Posts from January 2017

Moore is more

January 31, 2017

Twice in my life, I’ve lived close to the sculptures of Henry Moore. In Norwich, where I studied art history, huge Moore nudes lay in the grassy field between my dorm and school of study. Many more were inside the building. What incredible luck to see them from my kitchen window. Here in Toronto, the dames are a little further away, but still close to enough to walk over and visit. Only I never do. It’s been years since I’ve been to the Henry Moore sculpture studio at the AGO. It really is a peaceful place. If you’re lucky, you may even hear the girls nattering to one another. “Hey, Marjorie –– fancy a cup of tea after the crowds have dispersed?” “That would be lovely, Amaryllis –– I’ll bring a pound cake.”


heavenly stairway

January 27, 2017

Not all stairways are created equal — and this one is too beautiful for words. In a space this breathtaking, I’d need to get dressed up just to walk down to the kitchen. Alternatively, I’d own a vast collection of silk kimonos, or pajamas chic enough to wear out to lunch.



January 27, 2017

I was browsing the Met Museum’s fashion archives, and I came across a Mainbocher gown that I adore. Main Rousseau Bocher (Main was his mother’s maiden name) was born in Chicago in 1890 and is known as America’s first true couturier. A career that spanned 41 years, saw him creating gowns for the country’s elite, from Diana Vreeland to Gloria Vanderbilt and Babe Paley. It was Mainbocher who designed the custom wedding dress Wallis Simpson wore to marry Prince Edward VIII. Take a look at some of the frocks on display at the Met’s Making Mainbocher exhibition. The sleeves on Mrs. Clive Runnells’ ivory 1940s gown will take your breath away.



Paper, Scissors

January 25, 2017

Please take a look at Claire Oswalt‘s beautifully simple collages in black, white and inky blues. I find them so soothing to look at. Her website spotlights her process –– the places where inspiration springs from –– a rose or an orange peel, or a smattering of nude toned knickers sitting on the dryer. They’re quite lovely, no? Oswalt makes simple, graphic quilts, also, which is no surprise.





January 24, 2017

At the chiropractor’s office yesterday, I flicked through a copy of Angela Liddon’s Oh She Glows in search of an idea for dinner that night. I can’t remember the last time I looked at a cookbook, let alone bought one, but this is one I’d love to own. We eat well, but it’s the same meals that we sit down to week after week; baked salmon with roasted yams and broccoli, penne with zucchini, garlic and pecorino, stir fries, risottos and roast chicken with sage potatoes and green beans. Everything is doused in olive oil, and salt and pepper is as imaginative as it gets. Liddon’s book is stacked full of healthy, delicious looking ideas. To start with, I’m adding these roasted chickpeas to the mix every time I roast a potato or a floret of broccoli. And doesn’t this butternut/sweet potato/lentil stew look comforting?




January 23, 2017

“Look at all these thousands of people,” I said to Iole as we stood among the crowds of men and women and children in Queen’s Park  last Saturday. “They’re all here because they believe in something.” I’m not sure how much she grasped of what I said to her as we walked from home to Queen’s park and down Univeristy Avenue, but the fact that she was there, the fact that we were there together, meant a lot to me, and I hope one day to her. “This was the coffee shop I came to in a nightie and ballerina flats while I waited for labour to kick in,” I told her as we stood in line for the loo at Tim Horton’s. And here you are, all grown up, and marching with your Mama down University Avenue. That standing up for what you believe in can look as positive and peaceful and unified as Saturday’s March, is just the sort of message we want for our children. “We’re doing it,” Gloria Steinem said in Washington. “Pressing send does not allow us to empathize with other people. … If you hold a baby you’re flooded with empathy. If you see somebody in an accident you want to help them. I love books, but [empathy] doesn’t happen from a book. It doesn’t happen from a screen. It only happens when we’re together.”



January 20, 2017

Please, on this dreary Friday, take a virtual walk through the fantastical world of designer, Vincent Darré. From an eye-popping sputnik light, to richly printed fabrics and wallpapers, to objets and curiosities wild enough for a Dali stamp, this Parisian pied-a-terre is pure theatre. Every last item is a conversation piece –– and tell me you’re not dying to faire le chit-chat with this wonderfully exuberant and bizarre fellow. Everything got sold at auction in November –– Darré is reinventing himself, oh my -– but if I could get my hands on that 18th Century couch, I’d never leave home.


A long walk

January 20, 2017

I’ve admired the work of land artist, Richard Long for many years. “There is a point of view,” he once said in the Guardian, “that if you go into the landscape you should only leave footprints and take photographs. The other extreme is making monuments. I have no interest in making monuments. But I think there is a fascinating territory between those two positions. I can move things from place to place. I can manipulate the world by leaving stones on the road. And they don’t disappear because the stone is still in the world – but completely anonymously.”


swan song

January 19, 2017

I came across artist, Sophia Pappas and I want to share her work. I love this charming puppet and this brilliant fish made out of a water bottle. Her little pop up cards are delightful –– just the sort of treasure I’d like to receive in the mail. Her River Swan drawing is one of my favourites. It’s not that I’m soft on swans, but I can relate to the image of this poised, graceful bird whose webbed feet are flapping hard beneath the water’s surface. As Albert Einstein said, “the secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.”


c’est chic

January 17, 2017

Here’s an outfit that I’d steal from top to toe. High waisted, pleated trousers, (the blue tweed is divine) an antique inspired white shirt and a bold, printed scarf. I love outfits that stop the show with their chic, understated brilliance. Yes, Madame — you belong at Chanel.


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