Monday, December 31, 2012


A warming still life of coffee and sweets to start the last Monday of 2012 — have a good one.

(photo by roland bello)

Perfect Styling

Swooning over this gorgeous spread from Norway's KK magazine, styled by the brilliant Anouk B. Love.

(photography by marjon hoogervorst. via anouk b's blog)

Happy New Year!

A toast to you! Have a wonderful New Year — may your 2013 be a happy, healthy and peaceful one.

(photo by roland persson)

Friday, December 28, 2012


Happy weekend! Hope it's a relaxing one. With the busiest part of the holidays done, it's a good time to relax and really enjoy the company of family and friends. Can't wait.

(photo by nicole franzen via modern hepburn)

Cheerful Living

Love this light-filled apartment in Malmo, Sweden on the Bolaget site — a great mix of vintage pieces against bright white walls and lovely warm wood floors. More of it here, too.


Love this illustration by Wendy MacNaughton for the article An Ode to My Neighborhood Listserv by Caroline Paul. Click the illo to see it larger, too.

(from tech page one via explore)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sweetness and Light

After the exuberant indulgence of the holidays, I find that a spell of simplicity is something I particularly crave — lighter foods, lots of water and a little home spa time, too.

(photo by johnny miller)


This week's links. Enjoy.

How to Write a Thank You Note
This handy no-nonsense guide will inspire you to treat yourself to some lovely notepaper (or note cards if you prefer), brew some tea or coffee, and settle in to write thank you notes for your Christmas gifts. So nice for your recipients to receive in the mail instead of the usual bills, too.

A Q&A With Isabella Rossellini
As fascinating as she is beautiful, Isabella Rossellini is well worth interviewing. Love her.

The Downton Abbey Gingerbread House
Wow. Watch a time-lapse video of Curtis Jensen constructing an elaborate gingerbread version of Downton Abbey using little more than gingerbread, icing, green- and red-colored candies, and (as Vanity Fair notes) "...focus so steely that it would likely earn an approving head nod from the Dowager Countess."

BeetBox Turns Root Veggies Into A Drum Machine
New York-based designer Scott Garner not only likes a good play on words, but enjoys making them into something, too — so he built a BeetBox drum machine that uses beets as conductors. Follow the link to see it in action. Very fun.

A Real Life Hobbit House
A true blue Tolkien fan in Pennsylvania recently commissioned architects Archer & Buchanan to build him a hobbit house for his Middle Earth memorabilia — follow the link for photos. It's actually a rather nice interpretation — aside from the most notable hobbit details (round door, for example) it really reminds me of late 19th century lake stone cottages in Ontario.

Best Art Books of 2012
Lavishly illustrated review over on Brain Pickings of their fave art books from 2012, ranging from Indian folklore to Paris vs. NYC, by way of Japanese Wonderland and 80 years of loving of dogs. Wonderful.

Obliteration Room
Check out this time lapse video of artist Yayoi Kusam's interactive work Obliteration Room at the Tate in London, which starts out as minimalist monochrome living room that people are invited to “obliterate” with colourful stickers. Lovely to see visitors of all ages participating, too.

23 Show Stopping Desserts
Make a splash with one of these extravagant desserts for your New Year's Eve dinner — choose from a classic croquembouche, baked Alaska, almond cream tartlets, butter saffron cake and white chocolate mousse among others.

(photo by anna williams)


I'm smitten with my new Christmas book — Encyclopedia of the Exquisite by Jessica Kerwin Jenkins. From the description: "Encyclopedia of the Exquisite ... takes a cue from the exotic encyclopedias of the 16th century, which brimmed with mysterious artifacts, focusing on the elegant, the rare, the commonplace and the delightful. A compendium of luxury that merges whimsy and practicality, the book traipses through all the fine arts, showcasing every sphere of style: fashion, food, travel, home, garden and beauty." So looking forward to reading this — plus, Jessica started a blog that's a continuation of her book, with more fascinating things that didn't make it into the book in time.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Boxing Day

It's Boxing Day here in Canada, so I'm still on holiday — hope you're enjoying a lovely relaxing day and see you tomorrow.

(photo by anders sch√łnnemann)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Wishing you a Christmas filled with joy, peace and warmth. Have a lovely one.

(photo via emmas designblogg)

Monday, December 24, 2012


To start your Monday on an inspiring note — a pretty display with a paper garland to add a holiday-themed flourish. Have a good one.

