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Snow White!

Dear Friends,

I was just visiting my good friend Carolyn at Aiken Home and Garden on Prince Edward Island.  She was showing some of her lovely snow pictures from past winters (they have no snow for the time being) and sharing them at How Sweet The Sound‘s Pink Saturday where the theme this weekend is ‘Snow and Snowmen’.  So, I thought I’d join the party also!  Because we, too, have no snow at the moment, although it is on the way, here are some photos from winters past.

The first few photos are of Santas created by my talented friend Jean.  They are ceramic, poured from ‘slip’ into a mold, baked in a kiln and then cleaned and handpainted. Each year a different one sits on my kitchen windowsill.  I treasure each one of her magnificent creations! If you would like to know more about how Jean gives these jolly gents life, you can read about it in a previous post, The Santa Lady of Farm Road

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The Santa below is from a collection that my husband has gifted me over the years from Roman Inc’s ‘The Giftgiver’ series . It was purchased a long time ago and I don’t think the series is made any more.

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This is our garden shed under a blanket of freshly fallen snow.  To me, the garden is just as beautiful in winter when all its ‘bones’ are laid bare – you can experience the garden on a more intimate level and study its structure.  You can see more pics, if you like, in the post, “Escape to Narnia in a Winter’s Garden”.

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I am still very excited, and can hardly believe, that the exterior of our teeny bungalow in snowy winter dress is being featured this  very Christmas season in a stunning holiday idea book from Norway. It is called “Sanselig Jul” (translation:  Christmas For All The Senses) by the lovely and creative Franciska Munck Johansen.  Franciska’s book is filled with gorgeous Nordic images and bursting with seasonal inspiration.  You can read more at “The Gift of Christmas”.

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This is the only snowman at our home for now.  He resides on my cakestand on a shelf in a corner of our kitchen and brings warm wishes for the season.  🙂  Many thanks to you all for stopping by! I will look for your footprint in the snow… In the meantime, stay cozy.

Warmly yours,

Linda

I am joining, too, Treasure Hunt Thursday!

The Gift of Christmas! Sanselig Jul…

Sanselig Jul:  A Christmas For All The Senses

by Franciska Munck-Johansen

Dearest Friends,

Something very special sits on my desk this evening. A glorious feast – for the eyes! An exquisite holiday idea book has arrived all the way from Norway.  A true ‘Work of Heart’ by talented Norwegian Franciska Munck-Johansen – author/stylist/photographer!  Bubbling with excitement, like a child on Christmas morning, I can barely contain myself as I turn each smooth, glossy perfect page.

My cup of amber tea has long gone cold.  My husband took it away to pour me another.  🙂 I barely noticed…I am happily preoccupied. Mesmerized. My eyes pour over each and every lustrous sheet of gorgeous photos.  I am wearing a big grin on my face.  Searching for something which is very thrilling to me.   Photos of  the exterior of our own home dressed for the holidays  in simple, natural cedar garlands and balsam fir wreaths.  Pages 44-45.  I can hardly believe my eyes!

Isn’t this an outstanding cover photo (below) that Franciska has chosen for her new book? (My friend Jean made the Santa – isn’t he handsome in his Nordic style ski wear?)

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Franciska’s book is written in Norwegian, but a picture does speaks a thousand words and the language of photos is certainly universal.  Beautiful and inspiring!  The photo on the left is of our garden gate (although it is not red anymore) and here is what the caption under it reads:

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells
It’s almost so you can hear Christmas carols and expect to see Rudolph and
the rest of the gang behind this garden gate. Canadian Linda Ryan, author of  the blog “Beautiful Ideas”, loves Christmas and has photographed these lovely images in her garden. She uses evergreens to decorate around the garden in flower boxes, on doors, around the outside lights… The front door of her home is a wonderful portal decorated with fresh cedar and long ribbons. 
https://beautifulideas.wordpress.com
 

It does not surprise me that my dear friend Carolyn from the enchanting ‘Island of Anne’ is in the book, too. Carolyn is amassing a library of publications featuring her stunning home and gardens.  Here she writes about being featured in Franciska’s “Sanselig Jul”:  Aiken Home and Garden

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A third North American featured in the book is Sandy Foster, author of the blog ‘My Shabby Streamside Studio’.  Sandy lives in New York (my husband and I are not long home from eight glorious days in NYC, something that has been on my bucket list for a very long time – more about that soon)….You’ll love Sandy’s dreamy, marshmallowy photos.  Sandy has been a guest on the Nate Berkus Show and is included in his newest book.  You can visit Sandy at her blog here:  My Shabby Streamside Studio.  Here are some pictures of Sandy’s feature in Sanselig Jul.

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Franciska’s book is a magical Christmas treasury.    The stuff  of dreams.  I am thrilled to have it in my special collection of beautiful holiday books.  Even more so to be included in it!  Surreal.  Franciska  is a beauty  – inside and out.  Her first-class work is featured in many interiors magazines in Europe and beyond. Swoonworthy, indeed.  Her passion for all that she does shines through in her every one of  her photos.  Her warmth and charm of personality emanates from the pages of “Sanselig Jul”.  Here is beautiful photo of Franciska.

