Three of a kind


An unblogworthy childhood

I was having a little offline banter with a fave blog friend and in jest she mentioned the megabucks we could make ten years from now counseling kids of bloggers.


It got me thinking about my own childhood and how blissfully unblogworthy it was. There are literally no photos of me under 18 months old. And my birthday parties and first school day photos are so far from the magazine-worthy stuff you see on some (not all) blogs today that I started to wonder who it's all for and if any if it matters to the child. It's like that old adage about the kid who gets an elaborate gift and winds up more enchanted by the box or the wrapping paper.

My childhood wasn't just these happy but unblogworthy moments though. I lost a brother, all my grandparents and my godfather before I hit my teens. We moved house countless times too. And even when we weren't moving my parents took us to open houses always dreaming of bigger, better things. In my childishness I took everything quite literally and was often made a liar by repeating their dreams as soon-to-manifest plans.


It's clear my parents were driven, aspired constantly to greater things and, in fairness to them, achieved many of them. But the effect it had on me as a child was to create this split between the life we had and the one we were aspiring too. I fell prey to their longing in a big way. It made me pretty materialistic, pretty young. I was aware of how big everybody's house was, what car their dad drove and, in my own quiet way, I was competitive about it. And in a stranger way, I identified myself as being different than our neighbours and peers because my parents seemed to want to move away from all that. But that wasn't really a superior feeling, it was an alienating one.

I don't mean to slam my parents. I admire them in so, so many ways. After secondary school, Dad apprenticed in a trade. But he put himself through nightschool and got all his degrees while working and supporting a family. I used to sit on his lap while he studied, the carpet around his armchair littered with books and me no doubt clamoring over them and wreaking havoc to get to him. And Mum held it together after losing a son, with a husband at nightschool and likely two constantly-disoriented daughters. Ireland's economy was the pity party of the EEC at that time too. So, Mum and Dad's daydreams had their use. And heavens knows, there are way worse things in the world than parents who like to daydream.


So, why am I writing about all of this? Well, because that blogger got me thinking about what effect that idealized blogged life might have on kids. And I think it could be similar to the effects my parents' wish for otherness had on me. It left me detached and a little aloof, with an anti-Gestalt mindset, always thinking in terms of befores and afters. Of course, I was happily oblivious to that as a child, it was just like playing dress-up. But it wasn't reality and didn't give me a truly strong sense of being-in-the-world.

On the flip side, it may account for why I'm crazily driven, like them, though perhaps even more determined to do than daydream. But it didn't teach me as much to be happy with the reality of what I have now. I latched onto mental snapshots of perfect moments that I wanted to live in instead of enjoying the real photographs of plain old Jane. But you know what I've realized? Plain old Jane, is way more interesting than that stylized character I had in my head.


Now, I don't know squat about raising children. It seems a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't scenario. But I do think a lot about authenticity in content creation; about how we portray our lives in blogs and the effects it has on readers, family, friends. And it's all well and good and true to say that there's always something aspirational about blogging. But I wonder about aspiration and its usefulness. And I wonder about the aspired-to life versus the good life in the eudaimonic sense.

And I guess that's what I've been thinking about. That and why Mum couldn't focus a camera
for the life of her.

Anne Willi

I always return to Anne Willi's site to find another small, but perfect, collection. Increasingly, these are the season and trend-agnostic styles I tend towards. More a subtle update here and there than the full-on revolution of style and aesthetic that some labels undergo, becoming unrecognizable from their former selves season to season. I especially like the plain but perfect Colette blouse.


See past posts about Anne Willi here.

Inspiring women: Zadie Smith

Have you ever experienced this: You like a writer before you have any reason to like them? I felt that with Zadie Smith. I don't know how she came into my sphere of awareness. It was probably around White Teeth, when she seemed everywhere at once. Usually that kind of press is a pretty good indicator I won't like a writer. And so I stayed away from reading White Teeth for a very long time.

But I still liked her. In spite of being a darling of the lit scene that's represented by Vogue editorials and hipster endorsements and all things  lacquered and shiny, she seemed to have some real grain to her. And every time I read an interview with her, that grain showed through a little more.


