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.


giftagram: gifts for the bookworm

(This is a sponsored post)

Hi! Now that we all have gift-giving on our minds, I worked with Giftagram to create a list of gifts that any Bookwork would love. These are all items that are available through the app, which makes gift-giving so easy.

I see Christmas as an opportunity to combine two of my great loves: presenting someone I care about with a carefully chosen gift—I simply adore everything about the gift-giving process—and the chance to give books. There is something so special and thoughtful about books, which can contain entire beautiful worlds within them, as gifts.

I’m flattered when I receive a novel that a friend thought I would love, or that reminded the giver of me; I love that any time I look at or pick up the book, I will think of that friend. It infuses the act with a little extra sweetness, I think. I also appreciate a gift of a more instructional book, such as a cookbook or a collection of photographs and wisdom, which can inspire me to better myself, to learn something new, or to create something I wouldn’t have thought to on my own. Books are gorgeous as objects, they are always useful and practical, they last forever, and, to my mind, are never clutter! Books truly make the perfect gift as far as I’m concerned, and there is one for everyone via Giftagram. Here are some I would be pleased to find under my tree.

The House Gardener by Isabelle Palmer (available on Giftagram Canada) 
While I personally do not have much of a green thumb, I love having plants in my home to create an air of serenity and warmth. This book contains tips on how to select, display, and care for houseplants, all useful tips for someone as hopeless with plants as I am.

Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London’s Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi (available on Giftagram USA) 
Ottolenghi’s first book, Plenty, is one of my all-time favourite cookbooks, inspiring robustly flavourful vegetarian dishes that I crave constantly (especially the eggplant ones, yum!).

Love x Style x Life by Garance DorĂ© (Canada) 
I’ve been reading Garance’s blog since the beginning and have always been charmed by her approach to life. This book collects many of her bon mots, elegant drawings, and beautiful photographs, and would look wonderful on any coffee table.

Lint and Honey Giant Heart Pillow (Canada) 
This large heart pillow from Lint and Honey would make any reading nook cozy and comfortable.

Seven Spoons by Tara O’Brady (available on Giftagram Canada) 
Written by a Canadian food blogger with Indian heritage, this lovely cookbook contains sumptuous photography and Tara’s trademark warm writing style. She draws from various cultures in a fresh way, and some of the recipes from her blog have become staples in my home. This would be a great book for inspiring a multi-course dinner party (which I have never thrown, but I can fantasize about!).

Toronto Cooks: 100 Signature Recipes from the City’s Best Restaurants by Amy Rosen (available on Giftagram Canada) 
If you’re anything like me, you prefer to eat home-cooked meal, saving restaurant meals for the most special of occasions. Luckily this book exists to bring home some of the city’s best to eat at your own table. Splendido may be gone but their roasted mushroom salad recipe lives on.

Sloane Tea gift set (Canada) 
This luxurious tea set from Sloane features a wonderful assortment of classic teas (Earl Grey, Signature Black, Blood Orange assam, and Marrakesh Mint) in Sloane’s beautiful keepsake tins. When you’re settling in for a lazy day of reading, a cup of tea is the perfect accompaniment.

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari (available on Giftagram Canada) 
Aziz delighted us on Parks and Recreation and again on Master of None, and this no-doubt hilarious book about dating would be a wonderful companion to a warm bubble bath after a long day.

Milk Bar Life Cookbook: Recipes and Stories by Christina Tosi (available on Giftagram Canada) 
A few years ago, I made my husband a multi-layered, rather complicated birthday cake from the first Milk Bar cookbook. It took me three days but it was so delicious and impressive that it’s become legendary. This book contains savoury dishes, and my mouth waters thinking about how incredible they must be!

Prune by Gabrielle Hamilton (available on Giftagram Canada) 
I have yet to visit Gabrielle Hamilton’s New York restaurant Prune, but having devoured (ha!) her memoir Blood, Bones and Butter, it’s been a goal of mine. For now, this book would do as it is a little more affordable than a plane ticket.

Kate Spade New York: All in Good Taste by Kate Spade New York (available on Giftagram USA) As someone who is forever clutzy and forever spilling drinks and food all over herself, but who loves to write thank you notes and who has collected several editions of Emily Post’s Etiquette, yearning to be a gracious hostess, this modern style guide could come in quite handy! As a bonus, it’s full of Kate Spade’s signature illustrations and clean design, and cloth is in my favourite colour: pink.

Food52 Baking: 60 Sensational Treats You Can Pull Off in a Snap by the Editors of Food52 (available on Giftagram USA) 

Even though I have tried in vain to cut sugar out of my life time and time again, it truly is one of life’s greatest pleasures. I could spend a very happy hour flipping through this collection of cookies, cakes, and tarts, tummy grumbling!


good night, day: the pattern book

Over the past few months I’ve been working with Tara-Lynn of Good Night, Day on a book of her patterns. She’s had booklets published in the past, but this will be much higher quality, with all new photos by Arden Wray and a full redesign by me. I took on this project happily because I love Tara-Lynn’s work—I’m sure I’ve mentioned it here many times, but the only reason why I took up knitting was to knit her patterns—and because I’ve always admired her fierce independence and integrity. We’ve created something that I am really proud to have my name on. The book will be perfectbound, full colour, and will feature 18 patterns.

Unfortunately, printing costs can be quite high for an ambitious, self-funded project such as this one, and so Tara-Lynn has set up an account through Go Fund Me through which you can pre-order the book, or simply send along a few dollars to help keep this project going, if you’re in the position to do so. Asking for help and allowing people to see your vulnerability can be one of the most difficult things to do, and I admire her for taking this step.

I really love her newest knits but the patterns have been so important for me as a knitter. They’re simple and elegant and really satisfying to knit. I hope you will like them too!

Photos by Arden Wray
Models: Brooke Manning, Airin McGuinty
Styling by Tara-Lynn Morrison


new: a cmyk peony print

For the past little while Geoff has been experimenting with CMYK silkscreen prints of photographs. This process requires breaking a photo down to four colours, and printing four separate layers. The end result is this peony print that, at a distance, looks like a photo, but up close, is something else entirely.

This print is available in our shop now. We hope you like it!


giveaway: nettle's tale and dani press

Today I’m pleased to host a giveaway from two wonderful Canadian companies, the Vancouver-based Nettle’s Tale, and the Toronto-based Dani Press. Nettle’s Tale creates swimsuits for every body, and Dani Press is a stationery company that stands by the power of the handwritten note. As a kiss to our steamy summer (there is still nearly a full month of it left!), we’ll be offering one swimsuit of the winner’s choice, 8 film notecards, and one art print.

It’s been a treat to work with these companies, who create their products with their whole heart, and who are committed to giving back. Both donate 10% of all profits to a charitable cause. You can read more about Nettle’s Tale here and Dani Press here.

This giveaway is open to everyone, and to enter, simply click over to Instagram, where I will outline the details. Good luck!

Dani and her friend Lisa Gilroy


ceramics by bolden and sojourn

Over the past few months, Shayna of Sojourn and Jen of Bolden have been collaborating on a fun series of wild/domestic cat ceramics, and the results are so charming! They’ll be updating their shop tomorrow (Friday, August 7) at 1pm EST with all new pieces—the last run sold out in a few minutes.

Both of them have been posting progress shots on their Instagram accounts (Jen here and Shayna here). I love to see the two of them working together and creating such wondrous objects!