Friday, February 27, 2009

Les Fleurs

a delightful French children's book published by Flammarion in 1972, thrifted this week at Frip Renaissance on St-Laurent et de Castelneau.


and a poem to mark the end of this cold month



Diki, Le rouge-gorge enchanté
, 19? and Le Buffon des Enfants, 1946 by Bernard Roy, (Paris, Edite par Marcus)

Doktor Dolittles
Zirkus by Hugh Lofting, 1934 (Berlin, Williams and Co.)

Le Petit Tambour Rouge
by Eunice Young Smith, 1961 (Chicago, Albert Whitman and Co.)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Purple & Yellow

and texture of all kinds.
= beautiful everywhere.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Birthday Cake for A & M

Remembering my dear little ladies: Miels and Maggs, who share a whelp on the 22nd of February.

Amelia Feb. 22, 1994 - Nov. ? 2003
Maggie Feb 22, 2005 - April 18, 2008

A white cake with lemon glaze. Alice got to lick the batter bowl.


1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x9 inch pan.

In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Pour or spoon batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven. Cake is done when it springs back to the touch.


combine 1/4 cup softened butter, 1/4 cup softened (room temp) cream cheese, juice and zest of 1/2 lemon. Add enough icing sugar to make a nice smooth, not-too-thick consistency. Pour over the still-warm cake.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Pigs

The villains among the rodents are the mice and rats

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Magyar népviseletek

A lovely little book by Foffan Karoly of Hungarian folk costume (printed 1969. I bought it as a discard from the Textile Museum of Canada Library).
Always an apron over the chemise. I love the crossover of the scarves, tucked into skirts,
the gigantic perfectly formed pompoms, incredible multiple skirts with pleats and pleats and pleats, coloured and textured stockings, or plain white, and tall shiny black boots.

A great resource for this and other titles in Eastern European folk art and beautiful original garments! is here

Below, two Polish wonders featured there.

Monday, February 16, 2009


and chocolate cake with candles.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Twelfth Night (and Day)

Yesterday a beautiful walk up the mountain with Sonja and Alice in the rain and fog. We had the whole place to ourselves, even the belvedere! ... just us, our thermos of hot chocolate and 30 huge stone squirrels perched in the eaves.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Writing (the possibility of) Spring

The Ukrainian Easter egg, or pysanka (from the Ukrainian pysaty, to write) are traditionally made in early Spring ... a ritual celebrating it's impending arrival.

For now it remains just a dream, but we can dream.

Pysanky (plural) are written with geometrical ornaments and motifs that reflect nature. The most common images are cosmological solarium signs which appear as laconic rosettes, delicate ruby stars, and spiders (pavuchky). How lovely.
...The spider may be a connection to goddess and princess figures as well - representations of ancestors of the Grand Goddess of rejuvination and fertility: Berehynia, Mokosh, Zhyva.

I don't have a Ukrainian lineage so I didn't grow up with these decorative objects having a place in my life but I've had the luck of collecting a few beauties. Next week I'll try my hand at making some.

I purchased good supplies here (in Montréal, and they ship across the continent).

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Littles - oh, Clydella!

A few nice little things:

A pair of red & white silk embroidered socks from the 1920's.

A 1930's lace trimmed child's all-in-one in a gentle peach, with four buttons at the back to fasten top to bottom.

A 3-button white cotton baby bodice, c1905.

And lined ivory clydella baby jacket from the 1920's that fastens at front with pink silk ribbon ties. It's trimmed in pink silk with silk embroidery on the sleeves and the front.

Monday, February 2, 2009


piled up to dry.

The beautiful bowls were thrown by our very own Chera.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Singing +

Last night Chris told me about the Langley Schools Music Project:

From 1976-77 Hans Fenger, a rocker and elementary school music teacher who had arranged a bunch of contemporary music for choral, got 60 untrained kids from Langley B.C. together in the school gymnasium to sing these songs and play Orff percussion. They were recorded on a 2-track tape deck and pressed into a vinyl LP that was sold to faculty and parents. In 2001 it was released on CD by Bar/None with the title Innocence and Despair.

I knew virtually nothing about conventional music education, and didn’t know how to teach singing. Above all, I knew nothing of what children’s music was supposed to be. But the kids had a grasp of what they liked: emotion, drama, and making music as a group. Whether the results were good, bad, in tune or out was no big deal — they had élan. This was not the way music was traditionally taught. But then I never liked conventional ‘children’s music,’ which is condescending and ignores the reality of children’s lives, which can be dark and scary. These children hated ‘cute.’ They cherished songs that evoked loneliness and sadness.

God Only Knows, Space Oddity, Sweet Caroline, Rihanna, Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft...

Listen to an interview w/ Hans Fenger here
to Innocence and Despair here
and see some video in 3 parts here