Meet Eamonn & Jack

When I started blogging in 2011 I did it mostly on impulse, and while I understood that my new blog needed a name I didn’t really understand what the implications of that name choice would be. When I chose the name Sweetsuite10 I thought it was cute, and it fit the subject on which I intended to blog about – namely my small apartment that happens to be suite #10. What I didn’t realise on that very early morning was that the scope of what I planned to blog about might change over time, and that a name that referenced an apartment unit was not a great long-term choice (while I love my apartment I really hope I don’t live here forever).

Here we are in 2014 and, as you can see, deciding on a new name for my blog literally took me years – either because the names I came up with were already in use by some other smart blogger, the URLs were unavailable, or, as in a couple of cases, after buying the domain I realised a few weeks later that it wasn’t the ‘right’ name.

Eamonn

Eamonn

The name Eamonn & Jack wasn’t decided on a whim – I first thought of it last fall and let it sit and simmer before making the final decision. What I think is special about the name is that there is only one other person in the world who shares the same relationship with the men who inspired it – my brother. Eamonn and Jack were my grandfathers.

Eamonn was born in Dublin, Ireland as the 2nd of 6 children. He and my grandmother met at a tennis club where they both loved to play. After my grandparents married they had 9 children – 5 girls and 4 boys over a span of 16 years. My great grandfather was a well-known builder/developer at the time, but instead of joining the family business my grandfather started his own, making wood furniture for schools and churches. One of my grandmothers prized possessions is the lovely dining room set my grandfather made for her. Sadly he passed away at the age of 46 before I had the opportunity to meet him.

Jack

Jack was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and, after the loss of his father at the age of two was an only child until his mother remarried and gave him a younger sister. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force and was stationed in England during World War II. When he returned from war he worked in Insurance and raised three children. In an era where major home improvements weren’t normally a DIY project, he and my dad did undertake a basic renovation of their basement to create a rec room for my dad and his sisters to use with their friends. Jack was an avid golfer and he and my grandmother loved to travel. They visited England several times, and even traveled though Russia before the fall of the Soviet Union. He passed away shortly before my second birthday.

These are the two men who this site is named after. It’s hard to put into a couple of short sentences who they were especially since I didn’t have the chance to really know either one. Even in these short descriptions I see facets of them – of what they did, and what they liked, that are strikingly similar to some things that I too like and enjoy. I can’t think of a more fitting name for my new site, and I hope they don’t mind that I’m using their names to share some of the things that I love with you.

Welcome to my New Blog

After piles of work, and more than a few setbacks I’m pleased to present my new site – Eamonn & Jack. A huge thanks to Brittany Douglas for the beautiful logo she created for me – I couldn’t be more pleased with it.

EJ-logo-2.png

Eamonn & Jack will be my new space for sharing design inspirations, DIY projects, the occasional recipe, and whatever else catches my eye or imagination. Along with a new name, address and look, I’ve rewritten my about page, rejiggered my project gallery, and even added new Facebook and Google+ pages to make it easier for you to follow along. As always, I can also be found on twitter sharing random thoughts and on Instagram sharing the odd and beautiful things I come across.

What do you think of my new site?

The Big Announcement: My Blog has Moved–please visit Eamonn & Jack

After the teaser in my last post I’m beyond excited (and a little relieved) to let you know that my new site – Eamonnandjack.com is now live and it looks like this:

E&J homepage capture

After so much work behind the scenes it’s exciting to have it ready for inspection. I hope you’ll pop by my new site and let me know what you think, and later today I’ll be sharing the inspiration for the name Eamonn & Jack.

Make sure you subscribe to Eamonn & Jack via email or by RSS, or like Eamonn & Jack on Facebook or Google+.

Thrifty Thursday – Memories

Anyone who likes thrifting knows that you really can’t go looking for anything specific as you’ll never find it – you need to be ready to spot the possibilities in anything – from how you can completely makeover an item, or simply what it means to you and the memories it invokes.

My dad is from Winnipeg, and growing up in Toronto I didn’t get to see that side of my family very frequently – maybe once or twice a year (Don’t get me wrong – I know I was super lucky to get to see them as often as I did – I know there are plenty of families who live apart who don’t have the same opportunity). When we visited Winnipeg when I was quite young we always used to stay at my Gran’s house which was also my dad’s childhood home. My dad’s room was the way it was when he left from university so I remember it being a bit like being in ‘Back to the Future’ (I could be wrong, but I seem to remember there being cowboy wallpaper in my dad’s room).  My Gran’s been gone for a number of years now, but every so often I’ll see something that reminds me of her – certain upholstery fabrics make me think of her white sofa, and Royal Crown Derby china in the Imari pattern makes me think of her corner hutch and the china she kept on display there.

One thing I spot quite frequently while thrifting is Blue Mountain pottery. I remember my Gran having a number of pieces, and while I always think of her when I spot the distinctive blue-green pottery, I’ve never bought a piece since I’ve only ever seen it in figurines of cats and ducks which are not my thing. A couple of months ago I spotted this little pot for $2 and while it’s not Blue Mountain Pottery it’s colour made me think of Gran so I brought it home.Green flower pot with handles

It sat on my windowsill for a few weeks until I eventually decided I should put something in it. The next time I was at Home Depot I explored their plants and tried to figure out what would look best. The problem was that most of the small plants they had in stock were simple with leaves in various shades of green and I wanted something with a bit more colour since the pot itself was green. Happily I found the perfect plant one row over – an African Violet.African Violet in a green flower potOne of the other things I remember about my Gran is she always had several African violet plants. I can still picture several on her drum table in front of a big picture window. Whether she had them because they were a favourite, or they were given to her as gifts I’m not quite sure, but they will always make me think of her.

A green flower pot and an African Violet may not mean much to most people, but to me they are a perfect pair just for the small things they make me remember.