Friday, February 26, 2010


Happy weekend! Hope it's a warm and relaxing one. The weather here has been horrendous this week (rain, wet snow and slush galore), so we'll definitely be in a cocooning mode for the weekend. What are you guys up to?

(the sweet photo is by Lisa Cohen)

A Pretty Mix

Love this little peek into a pretty apartment in Stockholm, a very personal mix of flea market finds, antiques and a few modern pieces as well. Really charming. From the Swedish magazine Family Living, via the lovely Purple Area.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


This week's links. Enjoy.

Nesting Newbies
I've recently been having a look at the new digital shelter magazine Nesting Newbies, which has just released its second issue. It's beautifully designed — and for the Winter issue they're debuting the Bluebird Bag contest, which they describe as their version of a swag bag (this issue’s value is $1,514). They also cover food and entertaining as well as decor, so it's a really lovely all round read.

Kidnapped: The True Story
Robert Louis Stevenson's classic adventure story Kidnapped was, amazingly enough, based on a true story — that of James Annesley, whose true history is finally revealed in award-winning American historian Roger Ekirch's new and impeccably researched (though still dramatic) biography, Birthright. A truly extraordinary story.

A Neuroscientist's Argument for Saving Music School Programs
In 2007 Neuroscientist Nina Kraus and her team of researchers demonstrated that training in music as a youngster helps boost speech and reading abilities, as the pathways used for learning music are also used for language. Another strong argument for keeping arts and music in schools.

Fashion Bloggers in the Spotlight
Women's Wear Daily examines the phenomenon of the fashion blogger. From the article by Cate T. Corcoran: "At Rodarte, 13-year-old blogger Tavi Gevinson of Style Rookie and her mother, Berit Engem, were besieged by the paparazzi and camera crews the second the show was over, while Kirsten Dunst walked through the crowd relatively unaccosted."

Infographic: Mega Shark
Designer Stephen Taubman recently came across the super cheesy film Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus — and was so impressed with the scene where Mega Shark leaps out of the ocean and takes down a commercial airliner cruising at cloud level (I know!) that he created an infographic for it. Brilliant.

This wonderful Etsy shop has a great selection of vintage housewares, decor, textiles, industrial pieces, furniture and more — in fact, I've just splurged on a set of three late 19th century wooden mashers that are like little modern sculptures. A must visit!

Delicious Days
A beautifully designed food blog by Munich-based Nicky Stich that has a (very!) large and devoted following, Delicious Days offers great food with an international flavour (plus a generous helping of wonderful recipes from Nicky's native Germany, too).

The Flour Art Museum
A museum devoted to the art of flour bags. Wish there were more pix on their site, but such a fascinating idea, nonetheless. Via @brainpicker .

(photograph from the March 2008 issue of LivingEtc)


Ha, love this — old school Google. Via oh hello friend.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Moments of Beauty

A delicately lovely — and slightly mysterious in mood — still life by Ta on Flickr, via Pretty Serendipities.

My Favourite Things

This beautiful little porcelain bowl (it’s just the right size for me to hold cupped in my hands) was the start of what is now a small collection of bowls made by local potters. I love the coppery tones of the glaze and the interesting texture, created by scratching into the glaze before firing.

On bright afternoons the sun streams through the white cotton roman blinds in my kitchen and makes these silk cherry blossom branches (which I display in a plain tall glass vase mixed with bare branches) glow. I never get tired of how pretty these look — plus, as I’m so terrible with plants, it gives me the illusion of nature!

I recently invested in a set of white Sophie Conran dishes, which are so beautifully designed that they make even a bowl of muesli in the morning an occasion. Just lovely to use.

I picked up this fragment of driftwood from the shore of the lake in northern Ontario where my mum and step dad lived for years before their recent move back into town. It reminds me of summer days spent canoeing at dusk, sunny afternoons paddling about in the shallows, and listening to the haunting cry of loons late at night.

Several years ago Andrew and I visited London, where I found this lovely old skittle in an antique shop on Portobello Road. The proprietor was a sweet and shy man — I remember he had a sign above his tiny counter that read, “All prices are final as the owner is not emotionally equipped to haggle.”

I feel lucky to be a visual person as I find inspiration all around me, from films, books and magazines to the way the afternoon light falls on a glass of water. There’s so much beauty around us — all we have to do is pay attention. I have a favourite quote by the French writer Colette that’s become a bit of a motto for me: “Be happy. It’s one way of being wise.” I think it’s a good way to live one’s life.

Last August 2009 I did a guest post for Holly of the lovely decor8 blog about my favourite things, and (after the interest shown in my home after my recent LoftLife profile) I thought I'd post it here for you again. You can see the original post on decor8 here, too.

(the photographs are by me)

Sponsor Spotlight

Exciting news this month from Wedding Paper Divas! They've just launched their My Style Sweepstakes — every month, one lucky participant will receive a fabulous $1,700 WEDDING STYLE package that includes:

· $500 gift certificate from Wedding Paper Divas
· $200 gift certificate from Beau-coup
· $1,000 gift certificate from The Dessy Group

Head on over to the My Style Sweepstakes page for more info!

The Bath Robe is the name of this beautiful new print by Kareem of The Suitcase, recently released at Pulp Tree. He also has a big upcoming show at Art Whino Gallery — and, two new limited edition Giclee prints of his popular Bird series will soon be available from L'Affiche Moderne! Be sure to check out his beautifully designed website (and blog!) for the latest news, too.

