26.8.13

harbingers

1.
I made a playlist for West Elm that you can listen to here if you have Spotify. I know the end of summer is coming when that Talk Talk track comes back on repeat. It’s subconscious.

2.
The other day I put Waiting for the Sun by The Doors on and when “Summer’s Almost Gone” came on I flipped my car stereo the bird. End of summer denial is actually a harbinger.

2.
The Canadian National Exhibition (the Ex/the CNE). Every year when I was little our teachers would distribute a free pass coupon to the CNE on the last day of school. The end of summer always seemed so far away, and the Ex was always its harbinger, since it would open in the last few weeks before Labour Day. My father’s impatience with crowds usually kept us away despite the free passes, although one year we did go and he won a small koala for me (midway prizes were so much more modest then!). Another year we went and a family friend bought a whistle he put in his mouth that imitated the most beautiful birdsong.

Some years I don’t go, and there were a few years where I let my snobbery get in the way of my enjoyment. But Geoff & I went last year, at night, and it was so much fun. This year we went during the day to get a different feel for it. The rides have been the same for forever, with their charming signage and handpainted details, which is almost comforting. We went on a couple, and checked out the hilarious houseplant competition. As usual, my photos make it seem as though there weren’t that many people around! I do have a knack for that.

And no, we didn’t eat a so-called “cronut burger.”






















Hi, Geoff! At the top of the wheel. 

12.8.13

we never sleep mega tassel necklace giveaway

ETA: This giveaway is now closed. The winner is Camille. Congratulations, Camille!

You may have noticed the necklace I was wearing in my Grove Festival post; it’s from we never sleep, a line of beautiful accessories made by Sarah Beaver. This one is the mega tassel necklace with rose quartz (of course it’s rose quartz!). Sarah generously sent me two, and this week one lucky reader will receive the other.


This is my third piece from we never sleep: I have her Shriner’s Fez and Jewel of the Order necklaces and they are among my favourite pieces of jewelry. I am super, super picky about jewelry and the materials used in its construction are really important to me. I love that Sarah uses her knowledge of art history and sculpture in her collections.


To win a rose quartz mega tassel necklace of your very own, please visit the we never sleep Etsy shop and leave a comment here (again, please be sure that I have an email or some way to contact you). For an extra entry, follow Sarah on Instagram and leave a comment telling me you have done so (she posts great peeks at her works in progress, cats, and other bits of beauty). I will be shipping the necklace myself, and will happily ship it anywhere in the world. You may be responsible for customs and duties as assessed by your country. I will chose a winner at random on Friday evening. Oh, also: I moderate comments for spam because it has been really terrible lately! Because of this, your comment may not show up right away.

Good luck!

8.8.13

repository pt. 9: yoga edition

I’ve been really stoked on yoga lately, which is something that happens to me on and off all the time; I get into it for a few months, practicing nearly every day, and then something happens to distract me and I lose all my motivation. I’ve been trying to fit it into my schedule at least two times a week for now, reminding myself of the first time I got into yoga, around ten years ago. I was really dedicated: I changed the way I ate, went to a yoga studio multiple times a week on my lunch break, and fantasized about trips to ashrams. Ultimately, it wasn’t sustainable for me, especially as I went into my last year of university and had to focus on Latin and endless streams of papers, but I felt amazing. I seem to have picked up a habit of waking up at 5am every morning to crippling anxiety this summer (good times!), so it is time to calm the mind as well.

Here are some beautiful yoga accessories that I can’t stop thinking about—although I know very well that all I really need to practice at home is a mat, some ratty old leggings and a t-shirt, and some form of audio or visual instruction (I share my favourite below, but if you have any suggestions, let me know!). Grain/salt, etc. Also, I am really into tie-dye right now, it case it wasn’t thoroughly obvious.


1. This mat is so beautiful! It’s by Magic Carpet Yoga Mats and this is a special edition created for Anthropologie. I also really love the new Deco Magic design. I wish I could justify this purchase but I already have two perfectly serviceable mats at home, a thick one and a thin one.
2. Candles by Magic Hour from Summerland. I do love good ol’ nag champa incense but it’s a little intense. These seem lovely!
3. Pretty (!) sneakers.
4. This particular yoga mat bag is no longer available but you can find it on Etsy from the original maker, Thrive.
5. A gorgeous patchwork dyed scarf from Willow Knows. Available at Myrtle.


6. I bought this CD set, Yoga Sanctuary by Shiva Rea, years ago and it remains my favourite instructional item. It has a lunar flow and a solar flow and with the CDs, you can customize which tracks to play. I can’t find my CDs and ended up buying it as an audiobook from iTunes because I like it so much, but I hope I come across my CDs again one day—it had a useful photo chart of all the poses.
7. I love this gorgeous meditation pillow. This one is from Anthropologie but you can get a custom one from Etsy (also from Thrive).
8. I have a pair of beaded, sequined Moroccan-style slippers and they’re my favourite. Not necessarily yoga-specific, but I’d rather wear these babouches to pad around a yoga studio between classes than flip flops.
9. Cat eye mask from Catbird for really getting into savasana.
10. Again, I usually wear an old t-shirt, but dang if I wouldn’t give anything to be one of those confident people who shows up to class in a bra top.


