Books and Libraries

You know how sometimes you glance across a room and the sun is slanting in a window in a way that makes the objects glow? Or possibly you just notice the dust accumulating on the floor..

I grabbed my camera not long ago because I knew I was moving and these books would no longer be on this shelf in this house…you know it was a bit of a sad moment, but also they looked beautiful.

I truly love books. Not only have thy afforded me hours of pleasure reading but I also just like looking at them. I can be struck to silence in a great library, I am drawn across a room towards a shelf of books, I am giddy with delight when I see the sign Book Sale Today.

No wonder then that many of our holiday photos are of books and libraries.

We were in Ottawa last summer and spent a wonderful afternoon at the Laurier House. It is the historic home of two of Canada’s most renowned Prime Ministers and political personalities. Canadian Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier made it his home in 1897; after Laurier’s death, Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King moved in and stayed until 1948, when he bequeathed it to the government and people of Canada.

We had tea and watched a short skit with actors in period dress on the porch and a great tour of the house.

Of course I loved the library best.

Another day in Ottawa we toured the parliament buildings,

And again my favourite part is the library of parliament, once save from a devastating fire by its heavy door. You can’t take pictures inside the library, but even the outside is impressive.

I love that it is round.

Later in our journeys we were in the Thousand Islands and visited Singer Castle.

Singer Castle

I hope to find or make one of these one day!

Soon I will have pictures of my library shelves at Hedgehog Hill. What back-breaking work, moving books! But the joy of seeing them all lined up on the shelves is all the reward I need.

Happy Valentines Day from Hedgehog Hill

We had some blustery days this past weekend. A nice day to be inside with a cup of tea, a pastry, a few strawberries, and a loved one to cuddle with.

I love my polka dots! The mugs remind me of some expensive ones I have seen, but they are from the dollar store! Come to think of it so is the tray you can see in the background and the napkins… I find lots of polka-dotty goodness at the Dollar store.

Isn’t it amazing to have strawberries at this time of year? Yes I know they have a lot of miles on them, but as a treat I think they are OK once in a while.

Remember to say I love you to the mirror! Be good to yourself and buy yourself a little treat. It doesn’t need to be much, a good bar of chocolate, a single flower or a potted plant, a magazine you would normally think was too expensive, or some yummy bath salts. Then make a nice cup of tea and spend a half and hour enjoying your treat. You deserve it!

testing cake, well someone had to do it…

I have mentioned my addiction to Pinterest before…

I don’t usually look at the food pins, not that I don’t love food and cooking, but looking at those pictures makes me hungry for stuff I either don’t have or shouldn’t eat.

Mr Murfin will tell you that I am highly suggestible when it comes to food. Some TV commercial are hard to resist and I have to be carefull when I watch the food channel. Suddenly I will want lasagna, at 10 PM. Not a practical time to start cooking lasagna.

Anyway back to Pinterst. When I keep seeing the same pin for something that looks like a try-this idea, I eventually open it in case I am missing something. I was intrigued by the  3-2-1 cake.

So the basic idea is pretty simple. Mix a box of angel food cake mix and a box of flavoured cake mix. That’s it.

To make your mini cakes you put 3 tablespoons of the mix in a small microwave proof bowl, add 2 tablespoons of water, mix and microwave for 1 minute.

Sounds easy….

Combine the two dry mixes
mix 3 tblsp dry mix with 2 tblsp water
looked a bit spongy and a dull colour. But it was fully cooked in one minute.

It was sponge-y looking and a bit dull in colour, but it looked cooked.

The all important taste test!

It tasted good! As you might expect a chocolatety sponge cake. Light and airy. A dollop of whipped cream would have been nice….

I might like to try it with a spice cake mix, or butter pecan. I wonder if you could add anything else? It was certainly fast and did not make too much, just a little snack.

a thumbs up!

It might be a little too easy, so not a great idea for someone trying to loose a few pounds. But I think it would be great for people who live on their own, I’ll think I’ll take some over to my Mom.


It is pretty dull these days around Hedgehog Hill. A winter with no snow is kind of grey and muddy. But I do have some lovely shots from last fall. We bought the place in October. Most of the flowering plants were finished, but it was still pretty green and the apple tree was in overdrive!