Estefania of the lovely Puerta Sur shop has a sale on selected jewelry and shawls! Which means, that now is the perfect time to pick up a unique accessory for your wardrobe, such as this lovely hand made sterling silver pendant, featuring a butterfly design dating back to the Pre-Columbian era. Have a look here for more loveliness from Argentina!

Connie of the lovely Simply Defined Design blog has exciting news — she's opening her very own Etsy shop on March 1! The Simply Defined Design shop will feature one-of-a-kind antiques and vintage jewelry plus Connie's own lovely designs of handbags and home accessories. Have a look on her grand opening day here.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Simple Pleasures

Candles — that is, their ability to transform the most ordinary occasion into something richly atmospheric and magical.

(lovely photo by Joanna Henderson)

Dutch Book Covers

De Gouden Haan by Marietje Witteveen, 1940

Levend Speelgoed. Een Grappige Droom by B.E. van Osselen-van Delden, 1903

De Koningin der Poppen, printed in Amsterdam, 1867

De Circus by Ant. L. de Rop, 1890

Eerste en Laatste by El Pintor, 1943

Verkeers-Prentenboek by Willy Planck, 1926

These are just a few examples from the amazingly extensive collection of Dutch children's book covers from the Memory of the Netherlands site, in the Picture Books From 1810 To 1950 section, which I discovered via this great post on the always wonderful BibliOdyssey.

Giveaway Winner!

I've run the random number generator, and I'm happy to announce that Anna (of the blog What Anna Loves) is the winner of a lovely full sized (200 ml), beautifully packaged Osmanthus Replenishing Body Lotion by Ormonde Jayne, the chic London-based boutique perfumery! Congratulations Anna — and thanks so much to everyone who participated, too. Thanks again to Sarah of Ormonde Jayne for this generous donation!

Monday, February 22, 2010


Hope your Monday is a quiet pause before the bustle of the week ahead.

(the pretty photo is by Joanna Henderson)

Danish Retro Modern

Tina Miller, designer and co-owner of children's clothing brand Soft Gallery, and her husband, photographer Simon Ladefoged, weren't deterred by the rather worn 1970s prefabricated building they eventually settled on after months of house hunting — both of them love 1960s and 1970s architecture and design and (despite its need for a bit of work) saw its potential. Their family home, located just outside of Copenhagen, is now a happy mix of retro and modern, livened by their contemporary art collection. See more photos of their home here, too. Via Bolig Magasinet.

(photography by Pernille Kaalund)

Friday, February 19, 2010


Happy weekend! Hope it's a restful one. It's been busy around here again, so I'm really looking forward to sleeping in on Sunday, followed by a big brunch with Andrew. What are you doing this weekend?

(the lovely photo is by Polly Wreford, via Decor8 on flickr)

Craig Fordham

I love the warm human quality evident in the work of fashion photographer Craig Fordham — see more of his lovely images here.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Ths week's links. Enjoy.

Eustace 2010
Each year the New Yorker invites readers to submit their version of Eustace, the iconic butterfly-inspecting dandy who appeared on the very first cover — these are their 12 favourites from this year's entries. Love the one by Claire B. Cotts, a beautifully rendered take on the famous Madame X painting by John Singer Sargent.

The Top Ten Unreliable Narrators
Author Henry Sutton chooses 10 notably unreliable narrators in fiction, from Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn to Marlow of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness.

The Abita Mystery House
Have a virtual look at some of the oddball exhibits (like Darrel the Dogigator) at the UCM, Louisiana's Most Eccentric Museum. Via the @museumist.

Hello Sandwich
Browsing this blog is like an instant visit to Japan, written by a Sydney Australia-based designer who loves all things Japanese. Topics such as life in Tokyo, fashion, design, food and more are covered. Nicely designed and a fun read.

30 Retro Breakfast Cereals
Wow — Kiss, Pac-Man and Mr. T cereals among others! I shudder to think what's in most of these, though. Via The Food Section.

Bankrupt Offices
From the book by photographer Phillip Toledano, a study of offices deserted after going bankrupt. Melancholy and at times slightly eerie images. Via Photography Served.

Django Reinhardt
A lovely clip from 1939 of the astounding Django Reinhardt (along with the equally wonderful St├ęphane Grappelli) playing J'attendrai Swing. And yes, he's playing without the use of two of his fingers (semi-paralyzed after a terrible fire). Still astonishing after all this time. Via @brainpicker.

Cannelle et Vanille

A gorgeous food blog by Spanish pastry chef Aran Goyoaga, with sumptuous photography and wonderful recipes.

In case you missed it — I've got a lovely giveaway on right now! It's a lovely full sized (200 ml) and beautifully packaged Osmanthus Replenishing Body Lotion by Ormonde Jayne, the chic London-based boutique perfumery. Contest closes at midnight (EST) February 22, 2010.

(the lovely photograph by Prue Ruscoe is from the Jan/Feb 2010 issue of Vogue Living Australia)

Studio: Jim Tierney

Love this great book design for the Jules Verne novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by illustration student Jim Tierney, one of a series of four created for a senior year thesis project at the University of the Arts. See the rest of his beautifully illustrated series here. Via Design Observer.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Moments of Beauty

Love this delicately lovely still life by keli h on flickr — so peacefully pretty. Via Pretty Serendipities II.
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