Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Moments of Beauty

Love the late fall/early winter colours of this photo — and it brings back happy memories of wandering around the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris, too.

(jessica stam in christian dior haute couture, photographed by karl lagerfeld for harper’s bazaar, november 2007. via mode ave paris)

Patina of Time

When they first viewed this house in Österlen, one dark and stormy evening in August 2000, Christina's then-fiance said "Well, this is certainly a house we do not even need to think about." Much to his surprise, Christina loved it at first sight despite its neglected state (a window fell out of the second floor when she opened it), and eventually persuaded him that they should buy it anyway.

The house has a fascinating history — it was built in 1925 by a certain Katherina who grew up on the family farm next door, and had it constructed when she received her own plot of land at her father's death. She seems to have been a remarkable woman — she was single and 50 years old when she built it, and it was just four years after women received voting rights in Sweden. It was also the first large house in the area to have indoor heating, too.

As she learned more of its history, Christina discarded her original plans of stripping the floors and painting all the walls white — she discovered pristine vintage wallpaper under layers of tattered later ones, and when she tore up the living room carpet, she discovered a treasure trove of 1925 newspapers (at the time, frequently used as insulation between the floors and carpet). Christina spent hours on her knees read about Princess Astrid's engagement to Prince Leopold of Belgium and the price of pork stock while prepping the floors for finishing. Windows, frames and other woodwork were replaced or rescued by the village carpenter and furniture was found from local flea markets. The only real change by Christina was to convert a cupboard into a bathroom.

In 1956 Katharina died and the house was sold to a farmer in the village, who bought it mainly for the sake of the land. He continued to live at his own home, but in the afternoons he would take his tractor down to the house to sit alone and read in the quiet rooms. Now Christina and her family enjoy the same tranquility today. More here on Skonahem.

Yule Multi-Artist Exhibition

If you're in Ottawa on December 1, drop by and say hello to me at the Yule Multi-Artist Exhibition vernissage, 6 to 9 pm that evening at the Exposure Gallery, upstairs at Thyme and Again! Check out some great affordable art, sample delicious food and meet the artists, too! Details on the Facebook event page here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Simple Pleasures

Sleeping in on Sunday morning — especially when it's a cold and dreary day outside. Bliss.

(photo from vt wonen via bubbelsoda)

Atelier: Dara Scully

Today I'm admiring the magical world of young Spanish photographer Dara Scully, whose work is like scenes from vaguely familiar fairy tales involving tea parties with bears, communing with baby elephants and flights in tiny cardboard airplanes — all taking place in an enchanted forest. More here on Beautiful Decay. You can purchase prints of her work from her site here too.

Browse: Anthology

Anthology magazine is always a lovely read, but the Holiday issue is a real treat, with loads of great ideas and inspiration. Have a look here.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Hope your Monday is off to a relaxed and happy start. Have a good one.

(lovely photo by simon bajada via the kinfolk magazine blog)

Small to Large

With backgrounds in architecture, Danish couple Carol and Stig were quick to see the potential in an attic space that had been partitioned into eight cramped student dorm rooms (plus tiny kitchenette). Moving in right away, they took a hands on approach to the renovation, happily tearing down walls and transforming the space into a beautiful and spacious loft apartment for themselves and their baby. Love its airy lightness — and the fun '70s vibe, too. More photos here on Bolig magasinet.

Friday, November 25, 2011


Happy weekend! Hope it's a lovely one. It'll be a busy one for me here as I prepare for an upcoming art show, but there'll be a bit of down time to enjoy a brisk walk and a delicious supper or two with Andrew as well. How about you? What are you up to?

(photo from nuevo estilo via wit + delight)

Chiseled Good Looks

Walking past an alley in his home town of Florence, Tuscany, Alessandro Capellaro discovered an old carpentry workshop, fell for its stunning light and space and bought it. As he wanted to preserve the original stone and structure, he came up with the brilliant idea of using 300 wooden crates found in a flea market as living modules — he uses them for storage, furniture and room dividers. And as well as being an economical solution, the crates gives Alessandro the freedom to quickly move things around and reinvent his space whenever the mood strikes him. Now he happily lives in his home, with its cool stone walls warmed by wood, touches of bright orange and intriguing finds such as the old post office table in the dining room (another flea market find) surrounded by wheeled chairs by English designers Robin and Lucienne Day. A lovely and inspiring space. More info here via Marie Claire Maison.


Believe it or not, this is a McDonald's restaurant — but in France, where the company has commissioned designer Patrick Norguet to redesign their restaurant interiors across the country. I imagine getting people to eat there is a harder sell in the land of fine cuisine. See more here.

(via Dezeen)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sweetness and Light

The first snowfall always makes being inside seem extra cosy.

(photo by cox & cox via wit + delight)


This week's links. Enjoy.

Leonardo's To-Do List
In his soon to be published book on Leonardo da Vinci, historian Toby Lester relates how Leonardo used to travel with a small notebook hanging from his belt, and would jot down a note or do a quick sketch whenever something caught his eye. Buried in one of those notebooks is a to-do list of things Leonardo planned to do one week, or month, in the early 1490's. I totally feel like a slacker after reading this. Via Andrew (thanks!)