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You can purchase Francsika’s book (here) .

My first ‘meeting’ with Franciska was in summer 2011.  She shared my blog post (Waiting for Springtime) on her own blog .  It touched her heart and made me glad that she felt my story  was worth sharing, that it might inspire others to do something nice for someone in need.   We all can use a supportive ‘hug’ sometimes, can’t we…

Last year, Franciska sent me as a gift a copy of her first book, “Sanselig Sommer”, which translated into English means “Summer for All the Senses”.  It, too, is jam-packed with wonderful photos and ideas that can be easily adapted for the home, garden and inspired living. It’s such quality that I am honoured to be included in anything that Franciska does!

Can I tell you a secret? I have always dreamed of writing my own Christmas book one day.  Shhh….But I never dreamed for a single moment, that I would be included in a book by such a recognized European artist as Franciska!   How life sometimes presents the unexpected!  Blogland has been a portal to so many opportunities this past year that would not have been possible otherwise.

Each year, in the month leading up to Christmas, I gather up all my holiday books in a basket and look through one or two every day for inspiration. It’s exciting to think that Sanselig Jul, in which our own home is featured, will become part of that collection and tradition!  My deepest gratitude, Franciska, for your warm embrace.   It is an incredible honour for me…What a wonderful Gift of Christmas!  Happy Holidays to you and yours, dear friend.

Thank you everyone for visiting today.  I hope you will come back soon for some holiday photos of my first adventure in New York City…

Wishing you a beautiful week ahead,

Linda

I am delighted to be joining Show and Tell Friday, Open House, Home Sweet Home, Vintage Inspiration, Teatime Tuesday, Wow Us Wednesday, Feathered Nest Friday, Holiday Home Tour, Jennifer at Traditions and Cottage Magpie.

A Little Cafe With A Big Heart

This beautiful book entitled “Summer for all the Senses” was gifted to me by its author, Franciska Munck-Johansen, a talented interiors photographer for a number of international magazines.  I’ll tell you in an upcoming post about her outstanding book and how she came to send me an autographed copy all the way from Norway …

Glorious Day, Friends!

It’s another beautiful day here and we are so thankful to have this sunny and warm weather as we have been waiting all summer long for it!  I’m glad you came by just as I’m about to pour up a huge glass of lemonade.  Come, let’s sit out for our chat.  It’s so nice outside – just the perfect summer temperature with a pleasant breeze…it would be a shame not to soak up every second.

It’s early morning yet as these chairs are empty, but in a just a few hours…

If you happen to be touring in and around the historic coastal town of Placentia, Newfoundland this summer (very near where I grew up), Philip’s Cafe is a must-visit place on your list of  things ‘To Do’.

This ‘tasteful’ spot was once an old house that I would pass by many times during my younger years, but today I hardly recognize it! Lovingly and creatively restored by its new owners, it is now a hub at peak times with visitors, both locals and tourists, piling in for some delightful eats.

CLOWN ABOUT TOWN  Phillip Meade, the saltbox-style cafe’s talented chef and co-owner, told me that he has lived in many places and has held many and varied jobs in his lifetime. He has been a long-haul truck driver, an off-shore oilrig worker, an artist, a pastry chef and even a clown – a REALLY GOOD clown. 🙂

I was fascinated by the latter occupation and asked him the secret to becoming a GOOD clown.  He quickly responded, “Passion – passion for everything you do in life!” Phillip told me that his‘clowning around’ had a humble beginning – he was simply asked to dress up as one for his company’s children’s party.  But Philip told me that he did not want to be just any ol’ clown. He had to be the best clown that could be – so, off he went to’ clown school’ to study how to become a clown – a real clown.

Enjoy a waterside picnic just across the street from Philip’s Cafe! Now that’s a mirror image!

WORK OF HEART And, it seems, everything Philip Meade does comes from the passion in his heart – from running a charming B&B; to restoring a house that had seen better days to his now new and beautifully-unique cafe; and producing the renowned delectable breads, pastries, quiche and desserts that disappear as quickly as they make it out of the oven!

A view of Rosedale Manor from the garden gate…

Phillip and his co-owner in the cafe, Linda Grimm, who hails from Vancouver Island, seem to well complement one another for Linda is Philip’s partner in life as well as his business partner. Together they also own and operate  Rosedale Manor, a ‘sweet’ heritage waterside Bed and Breakfast (within ten minutes of the Argentia ferry terminal), and where Philip serves as the Manor’s pastry chef host alongside Linda who, too, is a passionate and artistic soul – a sculptor. Although, I have not yet seen any of Linda’s works personally, I am told they are quite beautiful.

