Life

tart

April 19, 2018

I found this image of tarts made by the Le Meurice‘s pasty chef, Cedric Grolet, and I had to share it. Aren’t they beautiful? Have a look at Grolet’s instagram feed, it’s one exquisite confection after another. His almond cake (keep scrolling) looks like heaven on a Carrara marble counter.

maximalist

April 18, 2018

I find minimal design beautiful, but boring. Give me tchotchke, colour clashes and contradictions. “Maximal” is how owner and children’s clothing designer, Victoria Roper describes her charmingly higgledy-piggledy cottage in the thick of the English countrside.. Every room is a hodge podge of print and colour, and no room is without books, toys and pictures. I love the vintage beds in the children’s rooms and the bright yellow (like freshly churned butter) in the kitchen is delightful. Take a look at the Eat Me Drink Me Cottage’s instagram page, or better yet, book a holiday there.

a taste of honey

April 17, 2018

For as long as I can remember, I had imagined a baby boy. It wasn’t that I had my heart set on raising sons, it’s just how I thought it would be. So when Antimo was born it felt that I’d known him all my life. In the moments after his birth, the nurse handed me my baby and urged me to speak to him. “He’ll recognize your voice,” she said. But all I wanted was to be silent. “He already knows who I am.”  Happy Birthday my sweet boy, your heart is filled with honey.

narrative thread

April 16, 2018

In the late 60s, textile artist, Sheila Hicks was commissioned to create two tapestries for the Ford Foundation’s auditorium and boardroom. Fifty years later, after much ware and tare, Sheila was commissioned to re-create the tapestries at her atelier in Paris. If you have a moment, watch this video as it’s quite lovely. “In all of the cultures of the world, textiles are a crucial and essential component, therefore if you’re beginning with thread, you’re half way home.” Here she is in 1989, photographed by Cristobal Zañartu.

license to drive

April 13, 2018

My children ask at least once a week when I’m going to learn to drive. The question typically comes when we’re pegging it up Spadina, and we’re late for school. Or when I offer them a scenic route to their swimming classes in Chinatown. In my fourty years, I’ve always lived in the centre of town, and I’ve rarely felt limited by not having a car. Jason drives, I have good friends with cars –– I’m set. Until I’m not. And those are the days when I wish I had a license. I’m not sure where I’d go. Maybe the supermarket, or to Nova Scotia. Two feet are great, but sometimes, four wheels are better.

nature/nurture

April 12, 2018

Last night, I organized another a creative workshop, this time at the studio of textile artist, Tania Love. I’d been racing around all day, so her studio –– white, bright and loved –– was a delightful place to be. Tania works with botanical dyes and inks, made from leaves, berries and barks that she’s foraged in and around the city. Her work is inspired by nature, and her style is simple and sensitive. It’s tricky to socialize and host –– there was plenty of Prosecco and Tania prepared a lovely spread of food, including chocolate made-from-scratch –– and follow instructions at the same time. So, by the time it came to painting our scarves, I drew a blank. Literally. At the end of the evening, I tried winging it, with haphazard painterly lines, but the result was more mess than Motherwell. I binned my scarf when I got home. But I loved the experience of spending the evening with wonderful women, and I appreciate the reminder to slow and down and focus more. I woke up this morning, with a dozen ideas and an urge to go back to Tania’s studio for a one-on-one workshop.

soft focus

April 10, 2018

Who doesn’t love a sink that looks like a small tub? I love the ever-so-gentle hues of blush, beige and butter yellow. The lighting seems subtle enough to soften the appearance of all fine lines and dark circles. And that mirror is pure drama. Yes, this is a loo, I’d be happy to spend a penny at.

work life balance

April 9, 2018

I was looking at the work of American abstract painter, Shirley Jaffe this morning –– colourful, geometeric, full of vim –– and I was inspired to read that she painted up until her death at 92. “I have done a lot of work,” Jaffe told the New York Times at her last solo exhibition in 2015. “I do work practically every day now, but a lot less, which disturbs me. But I do try to keep to a rhythm of doing at least something every day.” The idea of a person’s work satiating, steering and balancing them until their end, is very inspiring to me. “To the end, she retained the power to surprise,” wrote the Times in her obituary.

tea and biscuits

April 6, 2018

If I had to choose a favourite biscuit, it would be a Petit Ecollier in milk chocolate. They’re simple and absolutely delicious. You don’t see them at many supermarkets –– Fiesta Farms, perhaps –– but they remind me of my childhood. I used to eat them by the dozen with milky, sweet tea after school. First I’d eat the chocolate, and then I’d eat the biscuit. Perfect.

quotidien

April 6, 2018

My fascination with collections and people who collect steered me to Ettore Guatelli, a school teacher from Parma who amassed a collection of everyday tools and objects –– pincers, hammers, spades –– vast enough to warrant its own museum. Please have a look at these artfully curated displays; one room contains hundreds of baskets hanging from the ceiling, while another features a wall of shoe horns arranged in a beautiful fan. “The beauty of the everyday life events we have always neglected and their inner value that we have not recognized, they were disclosed to us by a simple man from the Parma’s countryside. His name is Ettore Guatelli.” –– Werner Herzog.

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