Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Candlelight: A Reflection

Have you ever seen such a beautiful couple? One that has managed to stay together through thick (skin!) and thin (ice!), remaining close after all these years, complementing each other's personalities like apple pie and ice-cream?

I'd like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all of you who have graced this little blog with your thoughtful presence, visiting and taking the time to leave such lovely comments, even when your days are a busy and bustling whirlwind of work, family and chores!

You can't possibly know how much I truly appreciate hearing from you! Your kind and caring words have been such a bouquet of inspiration, from the very first day, back in May, when Poppyview debuted in this big, bold blogosphere!

As the new kid on the block, I simply hoped that someone... anyone (!), would drop by, even for a bit, if only to say, "Hey there, nice to meet you!".  To my delight, you popped over, and luckily for me, have stayed a while and I couldn't be happier! 

In turn, you have graciously opened up your 'doors' and invited me in for a chat and details about your newest project or latest trip. Other times, perhaps even more importantly, we have been there for each other- support, from a now familiar voice, albeit, sometimes far away in miles, but nearby in our thoughts and prayers. Ultimately, isn't that what friends are for?  Ditto for blogger buddies, I'm sure.

    And so, on this cozy, candlelit eve,
 I wish you all a very Merry Christmas. 
May joy and peace be felt in your hearts,
 and those of our fellow man, around the world.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

I'll Be Home For Christmas

This post was written last December, while visiting my family
in Toronto, Canada. I've been particularly homesick this year,
 as I won't be spending Christmas in my beloved hometown, 
where my daughter, Liberty, is now living.
 Hope you enjoy my sweet holiday memories 
 of Christmases Past!


For anyone who shares their time, albeit, 
unequally, between two beloved countries,
 cities, even villages, home is sometimes
 a difficult place to locate.


For friends who have visited before, you know that for the past 24 years or so, Crete, my husband's place of birth, has been our permanent residence. We live in a tiny village in 
the countryside, having moved from the city last January.  
It's breathtakingly beautiful, where lush rolling hills are
lined with vineyards and dotted with orange and lemon groves, 
only to be surrounded by snowy mountains 
in the winter months.

Today, I am writing to you from my hometown, 
Toronto, Canada. It's been a while since I've posted, 
as we arrived just over two weeks ago
 and it has been non-stop: 
visiting with family and friends, 
shopping for seasonal items, 
and adjusting to the cold Canadian winter 
(which I long for when I'm in Crete!).

  But mostly, we're here so that my daughter
 can find work, as Greece's unemployment
 rate is at an all time high,  especially 
for young people under 25, of whom more 
than half are without work.

Toogood Pond, Unionville, Ontario, Canada

And so, here we are, 'across the pond'! 
My sister and her family live in Unionville,
 a charming little hamlet just outside Toronto,
 which boasts a pond all its own, 
home to various wildlife like the 
famous Canada Geese, ducks and fish. 

It is in this quaint and cozy suburban village,
 where we have the pleasure of taking
 long, leisurely walks around 
neighbourhoods nestled 
in forest-like landscapes,
 the foliage still glowing with
 memories of fall in the afternoon sun. 

The other day, on a stroll amid waterfalls 
and marshlands, I stood on a  bridge, 
gazing into the still flowing, 
not yet frozen water below, 
wondering what the future may 
hold, and thankful for good health,
and loved ones, near and far, in the present.
 Longing, and belonging, are perhaps 
one and the same, when you know and love
 two countries that can be found on a map,
 and people closest to you,
 deep in your heart.

Thanks for visiting!


