Ah, yes. Winter in Manotick. Everything is lovely and clean, pristine and peaceful. Bucolic, even. Especially after a snowfall. Especially in the bush. I love when it snows just after New Years. Making everything look, well… new year new. That’s my theme today, actually. New stuff.
chickadee on a snowy branch
We saw lots of chickadees today while we were skiing.

I’ve been waiting to tell you about the two new tops I purchased just before Christmas. When I slipped and slithered down the snowy streets in Westboro, avoided the crowded malls, finished my Christmas shopping for Hubby at Mountain Equipment Co-op, and then spent a lovely chatty hour or so with Mary at Canopy on Richmond Road. Canopy is the new name for Green Tree Eco Fashion, which has long been a favourite store of mine. I love this place. Partly for its ethos: “capsule wardrobes and sustainable style,” as they say on their Facebook page. Partly for the unique pieces I find there, many of them made in Canada. And partly for the friendly and knowledgeable staff, who make shopping there so much fun. Mary pulled this Studio d top off the rack for me. I wanted something new to wear to a Christmas party with my old black leather trousers.
woman in black and white top and black leather trousers
New year, new top, old pants.
I don’t hop on many trend bandwagons. And statement sleeves is one of the trends I’ve avoided so far. Mostly because many of the styles are bizarre. Hugely long cuffs. Sleeves which cover the hands completely. Ginormous puffs. I wrote about over-the-top trends, including this one, a while ago in a post called Fashion Hyperbole.
But this little number from Studio d is an exception. It’s simple, almost classic. Made from bamboo terry, it’s smooth like jersey, stretchy, and quite heavy in weight so no clinging. I love the “double flounce” sleeves. The cream bit on the sleeves is not trim, but a longer, cream flounce under the black one. Looks great, I think, feels feminine, but at the same time feels just like a tee shirt. I wore it to the hockey gang Christmas party with my leather trousers, a pair of black and gold sparkly earrings which Hubby bought me many years ago, and my vintage cream Bakelite brooch. I didn’t wear a watch or bracelets because I didn’t want to distract from those flounces.
You can see the whole Studio d collection here. It’s made locally in Ottawa, and is available in lots of stores, or on-line. And the cool thing about Studio d is, if you visit their atelier, they will customize any garment for a flat rate of $10.00. That’s a great option for hard to fit people. With an offer like that, I may be tempted to try their wide-leg pants… a style which never, ever fits me properly.
woman in black and white top and black leather trousers
I’m participating in a trend, folks.
I had to be persuaded by Mary to try the other top I bought that day at Canopy. But once I had it on, I loved it.
trichtype of woman in figured black and white to and black leather pants
This design on this top is busy, not what I usually wear… but I love it.

This long-sleeved tee by Noujica is Canadian made, in Montreal. They design their own fabric, and knit or sew all their garments locally. They have a small collection that includes some interesting bags and other winter accessories. I love the cowl/scarf that exactly matches my tee shirt. I may order it. You can see the latest Noujica collection here. I wore my new shirt with my leather pants (again), the red cuff I bought at Covent Garden Market in London last fall, and these cheapie red and gold earrings from a few years ago.

woman in a black and white figured top and a red bracelet
Accessorizing my new shirt with my Caroline Faiers cuff , my old earrings from Pier One, and a few wrinkles. Ha.

So. Let’s do a recap. New year. New snow. Two new tops. And soon Hubby and I will have new floors in most of the rooms in our house. But in the meantime, living in a winter worksite has been… well… definitely not bucolic.

Yep. Winter in our house so far has been neither pristine, nor peaceful. We’ve been invaded. We’ve never had so much all encompassing work done in the winter, when it’s not that easy to escape. Can’t take my book into the backyard. Or sit with my tea and lunch on the deck. Today, I’m ensconced in my tiny den. Typing, drinking tea, with a heater on the floor beside me because the workmen have to go in and out, in and out; the back door is right behind me. And then there’s the nailing, hammering, sawing, sanding, brrrruppping of the power screw driver, the banging, the worrisome thumping, the dust, the mess… I could go on… but words are beginning to fail me.

rooms in a house with construction underway
Winter reno: Day 1… OMG. Day 2… OMG.

Yesterday, when Hubby and I left to shop for area rugs and then go for lunch, our dining and living rooms looked like the shot above, on the right. The carpet and old parquet were gone, ripped up. The house looked as if someone had dropped a bomb. And the installer was just starting to unbox the hardwood.

