heart handmade: the other half

The Heart Handmade interview with us is up. Read it here. It was an honour to be invited; thank you, Marichelle.

I am so long-winded!

The picture above was taken by our incredibly talented friend Jennie in the town of Cambridge, Ontario, under a sign for a boarded-up salon called Lady's Paradise (!!). The other picture in the feature was taken at that forest of delights, Southworks Antiques. I didn't let her take too many pictures because I am fidgety and nervous, but she got some nice ones!


new necktie

I am so crazy about silky cotton lawn right now. I made a necktie out of the blue floral print. This is the "May 4" tie. That's Geoff's birthday, and every year it is a beautiful, perfect day.

eva mendes in lula

I've seen a lot of posts about the new Lula, but I haven't seen this image widely posted. I think this is my favourite page in the magazine: Eva Mendes in See by Chloé. I just love it and I find it hard to explain why it's my favourite. It has a lot going for it, though! That dress! It also makes me so happy to see this beautiful girl dolled up like this. She is so stunning and deserves better than what a men's magazine would give her. I love her in this little hair bow and with a hint of pink on her cheeks.


spring cleaning preview

These are the items I am in the process of listing on Etsy. I have a lot more -- the more I list, the more I find to list. The pale blue ruffle dress? I found the same one today in fuchsia. Crazy. I'm saving a huge pile of clothing for the rummage sale, but I thought I'd try my luck online too. If you're in Toronto, come by the Workroom on April 19 for the Hunt & Gather trunk & rummage sale! I've gathered some lovely things. Please say hello!

When I hunt for vintage, I scan the racks by looking for for colour and texture. So while some of these pieces are polyester (it's so hard to avoid polyester), they're always lightweight and breezy poly. I love these pieces. These are items I wish I could keep for myself. I would wear each and every one!


come sail away

I'm getting ready to list some vintage clothing on Etsy this weekend; a couple of blouses, a couple of dresses, two pairs of shoes -- not too many things. Originally I was going to list this dress too. When I brought it home, it was almost ankle-length, and really frumpy. Since I unexpectedly had the day off today, I took the time to hem it. Hemming chiffon isn't too fun! Now that it's cut above the knee, however, I can't bear to part with it! It's so pretty and spring-like. And it's from a petites line so the waist hits me in the right place. Yay!

I also hope to have a few handmade items for the Etsy shop soon. Geoff will have some handpainted ceramics, and I'll have a variety of cotton lawn things (needlebooks, neckties, skirts, totes, and maybe a dress or two!). Oh and some embroidered doily drawings.

Enjoy your weekends! It's so warm out, it's fantastic.



While reading Anja's blog post with its lovely collage featuring boater hats yesterday, I felt even happier about my recent straw hat find, even if mine isn't a boater. This morning I read the piece on boater hats in the current Lula, and it helped me understand the decision to make the Marc Jacobs hats look so squished (they really do look sat-upon).

Someone in the article mentions that this hat is appealing because of nostalgia -- a lot of children wore boaters as part of a school uniform, or children in books did. I wore a uniform in high school, and although it didn't include a hat, I have always been partial to uniforms. Someone else who was interviewed (you'll have to forgive me, I don't have it at hand to look up the names) states that hats are appealing because, to paraphrase, most people dress like slobs these days, and hats have a nice formal quality to them. I agree! More hats, please. And while we're at it, more neckties too!

Here are a couple of film trailers for more hat inspiration: Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) and The Lover (1992).


scalloped disaster

On Saturday I found myself trying to tackle about ten different things at once, one of which was an attempt at a scalloped hem à la Chloé. I was so caught up in the thought that I could wear this to a party that same night that I didn't give myself enough time, I wasn't careful enough, and in the end, I ruined a pretty lovely thrifted skirt.

I had read Vain and Vapid's tutorial months ago, and this one as well, but I didn't re-read them before I tried it. I spent all of five minutes actually sewing the skirt, and I did a sloppy job (of course). Sewing curves at high speeds isn't really a good idea. Also, I think the scallops would have looked much better if they weren't so deep. I used fabric that I cut off as the facing and I think it would have been better to use a light cotton fabric.

I cannot wear this. I had to hem it above the kick pleat at the back and so it's really, really short. And puckered. Oh so puckered.

I'm glad I tried it because I learned from it, but at the same time, I'm sad that I chose to destroy a skirt in the most delicious shade of yellow. There are so many ugly colours of skirt to choose from at the thrift shop, and I chose my beloved yellow. Woe, woe.


I finally joined Twitter. If you're on there, let's follow each other!

I've noticed that a lot of magazines and shops that I like are on Twitter (Frankie magazine, Magic Pony, a couple of eBay vintage shops, etc.) -- do you have any favourites?



