May 31, 2017

Set the Table - Crushing on Orange

Set the Table - Crushing on Orange

I have been craving tropical colour since returning from a recent trip to Trinidad and Togabo.

Yellow Poui - The rainy season begins when it drops all of its beautiful yellow flowers.

Yellow Poui

This table reminds me of all those luscious tropical colours.

My flowers are not tropical, but the colours are brilliant.

The Cashew is very odd.  The true fruit is the nut at the end of the false fruit.  The false fruit is sometimes called the "apple" or "cherry".  The "apple" is edible and sweet.  Sometimes jam is made from it.  I tasted both the "apple" and the jam made from it and it is delicious.

The tablecloth has a little purple in it.  I used purple
 glass plates as a nice contrast to the orange.

The placemats are actually Batik napkins.  Each one is slightly different from the other, but, the colours are the same.

It is not too often you see an orange Zebra.

I don't know what kind of oranges these are, but, they are not sweet.

The small sauce boat is vintage Fiestaware.

We picked this pineapple and brought it home.


Everywhere we went the Bougainvilia was spectacular.


Tablecloth - Pink City
Placemats - Caribelle Batik, St. Kitts and Nevis, W.I.
Napkins - Cynthia Rowley
Bottom Plate - Pier One
Purple glass plate - Home Sense
Small White plate - Richmond, Johnso Brothers
Bowls - BIA International
Orange sauce boat - vintage Fiesta
Melamine Flamingo plate - The Great Canadian Super Store
Flatware - Bombay
Orange jug (used as a vase) - Home Sense
Orange Zebra - Home Sense
Flowers - Michaels

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May 26, 2017

Canada Day Door Wreath

Canada Day Door Wreath

Canada Day Wreath

This wreath is a fairly easy project.  I already had most of the supplies I needed, except for the ribbon, which I purchased at Michaels.

The wreath is easily adaptable to a U.S. theme.

Materials List

Canada Day Wreath

- A wicker or grapevine 10" wreath

- 3 toilet paper tubes (for firecrackers)

- Wrapping paper in a colour of your choice.  I used gold-coloured, but white, kraft paper, scrapbook paper, or a patriotic-themed paper would work just as well.

- Ribbon in appropriate colours to decorate the firecrackers.

- Several sprays of wired white buds.

- Red burlap ribbon for bow

- Red jute twine for fuses on firecrackers and for a loop to hang the wreath.

- Flags, I used three 8" x 6" with 10" sticks

- Glue gun and craft glue, flat paint brush

Optional - Watered down brown acrylic craft paint to age the flags and ribbons.

Canada Day Wreath


*If you are going to age your flags and ribbons do that first so they will dry by the time you want to use them.
Use an amount of brown paint on a tray or foil plate and add water until the consistency is very watery.
With the paint brush paint the ribbons and flags until they have the aged look that is pleasing to you.
Let them dry.  The drying time is not too long.

Canada Day Wreath

*Start work on the tubes
Cover the tops of each tube with wrapping paper.  Cut circles of paper larger than the top and tape it down on the sides of the tubes.  
Then wrap the wrapping paper around the tubes and glue it where the paper meets at the back of the tube.
Leave one tube long, but cut a little off of each tube at the bottom so that they are progressively shorter.  Your tubes will each be different lengths.
Poke a small hole in the tops of the tubes and push a length of jute twine into the hole (approx 1 1/2" to 2" lengths).  The twine is the fuse.  Add glue so the twine does not fall out.
Wrap the tubes with ribbons.

Canada Day Wreath

*Assemble the wreath
With the glue gun place a few dots of glue on the inside bottom of each tube and pinch together.  This makes it easier to attach them to the wreath.
Starting with the longest tube tuck it into the wreath and add hot glue to hold it in place.  Add the next longest and so on until all three are attached to the wreath.  
I bent the smallest tube forward and added an extra bit of glue to hold it.

*Place the bud sprays on the wreath around the firecrackers and glue.

Canada Day Wreath

*Add a bow and place the flags, tucking them into the wicker and glueing.

Canada Day Wreath


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May 22, 2017

Incorporating Art Into Your Home

Incorporating Art Into Your Home

Once you bring your art home where will you hang it?

Often artwork is hung over a mantel or buffet or hall table.

Once I decide where I am going to hang it I also need to decide whether it will hang there alone or have a Support Team.

Incorporating Art Into Your Home

If I am hanging the art over the mantel the area around the painting can look too bare.

I like to gather a few things that I think will compliment the painting.

Incorporating Art Into Your Home

I don't want to overwhelm the art with a lot of unrelated things.

I will often choose accessories in the same colour family.

