26 Days of Home · Life · Nature

N is for…

My breakfast on the window sill above the sink.

The reason dawned on me the other day as to why I enjoy spending so much time in my kitchen, working at the counter. My work area is mostly window, which looks out to our backyard; we have an unusually long backyard for a city. There are mature trees along the fence line, a garden splitting the yard in two, my favourite tree, a crabapple and at the very back, two more gardens. I doubt I would be so willing (and happy) to spend so much time in this room if there was wall instead of glass, or if there was concrete instead of yard on the other side.

My favourite view when in bloom.

N is for nature. There is a new vitamin in town which costs nothing, is easy to take, there’s no fear of messing up the dosage, and it is 100% natural! Welcome Vitamin N (nature).

Studies have shown that green spaces are good for both mental and physical well-being. Those who live in communities with green spaces tend to be more generous, optimistic, sociable, calm and trusting, irregardless of economic conditions. Surgery recovery is faster and the immune system is stronger when parks are frequented.

The biggest benefit, all of us could use, is the reduction in our levels of stress. A walk in the woods has a calming effect on our bodies (lowering blood pressure and regulating blood sugar) and on our minds improving our cognitive skills. We have long known the benefits of houseplants on our well-being, now we can amplify those benefits by stepping out the door and finding some green space.

Don’t live near a wooded area open for hikes? Weather has you shut indoors? Just can’t get away to stroll in the park? Get a plant, or two. Look at images of woods, green fields, meadows – change the screen saver to show a beautiful landscape. Get a coffee-table book filled with photos of green spaces to flip through. Even better, make your own album filled with photos of parks and green areas which you have visited (double benefit here, first having gone there, and then remembering the visit).

A walk through the pumpkin patch.

There are countless ways to make life more green and get the daily Vitamin N, all you need is your imagination, a pair of shoes and some grass. And if you need even more convincing, listen to the birdsong, if that isn’t enough to convince you of the positive effects of nature, I don’t know what is.



Handmade · Life · Nature

Fall Colours

Dark greens, faded greens, plums, burgundy, deep reds, oranges and burnt ambers, coppers and golds.  The colours of Fall.  They are the rich colours which tell the story of the changing seasons. 

The colours of precious metals and gemstones which nature displays to tell of the bounty of the harvest.  Much more valuable to those early pioneers needing to fill their cellars with food for the upcoming winter, a turnip you can eat, not so a ruby!  All the sun’s energy and the nutrients from the soil combining to nourish those who tend the gardens and fields, and those of us who purchase those same wares.

As I age (throat being cleared) I tend to lean more towards those darker, richer colours instead of the pastels of my youth. Perhaps it is their contrast to one another, each distinct.  It could be the way the colours fade, like in worn pioneer quilts.

On a recent visit to a small yarn and bookstore, I was drawn to a skein of yarn.  I put it down, walked away, I even looked at other balls of yarn and flipped through some books.  I noticed a pattern for a cowl which reminded me of a pattern at home. In other words, I had walked in a square around the shop and came right back to the skein I noticed first off.  

The yarn is made by Berroco. The colour is just a number, but, fittingly, the yarn is called “Vintage Colours”.


Handmade · Life · Nature

Home Alone

Today was going to be an alone day.  My husband returned to work after his holidays,  my son was at school for leadership training and Mum usually stays home on Thursdays.  I had a mental list of things to do, make some granola, work on my house blocks – decorative touches and hand sewing, complete more half square triangles, finish up a strip of fabric for yo-yos and get some reading done.

My constant companion.

It is only mid-afternoon, but I haven’t really got any of those things done, other than about an hour’s worth of work in the sewing room this morning, including lace curtains for my house blocks. Instead I went off on a bit of a tangent in the front garden after going for a short walk.  I began deadheading flowers, which progressed to weeding, which in turn became pruning – since I pruned bushes by the front door, it led to washing down the siding behind what had been plant.  I had the water out; well needless to say the front entrance to the house has been deadheaded, weeded, pruned and scrubbed!  None of which had been on my radar this morning. Life is like that, and I have to admit, I do feel accomplished (and tired, a bit itchy from the cone-flowers, and my pruning hand is stiffening up).  Besides, there is still this evening to get some sewing done.

I’m loving the fabric my sister-in-law used for this winter quilt.

The days are definitely getting shorter and the weather has changed to cooler temperatures. It is hard to believe the summer holidays are over after this weekend.

Enjoy this last weekend of summer. Maybe spend some time outside under the trees daydreaming about cooler weather projects!



Life · Nature


The word glad is defined as “delighted” or “pleased.”

Gladiolus or gladioli originate from the Latin for small sword, in reference to their leaf shape.  In Old English, the flowers were known as “gladdon.”

It doesn’t matter where the word originated, glads make me glad. Judging by the number of customers choosing their stems of glads at the farmer’s market today, glads make them glad too.

Is there not a happier sight than a bunch of glads peeking out of a market bag?  How about a truckload of them passing by?