Posts from November 2021

baguette

November 26, 2021

With her five foot baguette and six bottles of red wine, I think this women is set for the weekend. All she needs is some salty butter and a wheel of brie. Paris, 1945. Them French know how to live. I read that in some rural parts of France people still scratch the sign of the cross on the bottom of their baguette before cutting it, and traditionalists never cut the baguette from both ends. The word baguette translates as, “wand” and given its status in French culture, this bread really can perform magic.

gingko

November 24, 2021

There’s a rather rancid smell in the air at this time of year, the smell of Ginkgo. Toronto is filled with Ginkgo trees and the females produce large numbers of fruit that lay buried under piles of leaves through the month of November. I once thought I’d stumbled upon vomit in Queen’s Park and was baffled to see an elderly couple scooping it up into bags. Weeks later, when I learned about the Gingko fruit, I realized the couple was foraging for fruit. It’s a beautiful tree the Gingko tree, and oddly, I’ve grown accustomed to the pungent scent of its fruit. These leaves were photographed by the great Irving Penn in 1990.

salmon run

November 23, 2021

I love the salmon pink of these walls. So much of my love for specific colours loops back to childhood. My grandparent’s rented a cottage in Bermuda that was just this shade of salmon. The roof and windows were painted a chalky white, and the house was surrounded by luscious shades of green. We loved that house, and spent many happy days there. They later rented a house that was more of a sherbet pink, and then an apartment in town that was stark white. None were as charming as the little salmon cottage. I learned to ride a bike there, and I picked baby bananas off trees.

around and around

November 23, 2021

Textile designer, Molly Mahon’s exuberant Sussex cottage.

Maron’s marigold wallpaper.

Cushions that look like Licorice Allsorts.

Saint George Monastery in Jericho.

Carving a scalloped edge.

A boardwalk in Rio de Janeiro, photographed by René Burri, 1958.

tree of life

November 23, 2021

For the moments when we need reminding of just how tiny we are in this big and beautiful world, here, a woman in the 1950s admires the enormous size of a Sequoia tree. I find this image humbling, inspiring and overwhelming, all at once. It really puts you in your place.

natural science

November 22, 2021

There isn’t a single one of Moira Frith‘s paintings that I don’t love. With a background in  zoology and ecology, nature is a central theme in this young British artist’s work. There’s an elephant with a pomegranate on her back, a dancing cheetah, and snails, ladybugs and grasshoppers all loosely sketched in watercolour, gouache, pencils, oil pastels, ink and crayons. Folk and medieval art are influences, too. “I try not to take my paintings too seriously, so I hope that’s reflected in the work and that they make people smile.”

in transit

November 18, 2021

I rode the subway yesterday for the first time in two years. I handed over my token at Spadina station, as I have a million times before, and walked down the escalator to catch my northbound train. I didn’t sit, but then again, I rarely do. My mum says that many Londoners on public transit defy mask rules. My train was filled with them. Surgical ones, cloth ones, butterflies, flowers and gingham. I never knew the trains were built in Thunder Bay. I noticed long, high-gloss acrylic nails on at least three other riders. And more people were reading books than staring into their phones. As we neared Davisville station, I thought about what lovely respite above ground corridors are, and how much I enjoy train travel. Today my daughter rides the subway on her own for the first time. Seven stops, three changes. I’m inside out at the thought. I’m excited for her, too. Oh, the places she’ll go.

pinched

November 17, 2021

There’s an irreverence to Nina Godfrey’s ceramics that I very much enjoy. Her lumpy vases and candelabras look like they’re exceptionally fun to make. There’s nothing fastidious or fussy about the work, which I for one, find freeing. My seven-year-old makes vases like Godfrey’s –– playful, joyful and spontaneous –– which in my book is a compliment. It means the work has pure imagination and raw talent pulsating through it.

around and around

November 16, 2021

New York street photographer, Godlis’ fabulous 70s snapshots of Jewish retirees in Miami Beach.

Hand blocked blouses over at Alix of Bohemia.

Claire Ptak’s pecan slab pie.

The colour rich, abstract paintings of Indigenous Australian artist, Naomi Hobson.

A rose tinted collection from Atlantique Ascoli.

Saul Leiter‘s, ‘Blue Umbrella.’ Spain,1959.

fall

November 15, 2021

Every year, I love Autumn a bit more; the brightest yellow leaves against a bruised sky, the smell of wood and leather wafting through the air. It’s an invigorating season. Fires get lit, blankets come out of storage, and soups bubble in cast iron pots. I’ve never thought of November as a beautiful month, but there’s something quite lovely about that wash of lilac, cinder and inky blue that we come to know so well at this time of year. The last leaves, red and heroic, hold on to bare branches and hydrangeas wither to a pale shade of tobacco. I wonder whether my down-to-the-very-last drop love of Fall has something to do with a new appreciation for Winter? After all, when we stop dreading what’s coming, we can enjoy what is here.

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