Mar 23, 2020

Cabin and Spring Fever!

So just when it was time to come out of hibernation:  COVID-19!  I'm so bummed, we were really looking forward to exploring our new area and all the wonderful Springtime events, like the maple syrup fests... now we're stuck in our house and getting a little stir-crazy.  The pups are keeping us on schedule, though, and long walks help our mood, as well as some of the wonderful things being shared online, like this: 
When I heard some folks were turning their Christmas decorations back on, though, that made me shiver.  Christmas?!  I want Spring, I want flowers, I want mud and birds and green!  So I decorated for Spring, here are our front windows:


Bunnies!  Tulips!  Sunshine!  If you'd like to do the same, there are hundreds of bunny templates online but you're welcome to use mine.  They are about 20 years old, so I don't recall which ones I hand-drew and which were found online...  for your personal pleasure please use them to spruce up your home with seasonal color and fun!  Just print them on a full sheet of 8.5 x 11 paper and use them as templates on cardstock or whatever paper you have in your home.  




Enjoy!  Shine on!  Stay well, both physically and mentally!

Mar 3, 2020

Mount Forest

So I thought I'd introduce you our new town:  Mount Forest!  It's in the North Wellington part of Wellington County and right on the Saugeen River.  Mount Forest is at a higher elevation than surrounding land, which led to the town's motto of "High, Healthy and Happy", so that's high as in high up not the other "high".  

Going back in time, according to Wikipedia, there's supposed to be an ancient native burial site close to our house, but we have not yet discovered where (there's supposed to be a marker).  In 1851 Mount Forest got it's post office, and in 1871 the train stopped here.  Today the population hovers above 5000.
  The "Founding of Mount Forest" plaque photo is from this website.


  Pictures are worth a million words so here are two videos for you to enjoy:


 It shows the Saugeen River, which is lovely and so alive with birds, and while we live close by the video does not capture our house:  the closest it gets is at 5:23 when Oakview Crescent can be seen.


This second video shows the town:


Annually, on the third weekend in July, Mount Forest hosts a huge Fireworks Festival, along with a classic car show and carnival.  We're looking forward to experiencing all the fun!

Jan 11, 2020

Ephemera

It has been a very long time and so much has changed!  My apologies for being so far behind in keeping this blog up-to-date... 

After my last post, we completely altered our lives by MOVING!  YES, we decided to leave behind the gorgeous 1891 Victorian in Elora and seek a quieter, more comfortable life.  It was high time for a little "us" and we closed the doors on The Flying Leap Bed and Breakfast for good on October 15th, 2019.  It was sad but also a huge relief... I don't think we fully realized how much we gave to the B&B and how little we gave to ourselves.





Moving is a very particular kind of hell... We have too much "stuff" and it all had to be boxed and carted away.  That included my 500-800 books, which luckily were packed early and served as the base (under all that black velvet) for a rather useful Hallowe'en display in the entry!  
And then there's the new house, starting all over to make it ours.  There's the painting, the "surprises", the lingering smells of strangers and all those boxes...  Ugh.  Please remind me, if we ever think about moving again, what a hell it really is!!! 










But things are coming along and here's to a bright, healthy, creative, happy and balanced 2020!

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!