magic rookie ponycats

A few weeks ago I got this hilarious disposable camera that superimposes cat motifs over the pictures. It turns out that it is a pretty terrible camera! The viewfinder is tiny, so you never know what you’re taking a photo of, the frames are all off, only three motifs showed up although the box had six on it, and the pictures themselves are grainy and dark and awful. You could totally layer on your own cat motifs in editing if you wanted to, but that’s not as much fun. Even though the camera sucks I did love that I had no idea what to expect when the film was developed. Also: cats!

I took it to the Rookie party at Magic Pony on Saturday, thinking it was appropriate, and it was. I think “cat” was the most popular costume (other notables: Suzy & Sam from Moonrise Kingdom, Frida Kahlo). Also the collage quality of the pictures is pretty Rookie-esque (okay, maybe that’s a stretch).

It was such a fun party! So many amazing, life-affirming happy vibes, and so many excellent costumes.

Bunny & fern.

Teen dance party!

Candy/tarot/cake spread (Diana from Magic Pony made the cake and it was incredible! It was multi-coloured on the inside, covered in flowers, and it took her a week to make).

Tavi! With Julia from Drawn & Quarterly.

Oh and this is what happens when you use the camera vertically.

Tavi and Petra Collins (dressed as the twins from The Shining) cutting the cake. Just like a wedding.

Me and Kristin (meow!). I have bangs again, sigh.


glitter for frankie

Cool news (for me): I’m now a DIY project contributor on the Frankie magazine blog! It is such an awesome opportunity, and I am going to do my best. Frankie is one of my favourite magazines, as I have mentioned on here so many times (I also love the more masculine Smith Journal published by Frankie Press). They printed a few of my photos in issues 49 and 50, too, which I am over the moon about. I am so flattered that they thought of me.

To start, here is a post about glittered feathers. I know this is so simple and there are probably a hundred glitter feather DIYs out there, but mine are sooooo pretty, if I do say so myself. I hope you enjoy and if you end up making something with your glittered feathers, I’d love to see.


wedding details, pt. 2: the dress

I wanted to write about my wedding dress because it was really such a special thing. After we set a date last fall, I knew that I would want to have a dress made for me. I was way too terrified to visit a bridal gown shop (I probably should have at least made a stop at White; a friend just bought her dress there, by Sarah Seven, and it is beautiful). I knew it would be hard to find the right vintage dress, there are no heirloom dresses in our families (my mother rented hers, Geoff’s mother wore a blouse and skirt, & I have no idea what our grandmothers wore), and for a while I contemplated making one myself as Melinda did.

A few years ago I took a patternmaking class with Kristiann at The Workroom. She had studied fashion, worked as a stylist, and obviously knows her way around a pattern seeing as she has her own pattern company. We had a few encounters in the years following the class, and she was always the loveliest. I wrote to ask if she would be willing to make me a wedding dress, and even though it’s not something she does, she agreed to do it. I was thrilled. I loved the idea of someone who is so positive and who has such a good heart making my wedding dress, as though she could literally sew love right into it.

We met for coffee, and I gave her a printout with some dresses that had elements that I liked, plus some ideas for details (I later joked to my bridesmaid Erin that the dress was the dress that Pinterest built because we cobbled it together from things like this and this and she laughed at me so hard. I laughed too). I wanted something flowing, made of silk chiffon. I didn’t want lace, because as much as I love lace, good lace is hard to find. I wanted pretty petal or tulip sleeves, mostly because I wanted to rebel against the notion that a wedding dress has to be sleeveless (what is UP with that? It’s a sea of sleeveless/strapless out there). I wanted a cape back like the dress in the Chloé ad.

A little while later Kristiann sent me some sketches, and they made me wish that she could make five dresses for me. Most of them had a vintage feel without being costume-like. She also told me that some of my ideas just weren’t going to work, because she has an innate knowledge of fabric. For example, the cape back wouldn’t really be possible if I wanted sleeves. I chose one of the designs, and after she draped me, I ordered 20 yards (!) of silk chiffon.

I also developed a Jenny Packham/sequin/bead obsession at some point and spent ages hunting for appliqués. I found these and asked Kristiann to try stitching them in, just to see. They ended up being one of my favourite parts.

