If you live in Toronto and ever want to feel as though you’re the only person on Earth, visit the Toronto Islands in a snowstorm.

Geoff & I took the ferry to Ward’s Island on Friday because we had a photo project to work on, and we trudged across to Gibraltar Point and back (a total of about 7 kilometers). We saw a few people out walking their dogs, but once we got past Centre Island, we were—or seemed to be—alone. We walked through Centreville, the amusement park, and the only sound was the groan of ice. The snow was coming down pretty hard on our way back and our fingers were too frozen to take pictures properly. A few pictures ended up having the shadows of my wet mitts in the corners, and a few were blurry.

One of the things I like best about visiting the Islands is the colour, which surprises me every time since we are so cut off from the water, despite being on the water. Suddenly everything is shades of mint and ice and aqua, and this is intensified in winter. It was surreal and beautiful, and walking on the beach over sand and snow in heavy boots is such a strange experience. Ordinarily I would have been miserable feeling so cold and so damp, but I was enjoying our mini adventure too much; I knew that soon enough we would be in a heated cabin on the ferry, gliding along the frozen lake. The skyline was obscured and I felt a million miles away from everything—at least until we got back to Union Station at rush hour. Afterwards we ate Korean food off sizzling plates to thaw out, and talked about how glad we were that on that day, we went headlong into winter instead of hiding from it.

The photo above was taken a few feet away from where this photo was taken.


winter scenes 2

A few recent photos taken with the Canon A-1. Winter is starting to feel endless even though we’re barely a month in; Sibylle Baier makes an ideal soundtrack. I try hard not to give into the dreariness of it all. 

I posted other “Winter Scenes” last year, taken with a different camera. 

The window of Art Metropole on January 1; icicles at the back of the house we live in; a hotel in Burlington; Gather Journal; Tew’s Falls; the peony I planted last spring; flowers from Sweet Woodruff; a December birthday.


print & pattern

I’ve gotten to that irrational and irritable stage of winter in which I fly into a rage (exaggeration alert) when I come across stark, monochromatic photographs. I’ve been craving bold colours and prints in a way that is completely atypical for me: going down early 1990s United Colors of Benetton rabbit holes, for example. Of course, I still prefer my muted tones above all else, but I still haven’t let go of NARS Schiap or bright pink blush. Pale pink lipstick makes me so sad right now.

I received a copy of Beci Orpin’s Find & Keep as a gift recently, and it has been so inspirational to me. It’s a beautifully styled project book, and the photos are brimming with life and excitement! Just the perfect thing to soak in on grey days. (You may remember that Melinda had one of Beci’s pillows on her bed when I went over to take photos.)

I treated myself to a hat from ALL Knitwear for the holidays. I think I managed to pick out the most conservative one, but hey, baby steps towards a moderately patterned life.

Aside: my January post for Frankie went up last week. Check it out! Scalloped faux leather envelope clutches to shove your papers in.