Garden Anywhere

My friend Laura tipped me off to the book Garden Anywhere. Laura's got every imaginable vegetable growing on her balcony this year. I don't have so much as a window box, but I'm determined that the next place I live will have a little piece of earth to play with. So, I'm putting this purchase down as "research". And, of course, it doesn't hurt that it's filled with all kinds of pretty images of pretty Alys Fowler scrounging around in the earth.

Avec Home

Absolutely stunning wool and cotton weaves from Avec Home, handmade by artisans in southern Brazil.

Herriott Grace + apple trees

I blogged about Herriott Grace before and kept returning to their Big Cartel store, seemingly always too late, after the latest additions had sold. But my stalking finally paid off and last week I nabbed one of the latest salt bowls.

And not just any salt bowl. This one is #6 (my lucky number) and Nikole's Dad turned it from an apple tree in her parent's back yard. I love that Nikole and her Dad bridge their distance with these beautiful creations. I don't have anything like that with my Dad. But, one of the things we talk about, when we talk, is the apple tree in our Dublin back garden.

I photographed that apple tree compulsively and Dad always tells me how it's getting bigger and more beautiful. He's even started photographing it too. Dads and daughters and apple trees... I'm so happy I was able to get this bowl.


This week was insane. Every single feeling distilled into one week. There was death, love, war and luck this week. Way too much of everything for little ole me. But, happily, it all came out peaches and cream in the end. If it could stop raining, that would be the cherry on top. I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Image credits: 1. Untitled, 2. fairy caps, 3. *, 4. Untitled


I'm still on my spending fast, but I needed a swimsuit and after sizing up all the options, I couldn't find this side of the pond. I loved like this one from Toast the absolute most, so I pulled the trigger. I can't wait until it arrives.

Jacquie Aiche

I adore the Rocks and Minerals collection from Jacquie Aiche. So much more interesting, and unique than same old, same old cut gemstones, don't you think?


I thought Lladro was all about those dodgy ballerina figurines. But check out the Naturofantastic bowl. And how about the pendant? Very beautiful.

Book report: Brooklyn

Brooklyn: A Novel tells the story of Eilis an irish emigrant who moves to the US in the 1950's. Eilis' moments of homesickness and loss of her sense of belonging were so relatable for me. So much so, that I wove her story into my own and, while I read this book, kept dreaming about when I first arrived in Toronto from Dublin 6 years ago.

Colm Tóibín is a magnificent writer. I love especially the way he writes women (Mothers and Sons was a beautiful collection of short stories too). And I was deeply moved by Brooklyn. Throughout, I didn't know how it would end and, even more, I didn't know how I wanted it to end. The heroine's confusion truly became my own and there was no obvious right or wrong answer, which made this story real and poignant.

Your slip is showing

I would never have thought that the dowdy old slip would find a place in my blog, but these are just lovely. Discovered via Seven Little Notes.

Hammock days

What wouldn't I give for a day away from my cubicle to lie in a hammock and read and sip some home made lemonade, the sound of the sea in the distance beckoning me for an afternoon dip. Just closing my eyes and thinking about it makes me feel relaxed. I found this hammock over on Style Files.

Dreamy home

These days, the most inspiring interiors I find are in Cote Maison publications. They seem to combine the modern lines I love with a requisite amount of texture and rusticity. I see any of these homes as easy expansions of my current domestic fantasies. From May's Cote Ouest, this home definitely set my heart pitter-pattering. Images by Sébastien Siraudeau.

Pink grapefruit and champagne sorbet

When there's champagne in my house, the last thing I think of is baking something with it. But this sounds so perfectly refreshing, I may yet learn some restraint. Plus, the recipe doesn't call for the entire bottle, meaning there's room for both. I found the recipe in an old Donna Hay magazine (Issue 35)

Serves 4
1 cup of caster (superfine) sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup pink grapefruit juice
1 cup champagne

Place sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat and stir until dissolved. Increase to high heat and boil for one minute. Set aside to cool. Combine grapefruit juice, champagne and cooled syrup in a bowl and stir. Pour into an ice-cream maker and follow manufacturer's instructions until firm.

