little winter

I'm sure that some of you have heard about the Little Winter sale this November in Portland by now, and have seen this pretty logo designed by Shanna Murray. Well, I'll be there! When I was invited, I was kind of in disbelief -- I couldn't say no, despite the fact that I've never done anything on this scale before. The other sellers are so amazing that I'm already quite terrified and plan to spend the next five months' worth of evenings and weekends working really hard to make sure that I don't show up with a sparse spread.

I'm going to be starting from scratch with this. I'm sure some of you probably don't even have a clear picture of what it is that I do exactly, because sometimes I don't even know, but I will be stitching away and hoping that I'll be able to live up to my concept. In the meantime, I won't be re-opening the Etsy shop. I have never been able to fully commit to it and to make it what I want anyhow.

Thank you to Abby and Chelsea for organizing the event! I'm excited to meet everyone and to meet Portland for the first time.


more with kitty buds

After I made the pillows with Melinda's kitty buds fabric, I wanted to make something else. I thought maybe a quilt, but I wanted the kitty buds to be the main feature, not something that coordinated with another fabric. I also wanted to find a design that only required a few yards of patterned fabric since custom printed fabric is pricey (although totally worth it).

I flipped through Joelle Hoverson's Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts and found a pattern for a pinwheel duvet cover. It required 2 yards of patterned fabric and 5 yards of double wide solid-coloured quilter's muslin. My duvet had been sitting on the bed uncovered for a few weeks, so duvet cover it was. Besides, quilts take forEVER, and I always have a pile of other projects on the go. I was on a mission to get it done fast. I had a four-day weekend and a plan to stay in anyhow, and the 2 yards of quilting weight cotton had arrived already (hand-delivered by Melinda -- thanks, Melinda!).

I found double wide white cotton in the Designer Fabric Outlet's mill ends section for $6/yard. The fabric is so blindingly white that it's almost blue (the kitty buds fabric has a slightly creamy tone; it's hard to tell in these pictures because I was lazy about proper white balance). It was cheap, it was pure cotton, and I found it locally, so it was perfect.

I didn't line up the points in the middle as precisely as she does in the book, but it was so easy to make. I think I spent more time ironing it than I spent sewing it, and I did time-wasting things like handstitch snaps onto twill tape because I couldn't find the right snap tape anywhere. I ended up using a zipper anyway! But it's done and I like it and Oreo likes it too. She kept trying to go inside it as I was sewing it.

Oh! I had enough of the fabric left over to make a tiny pillow, too. It is already covered with cat fur.

Cat paw prints appeared within seconds of smoothing the duvet on the bed.

Celine got some kitty buds fabric from Melinda for her birthday. I just know she's going to work her magic on it and make something incredible.


bedtime book club

Lately Geoff and I have been reading out loud to each other before bed as a means of having a quiet nighttime routine (as opposed to my stay-up-until-I-crash technique that hasn't worked out too well for me over the years). He recently finished reading Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis and now I am reading The Torontonians by Phyllis Brett Young.

We had both read Lucky Jim before; it is one of my favourite books, ever. The "academic satire" genre is one that is quite dear to me (cf. David Lodge's Small World, for example), especially when the academics being skewered are medievalists. I have been a medievalist (although I have never been on an "arty weekend"), so it is particularly hilarious to me. We cracked up every night.

I have also read The Torontonians before, and I loved it. I haven't had much luck recommending it to others, though, as I'm not sure that the people who read it after my recommendation really enjoyed it. I am particularly fond of literature from that period -- it was published in 1960 -- and there is really nothing from that era that is set in Toronto (plenty of Montreal novels, though, and some prairie ones as well). It is another book about a bored housewife, but the book is so beautiful and powerful to me. I'm not writing very intelligent things about this book, but basically I am so grateful that it exists. It's a gem.

Today I stopped by The Workroom for a quick visit and I picked up a meter of this cotton from India ($8.50/m). I made it into a little runner, and I'm pretty pleased with it! Cheap thrills, folks. Cheap thrills.


canadian cabin by loyal luxe

A few weeks ago, my friend Amanda passed along a link to Loyal Luxe, a Québec company that makes pet products that are environmentally sustainable and also well designed (not to be confused with Loyal Loot, an Alberta collective who also make beautifully designed objects).

Just FYI, the Loyal Luxe website is the best website I have ever seen in my whole life.

Despite the fact that I knew Oreo would never go inside a little cardboard box house -- she is deeply suspicious of all boxes -- I ordered one. It was $24, and since the company is located nearby, it arrived within days. I had hope that Oreo would venture inside, but no. She cannot be lured inside at all, not even with a bowl of the delicious slops she cries out for in the morning. She does like the little cardboard ball toys that came with the cabin, though.

It's okay, because the little cabin is adorable and I don't mind having it out (I do mind showing you the linoleum floors that are my most hated feature of our apartment, but bah! Lack of a home improvement budget!). Maybe when we finally get around to getting a new kitten, the kitten will like it! Here is Chief Inspector Oreo at work. Sniffin', avoidin'.



I mentioned recently that I had had drinks with Juli & John from Mjölk; Geoff and I took advantage of the perfect weather the other day to ride our bikes out to the Junction to visit the shop. We had been in before, in January, but I was shy and didn't say much beyond the usual pleasantries (and for the record, I don't really talk about my blog in person, as I don't expect anyone to be familiar with it; besides, I am easily intimidated by people who are both good-looking and capable, as we have established here before). We have a handful of mutual friends and it was inevitable that we should meet. We share a mutual love for Robber, as well -- Juli was wearing a sweet Steven Alan cruiser dress from there when we stopped by.

Anyhow, I'm so glad we meet, as they are the loveliest people. They recently shared some exciting news on their blog, Kitka Design!

