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  1. Summer Harvest

    July 3, 2015 by michaelpenneystyle

    Admittedly I’m not much of a foodie but this image of a summer meal fresh from the garden and casually but elegantly displayed has got my mouth watering.

    Here’s to slowing down, making leisure a priority and spending some quality time with those you love and laugh with.


  2. Emma Bridgewater At Penney & Co – yay or nay?

    June 30, 2015 by michaelpenneystyle

    Hello friends!  As Penney & Company grows and adapts to better serve you, our loyal customers, we are constantly on the look out for new items we think you’ll love.

    We like to think of our little shop as a place where you can find something special, something unique, something truly personal.  We know you have a distinctive sense of style that is just that – truly personal – and that you love to express yourself in your home through the choices you make and the items you add to your space.

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    And so with this in mind, I’d love your advice – how do you feel about Emma Bridgewater pottery?

    Is it something you know about, like, love even?  For those who haven’t heard of it Emma Bridgewater Pottery is made in the traditional way in Stoke-on-Trent, the original home of British pottery.  Each piece is made by a traditional potter and decorated by hand so each one is a little different.  It’s a family business still run by Emma Bridgewater and her husband and employs a great number of skilled potters in historic Stoke-on-Trent.

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    Black Toast is the name of the quintessentially British line full of English quirk and charm.   There are many other collections, but this is my personal favourite.


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    And I’m not alone, it seems Emma Bridgewater has a huge fan in Kate Middleton!  Here she is working in Emma’s workshop!

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    Now over to you friends – how do you feel about this line?  Is it something you could see yourself using in your home?  Is it something you think you’d collect or buy as a very special gift?  The pieces are not inexpensive (mugs are about $35 Canadian and tea pots are $135).  It’s up there with fine china but generously proportioned to be used and loved daily.  I’m considering adding Emma Bridgewater to our shop but would love your input as it’s not a small investment.  I know I’m sold but are you?  I appreciate any insights you can offer, so please leave a comment if you can!



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    Thank you! And cheerio!

  3. Mint Floral in Downtown Whitby

    June 24, 2015 by michaelpenneystyle

    Have you visited Mint Floral Co yet?  If not, what are you waiting for?  It’s an adorable shop that’s just relocated and expanded to Dundas Street West in Downtown Whitby like we have at Penney & Co.  In fact it’s just two doors down from us!  Proprietor Laurel Munro and her trusty sidekick Roy will be happy to greet you and give you the tour.

    A rotating crop of goodies at Mint Floral Co

    A rotating crop of goodies at Mint Floral Co

    They’ve worked their tails off to transform a former tattoo parlour into a light and airy flower atelier with exposed brick walls and tons of character.  You’ll find the charming checkerboard floor strewn with leaves and blossoms at any given time as these ladies work their magic.  It’s like one of those open-kitchen restaurants!


    And if the thrill of a new and stylish Downtown Whitby shop hasn’t grabbed you yet, just let some of Laurel’s latest creations do the talking…I mean c’mon!

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    Check out Mint Floral Co at 108 Dundas Street West in Historic Downtown Whitby 905.493.8122

  4. Summer Blooms

    June 22, 2015 by michaelpenneystyle

    Well it’s officially summer now and with the sun beating down everyone’s gardens seem to be bursting!  I love to find inspiration in what’s happening in other’s gardens and various corners of the globe.  Like these inspiring photos of gardens in the Hampton’s – wouldn’t you love to have a blue hydrangea hedge like this?

    Or a trellis of climbing roses on a cedar shake wall like this?

    We’ve had a happy little climbing rose surprise ourselves here in our Oshawa Ontario garden – this sweet little blossom is the first to appear on a tough-as-old-boots climbing rose we inherited.  It’s in the worst clay soil on a baking-hot southern wall, but year after year is springs to life!

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    There’s also a David Austin rose (redish-pink) blooming near by that I planted a few years ago in a spot that’s become too tight and requires relocating.  But where??  It’s happy for the minute anyway…

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    I love this rose in combination with the chartreuse lady’s mantle.  It too seems a little over grown this year so once it’s done blooming I think some divisions will be in order.

    Even common weeds and wild flowers are filling me with inspiration these days like this common vetch that’s so beautiful close up like this or at a distance.  This shot is of a patch down in one of my favourite haunts, Prince Edward County.

