Tiddley-Bits tea

Tiddley-Bits tea

Thursday, 28 April 2011

{easter in toronto/spring is finally here!}

Last weekend I spent one lovely Easter with my sister & her family in Toronto. The weather was still on the chilly side but we managed to go for a picnic on the beach, I took my niece to the park one day, we attended the beaches Easter parade, we walked along Gerrard St, and we enjoyed eastery things inside as well.
{my niece's boots at the park. they are just so fantastic-I want a pair!}

{cool signage at the Drake General Store in Toronto}

I really like the store's cool trinkets, such as these animal corks: 
{photo via Drake General Store }
{bright colours on Gerrard Street}

{cool old TTC trains at the Beaches Easter Parade}

{camped out to watch the Easter Parade}

It is finally feeling like spring here in Alfred. The temperature is warmer although we've been having crazy thunderstorms and high winds. I just saw these gorgeous images from pinterest via decor8 and thought they were so perfect for spring. love love love:

Monday, 18 April 2011


{via delish}
Easter was always a big holiday in our family. This year I'm heading to Toronto for Easter, to spend it with my sister and her family. The majority of Easters in recent years have been spent  at my 'home away from home' in the UK at my second cousins, Charley & Liz.
{lovely Easter signage on 'my room'}

They have a great many traditions. My favourite things about Easter in the UK are the lovely country spring walks and the amazing locations you can visit on a long weekend (& Charley, "Choo" as I call him, is a master in devising great long weekend plans).
To begin Easter, Charley always puts together a lovely Easter scene. We begin by collecting moss in some abandoned woodland.
{me in an English spring woodland}

{choo collecting moss}

{Choo & his Easter scene}
Some of the highlights of past Easter travels include visits to Ely and Arundel Castle. Ely is a lovely town, where you can see the spires of the cathedral miles away. The cathedral is a beautiful building to wander through and the acoustics are extraordinary for an Easter service, while Ely's town offers a great tea room for cream tea.
{Ely Cathedral, exterior and interior(below)}

{a trip to Arundel Castle}

The other thing I love about Easters at Charley & Liz's are the fancy dress balls/dinner parties. I made masks one year for us all to wear and I even put our ancestor's fox stole around my neck.
{me & choo getting goofy with cigars & masks (check out the fox around my neck!)}

My cousin Liz has a lovely tradition of gathering twigs together, assembling them as a centrepiece and decorating them with Easter decorations.
This is the only picture I could find of Liz's Easter twigs:

Here's one very similar from delish
I like this idea from not on the high street:

Easter Chicks in twigs
These Easter-inspired birdie motifs are darling from birdie 1 on Etsy:
As Seen in PEOPLE MAGAZINE 24  Lovely Faux Speckled  Quail Eggs Vase Filler
24 Faux Robins Eggs, Easter Spring Decor
Vintage Fenton Yellow Satin Glass Footed Compote

Although I love the pastels of Easter, these white decorated eggs from pickles are gorgeous:

As kids we'd always make Ukrainian Easter eggs--we aren't Ukrainian but my Granny introduced us to the craft (I think one year when she was trying to alleviate my mother of 5 girls on spring break!). they are an absolutely gorgeous craft:
{image from Rainbow Fabrics}
If you're in London, don't miss the Liberty Easter Egg Hunt. You can win some yummy Prestat choccies, which by the way come in lovely wrappings:
Have a happy happy Easter!!

Thursday, 14 April 2011


I love fleas--no I'm not talking about those pesky insects that bite your ankles and who take residence on your beloved Fluffy or Whiskers--I'm talking about flea markets. With warmer temps & brighter skies, markets of all kinds become that more enjoyable. ELLE decor's Flea Market Shopping Tips just arrived in my inbox this morning, and it got me thinking about open air markets.
This past November I went to the Brooklyn Flea for the first time, which was great. I blogged about it here, and my sis, Julia, also has some great pics of it here.

I know it's awfully touristy, but I still love Portobello Market in London. I lived a short ways away when I lived in London, and would often walk through, getting enjoyment just looking at all the different types of objects sold there. Here are some pics from a trip in 2009.

I'll be back in the UK for most of July and I'm looking forward to the various markets across London. 
One thing I loved about living in Italy was open air markets--sometimes antique markets that often came only on Sundays, special markets for feste or feast days, or (especially in Naples) the use of the street as a market on any day.
{special market in Modena in the piazza grande for the festa di San Geminiano (patron saint)}

{flowers & prints being sold just around the corner from where I lived in the centro storico, Naples}

Saturday, 9 April 2011

{anthropologie inspirations}

I am loving these shots from anthropologie-a combination of great colours, in peeling paint and clothes alike. They're inspirations for the wardrobe & the house:
{take 1}

{iron bed & colourful prints from the city sage}

{take 2}

{a green sun brolly, from tinydeal}
{pretty dresses in pinks & polka-dots via Catwalk Queen}
Pink and Silver Designer Telephone
{pretty pink telephone from geekalerts}

{take 3}
 Get the look with these lovely paint colours:
{via making it lovely}
{vintage make-up cases from GRSG on Etsy}

Friday, 8 April 2011

{Happy Birthday dear Sis}

{Julia & my Mum (Ju looks like her daughter Paulina here)}
Today is my sister, Julia Smith's 40th birthday! I normally wouldn't declare her age, but she has just written an excellent blog on being 40 (& fabulous I might add). We are the bread in the sandwich of 5 girls. Ok, weird metaphor, but she is the eldest & I am the youngest of five girls. Perhaps a better metaphor would be book ends.

{available on Etsy}

{the clark girls in the 80s}

{sailing into Brisbane aboard Pacific Swift for Expo 1988 as ambassadors for Canada}

{Clark girls in the '90s}

{my family aboard Pacific Swift}
 Kind, heartfelt, funny, beautiful, smart, & loving, are only a few words to describe my eldest sis. One thing I love most about Julia is her openness. She is always happy to invite anyone & everyone into her home. She is kind to all creatures, great & small, and she has a personality that makes you want to smile when you are with her. As she is 10 years older than me, we have been, at times, at very different stages in life, but I would say that we grew incredibly close in the last 10 years and we have shared so many wonderful moments together (& not-so-wonderful moments--the trials & tribulations of life). I can't express how fortunate I am to have had her as a companion during all of life's ups & downs, and I'm even happier knowing that she will be with me through whatever life throws my way.
In our family, the thing we like most to do as sisters is to sit around drinking tea, (or vino) and solve all of life's problems. Unfortunately I am in NY state, Ju is in Vancouver, and the rest of my sisters are littered across the world in Mexico, Ecuador, and Toronto. If I could, I'd get all the sisters together & we could chat over chai & celebrate you, with a delectable spread like this one:
1950s style dining room
love you to bits Ju & so proud of who you are--a wonderful mummy, wife, daughter, sister, and friend...and interior designer extraordinaire!
{me & ju last spring before an exclusive SATCII party}