10 things that make me happy

I'm featured over on Caitlin's wonderful blog, Sacramento Street today in her 10 Things that make me Happy post. Thanks to Caitlin for hosting me. Click here to read the post!

Where we blog from: Simply Grove

Simply Grove is a relatively new blog discovery of mine. But it really doesn't take too long to fall for Kirsten's style. Her blog - just like her home - brims over with her talent and love of design. Kirsten has some really fun features on her blog, including Style Tests and Le Bois Tuesdays, featuring fabulous Boise hotspots. This is where Kirsten blogs from and what she has to say about it...

I try and do a majority of my blogging from my office though I sometimes end up lounging in my family room or dining room. My office gets alot of sunshine in the A.M so its nice to be in there with a cup of coffee and a light breakfast. (Unless I am having breakfast with my kids.)

The main space of my house is very open with no doors so its easy for my kids to come and distract me but I don't care. I figure that I will eventually get done whats needed.
I have to be surrounded by inspiration when blogging about inspiration so I have my favorite design and decor books lined in front of me on my desk. I also have a wired basket with some sweet notes from friends and fellow bloggers that I keep on my desk.

Even though I don't have any pictured in these images, fresh flowers are a must, especially when its drabby outside. I use an "S" chair for my work chair and its not the most comfy thing so I have a sheepskin throw draped on the back for some added comfort.
Lighting is key in any space so for my desk lamp I am using the Bourgie Lamp in clear. The pendant light has 16 lights so there is never a "dark" moment.

I love thinking, creating and imagining in this space!

Thanks Kirsten!

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Holiday dreaming

I hit a big wall this weekend. I just crashed. I had no idea how exhausted I've become. The first sign was my first experience of night terrors earlier in the week: I woke at 4am screaming at the top of my lungs, positive there was somebody standing over me, shaking my shoulders.

Then yesterday, I just couldn't get up. Or when I did, I only made it to the sofa, where I promptly fell asleep. I was too tired to eat, too tired to shower. At 11pm I walked to the corner store to get an ice lolly and saw the biggest moon you've ever seen glaring down at me. Beautiful as I find them, full moons always take a lot out of me.

Today, all I can think of is getting on a plane. I know it sounds childlike, but I just want somebody to take care of me for a week; to get my groceries and cook my dinners and dress my bed. This Admiral's Cottage holiday home looks impossibly nice and restful.

Images used with permission from Unique Home Stays


I've developed a new habit of walking home from work. Not every single night and not necessarily the whole way (it's a 7 mile distance). But, once I set out, I seem to keep going. And it's so nice to walk out of the office and keep walking, rather than stand outside waiting for a bus. And it's also nice not to put myself through the vagaries of the transit system. I get home in an altogether different state.

I added lots of images to my Tumblr this week. There were so many lovely things in my reader that I couldn't resist. As always, you'll find links to the source-blogs with each image. Please click through and spend time on these blogs - they all offer repeat inspiration!

Over on ReadyMade, I blogged two different outfits, one inspired by the basic striped tee and the other by a drawstring dress from the Vanessa Bruno Athe collection I blogged about here earlier in the week. These outfit posts are going to be a weekly event, so if you have any requests, leave a comment over on ReadyMade! There were other posts too - you can see them all here.

And elsewhere around blogland: My mouth positively waters every time I look at this recipe from Lottie & Doof. And I adored this Sneak Peek over on Design*Sponge. I think a bow place setting is genius (and utterly doable) and these hooks really appeal to me. I really want a pair of earrings from Mociun Fine Jewellery, though I really am on a spending fast. I also think this room is something very special indeed. And I want to steal this doggy and his bed. Such a dote!

I've got a busy weekend lined up, brimming with work. But I'm hoping to slip out to a yoga class too (I haven't been so good at getting to those the last few weeks) and have some quiet reading time.
Are you up to anything exciting? Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

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

Forestier pendants

I love these two pendants from Forestier. I bought a Nelson pendant for my bedroom before the holidays and have been stalling on hanging it, thinking I might paint first. But I'm starting to wonder when I'm going to get round to that and if I might not just go ahead and hang it anyway. I would love to replace the light one in my hall with something like the glass one here.

