The Liebster Award!

I feel honoured. Ella from Paper Umbrella blog just nominated me for the Liebster Award! She is such a lovely lady. I recently started following her blog and it's filled with beautiful photos and fun ideas. She has such wonderful projects on the go, not to mention she is incredibly sweet and kind! Plus, she lives in Portland which automatically makes her so cool :) . I had to research a bit more on the Liebster award, but basically it's an award given to blogs with under or around 200 followers (the rules have changed a bit over time!) It's a chance to get new blogs out there and also learn more about bloggers! I'm happy to be a part of this little way to connect with others. 

So here are the rules:
1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog
2. Answer 10 questions given to you by the nominator 
3. Nominate other bloggers who have less than 200 followers
4. Create 10 (or so) questions for your nominees to answer
5. Let your nominees know that you have nominated them!

These are my answers to Ella's questions:

Tell me the story of your blog name!
I started this blog initially as a project to motivate me to be creative and also as a type of journal. I had just moved out of dorm and into a a rental house with a few roommates in the city of Saskatoon, SK. We all came to love the house with all of the character features of an old home. It had a lot of charm and we happened to live on Bottomley Ave. It soon became known as Bottomley Cottage to everyone that knew it and although I don't live there anymore, the name just stuck for my blog! In some ways, I think Bottomley Cottage just means home for me, so it will follow me wherever I go. 

If you could travel anywhere in the world right now where would you go?
France, definitely France.

Coffee or tea? And why?
Coffee! Every morning I drink a cup. And not the good stuff, oh no...definitely the cheapest one we can find at Costco. Because we're trying to save money for France!

If you could go back five years and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
"Stop worrying so much about being single and try to enjoy it. Because you will eventually meet the most loving and caring man you know. He will love you in a way that you have not known and will make you laugh every single day!" 

Where would you live if money/jobs/distance from family and friends didn't matter?
Somewhere in Europe, I think. Maybe England or France. Or the east coast of Canada. My heart remains in Prince Edward Island. 

If you had to wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Hmmm. That's hard to say because I get tired of things so quick. But I have realized that as much as I love dresses, I will always vote pants- those cord leggings from the Gap which are ever so comfy. And a really cozy sweater. I like being comfy cozy. 

What's your favorite quote?
I don't know if this a quote so much as a Bible verse, but I do like this one: "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure." -Hebrews 6:19

What's your spirit animal?
I think that people have related me to a deer. Quiet, timid, gentle, playful, and somewhat sneaky!

Favorite kind of flower?
I am in love with peonies, ranunculus, daisies, and lavender. (But it's so hard to pick because I love a LOT of flowers). 

What's your favorite thing to blog about?
Lately my blog has turned much more into a documentation of what I'm working on artistically, but I do like creating posts from pictures I've taken documenting life.

I nominate: 
Clara + Kelsey of P.S. Heart
Angela of Angela Grayce
Brita of B.Britnell

My questions:
1. Who is the most famous person you’ve ever met? 
2. If you could play any instrument, which would you play?
3. What’s the one sound that drives you crazy?
4. What book has had the biggest impact on you?
5. Where (& what) do you most often find yourself singing?
6. What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
7. What’s your favourite childhood TV show?
8. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
9. If you could live in one city for the rest of your life, where would you live? 
10. What is your favourite thing about the blogging community?


And that's all, folks! Have a look at some of these ladies' blogs and help build up the blogging community!

Mmmm...Squash

I've had a lot of time on my hands lately. A lot of time means a lot of time to experiment in the kitchen and find new recipes to try. So despite the fact that I am ill with a cold, yesterday I just had to try making this recipe because I was craving soup. Now, I didn't have pumpkin, but I had a squash, and I liked it just the same! I didn't even have a butternut squash, but really, squash is squash is squash...It all tastes delish. So here it is! The best squash soup for curing colds! I do not take credit for the picture, but mine looked just the same!

Pumpkin Apple Soup (from Canadian Living Magazine)

1. First off you will have to make yogurt cheese for that lovely white design on the top of the soup. To make simply find a clean linen or cotton tea towel (I used a thin cloth napkin). Plop a few scoops of plain yogurt inside, gather up the corners secure with rubber band or something of the sort, and hang for 8 hours over a container to separate the whey from the rest of the yogurt. (DO NOT try cheesecloth. It doesn't work. Trust me, I tried.) What's left in the towel becomes your yogurt cheese which can be stored in the fridge for 1 week.

