Liebster Blog Award

I love blog awards - they are usually passed around from blogger to blogger and I think it is such a great way to support and encourage each other.  And I was supremely flattered to be given a Liebster Blog Award from the lovely and hilarious Dharma of The Wannabe Mermaid.  I met Dharma at the very first Canadian Design Bloggers meet-up and loved her immediately - she was so open and kind-hearted - and I look forward to seeing her at every meet-up.

The Liebster award is given to blogs that deserve more followers and aim to break the 100 mark. ( I try not to look at that little number in the corner, but I can't help but notice that I am getting close!)

It is my turn to pass along the award, so pop on over to these great blogs and hit that follow button. (And if you haven't hit it yet on my blog, now would be a great time...)

- Dharma of The Wannabe Mermaid is a riot and her blog is always a fun read.

- Maggie of Okay, Now What? has fabulous taste and is tackling some huge project in her house, (now while preggo) making me look like a lazy bum.

- Amy of aDESIGNdock really doesn't need my help, she is a contributor for and has been featured on Design*Sponge, but I love her blog and her kick-ass Prairie style.

- Jen of Kitchen Counter Chronicles is one of those moms that always has genius craft ideas, great recipes, and is always taking her kids someplace cool in Toronto, but I like her anyway.  I met her digging in the garden for Bloggers Give Back (we decimated a Forsythia together) and she is a true sweetheart.

So go show these ladies some love!

Still blog

I couldn't have happened upon this soothing blog on a better day.  My weekend was a whirlwind: Interior Design Show Gala, Goodnight speakeasy, illness, anxiety attack, husband's 40th, Canadian Design Bloggers Meetup, dinner night with the girlfriends.  It was an intense few days packed with ups and downs.  So when I arrived on this blog courtesy of Bookhou's Facebook page, I lost myself in the images.
Photographer Mary Jo Hoffman is posting a photo a day for the duration of 2012.  The subjects will be still lifes of gathered and found objects, similar to Lisa Congdon's 2010 A Collection a Day project, although Mary Jo's subjects are focused on the natural world. The soothing site design, light-soaked photography, and artfully-arranged organic materials create a true oasis in the action-packed blogosphere.  It is like a moment of, yes, stillness for your visually-overstimulated eyes and mind.  These are some of my favourite images, but for the full effect (the site design is amazing) I urge you to go visit, and take a deep breath.

All photographs copyright Mary Jo Hoffman.
The incredible blog design is the work of Josh Clancy.

The Wire Sculpture of Gavin Worth

I am enthralled with these wire sculptures created by artist Gavin Worth.  Worth is a self-taught artist born in Zimbabwe, raised in New Mexico, and currently teaching in Cairo at the American International School.  He has a degree in acting and spent several years in the theatre before taking up art full time.
His wire sculptures seem disarmingly simple, almost like sketches. I love how they are there but not there, fully-realized forms that have no substance, and seem to occupy no space.  They are more like the memory of movement or of a moment than weighty art pieces.  He describes his process as follows:
By bending black wire into something of freestanding line drawings, I create sculptures that engage the viewer by involving them in their subtle changes. When the light in the room shifts, so does the mood of the piece. A breeze might softly move an arm. My wire sculptures tell stories of simple human moments: a woman adjusting her hair, a face gazing from behind tightly wrapped arms, a mother gently cradling her baby. The honest, unguarded moments are the ones that I find to be the most beautiful.
He has also does illustration, web design, painting, and has recently started exploring paper cutting, including this arresting portrait of his grandmother.

Souvenir Foto School

I am very excited to be partaking again in Miss B's Souvenir Foto School!  I had so much fun last year and learned so much about my camera and especially photoshop.  The other students are super-creative and talented people who help to critique your work and make it that much better.  I am not sure how many spaces there are, but you can sign up here (cost is a mere $30!).  Let me know if you will be joining too!  I will leave you with a few amazing photos created by Miss B of Besotted Brand Blog (she is so good!):

Salvage Interiors

Check out this amazing before-and-after Renee posted by Salvage Interiors.  It blew my mind.  They are old elevator doors, and the result is just so one-of-a-kind cool!

