Monday, January 31, 2011


Pretty cushions in a lovely room, to start your Monday on a cheerful note.

(photo from hus & hem via room 269)

Northern Calm

Paula Leen creates beautiful handmade textiles in Akkrum, a village in the Dutch region of Friesland. The peaceful and quiet atmosphere she finds in the countryside provides the inspiration for her tapestries, carpets, blankets and even vases made almost exclusively in a variety of wools (from local sheep), carefully blended to create different textures. Her tranquil home reflects the gentle colours found in her work — it's not surprising that Paula says "This house has an amazing calming effect on guests. " More (in Italian) here. Via Marie Claire Italia.

(photos by Hotse Eisma/Living Inside)

Design Canada

Love the witty and playful Canadiana in the design work of Nicole Tarasick, such as her Great Lakes Pillow, Up North Compass Tote Bag (inspired by signage for Parks Canada) and YYZ Airport Code Pillow design (from the code for Toronto's Pearson Airport). Visit her website and etsy shop to buy. Via the Globe and Mail.

Automatism Vintage Sale

I'm having a Valentine's Day sale over at my automatism vintage shop on etsy! Until February 15 2011, enter the coupon code HEART at checkout to receive 20% off your book order. Have a browse here.

Friday, January 28, 2011


Happy weekend! Hope it's a lovely and relaxing one. We're going to be staying in, as Andrew (poor guy) is fighting off an icky flu bug, so while he recuperates on the couch I'll be making soup — and doing a bit of illustration work now and then, too. How about you?

(photo from the July 2006 issue of LivingEtc via it's mary ruffle)

Poetry in Paper

It all started twenty years ago when artist Pierre Pozzi built a table using paper pulp. What was an experiment became a trademark, and his career using paper as a medium was launched. But it's in his loft-like duplex in eastern Paris that Pierre has created what he calls his "masterpiece." Here in his home, delicate and susceptible to a pencil stroke or flame, his fragile work in white paper adds poetry to the day — a chandelier in the dining room hovers like a gentle cloud above the table, softly rustling with each chance air current. Curtains of fringed paper in the kitchen and bedroom add texture and movement, bringing a quietly mysterious life to normally static spaces. In the end, though, his approach goes beyond aesthetics to expand into his true message: "I think people should learn to respect and be more careful and attentive to objects. Thus they will respect each other." More (in French) here. Via Marie Claire Maison.

(photography by Mai-Linh)


Pantone chip cookies, created by designer/illustrator Kim Neill — find her recipe here.

(via paper aeroplane)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sweetness and Light

Love the elegant and sculptural look of this room (and, being a Canadian, the maple leaf makes me smile, too).

(photo by Sam McAdam, via one hour)


This week's links. Enjoy.

Scandinavian Takeover
There's been a huge surge in interest recently in Scandinavian cooking — and as Anna Brones of EcoSalon writes, in her guide to this delicious trend, "... with simple, down to earth ingredients, in the time of slow food movements and a return to more classic, traditional recipes, the timing for Viking-inspired recipes makes sense." Yum!

Matchbook Magazine
There's a new online magazine in town! Matchbook Magazine describes itself as a "field guide to a charmed life," covering interviews, travel, food, beauty and more, making for a fun and delectable read. Via Lonny Blog.

Bill Cunningham New York
Hope this documentary about the legendary street fashion photographer Bill Cunningham is shown in my town — for now, check out the film trailer.

Libraries of the Rich and Famous
Being fond of books myself, I'm always curious to see how others display and/or organize their collections — here's a short but fascinating peek inside the personal libraries of Karl Lagerfeld, Diane Keaton, Greta Garbo and Frank Sinatra among others.

Teaching Cops to See
Fascinating Smithsonian article about how Amy Herman of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art schools police in the fine art of deductive observation.

Discovered By Chance in a Paris Arcade
Rick Poyner writes: "I was in Paris this week to talk about Surrealism and graphic design. What better way to pass a couple of spare hours before leaving than to pay a return visit to the covered arcades — forerunners of the shopping mall — that were, for the Surrealists, some of the best places in the city to encounter the marvellous?" Fun article.

13 of the Best Design Books of 2010
Fast Company Design has a great slide show of their favourite design books published last year — some truly amazing stuff.

Tropical Smoothie
I love breakfast, but sometimes lack of time (or time but too many distractions) means something quick and easy is best. This smoothie recipe from Greedy Gourmand sounds like a delicious way to begin a busy day.

(lovely photo by Jean-Marc Wullschleger via Aesthetic Outburst)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Moments of Beauty

A beautiful still life by Sydney-based photographer John Paul Urizar — love how the orange blossoms contrast against the soft grey and silvery tones.

Swedish Beauty

When I first saw the stunning home of Marie Olsson Nylander and her husband Bill, I was overwhelmed with just how lovely it all is — it's such a mix of pieces from all kinds of different countries and eras, and yet it comes together in a beautiful and harmonious whole. So inspiring. You can read a great indepth article (in Swedish) and see more gorgeous photos here, too. Via

(photography by Sara Svenningrud)

Sponsor Spotlight: Valentine Edition

Linda of the wonderful vintage etsy shop Odd and Old has a valentine just for automatism readers — 10% off on purchases until February 14 2011! It's a perfect opportunity to pick up some vintage French loveliness — Linda is an English antiques dealer based in France — just enter the coupon code AUTOMATISM at checkout to enjoy a little sweetness.

White Moth Jewelry has a special treat for you this Valentine's Day — a chance to win this gorgeous Vintage Key Necklace on a 30" Brass Chain from their new Vintage Utility Collection (a value of $85.00)! Enter here before January 31 2011 — and you might just be wearing something new for your special night out!

If you're looking for something special for your Valentine's Day ensemble, hurry over to the lovely shop of Ayse Kozaci, where you'll find a great selection of the prettiest heart-themed jewelry — a perfect way to celebrate a day dedicated to love! Shown here are Ayse's Deep Heart Earrings, made of fine silver with sterling silver wire — a look that's both romantic and modern.

Wondering what to give the guy who has everything? How about art — such as this beautiful limited edition giclee print by Kareem Rizk, called Lincoln No4. Find more loveliness at his shop here — and see more of Kareem's work at the Busacca Gallery in San Francisco, the Cutters group show in Cork Ireland, and in the new book Cutting Edges!

Liza of the lovely Small Equals shop writes: "Even though the New York company Cardboardesign is now out of business, I still have four of their amazing heart shaped wish boxes for a special Valentine's treat. Each box comes with a linen pouch filled with colored paper, to write a wish, roll it up and fill the box. How perfect to give as a present to a loved one. You could even fill it with your wishes before you give the gift." Check out Small Equals for other unique and wonderful gift ideas, too!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Simple Pleasures

I love an unexpected note in a quiet interior.

(via paper aeroplane, from here)

RHS Postcards

Citrus aurantium by Georgio Angiolini (illustration painted c.1822-1830)

Bengale Thé hyménée by Pierre Joseph Redouté (1759-1840)

Tab XVI by Ernst Benary (1819-1893)

Pear shaped Quince by William Hooker (1779-1832)

Paeonia Russii var. Reverchoni by Lilian Snelling (1879-1972)

Tulipa 'The Claude', Tulipa 'Duke of Sutherland' by Caroline Maria Applebee (c.1799-1854)

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has a lovely new postcard set out, featuring exquisite botanical artwork from the collections of the RHS Lindley Library. Each set contains 32 postcards — 2 each of 16 illustrations. Gorgeous. You can purchase them here.

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(photograph by Mikkel Adsbøl)
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