shoulder pads

29/365, originally uploaded by fieldguided.

Thanks for weighing in on the shoulder pad question and for revealing to me your very strong feelings on the issue -- but I'm keeping them in! For now, anyhow. They'll be useful the next time I have to make my way through a crowd. "Huge shoulders, coming through!"

Inspirational: The Cherry Blossom Girl's statement shoulders.


sequined bows

28/365, originally uploaded by fieldguided.

The question is: shoulder pads in, or shoulder pads out?



Lakeview, originally uploaded by littlesilverboxes {Katrina}.

I saw this image on Oh, hello friend, and this morning, trying to stay focused on the treadmill, I could not stop thinking about it.

Summertime! I cannot wait.


hunter tie

I bought some lovely buffalo plaid wool fabric recently and made it into a tie. This one is slightly thinner than I usually make them, because I prefer it this way for this fabric. I'm hoping to list it, made to order, on Etsy today. I have enough fabric for five, but if people enjoy them, I can probably get more wool, in red/black as well as in dark blue/black (although it's the most expensive fabric I have used!).

"Hunter" is Geoff's middle name. It's a family name, and I like it.


disposables & paper flowers

(Erin's shoulder, Geoff's obscured face, Erica's back. I am a truly sensational photographer)

So far, making the effort to take more pictures has yielded some wonderful results. I bought a disposable camera, which I hadn't done since high school, before we went to Come Up to My Room. I used all the pictures up that night. When I went to pick them up today, I was pretty sad. What a waste of money and plastic camera parts, I thought. Looking at the pictures at home, I realized that there were a few that I really like. There is something magical about these cameras. That is, to me. You are so magical to me. It's nostalgia, really.

Of course, it helps that I had beautiful subject matter. The pictures here were taken in the room at the Gladstone that was designed by Lisa Keophila, Fiona Lim Tung, Kristen Lim Tung, and Jon Margono. They are the loveliest people ever, incidentally (hi there!). The room was filled with these enchanting paper flowers. I took the very last picture while lying on a little bed on the floor; we were invited to get a better view from there. Most people were too shy to do it, which was pretty funny & cute. Magical!


come up to my room

I put my emergency list -- and some of yours as well -- to work this weekend. It was nice to venture outdoors in this winter-spring weather to go to Come Up to My Room at the Gladstone Hotel. It was crowded! I was so happy to see some familiar faces. I brought along a disposable camera, but I'll save those gems for my next post.

I won this guy in a game of Nutso, created by Chevaux de Bois: two balls, $5, slide them down an illustrated board, win a prize (like Plinko!). I am amazed at the fact that he made it home intact. I was so proud of myself. He is now a prized possession.


emergency list

A few months ago in an email, Caitlin mentioned something called her "emergency list" which consisted of ideas for getting through the winter. At the time I thought it wouldn't be something I needed to think about too much. It hasn't been a particularly harsh winter; most days are sunny, it's not that cold, and I have only had to shovel snow a handful of times. Still, now that January is here, I have spent a lot of time thinking about my emergency list. It certainly beats thinking dark, sad thoughts.

Here it is, so far. As Caitlin pointed out, it often involves food.

1. Eating out at one of the many little restaurants in our neighbourhood. We can usually get a pretty decent meal for not too much money. Ethiopian, Vietnamese, Middle Eastern, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Thai, etc. I always feel guilty when we eat out because it's more expensive than eating at home, but sometimes all I want is jambalaya from Butler's Pantry and there is no telling me that I can't have it (although I haven't had that one in quite a while. Hmm).

2. Drinking. Obviously.

3. As badly as I feel about spending money on something of low quality that I will only wear two or three times, sometimes you can't beat a fast-fashion indulgence.

4. Daydreaming about summer. This actually makes me feel much worse because it seems so far away and because I'm not sure if my trips to the lake or trips to New York and Chicago will happen. I do like thinking about the lake, and floral swimsuits.

