Tiddley-Bits tea

Tiddley-Bits tea

Saturday, 25 September 2010

{bags, books & toads}

I was recently given this very cool bag at the library:
{or perhaps I should've said Toad-ally awesome book bag}
It reminds me of the Wind in the Willows.

{Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame }
It reminds me, in particular, of the 1980s move I recently watched with my niece and nephew, when Toad sings his song of going home. You can watch it on Youtube
{Toad in front of Toad Hall from the 1980s A&E series, available at Amazon}
Who can resist some of the imagery associated with the Wind in the Willows?


While I love old books, sometimes we aren't so fortunate to have the time or the means to search through bookshops.

{Bookshop along the Seine (above) and College street, Kolkata (directly above)}

{Illiad bookshop}

Luckily the Wind in the Willows, among other books, is now available with funky covers by artist Daniela Jaglenka Terrazini through Puffin Classics for Penguin.

{Puffin Classics }
These are similar to Coralie Bickford-Smith's covers of some great classics including some lovely Jane Austen novels:
{from CB-Smith; image from Design*Sponge}
{from extrabux}
Still, while these are beautiful, I have to admit I do like the idea of old & seasoned books.


{books seriously add a comforting feeling to any space. Now what I would give to own a library like this! Photos from Visualise us}
A good book collection is like a good teacup collection: it ought to be mixed, with varying signs of age, with varying signs of usage: rips, tears, chips, etc...and the contents ought to be just as varied as well. Ranging from a plush darjeeling to a smokey lapsang souchong in terms of tea, and in terms of books, ranging from stories of Miss Elizabeth Bennetts and Mr. Darcys to philosophical enquiries and art historical conundrums. It is no coincidence that tea & reading go together.

...& for some great bookcase ideas check out: Isuwannee

Thursday, 23 September 2010

{Travel & Leisure}

I was recently notified of an exhibition on LV luggage in Paris. I was immediately taken in by the advert:

{From October 13th to February 27th, the Carnavalet museum in Paris is showcasing the Saga of Louis Vuitton Malletier, gathering together for the first time the iconic trunks and luggage which have embodied the Art of Travel for more than 150 years}
In 1854 Louis Vuitton opened his first store in Paris. I am not a big name brand person, but I do love the idea of trunks and old things...& travel.
Who couldn't love these cool old trunks, whether they have LV on them or not? I love the look of them:

{From decouvertes, featuring info on the LV Exhibition at the Musée Carnavalet, Paris}

They remind me, indeed, of many trunks we had around the house growing up... and no, they were not LV, but they were cool & old nonetheless. My sisters & I used to fill them up with all our dress-up clothes and I remember them all being marked CLARK.

This was because my Dad had acquired them when he immigrated to Canada at age 13. My father was born in Peshawar, what is now Pakistan, but what was then India. They used to travel back to England on the P&O (Peninsula & Orient) liners and they would pack their stuff in such trunks.

{my Dad and his family on a family trip}

{My father (furthest left) and his two brothers with my Grandpa (note the old camera in hand),  in India, c. 1950s}

 I don't have any photos of our trunks, since they are all in storage, but they were black, and heavy-duty, and cool--warn around the edges from their travel 1/2 way across the world. They looked similar to these:
{From Fullerton Civic Opera}

I think I love the idea of these trunks so much because they bring back memories and in my case, imaginations of a time when travel was much different.
It was much slower, the journey was part of the adventure, and it didn't involve busy, crazy, stressful airports, with line-ups in security, invasive metal-detectors, restrictions on liquids etc.. etc... and though the luggage was more cumbersome, it was so much more fun than the black 'rollies' we use today.
I remember my father telling me stories of how much fun they had on their journey to England on the ships--perhaps this is where his love for the sea began.

{An advertisement placed by Mackinon Mackenzie & Co. in Colombo in the mid 1930's promoting its newest ships the 'Strathaird', Strathnaver' and the slightly older 'Viceroy of India'. From De Fonseka}

{You can purchase prints of P&O posters here}

I was recently in an antique shop on the Sunshine Coast when I came across some old menus from the P&O liners. I have it tucked away in storage, but  this one gives you an idea of how they did things differently back then.

{a 1938 menu from the Orwell Diaries}

Check out this cute postcard I found online:

{This was written in 1959 by David Hill}
 P&O travel is most likely where we get the word posh from. As the tale goes, 'Posh' derives from 'port out, starboard home' supposedly printed on tickets on P&O passenger vessels that travelled between the UK and India in the days of the Raj.

Another version has it that PO and SH were scrawled on the steamer trunks used on the voyages, by seamen when allocating cabins.
The port (left-hand side) berths were mostly in the shade when travelling out (easterly) and the starboard ones when coming back. So the best and most expensive berths were POSH. The belief was widespread enough in 1968 for it to have been included in the lyrics of the song 'Posh' in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang:
O the posh posh traveling life, the traveling life for me
First cabin and captain's table regal company
Pardon the dust of the upper crust - fetch us a cup of tea
Port out, starboard home, posh with a capital P-O-S-H, posh
{Chitty Chitty Bang Bang--always a favourite with the nieces & nephews. Image from Collector's Quest}
 So can we recapture that old-fashioned form of travel? Well, I don't think you'll recapture it by going on a modern-day P&O liner, which is now the flashy cruise ship trip...but perhaps we can try to relive it in other ways. Trying to enjoy the journey rather than getting from point A-B... Placing importance on the 'here & now' rather than on the 'what next'...& trying to enjoy every moment of the trip, in a more slow-paced atmosphere. Turn off that computer or that phone, detach yourself from your email and your texts, & sit out & enjoy that glass of prosecco concentrating on savouring that moment & its tastes. & why not carry this cute pink suitcase rather than the black hunky one on wheels?
{For Love, Yvette Inufio Photography}

