Thursday, December 31, 2009

Snapshot: Joy

This photo, to me, represents childhood dreams. Two best friends relaxing, rolling around and chatting between imaginary teas and papier mache crafts. Although I'm now grown and life is busy, it's those simple, quiet times that I treasure most.

— Erin of Design for Mankind

(the lovely photograph chosen by Erin is by Mieke Willems)


The very last Buffet of 2009! Enjoy.

Top 10 Blogs of 2009
Lovely Jane of the wonderful Ill Seen, Ill Said blog recently picked her ten fave blogs of 2009, defined as the ones that she finds mind blowing and inspiring every day. Go look — it's a wonderful list, and I've been having a lovely time exploring the ones she's picked.

Why Are We Still Reading Dickens?
Judging from all the film and TV adaptations of his novels made and that continue to be made, Dickens still weaves his storytelling spell on us. Here's why.

Fakes and Hoaxes in Archeology
Did you know that pretty much every major museum in the world has fake artifacts? This is one thing I learned after reading the fascinating articles on the Archeology site, which explores why fakes get made — greed, pride, revenge, nationalism, pranks, and gullibility are the major reasons — and looks at eight famous examples, too. Via mental_floss.

Pride and Prejudice in Emoticons
Truly silly, but lots of fun for Austen fans. Via Twitter (sorry — can't remember whose tweet this was).

The Procrastination of Pleasure
A curious human trait that psychologists and behavioral economists have recently begun to explore seriously — our strange impulse to put off until tomorrow what could be enjoyed today.

Best Food Books of the Decade
The Guardian asked leading food writers to pick what they considered the best food books of the Noughties — here's what they chose.

New Year's Eve Decorating Ideas
As always Martha Stewart's site has great ideas for how to make your New Year's Eve party pretty and fun.

Miso Soup
After all the rich (but delicious!) holiday food I've been enjoying recently, I'm now in the mood for light and delicate dishes such as this simple miso soup from (never home)maker. It's what Nigella Lawson refers to as temple food — treating your body like a temple. Via Tastespotting.

(photo from the June 2009 issue of LivingEtc)

New Year's Eve

Whether you're going to a party or celebrating quietly at home, I hope you have a wonderful New Year's Eve tonight! Here's a toast to 2010.

(photograph via Martha Stewart — the pretty decorative streamers were made from leftover Christmas wrapping paper! Find more great New Year's Eve party ideas here)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Moments of Beauty

The charm of a pretty rose displayed in an unexpectedly informal way. Photograph by the wonderful dalobeee on flickr, from Lushlee by way of Sweet Discoveries.

The Ampersand

I've been having a lot of fun browsing through The Ampersand, a site dedicated to this particularly curvy ligature in every imaginable form and medium. These are just a few of the many images there that caught my eye.

(see site for photo credits)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Simple Pleasures

Having fun with the details. There's a wonderful play of textures in this photo — and I absolutely love the jacket (though I'd have it in a faux fur version myself). The quote from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is great, too: "It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important."

(beautiful photo styled by the wonderful Kim Ficaro for Domino magazine)

Snapshot: New Series!

It's a brand new year, and we'll be welcoming it here on automatism with a lovely new Snapshot series! The theme this time is Joy, and each Thursday over the next few weeks some wonderful guest bloggers will be sharing their thoughts on it with us. Stay tuned.

(lovely photograph by Nymagirl, via just be splendid)

Monday, December 28, 2009


Hope your Monday is a cosy and relaxing one. I'm still in holiday mode, so my posts will be short and sweet for another couple of days or so — hope you're enjoying some post holiday quiet time too. How was your Christmas?

(the lovely photograph is by Martin Cederblad and styled by Pernilla Hed)

Friday, December 25, 2009


Merry Christmas! Thank you so much for a wonderful year. So many good things have happened for me through automatism, and I owe it all to you, dear reader. May you have a lovely holiday season, and the best to you in 2010, too. See you in a few days!

(photograph by Noëlle Hoeppe scanned by me from a vintage copy of Marie Claire Maison)

Advent Calendar: 25

This beautiful holiday table setting makes Christmas dinner an enchanting feast.

(photo from my archive of Domino Deco Files)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's Christmas Eve ...

... and time to put out milk and cookies for Santa. When my brother and I were kids, we also put out carrots and/or brown sugar for the reindeer, too. Did you leave something for Santa as a child (or, do you do it now for your own little ones)?

(photo by Hannah of honey & jam, via creative inspiration)


This week's links. Enjoy.

The Homies
It's nomination time for The Homies, Apartment Therapy's celebration of the best home and design blogs of 2009! It's mind blowing to see just how many amazing home design blogs are out there, and I'm excited to see so many of my faves on the list, too. Vote for your own faves (or nominate them) by December 29 — the final voting takes place from December 30 to January 6, with the winner announced January 7. Thanks so much to the kind lovelies who nominated automatism (which you can vote for here)!

Honey & Jam
I recently discovered the lovely honey & jam blog by Hannah, who combines a love of baking and photography to stunning effect. Delicious and beautiful.

