Heritage Designation Officially Approved

Sugar plum fairies swinging and twirling from the dining room light fixture.

Well, Christmas has come a little early and glows a little brighter for us with official town documents certifying that the Dusty Victorian villa is of architectural, associative and historic value.

Pride of ownership takes on a new dimension now that our home is officially recognized as a part of St Marys heritage. Originally from Montreal, having lived in Vancouver and Toronto, we are often asked, "Why did you settle in St Marys?” There are many reasons. To name just a few: gorgeous old architecture, unique topography creating lovely vistas, several little bridges crossing river and creek, majestic church steeples that can be seen from miles away, but more importantly, a well preserved downtown that is still up and running. We visited many small towns before coming to St Marys, and found a staggering number were just shadows of their former Victorian glory – "ghost towns" would be better suited to describe them. Even if St Marys is the exception, it is still very vulnerable. By seeking heritage designation for our home, we wanted to contribute to the preservation of this town. As owners of an antique home, we see ourselves as custodians and believe it’s our civic duty to protect it. We take great pleasure living in a unique old house, recognizing that its presence in St Marys landscape benefits everyone near and far, as well as future generations. 

Thank you to Trisha McKibbin, St Marys Museum archivist and manager, for making the entire process run smoothly and the experience most enjoyable.

The next step, the casting and installation of the bronze plaque, will most probably take place sometime in spring 2014.

Below is a certificate from our honourable Mayor Grose to commemorate our participation as a host site during Doors Open 2013 with The Dusty Victorian as seen in winter 1905 - a lovely gesture. What a great way to end the year.

The Dusty Victorian - December 2013

Wishing you all the best for 2014
(and reminding you not to forget your local animal shelter).

My hairy fairies, Violet, Chaz and Beauty.

The Countess' Cedar Gown and Top Hat Christmas Decoration - Completed

Top hat in Autumn 2012
To change the top hat's colour from craft paper beige to red I used red tissue paper torn up in pieces no bigger than 3"x 3" and pasted them all over using a paint brush and a 50/50 mixture of white glue and water.

All the ornamentations I had already.

18th century wig autumn 2011
For this year's wig, I used red fabric petals instead of paper. It kind of looks like a rubber bathing cap at this point, but with the hat on, it looks good and it keeps the hat from sliding on the glass.

Note the bold rectangle faceted jewellery - very Cartier.


Unfortunately, the Countess lost her head during the French revolution, which is why she comes to me in two parts, but you can imagine that she would strike a dashing figure entering a room with this outfit.
I think she is truly the spirit of Christmas.

Wishing you a lovely holiday time.

The Countess' Cedar Gown and Top Hat, Part II

Here we are. The bodice is covered with shorter and smaller branches. Still, I had to trim the greenery closer to the body with my garden sheers - cedar is not the most slimming material. A huge red poppy with petals falling randomly was added. Keeping the design simple and bold conveys modernity.

Voila, a different type of Christmas tree.

It would be nice to keep the gown inside, but with three dogs, it's simply not possible.

What?! But I like having my own private indoor  bathroom.

I'm sure the squirrels will hide a few walnuts in there - they always do.

Okay, now for the top hat...