Nov 19, 2017

Circles of Giving

Last year the spirit of community was celebrated with a Silent Wreath Auction, where all proceeds went to the Elora Centre for the Arts.  It was a glorious display of creativity and cheer with all sorts of folks donating their time and efforts to making one-of-a-kind, stunning wreaths to support our very special Centre.
This year I'm thrilled to announce it will be happening again!  And I found out early enough to do more than bid:  I actually made 2 wreaths!   Not only will there be a wreath auction, but take a look at this poster and the week full of wonderful events!

So, what does a wreath auction look like?  Here are photos of last year's entries:

And let us not neglect the stunning area prepared for Santa!  On Sunday bring your own camera and get photos with Santa Claus, comfortably seated in a beautiful, magical wonderland.

So what will be on the walls this year?  Come and see and bid to bring home a completely unique, handmade piece of art that will help our Arts Centre continue to thrive!

Oct 25, 2017

Getting spooky!

It's almost Hallowe'en!  We have to hurry up and get ready!  

While our pumpkin lights have been on since October 1st, I really wanted to add something special to our decorations this year.  I wanted a ghost to hover over our front door over the trick-or-treaters and so the hunt was on for the necessary pieces.

First, we luckily found a great female ghost!  

She needed hands, though, and the Dollarama had just what we needed, while the Canadian Tire had the clips, tape and hardware we'd need to hang her up securely.  

These two lanterns from HomeSense that I bought in the Spring now finally had a purpose, along with an old dog chain and leaves from Dollarama.

And she's up!  It took a while, but our ghost is on a pulley system so that we can lower her to turn on/off her glowing head.


Oct 23, 2017

The Spirit is Loose in Elora!

In the Afterword to Ray Bradbury's book From the Dust Returned he wrote "Halloween is the time of year for story-telling... I believe in this more than I have believed in anything in my writing career."  And Elora takes this statement to its still-beating, blood red heart!  There are so many great spooky stories being told this month, take a look at these offerings!  

Of course there are more sombre offerings as well, with the films from Alberta Nye and a talk with Shelley Carter about her "Death Perceptions" exhibit from 2016.  

And a handmade market!

So many options!  And there's also a Haunted Woods Walk just a hop outside of Elora that runs from 6:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28!  Read about it by clicking here.

October is just spook-tacular in Elora!!

Sep 16, 2017

Garden in bloom

Our Summer was amazing!  Where did it go?!?!  Here we are deep into September already and I see I never got around to posting our garden in bloom.

Compared to last year's drought, it was a wet season but almost all the plants loved it, growing lush and thick.  Of course, then the bugs came out in force, slugs in particular poking holes in all the hostas.

It was a Summer of dramatic clouds!  We've never witnessed so many unusual textures and colors in the clouds as we did this year.  Here's a view from our balcony in late June.

Our Adam's Needles did very well, and for once no thieving hands snatched away the lovely flowers!  Thank you for letting them stand tall!

Elora, however, looked like it was invaded by rabid groundhogs as everywhere Wightman fiber optic cables were laid into the ground.  We lost our front sidewalk for a while, and they didn't do a very nice job of restoring it, buggers.

Our boulevard on David Street finally got a good cleaning out and a few new plants.  The creeping bell flower bloomed beautifully as did the lilies.

Thanks to a free-standing "mini garden" from Lee Valley, we grew our own herbs and mini tomatoes to grace our breakfast dishes.  This was a wonderful idea, keeping the herbs out of bugs' reach!

And growing more than 8 feet tall, the Cup Plants on the boulevard were magnificent!  It was a thrill to see all the bees that came to enjoy the flowers, and now the birds are coming for the seeds.  

Hope your Summer was Grand too!

Jun 28, 2017


Would you like to meet some of the soft sculpture characters in the display cases here at the Flying Leap?  

Our landing on the second floor provides a great location for a little display area, and here's where the Scratching at the Window
creatures who are looking for new homes await adoption.  All were handmade by me from my own original designs.

Of course, it's hard not to be up-staged by a dragon with a 6-foot wingspan!  Fawn impressively oversees the landing as you climb up the stairs.  She took 2 1/2 years to construct and is not looking for a new home.

In the display case await the lady bears, with Lorelei the Merbear on the top shelf,  Emralda and Annette on the middle and Venus, Caviara and Seian on the third.

 Venus, Annette and Emralda are all about 14 inches tall, made of European mohair and built over a wire frame so they're very poseable.  They have glass eyes and doll wigs, and handmade costumes that were a lot of fun to create! 

Here's Seian as a bellydancer.  She also is not looking for a home.

 On the wooden shelf, we have 
Cere and Bella, two ratty brothers

Devina, a lady rat in her Hallowe'en best

Squirt and his mom Pearl

and my Titanic bear, with the commemorative 100th anniversary postage stamp.

If your keen to know more about these critters, please visit my Scratching at the Window website.  As you'll probably notice, some of the girls are not there yet so just contact me and I'll send you the adoption details.

