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It's all about the pillows...

I love pillows…

I love their coziness, their luxurious voluptuousness and the possibilities of beauty and comfort they provide. It may have to do with the word “pillow” itself…what do you think of when you hear it? Big, soft, fluffy pillows piled on top of your bed; piles of gorgeous pillows in fabulous colours and textures on a deep-seated sofa…perfect for reading or napping on a cold, rainy day. Or perhaps it is the pillowy hug from the woman you love or the mother who held you when you were tired or sad.

Wherever you find the word “pillow” it is usually associated with comfort. I have always carried my pillow (or “pullump”, as the five-year-old Aussie kid in me says) on any trip, be it a short road trip or a fifteen hour flight across the Pacific Ocean.

As a little girl, when my dad would come home from work he would call out “get your pullump Christine, we’re going to Queensland!” Oh the heaven of it! A huge pile of pillows and blankets in the back of the van and a thousand mile drive ahead of us. Too bad I had to share it with my two little brothers - but that’s another story.

Then there was the bliss of being wrapped in the loving, pillowy bosom of my nanna when we finally arrived in Queensland and climbing into a bed that was encircled by a "romantic” mosquito net and made up in clean, white, cotton sheets and pillows. One of my daughter’s few memories of my dad includes bringing her pullump into bed with him and nanna for a morning snuggle.

I have this huge collection of of gorgeous fabric and vintage blankets that just keeps expanding; spilling off the shelves, into drawers, out of drawers; piling up in corners…

So when I asked myself the question “what do I want to do?” I thought…”I want to make pillows.” I will make beautiful pillows to make people happy.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

I am calling it the "great room"....

 October 16th, and a beautiful Spring day here on Gabriola..

After much thought and referring to the wisdom of my style icon Kathryn Ireland, designer, author and all round creator of all things beautiful, I have decided to call our main floor the "great room".  

After all it is not just a big room, it is the room where everything happens.  In the morning we start out the day with coffee, magazines, papers and crossword puzzles and at the end of the day we come together for a glass of wine or gin and tonic and review the day before starting dinner. 

At one of the room is our sitting area which snuggles up around the wood burning stove.  This is definitely my favorite area of our house, as it is light and bright and cozy and open all at once. At the other end of the room is the kitchen and dining area, although I have serious problems with the expression dining room, we don't dine, we eat here! 

Because there are so many windows in the space and it is south facing there is lots and lots of light; which when you live in the middle of a forest in the northern hemisphere is a good thing.  We are actually surrounded by other properties but because there are so many trees and you would never know it.  That being said, it is lovely to live in a quiet, secluded neighborhood with the beach and fields with horses and cows just down the road, knowing that our neighbors and friends are not far away for impromptu cocktails and games of street hockey.

Sitting area of the "great room" with the fire blazing..

Eating area of the "great room"
Kitchen and dining area of the "great room"

 As you can probably see this house is a "timber frame" house made with fir grown and milled right on this island.  It sits on a cement slab which has thermal floor heating, and that with the wood stove makes it lovely and warm in the winter and lovely and cool in the summer.  We bought the house when it was only a year old, and still sitting in the building site surrounded by blackberries, weeds and wild brambles.  The floor hadn't been finished, and I had a picture in my head  from an Australian design magazine of a deep, ocean blue which would ground this huge, two story room.  Fortunately we did the floor in the middle of a beautiful July summer and could put everything in the house in the front yard including the tub, fridge, stove etc while the very labor intensive, time consuming and stinky process took place.  A week later we were able to move everything back in just in time for my mum to visit from Australia.

The woman who built the house had a very spare, chiaroscuro esthetic which I admired a lot, but I just cannot resist colour for very long, especially red.  Eventually the whole look came together, calm white walls, dark blue/black floor with a motley blend of comfortable furniture, artwork, salvaged treasures and my beloved blue and white collection of pottery and china.  The red antique dresser filled with our everyday china was from a farm in Saskatchewan by way of Fort Langley.

The side table beside the white, slip covered (with painters drop cloth) sofa is a vintage Singer sewing machine base with my husband's teenage skim board screwed to the top.  It just is one of those things that you carry around for years, because it is so pretty and he made it himself, and all of a sudden you think of the perfect way to use it.

Saskatchewan dresser with 7 coats of red paint

Sewing machine base with skim board top

Blue and white and red, what can I say... 

That ice cream sign is a real, honest to goodness beach find


  1. Hello Someone. I wish I had your style is all I have to say...

    1. Hey Miss Feedlot: Have you looked around yourself today? You two are oozing style from every pore. I love your house and studio because it is filled with all the important things that make for a stylish, warm and vibrant home. You are surrounded by objects that you have made or people have made for you in beautiful designs and colours, vintage finds that ooze personality and pizzaz, I just love it.
      Love from

  2. oh how i love this room full of treasures! it certainly is GREAT and all because of the love and skill you have put into the putting together! i remember fondly the impromptu tea we had that one day, when you invited the girls and i in from our walk and their were coconut cupcakes sitting on the counter like it was meant to be. so many treasures to feast our eyes on too, and the girls still talk about the giant jar of marbles you let them play with.

    home is where the heart is and yours is certainly heART-full!....and oh that mermaid ocean floor!!!!

    p.s. never noticed the skim board top before, you are so very clever!!!

    1. Well my girls, if home is where the heart is, you have heart in spades yourself. Christy your house is one of my favourite places in the world, filled with colour, comfy spots to curl up in, a beautiful, little bouncing girl or dog to entertain you at every turn, and so many things to entertain the eye and soul.

      Christy, you and Di are so inspirational in the way that you are bringing up your girls to be creative, and to appreciate using their own skills to create their own entertainment. What a joyful place your house is, I love the fact that the girls have their own kitchen which can be turned into a restaurant and that it is all part of your living space. I also love the way that at each chair at the table is an arts and crafts file for whenever the spirit moves you and a jar filled with crayons and pencils on the table.
      Your girls were so helpful in pointing out the other day that when you play restaurant, a pocket in the apron is really important because you have to have a place to put your pad and pencil. And they were right, of course you need a pocket!

      Everything I love about personally designed spaces I would find in your house Christy, keep up the colourful, loving, living work Babe..