The shop is located in the Junction, which isn't too far from where I grew up. The neighbourhood is changing so much and I'm happy about that as there are some really beautiful buildings there in need of some attention. John & Juli's buillding, for example, looks like quite a lot of the three and four storey buildings we admired in Chicago, with three-part bay windows that project out from the facade, adorned with little flourishes. The interior was designed by Studio Junction and I left daydreaming about plywood floors of my very own -- they're so pretty!

(The crux blanket that is draped over the sofa is a dream blanket)

Much of the store is dedicated to Scandinavian designs as well as a bit of Japanese, which works in perfect harmony. I took some pictures, but sadly, my Canon A-1 pictures didn't turn out and I ran out of film. Marvel at the variety, however: from incredible Fog Linen textiles to Danish sofas to chairs with little birch socks to children's toys. Each item has a story to go with it, a provenance, a little flag to denote its nationality.

(These milk posters are so striking --
I've never even been to Sweden and yet they fill me with warmth & nostalgia!)

We chit-chatted the afternoon away and took a walk to pick up some iced coffees in between (from The Good Neighbour on Annette, which I also highly recommend!). Because I can't resist Japanese books, Geoff bought us a copy of Stockholm's Love Apartments, part of a series on Scandinavian homes ("love apartments" meaning that the apartments belong to couples). We found our sad couch in its pages, looking decent! So thrilling.

(This Icelandic sweater is on my wishlist for winter --
it is a delicate, loose weave, and I bet it is so warm)

(I want this silk baby hat probably more than I want a baby at this point in my life)

Another excellent part of the afternoon was that Juli took us upstairs to meet the fluffy Isha! I always love meeting cats, especially adorable little black and white puffs. Love that Isha.

Thank you for the wonderful afternoon, you guys! PS- fika and Swedish lessons, don't forget.

If you are in Toronto, I hope you will stop by. It is worth taking the bus.


wish come true

Geoff and I stopped by Queen's Park to visit the Wish Come True festival by Friends With You, and it was as adorable as expected. We wished it were a permanent installation, particularly as Queen's Park is situated in the middle of the conservative university campus that has been a major part of my life for the past 10 years. It's impossible to be cynical about something so cute.


summer forever

My weekends start on Thursday nights, and if this past weekend was any indication, this summer will be the best yet. I don't have any pictures to share, because I didn't take any (in contrast to last weekend, when I polished off three rolls of film; I did take some pictures for the photography course, but they weren't good). I was not even a little bit productive this weekend. I was so happy.

We finally had drinks with Juli and John at Oddfellows after stopping Narwhal for a Friends With You opening (incidentally, Queen's Park this weekend is going to be so fun). Erin drove us to Hamilton for the monthly art crawl, where we met Erin and Nick and Elizabeth for the first time. We spent a few moments with Tara-Lynn (who has a new website) and some friends, drinking $3 beers in a donut shop. We met Hollie & Jane and marveled at their beautiful new shop. We went to The Brain. There were birthday drinks with friends the next day, Annie was in town from New York, and the Irish Rose drinks at Three Speed were delicious as always (Waupoos Cider & Ribena). We took part in the Yard Sale Trunk Show, which was so much fun, as events at The Workroom always are. I ate pounds of cookies (including Nikole's incredible cookie clouds) and sweets.

I collapsed in a heap on Sunday night.

Everyone was beautiful and kind and I am always in awe of how many lovely & talented people are crammed into this 70 km radius. It makes making new friends so easy. Thank you, everyone.

The little kitten above was a purchase I made at White Elephant. I had to buy it. Oh and some of my ties are for sale at White Elephant: skinny, navy blue seersucker ones. Perfect for summer.


bits of my weekend guest blogger

I was so happy when Kate asked me if I would do a guest post for her "Bits of My Weekend" series. Kate's blog is one of my favourites, so polished and precise, and I probably responded in all caps YES. The other bloggers she picked are such talented folks that I am awed to be in their company.

My post is here. I hope you like it! Thank you, Kate!

Oh and also! If you are in Chicago or New York I would love it if you would attend the launches for my pal Sonja Alhers (remember the fierce bunnies?) and her incredible new book The Selves. Book launch information can be found here. She's the best!

(These pictures are a peek at a project I have been working on with Caitlin for, oh, ages and ages. I am a slacker. I hope to be able to share more soon.)


neon & navy

I was lucky enough to meet both Sarah and Jennifer in Chicago. I am a big fan of their work.

Sarah debuted the Cursive Design summer lookbook today, and the Color Theory necklace is now on my wishlist. What an amazing colour palette! And of course, I love the basket in these beautiful images.

Jennifer's line Hound consists of printed lake depth maps, silk tunics, perfect summer tops. I recently ordered the Fayne tunic, and it has become one of my favourite pieces of clothing. Navy silk chiffon, impeccable construction, beautifully floaty, and made to accommodate my bust size (imagine that). I received it last Thursday, along with a sweet packet of badges, and I've already worn it twice.


yard sale trunk show

In a few weeks I'm going to be participating in this amazing trunk show at The Workroom. Look at those sellers! Look at what Celine is doing! It's going to be such a good one. More details here.

This time I will only have rummage available, because I am busy working on a special project that I am excited to share when it's ready. I am so tired, you guys.

The other night while falling asleep I had the idea (because the best ideas come near sleep, of course) that this time, I am not going to price anything. Make me an offer! Let's bargain, friends. Also, I'm going to put my cat love where my mouth is and donate 100% of the profits to Toronto Cat Rescue. So don't lowball too much, unless you hate cats.

I will be selling the usual: vintage clothes, maybe fabric, sewing supplies, books, knick-knacks. Come say hello!