five things

I was tagged by Natalie to write five things about myself. If you read this, please picture a shrug after every point. I’m not that fascinating!

About the pictures in this post: today I was looking at a photo blog that I really enjoy, Hawaiian Coconut, which collects photos by Emily Faulstich (one of the founders of Wildfox), who is now based in South Africa, when I saw my blog’s name listed here! What a treat! Thank you, Emily. I’ve included a few of my favourite of her photos with this post. They can be a silent sixth item about what I wish my life looked like. It certainly wouldn’t be raining slush in my dream life, but there would be quite a few Byredo candles, pink candy, plenty of Veuve, and palm trees. And so, so many roses.

1. I don’t enjoy cooking or baking at all. I find it tedious and if I’m preparing food all I can think of are all the things I would so much rather be doing with my time. Unfortunately for me, I love eating fresh, good food and I prefer eating at home than at a restaurant. Fortunately for me, Geoff does most/all of the cooking (he makes lovely meals with beautiful ingredients such as farro and mushrooms and black kale and caramelized onions). Incidentally, I haven’t eaten meat in over a year. It’s not for any particular reason; I just don’t think I need it, and not buying it certainly keeps grocery costs down. I do eat fish and seafood from time to time, because when I was a vegetarian years ago I really missed it and broke years of vegetarianism for a tuna sandwich. Too bad I don’t live on the ocean.

2. I was engaged to my first boyfriend when I was in my early twenties. I don’t talk about this because it’s not a big deal and I rarely think about it (it was so long ago!). At that time I thought it would be romantic to be married young, the first of all our friends. But it felt wrong. It was the greatest and most true “It's not you (or marriage, or marriage at a young age), it’s me.”

3. When I was in high school I went through a period of being, I don’t know, religion-curious? I went to a few different meetings, including one for a very sexual, science-fiction based religion. I pitched it as a story for a teen publication I worked for at the time. I took some friends with me and we ran out of there at the end, laughing breathlessly, because we thought for sure there would be an orgy (!) and we were just kids. I am no longer curious.

4. I left journalism school after two miserable years so I could study Latin and read a lot of books and think about them (so much more enjoyable than calling people at City Hall for interviews, especially at 19. I cried on the phone a lot). 

5. I love lists of things that people are into, or not into. My favourite Beatle is George. I love movies set in New York in the 1970s (Taxi Driver, Dog Day Afternoon, Panic in Needle Park). One of my favourite things at the moment is an audiobook of Lolita narrated by Jeremy Irons. I could watch an episode of Seinfeld every day. I use the public library three times a week.

(This last one is Turkish Delight ice cream. Are you kidding me)


a story told well

(Quick note: the Of a Kind giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Sam!)

On Sunday night Geoff pulled up a video, and told me to watch it, that I would love it. I watched it without looking away once (such is the sad state of my attention span that this is unusual), rapt, and was thrilled / surprised-but-not-actually-surprised when I saw the final credit: A film by Derrick Belcham. It just happens that Derrick is someone I have known since 2006 when I met him while sitting in some grass at Alexandra Park. I was impressed by both his height and his knowledge of sports trivia. In the meantime, he moved to Vancouver, then back to Toronto, and now lives in New York, and has developed an increasingly impressive body of work collected at A Story Told Well. This Tasseomancy video is a particular favourite; I posted a video he made for Fortnight Lingerie after I visited the Fortnight studio last year.

And so. This video. For Marissa Nadler’s “Wedding.” The light, the mirrors, the hair, the dancing, the dreamy music: a few simple (or simple-seeming, because I can’t make my body do that), natural elements to create something so poetic.

Somehow I missed this earlier this month because I forget to look at Facebook and my Twitter feed is cluttered or I would have been all over it two weeks ago!

Derrick took inspiration from Francesca Woodman for this; as an aside, I recommend this post on Francesca Woodman written by Hila (and the documentary as well, which Geoff & I watched a few months ago after reading Hila’s post, and which lead to a good discussion at our house).

Also: an interview with Derrick on some of his earlier work on Friends with Both Arms.

Marissa Nadler, “Wedding”
Directed by Derrick Belcham
Dance by Emily Terndrup
Edited by Derrick Belcham and Emily Terndrup


of a kind giveaway: iacoli & mcallister

I’ve admired the work of Iacoli & McAllister since I first saw the necklaces for sale at a friend’s shop, so today I’m happy to host a giveaway of their beautiful Necklace No. 12, courtesy blog sponsor Of A Kind. This necklace was designed and handmade specifically for Of A Kind in an edition of 47.

