A few months ago I came across a post on Onward, Lulu that featured a DIY for a Dolce & Gabbana-inspired fruit charm bracelet and thought it was just the cutest thing ever. I decided to try it for myself using some dessert-shaped erasers that I bought at the dollar store, which are possibly knock-offs of a more well-known (?) brand of Japanese erasers. I am just that committed to cake and other sweet treats.

It took me a while to get around to it, but I finally made my own desserts charm bracelet this weekend. It's hilarious and silly and I love it. With the proper tools it was quite easy to make; the instructions on Onward, Lulu are thorough, but I still have a hard time wrapping headpins neatly & messed up my fingernails in the process. Good thing I haven’t bothered to put on nail polish for, oh, a month or more.

I also decided to make a quick & easy new camera strap. I have a few camera straps at this point but this camera has become such an important part of my life/prized possession that I feel compelled to accessorize it. I found this chain belt with tassels at Zara & decided instantly that it would make a great camera strap (and also a great belt). Obviously had these straps on the brain! I took off the lobster clasp it came with—although I kept it, because it would be easy enough to make into a belt again—and added new, smaller lobster clasps. I found these clasps at Michael’s, but the selection was so limited that I got silver ones and spray painted them a flat black (I already had the gold-tone jump rings). Ta-da.


not forkchops

In December Geoff & I were contacted by a local design company, imm living, about collaborating on a limited edition tote to give away as part of an event for the Toronto Design Offsite Festival. We, of course, jumped at the chance. The event is called Not Forkchops; for Not Forkchops, a few local designers created a prototype of a product, and attendees have the opportunity to vote on which item is put into production.

Since the idea behind the event was cultural integration, and since many of the designers created products that alluded to their ethnic backgrounds, we made a tote that featured lyrics from the song “A Minha Menina” by the Brazilian band Os Mutantes (“the silver moon hid itself and the golden sun appeared”), since Portuguese was actually the first language that I learned to speak. We won't be selling this tote but if you visit The Department between now and Sunday there might be some left.

We attended the media opening on Wednesday night and hung out with some balloon dogs. Thanks, imm!


repository pt. 1

I’ve decided to start having a regular “repository” of things I come across, because people keep making and doing beautiful and amazing things and I feel compelled to share. I know that plenty of other blogs do this already, and I've certainly done it before (again, not in a regular sort of way) but I hope I can put my own personal stamp on it, somehow.

With apologizes and reverence to Kate Miss, Diana Moss, etc.!

I love the SS 2012 lookbook for Montreal label Ursa Minor. The photography (by Francesca Tallone) is precisely the kind that makes me think “I wish I had taken that photograph.” Pitch-perfect tones. More information can be found on Elizabeth’s blog.

1. Photography by Valerie Chiang.
2. I came across a detail of this painting on Pinterest and can’t seem to find the name of it or the name of the gallery that owns it (or if it’s in a private collection, etc.). It sure is beautiful, though. It’s by Adolphe √Čtienne Piot (1850–1910) and the lady in it reminds me of Michelle Williams.
3. An English rose via Wildfox.
4. A beautiful hanging by FleurLux, found via Ashley Helvey.
5. Elizabeth (above) recently posted about her friend Dara’s jewelry, and I immediately snapped up one of the necklaces. It might end up in my box of things I’m saving for the wedding (I seem to be superstitious about these things and don’t want to use them in advance!).
6. I had to share this: Karl Lagerfeld’s new kitten Choupette, three rosebuds tall, via V Magazine.
(Background image of a detail at Céline spring 2012)

A few other things:
-This blog was selected as an “up and coming” blog at Alt Summit, so if you’ve been reading for a while, give yourself a pat on the back!
-An interview with me for Ace Camps is here.
-I contributed to a lil’ post about winter on Francesca’s new Lawrence journal with some of my favourite ladies.


closet & casa

Just a quick note to say that I'm on Oh Joy! today as part of the closet & casa feature. I'm excited! Thanks, Bri & Joy.

And yes, that's the pendant from this post (I ended up ordering it as a late Christmas present for myself) as well as a favourite blouse from Gillian Tennant.


faded forests

Our sweet friends Hollie and Jane (of White Elephant) recently created a lookbook for their vintage shop, Ainslie Wood Co., and the results are just so stunning that I wanted to share them here. The photos were taken by Jesse Senko on his family farm.

I particularly love that the inspiration for the title comes from a letter of Emily Dickinson to her brother Austin, from a passage that feels appropriate to read in winter: "there is another sky, ever serene and fair, and there is another sunshine, though it be darkness there; never mind faded forests, Austin, never mind silent fields — here is a little forest, whose leaf is ever green; here is a brighter garden, where not a frost has been."

Full lookbook here, Etsy shop here.

A note on replies: I will no longer be using my former comment-reply system as the blogging platform I use now allows threaded comments. As you can see from my last post, I will now be replying to comments directly. I know that often the only reply I have is "Thank you!" (which I hope never seems trite!) but replying to comments is something I enjoy, and is the best way I know how to thank you for your visit & your comment, should you leave one.


in my bag

I haven't done a post like this since LiveJournal (RIP), but I always enjoy seeing posts like this, personally (voyeur alert). This doesn't include everything; keys, gum, scribbled lists on crumpled papers, etc., it's all in there too. I tend to carry way too much stuff in my bag, and maybe after seeing this post you'll tell me, "AB, just get an e-book reader already." I know that I am well on my way to a shoulder injury.

