happy 2012

I hope your 2012 is filled with magic & beauty. xoxoxo

Instax Mini shots of peonies; me and Katie outside The Common, where I had a little birthday party this week (we're holding sparklers, but they're not visible, and YES I wear that skirt constantly)

Some good times via Summerland; a fresh bouquet to welcome in the new year from Coriander Girl.


ghost peonies

A few weeks ago I brought home a tiny fortune's worth of peonies in beautiful peachy pinks and creams. I was mostly interested in getting some photos of their texture, with a view to incorporating them into the wedding invitations Geoff & I hope to design eventually. Peonies all the time always, obviously.

I used up nearly a whole roll of film only to realize afterwards that the film I had put in the camera weeks before and forgotten about was Fuji Neopan, black and white, and not colour (I can't tell what type of film is in the camera once it's shut). Ghost peonies.


let it be beautiful

When I was 13 years old I took some Beatles cassettes from my brother's room and made copies of them for myself. I would listen to "Strawberry Fields Forever" on headphones as I was falling asleep, sometimes rewinding to hear that part where you can hear George Martin counting again, and I fell in love/became obsessed with The Beatles. The White Album is still one of my favourite records, "Strawberry Fields Forever" still one of my favourite songs. There's something kind of magical about the music you love when you're a teenager. It never leaves you.

My friends Laura Jane and Liz have started re-writing all of The Beatles songs as short stories or essays, a very ambitious project that will span nine volumes called Let it Be Beautiful — if anyone can do it, they can. They have printed the first six stories as zines as a preview.

I read them in the order of Beatles songs I liked least to the ones I liked best, so: Another Girl, Like Dreamers Do, Penny Lane, Because, A Hard Day's Night, The Inner Light. The stories are about Laura Jane and Liz's lives — sort of, but not really at all — just as they are sort of, but not really at all about the Beatles and their songs.

Laura Jane has "Lennon" and "McCartney" tattooed on each of her arms in cursive script, and they're my favourite tattoos on anyone ever.

When I started reading one I wanted to stay up until I had read them all. When I saw Laura Jane in person afterwards I almost started to cry when I told her how much I loved them. I carried them in my purse for a few weeks afterwards, so I could re-read passages whenever I had the chance.

You can get them & read excerpts here. I really recommend them.

See also The White Album.


all i want for christmas is you

Banner from Nice! Love the inspiration, love the Constable kitty cameo.

I wasn't going to post any sort of gift guide this year, but I want to post these things to get them out of my system. It's basically a visual list of things I would love to own, although I know that if I don't own a single thing, I will be okay. Thank you for indulging me.

Left to right, row 1: Luxe faux fur hot water bottle, Restoration Hardware; go big or go home with a Louis Vuitton gold collar necklace (image via T magazine); fancy candles, perhaps from Diptyque, although this Byredo one sounds lovely (image via Up the Wooden Hills; who knew Ben Gorham went to Ryerson?)

Left to right, row 2: I have a set of Anja's cat coasters on its way to me but the peach and gold ones look amazing; gold Dieppa Restrepo oxfords; lately Bambi Northwood-Blyth has been my #1 brow inspiration, so lush! I've been trying to grow mine out a bit so I think in 2012 I'd love to visit, say, Gee Beauty for their Beauty Brow service to get them reshaped.

Left to right, row 3: silk scarf by Leah Goren; gold metallic shopper from Zara; silk colourblock socks from Hansel from Basel

Left to right, row 4: Ballet Beautiful DVDs. I have tried dozens of workout videos over the years and I am so picky about them. They are sometimes too boring, too annoying (how does the instructor know that I'm doing great? Hush!), too short, or involve too many high-impact moves that I can't perform in my second floor apartment. These look amazing, and based on the preview, they also look really tough. I don't imagine that I'll look remotely like a ballerina but at least I can look at one; shearling trapper hat from J. Crew which is sold out, which is for the best; XO tote from Need Supply

Left to right, row 5: coral/khaki tie from Alder & Co. (I would get this for Geoff but steal it); Moth origami lampshade by nellianna (via Miss Moss' peachy flamingo gift guide); dress from CALLA's spring/summer 2012 line (styling by Leith Clark; photo via CALLA's Facebook page)

Left to right, row 6: I feel like I keep seeing references to Rodin's Olio Lusso, and I'm very interested! It's so fancy; pretty handmade ballet flats by The White Ribbon (I love the styling in these photos); I love the vignettes that accompany the RUSSH astrology 2012 guide by Susan Miller (Virgo's is my favourite) -- it would be cool if all I got for real was the 2012 year she describes for Capricorn, please and thank you!


holiday bulletin

Here is some information for those of you who might be interested in making holiday purchases.