If your winter look needs some lightening up—and something tells us it does—this necklace, with its nude ultra-suede and brass, black, beige, and mint beads, is the perfect antidote to all the bulky and scratchy stuff that the season holds.

To enter, please subscribe to the Of A Kind newsletter by following this link, and then leave a comment here (if you already subscribe, you can leave a comment here to guarantee an entry). This giveaway will close on February 26, and I will then select a winner at random. This giveaway is open internationally, although please note that you may be responsible for customs charges upon arrival.

Good luck! I am already jealous of the winner because this piece is so gorgeous!

ETA: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations, Sam!


roman de la rose

Earlier this week I was on the subway reading Stephanie LaCava’s book An Extraordinary Theory of Objects, and halted when I read “sugar-dusted violet candies.” I pulled out my notebook and wrote it down. Such a simple phrase, and no doubt one I have come across before, but it made me long for spring like nothing else. Then Amy posted a photo of a bouquet of violets, then Amy, Becka and I discussed making our own candied flowers, then a recipe for candied rose petals appeared on the Wilder Quarterly blog, and then Geoff came home on Valentine’s Day with a beautiful, demure bouquet from Coriander Girl that featured two perfect roses, one cream and one blush, with the most intoxicating scent. Candied flower petals were definitely in the air, so I decided to try making them. It sounded so easy and yet so decadent, and it was.

BHLDN sent me these vases to try out from their decor collection, and they are so pretty & feel light as air. If they had been available when we were planning our wedding I would have used them for the centrepieces! Just a small posy is enough to fill them (we actually used hobnail vessels I ordered from BHLDN, which were also lovely).

Geoff & I were given this Diptyque candle as a wedding gift. It is precious, and I light it maybe once every two weeks for a few minutes at a time, drawing out its life as though I were Charlie with his birthday chocolate bar.  The candle and this blush rose smell the way roses are meant to smell, a true rose scent I encounter so infrequently and that always makes me inhale deeply.

Plucking the petals was bittersweet as I would have loved to look at the roses until they turned brown, but candying them would give them a different sort of life. That bit of cheerful yellow that popped out was a happy surprise. Coriander Girl uses high-quality locally grown flowers have not been sprayed with pesticides (thank you, Alison!), so I felt safe turning them into candy. My dining room smelled so good.

I followed the Wilder post, which was based on this Chez Panisse tribute post, painting the egg white onto the petals and dipping them into the sugar. Pony was fascinated and wound up with some sugar in her whiskers despite my attempts to shoo her away.

I don’t know of any reasonable substitute for egg whites, personally, if one doesn’t want to take risks or doesn’t consume eggs, but there must be one out there.

Petals, drying.

I baked a simple cake (boxed mix of course, shhh) and topped it with the petals once they were dry. This cake stand is also from BHLDN—I love the bold coral paired with the subtle creams and pale pink in the rose petals.

The petals taste incredible, delicate and divinely sweet, with a slight crunch. Come, spring!


to st valentine

Picnic at Hanging Rock, my favourite film to watch on Valentine’s Day. It’s not a romantic movie, although it’s full of romantic, sumptuous imagery in the first part of it; its connection to Valentine’s Day is that the main action begins on February 14, 1900. I spent my day resting after having a brief surgery yesterday (I’m fine, and lucky besides), sitting with the imagery and the cinematography (not to mention the gorgeous typography in the opening titles) while reclining on the sofa. I wanted to share some screenshots here, although I’m afraid I got a little carried away. Check out the trippy double exposure sequence! One can definitely see the influence it has had in fashion, art, photography, and in publications such as Lula (I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned it here approximately one hundred times myself). I’m not supposed to sign any important papers for a few days because of the anesthetic, so I’ll extend that to sparing you from any half-baked deep thoughts I might have about Picnic at Hanging Rock.

Also, very importantly, this film features my personal favourite cake in all of cinema (my second favourite is the ballerina cake in Black Swan).

Happy Valentine’s Day to all, especially to the birds who, according to medieval tradition, would chose their mates on this day. Hearts and hugs to all of you. xoxoxo