I've been dipping into Changing My Mind a lot recently. And on Sunday, I read an interview with her in the latest Brick and found myself loving her smooth tone and how her words ring out true and heartfelt without being twee. As with this Beckett story told by Auster, I find it immensely reassuring to hear expressions of self-doubt. I find it too easy to assume nobody else suffers from self-doubt and there's nothing more alienating and self-sabotaging than that thought.

"It's strange for me because when I first started writing, I was very young, and I thought everybody felt the way that I did, as you do when you are young. As I met writers (I never met any writers before in my life), you realize there are plenty of writers who just adore their work and think every word they write is absolutely fantastic and will defend it to their dying day. Some writers feel that way; I just can't find that confidence in myself. At the same time, there is not much point talking about it all the time because people think you are being falsely modest. But, to me , writing is a very painful experience. And I hope it will stop being so painful as I get older, but it doesn't seem to be getting any better." (Brick 85)

Image via

Found: The bed

You know my epic bedroom decorating saga? Well it all hinged on my bed-indecision. I didn't want a big wooden affair, because it would dictate way too much about other furniture choices. And upholstered beds seem so impermanent and, frankly, dirty to me, especially for the cost.


I'd long admired this style of bed, which seemed a perfect combination of upholstery and furniture. But where to find one I could afford? Other must-haves included: No footboard, hold box-spring and mattress, a full bed-frame (not just a headboard; I want to get rid of bed skirts). And, of course, price is important, though also flexible relative to my wishlist and quality.


Yay Restoration Hardware! The Lorraine bed above (in fact all the beds in the second image) are available either with or without footboard. I love the gentle curves of the headboard. And I'm crazy for the weathered oak finish of the wood. And although it's obviously feminine, I don't think it's too crazily frou-frou. When I look back on past inspiration (here and here and here), this bed just fits.

Now, I just need to save those pennies. But just knowing what it is I want to buy makes me feel so much better!

Three of a kind


Sessun

I love that Sessun set the shoot for their F/W collection by the seaside. The beach in winter takes on such a beautiful and nostalgic bleakness, an almost moor-like ghostliness... This shoot has an ambiance that I adore and the collection itself is perfection.

Where we blog from: Clock & Bell

Toronto-based Samantha is the talent behind the blog Clock & Bell. A writer and editor, Samantha also makes incredible photographs. She shares those photographs, as well as some choice words on her blog. This is where Samantha blogs from and what she has to say about it...

My husband and I moved into this apartment in May and, for the first time, we have enough space to both have separate work areas. I write on a humble Ikea Leksvik desk, but I love it. It's quietly modern while a bit old-fashioned - something I'm always drawn to in furniture, books, clothing, even people. Especially people.


To me, blogging is as much a creative process as my fiction writing, so I try to fill my workspace with a few things that inspire me for both activities: past projects, gifts from friends, old photos to help get my brain wandering.


I type much faster than I write, but I'm trying to not lose the connection to writing by hand. I have a couple of notebooks for working out story ideas or characterization. Sometimes it's so much more immediately rewarding to work on paper, creating big sweeping diagrams or scribbling out questions.


My favourite part of my blogging space is the view. We live high up in the building and all around us are great old trees. In the distance, the Toronto skyline and Lake Ontario. I'm so lucky to live in a place like this - there's always something new to see and I can't wait to watch the seasons change from way up here.


Thank you for having me on your lovely blog - it's an honour!

Thanks Samantha!

Sunday best: At the galleries

I don't remember a whole lot about my very first visit to Toronto. But I do remember making a pilgrimage to Yorkville, map in hand, to visit the Mira Godard Gallery. The object of my journey was an Alex Colville painting. Just to see, not to buy. And I saw it and loved it. But I walked out even more in love with a painting by Christopher Pratt.

Although I've never been able to disassemble and piece back together all the other things I saw and did on that first trip, I still remember that painting. A couple of days ago Mira Godard passed away. And although she's not a universally loved figure on the art scene (but what woman in her position is without her detractors?) and although I've never even met her, I have warm feelings for her. Her gallery is special to me and her artists too.


So, today's Sunday best is for a day of gallery-hopping, of elated aesthetic experience, of hushed rooms filled with bright, moist eyes, moved by beauty and dreaming of monster talent and lives steeped in creativity. For me, it's a day spent alone, without interruptions or conversations. Just looking and feeling in silence.