“A surge of chocolate in the lavender fields. It is a breath of fresh air in the sunshine, nature, something a little wild that takes over your palate.”

I just had a bite. Heavenly.

spring cleaning

I have never wanted to sell vintage clothing on Etsy, if only because there are already a lot of sellers who already do it and who do it so well (estatesale, allencompanyinc, deargoldenvintage, darlingbrigade, secretlake, ramonawest, halfCaf, thrush, allthishappiness, etc., etc.). Most importantly, I am no model and/or model scout. However, it is time for a little spring cleaning and for me to finally let go of a couple of things that I have that I cannot wear, and I just might put them up in my sad, neglected Etsy shop.

I love this dress so much, but it just doesn't fit me. It reminds me a bit of the blue Lover dress that Rhiannon posted yesterday, although of course it is, um, totally different. It is also the dress version of my mauve raincoat.

This pair of shoes is perfect. Just absolutely darling. Scallops and cutouts and an ankle strap? Yes, please. I need to have the heel caps replaced; the shoes haven't been worn much, but they are old enough that the caps cracked and broke when I tried them on. They are a size 8 or so. I would wear them every day if I could, but I can't wear ankle straps because of my ankle that was once smashed to bits and patched with metal (oh no, not bitter).

I am saving a bunch of things for an upcoming rummage sale (more on this later!), but since most landlords in Toronto seem to consider a closet a luxury feature (oh no, not bitter), I may be forced to make the occasional clothing listing a regular thing.



Thank you for putting your names into the hat for the issue of Frankie! Thanks too for saying hello, if you haven't before. Hello, hi, welcome, thank you. I know an issue of a magazine is just a little thing, but it's worth its weight in gold. Seriously!

I ran the numbers through random.org and the winner is Ana Laura Perez! Congratulations, Ana Laura.

(The above are dresses made with a textile she illustrated for Pesqueira -- aren't they pretty?)


weekend thrifts

This image, from Lover, went with me to the thrift shops yesterday, and I ended up having some good luck! I found two things that have been on my mind lately.

I love straw hats. I have owned a number of them and I love wearing them in the summer. After seeing Lover's Sacred Hearts collection, I wanted one that was more boater-like, with a black ribbon. I found this one for $2 -- it's not quite the same shape and I have to work on getting the brim more flat (heavy books? Some steam? Can you shape straw?) because it's a bit warped. It had a pink ribbon on it but I replaced it.

These hats always make me think of Marguerite Duras' The Lover -- which I suspect is a book that is beloved of Susien Chong as well.

They also make me think of a time when people hung straw hats decorated with fake flowers on the wall, usually in kitchens with duck motifs. Oh dear.

Just like everyone else, I've been hunting for a sailor-collared shirt for a while (I actually made one out of a lightweight wool in the fall but I never finished it!). I really love this blouse -- it looks much better worn than on the hanger. It's an XL but the fabric is so silk-like in its drape that I'll be able to wear it in a slouchy way. You can't see it here because this picture is so washed out, but it has a pale gold trim all the way around; I think I'm going to replace the buttons, though. I also found a linen Laura Ashley drop-waist sailor dress and another dress with a sailor collar but I was out of money (sigh) and had to leave them behind. Apparently it was '80s day at the thrift shop!

(Okay, so it's pretty much always '80s day at the thrift shop.)



Thank you for your comments on the giveaway! I wish I could send a copy to each of you. It is truly a lovely magazine.

In my typically overly-enthusiastic, easily-excited way, I rushed to post and made a mistake! The issue I have to give away is the issue that is current in North America (January/February). We are an issue behind in this hemisphere. This is the cover.

From the sounds of it, I don't think many of you will have this issue anyhow. Now I will wish you all a happy weekend. I am off to hit the thrifts!

frankie giveaway

It would appear that I wished you a happy weekend prematurely, because I have something else to write about: Frankie magazine. This is the only magazine that makes me regret that I dropped out of journalism school (but not really) -- it's funny and smart and oh so pretty. Last night I had a dream that I was going on a trip to Melbourne and I was using Frankie as my research guide.

This morning I walked to the subway and stopped in at the magazine shop on the corner. I found the current issue of Lula (there was only one copy left!) and the current issue of Frankie. Since I love Frankie so much, and since you've all been so sweet with your lovely comments, and since I bought an extra copy, I'm going to give it away! Some of you might not be able to find it where you live, some of you might not be in a position to spend $15 on a magazine right now, some of you might never have seen this wonderful, beautiful magazine in person. Let Frankie be your new BFF.

Please leave a comment here if you're interested. I'll randomly select a winner on Sunday evening (say, 9 PM my time).

happy spring

Happy first day of spring!

