Friday, February 27, 2009


Happy weekend! Hope there's plenty of sunshine your way. I've been enjoying the bright warmth of the sun here over the last few days, and (despite the occasional flurries) I feel like spring is truly on its way. Lovely photo by Jen Gotch, via Flickr.

Serene Beauty

I love these delicately beautiful photographs by Sizima, on Flickr. His compositions are deceptively simple — look past the beautifully balanced sense of design and you suddenly notice his careful attention to texture and detail, too. Just lovely. Via dear ada.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Welcome to this week's selection — enjoy.

Save My Room!
Upload photos of your saddest room to the Better Homes and Gardens site for a chance to win a complete room makeover by Stephen Saint-Onge. The winning room will also be featured in BHG magazine.

Spy Vibe: 1960s Spy Style
A great website that celebrates the look and style of the grooviest spy films from the '60s — the gadgets, the amazing lairs (think Dr. No), the clothes, the cars, the music and more. Lots of fun. Via Dwell.

Low-Tech Fixes for High-Tech Problems
Great little NYT article about the clever solutions people have figured out when technology just doesn't work, such as putting a piece of plastic over the magnetic strip of a credit card so it'll scan in the card reader.

Style Quiz
Sproost Furniture and Interior Design has a fun little quiz on their site, where you can find out what your taste in interior design is — categories include Modern, French Eclectic, Rustic Revival, Classic and more.

Monaluna Fabrics for Robert Kaufman
Leah over at More Ways to Waste Time has a great post on the cotton fabric line by Jennifer Moore called Monaluna, designed for textile company Robert Kaufman. Colourful and retro, they'd look great on projects big and small.

Tiny Art Director
An utterly hilarious blog by illustrator Bill Zeman, about his travails trying to please the most demanding and severely critical art director ever — his four year old daughter. Awesome. Via Greg (thanks, bro!)

The Ten Design Commandments of Dieter Rams
Dieter Rams is best known for his innovative (and much copied) design for Braun — here he looks at what constitutes good design. Sound advice. Via Kottke.

Stephen Jones at the V&A
Milliner extraordinaire Stephen Jones discusses his forthcoming exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, which charts the history of headgear. Wish I could see this one!

Photo via Domino's Deco Files.

Domino Archive: Art Display

From Domino's Deco File, some inspiring ideas for displaying one's artwork and treasured objects. Incidentally, Victoria over at sfgirlbybay has been doing a regular series of posts called Ode to My Deco — they're packed with images from Domino's archives, so it's well worth having a visit to see her great finds from there, too.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Rachel Whiting

A selection of interior shots from the beautiful portfolio of photographer Rachel Whiting. Gorgeous. Via mos by adesch.

Sponsor Spotlight

Rachael of Number Eight has a brand new giclée print for sale at her shop. Called Horn, it features one of her current obsessions — birdcage veils! And, this month Rachael will be donating 10% of her sales to 46664, Nelson Mandela's global aids awareness and research campaign. As she notes, "I think in these tough times it's more important than ever to give what I can." I couldn't agree more. Be sure to have a look at Rachael's great new blog, too!

Jill of Jillry has been kept busy recently with wedding commissions such as the jewelry shown here, which she designed for the bridesmaids of a nautical themed wedding. Jill used delicate freshwater rice pearls and Czech glass, offset with silver starfish charms, to capture the mood of a wedding on a cruise. The fish hook earrings, also with starfish charms, add another subtle reference to the overall theme. See more inspiring jewelry at Jillry, Jill's Etsy shop — and check out her blog for a little more about Jill, too!

Interested in also becoming an automatism sponsor? I'm still accepting ads for March — click here for more info. My rates are designed for small businesses!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Simple Pleasures

Anticipation — that feeling of happy excitement you have when, waking up in the morning, you suddenly remember what good things the day will bring. May you have many such mornings in your life.

(Photograph via Domino's Deco Files)

Y-3 Spring 2009

Jane's talk of layering the other day inspired me to go and see what Yohji Yamamoto is doing for spring this year — these are the some of the looks I particularly liked from his sporty Spring 2009 Y-3 collection. I can easily see myself picking out a skirt here, a top there, and mixing them with tees and jeans for a relaxed warm weather layered look. (photography by Marcio Madeira) Via

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mari Eriksson

These lovely light-filled interiors, photographed by Mari Eriksson, make me think of a quiet summer cottage by the sea — of days spent puttering around on the beach, and nights lulled to sleep by the sound of the waves. I also think that I'm getting tired of winter. Via the wonderful blog by geisslein.

Giveaway Winner!

It's time to announce the winner of the Valentine's Day giveaway of a lovely jar of Nuxe Rêve de Miel lip balm! I used the random number generator on to pick the lucky winner — congratulations to Deb at number 7, who chose The Philadelphia Story as her favourite romantic movie! Yay! Thanks so much to everyone who participated — it was lovely to read about what romantic movies were important to you and why. I think I'll be heading to the video store soon!

