December 25, 2008

I'm finally posting some of the awesome shit I got.

Let's start with new shoes & necklaces.

No, actually, let's start with Happy Holidays! And very best wishes to you. Today has been a blissful day, and there's a steak & guiness pie in the oven, and a new sewing
Link machine (!) under the tree! For me! I already have ideas for more projects, now that I've got a sewing machine to fiddle with again.

Okay, back to new shoes. Here are three lovelies that I'm so excited about.

i. The Camper oxfords. Chris bought them for me - by the way, Camper is having a sale until the end of Feb, which hardly ever happens. They're simple, practical and gorgeous.

ii. Les Prairies de Paris grey oxfords. I've been looking for great grey shoes forever, and with the amazing craftsmanship on these girls, and the twist on classic oxfords with the elastic, I couldn't resist. I think the elastic makes them sort of ballerina-y, no?

iii. Dries Van Noten boot-shoe things. Kick ass and comfy. Very good for toughening up my girly dresses.

I had been looking for a magnifying glass forever, and UO is selling one, and even though it's mass-produced I love it. The sweet peas-in-the-pod necklace was a beautiful anniversary gift from Chris.

Tomorrow or Saturday I'll finally pull out all of the ding dang clothing I've got recently and document it. Finally!

By the way, the Les Prairies shoes were from Jonathan + Olivia, a Vancouver store that just opened here in Toronto a few months ago - on Ossington. They've got great designers (they're the only store that carries Les Prairies in Canada, I think) and they're really, really nice. Which is appreciated when I'm spending a bit of money.

Photo by Zoe Bridgman

December 7, 2008

Michael Govan almost made my head explode.

I spent a recent Friday night and most of Saturday at a symposium on museum and exhibition design called From Jurassic Park to Rothko's Chapel, sponsored by U of T's newly re-named faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design.

Leading American curator Michael Govan was the keynote speaker, and there was such a buzz in the air while he was speaking. He led us through his experience bringing art to post-industrial spaces - like Dia Beacon - and how working with artists like Robert Irwin and Walter de Maria changed the way he thought about 'the gallery' and 'the object'; he became more interested in the way that the actual space changes and affects how the visitor sees. He worked closely with Irwin to renovate the Dia Beacon from an old Nabisco factory to a contemporary art space, and the results are, of course, remarkable:

Photo by Listen Missy! on Flickr.

Photo by Darrell Silver.

Photo by tud5000 on Flickr.

His experience working with an artist (Irwin) as opposed to an architect to shape the space made him realize how alienated most artists are from the very spaces in which they show their work, and how he wanted to break that model.

And I say: ROAD TRIP.

As a side note, Govan collaborates with Irwin extensively, and if you're interested in Irwin's work, or even if you're not, I urge to read Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees
by Lawrence Weschler. I actually encourage you to read anything by Weschler. Have I written about this book before? I think so, maybe.

Anyway, Govan's experience as Director and CEO of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is quite the counterpoint to his earlier work. He has always resisted working in the white box of the contemporary gallery space, and now he is finding new ways to be inventive within that frame. Exhibits like the Magritte exhibition designed by John Baldessari and Jorge Pardo's highly controversial Pre-Colombian installation have challenged the traditional view that exhibition design should emphasize the object, not contribute to the meaning of the exhibit itself.

I nearly squealed when Govan talked about Chris Burden's Urban Light installation, which features solar-powered antique streetlamps that Burden collected from all over Los Angeles in a design that recalls an ancient temple.

There were so many more ideas and images to process, but I imagine I'll have more to say in pieces over time.

Any exhibits/artworks that have been inspiring you lately?

December 1, 2008

Suggested reading.

So, you know how I feature awesome book titles from The Monkey's Paw from time to time? Well, this one takes the cake.

Cauldwell, D.O.:
Haldeman-Julius Publications, Girard, KS, 1948.

And this one's pretty fantastique:

Rodale, J.I.:
Rodale Books, Emmaus, PA, 1971.

Available just in time for the Holidays! You're welcome.

Some new pictures.

