let’s polka

May 18, 2019

Polka dots, fanny packs and retro sneaks –– what’s not to love about this look? It could go anywhere. Well, almost anywhere. Swap the fanny pack for an Hermes belt, and the sneaks for stilettos, and you’re off the the ball.

shell

May 17, 2019

It’s been a week since we moved out of our house, and I thought I’d miss it more than I do. I miss our neighbours, I miss our porch and I miss our tree lined street, but the house itself, I don’t think about too much. It was the life inside the house –– the people, the paintings, the photographs –– that made our house a home. And once you take all that away, it’s just a shell. And a crumbling one at that. When I visit the house now –– it looks downtrodden –– all I see are cracked walls, mouse holes and dirty, old floorboards. I used to feel sad about tearing it down, now I can’t wait.

cake time

May 15, 2019

Baking has never been my strong suit, but I do love baking cakes for my kid’s Birthdays. It’s been a while since I last made one, but I may bring back the double-decker heart this year. The last time I made it was for Iole’s fourth birthday, and I covered it in pink icing, sprinkles and twirly ballerinas. The cake was virtually inedible, but it sure did look pretty. These days, she’s such a busy baker, that she may well bake her own sponges. Hopefully, she’ll let me do the decorating. Making things look pretty, that is my forte.

girlie

May 15, 2019

My eldest child has a uniform of leggings, more leggings, tanks tops and sweat shirts. If for a day I could dress her, I may choose a darling handmade blouse from Rairai –– something like this –– paired with a Bobo Choses skirt. Maybe in a decade or two, she may come to appreciate embroidered collars and printed skirts. After she’s had enough of slashed fishnets and barely there dresses.

arranged marriage

May 13, 2019

It was this Gucci ad that drew me to her work, and now that I’ve discovered Ruby Barber’s floral artistry, I’m hooked. Based in Berlin, Barber is one half of the creative team behind Mary Lennox. The name of the floral studio references the heroine of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic novel, The Secret Garden. Barber’s work spans from floral styling and set decoration to huge-scale installations. She’s partnered with Gucci, Asics and Zara Home, to name a few.  Wild, decadent and ethereal, it’s hard not to skip a breath when you see Barber’s creations. One writer described them quite perfectly as “perishable artworks.” That they only last a week or two, a month at most, is part of what makes them so exquisite.

study partner

May 10, 2019

My brain is blancmange today, but I dd want to share this image, only because bookshelves like these are a bit of a fantasy, (Tom Wolfe is the only author I can make out) as is a sofa pink like the pinkest June peony.

peaches and cream

May 9, 2019

While you salivate over them peaches and that ice cream, all I’m thinking about is the plate. What a pretty, pretty thing. I think I’d always choose white plates, but this one is so unique. Even a floret of broccoli would look beautiful on this one.

material matters

May 7, 2019

In preparation for our move, I’ve spent weeks and weeks culling our possessions, in the hopes of lightening our load. And yet, we’ve still managed to fill two 24-foot trucks. Even as the movers were loading the truck this morning, I was taking things from their hands to plonk on the curb. “Free vintage Italian posters, please take one.” The idea of living as minimalists for a year, with only our bare essentials held a certain appeal, until we found an apartment large enough that we didn’t have to. What drew me to the space was that I could see our life in it. And that included all the crazy papier-mâché , paintings, textiles, glass and ceramics we’ve collected over two decades. The editing experience has been a good one, in that I now know what we own. Duplicates of photographs were discarded. Almost all the kid’s art, too. Clothes, toys, books and shoes, all tossed or re-homed. I’m a maximalist, and I’m sentimental, so while I wouldn’t make it into the William Morris school of design, his words helped me as I packed. Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. 

bread and butter

May 6, 2019

Last suppers make great dinner time conversation. What would your last meal be? Some people imagine something rich and  decadent –– linguine with lobster –– while others opt for a simple boiled egg. My default answer is always bread a butter. A fresh-out-of-the-oven baguette, with hand-churned salty butter. And if there’s a lovely marmalade or a delightfully creamy brie sitting around, I’d throw that on, too. Why not? I’m off, anyway.

spring

May 5, 2019

It’s always amazing to me that a city as grey as Toronto ever turns green. But it does. Every year. A garden that’s looked dead for months, suddenly comes to life. This is the time of year, when surprises spring up in our garden. Dormant fritillaria and hidden Irises. Today, a red tulip appeared that I’ve never seen before. Alongside everything else that’s starting to bloom, these flowers feel like gifts. Close to my children’s school, there’s a tree planted with a plaque that reads, “where the grey light meets the green air.” It’s dedicated to Dianthus & Bear. In my mind, it conjures hope and possibility. Much like Spring.

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