Apple tree in October
lots of windfalls
and some other berries...

We did have some snow in December so a white Christmas (kind of) lovely fluffy snow that landed on the high bush cranberries. I know nothing about these berries that is just what I was told they are. I think they stink when you cook them…I was afraid to try!

And there are some beautiful winter sunsets over the pond.

Still, I am dreaming of gardens and flowers and big armfuls of lilacs.

Tomorrow I am testing one of those crazy ideas from Pinterest…3 2 1 cake. hmmmmm

Work In Progress

mmmmm material, fabric, colour, texture.

It is right up there with food for me. I salivate when I see lovely, pretty things made with delicious fabric.

So – I have this pile of coordinating fabrics that I keep staring at. I did not really want to spend a huge amount of time and effort on a complicated piecing project. I was really just in love with the old-fashioned prints. So I decided on blocks of 2 colours cut in 5 inch squares in a four patch. Then we will see what it looks like on the floor to decided if it needs strips in between.

What can I say? I am happiest if I design as I go.

And that is as far as I got….


also WTS – watch this space, because now I will feel like I HAVE to get it done so I can report on the progress. In truth I have had mini fantasies about swinging in a hammock under a big tree with my vintage print quilt spread over me.


Not everyone gets as excited about a bargain as I do.

Well maybe you do.

But not everyone gets as excited about thrift stores as I do. I think it’s the thrill of the hunt, the unknown quantity, finding the treasure that was apparently someone’s trash. I have had some great buys at thrift stores and yard sales. I grew up attending auctions, antique shows, and digging through junk boxes thanks to my parent’s addiction to collectables. It taught me the value of discarded things and I never discard something without considering alternate uses.

So not long ago I had a fun day at my local thrift store. It wasn’t until I got home and started taking pictures that I realized it was all red and black. I didn’t shop with colour coordination in mind… but red is my favourite colour!

What did I find? I bought the old crate too!
More Goodies!
Everything for under $10
Love the vintage cake server!
A good day for red stuff

I know not everyone would be as excited by my little pile of goodies as I was. But it is a great way to add some cheer for a few dollars. The crate will hold books or magazines, the red cream jug  is already on the table, the tin too with the black handled cutlery in it. The cake server will be on display and the old canning jar will be filled with something pretty and set on a window ledge.

Now I can’t wait for spring and yard sales!

Let’s start with a crafty post!

I love crafts. The older I get the more I appreciate my Mom for teaching me all of the basics.

I think I learned to crochet in high school, or maybe earlier. I remember a long red snake of crochet I draped around my bedroom…but somewhere along the line I lost interest. I thought it was too “cutsie”.

I moved to knitting some time in my late teens and did not get back into crochet until the last year or so. As with all things, what a difference the internet makes! There is so much out there to inspire you. Some is still cutsie (I have a much higher tolerance for cute at this stage of my life) but there are some truly beautiful and useful creations out there.

I find granny squares home-ie…home-ie and cutsie that’s me!

Need I add that I am a Pinterest addict? Thought I would get that confession out of the way. Pinterest has really added to my I-can-make-that list. Now I want to crochet flowers and bunting and bags and scarves…not to mention the other crafts. (more about those later)

But back to what I came to show you.

Last year I decided to crochet an afghan for my daughter. I wanted it to be colourful, and big and soft.

The stack grew quickly. It took a few tries to find the colour combination I wanted. I bought most of the yarn at the Spinrite tent sale in big bags. I added a few balls of contrast.

I thought I would never get the ends sewn in. I love the look of multi coloured grannies…except sewing in the tails.

Ta Da!

Very happy with the results. And Miss Murfin loved it too.

It’s a whole new world!

Welcome! My plans for a blog started last year. I was very excited and took lots of photos. Then life happened, and things had to be put away. But now spring is in the air and we are moving to a new house in the country and there will be much to share! So come along with me as I explore my new piece of heaven in the country. Crafts, decorating, gardening, thrifting, re-purposing, cooking, and more than a few laughs along the way.