In the summer I usually use a tote bag (tote bag shout-out!), but at the moment I'm using this leather tote that I got from ASOS. It's the prettiest blush colour, it's huge, and having the ability to carry it in different ways is helpful.

Clockwise from top left:
1. My own Wild Heart tote from Summerland, in case I stop to pick up a few groceries on the way home.
2. Urbanears headphones that I got new on eBay but often feel a bit weird/dorky wearing. They sound pretty good, though, at least to my non-audiophile ears.
3. Angora blend mittens from Joe Fresh in tan to camouflage the inevitable coffee spill. This post is a bit Joe Fresh-heavy but ever since the store opened on Queen, I've been stopping in a lot. Cheap (guilt-inducing) thrills.
4. Gold tone Casio watch that I would wear to hot yoga class so I could tell how much torture (just kidding but not really) was left, and even though I haven't been to yoga in a month I have yet to remove it from my bag. I am not much of a watch-wearer.
5. Phone, a.k.a. baby computer life organizer (I switched back to this mint case because the white cat case was getting a bit dirty).

6. O-Check notebook (I got this one on clearance at, oddly enough, Club Monaco).
7. What's up, peony obsession? This is a stack of photo prints from my Canon A-1 that I just had developed -- I got a lot of mileage out of those peonies.
8. Leather Erin Templeton card holder plus the most recent business card I had printed.

"Another day cloudy memory: at this moment I am drawing to remember or to erase."

9. Oh look, it's another one of our silk scarves. One of my favourite parts of making our own products is stealing stock for myself -- I am so greedy.
10. Karen Walker sunglasses, also from Summerland, although I will forever be kicking myself that I didn't get the tortoise frames.
11. Round leather pouch from Jessica Jensen. Every December Jessica Jensen, a local designer, has a holiday shop where I pick up small leather goods as gifts, but I kept this one for myself. It's perfect for subway tokens, since those always get confused for dimes when I store them with my change. Plus look at the thing. It's adorable.
12. I got something from Hetterson, finally. For now I'm using this "satchlet" for keeping Instax Mini pictures.
13. Olympus Stylus Epic camera currently loaded with Fuji Neopan film.
14. Wallet from Status Anxiety. I was excited when Status Anxiety offered to send me a wallet because a. the wallets are lovely, b. that name so great, and c. I love getting mail from Australia. This is the Audrey, and I know that Audrey & I will have a nice, long life together (Liss has one in pretty rose -- her post inspired this one, actually). I love it, love it.

15. Malin + Goetz eucalyptus deodorant. I've recently switched to deodorant rather than anti-perspirant, and I carry an extra with me just in case. I got this one after reading about it on East Side Bride. It works well, but it turned my skin a bit red, sadly. I keep it as a backup now. It's not exactly travel size but whatever.
16. Violet/Leather from my beloved OLO.
17. Hair things. These are all over the bottom of my bag (see below).
18. Emery board from Joe Fresh.
19. Cream lipstick in Tulip from Joe Fresh.
20. I bought myself a Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet (this one is "La fascinante") after watching this Lisa Eldridge video a few times and being hypnotized by it. It's a beautiful lipstick, it's true.
21. Aveda Hand Relief. It's winter, y'all. This is my favourite hand cream and I am in denial about the fact that this tube is nearly empty.
22. Face blotters from Muji. I always forget I have these.

The gold bobby pins are from COS, and the other two are from France Lux. These tiny things are very precious and I'm so afraid of losing them (I've already lost the other white -- or rather "mousseline" -- bobby pin & two others).

Top to bottom:
23. Jetoy cat diary + pen from Muji.
24. TIFF Lightbox program. I always vow to go there to see more movies, and it just... never happens.
25. A Practical Wedding by Meg Keene. I am trying to be the Chillest Bride Ever but I am prone to occasional irrational flare-ups of envy/frustration/stomach-curdling anxiety, so I got this hoping that it will help calm me down/remember to be reasonable and not crazy (about wedding things, anyhow).
26. IQ84 by Haruki Murakami (I've removed the dustjacket). A pity party: my schedule doesn't allow for much in the way of reading time, so I have to sneak in bits of it when I can. My subway ride to work is barely 20 minutes long which means I have been reading this excellent book maybe three pages per trip. I hope it finish it sometime this year. I usually end up carrying this one in my arms & not in my bag.
27. The latest issue of Worn Fashion Journal. This one is the best issue yet, plus they had a cat-themed release party for it. Amazing.


winter scenes

These pictures aren't anything too special, but I have been enjoying the little Olympus camera that Geoff bought recently. Film forever.

Brunch at L'Ouvrier; peonies; mountain sign; velvet maxi skirt, hair, and clog boots, or what you do when you get to the end of the roll and want to finish it faster; an attempt at capturing a beautifully-coloured sky; our scarves arrived and will debut soon (I first mentioned them here), but for now, a little peek.