Products & art: Evie Tote from Augustina / "Spillway at Red Indian Lake Dam" by Christopher Pratt, 2010 - mixed media on paper from Mira Godard Gallery / Lowe glasses from Claire Goldsmith / Canadian Art magazine / Modern Rock Brilliant Studs from Metalicious / Klee Floral Ruffle Dress from Built by Wendy / Tights from Anthropologie / “Galaxy" by Colin Fraser, 2010 - egg tempera on board from Mira Godard Gallery / Flats by Bloch

Friday!

Not a very eventful week, but it was just fine, pretty good in fact, though nothing startling happened to justify that good feeling. Sometimes, I'm just in a better mood, suddenly more optimistic, I like the weather and the bad stuff doesn't stick, you know?

I too easily forget that I have moments like this; where I feel happy even though I haven't magically transformed my life in some big sha-sha! way. It's worth pausing and taking note of it, if only to build faith that it can sometimes feel like this, that everything doesn't have to radically change before life is good.


There was some happy stuff blog-side too: Nikole has been working away on this amazing collaboration, such a beautiful and perfect expansion of her store. And Lisa revealed her newly launched website, full of beautiful photographic stories, told with amazing colour and light (Chelsea had a hand in the styling of some of these shoots too!)

I've been laughing about this every time I see a pumpkin/gourd arrangement at a grocery store or deli all week. But, truth is, I'm likely to pick myself up some mutant gourds this weekend. Other than that... just steady, as she goes. What about you? Any plans?

Image credits: 1. looking out, 2. luci everett, 3. Untitled, 4. Untitled

Bobbie Burgers

I love these gorgeously heavy-handed acrylic florals by Bobbie Burgers, available at Bau-Xi Toronto. The denseness of her stroke seems to capture the rich fragrance and bursting, yet fleeting, nature of these blooms. And, as always, I'm particularly drawn to florals against a dark background.

Three of a kind


Paint it black

I'm so attracted to dark colours right now and images with a great deal of contrast. Maybe it's the spooky season drawing me in to its moody embrace. Or maybe I never really stopped being intrigued at how light black can really feel when it's handled the right way. Here's some inspiration from my Tumblr.


Images via my Tumblr, originally see on the following blogs. Please click through for full credit: 1. Simply Grove 2. Garance Dore 3. Desire to Inspire 4. Desire to Inspire 5. Toujours Dimanche 6. Desire to Inspire

Inspiring women: Joni Mitchell

I feel like this doesn't even need explanation... Joni is probably one of the greatest songwriters ever. I've been listening to Blue for more than fifteen years and have never tired of it or grown out of it. She may not be the most consistent of musicians, but between '69 and '76 she wrote some of my all time favourite songs.


Image via

Book report: The Little Stranger

The Little Stranger was one of those books that started out as one thing and then became something else. A sort of Remains of the Day meets Grey Gardens that turned gothic a third of the way through, with echoes of Wuthering Heights. It’s not my usual shtick. I normally like stories where not much happens. But this was such a classic fireside kind of yarn and the narrator was so candid, yet foolishly oblivious that I was happily swept along.

I tore through the book, as you do when a story is propelled more by plot than ideas. It was also extremely visual, from the gravel on the driveway, to the patina of the tobacco-stained ceiling, everything sparked and crackled a real and sensual world. In that respect, it’s no surprise that this book is currently in development for TV, and will probably make good viewing.


Characters were told with a fair hand, irksome and endearing qualities, biases and baggage laid plainly before the reader. Neither too charitable nor romantic, Waters' means of revealing characters made it easy to see them as very human; at odds with themselves, self-destructive and ultimately fill the reader with sympathetic feelings. I especially found Caroline Ayres to be a lovely rendering of a female character; vulnerable yet brusque, plaintive yet proud.

But literally haunted as The Little Stranger is, it's not especially haunting once you finish it, which is disappointing for a book that managed to be shortlisted for a Booker. There are no ideas so complex nor portrayals so profound that you're left with that elated high of having read something transformative. And part of me wished the story had stayed away from the supernatural and dug deeper into the psychological. Still, as I read this book, it consumed me completely. It was a pleasant change of gears for me and the perfect book to read in bed on autumnal evenings.

