Some pics from #HomesWithWoofs #BeeMeadowFarm

Sorry for the delay in getting these pics up; they were taken by Ian Highway, who has kindly agreed to let me share them here! Very pleased to say that the Bee Meadow Farm Open House/Fundraiser was a success — despite the scorching heat, we raised over $ 5K for Natalie and Gordon’s rescue operation!

There was a lot going on at the farm: live and silent auctions, doghouse judging, an amazing bake sale, pony rides, a “real flea market”,  and a “have your picture taken with a chicken!” booth made out of hay.

Many thanks to Alan Neal and Carol Anne Meehan for coming out to join us to judge our doghouses and to Alan for acting as our celebrity auctioneer. Here are some pics of the farm that day, and again, huge thanks to all our volunteers and donors!

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Beautiful auction items that AREN’T in our catalogue! #HomesWithWoofs

We’ve had a flurry of donations since we put our auction catalogue online, and more of our doghouses are being finished too. Here’s an update, and remember — if you see something you like, you can bid on it even if you aren’t able to come to our event on Saturday. Just email me at – we’re happy to take sealed bids and bid on your behalf at the fundraiser.

First, an amazing donation from Andrew King. Andrew is one of Ottawa’s best known artists. He was originally going to donate a print, but he couldn’t find the one he was looking for, so he donated this original work instead!

I’ve seen his paintings at over $ 2K in the gallery that exhibits his work, so this is an amazing donation! (I’ve already been contacted by  two bidders who can’t be with us, but are considering putting  in sealed bids – I think this live auction item will get a lot of interest! ) It’s acrylic on canvas; 25″ high x 31″ wide, framed, and signed on the back. Here are some photos of the front, back and details, and believe me, they don’t do it justice. This is a gorgeous work.


Our next lovely and unexpected donations were these handcrafted bird feeders, nesting box ,and mason bee box (for solitary bees, who nest in the holes) which were made by local artisan Michael Mazur. Beautifully detailed! A lovely gift for Father’s Day and  for all those other bird and bee-lovers!

michael mazur


We also received this handsome wine bottle opener. (I can’t call it a corkscrew because it doesn’t have a screw), but you know what I mean. It is courtesy of my colleague, Madat Kara, from Royal LePage Team Realty. He overheard a conversation I was having in the lunchroom and immediately offered to donate this gorgeous itme when he heard we had three wine-tasting tours in our catalogue. Comes in a wooden box – what a great Father’s Day gift! Valued at approximately $ 90.


Colette Ducharme, who has an alpaca farm near Bee Meadow, also dropped off an alpaca cat bed (I don’t have a picture, unfortunately, but I’ll bet that’s a cozy bed for a kitty!) And mortgage broker Robyn  Oliviero has donated $ 150 gift certificate to THE SHORE CLUB at the Westin Hotel. Very nice indeed!

And now – to our doghouses! Carpenter Luc Lavoie has almost finished building his  – he’s built a log cabin doghouse that will be chinked, just like the real deal. Made from barnwood from Bee Meadow farm, and inspired by the many log cabins around Apple Hill. Beautiful!

Log Cabin 2

Log Cabin 1

And last, but definitely not least, we have a finished doghouse from Dave Robertson (Robertson’s Fine Woodworking) who was inspired by a Quebec train station. Look at the wonderful detail on this doghouse. For the doglover who also loves trains (and I know there are a lot of you), this is a truly one of a kind item!

train station 1

train station 2

And here’s a link to our online catalogue! Once again, if you can’t make it and want to bid on something, let us know!



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Our Homes with Woofs online catalogue!

Our Homes with Woofs event is on Saturday, 1-4 at Bee Meadow Farm (address and directions)  in the sidebar. Meanwhile, here’s our beautiful on-line catalogue with details of all our live and silent auction items!

Click to access HomesWithWoofsCatalogue_2016.pdf

If you can’t make it out to Bee Meadow Farm this Saturday but see something you would like to bid on, email me at and we’ll put in a sealed bid on your behalf. Spread the word!

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A huge shout-out to our graphic designer and printers! #HomesWithWoofs

We couldn’t run Homes with Woofs without volunteers and donors – it’s a ton of work,  we have no budget to speak of, and it’s always amazing to see how many people are willing to help. But there are a couple of people this year that I want to give a special shout out to.

The first is our graphic designer, Chloe Benoit, who does all our graphics. She and I first sat down two years ago to talk about a logo for the  first Homes with Woof’s event. I had the idea of a little doghouse with a waggy tail: she made it happen.

super small logo HWWAnd since then,  she has been incredibly generous with her time, working on postcards, banner sign, posters, and our online catalogue. Her work is always beautifully done and she’s a pleasure to work with, one of the most patient, hardworking people you can imagine. If you need graphic design work, I cannot recommend her more highly. Check out her work on Facebook: you’ll see lots of it in the rest of this post as well!

