Feb 202014
 

It seems as though all of North America is having particularly cold winter.  We in Toronto have not been without our fair share of ice and snow.  I could gripe on but do you know what?  Let’s just get on with it!  My husband and I were avid skiers and embraced living in a colder climate long ago.  All you need to do is dress for it and winter can be the most amazing time of year.  Note I said “amazing” NOT “favourite”!

So when lst Saturday proved to be a beautiful and sunny day with near freezing temperatures, I took my work outside.  The back and south facing side of our home overlooks a ravine and it quite lovely.  So I dragged my work table (which is actually a dog grooming table 🙂 ) and stripped and sanded a couple of pieces I have been DYING to get to!  The north facing, unheated garage just doesn’t do it for me so there I was stripping and sanding … IN THE SNOW!

Here is the first table.  I found this last summer on the FREE section of Craigslist.  I was a bit disappointed to find it was not actually a “quality made” table.  In fact, I think it was originally from Walmart.  But what can I say?  It was FREE!  The finish on the top was thick so I needed to strip it. Did you know chemical strippers are not affected by temperature?  Actually, I think it was easier since it did not dry out!    I only stripped the horizontal parts because I was going to paint the vertical parts.  The oak veneer was quite lovely.

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Oak veneer with solid frame… Walmart special!

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Yep! We read the conservative Globe and Mail and yes! there is a report about Putin and the Olympics. GO TEAM CANADA!

I also started working on the Mid-Century Modern table my designer niece is coveting.  This too will have a stain and paint treatment.  Stay tuned!  t reminds me of the Jetson’s … man that must date me!

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Solid Birch. Canadian Made. Mid Century Modern! LOVE!

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Top is a mess but no fear!

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There is grain under the mess!

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WOW! I cannot wait to see this finished!!!!

The moral of this post is:  JUST DO IT!!!! Get  outside and love it when the sun is shining!

(Not recommended when the sun is not shining.  Then it kind of feels like WORK!  LOL!

 Stay Tuned!

These pieces will soon be

Nicer Than NEW!

Joan

Jan 092014
 

Today ‘s post will be picture heavy and word light.

Back in September, I shared my experience and photos from my visit to the St. Lawrence Sunday Antique Market.   The antique market is only open on Sunday while the main food / farmers’ markets are not open.  My “bestie” friend, Gay and I have been wanting to check out the food market for holiday meal food so one morning, a week or so before Christmas, I met her  downtown Toronto for a nice breakfast and a browse around the market.  Being a weekday, the place was relatively quiet.  On Saturdays, the place is packed and crazy and you really need to be in the right mood to deal with it.

 Vegetarians: Beware.  The market is known for fabulous meat vendors.  And if you can hang on to the end, you will see some Canadian / Toronto humour.

I hope you enjoy your visit!  Let’s go….

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Outside the Market, Fall 2013

Looking west: old meets new. The  curved building is called the "L Tower" and will be 57 stories and 600 luxurious condo suites.

Looking west: old meets new. The curved building is called the “L Tower” and will be 57 stories and 600 luxurious condo suites.

East side of the Main Market. The building runs a city block.

East side of the Main Market. The building runs a city block.

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Cheese!

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Deli!

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Have you ever seen so many olives??

 

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Seafood!

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So perfectly laid out!

 

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Produce

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If you are wondering what this is, it is Sea Grass from the Pacific Ocean!
$28 per pound. Very tasty albeit salty.

 

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The Coolest Mushrooms!

 

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Baked Goods!

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Yes! Emril Visited here!
The best Peameal Bacon sandwiches.
(aka Canadian Back Bacon)

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Goodies to die for!

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Here comes the MEAT!

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Don’t these pre-stuffed pork roasts look amazingly delicious!

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Ontario Lamb!

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Mustard and Maple Syrup
Oh How Canadian!

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Name your flavour, they have it!
I bought 4 jars!
This stuff is strong! and De-lish!