(photo by michael graydon)

Holidays at Home

As Roy and Ola Norberg settle in to enjoy the holiday season with their children Theodore, Cornelia and Vincent in their beautiful turn of the century home in southern Stockholm, it's hard to believe it was anything other than the idyllic space they enjoy now. But eight years ago when they purchased it, the house was in rough shape — it was falling down in places and was buried under decades of linoleum, particleboard, carpeting, scary '70s wallpaper and a leaking corrugated metal roof. Taking on much of the renovating themselves, they steadily stripped away all the bad later additions, replaced the windows with authentic ones, added a new tiled roof (discovered in drawings of the original house), replastered the walls by hand and put in new doors, switches, handrails and other details that were in harmony with the age of the house. Now a fire crackles in the original ceramic stove in the living area, rooms are candle lit and the house smells like hyacinths and pine boughs. Happy holidays indeed. More here on Lantliv.

(photography by carina olander)

Good Cheer

A huge thank you to the lovely guest bloggers on the Good Cheer holiday posts — Victoria of sfgirlbybay and her family's Christmas crackers tradition, Yael and her delicious Root Vegetable and Zucchini Latkes, Bradford (aka Uncle Beefy) of The Bedlam of Beefy and his delectable Uncle Beefy's Sherry Cake (with Browned Butter Buttercream) and Lisa Congdon's gorgeously illustrated recipe for Hot Mulled Cider. May their inspired and wonderful holiday traditions bring a little warmth and good cheer to your own December festivities!

(photo by michael graydon)

And ...

... a very happy Christmas Eve to you, too. Hope it's magical.

(lovely photo by roland persson)

Friday, December 21, 2012


Happy weekend! Hope it's a lovely one. We'll be very busy with work and holiday preparations, but there'll be a little bit of downtime, too. How about you?

(photo from elle decor italia march 2011. via inside)

Soothing Minimalism

When a Danish family moved from a modern, minimalist house to an elegant old one, it was not just the house that needed a complete renovation — the furniture was revamped as well. The result is a new and softer version of a modern interior — one that retains its clean edged lines while at the same time remaining sympathetic to the atmosphere of the older home. More here on Femina.


Legendary typographer Jonathan Hoefler remixes a vintage teacher’s aid chart titled The Child with designer Milton Glaser’s iconic Dylan poster. Brilliant.

(via explore)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sweetness and Light

Festive colour to cheer up a grey December day.

(photo by luis barta via pinterest)


This week's links. Enjoy.

The Gourmand
Just discovered the lovely online (and print) food, arts and culture journal The Gourmand and am utterly smitten — wonderful read.

A Quirky Little Bookshop in Cyberspace
This sounds intriguing — Los Angeles-based multimedia director Claire Cottrell has begun Book Stand, an online bookshop dedicated to limited-run, hard-to-find coffee table-type print publications — plus other books, magazines, zines and the occasional art film.

Mid-Century Modern Churches
Photographer Fabrice Fouillet traveled throughout Europe to capture the best-preserved examples of Modernist churches built after the devastation of the Second World War, for a series he calls Corpus Christi. Stunning architecture.

Top Ten Literary Party Hosts
Professional party organizer Suzette Field picks her fave party throwers in literature, ranging from Jay Gatsby to Mrs Dalloway to Odin.

Quentin Blake at 80
An idol of mine, English illustrator Quentin Blake is probably best known here for his lovely illustrations of Roald Dahl's children's books. As he turns 80 and is celebrated in Quentin Blake: New Lithographs and Drawings at the Marlborough Fine Art Gallery in London, Jenny Uglow offers a lovely appreciation of his career.

Entertainment for Women
From The Morning News: "When it launched, Playboy was a literary power and a force for change. The magazine’s offices also happened to be an interesting place to work—for women. Jessica Francis Kane interviews her mother about life as a secretary in 1960s New York City." And — her mother loves Mad Men!

What To Do When the Bus Doesn't Come and You Want To Scream
Fun social experiment by Italian conceptual artist Fra.Biancoshock that borrows from the well-known psychological principle of "occupied time."

Four Decadent Cheese Plates
Saveur offers up four options for putting together delicious cheese plates for your holiday entertaining, to mix and match at will.  

(photo by lisa cohen)


I'm smitten with this inspiring illustration by Meera Lee Patel — beautiful and poetic.

(via meera lee patel's tumblr)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Moments of Beauty

The great styling of this photo makes wearing a cape actually look good — normally it's such a tricky garment to wear without looking like an extra from The Hobbit (much as I look forward to seeing the film). More from the same shoot here.

(photo of model lydia carron by takahiro ogawa with styling by claudia carretti for amica magazine, december 2012. via fashion gone rogue)

Modern Holiday

When it comes to decorating for Christmas, Liselotte Ertner prefers a simple and classic look inspired by nature — one that harmonizes with the modern look of the Svendborg home she shares with her partner and their six year old daughter. Keeping to mainly black, white and natural-toned palette, she decorates with pine cones, twigs, pine and lots of hyacinths as well as ornaments in natural materials like the ones carved from horn on the Christmas tree. Love this look. More here on Bolig Magasinet.

(photography by tia borgsmidt)
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