posts filed under the 'picking' category :
December 9th, 2011

Christmas, Christmas time is here…

Oh Happy Day! I loves me some Christmas!

Jeff and I went and found our tree on Sunday, and started our first Christmas tradition since arriving back in NS! We found the perfect u-pick/u-cut farm a few communities over, and made a day out of driving through the coastal country-side on our way there. On the way home we stopped in the beautiful town of Chester, where we had a warm dinner and great beers in Nova Scotia’s oldest rural pub, The Fo’c’sle Tavern.

jeff and vikki's tree hunttree loveManly manfo c'sleYou may recall me bragging in the past about my supurb Christmas Tree  pickin’ skills. Actually, words weren’t spoken in the past, but isn’t a photo worth a thousand words? Well, this year I’m saying it: I pick a mean Christmas Tree!

Tree 2011We’re calling it a Chew-Humphrey Hybrid. A Humphrey Tree is historically known as one that is almost as fat around as it is tall. Mr. Chew happens to come from a home where the perfect “A” shaped tree is favored. I think we found a nice middle ground. :)

Our star from trees of years past has never been my favorite thing, and seeing as I come from a family where there is much love and tradition surrounding the Christmas Tree Star, I just knew I had to create something that could stay with us for years to come that would compliment our own tradition and style. So…..

christmas starI made it myself: you like??? :) Well, I glued lights to a pre-made grape-vine star, but it is just perfect for what is going to be the best country-coastal tree you ever did see!

And isn’t it truly a Christmas home once you have your lights on the tree? There is nothing like sitting in the living room with all lights off except a glowing Christmas Tree. I’m especially thrilled that we get to show off our tree in our big picture window: you can literally see it when you come around the bend up the road, and it gives me the feeling that I am truly coming home to OUR home. *sigh*

lit treeMerry Christmas Everyone! I hope your holiday season is starting off as happily as ours is!

Stay tuned for complete tree decorating; I’m making some fun changes this year! :) xo

***oh my, just realize it’s “Christmas, Christmas time is NEAR”, not here… which in the blog post’s case is actually more appropriate!

November 30th, 2011

lookie at what i found

It’s about time this buoy-blog got a dash of its namesake with some nautical paraphernalia! Behold!

buoysOhhh sweet east coast man with a shed full of sea-side findings, won’t thou be-est my friend for all days!? Yes? Good. I’ll take that lobster trap off your hands too.

lobster trapThe beginnings of my shanty :)

July 12th, 2011

when life gives you lemons…

…well, you know how it goes.bag o lemons

Not to worry, my life isn’t full of metaphor-ical lemons right now. More like alllllmost ripe apples, full of hope, but waiting for the perfect moment to be picked to yield their full potential… whoa.

But I digress: LEMONS! I just had to grab a bag o’ lemons yesterday on my way home from work. The gals over at Lot It A Lot posted this recipe the other day (as inspired by this recipe), and I thought I’d take a crack at my own version! Not to mention my excitement to use the glass juicer I picked up during a recent trip to Creemore, ON! Here’s what I came up with:squeezed lemons

  • 3 cups of semi-frozen strawberries (I’d frozen a big batch and let them thaw enough to puree with the hand blender)
  • 1 cup of lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 7up or Sprite

In a saucepan, heat your water and sugar just enough to dissolve the sugar completely, making a simple syrup. Puree your strawberries completely, and add your lemon juice and simple syrup. Give it a taste and add either more sweet (sugar) or sour (lemon) as per your own taste. In individual glasses, pour 1/2 cup of 7up/Sprite and top with your lemon-strawberry mixture. If your berries were still semi-frozen like mine you should be cool enough, but add ice if need be. Annnnd if a little vodka or gin makes it way in there, all the power to ya. ENJOY!strawberry lemonade

If you have a look at Hollie’s recipe at LIAL you’ll notice mine is about halved: reason being that I only had 3/4 cup of sugar, so I had to work around that. I’m thinking this would be delicious with blueberries as well, so use what ya got, and lemme know how it goes! Happy Summer Everyone! xo


July 5th, 2011

in my own front yard

Well, in my landlord’s front yard, but in front of my apartment! Found these beauties beside the green bins, waiting for the trash man. Not a chance!bi-fold shutter doors

My landlord is a pack rat. Have I mentioned that? Well, he is, God bless his soul (now ain’t that the pot callin’ the kettle black!?). His pack-ratty ways have made it so that sometimes I don’t have to go very far to find my roadside (or garage or garbage bin) finds. When I peered out my front window this morning to see how blue the sky really was, these old bi-fold shutter doors were there waiting for me. And the potential headboard gods sang, “Ahhhhhh!”chippy white paint shutter

Seriously, what says country cottage home more than white, chippy-paint shutters? Nadda! I’ve been hoping to find myself a set or two to implement into a headboard. Now, I know these are just old closet doors, but with a little love, distressing, and leveling out (see how one is taller?), I know these babies will look (not-so) fresh off the farm.needs a little love

potential shutter headboardStay tuned for unveiling! I just have to decide if they’ll be for this place… or the next! :D

ps: Need a visual of what’s to come? The coastal cottage goddess herself, Layla Palmer of The Lettered Cottage did a tutorial on ’em for HGTV; check it out HERE. There is seriously NOTHING that woman can’t do!


pps: sorry Jeff. They had to come in! Trust me, I’ll reenact how I had to lay on my back like a crab, spinning them around on my feet to get them in place whist avoiding the ceiling fan… and it’ll allllll be worth it. :)

June 4th, 2011

seven stories

Ok, that title is deceiving because I really only have ONE story to share with you today, but you’ll see where I’m going.