I love my dress. It was light as air. All the gathered fabric at the waist didn’t exactly make for a flattering silhouette (in the sense that when people say  “flattering” they usually mean  “makes you look skinny,” another idea I would like to rebel against) but I felt amazing in it. Kristiann stitched in some metallic silver thread at the back shoulders that tied in a bow to hold the heavy appliqués in place, but it was hidden by my hair like a sweet secret. She also stitched beads along the sleeves to add weight so they wouldn’t flutter too much. The removable train got completely destroyed (it had burrs in it? Burrs!), and even though it’s been cleaned, there are a few faint red wine stains at the hem. It was still summer on our wedding day, and I was comfortable. I wore a long-sleeved blush-coloured beaded jacket at the end of the night, one that I bought on clearance at Club Monaco at Christmas and set aside.

I got called “Primavera” (in reference to the Botticelli painting) that day, which is probably the best compliment I have ever received in my life. Obviously my Lou Lou Loves You crown was part of that.

Kristiann wrote about making the dress here (I had no idea she had been so nervous). Thank you so much, Kristiann!

Speaking of beautiful things custom-made for me, yesterday I received this amazing necklace in the mail from Sarah of Cursive Design. She made me a special Sunset necklace using a detail from the image on our wedding invitations and sent it as a gift. I could cry, I love it so much. Thank you, Sarah!


rookie masquerade

Cool news! Tavi is coming to Toronto for a Rookie Yearbook One launch and costume party at Magic Pony on October 27. Facebook event information here (important details copied below as well).

I got a copy of the book from Drawn & Quarterly (thank you!) and I just love it! I remember talking to Sonja as she was getting ready to prepare the artwork for it, and it is so amazing to see it in print. What a beautiful book. It has so many cats in it.

Teens and young people! I am almost jealous of you! What an amazing resource at your disposal. Its huge!

Sonja’s piece about Heart is so good. It’s online but it really shines in print.

Tavi Gevinson is coming to Magic Pony for the launch of ROOKIE Yearbook One and we are having a costume party to celebrate! There will be a book signing, art show, photo booth and a Halloween dance party. 

Toronto based ROOKIE photographer Petra Collins will be curating and creating an art exhibit with work by ROOKIE contributors: Minna Gilligan, Beth Hoeckel, Sonja Ahlers, Petra Collins 

Music by PRINCE INNOCENCE (Talvi + Josh) and guest ROOKIE DJs 

Date: Oct 27, 2012 
Book Signing 7pm 
Halloween Dance Party 8-10pm 
680 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON  

Admission: $5 with costume 
$20 without costume (ticket price can be redeemed against the purchase of a Rookie Yearbook)


wedding photos!

Just a note to say that our photographer (& lovely friend!) Celine has posted photos from our wedding on her blog! Hooray. Thank you, Celine. You are such a talent.

Oh hey guys, brb just going to Diablos for some coffee (just a lil’ U of T inside joke there). 

We had the wedding at the University of Toronto because Geoff & I both have two degrees each from there, I work there, and it has been a huge part of our lives for so many years. Besides, it is a beautiful place.

Cat locket! Coriander Girl flowers, including a type of dahlia called café au lait that Alison said is me in flower form! A beautiful glitter banner that Caitlin sent as a gift, because she is the sweetest friend! Our beautiful cake made by Nikole (so delicious, with peach on the inside)!

I’m just going to get real / get real vulnerable here for a second. I don’t want to spoil these lovely photos with dark thoughts, but I feel compelled to mention that while I was determined to be so chill & relaxed, during the planning, I was freaking out on the inside, and compulsively making tulle puffs. I felt badly about the restaurant where we had the reception. It isn’t beautiful, it isn’t a photogenic barn or grand ballroom (or whatever), it isn’t a historical room with beautiful details (I longed for a wedding at Hart House’s Great Hall every time I wasn’t daydreaming about having a teeny-tiny wedding). The ability to have a dinner and an open bar for a reasonable cost on the date we wanted and in a location close to where a lot of our friends live won. I didn’t want to incur extra expenses by renting additional items, though; I couldn’t care about chairs, or place settings, or fancy candelabras ($200 at Ikea buys boxes full of simple glass candle holders and candles, and all the ones I bought ended up lost anyhow). We had hilariously old-school chair coverings provided by the restaurant (what’s up, organza ribbon bows!) and I wasn’t allowed to put anything on the walls.  I didn’t have a stylist, a wedding planner, a photo booth, or a limitless flower budget, no matter how much I wished for a room dripping with flowers. We don’t even have a honeymoon planned. We tried to keep it as simple as possible considering the size and I tried not to compare our wedding to Pinterest-ready ones (or at least ones that appear to be Pinterest-ready! Illusions! Some of them are literally photoshoots with models, after all). There were parts of planning that I definitely loved, but I hated what other parts did to me. I hated that I wasted hours of my life worrying about unimportant things. So much emphasis on the wedding, and on appearances, not emphasis enough on the marriage, on why we were doing this in the first place.