Jun 8, 2017

Elora Wildlife in Need

  Willow and I rescued a Merlin!  This was on April 9th, a Sunday, as we were out on our morning walk.  We were on Mathieson Street and spotted a larger bird on the ground (on someone's driveway) with something dark underneath.  I thought he must have just caught something and moved in slowly for a better look.  As we approached, the poor thing tried to flutter away, dragging one wing behind.  Oh-oh...  I had just noticed that two men entered a house across the street so I went to the door and a lady came out, “Can I help you?”  I asked her for a large box to trap the bird and instead I got a box, the two gentlemen and pairs of gloves!  With Willow tied to a tree (she was so good), a big coffee machine box and leather gloves, we circled the bird, cornered him and I rushed forward and squished the box on top of him.  One of the men helped get him into the box and close it up, but the bird didn’t put up much of a fight at all (I was worried).  Very graciously, they drove us all home and I called our 24 hour vet's office and they told me to call the Guelph Humane Society to access their 24 hour wildlife service. 
  So Tyler, an Animal Protection Officer, (THIS would be the job I always wanted!!!) arrived 40 minutes later and the bird kicked up a fuss as the box was put into his truck.  That was a good sign!  Later, Tyler phoned to say the bird was bright and active and many hands were needed to examine him. He reported that "The species of bird was a Merlin, a type of falcon. The break was proximal on the humerus, right close to where the head of the upper wing inserts into the shoulder capsule. We performed a wrap on the wing to prevent further injury and support the joint (much the same as you would on a human!), gave subcutaneous fluids to make sure the bird was hydrated, and administered an oral painkiller prior to sending to rehab. We sent the Merlin to Hobbitstee Wildlife Refuge who work to rehabilitate a number of wildlife species."   
  So send good thoughts to our little Merlin and hope for him a speedy and complete recovery!  Perhaps he's already testing his mended wing!  Open skies! 

You can read more about Merlins here:

If you ever encounter injured wildlife in the Guelph area, please do take action and contact the Guelph Humane Society at 519-824-3091, even on Sunday.  It doesn't take much to help our fellow wild creatures, especially with this dedicated team of professionals only a phone call away.  
  And please consider helping out your local wildlife rehabilitation center.  

Photo at the top is of our rescue, taken by the great folks at Hobbitstee, from their Facebook page.

May 11, 2017

Forever Green!

As anyone who has ever visited the Flying Leap, you know we love our garden!  Mom and I spend countless hours and while it is a work in progress we certainly are making the old girl look grand!  The magnolia trees and tulips in Elora are particularly pretty this year.

Sadly, however, there are lots of dark spots inside the house where real plants simply do poorly.  This is a frustrating shame for us, as we always had lovely house plants in our previous homes.  Well, what to do?

Enter Melanie B. Floral Designs in Sebringville (about a 1 hour drive from Elora)!  We met Melanie when we lived in Stratford and were absolutely delighted and amazed by the quality and arrangements of her lovely silks.  Believe me, there is a HUGE difference between quality silks and the regular stuff you find at places like Michaels.

This week Melanie has her annual Mother's Day Open House and knowing what we needed we phoned ahead and then visited on Tuesday to see what there was for us!

Along with a beautiful Canada 150 door decoration and lovely potted faux plants for our 3-season sunroom, Melanie put together this for our Meadow room, where the live plant simply wasn't thriving.  

My treat, though, was to bring along my goblin planter, which has been waiting in the basement until now.  It's original plant disintegrated and hunting around found nothing suitable.  Melanie, however, took one look at it and her brain was churning!  In almost no time, she created this perfect arrangement featuring hops, a few succulents and some other varieties.  Here he is, ready to come home.

And here he is in our sunroom for all our guests to see!

Thank you Melanie!

You can see more of what Melanie creates on her Facebook page:

Apr 6, 2017

Letting in the light

Over the course of the winter, we decided to change some of the light fixtures in the rooms and hunted for the best options.  First:  Creature Comfort, our "luxury room", needed better than a bare bulb hanging from the ceiling.  We debated the pros and cons of leaving the antique fixture but decided that if we left the two nicer ones (with the dogwood flower design in brass) in the hallway we could switch this one out (of course we saved the old fixture, it's safe and sound).  Hunting locally was fruitless but finally provided the best solution:  a Savoy House Lighting semi-flush ceiling mounted fixture with a creamy/cloudy marble glass.  

Our Meadow was really the instigator for the lighting changes:  while this fixture was beautiful, our Meadow really needed better air circulation even with the 4 windows and bathroom fan.  Now, with this Kendal Lighting 3-speed fan with seperately controlled fan, guests will be able to make themselves perfectly comfortable.  It runs super-quiet and is balanced just right.  We found this one at Chatelaine Lighting in Guelph.

So where could we put the fixture we removed from the Meadow?  Again, a single, bare bulb was all that our Fox Hole had as a ceiling fixture.  It wasn't enough, the room felt "industrial" and unfinished.  Now, look at it:  this antique light with its old glass looks perfect here and raises the room's overall appearance tremendously, it's really quite surprising what a big deal it is!!

Once again we have to thank Brock Richardson of Fergus Electric.  (Brock may be reached at 519-843-3560.)  In this old house, his expertise was absolutely priceless and his know-how, problem-solving and speed were incredible to witness!!!  Without his help, we would never have accomplished all these changes.  Thank you so much, Brock!