The Grower's Daughter

The Grower's Daughter

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Family Room Entrance


I thought I would show you the progress we've been making on our family room entrance.


In an effort to keep this as inexpensive as possible, we actually relocated a shelf we weren't using from another part of the house.


It's a very simple shelf with a peg rail across the bottom.



 You can see in the photo where the shelf was. It was in a hallway off the family room, towards the playroom. You can also see it wasn't really being used where it was.

I think when I work on this little hallway, I may use that wall to create a gallery wall of family photos.


We kept it as simple as possible - Oliver's leash, my market bag, a small ironstone tray for keys, a basket for mittens and Willen's backpack when he's home.



Now I just need to sew a simple cafe curtain, and find an old bench.

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Art of Calligraphy

[via tolovephotography.com]

One goal I've set for myself this year is to learn calligraphy. 

I'm always drawn to beautiful packaging, and the addition of modern calligraphy makes it even more alluring.


[via blissinimages.com]

The first example of modern calligraphy I came across was in a quaint little floral shop, Coriander Girl in downtown Toronto, quite a few years ago now.

Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls, a calligrapher and artist from California, had designed everything from her business cards, to her store window lettering, to her website graphics.

For years I've wanted to master this art, and while I've attempted it with generic calligraphy sets, I haven't been able to.


That is, hopefully, until now.

While browsing through Anthropologie, looking for some unique Christmas gifts this year, I came across a calligraphy set and immediately recognized the script.


Maybelle has created a kit for learning modern calligraphy.

I ordered one for my sister, and one for myself.



All of the basics are included -

a pen and nib
bottle of black ink
instructional booklet
A-Z exemplar
decorative labels
vellum tracing sheets
lined guide sheet


Today I finally opened it and started acquainting myself with the basics.

I know it will take a great deal of time and practise, but I think it's a beautiful art. I was inspired after reading Pride and Prejudice, again, and being reminded of the beauty of properly penned letter.

Another goal? The first photo is from an event Maybelle did, teaching calligraphy. Doesn't it look like a wonderful way to spend an evening? You can view the evening here.


And for a peek into Alison Westlake of Coriander Girl's charming converted church, which is also lovely, you can view an article from Chatelaine Magazine here.


And now to practise, practise, practise.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Family Room Entrance


January always brings with it the desire to freshen up our home.

I'm fairly certain I'm not the only one who suffers a sort of fluff-your-nest syndrome when the house suddenly feels a tad empty with Christmas stored away once more.

Rooms take on the feeling of a blank canvas, and I feel inspired to begin some of those projects that have sat on my mental to-do list for far too long.



January also brings with it snow.

And snow brings a plethora of boots and other winter things that can leave an entrance feeling overcrowded and chaotic - especially with little ones.

This is our side entrance. It's in the family room, and it's the entrance used most often as it's connected to the driveway.


Previously, I used this space for two sitting chairs, however, when I rearranged the family room to allow space for the Christmas tree, the chairs got placed elsewhere in the room. The rearrangement actually feels much more natural for this space, and with the tree now gone, I've been left with a space I need to fill.

My first thought was to move my desk in front of the window, but when I measured it out, I felt it would be too cramped.

So, I sat for a while and thought.

What did I actually use this space for?
- coming in the door, taking off shoes, a handy basket of slippers, dressing to leave the house

What isn't here that would make doing these things easier and more efficient?
- hooks for backpacks and bags, trays to keep my floors clean, a place to sit when getting ready, storage the boys can reach for things like hats and mittens.


I have roughly five feet of depth to work with.


And I have a large window and radiator in desperate need of some paint to work around.

Here are some inspirations for what I'm drawn to for this space,

[via thedesignfiles.net]

Simple shaker style peg hooks.


[via thelifecreativeblog.com]

The possibility of a built-in under the window, which would double as a seat and hidden storage. This isn't likely though due to the cost of building it, and it being situated in front of a radiator.

[via Country Style Magazine]

Simple shelf with hooks.

[via houzz.com]

An antique bench that would run the length of the space.

Before I begin though, I need to look through the rather large collection of things in storage downstairs and see what I have that I could use first.

