Tuesday, May 28, 2013

He's Home!

My guy got home late Saturday night.  Tired, a little haggard but happy to be home after the long trip.  He had a great, busy month with jobs to do and travel to the Czech Republic.  He drove over 5,500 km in the 28 days he was there.
Here's V. at a café in our little town
I got my garnet earrings and a number of small antique pieces to make jewelry.  What's more, my Le Jacquard Français tea towels have arrived!  I order them and have them delivered to our home in France and save a bundle.

Mostly, I'm just happy V.'s back.  Believe it or not, after he's been away a month, I have to get used to his presence in bed again.  He generates a lot of heat and when he turns over the whole bed bounces! O.k., that may be TMI...

I thought I'd share some of my French/Czech treasures today:

Hard to take a picture of these.  This photo via

Antique linen thread given to soldiers to mend their uniforms
Ex votos to assist in prayers
Antique 19th century chandelier crystals to make jewelry
Le Jaquard Français

Comes wrapped like this
Happy Stella

Saturday, May 25, 2013

What Happens to Disney Movie Heroines

Watch this it's a hoot!  And another example of the multi-talented youth to be found out there. This guy is non other than John Cozart.  More of him on Youtube.

Happy Saturday!


Friday, May 24, 2013

Urban Lunch

As it is Friday, and grey and rainy, my colleague L. and I decided that a lunch out was going to be just the cheering up we need.
We went to The Cavern in downtown Edmonton, situated about 5 blocks from where we work which is convenient because you get to walk off some of the calories you consume during lunch.

The Cavern is a wine and cheese bar kind of place.  We had a cheese plate for two and dare I say, a glass of wine each...

Here's what our yummy plate looked like

No the greatest picture, I was in a state of rapture... we had already started eating!
Picture via
Picture via
Picture via
Picture via
Isn't it brilliant?  Cheese served on slate tiles with names of the cheese written in chalk.  Gives me ideas for my next soirée.  Simple yet elegant. What else did I learn from our little outing?
  • Serve blue cheese with a drizzle of honey
  • Dried apricots as well as figs and dates are lovely with cheese
  • Sour cherry jam is a fantastic compliment to Brie de Meaux
  • Serve with baguette but also with a little nutty and/or fruity bread like this one
  • Next time, take V. with me and make it my treat and have 2 glasses of wine!
They also serve charcuterie separately or on the same board as the cheese.  This is also a brilliant idea for Sunday brunch. It helps if you can talk to your guests about the cheeses you offer so you may want to take a cheese course or go to this website for more information about the food of the gods.

Now, where can I buy ONE tile of slate?

TGIFly yours,


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Provence Property Rental

If you are in the vicinity of PACA (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur) this summer, our apartment is free between June 29th and July 12th and between July 21st and August 10th.

It's a lovely rural area all the while relatively close to major points of interest:  Aix en Provence, Cassis, St-Tropez, Gorges du Verdon and more!

Visit our Web page for more information http://stellaeprovence.weebly.com/.

Have a great day!


Monday, May 20, 2013

Trunk Treasure

Before V. left for Europe, he had found the key to his parent's trunk.  It had been missing for a number of years and I could barely remember what was in it.

A couple of weeks ago, I took the key and, making my way to the garage, I opened what I regarded as a treasure chest.

It was not disappointing...

Two ventouses... These are vintage cupping jars now used, inverted, to showcase small treasures

Romanian folk blouses, skirts and a shawl

A beanie from the time when V. was four

Handmade suede shoes that once belonged to my mother in law
A picture of my guy at 3...

A metal tray with engraved signatures given to my husband's grandfather from his employees

A set of  embroidered pink duvet cover and Euro shams, a linen tea towel from the ship that my husband took to Canada in 1955 and so many, many more items.

There are hand-embroidered table cloths for every occasion, witnesses to another time

This was Elena's favorite

I am reliving the time when my parents-in-law were alive.  These treasures bring V. closer and they shed light on who he is and what he means to me.

You never know what you will find in a treasure chest...


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Grandnephew on the Horizon

I am expecting a grandnephew in the next weeks.  I have other grandnephews and nieces but this one is S.'s first.  S. is a special girl to me.  She has two brothers who are also special, but they did not give birth.  This is different.
Isn't she gorgeous?
My sister D. has been crocheting numerous baby hats and sweaters in anticipation.  So many in fact, that I wondered what I could make that might be different or novel.  As I haven't a whole lot of experience knitting baby wear, I decided that Sprout would be just the ticket.

