Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Hergé Holiday Calendar

This was a fun find — Tintin creator Hergé's holiday calendar, sent out to friends in December 1983. I grew up reading Tintin, so it was lovely to see this! Via Hogan's Alley, via Cindy.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Merry Christmas! And thank you for reading, too — it's been wonderful to meet so many lovely people this past year from all over the world. Wherever you are, I wish you the happiest of holidays, and the best and brightest in 2009, too. I'll be taking a few days off for the festivities, but I'll return soon to ring in the New Year on automatism! See you then. Photograph by Noëlle Hoeppe scanned from a vintage copy of Marie Claire Maison.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

One Day of Noël : Good Cheer

One thing that I always have around for nibbling on over the holidays is panettone — so much more delectable than the usual fruitcake. I get mine from the local Italian deli, but Aimee of the lovely Under the High Chair blog has a great recipe for panettone here if you'd like to bake your own! Via Tastespotting.

Carolyn Quartermaine

I've just been looking at the website of textile and interior designer Carolyn Quartermaine, and I really love her new collections — they're pretty with a strong French influence, but still so fresh and modern, too. You can see more here. Just had to share!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Simple Pleasures

The stark beauty of winter.

The lovely photograph above is called Borders, and is by James Jordan, via his Flickr photostream. James took this shot of a snowy fog-shrouded field in Door County, Wisconsin.

A Fairy Tale Feast

Each December 23 Sasha, a designer living in Zurich, invites his friends home for a holiday get together over mulled wine. But as you can see, Sasha does much more than spice the wine and put out a plate of nibbles — he creates an entire indoor winter wonderland for his friends to enjoy. You can see more photographs of Sasha's holiday decorating here, too. Via Côté Maison. (photography by Francesca Giovanelli)

Two Days of Noël : Good Cheer

Paul Lowe of the wonderful Sweet Paul blog has been posting lots of great food and craft holiday suggestions for the last little while, and I really loved his idea for a very simple dessert. Paul first buys a ripe, soft whole brie or camembert cheese. He leaves it out for at least 4 hours before serving, to soften it and allow the flavour to ripen. Once it's ready, he puts it on a large platter, drizzles good quality honey on it (Paul suggests lavender honey — mmm) and then adds sage leaves and a few fresh figs (or dried figs if preferred) and serves it with crackers, bruschetta and red wine. Easy and sophisticated. More wonderful ideas on Paul's blog here. (Photograph by Colin Cooke)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Archive: An Enchanted Garden

If you gaze out of the window of a Renaissance chateau in Ambleville, just a few kilometres away from Giverny, France, this extraordinary garden is what you will see. Designed in the Italianate manner, it draws inspiration from numerous Italian sources ranging from a 16th century fresco in the Villa Borghese to Gamberaia, a Renaissance garden in Florence. Lovely in all seasons, it is in winter that it acquires an otherworldly beauty, a frozen enchantment awaiting the warmth of spring. Scanned from a vintage copy of Marie Claire Maison.

Three Days of Noël : Sparkle

A fruit compote is iced with sugar and flakes of edible silver — a fairy tale end to a holiday dinner. Scanned from a vintage copy of Marie Claire Maison.

Happy Hanukkah!

Warm wishes to those of you who are now celebrating the First Day of Hanukkah! Have a wonderful holiday with family and friends. (photograph via Martha Stewart)

Friday, December 19, 2008


Happy weekend! I hope you find a moment or two of calm amidst all the busy holiday preparations. This beautifully atmospheric photograph, called Cameo, is by Heinrick05, via his amazing Flickr photostream.


A gentle reminder that the holidays can be a difficult time for many of us, and how important it is to take the time to help those in need — big and small. Whether you donate to a local or international charity, help out at a soup kitchen, babysit so a frazzled mom can shop or have some personal time, or visit the elderly or ill, it's through these gestures that we truly celebrate the spirit of the season. Happy holidays! The sweet photograph is by Debi Treloar.

Six Days of Noël : Sparkle

In the dining room of a traditionally decorated Swedish farmhouse, a table laden with tea, honey cakes and gingerbread is the perfect end to a brisk afternoon walk in the snow. Scanned from a vintage copy of Marie Claire Maison.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Happy browsing!

Wes Anderson Interview
The A.V. Club interviews Wes Anderson about his career in film up to the present, on the occasion of the Criterion release of his debut film Bottle Rocket on Blue-ray. Via Kottke.

Disposable Fashion
Ever wonder what happens to all those bargain-priced clothes that don't sell? The answer isn't pretty. In the U.K. alone, the figure is now at two million tonnes of discarded clothes, with 74% (!) of it ending up in landfill. The textile recycling industry is actually suffering despite the staggering amount of clothing being discarded, because much of it is made of poor quality synthetic blends, which they can't use. On the plus side, it's an excellent argument for (a) buying great vintage clothing, and (b) investing in a few really good quality pieces in unadulterated natural fibres such as wool, linen and cotton.