100 Notable Books of 2011
It's the annual New York Times round up of the best books of the year — have a browse for holiday gift ideas (or jot a few down for your own reading list). Via Jane of Ill Seen, Ill Said.

The Forger's Story
Strangely melancholy but true story of Mark Augustus Landis, the man responsible for the longest, oddest forgery spree the American art world has known. Via Andrew (thanks!)

The Entrepreneurial Generation
William Deresiewicz of the New York Times contrasts the entrepreneurial spirit of today's youth with earlier (and angrier) generations. Not sure I agree with his point (the younger people I meet are just as socially committed as before while still doing their thing), but an intriguing read nonetheless.

Prescriptions for Peace: How to Combat Anxiety
Sensible advice from the site Tiny Buddha, on how to deal with panic attacks and general anxiety. Good to keep in mind with the holiday season coming up!

The Holiday Guide by Emily Henderson

HGTV Design Star Winner and host of Secrets from a Stylist Emily Henderson has put together a great holiday guide — 238 pages of gift giving ideas, downloadables, giveaways, and more. Lots of design blogger faves have contributed, too, like Victoria of sfgirlbybay!

Top 10 Books About Tiny People
Author Conn Iggulden picks his favourite children's books about miniature people, from early classics like Tom Thumb and Gulliver's Travels to The Borrowers and The Carpet People.

Check out these stunning landscape photos from the Infra series by Richard Mosse, taken on a series of trips to the Congo. From the gallery description: "Richard Mosse brings to this subject the use of a discontinued military surveillance technology, a type of color infrared film called Kodak Aerochrome. Originally developed for camouflage detection, this aerial reconnaissance film registers an invisible spectrum of infrared light, rendering the green landscape in vivid hues of lavender, crimson, and hot pink." Beautiful and eerie at the same time. See the show until December 22 2011 at the Jack Shainman Gallery in New York City. Via BLDGBLOG.

Draw a Stickman
Having a bad day? I guarantee this will make it totally better. Just love this.

Spiced Ginger Cakes & Rosemary Apple Butter

A lovely late autumn recipe from the wonderful Roost — perfect as a hostess gift, or to enjoy on a chilly Sunday afternoon with coffee or tea.

(lovely photo by line klein)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Moments of Beauty

Just gorgeous — love the turn of the model's head, the movement of the dress, the beautiful dress itself. Perfect.

(photo of model nyasha matonhodze wearing alexander mcqueen by sølve sundsbø for vogue nippon, november 2011 issue. via mode ave. paris)

Classic With a Twist

Sandrine Zigler-Munck is a designer and creator of the brand Mérésine, which is noted for its unusual jewelry and clothing. Sandrine also loves to shake up the conventional in her personal life as well as her professional one — in the 19th century house she shares with her husband Hervé and their children, the classical proportions of their home are offset by a lightness and playfulness (as seen in the use of trompe l'oeil) in the decor. bringing a touch of poetry to the solidly symmetrical surroundings. More info here at Marie Claire Maison.

Sponsor Spotlight: Holiday Edition

Recently Charmaine of Lobo Luxe was kind enough to invite me to curate a holiday collection, and I thought it would be fun to combine the store's beautiful modern jewelry with the glamour of old Hollywood. Have a look here to see the Lobo Luxe pieces I would give as gifts to eight of the loveliest icons of the silver screen — Carole Lombard, Greta Garbo, Clara Bow, Grace Kelly, Katherine Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor.

The eQuality Goodie Bags from Small Equals just made the holidays a whole lot cuter! Perfect as a stocking stuffer, table favor, hostess gift, party prize or teacher gift, the bags can also be tucked into holiday cards or the Small Equals Keepsake boxes. Packaged in the Small Equals workrooms, you can happily choose from several types of contents and packages that range from buttons to reproduction tiny tea party sets, of vintage and contemporary artist-made items. Add a little charm and creativity to your gift giving — have a look here.

Add some sophistication to your holiday outfit with beautiful vintage jewelry from the brand new Frances and Fils! Expertly curated by Connie of 100 Applegate, here you'll find pieces from the 19th and 20th centuries, with designs ranging from Chanel to Lanvin. And now is a perfect time to browse, as Frances and Fils is having a holiday giveaway! For a chance to win a $50.00 gift certificate, leave a comment here before November 30 2011. The holidays just got a whole lot prettier!

Exciting news from Pam over at Bates Mercantile Co. — they are now able to offer archival prints! And to make it even sweeter, automatism readers get a holiday treat — from now through til December 2 2011, buy 3 prints and get the 4th one free! All you have to do is indicate you're an automatism reader (and which free print you'd like) in the "notes to seller" box at checkout. Have a look here. Happy shopping!

Looking for a gift that's truly special? How about a unique and beautiful work of art? Right now the wonderful Double Fox Studio has a special offer — buy a minimum of two items between 19 - 30 of November and receive 25% off the listed price! Just convo the shop so they can prepare a special discount listing for your item. Please note that the prints are not included in this offer, but that still leaves you many lovely things to choose from!

Like a little holiday sparkle? Connie of 100 Applegate has a lovely offer on right now — just leave a comment here before November 30 2011 for a chance to win a $50.00 gift certificate! Have a look at the shop's wonderful collection here and add a little vintage style to your Christmas!
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