Three of a kind


Saltwater

I used to wear red quite often but have nothing red in my wardrobe at all right now. The current Saltwater collection has me thinking about more rustic interpretations of red. In particular, the Woodland Babycord Tunic might make me break my spending fast!

Where we blog from: Little Glowing Lights

Little Glowing Lights is a new blog discovery of mine. I love how my blog-following has evolved since I started out and think I've really found "my people" in bloggers like Catherine. Her blog portrays her lovely life in Hobart, Tasmania and her beautiful photographs paint a beautiful picture of her everyday world. Catherine's aesthetic epitomizes everything I adore, all so grounded and beautifully real. This is where Catherine blogs from and what she has to say about it...


Once again thank you so much for asking me to take part in where we blog from! It's a lovely opportunity. I blog from the big bay window in my little flat, it's in my bedroom, and I love the light and sunshine that comes in the afternoons. (I found that also made it quite difficult to photograph!)


My desk is one of the very few pieces of furniture I've bought new and it's the perfect fit for the space. Sometimes it gets quite messy with piles of paper, but lately I have been quite good at staying organised. I have a little collection of japanese masking tape piling up which I use all the time, my old wire basket with papers was a 20c find from the recycle shop, and the pretty crocheted garland is from dotty angel. I love the lamp, but unfortunately in such an old house I'm limited for power points so for most of the time it sits there looking pretty.


I love that I can sit at my computer and watch people in the neighbourhood walk by to the cafe at the end of the street, it's kinda nice really, and makes up for the fact that there isn't room to put any pictures up to look at. Recently the builder came and unstuck the windows so for the first time since I've lived here I'm going to be able to have the window open this summer, something I'm really looking forward to.

Thanks Catherine!

Sunday best: Autumn leaves & apples

The leaves have started to turn in the old cemetery by my apartment. I usually take photos of them a few times during Fall and just like being out with my camera and strolling down. I've been thinking a lot about change lately (I know I've been mentioning it a lot here). About how we desire it, yet resist it. How we project befores and after on our lives, waiting to manifest the catalyst that will help us arrive at the "after" as if there will be some kind of magical paradigm shift. Of course, there isn't.


My undergrad prof sent me a link to this Gestalt paper and I found some of the ideas about change interesting. That veil of befores & afters has suddenly been lifted from me. I always feared that without those great expectations for myself, those ideas of self to work towards and self flagellate over, I'd just be plain old Jane. Instead, I've found myself much more in the world without them and much more likely to embody reasonable change and make better decisions...

I've always loved kicking autumn leaves. If they're piled up in a drift, I'll go out of my way to shuffle through them. The sound and sensation of it makes me feel buoyant and childlike. This outfit makes me think of kicking leaves and ruddy cheeks, pink lady apples and golden Fall light. It all conjures a perfect kind of Sunday, doesn't it?

Products: Winter migration scarf from Madewell / Narrow sleeve boxy tee from James Perse / Leaves via / Hermes M7 edition from Leica / Forest floor earrings from Janice Ho / Cashmere Ribbed Shawl Bolero from Brora / Ines skirt from Toast / Front zip bag from M0851 / Pink Lady Apple via / Britten tall flat boots from J.Crew

Friday!

Friday, Friday, Friday! Did I tell you I finally managed to switch my hours from night owl to early bird? It's so hard for me to get to bed before 3am, but I've managed for the last 2 weeks and am able to get up earlier and it changes the entire dynamic of my day for the better. Night-owling always makes me feel like I'm skulking around the edges of civilization, but early-birding makes me feel part of the world. It's nice. I hope I can maintain it and resist those damn all-nighters.

And I'm such a bookworm right now. Even though I've had a bad to mediocre run of books since Mitchell, I'm just gobbling up the written word. It's such a stress reliever too. I get on the subway and put my head down and the ride flies by. Such small things can colour days and weeks for me, but for some reason I too-easily let them slip in times of real stress, just letting myself collapse into late nights and bleary-eyed days.