5. Impromptu dance parties. Sequins. Trying to draw out the extroverted side of my personality.

6. Thinking about hosting a Valentine's-ish party at my place. Possibly heart-shaped holographic glasses will be involved.

7. The mere idea of re-watching Wild Style is an effective mood lifter for me.

What's on your list?

(Photo via gingerlillytea)


pictures of pictures

I've taken a few pictures of pictures for my 365 photo project. I pulled out the stack of Polaroids this morning, because I had been thinking about them a lot. They make me feel a little sad, even if they record times in my life that were amazing. There are people in them who aren't around anymore, there are a lot of awful clothes and bad hair (what was I thinking in those years?), there are pictures that are blurry. Mostly there are pictures of people, and that is what I love best. I have lost a few Polaroids along the way, and sometimes I find the odd one in a book or a box. I took these Polaroids without feeling self-conscious. I took them without caring, even though the film was precious because of its price (I never imagined that it would be discontinued). They always turned out perfectly as far as I was concerned. It used to be a fun thing for me -- people LOVE being photographed with a Polaroid! They get really excited about it!

I don't think I could carry a Polaroid around anymore, even though I still have a few packs of film in the fridge. I feel strange about Polaroid these days. I started taking it seriously for a while, insisting only on using an SX-70. It got decidedly less fun, and more often than not the pictures weren't good, too yellow or too unremarkable.


law of attraction

Before I launch into this post, I just wanted to mention that my heart is broken after listening to radio stories about Haiti, and have made a (small) contribution to Médecins Sans Frontières' emergency fund. My thoughts are also with the Haitians abroad who are trying to find their loved ones. I am going to try to read about Haitian history so that I will not remain as ignorant about it as I currently am (here is a list of suggestions by Edwidge Danticat).

It is hard to shake the horror of those news reports.


Yesterday I received two things that I had wanted, and that two wonderful girls gave me without me having to ask.

I had always admired this picture taken by Erin, which was taken at an estate sale. I love the mood of it, and I often found myself thinking about it. It made me wish I had a beautiful carpet like that in my apartment. It's funny how it haunted me. When she reposted it on her blog in a year-end post, I left a comment (a typical type-before-thinking comment, really), and she sweetly offered to send me a print. It is so beautiful, and I can't wait to get it properly framed. What a girl. I hope we get to hang out this summer!

The other day I was chatting with another Erin, talking about things that I wanted even though I don't really need them (which is basically everything that I want, because there isn't too much that I actually need). I mentioned that I wanted a vintage fur hat. I told her about how I had visited a vintage shop in Mirvish Village that day; they had a few fur hats, all too small, but both the girls working in the shop were wearing fur hats that were lovely and that would have fit my head. Because Erin is a consummate thrifter and is an incredibly considerate person, she stopped by my apartment last night and surprised me with this hat. She had visited some antiques shops in Norfolk County and bought it (for next to nothing!), knowing it would be perfect for me. She even got the shape and colour that I wanted. I love it!

Thank you, Erins.


that crafty fox

After putting myself on a waitlist in the summer and not picking it up when the fall order arrived (I got a call from the shop, Jonathan & Olivia, while on the A2 to Lisbon), I am now on the bandwagon. I justified it by telling myself that it's the perfect camera bag -- that is, until I get my basket and winter is over. I can justify anything to myself, really, even in these lean days. But I do, I do love this little backpack.

I had a hard time choosing between this one, graphite, and the mustard. I think grey is a little more "me," though.


my favourite walk

This weekend I was feeling ragged and a bit sick (nothing serious, of course). I was lying on the bed this afternoon next to a box of tissues when Geoff said that I needed some fresh air. I put on a big hat to cover my dirty hair and off we went. We had to pick up some cat food, so we took the same route we usually do, a route that has become my favourite: first we go to The Common for a coffee, then we walk down Gladstone (past the Cadbury's factory), across Dundas, down Ossington, and across Queen.


brooklyn tailors

Thank you for the men's shirt making encouragement. Thank you too for the book recommendations -- I love books about sewing! I am a little intimidated, but I hope it works out and I hope I can produce something wearable. Geoff has such a hard time with fit, as I imagine many skinny dudes do, and he wears button-down shirts exclusively. Every single day!