Here is Bean Sprout, aptly named for his Mom is just a little sprout herself.

I look forward to seeing the little head inside the hat.  Now if I can just work up enough oumf to knit the Sprout Blanket.  It has a CHART, that is frightening.  Any helpful hints out there?

Love and sunshine in Alberta,

Auntie Stella

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


My husband V. is in Prague for the next two days having fun with his friend and his cousin.  Three retired guys with nothing but time on their hands.  What could they possibly do to fill their time?

I know:  drink beer, walk, go up things like towers and hills, eat meat, drink beer, walk up and down all streets not being too preoccupied with anything as mundane as shops for example.

Well, I am proposing a cure for all that aimless walking and climbing.


O.k. so my birthstone (July) is ruby, but I like garnets.  So far, I've sent him the above photos, addresses to reputable shops and an article about counterfeit stones.

There is also some lovely crystal in Prague.  

That should keep him busy.




Monday, May 13, 2013

Saturday at Wellington

It was Spring Fling time at Wellington on Saturday so I met my friend Nicole and we strolled around talking and soaking in the beauty of the place.

Photo via Art and Artifact

I bought a cloche and a cast iron birdie to put underneath it.  Cloches were used as mini-greenhouses long ago but now, they serve a more aesthetic purpose.  To see different ways to decorate with cloches, click here

Will show you my finished product when it's done!

Happy Monday everyone!


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

As our youngest son is alone with me for Mother's Day, it befell on him to create celebration around this time-honoured event.

This morning, a latte from the café where he works (got up at 7:30 to get it for me), and a gift of Burt's Bees products.  You know, for a 21 year-old, he puts a lot of thought into it...

Bonne fête des mères Mom!  I miss you...


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

This n' That

O.k. people, I got ONE comment!  I have enabled the anonymous commenting thing-a-ma-jiggy and you can now comment as you did before.  I wasn't aware it was turned off.  I wondered why I was getting so few comments, I mean even one a day is encouraging but the drought of the last few weeks has been, well, disenchanting?

Anyhoo... I have just returned from the Wellington Reading Circle: Get to Know France: One Book at a Time.  This is our second in the series and we were discussing Escoffier from White Truffles in Winter.  It was pure fun!  From the rosé wine, grapes and foie gras to the enchanting decor to the stimulating sharing around the book, it was a success!

And, I forgot to take pictures... UGH! This is where the event took place:

The Cottage: one of the 5 buildings on the property.  We were all seated at French patio sets, it was perfect!  I am fairly floating with relief and joy!

Our next circle will take place in the fall:  Annette Vallon: A Novel of the French Revolution.  Why don't you give it a shot, maybe we can have a little online sharing.

Bonne nuit,


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

This is a Test

I want to know if you are able to comment.  Someone told me recently that it is difficult to do so.  Could you please just leave a word, say hello, let me know that you are able to do so.



Monday, May 6, 2013

Spring Fashion

My retirement party is coming up in June and I think that one of these outfits with some chunky jewelry would be just the ticket.

I've written about Sympli before and I can't say enough about it. It's classy/casual wash and wear clothes that can take you to work, to a party or on a trip. But the best thing about these clothes is that they flatter most figures.  I know I feel good and look good in mine because of the compliments I get when I wear Sympli.

This is a good Canadian brand of clothing that is just right anywhere you go...Check out their new Spring 2013 collection here.

B.T.W.  It's going to be 30 degrees here today, can you believe it?  That's warmer than what they are getting in Provence!  The intensity of the sun just doesn't match the dirty brownness of the grass and trees...

No matter, I am wearing my new sandals purchased in Phoenix last month. It's just an orange-sandal-type-of-day.



Sunday, May 5, 2013

More Marvelousness!

Made me smile, I hope it does you!

Have a fabulous Sunday!

Smilin' Stella

Friday, May 3, 2013

Friday Treat - Pentatonix

These young people are in their early twenties.  Amazing non?

Check out their other videos on You Tube.  Carol of the Bells is extraordinary.

Have a great weekend,


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Stamen - a New Toy

Type in a location, it generates a watercolor of the map's terrain.  

This is one of our little town in the Var.

This one is from my home town.  I bet you can tell I come from the Prairies.

This one is Bucharest, Romania where V. was born.
This is the west coast of Mexico where we visited in April.

Click here and make your own watercolor maps of significant places.
You know you want to.