I tried not to talk about wedding planning too much, because if anyone (very sweetly) said she was looking forward to seeing the pictures, I felt anxious. I worried that the things in the pictures wouldn’t be pretty enough for public viewing: the details, the venue, and, saddest of all, that I wouldn’t be pretty enough. I would look at wedding blogs and magazines and feel an actual physical pain in my chest. By the Thursday before the wedding, I was sobbing and refusing to let my friends come over to talk about last-minute details. But they did come over, and they brought sparkling wine, and they reminded me about what mattered. There are a thousand ways to have a wedding, and all of them are wonderful in their way. And ultimately, the joy in the photos was totally real, our guests’ happiness left me floating for days.


wedding style diary on flare

Back in the summer, I got a request from Flare magazine asking if I could submit a brief wedding preparation diary for the bridal section of their website. Celine very kindly took some (beautiful!) photos on an incredibly humid day in August, and the feature was posted on the site last week. They said some really sweet things, so thank you, Flare!

View it here.

In the middle picture here I’m wearing the Tightrope Blouse and the Briar Rose Halo by Alexandra Grecco, which have become some of my most precious clothing/accessories possessions. Ha ha at Geoff’s concentration face (sorry, Geoff).

(In the top photo you can see that I experimented with glitter-tipped nails but decided I didn’t like it. I am just not one for even the tiniest bit of nail art, I guess.)


allan gardens

Until recently, I hadn’t been to Allan Gardens, a Victorian-era conservatory at Jarvis & Carlton, since I was a kid. Recently Geoff shared these photos by Laura Lynn Petrick with me (the series entitled “Secret Garden”), and since we thought they were pretty cool, we decided to visit on a gloomy Saturday afternoon. 

Even though it was a weekend, it was quiet and peaceful inside, with only a handful of visitors. It will be nice to go back in spring once they’ve cleared out all the mums (I already have mums-fatigue and it’s only October).

It’s always the best finding spots like this to enjoy for an hour or two without having to spend any money.


Biggest staghorn fern I ever did see (four feet?)


wedding details, pt. 1

Yesterday marked one month that Geoff & I have been married. So far so good! Really, not a whole lot has changed except that my downstairs neighbour calls me “Sadie.” But it has definitely been lovely, although the word “husband” still feels a little unfamiliar.

I hope to share a few details over the next little while, as the professional photos aren’t yet ready (and I do intend to post a few of those). I spent so much time working on the details, making things and setting things aside, and consider many of them to be part of the general creative output I post here. I promise there won’t be too many parts; even I would roll my eyes at myself otherwise.

This isn’t something that I made, but a friend did. We had invited Bre to the wedding, but she couldn’t make it. She sent me three of her beautiful rose gold sequin clutches as a gift: one for me, one for my bridesmaid, Erin, and one for my maid of honour, Annie. They fit in perfectly with my (non-existent) wedding theme (“things that I think are pretty / things that are shades of gold, silver, dark blue, pink, white, or grey / love”—?). They will be forever treasured. Thank you, Bre.

We didn’t pose (ha, POSE) with them, but our friend Thomas took some photos with our Olympus camera so the clutches did make it into a few “behind the scenes” pictures. (The dresses are from Dace. I wish I had ordered one for myself, because that blue silk is so pretty. Even my mother wanted one.)

Poor Trevor ended up being our valet as we took photos. I’m sure that at some point he had all three in his arms.

Just a tidbit: You might notice another bridal party in the background: there were about twenty of them with their photographers and videographers, and they kept shouting at each other and cursing loudly and giving us cut eye. One of their most astonishing photograph setups included the groomsmen all lined up in a row, pretending to hump the bridesmaid bouquets. So much entertainment.