Canada Post shipping dates (plus or minus a few days for packing, and in time for December 25) have been posted in the shop header. I wish the cut-off dates weren't coming up so soon, but we can arrange for faster shipping if necessary. We appreciate your patience with shipping.

That said, here are a few other options.

In person: we are doing one show only this season, and this Saturday. It's called Handmade Holiday, and it is presented by Kid Icarus. This one is always a lovely show, and we'll have special items with us. This will be the only place to get one of the Wild Heart totes we did for Summerland in person (unless you live in Portland, in which case Summerland will be selling them at a market the following weekend). I'm also hoping to have some luxe wool cashmere neckties available. Come say hi!

We will also have some items at this pop-up shop at NACO on Dundas, as well as at our usual stockists.

Online: we are participating in a fantastic holiday shop, hilariously also called Handmade Holiday. If you order items from this shop they will be shipped from the United States, so that will give you a faster shipping option if you live in the US.

Thank you all for your support this past year. It means so much to us. xo

Photo via Anja.


shimmer shimmer like a girl

I recently received some beautiful, luxurious pieces from Lulu Frost (lucky me!) and I'm looking forward to wearing them to holiday parties. Sparkle is just so necessary. I am forever influenced by Bre's disco party.

I have to admit that when I picked out the Teardrop necklace, I actually had the idea of "something blue" on my mind...

The other two pieces here are the Mesh Narrow bracelet (which incorporates a vintage brooch into the piece, and the Cascade earrings. These earrings would look lovely with a sassy high ponytail, I think.

If you've seen me in real life lately I've probably been wearing this faux fur coat -- I really can't get enough of it. I feel a bit like a little kid in it, so the grown-up accessories help.

Thank you, Lulu.

If you're wondering about the title of the post, it's a reference to this, my favourite Veruca Salt song. Also, I took these pictures with a teeny-tiny new film camera that Geoff found for me, an Olympus Stylus Epic. 


dreamcats 2012

There almost wasn't a dreamcats calendar this year, but Geoff really wanted to make one since he really enjoyed making the 2011 version (aw, Pony was so much smaller then!). I know this isn't a very practical calendar since you can't write on it, but it's more like an art print, or like a tea towel calendar.

I love fluffy white kittens but can't have one of my own — two cats is my limit, and there's enough fur on all my clothes already — so at least now I can look at them every day. The images were taken from a vintage cats book that Sonja gave us last year.

Available here or here


onward, lulu

Some beautiful imagery via Onward, Lulu, the blog of jewelry line Lulu Frost. It reminds me of both Wildfox's and Bre's blogs & makes me want to put on a faux fur coat and so many bracelets.


wedding shoes

Geoff & I have been engaged for quite a while: since December 1, 2008. For years I thought that we would just pick a date and go to City Hall and make it official, and talked about doing this, but over the past three years I knew (I knew!) in my heart that that wasn't something we could realistically do. We had to be ready for the alternative, and we are now ready for it. Posting this makes me feel quite nervous, since it's so personal.

We have a date set for next September. We are having a church wedding, which has surprised a few people, but it feels right (I find comfort in tradition, in the repetition of familiar words). We don't have a reception venue, because looking at venues in Toronto gives me a panicked feeling, and fields or farms or even large yards aren't readily available to us. We might have our reception at a restaurant that most of our friends can take a short cab ride to get to (this is actually really important to me). Our every day lives are full of self-expression and creative endeavours. Our wedding will be an extension of that, and not the only example of it in our lives. We don't intend to go all out, and I don't want to spend every moment of the next few months thinking or talking about it. I want it to be a fun party!

I won't turn this into a wedding blog, but I thought that I could occasionally share things like this: these are the shoes that I will most likely wear. They are simple white leather oxfords that I found on clearance. I've worn them around the apartment, and I have strung these pretty laces that Tara sent me through them. They are just so typically me, so chill and comfortable, and therefore perfect (my mother will beg to differ).