I bought this dress last night. Apparently I want to look like a flower. I had come across the same dress in white earlier this week but since it wouldn't fit me, I simply saved the images for inspiration. When I saw it in fuchsia, which I think is a very nice colour for brunettes, I snapped it up right away.

Enjoy your weekends, and your first taste of spring! We have a couple of apartments to view this weekend. One is on the Brock end of Little Portugal, one is on the Landsdowne end of Bloorcourt. I like them both so far, although I fear there will be competish. Your apartment-hunting goodwill is appreciated!



Sometimes when Geoff and I walk around at night we look through windows to see what the interiors of the houses look like -- we call it "peekins." It's not quite Dickens-style, with our faces pressed against the glass (did any Dickens characters actually do this?), but if people don't have curtains up, I feel perfectly entitled to look inside. I'm sure everyone with an ounce of natural curiosity does this.

Today I logged on to Reader to discover April's living room and more detailed pictures of Caitlin's workspace. Peekins! e-peekins!

April's seating is amazing! It is a Victorian parlor! The colours are so soothing. I adore the sofa, and I could happily faint right onto it.

Caitlin's workspace is so pretty and girly. I love her choices of colour and all the little vintage treats she's gathered! Every item is so beautiful and inspirational.

Aren't my friends amazing?



There is a reason why I rarely look at eBay except when I'm looking for serger needles. eBay makes me crazy.

I saw the dress above today and my heart literally began to race. It really did (I don't use the word "literally" lightly)! I thought it was the most perfect dress ever for me -- oh the 38" bust! The rare 38" bust on a vintage dress! It had 17 bids at the time but I thought I would for sure win it and started picturing myself in it. So I stared at it, I bookmarked it, I walked away, I pulled out a measuring tape, I closed the browser, I added it to my watch list, I tried to stop thinking about it, etc. Finally I put in a maximum bid that I thought was kind of insane for what is, essentially, a polyester tablecloth dress. I was outbid and now I am petulant.

Maybe it's the eBay boomerang; today I was wearing the jazz shoes that I got as the result of a fierce bidding war. I played dirty in that one, oh yes I did.

At least I have a lovely tablecloth that Claire sent me a while ago and new serger needles.


my life is beautiful as is

I'm not one to browse Flickr groups very often (forget groups, I am never caught up on my contacts list), but this one is one that I love: My Life Is Beautiful As Is. It was created by simple moth, whose photographs are absolutely stunning. She is a sweetheart, too.

Domesticity, homesteading, crafting, motherhood, food. We want to see the lovely moments of your life in their purest form. We want your photos to tell a little story - to share a little piece of your personal life.

I love the photo pool -- it is quiet, and beautiful. The above is a contribution I made today, of a little beaded collar I found in an antiques market and will be selling in an upcoming rummage sale.

heart handmade

I'm pleased to write that the lovely (and oh-so-patient) Marichelle of Heart Handmade asked Geoff and I to be a part of the sweet "Other Half" feature. Our interview will run on March 31. It was so fun to answer the questions about me & Geoff and us, and such an honour to be asked. It's a favourite blog of mine and it is always, always inspiring. We're in amazing company there. Thank you, Marichelle!

I was thrilled to see an interview with Caitlin of Nice there today! I've mentioned it before but Caitlin was one of the first people I met through Etsy -- she's just about the most darling person that could be, and her work is so beautiful (and I have to add, she has incredible taste in music and in cardigans). I am lucky to have received a few treats from her over the years. Read the interview with Caitlin here.


oh joanna

Thank you all for your lovely comments about Bakers Dozen! I've been glowing all day and I am so grateful to Amy. What a sweet project.

A few people have commented on how much they love Joanna Newsom. I love her too! I'm not really a quotation-loving person, and so I thought I would provide a little context. This was the last question and answer from the interview, and it is so wonderful.

BLVR: One final question -- if you could know the day and time of your own death, would you want to know? Or would you rather not?

JN: If I could be assured that I'd be old, then yes I'd want to know. But I'm so easily made sad that if I found out I was going to die on my thirtieth birthday I'd probably cry every day between now and then. I can't fathom myself making peace with that idea. I really like being alive. A lot. I'd never want to know, because of the possibility that it's sooner than I'd want it to be. I'd be grieving for my own death every day. I don't think it would make me more productive. Some people get empowered by it and live these really rich beautiful lives. But I don't need the fire behind me, like "You're going to die on your thirtieth birthday, so get cracking, kid!" I'm perfectly happy just to exist.

