Thoughtful gifts

February 21, 2011

A super thoughtful gift

I don’t know what to say about these except that I love them. A beautiful rich wood with contrasting black edges and a matte finish. Those silhouettes bring me right back to elementary school, having our profile outlined with the overhead projector and Sharpie markers onto huge newsprint pages.


Winter colour

February 2, 2011

I just need a little shot of colour at this dull time of year. This is my Charlie Harper memory game. It’s so fun to look at and it would be even better if someone would play with me. How about it Ada?

These flowers were photographed in the fall but they remind me of the bold Charlie Harper colours.

And this is a scarf I made from a japanese Noro yarn.  I even have my husband wearing a bit of colour this year.

Men in colours, there’s a novel idea, Olive! My favorite colours right now are our freshly painted walls. Super wintery, but I’m all about embracing the snowstorms that we’re enveloped in at the moment.

Two tones of lilac-grey changed our apartment from Tuscan yellow of previous owners to something we can call our own.


January 10, 2011

Gram's old print

I do most of my work at home and it’s a tricky balance. I can’t quite keep the sentimental things out of my office, even though I barely have room for my stationery, reference books, samples, drawings. All that pesky work stuff. But keeping something inspiring or sentimental next to where you spend so many hours only helps to feed your creativity.

Ada, I’m going to add a note here about  inspiring organizers in my workspace. 

These Italian school notebooks are so traditional looking, they make me nostalgic for my grade 4 schooldesk and freshly sharpened pencils.   The dusty colours inspire me to fill them with ideas and sketches. 

Eventually I add covers to create travel or working diaries, stuffed with collected  memorabilia.

My first trip to NYC

July 26, 2010

My first trip to New York City was a hot whirlwind of a walking tour, full of amazing views, food, cinematic moments galore. I will go back any chance I get.

gallery in Chelsea

Courtyard in front of a gallery in Chelsea

Those fantastic fire escapes and intersecting lines

Hot summers day in Brooklyn


The Highline = highlight of our trip.

Patience is a virtue

February 10, 2010

Here is a hand knit sweater painstakingly crafted by my mother.  She spent hours getting the pattern correct and ripping back small errors until it was perfect.  Being an impatient knitter, the detail astounds me.  I am in awe.

– Olive

Granny's pillow - close up

This is a piece of needlework that my Granny Dolores made a long time ago and gave to me a few years back. I turned it into a pillow, with a backing in ivory raw silk. I really admire the work she put into this and can’t help but think that I’ll never complete something so involved. I get impatient just thinking about it, always wanting instant results. All these ‘quick project’ tutorials all over the place, we get to feeling like if we can’t get something completed in a day it’s just not worth it. I would like to make a goal of shedding that concept. It’s disposable.

These intricate, time-consuming, patience-building projects are the ones that we’ll be remembered by. Gotta slow down..

Which reminds me, there was a wonderful edition of Good magazine a week or so ago about “Slow”. A good inspiring read, including the handmade radio story!

– Ada

Best Music, to my ears

December 31, 2009

At the end of each year, we’re bombarded with a multitude of best-of lists; movies, books, crazy celebrities, news stories (half of which are on both the crazy celebrity as well as the top news story lists). I can certainly do without the celebrity gossip but I’m a big music fan. But alas, I can never quite find the one list that matches all my own personal favorites. To remedy that, here’s my first very own Favorite Albums of 2009 List. Hope you find some of yours on here too, or discover some new things you might like:

Bill Callahan
Sometimes I wish we were an eagle” (Drag City)

Lightning Dust
Infinite Light” (Jagjaguwar)

To Willie” (Dead Oceans)

Various Artists
Dark was the Night” (4AD)

Devendra Banhart
What will we be” (Warner)

Cloudland” (Harmonia Mundi)

Atlas Sound
Logos” (Kranky)

Here We Go Magic
Here We Go Magic” (Western Vinyl)

Cass McCombs
Catacombs” (Domino)

Little Dragon
Machine Dreams” (Peacefrog)

On another note, Olive offered me this perfectly olive-coloured cowl neck warmer she made. In return, I’ll make her some mix tapes, so she can sample the musical discoveries above. Wool warmth = musical warmth.

Happy New Year, everybody!

fresh from my local chilean bakery, to share with the family tomorrow at lunch.


December 20, 2009

Trimmings for the tree

As I hang the decorations on my little tree I am thinking about Olive holidays.    That lady loved a party and the jewelry she wore was kind of elegant in an outrageous way.  It’s the kind of bracelet which will be brought out for every annual event.  As I wear it, I think of rye and ginger-ale highballs and a lampshade on the head (no kidding) .

Heavy splendour

Olive had good taste and this necklace has a timeless beauty.  It also served as a place to hold the matches for those many cigarettes smoked until dawn.  Happy partying!

Take a match from inside this pendant and strike at the bottom. Pretty and functional.