    Ahhh June!  How do I love thee?!  Never end!

  5. Pretty Finds At Penney & Company

    June 18, 2015 by michaelpenneystyle

    As you know I’m always on the look out for pretty finds for the shop.  Those special and unique items that add character to a space and add the warmth you just can’t create when everything is big box and new.  These items are often inexpensive when compared to mass produced bric-a-brac you’ll find at HomeSense and the like and are so much more personal and individual.

    Here are some of my latest finds available now at Penney & Company in Downtown Whitby.

    unnamed-2We’ve got a good selection of milk glass vases and bowls to choose from at the moment.  Sometimes I find a lot, sometimes its a drought for months!  Summer is the time for milk glass full of fresh daisies or ferns from the woods and they’re a timeless collectable you’ll not tire of.

    unnamed-3While we’re on the milk glass train, check out this seriously sweet stack of gold-rimmed milk glass dessert plates – ten in all!  So great for your next dessert spread for company.  I can see birthday cake or cupcakes looking perfectly elegant on these babies!  And they’d make a wonderful gift.

    unnamed-4Here you’ll see three of four framed fern prints.  These are reproductions we will be keeping in rotation for a while and you can see why – they’re understated, simple perfection and are a great solution for what to hang down a long hall or above a sofa.

    unnamed-5And finally, we’re all stocked up with local and luxurious Canadian Perth Soap Company soaps!  These smell amazing, lather up beautifully and are packaged so nicely you’ll want to make these affordable luxuries you’re go-to gift for friends!  Come experience them for yourself at Penney & Company!






  6. It’s Oshawa Peony Festival Time Again!

    June 12, 2015 by michaelpenneystyle

    Just one of the many perks of living in beautiful and historic Oshawa Ontario is the Oshawa Peony Festival (June 13th and 14th 2015 ) held at the Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens (155 Arena Street, Oshawa Ontario).


    Sara and I went for a lovely evening stroll through the peonies earlier this week while Grandma kindly babysat back at home.  It was a perfect summer evening and the air was thick with the perfume of luscious peonies and late blooming lilacs.


    It’s such a gorgeous spot tucked in the middle of the city – you have to visit!



  7. Penney & Company Carries Rifle Paper Company!

    June 11, 2015 by michaelpenneystyle

    For those of you who don’t know, Penney & Company carries Rifle Paper Company, the oh-so-popular line of greeting cards, art prints, calendars and more!  Known for their cheerful, whimsical style and gorgeous colour combinations, Rifle cards are unique, attractive and very affordable at only $5.95!

    Rifle Paper Co at Penney & Company, downtown Whitby

    Rifle Paper Co at Penney & Company, downtown Whitby

    We recently beefed up our assortment of Rifle Paper at our new Penney & Company location in downtown Whitby so that you’d have even more selection and inspiration from this gorgeous line.  We even have gorgeous Rifle Paper wrapping paper!  It looks beautiful on a gift or even in a picture frame!


    Next time you’re in the shop, be sure to stop and take a second look at these mini works of art and pick one up for a friend just because!

    P.S. for an awesome DIY for using Rifle Paper in your decor go to bloomuhble here:


    P.P.S. For all of you stylish organizers out there, Rifle makes the BEST market lists with magnets on the back for your fridge – making grocery shopping just a little more pleasurable ; )

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  8. Gardening at Home in Oshawa

    June 9, 2015 by michaelpenneystyle

    This spring I’ve tried really hard to carve out time for some gardening at our Oshawa home.

    It was once a huge passion for me and something  I always appreciate even if I don’t have time to do it myself.  I’m starting to realize that if you don’t make time for things in life, the years will just slip by and you’ll never get to them – there’s never going to be that perfect time – so you’ve got to just do it.  If it’s important to you, then you will.

    We’re still very far from my dream garden but I’ve been chipping away at the brambles that seem to have sprouted since opening my shops and having a family.  We just got a new fence in the back part of our yard so with more privacy and intimacy, we seem to be using our yard more already.

    Here are a few photos around our place this morning just after a big rain storm yesterday. Love that dewy look don’t you?

    Kimberly Queen Ferns in big pots at the front.  There's a bunch of painting that needs doing this summer too!