I developed some new pictures from a little jaunt we took a few weekends ago and I'm quite please by the results. So I'm sharing them. With you!

We spent a Sunday morning at Balls Falls, which is a most beautiful badly-named place. You can walk right out on to the top of the falls, and if you take a little hike from there, you meet some horses frolicking.

This is from a nearly-demolished old church. It's being torn down to make room for some more condos. Yay!

I took this a while ago. Beautiful sweets from The Red Tea Box.

More trees in Vineland.

I'll be posting soon about my new best friends, which happen to be a pair of Dries Van Noten shoes I scored. Uh-huh.

November 25, 2008

My cheap little necklace is a bit of a star.

Months and months ago I bought this crafty necklace for about $9 at Forever 21. Shopping at Forever 21 is always in the moderate - high zone of painful for me. So much snottiness! and so little fabric! Certainly not enough fabric to cover my important places. But I can deal with their jewelry selection.

Anyway, I've really enjoyed this little necklace, and I was happy to see a similar sort of spirit on the cover of British Vogue during the summer, no doubt an inspiration for my piece:

Then - then! - just last week I spotted the exact, down to the very same bead, necklace on Anthropologie's site. For $48.50. Getting a deal is so satisfying, especially on something that I really like. The end!

November 21, 2008

Something to keep you warm til I get my shit together.

I'm still trying to get back to some sort of normal schedule, what with my new job and side projects taking over. But I think I can actually see the end of the tunnel!

In the meantime, how awesome are the Fall 08 Virginia Johnson scarves? Answer: very.

Owls = wonderful
Peonies = beautiful
Elephants = best

All made from Merino wool and love, I'm sure.
I'll be back soon, promise!

October 29, 2008

One thing that's kept me so busy.

Yeah, okay, so I've been really busy. But I'm sort of settling back into things now. I've got a new job working with an amazing commercial/editorial photographer, and I've been working on a number of projects over the past month.

Here's one of the many projects: our submission to the Toronto Film Challenge. The challenge this go-around was to create a horror film in 24 hours (from start to finish). We also had to incorporate a phrase ("Welcome Back"), a prop (the jar of horror) and a theme (suspense).

While some of the other submissions were of very high quality, not many groups actually tried to make a scary movie. Most made satires of cliche horror films. So we were doubly proud of ours. Here's our effort!

We've also just received a grant to continue working on a theatre project, and will likely be contributing a theatre/film piece to a festival this summer. It's such a relief when hard work pays off a bit.

But more importantly, I need advice. Which pair of shoes would win, if they were in some sort of eternal battle?

I like the snaziness of the first pair, and I like their asymmetrical front profile, but I also really like the simplicity of pair 2. Both are campers, which mean they're the most comfortable things ever. Please advise.

September 22, 2008

Flight Paths.

" Every flight path of a sparrow or movement of an ant over a tuft of ground is a message. It is a sign - it needs interpretation."
- Tom McCarthy

I would interpret this as being - despite my aversion to Tory Burch stuff in general - really very charming. The bow isn't too high, you wouldn't need to search around for a camisole (I hate having to buy shirts that require the buying of another shirt), and there are tiny birds sitting on wires. Tiny birds sitting on wires!

September 12, 2008

A few good Spanish things on this lovely Friday.

Oh, I've been meaning to share this for a while, but I've been forgetful. I came upon this new project for Plaza del Torico in Teruel Spain by b720 Arquitectos in Architectural Record. The architects embedded the plaza with LEDs, and I think that the outcome truly enlivens the historical plaza, modernizing it without obscuring its original charm. Spain seems to understand whimsy in architecture; they are less serious about the art of building. And though I've only been there once, the modern architecture made each city and town feel fun, and like an adventure. I love adventures!

I've also started reading this book, which I bought a few years ago and have just gotten around to. The thing is, it's really heavy, but it's so good that I have to carry it around with me everywhere. I am including it as part of my fitness plan.

Robert Hughes is an acclaimed art writer, and this tome is critical, contextual and personal. It's also very beautiful; the book is sprinkled throughout with wonderfully reproduced colour images.