Ok now for the actual recipe....
You will need:
1 1/4 lb (625 g) sugar pumpkin or butternut squash (or any squash) halved and seeded.
2 onions, quartered (I only used one and it turned out great)
1 large apple, halved and cored
1 clove garlic
2 C. sodium reduced vegetable broth
1/2 salt
pinch of white pepper (or regular black pepper...)

1. Peel and cut pumpkin (or squash) into 1/2 inch cubes; Place in roasting pan. Add onions, apple and garlic; drizzle with oil and toss to coat. Roast in 425 degree F oven, stirring once, until pumpkin is browned and tender, about 40 min.

2. Peel apple (which I did not. Peels are healthy) ; transfer along with roasted mixture to food processor.

3. Heat roasting pan over med-high heat; Pour in 1 C. of broth and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Add to food processor and puree until smooth.

4. In dutch oven, add 1 T. olive oil. Stir in vegetable puree, remaining broth, 2 C. water (though you may only want to do one depending on how thick you want your soup. I did 1 C.), salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve drizzled with yogurt cheese, sprinkled with bacon, or toasted pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!

Love Light

I absolutely love the light coming into Penny de Los Santos' house. I could cook in this kitchen and feel very happy.
I could wake up in this bed with the light shining on my face and feel blissful in the morning.
I love the way light makes me feel so hopeful and joyful. It's such a beautiful thing.

A Beautiful Mess

I have a studio space. I set it up yesterday in our little house. I wish I could show you the finished product so badly, but with no camera that is kind of difficult! So I will just tell you how excited I am and leave you with this little visual treat.

(Sad) Fashion Friday

Ok here is my tale of woe. I get this urge to buy new shoes for the school year, just like old days. So I go shopping and try on countless pairs and come across what I think is the dream shoe at the time. Because the price is a little on the high side, though, I decide to leave them for the time being- in my mind I am thinking I will save up my moneys in my piggy bank and come back in a month. A few days later, I go home telling my sister that I found these fabulous shoes. And what does she do? Goes out and buys them herself!! Well, I can't very well go and buy them myself now, or we'd be matching! So, these shoes were put to the back of my mind....
A few weeks later, I go shopping again. And what do I come across? A pair of shoes that I love EVEN MORE! Now these boots are just SO beautiful. I try on a size 10 (which SHOULD fit...) but unfortunately they are a little tight. No bother, I think, I can just order a size 11! After a little hesitancy about the price, I decide to take the leap. I mean these are not just ordinary boots, these boots make me feel like I am part of a different era, that I am an important person who has the capability to change the course of history! That's how great these boots are. I eagerly await the arrival of these little gems. Soon they arrive and I am ecstatic as I rip open the packaging! I whip out the marvelous brown beauties and hastily put them on my eager feet. But horror of horrors....they are STILL TOO SMALL!! How can this be?? They are size 11!! I never wear size 11!! My heart is crushed. I wear them out and about for a while to see if I can stand them, but my poor little toes are being crushed into one another. Sigh. I finally decided tonight, I suppose I will have to return them. Though it is with a heavy heart that I do so. Goodbye Beautiful Boots. Make someone else's feet very happy.

Home Again, Home Again

Well after about 2 weeks of traveling around BC, I am back and ready to blog again! This summer I was given the opportunity to take my friends, Amanda and Colin's engagement photos. My first photo shoot! I can't say I wasn't nervous, but excitement mostly took over once we started the shoot. When I have more time, I will post more pictures, but here is a sneak peek of what is to come....


Peaches and Wildflowers

So with the absence of a camera and computer, I haven't really had much to post lately or a way to do it. But here is a snapshot of my latest ventures in Hepburn on my vacation. I love the simplistic beauty of wildflowers, so one warm day, I took to the fields and helped myself to these lovely beauties. And the gem of the bunch? The one wild rose I found!

And lately, I've been yearning to learn the art of the preserve. So today, my mother took on the task of teaching me by canning peaches! So fun and so delicious!


I am now ready to see what other goodies I can can up for the winter!

