Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Charming Itlay

After a long week working in Italy, I am back into the crazy schedule and happy to see the family.
I had my camera in my coat pocket as I was walking from one meeting to the other. Italy is so beautiful that you are astonish and amaze buy the scenery and people everywhere you go.

Only in Rome you can walk by a very young and quite charming priest that is smoking while talking on his cell phone.


And here is the street corner where he was...

Florence is magic... I stopped quickly in my favourite shop to buy Florentine marble paper, and the shop owner was so nice that he took the time to show me how they made this beautiful paper.
Here is a link to buy marble paper.

Marble paper is marvellous and today it is only made in Florence, here is an article about it in the New York Times

March is great in Italy flowers are blooming and you can really feel spring.









































What was sad about this trip is I had no time to see anything, and since I traveled a lot by train I saw Tuscany fly in front of my eyes at 325 km/h...


I am planning a long weekend away in the country, time to sew, visit my favourite antique shop and walk in the forest. More about all this soon.

Mona

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Postcard • Bologna



I am exhausted from working... This is such a beautiful city.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010

Top 3 of the week {Inspiration and curiosity}

Here are my best read of the week on the web.

From Home & Harmony

This blog is great, Rie post all the step of her home remodeling. With before and after pictures every read of this blog give you a boost of inspiration to turn your house around. This kitchen island revamped is very remarkable.
Read it


From Heather Bullard

The best chicken coop ever. I don’t think I could add ‘feed the chicken’ to my list of everyday to do’s. However I am impressed by the design of this small barn to raise chicken. And one day I wish I could venture into raising chicken in my backyard too.
Read it
 

From Pioneer Woman

I find myself returning often to this site, especially because it is a great read. The pioneer women confessions post are so entertaining and her photographs are amazing.
Read it

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Postcard • Spring is here early



 The sun is out here and weather is abnormally high, joy ! Here is a sunny picture.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sugar time • great dessert and the art of Maple Syrup

Maple Syrup season has begun here in Quebec and the sugar shacks (cabanes à sucre) will begin collecting sap flow and creating this divine Syrup. We visited the "sugar shack" of my uncle last weekend. 




The weather was fantastic, and maple trees were producing lots of sap flow.

I love maple syrup and I usually buy it by the case. It is best drizzled over pancakes, waffles, ice cream and fruit. And I use it in many recipes.

Here is a great article on Maple Syrup with nice recipes -
She Knows




My dog loved it...





Here are is my favourite recipes ( Pouding-chômeur)
Source from a French cook –
A la Distasio



'Pouding - Chomeur'

Ingredients





  • 18 oz Maple Syrup
  • 18 oz Heavy Cream (35 %)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cup of flour
  • 2 teaspoon Baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup of milk





    Preparations
    Preheat oven to 200 ° C (400 ° F).

    In a large heavy saucepan, bring to boil maple syrup and cream monitoring to avoid overflow. Let it 3 to 4 minutes then remove from heat.

    Using a mixer, beat butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat about 2 minutes. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Stir dry ingredients to egg mixture alternately with milk.

    Pour the mixture into a rectangular mould of 32 X 23 cm (13 X 9 inches). Cover the preparation of maple syrup and bake for 30 minutes.

    Enjoy !
    Mona


    Thursday, March 11, 2010

    Amazing pictures from Pixdaus

    Funny Socks
    Owned


    Where the spring is
    Follow mommy !

     I Love this site, perfect when you want to relax and look at amazing photo - Pixdaus

    Wednesday, March 10, 2010

    Postcard • Rome



    This week is very busy, I am planning a business trip to Italy and leaving in 9 days.  Rome is my favorite city, sadly this year I will be visiting Rome for only 5 hours... So here is a picture from my last visit.

    Tuesday, March 9, 2010

    How about a game of tic tac toe

    When I was tackling the idea of creating a quilt, I tried several little project to get an idea of it. One was a game for my boys.

    Although they are teenage now, we still try a game of tic tac toe on piece a paper from time to time. So here my take of a 'quilt' version of this game.

































    I sew 5 pieces of 'X' and 5 pieces of '0'.



    I used left over fabric from Amy Butler beautiful line Daisy Chain.


















