flowers & cats, cats & flowers

Just a few things I've been enjoying lately.

Oh and hey, I've mentioned a "spring line" on here a few times -- looks like that's just not going to happen, unless I magically acquire some of those shoemaker's elves who are happy to spend their nights stitching a hand-rolled hem as I sleep. It's cool, I'm sure you're all okay with this news. Spring even tried to wait for me to catch up. How nice of you, spring. I'm not fully comfortable talking about a "spring line" anyway (who do I think I am?), so maybe it's for the best.

Beautiful Siri modelling for Bows & Bandits. Photo by Katharina Reckendorfer.

I love Joanna's outfit.

Martin is full of great ideas. In this post, he provides a PDF of the "Meow is the time" artwork and encourages you to print it on violet paper, hang it, and send him a picture. So awesome.

Claire's interview with Hannah about Bobo and Pippin made me so proud to be a cat lady. The "Bloggers + Cats" series is pretty sensational as a whole.

Photo by Rogier Houwen.

Photo by emilyharriet.

I should figure out how to make these braids.

Perfect blouse by Alexandra Grecco.

At this time next week I should be (barring any unexpected circumstances -- you never know) meeting Kate at Heathrow for the opening of Other People's Houses. Crazy! It's going to be great, right? No need to panic? Yeah! Awesome! London is cool. These two pictures are a few more of my outtakes (Pony is so much easier to photograph than Oreo, so if you're wondering why I rarely post photos of Oreo: it's not because I don't love her, but because I'm lazy). Vic's been posting interviews with the participants of OPH this week, and they're a good read.

Oh and that cat-art is by Sonja Ahlers. It's made a few appearances here already -- pretty sure it's my apartment's spirit animal.

Speaking of sweet Vic, her photos are always so wonderful.

Under from WATERCOLOURS Music on Vimeo.

No doubt you've seen this video posted elsewhere, but I do believe that it is one of the prettiest music videos I have ever seen.


into the fields

A little while ago I convinced our friends at Robber that we should put together a spring window display. I had maypoles on the brain at the time and considered building one. In the end we made posters and strung up ribbons. We hung everything last night (our friend Kan happened to walk by, and ended up helping -- thanks, Kan!). As a small independent shop, of course Robber doesn't have an art department or a window display department, and we'd never done a "concept" window before. We freestyled a bit, but I'm pleased with how it turned out!

If you're in Toronto, be sure to peek in the shop.

Fresh flowers would have been lovely but obviously not ideal or long-lasting. I spraypainted some fake flowers white -- it didn't turn out quite as I had hoped, but I like the muted, ghosty effect.

The image on the posters is taken from a picture of a magnolia tree behind the abandoned apartment building in our neighbourhood. Geoff and I both worked on the design.

"Into the Fields" doesn't mean anything, really, but I wanted something other than a generic springtime message such as "Spring has sprung." Erin came up with it, and I loved it immediately because it sounds as though it could be the name of a movie (and, of course, I love the word "field" and the images it evokes). Maybe one day we'll make that movie, and it will have Shabd x Baggu backpacks, Filippa K sandals, and Mini for Many sunglasses in it.

Thanks, Erin and Robin!


baby's breath

Oh young girl at the wedding
Baby's breath in her hair
A crowning lace above her face
That will last a day
Before it turns to hay

I haven't been able to get "Baby's Breath" from the new Bill Callahan album out of my head for the past few days. I've been thinking about baby's breath since. It reminds me of weddings that I attended throughout the 1980s -- it was such a constant in bouquets, worn in hair, decorating tables and pews. It feels a bit dated and reminds me of being a little kid who yearned to be a flower girl with flowers in her hair. I suspect it's fallen into disfavour by now. I think it's beautiful, delicate and pretty, with a slightly wild quality. I bought a little bundle of it from a bucket of greenery meant to be used as accents in floral arrangements (I don't know much about arranging flowers, of course). I passed over roses and ranunculus and tulips, thinking that I could make it into a crown to wear while going about my chores.