Incorporating Art Into Your Home

I decided that green will go with this painting, and yet still allow the art to be the star.

I picked a vintage green vase with a few chips on the base and a plain green bottle.

Incorporating Art Into Your Home

At the opposite end some vintage green books, a bonsai in a green pot and an interesting looking carved wood bookend.

Incorporating Art Into Your Home

I like the wood tones and the texture of the bookend.

Incorporating Art Into Your Home

I have been having trouble getting this bookend right side up, but I think it is okay here.

Incorporating Art Into Your Home

Almost there, if the bookend will cooperate.

Incorporating Art Into Your Home

The green accessories draw out the green in the painting.

Incorporating Art Into Your Home

Okay, I think I have it right now.  Adding a few accessories in the same colour tones as the painting adds another layer to the mantel and to the painting without obstructing the view or distracting from the painting.
After all, it is the art that we want to see and not a lot of things blocking it.

The art now has a Supporting Cast.

Incorporating Art Into Your Home

A few twigs from the garden adds some height.

Incorporating Art Into Your Home

See what happens when a new Supporting Cast is introduced.

Here is the same painting with blue and yellow accessories.

Incorporating Art Into Your Home

Now you see more of the yellow in the painting.

Although, the painting has very little blue in it, blue and yellow just go together.

The yellow in the branches actually brings the painting forward in this vignette.

Next time you hang a painting, don't forget to bring in the 
Supporting Cast.

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May 18, 2017

Fair Meadow Place Bookshelf - I Stand for Canada

Fair Meadow Place Bookshelf is a new feature.

Once in awhile, I will review a book that I really like.

I Stand for Canada by Rick Archbold

Please know that some of the links in this post are Affiliate Links.  This allows me to make a small commission if you purchase something, but your price will stay the same. Thank you so much for helping to support this blog!
My Disclosure Policy is at the bottom of this post.

Before long it will be July 1st and this year Canada is celebrating it's 
150th Birthday.

Happy Birthday Canada!!!

That is the reason I wanted to feature I Stand For Canada as my first book review.

You see, this is a book about the story behind our Canadian flag.

We start in 1963 when the Liberal Party led by Lester B. Pearson won the federal election.  

The story really started before that, but for our purposes, we will say 1963.

It was Mr Pearson's hope that Parliament could agree on a unique flag for Canada.

Canada's 100th Birthday was coming up in 1967.

Canada's unofficial flag, at that time, was the British flag, the Union Jack.

Above Left is the Union Jack and also Left and below the Jack is the Red Ensign which included the Union Jack and the Canadian Coat of Arms
On the Right are the various Ensigns from other countries around the world who also included the Union Jack on their flags.

Finding a flag for Canada wasn't going to be easy.  

Canada's former Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party, the Honourable John Diefenbaker, sat in opposition to Prime Minister Pearson and the Liberals in the House of Commons. 

Mr Diefenbaker wanted no part of any flag for Canada other than the Red Ensign or the Union Jack.

Union Jack
Union Jack

Red Ensign

......and that's when the trouble started.

But first, it probably helps to understand some of the histories behind Canada's story.  At the time of the great flag debate, it was considered that Canada had two founding nations, France and Great Britain.  

Really there were three founding nations, the first being the Aboriginal peoples while the others came along later and claimed to be founders.  In those days we heard very little of the Aboriginal people's contributions.

Canada was first claimed by France and then later on the British stopped by also claiming ownership.  France and Britain were always at war back then and so then was Canada.

When it came to the flag debate of the 1960's French Canadians were not partial to the Union Jack, but rather the Fleur-de-lys was the pennant of choice.


By 1964 there were a growing number of Canadians, 25%, who traced their origins to neither France nor Britain.

P.M. Pearson was leaning toward what came to be known as The Pearson Pennant.

Three Sugar Maple leaves conjoined on one stem on a white ground flanked by blue bars.

The Pearson Pennant
The three maple leaves were representative of the Canadian component of Canada's Shield and the central element of the Canadian Coat of Arms.

The blue bars represented "from sea to sea".

P.M. Pearson, ever the diplomat, opted for a design that included none of the traditional symbols such as the Union Jack or Fleur-de-lys.

He wanted a design that would offend the fewest and be accepted by the most.

I wonder, did he know that no sugar maple trees grow in western Canada.

The Maple Leaf

As it turns out the maple leaf has been a symbol for Canada since before Confederation in 1867.

Canadian regiments have worn maple leaf pins on their uniforms while overseas.
This was to distinguish them from other regiments also serving under Great Britain.
During WW1 Canadians serving overseas were called "Maple Leafs" by the other troops because of the maple leafs on their uniforms.

