Cottage in the Beaches

The Beaches CottageWhen we lived in Toronto we lived in such a lovely home in North York. Oh, it was a wonderful place, with city shops and country backyards. My neighbors were delightful and fascinating, they were from Cape Town, South Africa. The girls loved it there too. Ahhhh, but we often got into the car and took a short ride across town to The Beaches.

Fifeshire a Toronto memory

The Beaches CottageRows of quaint houses with steps lined with flower pots. Strollers and coffee shops, dogs of every breed and size and rollerbladers and runners speckle the boardwalk of The Beaches. There is an amazing Jazz Festival each year where hundreds of people gather to enjoy music, food and the community.


The Beaches enchant writers and artists alike to visit or renew their spirit. There is one block I loved to visit, where old store fronts had been converted into Art Studios. I met Danielle O'Connor Akiyama a wonderful artist and I bought one of her paintings. Years later I stumbled upon an exhibit in Newport Rhode Island where they featured her work.

The Beaches CottageThe truly fortunate "creatives" claim The Beaches as their home and nest and exude their personalities spilling out of their front yards on every quaint block.

The Beaches CottageBeach houses line the street running parallel to the boardwalk in the area known as the Beaches in Toronto, Ontario. This was the place I drove to when in need of inspiration. Unlike any other part of the big city, this area beacons you to enjoy each personality of every door step.

The Beaches CottageI once carried an enormous sketchbook and recorded my days there with pencil sketches, small watercolor paintings and notes. The girls loved to rollerblade along the boardwalk. Other days after dropping them off to school, I would drive to The Beaches with sketchbook and paintbox in tow.

The Beaches CottageNo matter where I have lived or where I am today, a journal or sketchbook is never too far away. Ready to jot down a thought, a prayer, a special moment...memorizing life as I live it. I love the journals from the past, and they serve as a reminder to how God has blessed my life.

Good Morning

The Beaches CottageI know, I know, journaling is a difficult thing to begin doing. I always think about how these lovely days, no matter what chapter we find ourselves in, the details of them need to be written down.


In the middle of the emotion that wells up inside you; at that very moment of epiphany or revelation; when that little one tickles your funny bone, or says the sweetest thing. Journals are just like when Peter Pan asked Wendy to sew his shadow back on, we can capture the joy serenading our life by writing it down.

The Beaches CottageWhen I was little and a special bit of magic would find it's way into our life, my mother would say "stop, memorize this special moment." She was even known to stay up all night if that day had been especially wonderful...trying to embrace ever ounce of magic.

The Beaches CottageI hope you have a beautiful day, and if that magic arrives and your heart wells with warmth, grab a pen, jot a note, doodle a sketch or take a photo. Capture the magic of heartstrings tugging at your heart so that you can revisit the joy on another day. The song for this post is Give Me The Simple Life.


P.S. I was google reading the skatey-eight (journals) blogs that I follow and well, I had to share that Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm is having a yard giveaway some time this week. She is that adorable sheep farm on Martha's Vineyard where you can order your yarn ahead of time. I have been following her for a while and her blog is just wonderful and unusual.

Today I learned that Gweneth Paltrow has her own blog called GOOP. Another interesting and fun blog to peek into. You guessed it, I just added GOOP to my google reader.
Margie said...

Hi Karen, what a wonderful post. The Beaches sounds amazing and your mother seems to have been an amazing woman, I love her sentiments, it really is so important to memorise our lives. hugs Margie.

Vee said...

Your posts have taken on such a delightful quality to uplift the spirits. I always feel buoyed after visiting...loved the song and am leaving it on.

Have a wonderful day, Karen!

Blondie's Journal said...

Karen, This was just the sweetest post I have ever read. The Beaches sounds like a wonderful place to visit, live or work, you really made it come alive in your post.

I wish you many more moments that your sweet mother inspired you to embrace and create in your journals & artwork. Bless you!


Deanna said...

Hi Karen,
I'm feeling like I'm floating on a cloud. Thanks for the trip you took us on...what a wonderful place it must be.

Thanks for such a wonderful post!

Deanna :)

xashee's corner said...

(long sigh) :D Thank you for sharing! :D Hope you have a WONDERFUl evening!

Cottage Rose said...

Hello Karen; What a very lovely post. Your paintings and sketches are just amazing. They way you described the town, it was like I was there. So very nice.


Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

As always I recieve a special blessing when visiting you...m..

celestina marie said...

Hi Karen, Oh I so enjoyed this wonderful post. The Beaches sounds like a picture perfect place for inspiration. You just make everything so special. Whenever I need a lift, I know I can come here to your blog and find special blessings.
Thank you so much.
Hugs, Celestina Marie

Paula @ the Little Young House said...

Hello, Karen!
I love to journal. I've been journaling since I was in fourth grade when we called it "keeping a diary." Have you ever read "The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady?" One of my favorites!


Gabriela said...

Hello Karen,

You sure captured the vibe of The Beaches in your paintings!

~ Gabriela ~

Rhondi said...

Hi Karen
My mom grew up in the Beaches. Her generation called it the beach and I hear that they've gone back to calling it that again. That was my favorite part of the city. I lived there for the first 4 years of my life and then my parents moved to the suburbs. It was the 50's and no one wanted to live in old houses back then. How sad!
I journal every morning but I've got to start carrrying a sketching journal with me when I go places. I've never done that but am feeling the urge.
Hugs, Rhondi

Margie said...

Karen, thank you for visiting Margie's Crafts and leaving your lovely comment. That is exciting news for your daughter. If she needs any travelling advice or anything, let me know. My daughter shared accommodation with American students over three years in Dublin and we had many student visitors to our little part of the country. hugs Margie

Jacquelene L. said...

Hi, Karen. I love to visit the Beach neighbourhood. I find walking the boardwalk very relaxing and inspiring. Your post brought summertime and the lake back to me, eventhough Toronto is covered in snow at this time. I know spring is coming and I am looking forward to walks on the boardwalk.

I really enjoy reading your blog. It is very uplifting.
Thank you.
Jacquelene L.
Toronto, Canada

laurel said...

Lovely post and lovely artwork. Found you through OWOH and am enjoying your blog.