Funny how a $2 bunch of the most unassuming little flowers can make me feel happy.


the lover

This is the first time I've taken screenshots from a movie, but I felt compelled to do it because it's such a visually beautiful one. The Lover came out in 1992, when I was 13, and I vaguely recall that there was a bit of a fuss around it because it was pretty sexy for a movie starring an 18 year old (the exquisite Jane March, who was apparently dogged by rumours about the erotic scenes in the movie). I read the book by Marguerite Duras a few years later, assuming that since it was a French autobiographical novel written by a woman and set in Vietnam, it would be the kind of thing for which I am a complete sucker. I read it on a train ride and I mostly remember feeling bored and and apathetic towards it (I will probably revisit it soon since it's always fascinating to me to see if and how my taste can change).

I recently realized that The Lover is on Netflix, so I watched it again. It was probably because I was a bit creeped out by the age of the female protagonist (17 in the movie, 15 in the book) and her relationship with a 32 year old man that I couldn't get too emotionally involved in the movie, despite moments of tenderness. The movie does plod on and on into unrequited anti-climax, which is how things tend to go in life, really, but over the years since I watched it the first time, the images have come back to me. The hat, the shoes, her braids, the silk slip dress. I wouldn't be surprised in the least if these two mentioned it as an influence.

(These screenshots are of poor quality but my local video store closed and the library where I work only has VHS copies. Streaming video it is!)



Here are a few of the black and white shots that I didn't submit for Other People's Houses. These were taken with Fuji Neopan 400 film in my Canon A-1, and during the winter when lighting was a challenge. Also a challenge: trying to create a sense of intimacy using material I have shared so many times before.

I sometimes joke to Geoff that my pictures are basically student work, especially when using black and white film, because I didn't take photography or art in high school or college. I have some catching up to do.


sleep solves everything

I am not enjoying the absence of real spring so far (last year at this time we had blossoms, which haven't yet arrived), but I have been enjoying these things lately.

Geoff and I like to collect independent publications, particularly when they are well-made and filled with beautiful photography and illustration. I recently ordered a copy of  Sova Magazine, since it fits these criteria. Beautiful sleep-themed photography with excellent design -- it's perfect. I love sleep.

After Anja wrote a post about handmade leather camera goods from JnK, I became obsessed with finding a leather camera strap for my Canon A-1. There are some really nice leather camera straps on Etsy, but since I was using a perfectly fine strap that I had made, I couldn't quite justify it. I was happy when I recently found this pretty one, by Wander. It was pretty affordable, and came with a discount for being her first sale. Leather camera strap satisfaction!

A collection of things that I'm really into: peachy pink polka dots blouse with a cute collar (thrifted, of course); a beautiful Polaroid and some makeup from the most wonderful care package; a fantasy novel.

The package was sent by a longtime friend from Seattle, Stephanie, who included a Chanel lipstick (my first: Rouge Coco Shine in "Boy"), earrings, samples of flower-based creams, and this NARS illuminator in "Orgasm" -- all for no reason, other than she's the sweetest (she sent me a painting that I wrote about here a few years ago, but as diving into the archives makes me cringe, I'll leave it for now). More than ten years ago a childhood friend of mine convinced me to start a Livejournal, and while I often find myself wishing that I had not embarrassed myself on the internet throughout my twenties (those were some deeply confessional times!), Livejournal was pretty good to me & I met some pretty amazing people through it, including Stephanie. It really was just like an extension of the zines & mix tapes & letters I used to get from penpals in high school.

And Game of Thrones. This book will forever remind me of the summer I spent listening to Mary Timony's Mountains in my car in an endless loop, reading this book in the sand at the lake (I may be conflating a few memories here, and a few different George R. R. Martin books, but if that's how I remember my youth, that's fine with me). I adore this series of fantasy novels unapologetically and I am looking forward to watching the miniseries as soon as I can.

These are the printed copies of my Other People's Houses photos. I used a mix of colour and black and white film and wound up with a fair amount of outtakes. It's difficult to be objective of my own pictures, especially when they are of my apartment (forever and ever amen), but I hope that when you see them, you'll like them.

If child me could see me now, she'd be pretty happy to see these stickers, although she'd probably think the word on them is kind of weird.