Here is some inspiration from Yvette Inufio Photography:
{Living in the Now, Yvette Inufio Photography}

{Europe je t'adore, Yvette Inufio Photography}
{Sea of Love, Yvette Inufio Photography}

{With our Hearts, Yvette Inufio Photography}

oh & refrain--PLEASE--from wearing your sweats or your lululemons and travel in style. take it from Audrey:
{LBD--suitable choice for travel on a mottorino}
{note the LV bags--we've come full circle.}

Sunday, 19 September 2010

{love & marriage}

To YVR and back in a matter of days in the middle of term...maybe I'm crazy but it was well worth it. I attended the wedding of two dear friends--Fraser & Lissa--who are actually somehow related to me: my brother-in-law's brother and sister-in-law...but that just sounds far too complicated.

{the happy bride&groom. Photo: Julia Smith}

I remember walking down the aisle with Fraser myself--not as bride & groom, but as bridesmaid & groomsman, 13 years ago celebrating our respective sibling's wedding: my sister, Julia & Fraser's brother, Craig.

{Julia & Craig's wedding (with me & Fraser on the furthest right). Victoria, BC}

I can't remember when I first met Lissa, but I immediately loved her. Small world, but Fraser & Lissa are both pilots for WestJet & she actually flew me to Montreal when I went back for my defense. It was such a relief to see a familiar face as I got on that plane...and I consider her a close friend now.
In the summer, my sister Julia, hosted a shower for Lissa at her gorgeous home (Julia is an interior designer and everything is always *perfect* down to the small things like choice of napkins or teacups, but in a relaxed sort of way--you always feel at home in her home).
{Lissa & Julia at Lissa's Bridal Shower}
So we have had plenty of fun leading up to this wedding...and there was plenty of fun to be had during the festivities. I arrived straight off the plane and on to the Rehearsal Dinner held at Julia and Craig's house. One long long table extending through their beautiful home allowed everyone to sit down and enjoy dinner...and great conversation was had late into the night outside, by their cosy fire place and sitting area on their terrace with views of the city.
{outside at Julia & Craig's at the Rehearsal Dinner--note the cosy fireplace. Photo: Julia Smith}
I was lucky to have a few quality hours of one on one time with my niece & nephew while the rest of the family & wedding party went for photos before the wedding. We decided to make a wonderful gigantic creation called Doodle Land.

{our doodle land, with the proud designers, Sir Sabo & Princess P}
And finally...yes, the wedding was wonderful. A heartfelt event, with many tears shed...but all good tears... Our families have been interconnected through so many different avenues that I was able to see old & new friends...and even people  I had sailed with as a young lass and hadn't seen in years. It was, however, hard to say goodbye.

{Tying the knot!!!}
Congratulations Fras & Lissa and thank you for letting me be a part of celebrating your wonderful life together.  I am surrounded by four sisters in four wonderful marriages and my parents--childhood sweethearts, who, 5 daughters, millions of nautical miles, numerous houses & plenty of boats later--demonstrate that a loving marriage is possible.
I have had my fair amount of Mr. Wickhams, but I still believe a Mr. Darcy is out there.

{Miss Elizabeth Bennet & Mr. Darcy}
 It is encouraging to hear, in the words of Ms. Austen herself:
"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."
There is still hope.
Congrats Fras & Lissa, I love you both!

Monday, 6 September 2010

{antiquing in allegany county}

One of my favourite things to do is to go browsing antique shops. Lucky for me, I've recently moved to an area where there is an abundance of antique shops...and even luckier for me, they're cheap!  Not so lucky for me, I'm only on a one year contract, so I need to refrain from purchasing everything in sight, especially the lovely furniture that are truly 'one-of-a-kind' pieces.

As I'm used to either non-existent & thus highly-expensive antique shops on the West Coast, or else, lovely yet, usually not the cheapest antiques in the UK, I feel like I'm in Heaven here.
I think the pictures say it all...
First trip was Corning:

{cute shops along Corning's main street}
{I absolutely love this blue colour of this flower shop}

{architectural details on Corning's buildings}

{we stopped for lunch here--a great assortment of beers with outside seating near a lovely fountain}

{a very cute diner that I am very eager to try out--it was closed}
{Twin Tiers Antiques is a great shop: I purchased my first apron here (see below)}
 {Miss Clark would be proud of the signage}

Next stop was Angelica--already frequented it last week but couldn't get enough:
{I got some great gifts here, including a wedding present for a wedding I'm going to this next weekend (I can't disclose what I got, or else it wouldn't be a surprise for the fabulous bride & groom, Fraser & Lissa)}

{This building looks like something out of a stage-set from an old western-I particularly love the colour}
{very cool old converted garage is now a shop with plenty of great finds}

{I especially love these cool old coca cola crates}
{I love these old chairs--you could put together a really cool old dining set with a bunch of mix-matches}

Angelica also has a few places to eat--I really like the Bakery's facade, and the little sweet shoppe is something a child would dream of.

{I dream of a pantry like this}

& finally my beloved purchases:
{possibly the cutest bag for the cutest little bird brooch}
{the *perfect* tea table cloth--and doesn't that birdie brooch look absolutely divine with it?}
{I might just start a collection of the cutest aprons ever}