Ashley Watson

I love the patina of worn leather, but hate when anything (denim, leather) is artificially distressed. I would rather wear it in myself over time. But the creations Vancouverite Ashley Watson are different. She makes bags and belts from recycled leather, so the patina is authentic and the designs original, incorporating the pockets and seams of the source item.


Happy Friday! I visited the doctor this week and he dressed me down for not relaxing enough, so that's my mission this weekend. These images should definitely get me off on the right foot. Don't you feel calm and soothed just looking at them? I hope your weekend is equally relaxing, with a wee smattering of indulgent fun.

1. Daylight, 2. wakeandread, 3. I wear white bows (365/357), 4. Untitled


Henry built... a kitchen for Jane?
Henry built... Jane's dream kitchen for free?
Henry built... Jane's dream kitchen in Jane's dream house by the sea?
Suffice to say, I like the kitchens from Henrybuilt. Even if there's no real Henry. Even if he doesn't build me one for free.

A poem for Thursday

This is my favourite Ted Hughes poem. It's from Birthday Letters. Initially I loved it because of the horse, I guess. I'm such a girly horse-loving cliche like that. But in the end because of the clinging on.


It was all of a piece to you
That your horse, the white calm stallion, Sam,
Decided he'd had enough
And started home at a gallop. I can live
Your incredulity, your certainty
That this was it. You lost your stirrups. He galloped
Straight down the white line of the Barton Road.
You lost your reins, you lost your seat -
It was grab his neck and adore him
Or free-fall. You slewed under his neck,
An upside-down jockey with nothing
Between you and the cataract of macadam,
That horribly hard, swift river,
But the propeller terrors of his front legs
And the clangour of the iron, so far beneath you.

Luck was already there. Did you have a helmet?
How did you cling on? Baby monkey
Using your arms and legs for clinging steel.
What saved you? Maybe your poems
Saved themselves, slung under that plunging neck,
Hammocked in your body over the switchback road.

You saw only blur. And a cyclist's shock-mask,
Fallen, dragging his bicycle over him, protective.
I can feel your bounced and dangling anguish,
Hugging what was left of your steerage.
How did you hand on? You couldn't have done it.
Something in you not you did it for itself.
You clung on, probably nearly unconscious,
Till he walked into his stable. That gallop
Was practice, but not enough, and quite useless.

When i jumped a fence you strangled me
One giddy moment, then fell off,
Flung yourself off and under my feet to trop me
And tripped me and lay dead. Over in a flash.


I love these three dresses, cept I would like the two beige ones in the blue colour (that shade of beige would make me look like a wraith). All from LIFEwithBIRD.

Osburn / Clark Productions

I'm convinced that if I keep posting these homes, one will land in front of me. It's the internet equivalent of clicking your heels together three times. At least, I hope it is. I think this one is the perfect combination of rustic and modern, don't you?

I found Joe's House from Osburn / Clark Productions via the current Dwell Magazine. I flip through this magazine in the store more often than I actually buy it. It rarely hooks me. The current issue is about smaller homes though. And because I'm rife with fantasies about a wee modular abode near the ocean, I immediately caved.

Peter Som

Gorgeous looks from Peter Som's Spring collection. I'm a huge fan of navy blue these days and love the pattern on the skirt and dress especially.


Toronto-based designer Julie Laschuk makes lovely hand-printed home textiles. Visit her site here or shop from Manor12's Big Cartel store here.

Acne dress

I'm crazy about this Acne Women dress spotted over on Reborn (thanks Laura!)

Monday snaps

There may be no nicer feeling than going to bed on Sunday knowing that you have one extra day of weekend ahead of you. And what a perfect day it's turning out to be. Toronto looks particularly lovely today. Our recent (uncharacteristic) rain has left the city more verdant than I remember from years past. This morning, I went for a wee jaunt and snapped some pics. You can see them all on my Flickr.

Book report: I See You Everywhere

I bought Julia Glass' I See You Everywhere based off the NYT review. I tend to work the same round of favourite authors and get to chastising myself when I don't break out and try something new. It's definitely a divergence from what I normally read, but Sebastian Barry left me struggling to find something as good to pick up, so I decided to switch gears altogether. This was an enjoyable read. I like my reads to be ruled equally by ideas and feelings, and this was definitely less idea-driven than most of the books I favour. But it's well-executed and, for anybody with a sister, poignant and relatable.


