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    Coffee Shop Lady Date : Cafe 23 on Queen Street West

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    Hello! I hope you're having a good summer so far. (I won't ignore the fact that there has been a lack of posting on these pages over the past several months but I’ve experienced a major life event that made updates difficult. However, all is fine now.)

    No question these Covid years have been terrible for everyone, but I've had one really lovely thing come about because of the pandemic. That is, right from the very beginning of lockdown, my friend Julie and I have had a scheduled weekly phone call every Thursday morning. This has now amounted to hours and hours of talking when, prior to the beginning of this routine, we'd probably spoken on the phone for about 10 minutes in total. During all those conversations I've discovered all kinds of interesting things about her life before we met in a line up nearly 10 years ago, plus we've had lots of laughs (she's a very funny story teller). This has very much brightened my life up, for sure.

    While these phone call dates have been great, it sure was a pleasure to switch it up and see her in person this week, when we went to a very nice coffee shop in my neighbourhood, Cafe 23 at 728 Queen Street West in Toronto (on the north side between Bathurst and Trinity Bellwoods Park).

    Here are some pictures of this inviting place ...

    Handmade Holiday : Three Things to Make for St. Patrick’s Day Décor

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    Hi. The maker-of-things in me has been dialed up lately and I can’t seem to sit still and watch a movie or listen to a book without a sewing needle or crochet hook in hand. So, here is a multi diy tutorial post, demonstrating three things you might like to make, to decorate for St. Patrick's Day coming up next week. Well, one is St. Patrick's specific and the other two can be made to suit any time of year.

    If you, too, are itching to create, perhaps you'd like to have a go at these.

    Secondhand Valentine’s Décor – Thrift Store and Ebay Finds

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    Hello! And, if you celebrate it, Happy Valentine's to you.

    We're on the "we like it" side of the Valentine Day fence, so our place is decorated and the table is laid with the heart print cloth.

    This year's décor includes these recent thrift store and ebay finds. I've posted a short video on YouTube, in which everything is shown close up and described, if you'd like to take a look. (Thank you, if you do!)

    https://youtu.be/Ol_94tMf6-g

    Everything in these first photos, except the red table runner and the flowers, is secondhand/new-to-me. The black and red heart-shaped sachet pillow is something I made recently, and posted a free pattern for here, so any crocheters out there can make one, too.

    Crocheted Heart Shaped Sachet : Renewable with Essential Oils

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    Hello! In honour of Valentine's Day coming up, here's a pattern for a crocheted heart-shaped sachet, that you custom scent with whatever blend of essential oils you like. Unlike traditional sachets, where the scent fades after a while, with these you just add more, so it will always smell nice. And, you can change the scent every time you replenish, if you want.

    I call these "Everlasting Sachets" and have been making them for a while, but in a square shape instead of a heart, (examples shown here and here). I love aromatherapy and these work really well for that so I just keep on making them!

    Now that I have several of them, I've tossed one into my empty suitcases and another into a tub of stored off-season clothing. But, of course, you can have one in every dresser drawer if you’d like! Back before Covid, when we were regularly having company over, I used to hang one in the guest washroom. They're also good to bring on holiday because you never know when you'll need a little dose of something that smells divine.

    The idea is that you make a cover that goes over a 100% cotton cushion. Then you add your essential oils to the cushion and put the cover back on. The reason it has to be pure cotton, including the stuffing inside, is because cotton is very absorbent and will take and hold the scent well.

    Thrift Store Finds and Displays : Winter

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    Cold enough for you?

    definition: a greeting inquiry made during very cold weather. A humorous question one asks another when it is obviously quite cold. How are you enjoying this winter? Cold enough for you?

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    Hello! I thought you might enjoy this excerpt I found when searching the phrase "cold enough for you?". This is something we commonly say in this part of Canada, when it's so darn cold you can barely stand it, but I was curious to know if this was a joke-question used by others around the world, as well, or if it was just a local thing. Since I found the definition online, it seems we are not alone.

    Here in Toronto, we are closing out the coldest January we've had in 20 years. So, I sorted through the items I've found at the thrift store over the past while, that I have yet to share with you, and picked out the things that suit a winter theme.

    Everything was discussed, including what I paid for each piece, in this Youtube video. Then, at the end, I've included a segment showing you around some areas of our home, with the items used within our cozy winter décor. I set the table using a collection of vintage Corelle dishes (and then forgot to take a still photograph of it!). Have a look, if you will.

    https://youtu.be/FgpiFlT_AAs

    Prefer to see still images? Here are some …

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