Melancholy Monday

I'm titling this post "Melancholy Monday" because something truly sad happened over the weekend. On Friday night, our home was broken into and my computer and both my cameras were stolen. I'm feeling a little bit sad about the cameras (even though I long for a new one!) just because now I have nothing. Before I wasn't happy with my cameras, but I had something. Now I can't even pretend to take pictures. It's quite sad. So to cheer myself up, I came across this photographer and artist named Cade Martin. His work is so fabulous, I can almost forget about my stolen pocessions! I hope you enjoy and check out his website because he has more fabulous work on there! What does your monday bring for you?

Blue and White Dream

Ok I know I just posted, but who says you can't post again even though no one has read the last post?? I just came across my (of many) dream kitchen! Minus the ferns on the island, I am in love. The blue and white? So wonderful. I'm loving the rustic, classy vintage feel of this beautiful room. And the fridges? So inventive! It can all be found here.

New and Old

Oh how I love my latest finds of the summer! So much that I have to share them with you here:


Flowers: New!
Watering Can: New- from Twisted Goods for my Birthday
Plate: Old- from my Grandma!
Coffee Grinder: Old- from my Grandpa. I had been looking for a new one for SO long that was also inexpensive and was thrilled to receive this from my Grandpapa as he was cleaning out his office!
Camera: Old- another great basement find from Grandpa!
Water Bottle: New- from The Better Good just because I loved it so much and couldn't resist

Ode to Blueberries


This is my ode to blueberries. It doesn't come in word form. It only comes in the form of a picture. But these lovely little fruits have been taking over my every meal, snack, and dessert lately. I can't stop eating them. They are SO good! And since they are also taking over my refrigerator, I think I will make something with them and this may be making it's place in my belly later on...

Blueberry Cobbler (from Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog)

Berries:
-5 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries
-2/3 cup sugar
-3 tbsp corn starch
Place all ingredients in a microwaveable bowl. Heat for 3 minutes stirring once half way through. You just want to get them hot, but not bubbling. Pour hot berries into a 8" square pan or deep dish pie plate.

Biscuit topping:
-1 cup flour
-1/3 cup sugar
-2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-3 tbsp butter
-1/2 cup buttermilk (you can use regular milk)
Measure dry ingredients into bowl. Cut in cold butter until crumbly. Add milk all at once and mix with a fork until moistened. Drop by spoonfuls over hot berries. Bake at 425º for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy.

These Old Things

So today I feel compelled to bring something to the front of your memories. I once upon a time spent hour upon hour creating crocheted pieces for a craft show, proceeded to sell next to nothing and was left with a stash of crocheted bonnets, hats and one sweater which I didn't know what to do with. Upon cleaning my room the other day, I came across these precious items and would like to remind you of their worth right now! If you should want a cute little bonnet for your child or someone you know, I am selling these heirloom bonnets at $20.00 (Down from $25!), and the sweater at a new low price of $35.00 (Down from $40!). Please let me know if you are interested and I will be sure to get back to you!


The bonnets come in sizes small and large in most colours

Also, as a side note, I think I will start posting about the books I am reading or have read, maybe do a little review here and there! I just barely finished (before I had to return it to the library so I wouldn't get more fines than I already have...) the book, Geisha, A Life by Mineko Iwasaki. It's a very interesting autobiographical read. I've always been fascinated by Japanese culture and Geisha lifestyle, so I picked this up one day thinking it might just be a story with information that I already have gathered about the lifestyle. But it is much more than that, I found. I really couldn't even put it down some times! Her story is fascinating and the conviction and determination she displays is inspiring. And any misconceptions you have about Meiko and Geisha, she will be sure to set you straight! The word "geiko" (another name for Geisha) means "artist" and I've discovered that is exactly what they are and maybe that is why I am so drawn toward it. Although, they are much more disciplined artists than I. I think I could learn a lot from the way they discipline themselves to learn and study their art forms. I'm so lazy about it...

Red Poppies

Lately as I've seen the poppies bloom around town, I've begun to really appreciate their beauty. There is something so timeless about the simple red poppy. I think this one is going on my favourite flowers list. And Begonias. I think by the end of my lifetime, my favourite flowers list will be very long...
I stole this picture from The Audrey Hepburn Complex- beautiful imagery site if you ever get a chance to take a peek!
Oh and to appeal to another sense, this artist has been pleasurable to my ears lately. Have a listen! It takes a bit to get into the song, but it's worth it!