Photograph of Katherine Hepburn in the 1939 stage production of The Philadelphia Story via spiralsheep on Flickr.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Happy weekend! Hope it's lovely. The one sure thing I plan to do is curling up on the couch (sadly, nowhere as pretty as this one) on Sunday to watch the Academy Awards (mostly to see what everyone is wearing, to be honest). Do you watch the Oscars, too?

P.S. Don't forget — you have until midnight tonight to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a Nuxe Rêve de Miel lip balm!

The beautiful photograph is by Joanna Henderson.

Café Baudelaire

I'm really enjoying the pretty collages on the Etsy shop Café Baudelaire — beautiful, and with a fine sense of humour, too.

P.S. Did you know that Marie Antoinette never actually said "Let them eat cake"? If you'd like to find out how that legend got started (plus more about her real story), I highly recommend Marie Antoinette: The Journey, Antonia Fraser's excellent biography of the ill-fated queen (and the primary source for Sophia Coppola's film, too).

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Welcome to this week's links. Enjoy.

The Top 100 Books of All Time

Another best books list, but what I like about this one is that it includes books from all over the world, rather than being narrowly focused on Europe and North America. Excellent reading every one.

Things To Do at the Victoria and Albert Museum
If you can't manage a visit there in person, the V&A website has lots of interesting things to do — for example, you can play games, design a Renaissance room, make your own couture dress or jumping jacks, download a Tudor screensaver, take art quizzes, share memories and ideas and more. Fun stuff.

25 Random Things About Graphic Design
Blogger Tishon's version of the 25 random things meme that's currently circulating around Facebook.

Yes, They Could. So They Did.
Inspiring NYT article by Thomas L. Friedman about how Caroline Howe, a mechanical engineer on leave from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and Alexis Ringwald, a Fulbright scholar in India and now a solar entrepreneur, joined with Kartikeya Singh, who was starting the Indian Youth Climate Network, or IYCN, to connect young climate leaders in India, a country coming under increasing global pressure to manage its carbon footprint. To get the message out they persuaded the CEO of India’s Reva Electric Car Company to donate three of his cars, which they modified before embarking on a 2,100 mile trip from Chennai to New Delhi, stopping in 15 cities and dozens of villages,where they trained Indian students to start their own climate action programs as well as filming 20 videos of India’s top home-grown energy innovations. So exciting to see people just getting out there and doing what needs to be done.

LoftLife: Traditional Meets Modern
Have a look here at the gorgeous loft of interior designer Andrew Flesher. Wow.

A Brief History of the Jetpack
A fun little illustrated history of the jetpack, including of course the one worn by James Bond in the 1965 movie Thunderball.

Main Street Postcards as Muse
Fascinating article about a new exhibit on at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which examines how the work of legendary photographer Walker Evans was influenced by his extensive collection of postcards. Sounds like a great show.

The Small Stakes
Poster design shop The Small Stakes has some lovely new designs that are well worth a look. Beautiful and imaginative work. Via Black Eiffel.

The dramatic dining room is from the (soon to disappear) Deco File from Domino. (Sorry — no photo credit was given)

Domino Archive: Quirky Kitchens

A sampling of kitchens with lots of personality, via Domino's archives. I think I might be doing some spring decorating in my own kitchen soon ...

Photo credits, top to bottom: Simon Upton; Roland Bello; Annie Schlechter; David Meredith; Paul Costello.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Lovely Emma of emmas designblogg tagged me last week — here goes!

Rules: Write 6 random things about myself, link the person who tagged you, post the rules. Tag six people and link them. Let them know they have been tagged.

1. I do the New York Times crossword puzzle every day.

2. I am terrible with plants. I constantly forget to water the poor things that grimly cling to life in front of my living room window. This does make me appreciate gardens, though, from a tiny pot of kitchen herbs to grand formal gardens (I especially love walking through the Jardin de Luxembourg when Andrew and I are in Paris).

3. I have an extensive lipstick wardrobe. Clothing — not so much (though if I had the budget for it I would).

4. I'm told I'm a good listener, which is fortunate as I'm a terrible conversationalist (I've always been extremely shy). I sincerely admire people who have mastered this fab social skill. This is also why I prefer to communicate with illustration clients by email rather than by phone.

5. I follow Buddhism, but not in any formal way. A bit of meditation, but mostly just being kind, compassionate and nonjudgmental towards others pretty much covers it.

6. I think fresh bread and chocolate are a match made in heaven. Needless to say, I love the classic French pain au chocolat ...

I won't be tagging anyone for this as I've tagged other blogs before, but do check out some of the many wonderful blogs I've linked to on the right. I've done a couple of other tags in the past, too, which you can find by doing a blog label search on 'tag'.

(Beautiful photograph of a happy alternative to house plants is by the amazing Ngoc Minh Ngo)

TSE Fall 2009

Who doesn't love cashmere — especially when it looks as beautiful as this? These are a few of my faves from TSE's Fall 2009 ready-to-wear collection. I love the soft colours and the interesting wrapping (though I'd skip the balaclava, and the fur would have to be fake). Via the always fab simplyolive. (photos by Don Ashby)
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