New Pictures of Tina

I had some requests from friends that they want to see more pictures of Tina.  So I took more pictures of her today.


sitting proud on her favorite sofa


watching people outside on the street

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This is me and her today, just after she got her bonbon


she does not feel like going out


The garden starts to look sad


The picture of Autumn.


Bring back the lace

It seems that lace, especially lace curtains, have gone out of style.  Or has it really? I went for a drive in my neighborhood and was surprised how many windows still have lace curtains.   Some of the houses and interiors are modern.  There are countries in Europe like Italy, Portugal and Germany, where you see everywhere beautiful lace curtains hanging on many windows.   I did some research on the internet and here is what I found.

These are the curtains in my own home



The next picture I found on a Japanese site.  What a beautiful window.


source:  IEMO.JAPAN

This is the typical all white Scandinavian look.





And here a modern interior decorated with beautiful lace



A house in Rosemere, a suburb of Montreal



source:  FLICKR.COM


The window in my bedroomP1010135.JPG




The following picture is a sunroom which I liked:

A lovely little sunroom in a house in Northern England.


source:  KIRKHAM.CO.UK





Cats like Windows

There is something about cats at the window.  Often when I go for a walk I see a cat looking out from a window.  Because many cats  like to sit at the window.  Many of the cats live indoors and for them the window is a place to connect with the outside world. Even cats who spend time outside like to sit at windows and watch the world pass by. Even though I do not have a cat (I have a dog) many of my friends, neighbors and my sister all have cats.  That is why I know a lot about cats and what wonderful creatures they are.   I have collected a few pictures of cats which I would like to show here.

A cute little cat looking out behind a lace curtain



Another sweet cat watching the world go by

source:  FLICKR.COM



Christmas Cat



The following picture is of an abandoned little backyard of a house in London up for sale.   Since I am drawn towards anything shabby, dilapidated or broken this little garden caught my eye.  There is something so serene and beautiful about this garden.  Even though it has been forgotten it has not lost its beauty.  It is a place I would like to sit and dream.





We are slowly approaching winter and now is the time when we have to cover our garden furniture and bring in the remaining pots of plants.   Yesterday I brought in my big Hibiscus plant and almost had a hernia because it is so heavy.  Now I placed it in my sunroom and it takes a lot of space.   Not to forget that every week it grows by about 2 inches.   Soon I will have to move out the furniture from the sunroom because there is no place for them.   I took a few pictures to show you how it looks like.


Right in front we have a messy looking pot of Geraniums and right behind the chair you can see the leaves of the large Hibiscus plant.

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To make it look nice I placed two little Buddha statues on a table and already put some Christmas lights on my little pine tree, which looks very nice when it gets dark.


Another angle of the table with the Hibiscus beside it.


One of my other Buddhas on the windowsill.


Ready for tea in the plant room


I am a big lover of all kinds of teas.   


Here one of the bedroom windows where you can look out onto a giant apple tree.  Unfortunately this year we had only a few apples.


And this is little Tina in the sunroom surrounded by plants.   She got used to them and she would never try to eat the leaves.


I spotted this picture of this beautiful terrace of a London holiday flat on the HomeAway website and I liked it so much that I would like to show it here.  It is just so beautiful.  I think the next time I visit London I will rent this flat just because of this little patio. 


Celebrating Autumn and Halloween

Summer is now officially over.  Leaves are changing color and falling.  We are busy raking leaves while wearing our rubber boots.   It is getting colder and we already bring out our coats and warm  clothes.    The worst thing is that the days are getting shorter.


walking around the streets (here a street in Rosemere) you see lots of leaves everywhere and the streets look somewhat sad.

But there are many people, especially children, who are looking forward to Halloween.  Halloween makes the Fall season somewhat fun and interesting.   In the stores and supermarkets you can already see lots of pumpkins in all shapes and sizes and decorating items.  Not to forget a big choice of Halloween costumes to choose from.


Outside my local supermarket you see this beautiful display of pumpkins just next to lovely Chrysanthemums.


Walking around the garden you see fading Hydrangea and more and more bare trees.  An orange pumpkin gives the garden some color.


Here is Tina going for a walk.


Here I placed a small pumpkin on my patio table.  The whole patio is already covered with leaves and in the flower pots there are not many blooms left.


Next to the front door I placed my little Pumpkin Man and his little friend.


Another look of the front porch.


This is one of the neighbor’s houses who really had fun decorating his front porch.  Doesn’t it look lovely.


Inside my house I also give the rooms the Halloween look.   Even the Buddha likes to sit next to a pumpkin.


I decorated my fireplace with Autumn leaves and little sparkling lights.  Orange cushions give the room the look of the season.


For my dining table I bought cute little paper plates and cups and from the lamp I hang a Halloween witch.  In the evening it really looks very festive and cozy at the same time.  


Even Tina enjoys her Halloween cushions and the giant pumpkin right in front of her.  I am sure she finds it funny that I am again moving things around.   Yes, and in a few weeks we will be decorating again for Winter and Christmas.  That will be fun !!!


Another Buddha sitting behind a little pumpkin





Windows and patio doors are a very important feature in a home.  You can completely change the look of your home by the way you dress your windows or what you put in front of them.   A window can become another painting, especially if the outside is looking in through the window.     

There are many ways of dressing a window.  With curtains, blinds or just plants in front of it.   If the outside is very interesting to look at it is better not to cover the window.   Of course if you want privacy it is best to install blinds.

Here is one of my windows which I like to decorate with old photographs and flowers


the next window does not need any window dressing nor curtains, it would only hide the beautiful garden outside.


perhaps a few tiny little vases with cut flowers are enough


The living room windows have wood blinds to give it an exotic look.  In front of it I placed a comfortable chair to look outside, surrounded by my favourite plants.