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Maple Syrup: always a classic souvenir

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Unique Canadian and Toronto Souvenirs

Now it’s time for a bit of humour!  There is an excellent ‘Toronto Souvenir” shop in the market and they had so many cute, unique and funny items.  Here are a few of them.

I think everyone had heard about the Toronto Mayor’s antics!

Well some clever entrepreneurs have designed a few humorous tee shirts

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These are two t-shirts side by side.

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I love these two… Not sure who would actually wear these!

Cute Canadian Humour wear

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Love this one!

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“Don’t Moose With Me” ones-ies

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Ha Ha Ha

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Jammies

Cute canvas shopping bag.

Cute canvas shopping bag.

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And Just What Could Be More Canadian than

A MOUNTIE!!!

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My friend Gay in her new hat ready to go home with our goodies.

Thanks for hanging in to the end of this LLLLOOOONNNNGGG post. 

I hope you enjoyed seeing all the great food!

What was your favourite picture?  I’d love to hear from you!

Joan

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You may find me linking at these great parties.

Not every week and not all of them. Be sure to watch for me!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Heavens Garden
DIY Show Off
  Three Mango Seeds party
Monday Funday at TWCS
GiveMeTheGoodsMondaynewbutton
Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home Metamorphis Monday  
The DIY'ers
The Gunny Sack
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A Stroll Thru Life
House on the Way A Bowl Full of Lemons
Photobucket SoMe2
 
The DIY Dreamer
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MamaBuzz
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Ivy and Elephants
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 photo grabbutton2_zps7d635a69.png    
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Creativity Unleashed Link Party
The Thrifty Groove   vintage inspiration Be Inspired 300
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating   DIY Vintage Chic Craft Dictator The Shabby Nest
jenrizzo   Tickled Pink at 504 Main  
Furniture Feature Fridays Nancherrow nestwegg2 nestwegg2
Too Much Time On My Hands DIY It's Overflowing RRbutton125 TDC Before and After  

Dec 042013
 

What a week! Not only did my blog receive, to date, the highest number of visitors in one day, Nicer Than New was also nominated for the Liebster Award!
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The Liebester Award is an amazingly exciting and fun award  being passed around to smaller/newer sites around the blogosphere.  I am SOoooo excited and thankful to have received the nomination from from the talented sisters, Jodie and Paige at Sypsie Designs.  This honour has made my week!  

How it works is fun and simple:

Award Rules

  1. Thank the blogger who presented you with the Liebster Award, and link back to his or her blog.
  2. Answer the questions from the nominator; list 11 random facts about yourself, and create 11 questions for your nominees.
  3. Present the Liebster Award to several other bloggers, who have blogs with 200 followers or less, whom you feel deserve to be noticed. Leave a comment on the blogs letting the owners know they have been chosen.
  4. Upload the Liebster Award image to your blog.

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Here are the questions I was asked…

1. Why did you decide to start a blog?

I would have to say Pinterest was a huge influence. Before Pinterest, I thought bloggers mostly wrote about social issues or relationships. After discovering Pinterest, I entered the world of DIYers.  Having always been a “hands on” kind of person whether it be decorating, sewing, woodworking, cooking, gardening and more, I was so inspired to do more projects. In particular, painting and re-upholstering vintage furniture.  Friends and family suggested I set up a side business to sell items and perhaps get commissions. But how to start?How about a blog? Earlier this year, I set up a website and social media accounts for a charity I am involved in. I enjoyed the process and learned so much. In the summer, it seemed natural to launch a blog. It’s only 3 months old!

2. What is your greatest influence/inspiration for your posts? (Pinterest, a specific blog, family, random objects… anything!)

As I said in #1, Pinterest is probably my biggest influence.As for blogs I follow, there are so many I love! I particularly like bloggers who also update furniture like Blue Egg Brown Nest, Three Mango Seeds, Maryann’s blogs  Domestically Speaking  and the Power of Paint.  I love Roadkill Rescue because I seem to also pick  up trash LOL.I am also heavily influenced by Vintage furniture pieces.  It amazes and inspires me how paint and upholstery make a dark drab piece POP!  with detail and beauty.  Making the end result “Nicer than New”!

