Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Valentine's Day gifts for delivery Thunder Bay, The Camellia

How often we take the ones we love for granted. Sometimes the daily grind gets in the way, "we're out of milk, weren't you supposed to do the grocery shopping?.....How many times have I asked you to put away your boots....I almost fell down in the mudroom! " ...and so it goes. we make Date nights, then are too tired or our work schedules don't match. Sound familiar? 

Then Valentine's Day comes along, and we have a great opportunity to show our loved ones that we really do care. What are you planning for this Valentine's Day? We know some of you are getting married, both in the snow and on the Beach. Congratulations! We are happy to be part of your big day!

Here are The Camellia's Top picks for Valentine's Day...
  • Give A Spa basket to encourage Relaxation. We carry Neob Lavender products from Niagara-on-the-Lake, Lavender bunches grown on Vancouver Island, Beekman 1802 Goats milk skincare. Our Spa packages which we deliver are priced from $49.95 to $155.00. You can preorder gifts , and pick up at the store. 
  • A "You are my Sunshine, my only sunshine " pillow
  • If they love painting, then gift them with  a Cottage Paint class,There is a Barnboard class. Feb. 19th. 2016, 7-8pm . Alternative date is Feb. 20th., 3-4pm.  Price of $50.85 includes hst. There is a Beginners Stencil class on Feb. 12th. 2016, 7-9pm
Some of you have asked for a Beginners' Cottage Paint class - you may have signed up in the past and had unforseens happen, so we will be running a Beginners Cottage Paint class on Sunday, Feb. 14th. 2016, from 1-4pm. If you need a different time, call or email us. We like to have at least 4 persons to  run a class. 
Planning on any painting projects..? New in our Cottage Paint line is a How-to video, This paint is excellent for repainting Kitchen cabinets. There is a how- to- paint -Kitchen cabinets class coming up on Sunday, Feb. 21st. at 1-4pm. $101.70. 

We are OPEN this week , Wednesday 11-5, Thursday 12-5, Fri. 11-5, Sat. 11-5 & Sunday 12-5. 
Phone us at 807-475-3551, or email us at

Happy Valentine's Day! 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Battlefield called RETAIL

 That's right, make no mistake, Retail today is a Battlefield. As with a traditional Battlefield, some retailers want to fight and do battle, beat those Big Boxes!, we can offer cheaper  prices than the Internet!, they yell. Other retailers just want to lay down, give up, and die. Enough they say, I've fought the good retail fight, and now I am giving up. They are fed up of being bullied by customers who demand a low price,want 5 hours of customer service, and then purchase at another store.  Their life seems to be an endless battle of ad deadlines, trade shows, floor displays, battling with employees, doing social media, and many unpaid hours collecting taxes and doing bookwork. Close the doors, they say, we are done.

This song by Taylor Swift sums it all up, "Are we out of the woods yet, are we in the clear yet?" 

Yes, for those of us in Retail, it feels like we are being chased by wolves, whether those wolves are other, bigger, local Retailers, web stores on the internet, suppliers who supply other stores nearby with the same goods, and the list goes on. It's no wonder that the urge to lay down and not fight has surfaced in every independent retailers' mind lately. It's also no wonder that many store owners become ill, stress playing a great part. If you are a store owner, and are reading this, remember the best thing you can do for yourself is to Breathe. 

Retailers are at the front line of the Battlefield so we hear what our customers are worried about, and about what's going on in their lives. So what are they worrying about?

  • the low value of our Canadian dollar  compared to the U.S dollar, curtailing or cutting short their normal travel plans
  • nil or negative return on $ invested last year
  • terrorism
  • customers are ageing, we don't need anything, we are downsizing,  but we just love looking!
  • lack of time, if you could just bottle time, and give it to us!
  • the unknown mosquito borne viruses
  • job security
  • pension security

One of our jobs as retailers is to reassure our customers that everything will be OK. However, at the end of the day we need some hand-holding too. 

Then we look out of the window, and happen upon this lovely Mother with fawn. 

And all of a sudden, we are filled with a sense of wonderment and blessings, and remind ourselves that The Sky is not falling, not today anyway. In the end, most of us get into business because we love helping our customers with solutions to their problems. Nothing compares to the excitement of seeing a customers' face light up!! Your excitement and joy gives us the strength to march onwards!! As retailers, we strive to offer the best personal service in order to ensure that we see our customers return on a regular basis. 

Have a wonderful day y'all, and drop in and see us here at The Camellia, for solutions to your decor dilemmas, and for Cottage /chalky paint. 

