Historic Alton Mill

Alton Mill Art Centre, CaledonWith beautiful weekends dwindling quickly, the boy and I like to take advantage of all the sunny days, colourful landscapes, and dry roads that crop up. So on a recent long weekend, my feet got itchy for another funventure drive somewhere we’ve never explored. With only gps coordinates to my most recent discovery, we set off on a drive to Caledon. Our final destination was a heritage building known as the Alton Mill Art Centre.

On the banks of Shaw’s Creek, and housing artist studios, galleries, a museum, shop and cafe, it was the perfect destination for a sunny weekend drive. Only steps from the luxurious vintage hotel and spa of Millcroft Inn and numerous lush forests, it’s very easy to make this area of Caledon a romantic overnight stop, but it’s also just a 2 hour drive from London.Gallery windows, Alton Mill Art Centre, CaledonGallery space, Alton Mill Art Centre, CaledonDetail of exterior door, Alton Mill Art Centre, Caledon Art studio, Alton Mill Art Centre, CaledonTurkey sculpture, Alton Mill Art Centre, Caledon    Paintings, Alton Mill Art Centre, CaledonArtist studio, Alton Mill Art Centre, CaledonLandscape art, Alton Mill Art Centre, CaledonPaintings for sale, Alton Mill Art Centre, CaledonOutdoor tree sculpture, Alton Mill Art Centre, CaledonCobblestones and Cappuccinos, Alton Mill Art Centre, CaledonArtist studio, Alton Mill Art Centre, CaledonMill museum, Alton Mill Art Centre, Caledon   Outdoor face sculture, Alton Mill Art Centre, Caledon  The Mill houses a small museum dedicated to its more than 130 year history. Established in 1881 and originally known as the Beaver Knitting Mill, it was renowned across Canada for producing fleece-lined long underwear (a Canadian winter must!). The building escaped the great Alton flood of 1889 but was struck by fire in 1908. After rebuilding, the Mill had many industrial incarnations until its present day and remains one of only two 19th century mills still standing in the area (there used to be 12).  Mill mechanics, Museum, Alton Mill Art Centre, CaledonMill mechanics detail, Museum, Alton Mill Art Centre, CaledonMill mechanics, Museum, Alton Mill Art Centre, CaledonFlowers, Alton Mill Art Centre, CaledonCourtyard, Alton Mill Art Centre, CaledonHistoric plaque, Alton Mill Art Centre, Caledon  Outdoor cafe seating, Alton Mill Art Centre, CaledonMill pond with kinetic sculpture, Alton Mill Art Centre, CaledonExterior, Alton Mill Art Centre, CaledonLivery exterior walls, Alton Mill Art Centre, CaledonOutbuilding at Alton Mill, CaledonInspired by all the art around me, I just had to get creative with a little snap I took of us at the Mill.  Posterized portrait of Cobblestones and CappuccinosOur experience at Alton Mill has definitely put it on our favourite list of “Fall Drives”. Hope you take the time to visit.


Door Knockers of Malta and Gozo

Lion head knocker on red door, MaltaThere is one more thing I have to share with all of you from my trip to the magnificent islands of Malta and Gozo. At every turn, and down every street, beautiful knockers dot the doors of Maltese buildings like opulent jewels. Known as “Il-Habbata” many are intricate works of art in bronze and brass.

The sea-faring nature of the island is reflected in many of the motifs like dolphins, seahorses, and sirens. But you will also find faces, coats of arms, and animals. More importantly both the knocker and the colour of the door, some dating hundreds of years, represent the personality and taste of the home owner. And based on some of my examples, I would be more than happy to make their acquaintance.Brass hexagon door knocker, MaltaBronze angel knocker on wood door, MaltaCoat of arms knocker on red door, Mdina, MaltaPig head knocker on red door, Valletta, MaltaEagle knocker on pink door, MaltaLion head knocker on purple door, GozoAngel head bronze knocker on wood door with studs, Valletta, MaltaDetail of angel knocker on wood door, Valletta, MaltaBronze dolphins and Malta Cross knocker on wood door, MaltaBacchus face knocker on green door, GozoBrass Bacchus face knocker on cream door, GozoBrass Bacchus face door on brown door, GozoBronze creature face knocker on white door, GozoDolphin knockers on blue door, GozoBronze stylized dolphin on blue door, Valletta, MaltaBrass circle door knockers, MaltaStylized dolphin on purple door, Valletta, MaltaGirl Scout clover knocker on navy door, Valletta, MaltaBrass mythical creature knocker on wood door, MaltaBronze mythical creature knocker on wood door, MaltaThere are many more whimsical knockers and colourful doors than I could possibly include in this post. I encourage you to discover them yourself on a trip to to the mystical island of Malta.

