Lori Andrews


Lori Andrews, aka the 10 Cent Designer, is a true renaissance woman. She takes incredible photos, designs gorgeous rooms, has a blog about food (with beautiful photos), and hikes and camps in the most beautiful places. She lives in Calgary so she gets extra point for being Canadian, and she takes full advantage of living in a beautiful place.

I could post a million things of hers, but my favourites are her self-portraits. They are so unique, so narrative, so evocative, they really inspire me! I could post all of them, they are so wonderful. Here are some of my favourites, but I urge you to visit her Flickr page. Her titles are almost as good as the photos (the one below for example is titled Her Thoughts Went). Thanks Lori, for letting me share!

her thoughts went
take apart my window
summer starts now
sprinter - noun- an unusually warm week in the middle of a Canadian winter.  traditionally a time to take the bicycles out of storage.
This Woman turns forty one today
that's the extent of it
the purpose of wings
me watching Matt watching Jördis in the field with the lone tree and a storm to the North
whatever happens next
when are you coming home

Phillip Toledano

I came across the most wonderful photo essay from Phillip Toledano, a photographer-turned-father (again I can't remember where).  His comments echo the thoughts of just about every new parent, who watches this strange alien become the very core of their existence, and the photos are great in that they are not your run-of-the-mill baby shots.  I have to admit to both laughing and getting a little teary-eyed as I read...

Therese Sennerholt

I can't remember where I saw the designs of Therese Sennerholt (maybe See Saw?) but her site is as lovely as her prints.  The designs are so striking, and the styling of the photos is beautiful.  I am still kind of on the fence about word art, but some of these are very tempting (until you convert from SEK!)  Here are some shots of her site and her works:
This one above NEEDS to be owned by my friend Kate.

War on trends

I am gonna guess that you guys are less addicted to design-blog-land than I (my addiction is unhealthy so I am hoping you lead a more balanced life) but maybe you are in the same rehab-worthy boat.  Either way you may have seen several "trends-we-hate" posts out there.  I always read them and partly agree, partly disagree.  I think in the blog age great rooms spark trends faster than you can say DIY, and then the resulting photos are circulated so quickly, and so often, that we get tired of them much faster than we would normally.  And, like fashion, some trends just plain don't work with your space(/ass), while other trends are perfect for you, and will be when they are no longer trendy.  So a trend and its application is often a matter of personal choice and style.

That all being said, I just came across this Trend-Hate post on My Favourite and My Best, and had to laugh my head off.  The trends are all there - chalkboard paint, DIY, chevrons, greek keys, hipster moustaches at weddings - but her take on them is so vehement it had to make me laugh.  I don't know if I love her or am afraid of her.  I don't think I have seen the f-word so many times on one blog.  Awesome.
She has another subsequent post which is also worth reading, as are many of the comments.  So, what is your take on design trend hate?  And/or liberal swearing in blog posts?  :)

Giants in the Landscape

I love these incredible figures stringing wires through Iceland.  They are prototypes that will probably never be built, but were designed by the American firm Choi + Shine Architects for a 2008 Icelandic competition.
In their words: 
This design transforms mundane electrical pylons into statues on the Icelandic landscape.
Making only minor alterations to well established steel-framed tower design, we have created a series of towers that are powerful, solemn and variable. These iconic pylon-figures will become monuments in the landscape. Seeing the pylon- figures will become an unforgettable experience, elevating the towers to something more than merely a functional design of necessity.
The pylon-figures can be configured to respond to their environment with appropriate gestures. As the carried electrical lines ascend a hill, the pylon-figures change posture, imitating a climbing person. Over long spans, the pylon-figure stretches to gain increased height, crouches for increased strength or strains under the weight of the wires.
So beautiful!  I love the idea of taking something mundane and predictable and turning it into inspiring art.
Found on a few things from my life, one of my favourite, favourite blogs.

My latest diversion

If blog posts have been few and far between lately, it is because I am spending the evening taking photos and teaching myself photoshop.  I signed up for Miss B's Souvenir Foto School and have been so inspired by my class-mates!  I am having tons of fun.  We do a photo a day for every letter of the alphabet, in any order you want.  Here are some of my submissions:

l = love
l = love
j = jump
j = jump
i = isolated
i = isolated
f = ferns
f = fern
c = cool car
c = cool car

I am only at m, so there is lots more to learn!

Norweigian Bedrooms

Somehow through the serpantine world of the internet I made my way to  Norske Interior blog, where they have a contest on for their favourite blogger bedrooms.  You can go to the site and vote, although I couldn't quite figure it out as my Norweigian needs some work...  But pretty pretty bedrooms!  Funny (to me) that I always think of darker, cozier rooms as being perfect for winter, but Scandanavian style is so bright and white and summery...and their winters are worse than ours!  Anyway, here are a few of the finalists in the contest:
What do you think, is winter decorating all about wrapping warm cozy colours around you or reflecting what little light there is with bright fresh rooms?  Can you do both?  Maybe it is about textures, like that snuggly blanket in the last shot...

picture perfect

Last summer when Cameron was born, we had the AMAZING Tara McMullen over to take some photos of our newly-expanded family.  She took so many incredible shots that we will treasure always, and I have made calendars, photos books, etc until the cows come home.
Gosh, it is hard now to believe he was ever that tiny...  anyway, the above photos are some of my favourites of the more 'abstract' ones she took, and when my friend Dan mentioned that he had some extra canvas at his print shop, I knew I wanted to blow one of them up.  After much humming and hawing (as I am wont to do) I picked this one:
This is still Will's beloved "Abbie" (which for some reason is how he used to say elephant) and the shot just says childhood to me.  So Dan The Man printed it up at about 3 feet by 2 feet - nice and big!  When I got the big roll, I wasn't sure how I would mount it, aside from building a frame and stapling it in.  But while at Ikea, I looked at the largest size of the Ribba frame and had an idea.  I took out the plexiglass and matting and wrapped the canvas around the press wood back.  It wasn't pretty folks, there was a lot of duct tape involved.  Then I squished the backing back into the frame to pull it more taut. I am pretty pleased with the result, my gorgeous image with a thin white frame around it.  We finally hung it up yesterday!
These photos were not particularly well styled - or lit for that matter - but you get the gist, right?  You can also see the gorgeous round mirror I got from the same girl that sold me the brass light fixture.  When Chris went to pick it up he mentioned that it was a good thing I hadn't come or I would want to buy everything in her place.  Smart girl then emailed me a list of stuff she was selling - and Chris was right, I wanted it all!  But I settled for just the mirror.  :)

So thanks Dan for the gorgeous print, and thank Tara for the incredible photo shoot!  Seriously, go see Tara's website immediately, especially if you live in Toronto!!

Music I like: Rosie and Me

I was accused of being CHIPPER this morning - can believe that??  I think it might be because I was watching this cute video (before I got to work OF COURSE) by another awesome new-to-me band I now love via Black*EiffelRosie and Me is this group from southern Brazil with a fun, folky sound.  I enjoy.  You might too.  But careful - it might make you chipper.

Some more lovely sounds from Rosie and Me: