Jun 18, 2019

Happy Solstice!



There is nothing like Spring!  These photos are from our gardens, enjoy!  











And we've re-purposed our cast iron log holder!  It has a nasty crack and some superficial rust but with some Lantana, Muehlenbeckia and Cosmos it makes a lovely splash of colour on our otherwise dull, 2 car parking space.   

We hope you're enjoying all the colour in Elora at this time of year!

Apr 2, 2019

Moves like water

Things are continually changing everywhere, and Elora is no exception.  Our little village is constantly in motion, it seems, like the rivers that converge here.

Just today we learned that the long-standing Cork Restaurant is no more.  This is the closest restaurant to our B&B and we wonder how many of our guests stopped here to dine, especially in rainy weather rather than wandering farther into the village? 







Just next door, the Curry Paradise is gone, with a new vintage and handmade clothing shop all set to open in the space:  Studio Kampina.


A little farther down the road, Lemon and Limestone closed after 3 years in business, their little shop standing sadly empty as of today.






Further still, the tea room is gone and the building is for sale.  Do you have $1.2 million?  This building is a new build, just completed (I think) 3 years ago.   



On Mill Street, we have Serenity Café gone with the building for sale and beside it the former Shepherd's Pub will be re-opening as a restaurant, the Friend's Society with a story behind their name dating back to the temperance movement.









Lastly, the pedestrian bridge that will span the Grand River is set to re-open this Summer.  The main structure is already in place so this beautiful addition to the village will soon add a lot to the atmosphere, accessibility and enjoyment of the area.
Thank you to Peggy at the Elora Fergus Tourism office for helping us get up to speed with all the changes!

Feb 4, 2019

Ironwork

In 2018, we completed two projects that we're quite proud to share here on our blog.  

The first is our handrail!  Our outer stairs, while improved, still needed a handrail for extra security, especially when the weather is frightful.  The amazingly talented David Cross of Rio Bravo Ironworks took our list of needs and wants and created and installed this elegantly simple and sturdy handrail. 



 David, who's studio can be visited here in Elora, is also the ironwork master behind our beautiful signpost.   





Thank you so much David!  



Our second project was begun in March 2018 and only completed in November!!!  There were a lot of unexpected road-bumps but it was worth it in the end.

  It all began with our desire to have some form of reliable heat that wasn't dependant on electricity as our area is being hit with more and more ice storms and unpredictable weather.  The thought of leaving this house in a power failure in the Winter with 5 sets of bathroom water lines to worry about freezing was terrifying!  We decided to get a gas fireplace insert in our existing fireplace, which wasn't in good enough condition to burn wood.  
  So we visited a number of places but settled on Bast Home Comfort in Waterloo and a Valor fireplace.  A large part of this decision was due to the knowledgeable, approachable and aiming to please salesman, Christian who answered all our questions, supplied a lot of information we didn't even know we needed to know and found answers when he didn't have them at his fingertips.  
  Then the fun began:  the chimney had never been cleaned according to the chimney sweep, the chimney was in poor condition, and at one time the fireplace had been sealed up and there was a foamy/glue residue around the outer edge that had to be removed or it would stink.  On top of all that, there was a hole in Creature Comfort where a little pot-bellied stove probably once was connected to the chimney and this had to be properly sealed. 
  So, it was only in November that we finally got our fireplace insert installed.  


   
    Luckily this went very smoothly!  Voila!  


Wow!  It's nicer than we imagined.  Not only does it give us the power-failure security we wanted, it adds a lovely ambience to the room and provides a comfortable, adjustable heat.  On these cold mornings, we have the fire warming the dining room and parlour before guests come down for breakfast and it's lovely to sit by the fire on cold, snowy days.  

  Thank you to everyone involved in this long process!  Ash Chimney Sweeps (who had to come three times), Castle Masonry (extremely impressive to watch) and of course Bast Home Comfort!  

Dec 16, 2018

Spirit of the Season






Our Elora Centre for the Arts once again held their Festive Wreath and Stocking Silent Auction Fundraiser and this year I got word early!  I wanted to donate a really elaborate quilled piece to demonstrate the art and felt lucky to have the time to work on it. 
  






So I got started:






You'll find lots of versions online of these pine branches but basically the combs' teeth allow you to create nice branches with even needles relatively quickly.  And I needed LOTS!  


Here's a close-up.  I used three colors and three different combs to get this variety of pine branches.



 And they were all glued together to form a pretty sturdy circle for the background of the wreath.  I added "berries" dipped in sparkly dust for added structural strength.  



The center would be a poinsettia, and here I found Meredith of The Paper Craftery and her lovely poinsettia tutorial with easy-to-follow instructions.  What a pretty flower, thank you Meredith!



The finished poinsettia I glued into a pine cone scales mini wreath which I found at a secondhand store (yippy for upcycling!).

And then it was all glued together!  

Even though I had started early, I was only finished on the day the wreath was due to be delivered to the Art Centre.  It took far longer than I thought to quill all those branches!


Here it is hanging on the wall on Opening Day, November 21.  I was very pleased to see that it already was getting bids, very gratifying indeed! 


The Wreath and Stocking Silent Auction was wonderful to see, so much variety and creativity!  We enjoyed wandering about to see the diversity:




Mine was kinda teeny beside all the full-sized and over-sized wreaths on display.



On December 2, I went at 2:00 to see the closing of the auction.  I was absolutely delighted to see the high bid was $65!!!  My quilling was appreciated, and quill work got noticed!  


While the auction is over, the Art Centre still has their "Deck the Walls:  Small Art Works for $200 or Under" and a "Holiday Pop-Up Shop"!  These will be at the Centre until December 22 so if you're in the area take a look! 


Nov 5, 2018

Goodnight, goodnight

Our Hallowe'en season came to a close with two beautiful events.  Although it rained almost all the time, it didn't spoil the spirit! 

Every year our Day of the Dead ofrenda is something we truly enjoy creating.  We keep it simple but special...



and the pups definitely wanted to taste test!



That same evening we drove out to the Wellington County Museum and Archives for their first ever Pumpkin Parade!  I loved the parades in Stratford (where we used to live) so it was wonderful of the Museum to take on the task and start what I hope will be an annual tradition.  


It truly was a dark and dreary, rainy night...



We'd dropped off our pumpkin earlier so we knew there were about 80 pumpkins at least...




Turns out they received around 150!



And they were beautifully arranged!  The stone walls along the walkway were lit by pumpkin light...







The grand original entrance was decorated...



(This deep water pumpkin-fish was my favorite!) 




And all the way down the hill along the pathway pumpkins were placed with care.




And I found my pumpkin after some searching!  There he was, on the main path towards the hot chocolate and dry patch under the stairs.  



Thank you to the Museum staff for creating this magical end to a thrilling October!  We loved it, and if a rainy. miserable night brings out 150 pumpkins, imagine the scene on a lovely, dry evening!  We look forward to 2019!



PS  And we had a Witches’ Dance here, in Fergus, on October 27th!  I only heard about it afterwards, but found a YouTube!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBrNl2A5Ac8&list=FL1xr1lunUR_mMAyhV9VjTPQ    What fun!

Oct 28, 2018

Hallowe'en is coming!

Although it feels more like November, this has been a great Hallowe'en season!  Our Monster March on October 20th was blessed with one of the few nice days and the turnout was awesome! 

And our Elora Center for the Arts has been very generous with its treats:  a whole selection of Hallowe'en inspired workshops and talks!  I was able to take part in two workshops:  


and they were both great experiences!  I have to admit that this year I've scaled back on the decorating because we adopted a pup (more on Zorro in a later blog post) and instead of shopping I made these two awesome decorations!  

I'm also aiming to finish the paper maché pumpkin I started ten years ago (gulp).  



Judy Anderson gave a lively, fun workshop on a dark and dreary evening and everyone was able to complete a unique centerpiece.  


It was rather thrilling to accomplish so much in so little time!  Bravo to Judy for presenting such an organized and well-planned event!

And on the weekend, it was Tim Murton's turn to guide us on the creation of a Twilight Zoo skeleton!  We had to work hard and fast to finish a full skeleton in two days, what a ride.  It took a week for my hands to recover after twisting wires all day, then paper maché-ing for a whole day!  




In the end I decided to spend more time on the head and forget about the legs, which worked out fine (although Tim gave us whatever we needed to finish our projects at home).  "TZ" is my pride and joy, but I'm so nervous about his weathering that I haven't put him outside!  He's enjoying his "life" in our sunroom, peeking out the windows at everyone passing by.  If it's not raining, he will go outside Hallowe'en night!