But, I have to temper my wishing with the realities of living in a rental and considering how much work I should really put into this place. Speaking of rentals, have you been tracking Anna's progress on her New York rental. She's such an inspiration!

A poem for Thursday

I try to read a poem right before I fall to sleep every night. If I opened a novel, I might stay up all night reading. But the right poem can lift me right up out of the day and put me in a quietly sublime state of mind. I've been dipping into Marie Ponsot recently.

In a skiff on a sunrisen lake we are watchers.

Swimming aimlessly is luxury, just as walking
loudly up a shallow stream is.

As we lean over the deep well, we whisper.

Friends at hearths are drawn to the one warm air;
strangers meet on beaches drawn to the one wet sea.

What wd it be to be water, one body of water
(what water is is another mystery). (We are
water divided.) It wd be a self without walls,
with surface tension, specific gravity, a local
exchange between bedrock and cloud of falling and rising,
rising to fall, falling to rise.

Hoss Intropia S/S

Without fail, the Hoss Intropia catalogue always makes me crave whatever season we're going into. The S/S one launched yesterday and I was chomping at the bit to soak up all the beauty. Not only is the photography stunning, the clothes are dreaming - so many beautiful ensembles. I'll be coming back to look at these for weeks to come!

Serv ce Station

If there was a windfall in my vicinity, I would hang on to one or two of my favourite pieces of furniture (my desk and fave chairs), but replace the rest with amazingly beautiful wood. I know I've mentioned BDDW a kabillion times and these tractor stools are forever at the back of my mind. But, in Serv ce Station I've found a new obsession to shake things up.

But, before we even look inside, check out where these beauties are made. It's gotta be the coolest workshop ever.

And here are just some of the treasures they make inside... Care you join me in a collective swoon?

Designers Remix S/S

The Designers Remix collection for Spring / Summer is a wild mix of styles; some I love so much it hurts and others that I swear can't have come from the same person. Here are three of the looks I loved the most...

Cream & calm

I clicked on lots of random things I didn't know the meaning of over on Marie Claire Maison (my French language skills are sadly lacking) and landed on this stunning place. Now, usually I'm a crisp white kind of girl. But I don't find the creaminess of these rooms too cloying. Of course, fill a wall with books and/or beautiful ceramics and my tastes will almost always adapt to like whatever else is going on. All images from Marie Claire Maison.

Vanessa Bruno Athe S/S

I love the S/S collection from Vanessa Bruno Athe - so very cute but also wearable. To see how I might wear one of these drawstring dresses, watch out for an upcoming post on ReadyMade!

Where we blog from: Mustard & Sage

Meghan's blog Mustard & Sage covers a gamut of loveliness all bound together by her discerning eye and distinctive flair. Whether she's showcasing an Etsy seller or the latest look from Urban Outfitters, Meghan seems to pull out what she sees and present in a way that makes you look twice at something you might have passed over. However she does it, I've discovered so much in the calm space of her lovely blog. This is where Meghan blogs from and what she has to say about it.

My husband and I live in a one bedroom apartment in a renovated warehouse in downtown Durham. We have a "study" where I keep a desk, but it is a small windowless room we use mostly for storage, so I do the majority of my blogging in our living room. Our oversized couch is ridiculously comfortable, and that's where you'll find me – under a blanket, feet propped up, sipping on a caffeinated beverage (usually diet coke, but I've been fighting a cold and drinking lots of tea lately).

When my cat Oliver isn't sleeping, he helps find blog-worthy material and keeps an eye out for typos. But since he sleeps allllll the time, he's not much help. And I like to have some background noise, so either the TV is on or we're listening to music. (You can see our little record collection on the floor. My parents recently gave us their turntable and we're still looking for a storage solution. Suggestions welcome!)