And I've even been sticking to my budget and financial goals. So, I'm feeling pretty positive about my progress. The only thing that hasn't come together is exercise. Part of me thinks it's the simplest thing and I just need to do it. But I know that it's really a complex thing and has more to do with self-confidence than the simple math of input and output.

There's a whole lot of insecurity wrapped up in that little corner of my life... I feel like it's my Dorian Gray portrait; the place where this pretty picture falls asunder and the ugly reality lays manifest. And it ruins so much for me; I don't want to see people, be seen, meet new people, be out in the world. I'm working on it, but it's not easy for me to even talk about... But, depressing as that is, I'm feeling so good about everything else, I think it's a matter of time before I can deal with this too.

Okay, enough about me... Bloggy stuff: I subscribed to Anthology magazine (via Design*Sponge) this week. I'm very excited about it! And, thanks to Emma, it turns out I want a ficus lyrata. Maybe I'll track one down in the Summerhill Garden Centre this weekend and some nice boy will carry it up the blasted hill for me?! On Greige was one of the most stunning interiors I've seen in a long time; equal parts opulent and distressed, ornate and clean. I love it.

Thank you for all your lovely comments about my short stories last week. They're very much works in progress and I find it easier to keep writing new material than go back and assess what's been written. That's partly a time thing. I feel like I need a sabbatical to pull it all together, but that's plain daydreaming on my part! Still, your support and enthusiasm means a lot to me.

Have you anything planned for the weekend? I hope it's a lovely one!

Image credits: 1. Untitled, 2. autumn , 3. Untitled, 4. Untitled

Book report: The Lovers

It's rare I put myself in a position to read something that I entirely hate. I'm doggedly careful about what I read; selective in my choice of authors and usually do the random page check in the bookstore. And I rarely, if ever, take books based on a recommendation. I know this sounds stubborn, but the majority of books the majority of people read are simply not to my taste.


Case in point: The Lovers. I feel like I let my guard down. All the reviews were so positive (so, please, don't base a decision to read this on me alone). I hadn't read any Vendela Vida, and I coasted into this book likely based on her reputation and trust that Dave Eggers wife must surely match his merit.

Where others have praised Vida for her spare prose, I found it insipid, unmoving. And I'm a girl who loves spare prose (hello Beckett). The plot of The Lovers made me want to use the word "chicklit" and its rendering felt lumpy and contrived. When I read the last line of this book, I literally groaned out loud.

What more is there to say? Let's not drag this out any more. Move on... next book!

Charming home

Isn't this home charming? I've been a little off posting homes because I just feel like everybody posts and reposts the same magazine spreads and sneak peeks. But I couldn't resist this quaint, yet clean, place from Skona Hem.

Three of a kind


Book report: Solar

I usually find Ian McEwan's books to be rapid page-turning affairs where I hold my breath and am hurtled along with characters and plots so beautifully integrated with science or fact that they're rendered completely lifelike, relatable and sympathetic.

Solar missed that instant hook that I identify with McEwan's writing. I didn't read it as a comic novel, though I did smile at some of the passages, but they seemed more pitiful foibles than thigh-slapping comedy. And I didn't like Michael Beard, the hero of the book, much at the outset and most of the way through the book. Nor did I grow to like him, but I did grow to appreciate the reality of him. In particular, this passage struck me as especially human and related to a lot of what I've been thinking about regarding change and epistemology:

"...he was beginning to understand that, barring accidents, life did not change. He had been deluded. He had always assumed that a time would come in adulthood, a kind of plateau, when he would have learned all the tricks of managing, of simply being. All mail and emails answered, all papers in order, books alphabetically on the shelves, clothes and shoes in good repair in the wardrobes and all his stuff where he could find it, with the past, including its letters and photographs, sorted into boxes and files, the private life settled and serene, accommodation and finances likewise. In all these years this settlement, the calm plateau, never appeared, and yet he continued to assume, without reflecting on the matter, that it was just around the next turn, when he would exert himself and reach it, that moment when his life became clear and his mind free, when his grown-up existence could properly begin."


In the end, Solar isn't one of McEwan's best books, but I'm glad I read it.If you haven't read any McEwan, I loved Enduring Love the most.

