bike ride

The other day we went for a bike ride, and I was happy to see the completed bike bridge that now connects the rail trail all the way to the waterfront trail (up & over the QEW), allowing for easier access to the beach and water all by bicycle!

bike bridge over QEW, Hamilton, bike trail to waterfront

I love the Hamilton bike trails. From our house it’s a 2 minute ride to the escarpment rail trail that goes east up and along the escarpment to Albion Falls.  A short jaunt away from our place (at the top of Dundurn) is the start of the other rail trail going west all the way to Brantford.  If you wanted to make a day of cycling you could do a huge circuit from Burlington’s lakeshore waterfront all the way to the Dundas Valley Conservation area all by trails.

Lake Ontario, tall wild grasses, bike trail, Hamilton

Love, love, love the waterfront trail between Burlington & Hamilton.  It’s wide, paved, and can accommodate, bikers, walkers, strollers, rollerbladers and the like all without overcrowding.  On this day there were tons of picnics and bbqs going on, as well as, folks lounging by the beach, eating ice-cream and sipping patio beers.

Lawrence Rd. bike lane, Hamilton

On the way home from the waterfront we opted to take Lawrence road’s bike lane (the road that runs behind Gage Park to Stoney Creek) and follow the neighbourhood back roads that hug the escarpment back home to downtown.

 

august art crawl

This month’s art crawl is going to be another really good one!  The ladies from the Beehive Craft Collective are putting on their 2 day craft show in the old Friendship Gift Shop (118 James St. north).  They will have some fabulous vendors.  If you want to get a little taste of what will be at the craft fair you can checkout the Beehive Craft Collective blog and their spotlight features of the vendors & their products.

Here’s a tiny sample of some of the talented crafters that will be there.

cards by Katie Muth, Summer Craft Fair, James St. North

From http://www.ohmysocute.com/

I have unknowingly bought many, many cards by printmaker Katie Muth.  I’ve bid happy wishes with Katie’s artwork for weddings, thank yous, births and birthdays, cards all of which I’ve purchased from Mixed Media. It’ll be great to stock up on some more artful greetings for all the upcoming nuptials I will be witnessing in the next few months.

rust jars fat quarter, Bespoke Uprising, summer craft fair, James St. north

Hand drawn images, & screen printed textiles by bespoken uprising

For more images go to bespoken uprising’s blog or for some shopping check out her etsy page.

 

bacon egg potery, by breand and butter pottery, summer craft fair, Hamiton, James St. North

from http://breadandbutterpottery.com/pottery/

Super cute pottery from Bread & Butter Pottery.

 

the lasso, textiles, scarf, scout & catalogue, summer craft fair, Hamilton, James St. norht

from http://www.scoutandcatalogue.com/

Soft and pretty textiles and garments from Scout & Catalogue.

 

In addition to all this wonderful summer craftiness, Steve will have his artwork in 2 galleries for the art crawl; Align at b contemporary and Zoo at Loose Canon.  At b contemporary, pieces by Steve Newberry like the one below, as well as, artwork by Stephanie Seagram and Nicole Collins, will be exhibited.

Steve Newberry artist, b contemporary art gallery, James St. North Art Crawl, Hamilton art gallery

landscapes -belleville artist Steve Newberry

For more pictures of the gorgeous artwork at  Zoo’s opening from July’s art crawl , check out Jacqui Oakley’s blog post.

 

*b contemporary, 226 James St. North, Hamilton

*Loose Canon, 150 James St. North, Hamilton

 

antiques & breakfast

Antiques and greasy breakfast go so well together.  While we were in Kingston to see the Wolfe Island Music Festival, we visited  friends, went to the antique market at Market Square, and dined at the Right Spot for a delicious greasy breakfast.

Kingston antique market, view finder

Kingston antique market, antique tins

Kingston antique market, antique tricycle

Kingston antique market, antique stadium seats, antique theatre seats

Kingston antique market, bicycle

Right Spot Restaurant, diner, greasy spoon, greasy breakfast, Kingston, Ontario

Right Spot Restaurant, diner, greasy spoon, greasy breakfast, Kingston, Ontario

I ordered French toast and home fries (sorry no picture). Their home fries are thinly sliced medallions, griddle fried in bacon grease to a crisp golden brown perfection. My French toast was crispy and savoury (from bacon grease) on the outside, but soft and sweet, melt in my mouth on the inside.

Right Spot Restaurant, diner, greasy spoon, greasy breakfast, Kingston, Ontario

Right Spot Restaurant, diner, greasy spoon, greasy breakfast, Kingston, Ontario

The owners are a sweet couple that run the place (just the two of them).  I will be sad if I ever come to Kingston and I see that they’ve retired and the place is closed down.  I hope that there’s someone to carry on their delicious tradition of making the yummiest, cheapest, greasy breakfast in town.