A few hours later when we arrived home, the workmen had left for the day. The house was quiet, and in darkness. I virtually tiptoed in. I held my breath. I was afraid to look. Had I made a terrible mistake deciding we should do this? All this bother, and all the mess, not to mention the money, and we’d no doubt hate it. The floors would look awful. Not like I had imagined. And nothing would go with anything. And it would all be awful. I believe that’s what psychologists call “awful-izing.” I excel at “awful-izing” sometimes.

But. It wasn’t awful. The dining and living room floors looked wonderful. Just as I had imagined. I walked around, with my hands over my mouth, grinning and sighing. And when Hubby came in after parking the car in next door’s driveway, so the workers would have space to park their trucks the next day, I was almost speechless with happiness. He laughed, agreed it looked great, and poured himself a beer. And now I’m thinking that he’s thinking that if speechlessness is the result maybe we should renovate more often. Ha.

So two more days and it will all be done. Hopefully. The bedrooms and hall are underway. Mostly someone has to be here in case something goes wrong, or decisions need to be made. Old houses like ours always, always present little surprises. We’ve been down this road before. Today we escaped to the ski trails for a couple of hours. The skiing was perfect; the snow was perfect. Pristine, as I’ve said. As pristine as our new floors will be… soon.

winter ski trails
Escape to the ski trails.
So that’s what’s new with me. By the way, I’m well into Olive Kitteridge and really enjoying it. It’s wonderfully Alice Munro-ish in style and setting. The rest of the book recommendations so kindly made for me by you in my last post are on a list.
A very, very long list.
I hope some of the rest of you were making a list too.

So, my friends, besides your growing “to read” list, what’s new with you?


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From the archives


When the Whole Year Is a Teachable Moment

2020 has been one heck of a year. A difficult year. One big teachable moment, in my opinion. And it’s not over yet.


There and Back Again Or My Almost Last Trip to Algonquin Park

I’ve been canoeing in Algonquin Park ever since I met my husband. You might even …


Home and Back Again.

We’re back home from our trip to New Brunswick. We were happy to go and we’re happy to be back. Hope you enjoy the vlog I made of our trip.

24 thoughts on “New Year; New Stuff”

  1. First of all, you look lovely in both of your new tops! I really like the length of the bell sleeves on the first top you shared. I like bell sleeves, but they tend to get in the way when I am eating, working around the kitchen, etc. The 3/4 length is perfect and the flounce is beautiful and feminine! We have renovated three houses while living in the house and our present house has been an ongoing 15 year project, with my husband doing most of the work himself. So, I feel your pain with the noise, dust and disruption that renovation brings. Have to admit I was a tad envious when you mentioned that it would be done in a couple more days. Our projects last months and even years! But, in the end, it's worth it to see the "new" in our home. Hang in there and enjoy those wood floors!

    1. Thanks, Debbie. I've worn that black and cream top to two events where eating was required… no sleeves in my plate, I'm happy to report.
      Oh dear.. not sure how you've coped. We've had several renos on our old bungalow. The house wasn't great to begin with but the location made us want to stay. Happily for most projects I was either in New Brunswick at my Mum's or at work all day. That makes a big difference.

  2. Your floors are beautiful,really OMG beautiful! I love wooden floors and have them everywhere,except in bathrooms and kitchens and yours are wonderful
    Living in a house that's under renovation and /or reconstruction is an awful,awful experience that I hope never to live through again
    Your tops are lovely and special,together with the story that goes with them. They are versatile and you could have many combinations (starting with the black skirt ,like two piece LBD,simply gorgeous……a lot of opportunities!) I've seen the video and will later check websites
    I am tall with very long legs-you'll have to kiss a lot of frogs to find great wide trousers,but,believe me,they could be really perfect piece when you'll find the right cut(or more 🙂
    Photos are gorgeous-this is kind of snow that I like,not icy paths or slush that we have in the city. I could imagine the silence (without your workers) and the fresh,clean air….
    I will write down a lot of suggestions and think to start with Olive Kitteridge,too
    But,today I'll go to the theatre
    This week was for meetings with friends (I like when all the holidays pressing slows down) and than ,next weekt,there are things to do,meetings to attend,house to clean….

    1. They do look lovely, thanks Dottoressa. Now just to get everything cleaned, dusted (the dust, the dust) and back in place. Hopefully by next week, we'll be back to normal with nicer floors:)
      Enjoy your slower pace now that the holidays are over:)

  3. No peace to read indoors either. I haven't really got onto the statement sleeve wagon for the same reasons but eventually did so as well it was sticking around. Great leather cuff. I know the indoor market you mean at Covent Garden. There are some fab pieces in there. Your texture mix is fab.

