Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Keeping Busy

Well I have to do something with my days while I wait for the elusive job to appear so I have been doing some re-upholstry - remember that sweet deal  I got back at the beginning of the year.  We have been living with it in it's grubby state for a while but I finally got around to doing something about it.  Here is the before, have to admit to liking the previous fabric and it went well with my colours but it was definitely past its prime.

So I headed out to find a replacement fabric, so hard.  I would enter a store with something in mind, but always on a budget, anything I liked was pricey, so I would wander around getting more and more overwhelmed - well this is what I finally settled for.
 I have to say I am pretty pleased with the result.  In order to do the work I had to get a sewing machine (all of these things I have in France!!) so found a second hand one for $40, it works perfectly.

Loving my second hand bargain hunting.  I have another couple of projects to get my teeth over the next few days, a dresser for painting (picked up online for $25) and another upholstery project picked up this morning at the thrift store for $7.99 - I am thinking toile de jouy -what do you think?

Friday, September 28, 2012


If anyone out there is interested, let me bring you up to date.  Can't believe how from being totalled enamoured of my blog, I just couldn't find the time to post.  But back again - must have time on  my hands!

Well I did get that job and it lasted a couple of months, I think it could have gone longer if I had wanted it to and we didn't decide to leave Quebec, but that is what happened.  I love the city of Montreal, it has a lot going on, festivals, music, fashion etc. but they don't make it easy for one to settle in.  And the French language issue is huge.  As you know I lived in France for over a year and admittedly I wasn't looking to work but in Quebec you are definitely prejudiced against by 1.  not being Francophone and 2. not being fluent in French.  As it turned out the job I got didn't require French at all!!

Anyway we have now relocated back to where we started, back in the same city as our daughter and grandchildren in South West Ontario, just half an hour from youngest son who is at college in Toronto.

We have rented a cute little house in the downtown area of the city close to the lake in a lovely leafy neighbourhood.  I have spent the last month furnishing the place from consignment shops, charity shops and second hand sites on the Internet and am totally hooked on "thrifting". I am very happy with the end result, it is very cosy.  I don't think I will ever pay full price for anything again.

So now I am back in the job hunt, looking for temporary office work, so that I can take the essential  trips back to France several times a year.  We were back there for a couple of weeks in late July and are off again at the end of next month. 

So far so good.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Good news!

Well after all my moaning in my last post, I have now got a little temp job.  Not sure how long it will last but am trying to make myself indispensable.  At the moment it is just reconciling orders and invoices and filing.  They have a big backlog.

As I suspected, it was more a case of who you know, not what you know!

So from having too much time on my hands, life has become a little hectic; have had to pass on the French classes for a few weeks, put off the yoga class on Friday mornings, postpone a much needed pedicure (lovely Mother's Day present from daughter :)  ) and cancel my dog walking with a new friend.

Still the money will help finance the flights back to France in July.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Keeping Busy

I am trying to fill my days here in Montreal. I am feeling frustrated at my inability to find a job here. Although I spent a year living in France and felt quite confident in my French there, here in Quebec it is quite intimidating to use one's French when absolutely everyone is bilingual.

I find it hard to judge just how good/bad my French is when as soon as I open my mouth people realise I am not a francophone and they immediately speak to me in English. However in the job market it is a necessity that you have a good knowledge of French and I do know I couldn't hold down a job in French.

Ho hum, so (to answer aims' question) not sure about Quebec mainly due to this issue.  We came back to Canada rather than other options as we felt I should be able to work here. I have sent out many MANY applications, these days everything is "online" so my resume is floating around out there in the ether and I have heard nothing back.

So in order to keep myself from going mad, I have been refinishing some second hand furniture. I got these two side tables from the thrift store located in my old neighbourhood (where daughter and family now lives) for just over $10 the pair and I have painted them. I am very pleased with the end result. I picked up an old sewing machine table at the side of the road and that is my next project.
They look white - but more of a cream colour
Great detail - just one coat of varnish to finish off
I know I didn't work in France but there was plenty to keep me busy, here I am in a rented house, in the 'burbs' becoming a bored housewife. I have signed up for French classes which start next month. Sorry for the moaning post but that's how I feeling right now. PS: France was gorgeous, weather amazing, time there much too short. Roll on July.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring in Suburbia?

Since my last post and all that snow, "spring" has seemingly arrived. I live in Quebec in Canada now and this is unheard of at this time of year so we are all assuming this is just a blip and trying hard not to get too excited. Although it was 26 degrees C yesterday and today.

So the gardener in me couldn't miss the opportunity to get out there and tidy up. Above are pictures of my current garden here in suburbia - a bit of a blank canvas but backing onto the woods. I think a container garden is required, one that can move with me to the next location - wherever that may be - we are not planning on removing ourselves too far but this is just a rental at the moment.

Tomorrow however we off for a week in France and I cannot wait to be sitting in this garden instead. I am hoping the weather will cooperate and then try not to be too sad when I have to return to Canada, to the work/shopping involved in the new garden project.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

We've had a little snow!

Well here in Quebec nearly a foot (!) is hardly worth mentioning. Last Friday it started snowing around 3pm and by 6pm we decided it was probably best not to drive so decided to walk to the closest restaurant for dinner - from the looks we got when we arrived, we must have looked like snowmen. It was very heavy driving snow and we were pretty much bent double trying to keep it out of our faces. We also had the added joy of trying to avoid all the snow ploughs out clearing the parking lots and sidewalks. We were only doing this as our youngest son was staying with us and he wanted to watch the Hockey game.

By morning it had been snowing for over 12 hours and there was a lot of snow! This picture is actually a couple of days later at our next house when we had had a chance to clean off the car.The following picture is of the deck at our new house where no-one has been living for a few months, so there is about 18 inches of snow, not the entirety of the snowfall this winter, as we have had a couple of thaws in between.
Roll on spring - we have confirmed our flights to France for a week at the end of March, and keep receiving updates on the weather there, it sounds wonderful and we cannot wait.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sweet Deal!

Well son and I did go off to the second hand furniture warehouse (an exciting week with the parents as you can see) and I managed to pick up a sweet deal. A very nice armchair and ottoman for $25!!! They are a little grubby and I will give them a good clean. I intended to get something as an upholstery project but they look pretty good as they are at the moment. There is an oil stain on one corner so if anyone has any tips on removing that, please let me know.

Most of the stuff there was absolute tat, dusty and dirty with these little gems just sitting there amongst the mess.

There was also an interesting chest of drawers I might have to go back for next week. At these prices I would be a fool not to. But I will leave that until we have moved, just less stuff to transfer. We move into another rental on Wednesday, this time for six months. Gypsies - who us?!?