*Right Spot, 171 Wellington St, Kingston, Ontario. 613.546.0767

mid summer cottaging

Going to cottages on non-weekend days is the best.  Since everyone else is still working it feels like a real holiday and you get to avoid the regular summer cottage traffic.

The muffalletta sandwich is a super delicious, easy to make and take cottage or picnic food.  This one is stuffed with an assortment of roasted veggies, grated fresh beets, a variety of olives, capers, salami, cheese, arugula, bacon and artichoke hearts.

wolfe island music festival

On the weekend we went to Kingston to check out the 2 day Wolfe Island Music Festival.  Considering it’s their 13th annual, it’s still as sweet and charming as ever and has yet to explode like Hillside has.

Wilderling, Wolfe Island Music Festival 2011, Kingston, Montreal indie band

We arrived by ferry (free!) to the island at about 1pm on the Saturday.  Plenty of room to set up a blanket, picnic, enjoy the sun, take naps, snack and listen to some amazing music.  My band highlights of the day were Wilderling and Forest City Lovers.

Wolfe Island Music Festival 2011, Kingston, vintage camera

Wolfe Island Music Festival 2011, camping, windmill

Wolfe Ilsand Music Festival program 2011, Kingston

Plants & Animals, Wolfe Island Music Festival 2011

Wolfe Island Music Festival 2011, baked goods

wave pool nostalgia

When I was little we’d go to Confederation Park to the “wave pool” to swim and hit the water slides all day long.  I hadn’t enjoyed any swimming at all this summer (which I usually LOVE to do), so we biked down to Wild Water Works for a day of relaxation, sun and waves.

wave pool, confederation park, wild water works

A bit of a nostalgic afternoon.  I remember from when I was a kid at the end of a day of swimming I would close my eyes as I went to bed still feeling the movement of the waves sending me off to sleep.

*Wild Water Works, 585 Van Wagner’s Rd, Hamilton, 905.547.6141

 

summer wind

We’re on to our last phase with the main floor renovation, which entails finishing the original 100+year old pine-plank flooring.  To stay clear of the toxic polyurethane varnish smell that we’d just slathered the floors with, we decided to spend the day outside enjoying the hot summer day.

Bayfront Park, Hamilton, sailing,

Down at Bayfront Park there’s a little corner that juts out just so.  On this day this little peninsula had the most gorgeous breezy bit of wonderful wind (hot everywhere else but amazing here).

painted black

Sometimes when you paint and you use a roller that hasn’t entirely dried yet (and you’re not aware of that fact that it’ll be all wet and runny AND you’re about to paint a ceiling with black paint!), then you end up getting paint all over your face.

The good news on this day was that our bedroom is finally finished, well almost.  There’s no trim and baseboards, but right now, I could care less.  I’m just excited to move out of the cramped living space we’ve been occupying in the interim.

We added a fresh shiny coat of white paint to the bedroom floors too.  Luckily the floors were painted after the black ceiling painting mishap.  Can’t wait to move back in!

The Tammy Faye Bakker smears are from sweat and tears. It stings when you get paint in your eyes.

 

floor work

Indeed, doing floors is hard.  It took Steve and our handy friend Todd 5 hours of straight hunched over hammer ripping, ear spliting, wrenching and sweating to lift up the 5 layers of flooring that were on top of the original pine plank sub-floor.

pulling nails from old pink plank flooring

I think I pulled up about a million nails.

pulling nails from old pine plank floors

100 year old pink plank floors

There was some repair work needed on a few of the boards.  We found someone who sold old flooring, and although overpriced, they matched up pretty well.  Steve replaced a few of the pieces that were rotting, and filled in the multiple holes.

100 year old pine plank floors

sanding 100 year old pink plank floors

And then on to the sanding.

floor sander, sanding 100 year old pine plank floors

We rented the heavy duty sander from the Depots.  It is a super “heavy duty” sander meant for taking off paint and old varnish, and it’s a scary beast of a machine.  The box in the photo is filled with how much sandpaper it took to sand our floors down.  The sanding dust filled up nearly 3/4 of a garbage bag.

tokiko-san enjoy your retirement

My mother celebrated her 65th birthday last month, and a week later retired. Together with a friend of my mothers, we threw a surprise retirement party. My mother is hard person to fool, but she was happily surprised, and enjoyed a delicious meal together with her friends.

This is such a cute sign made by the 81 year old husband of the surprise party planner.

Japanses snacks

Japanese snacks

steamed fava beans

These delicious snacks went great with our drinks. Japanese rice cracker bites, large fried rice crackers with sesame and shrimp flavour, and steamed salted fava beans.

Japanese tsukemono, pickles

colourful salad

The meal was delicious and was essentially part 2 of the Japanese/Korean bbq I hosted a little while back.  We dined on kalbi short ribs and an assortment of other delicious home cooked Japanese dishes.

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