March 24, 2012

Stitchin' Sheep

Hello all, happy weekend!

Recently, I have stumbled upon the sweetest cross-stitch book. Country au point de croix by Helen Wind is a collection of simple and irresistibly adorable country-style patterns. I am in love with the sheep pattern above. In fact, I have already picked the perfect spot for these guys in our bedroom.

The book is in French and I thought it was a translated copy. But it turns out that the book was written and published in France. But really, you need a minimal amount of French - if any - to make your way through it. Wouldn't these pretty Easter eggs be perfect for the season? I love repetitive patterns like these: I think they are a great colour/shape statement.

The patterns have a very fresh feel to them and there are different colour suggestions to many of them. I think this book would be great for beginner cross-stitchers because the patterns are simple, attractive, and very satisfactory to complete. My favourite kind of project!

Do you cross-stitch? What is your favourite style?

March 18, 2012

Loving the Place We Live - Montreal Edition!

Hello all!

Is it spring where you live yet? It has officially arrived here in Montreal. And I can tell that not because the weather is gorgeous or because we have taken our bikes out for the first time today... I can tell that spring is here because Montreal has spilled out onto the streets. Seriously. Today felt like every last person in this city came out to bask in the sunshine and ridiculously warm weather (22 degrees!). The cafés opened their outdoor terraces, the streets and balconies were full of happy people, and the line-ups at the ice cream shops were unbelievable. And it all kept me smiling all day long.

Remember how Gabrielle from Design Mom has started posting Love the Place You Live reports for people to share their little corners of the world? I decided to share some pictures from our first bike excursion to the market this season.

Jean-Talon is one of the biggest and liveliest farmer's markets in the Montreal area. It is situated in the Little Italy district, a bustling part of town chock-full of tiny family groceries and cosy little cafés, locals and tourists, retirees tending to their tomato plants and street musicians strumming their guitars.

On weekends, Jean-Talon attracts quite a crowd. There are those who are there to shop for fresh produce and those looking to snap that perfect market picture. There are the café-dwellers and the people-watchers. There are couples and families, farmers and grocers. There is a lot of laughing, sampling, shouting, gaping and stepping on people's feet going on. It is almost impossible to leave without armfuls of irresistible fruits and vegetables. And then trying to fit it all into your bikes' baskets.

Although the outdoor stalls are not open yet, there was a nice warm spring breeze going through the roofed market pavilion today. The atmosphere was electrifying! Outside, the maple syrup vendors set up shop. They were selling tire sur la neige - maple taffy made by pouring hot maple syrup over snow. Pure goodness, I tell you!

Jean-Talon market is definitely one of my favourite places to be in Montreal. It holds much of the essence of this city and of its people: love of good food, loud laughter, and more nationalities coming together than you can count. There are no guided tours or majestic views, but there is life, the kind of life that makes Montreal such a beautiful place to live - especially in this kind of weather!

What about you? Ever been to Montreal? Or have a favourite place of your own you would like to share? You know we want to know!

Have a great week!

March 6, 2012

Spring DIY love

Hi all!

Although today is still a cold wintry day here in Montreal, I think we are slowly making our way towards spring. By the end of this week, we should reach a whopping 11 degrees! With all this weather-y excitement comes an urge to make something. Here are a few simple projects to freshen up our home I am thinking of this spring:

1. Anything wrapped in yarn becomes awesome. Branches? You got it! Via do stuff! blog.
2. I admit I'm not very diligent when it comes to marking plants, but these sweet polymer clay markers might just do the trick! And I'm sure there are other ways to use them as well... Via Wit & Whistle on instructables
3. Speaking of plants, some of ours will definitely end up in these nifty tin can planters. From Family Chic
4. You can never have enough items made from branches in your home. How about these lovely branch coat hooks? Via Garden Therapy.
5. Crepe paper daffodils are sure to put anyone in spring mood. I'm thinking these would make a beautiful garland for a doorway. Via To Be Charmed.

And these are just a few projects out of the hundreds that have been stewing in my head lately! I should definitely get started. 

What about you? Are you catching the spring bug as well just about this time of the year? How are you planning to spruce up your home?