IDS12 - Cherish Auction & Exhibit

I am really excited to attend the Interior Design Show (IDS) this year.  I went last year and although my feet hurt for days afterwards, I was just amazed and inspired by all the creativity on display.  It was like all my favourite blogs come to life in one big, huge room (and indeed I did chat with lots of Canadian design bloggers while there!).  There are many reasons I am extra excited this year - one big one being BlogPodium, which happens on the Friday, and another being the Opening Night Gala party, which I have never been to.  This year, the DJ is designer-extraordinaire Karim Rashid... I KNOW, RIGHT?!

During the Gala, there will be available for auction designer re-imagined Julian chairs by Magis (pictured above).  I love the idea of starting with such an iconic and cool children's chair and having well-known designers try to make it their own.  All the proceeds from this auction go to benefit the ONEXONE Foundation.
The chairs above are the creations of (L to R) Joe Mimran for Joe Fresh, Alfred Sung, and AKB (Atelier Kastelic Buffey).  Other designers taking part include Arthur Mendonca, Bruce Mau Design, David + Glenn Dixon, Debbie Travis, Donna Karan, Arren Williams for HBC, Giannone Petricone, Philip Sparks and Piero Lissoni, among others.

It should be quite a night.  I have bought what promise to be ridiculously painful (but obviously otherwise fabulous) shoes to wear with an LBD.  If you are going, please let me know what you are wearing!  Tickets are still available here, I think, in case you haven't got yours yet.  See you there!

What $25 Million will get you...

I love perusing the real estate section on - the homes are so outrageously ostentatious that I am simultaneously shocked and amused at the things People With Money will do.  However, there was recently a home in East Hampton, NY that made me wish I had a spare $25 million dollars.  The historic home is a lovely mix of traditional and a more easy-going casual style - not something you see a lot of in million dollar homes!

From the listing: HISTORIC CHARLES H. ADAMS ESTATE  A piece of Hamptons heritage and a stunning example of Queen Anne architecture, this 11+ bedroom (seven en-suite) home blends the best of modern luxury with the culture and romance of times gone by. Designed at the turn of the century by Carnegie Hall architect William B. Tuthill, its definitive tower, statement terraces, sweeping bay windows and huge wrap-around porch are finished in quintessential Hamptons shingle. Lovingly restored to their former glory, all the original features - lead-glass windows, parquet flooring, wood paneling and decorative moldings - are pristine. In perfect harmony with the home's 14,000 SF+/- foot open-plan layout and the galleries of windows that flood the house with light, it's these touches that give this spacious property such warmth and character. It's rare to find a renovation that manages to preserve the poetry of its period and so successfully meet the ideals of modern living. But throughout the property and beyond to the gunite pool, three-car garage and 2.2 acres - from each hand-cut shingle to original door handle - this is where quality meets history, at its elegant best. 
Gosh, that woodwork, that ceiling, floor, pocket doors...sigh...

This photo above is what made me click over to the real estate site - that ceiling, with that bay window, is the stuff dreams are made of.

What do you think, you ready to call your banker?  Just think: 11 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, 2.2 acres of land, a pool, a 3-car garage, an exercise room... They have a handy mortgage calculator on the site... :)  I could house-sit for you!!

All photos from Corcoran Group Real Estate, via 1st Dibs.

Found: One Wooden Stool

My brother was cleaning out his storage locker last weekend, bringing some stuff to our house (hello sandwich maker!), some to goodwill, and some to the garbage bins.  This wooden stool was standing next to the garbage bins, and he knew I would love it. SCORE! It needed a LOT of oil, and has a pretty big crack in it, but it is so handy and so pretty!  Makes me want to hang out by more condo garbage bins...

Patterns From Above

Although I can't remember how I got there, the other day I stumbled across Brent Yaggi and Sarah Hicks's photography site.  They have flown over much of North America in their little Cessna to find patterns in the landscapes below, creating doubly-interesting images that are both representational and graphically constructed.  They are very eye-catching, as well as affordable.