Recently, a friend posted to Facebook; "Finish this sentence: 'The best feeling in the worlds is...'" Of course I said, " Preparing for Christmas; decor, cards, baking, designing" and amid the other enthusiastic responses were; "nostalgia", "crisp, clean sheets", "knowing you're needed" and "hugging my mother"! I love this type of joint, thought-stirring activity....the gift of sharing our true and real lives! I think it says to one another, "hey, we're all real people, all figuring life out together!" I think I'm addicted to Christmas Spirit because of all these 'best feelings' - that's what Christmas is about; from nostalgia to clean sheets! Yesterday was certainly a day of 'best feelings' as I adventured through the kitschy and wonderful world of Antique and Retro Christmas Fair Vendors with my dear friend and side-kick, missed one ferry and managed to almost miss another (we were talking, ok!), and lunched by the seaside. Then, just to throw that perfect topper on an already trimmed tree, we managed to end it all with a scrounge in the ditch for some freshly fallen White Pine boughs (thank you to the kind man who let us load up the Station Wagon!). Now, with wee vintage trinkets in hand for gifts, boughs for dressing the house and a warmed heart, I bid you all goodnight... BUT...I'm dying to hear of your 'Best Feelings'! Do leave me a comment, for I love the feeling of finding feed-back. It's almost as addictive as alliteration!
What a fun season of trades and collaborations it's been! For me, a favourite thing is finding someone with a special handmade product or talent that resonates with me. Often, those of us who make items with love and care are bumped together by the Universe and end up becoming fast friends! Such is the case with my friend Jody in Victoria. Her company is Jody's Natural Bath & Body Products - a line of stunningly delicious smelling natural soaps, body butters and lip balms made with conscience-clear ingredients like shea butter, Sunflower oil, and natural fragrances. Though Jody and I only met at the Mikone sale this summer, we kept in contact and have now made a way to share with each other, our specially made products. Jody came to me looking for my Winter Love Christmas tags as she designed her Holiday gift baskets for seasonal fairs and markets. It just seemed natural to trade some swoon-worthy soaps for the little sets of tags she required! And let me tell you, people...it was like Christmas, waiting for that fragranced little box to arrive in the mail - So thrilling! Now that my soaps are here, the house smells of fresh citrus, cloves and vanilla bean ( I KNOW, right?!). After skipping home from the mailbox, I joked to hubby over breaky, that I wanted to crumble little bits of vanilla bean soap on to my oatmeal - it smells divinely edible!! Thank you Jody!
I will leave you with this glimpse in to the festive 'happenings' on my art table. Have I mentioned that Christmas makes my heart go pitter patter?!!?
It's Autumn in full swing! That, in our household, is official when we pull on our wellies and head for the mossy trails in search of Chanterelle mushrooms. And the season is good! This year, as I tromp the forest floor, I am noticing the lichens that are so lush in hue right now - and I'm lagging terribly behind as I stop to collect the fallen ones! They can't help but capture your eye as you wander - they are that perfect green/aqua....somewhere between sea-foam and creamy jadeite. The undersides can be a rich mottle of black and cream and look like PERFECTION! These little riches, when paired with certain other small plants, bring a teeny forest-scene to the table along with a nice dose of that to-swoon-for-green for a centrepiece that is mini and magical! Stay tuned for their appearance INside of doors! For now, the 'fallen ones' lie drying by the fire - all the while retaining that lush colour.....which is the very thing I love about them! For an artist who has been a self-proclaimed lover of all things man-made....this nature thing sure has me going!! Here is some 'lichen green inspiration' - enjoy my new obsession with me!
'Collage wall' photo cred: ohhellofriendblog.com
It's time to start thinking about winter bulbs for the house. To me, this means brilliant Paperwhite Narcissus blooms boiling forth from sturdy green stems, set atop some wintry bit of decor! Often I 'force' my winter bulbs (white Amaryllis and Paperwhites) in fanciful soup tureens for a romantic and utilitarian look. If started now, blooms should be emerging by early November, just in time for Holiday decorating and entertaining. I try to start a new batch of bulbs every two weeks to stagger the supply, thus, having an ever-lasting display of blooms (start collecting soup tureens!). Many a decorating enthusiast has posted on this very subject, so I will leave you in good 'how-to' hands here, and simply do my part by providing some imagery! These dainty watercolours are my tribute to the fresh and happy Paperwhite blooms- an inexpensive way to have your home look like a florist's shop!
Image Creds: Little 'Holiday' baggies (Tokketok.com), bowl o' bulbs (PamGarrison.com), half-way starts (thiscobbledpath.blogspot.com), Tablescape styled by BrownPaperDesign, shot by Jose Villa. All others: Highberrydew
It's that time of year again when I have to push myself toward Christmas with rapid speed. This really isn't a 'groan moment' at all! I ADORE the Christmas season and anticipate it all year long; however, it's difficult to get deep enough into the mood in September in order to produce the products that need to be ready for mid-November! Often I will steep a cuppa tea (something seasonal!), play some carols and try my best to muster my inner-yule-tide (but August is just behind us!). This year I have eased myself in with a line called "Winter Love". While you will find renderings of a snowy Ptarmigan wearing a crown, and even a Figgy Pudding, this is a collection that is close to the 'idea' of Christmas time without greeting it at the door wearing only mistletoe! I enjoy the 'cozy season' so very much - the warm snuggles on the couch with a furry Cardigan (the sweater AND the Corgi), a steamy mug of Wassail, the feel of felt and fleece over cold hands, and the satisfaction of cooking up a healthy meal to nourish loved-ones. This might all sound cheese-ball (oh! another seasonal fave!), but it's really the truth of how I live and enjoy these approaching months! You will notice the painting of a wee stack of beans as part of this collection. For me, dry goods are a symbol of that health and nourishment that can keep us going - a staple to be thankful for as Winter eases on - they never rot, mold or need refrigeration peoples! Watch for this collection of tags, arriving soon to adorn your gifts all season long! They are from the heart - pass on the love!
Hi folks, I have wanted to catch up with you and share some of what I have been working on! Along with some fun interior design clients, some packaging/branding projects, and the ever-present garden harvest schedule, I have managed to keep up with my graphic design work. Today I want to share with you some work I'm doing for one of my most industrious clients!We all know what a special Island spot Bird's Eye Cove Farm is....right?! You may remember our Springtime styled shoot out at their glorious timber-frame barn. Well that venue is a hot topic, let me tell you! It's a smashing success and a sought-after destination for events and weddings of all backgrounds (Brides and Grooms; 'The Barn' is booking for 2014!). To keep the smiling guests rolling through, the spirited Lynn, Chef Ashley, and the BECF team have been hosting a series of their own fun and welcoming events. Through some Highberry Dew graphic work, have a look at what has been going on down at the bay and what's to come!
Front and reverse of BECF promo material for the upcoming Brewery and the Beast, brought to you by Phillips Brewery in Victoria (who, by the way, have a fabulous graphics person!) Happy filling-up-the-calendar!
I'm getting so excited about coming back indoors, enjoying our home and its items - up close and personal - and taking in the colours, smells and tastes of fall! I welcome this change of season! It's also the opening of new doors, the start of new projects and of course....prep for Christmas!