All images: Poppy View,
except 2nd from top

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Sunday, November 25, 2012


I love teapots. Have a thing for teacups, too. Tea, not so much. Don't get me wrong, I like the stuff, just don't love it. To tell you the truth, I find it a tad bland. And so, in order to brave a brew, I add a touch of milk to tolerate its ilk. Sans sugar. Strange, I know.
I guess what I crave most about teatime is all the crockery that comes with the territory! Who can resist the infinite number of patterns, some playful, others posh. Selecting a particular style is another fashionable feat in itself. Would you give trendy a try, or remain a true traditional?
My favourite teapot, a gift from my sister
Personally, I tend to favour a country/cottage blend, steeping with heritage hues and sweet scenes of  the simple life. A spoonful of whimsy and a pretty woolen cozy and tea is served. Steaming hot, with a splash of lemon or a spot of milk, slightly sour or somewhat sweet, teatime with all its little trinkets is a treasure in itself.
Thanks for visiting!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

My Sunbathed Bathroom

Welcome to my washroom. Or rather, bathroom.
 Excuse me - restroom. Or is it water closet? 

Supposedly, a washroom or restroom is found in public places,
 while a bathroom refers to the residential kind...Generally speaking.

Then again, it all depends on where you grew up, 
until you relocate to another country, and that's 
when things can get a little confusing. Or very amusing. Or not.

When we were designing our home, 
bathrooms were gaining ground,
 slowly stealing the spotlight from another starlet
 of watery scenes - the kitchen! 

It seemed that people wanted a more specialized room, where they could escape from the hustle and bustle of their day to relax and unwind in a space that provided a little luxury,

some peace and quiet and a whole lot of atmosphere.  For some, this translates into 'spa', while for others it simply means 'spartan'. 
It's a very personal feeling and attitude.

Actually, I'm somewhere in the middle. 
I wanted a space that was calming, 
thus, the earthy tones in tiles 
and granite and soft white furnishings.

But I also wanted to feel revitalized and that's where
 the pastels and bright wildflowers come in, 
playfully accessorizing the neutral foundation. 
Two different philosophies, one understanding.

Click on image to enlarge

My washroom is separated into two rooms: 
the 'powder room', which contains a double vanity,
 display cabinet, and washing machine, and the
 'bathroom', where the bathtub and toilet can be found. 

Each space has its own window and this allows sunlight to pour in practically all day, creating a soothing little sanctuary
 for the stressed and the weary, a place where rest 
has the power to rejuvenate and refresh! 

In the end, isn't that what this room is all about? 
And so, perhaps it is most fitting to say that a washroom
 boasts a bathroom, in which there is room to rest.
 There! No more wishy-washy wording and everybody wins!

Thanks for visiting!


Sunday, November 11, 2012

My Autumn Room

This is my autumn room. Some people have sun rooms. I have an autumn room. The funny thing is, although this room features typical fall colours, like orange and mustard and rust, the patterns on the sofa and accent  cushions speak of spring. Tulips, for goodness sake! What else screams spring more than tulips?!

And as if that weren't enough to cause serious climatic confusion, beautiful flowers are in bloom, everywhere - on plates, in prints, and in sewing projects. The walls are dressed in the season's signature look: floral, floral and more floral!

And yet, the mood is fall. Perhaps it's the dark walnut furniture, the shade of green on the wall, the French doors (the only ones in the house) that, when closed, create a quiet haven, a cozy cabin-like refuge from the large, open plan living areas. My autumn room is where we retreat when the rest of the house is cold.  Like today, the first real warning that winter was on its way.  Snuggled in our woolly blankets and clutching our cups of tea, the fiery red elements from a little space heater lit up the room in a burst of amber. And there, in the golden radiance of that glowing light, we were surrounded by autumn.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Pomegranate Ponderings

Sitting in the living room yesterday morning, taking a cozy coffee break from some unplanned and pressing chores, I noticed how pretty the pomegranates from our garden looked, hanging from my little iron rooster hooks, among the potpourri of oregano, sage and garlic. 

Personally, I wouldn't have thought of placing them in the middle of these aromatic bouquets, but my husband, who is more of a practical person, just did it, like it was the most natural thing! I tend to be influenced more by aesthetics, and sometimes, I overthink things too much. For example, I envisioned them in a simple, but earthy, white bowl, with some miniature Seckel pears, nestled in between to fill in the gaps, and then onto the kitchen table, to complement the olive green Welsh dresser, directly behind it, in the breakfast nook.

