Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Porch Living at The Camellia

When you live in Northern Ontario, your Spring/Summer months are precious. So when it rains and rains, and lots of bugs are around, you can't help but get a little miffed, to say the least. Today It's SUNNY and we are going to attempt to finish planting our Gardens. Look how lovely these acrylic drops look in a planter, we have them for sale in the shop.

The French Lilacs and Iris are in full bloom, and the smell wafting through an open window is just lovely. Flowers and their smells just uplift one's soul. Mason jar is painted with Veruca Cottage Paint. Cottage Paint goes right over glass, and metal, as well as wood. 

Our Porch at the shop is getting a make-over, with a soap testing station, for Napa Valley soap, Beekman 1802, and Rocky Mountain Soap.

A moose and birch Twig wreath made up for an order. 

Practice boards from our Beginners' Cottage Paint class. Our July schedule ( July 10, & July 22nd. for CP classes)  is up on the website...phone to register for paint classes. http://www.thecamellia.com/classes-at-the-camelia.html

 Friends taking a Cottage Paint class together ... they were going to use their boards in the Garden with old doorknobs and implements. 

Here's to Patio and Porch Living and sunny summer skies ahead! 

Visit The Camellia for Lake themed goodies, Open Wednesday through Sunday. 
Open Canada Day 11-4p.
30, Hacquoil Rd. 
Slate River, On ( just outside Thunder Bay heading south on Hwy. 61)

Friday, June 19, 2015

Celebrate Summer Solstice at The Camellia

It's Summer!! Seems like we spent months waiting for the weather to get warm and for the rain to stop. There is nothing like this view..spending even 10 minutes by Lake superior at Thunder Bay's Waterfront Park will rejuvenate your spirit. 

It's Thyme to GROW - Plant a Garden, fill up your planters, do windowboxes on your patio. Decorate with our hand-made metal GROW sign, available at The Camellia.

The blooms of late spring - apple trees all awash in pink. A miracle really, given the cold ( close to zero) nights which caused some of the blooms to freeze. 

Another Summer pastime is getting all the Antique cars out of the garage - nothing like going for a ride in one of these, you feel like a movie star riding around.

And all the Lilac blooms are out ...pick armfuls for Bouquets.Their smell is lovely. 

Our metal pockets made from old ceiling tin tiles - perfect for all year round decor. There are 2 left for sale. 

Our very old dresser got a Cottage Paint makeover - Paris style. This is a 2-colour distress with Flamingo, Dragonfruit, and flat wax on top. Come into The Camellia to see our extensive Cottage Paint line. 

We have lots of Garden decor items - like this small tin lantern. 

And acrylic crystals to add to your pots - they reflect the light and look like waterdrops.

Visit The Camellia - 30/32 Hacquoil Rd. Slate River, On
Open Wed. 11-5. Thurs. 12-6. Fri. 11-5. Sat. 11-5. Sun. 12-5
This Saturday June 20th.we will be at the Heritage building at the CLE from 10-4, at CELEBRATE. 
The 125th Anniversary of the CLE is on this Sat. June 20. from Noon-Midnight.

See you soon!
Happy Summer Solstice!!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Your Dad - Dragon slayer.

Your Dad: Spider-killer, slayer of all Dragons ( under the bed and elsewhere), your #1 go-to for advice person, the person you ran to to plead your case when Mom was being nasty...  



We talked to a few different people about their Dads: "What do you remember about your Dad?"

"He tried to do things on his own, even if he didn't really know what to do, so he encouraged me by his example to try out a new skill. I had bought my first car, and the body of the car needed painting, I was going to use some spray cans, my Dad then bought me a paint sprayer and soon I was painting my brother's cars and other family vehicles.He had a strong belief in God - he was a Farmer, Don't worry, he would say, the Good Lord will take care of us." And, he did. 

"Tell us about your Dad.."

"My Dad was a man of few words. I often wished he would talk more. We never hugged much in our family - no open displays of affection, more of a business like handshake. Later on, when I was older, I realized that he would do anything to take care of his family. He was at home in Nature...climbing mountains near the rainforest,collecting rare orchids, and growing a kazillion varieties of crotons. He was my hero as one day he came home from one of his trips and brought me a real puppy, who promptly hid behind his briefcase." As I grew older I often screamed for Dad...Daddeeeeeee...! It's a tarantula, a snake, a bat... save me!!"

