Since my life these days is one long bicycle ride, yesterday afternoon I rode down to Robber to drop off an issue of Russh magazine for Erin. Geoff and I were standing around and chatting with her when Alexa Chung walked in with a friend. Maybe she liked the banners!
I don't usually get starstruck, but I have to admit that it was pretty amazing -- she has that same effortlessly stylish, down-to-earth air that women such as Charlotte Gainsbourg have. Gorgeous, and super sweet too... if only style were transfered via standing in the same room as her!
The other day Erin asked if I had any ideas for some sale signs for her shop, and after a few messages back and forth we decided that we would make potato prints. We had both seen this tutorial by Caitlin Mociun on Refinery 29 (pretty amazing, hey?) and since I already had all the supplies at home (except potatoes!) I loaded up my bike basket on Friday morning and went over to Robber.
Earlier in the week I had been reading this lovely blog and came across a post where Chelsea mentioned a book called Textiles of the Wiener Workstätte. I thought it would be great for inspiration -- and since I'm lucky enough to work for a university library system that is North America's third largest (after Harvard and Yale), I was able to go upstairs and sign it out in an instant. Sometimes I forget about how awesome it is to have all that access.
With the help of Erin's friend Julie, we settled on a feather pattern because it seemed simple and straightforward. And it was! I had brought jicamas with me because they were large, but they were too juicy for carving. We ended up using nice and starchy baking potatoes.
We messed up the floor a bit -- we had tried lying cardboard underneath but it left funny cardboard imprints on the fabric. Luckily the inks were water-soluble! I cannot emphasize enough how handy that paper towel was.
The finished banners. We added eyelets at the top and hung the banners with rope.
It's been a while since I've added a new item to the Etsy shop, but here is a new tie I will be making in a highly limited edition of two. It is made with a beautiful Japanese cotton/linen blend. I have called it Antoine after the hero of The Adventures of Antoine Doinel, one of my favourite series of films. Coming soon!
Here is M. Doinel (played by Jean-Pierre Léaud) in his handsome plaid tie in Stolen Kisses:
A throwaway image from a roll of film Geoff had developed recently -- but I like it.
This weekend I showed Erica around my town, I laughed over drinks with Erin, I had Sonja over to my house, I bought artwork directly from Aprile, I went to an event at Karyn's shop. I gushed. I smiled at strangers. I bought a pair of Matthew Williamson for H&M sunglasses for a friend who is dating another Matthew Williamson. I made eye contact. I wore a cute t-shirt. I stood on my half-foot-deep Juliet balcony and watched swifts chase each other through the air. I didn't dwell on cynical, hateful things. I worried about offending people here. I stopped worrying about offending people here. I read beautiful, lovely emails. Geoff and I took our stitching and our books to the park and I thought about all of you, and I thought about how I was going to write all about it.
I was flattered to be asked to be a part of two series on other blogs, and both happened to be posted today. One has a giveaway attached to it!
The first is Sofia's Creative Ones series. My post is here. Leave a comment there for a chance to win one of my pink floral cotton lawn needlebooks.
The second is Roberta Jane's "How I'd Wear It" series. My post is here. I was asked to put together an outfit based on a pair of Topshop denim knee-length shorts. Jane's post was really fun; she made up a day around her shorts, while mine was just an excuse to include Chloe sunglasses.
Such fun! Thank you, Sofia and Roberta Jane. How lovely to be asked to participate on two blogs that I enjoy!
Anni Albers' washer necklace assembled from a kit. Read more about Anni Albers here. There are a few tutorials for making your own floating around online; the purchase of this kit supports The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation.
I know that I've mentioned before that I don't like jersey, but I do love a good t-shirt... and I do believe that the Helena tee from Permanent Vacation is a perfect summer t-shirt. It's available at Robber, which I will be visiting with Erica later this week (insert three hundred exclamation points, please).
I've seen some of you rockin' the Heidi braids before but I could never get it to work. I assumed my hair was too thick (I am not complaining about that) and that the layers that I am trying to grow out were getting in the way.
Earlier this week some of my friends were a bit surprised to learn that I actually have naturally wavy hair. I complained about my wavy hair, and I was upbraided with the following: "I can relate because I have these shoes made of diamonds that pinch in the heel a little." Snap!
So from now on I will wear my hair au naturel more often.
Oh and notice my Dace blouse! I know it's mostly hidden, but the details on the sleeves are amazing.
One of my all-time favourite people that I have met through this funny innnernet is Tara-Lynn of the wonderful Etsy shop yarnovermovement. Always lovely, 100% genuine, bursting with creativity & integrity, Tara-Lynn is constantly coming up with new, original patterns for knitted items that can carry a girl through all the seasons.
Tara-Lynn has been sweet enough to allow me to host a giveaway of a couple of her items: the knit ascot in cranberry, as well as a knit hair bow in the colour of your choice. To enter, please visit yarnovermovement on Etsy and leave a comment here. I will select a winner on Sunday evening using the random number generator. Please be sure to leave your name and an email (formatted with "[at]") if you are leaving an anonymous comment.
Edited to add: yarnovermovement will be adding a free hair bow (colour of your choice) to any order that mentions this giveaway!
Tara-Lynn happens to be participating in the YART sale at the moment, which is a great opportunity for you. I recommend the chunky cowl in orange. It's so nice! I have one in taupe and I adore it.
I am also glad for the opportunity to be hosting this giveaway because it means I get to post a few pictures from her Flickr account. I hope you have enjoyed them as much as I do.