I keep a never-ending stack of magazines and catalogs nearby that I like to flip through for inspiration. And so I don't turn into a zombie from staring at my computer all night.

Thanks Meghan!


This weekend, I didn't really see anybody. But I really enjoyed small moments of interaction. I made the flower market lady laugh after she was harassed by a wealthy customer who just wanted something for free. And I chatted in the bakery about the merits of the perfect Portugese custard tart (there are many). I talked to the ladies at Hollace Cluny about Heath Ceramics and Lindsey Adelman's DIY. And I grinned back at the kid who took a sudden shine to me and just stared and smiled for as long as I was in sight.

Sometimes, I wonder if I've become more reclusive since I live alone or if I live alone because I'm so reclusive. But, I think it's more that I'm the same with company as with most things: I'd rather quality over quantity. And I find real beauty in the strangers who routinely fill out my world, even though I'll never get to know them any better.

Image from Amalia Ulman's Flickr

George console

The sculptural George console from Oly is one of my perfect pieces of furniture. The angles are attention-grabbing without being fussy or frou-frou and it seems completely style-agnostic; something that could fit in with any room design.


Winter blues definitely got the better of me this week. Every morning was impossible and my nerves were really close to the surface all week, making it hard for me to let minor frustrations slide. At the same time, there was lots of excitement with the launch of the ReadyMade blog and lots of general high jinx. Maybe it was the heady cocktail of all this that wore me out.

Anyway, I have the day off today, with plans only to sleep in (done!) and then get back on top of everything, so that I can enjoy my weekend, relatively chore-free. I started using TeuxDeux for keeping track of my to-do lists and am in love with it (can't wait for the app to roll out!) I think it's clear that I expect to get too much done on my weeknights. And this creates a whole guilt cycle when I don't get through my to do list. Or exhaustion when I push too hard to do it. So, I'm trying to scale back my expectations of what I can get done - though that's hard to since I think it's all essential!

We're still in winter boots in Toronto, but over on ReadyMade I'm lusting after some (four to be exact) grey flats. And did you see Malene Birger's home on Style Files? Seriously to die for. I especially love the picture walls. And Badgley Mischka at home on Mustard & Sage also set my heart thumpa-thumping. Katy got her blankets from McAusland in PEI and they look beautiful. And I'm still thinking about this Iceland Pattern Book that Sarai posted about. I may just have to bring one back from Reykjavik in June!

What are you up to this weekend? I hope it's the perfect mix of productive and relaxing. And if you discover what that is, please let me know!! Have a great weekend!

Image credits: 1. Two Color Embroidery Tutorial, 2. The Wall., 3. Untitled, 4. Untitled

Comrags S/S sneak peek

If this sneak peek is anything to go by, the Comrags S/S collection will be one of my favourite. Designers Joyce and Judy really let the fabrics they find inspire their creations. They have some trademark details that create a unique signature, but the pieces are beautifully nearly-neutral and always flattering.

Exciting news!

Maybe you could tell last week that I had some good news brewing? Yesterday, a new suite of blogs launched on ReadyMade magazine and I'm proud to be one of the bloggers for the fashion blog "Off the Rack"!

As you already know, fashion is one of my real passions and I'm excited to get back into writing more fashion content. It will be business as usual here on Ill Seen, Ill Said, but when you need an extra fashion fix, I do hope you'll hop over and visit with us on ReadyMade! You can also follow ReadyMade on Twitter to be alerted of new posts and much more!

Vitamin Daily

The lovely people at Vitamin Daily asked me to compile a list of my top 10 favourite spots in Toronto and it was featured here. Thanks Vitamin Daily for asking me to participate! And welcome to any visitors who have clicked over from this post!

For more Toronto content, you can read my Toronto style guest post over at Four Walls and a Roof here!

Perfect light

I love the idea of blowing a door off a useless closet and transforming it into a built-in bookcase. I have just such a closet in my hallway. In fact, the door doesn't even shut properly. It might just work out to be the perfect plan.

