julie morstad's the wayside launch

On Friday TYPE books on Queen Street will be hosting a launch for illustrator Julie Morstad’s latest book, The Wayside, published by Drawn & Quarterly, and I’ll be holding a Q&A with her during the event. This is definitely something a little out of my comfort zone, but I do love a good chat! 

You may know Julie’s work from her books, the children’s books she’s illustrated, the cover of the Neko Case album Fox Confessor Brings the Flood which she illustrated (she also provided illustrations for the video for “People Got A Lotta Nerve”), various print publications including The Walrus and The Globe & Mail, etc. She’s even designed wallpaper. Her work is seriously amazing.

Julie Morstad in conversation with Anabela Piersol + book launch for her D&Q title The Wayside
Friday, 23 November 2012
6PM, with Q&A at 7PM
TYPE Books, 883 Queen Street West, Toronto

The photo of curios above is from Foxtail and Fern, and when I saw it, it immediately reminded me of the book.


winter goals

Of all the seasonal transitions, I handle the fall/winter transition with the least grace. After our first truly cold day in late September, I started mourning the end of the best parts of the year and dreading the approaching winter by complaining about it constantly, abandoning my gym routine completely, and eating a lot of snacks. No pumpkin spice latte could console me* as I whimpered about heating bills and dug out my (admittedly super cute) hot water bottles.

I’ve been trying to think of ways to embrace the cold and the early dark, especially since this winter might be a particularly long one. So I made a list of winter goals. Most of these goals are mini projects or activities, and none of them involve eating family-sized bags of ranch popcorn and plowing through all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls in record time (because I have already done that). I have boots, all the pretty & warm knitted things one person could ever want, a couple of tins of dark hot chocolate, and a few wool blankets, so I have warmth & coziness covered.

The word “goal” is a little lofty, but so far, my list includes:
  • sewing a party-ready lace dress (I got this pattern from Burda Style—they call it a wedding dress but it’s just a cute shift, I think—I’m going to use the pink lace pictured below)
  • making a few items out of faux fur, such as pillowcases (already done, actually) and maybe a clutch 
  • making a velvet (!) cape or jacket with a big bow at the neck, a design that came to me in a Lula-inspired daydream
  • trying to take more film photos because the light outdoors is actually pretty great sometimes in winter (this will be a huge challenge)
Then there are a few smaller goals, such as going out for coffee with Geoff in the morning before work at least once a week, the tried-and-true act of burrowing under the covers listening to Slowdive on headphones, visiting Coriander Girl for flowers, listening to Boney M’s Christmas album until I get sick of it, putting sequins on everything, lighting candles and twinkle lights every night, and trying to see friends regularly because (sad but true) sometimes in winter I need to put that kind of thing on a list to follow through with it.

One final goal that I’m really excited about is ice skating. I used to love ice skating, despite being kind of lousy at it (I taught myself to skate as a kid by clinging to the sides of the Wallace Emerson rink). A few years ago I slipped on ice and broke my ankle & I’ve been a little afraid to step onto ice deliberately since. But I want to try it again, because there is a small rink literally behind our house, and every winter I can look out of our back windows and see people skating. It always looks so serene and romantic. I found a pair of ice skates in a thrift shop on the weekend, and I am counting down the days until the rinks across the city open again.

If any of you in northern climes have any winter secrets, please share! Desperate times.

*because I hate pumpkin spice lattes.


dreamcats 2013

Our third annual dreamcats calendar is here! We decided to stick to last year’s theme of shapes & fluffy white cats, only shaken up, with accents in shimmery gold.

We’ve also decided that this year we will donate $2 from each calendar sold to the World Society for the Protection of Animals (in one lump sum once we have stopped selling them early next year). We love cats, but we also love sea turtles, dogs, bears, and all manner of fauna. 

Available here and here. We hope you like it!


tomboy style

I was thrilled when Daniel Wellington offered to send me a watch because I love integrating classic, somewhat masculine pieces into my wardrobe. I went with the Southampton, partially because dark blue & pink were our wedding colours and that particular scheme was on my mind, partially because I really enjoy the flexibility of the NATO strap (fun fact: when we visited O’Connell’s in Buffalo, I said,  “Look at these cool dog collars!” My friend Joe had to tell me that what I was looking at were actually watch straps. Whoops). 

Geoff took these square format photos with his Mamiya C220 camera, a camera I am increasingly less intimated by.

Daniel Wellington has kindly offered a coupon code for you: 15% off on their website with the code GUIDED.


boots & pine

A few months ago I was contacted by photographer Arden Wray about a project she was working on called Boots & Pine. She asked if she could photograph me in my neighbourhood wearing a few different outfits, and after looking at her portfolio and meeting up with her for coffee (and discovering that Katie would be part of it as well), I decided it could be fun to participate. I almost chickened out of it since I am so (annoyingly) neurotic about being photographed, but the spirit of the project is so celebratory that I was honoured to take part. Arden describes Boots & Pine as “my love poem to Toronto and the creative, interesting people who populate its diverse neighbourhoods. As a photographer, this is the way that I can best express my fascination.” There’s an interview with her about it here.

It turns out Arden lived in a house around the corner from where I live last summer and had met Geoff while hanging out in the backyard. Also, I just realized that Mariel shares studio space with Kristiann, my wedding dress designer. Toronto is so tiny and funny that way. (If you read my Q&A, the reference to Binoo is an inside joke: Binoo is an orange tabby kitten who belongs to Arden’s little sister Ginger! Her dad’s yard is attached to ours and Binoo hangs out there sometimes. I’ve posted his picture on Instagram a few times.)

She launched the site today; take a look.