Inspiration

Through hoops

July 25, 2017

In terms of jewellery design, few things are as timeless as a pair of yellow gold hoops. These here are from 6th Century Greece, but they’re no less modern than the hoops we see today. My daughter (with freshly pierced ears) is determined to wear hoops. Something tiny and delicate from Catbird is as close as she’s going to get. She has a lifetime of hoops ahead, let’s start small.

Savon

July 24, 2017

Pretty, handmilled soaps are generally something I buy as gifts. But every now and then, I’ll buy one for myself, and this Toronto based brand is one of my favourites right now. Santa Maria Novella is always an indulgence and the scents (and packaging) over at Claus Porto are gorgeous. Almost too gorgeous to use, in fact. Savon de Marseilles has been around since 1688. I would hazard that the company’s soap making process and ingredients haven’t changed much over the centuries. It’s always the simplest things that bring the greatest pleasure. A crudely formed bar of soap that smells like olive oil or sea salt is my idea of olfactory bliss.

red stripe

July 21, 2017

I bought a terrific bathing suit from Shan today that makes me look like I’ve stepped off the pages of a 1930s Brighton beach catalogue. It’s a red and white stripe, like the beach tents, with a retro style derrière that’s both flattering and comfy. It’s the ultimate cozzie. Now, I just need a beach party to go to.

class act

July 20, 2017

Part of the appeal of taking a class is the people you’ll meet. At least, it is for me. Some of the most inspiring people I’ve met in the last couple of years have come via pottery class. That said, if it’s all skill and no socializing that you’re after Skillshare looks really cool. From ink drawing to knife skills to mixing music, there’s no shortage of classes to sign up to. I’ve always thought it would be fun to learn some flower arranging skills. And who doesn’t want to learn to make pasta the Italian way?

saudade

July 19, 2017

It’s the reality of living your life away from the place you grew up that your heart is always tinged with longing. It’s what the Portuguese call saudade. Toronto is my home –– it’s where my husband and children are. It’s my everyday; where the bread, the laundry detergent and the hours of operation are all so familiar. It’s where I stop to talk to neighbours on the side of the street and where I walk miles and miles knowing I’m never far from the Annex. But it’s at this time of year, that I imagine my head under water in the Aegean Sea. The water is so cold that it’s impossible not to feel utterly invigorated in it. The wind carries a beautiful scent laced with Oleander, marjoram, sage and thyme. If I close my eyes, I can smell it. And I can feel the warmth and dryness of the heat. This year, we’ve decided to explore our city, province and country by car. Already, we’ve discovered new places, and experienced old ones in a new light. I love the scent of burning wood and citronella, and the feeling of cold, dirt under my feet. And I love the sight of endless fields speckled with lone barns, white pines and sugar maples. My heart isn’t stirred in that unique way that hearts are when we experience a sensory dance with our childhood. Sea salt and Oleander are in my DNA. Who knows, maybe our children will feel that way about campfire and cedar? Or maybe, it will be a weird, wonderful amalgam of it all.

 

heat

July 17, 2017

One of my favourite things about summer is sitting outside after the sun has fully set, in a caftan and my bare dirty feet, to release the heat and sweat and intensity of the day. Only these days, there’s hasn’t been enough heat in the day to feel that. I’d like at least a few days of that wonderful all consuming summer heat. If anything, just so we can enjoy the bliss after it breaks.

Dosa

July 14, 2017

Every now and then I come across a line that I could wear in its entirety. Dosa is one such label. From effortless silk pants to romantic gauzy tops to charming alpaca cardis, there isn’t a single item I don’t like. Just look at the puffed sleeves on this top; don’t they look like macaron! And this cashmere shawl goes everywhere, and with everything. It was my Mum who sent me the line earlier this week. She knows me well.

 

Aliki

July 13, 2017

One of my favourite summer memories is sitting in the open air cinemas in Athens with my brother and cousins watching Aliki Vougiouklaki movies under the stars. We sat on white plastic chairs and ate roasted pumpkin seeds out of brown paper bags. I thought Aliki was the most beautiful and funniest woman in the world.  I rarely go to the cinema anymore, and if I do, I’ll choose a smaller theatre with a European feel. I like when the space is intimate and the sound isn’t deafening. I like it when there’s only popcorn on offer. It’s simple. Nostalgic. Charming.

Terrazzo!

July 12, 2017

I have a thing for terrazzo flooring –– the speckled tile you see in airports and schools. Terrazzo is making a major comeback with bolder patterns and fabulous new colours. I keep coming back to this kitchen. and I love this dizzy making powder room. In my own home, I don’t know that I’d go for terrazzo on large surfaces like floors or a staircase. But on a backsplash, I think it looks great. Everything is old is new again. And again.

 

 

 

Shoe in

July 11, 2017

I’ve walked and danced and jogged in French Sole ballerinas since my late teens, but these days, my body is asking for greater support than a flat-as-a-pancake shoe. Is it time for Belgian Shoes? I know they’re a bit mumsy (I picture chic middle aged European women wearing them to the supermarché) but I’m kind of in love with the midinette tri colour in flamingo pink. “Please advise type of stockings you intend to wear (light, heavy, none, etc.). You may also include an out-line of your bare foot. Be sure to be standing and hold the pencil straight upright when tracing your foot.” Now, that’s a level a detail I appreciate. Hopefully, my back will, too. 

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