3.  If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?

This may sound strange but I would like to be an elephant!  Elephants are fascinating to me.  Their lifespan and rate of maturity is very similar to humans.  They also are able to express emotions like empathy, sadness, joy, etc.  But what I would like to have is their apparent telepathy abilities.  And I wouldn’t hurt to be a vegetarian!  🙂

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4. What is your favorite post you’ve completed to date?

I love sharing my projects but I would have to say my post about my visit to the St. Lawrence Antique Market in downtown Toronto was the most fun!  It was a beautiful Sunday morning and the fall colours were beginning to change. I was a tourist in my own city and I saw so many cool items that I shared on my blog.

West side of Main building has outdoor restaurant seating for Paddington's Pump.

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Vendor stalls in front of the North Building and trucks unloading

 5. Your favorite store to shop at is…

It would be a toss-up between Home Depot and HomeSense. Both great but for different reasons. But in the final analysis, it has to be HomeSense! 

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6. If your life were a movie, what actress or actor would play your character?

This one is easy!  It would have to be Julia Louis-Dreyfus!  When Seinfeld came on the air, a good friend in another city specifically called me to demand I seek compensation for the fact Elaine had stolen my identity!

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I wish I had aged as well as she did 🙂

7. What is your top blogging goal for 2014?

Nicer Than New has really come a long way since September and it is all so encouraging.  Who knew?  My goal for 2014 is to grow my blog and its visitors to the point where I can become involved in reviewing products and interacting more with other bloggers.  In particular, I want to grow my Canadian followers.  Currently, they constitute a very small percentage of my visitors.  

8. What’s your favorite town/city in the world?

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Hands down my favourite city is Paris.  A couple of years ago, my family spent a week there, staying in a rented apartment in the Latin Quarter.  I  so want to return and spend a month or more soaking up the culture and improving my French.  (Not all Canadians are bi-lingual).

9. What’s your favorite room in your house and why?

My most favourite room is our family room in the lower level of our home.  About 6 years ago, we renovated this area transforming it from a nice big space that looked like a throw back to the 70s to a sleek, clean 21st century look.  Some day, I will share but for now, let me say our family room is huge with a full size snooker table (as in 6ft by 12 ft), a big screen TV, a bar / server area and lots of space.  Best of all, it is a “walk out” to a gorgeous ravine lot.  Before the reno,  the room made me sad and now, even after several years it makes me smile and feel proud to share!

10. If you were a fabric pattern, what would you be and why?

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I love to be busy but I also like structure and organization.   I could not be an abstract and I could not be plain.    So, I would have to say I would be a trellis pattern.  Timeless, busy yet structured. 

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Now 10 Random Things About Me!

  1. I am Canadian and I don’t like hockey and I am not fluent in French
  2. I love power tools
  3. I wear Birkenstock sandals at home instead of slippers
  4. I have been with my husband longer than I have not been with him.
  5. I skipped Grade 2
  6. I grew up on a farm in southwestern Ontario and I had a pet cow named “Tame-ee”
  7. The people at Domino’s pizza know everyone in our family by name
  8. I love to read and recently realized I am a closet Sci-Fi fan (just finished devouring Margaret Atwood’s “Oryx and Crake”)
  9. I am a certified accountant with a B. Ed. degree in Adult Education and a M.A. and I have had 4 distinct careers to date.
  10. Without L’Oreal, I would be  a “grey fox”
  11. I have a cupboard in my kitchen that contains 56 cookbooks not to mention folders of recipes

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Now I Get to Nominate a few Bloggers!