I CAN NOT believe that Buoy Bird is almost one year old, and I haven’t shared this with you yet! This window frame-turned-mirror is one of my favorite things that I have ever created for our home, and one of the items I get the most compliments on, yet here I have been, keeping it from you. mirror window frame

You likie? I made it mysellllf :) Well, kinda. So the story goes that I was in a production of Seven Stories by Morris Panych about 3 or 4 years ago. The play is about a man (or in our case, a wo-man!) standing on the ledge of a building, contemplating his/her life and death, and through a series of opening and closing windows, he/she gets to consider the options from a number of different takes and POVs.

To get the effect of being on the side of a building, our set was built at least TWELVE FEET off the ground (yes, it was as scary as it sounds.) and there were double door windows all along the set, which we would pop out from throughout the show. The windows were these great, old, chippy-white-paint wooden beauties, and after the show closed, I begged our set designer to bestow one upon me. I was in luck: there was a spare window in the shop that he had been using to replace the set’s panes of glass with (like, for instance, when one of the actors accidentally put their hand right through the very real glass pane mid-show. Again with the scary.)

I lugged my score home, and it sat under bed, sofa, desk, etc. for months and months. Then came upon me the great idea to get some mirror into those empty frames! Luckily, I am an experienced glass cutter (stained glass university electives WHAT!?), and had all the material on hand to create my work o’ art. Armed with a couple crappy full length mirrors, my glass cutting tools, and some caulking, I whipped this baby up, hung it above the sofa, and have been enjoying all that reflective, crackly-paint goodness ever since. mirror window frame2

And ya wanna know who I get the most compliments from about this? MEN! They love it! The men who have passed through our doors mention it right away, and some even long after they leave, stating that it’s their favorite thing about our decor.

Well all I can say is me too boys, me too. :)

May 30th, 2011

the return of roadside finds monday!?

…Perhaps. I’m sorry, it’s hard to be on the computer when it’s 31 (feeling like 41) degrees out: ya know that glare ya get off your screen from the sun? Yah, it just doesn’t work.

BUT BUT BUT! Lookie at what I found tonight! Mmmm delicious Ritz tin with Fred and Ginger. Thank you recycling night! Fred and Ginger Ritz TinFred and Ginger Ritz Tin2

I keep being told to stop bringing things in, but the thought of someone else snatching this off the top of a roadside blue bin is just too much to fathom! Alllll mine. :)Fred and Ginger Ritz Tin3Be back soon, promise promise. xo

May 15th, 2011

pick-a-little, talk-a-lot

Why hello blogosphere! Stuck inside enjoying the rain this weekend? If no: I’m jealous. If yes: join the club! But I can’t complain. The tulips are in full bloom here in neighbourhood 406, and wandering around under an umbrella does have a bit of a romantic vibe. And I certainly didn’t let the soggy weather stop me from being out and about! A rummage sale, a free Sloan concert, and a cozy sit in a local pub proved perfect fare for my rainy Saturday.

So the rummage sale: oh sweet springtime Portuguese village bliss. I am so happy that we live in this neighbourhood. All the locals are clearing out their basements, and every church, Kinsmen’s hall, and backyard is turning into a weekly free-for-all, in which I drool and bargain over what, in my mind, is pure treasure.

This past week I had a long conversation with someone about my love of “picking”: roadside finds, flea markets, cast offs from 406 tenants gone by. We talked about all the latest picking shows that are popping up on tv, and shared our enthusiasm about that fact that people are actually making a career out of turning trash into treasure. When I was asked about the touchy subject of haggling, I realized I kind of have a gift for this “looking out for number one” trade. With a little bit of head-strong, and a whole bunch of charm, you too can attend your local rummage sale and never once have to break a bill! Case in point:candelabra

Real brass candelabra. Asking price: $7. All mine for $4 (though I had to wait until the poor man’s stern wife turned her back…)

milk glass bowl

Milk glass bowl. Asking price: $2.stein

And funky (Greek, Ukrainian, or Russian?) beer stein. Asking price: $1.

How about both for a buck?bowl and stein


Silver platter (which needs a bit of love, I argued!). Asking price: $2. Got ’em down to $1.silver platter

Three lovely plates, each $0.25! I happily handed over the $0.75, no questions asked.three plates

And a sweet coin purse (which I now had no coins to fill it with). Asking price: $2. He let it go for $1.coin purse

And that is how I spent $7.75, saved $7, and came home with priceless finds! The fact that I got most of the items for $1 made me think of the dollar store, and I sure won’t find any milk glass or real silver at any dollar store! The character of these pieces is what makes me love them so, and knowing that they won’t end up in a landfill any time soon made both the buyer and the sellers smile.

Let me know about any special treasure you might be finding now as the days turn warmer. Keep your eyes peeled; you’d be surprised what you may stumble upon!