The Year's Best Food Books
Tom Jaine of The Guardian picks his faves of this year's books on food, from recipe books to memoirs to food histories. Great holiday reading!

Chanel has come out with three new Rouge Allure lip colours for the adventurous, all variations on black: Obscure has brown undertones, Maniac has a hint of red, and Hysteria has a violet note. I used to wear Chanel's Rouge Noir constantly years ago, so dark lip colour isn't alarming for me, but these shades are definitely statements. Looking forward to seeing how they're worn ... Via W Magazine.

The Chaotic Work Space
BBC readers submit photos of unbelievably messy office spaces, either their own, their spouse's, or a co-worker's. It is hard to believe that anything can get done at all in some of these offices, but apparently it does ...

The Year in Ideas 2008
The New York Times has its annual Year in Ideas feature, and as always it's a fascinating read.

The Story of High Street
Mainstone Press has just republished The Story of High Street, a stunning series of 24 lithographic plates drawn by Eric Ravilious in 1938, chronicling real shopfronts from Cheesemonger to Coach Builder. A glimpse into 30s England ... Via Wallpaper.

The Meaning of Tingo
This sounds like a fabulous book. The Meaning of Tingo by Adam Jacot de Boinod is a collection of wonderfully expressive words and phrases from around the world. For example, Malay has gigi rongak — the space between the teeth. There's a nakkele — a man who licks whatever the food has been served on (from Tulu, India). And tingo is from the Pascuense language of Easter Island meaning "to borrow objects from a friend's house, one by one, until there's nothing left". Via BBC.

The beautiful sparkly table setting was scanned from a vintage copy of Marie Claire Maison.

Seven Days of Noël : Shimmer

An iridescent shell peeps out from Janet Stoyel's metallic thread-embellished silver pocket. Scanned from a vintage copy of Marie Claire Maison. (photograph by Noëlle Hoeppe).

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Eight Days of Noël : Shimmer

A small gift, wrapped in silver organza and silver ribbon, rests on top of two elegantly simple silver-lacquered boxes. Best opened by candlelight, with a glass of wine and a savoury or two close by for nibbling. Scanned from a vintage copy of Marie Claire Maison. (photograph by Noëlle Hoeppe)

Walther & Co.

I discovered the stunning Christmas decorations of Danish firm Walther & Co. on lovely Anke's litchi7 blog a while ago, and pretty much loved it all. As Anke says, they're old fashioned with a modern twist. Now you can love them, too ...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Simple Pleasures

The fragrant aroma of baking (and the eating of said baking, too). The delectable pear tartlets were photographed by the wonderful Ellen Silverman.

Nine Days of Noël : Shimmer

A pretty and unusual take on decorating one's front door for the holidays — "c'est noël" spelled out in gilded papier maché letters. Scanned from a vintage copy of Marie Claire Maison.

Feminine and Fun

The pretty and spacious loft apartment of Odile Veillon is located in a beautiful former furniture workshop in Paris. When she first viewed the space, the entire loft was in poor shape and needed to be renovated from scratch — the oak flooring and the radiators were the only things that could be salvaged. But despite the daunting amount of work needed, it was the generous light from the south-facing windows, the high ceilings, the splendid courtyard view outside and the great neighborhood that sold Odile and her family on the space. After the labour of installing interior walls, a kitchen and a bathroom was done, a quiet and airy home was the happy result for all to enjoy. See more photos of Odile's loft here. Via Côté Maison. (photography by Alain Potignon)

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's Not Too Late!

Just wanted to let you all know that I'm still accepting Etsy ads for the New Year! The special rate of $25.00 for the month of January, with the last half of December for free, is still available. Have a look here for details, or email me!

Ten Days of Noël : Shimmer

An oval eucalyptus wreath is a pretty contrast to an old wooden door painted French blue. Scanned from a vintage copy of Marie Claire Maison.

The Littlest Snowman

Love the art by George De Santis for The Littlest Snowman by Charles Tazewell. Originally published in the December 1955 issue of Coronet Magazine, it was reprinted in 1976 by Wonder Books. I found the scans of the book on the fab Neato Coolville's Flickr set. Grooviness abounds!

Friday, December 12, 2008


Happy weekend! May it be a beautiful one. This atmospheric photograph of a toll road in Vermont is by Paul Moody. You'll find lots of other examples of his wonderful work on his Flickr photostream, too.

Winter White

Cool winter white in a rather severely minimalist home designed by Anouska Hempel. It's funny, but though I have a high tolerance for all-white and empty spaces, for some reason I find myself craving a bit more colour or texture with this one. Maybe it's because the floor feels indeterminate to me — not white, but not exactly something else, either. I can't put my finger on it. What do you think? From Bolig Magazine, via the great blog roseland green.
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