Friday!

I have today off and Monday's a bank holiday so I'm staring down a beautiful 4-day weekend, which I guess makes this my summer holiday! Today, I'm trying to blaze through a very long to do list of relatively easy administrative things that I'll feel a lot better for ticking off. Small niggling things have a way of weighing very heavy on my mind.


And then, with that all done, I'm going to find a place in the sunlight and sit there and close my eyes and breathe until every ache in my soul evaporates. It probably sounds misanthropic, but the last thing I want right now is company. I find myself needing more and more quiet time, craving complete stillness.

What are you up to? I hope you go out and find yourself the loveliest weekend.

Image credits: 1. small , 2. grandma's love, 3. Why always "not yet"? Do flowers in spring say "not yet"?, 4. Untitled

Listening to...

I blogged about them before, but their new album is out so I've been listening to Toronto locals The Weather Station a lot! The song East is one that I can listen to over and over and still crave to hear the minute it ends. What are you listening to these days?

Noa Noa

The new Noa Noa catalogue is out (thanks Jeska for the heads-up!) and just look at it! Stunning.

DIY lamp idea

I spotted these lamps over on Rewire. They're gorgeous, but very expensive, and I started wondering just how hard it would be to make something similar. Some wire, some soldering, black spray paint? Straightforward enough?

Wednesday

I went grocery shopping after work today and it's bonanza time for local produce... wild blueberries and Ontario peaches. I always know in the winter that the imported stuff is not as good, but when it hits your tastebuds you realize it in a far more real way. I also grabbed the new Canadian House & Home and treated myself to this delicious frangipane pear and cherry tart. Y'know... just cause it's Wednesday and all.

Country Road

I found Country Road over on Follow Studio and instantly went berserk with lust. So much to love.... It started with the purses. And quickly moved on to the clothes...

A poem for Wednesday

Lately, so many people seem to be struggling with plans. Planning is fun up to a point. At first, you make lists, do research, begin to visualize the idea. You work from the fantasy, then coax yourself back to something more realistic. Then the planning is done and you know there are lots of things still unanswered but they can't be answered by more planning. You need to figure them out as you go along. You just want to get going. I'm in the wanting to get going phase.

This poem is by Dick Lourie from Ghost Radio

cleaning the desk
before I cam home from the hospital
I had started planning to clean my desk—
two days after surgery dozing on
morphine I opened my eyes and wondered
how many stackable plastic letter
trays I had at home and what would be the
most practical categories for sorting
the dusty piles of mail that lay everywhere

last time I cleaned up it was a different desk
I took all the stuff off the old door balanced
on the two filing cabinets so that
Larry could build my elegant new desk:
fifty-third birthday present to myself

I also cleaned my desk when I was
forty-two Abby and I getting married
and I lugged everything to Boston from
Ithaca where I actually has
two desks big ones though I don't remember why

before that I'd had no desk for several
years—so many apartments Peekskill New Paltz
and that tiny house where Virginia and I
tried to be happy no room for desks there

in the mid-sixties cheap East Village pads
I distinctly recall just using the
kitchen table for everything of course
I cleaned my desk thoroughly when I left
college though the one at home in New Jersey
I had used all through high school just kept on
accumulating papers—I should ask
my mother whatever happened to that one

and I had a little blue desk when I
was eight but I believe it was the kind where
everything got stuffed underneath the hinged
desk top so it never needed cleaning

the question is (when you're trying to plan
something as I was lying there relaxed
and thoughtful) whether you'd be better off
reviewing the history a little—
how did you get your desks clean in the past?
why did that first marriage fail?—or just looking
ahead: suppose I have say fourteen letter trays
will them make one big stack without falling down

TG Green & Co

I have a thing about blue and white striped tableware that I'm 100% sure has its origin in this book. When I saw this classic Cornishware has been rescued I knew instantly I had to have it. There's something so perfect about this range! It seems to be only available in the UK. Fingers crossed it hops the pond, off the shelves and into my kitchen cupboards!

Loomstate

Two things currently tempting me from Loomstate: This top and this dress. It's probably the fast-approaching change of season, but I'm craving a new wardrobe, filling up online shopping baskets and, so far, abandoning them as my willpower kicks in. It's a matter of time before I cave in and splurge a little!

Cohen et Sabine

I love the deco and Victorian details in this collection from Cohen et Sabine.

Where we blog from: Oh So Beautiful Paper

What is it about paper? The feeling of holding the perfect-sized notebook, turning its pages and finally, tentatively putting pen to paper. Or cracking the spine of a new book - a rite of passage for me, a gesture that means I've committed fully to the story, and am hooked. Nowhere is this love more apparent that in the blogosphere, which is perhaps paper's greatest victory.

Because even among a community who can express profound beauty without it, paper is revered. Oh So Beautiful Paper expresses our paper-worshipping beautifully. Nole has exquisite taste and a serene style. Her blog has led me to many impulse purchases, but I don't hold it against her.
This is where Nole blogs from and what she has to say about it... I love this warmly lit corner!


