Shopping Saturday

Today, it was sloppy and snowing outside. So, I decided I needed a winter blues cheer-up gallivant. At the coffee shop, I started re-reading Great Expectations, which was on my reread list (I forgot how funny it is, parts of it downright hilarious, humour rarely translated into TV productions or movies).

Then I hopped the streetcar down to Queen and hit The Japanese Paper Place, where I stocked up on crafting supplies, this book and some Night Owl wooden cards.
Afterwards, I dropped in to see lovely Alison at Cat Tilt. She's got some amazing Ruth Cross stuff in that had me swooning, but I didn't yield to that temptation. Instead, I picked up a pair of cozy suede Tom's. Next door, at Tealish I grabbed some Blueberry Lagoon and Strawberry Rhubarb Sencha. I wish I could embed a little scratch and sniff so you could experience these teas. I'm sipping Blueberry Lagoon as I type.

Last stop was the Red Tea Box. I've been in here a gazillion times but have never indulged in one of their beautiful little cakes. Now I can tick that off my life list. It was worth every sinful bite.

PS - One of the requests I received in response to this post, was more Canadian content. I've tagged all my Toronto design & shopping posts, so you can easily find local stuff. I've also added new links on the left to some of my regular haunts around the T-dot, as well as some of my favourite local artists and designers (some of whom sell online too). I hope to continue to expand on this... Toronto is full of brilliant talent!


I feel inclined to moan about how long this week was and how fast the weekend will inevitably fly by. But, I'm determined to cheer up. So, here's a little something to look forward to. And if you have this already, please be kind and don't rub it in!

Have a lovely weekend! I loved all your company this week.

Image credits: 1.
sorairo, 2. Untitled, 3. martha stewart entry, 4. 1030 February Daffodils

New: Coe & Waito Special Project

Celebrated Torontonian ceramicists, Alissa Coe & Carly Waito have a new exhibition at Board of Directors January 29- February 28, 2009). This is what they did there last time. I'm dying to make my way down to check out what they've conjured up this time around!

Haute Hippie

Haute Hippie clothes look amazing up close. I wish the model wasn't so sulky. Cheer up sweetie, your frocks are fabulous!

Bathroom translated into bedroom

Remember the bathroom (posted here) that I wanted to turn into a bedroom? You likely thought those were just the rantings of a mad woman. But, I meant it! I broke down the elements, from the Asian style armoire to comfy seating.

Then I took a look at my bedroom layout, using Icovia, and played with where the pieces could lay out.

Then I went searching for the pieces to put it all together. This is what I put together.

Next step will be finding affordable versions of anything I can't afford / locate. I tend to start with a blue-sky shopping list and then look for similar options locally. That way I have a clear vision before I walk into a store. Plus, it helps me decide what I really want to splurge on and what I can cheap out on.

Item breakdown: Lantern from Heal's / Potted orchid / Table lamp from Habitat / Pendant from this image - still need to source something similar / Drapes from Caravane / Table from Room & Board / Books I have aplenty / Cushions by Judy Ross / Huge Armchair by Restoration Hardware / Chest already mine from Rusteak / Bed from Room & Board / Rug from West Elm

Adele Brereton

Adele Brereton's jewelry and silver-smithing is beautifully original; primal and organic, yet feminine and delicate. Love! (Discovered via Dear Ada via feltbug).

Porter Grey S/S

You may remember Porter Grey's stunning collection from last season. I certainly do. I'm still secretly lusting for it. Their S/S collection is also stunning. The lookbook is full of verdant shots that make me hunger for Spring from deep down inside. And the clothes! Simple, elegant, wearable and pretty. What more can you ask for? - Just sunshine. That's all!

Domino rant

I'm still thinking about Domino. Sad as I am for the individuals who work there and for its fans, I feel an indignant anger brewing. I'm fully aware of the role we bloggers have played in the demise of certain magazines. But, we don't have the might of established brands behind us. We are able to forge and grow communities in a manner that seems complex, but the model is still a relatively simple one; that of old-fashioned community-building.

The idea that a brand like could not become a major player in that community is unfathomable to me. That Conde Nast could not build and monetize a website, with their sales and marketing resources, access to writers, photographers, graphic artists, stylists etc. also seems ridiculous. Unknown individual bloggers have been able to crack this code with amazing success. So, why couldn't Domino continue to do so?

Or, is this an old fashioned snobbery that the print medium is superior to the web. Did they consider their website merely as a marketing device for their print edition? This seems wrong to me. Like many of you, I enjoy the experience of flipping through a magazine. But these days, my life is on my computer. And I have chosen the online medium for my blog, not simply because of its accessibility, but because I really believe in the web and what we all do here.

People are talking a lot about the recession, but magazines were starting to fold before the recession. The recession may be a catalyst, but I wonder if Conde Nast's inability to remain agile in a changing media landscape is what really lies at the heart of the matter.