If it doesn't work out, there is always Brooklyn Tailors. I came upon their Etsy shop yesterday and was glad to see they make slim fit shirts in sizes from XXS to XL. How I would love to order a bespoke suit for Geoff! That suit is incredible.

These last two pictures make me think of the movie Il posto.


365: one week later

Thank you all so much for your enthusiasm about the 365 project. I was not expecting such a response; I thought it would just be this little thing that I would try out, but so many of you are doing it that I'm excited to continue. I was pretty happy to discover that one can subscribe to Flickr sets via an RSS reader.

The above is my picture from yesterday, which could most accurately be described as "just a day." A cold day in which I took the subway home and noticed how everyone looked so tired and unhappy, a day in which I wore my hair in a knot on top of my head and tried out the self-timer on my camera.

sessùn p/e 2010 preview

French label Sessùn posted some previews of their spring/summer 2010 lookbook on their "journal intime" because it's cold where they are too! My first thought was "Whoa. This is my spring/summer uniform." That last look, to me, is perfect. I love the 80s-ish blazer and the mustard shorts. I'm also kind of amazed because there is not a skirt or a dress in these images I have selected, and I can't remember the last time I wore pants.

Maybe it's the model's bangs and face structure that is similiar to mine, but I'm picturing myself in that outfit and dreaming of a trip to Siena right now, skipping along cobblestones in those cute flats.

(Why Siena? Because I love Italian food, warm weather, & I have always wanted to see the Duomo. And also because it's January and I'm in Canada.)


men's shirt making

When I met with Melinda before Christmas she told me about a men's shirt she had made, and I decided it would be nice to try making a shirt for Geoff.

I once bought a men's shirt pattern by one of the major pattern companies and when I cut out the pieces, I realized that even the smallest size would be far too blouse-like and would require more alterations than I am capable of making. Melinda mentioned the men's shirt pattern book she had used, which I ordered; it arrived yesterday. I am excited about trying, even though I know it will be a challenge. At least I can use the instructions from the pattern I bought last year -- a shirt is a shirt, right?

I know it would come in handy with all the Japanese sewing books I have, but this book in particular makes me wish I could read Japanese. So many details!



When I was going through my Flickr archives for this post, I realized that I don't really take that many pictures (only six for August, which was actually a memorable month). Most of my pictures are of things around my apartment. I don't have too many pictures of friends, or of our little adventures. Part of this is because I am exceptionally camera shy (& sadly, I hate pictures of myself, which I have to get over!), so I have never gotten into the habit of taking many pictures. I used to feel a little weird pulling my D-SLR out in public, or about posting self-portraits, but I think that's the last thing anyone has to feel weird about these days.

And so a whole half of my life is undocumented. I don't think my life necessarily has to be documented, but still, it would be nice to have more pictures to look through later. And it would also be nice to have a greater opportunity for the happy accident of a really good picture.

The Frankie Photo Album that I bought recently reinforced that pictures can be beautiful even if they are not taken with the fanciest equipment. I have an okay camera and an okay lens, and I trust my instincts. It's enough for me. So, inspired by Tara-Lynn who is doing the same, I am going to start my own 365 project: one picture a day for a year. I will post the pictures here.

Let me know if you're doing a 365 too. I'd love to follow yours. Erin's blog is amazing inspiration for this kind of thing.

Of course, my first two pictures are of things around my apartment, but I have to start somewhere.

sequins & faux fur

Not a combination I plan to wear often, but I thought that I could get away with it on New Year's Day, at least.