Shit Girls Say

I know this is everywhere, but it cracks me up (esp. "Can you just ... turn it down a little?...)

Also I have not been able to look at Juliette Lewis and not shudder since Cape Fear....

Thrifting Luck

My amazing neighbour came by this afternoon to watch the boys so I could do some Christmas shopping.  I couldn't help but swing by the nearest Value Village - I hadn't been in so long! - and the gods of thrifting were smiling on me today.  I got this lovely Turkish vase, which is hand signed on the bottom - it will go with the other pretty ceramics we picked up in Turkey.
 I got a pair of interesting brass candlesticks to use in my holiday decorating, as well as this cloche perfect for upcoming entertaining!
These two display cases were I think $1.99 for both.  And below is my most exciting score - a beautiful soft grey A.P.C. turtleneck.  They are selling a similar one online for 135 Euros plus shipping!  Who doesn't need a grey turtleneck in the winter?
I also got a couple of winter videos for the boys, although we only got 10 minutes in to Merry Madagascar before they were bored and went off to find the play dough... oh well, I am sure they will come in handy in the next few months!

Instead of a wreath

I love this idea from Country Living of hanging a pretty basket of greenery from the door instead of a wreath - in this case the home-owners used an old trapper's basket.  You could refresh the boughs all winter long - and add some pretty berries for colour.  Genius!

RRL Autumn/Winter Lookbook

The Autumn/Winter look book from Ralph Lauren brand RRL is sooooo awesome.  Some of it kind of  reminds me of that very cool (and super creepy) HBO series Carnivale.  Sure, you can't always actually make out the clothing... but it sure is evocative.  You can practically hear the clicking of the old film reel and the scratchy, tinny piano music...

Salt Dough Ornaments

The other day the troops were getting mutinous, so I ran to my friend the internet and before you could say "Screaming Melt-Down" we were up to our elbows in salt and flour making ornaments.  I found this great post on Momtastic with a salt dough recipe and the boys loved measuring, mixing, and especially kneading the dough.  We played with it for a while like play dough (no rush!) before rolling it out and getting out the cookie cutters.
For some reason he needs to stick out his tongue to concentrate...

Showing Mr. Fireman the ornaments (Mr. Fireman was a big help)...

We then dired them out in the oven for 4 hours - perfect for cleaning up, having lunch, getting to and from school, and of course - naps!

While the ornaments cooled, we set up the painting station and practiced on some canvases.

The finished products - I made sure to put in the holes before they baked, and then added the red string to hang.  My favourites are their hand prints!

When Dad got home and the paint was dry, we got to hang them!
It was the perfect all-day project, and I love seeing their ornaments on the tree (all near the bottom of course - our tree is a little bottom-heavy this year!)

Our First Visit with Santa

I love this photo...
And this one too...

Light, bright duplex in Madrid

I thought I would share some photos I came across of this beautiful home in Madrid.  They are from, so I had to use google to translate the accompanying text (achieving some pretty sketchy English let me tell you).  If I am to trust the gist of what I read, it seems this is a duplex in a renovated former brothel called Le Petit Venice.  Cool.  Also, the looks seems to have been created without a ton of cash, since the majority of the pieces are from Ikea, Habitat, and Zara Home.
I like this simple kid's bedroom with the beautiful original art.  That graphic black and white piece just makes me want to get out my crayons... And I love that pretty blue pillow (that was also seen in the living room).
I love Suzanis.  Funny though that they used this one to style the living room as well - hard not to notice the reuse of such a bold piece.  I wonder what this place looks like when not styled for the photos?

Photos from Mi Casa Revista.  Found via Design Elements.

Lulie Wallace paintings

I love these beautiful floral still lifes from painter Lulie Wallace, with their vibrant colours and rugged shapes.   The technique reminds me a lot of David Milne, one of favourite Canadian artists.  These would be great stacked at the end of a narrow hallway, or over a hall table or chair, or as part of a gallery wall... I am already imagining all the places I would put mine!  Check out her colourful blog and her shop for more inspiration.

Found on Design Work Life.

Toronto Tempo

Check out this very cool time lapse video of the various rhythms of life in Toronto.  Photographer Ryan Emond has found some fascinating vantage points and done an amazing job of capturing the essence of life in a big city using thousands of photographs.  His editing is fantastic and he has created a beautiful homage to the city - makes me proud to live in Toronto!

One of a Kind Christmas Show 2011 - a roundup!

The 2011 Christmas One of a Kind Show opened yesterday and I was lucky enough to attend the media breakfast and take a tour of the offerings - which were plentiful to say the least!  Of course I took way too many photos (which all had to be edited since the lighting in there is so challenging) and have a daunting post ahead of me.  But there were so many eye-catching booths and beautiful pieces I really couldn't help myself.