(Note:  I checked Bloglovin’ and Facebook to determine if these blogs had less than 200 followers)

crEATe

Through the Dutch Door

First Home Dreams

24 Cottonwood Lane

Our Secondhand House

Lulu Musings

Thousand Island Mama

Up With Furniture

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And here are my questions…

  1. Why did you decide to start blogging?
  2. What is your most memorable vacation destination?
  3. What is your favourite quick go-to recipe?
  4. Choose a movie or record album you like and tell us why?
  5. What is your favourite blog post you have completed to date?
  6. If you were dropped off on a deserted island and you could only have three items with you what would they be and why?
  7. What is your most prized possession?
  8. If you were reborn as an animal, what would it be and why?
  9. What is the best book you have read in the past 5 years and why?
  10. If weight was a non issue, what’s one thing you would eat every day?
  11. What are your future plans or goals for blogging?

Again, a BIG THANK YOU to Jodie and Paige at Sypsie Designs.  Be sure to check out their blog and their fun furniture projects!

Enjoy!

Joan

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You may find me linking at these great parties.

Not every week and not all of them. Be sure to watch for me!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Three Mango Seeds Heavens Garden
The Gunny Sack
DIY Show Off
Monday Funday at TWCS Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home    
The DIY'ers
party  

GiveMeTheGoodsMondaynewbutton
cozy little house button Inspire Me
Tuesday @
A Stroll
Thru Life
 
Metamorphis Monday   House on the Way A Bowl Full of Lemons
  SoMe2 Photobucket
Tuesday
Inspiration
Exchange
Linky Party
The DIY Dreamer
 
MamaBuzz
Photobucket  

frog tiny

Ivy and Elephants startathome
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The Thrifty Groove   vintage inspiration Be Inspired 300
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating   DIY Vintage Chic Craft Dictator The Shabby Nest
jenrizzo   Tickled Pink at 504 Main    
Furniture Feature Fridays
 
nestwegg2
  DIY It's Overflowing RRbutton125 TDC Before and After  

Nov 042013
 

Mr. Nice and I have a time-share through Club Intrawast but sadly, for the last couple of years we have not been able to use all our time allotment.   This year as our deadline approached, we offered up our time to our friends but in the end, we were still going to lose a few days.  At the last minute, I TOLD Mr. Nice who is also Mr. Busy, we were going to spend 5 days at the Club Intrawest property in Sandestin, Florida … so get packing!

We hadn’t been to Florida in years and when we did go, we were visiting Disney World with our daughter.  We didn’t know much about this part of Florida.  All we needed to know was there was GOLF!  and we hoped the weather would be warm enough for sitting by the pool and or the beach.

We were so pleasantly surprised!  We LOVED this area and hope to go back many more times!

First of all, the end of October is between busy seasons so it was not crowded at all.

Secondly, we were blessed with PERFECT weather!

Lastly and best of all, we could not get over the WHITE SAND on the beaches!
To us Canadians, it looked like snow!

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When I say it wasn’t busy, I wasn’t kidding!
This is the beach near Seaside.

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These darling little sandpipers kept us company and amused.
They’re so quick and cute!

The golf courses were also not busy and by shopping around on the net, we found fabulous deals on green fees.  BONUS!
We played  four rounds in total and usually around 7:45 and each time, we were the first or one of the first groups to go out.
So these beautiful courses were essentially EMPTY!
I felt like Donald Trump!

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Beautiful, graceful egrets;

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The Raven Golf club was one of our favourites and we played it twice.
There were beautiful ornamental grasses with reddish plumes. Gorgeous.
This egret seemed to be showing off for us.

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The view of the bay and Choctawhatchee Mid-Bay Bridge from Emerald Bay Golf Club in Destin.
The Bridge is a 141-span, 3.6 mile (5.8 km) bridge connecting the mainland to the Destin beaches.

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All the Golf courses had beautiful homes surrounding them. Imagine living on a golf course and a bay like this!

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Looking the opposite way from the bridge.

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Enough touristy stuff! Get back to playing! Mr. Nice teeing off.

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The Links Golf Club has water on almost every hole making it very pretty and not mention, difficult!

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I wonder how long it will take this guy to cross the fairway and reach the water?