Take a moment to write down your stories about your Dad, if he has passed on, maybe this is the time to plant a tree in his memory, in your garden. 

Spoil your Dad this Father's Day, Sunday June 21st. with a special Gift from The Camellia. 
  • Hand-tied Fishing lures from Your Perfect Catch, buy and pay online ($3.49 ea.) at http://www.yourperfectcatch.com/fathers-day. You can specify pick up at the Camellia. 
  • Bugs driving him crazy? Get Dad a MultiKap, with a tube of Breakout Buster. The MultiKap prevents bugs from biting the face and neck area, and  Breakout buster from Rocky Mountain Soap stops the swelling and itching. MultiKap $29.99, Breakout Buster $9.50
  • Get Dad a Foot Butter with pumice stone so he can start taking care of his feet. Foot Butter: $15.00, pumice stone $6.50
  • Does your Dad like to shave the old-fashioned way..he will love the Peppermint Shave Bar from Rocky Mountain Soap, Ladies, it's also great when shaving legs.$5.50 
  • And finally - the MAN CAVE sign, $32.50. We have a great selection of tin signs for Dads. He will appreciate having his own spot in the house, complete with recliner and remote. Maybe Dad has a favourite piece of Furniture that's looking a bit tired, surprise him by giving it a facelift with Cottage Paint. With a half an hour recoat time, you still have time to get your project done in time for Father's Day. 
Don't forget to attend the  125th. anniversary of the C.L.E. on Saturday, June 20th. 2015, at the CLE grounds, from Noon- to Midnight. Free entertainment &  parking.  Head to the area behind the Sportsdome.  

Come shop in-store at The Camellia at 30, Hacquoil Rd. Open this Wed. 11-5, Thurs. noon-6, Fri. 11-5,  Sat. 11-5 & Sunday 12-5. 
Wed. 11-5, Thurs. 12-5, Fri. 11-5, Sat. 11-5. and Sunday 12-5p.

 See you soon at The Camellia!!

Visit our website for information athttp://www.thecamellia.com



Come Visit The Camellia.


How do I get there?   We are 10 mins. from the Thunder Bay Airport, heading south on Hwy. 61. Turn left onto Hacquoil Rd. We are 1.6km. on the left.    Phone 807) 475-3551


Shop online at http://www.thecamellia.com
Visit our blog at http://www.fromnaturetohome.blogspot.com
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Camellia-From-Nature-to-Home/145600168837975

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Coping with Mosquitoes in the Garden, at Home,and at Camp

How many of you wait all Winter long, longing for green grass and the chance to Garden, then you get all that rain and muggy heat, and the bugs come out of hibernation. They are very annoying as after all, they are hungry, and you make a good meal. Click on this link for advice:

And then you get that first Mosquito or Blackfly bite, or worse yet, a Tick. Since our Golden died last Fall and we are dogless, we have noticed way less ticks making their way into the house. Benji had really long belly fur, and the ticks just loved hitching a ride. Guinea Fowl will eat up all the ticks in your yard, I tried to rent my friend's guinea fowl, bit we'll save that story for some other time. 

Of course, all of us are anxious to get our gardens planted, and bugs love hanging around churned up dirt and manure. 

Photo taken at DeBruins' Greenhouses, Highway 61. 

We march outside, spurred on by visions of fabulous Gardens on HGTV, determined to get everything planted ( instead of what we normally do - buy plants like crazy, leave plants to wither away in their tiny packs). I know you don't do this, but  in my household, well, that's another story. 
A few steps outside, and the dratted things start buzzing around in our hair, and we rush back into the house, in defeat. 

A great all-natural Bug spray by Beekman 1802 will help.  No nasty chemicals here, no DEET. This Bug spray is loaded with essential oils that bugs hate. This is the same blend of Beekman 1802 Bug repellent oils that has been featured in Vogue & Apartment Therapy. 

And in Northern Ontario, it's not like in the movies, where the girl prances around in very short shorts, and sleeveless tops. Cover up, wear long-sleeved cotton shirts, and long cotton pants. When I lived in South America, during rainy season, there is an annoying bug that bites like crazy, so when ever we went on field trips into the bush, it was full Safari gear, no skin left uncovered, hats, socks, boots, all in 95 degrees F and high humidity. Can you imagine how hot we were?

