weddings galore

The month of September has been a wedding extravaganza.

Our first wedding of the month was Steve’s sister’s wedding, and I loved that my duties for this wedding included flower arranging and making boutonnieres!  Such a fun responsibility to be given.  The bride’s mother and multiple friends of hers planned ahead and grew an assortment of flowers, greenery, and wild grasses that would still be in bloom for early fall.

homegrown flowers, centre pieces, boutonniere, wedding

Making boutonnieres wasn’t as hard as I thought it’d be.  It requires the following materials: flowers, greenery, scissors, floral tape, ribbon, pins, a glue gun, a water spritzer and some ziplock plastic bags.  First pick a small grouping of flowers for your boutonniere.  Wrap the stems with the floral tape (you can wrap all the way down the stems or leave some stems with a straight cut hanging out to be seen), then wrap ribbon, and add a dab of hot glue to make the ribbon stay, secure it with a pin, spritz the flowers with water, place it in the ziplock bag, blow in some air, seal the bag, and keep in a cooler or fridge until ready to use.  Voila!

homegrown flowers, arranging, centre pieces, boutonniere
homegrown flowers, DIY boutonniere, flower arranging
homegrown flowers, DIY boutonniere, wedding, flower arrangements
homegrown flowers, flower arranging, DIY bridal bouquet

This was the bridal bouquet. I love the lavender and the fact that all the flowers were local and homegrown (a request specifically made by the bride -nice one).

homegrown flowers, wedding, table centre pieces, mason jars

Table centre pieces housed in a collection of family and friend's mason jars.

homegrown flowers, DIY table centre pieces, early September fall wedding

A super cute touch to the table setting. The bride's collections of vintage postcards were used to indicate table numbers.

vintage postcards, table centre piece, table number, wedding

vintage postcards, DIY table numbers, wedding

vintage postcards, table numbers, wedding,

vintage themed wedding, card & gift table, card box, wedding

gin cocktails, wedding cocktail hour drinks

croquet, wedding lawn games

 

The second wedding was in upstate New York in the Catskill mountains.  The trip started off wonderfully with a scenic drive through the most dairy farms I’ve ever seen on one winding stretch of road, gorgeous old manner homes with wrap-around verandas, antiques galore, and delicious stops for ice-cream.  We were so stoked for the rest of the drive, until we hit the end of a stretch of highway, that was closed due to extreme flooding.  We ended up having to reroute nearly 3/4′s of the rest of the way to avoid washed out bridges and overflowing rivers.  Three days of torrential downpour had devastated many of the small towns in the area.  Luckily we made it to the wedding ceremony (just barely on time) unscathed, dry and ready to soak in the beautiful Catskill mountain views.

antique, vintage toys, upstate New York, Warsaw, NY,

Catskill mountain range, upsate NY,

old barns, upstate NY

old Victorian home, upsate New York, Catskills

wedding pre-drink, men's shoes, & socks

flower & mason jars, wedding, flower arrangements, DIY

cross stitch, sunflowers, wedding

I really want to head back to this area to enjoy more small town road stops, antiquing and local food sampling.  If I have the time one fall, I may just make another trip down when the dangers of flooding will not be an issue.

We’ve still got 1 more wedding to go before the end of September!

supercrawl

Supercrawl 2011 is going to be so damn good.  I’m crying inside that I’m going to miss it.  Instead of artcrawling, I’ll be heading to beautiful upstate NY for the 4th out of 5 weddings of the season.  It will be fun but it might be hard pressed to top the 3 major free festivals that will all be running simultaneously in Hamilton’s downtown core on Saturday, September 10th.  We’ve got the Locke Street Festival, Country Music Week (at Copps Coliseum & on top of Jackson Square) and the SUPERCRAWL on James St. north.

The line up for the Supercrawl is just so outstandingly AWESOME! If I could go, these would be some of my top picks to check out…
 

J Mascis of Dinosaur Junior -9:15pm Stage 1 at York & James N.


 

Basia Bulat will be playing with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra -7pm Stage 1 at York & James N.

.

 

Black Francis aka Frank Black of The Pixies and Reid Paley -9pm Stage 2 Colborne & James N.  (Paley & Francis will be releasing their new album with Hamilton local record label Sonic Unyon).

