The Grower's Daughter

The Grower's Daughter

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Budding Lilacs

Some days, this is what mothering looks like. 

Today it looked more like a broken television, and dirty hand prints on drawers, and a ripped slipcover, and uneaten lunches, and angry protests that bedtime came and the sun was still shining.

It was a whole lot of lacking patience.

I needed to escape for a few moments and find some peace. So after the bath water was drained, and teeth were brushed and two grumpy boys picked out books to read quietly while the sun went down, I put on a sweater and headed out to the gardens.

Back in December, due to such warm temperatures, I had noticed our Lilacs had actually started producing buds. Another listener that weekend on a CBC garden segement had called in with the same concern I had - would this effect our Lilacs in the coming Spring? The gardening expert simply wasn't sure as it's a very uncommon problem. We would simply need to wait and see.

And so, I've been patiently observing the buds, hoping I wouldn't be denied one of my most favourite joys in Spring.

As I escaped to the garden, the sky glowing red with the setting sun, I found the little bit of joy I was looking for.

There will indeed be blooming Lilacs this Spring.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Easter Celebrations

While we had a lovely weekend celebrating with family, we celebrated our risen Saviour, and His perfect love for us. And right now, I don't even have words for all of that, but this song has just stayed with me all weekend, as a sort of anthem of victory. It's titled Man of Sorrows by Hillsong.

Man of sorrows Lamb of God, by His own betrayed
The sin of man and wrath of God, has been on Jesus laid

Silent as He stood accused, beaten mocked and scorned
Bowing to the Father's will, He took a crown of thorns

Oh that rugged cross, my salvation, where Your love poured out over me
Now my soul cries out, Hallelujah, praise and honour unto Thee

Sent of heaven God's own Son, to purchase and redeem
And reconcile the very ones, who nailed Him to that tree
Oh that rugged cross, my salvation, where Your love poured out over me
Now my soul cries out, Hallelujah, praise and honour unto Thee

Now my debt is paid, it is paid in full
By the precious blood, that my Jesus spilled

Now the curse of sin, has no hold on me
Whom the Son sets free, oh is free indeed

Oh that rugged cross, my salvation, where Your love poured out over me
Now my soul cries out, Hallelujah, praise and honour unto Thee

See the stone is rolled away, behold the empty tomb
Hallelujah God be praised, He's risen from the grave

Happy Easter.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

First Day of Spring

Happy first day of Spring!

While the temperatures were still quite cool today, we enjoyed a day full of sunshine. The warmth will come, and when it does, I can't wait to throw open the windows and air out the house.

I haven't done much in the way of changing the house for the season, but I have added a few potted Hydrangeas (a favourite of mine) around the house. I also have some fragrant Spring bulbs planted as well. If you're local, you can pick up these Hydrangeas in Blue and Pink, as well as an assortment of bulbs at the shop.

I just couldn't get over how many blooms were on this one!

Aside from that, I'm looking forward to tackling some Spring cleaning, and hosting Easter dinner this weekend.

And while it's not cleaning, we've slowly been checking small items off our to-do lists like hanging artwork etc... This was a painting I picked up at Christie's Antique Show last Spring, I can't wait for this year's show at the end of May.

Isn't the sunlight just wonderful?

And as today is the first day of Spring, I took a walk through our gardens to see what new growth was popping up. This is our first Spring in this house, so I had no idea what, if anything, would pop up where. I was thrilled to find some patches of Daffodils,

Finally, in preparation for Spring Cleaning, here is a great little Spring Cleaning list I came across from Jenny Hobbick at Everyday Occasions. I plan to use it to organize my own list. This is her example, but if you follow the link above, you can find blank printables.

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


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.


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,


Simple shaker style peg hooks.


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.


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.