And if you do get bitten, use Breakout Buster which we sell at our store, the Camellia. This product is from the Rocky Mountain Soap Company, Put it on right away as soon as you get a bite,  it stops the itching and swelling is a lot less. $9.50. 

If you have a camp or Cottage, an essential item is  a Mosquito Net. These have been used in the Caribbean and in most tropical countries, because they work . 

Hang a Mosquito Net over the bed. Net tucks in between mattress and frame of bed. Leave an opening in case you have to get up to go to the bathroom ( most of you who are not used to sleeping with a net will forget about it and pull the whole thing down on themselves, of course being asleep does not help!) Ours fit up to a queen sized bed, priced at  $39.95, they come complete with a hoop which is folded up in the package and like magic, springs up into full size upon opening, so yes, we can ship Mosquito nets within Canada. 

How do you cope with Bug season? 
Visit The Camellia, 30, Hacquoil Rd. Slate River, Ontario
Open Wed. 11-5, Thurs. 12-6, Fri. and Sat. 11-5, Sun. 12-5
South on Hwy. 61, left on Hacquoil Rd. We are on the LHS, #30/32

Friday, May 29, 2015

Spring Blossoms at the Camellia, Slate River

 Spring blossoms are intoxicating - so pretty and pink, our crabapple trees are in full bloom at the moment. Paris in the Spring....

Truly a miracle, with all the temperatures we have been having lately....one low was minus 5, and we thought that our blossoms may have frozen. 

Just making some Boho-chic rag garlands, these are great for Wedding photoprops, and for curtains at Camp. 

Just painted this cute little dresser in Flamingo Cottage with flat wax as a topcoat. Reds are the hardest colour to get good coverage with, especially with such an old piece like this one. Yes, it totally depends on what finish is on the piece before you start painting. Before you paint, read this http://cottagepaint.com/welcome-to-cottage-paint/2015/04/24/trying-to-determine-what-finish-could-be-on-the-furniture-before-you-paint-it-you-need-to-read-this/

Really old pieces like these had lots of silicas in the finish, so even though we did primer on it, our paint still cracked. When you put the primer on, leave it at least overnight to dry ( if not longer), This is to allow any reaction to occur, and then to let the Cottage Paint primer seal it all in. Did we let our primer dry overnight? of course not, we were in too much of a hurry.

Used a Sharpie paint marker to do the word Peony, this worked really well, beats painting it with a liner brush. 

Come visit us at the Camellia, our crabapple trees are in full bloom. 
Getting married? Book a free consultation with Camille today, p-475-3551, or toll-free at 
The Camellia, 30, Hacquoil Rd. Slate River, On

Friday, May 15, 2015

When something Old becomes New again....

I am sure you have noticed  the recent change in the What-is-HOT-and -what-is-not-colour-palette, a shift from beiges and browns to greys..and grey..and more grey. You  might think this is a new colour trend, however, it's something old that's new again. When we were building our house 27 or so years ago, it was all about grey, and black, and blues, and all those shades that went with grey. Remember all those peach and seafoam Living rooms? This season's hot colours are turquoise and aqua and every shade of blue and green and in-between. Well, we ripped out all that grey and black tile, repainted the blue walls, replaced it with browns and Tuscan colours....only to find out that sigh, yes, it's all ABOUT THE GREY NOW!! Paint rollers, where are you? 

Here is some of that grey tile leftover from some project 30 years ago..now being repurposed into a store display.

Are you in the same boat as I am..you want to update but you don't want to blindly follow a trend that may be outdated in a few years... after all, who has the time and money to redo their decor every few years? It makes sense to try to do some research...check out www.houzz.com.
Here are some design sites for Inspiration: www.restorationhardware.com,

Pinterest is of course, a great source of Inspiration. 
Watch HGTV - Sweet Home Alabama with Shaunna. Another great show is Fixer-Upper with Joanna & Chip. 