Reid Paley, Francis Black, Black Francis, Frank Black, The Pixies, Hamilton, Supercrawl, Supercrawl 2011, Sonic Unyon


 

Junior Boys back from their world tour, and home to Hamilton for the Supercrawl! -9pm Stage 2 Colborne & James N.


 

Hamilton’s own, Young Rival -4:15pm Stage 1 at York & James N.

 

DMC Canadian Final DJ Competition at Academia Banquet Hall (upper floor), 242 James St. north.

DMC DJ scratch Championsips, Canada, Supercrawl, September 10 2011, James st. north,

I would also love to see the hand knitted art installation that will replicate the entire brick facade of The Brain, done by the Beehive Craft Collective.  This is going to be so cool!

The Brain, James St. north, Hamilton

 

Oh, and how could I  forget to mention a super exhibit called Women’s Work that will be on display at Project Space 126/128 James St. north, opening reception on the Supercrawl night from 7-10pm.  It will be an exhibit of fantastic crafty, textileness, which will include a beehive paper dress by artist Hitoko Okata.

Project Space Presents: This Woman's Work, Artists: Simone Aziga, Erika DeFreitas, Insoon Ha, Colina Maxwell, Ingrid Mayrhofer, Shelley Niro, Hitoko Okada, Curated by: Sally Frater, Supercrawl 2011

Erika DeFreitas, Detail from A Teleplasmic Study with Doillies (A Selection). 2010 - 2011. Digital print

The day before the Supercrawl; Friday September 9th will be Terra Lighfoot‘s CD release party at This Ain’t Hollywood, and James St. north will still be kickin’ with it’s regular monthly art crawl from 7-11pm.

The Supercrawl will take place on Saturday, September 10th from 10am-12 midnight, from York/Wilson and James St. north all the way down to This Ain’t Hollywood.

After parties a plenty at The Brain -199 James St. north (dance party to soul, house, disco boogie) free, 1pm-2am, and after party thrown by Beauty Industries at The Red Mill Theatre -80 James St. north (at Wilson) $10 to get in, 9pm-2am.

On top of a phenomenal line up of class act musical artists both local and otherwise there will be some amazing visual artists and art installations, plus galleries and the ever increasing number of independent and cool shops, will all be open and pumping at full throttle.

Here is a list of the 2011 Supercrawl contingent.  For specific times and locations of performances look here.

Music-BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE
J MASCIS
PALEY & FRANCIS
JUNIOR BOYS
SAID THE WHALE
RIDLEY BENT
BASIA BULAT and the HAMILTON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
PLANTS AND ANIMALS
RAH RAH
DINNER BELLES
SEAN ROWE
JACQUES GREENE (dj set)
THE HEARTBROKEN
DINOSAUR BONES
YOUNG RIVAL
TURKEY RHUBARB
REBEKAH HIGGS
MAYOR McCA
ELECTROLUMINESCENT
LIVE HOW YOU LIVE
COWLICK
OLENKA AND THE AUTUMN LOVERS
MONSTER TRUCK
THE REST
BA JOHNSTON
SARAH LOWES
FRY TRUCK
HAMILTON HIP HOP ALL-STARS
MOTEM & CO.
McMASTER LAPTOP ORCHESTRA
DJ OLLIE
DJ BASCO
EARTH, WIND & CHOIR
plus
DMC 2011 WORLD DJ CHAMPIONSHIPS: CANADIAN FINALS
and
WAR CHILD Busking For CHANGE

FYI Free shuttle buses available from the Locke St. festival to the Supercrawl.

 

ribfest

A few summers back Steve and I biked to Burlington for their annual Ribfest (Canada’s largest!).  I remember how the bike ride was a bit tricky once we hit the industrial heartland of the steel mills and entered into the highway of what is Burlington St. east (now with the bike bridge over the QEW this should be no sweat).  Not to mention the lift bridge got stuck and there was about an hour delay to cross the water to get to Burlington.

Mmmmm ribs.  Ribfest was awesome and well worth the bike ride and wait.  It was packed, smoky, and delicious.

A good sampling of ribs, pulled pork, and beer by the lake, in the sun, is a fantastic way to end off the summer.  Oh, sigh..

 

and another one’s down

Federal Building, demolition, Hamilton, 150 Main St.

Photo by Jeff Tessier from Civic Pride Made Real, H Mag.

