Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Simple Pleasures

Classic novels — especially the favourites that you find yourself returning to again and again, like old friends. I love revisiting Persuasion by Jane Austen about once a year — what novel do you reread regularly?

(lovely photo by Candice Lesage Austen on flickr)

Atelier: Susy Pilgrim Waters

I discovered the beautiful work of artist Susy Pilgrim Waters through a lovely interview by Stephanie of the fab a studio with a view. Just love Susy's drawing and wonderful colour sense — and how she moves effortlessly between illustration, painting and textile design. So talented. And she has a great shop, too!


I've got a rather special giveaway for you today — a set of six collectable stamps produced by the Royal Mail, celebrating the work of the world renowned design house Morris & Co. The stamps highlight the exquisite hand-made works in wood, fabric, wallpaper, tiles and stained glass produced in the early days of the company, now celebrating 150 years of beautiful design. For a chance to win one of five presentation packs, please leave a comment below — with an email address or link where I can contact you, too. Contest closes midnight EST on June 3 2011. Good luck all!

Many thanks to Dave Macnamara on behalf of the Royal Mail for this lovely giveway.

(top two photos by me, bottom image courtesy Royal Mail)

Monday, May 30, 2011


A cheerful still life, to start your Monday with a little sunshine. Have a good one.

(lovely photo by Annie Schlechter)

A Delicious Brew

An early 1800s brewery overlooking a boat-filled harbour is now the summer home of Lars and Mary and their two children — and it was the sunny courtyard inside as well as the lovely view outside that finally sold them on it, despite the work involved to renovate. The bright and relaxed results definitely made it all worth it. More here. Via Sköna hem.

(photos by Per Gunnarsson)

Friday, May 27, 2011


Happy weekend! Hope it's a lovely one. We'll be busy with birthdays here — and of course there will be chocolate cake. What are you up to?

(beautiful photo by Alec Hemer)

Spanish Stunner

When I spotted this beautiful Spanish space on Houzz, I just about swooned. It's the country home of designer Mikel Irastorza and it's pretty much perfect, I think. Read all about it (and see more gorgeous photos) in the Houzz post by Vanessa Brunner here.

(photographs courtesy of Mikel Irastorza)


Outdoor Scrabble. I could totally get into this.

(sunset magazine via pinterest)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sweetness and Light

I can't get over the colour of the water in this photo of the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. So beautiful.

(photo by peter baker via mrs. french on pinterest)


This week's links. Enjoy.

Rue Magazine
The May/June issue of Rue is out! Find yourself some quiet time and settle down for another lovely read.

The Old-World Artistry Behind the Modern House of Chanel
About a decade ago, the fashion industry's increasing appetite for fast fashion threatened to close the ateliers — many in operation for more than 150 years — that worked in highly skilled arts like hand beading and embroidery. Chanel then decided to make a daring move and, over the last nine years, bought seven of the most specialized ateliers in Paris, ensuring both the survival of a dying industry and the continuation of the house's own couture techniques. Don't miss the slideshow!

The Secret Ingredient: Quirky Travel Tips
Guardian travel writers reveal how they've made their trips more memorable by getting off the tourist trails — taking house tours, having a project, going on a taxi tour, visiting a sporting event and more. Great ideas for making your next holiday an interesting one.

More Culture = Less Stress
A recent study published in the British Medical Association's Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health finds that people who go to museums and concerts, create art or play an instrument are more satisfied with their lives, regardless of how educated or wealthy they are. Another excellent reason for supporting the arts.

The Tale of the Rose
A review in the Times Literary Supplement of the new book The Rose by Jennifer Potter, which explores how throughout history the rose has not only been valued for its scent and appearance, but as a complex symbol and metaphor, too. Sounds like a lovely read.

Reborn in India
Wallpaper magazine's June edition is devoted to India — check out their website for links by the guest editors for the best of Indian street fashion, destinations, art, boutique hotels and other cool stuff.

Green With Envy
Cute trailer (Amy Adams!) for the new Muppet movie.

Eat With Your Eyes: Five Museums Devoted to Food
These sound like amazing places to visit — definitely a fun and refreshing change from the usual round of art galleries while on holiday (as much as I love visiting those too).

(lovely photo by Pia Ulin)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Moments of Beauty

Love this floaty saffron-toned skirt — so beautiful.

(photo of model gertrud hegelund by andreas öhlund, via fashion gone rogue by way of sacramento street)

Lofty Inspiration

Love this amazing loft space, converted from a defunct 100 year old electrical switching station. I especially like some of the innovative ideas used in the renovation, such as the huge living room window — the architects installed a stationary fire-station-style garage door in the opening that was formerly used by trucks to drive into the former powerhouse. More here. Via Chicago Home + Garden.

(photography by Alec Hemer)

Sponsor Spotlight

Tina of the wonderful English Muse blog is in the process of moving to a new site very soon — can't wait to see it! In the meantime, do drop by to visit her present location — and check out her beautiful and inspiring tumblr Ms. Muse (where this image is from) too. I always find something new to read or think about every time I visit.

Izabella of Fifiduvie now has tote bags in her lovely shop! Available in two styles — the one shown above and another one that reads in the madness there is love — these cute and affordable totes would be great for trips to the farmer's market, the beach, picnics and more. The most mundane errand would definitely become extra stylish with one of these slung over your shoulder!

It's been a busy and exciting month for Liza at Small Equals — first a mention in the New York Times, and now a moving sale! Liza will be closing her tiny bricks and mortar store in Burlington Vermont within the next couple of months, but her online store will stay open — and that's where you'll find the sale! Automatism readers can get a jump start on the sale by using the discount code Spring11 at checkout. It's a great time to pick up something special, like this beautiful necklace by Saada from Mali, made of roots, glass beads from Ghana and bamboo. A real statement piece, it's perfect for adding a finishing touch to a summer dress — or a tee and jeans.

Looking to add a little shimmer to your summer wardrobe? For a limited time the lovely Lobo Luxe shop is offering $20.00 off shipping — just use coupon code LoboLuxeMay before May 31st! It's a perfect time to pick up a pretty piece or two, like the Wave Bangle and Landscape Ring by Felicity Peters shown here. And while you're visiting, take a moment to sign up for the newsletter, where you'll not only get to hear what's new at Lobo Luxe, but will be in the running to win a $50 Gift Certificate, with a winner drawn every month. Happy shopping!

It's easy to see why the charming I Love You Eye Chart from the Bates Mercantile Company has been their most popular printable yet — it's just so clever and fun. And as customers print out the image themselves, delivery is super quick — Pamela sends the files as soon as she receives the order. And if you're looking for something a little different for a special someone, customized printables are also available upon request, too. A fast way to give your home a new look!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Simple Pleasures

Fresh herbs and greens — so lovely to see brightening the farmer's market (and our meals) after the long days of winter.

(wonderful photo by Francine Zaslow)

Atelier: Valero Doval

A recent grain edit post about the Spanish collage artist Valero Doval had me racing over to see more of his amazing work. Love Valero's mix of hand drawn and found imagery — and how witty it all is, too. Just a wonderful sense of colour and design. Check out more on his site — and buy a print from a selection on his etsy shop, too.
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