And if this wasn't enough, here's another one!

Feeling Beachy

Lately, I've been loving everything nautical. It makes me think of classic vintage summer. I'm also lovin this collage site I came across. So put the two together and you get this! Fabulous.
Feeling BeachyFashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore


Photographic Art

I came across another blog that posted about this, and I was inspired, so I thought I'd post as well! This photographer and artist Dan Estabrook has really fascinating photography in which he uses 19th century methods of developing. It seems his work is less about taking pictures and more about creating art. Much of his artwork, I find so beautiful and very intriguing. It inspires me to create in a similar fashion! (Though without the equipment, I doubt I could ever create something as beautiful as this!)




Many Moons

Hello there. It has been many moons since I last posted. But in my defence, I was on the Eastern Shores of Canada for 2 weeks where I did not readily have access to computers. So. Here I am again ready to write about something fascinating.

I feel as though I have to share this. It's just too amazing for words. And although I've always loved the idea of small living, never have I seen anything this small! I can't say I would go to this extreme, but what a cute little home! Apparently this is some kind of new trend- Tiny Homes and I have to agree with some of the reasons people do this. First of all, who really needs the space of these ugly huge box homes that people are building in the suburbs? It's ugly and it's unnecessary! And I suppose small homes do a lot for generating less energy which is always good. And of course, it's cheaper! These homes cost a penny compared to what most homes are going for! Last of all, they are cute. And who can't appreciate cute homes? Take a look:




There are all kinds of tiny houses if you search around. This guy has all kinds of neat designs on his website. Also, check out The Small House Society and Toronto's Smallest House. I am so inspired. and in awe.

The Secret Garden

...It was the lock of the door which had been closed ten years and she put her hand in her pocket, drew out the key and found it fitted the keyhole. She put the key in and turned it. It took two hands to do it, but it did turn.

And then she took a long breath and looked behind her up the long walk to see if anyone was coming. No one was coming. No one ever did come, it seemed, and she took another long breath, because she could not help it, and she held back the swinging curtain of ivy and pushed back the door which opened slowly-slowly.

Then she slipped through it, and shut it behind her, and stood with her back against it, looking about her and breathing quite fast with excitement, and wonder, and delight.

She was standing inside the secret garden...

..."How still it is!" she whispered. "How still!" Then she waited a moment and listened at the stillness. The robin, who had flown to his treetop, was still as all the rest. He did not even flutter his wings; he sat without stirring, and looked at Mary...

...She moved away from the door, stepping as softly as if she were afraid of awakening some one. She was glad that there was grass under her feet and that her steps made no sounds. She walked under one of the fairy-like gray arches between the trees and looked up at the sprays and tendrils which formed them...

...She did not seem to know anything about gardening, but the grass seemed so thick in some places where the green points were pushing their way through that she thought they did not seem to have room enough to grow. She searched about until she found a rather sharp piece of wood and knelt down and dug and weeded out the weeds and grass until she made nice little clear places around them...


...She went from place to place, and dug and weeded, and enjoyed herself so immensly that she was led on from bed to bed and into the grass under the trees. The exercise made her so warm that she first threw her coat off, and then her hat, and without knowing it she was smiling down on to the grass and the pale green points all the time.

Excerpts taken from The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Post inspired by Rebecca's longing to play Secret Garden in the backyard!


Delicious Granola Bars!

Do you ever get that craving for wheat germ, coconut or sunflower seeds? Well, I have the perfect solution to your craving, and it's super yummy too! And also super simple and a little bit healthy- the perfect combination! Here it is- I wish I had a picture, but you will just have to take my word for it. I made them the other day and can't stop eating them. So good! Here it is:

Chewy Granola Bars

1 cup brown sugar, not packed
2/3 cup peanut butter (I used half crunchy, half smooth)
1/2 cup corn syrup (Rogers Golden Syrup works too, I ran out of corn syrup and it turned out fine!)
1/2 cup margarine, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup wheat germ
2 tablespoons sesame seed
1 cup chocolate chips

*Mix first 5 ingredients. Add the rest and mix well. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes in a 9x13" pan (until golden brown). Let cool and enjoy!

Hope this works as well for you as it always does for me! And I just realized how many exclamation marks I have used in this post, but that is because I am so excited about this recipe! It's that good!!!!