We are Open Wednesday through Sunday, 30 Hacquoil Rd. Thunder Bay, On

Friday, January 29, 2016

February Classes at The Camellia

What is a Summer-loving person supposed to do in February in Northwestern Ontario?  Take a Painting class at #TheCamellia. 

You know how Spring & Summer come along, and you have a kazillion things to pack into those few months? As #Cottage Paint is low VOC, ( does not smell stinky and offgas and make you sick)  and water-based, you can just put a dropcloth around your furniture and start painting!! No need to wait until Spring or Summer. 

Feb. 19th. 2016 - Turn new wood into Barnboard with Cottage Paint
Learn how to turn new wood into old barnwood with Cottage paint.  Barnboard can be costly and hard to find. The techniques you learn in class will allow you to create wall coverings, window or door mouldings, furniture pieces , and feature walls. All supplies are included in the class fee, you will be going home with your piece of new barnboard. Feb. 19th. 2016, 7-8pm . or alternative date is Feb. 20th. 3-4pm.  Price of $50.85 includes hst. Call 475-3551 to pre-register for this workshop.

Friday, Feb. 12th. 2016. Beginners' Stencil Class

Learn how to stencil , using Cottage Paint stencils and paint. $49.95 +hst = $56.44 You will go home with a Cottage Paint stencil, stencil brush, and your board design. 

Here is a project that's on the go - a wooden tubsurround is getting a makeover with Cottage Paint Sernity - colour Country Manor. It will update the look without going through the mess of ripping the wood up and starting over. 

Sunday, Feb. 21st. 2016, Kitchen Cabinet Painting class

Are your cabinets outdated, and you’ve been thinking of painting them, but don’t want all the work of sanding and stripping? Then this is your Workshop, you will be using Serenity Silk paint and Urban paint ( from the Cottage Paint line) on an actual cabinet door. Sunday, Feb. 28th, 2016. 1.00-4.00pm.   $101.70. Class date subject to change. Call 807-475-3551 to register or visit

This is an Oak kitchen which is in the process of being painted with #Cottage Paint. 

Beginners Cottage Paint class :
Sunday, Feb. 14th. 2016, 1-4pm.
You will get a cupboard door to practice on,  Cottage Paint, and other supplies like waxes, varnishes, crackle medium, & antiquing pastes will be shared.  We will cover one-colour Wet distressing, Two -colour wet distressing, Crackle medium, applying Varnish, applying waxes, antiquing pastes, applying glazes, and dry brushing techniques. Price of $62.15 includes hst
DATES: Sunday, Feb. 14th. 2016, 1-4pm


A gold frame is getting a fresh new look - Cottage White by Cottage Paint. 

And my fav find from the Salvation Army Thrift store - a Sklar Peppler wall unit, painted with Cloudy Day #Cottage Paint. 

Look around your home, in your garage, and in your attic, and see what you can transform today with #Cottage Paint and a class at The Camellia. 
Phone (807)475-3551 to register for classes. 
The Camellia, 30/32 Hacquoil Rd. Slate River, Ontario.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Tropical dreaming in the midst of snow and cold

Sharing this beautiful Turtle photo from a friend on the Big Island. 

Those of us in the cold and snow engage in some Tropical dreaming today.....

That awesome Caribbean beach sand. 

And tasty Starapple fruit. Photos taken at Ibersostar, Montego Bay, Jamaica. 

Here at #TheCamellia, we are open Thurs. 12-5, Fri. and Sat. 11-5, and Sunday 12-5. Engage in some Beach dreaming, and in the meantime, enjoy the snow!
30/32 Hacquoil Rd. p(807)475-3551

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A visit to Canada Blooms, Toronto, Ontario

A Visit to Canada Blooms is a real treat in the Winter when one is craving warmth, and green grass, and Flowers. 

The displays are over-the-top, but elegant, and provide a countless source of Inspiration for both the serious and the Hobby Gardener.

Red osier Dogwood, and Amaryllis blooms. These blooms can be hung upside down while in  bud stage, fill their hollow stems with water, and  blooms will stay hydrated for a few days. 

And our favourite,  Tulips. Holland, Keukenhof cheery and bright. 

For more Spring inspiration, Visit The Camellia, 30 Hacquoil Rd.
Open Fri. Jan. 22, 2016 from 11-5
Sat. 11-5, Sun. 12-5

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Tropical Beauty in Jamaica. Montego Bay

It's that time of the year where the January cold starts to get to you, and you dream of taking off to the Tropics, and hanging at the Beach...Vamos a la Playa....and we're off to the Iberostar Montego Bay.

So nice to be able to ditch the Winter gear and boots, and to be able to wear sandals and beachwear for the next 2 weeks! 

