Urban Toronto get-away

One of my husband's favourite things to do is get out canoeing on the Humber.  I quite enjoy it too, but let's face it, it's never my initiative that gets us out there.  Often we head up the river as far as we can before it gets too shallow to paddle (usually around Bloor).  However, this weekend we headed out into the lake, thinking we would head for a small beach we once found and have a picnic.  We went exploring a bit first though, and ended up discovering the Humber Bay Park East beach.  It is a rocky beach, wasn't that busy, and had beautiful, clear swimming.  We spent the day in the water, having a picnic and collecting beach glass.  It was amazing to be able to jump in the water so close to home!

 Sometimes being married to Captain Outdoors pays off big time.

Bright Cheerful Palette in France

My Aunt Daphne emailed me these photos the other day and I felt it was my duty, nay, my obligation to pass them on to you.  How could I in good conscious hold on to these colourful gems and hoard their happiness for myself?  Never did I think I would lust for pink and lime green walls or purple and orange furniture, but there you go.  Perhaps it's heat stroke, who knows.  What about you?
I love the two different curtains in the bedrooms - saves one from having to make a decision on fabric! Not sure how the decor works around Christmas time, but I suspect that in the winter the owners have the home closed up and are reveling in their chalet in the Alps in winter-decor heaven...

Images from Haute Design and Nicety

What You Really Love

Inspired by Ez, I made this from one of our hiking photos for my husband, who I am sure is desperately missing the mountains as he sits in his office today...

(The quote is by Rumi - that part is a bit hard to see!)
(Also, if anyone wants to print it out,  I am happy to send the file.) xo

Jennifer Squires Photography

I had to search my own blog to make sure I hadn't already posted about Jennifer Squires because I first bookmarked her page last summer and I guess had never gotten around to writing about her.  Her images are tranquil, quiet, and serene.  They no doubt appeal to me because these moments are few and far between in my own life!

Jennifer and her husband run a photography business out of London, Ontario, and most of her images are taken using natural light around Southern Ontario.  In fact, this absolutely insane dedicated professional often gets up at the ungodly hour of 3 am to get to her site and set up in time to capture the first light of the day.  Her blog is a wealth of information on early morning photography using long exposures and the detailed techniques of her craft.  She also has lovely monthly desktop calendars for download, so I suggest to stop by for a peek.
They are so quiet and soothing - they would set a lovely mood in a minimally-designed home if blown up several feet high and put behind the couch or dining room table, don't you think?

All photos courtesy of jennifersquires.ca

Shades of Grey (*suitable for work!)

Straight up (mostly)

I am slowly dipping my toes into this graphic design thing, thanks to a lovely photographer who has asked me to do her logo, website and blog designs.  She has a very pared-down minimalist aesthetic and early on we decided her look had to involve grey.  I put together a few moodboards for her to look at to decide if she wanted to throw in any other colours.  I am a terrible blogger, because I do not have sources for all these lovely images, since I hadn't collected them for the blog.  Most of them are on my Pinterest boards, so I will try to get the links up tonight.  

SO, what do you think - which would you choose?  

With a side of butter yellow?

Add a dash of petal pink?

Or go bold with some neon spice?

I'm back with an art project for kids!

I really want to try this collaborative project I bookmarked ages ago from the awesome blog My Cakies - maybe with a photo from the past two weeks in the mountains (might make a nice gift, no?)  I love the use of watercolours for this, they are just the right amount of saturation for the photo, not to mention the right amount of mess for moi!  I only wish we had that lovely palette to work from - such pretty colours.

I heart Barbara at Hodge Podge

I promise to be up and running with some clever content soon, but in the meantime I had to pop in to say a HUGE thank you to Barbara Markova at Hodge:Podge blog for her So Canadian, Eh? feature on me and Wicked & Weird.  This series is one of my favourite things on the web - Barbara always takes the time to really craft some insightful questions and I love getting to know more about the great Canadian talent out there in such a personal way.  I am really touched by her intro words, the comments, and of course by the fact that she chose to include me in her series.  Thank you Barbara! xo

Mountain Holiday

My apologies for abandoning the blog over the last two weeks.  I arrived in Alberta full of blogging intentions - I foolishly thought I might even get more blogging done here!  However, the days have been full of epic hikes with unbelievable vistas, happy reunion visits with life-long friends, and fabulous eating (and drinking).  By the time I pull the computer to my lap at the end of the day, I don't have the energy to even get the cover open.  

Here are a few iPhone pics to give you an idea of my world has looked like for the last week and a half.  I have to say I am not missing the Toronto heat one. little. bit.  Anyone in Canmore want to hire a partially-trained in-experienced graphic designer?  A girl could get used to this place...

Wow this looks refreshing...

It has been SO HOT and muggy this week, and I have spent more than one sleepless night trying to figure out how to install air-conditioning in our hot-water-heated house (um...for free).  I was sitting here, sweating and complaining as per norm, when I opened the new Covet Garden and amongst the gorgeous photos of a very funky home I saw this recipe and thought of the ginormous watermelon in our fridge and the ginormous bunches of basil in our garden.  I tell you, if I weren't so damn hot I would get up and make this lovely concoction...