11. How to Meditate by Pema Chödrön, recently added to my e-reader.
12. Leggings by Shabd. The master of tie-dyed leggings! Wish I had picked some of the coral ones when they were for sale at Robber.
13. I don’t know about what it’s like at your house but my cats always try to sneak on to my mat with me when I’m doing yoga at home. That mat is like a magnet to them and their little senses of curiosity.  In an ideal universe they would have this sweet embroidered bed and they would actually use it as a perch from where they would stare at me creepily.
14. Gorgeous handmade notebooks from Nightjar to jot down practice notes (also available at Likely General).

6.8.13

the grove

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, Free People invited me and a few local bloggers to go along with their team of members from head office as well as the Yorkville store to the Grove Music Festival this past Saturday. I took Geoff with me and we had so much fun.


They had set up an area under some crochet-covered trees and we hung out on pretty blankets and pillows.




Hi, Geoff. I pulled a cute photo of us from the Toronto store’s Facebook page and put it on Instagram.



Free People had invited some local acro-yoga practioners for a demonstration. It was pretty impressive! I wish I had that kind of core strength.





My sandals were the Toulouse sandal in coral. Super cute and comfortable, and I love the print.



My hat and dress were also from Free People: this crochet canvas hat, and this open shoulder maxi dress. I loved this dress, but it was a chilly day so I wore this thrifted jean jacket that I once bleached and tie-dyed. My necklace is from wenvrsleep; stay tuned for a giveaway of this necklace’s twin, coming soon!

Geoff took the picture on the right as we were getting ready to take our group photo. When he gave me the camera back he said that the pictures would probably be a little candid. Ha!


Girl Talk had so much energy! All the bands we saw were so good live, especially Hot Chip and Phoenix. I hadn’t been to an outdoor music festival since, oh, 1999? So it was fun to have the chance to try it again. I’m usually not a big fan of music festivals but luckily this one was pretty chill.



Thanks, Free People!

5.8.13

how to: colour palette friendship bracelets


A few weeks ago I was doing my usual version of online shopping (adding to cart, clicking away) when I came across friendship bracelets for sale. I hadn’t thought about them in a while, so I decided that I would make a few bracelets while indulging in my current favourite Netflix binge-watch, Pretty Little Liars (ugh, you guys, it is the best/worst... wait, no, it’s actually just the worst). I didn’t have too much embroidery thread around, though, and had a hard time coming up with pleasing colour combinations. I decided to try using one of my favourite online tools to help me come up with colour schemes: the palette generator. I use this tool all the time. You input the URL of a photo, and it creates two palettes, one dull and one vibrant, as I will show below. It doesn’t always pick up on every colour, and if you’re like me and gravitate towards milky-coloured, muted photos, you might end up with some colours repeated in both columns, but it’s still an easy-to-use and helpful tool. You can use the eyedropper tool in Photoshop to pick up specific colours and pull the hex or RGB code from there, but I like the palettes for a quick and easy starting point. You can play with the palettes further with a tool such as this colour scheme generator, if you want to. There are so many of these sorts of resources online. Thanks, internet!

I scrolled through my Flickr account and chose two pictures of mine that I had always loved the colours of: this one of a Swan Lake record, and this one of swans on ice (the swan theme wasn’t deliberate!). Once I had hex colour codes, e.g. #6699AA, #AABBBB, I looked around to see if someone had created a tool to convert hex/RGB codes to correspond with DMC embroidery floss colours, and yes, of course that exists! Once you have inputted the hex code, it pulls up a range of similar thread colours, and you are free to choose which ones you like best or that you think match best. As you can see with my floral example (#3), you can choose multiple thread colours from one hex code. This is what it looks like in Safari (note: in Chrome a dialog box pops up that you can use to input RGB values, but in other browsers such as Safari and Firefox you can input the hex code, which is what I prefer — it saves a step, since you would have to convert the hex to a RGB code, which you can do here — long story short, just use it in Safari or Firefox!):


Now, of course this isn’t going to be extraordinarily precise, because there are millions of possible hex code combinations compared to 454 DMC embroidery thread colours, and you’re reducing an entire photograph with endless colour combinations to a few thread colours. Also, of course any time you’re dealing with colours on a screen things might shift, and colours on a screen will always look different when they’re in physical, thread form. We’re not talking precise Pantone matching here. But it’s still fun and close enough, and a great way to play with and explore colour.

Here are three examples of what I came up with.













I like the idea of taking a photograph of a place or a thing that is really special to you, or to the recipient of the bracelet, and making a bracelet in those colours. I think it would make a very thoughtful souvenir! The colour of the sky on your wedding day, the colours in the print of your favouite dress, the colours of the beach where you had the best day in the sun, the colours in your favourite flower, or just a picture you really like on Pinterest. Have fun with it!


I got my embroidery thread from here, and I used this tutorial to learn how to make the bracelets.