First up is Avril Loreti, whose cheerful and bright display drew me over immediately.  You may recognize the 2012 tea towel above from Covet Garden magazine - it was one of my few purchases this year (trying to be responsible and all...)  Her paint chip linens are wonderful and would be a great addition to a modern monochrome table setting, and I love the donut bag (there was also a matching tea towel).  The vintage hockey prints, especially the pillows, seemed to be quite popular.  And just look how sweet Avril is!  She is at booth W-07 and you should definitely stop by.
When I walked up to the Coucou Salut booth, I felt like I had definitely seen her work before - and then I looked at my show guide (she was a featured artist).  Her mom was manning the booth when I was there and also reminded my that one of her pillows had been in House & Home magazine, and I remembered it immediately.  I love that her things are whimsical and playful, but could be just as fun in a 'grown up' space as they would in a kids room.  The monsters are so cute, as is the moustached strong man.  Coucou Salut is a featured "Rising Star" artist at H-43.
Danielle Hession's mixed media works also caught my eye - her photographs are beautifully layered and many of them had bright happy colours used in perfect quantities.  She had smaller affordable pieces that would look great on their own or in a group, as well as some pretty ornaments. She has booth K-53.
While I don't tend to stop at the lotions and potions booths, the beautiful display at Matter Company, especially behind the cash, drew me right in.  They did an outstanding job of merchandizing - booth L-53.
And speaking booths that drew me in, the neon colours of Judy Black's prints and clothing practically pulsed from the back of the vast room.  In a mostly subdued and crafty show, they were a welcome punch of funk. Bring your sunglasses to booth O-59.
This soothing ceramics display by Christopher Reid across the aisle was a study in contrasts! :) I loved his organic shapes and textures.  Booth O-37.
Tony Koukos's booth of world photographs was also very eye-catching.  I was particularly drawn to the square collection of resin-covered works showcasing the more abstract textures and patterns found on his travels, although his series of windows below I thought would also look very cool grouped together somewhere.  Booth Q-33.
There were many leather-ware booths, but this one in particular caught my eye with the hot pink felt clutch and industrial-looking iPad bags.  Now I just need that iPad... visit Circle Craft in booth Q-04.
Of course, neighbourhood typographic prints have been around for a little while, but I still get a kick out of seeing local Toronto ones, and these by Dave Murray are just done so well.  The one below had a cool glossy resin finish that worked perfectly with the black background and white type.  And he is super nice. :)  Go say hi in booth R-23.
I admired iDentity last year (and got one of the Canada t-shirts for my husband) and this year Meghan was back with her great T's and toques, but these fabulous pillows, blankets and plaid scarves.   So Canadian, eh?  The curling stone pillow made me super happy. Get yours at booth T-07.
I also stopped to admire the pretty simple ceramics by Thomas J. Suh - I love the cup below with its subtle blue glaze.  He also makes some pretty adorable characters, including these 3 little piggies.  Booth T-22.
My photos of the beautiful eco-clothing of atelier b.  do no justice to the clean lines and amazing craftsmanship of their pieces.  This red dress was so beautifully cut, and I if I didn't 'work' at home, I would definitely have taken one of their high-waisted pencil skirts shown below.  And the ladies were super-chic, and made a beautiful and inviting booth (V-38).
Another awesome Montreal artist that caught my eye (there were so many from Montreal this year!) was James Kennedy, with his laser cut steel works.  They were so graphic and unique - there are so many spaces I would love to see this large work featured in.  He also had others I didn't get photos of where he took the positive part of the cut-outs and places them on big chinks of wood from the area of the world their shape represented - i.e. the outline of asia was affixed to a big chunk of bamboo.  It was quite stunning.  Booth Y-38.
Yet another Montreal artist I stopped to chat with was Frederique Bonmatin, who makes these colourful ceramics.  These would be cool set to collect as every one is unique and ever-so-slightly different than the rest. They are warm and cheerful without being too attention-seeking (always good in a set of dishes).  Find her in booth Z - 09.
Of course I had to stop by to see the beautiful bags I lust for from Bookhou, and of course they had a lovely display.  This was the one other spot where I spent money, on another 2012 calendar.  I am not sure what has me so keen on 2012!   Booth O-07.
It was colour again that drew me to the block prints of Margaret Rankin.  I have always liked the look of traditional wood block prints, and these are rather traditional shapes and motifs with the bamboo and trees but printed with more modern colours.  The one at the bottom is my favourite with all the detail - she explained that this is her Dad's wood-sided house in Cape Breton.  She is in booth O-19.
I was on my way out the door, exhausted and hungry, when the paintings of Sarah Hillock caught my eye.  The bright green of this painting and the sweet soft cow eyes are amazing.  I wish we had room for one of these beauties in our house.  Sarah mentioned she was a vegetarian and I was not at all surprised - I think you can see it in the way she paint the animals.  She was at booth K-03.  She also gave me a couple of great blogs to check out - thanks Sarah!
Phew!  That is about it - I had a few more but I have run out of steam.  Of course there were many, many more wonderful artisans I would have loved to talk to and feature, but I had to draw the line somewhere - and William had to get to school!   This show is just so good!  It continues through December 4th at the Direct Energy Centre, and I noticed there is special late night shopping until 11pm on Thursday Dec 1!  Let me know of any favourites you find that I may or may not have mentioned!  Happy Shopping...