As I've been decluttering, I've been making a lists where I notice I own something I don't love. When I first arrived here, there were certain things I just bought because I needed them. I didn't have time or budget to make the kind of conscientious and aesthetic choice that I now prefer to make. I would really love some great plates. I've been looking at Heath Ceramics website a lot. But, even more often, I've been coming back to Gailan Ngan.


I've done lot of thinking the last two weeks. I think my coasting phase is nearing its end. What the next phase is remains to be seen. Maybe it will be ostensibly the same. Most likely not... No promises yet. Just those daydreams and lots of wishful thinking. I'm letting myself have that holiday at least.

This weekend is a long one for Canadians. I have lots to do. I'm decluttering and planning to sell a bunch of my belongings, so I'll be taking pics and figuring out how to pull all of that together. The rest is socializing, relaxing, reading, walking, yoga class and some freelancing that I'll do at a leisurely pace.

What are you up to? Conquest and adventure?!

Image credits: 1. Untitled, 2. good day, 3. green books, 4. Untitled


All the gardening content that's been buzzing around lately (yes Ms Katy I'm talking to you, for one!) has left me hankering for a little garden to grow spuds, zucchini, cucumber and herbs and flowers galore on. The fact that I don't have even a smidgen of outdoor space has not stopped me from cultivating quite a list of tools and accessories with which to equip this fantasy (Haws watering cans feature prominently).

As well, I've been scouring sites like I & J Bannerman and Rachel Warne's website and cultivating a notion for the kind of garden I like. Much as I admire Anna's modular gardens (and you'd think with my love of modular homes I'd especially like them), it turns out I like a wild, mossy kind of garden, full of lush blooms. Then again, it's probably not that surprising when you think of where I come from and the gardens we have there, and also the flower arrangements I prefer.

Images 1, 3, 5 are from Rachel Warne
Images 2, 4 are from
I & J Bannerman

Garden hideaways

Last year, Chelsea blogged about National Trust Summerhouses and I've never quite forgotten about them.

Today, in House & Garden (May 2009), I came across National Trust Greenhouses by Alitex and my reaction was the same audible gasp. Wouldn't it be lovely to have a wee greenhouse to grow tomatoes and start little seedlings in?

And then, in the same issue, was this little shepherd's huts from Court and Hunt.

And, one more! Jenesys Buildings Corp., who I blogged about earlier this week, make this Bunka, which I also love... So, now my question is, just how many little hideaways can you justify having in one garden?!


By now you know all about me and my not-so wee scarf obsession. Wubet is an exceptional line I discovered over at Mick Margo. These unique creations are entirely made in Ethiopia, the quantity is limited and each component is worked by hand. Oh, and I love these shots. Ingenious!

Stephanie Hanes

Yesterday, I stumbled upon this most amazing Flickr stream, empresstk719. The talent behind these shots is stylist Stephanie Hanes. I feel so inspired looking at these shots, some layered and complex, some so bare and simple; each one breathtakingly lovely.


Toast has a new summer video up on their site. It's beautiful and soothing... though perhaps the last thing this sea-starved water baby should be looking at. View it here.

Zoë Jaremus

The work of Zoë Jaremus depicts women in contrived, ambiguous situations. Some are contemplative, some awkward, some almost slapstick. I find them all moving. From Bau-Xi.

Flatpak housing

Lately, I've been seduced by the idea of modular / prefab housing. It seems so vastly efficient - simply find a plot of land you love, order your house and it whip it up. And I find something reassuring about the limited, uncomplicated options, not to mention the affordability. I was browsing Flatpak's website and Flickr stream and their images (below) did nothing but egg on this new fixation.

Also, I checked out Jenesys Buildings Corp., based on Vancouver Island. I really love their designs
(the SRH-1485 is my favourite floor plan) and their environmental focus. These homes may be too modern for some, but I think modern, minimal style is the perfect complement to beautiful natural surroundings (remember this amazing house in Ireland?).