The rest of this house ain't too shabby either. I love the bathroom sinks and large window. There's nothing like natural light in a bathroom. I love taking a shower with sunlight streaming in (though I put film over my windows so the next door neighbours don't get a peep show).

In fact, the light in this entire space is pretty glorious. Check out the kitchen and living room...

All images from Hus & Hem

Ill Seen, Ill Said

I've had some questions about my blog name recently so thought I'd share this picture. It's the short novel my blog is named after. This copy is a first edition that I treated myself to for Christmas.

When I started blogging I didn't want to write long meandering posts and only wanted to include what would be deeply expressive. But no matter how hard I try, I always have a feeling of inadequacy when it comes to expressing myself. I'm compelled to give utterance to thoughts and feelings and at the same time words and pictures - even at their most beautiful - seem like such an anemic representation of our inner world. Hence, Ill Seen, Ill Said.

I got home last night and this book had been delivered. The postman had left it gently laying against my apartment door and I came inside and peeled off the wrapping so slowly and carefully. On the back flap the bio refers to Beckett as still living. For a moment the present tense fooled my brain and I imagined a world with Beckett still in it. Then I was sad.


Morrison have a new collection up on their site and they're as consistently inspiring to me as ever (see past Morrison-related posts here). Since I last blogged about them, they've also launched an e-commerce site, though it loads at a painfully slow speed. I haven't bought anything from it yet, but it's likely a matter of time!

Where we blog from: Four Walls and a Roof

Lucy of Four Walls and a Roof has a real knack for finding amazing interiors and compiling jaw-dropping lists of inspiration. I was honored to be recently featured in her Style and the City series and am equally delighted to share where she blogs from and what she has to say about it...

I blog from anywhere in the house but, when I really want some peace and quiet, I escape to the study upstairs at the back of the house. Officially a ‘sunroom’ because it has windows on three sides, it feels like you’re perched up in the treetops here. It’s a very calming space to work and think.

This is actually the least finished room in our house. We painted it a couple of years back, choosing a sage green to blend in with the views outside as much as possible. But otherwise, the place is a bit of a mishmash of leftover furniture. The plan is to turn it into a combined guest room / office very shortly as the old guest room is becoming a toddler bedroom, so it will get some attention then.

I like complete calm when I work, so having a clear, uncluttered space is important. I just have a few essentials out: pens, notepad, clock, cup of tea and my laptop. Everything else gets stowed away.

I’m not one for inspiration boards. I find fresh flowers and the view outside serve as enough inspiration. I suppose the view is what hotels would euphemistically call a ‘garden view’, but I love it. You can see over rows of houses right up to the trees in Golden Gate Park.

I do like to have lots of books and magazines around for inspiration though. The bookshelves from Room and Board were an absolute essential first buy when we moved in. I have stacks and stacks of interiors magazines dating back to 2002 (and there would have been more but I couldn’t justify shipping them from England when we moved!).

There’s not a lot of wall space for art in this room – it’s mostly windows – but we do have one piece here. It’s a collage by my husband’s grandmother, who was a talented artist. It’s called Rhythms and is intricately made of tiny pieces of paper. I think it’s really clever and quite beautiful.

So that’s it. Thanks for inviting me to share my blogging space, Jane!

Thanks Lucy!

Gifts & treats

Some beautiful things, recently acquired...

The shoes! I got them, of course. The box... I can't bring myself to put it in my shoe closet. The shoes... I can't imagine loving shoes more!

This resin tray from Canadian designer, Martha Sturdy is destined for my dressing table. I've loved her work for the longest time (one of her coffee tables is on my ultimate, ultimate wishlist).

The wristwarmers and scarf were gifts from the madly generous Eilis Boyle. Words cannot describe how beautiful they are to touch and wear.

I bought this obsidian and silver necklace from Linda Penwarden before Christmas. The porcelain raindrop is from Etsy seller Ashley G. A Diptyque candle is a winter must-have.

Did somebody say "spending fast"? Yes, I'm overdue one!