Even though she doesn't live too far away from me, we're both too shy to have met in person -- but I do look forward to meeting her soon! She inspires me so much and I've never been able to forget the first time I saw her pictures, years ago when she was selling knitting patterns under the name DIY Knits: à faire soi-même. I thought she was just the coolest girl ever, just absolutely gorgeous, and I never dreamed we would eventually be penpals (it's true -- we've been swapping snail mail!). Lately she has also been co-running the vintage clothing shop darlingbrigade, which I love.
Geoff and I picked up our new glasses last night. I am so thrilled with Geoff's! It is pretty exciting because he can see better now, in his week-old prescription. For a while he had a hard time using analogue cameras because he couldn't see well enough to focus properly! Also his last pair were a mess of glue & dust.
My glasses are, as far as I'm concerned, a disaster. I don't mean to sound incredibly vain, but it's safe to say I hate how they look on my face. I suppose I'm lucky in that at least I can wear my contact lenses and really only need glasses for the evening. I ordered these (the Flannery in the grey) and I am sure that they are all wrong for me. They emphasis how large my nose is, the colour isn't right for me... blah. Here is a picture of me putting on my shoes while wearing them (shortly before I flung them off in frustration & unhappiness). Oh well. That's what you get when you make an expensive purchase in haste.
Last week I got springtime in a box from April! She sent me the little beaded purse that was in her Etsy shop -- I had expressed an interest in it because I think it would be the perfect little elopement accessory (har har). I am going to make her a super special embroidery in return. She was also sweet enough to throw in so many more things! This is merely a fraction of it. The milinery flowers? She sent about a hundred. She sent purple ones too, and that pretty cameo (she may have those in her Etsy shop soon), and more ribbons and trims and a scarf clip, and and and... Goodness! Thank you, thank you!
You should all read her blog if you don't already because she will crack you UP!
A couple of weeks ago I became obsessed with finding a new litter box for Oreo. We have it in the "office" because there's no room in the bathroom and no appropriate nook in which to hide away a litter box. The litter box we had was fine, but because it was out in the open, it was starting to grate on my nerves. So, I thought that I would look for something halfway stylish. I found the Moderncat store and looked at my options. Well. The hilarious monstrosity I then ordered is the Booda Dome Cleanstep Cat Box in pearl.
Sometimes I get these ideas in my head and then UPS delivers their results and I wonder what I was thinking.
I have to admit, though, that if this litter box were half the price, I would probably order it. Oreo loves to jump on things and perch on things. She is part hawk!
Oh! Some of you have commented on Oreo and on her name -- I mentioned this in a response to a comment, but in case you were wondering, Oreo is a rescue! My friend Annie adopted her from the Humane Society, which is under investigation at the moment (such a sad story). Oreo was about two years old at the time, and Annie thought of changing her name but decided to keep it. We usually call Oreo a thousand different things anyhow, and she comes running when we say "Funny Face!" She is a very sweet cat, very shy (and sometimes, very grumpy). Before I met Oreo, I was a dyed-in-the-wool dog person and I thought cats hated me. Now Oreo follows me around the apartment and comes running to me during thunderstorms. Love!
A few posts back I did the fashion always-es and nevers, and everyone had a good sense of humour about it (thank you!). After spending the past month fantasizing about all the things I want to accomplish in our new apartment -- on a micro-budget -- I came up with the home decor edish.
The same rules apply. That is, these are personal preferences and are not meant to offend anyone, and I think I will pass the tag along. Lauren, I'll start with you! I am all tagged out after yesterday's post, but if any of you would like to do it, please feel free.
1. Ikea in moderation. Sometimes I worry that I come off snobby (in general, not merely about furniture) when really, I am not a snob. Okay, so when I was moving I was a little sad to see the parade of Ikea parts going past me (scratched MDF, dinged corners, etc.), but I've had my Malm bed for almost ten years and I can't think of a bed that I like better. I'd love to be able to shop at Design Within Reach or Unica Home, but let's face it, I never will.
2. Light-coloured walls. When I think of an apartment that had the perfect walls, I think of the apartment I shared with my friend Annie. My bedroom was a brownish pink, and the living room and the dining rooms were pale peach. All the accents were white. Those walls made me happy, despite how cracked they were and how we heard little mice running in between them every once in a while.
3. Antique trinketzzz! Pretty little plates for storing jewelry and cute little tchotchkes strewn all over the place.
4. Pendant lamps. We have them in most rooms -- we had to replace the generic ceiling fixtures, and Geoff has become quite handy at hardwiring lamps. This is the wooden "chandelier" in our bedroom. We have this particular Ikea pendant waiting to be hung over our landing -- I saw that Coe & Waito have a couple in their studio, too!
5. Doilies and lace. You are not surprised.
1. The Keep Calm and Carry On poster. I was walking through the neighbourhood the other day and was absently doing some peekins when I spotted it in someone's house. It looked pretty good on the wall, but I can't do it. I can't put up a poster that was originally designed for people who had bombs dropping overhead. I don't deny that it's stylish, and its ubiquitousness doesn't bother me (I have the For Like Ever poster, after all). It is just not for me.
2. Fake flowers. I would rather have no flowers at all than fake ones. Fake flowers do serve a purpose, but give me fresh cut flowers or pretty flowering plants any day, as above.
3. Dark, glossy paints. One wall painted navy blue can look okay, but when the entire room is navy blue, it's a little too stifling for me.
4. Dust ruffles on the bed.
5. Retro overload. I like Nelson clocks too but if you have a swag light, a shag rug, a kidney table, orange walls, etc., all at once, I instantly flash back to the damp basement rec rooms of my childhood.
1. Ikea in moderation.
2. Light-coloured walls.
4. Pendant lamps.
5. Doilies and lace.
1. Keeping calm and carrying on.
2. Fake flowers.
3. Dark, glossy walls.
4. Dust ruffles.
5. Retro overload.