Thursday, April 29, 2010

What's Your Garden Style?

Mine is a little controlled chaos, I think. We have a small back yard that is in plain view of our living area. It has undergone 4 complete transformations over the 10 years we've lived here. My poor husband. It's hard shooting beautiful gardens all the time, let's just say.

I'm trying to work out plants for our back yard. We want to have an edible garden and a little more privacy. Thought I'd take a look at a few small, urban gardens I've shot for some inspiration. Would love to hear what your garden style is. Any of these gardens fit the bill? I like bits of all of them.

This garden was shot for Garden Design. I love all the privacy, and the lushness of plants. Designed by Kari Renaud.

 You really could make use of this garden for a good portion of the year. Shot for Style At Home, designed by Ron Rule. Heather Cameron propped and primped.

A Japanese inspired garden. The magnolia was so pretty, along with all the Japanese maples and mosses. Shot for Gardening Life, designed by Donna Chomichuk.

Perfect garden for entertaining and the homeowners, Mark and Daryl, do a lot of that! Again, this garden has heaps of privacy and lots of lush plantings. Love the succulents. Shot for Canadian Gardening, designed by the homeowners. 

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on gardens!

On a final note, a huge thank you to Sarah at Flourish Design + Style for the little Q & A she did with me. I'm usually more comfortable being "behind the scenes", but Sarah made it all so easy and fun. Her blog is beautiful - check it out!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Baked on Monday

Hello Monday! Can't believe it's already been a week since I posted my very first "Baked On Monday". Hope you all had a great weekend.

It was Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand this past weekend, so in honour of that I've made Anzac biscuits for my Australian husband (Ok. They're for me. He doesn't care for biscuits that much.). As I baked, Robert watched Gallipoli (great old film with Mel Gibson, when he was still beautiful).

Anzac Biscuits

120g of unsalted butter
2 tbsp golden syrup
2 tbsp boiling water
1 tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
1 cup flour sifted
1 cup brown sugar (I had to use dark brown sugar for these, as my golden brown sugar was in a 'petrified' state)
1 cup rolled oats

Preheat oven to 180c/350f.
Melt butter in a saucepan, then add syrup. Mix baking soda in the 2 tablespoons boiling water and add to syrup mixture. In a mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and mix well.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place teaspoons of batter on tray and flatten with a fork.
Bake for 13-15 minutes, checking for colour. Biscuits are ready when lightly golden. You want the biscuits to be a little more chewy rather than crunchy. Mmmm. Perfect with tea.
Makes about 24 biscuits.

I think I know what I'm going to make for my next "Baked On Monday". Do you like orange?

Friday, April 23, 2010

The art of collecting

The other day I was asked if I had ever photographed a homeowner that collected a variety of things and, if so, how were they displayed. I have shot a number of "collectors", but Patty Redford was one the best in terms of displaying her treasures. Thought I'd share Patty's collections with you.

This story was originally shot for Canadian Home and Country magazine, and her kitchen nook ended up on the cover. Sadly, the magazine is no longer published.

 McCoy pottery

Grindley and McCoy pottery

Vintage globes. Love these!

More McCoy in pretty turquoise, in a relaxing reading nook.

Vintage tin trucks.

Custom shelf built to showcase tin cars and trucks.

Patty also collects children's readers and vintage mirrors.

A vintage tin milk truck in her minimal white kitchen. Take note of the glass pitchers over the window.

What do you collect? Hate clutter? I'd love to know!

Happy Friday everyone! Have a lovely weekend. See you on Monday with a new addition to my "Baked On Monday"!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I love games

I've been tagged by the lovely Sarah of Flourish Design + Style. Thanks Sarah! This is an easy game. All you have to do is post the 6th picture you ever posted. Done. Here she is. The Europe Hotel in the Gastown area of Vancouver. I love an easy game.

If you'd like to take part, I'm tagging:

Felix Wears Frames
Little Blue Deer
something white
small acorns
Hope you can all play along!

Thought I'd add a new pic to the post. Dogwoods are in bloom all over the city. It's our Provincial flower. I love it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Baked on Monday

I hope you all had a lovely weekend. I'm starting a new thing today. Each Monday I'm going to post a recipe of a baked treat. I bake a few times a week, and eat most of it myself while sitting at the computer. It's got to slow down. Now, I'm going to bake on Mondays and spread out the cookies, cake, scones throughout the week.....and I may share some too. I find cookies, cupcakes, etc., pretty photogenic as well. Maybe that's what attracts me to baking. Hmm.

Lemon Cakes - makes 12

125g (1/2 cup) butter

1 cup extra fine sugar (we call it berry sugar here in Canada)
plus 1/4 cup extra (for lemon syrup)

2 eggs

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup milk

1/4 almond meal (finely ground almonds)

Grated rind and juice of 1 large lemon

Preheat oven to 350F (about 180C). In a bowl cream butter well. Add 1 cup sugar and beat again.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg. Add sifted flour and salt. Add almond meal, lemon rind and milk and mix together.

Grease a 12 hole cupcake tin and spoon an even amount of batter in each hole. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer, inserted into cakes, comes out clean.

Combine lemon juice and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a sauce pan and heat until sugar dissolves. Pour syrup over cakes while cakes are hot. When cool, dust with icing sugar.

Try to wait until they cool down a bit before eating otherwise, ouch. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I've had a week filled with photoshop, which is good as it means I'm working. Having said that, on major computer days, I often don't leave the house. Last night I decided to go to Kits Beach, which is only about 4 kms from our house, and meet up with my sister-in-law and nieces. It's so beautiful down there! Why don't I go more often?

These boats have been washed up on shore since the Easter weekend wind storm. They look kind of chaotic, but calming at the same time. My poor bleeding eyes thoroughly enjoyed them.

What do you do after a long, sunny, work day? I just may go to the beach again.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Mystery solved. Last Friday, during my family Easter brunch, my friend Sarah secretly dropped off a bunch of beautiful flowers for us. She was on her way out-of-town with Arvi, and decided to just give us some flowers. So incredibly sweet, but that's Sarah. My niece, the bunny , thought they must have come from my secret admirer. Ahh, to be 6 years old again.

Naturally, I had to photograph them a bazillion times, right up until they were pretty much finished. I thought they still looked beautiful even with shriveled petals.

Do you have a friend like Sarah? Someone that just does incredibly nice things all the time? I'd love to hear about them ;)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Good day, Sunshine

It was a pretty dreary day, here in Vancouver, until I was given the Sunshine Award from the Pink Panthress . Thank you Pink Panthress! Bloggers are just all shades of sweet.

I thought I'd post some random sunshiny pics to celebrate. Bring on the the sun!

Ok, so this isn't a "sunshiny" shot but I love the chair, and it will soon be sitting in the sun in our back yard. This fantastic deck chair is by Gallant & Jones . Thanks Tamra and Gwyn!

I would like to pass on this award to a few other bloggers that are all very different from each other and are just doing their own thing. So I pass the Sunshine Award on to:
Head Over Heels 
Now you should pass this award on to a few bloggers of your choice, and don't forget to give them the heads up!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Too Windy for A Bunny

Going for a neighbourhood walk with a little rain and a strong wind proved to be a little much for my niece, the bunny. I hope you all have a fabulous long weekend, and a happy Easter (if that's your 'thing'!)