exhibition

    *** Update : After being closed for 3 1/2 months (due to the coronavirus, for readers in the future), the AGO will reopen on July 2, 2020. These two wonderful shows will now run until November, and the Picasso and Warhol exhibitions that were scheduled for this fall/winter season will now take place next year.



    Not only do we have a wonderful permanent collection at the Art Gallery of Ontario, but the organizers and curators also consistently impress with the variety and quality of the special temporary shows they present. These two new exhibitions, opening this Saturday, join the list of excellence.

    Illusions : The Art of Magic -- February 22 to May 18, 2020