Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Weekend Adventures

On the weekend, we literally went in opposite directions: on Saturday afternoon, it was into the country for the Aberfoyle Classic Antique Show and on Sunday afternoon, it was into the city for Toronto's big book fair called Word on the Street.

Aberfoyle is an open air antique market, just north west of Toronto, which runs from late spring until mid-fall. For the twice a year "Classic" antique show, extra dealers add their temporary booths to Aberfoyle's permanent collection of ramshackle stalls that sprawl over several acres of countryside. 

It was a glorious, sunny Saturday and people were out treasure hunting in droves.

I snuck this picture. Isn't this the perfect little outfit to wear antiquing? Perfect right down to the hairstyle and the bright red lipstick! She looks like she just stepped off a train in the 1940's. 

I had been looking forward to the antique show all week, but when I got there I find myself unwilling to concentrate on scanning tables crammed packed with all manner of things, looking for that gem amongst the lumps of coal.

Odd curiosities kept grabbing my attention instead: an ugly hatrack, an Olive Oil ashtray (Popeye the Sailor Man) and a basket filled with 4x5's of soft porn from the 1950's. The women in the pictures would be old women by now. Would they be proud of their youthful, full-figured beauty or horrified that those 4x5 pictures still exist?

Not everything was odd or quirky.

I have always thought that inexpensive buttons would make a great filler for one 
of those oversized decorative glass jars.

I know Shabby Chic has been all the rage for years now, but I have to say that, for me, there is a thin line between chic and just plain shabby. I ask you, is this chic or just shabby?

The cabinet had a great crackled paint surface though. I photographed it and stepped the pattern to create a texture to use on top of photographs. 

I have used this crackle texture with shameless abandon on all the photos in this post.

Anyway...I am rambling. So what did I buy, you might wonder? 

I broke my own self-imposed rule of only purchasing antiques with a practical purpose, when I bought this scale. (It may well have a practical purpose, but it is unlikely I will ever use it to weigh anything.)

And I bought a couple of mason jars to use as flower vases.

This basket has nothing to do with the antique show, but is rather a recent purchase. (I figured I might as well shoot it along with the other new acquisitions.) The set of three baskets is made of seagrass, which has a fresh, clean fragrance. ($6.99 at Ikea.)

I will close with a few brief highlights from Sunday afternoon's adventure: the Word on the Street. It was another beautiful fall afternoon, perfect weather for brousing through the publisher's book stalls set up in Toronto's downtown core. There were readings, books signings, cooking demonstrations and interviews with authors to enjoy.

One of the best parts of the afternoon was listening to Jian Ghomeshi's interview with Chef Michael Smith whose cooking shows you may have watched on the Food Network. Chef Michael was at the fair signing copies of his latest cookbook and promoting his new fall television series picturesquely set in his home province of Prince Edward Island.

We also got to hear a talk by Canadian blogger extraordinaire Neil Pasricha, whose blog 1000 Awesome Things has spawned two bestselling books: The Book of Awesome and The Book of Even More Awesome

Fellow Canadians may want to take note that there is a new Canadian gardening magazine available on news stands. I picked up a copy at the book fair and am thinking of buying a subscription. This issue includes articles by well known writers such as Liz Primeau, Judith Adams, author/blogger Niki Jabbour and author/blogger Gayla Trail.

Friday, September 23, 2011

To Market to Buy Some Fresh Flowers

Saturday morning is my favourite time of the week. We sleep in, have a leisurely breakfast and then head out to the local farmer's market, hot coffee in hand. With any luck, market day is warm and sunny, but not to hot.

I love everything about going to the farmer's market: the bustle of people, the piles of fresh picked fruits and vegetables, and the farm stands of late summer flowers. Everyone, it seems to me, is in a festive mood. It is a family time, with small children in strollers and the family pet on a leash. In the air there is the smell of chicken kabobs sizzling on an open grill, and fresh baked pies and pastries.

There are bargains to be found.

And free samples to try.

Even the shopping carts are much more creative than the ones you find at the grocery store.

It is not just the immediate sensory delights of market day that I enjoy. It is knowing the pleasure my purchases will provide throughout the coming week: the fresh herbs that will flavour our food, the green beans I will steam and the drizzle with butter, the ripe peaches that will make a delicious dessert and the bouquet of flowers that will grace the table. 

Is it any wonder that it is my favourite day when the most stressful part of the morning is deciding which flowers to choose?

Did you notice the interesting, phonetic spelling of the word 'bouquets'?

Did you ever play with snapdragon flowers when you were a kid?

Of all the flowers, it is the dahlias that wow me every time.

It is hard to choose just one bunch to bring home. Maybe I'll pick the pinks and purples this week.

Today, I will link to Fertilizer Friday at Tootsie Time. To see other great garden's please click the Tootsie Time link.

On Monday, I will link to Lisa Gordon's Creative Exchange. To see some beautiful photography, please click the Creative Exchange link. On Tuesday, I will link to Sweet Shot Tuesday at the blog My3boybarians.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sunshine Flowers

Wednesday's word, as suggested by Donna at Garden Walk, Garden Talk, is 'Illumination'. 

These beauties are from the local farmer's market. Sunflowers are the sun's rays personified aren't they? 

 Let the sun shine on in! 

To see other wonderful posts inspired by the word 'Illumination'please click the link: Garden Walk, Garden Talk. I am also entering the Gardening Gone Wild Photo Contest with these pictures.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Lazy Summer Afternoon at Edwards Garden

Stokes Aster, Stokesia laevis 'Color Wheel'

Caryopteris or Blue Mist Shrub




Verbena bonariensis 'Lollipop'

 Japanese Anemone

Today, I am linking to Lisa Gordon's Creative Exchange. To see tother beautiful photography, please click the link: The Creative Exchange