SO, with Vintage Farm Sale behind us, the Corg and I are launching into new projects! They are 'new' in that we are "about" to tackle them, even though they are projects that have been sitting about for awhile! This lovely old camera tripod (a nice light-weight one) was a score from junking at the beginning of the summer. I had put it out into the universe that I wanted one, and 'BING', the very next Saturday (aka "Junking Day"), TWO landed in my lap! With a fresh, crispy lamp shade to coordinate, I will now attempt to create the tri-pod lamp I have always wanted. Not a new concept at all, but on this rock of an Island, projects like this can turn into a mighty search - we simply don't have the resources that creators in, oh, say L.A. or Chicago have!! That means that when I decided to don my lamp with lovely 'vintage-look' silk lamp cord, I knew to be prepared for a hunt! As usual, I began with the interweb! After finding all that I wanted and more - cord in most hues of the colourwheel and beyond - I began running into the usual problems. This cord that I have my heart set on, only ships to the U.S. and THIS cord that I have my heart set on, ships to Canada for 5 times the price of the actual product itself. It was about now that I decided I could pay MUCH more for the cord (here in my own country), if I took in to consideration, the shipping costs. So, the Corg and I towed out the good 'ol yellow pages and began our phone marathon! Finally, when I talked to the last store listed on the page, McLaren Lighting in Victoria (bless their hearts and their good service), I found black, silk-covered lamp cord for $1.50 per foot - a good 20 cents less than my American brethran were offering BEFORE shipping. By this time, the Corg had lost interest and fallen asleep on the phone book (I must say, it was mighty tempting to stop and take a nap!). Never give up on good taste...and often the 'shop locally' approach will pay off at the same time! Stay tuned for my 'bright idea' in its completion (road trip to Victoria first!).
What a fabulous time we had at our Vintage Farm Sale! Saturday was a sunny and breezy day out at Mikone Farm, where our hostess, Kiona, of Maven Creations welcomed all to her beautifully tended property! Mikone is a special place, with an uplifting energy that you feel as soon as you begin to stroll down the shade-dappled lane. We took our place in the nook of the fence and set up shop, ready to dazzle the crowds at 9 a.m. With freshly laid hay scenting the air, the shoppers browsed vintage and hand-made goods, took in some live musical creations and admired the bursting border gardens that Kiona and family lovingly care for. My fab friend Erika, of Element Photography, was my trusty collaborator as we navigated the farm sale scene as rookies! With hand-crafted pallet tables, Tobbogan Trays, rustic garden caddys and vintage collections of frames, art, china and textiles, Erika and I styled up our booth. After busy weeks of prep, it was such a pleasure to share our handy-work with the masses - chatting and laughing the day away! We made good friends, made deals with our fellow vendors and came away with these beautifully captured images from Element - something to remind us of a wonderful day, spent with amazing people!
It's here...the bustle, the hustle, the get 'er done now attitude! With my Vintage Farm Sale just four days away, it's been Santa's little work shop (in August) around here! Truthfully, it's delightful! I just love having something to get ready for, to work toward and that gives me that deadline with it's booming voice of "HOP TO"! My fabric order arrived JUST today and JUST in time (whew!), my lovely friend has returned to 'the rock' so we can work toward our date and our shared booth, and the paint brushes have been flying around here! With two tables under construction, four trays painted and ready to go, and a stack of sweet little paper tags toppling on one side of the art table, my heart fills with joy at all the 'touchable' and beautiful items. Lets see it in images shall we?!
A selection of tags await their duties - more than likely a nest upon some table, or perhaps fluttering in the breeze beneath a frame or tray...
A tray from found materials....pieces of a vintage oak table and a secret ingredient; can you spot the old Toboggan?! For the love of dogs! These greeting cards keep giving.... $2 from each dog card sold at the sale will go to our local SPCA.
Perhaps someone will be selling paper ephemera? I sure hope so.... I scored these from my pal Bill at last weekend's Valley Antique Show and Sale...
My newly designed yardage...what a lovely texture...been staring at it all day! Stay tuned for what it will become after the sale...
Another of the four trays accompanying me to Saturday's sale. We could ALL use more olive branches I would say...
Patience dear tray....patience... Look at you just sittin' there, waiting for Saturday. There are things to DO, my friend!
Remember, you can find the Highberry Dew and Element Photography Booth from 9-4 this Saturday at 5672 Menzies Road! A marvelous and stylish time will be had by all!