a baby shower!

This past weekend my sweet sister-in-law Rosalyn threw a baby shower for me. For us! I never had a bridal shower and I felt a little funny about having a baby shower, but thought it would be a wonderful way to see all my friends together and to celebrate this babe who is 6.5 weeks away with cake and prosecco (and, ahem, mineral water in some cases). So, not for me after all!

When we started planning it a few months ago, we thought mid-May would be the perfect time to have a casual park picnic. The park in our neighbourhood has fire pits that can be rented for free, which is a really lovely thing that makes the street smell so nice in the summer. Unfortunately, the weather on Sunday was shockingly horrible and unseasonal—cold with periods of hard rain and even hail, although luckily it was quite sunny. We ended up having the shower in our apartment, which made for a cozy atmosphere. It was perfect. I loved having so many dear friends in our home! Of course, it was also quite chaotic, and I didn’t get the chance to take any pictures. I did take some shortly before our guests started to arrive.

I got the paper puffballs above in 2012 for our wedding—I barely remember if we used them—and had saved them thinking they would be perfect for a baby shower. They ended up waiting a few years longer than anticipated, but I was glad I got to use them after all (there would have been no way to hang them in the park!). The room they’re in in this photo is the baby room, which is still in progress. It’s my favourite room in our whole apartment.

I made the invitations using a template from Vistaprint (I cannot resist a mailed invitation!). There are so many beautiful paper invitations out there, but these were the most affordable that I found, and I was able to customize the template quite a lot. I didn’t think there was a need to go overboard with invitations since an email invite would have been just fine! I was really happy with these and think they’re pretty adorable. I put a note on them that partners were welcome.

The beautiful flowers came from Lauren of Timberlost. These roses smelled like candy! I loved the chamomile.

I wore a beautiful dress from HATCH, the Lina caftan. I can’t remember the last time I got so many compliments on a dress! I haven’t been feeling too amazing about my weight gain (even though I know it is for the best reason), but I felt really good in this dress. It’s such a pretty colour, it has lovely details like the tassel cord, the fabric is light and airy, and I will be able to wear it for years to come. If only it were caftan season all year long. Yes, I did wear my Moroccan slippers at the party, ha. Oh and yes I feel very awkward putting my hands on my belly!

I’ve been admiring cookies by Lindsey Bakes for years, and while I’ve purchased her special edition holiday ones in a few local shops and coffee shops, I never had an excuse to order custom ones for myself... until now (I wasn’t hosting the shower but I went rogue). I gave her some suggestions, although I left it pretty open, and was thrilled when I saw these sleepy animals and sleepy cloud cookies. These are made with the cloud cookie cutter from Herriott Grace! They were a huge hit.

Delicious chocolate “bambino” cake and cupcakes by my friend Lynlea! I forgot to cut the cake until almost everyone had left, so ummm just lots of leftover cake for me.

Since the party had been planned as a picnic, I had purchased disposable paper plates, cups, etc. (although I of course do not own enough dinnerware for 35–40 people!). The last time Geoff and I were in the US we bought the cups and plates from the line designed by designlovefest for Target. I’m not a huge fan of disposables, but this is such a cute line! The Target we visited didn’t have the full range with all the black and white options, but it was fun to have colour on the table.

My brother barbecued a few different types of burgers (thanks, Victor!) and we had a variety of snacks such as cheese, olives, antipasto, and, of course, chip salad (ETA: a mix of 4 or 5 different chips, always a huge crowd pleaser!).

Thank you so much to everyone who came! I love you all.


packing a hospital bag

Lately I think I have been feeling a bit of a calm before the storm. Things have been quiet. When I come home in the evenings, I usually settle in for some knitting or sewing, and funnily enough, baseball games. This is a new phenomenon! I have really loved watching baseball games since they started in April. I find the sounds of baseball comforting, which came as a surprise. I haven’t felt particularly creative or active, but my mind has been going non-stop. Now that I have eight weeks of pregnancy left (ahh!), and since I got a very helpful list from my prenatal class, I’ve started to think about what I will pack in my hospital bag. I’ve asked a few pros for their opinions and the first thing everyone says is that they didn’t use most of what they packed since hospital stays can be so short— which is funny to me because on the two visits I’ve made to the labour and delivery floor, I’ve seen women arriving with giant suitcases! I definitely understand the urge to feel (over-)prepared, and so here are some of my thoughts about some of what I will pack. I know things don’t always go according to plan but I know that having my bag packed will help me feel at ease in the last few weeks.

Fjällräven was kind enough to send me a Kånken No. 2, which I thought would make the perfect bag to bring. I know it doesn’t look very large, but it fits quite a lot! Plus it’s cute, and as I have seen with a Fjällräven bag I bought years ago, super durable. I’ll probably pack a few additional tote bags for the things the hospital gives you upon discharge.

Breastfeeding pillow (I sewed one), and a pillow from home, since those hospital pillows can be a little flat (and I imagine it would be nice to have something familiar). This pillow by Auggie is so sweet and the cover is machine washable. Perfect.

