Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Weathered Venetian Doors

looking back on my photos of Venice
these 3 door photos made me pause.

with all the stunning, ornate, intentional beauty in Venice
one can be distracted from observing these more quiet, utilitarian examples
of rustic beauty....

wishing everyone a peaceful, satisfying New Year that enriches with every passing day...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Conceptual Design

clever IKEA hack from G.V.M. of The Netherlands
sourced from here.

The Biblioteca Bookshelf
innovative design created from vintage coffee tables, by Matt Carr for Umbra.

Chest of drawers by Tejo Remy
for Droog

Friday, November 26, 2010

Weekend Sale

visit here for fabulous vintage finds.
coupon code:

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Putting it Out There: Completion!

This post is in reference to a previous post
made, ironically, on the Canadian Thanksgiving.
(it is a 'coincidence' that this one is falling on the
American Thanksgiving)!

Here is the finished piece; my embellishment of a
Found Sampler that caught my eye & my imagination...

It measures 19" x 26" so it has the size impact I was after.
My color palette went quite bold as I wanted to counter the antiquated aspect of the piece and bring it into my own aesthetic. The bold red & white striped fabric throughout helped to keep me on course with that.
(interesting side note: that fabric came from a Dior linen jacket I spotted at Value Village).
It was O.K. to use as a cutter since it had a bleach stain on the front!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Lamp Love

I have a love for vintage lamps.
The more colorful or stylized the better.
To me they are sculpture.
Sculpture that lights up... cool.
Sculpture that is functional as well... fabulous.

All these pieces I have found at thrift stores and sold on Etsy.
It makes me happy to see this (small) selection all together.

Kind of like I just created my own design poster.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Found: Maurer-Becker Utensilo


Utensilo or Wall All designed by Dorothee Maurer-Becker,
Germany, 1969.

These iconic pieces were manufactured both in Germany & the U.S.A.

This one was made by Format Sales in NY, USA.
It is the smaller version.

I love that it is in black and goes with my vintage Steelcase desk.
I love that I found it at a thrift store for $2.99.
(these smaller ones sell from between $200.-300.)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Venice- Teatro la Fenice

I was determined to experience a night at the opera in Venice.
We decided to 'go big' and got some great box seats;
an intimate enclosure for 4 although we were only 3.
What fun it was to have our own perch to people watch down below!
The space is spectacular. It had to be completely re-built after it burned down in 1996.
Amazing how they were able to replicate the fine artistry of the original.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Venice- Modern Art

The Peggy Guggenheim Museum was a lovely way to spend an afternoon. The largely 20th.C collection is housed in her actual palazzo, which is right on the Grand Canal. The works hang in the same spots they did when she lived there and there are photographs in each room of her sitting in that room surrounded by the same art we are at that moment appreciating... (no photos are allowed to be taken inside and, tempted as I was, I obeyed)!
Almost as thrilling as the exhibit was the terrace with this spectacular bronze sculpture, "The Angel in the City" by Marino Marini, 1948.

One of things I love about Venice is, that although it has an amazing history of art & culture, it is not locked into it's past. It loves to celebrate art as it continues to be created; a vibrant, relevant and evolving dynamic.

We saw a wonderful exhibition of Stanley Kubrick's black and white photographs before he got into film making. Aside from the work itself, the site was intensely beautiful; the juxtaposition between the red silk walls, venetian glass chandelier and stark b & w photos was striking...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Venice- The Food

The local restaurant, Tosi, was steps away from where we stayed. This is where the locals go (and perhaps a handful of more adventurous tourists) to hang out...

The Parmesan & Arugula Pizza was my favorite!

I hadn't realized how huge sweet shops were in Venice. They seem to turn up every 10 paces and each is more spectacular than the last. The goodies not only look amazing but taste scrumptious as well. Part of the reason they taste so good is they are not overly sweet. You can actually taste flavors, not just 'sweet' the way so many North American desserts seem to be...

Add an expresso for the perfect combo. (Standing at the counter of course is about half the price compared to sitting down).
The coffee is out-of-this-world. The best. anywhere.

After a gallery visit we had 'toast' which is how they refer to all the sandwiches on display which get grilled after you order. Perfect comfort food. Yum.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


I just returned from a one week stay in Venice- a city like no other; a city referred to as "the most beautiful in the world".

You quickly adjust your way of looking... you are in another reality in a sense...

Venice simply embodies grace and beauty everywhere in everything. From the street lights to the shop signs to the painted doorways and the ornate brass buzzers on all the apartment entrances to the filigreed grillwork on the most humble of windows...

We are incredibly lucky to have a close friend who had the courage to buy a flat here. It has become her 'go to' place several times a year. (she rents it out during the rest of the year). We stayed with her and were able to get a real feel for the place through her eyes. Shopping for fresh produce on the barge that parks on the canal by her flat, buying cheese at the local deli and eating pizza at the small restaurant right in front of her place was, well. heaven...