    And the board was done with natural cotton and small strip of scrap of Amy Butler - Midwest Modern.

    This is not perfect at all, but it is great small project.
    For an interesting read about this very basic game - tic tac toe

    Monday, March 8, 2010

    Project Quilt {french general} - part 2

    Ok a week off from work is great to get ahead with projects. I did not expect to go this far with my quilt project. But I have finished the 36 blocks planed to do this enormous project. 
     So I was very happy to set all the block down and see how it would look like.
    The problem was to put these things together.... Well some are smaller than others....



    I have managed to sew the 2 first row before the end of my vacation, but it seems that there are some spots where fabric bubble a bit. I can't wait to move ahead and see if everything will fit. I hope after all this work.

    Any hit on how to gather pieces that do not have the same exact size ?


     

    Saturday, March 6, 2010

    How to relax

    I am back from a perfect week off at our country home. Kids were off from school and I needed time away from the office. I was lucky to be able to get away for a while. I have a very demanding and rewarding job; sometime I need to get away so I can go back to it rested. My two boys and my husband are very active and we need to craft holidays around relax time and activity time.
    With no internet and almost no phone calls, our country home offers the best relaxing time. It is set in the middle of a ski region so we tackle the slope almost everyday.





























    I enjoy driving to our home.



    Nice friends along the way.



    Every morning I watched birds feed.



    And every nights we enjoyed a nice fire.



    Skiing was perfect with sun and very warm weather.

    I have done lots of sewing and I will be back with the state of my Quilt project soon.

    So here was my week.
    Mona

    Friday, February 26, 2010

    Postcard • Paris

    What about a rustic look ? {decor - how to}


    I find these wood wall very interesting. Great for the country home.
    Here is a creation by Bleu Nature located near Lille, in Northern France. They have a very nice collection of furnitures and lightings. With material like driftwood, pebbles, lacquered wood,  and petrified wood, Blue Nature creates unique design.




    If a wood wall fits your decor, there is several tutorial on the web to create them and here is interesting links;

    Martha Stewart 
    Birch poles sliced into disks and glued to plywood panels to create a graphic wall mosaic.
    Easy and simple, could be a nice weekend project.

    City line - Recycled tree art project


    Monday, February 22, 2010

    Unique furniture

    I visited this shop last summer and I was so impressed by the style of the furniture they sell. The creators of the Artemano boutique, Shimon Finkelstein and Eyal Shoam propose a vision of interior design to soothe and nurture the spirit with genuine harmony.
    Furniture made of recycled teak wood or lovely rosewood can fit any design, from contemporary to exotic. 


    I bought 2 chairs last summer and as I am planning the redecorate this year, I will visit the shop again soon. Well I need to budget first, otherwise I could very well spend the entire decorating budget there.



    Saturday, February 20, 2010

    Postcard • Beach - Turks and Caicos

    Who else miss summer today ?


























    Memories from Turks and Caicos
    Mona

    Thursday, February 18, 2010

    Project Quilt {french general} - part 1

    Ok, I have a day job, and quite a full life.
    But when spare time comes around, or when I organize my schedule for spare time, I love to try new stuff. I always have several projects started.
    At present I have decided to learn how to quilt. So I tried small projects to get the idea of it, and I attended two very basic courses. Now I feel ready for a big project so I am trying to create a bed cover for a very large bed in our country home. My first quilt will be a traditional Log cabin pattern and hope it will work.

    I have bought the fabric from the Rouennerie collection at French General.
    My block pattern come from a very helpful site the Quilter caches - Log Cabin.

    And I started to put together blocks a month ago.

    Very slowly.

    After experimenting with various combinations here are the first pictures.

    Now I have 16 blocks done and 20 to go.
    I will keep you inform as move along.

    Mona

    Wednesday, February 17, 2010

    Unique furniture {vintage}

    I found about Mosaicwares in a design magazine. The collection offers furniture, accessories and even jewel box made of pieces of vintage china and tiles. The mix of textures and colours is wonderful and dramatic. Mosaicwares was founded by two sister with real style.  I can easily see one of their creation in my home.

    Visit Mosaicwares
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