a few recent publications

Some great books, magazines, and zines have made their way into my hands over the past few weeks.

On Flora: sweet flower-themed zine from Alison Baitz. A different type of floral photograph for every mood. I got mine at Likely General.

The Sad Passions by Veronica Gonzalez Peña is next up in my list of fiction to read. Not going to lie: I was initially attracted by the design, the title, and the Francesca Woodman photo on the cover. But I think I will enjoy it.

Wilder Quarterly, I am always a fan. This issue includes an astrological pull-out by Susan Miller. Plants and astronomy, perfect! I got my copy at Robber.

Ontario Paper: beautiful travel photographs of the American south, with Japanese and English text. I was pleasantly surprised to find my friend Annie listed as the copy editor! 

Sunday Night Movies, the new book of illustrations by Leanne Shapton. I will forever be in awe of her work and how she so masterfully manipulates these liquid lines. I haven’t seen most of the movies depicted in the book but I think it could be fun to use it for reference on those nights where I can’t decide what I want to watch.

Alexa Chung’s new book, It. If you like the Lula Scrapbook, you’ll like this book (in fact, there’s an image reproduced in the book that I’ve seen there—you probably know the one! Of Tennessee Thomas). It’s filled with photos, style tips, illustrations, and writings on the cultural references that have been significant in the development of her personal aesthetic. I actually find it quite endearing—I love reading about Alexa’s little friend Violet and her ruminations on leather jackets. No, nothing earth shattering, but it’s beautifully designed, and the pink cloth cover makes my heart skip a beat. There are a couple of pronouncements here and there that made me raise my eyebrow a bit in a “Really, Alexa?” (as in “Really, Alexa? Only one girl band at a time?”) kind of way at first, but then I realized that it’s more of that sardonic/ironic sense of humour that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Eye candy in every sense!

Geoff surprised me with this book the other day: Lena Corwin’s Made by Hand (he picked it up at Type). It's a kind of best hits of Brooklyn makers and I want to make every single thing in it, starting with the braided round rug. Very inspiring!

A few others: Rookie Yearbook Two, the latest Gentlewoman, plus dreams of being able to read Cat People Magazine and Lady Magazine.


violet crown vintage giveaway

This week I am happy to host a giveaway for a gift certificate worth $50 (USD) from Violet Crown Vintage. The impossibly cool Violet Crown was started by Lia after she had moved from Toronto to Austin, Texas—“the city of the violet crown” being one of Austin’s nicknames, after its stunning sunsets. Now back in Toronto, locals may have seen Violet Crown Vintage at some of the flea markets over the summer; her booths have always stood ahead of the rest, beautifully merchandized according to her tasteful eye for carpets, blankets, and, of course, lovely vintage clothing.

Says Lia:

Violet Crown Vintage was born out of my desire to acquire special, beautiful things and share them with the world. After years of shopping off the beaten path and styling myself and my home with eclectic vintage goods, I worked up the courage and joined Etsy as a seller while living as a Canadian expat in Austin, Texas. The creative landscape of Austin and the unique culture of Texas as a whole have highly influenced the aesthetic at VCV and will continue to have an impression on the shop in the years to come. I like to think of Violet Crown Vintage as a reflection of my personal style and life ethos: casual/country/city/cool.

I went through her shop and picked out a few of my favourite pieces—obviously I have cooler temperatures on the brain, and am starting to gravitate towards a darker palette.

There are two ways to enter for a gift certificate valued at $50 USD, good for six months:

  1. Visit Violet Crown Vintage on Etsy and leave a comment here telling me what your favourite piece in the shop is.
  2. For additional entries, follow Violet Crown on Instagram and/or Twitter, then leave a comment here telling me you have done so. You may want to follow Lia on Instagram anyhow because her account is full of stunning images of country vistas, gorgeous textures, and of course, sunsets.

Please keep in mind that I have comment moderation enabled in my near-futile quest to sift through spam, so your comment might not appear right away. This giveaway is open internationally, but if you live outside of Canada, you may be responsible for your country’s import duties or taxes once your vintage items have shipped. I will select a winner at random on the morning Friday, November 1. Good luck!

ETA: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Giulia!


bougainvillea & boats

The last of our trip photos, this time from the south of Portugal, by the ocean. I can feel that winter is coming deep down in my bones, so I will probably spend the next few months looking at these photos while feeling a profound longing for the sea and the sun, popping vitamin D pills every morning.

This first picture, which Geoff took of a tiny, ancient fishing town called Ferragudo, is one of my favourite photos ever. That gull in flight!



While we were in Lisbon, we decided that we would try to visit at least one palace to get a little Rococo fix. Maximalism forever, please. We wanted to visit Sintra but didn’t have time, so instead we took a short trip by train to the city of Queluz to visit the National Palace there. Buildings that look like exquisite cakes: what’s not to love (unless you’re the sort who has nothing but disdain for the excesses of royal families)? The property includes a vast garden that I bet is sensational in springtime.

Spot the pineapple!

This image is a screencap from Mysteries of Lisbon, from a scene filmed at the Palace.