(Image from this Paper magazine article)

bakers dozen

I'm so excited and proud to announce a project that Fieldguided is participating in: Bakers Dozen. This project was created by Amy Borrell and I was so happy when she invited us to take part. It's pretty amazing to see "Fieldguided" next to some of these names! I didn't know who was going to be involved in the first go-round and it was so fun to look through and see who else was there. Also fun was seeing the countries that are represented: Germany, Sweden, Finland, Spain, Australia, the UK, etc.

I love the pictures she took of our contribution.

I embroidered some text from an interview with Joanna Newsom in the Believer in 2004 -- I remember reading it on the subway and it's never left me. It's such an off-the-cuff, pure statement, the kind of thing she probably said in surprise in response to an unusual, unexpected question. I liked the idea of meditating on such a statement by embroidering it over and over.

Please do check out the site -- Amy worked so hard on it and it's quite beautiful. Also note that prices are in Australian dollars! I want to buy one of everything else.



quilted jackets

I've been thinking about quilted floral jackets a lot. Are you tired of the prairie thing? I still like it, unless it is really over the top. I am not sure if I should try to find one, but here are a few ladies who make the Gunnies look so good.



I have a four year old iBook laptop, and it has finally happened: I can't use it to connect to the internet. I spilled coffee on the keyboard and now it will only boot in safe mode. I would get it fixed, but it has had a number of other hardware problems, and my Apple Care ran out a long time ago. Geoff has the same computer and he is happy to share, but I do enjoy the occasional break from the computer and will embrace this time of sparse internet.

I am not really sure what I'll do in the long run as I don't exactly have $1500 for a new computer (and I would like to stick with Mac, even if Mac's branding is a bit tiresome). I keep thinking that one day it will boot up just fine and work again? I am good at this magical thinking! I will also be hopeful that the perfect refurbished iMac will turn up just for me.

Sweet image from fortysixthatgrace.


barquentine skirt

I love the Barquentine skirt from Makool. Isn't it lovely?

And not to brag or nothin', but I won a giveaway yesterday! And it couldn't be more perfect: I won a beautiful patchwork scarf from Ambika via A Cup of Jo! It was obviously my lucky day.



I found some pretty floral cotton lawn recently, and I cannot get enough of it. I love it and its Liberty-like glory. I made some needlebooks with it, and a tiny skirt, and this lightweight puff tote. I would love to own a Sessùn Piou bag, but for now, this will do.

It has ruffles aplenty. The image of baby bloomers comes to mind. I know.

It is lined with satin in the most delicious shade of mauvey pink. It is much more sturdy than it looks, thanks to the wonderfully thick sew-in interfacing I used. I find the size of it to be satisfying, as well. It's not too small, not too big.

I may tweak it here and there (handles -- shorter, interfaced, or perhaps made of some faux leather braided trim I have; fewer ruffles, larger ruffles), but I may make a couple more for the shop. Does that sound like a good idea?


Geoff and I (but mostly Geoff) worked on a new banner for the Etsy shop this weekend. This handkerchief, purchased at Southworks in Cambridge, is apparently my muse. It features the most vibrant, beautiful colours. I love it.

It took me some time to fully explain to Geoff what I wanted in a font; the font I had in mind all along, however, was the iconic Penguin Books font, Gill Sans.

Now if only I had some new things to put in the shop! More on that later, I hope.


ruffled cakestands

We've been doing a bit of baking every weekend, and even though the things we make usually don't stick around long enough to be displayed in a pretty way, I keep thinking about how I'd like to get one of these ruffled cakestands from Crate & Barrel. My love of the ruffle extends to the tabletop, oh yes it does.


blog things

(The first part of this post was partially inspired by the lovely Ambika, and by this quote posted on Swiss Miss, and reposted on Frolic. There is, of course, a lot more to say on the topic.)

I know a lot of us feel overwhelmed by the astonishing number of incredible ideas and images and thoughts we read or see in a day. I often find myself absently scrolling through my blog feed, just to see the number in bold go down -- and then I think about how funny it is that I can look at all these beautiful things and not even really notice them. I do absorb them, though, in some way. They seep into my subconscious and I dream about them.

The other day two "blog things" converged, with very nice results. First, an image of The Cherry Blossom Girl's Chloe shoes popped into my head, although I remembered them as having two straps. I became overwhelmed with the desire to find a pair of double strap heels, but I had no luck in my quick searches (if I had tiny feets I would consider these slingbacks from allencompanyinc). Then this desire became a desire to go thrifting, and I started thinking about Queen Michelle's "The Calling," which is such an appropriate term. I had a little chuckle to myself. Geoff and I headed out to one of our favourite shops that evening, et voilà:

Certainly nowhere near as beautiful as the Chloes, but they'll do for me, especially since they were $7. Thanks, blogs!