I do most of my blogging from home in the evening. Since my husband and I don't have a "home office" area in our little one-bedroom apartment, I'll usually sit in a comfy chair in the living room while my husband sits on the couch. One of the nice things about blogging from our living room is that we're surrounded by some of our favorite keepsakes, like a Masai wedding necklace that I brought back from a trip to Kenya a couple of years ago, textiles and pillowcases from our honeymoon in Peru last August, and a bunch of other things that you can't see from this angle. We've been in our apartment for a little over 3 years, and one of the best features of the apartment are the super-high ceilings (I think about 10 ft), which make our small apartment feel much more spacious.

Bea's of Bloomsbury

A ladylike or gentlemanly afternoon tea? Perhaps. But Bea's of Bloomsburys also looks like the perfect place to buy way too many cakes and pastries, cart them all home, switch into your PJs and devour them while watching unchallenging but really satisfying TV. Like a True Blood marathon (my current obsession). Or season 3 of The Tudors (my near-future obsession). You can play coy if you like, but I know you've had days like those too! Of course, I'm dieting, so this is a hypothetical post only... sigh...

Shepherd's huts redux

Remember my post before that included a little shepherd's hut? Well, I didn't know it at the time, but the seeds of a new obsession were sewn there and then. Here's another, this one restored, from the Shepherd's Hut Restoration Company.

The shepherd's hut idea has bloomed into many uses; a simply retreat, a potting shed, a darkroom or a whimsical folly! And, I've come across many more inspiring sources. Here are some to tickle your tastebuds. Don't you want one too!? This pretty is from The Shepherd's Hut Company.


My favourite ones, though, are those by Plankridge. I love all the Shaker-inspired details and use Farrow & Ball paints on the exterior. My favourite style is the water-keepers hut with double stable doors on the side. And, no shocker here, I'm crazy for it in black!

Friday!

Lately, all my days are long and my weeks are short. Every morning, it's agony dragging myself out of bed, staring down the day ahead of me. But the weeks and weekends churn and churn, turning into months and new seasons. It makes me feel like I'm living a half-life, going through the motions, wishing my days away for the next weekend, and the next one after that. I hope this weekend is different, that somehow I slow down and forget everything...


In the meantime, I'm hanging on to the small things that make me happy. My blog and all of you are chief among those things. And lovely images like these that remind me of moments of beauty that I'm struggling to find immediately around me right now. I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Image credits: 1. hurting rocks, 2. new, 3. tingantings, 4. Untitled

Tracey Bush

I spotted Tracey Bush's work in the July issue of Homes & Gardens (UK). Her natural-history inspired creations had me instantly wondering if I might go buy a bunch of fancy paper from the Japanese Paper Place and create something similar in an old Pottery Barn shadow box I've got lying about. Aren't they amazing?

My summer snapshot

Lovely Lori asked me to contribute to her summer snapshot series and my post is up today! The idea is that bloggers share a photograph that captures, for them, the essence of summer. Lori has had some amazing contributions so far and I'm honoured to be in such amazing company. Check them all out here!


Image from vb via Lori

Scribbles

I really love this scribbles shirt by Under.Ligne, spotted over at La Garconne.

Fairytale houseboat

I know I would get over the romance of living on a houseboat in about 5 seconds flat. But still, it's hard to resist a little dalliance with a fantasy about this one. After all, how many houseboats have you seen with a turret?! This little fantasy, though, doesn't come cheap!

Book report: Oracle Night

It's been sooo long since I did a book report. This was the problem: I got stuck reading Neverland and I just couldn't continue. I'm not sure if it's me or the book. I know so many people loved it and there were so many reasons I should have loved its references. But I didn't. So, for the first time in years I gave up on a book. I needed somewhere certain to turn and Auster always delivers. I gobbled up Oracle Night in less than a week.


I'm crazy about densely layered stories and magical urban mythology. And I hate writers who pull any kind of literary gimmick just because it's clever. But, Auster's
twisty turny story-telling has way too much grace to be considered gimmicky. He balances his cleverness with a human touch, memorable characters and touching moments.. And, the icing on the cake (for me) is how he always seems to work in a Beckett reference.

Augustina bow collection

Augustina is one of those uber-expensive little boutiques that I have zero immunity to. They sell a tiny hand-picked selection of products, including Epice scarves, Demylee cashmere and Temple St Clair jewelry, and have now launched their own collection of purses and I'm smitten. Predictably, I love the grey the best. But the yellow and pink versions offer a gorgeous pop of fun for a more colourful soul.

Area bedding

I need some new bedding and have been eyeing up the beautiful neutrals from Area. Just the right amount of detail to make them stand out, but not so much that they seem fussy or flash in the pan.

Flickring

Got back a couple of rolls of film yesterday and am gradually scanning and uploading to my Flickr; mostly pictures of flowers!