 

150 Main St. is where the 57 year old Federal Building stands… well is kind of standing.  It is partially being dismembered.  The whole ordeal has been a contentious and difficult process.  There have been petitions to save Elizabeth Holbrook’s 1954 stone works that adorn the front facade of the building, as well as, petitions to designate the building as a historical landmark.  Owner and developer Darko Vranich purchased the building in 2004 with the intention to develop the property into condos.  However, 7 years later no action or movement to initiate this development was taken.  After much drama between the city, Vranich and the Government of Canada, it was decided that only a partial demolition would be able to occur, as when Vranich purchased the building one condition was to keep intact the original facade and features of the building and that the building could not be razed to the ground.  Phewf!

 

“Please be reminded that the Government of Canada sold the property with a covenant that runs with the land in perpetuity which, in addition to protecting certain designated features and facades, requires that you and subsequent purchasers not ‘raze to the ground or otherwise demolish the entire building.’”

Federal Building, Hamilton, 150 Main St., demolition

It is still very sad and frustrating to see half the building being ripped down, not to mention that the owner was able to leave the building untouched for such a long time only letting it fall into further decay.  I feel like this is a trend in Hamilton; buy an old building that has the potential to rejuvenate and transform the city when properly cared for, make hollow promises that you will develop it but then do nothing, let the building sit vacant for many years, ultimately resulting in its demolition.  This has been a similar case for many historical downtown Hamilton buildings like The Century Theatre, which was demolished in 2010, and The Royal Connaught, which has been sitting vacant since 2004.  It is truly such a horrible shame or even a disgrace as Sean Burak writes in Raise the Hammer.

150 Main St., Hamilton, Federal Building, demolition

150 Main St. front door

Elizabeth Holbrook stone work, art, Federal Building, 150 Main St., Hamilton

150 Main St., front doors, Hamilton,

Elizabeth Holbrook, art, stone work, Hamilton, Federal Building, 150 Main St.

For further reading pleasure about the state of many of Hamilton’s buildings, read the recently published article in The Globe and Mail titled Vacant Buildings Overwhelm Hamilton’s Streets.

summer sandwich

When some wonderful and lovely friends came over for lunch on the weekend, I thought a feast of grilled veggie sandwiches, with meats and cheeses on ciabatta bread would be a nice, refreshing, summery treat that would suit everyone’s lunch time pallet.

grilled zucchini, roasted peppers, spinach, raspberry cheddar cheese

spicy salami, grilled zucchini, roasted peppers, raspberry cheddar, & baby spinach

For some garden fresh sides I threw together some lightly steamed green beans tossed with fresh chopped mint from the garden, reduced balsamic, olive oil and crumbled feta cheese.

grilled veggies & smoked gruyere

homegrown tomaotes, mini bocconcini, basil, balsamic & olive oil

The other side dish consisted of  tomatoes from the garden with basil, and mini bocconcini cheese, olive oil and balsamic.  Simple food but super delicious!

 grilled veggie & meat sandwich on ciabatta bread

edible garden

I love that Hamilton’s City Hall has an edible garden.  Purple cabbage, kale, parsley, and Swiss chard fill the garden beds out front of the shiny new refurbished City Hall.

Hamilton, city hall, exterior, edible garden

Hamilton, city hall, garden, cabbage heads, cabbage patch

After passing the cabbage patch out front of Hamilton’s City Hall, I biked past a small splatter of chalk messages to the late Jack Layton on the sidewalk.  It was a very sweet tribute to Jack from local Hamiltonians.  Still, nothing can compare to the overwhelming and touching response to the recent passing of NDP leader Jack Layton in front of City Hall in Toronto.

Remembering Jack Layton at Nathan Phillips Square

Crowds gather in front of Toronto City Hall, Nathan Philips Square, to read chalk drawn messages dedicated to Jack Layton.