Weekend Edition

An assortment of colourful flowersSpring is here!!!! I’ve been waiting to say those three little words for what seems like EVER! And first day temperature didn’t disappoint either. As I walked outside at lunch time, I closed my eyes and turned my face to soak in the warm rays like a starved flower. Hope you’ve had a gorgeous day and now can sit back and enjoy these weekend links!

  • I came across the beautiful artwork of Jose Romussi through my web wanderings and completely fell in love with this series of art pieces that combine embroidery and photography. Absolutely stunning!
  • I’m not the only one revelling in the first signs of spring. Carin Olsson shares some dreamy glimpses of the season in Paris on her site.
  • Sometimes you come across the most amazing thing and you feel like sharing it with everybody because it is that insanely good! Well I’ve found the perfect savoury treat that’s become a weekend favourite at my house.

Railway City Arts Crawl, St Thomas

Fox painting by Katelyn Tippin featured at The Railway City Arts Crawl in St. Thomas Ontario

Original art work by Katelyn Tippin


With temperatures this weekend showing some signs of warming up, it’s the perfect time to head outside and explore. The boy and I love finding ways to celebrate local art and culture, and after receiving a tip I knew I had to share this with all of you!

Just 15 minutes outside of London, a FREE winter event will spark your creativity and imagination. The St. Thomas Railway City Arts Crawl features 40 artists in a dozen locations displaying paintings, installations, scultpture, and even jewellery. There is nothing more exciting than meeting talented people who produce original artwork and having the opportunity to chat with them in person.

The event starts tonight from 6 -9 PM and runs until tomorrow afternoon 11-5 PM. Be sure to pick up the event passport, which also serves as a guide to the venues and artists, and collect stamps at each location. A stamped passport will qualify you to win some amazing prizes!!!

And if that wasn’t enough, a firework display and a deliciously catered After Party with live music at the Midtown Tavern will cap off the night! So I urge you to find some FUN in FEBRUARY and head out to the Arts Crawl!

Doors Open London 2014

London Ontario Culture Days Buttons for Doors Open London OntarioThis weekend, the boy and I joined hundreds of people from London and area to explore heritage buildings, museums, art organizations, and the cultural life of our city…for free!!! In a collaborative initiative, Doors Open and Culture Days raised awareness and increased public engagement with historic organizations and cultural institutions, many of which are not normally accessible to the public. There were almost too many places to visit. We had to be judicious in our choices and decided to stick to locations within walking distance of home. So on a beautiful, sun-filled day we set out to explore London.

Canadian Medical Hall of Fame London OntarioExterior Windows on Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in London OntarioVintage lights on the exterior of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Museum Portaits in the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in London OntarioDr Leonora Howard King | Canadian Medical Hall of FameThe Canadian Medical Hall of Fame was our first stop. Originally constructed in 1928 as a Bank of Toronto, it is a Renaissance Revival building that now features the remarkable contributions of Canadians to the medical field. The portrait gallery houses many well known names. But the one that struck me most was Dr. Leonora Howard King. She was the first officially licensed female doctor in China who by 1884 single-handedly established a practice devoted entirely to women and children. Had she stayed in Canada she would have been barred from practicing medicine yet her determination had made a difference to a group of people across the globe.

Listeing to tour guide during Doors Open London Ontario at the 1st Hussars Museum First Hussars WWI photo wall | London OntarioFirst Hussars WWII quilt | London OntarioCanadian soldier outside First Hussars Museum in London OntarioMeeting-Canadian-soldiersNext stop was the 1st Hussars Museum at 1 Dundas Street. The building was a little difficult to locate initially. We had a vague idea where we thought it should be as we walked around the Old Court House building searching for a sign or an entrance. Finding none, we made our way toward the river and discovered a tiny yellow house.

The unimposing structure built in 1880-1 and one of the last remaining original buildings at the Fork of the Thames, houses a very important and unique collection of memorabilia from both World Wars. A tour led by a volunteer, Colonel Joe Murray (who also turned out to be our high school teacher) was inspiring and detailed. And most of all, it exhibited the passion that all the volunteers hold for preserving the memories of the past.

Of course the tour wouldn’t be complete without a chat and a thank you to the men and women who keep us safe around the world today.

The Arts Project London OntarioGallery wall with paintings at the Arts Project in London OntarioGallery wall with photos and sculptures in the Arts Project in London OntarioNatural materials sculpture on display in the Arts Project in LondonNext we admired the work of eleven artist exhibiting their pieces at the ARTS Project. The building first constructed in the mid-1880s as Hawthorn’s Hotel has gone through many incarnations to now house three galleries, a black box theatre and art studios.

Reading outside the Old Court House in London OntarioAlong our tour we also visited Museum London, DNA Artspace, and the Polish Hall (for a well deserved home cooked meal) before my feet gave out. I can’t wait to see what next year brings. If you didn’t partake this year, I hope you join the tours next year. If you did I’d love to hear what your favourite stops were in 2014.