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Smallbones is about my stumbling journey toward sustainable, natural and simple living.

I often think about what life was like for the family that built my house in 1855. Were they happy? Did they grow most of their own food? Did Matilda McBride make all of the family’s clothing and linens? I know that William McBride was a boat builder and coffin maker and his shop was next door where the general/beer store is now. What would they think about how I live in their house and about a beer store in their woodworking shop (it was a simple general store when I moved here)?

Matilda & William McBride
Matilda & William McBride

Simple living is empowering. It’s thumbing your nose at mass consumption & manipulative corporate power, things that didn’t exist to any large extent in the 1800s in Canada. It’s learning what’s important in your world.

I love growing things and I’m learning more about growing my own food every year. It’s a challenge as I’m surrounded by beautiful, towering Black walnut trees that exude a substance that is toxic to many vegetables, so I’ve joined a local CSA as well. I also love recycling and ‘re-creating’ useful things from previous generations.

I was very fortunate to move from downtown Toronto to this tiny hamlet on a lake in 1998. This simple, old house has retained many vestiges of the McBride’s simple aesthetics. I love things that have withstood the ravages of time, especially if they were originally made by hand with love and care.

Simple living
Simple living: a pathway to a secluded spot to simply sit.

Update Feb. 10, 2017: I’ve decided to put some of my handmade items for sale back on this site. I’m still muddling my way through this for now – I’ve pretty well forgotten how I used to do it. Please bear with me. (Both handmade and vintage are still in my Etsy shop for now.)

I used to have a shop and my office in the front part of the house – they’re back to being the ‘front parlour’ and the guest room now. Part of simplifying my life was making my home life more simple as well.

This blog is my way of sharing the ups and downs on my road to simplicity…a trip that reaches its destination only when I reach my ending.

Anyway, please have a stroll through the posts. I hope some will resonate with you!

About me

Contact: jane [at] smallbones [dot] ca

Click on “SmallbonesShop” to go directly to my shop rather than Etsy’s home page.

 

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11 thoughts on “Home

  1. Hi — I was doing some digging into McBride history and found your posts on Pinterest. William McBride was my great-great grandfather. I’ve seen Lilac Lodge on trips to Gores Landing (my grandfather, Wm. Charleton McBride, liked to take us there when we visited in the summers) but didn’t know William had built houses too. I’d love to have a look at your house if you don’t mind, as an homage to my family history.

  2. Hi Jane: I have a chair that needs a new cane seat, and wonder if you’d be interested in this small project. I will be near Gore’s Landing tomorrow and again from August 14-17. Thanks!

  3. Hi Jane, I was givin your name after posting and asking for help on facebook…
    I need a chair cained, do you do this, I have pictures if you can.
    Thank You
    Kelly

  4. I’ve clicked subscribe and received a confirmation but when I clicked on the link it came up with a page not found message.

    I live in anold house. It’s approximately 600 years old and build from part of an old chateau. The whole square where I live is made from the chateau. I love my house. It’s not ‘grand’ but it is very much home.

    1. “Old” is certainly different depending on where you live. Your chateau sounds absolutely wonderful, Susan! I had no idea that you were in Europe.

      I have no idea what the subscription problem is, but I’ll try to find out. Thanks for letting me know. I’m no expert at these things.

      See you on DTE!

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