Speaking of something old becoming New again..take a look at our not-too-Shabby-Chic Table that was just redone with Cottage Paint - Dove Grey. This was a table that was thrown out, in really bad shape, and sat in our garage for 2 years ( at least). First step, glue and repair with wood filler.
Then some reconfiguring and TLC as the centre insert was missing, and wood detail on some of the legs was missing. A coat of Cottage Paint primer as this table is so old, there's no telling what is on it. If you are redoing a piece with Cottage Paint, be sure to read this first http://cottagepaint.com/welcome-to-cottage-paint/2015/04/24/trying-to-determine-what-finish-could-be-on-the-furniture-before-you-paint-it-you-need-to-read-this/

Before - gluing and cleaning underway.

Filling the areas with Wood filler, sanding, then coating with clear Primer, 2 coats, allowing 2 hours between coats.

Leave overnight, then paint.

But look at that table now...

Chairs have been refinished with Cottage Paint - base colour is Evening Sky, followed by multiple layers of various colours. We have a set of 4 of these chairs for sale, solid wood, with grey linen seats.

We have Beginners classes in Cottage Paint...on today, Friday, May 15th. at 6.30. Keep checking our website www.thecamellia.com for the next class, or email us.

Have  a great MAY long weekend   ... stay safe on the roads and stop by and see us at The Camellia, 30 Hacquoil Rd. Slate River, On .
Open Wed. 11-5, Thurs. 12-6, Fri. Sat. 11-5. Sun. 12-5p.
p 807)475-3551

Thursday, May 7, 2015

P.s. I Love You, Mom

P.s.  I love you, Mom


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How many of us have really thought about what our Mom has done for us.....that is, not until we have our own babies. Then we start to appreciate all the joys and hard work and sleepless nights that go along with parenting. 

How many times have we yelled back at our Mom..Yes, Mom, I know...!! I'll wear a sweater because it's raining, it's still 85F out there, not cold at all. (My early childhood was in South America..)
Don't buy me any plants, she says, I can't take care of them anymore. Next time you visit, the Ficus Benjamina you gave her last time has grown at least 2 feet, and is now wearing her sweater out on the deck, and she's calling it..my baby..and you get weekly progress reports on leaf drop.

What stories do you have about your mom?

This Mother's Day, visit The Camellia, and get Mom a special Gift. A Rocky Mountain Gift basket filled with vanilla & coconut products. How about a Beekman 1802 gift basket, natural product made from Goat's Milk. 

Gardening season is coming up, get her a hanging Plant basket, locally grown in Thunder Bay. Just in, fresh Spanish Lavender plants, in bloom. These are fast growers, and they bloom all Summer long. We deliver in Thunder Bay and surrounding area. Shop online at  http://www.thecamellia.com/gifts-for-mom.html
Come shop in-store at 30, Hacquoil Rd. Open this Friday 11-5, Sat. 11-5 & Sunday 12-4. 

Are your feet sandal-ready? Use our pumice stone in the shower, and follow up with Rocky Mountain Foot Butter. Hydrate your winter-weary skin with Rocky Mountain Vanilla Coconut Body oil & Body Butter. These make great Mother's Day Gifts.

This Spring's hottest look...leggings paired with a nice top, and THE SCARF. Come in to see out great selection of scarves, in shades of blues, pinks, & aqua. 

So much excitement..we can barely contain ourselves..onwards with Spring !!

We have Beginner Cottage Paint classes coming up on Thursday, May 14th. ( some spaces left) from  6.30 - 9ish, and on Friday, May 15th. ( class is full at this time, unless someone cancels))  6.30 - 9ish. Same class runs both days, phone 475-3551 to register. There are other classes, such as our Lavender Gather, on our website. 
This week we are open, 

Wed. 11-5, Thurs. 12-5, Fri. 11-5, Sat. 11-5. and Sunday 12-4p.

Enjoy your weekend, see you soon at The Camellia!!

Visit our website for information at http://www.thecamellia.com

Come Visit The Camellia.


How do I get there?   We are 10 mins. from the Thunder Bay Airport, heading south on Hwy. 61. Turn left onto Hacquoil Rd. We are 1.6km. on the left.    Phone 807) 475-3551


Shop online at http://www.thecamellia.com
Visit our blog at http://www.fromnaturetohome.blogspot.com
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Camellia-From-Nature-to-Home/145600168837975