Without donations from printers, those gorgeous, clever designs that Chloe has come up to help brand Homes With Woofs wouldn’t take shape. Vicky Assad at Colour by Design donated our thank you cards and envelopes this year (she did all our printing at the last event), and aren’t they great? (Needless to say,  they were designed by Chloe.)

banner sign 4

This year, Sinix Printing’s CEO, Hamed Zadeh, once again offered to do our banner sign (also designed by Chloe)  which was extremely generous of him!

Banner sign 1




But this time, he went even further — he offered to do postcards that we could hand out to visitors at the event at Bee Meadow Farm.

I had no idea how many to suggest, and Chloe did up two versions. Hamed’s response when I told him? He offered to print  250 of EACH. Amazing!

banner sign 2

banner sign 3

I had the pleasure of meeting Hamed in person today and I can tell you; that banner sign is simply stunning. He’ll  be my go-to sign person from now on. Here are his contact details — honestly, use him! Great service, big heart – how can you go wrong. To all of you,  Chloe, Vicky and Hamed, thanks so much!

Hamed Zadeh | Chief Executive Officer  |
Tel 613-248-9333 | Cell 613-862-4726 |
Ottawa Print Services | Sinix Printing Canada

21-2100 Thurston Drive | Ottawa ON | K1G 4K8 |

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Lovely hand-crafted donations! #HomeswithWoofs

Penny Bolton is a friend of Natalie Rowe’s (Natalie being the co-owner, with Gordon Campbell,  of the animal rescue operation we are fundraising for this year). And she’s been working her fingers to the bone coming up with crafty, creative donations!

Look at the gorgeous wooden dog leash holders she’s made — these are amazing!

HWW LeashHolders


She’s knitted some dog sweaters that we’ll put in the silent auction (no pics, unfortunately; they’ll enroute by mail). And she’s also crocheted some hen pot holders that we’ll be selling at our The Real Flea Market table, along with Natalie’s honey, beeswax candles and fresh farm eggs. Aren’t they great? Talk about talented!

chicken pot holders.jpg

Speaking of hens, another one of Natalie’s pals, Denise Gwinn, picked up this wool painting of Three French Hens by J. Harrison for the silent auction!

It’s 10″ x 14″ in custom made solid wood black frame. Made in Scotland  with Hebridean and Shetland wool. Here’s a Facebook link to the artist: Thanks, Denise!

Wool painting.jpg

And when it comes to wool, we have a wonderful donation of three (THREE!) felted cat beds hand-knit by Cheryl Henry of Russell, Ontario! What kitty wouldn’t want to curl up in one of these cozy beds? And talk about easy to maintain — they’re 100% wool. You just toss them in the wash and then in the dryer!


I  met Cheryl on Facebook thanks to another donor, Frank Van Boxtel — what a lovely donation from a stranger! (Although you’re not a stranger anymore, Cheryl! You’re part of the Bee Meadow Farm family !)


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Another fabulous donation from Lana Burnley! A makeover! #HomesWithWoofs

I know Lana Burnley well; she’s a friend of mine and a very classy  lady. Lana went through two bouts of breast cancer in a ten year period (I can’t even imagine) and after researching some of the toxic chemicals  found in her body (all carcinogenic), she started selling Arbonne products which, among other things, are paraben-free. She’s now an  Area Manager and Independent Consultant with Arbonne International and not only passionate about their products but also  about educating all of us to be careful about what we put on (and thereby, in) our bodies.

Lana 7I met Lana just after I started at Royal LePage where she used to work as a fellow realtor, but she found her calling with Arbonne and sadly, moved on to work on Arbonne full-time. Sadly, because we really ss her! As well as being a caring and inspiring person, Lana is pretty fabulous!

Lana has very kindly offered to donate a basket of Arbonne makeup valued at approximately $ 250 PLUS a one-hour makeover for one person (worth $ 60), and you can have as many friends as you like come along to pick up tips! How cool is that?

Lana gift basket.jpg


Bidding will take place at our silent auction, although if you can’t attend and want to submit a bid, let me know! Meanwhile,  if you’d like to know more about Arbonne products (or pursue opportunities with Arbonne), check out Lana’s website, You can reach her by  email at  or on her cell,   613-266-9020.


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Another lovely donation to #HomesWithWoofs: #MondusDistinction

I met Lucie Bourdon of Mondus Distinction a few weeks ago after I saw a feature in the Ottawa Citizen that included a concrete fish that I thought would make a great gift for clients . (I still haven’t met her in person but I already feel like I know her!) I spent quite a while browsing and ended up placing a much larger order than I’d intended.