My colour film of choice is Fiji Superia Reala 100; for B&W I shoot Fuji Neopan 100

Dress

I love this dress from Etsy seller Modaspia. Absolutely tempted!

Frazier + Wing

I've blogged before about my love of Frazier + Wing. I have a lot of stuff on my walls, so no place to hang one of these creations, but I keep going back to their site over and over. I adore this colour combination in particular, black and white and ballet slipper peachy-pink. Perfection. Next time I move, I'll have to leave a spot for one to hang!

Where we blog from: Fieldguided

My favourite blogs are those with a definite style of their own and my favourite bloggers are those who both show and tell. Anabela of Fieldguided definitely scores on both counts. She's a marvelous creator and shares her style inspiration, triumphs and frustrations with complete openness. We bloggers tend to put our best foot forward, so I really love that Anabela is brave enough to share her darker moments of self-doubt.

And she doesn't just share her life in pictures, she tells us about it in a writing style that I adore; edgy and sweet all at once. If you already read Fieldguided, you know exactly what I'm talking about!
This is where Anabela blogs from and what she has to say about it...


This is where I usually blog from: my sofa. It is the Klippan from Ikea, and I have dragged from apartment to apartment. I have draped a sheet over it because I think it looks good as a ghost. We've been living in this apartment for two months and I have yet to hang any artwork in this area! I also have some of my sewing bits and bobs around this area (the boxes under the coffee table contain embroidery floss and hoops and needles and other types of notions) because I do most of my handstitiching from here as well. So, it's a bit of a mess, it's not perfect, but it's a comfortable space.

Thanks Anabela!

William Meppen

I'm watching what I eat right now (lost 4lbs last week!) You'd think dieting would make me stay away from food magazines, but I tend to read them even more when I'm being restrictive with myself. Case and point, William Meppen's amazing food photography. I love food and flowers shot against a black background, but his lighter shots are divine too. More than making me hungry, these make me want to shoot pictures!

Simple City

The Electra Amsterdam used to be the bike of my dreams, but The Simple City 8W by Fisher Bikes has taken its place. It has definitely found its way onto my ultimate wishlist.


via Haus Maus

Friday!

Friday! This week was a busy one so I'm glad to hit the pause button. What about you? Are you doing anything extra-special exciting? If we all concentrate really hard, will it go by more slowly? I think two days will not be enough.


Image credits: 1. Handknit socks, 2. frompaulette, 3. Untitled, 4. Untitled

Madewell

Because Madewell hates* Canadians, I try to stay away from their website. Unfortunately, once in awhile one of their seductive, siren song e-mails lures me over. Honestly, scarves, boots, denim and slouchy layers. How can they continue to torture me so? How hard can it be to launch e-commerce already?!


*By "hate", I mean neither has stores in, nor e-commerce serving, the Great White North. I'm sure the nice Madewell people don't think of it as hate. But, I'm a sensitive take-things-personally soul...

Hand Made Group

I adore these business cards, designed by the Hand Made Group. So many interesting projects in their portfolio!

Lubna Chowdhary

I'm very much taken by these tiles from Lubna Chowdhary. I'm not sure I'd ever have the guts to commit to tiles like these, but I love the muted, chalky shades. Maybe as an artwork, rather than an installation, like the middle image?

Ticking crazy

I'm absolutely crazy about ticking, so was delighted to come across Ian Mankin's site, full of gorgeous offerings, from fabrics to cushions and including organic ticking. But, perhaps my favourite are the door stops and draught excluders. We had a draught excluder in our home growing up. But these ones are filled with wheat and lavender, which is ingenious. Perhaps a fun, easy project to make one too!

Wherever I lay my hat...

... that's my home. Oh dear, am I having a Paul Young moment? Not exactly. More, I'm noticing lots of lovely pictures of straw hats hanging up in various interiors. There's something essentially summery and coastal about them. I can't help but ponder where I'll lay my hat next. Wanderlust is coursing through my veins these days!


If you're dying to recreate this look there's lots of fashion inspiration to justify wearing these darlings too. Check out this look from Lover the Label, this gorgeous collage from Clever Nettle and sweet
Anabela's purchase. And, if you're looking for a hat for yourself, there are kabillions on Etsy. I might just get one to hang up!

Image sources: Decorology / Remodelista / Martha Stewart Living (July 2008) / Rita Konig's home from {frolic!} / Apartment Therapy / Skona Hem / Apartment Therapy

Thurley

I know, I know... it's way too early to think about Fall. But, it's not like these looks from Thurley are suitable only for single digit degrees, so I feel justified showing them off now. I especially love the square-necked number!

Berta's Flickr

Berta's Flickr stream is my new favourite! These photos have that same cool palette that I loved so much from Friday's mosaic. I have lots of pops of these muted aqua colours around my place, and I probably like them so much because they remind me of the seaside. This is the colour of calm, as far as I'm concerned.