Monday, April 30, 2012

Oh my bleeding heart.

One of my favourite spring flowers.  It makes a rainy day look beautiful. This one greets us as we walk up to the front door.

Can it really be May tomorrow?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Happy 4th Etsy Anniversary!

It was four years ago today when I opened my Etsy shop nancywallisdesigns! Where does the time go?  Over 1100 sales later and my jewelry designs are now all over Canada and the US.  They're worn in England and Australia, Italy, Japan, Norway, Poland and many other locations.  I've met so many  wonderful people through this endeavour.

I want to thank all of my family, friends and customers for your support through the years.  Your encouragement, lovely comments and feedback have warmed my heart and inspired me to create. 

Today I want to celebrate and thank you all with a 20% off everything sale.
Use the coupon code: HAPPY4TH in checkout and automatically receive 20% off  your purchase (not including shipping).

Thank you and Happy Shopping!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Flutter by my garden.

Last week I noticed a few butterflies in our garden.  They were brown and orange and they were pretty to look at.  Soon I realized that there were many - I could probably count at least 20 - although it was hard to get an accurate count as they flit and fly around.

On Wednesday, I read in the paper that eastern Canada is in the midst of what's believed to be the biggest springtime butterfly migration in history.  Apparently 90% of them are Red Admirals - which is definitely what I was seeing although I didn't know it at the time.

As you can imagine it's difficult to actually get a picture of one of these lovelies.  Just when you get close enough your dog runs up and scares them away or even just a slight breeze will do it.  I finally captured these photos on Friday.

Perfect symmetry.

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Spring Celebration

There are dark skies here this morning.  Looks like rain will be headed our way.  Our plum tree with its blossoms of white looks especially beautiful against the dark background.  It's a sad kind of tree with it's gnarled branches and our makeshift support system trying to hold it up.  Each year we think it might be its last but surprisingly each spring it returns to life and we exhale a sigh of relief.  It lost its mate a couple of years ago and there still is a gap in the yard because of it.

I took this picture of it this morning but it really didn't capture what I was seeing. Beautiful tiny white blossoms against a blue gray sky.

So I took this one closer up. You can see the cluster of blossoms. So Pretty!

A little closer and you notice the slender yellow stamens.  

Little bursts of yellow surrounding the white blooms.

Upon closer inspection it's revealed that the stamen stems are white and it's only the tips that are yellow.

It's like a natural display of fireworks.  The tree is celebrating another spring.

In the last year I have made a conscious effort to pay more attention to the details.  Not the kind that I relentlessly try to organize on my lists. Those types of details actually require less of my attention.  No, I mean the kind of details that I can so easily pass. The little things. Details of nature. Flowers, birds, leaves on a tree, rocks, shells or a fallen branch.  Sometimes I have to remind myself to do this.  It's easy for me to get distracted with other things.  As I get outside with my new camera it has opened up an undiscovered world - even in my own backyard. Learning to use all the settings and buttons has made me stop and look and stop and look even more.

 No dance competitions or major driving for us this weekend.  This is good as I have been nursing a bout of sciatica in the last week and a half.  I was feeling pretty good by Wednesday until I started to do some  housework.  Why did I feel it was necessary that day to clean the leather sofa in the family room?  Oh well, I have learned that I just need to take care of it, rest it, ice it, gently walk and stretch it.  It's feeling pretty good today so I'm optimistic I'm headed in the right direction.

Have a good weekend friends!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Look of Summer

Some beautiful summer-at-the-beach inspired jewelry. New in my shop today.

Boho chic necklace with artisan made lampwork glass beads. I call this one Stormy Seas.

 Fabulous vintage hoops in Emerald Green.

Deep Aqua Glass Beaded Bracelet. Great for layering with other bracelets too!

Add a little summer colour to your life!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Dog Days of Spring??!!

You've probably been wondering where I've been the last week or so. The truth is we didn't make a cake last week so I didn't have anything to post!! I'm sure we can rectify that situation fairly quickly!

Yesterday was a strange day for weather.  By mid morning it was almost 20°C and a few hours later it was 24°C with a humidex close to 30°C.  Wow! (Today at the same time it is only 10°C) Big fluctuations in temperatures lately. Definitely keeping us on our toes for choosing clothes in the morning.

 I didn't realize how warm it was until I noticed my shag area rug rolling around on the grass...oh wait, that's Mabel.  She loves lying out in the hot 'summer' sun.

...I can assure our groomer that a phonecall in the near future is necessary!

I was inspired by my niece ChloĆ© and her recent garden pictures and I took a few myself.

I have a lovely rogue patch of purple pansies growing in my grass this year.  Such a pretty sight.

I'll have to get some tips from ChloĆ© when I see her next.  Although I use my camera everyday for product shots I still haven't had much time to play with it for other things.  Learning everytime I use it which is half the fun!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Birthday Sydney! Happy Easter!

Another post about a cake.  You would think based on my latest posts that we live on cake.  Well, sort of lately.  We try to throw in the odd vegetable now and then but we have hit the season of birthdays in our family.  We do however leave one, oh so special one for the end of the year! :)

Today is Sydney's birthday!  Wow! How did 15 years go by?!!  We knew we had a challenge for Sydney's cake as she has made some pretty impressive cakes lately for others and felt we had to put the same amount of effort in for hers.  The word around the house was that we don't make chocolate cake enough.  In fact, I don't remember the last time I did bake a chocolate cake.  So off to hunt for a chocolate cake recipe.

I found this amazing Cookies and Cream Cake recipe on one of my favourite Blogs Annie's Eats - I visit this blog regularly - beautiful photos and the recipes sound so good - very inspiring.  It was time to actually make one of these tasty creations. In fact, I had just made one of Annie's recipes Strawberry Cupcakes with Swiss Meringue Butter Cream for Sydney and her friends a few days ago.  These are probably the best cupcakes I have ever made the icing is so smooth and just lightly sweet - it really tastes like creamy, strawberry ice cream.  I'm only sorry that a photo was not taken before they were eaten!

Erica and I made Sydney's cake.  It has chocolate cake layers with  whipped cream filling and chopped oreo cookie bits in the middle.  A smooth chocolate frosting with more whipped cookies on the top.  Of course we had to top it off with more oreos...because..who doesn't like oreos?  I have a funny story about oreo cookies.  When I was young my mom rarely would buy such a cookie (and funny enough as a mom myself neither do I!) but I really wanted some....I was pretty good at duplicating my mom's writing so I added oreos to her weekly grocery list.  When my mom got to the store she couldn't think of why she needed oreos but she had written it on the list so she thought she better buy them....ah, that was a good week!

Happy Birthday Sydney!
and Happy Easter!