    Kimberly Queen Ferns in big pots at the front. There’s a bunch of painting that needs doing this summer too!

    Yesterday I planted this blue host and chartreuse ground cover.  I'm into the blue/greens and chartreuse more than ever this year.

    Yesterday I planted this blue hosta and chartreuse ground cover. I’m into the blue/greens and chartreuse more than ever this year.

    Our neighbour's peonies are just starting to unfurl.  Magical!

    Our neighbour’s peonies are just starting to unfurl. Magical!

    More new hosts and some pinky/coral geraniums to make it cheerful.  The shrubs and privet hedges are certainly happy!

    More new hostas and some pinky/coral geraniums to make it cheerful. The shrubs and privet hedges are certainly happy!

    I love this tropical looking clematis that's clinging to our garage.  It need a better support though!

    I love this tropical looking clematis that’s clinging to our garage. It need a better support though!

    Around back you can see our new ferns and transplanted hostas.  The window boxes are being planted for the first time in over 5 years!

    Around back you can see our new ferns and transplanted hostas. The window boxes are being planted for the first time in over 5 years!  I read that potato vine doesn’t mind shade but it seems like this may be a doomed experiment…

    Another happy little clematis.

    Another happy little clematis.

    Behind the garage is deep shade so I've added lots of transplanted ferns (floppy I know) and hostas plus some annual coleus.

    Behind the garage is deep shade so I’ve added lots of transplanted ferns (floppy I know) and hostas plus some annual coleus.

    Finally a little experiment for Violet and I - a vegetable patch!  There's lots stacked against it so we'll see how it goes...

    Finally a little experiment for Violet and I – a vegetable patch! There’s lots stacked against it so we’ll see how it goes…

    Thanks for joining me in a tour around the garden at our place!  What are you up to at yours?  Happy gardening!


  9. Sweet Violet Spring Sale May 8th-9th!

    May 6, 2015 by michaelpenneystyle

    It’s going to be a gorgeous Spring weekend in Historic Downtown Whitby and things are looking even brighter because…

    Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 9.20.37 PMWe’re making room for new stock and clearing out vintage and designer goods Friday and Saturday May 8th-9th


    Doors Open at 10 am Friday!


    These amazing deals won’t last long!


    Pehr Totes 30% off!


    Baby Clothing 30% off!

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    Select Bedding 30-50% off!

    Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 9.29.45 PMSelect Kids Toys and Gifts 30% off!


    Designer Art Prints 30% off!

    Rifle-Paper-CoVintage Accessories Priced To Move!

    Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 9.31.56 PMJennylind Floor Models!

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    Yummy Goodies and much more! 

    Don’t wait – get to Sweet Violet in Downtown Whitby and SAVE!

  10. Painting Updates At The New Penney & Company Store

    May 5, 2015 by michaelpenneystyle

    If you’re not on instagram, I apologize – you’re missing some of the fun!

    It’s a much more instant way for me to update you on the goings-on around Penney & Company and Sweet Violet and something I can do on the go rather than finding the time to compose a proper blog.  Of course I want to include you all so here are some recent updates showing the progress of the new Penney & Company on Dundas Street in Historic Downtown Whitby

    Last Friday my friend Aleks and I started painting in earnest at about 10:30 am…the old colour was nice but not exactly ‘us‘.

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    Armed with inspiration from nature like these gorgeous blue/green eggs along with their khaki green siblings, I dreamt up a fresh and unusual colour scheme.  The sun was shining and the clock was ticking!
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    And here comes the colour!

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    Definitely statement-making wouldn’t you say?  It seemed that every passer-by and customer wanted to chat about our new colour – things weren’t going as quickly as I wanted.  Come on Aleks, we can do it!  As the sun was setting we finished painting the main body colour across the entire facade.  I even risked my neck climbing all the way up to the tippy top.  It probably doesn’t look very high in these shots, but believe me it was!


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    And on Saturday Aleks and I banged out the rest of the details – the khaki coloured door, the white French-inspired window boxes and the darker accent panel where the large gold PENNEY & COMPANY letters will fit perfectly.  They’re supposed to be installed next week.


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    Now for some fresh flowers and greenery and our finished sign up above.  I’d say it’s looking pretty Penney-ified!  Stop by Downtown Whitby and take a look for yourself!

    Penney & Company 114 Dundas Street West Whitby