 

keep it in the family

A while ago Steve picked up this yellow chair at a garage sale in his home town for $5.  His grandma upon seeing the chair stated that the chair was in fact once hers, and that she had sold it many years back at a garage sale.  We thought “No, there’s no way!” and so we carried on our lives enjoying the sitting pleasures of this fine vinyl yellow chair.  Until one day a few years later, Steve noticed a little piece of paper peeking out from in between the seat. He dug it out, only to discover that it was a Christmas present label to one of his cousin’s from “grandma” in his grandmother’s handwriting!  Lesson learned listen to what your grandma says ‘cos grandmas don’t lie.

vintage yellow vinyl chair, interior design

closing time

Harvest Burger has been a King Street Hamilton staple for as long as I can remember.  It’s been around for 32 years to be exact, long before I started frequenting it as a teenager. For a place that feels like it’s been in existence forever, it is hard to imagine that one day soon Harvest Burger will be closing its doors.  I paid my last visit recently, and spoke briefly with owner Ippokratis Fthenos, who expressed with sadness that through good times and bad times the time had come for him and his wife Georgia to retire and close up shop.

Harvest Burger, Hamilton, closing

Harvest Burger, Ippokratis Fthenos, closing, Hamilton

Harvest Burger, Hamilton, menu, burger, closing

When I asked Ippokratis if the King St. east Harvest Burger location would remain open, he pointed to the card propped up on the counter “In Loving Memory”, and said his brother owned the other Harvest Burger location and that sadly he had just passed away 2 weeks ago, so no it wasn’t staying open.  The only other Harvest Burger in Hamilton will also be closing.

Harvest Burger, closing, Hamilton

Harvest Burger, Hamilton, closing, flip-seat booths

Harvest Burger, patio, swivel chairs, Hamilton, closing

Harvest Burger, Hamilton, drive up, drive through, closing

September 3rd will be Harvest Burger’s last day open.  Soon to be replaced by an A&W.  Pay your respects, reminisce about bygone days, eat a burger and munch on some fries, it’s time for Harvest Burger farewells and goodbyes.

*194 King St. West, Hamilton, 905.525.3233

modify your closet

I’ve always loved the corner of Walnut and King.  It’s home to some beautiful old buildings that are in great condition, well maintained, and in the recent past have previously been vacant. However…

MODify Your Closet, Hamilton, King St. vintage & consignment clothing shop

Last fall I was over the moon to see the consignment shop MODify Your Closet open up right on that block. I remember the very day it opened it because I basically ran right in.  The physical store space itself is gorgeous.  Owner Melanie McArthur and store manager Ally Amato renovated the space themselves stripping it back down to it’s  bare bones -original wood floors, and tin 14 foot high ceilings.  Pretty much restoring the 100 year old+ building to it’s primordial state.

MYC now carries men’s wear too along with a great selection of carefully selected men’s & women’s shoes, clothes, vintage ties, with a huge collection of women’s accessories from hats, scarves and belts down to clutches and purses.

50's vintage dress, MODify Your Closet, Hamilton, King St. clothing store

vintage red suitcase, Modify Your Closet, Hamilton, vintage & consignment clothing store

mens vintage shoes, MODify Your Closet, Hamilton, consignment & vintage clothing store

men's summer hat, vintage, Modify Your Closet, Hamilton, clothing store

I regularly peak in and peruse the choice selection of vintage and gently used designer finds.  With every season change the ladies at MYC put on some fantastic sales of up to 50-70% off nearly everything in the store.  I’ve found some amazing steals, and will boast my purchase of 2 denim rompers (because 1 is never enough!), a super cute red and white polka-dot shirt and an adorably sexy black dress ALL for a total of $48!

Another recent addition to the collection of great finds at this store is the vintage pyrex cookware.  Love it!

pyrex vintage dishes, MOdify Your Closet, Hamilton

For more information about this great consignment store read The Hamilton Spectator article about MODify Your Closet  here.

 

*203 King St. east, Hamilton, Ontario, 905.522.2229, M-F 10-6, S 12-5

beefy tomatoes

Beef eater? Beef cake?  Beefsteak? It doesn’t matter what the name is of these tomatoes because one thing is for sure, they are definitely beefy.

beefsteak tomatoes, homegrown tomatoes, backyard vegetable garden, raised beds

We used an old pair of jeans cut into rags to tie up our massively growing tomato plant.

homegrown, beefsteak tomatoes, backyard garden

I swear some of these beefsteak tomatoes from our garden are the size of 5 pin bowling balls. They are huge, delicious, fresh and juicy.

beefsteak tomatoes, sunday morning breakfast

Fresh cut garden tomatoes go perfect with a Sunday morning breakfast.

 

 

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