I'm on Emma's blog today as part of her "Lovely Lady" (aw, shucks) series. This one includes a giveaway, so be sure to visit if you'd like a chance to enter. And here you can see why I don't do outfit posts: so awkward! (If you read the post you'll see that the scarf is a Fieldguided scarf. Yes. I have been sitting on those samples since early 2011 and just haven't had the funds/confidence to get anywhere with them, even if I really do love them.)

Holiday things are starting to trickle in, but I don't mind since I always love the lead-up to the end of December (I try not to pay too much attention to the gift-buying parts and try to focus on the holiday parties part). I recently contributed to the Little Paper Planes holiday lookbook. My icy picks are here.

I also contributed a post to Honey Kennedy: Milky Pix: Cat Edition.


perfect fall

On Friday Geoff & I grabbed our bikes to soak in cool fall vibes. We bumped into so many pals who were out doing the same.

First things first: Geoff gave the neighbourhood feral cat a lil' snack.

Stopped at Ezra's Pound on Dundas for some coffee and reading. I have been reading The Line of Beauty for what feels like forever (I have cheated on it a few times, with the new Nicholson Baker for example, which is really a book meant for cheating).

Cat ears on errrrrrrrything.

"I'm the luckiest girl on the lower west side..." (um, sorry everyone).

My bike is a heap for real. But I love it anyhow. And yes, I will take any opportunity I can to wear a cape.

We always like to visit Erin when she's working at Robber, where I admired jewelry from Iacoli & McAllister (as well as the Shadow Cloak from Samantha Pleet, which I'll have to daydream about forever).

We gave Erin the new Real Estate record as a belated birthday present and it's really well designed.

Geoff has been looking for a pair of nice brown shoes for ages and finally found a vintage pair at 69 Vintage, deadstock and for a tiny price. He was so proud of this purchase. I think they're lovely.

"Hold my tote bag." We are just such huge fans of tote bags, but that's a cool band too. At this point we had bumped into Katie and Geoff took some photos of us, which I thoughtfully adorned with cat heads.

We ended off the day with the new Lula for me and Vietnamese food. Best.


vu de l'extérieur

A new tote design! This one is currently available at Need Supply Co., which is pretty cool, and is also available in our shops (here and here).

"Vu de l'extérieur" is the name of a Serge Gainsbourg album and song (not one that I'm particularly enamoured with, to be honest!), and because Gainsbourg never wrote a single phrase that ever had a single meaning (that's an exaggeration, but not by much), it can mean either "seen from the exterior" or "exterior view." The background image is a detail from a Victorian era photo of a mountain, from our collection of old photographs.

ETA: I guess my French is much worse than it used to be, because it was pointed out below that it doesn't mean "exterior view" without an 'e' at the end of 'vu.' So. "Seen from the exterior."

We might offer this one as a print as well, because Geoff printed one on paper for a friend and we thought it looked pretty nice (and fit perfectly into an inexpensive Ikea frame).

Oh! If you'd like to have the chance to win one of our totes and a few other sweet treats, visit Molten Store and sign up for their newsletter for a chance to win. Good luck!


almond milk!

The other day I tweeted that almond milk is "the most superior of all milks," and the replies I received ranged from enthusiastic agreement to extreme disagreement.* I really do love almond milk and go through about three cartons of it a week. After the almond milk tweet, one of the So Much to Tell You girls (not sure who it was, but thank you!) sent me a link to a food blog called My New Roots. This is precisely the kind of food blog I love best, since it's so heavy on the vegetables, and it happens to include the prettiest, sweetest food instruction video I think I have ever seen (the "How to Cook Quinoa" video is equally adorable).

My New Roots - How to Make Nut Milk from My New Roots on Vimeo.

So I got a nut milk bag and tried it with almonds. I added a splash of vanilla extract and some agave nectar, and it was so easy, and so delicious. Real talk from the laziest person in the kitchen.

*I usually use the word "superior" with a dash of facetiousness, but I suppose there is no way for people to know that; I always think of the hilarious Hyacinth "It's Bouquet!" Bucket from Keeping Up Appearances when I use the word ("People who try to pretend they're superior make it so much harder for those of us who really are").