Lush tropical vegetation awaits you, as you breathe in that tropical smell, the humidity, the flowers, the grass, and that first sip of the Crazy Coconut drink the bartender just served you. You have a grin from ear to ear as you realize you are on HOLIDAY in JAMAICA!

The Bouganvillea bushes, in shades of pinks and watermelons. 

Custard apples from the Market . 

Freshly made juices at the Buffet in the mornings, no canned concentrate here.

If you like tropical fruit, there is plenty of it at the Buffets. Papayas, star apples, sapadillas, guavas, many of which I haven not eaten since leaving the Tropics to live in the cold. 

The infinity pool we didn't go in, as we spent most of our days on the beach. Yes, there was lots of seaweed, but every morning a team went along and swept most of it up. 

After 5, the water vendors come out and you can buy all kinds of things, if you are buying shells to take back home, check to make sure that the shells are not endangered species. 

Fruit and Veggies of every type at the local Market..if you are taking  a taxi for the day to visit Rose Hall, your cab driver may stop at the local Market.


Inside the Lobby of the resort..this is one of 3 resorts which are located beside each other. The decor is typical of British colonial style ( originally the West Indies were colonized by the British, so lots of wood, plantation style shutters, and comfy rattan and wooden furniture). If you want to see modern, contemporary style, you will not find it here.

The grounds are full of tropical vegetation and well kept, and clean.

At the end of the day, you can take the shuttle and visit El Spa...what a way to end the day, heated tiled loungers, pools with various water temperatures, massages are available for an extra charge.

You can walk around the grounds safely. There are chirpy crickets, and I don't think I saw any mosquitoes...of course, all resorts probably fog.

Of course, if you are a late riser, there is the usual scramble to get a lounger. If you needed one, the staff would bring out more. The food at the buffets and at the A la cartes was superb, they served a great mixture of North American food and Caribbean cuisine. Can't say enough about the Entertainment troupe, they were phenomenal.
Tours - there are many options...we opted for Rose Hall Estate which is wonderful if you like history and old buildings, the Luminous Lagoon which is truly something to see, a visit to Rick's Cafe, and a visit to the Hummingbird sanctuary to see the Doctor Bird. Here he is drinking out  of a bottle one of us is holding. He will actually sit on your finger, which is the coolest thing ever.

Once you land in Jamaica at the Airport, it seems like you are standing in line forever. Eventually you get through. If you have to make an international phone call using the phone in your room, it's like $85.00 US for a 10 minute call. If you don't have a plan on your phone, you buy minutes at the front desk, and it seems to work sometimes, and other times not. Oh well, you are on holiday, trying to get away from dinging phones. We visited in February and during the 2 weeks we did get some rain and cloudy days, the weather forecast would say cloudy, but it would be mostly sunny. it was hot, but the ocean breezes made it comfortable.

Above all, the staff at the Iberostar Montego Bay were very welcoming and helpful, we can't say enough about them. There was also a Wedding every day on the beach - Valentine's Day being a popular date.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Choosing a Memorial/Headstone for your loved one

Saying that  final Good-Bye to a loved one is never easy. Choosing a Memorial stone to commemorate their final resting place can be a overwhelming task. Where does one start? Here at The Camellia, we can help you with that decision. Now is the time to start planning if you would like the install to take place in the Summer of 2016. 

Most will start by choosing a Headstone, this one with a Tree on the side is beautiful. 

So where does one start? 
Where is the burial plot situated? You are governed by the rules of the cemetery where the plot or niche is...they will stipulate what size of monument you can place on a double lot, the height, and so on. You can phone the cemetery and get them to email you the rules, if the cemetery is run by the City of Thunder Bay, you can go the city's website and download the rules there. 
Click on this link, you will find the rules for various cemeteries under PARKS,

Once you have contacted the cemetery and have written proof that you have access to the site, and ownership of the site, and also you should have dimensions of what size memorial stone is permitted, then you can start looking at styles of stones.  

Next step is to choose what you would like engraved on the stone, will more than 1 person be placed here? Should the Surname be placed on a sloping base, leaving more room to put names of family members/ Do you want an etching done by an artist to personalise the stone? 

Choose the verse, names to be engraved, and style of lettering. When do you want install to take place ( timeframe)? Monuments are supplied and installed by Elliot Lake Monuments, installations take place in Canada. Freight charges, & install charges available upon request. 

Contact The Camellia to arrange a consultation, do consult us after you have collaborated with all members of the estate, and have contacted the cemetery and have some idea of measurements. You can also view all styles online.
The Camellia, 30/32 Hacquoil Rd. Slate River ( just 10 mins. from Thunder Bay Airport).