Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Glamour at Home

A previous post highlighted some of the trends seen throughout the Highpoint Market this past fall, so I thought I would post some pictures of the various trends starting with glamorours spaces.  It is notable that most glam spaces have sparkle and reflective surfaces.  Some have high contrast creating drama





interiors by studiom.com

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sheridan Nurseries - getting ready for the holidays

I recently attended a couple of great events at Sheridan Nurseries - A ladies night Out where myself and a colleague of mine, Deb Darlington offered complimentary design & decorating consultations to the ladies in attendance.  It was a lot of fun since I never seem to tire of coming up with solutions and creative decor ideas. Our little space below with the paint and tile samples we brought to assist people

The 2nd evening was a wonderful night to say thank you to those who frequent Sheridan Nurseries, for our support throughout the year.  We were treated to great food and beverages as well as inspiring demonstrations on creating holiday containers.  Of course there were draws and lucky winners went home with the completed urns and other gifts.  We were all given a bag with great gardening information so we can plan for summer, as well as our choice of poinsettia or floral arrangement.

Beautiful decor ideas


Above photos courtesy of my colleague Deb Darlington
Beautiful Themed Christmas Trees


Old World
North Pole

Friday, November 15, 2013

Historical spots.....

The Pousadas of Portugal...

I have always wanted to visit the Algarve region along the southern coast of Portugal.  I
had read about it, and purchased a nice original painting of a door from an artist who 
visited there.  I love doorss!  I finally was able to cross it off my bucket list when my
husband and I visited there a few years ago.  We actually won this trip.  It was a promotion by the Portugal Tourism and a winery in Ontario.   They were bringing more awareness to the many lovely old buildings that had been converted into up to date resorts with all the modern amenities known as "Pousadas".  We had a car and travelled through the Algarve region which took us through the hilly countryside, sometimes very remote, from the eastern coast of Tavira to the western coast of "Lands End"  in Sagra and then back to Faro.

I loved taking photos of the architecture; some of it grand and then in the tiny villages 
along the way, very rustic.  Our first Stop was a 16th century Convent that had been     
restored and offered fantastic accommodations.  It was somewhat difficult to find this place as the description was that it was a large building on a hill..... there are many large buildings and hills but we finally arrived. It was definitely worth the drive.  

Convento da Graca, Tavira, Portugal - originally an old monastery

 As soon as we arrived we took a dip in the pool

Inside, some of the beautiful architecture

An outdoor area in the centre of the building where you could almost imagine the monks chanting.  A very relaxing spot for a morning coffee.

A comfy bed up in the hills overlooking the town below

The view from our window

The way down to the pool

Our 3rd Stop took us to a small village - 
Santa Clara Odemira 

A view of the lovely pool
 A view of the ocean from the patio of the Pousada

A view of Lands End

Entrance to Fortaleza do Beliche
at Cabo
de Sao Vicente, Lands End

Some of the sitting areas in this Pousada

After our time in the 4 Pousadas that we had selected, we spent several days at our final destination a lovely resort - Pestana Delfim, Portimao.  There was a nice village where we found some fantastic shopping and restaurants. I was in real need for some Retail Therapy after all this culture and definitely found it here.  The restaurants were filled with locals and so incredibly friendly.  Most of the tourists were dining in the resort on the all inclusive meal plan but we wanted to try the local establishments and we were not disappointed.  Such friendly & welcoming people.   I am not a Port drinker but I had the opportunity of tasting some that was made locally for one of the restaurants we dined in and actually enjoyed it very much.  We purchased some from the restaurant to bring home for future enjoyment.  
 The beautiful waterfront in Lagos.

We  took some shorter day trips between Portimao and Sagras to check out scenery, local flora and spent a day in the village of Lagos.

One of the first places that drew our attention in Lagos, we "The Church of Santa Maria" which retains its Renaissance doorway. At the time of our visit, mass was being held so we couldn't resist stopping in and even though we couldn't understand Portuguese, we felt the peace and enjoyed it.  This church is located overlooking the square where you'll find the statue of Henry the Navigator and the slave market. It's origins can be traced back to the 14th century but most of it dates from the 15th and 16th centuries although it was rebuilt following the 1755 earthquake and a fire in the mid-19th century. Henry the Navigator was buried here in 1460 before his remains were transferred to the Capela do Fundador in Batalha Abbey.

The entrance looked very plain however once inside the vestibule we saw this created from mosaics

Love the cobblestone streets but I would suggest no heels....

 If I remember correctly this is the local jail 

 A nice street scape