Check Out Checklists
Fascinating article about the power of the humble checklist — something so basic is not only a great way to be organized, but it can actually save lives.

Dressing for Success, Again
Seems that youthful rebellion these days means dressing up rather than dressing down, as an earlier generation did: "Today the well-off 55-year-old is likely to be the worst-dressed man in the room, wearing a saggy T-shirt and jeans. The cash-poor 25-year-old is in a natty sport coat and skinny tie bought at Topman for a song."

The Fall
The Fall is a series of photographs by Richard Mosse that depict abandoned and/or wrecked airplanes slowly being absorbed by the natural world. Via things magazine.

The Times Literary Supplement's Books of the Year 2009
A selection of titles (the full list is in the print version) with Seamus Heaney, Julian Barnes and others choosing the books they liked best from 2009.

Gallery of Early Computers From the 1940s - 1960s
Fun collection of photos of early computers — and I'm so glad my little iMac doesn't take up an entire building!

Spiced Pear Gingerbread Upside Down Cake

This sounds wonderful — perfect with tea on Boxing Day afternoon. From No Special Effects, via Tastespotting.

(the stunning photo was styled by Sweet Paul and photographed by Ellen Silverman)

Advent Calendar: 24

A lovely glass chandelier becomes even more beautiful when decorated with glass ornaments and ribbon.

(photo from my Domino Deco Files archive)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Moments of Beauty

A fun and adventurous holiday photo, via auburn & ivory. Love how her dress is the colour of the sea and sky, too.

A Chalet in the Woods

This lovely little chalet, tucked away in the snowy pine forests of the Savoy area of France, hides an easy going contemporary space behind its traditional facade. Wouldn't this be a wonderful winter retreat over the holidays? More (in French) here. Via Marie Claire Maison.

(photography by Julien Oppenheim)


The holidays can be a difficult time for some of us, which is why I believe it's so important to take the time to help those in need — in big ways and small. Whether you donate to a local or international charity, help out at a soup kitchen, babysit so a frazzled mom can get some holiday shopping done, or call and/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)

Advent Calendar: 23

Holiday dining, Swedish style. Love the mix of traditional and casual, with crisp modern white contrasting nicely with the greenery.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Simple Pleasures

The twinkle of holiday lights on a soft winter night.

(lovely photo by abbytrysagain on flickr, via creative inspiration)


Looking at the Toast Christmas catalogue is, I think, one of the coziest things to do on a cold winter afternoon. Can't wait for the holidays!

Advent Calendar: 22

Brilliant scarlet poinsettias make a striking contrast to the winter white tones of this table setting.

(photo from my archive of Domino Deco Files)

Monday, December 21, 2009


Hope your Monday brings a little bit of loveliness to carry you happily through the week.

(beautiful photo by the awesomely talented Hannah of honey & jam)

Sibella Court

I am just loving The Society Inc, the online shop of stylist Sibella Court — gorgeous stuff. Shown here are inspiring interiors from the Paper Whites collection. Discovered via the lovely blog Sanctuary (where I've been hanging out a lot lately).

advertise on automatism

Interested in becoming an automatism sponsor? I'm now accepting ads for January 2010 — find out more about advertising here.

(Photograph by Marcus Hay via my Domino Deco Files archive. Thanks so much for the credit info, Natalie — and read Natalie's great interview with Marcus here)

Advent Calendar: 21

A wreath of sleighbells hanging casually on a doorknob makes the simple act of opening a door a festive occasion.

(photo from my archive of Domino Deco Files)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Why Wear Anything Else?

Interested in doing your good deed for the day? My pal Samantha in Istanbul, Turkey is a finalist in a design competition and needs your votes! Last year she designed a shoe for Fluevog that was eventually made into a real shoe named the Zaza (after her). This time around, she's in the running for a competition to design the ad for the Zaza. The winner is determined by the number of votes their design receives, so Samantha needs as many votes as she can get to win. Help her win by voting for her beautifully illustrated ad, called Why Wear Anything Else?, here. You can vote once a day until December 22.

Good luck Samantha!!!

Advent Calendar: 20

A wreath doesn't necessarily have to be hung on a door — here it's placed against a mirror, where the old gold of the frame contrasts beautifully with the dark greenery.

(photo from my archive of Domino Deco Files)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Advent Calendar: 19

An unusual and effective use of Christmas lights make this a memorable holiday vignette.

(photo from my archive of Domino Deco Files)

Friday, December 18, 2009


Happy weekend! Hope it's a beautiful one. We'll probably be doing a bit of holiday organizing this weekend, but there'll definitely be some loafing in there, too. How about you?

(the utterly lovely holiday still life was styled by the wonderful Sweet Paul and photographed by Alexandra Grablewski)

Domino Archive: Midcentury Love

Interiors that feature great mid-century modern design, from my archive of Domino Deco Files.

P.S. This will be my last formal Domino Archive post, as I'm both running out of fresh material (!) and because there's lots of great sources on Flickr for these images, too — such as Domino Magazine and The Domino Magazine Files, which I'll be contributing to as well. You'll still see the odd image popping up here now and then, though — and there's going to be lots of new things here in 2010, too!
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