The couple’s ‘Rosedale’ guests eat a hearty breakfast at Philip’s Cafe located mere minutes from the Manor.  Along with ham and free-range eggs, fresh homebaked toast of several tasty varieties and other traditional breakfast fare, Philip proudly serves up his own ‘house recipe’ porridge made with a mix of millet, flax and oats, along with fresh Newfoundland berries and crunchy nuts!  He generously offered me a sample and, let me just say, it was NOT my grandmother’s porridge!  It was really very good and oh-so good for you! Next time, I will have a bowlful of Philip’s granola made from a creative mix of multi-grains and dried fruits with yogurt – a whole lotta delicious goodness.  Yum!

SWEET SERENDIPITY  I asked Philip how he and Linda came to settle in the tiny sea-side town of Placentia, all the way from Vancouver Island, British Columbia where they had lived for many years prior.  Philip relayed that he and Linda had come back to Newfoundland on the occasion of his grandmother’s 90th birthday about six years ago.  They stayed at Rosedale Manor during their week-long visit and liked it so much that they decided to buy the place!  And the rest as ‘they’ say is history…

The atmosphere of their friendly and cozy cafe is a warm and inviting blend of the best of both world’s – decidedly a welcoming mix of hearty west coast-to-east coast flavour!

It was pure serendipity that brought Philip and Linda back to Newfoundland to stay and to acquire a charming sea-side B&B…

Quiche variety #4 ‘Portobello Mushroom and Sundried Tomato’ waits for moi! OMG!  Tasteeee…

Philip’s quiche are delectably rich and fluffy like an omelot. You can see and taste the goodness that so caringly goes into making each one.

On the three consecutive days I was there (yes, it was that good), five beautiful quiche varieties were fresh-from-the oven each day….I tried several different quiche in as many days – all were hands down THE BEST quiche I have ever tasted!  And, I thought I made a nice quiche!

Isn’t this the cutest cafe logo in the window above the door to the kitchen? “Surrender to your cravings…”  You’ll find it even on Philip’s Cafe souvenir tees, which are available in brilliant colours and a great quality.

PHILIP’S CAFE IS SOMETHING TO CROW ABOUT Interestingly, Philip loves, and has a fascination with, crows and all manner of crow-inspired decor!   There’s even a large handsome painting of a crow hanging on the washroom wall, and you’ll happen upon the odd crow perched here and there atop curio cupboards and in bookcases around the store.

And, it seems, the couple have a great sense of humour.  You can buy T-shirts and specialty soaps featuring the Philip’s Cafe “Surrender to Your Cravings” logo!  The tees are a good quality and we purchased a couple before leaving on our final day there.

A TISKET, A TASKET, ‘PHILIP’ YOUR PICNIC BASKET Philip bakes up fresh artisan breads daily for his gourmet sandwich menu – the fillings he uses are wonderful and generous.  If you’re on your way to Castle Hill National Historic Park, or the Cape St. Mary’s Seabird Ecological Reserve, you won’t want to miss stopping here to fill up your picnic basket – I think you will be very happy with its contents!  :- Philip doesn’t sell his bread by the loaf, though (sadly) – he can’t keep up with the demand for it in his mouth-watering sandwiches.

What a treat!  Life is sweet!

For early risers, breakfast starts at 7:00 AM at Philip’s cafe. On the menu:  Fresh-from-the-oven molasses and whole-wheat breads, omelets, ham and free-range eggs any style, and most certainly Philip’s house  porridge. Rest assured, Philip’s porridge is NOT your grandmother’s recipe! It’s rich and tasty made from steel cut oats, flax, millet and fresh Newfoundland blueberries, partridge berries and even crunchy nuts.  You’ll want to try the granola, too.  Decisions, decisions…So many things to try and so little time!

Fresh artisan bread in the making for all those delish sandwiches that Philip serves to his hungry customers.  He doesn’t sell the bread he makes, though. He doesn’t have time to keep up with the demand. It is solely for his gourmet sandwiches. What a treat!  Life is sweet.

The overflow breakfast room is located upstairs above the main cafe.  It is lovely in the early morning light.  What a serene place to be…

Look down! Philip is proud of the fact that the floors in his new cafe were reclaimed from the old ‘Bristol School’ gymnasium once located on the Argentia U.S. Naval Base nearby. Upon entry to the cafe, one must step across a thin strip of the ‘Navy Seals’ emblem that was intentionally incorporated into the floor design as a special piece of nostalgia for Philip, and anyone else who may have connections with, and fond memories, of the military base that once stood.

Stained glass windows original to the house around the doorway in what is now Philip’s cafe kitchen

Specialty soaps to crow about

A hilarious sign!

Menu board with many tempting eats…

Next time you happen to be in town, be sure to stop by and say “Hi”

And, my sweeties, thanks for stopping by ‘Beautiful Ideas’ today!  I hope to see you again very soon. I am crossing my fingers that this burst of glorious weather will last for awhile.  Wishing you all a beautiful day!

Linda

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