With the holidays behind us, and a relaxing week away, I'm feeling refreshed and ready to work.


How gorgeous is this? This was my view for the past week... I rather miss spending the day in the sun with my book. Though I missed my boys tremendously.

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Year, Fresh Start


There's something so wonderful about the dawning of a new year.

It's as similar as an inviting bed with freshly laundered sheets, or a crisp white shirt not yet worn, or a new planner, awaiting important reminders to be pencilled in. 

It's fresh and full of possibility.

As much as I love readying the house for the Christmas season, there's still something so refreshing about boxing it all up and starting over.


With all of our celebrations now past, this morning felt like the perfect time to start getting the house back in order.


All of the greens came down, dishes removed, shelves vacuumed and then wiped down.



I packaged up some bits of Christmas decor that I will just reuse next year.


Then I rearranged the shelves and packed away most of the brown transferware.


For Christmas, my mom gave me this beautiful marble pastry board. As this is where I also keep my mixer, I just decided to set everything out and have this as my baking counter.



I love having everything - mixing bowls, measuring cups, baking tools - all in one place.

Very mise en place







It feels so fresh.


And of course, as this is right beside my laundry area, it also becomes a folding station of sorts.


You do what you have to do.


My organizing of the house actually started a few days ago. I just tried focusing on a cupboard or two each day, so the kitchen nearly finished. 

I'm in no rush, but it's nice to have things back in routine.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

A Merriest of Christmases


These past two days have been unusually relaxing and quite peaceful.



Ryan and I spent the day wrapping up the last of our gifts, setting the table for brunch on Christmas morning, and tidying the house before we headed off to church for the evening.






I didn't have much time to share with you the rest of the house, and that's okay.





I did however enjoy playing with the boys and snugging on the couch as we read the Christmas story. I enjoyed chatting late into the night with my handsome husband as we laughed and stuffed stockings.






And I enjoyed a few too many delicious Christmas cookies.


I love Christmas day.

I love hosting Christmas for my family. For the past number of years, we've hosted a late breakfast on Christmas morning. My sisters and parents all come over after we've each had some time to do our own gifts with our families. We enjoy a big brunch, and exchange gifts with each other.

It's especially nice because it means that we never have conflicting Christmases. Breakfast is always with my family, and dinner is always with Ryan's.


As you can see, the table wasn't quite finished. Some of the napkins we in the wash still, and again, that's okay.


Everything was laid out the day before and prepped in the fridge so I could spend as little time in the kitchen as possible and as much time as I could soaking in each moment and watching the boys joyfully open their gifts.




I love watching them on Christmas morning.



Breakfast has become the same each year. When you find a good thing, why change?

We enjoyed cinnamon buns from the store, citrus salad, bacon and sausages, french toast with maple syrup and our favourite, eggs Benedict.


After gathering the piles of paper, and relaxing for a while, we headed to Ryan's parents for our traditional Christmas turkey dinner - and it was amazing, as always.

-----------------------------------

And now the boys are fast asleep, and presents have all been opened. The house is quiet and peaceful and it's hard to believe that another Christmas has come and gone.

But really, that's the best part about Christmas - it's never really over. The greatest gift is always patiently waiting to be received. Our Saviour is always waiting, longing for us to come and sit and rest and be loved and welcomed as we are. The lights come down, but His light is always shining brightest, even in the darkest of times. And the gifts are opened and the tree is bare once more, but the greatest gift, the gift of life eternal is always found at the foot of the cross - the tree on which the perfect baby we celebrate at Christmas time hung for our sins. So that we, we who are broken and lost and hopeless, can be made perfect, and welcomed in and given the only sure hope - eternal life.

It's the most perfectly beautiful gift. And it's ours if we want it. And who doesn't want to be loved unconditional and welcomed as we are, and given life and joy and purpose and washed beautifully clean and made holy by his perfect blood, shed for us?

He gives us the gift of Himself, and the gift of finding Him in everything we do each day. We simply have to choose to open it or not.

Wishing you the most wonderful of Christmases today.

With love, 
the Heikoops