She delivered those items  the very next day to my home (and many others since — she’s now my “go-to” place for client housewarming gifts). She is incredibly hardworking and her bird baths and other items are absolutely lovely.

When I asked her if she might be interested in donating to Homes with Woofs, she immediately said yes, and delivered two of these gorgeous cast iron drinking bowls with metal inserts the very next day. They are stunning!

Pet_Bowl-350x450 If you are tired of your dog drinking out of a flimsy and easily spilled water bowl, here is a creative and decorative way to change that! The lovely  pieces  are durable, heavy and lovingly carved with metal scrolls. Each comes with an included stainless steel bowl that fits snugly down inside the basin. The cast iron finish will protect the steel bowl from moisture.

(NOTE: This set of two bowls will be auctioned off together at the silent auction.)

Support one of our local businesses and check out Lucie’s website for Mondus Garden Style Living — you’ll find lots of beautiful things to choose from!

Thanks, Lucie! Look forward to meeting in person some day soon!



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Three separate wine-tastings and tours! #HomesWithWoofs

We’ve had a very generous response from local vineyards to our Homes with Woofs event and we will be offering three separate wine tours and tastings in our live auction!

The first is courtesy of the indefatigable Louis Gaal and Claire Faguy, who I met years ago when they hosted a wine-tasting for me at my first book launch, just after they opened Blue Gypsy Wines. Since then, we’ve become friends, and their winery, located in Oxford Mills,  has continued to  excel at producing gorgeous dessert gypsy

The winery is situated on 62 acres of fertile, pesticide-free farmland, formerly part of an 1800s apple orchard. They are currently planting a wide variety of fruits so that Blue Gypsy Wines will be able to grow most of the fruit it uses–making it a truly local fruit wine product, and not only local and delicious, but pesticide and sulfite free wines! hww cranberry wine

For this year’s event, they have donated a wine-tasting for six PLUS souvenir glasses PLUS two bottles of their wonderful  cranberry wine also available at LCBO (link here)!

three dog wine

The second wine tour and tasting comes from Three Dog Winery, which was our featured wine at our 2014 event and one of my personal favourites. This year, they have donated a tour and wine-tasting for six people.


Stroll the vineyards of ThreeDog Winery, glass in hand. Enjoy a specially prepared meat and cheese platter as you sit on the beautiful patio.

doghouse label wine

Can you think of a better way to spend a day in the County? (Note: we’ve included a bottle of their Doghouse Red label in our “Woof if you like pasta” signature gift basket, which will be up for grabs in our silent auction.)



Our third generous donation comes from Smokie Ridge Vineyard where you can enjoy a tour and wine-tasting for ten this summer or fall!

A short drive from Ottawa, located in Mountain, Ontario,  Smokie Ridge Vineyard is a local family owned and operated winery specializing in northern varietal grapes including  Frontenac, Sabrevois, Louise Swenson, St. Pepin and Marquette. (Must be redeemed by December 31st.)

smokie ridge

Check out the Smokie Ridge website for news of upcoming events, which include horseshoe tournaments and paint nights! Future plans include adding a stable!

Again, thanks to all these generous donors — be sure to come out and bid for one of these fabulous packages!







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Another Fabulous Donation! Two Nights in Tremblant!

Seaway Express, a trucking firm in Cornwall, has donated a wonderful package to Homes with Woofs. Two nights at the Westin Resort and Spa at Mont Tremblant! Linda at Seaway says:

The hotel room is in the Westin Hotel and Spa at the base of mountain in the pedestrian village of Mont Tremblant. The room has 1 king bed and a small kitchenette. As far as availability, the winning bidder would simply send me an email and we will check with the Hotel for availability. Most of the time we have no issues with availability unless they request peak time like Christmas or similar. Underground parking pass is included.

This fabulous get-away is valued at approximately $ 600! Thanks, Linda! Seaway

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Our 2016 Doghouses are trickling in!

Our 2016 doghouses are trickling in! One is complete and one is a work in progress.

Here’s the first one — this classic beauty was made by students at Algonquin College in the   Building Construction Technicians course. The plywood interior and front and back is a Luan ½” plywood. The sides are made with a Canexel product trimmed in knotty pine. The roof is standard 3 tab asphalt shingle. Many thanks to Tim Rissler for hearing about our fundraiser and making the donation!

HWW doghouse pic

Our second doghouse is still waiting for paint and shingles, but this pine board-and-batten doghouse with a deck is the brainchild of the very talented Ross McLean of Stonefield Acres Market Garden in Vankleek Hill. Can’t wait to see the finished version!

another doghouse

ross doghouse

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