Feb 23, 2015

National Cupcake Day 2015 for the dogs

In support of our local Humane Society, I baked some goodies to sell at work!  This is my third year taking part in National Cupcake Day and while I only raised $26.25 it was good to make people aware of the blight of animals.

The Pecan Cinnamon Coffee Cake was definitely the favorite, so here I thought to share the recipe.  I don't think the date matters:  why not bake up a cake and raise some $$ for your favorite animal shelter?  

Yup, I forgot to use the neat recipe stand/protector that my sister gave me and that blob in the middle is a butter stain.  Oops!  I'll be using that stand in the future!  

Feb 21, 2015

Bear in a Fox Hole!

Our Fox Hole is coming to life!  Our fourth room, which we thought we'd only have ready for April, is coming together quicker than expected as we're finding solutions to renovation issues and our super-extraordinaire handyman Tim Anderson has done his magic.  I have to give a shout-out to HomeSense in Guelph for having stuff we didn't even know we were looking for!

And all our hard work and good fortune came together this past weekend as we welcomed our first four-footed guest:  Bear!

Bear is a terrier mix rescued off the streets of Los Angeles who loves her two mommies Erin and Jasmine.  The trio enjoyed our Bed and Breakfast for a long weekend and Bear was just the perfect little lady.

If all our 4-footed guests are this awesome, wow!     Thank you, Bear, for such a great first experience!  

Our Fox Hole is going to be as dog-friendly as we can make it.  Take a look at this great dogbone metal tray which holds the dish-washer safe metal water and food dishes from Barkley & Evans!  

And there's the perfect machine washable non-skid pet mat from Petrageous Designs!  

And what a fortunate find!  The white doggy station shelf with leash hooks and a shelf for poop bags is just perfect, very handy!

But what does a dog really care about?  Treats!  And here they are:

Dollarama supplied these great glass miniature candy jars for doggy treats and I created a wee "menu" so you can read where the treats came from and even the websites for ingredients, where to purchase, etc...!

  We hope to have many canine guests as sweet as Bear and are just grinning with pride after reading the lovely TripAdvisor review Erin wrote for us!  Thank you, Erin!  

Feb 15, 2015

Sweet Valentine's in Elora

It has been so crazy cold lately, it's making February a very rough, long month.  Tonight, -25C (that's -13F) with a stiff wind... 

Our kitchen window has been blessed with some marvelous frost but it's getting a little tiresome, not to mention hard on the nerves as our walks are reduced to 5-10 minute hurry-hurrys to get the job done and run back inside.  

These rats were a Hallowe'en gift from my sister and they're still in the window, only they look like they're about to run off to Florida!!

Still we has bold and intrepid guests who braved the weather and came to Elora for Valentines and we treated them to chocolates and I hand-dipped strawberries in dark chocolate so they'd know we love our guests!  

And finally I have my display corner set up pretty much the way I want it.  I love sharing my critters, so when you're here at the house, please feel free to visit with my creations and ask questions!  

Feb 9, 2015

February Fun

We had wonderful fun continuing to furnish our Flying Leap Bed and Breakfast!  February happens to be a great month to pick up antiques as both the St. Jacobs Antiques Market and Market Road Antiques have winter sales.  We went last Tuesday and found some gems, here's the best of the loot:

I spotted these folding chairs back in September but at the time we had no idea if we had any use for them.  They're "Stakmore", stamped on the bottom of each seat, and from the 1940s, reupholstered but the curved wood backs and curved seat rails are gorgeous and they're comfy!   And they fold nearly flat!  On sale we got the set for $70.00; I'm happy they waited for me!  It looks like Stakmore has been making folding furniture since 1922.  Come sit on our lawn in one of these cool chairs!

This is a lovely 1950s-1960s rosewood Victorian side chair with a carved foliage crest, serpentine seat rail supports (per the hang tag) and there are massive springs in the seat.  At $56 it was a steal except that the upholstery on the seat is discolored.  This is going to be a project, to clean and then stain the white fabric with beet juice for a natural burgundy color and then it will be in our Fox Hole guest room.  
If anyone has any advice on using natural juices as dyes, I'd love to hear from you!  Thank you Sarah for the information on milk paints, available at Honeychurch Lane!

We needed a big picture to hang over the bed in our Meadow room and we both knew this was it when we laid eyes on it!  It isn't from an antiques market but from the St. Jacob's Furniture House.  
The red leaves pop and the frame is perfect for the room.  There's a stone house in the background where it's quite misty... you can imagine faeries or a dog running around back in that fog.  

Back to the antiques markets, Mom also fell in love with this framed watercolor signed "Dardarian Oct 1990".  It's very peaceful and again my favorite time of year.

And just the perfect little carved corner shelf called out to us!  Mounted in the Creature Comfort bathroom it's just right as a bubble-bath shelf!  How's that for indulgence?

Feb 2, 2015

Awaiting Spring...

Before the snow, my sister took these photos, capturing the elegant beauty of Nature before she's covered with a thick, white blanket and getting her beauty sleep. 

And then there's the contrast between Nature and man-made objects, like the Elora Mill, standing currently empty but also awaiting a grand rebirth.


And what of the abandoned structures across from the Elora Mill?  Time will tell...

(Thank you for the photos, Doris!)

Feb 1, 2015

It's all about holes

Over the past few months, we've been busy filling holes!  In our bedroom we filled a hole where a stove pipe had at one time served a stove in what was the schoolroom (the addition at the back of the house).

In our bathroom the wind whistled through the holes in the bare brick wall!  Brrr!!!  This bathroom/entryway is also an addition, and this wall was an outside wall before the1940s.  The part behind the mirror has a chimney space which backs onto the current kitchen; this chimney now works great for the range hood fan but the holes were very drafty!  Foam insulation solved the problem but the brick, handmade red stretcher brick, is crumbling and needs some kind of gentle sealer to preserve and keep the brick from turning into dust!  

This hole is a mystery!  It's in one of our rooms and probably was created when the forced air ducts were installed or the electrical was updated.  What to do with a huge hole in antique pine flooring?  Well, we found a floor grill at an antique market and screwed it down, removing any danger!  

And here's a neat find!  Our red parlour/dining room was a light green!  This would certainly have been a  brighter room, and still stayed with the Victorian decor.  Instead of going with the masculine red for the parlour, this would have embraced the feminine dining room with a gentle color.  In the meantime, this hole needs some putty and a dab of paint!

Dodged a bullet

So this red building in the downtown core is going to be demolished.  According to the local paper, the owners asked for and received a permit to demolish it after discovering extensive rot from water and termite damage.  They were planning to restore the building and open it as a tea house but ran into these insurmountable issues... Funny thing is, Mom and I were looking at this house last summer and wondering if we could open a doggy bakery or other little shop here.  The upper floor is where the owners could live and there's a yard.  For some reason, after contacting the realtor, we never followed up... PHEW!!!  What a disaster that would have been!!!  

(Note the adorable critter clinging to the light pole?  That's an escapee from Tim Murton's Twilight Zoo!)

Update, March 30th:  The old red building is now entirely gone, there's a huge hole where it was once, and this is a visual of the building that soon will replace it:  The Secret Garden Tea House!