Inspiring women: Imogen Cunningham

When I was more serious about photography, I used to spend hours and hours in darkrooms and ran around Dublin in chemical splattered clothes. Although, I'm an average photographer, it was the most artistic I've every felt. Every spare penny went on camera film or exotic fibre-based paper and every lunch break was used to make photographs or replenish or process my film supplies.


I worshiped Imogen Cunningham. This photograph, in particular, created such a profound impression on me that I photographed my unmade bed every morning for weeks. Portland-born Cunningham not only inspired because of her talent but her work ethic. She subsidised her education by taking photographs of plants for her university's botany department and won a scholarship to study chemistry in Germany. Botany remained one of her favourite photographic subjects, but she also had a keen interest in the human form, from hands to nudes and in street photography.

I like what Cunningham says about not hunting, making mistakes and being unable to self-evaluate in this video. And I like hearing her voice, it always slightly alters what I think of somebody, grounds them in reality I guess.



Visit the Imogen Cunningham Trust here
Photograph above by Leo Holub, via

Fall beauty

A lot of my freelance work involves writing about make-up, so I rarely blog about it. I have a number of year-round products that I feel naked without: Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer, NARS blush in Orgasm. But I do like to wear a little more make-up in winter - I've been known to break out a smokey eye or a red lipstick when the mood strikes. I don't really follow make-up trends, rather I hunt until I find the perfect product that works for me and then happily come to rest.

Here are my current make-up obsessions and must-haves. The one thing I'm still searching for is a perfect mascara. I swear, I've tried 'em all and they all either flake or rub off along my browline. If anybody has a recommendation, I'd love to hear it.


I've spent the last year, slowly eliminating parabens from my skincare and haircare routines. It was so hard to let go of some of my favourite skincare products and it took me a long, long time to find a moisturizer I loved (I'm currently stuck on Caudalie). This is all a long way of saying my make-up isn't yet paraben-free. Laura Mercier is gonna break my heart to leave because it's seriously the best ever. One product at a time...

Do you wear much make-up? Any desert island product recos?

Products: NARS blush (orgasm) / Jo Malone cologne / Chanel nail polish (via {this is glamorous}) / YSL Touche Eclat / Laura Mercier eyeliner (midnight) and lipstick (truly red) / Make Up Forever HD Microfinish powder / Laura Mercier oil-free tinted moisturizer (porcelain)

Three of a kind


Sponsor introduction: Cottage Farm

I'm so pleased to introduce an amazing sponsor! Cottage Farm's Etsy store is impeccably curated, stunningly photographed and creatively divided into collections, including two beautiful literary inspired collections.

The Caulfield Collection is named for the hero of The Catcher in the Rye. The Caulfield Collection is focused around a boyish American take on decor.


The Dalloway Collection is inspired by Virginia Woolf's Clarissa Dalloway. This collection of vintage is all about the hostess and entertaining, with an emphasis on luxury and charm. I'm especially in love with these three silver pieces, and love the idea of succulents or air plants in them!


And there's more, from farmhouse basics to schoolhouse chic. The range is wide, but the collection is beautifully coherent, with each piece hand-picked by store owner Krissy, who is also an MFA student at the San Francisco Art Institute — no wonder, then, that her selections are so flawless!

Visit Cottage Farm here and, read The Cottage Log blog and follow Krissy on Twitter here for updates and lovely chats!


Note: Sponsor introduction posts are offered to long-term sponsors. Fit and integrity are important to me and all sponsors are handpicked to fit with my content and readers.

Where we blog from: Pink O'Clock

I'm not the most gregarious of tweeters; I quickly become overwhelmed if I follow too many people. That said, Twitter is a whole new way of discovering blogs; driven more by getting to know the blogger than the blog. Of course, blog content matters, but ultimately I have to like the blogger to follow the blog (is that the same for everyone?). Megan of Pink O'Clock is no challenge on either score. She has amazing style and her blog is beautiful. But she's also a lovely person who cares deeply about her words. This is where Megan blogs from and what she has to say about it...

i'm so, so flattered to be participating in jane's beautiful "where we blog from" series. ill seen, ill said is one of my daily must-reads, and every day i look forward to jane's beautiful, thoughtful, inspirational posts. as silly as this may sound, i've always dreamed of being a part of it, and am thrilled to be sharing these little bits of my very humble abode with you, especially in the company of so many of my other favorite bloggers.


i blog most often from my living room, which is admittedly a work in progress. until very recently, i was never invested in the space i was sitting in every day -- sure, i like pretty trinkets and i love poring over interior design magazines and design blogs, but i never felt the urge to
really apply what i was reading to my own life. now i'm making a much more concerted effort to make sure that i blog about items that would -- and sometimes eventually do -- fit perfectly into my home. (next item clearly should be a rug!)

