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a pair

November 20, 2017

I came across these beautiful Claude Lalanne “Ginko” chairs today, and pictured how lovely they’d look at my dining room table. Claude and her husband François-Xavier collaborated on many creative projects. Where his work was large in scale –– birds, monkeys and bears –– her focus was on smaller, more intricate pieces inspired by nature. Now 93 (her husband died in 2008) the artist still works at her atelier on the outskirts of Fontainebleau. It’s her electroplated jewellery that I’m most enamoured with — gold or copper bracelets in the shape of lips, a huge sunflower for a necklace, and heaps of red currants or dragon flies dangling from the ear. They’re whimsical, surreal and utterly unique.

shoe in

September 27, 2017

As of tomorrow when the temperatures drop to the more typical teens, our footwear will shift from Birks to brogues. I’m excited about buying a new pair of loafers. In the meantime though, I’m loving these sandals. It’s probably a good thing that I’ve got no idea where they’re from –– I’d be wearing them with wooley socks within a week.

Seats me fine

July 5, 2017

Choose your chair. And choose your favourite pair of chairs. I’m a sucker for pink and green, the brighter the shades the better, and pink and gray is always a pretty combination. All of them together make a great lineup though, don’t they? Why don’t more waiting rooms look like this one?

 

 

Modern Barn

June 28, 2017

We like Prince Edward County, so much so that we once thought about building a modern barn on a stretch of land overlooking the lake. Like The Fogo Inn, that was inspired by traditional Newfoundland outport architecture, I like the idea of creating something modern that pays homage to its roots. The county is filled with hundreds of barns set on rolling hills. Many of them are in disrepair, but what a beautiful sight they are. A modern barn would look spectacular, in my view,  and would fit naturally into the landscape.

 

plated

June 27, 2017

I had my last pottery class today, and four seasons in, I think I have found my rhythm. Plates are relaxing and easy to make, and the flat surface allows me to experiment with different painting and decorating styles. I have a full mix and match dinner set in the kiln! Jeppe Hein‘s plates will be top of mind when I start again in September, and I love the high wattage wares from Martinich & Carran. Both have a painterly quality that haven’t yet played with. It’s fun to have projects to look forward to.

 

Tartine

June 23, 2017

Dinner is usually our heftiest meal of the day, but summertime calls for lighter options like salads, meze and fish on the barbecue. Tartines are a wonderful idea, too, with seasonal toppings like fresh asparagus and goat’s cheese or feta, basil and plump little tomatoes. This recipe for smoked salmon and capers is dead simple. I’d like to try it on Prairie Boy‘s sunflower spelt or sprouted red quinoa bread.

 

Black is the new black

June 22, 2017

I love colour, all colours, but even I’m intrigued by black ice cream in a black cone. The queue outside Ihalo Krunch on Queen Street is epic with people flocking in to sample charcoal infused soft serve. At home, you can try black sesame infused ice cream, for a similarly dramatic colour. Goth ice cream, I like it. But for summertime, I’d sooner see sorbet colours in honey-hued cones waltzing through Trinny Bells.

Room

June 20, 2017

Rooms like this one, with its inky blue walls, mismatched furnishings and lampshades that look like heat lamps in a 50s salon, are just the kind of spaces I like to be in. They are comfortable and warm, and filled with conversation pieces. Velvet sofas are a dream of mine, and aqua marine is one of my favourite colours. Just think about the late night absinthe parties that could take place right here.

 

School’s out

June 16, 2017

My daughter had an ice cream party at school today to celebrate the end of the school year. It’s always fun to catch a glimpse of our children at school, a place where they spend so much time, but where we’re rarely present. The excitement was palpable. I was reminded of how I felt around this time every year –– nervous, relieved, sad. The summer seemed like an endless stretch of time with no algebra in sight. And no school friends either. I was out of the country for most of it, and I wouldn’t see my pals until September. By the time we were reunited, there were a million stories to share –– a first kiss, a fall from a horse, new bangs and pierced ears. It felt like forever that we’d been apart, and in no time, we were back in the swing of things.

at my table

June 16, 2017

It’s rare to walk into my friend Jessica’s house and not find keffir grains on the counter, a bone broth on the stove and Red Fife bread in the oven. Her daughter, Phoebe is always snacking on something homemade –– herbed crackers, radish and cherry lollies, black bean brownies. When she was pregnant with her second daughter, Maeve, the house permanently stank of saurkraut. Weeks after Maeve was born she served ghoulish food to dozens of neighbours on Halloween. She loves to cook, she loves to feed people. Our friend Erin is the same. She doesn’t make butter from scratch, but she throws fish on the barbecue and whips up grain salads that make you feel like you’ve flown to Ottolenghi. The most delicious food –– a hearty Bolognese, a perfectly boiled egg, roast chicken and freshly made bread and butter –– is simple and made with love. When Jen Agg said “I don’t like people,” in a recent Globe and Mail article it stopped me in my tracks. How can you feed people if you don’t like them? To come to Erin or Jessica’s table means they like you. A lot. And that’s a big part of what makes the food taste so damn wonderful.

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