Massage oil. I love this Kahina argan oil: it absorbs so quickly, and the smell is delicate. We’ve been learning some massage techniques in our prenatal class, which has come in handy since the only issue I’ve had this pregnancy is back pain.

Comfortable clothing for the hospital stay. I spent about a week in the hospital a couple of years ago and my favourite things to have with me were slouchy socks. I padded around the whole floor in them. This kit from Hatch, the Hatch to Hospital box, contains so many soft items that would be perfect for the period after the delivery, including slouchy cashmere socks! What a treat. The airy Tulla top would make a wonderful piece to go home in, since it will be July.

Nursing bras, extra underwear, water shoes in case we get a tub room, toiletries. I think it will be important to bring my own hand soap (I really like the Live Clean brand) because I cannot stand the soap at the hospital, which is very harsh.

I like the idea of having a notebook with me. I often forget to write things down but this feels like an important time to jot things down so as not to forget.

For Geoff: a watch with a second hand (he can borrow my Cluse watch), and pyjamas for his night of very uncomfortable sleep in the chair next to the bed, if he can get any sleep! Plus phone chargers, cameras, snacks, etc.

For baby, star of the show: a cotton hat, some onesies, and a cute outfit for going home. I like this knit set even though it looks warm. We’ll be going from an air conditioned hospital to an air conditioned car, and I don’t know much about babies but I know they like to be warm! Plus a sweet cotton blanket.

Diapers. While I love the idea of cloth diapers, the reality is that it isn’t practical for us since we don’t have laundry at home. I’d like to use diapers that are as eco-friendly as possible, and luckily we live in a city that recycles them.

Of course, we can’t leave the hospital without a car seat. We recently purchased the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio and will install it soon.

 I love lists, so if you have any that helped you or if you have any suggestions, please share!


wall tapestries with society 6

I recently wrote about wall tapestries for Society 6. You can read the post on their blog here. I also created a collection with some of my favourites! There are so many incredible designs available that it was hard to narrow down my selections. I particularly love the Clouds print by Debbie Carlos. I’m looking forward to summertime visits to the park with these in tow!

Thanks to our pals Melinda Josie for letting us borrow her apartment for some photos, and Lynlea Combot for modelling again! You can see more photos from Melinda’s cute space on Apartment Therapy here.


moon + flower by lauren wilson

I thought this would be an appropriate thing to post on a the day of a new moon!

From March 10 to April 1, Lauren Wilson of Timberlost Designs and Wild Altar had an exhibition of her watercolour moons up at Souvenir Studios (one of my favourite new shops in the city), along with a few of her floral arrangements. It was a beautiful show with one of the loveliest openings I have had the pleasure of attending. I am a huge fan of Lauren’s work (and also of Lauren!), as everything she touches is so stunning; her floral arrangements can be so wild and almost dark when she’s creating work to accompany her own projects. Unfortunately I don’t have an image of the arrangements from the opening, as these photos were taken a few days later.

About the show and paintings:

The universe takes what it wants, folds it back into its deep dark matter. Its clandestine face shines as brightly as its undisguised one. My two subjects in this show, Moons + Flowers, are part of this mysterious cycle. The beginning of the universe and the first time a plant species evolved into becoming a flower still baffles us.

And yet we keep searching. We are inherently fascinated by the unknown, the dark spaces between ourselves and the cosmos. My moons, my many moons originated from a period of looking to the universe for answers. As I painted them, as I let the whirlpools of light and tones collide, I felt closer to the matter that once consumed me, to the one I loved and lost.

My flowers are my living ghosts, clasped between my hands, transient beauty. With an emphasis on their individual structure and stems, my arrangements aim to reconcile the tension between nostalgia and the present, between life and death.

Both my Moons + Flowers are a result of my sacred wonderment. Mediums which, through interpretation, allowed me to accept the mystery, immortalize the past and make the future my own.

Dedicated to my beloved father, Alan Wilson, 1946–2015.

Some of the flowers used in her show were dyed with natural inks made by Jason Logan of The Toronto Ink Company. Inks derived from: black walnuts, turmeric, sumac, iris root, rust and shells.

Just a few photos from around Souvenir, because it is full of treasures.


repository pt. 13: oh baby!

It sure has been a while since I blogged regularly, so I thought that why not try to get back into it by doing a feature I haven’t done in… two whole years (two whole years!). I’ve missed writing here regularly, and have a little redesign planned. Every once in a while I find myself composing blog posts in my head and wonder, does anyone still care? And I convince myself that writing little updates on Instagram is enough. Lately, however, I’ve been feeling a little Instagram fatigue: I don’t want everything to be visual all the time (I thought this was a great read, speaking of Instagram). Although the world of blogging is so radically different now that it was, and although I don’t have the time for the elaborate DIYs and projects I admire on other blogs that have entire teams behind them, I really do miss the old days of it. So here’s a throwback of a post!