I will continue to post on Venice throughout the week... opera, galleries, special exhibits and amazing food... oh my, the food- thank goodness we walked for miles every day!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

My New (Old) Studio

It all started with my amazing find of this vintage Steelcase Desk. Found at the
Salvation Army Thrift
for the glorious price of $19.99.

A week of de-cluttering later, here is my new and improved studio!
(yes, these ARE the after shots... you should have seen it before)...
I have 3 zones; my computer/desk set up,
my 'sewing central' by the window, and,
in between my paper zone where I can create cards or any other
graphic design type project.

my style is lots of color tempered by natural wood finishes
and grounded by the block of black & chrome
via the desk. it's happy, creative space that doesn't take itself
too seriously!

Monday, October 25, 2010

1960's Pop Art Cat Illustrations

2 1960's era framed cat illustrations.
(reproduction prints, not originals).
To Keep?
To Sell?
For now, to keep... loving them too much!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ron Sexsmith Galbraith Street

I have become a huge fan of this Canadian singer/songwriter; Ron Sexsmith. His lyrical musicality and poetic phrasing leave me mesmerized...

Here he is in a pub in NYC, acoustic guitar in hand, just him and his words piercing the quiet, dark room. This has to be my all time favorite song of his.

I thought it a fitting choice for this weekend, the Canadian Thanksgiving.
A song about going home again- even if just in memory.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I've Been Seeing Red

Some weeks you seem to find items
with a common thread; be it style, type or... color.

Lately I have been finding great vintage design in

Seasonal serendipity?

Bring it on...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Visit to Charlottetown PEI

This past weekend my husband and I enjoyed a quick visit to Charlottetown, PEI to visit some old friends.

We took a Thursday afternoon flight and returned home late Sunday night. Even though it was not a long stay, it provided us with a welcome change of scene. It is a very bucolic place; pastoral scenery in every direction you wander...

We had some delicious seafood to savour the east coast cuisine experience. Eaten in a popular local hangout made it even tastier and the waitresses were so naturally friendly in a very non big city way.

I had chosen our lodgings online. Looking for a comfortable bed & breakfast inn I had many to choose from. I took my time and studied the decor closely... I knew I didn't want anything too cutesy; too many places seemed to have been stuck in a 1980's over-wallpapered, over-laced, over-dried flower arrangement type of decor time warp... you get the idea! Luckily I came across The Hillhurst Inn. It is a very lovely place with authentic art, woven carpets and spectacular woodwork throughout. Our room had a restrained elegance that was comfortable and luxurious at the same time.

Our breakfasts were held at a long communal table in the formal dining room each morning. It was interesting to meet the other guests and hear about their travel experiences. The food was fresh, thoughtfully prepared and different each morning- a real treat! (breakfast being my favorite meal of the day).

Saturday my 2 girlfriends and I drove all over the east end of the island for the Annual 70 Mile Yard Sale. Along country roads, farms and small clusters of houses joined together to put out tables of typical yard sale fare. As with any thrifting venture you go through a lot of useless & weird stuff to find the odd 'treasure'. I did not bad, finding 5 or 6 items that were worth the effort. Finding those things of course was half the fun, especially with friends to share a laugh with along the way!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sunday Brunch

This weekend marked another Cabbagetown Festival, an annual fall event where we live.
On Sunday we hosted a little brunch party for family and a few friends. I snapped these photos before people arrived; the 'calm before the storm' so to speak...

I always get satisfaction when the house is readied for guests. Fresh flowers, that extra level of tidiness and attention to detail... all add up to the 'homestead' looking as good as it can on a given day!
The get together was a relaxed success- easy for me and the company to get comfortable, chat, drink some decent coffee and eat too much...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Putting it Out There

This charming sampler caught my eye at the antique market recently. Charming, yes, but for me it went a little further. The words really inspired me; the feeling they evoked inspired me... It felt like a glimpse of memory in a dreamlike state that flickers and passes...
The only thing left to hold onto is the feeling of home; where it all started as far back as memory can take you...

I feel a strong connection to old textiles, stitchery and the time taken to make these pieces that were obviously meant to be saved, cherished and held onto within the family generations. As with so many such objects, I wonder about the path taken for it to eventually rest one day on a market table, up for offer...

My rather immediate thought was that I loved it and wanted to somehow 'make it mine', put my mark onto it in a way that will bring it back to life.

It is currently in a sorry excuse for a frame. My plan is to throw that away and look at it unframed. I want to create my own border, beyond the current one so as not to take away anything that was done originally. Blending my own style of textile stitchery with the original is a sweet challenge.

The title of this post is "Putting it Out There'. I have been neglectful lately of my creative side due to a heavy work schedule. That is easing up now so I decided to do this post as a promise to myself to get on with this project. I really want to do this and all I need to do is START. I know once it is underway I will be compelled to keep at it until I get it right. That is how I am. I will one day do a post of the completed work. I promise.