And also, if I were going to spend $300 on shoes right now, which I can assure you that I'm not, but if I were, I think I'd get these Chie Mihara sweets. I love heels, but I walk a lot and don't have many shoes that are practical with just a hint o' heel. These would be perfect. And I love love the colour. And the soles are rubberized.

This afternoon I'll be trekking to the National Ballet School (which is a block away) to look in their shop with Sarah. We will discuss Why Ballet Clothing Is Always Awesome And Desirable. She may buy a sweater.

September 6, 2008

Sewing Projects.

My mother has graciously lent me her old sewing machine, which I think was born before I was. And although it's finicky, it's been great to be able to try things out and practice.

(Here she is, with some sweet tomatoes from St. Lawrence Market that I ate that night).

I decided not to use commercial patterns, even though I've only ever made 2 items of clothing before. I made my own pattern using old dresses I've got. I learned a lot about what not to do, and I now understand that I should go back to using patterns and take a course in pattern making. I mean, the dresses worked out, but there are some biggie mistakes that will affect how I wear them. But all in all, I'm pretty happy with them considering that they're only my third and fourth sewing projects ever.

Here's the first dress: a taupe linen dress with a trim of brown rosettes. It's actually quite elegant and will look nice under a suit jacket. You'll also notice one of my newest companions, the Diana toy camera. I've been experimenting with it over the last few weeks and I really like it.

Here's dress number two: it's the same basic shape, although it's better built. It's navy, yellow and ivory, with a navy velvet trim. I'm quite pleased with it.

And in other news, Chris and I were wandering a few weeks ago and we happened upon Ministry of the Interior, a fantastic design store on Ossington. We went in because we'd seen that they have these amazing ceramic phonofones made by Tristan Zimmermann that we read about. They're meant to house your ipod buds, and the phonofone amplifies the sound like a speaker. It's absolutely beautiful and we want one really really bad. They're $500-550 and available in white and black, but I feel that the white is way better.

We also enjoyed these Banks In The Form Of Pigs, designed by Harry Allen. They're between $100-250 (I think).
But! We also discovered that they sell the Forget Me Knot rings that I wrote about a few weeks ago, and even though it was Chris' birthday, he bought the sweet ring for me and I just love it. Here's what it looks like:

Also, I told my mother that I painted my nails black and she told me she was grossed out. Aw, mom.

September 5, 2008

Fall Shoes.

I'm looking forward to getting reacquainted with some of my fall shoes, and I thought I'd share some of my loves.

Here's a pair that I acquired thanks to my mother, who plucked them up after they were discarded from a photo shoot. I've realized that I have all sorts of colourful shoes with baubles and designs on them, but I haven't had a pair of simple black heels, so these are a welcome addition.

These make every outfit look cooler, and they make me walk all sexy-like just based on where the heel is placed. It's hard to explain.

The most comfortable and awesome 3.5 inch heels ever.

Blue patent jazz shoes. Why not?

And here are some beads I may sport with the heels.

I've been sewing away and have made 2 lovely but poorly constructed dresses, which I'll post when Chris gets home and takes pictures of me.

August 18, 2008

I made a top.

Here's my 4-hour top! I'm pretty happy with it. The fabric was on a pseudo-Missoni-fabric rack, and I think I'm going to name the top Miphony. Here's me wearing it and swirling in the park, just before a delicious 100% deep-fried dinner at Oyster Boy:

That evening was followed by Sarah #2's colourful wedding. She wore three outfits (!) with unbelievable jewelry, but I had forgotten my camera. Sarah told me that it's traditional for the groom's mother to give the bride a gift of 11 full outfits, and she had boxes and boxes of the most elaborate earrings and necklaces to choose from for the event. She also spent 10 hours waiting for her hands and feet to dry after the mendhi, and her hands looked remarkable - especially when you'd catch a glimpse of her from afar. She looked like a carved doll:

I should note that their wedding bands were made with wood from an olive tree. Very unique, as you can see from the photo.

But I have to admit that my favourite thing about the wedding was the poutine station, complete with different fries to choose from, duck and beef, cheeses and gravies. I don't think anything says eternal happiness like poutine.