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I announced that Geoff and I are expecting a baby! A boy, due in early July. According to an app on my phone, I start the third trimester tomorrow, which is kind of crazy. The past few years have been challenging, and I never let myself get too carried away with looking at baby things, so it feels as though a whole new world has opened up in front of me. A world in which there is no shortage of cute things to buy, and in which things are really aggressively gendered! I’m trying to knit and sew some things while I have the time and energy now, and I like to collect things in a Pinterest board for inspiration. I’ve built a pile of far more books than I will ever be able to possibly read (thrift shops are such a great source of pregnancy and baby books), and I’ve started picking away at the list of things I need to get for the nursery (how exciting, to get to set up a nursery!). It seems a little daunting but I love it so much, and feel so lucky to have the chance to surround myself with adorably tiny things. Here are some things I think are just so sweet. Super into bunnies and sleepy face motifs, it turns out.
one: knitted romper / two: mini tent / three: baby pants / four: cloud mobile / five: wooden balancing game
six: baby gym / seven: bunny lamp designed by local designer elizabeth olwen / eight: page from Erika Knights Natural Nursery Knits, which, along with her Simple Knits for Cherished Babies are my two favourite knitting books (I love the emphasis on natural yarns and materials, and the knits are classic and beautiful) / nine: sleepy kitty pillow / ten: hard soled shoes
eleven: bookends / twelve: sleepy hat / thirteen: the Babyletto Hudson crib (this is actually the crib we have purchased; we liked the look of it and loved the fact that it’s Greenguard certified; we got it locally at West Coast Kids—since it’s a popular crib it was in stock, which was great since I learned that sometimes you have to order cribs far in advance! I had no idea) / fourteen: Stories for My Child by Samantha Hahn / fifteen: I wasn’t sure if I should get a wrap but when I saw this photo on the Solly Baby Wrap Instagram account I thought, sold! No better way to market directly to my brain than with this photo (I got the wrap in Baltic) / sixteen: Tinycottons botanical print line is so ridiculously adorable I had to get this onesie as one of my biggest clothing splurges (and yes, I got the peachy one as a small act of rebellion!)


valentine's day with garmentory

Just a note to say that I have created a new moodboard over at Garmentory, this one devoted to all things heart-shaped and perhaps even slightly cheesy.

Sign up here to receive a $20 credit to Garmentory! It has become my favourite place to shop the collections of independent shops and designers across the US and Canada and I have picked up so many amazing things there, from a favourite dress from REIFhaus to Herbivore Botanical oils to a really great hat from Saint Cloud in Texas.


at the interior design show with excel naturally sweetened

The show’s slogan and popular selfie spot; pieces by the Toronto-based Kroft+Co (I love the shelf!).

Last weekend Geoff and I attended the Interior Design Show for the first time—every year we plan to go but it has never panned out, so I was glad to finally get there! The theme for this year’s show was “Design Changes Every Thing,” a sentiment I can definitely agree with, especially when I see how strongly particular aesthetics can be associated with certain people or places (also: cute pun!). We attended the opening party on Thursday and returned on Saturday to take a more leisurely stroll and revisit some of our favourite discoveries. Although I hadn’t been before, I was struck by the overall feel of the show, which was quite modern and clean, and I was pleased to see Canadian designers so well represented.

Our visit was in partnership with Excel Canada, and we made sure to stop by Excel Naturally Sweetened Lounge, designed by TV host and decorator Jillian Harris. The Lounge had been decorated in a simple and fresh way, with lovely colours and accents such as pillows with a chinoiserie pattern. I particularly loved how she used plants in the space, because I always think plants add such warmth to a space. The geometric wall planters with succulents were such a nice touch! 

I also may have, um, filled my purse with gum. I haven’t been much of a gum-chewer in years because of all the artificial sweeteners usually found in gum, but Excel’s new Naturally Sweetened doesn’t contain any of those!

This orchid table (part of Studio North & Prototype) by ART MKT was so delicate and pretty.

EQ3s new capsule collection, Assembly, featuring items such as quilts, clocks, mirrors, and chairs, shines a light on contemporary Canadian design. This dressing table was a real standout piece for me.

Another Toronto-based small batch furniture maker, Coolican & Companys pieces are beautifully made and durable.

The IDS International Guest of Honour this year was Tom Dixon. There were so many lovely pieces on display (including some incredible-smelling candles) but I was particularly drawn to the lighting.

The online gallery Caviar20 had some incredible pieces on display and for sale, including these drawings of John & Yoko by Harold Town, and these glass sculptures by Vasa Mihich. They also had the most incredible pastel Frank Stella lithograph!

Gorgeous brass lamps from Lightmaker Studio.

These drawer pulls and chairs were for sale in the Designboom market, made by Nate Roseti. I loved the colours and the playful lines!

Wallpapers by Rollout.

Another Studio North & Prototype piece, this one by Studio Lani.