Noa Noa S/S

Absolutely, the sweetest things. From Noa Noa.

Jen Bekman

On a more upbeat note, this is 100% made for me. And so, I snagged one! Yay Jen Bekman! I turn into a big girly girl when it comes to equine and canine companions. And donkeys too (can't forget our Cargo!)

Domino: Say it ain't so!

Heartbreaking news. The talented staff at Domino should be extremely proud of everything they've accomplished, both in print and online. I'm especially heartbroken that it won't continue as an online-only venture. It seems to betray an all-or-nothing attitude that strikes me as being very myopic... But, I'm mostly just sad.

Tobias & the Angel

And while contemplating Les Indiennes, I found myself hopping over to Tobias & the Angel and daydreaming about taking their hand-blocking workshop. Does anyone out there hand-block? I want to know all about it!

Les Indiennes

Les Indiennes is not a new discovery, but while contemplating some of my recent favourite interiors, I've found myself returning to their site repeatedly.

Chocolate Organiko

My work day was improved today with the sharing of delectable chocolate from Chocolate Organiko. And just look at this packaging. Isn't it cheerful? Thanks Laura!

Gudrun Sjödén Design

I discovered Gudrun Sjödén via the lovely blog Nibs. I can't believe that either weren't on my radar before. Just look at these!

Winter arsenal

You know you're aging when you start to treat your beauty arsenal starts to look like you're going on an arctic expedition... This winter has been particularly hard on my skin. On very ravaging days, I've been layering Nuxes' amazing and versatile Huile Prodigieuse under my Kiehl's Creme de Corps. On my face, Mario Badescu's Rose Hips Nourishing Oil does wonders under my regular moisturiser. And I am addicted to the Healing and Smoothing mask, which also smells strangely edible. Do you have winter survival beauty products?

Gary Graham

I have a distinct memory of a Chanel dress worn with biker boots from Vogue around my first year of university (circa 1998). Unusually, this is a trend I'm not scared of returning. I never really looked upon it with any regret. Rugged femininity- what's not to like? These looks are from Gary Graham.

Bedroom inspiration

I've been thinking a lot about my bedroom. It doesn't feel very special and I haven't put half the thought of effort into it that I have put into my living room. But my living room is pretty much done now, so I have no excuse. I've been trawling sites, my own blog archives and magazines looking for something to inspire me. But I keep coming back to this bathroom. Swap the tub for a bed, and this is pretty much the bedroom of my dreams.

Images from Maison Cote Sud Oct / Nov 2008
Photgraphs by
Jean-Marc Palisse

Moby Jane

I find this quite beautiful. From Gerry Gilbert's Moby Jane.

Touched by a beautiful sanity I've been tumbling home to
from visions of difference, the crazy cities of time inside the rain,
outside the sun, shining stone by stone, amounting to a small
pile at my feet of ideas to pick up & lick & throw skipping as far
as I can, as I can see, until they sink into blindness, falling to the
centre of attention. Beauty, the switch between light and gravity,
that doesn't look past being seen, tat being held feels no
weight, turns the actual on. We return to each other. Make life.
Each time. Home free.


I dug this book off my bookshelf for the first time in the longest age and was so newly captivated by it, I had to post. These pictures were taken of Bonnettstown, a Georgian house in Co. Kilkenny (built in 1737) by Andrew Bush between 1979 and 1982. You can view more here.

As a family we used to visit these old grand homes like Lissadell, Russborough and Powerscourt. This style of ruined grandeur is buried very deeply in my consciousness. I respond to it immediately. I know its smells and textures. And hope nobody renovated the character out of it.

Vanessa Bruno Collection Athé

Vanessa Bruno Collection Athé for S/S is stunningly beautiful. My wardrobe is ready to roll with grey and indigo combinations, but there's a loose femininity here that I still need to work on. I'm all over these looks.

Esquivel Shoes

And while I'm on shoes, a rare treat for the boys from Esquivel Shoes.

N.D.C. Made by Hand

Lovely footwear and purses from N.D.C. Made by Hand I discovered this label on a wee jaunt to TNT, where I exercised amazing restraint, for once. It felt good to want nothing, even though there was lots to admire.


Every week lately has been a race to the finish line. Though I think the finish line is really Spring, since snowbanks and slippery sidewalks are tainting my mood. This weekend is full of lovely one-on-one time with some of my favourite people. Oh and a haircut, though I'm toying with letting my hair grow... What are you up to? Hope it's a lovely one!

Images: 1. bedroom window, 2. Untitled, 3. , 4. Vintage Lifestyle


Speaking of roses both in cake and candle form... I've neglected to buy myself flowers the last few weeks. It's so hot and dry in my apartment they wilt very quickly. As an alternative to my standard purchase of sterling roses, I love this treatment of baby's breath from Martha. Cheap and chic. And it should last a long while!