Our golf games were finished in two hours so we were home for lunch and had the rest of the days ahead of us.  We checked out the beaches, hung out at the pool, browsed some funky shops in nearby Seaside and of course hit the outlet mall like all good Canadian tourists!

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How inviting is this? Nap anyone?

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Don’t you just hate it when all the lounge chairs are taken?

The nearby town of Seaside had a number of fun shops to browse around.  Sadly, the items I liked were a bit to big and bulky to take home on the plane. The little town is very funky and artsy and it was obvious it must be packed in high season.  There were so many places right on the Gulf.  All that white sand.  Heaven!

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Cute little post office on the main street.
(Why is that pole right in the middle of my picture??)

In the heart of the town are a line of small Vintage Airstream trailers lined up, side by side.  In Seaside’s early days, many of the owners building homes stayed in Airstream trailers—“land yachts”—awaiting completion.  Now, they house independent food vendors.  The  food aromas were enticing!

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Airstream food vendors.

There were so many cute shops and art galleries to browse through.  I particularly liked Amore By The Sea which offered a collection of funky art, unique home accent treasures from around the world, reclaimed wood furniture, jewelry and more.  I snapped a few pics but if you want to see more items, I’ve added the link to their website above.

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I loved these unusual glass and wood / root sculptures. Sadly too bulky to take home on the plane.

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Fabulous carved bowls and unique sculptures.

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Isn’t he a cutey?

On our last full day, just as we were finishing our golf game a the Links, it started to pour.  PERFECT!  Off to the Outlet Mall!  Mr. Nice went a bit crazy and came home with 3 pairs of shoes, 4 golf shirts, 4 sports shirts, 1 dress shirt, 2 pairs of shorts, 2 caps, and God knows what else.  Needless to say, it was not a shopping day for me!

I wish I had more pictures to share!  Maybe that’s a sign I was having a REALLY GOOD TIME!

We can’t wait to visit the Florida Panhandle again!

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You may find me linking at these great parties.
Not every week and not all of them. Be sure to watch for me!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

RRbutton125 Heavens Garden Three Mango Seeds DIY Show Off GiveMeTheGoodsMondaynewbutton
Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home
party   Monday Funday at TWCS  
Metamorphis Monday
Inspire Me
Tuesday @
A Stroll
Thru Life
A Bowl Full of Lemons
Photobucket
Tuesday
Inspiration
Exchange
Linky Party
The DIY Dreamer MamaBuzz
  Ivy and Elephants

frog tiny

startathome
 photo grabbutton2_zps7d635a69.png
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The Thrifty Groove Tickled Pink at 504 Main The Shabby Nest  
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating jenrizzo DIY Vintage Chic Craft Dictator Photobucket  
Furniture Feature Fridays
  vintage inspiration Be Inspired 300
nestwegg2
DIY It's Overflowing     TDC Before and After  

Sep 302013
 

St_L_49 Today, I would like to share photos from my visit to the Sunday Antique Market at the St.  Lawrence Market in downtown Toronto.   Saturday is the big food day in the  main historical building.  On Sunday, this building is closed but the North Building, a not so impressive structure, is busy with Antique and Collectible dealers.

Friends and I often attend events at the  St. Lawrence Market  and our favourite has to be the Executive Chef Series in the Miele Gallery in the Market Kitchen.  To be honest, any foodie event in this historical building is fabulous.  I am proud to say, National Geographic names the St. Lawrence Market the #1 Food Market in the WORLD!

I had never been to this antique market and was excited to check it out.
Perhaps it could be a venue for my business.
We’ll see.

It was a PERFECT Ontario fall day with warm seasonable temperatures and lots of sun.  The Sunday antique market opens at 5:00 a.m.  but I arrived around 10 and some vendors were just finishing setting up.  The tables and booths are both inside and out.  The outside area is in front of the building and there is a lovely courtyard beside the building with trees and benches.  There  was  a HUGE variety of items for sale.  Some typical.  Some interesting.  Some down right weird, as you will see in  my photos.