The Canadian Coat of Arms also has three maple leaves as an integral part of its design.

By the 1900's most Canadian athletes had adopted the maple leaf as the badge they wore when competing internationally.

There are many examples of Canada's association with the maple leaf.

Back to the Flag Debate

There are so many really good quotes in this book.

 P.M. Pearson rose in the House of Commons to address Parliament in June 1964. 

"Mr Speaker,it is for this generation, for this Parliament, to give them and to give us all a common flag; a Canadian flag which, while bringing together but rising above the landmarks and milestones of the past, will say proudly to the world and to the future:  'I stand for Canada'."

A Flag Committee was brought together consisting of 14 men and 1 woman, all members of parliament.
It was the committee's task to choose a flag for Canada and then present it to the House of Commons where it would be put to a vote.

There were nearly six thousand flag designs submitted from artists and citizens alike.

Many of the designs featured Union Jacks, Fleur-de-lys, beaver including one wearing a mountie uniform.  There were Canada geese, grizzly bears, moose, salmon, bison, and caribou.  The North Star was also popular and so was the cross.  One design featured crossed red hockey sticks and a single hockey puck.

The committee must have been blurry-eyed sorting through all of the designs submitted.  The renditions of flags were plastered over the walls and ceiling of the committee meeting room.

Irish President Eamon de Valera to Lester Pearson in the Spring of 1964.

"I don't think, young man, you're going to win this parliamentary struggle.  It is not possible to legislate as a flag design that has no significance and no tradition attached to it.  To get a flag accepted, you have to have blood on it; you have to have waved it fighting somebody.  That's how our flag became accepted.  It was a badge of revolution; it was a badge of victory against our oppressors.  You know what you ought to do, you really ought to take your flag down to the American border...and get some of your friends on the other side to take some shots at it, and if you can get somebody mildly wounded, that will make all the difference.  It will be a hallowed emblem of your independence from the United States."

Hmm.  What would the Americans think?  

The committee worked for weeks and heard any number of witnesses testify.

Just 19 of the flag designs considered from nearly 6000.

Finally, a design was decided upon by the committee, but it still had to pass in Parliament.

The debate raged on into December and on December 15, 1964, the motion passed 163 to 78.

Canada's flag was born.

Thanks to P.M. Pearson, the Flag Committee, and members of Parliament Canada has its own flag.

We have a flag that is unique.  There is no other like it the world over.

It is recognised everywhere.  Everyone knows what country it belongs to and the principles and beliefs for which it stands.

Canadians expressed solidarity with American neighbours after Sept. 11, 2001, by flying the two countries' flags side by side.  A massive rally was held on Parliament Hill on the international day of mourning for all who had died in terrorist attacks.

In the book, there are many things that make me smile as I remember how we were in the 1960's.  I was a young teenager in high school.  The flag debate seemed to go on forever.  I wondered if it would never end.

The book is a documentation of Canada in the 1960's and goes back further to reveal how we became the Canada we are today.   There are many interesting facts in the book.  
Canada is a work in progress.  We are still growing and developing.

I Stand for Canada has been written with a humorous pride of country.

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May 15, 2017

Blue and White in the Kitchen

Blue and White in the Kitchen

For as long as I can remember, I have liked Blue and White as a colour combination.

My vignette today also features a little added spice.

The whole vignette sits on top of a mirrored medicine cabinet door.
It is also seen in a different vignette HERE.

The small silver trophy is filled with nutmeg.

An old crockery bottle holds sprigs of rosemary.

Cinnamon sticks sit inside a large round hand-made grater.  Next to the cinnamon are some dried leaves called cinnamon leaves used as a spice.  The leaves are not from the same plant as the cinnamon sticks.

Blue and White pottery pieces found washed up on a beach just like beach glass.

I always wonder about where these things come from and how they came to be in the sea.

A ship had been grounded on the same beach during a hurricane.  It was still there when we visited the island in 2009.
When we were back in 2015, the ship had been removed.

I suppose it is possible that the shards of pottery came from this ship.
Of course, we will never know for sure.

The plant sits atop a stack of blue and white dishes

The shelves in the kitchen are also dressed in Blue and White.

This plate is old.  I have several of them and the pattern is called Blue River.

This part of the shelf is where a collection of jugs sit in front of a painting by an Ontario artist.   
It has been painted on silk.  There are two other paintings, not seen here today, of similar size and frame.  I just love the colours in her work.  This particular piece, although the colours are beautiful, is not as vibrant as the other two works.

I picked up the blue ceramic tray at a garage sale a few years ago.

I think Blue and White will always be a favourite colour combination.  It never seems to go out of style and it goes very nicely with other colours like pink, yellow, and green.

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