Diptyque roses

This gorgeous, limited edition Diptyque candle is coming out just in time for Valentine's. The packaging design pays tribute to the Diptyque founders who originally created textiles for Liberty fabrics. But, its appeal is not just confined to those with a beau. I want one too!

Ulla Johnson

Love this little dress from Ulla Johnson's S/S 09 collection.

Rose tart

An apple tart crafted to look like roses! Yummy. From here, for next time you're swept away to Paris...

Humanoid S/S 09

Once again, I love Humanoid. Best slouch ever.


Beautiful furniture from Zeitraum. I haven't quite figured out the bed, it seems to just float, but I'm intrigued by it.


If I ever get to design my own home, it will have lots of open rooms. But, I'd also be careful to include a few cozy nooks to hide away in. I can't think of a better nook than one walled with reading material.

Image from Elle Decoration (German edition)
Photographed by Eckard Wentorf


I haven't owned a pair of slippers since I was a little girl. This label has me reconsidering that.

Forest City Lovers

Listening to Forest City Lovers tonight. Sweet sounds.

3.1 Philip Lim

To me, the 3.1 Philip Lim collection always has the perfect balance of timeless style and seasonal distinctiveness. He's on trend, but he's not banging on about it ad nauseum. And his quirky touches help the pieces stand out, but not so much that you'd tire of them too quickly. These are some Spring '09 faves.


I think I've hit the low-point of winter this week. I walked home last night and couldn't even visualize my street without snowbanks and salt, instead with sun on the pavement and leaves overhead. So, I threw on leggings and my big Park Vogel cardi and spent the evening watching Tess on DVD. Sometimes, when you're feeling blue, you just want more sadness...

I was surprised that I wasn't crying by the end of it, but it was very beautiful. What stood out for me wasn't how badly the men treated Tess, rather but how badly the women did. Especially her mother and the serving girls in the d'Urbervilles house. But even with the other milkmaids, there was a sense they could turn on her in a moment. Do you find us women more hard on our own sex? Huge thanks to Chelsea for reminding me to watch this!

Luisa Beccaria

I'm not usually the chi chi frou frou type, but I dare any of you to resist these gorgeous confections from Luisa Beccaria. I could spend a lot of time photographing all those lovely ruffles.

Fantasy getaway

Lately, I find myself fantasizing about a cottage by the sea. A perfect little desk where I could write, by a window with a sweeping view of a rocky cove and a small strip of sandy beach. The sky and the sea changing throughout the day, from calm to tumultuous. But me steady in my little retreat, with home-made bread and an endless supply of good coffee and a fire.

This is always the place I fantasize about when I want to retreat. I haven't found it, though the landscape is very much that of the west coast of home. Where do you fantasize about being? What would you do there? Do you go alone?

Image by Gentl & Hyers

Made by Mimi

Love these shawls from Made by Mimi. So bright and eclectic, I get a certain Etro vibe from them - another label I love for its fine eccentricity.

Paris au naturel

I love the industrial touches in this Parisian space, especially against the rustic beams and worn floors. Lots of great reflection and subtle green touches too. Oh, and I'd murder for a tulip with an unpainted base as seen here. Gush!

"Paris au naturel" from Elle Decoration (UK), December 2008
Pictures by Birgitta Wolfgang Drejer

Yildiz Hoolwerf

Beautifully structured purses from Arnhem-based Yildiz Hoolwerf.


Because I sometimes have anti-social tendencies, I always feel certain guilt about staying inside all day. As a rule, I don't do it. I make myself go out for coffee or socialize even on days when my heart's not really in it. But, once in a while, it's good to give yourself permission to retreat.

Today, I stayed in my PJs and watched Planet Earth DVDs on my new telly. I sipped my way through a bodum of coffee and researched blog posts for the week. I typed up everything I've written lately and ruthlessly edited it. And I closed my eyes and daydreamed a little. Much as I always feel better for being out in the world, it felt good - just for a day - to shun it.

Do you feel guilty when you withdraw from the world?

Image from Elif Sanem Karakoc's Flickr

To reread

Some books are built for rereading. You know, even as you drink them in first time, that there's stuff left to come back to again and again. I posted my favourite books here and it goes without saying that they're perpetually on my reread list. But these are four more that I currently want to reread.

I feel guilty when I look at bookshelf and see spines of books I know I loved years ago, but can't recall the character's name, the ins and outs of the plot or sometimes just the mood, the way I felt reading it. Do you reread? What books make you want to go back again? Or do you keep marching onwards instead? After all, there's still so much to be read!

If on a Winter's Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino / A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry / Great Expectations by Charles Dickens /Life of Pi by Yann Martel