Come along and enjoy a piece of my beautiful city, Toronto!

Let’s start Outside of the Historic Market building

Front view, looking east. Note the construction cones. There's always construction everywhere.  Paddington's Pump on the right is open for breakfast. They are famous for their Reuben sandwiches.

Front view, looking east. Note the construction cones. There’s always construction everywhere. Paddington’s Pump on the right is open for breakfast. They are famous for their Reuben sandwiches.

Looking west: old meets new. The  curved building is called the "L Tower" and will be 57 stories and 600 luxurious condo suites.

Looking west: old meets new. The curved building is called the “L Tower” and will be 57 stories and 600 luxurious condo suites.

Front Facade. The large second floor windows on the right is the location of the Market Kitchen.

Front Facade. The large second floor windows on the right is the location of the Market Kitchen.

East side of the Main Market. The building runs a city block.

East side of the Main Market. The building runs a city block.

West side of Main building has outdoor restaurant seating for Paddington's Pump.

West side of Main building has outdoor restaurant seating for Paddington’s Pump.

These red banners are everywhere and WHY NOT?

These red banners are everywhere and WHY NOT?

Now, Let’s have a look at the North Building
where the Sunday Market takes place.

The not so historically beautiful North Building.  Front Street entrance

The not so historically beautiful North Building. Front Street entrance

Vendor stalls in front of the North Building and trucks unloading

Vendor stalls in front of the North Building and trucks unloading

Farmer / Food Vendor carts waiting for next week.

Farmer / Food Vendor carts waiting for next week.

Antique and collectible vendor stalls in the outdoor courtyard.

Antique and collectible vendor stalls in the outdoor courtyard.

Antique and collectible vendor stalls in the outdoor courtyard. Great place to sip coffee and people watch

Antique and collectible vendor stalls in the outdoor courtyard. Great place to sip coffee and people watch

Shall we go inside now?

Love the vintage signs. The North Building is also used for the farmers' market on Saturdays.

Love the vintage signs. The North Building is also used for the farmers’ market on Saturdays.

Hundreds of vendors, tables and people and it's only 10:15 a.m

Hundreds of vendors, tables and people and it’s only 10:15 a.m

Okay!  Let’s have a look around!

The following photos are from stalls both inside and outside.  There was just so many cool items and artisan’s work, I could have taken photos all day.

Beware, the photo list is LONG!

I was a good girl and only bought one thing I will show you later and it was a gift.  Here we go!

Sweet cherubs

Sweet cherubs

Blue themed display.  I think I want that dog!

Blue themed display. I think I want that dog!

Vintage china.  So beautiful!

Vintage china. So beautiful!

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I fell in love with this Norwegian made wool blanket. But at $150, I had to give it a pass.

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In this display we have an antique cradle and an axe and a cleaver. Is it just me or is this a bit creepy?

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Like I said earlier… some weird stuff.

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I am not entirely sure what these are. I am thinking music box or piano but they are usually in a cylinder.  Maybe it’s weaving ?? I should have asked!

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Antique Spice rack. A place for your cookbook and drawers that are really jars! Clever and so sweet!

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Something here for the Betty Boop lover in all of us!

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I didn’t know there was a paper called the Toronto Telegram. Closed long before I came here.

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Probably the weirdest and most creepiest display! That head looked so real! I think they were selling vintage hats among other things.

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More typical and less scary merchandise.

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Back to weird!

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Even bicycles for sale!

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Eclectic display.

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One of the few vintage furniture dealers.

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Same booth as the yellow tables. The French provincial set had very large handles you don’t often see.

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I could have browsed and rummaged all day!

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Vintage quilts. I have one of these ironing boards somewhere…

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Ahhhhh… the cherubs again

I lOve jewelry made from silverware.  It was here I bought my one item.  A key chain for $5 for my newly licensed driver daughter!

I LOVE jewelry made from silverware. It was here I bought my one item. A key chain for $5 for my newly licensed driver daughter!