  4. The tops were a great buy. Glad the work on your new floors is going well. Will be like living in a new house and what a great diversion to be able to go skiing. The response to your last post was great, so many interesting reading suggestions. Have bookmarked for future reference! Glad you're enjoying Olive Ketteridge. It's well written isn't it? As for ethical shopping (yes I'm doing a multi post comment), it's a minefield. Hope the floor job continues well and that the rug shopping didn't pose too many dilemmas ethical or otherwise. Iris

  5. Two good buys there & both quite unique . Love that soft fluffy snow – Interesting that you say the Bush rather than the woods , like in Australia . I’m glad the new floors are looking good . I really hate home being ‘ upscuttled ‘ . We had our bathroom ripped out & replaced last spring , which involved knocking out walls . One hundred year old plaster makes a lot of dust but we drove off to Scotland & left them to it . The different friends who recommended them have very high standards but I did have a few qualms as we drove back three weeks later . All was well though , just as we visualized & cleaner than usual ! Such a relief . Yours was a major task , with lots of shuffling belongings around , so I see why you wanted to be on the spot .
    Wendy in York

    1. "Upscuttled" is a good word. I think I'll use that. I didn't know you lived in a hundred year old house. I'm jealous. I love old houses. Ours is old-ish but not in a good way.

  6. Your tops are fabulous and I love the video. It was fun to watch them silkscreen and create. You're right. They are true artisans. BTW, I saw your post on IG and was hoping you'd give us a great leather pants source… not leggings. My Escada leather pants have seen better days, so I'm looking for a new pair. Remodeling… I've been a bit disappointed yet happy that my contractor can't get to me for awhile… Need to replace a pocket door from my bedroom to bath, which will be the perfect opportunity to repaint my bedroom but… Not looking forward to the mess! xoxox, Brenda

    1. Thanks, Brenda. If we ever finish cleaning and setting things to right I might have a chance to go somewhere to wear my new tops. Right now it's sweatpants and ski clothing. The rest is buried somewhere.

  7. Love the video and both your tops are great. I've avoided the statement sleeves too, but yours are cute. I like the length as well as the cream under layer.

    Looking forward to seeing your new floors when the job is finished!

  8. You're going to love having hardwood floors! It will be worth every annoyance. I hear ya on the disruption, the dust, the noise, the constant stream of people, and having to hole up in one room of the house. We're closing in on the finish line (at least on the inside work).

    1. Oh, and love both tops too. Very different but they both have enough visual interest to carry an outfit. Alyson Walsh calls those "throw-on-and-go" tops.

  9. Hi Sue, having problems with new iphone and my google account ie how I normally comment, lost a lengthy comment and wondering whether you received it .,, tearing my hair out here! ��
    Hope you’re having a good weekend … I’ll comment later from another device .,,

  10. Hi Sue, re previous comments you may or may not have received 🙂 I'm now commenting from my Ipad which seems to be working fine … Fingers crossed 🙂
    I agree with Une Femme re your new tops. They will be so easy to wear and you look great in them. I think the cream layer on the sleeve flounce is particularly effective. I bought a similar one in Germany in September, slightly thinner than yours, I think and plain black … I'm really pleased with it. The geometric pattern on the second one and the length are lovely too.
    I'm sure you'll be so happy with your hardwood floors. Like Dottoressa I have them everywhere, except for tiled areas ie no carpets at all. I've never regretted removing all my carpets. We've had them around twelve years and they look as good as when they were laid, apart from the odd scratch, which we caused when moving sofas! Everywhere else they still look perfect.
    I hope you're having a good weekend … as I'm sure you realise I'm enjoying all your "snowy pictures"
    It must be lovely to be able to ski so close to home.

    1. Sorry for the late response, Rosie. Your first comment that you lost didn't appear anywhere on the blog, I checked spam etc. Blogger has been painfully slow in the last few days. I've had to wait 30-60 seconds for my replies to "publish." That might be the problem?
      Loving all your pictures on Instagram. Especially the Stratford and Broadway ones. I can sigh and think… I've been there:)

  11. I love your tops! Both beautiful. I agree with the sleeve drama. The only drama I want in my life this year is my sleeve drama!!! I shy away from most that are too long, too blousy, but like a bell sleeve. A child of the '70's! We are going to redo our entire main floor and that may do me in as kitchen, dining, master bath and bedroom and the popcorn ceiling mess alone makes me shudder! I do not like messes. We continue to debate what all needs to be replaced and we are going hardwood throughout except bedrooms. We have an engineered hardware now on the floors and have really liked it. It will be great to have it all done. Enjoy your remodel and new tops.

    1. Thanks, Christa. Our floors are engineered too, with the 3/4 in on the top which can be refinished in a few years if needed. And Stu and I just came home fro the furniture store. I spent sooo much money:)

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