Posts from October 2018

tree of life

October 31, 2018

Some people have a knack of putting a positive spin on all matters. My swimming friend, Linda is one such individual. I know her from nattering in the locker room, and I find her attitude bright and grounded. Once in a while, we’ll bump into one another at the supermarket and giggle at how odd it feels to be conversing with clothes on. I like Linda. This morning, as I bemoaned the rain, she stopped me and said, “but Athena, the trees need stored-up water to make up for what they’ll lose through winter. A wet November is a good one.” I appreciated the reminder that we all need different things to survive.

trick or treat

October 30, 2018

If in doubt about what to wear tomorrow night for the most ghoulish day of the year, take inspiration from fashion history, starting with this 1920s, bias cut frock in the prettiest shade of pumpkin. Next up, is anything blood red and decadent, maybe satin or crushed velvet? Izabela Rossellini is one to turn to any day of the year, but this black tulle head sculpture is pure drama. A cool white suit, makes you the chicest ghost on the block.

the little book

October 29, 2018

“If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers,” Dorothy Parker once wrote, “the second-greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of ‘The Elements of Style.’ The first-greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.” Once in a while, I open my copy of The Elements of Style, and I turn straight to the back, to the ‘list of reminders’. It’s there that I am grounded by Strunk and White’s practical wisdoms. “When using metaphor, do not mix it up. That is, don’t start by calling something a swordfish and end by calling it an hourglass.” “When you say something, make sure you have said it. The chances of your having said it are only fair.” And my favourite, “avoid the elaborate, the pretentious, the coy and the cute. Do not be tempted by a twenty-dollar word when there is a ten-center handy.” I have the version illustrated by the wonderfully talented Maira Kalman. Aspiring writers, firefighters or veterinarians, everyone deserves the favour that is the gift of this book.

jolie laide

October 26, 2018

Jolie laide is one of my favourite descriptions, possibly because it’s the face I love most. It’s how the French describe an unconventional beauty, a woman whose crooked teeth, hooded eyes or equine nose bring originality and intrigue to her face. Anjelica Huston and Barbra Streisand are frequently cited. I add Coco Chanel and Diane Vreeland to the list. And Tilda Swinton, too. It’s the ultimate compliment. Pretty, ugly. That your face is confusing, challenging, and that it demands attention, a second, third look. I could apply jolie laide to so many things I love, where the ugliness is what makes the thing beautiful. Big wooly mustard sweaters, blossom from a smoking tree, coral reefs and all of my children’s plump, thick skinned feet. Life is so much more interesting when it’s jolie laide.

winter babouche

October 25, 2018

I’ve been wearing my babouche with thick socks lately, but it’s really not doing it for me. My feet are always cold. These Jenni Kayne’s are more than I’d like to spend on a slipper, especially ones that I can’t take to the sidewalk, but they do look exceptionally cozy and warm. The heel folds down in homage to the Moroccan slipper and they’re a 100 per cent shearling/suede mix. Sold. Almost. Thinking about it.

Neck line

October 24, 2018

I’ve been a fan of Annie Costello Brown’s Matisse inspired danglers for a while, but today this necklace caught my eye, and well, I want it. I don’t wear necklaces, but this one is great. Simple, a bit bohemian and beautifully asymmetrical. It’s on my wish list. along with a camel and a small Benetti yacht.


October 23, 2018

My first white hair was dead straight. It leapt out from the side of my head like a diving board. Weeks later, I started seeing more of them, coarse and wiry and haphazard in location. More recently, I discovered a single bright white hair in my left eye brow. I’m pretty happy about that one. In fact, I’m pretty happy about all of them. I’m not sure what I’ll do when they really start to take over. I’ve never coloured my hair, and the maintenance sounds like a bore. But if my whites look anything like this. I’m in.

middle century

October 22, 2018

Have a gander round this lovely mid-century home in southern California. It was designed in the late 50s by Richard Neutra, but so much of the design remains relevant today. The kitchen boasts the original wood panelling, plus an original Thermador In-Wall Oven. I really like the wood against the black flooring. The bedroom is my favourite room –– it feels like a tree house. Who wouldn’t be happy writing letters (or even paying bills) at that desk?

comeback queen

October 19, 2018

Carnations have always been a bit naff, mostly because we see them year-round at the corner shop, next to baby’s breath. But there are some larger ones about called spray carnations that have frilly edges and come in beautiful colours like nude and plum, and next to the typical red and yellow ones, they look positively grand. I bought a large bunch yesterday, and added a hodge podge of blue hydrangeas, pink lisianthus, cockscomb (that velvety pink flower) and some gerbera daisies. They’re sitting in a turquoise water jug, and the whole things is a happy thing to look at.

glass act

October 18, 2018

I came across the work of Ingeborg Lundin today, a mid-century Swedish glass artists famous for her hand blown “apple” design. I love her textured work, these beautiful blue and green vases, etched with organic designs. And this long stem vase, (pictured) is so very elegant.

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