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This is so politically incorrect!

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Vintage typewriters

This display was so bright and shiny, I had trouble getting a good picture

This display was so bright and shiny, I had trouble getting a good picture

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There were many vendors selling vintage furs. Again, they are no longer accepted in our society but man they are warm in our Canadian climate!

There were lots of jewelry vendors of all types. I liked how this vendor used a vintage sewing basket to display her vintage jewelry.

There were lots of jewelry vendors of all types. I liked how this vendor used a vintage sewing basket to display her vintage jewelry.

his woman from Guatemala was demonstrating how to "Back Strap" weave.

This woman from Guatemala was demonstrating how to “Back Strap” weave.

This woman from Guatemala was demonstrating how to "Back Strap" weave.

Note the strap across her back which anchors the loom at one end while the other end is tied to something secure.

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The sale of these woven items support Guatemalan women’s guilds.

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The owner of this cutie was setting up his booth selling vintage shearling bomber jackets. Lots of Starbucks was being consumed since it is just down the street

Speaking of Starbucks, it’s time for another coffee!

But one last picture!

A block from the St Lawrence Market is my FAVORITE building in Toronto,
the GOODERMAN BUILDING,
often referred to as the “Flatiron Building”.

Facing the front of the building, the downtown core soars behind it.  One way to track the growth of towers in Toronto is to review the thousands of photos and paintings of this building since it’s completion in 1892.

Here it is captured on September 29th, 2013.

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I hope you enjoyed your visit to a little corner of historical Toronto.

What was your favourite part?

Aug 092013
 

We all agreed our Lufthansa flight to Dusseldorf went by so quickly.  I love that airline!  When was the last time Air Canada served you Bailey’s after your meal, for FREE!  Our stop over in Dusseldorf also went quickly, perhaps just a bit too so.  We had to go through passport check with only 3 attendants and  our names   were called over the PA!  But nice Canadians made way for us and then we RAN!

Our very funny and charming property manager concurred the cabbies in Prague are surly and ours was no exception. I just hope Mere was not taking driving tips from him on our way from the airport.  It was crazy.

Our apartment is beyond belief.  (Note: never let the graffiti on the outer doors put you off.  There are palaces behind those doors!)  I always assume the on-line pics make the apartments  look nicer and bigger than it is but not this one.  It is so spacious, clean and modern in that minimalist way.  Check out Escape to Prague!

We seemed to mess up this time by using our normal routine and having a nap and then hit the streets.  Sadly, once we woke up the rain started but we ventured out anyway.

In many European cities we have visited, even if we don’t speak the language, our knowledge of French and Spanish gets us by but definitely not here.  Our first stop was  a Tesco grocery store.  Trying  to determine if the tub was yoghurt or margarine or sour cream or whatever  was an adventure in itself.

We wandered the streets getting soaked, had a Czech meal and bought tickets to see Swan Lake (ballet) at the Opera House on Sunday.  The fam went back to the room while I tried t o search down a camera strap… alone.  Not successful but I met some great people and with their help, worked out a solution.   Miroslav could be my new best friend!

I took a new route from the shopping area and soon realized I needed to back track because the streets are  a maze.   Which then prompted me to stop at a phone store and invest in a phone / sim card package for $35.  Even though the apartment does not have a phone, our cool property manager, Jaroslav says he’s only a call away.

Tomorrow will be an early start with a city tour and who knows what else.  I am also taking in the decor and furniture styles used.  So far colourful and interesting.

Loving the Czech Rep!

PS  Anyone wondering why I needed a new strap for my camera?  Same reason I bought a new lens  🙁

 

Aug 032013
 

I am sitting here on this deck, chill-axing and loving the sounds of summer on the lake. Today’s our last full day here. It’s been great seeing our friends again and getting caught up. This is our 11th year and our kid’s are so grown up and some are off to university next month.

For now, I will sip my beer, read my book and soak up the sound of water lapping on the dock. Tomorrow we’ll be back in the city again…missing this.

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