Colourful curtains give the room a special look



Don’t cover your windows when you have such a beautiful garden outside



This beautiful window looks really romantic, and so European..



This kitchen window looks really very nice and fits well with the table in front of it.



The windows in the sunroom are not covered.  But when it gets too hot we install temporary curtains which we can pull to keep the sun out.


There is also a lot of light coming through the glass ceiling and we sometimes have to install a sun umbrella, which gives it this outdoor patio look.


Tina looking relaxed on her favourite sofa.



The Vintage Kitchen

I always liked vintage and retro style kitchens.   I also prefer when kitchens are closed as separate rooms.   Today in Europe many homes have still closed kitchens.  Even some of the new properties which are being built.   Why?  Because there are many people who believe that an open plan kitchen makes a room look messy, when a dining room, living room and a kitchen become one single room.  

In my house we have an open kitchen where everybody can see immediately the untidy mess when they come into the house.  The kitchen is also an old kitchen from the 80s.  I am often asked why I don’t change the kitchen.   If I wanted to change it I would have to knock down walls to change the whole layout of the room, and that would be very difficult.   But there are other ways, cheaper ways, to modernize a kitchen.  First you can paint it a different colour.  Then you can remove some of the cabinet doors and change the backsplash of the kitchen and the counter tops. To make it even nicer just put some plants here and there and it will look nice.

Here a few pictures of some older kitchen:



what a lovely 50s style kitchen.   


Here a couple of pictures of my old oak kitchen.  We changed the backsplash and the counter tops.


A cute little table from IKEA and a folding chair give it a modern touch.


You can use any old table and make it look nice.  This table comes from a garage sale and I painted it.


The other side of the room just next to the kitchen.   A little seating area in front of the fireplace.  We also have a tiny television set in the corner to watch TV while cooking.


source: FLICKR.COM

Such a beautiful colourful retro kitchen.  Something to dream about. 


And here is Tina feeling bored while watching me taking pictures. 


Britt lives in a wonderful apartment which she likes to decorate and, like me, keeps changing the look of the place by just rearranging the furniture or adding a new cushion or changing the curtains.   Her favourite colors are pink and mauve.  Even her kitchen is in mauve.  She also likes the floral look and she likes to  decorate with flowers.

here is her living room


beautiful pink cushions on a light grey sofa.  A beautiful big mirror on the wall makes the room look bigger.


her dining table, which also serves as a table to read and to work on a computer or whatever.  The table and the chairs are Biedermeier antiques which she bought in an antique store.


This is a corner of the kitchen where the mauve cabinets are visible.  A cute little table and a bench with cushions make the kitchen look cozy.


In summer she keeps lots of flowers on her balcony.   Here the table is full with Petunias and Geraniums in pink and mauve.   Looks very inviting.

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This is Britt in Germany.



Today I went for a drive to Laval-sur-le-Lac.  It is part of Laval, a suburb of Montreal. But this place is very special.  Not only do you have a beautiful waterfront but you see also some very big mansions and monster houses.    I always like to look at the gardens and at the exteriors of the houses.    Here are some pictures  I took today.


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This is my absolute dream garden.   In summer they often have garden parties and you see guests wandering about in-between the statues and flower beds. There is no fence and so people from outside, like myself, can look inside and take pictures.


Another house on the same street.



I took this picture on the little bridge which is leading to Ile Verte, another little island just across from Laval sur le Lac.    Another beautiful little place to visit.



Balconies of Montreal Nr.2

I think I have an obsession with balconies.  Sometimes I even think that a balcony is more inviting and cozy than a huge big garden, where there is a lot of work to be done and you really have to like gardening.   Some people are really good with plants and know how to create beautiful garden rooms.   I really admire them.   Unfortunately, I am not one of them.   Perhaps because I used to live in apartments (called flats) when I was living in London and I never had a big garden.   But I liked decorating a small balcony when I had one.   Just with a table and chairs and a couple of flower pots. 

When I walk around Montreal I always admire the balconies and the stairs.   I take pictures of streets and the stairs and sometimes of the balconies if I can get near enough, or I ask some friends to send me pictures of their balconies. 

Here are a some more pics of balconies.m16343444-bal23-01.jpg

lots of plants on this little balcony.



lots of lovely stairs and balconies on this street.

m22889761-tse22-01.jpgA small narrow balcony looking out onto the street


A House with Buddha


Ever since I remember I was fascinated with Asian culture, reading books about China, India, Tibet, Japan and other countries.    As a matter of fact one of my all-time favourite books is MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA by Arthur Golden.  I have read this book so many times that I remember some pages by heart.    

Yes, and it does not stop there.   I also love to collect Buddha statues in all shapes and sizes.  I think that a home looks very nice with a Buddha sitting on a table or a bench right next to a Bamboo branch.   There is something serene about this look.  Since then I also read a lot about Buddhism and the whole Buddhist philosophy.  I think everybody should read a little about it because we could learn from it.     Herman Hesse’s book “SIDDHARTHA”  is an eye opener.  

My own book about Buddha:


which is also available on Amazon.  This little book has a collection of Buddha’s best quotes, together with pictures I took.  There are also a couple of pages about the Basic Teachings of Buddhism.


I also have various Buddhas sitting in my garden room, in-between the plants.   In the evening when it gets dark I light little lanterns and it gives you a very serene and relaxed feeling.    Buddhism is all about meditation,  to relax and stay calm, and to be able to face one’s problems.   


One of my other favourite books is “THE BOOK OF TEA” by Kakuzo Okakura and you can find all kind of different versions of this book on AMAZON.    Even today, 100 years later when it was written, it is still a bestseller.  

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