 Colour, texture, layering, contrast; all these factors come into play. And then, I realized that that's exactly what I was observing! And he did it automatically! No adding, removing, fussing, adding again, turning, angling, studying...tossing! He simply went out into the garden, cut them off their tree, tied them together with some red plastic string, and hung them directly onto what was closest to him. That's it! A work of art, don't you think?

What about you? 
Do you over-analyse your decorating?
 Are you guilty of too much weighing and not enough whimsy?
 Think about it...but don't overdo it!

Thanks for visiting.


All images: Poppy View, 
except 3rd from top

Friday, November 2, 2012


Crete Family Villas
I was told a little story the other day about my friend, Jocelyne. It’s a story that is indicative of her generous nature, of how her teacher traits played a revealing role, a story which, she herself, has never told. 
Crete Family Villas
In an effort to motivate the children to take responsibility and keep their village clean, Jocelyne offered each of them an ice cream, if they assisted her in picking up all the litter that they could find.  
In the village, drying grapes to make raisins

Before another remnant of rubbish could be thrown, and within no time at all, a huddle of house- proud youngsters could be seen, happily walking the winding, waste-free roads of the village, indulging in their icy treats. Just like that: stimulus – response!
Crete Family Villas
My second story is about the villas, and how they came to be.  Jocelyne gives us some fun facts about the vacation property, as well as a peek into her own personal preferences.
Crete Family Villas
 I wish I could tell you that this interview took place in the gorgeous room above, but that would be a ‘tall’ tale, of sorts. What I can tell you is that we had the pleasure of having a wonderful coffee morning here, in one of the villa’s most stunning spaces, with breathtaking views of the sea in the near distance, and the pools and gardens at your feet, truly making it a luxury to be enjoyed, all year round.
Crete Family Villas

Crete Family Villas: An Interview

Jocelyne, you were born in Turkey, which is very similar to Greece in many ways. What inspired you to build on Crete, and especially, in our village?

We lived on the island in the 80's and loved it so much, and after many visits, we decided to build in this perfect village.

The villas are simply gorgeous! How would you describe them?

The villas are built in the traditional way using local materials. They are spacious with views over the vineyards, mountains and the sea.

Each villa has an interesting name.  Could you please explain to our readers what they mean?

Eleftheria means freedom, independence
Kalithea/ good view
Irini/ peace

All three are stunning.  Which one is your favourite and why?

Villa Irini is my favourite, as it has a better sea view from the second floor rooms.

How did you choose your colours, both for the interior and exterior?

We wanted to blend the villas with the village and the surrounding nature so they look more as one with it.

Did you have any assistance with the design and landscaping?

We used several of my brother’s ideas, having been in the travel industry for 30 years and travelled the world.
Crete Family Villas
The property is so beautifully landscaped. I love all the hot reds and soft whites in the flowers and the many fruit trees.  Could you tell us a little bit about the gardens and why you chose certain plants, trees and flowers?

The landscape is still in progress. We mainly picked trees and plants which already exist in the area, as we wanted to blend all the villas and garden with the rest of the village.

Building a house of one’s own is a huge undertaking. You had to deal with three! What was your most difficult challenge with the villas?

Overseeing construction.

What do you miss when you are away from Crete?

I miss the weather, the views, the food, the peacefulness. But most of all, I miss the friendliness of our village, Pendamodi.

 And when you are away from the States?

Well, I wished that all my family was able to share this beautiful place for the long period that I spend there, but unfortunately long vacations are not possible..for them.
Crete Family Villas 
Choose one of the following:

City mouse or country mouse?

More of a country mouse but like to be near a city..

Colour or neutral palette?

I am more of a neutral person but like colour to accent.

Wood or painted finish?

Both! But I like wood better.

Stone or stucco?

Definitely stone.

Bungalow or two storey?

A two storey gives a better view.

Sea or mountain?

A bit of both to complement the picture.

Thank you Jocelyne.

Thank you.
Hope you enjoyed this introduction to Crete Family Villas. For more information, check out their website at:

Thanks for visiting.


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