 

i love having bright items around me when i'm blogging. my bedroom is a very cool, gray space, but i try to keep my kitchen and living room as bright as possible. i especially love looking at the yellow made by girl poster as i type. (on a side note, the stack of books and magazines in this photograph contains a "literary journal" of mine from second grade -- a proto-blog, perhaps?)


the typewriter that sits on my desk was my grandfather's, and there are many days when i wish i could use it to blog instead of my laptop. the well-loved keys provide much inspiration, and the paper that's currently in it has been there since it came home with me almost two years ago. i'm not sure how long it was in there prior to that trip, but i like to pretend that my grandfather spooled it up in preparation to write a letter.



last year, i took up running, and while i would hardly call myself a runner yet, there's not much i like more than a beautiful sunset jog, or even a walk. i often go on a route that takes me over a bridge, and i do some of my best thinking as i wind along the bayfront -- so i think it's appropriate that i include it as somewhere i blog from. the view is static and yet always changing, and i love that.


this is my blogging buddy, oscar. i couldn't help but share a photo of him, too.


thank you so much, jane, for having me! xoxo

Thanks Megan!

Sunday best: Making rosewater madeleines

I've had a quiet kind of weekend. I'm trying not to spend a lot of money these days, so I've been avoid the stores. And TIFF is on right now too, so I'm staying away from the hoi-polloi. I had to cover the lounges a couple of years ago and that pretty much sapped me of any appetite for film-festing. I don't know how people do it year in, year out and take my hat off to them!

I finished two books in the last few days (book reports coming next week) and watched some movies too. Tonight, my friend Laura is coming over, so I'm baking some madeleines for us! I can never resist dipping into Proust as I make them...


"She sent for one of those squat, plump little cakes called "petites madeleines," which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted valve of a scallop shell. And soon, mechanically, dispirited after a dreary day with the prospect of a depressing morrow, I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory - this new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me it was me"

From Remembrance of Things Past. Volume 1: Swann's Way: Within a Budding Grove.

Products: Madeleine pan from Williams Sonoma / Fall Izzy Top from Steven Alan / Pink amethyst necklace from Becky Kelso / Ruffle cake plate from Jeanette Zeis Ceramics / Fog Linen apron via Remodelista / MiH Jeans® London boy cropped in gill wash from J.Crew / Rosewater / Days of Reading by Proust / Natural Canvas Women's Classics from Toms

Friday!

Joy for four-day weeks! I think I figured some stuff out this week. Little breakthroughs, a-ha moments. It's all very midstream right now. But I guess I'm figuring out how to better exist in the midstream. And I'm figuring out what I need to make it better, because the reality is that most of life is lived midstream, at least the good days.

I'm working on some short stories right now. The words make me happy. Finding a rhythm in them, letting them guide me and having voices manifest full of surprises and poignant moments. I don't know that they're for reading. That's the hard part, so I try not to think about it. Regardless, I can't help but fill pages...


But I've been a little dialed out of the blog world this week. Maybe it was just quiet, people still adjusting to the new season, clinging to the last vestiges of their summer. Still I have some good stuff: Jen blogged the amazing collection from Colenimo.  A music recommendation from brilliant Chelsea is always worth checking out. And Nikole has a new cookie recipe (and cookie cutter on its way!)

I hate to sound all portentous, but I'm feeling like there's good change in the air. Maybe it's Fall. This season makes me happy and I like seeing change unfurl in my environment. It all feels less stagnant than the stolid seasons of summer and winter. Getting up in the mornings is easier right now. And I seem more settled in myself and more comfortable in the world. This weekend, I'm just going to go with that flow.

Hope you have a great, great weekend!

Image credits 1. Untitled, 2. Untitled, 3. 243/365, 4. august