14 December 2008

the advent conspiracy

So we've been hearing so much about the recession and people cutting back this holiday season in an effort to save much-needed cash. What we haven't been hearing about is the idea that perhaps we should cut back for other reasons. This film gives one such excellent reason: the money America spends each holiday season could actually be used to solve the world's clean water crisis 45 billion times over. Kind of puts things in perspective, no? 

I decided a while ago to try and make as many gifts as possible by hand this year, or to buy them from the independent artists who sell their wares on Etsy. If you want some more unorthodox gift ideas, visit rethinkingchristmas.com for inspiration. And to donate time or money to the Advent Conspiracy, the folks responsible for this video, this is the place. 

12 December 2008


So terrariums have been making the rounds recently, and I've decided I really really like them. For the less diy-inclined among us, here are some ready-made terrariums from the Oak Leaves on Etsy. (via design sponge)

11 December 2008

chic playing cards

Love this stylish set by Donald Sultan. He originally drew the graphics in charcoal and crayon; pick them up here.

10 December 2008

cursive design

I absolutely love these beautiful pieces from Chicago-based artist Sarah Fox of Cursive Design. She not only makes lovely glass and ceramic housewares, but also sells her own prints and jewelry in her shop. Definitely click here and take a look.

09 December 2008

wiksten winter collection

How great are all these pieces from the new Wiksten winter collection? Jenny Gordy designs and sews very limited quantities of her pieces out of her home in Kansas City, and everything she makes is lovely. The collection goes on sale here tomorrow; if it's anything like past seasons, it'll be sold out by the end of the day.

07 December 2008

holiday '08 gift guide (part 2)

Hi all, just thought I'd send some more gift-worthy ideas your way. Enjoy! 

above: Morris + Essex handprinted cards, $24 for 9

Local Library abc necklace, $35

Lisa Congdon print, $25

romawinkel hand-painted coasters, $36 for 4

Jessica Rose cashmere slouch hat, $48

Shakespeare print by lizzyhouse, $75

Madewell printed wool scarf, $42

03 December 2008

holiday cards

made in my screen-printing course at drawn & quarterly. more screen-printing adventures on the way...

02 December 2008

it's the most wonderful time of the year

 No, I don't mean the holiday season, I mean McGill's winter exam period. That three-week-long saga of library-going, panic-attack-having, and exam-writing that all of us students must endure before we can enjoy the holidays. To that end, I thought this was a fitting way to start it all off...

26 November 2008

the intersection of dance and literature

I love the idea behind the piece "Shutters Shut" by the Nederlands Dans Theatre choreographic duo Lightfoot Leon. They set the work to the sound of Gertrude Stein reading her poetry. What Stein was great at was stripping words of their received meanings and instead placing value on the basic sound that they made, alone and in combination. There are certain moments of "Shutters Shut" that are really interesting because they mirror this project, whittling movements down and looking at them in isolation so that what becomes clear is the basic shape of each individual movement and how this relates to others. If you like it, see more of NDT here

25 November 2008

Montreallers = excellent musicians

Case in point, the lovely Caroline Keating. Check out her myspace and prepare to be amazed.

24 November 2008

the scarlet letter

Happy monday, friends. Here's a little something to start the week off: a really great print from Douglas Wilson, found at the Keep Calm Gallery. I love the skeleton that's superimposed on the letter - a witty reversal of the way the letter is meant to be placed over the wearer's heart. 

22 November 2008

shelter from the storm

Okay, I know the blog has been really apparel-centered recently but I couldn't resist one more clothing-related post. In Montreal, we take our cold-weather wear very seriously. Starting around this time of year and lasting till spring, anytime we go outside we have to put on so many layers it's kind of ridiculous. Needless to say, coats are important. We live our lives in them. They must be warm. But, if possible, we prefer if it doesn't look like we're walking around in a giant sleeping bag (which is the look I've been sporting for the last few years). To that end, here are several absolutely beautiful coats from Montreal-based Soia&Kyo. I am seriously covetous of all of them...

Any Montrealer worth her salt wears a down coat during the winter. 

Probably not warm enough to get you through the whole winter here, but oh-so-gorgeous it'd almost be worth it. 

You wouldn't last two seconds outside in this before freezing solid and keeling over into a snowbank, but at least you'd look hot...

20 November 2008

bob dylan in a dress?

Well no, not exactly. But kind of. Now, dears, if you know me at all you know that there are few things in life I like more than Bob Dylan. So imagine my happiness upon finding this Bob Dylan dress by Sessun on the Penelope's site. It's like it was made for me. (Also, if you haven't checked out Penelope's you should - I was led there by Alyson's lovely post about their dresses, and they have some pretty things.)

18 November 2008

holiday '08 gift guide (part 1)

Here in Montreal, the temperature is starting to fall below zero and there are the first snow flurries in the air. By which I mean, the holidays are around the corner! Because of that (and also because I have a paper to write and I'm procrastinating) I present you with the first installment of the million dollar swim holiday gift guide. It's pretty, it's handmade-centric (for the most part), and it's recession-conscious! What more could you want?

(above: Maryink screenprinted votive holders, 3 for $27)

Kim Westad vase, $75

up in the air somewhere gold bottom dish, $32

Mogil foldover clutch, $132

Royal Buffet birds of paradise mobile, $42

Steven Alan cashmere and leather gloves, $85

John Robshaw cotton voile robes, $138.

literary envy

Have you ever read something so excellent that you wished you' d written it yourself? That's what I experienced when I read Ondaatje's Divisadero. Before I read it I remember hearing that he'd won the Governor General's Award for it and being kind of disappointed, thinking that they'd given it to an established author just because he'd written a new novel. Then, I read it. And let me tell you, Ondaatje didn't just write another novel. He wrote the masterwork of his career, in my opinion. He has a way of writing that is is so real that you can feel everything he tells you about - it's amazing. Read the book, friends. You won't regret it. 

17 November 2008

things i love but can't afford, steven alan edition

I don't know why Steven Alan is so wildly popular. Seriously, the man just makes shirts. But for some reason his shirts are plaid flannel perfection. And my friends, perfection comes at a price. In this case, an exorbitant, no-way-can-you-justify-paying-that-for-a-shirt-in-the-middle-of-a-recession price. Ah, well, a girl can dream...

15 November 2008

street art!

If you live in Montreal, you've probably walked over some of Roadsworth's artwork at some point. The (in?)famous stencil artist's witty and thought provoking modifications of the Montreal streetscape are much-loved by a lot of people. I think he's great, and anytime I walk down the street and see his stuff it makes me happy to be living in Montreal. You've also probably heard all the buzz about the new documentary about him and his work that's premiering at the Documentary Film Fest this week. It looks great - definitely go see it if you live here. 

13 November 2008


Anybody else loving the new(ish) J.Crew offshoot, Madewell? I really like the way these looks are styled. They're all put together in a cool, unexpected way that makes them laid back and fun rather than stuffy and pretentious. More great combinations can be found here. 

12 November 2008

fall colours

Wildflowers from my favourite flower guy at the Atwater Market. Aren't they the best?

11 November 2008

jazz-age glamour

I just came across these gorgeous headbands from ban.do. The line was created by two stylists from LA and every piece reminds me of flappers and speakeasies mixed with hippies and flower children. Take a look at the rest of their collection here. 

10 November 2008

neckwarmers are the new scarves

So apparently neckwarmers have become quite the trend, because they seem to be everywhere these days. Here are some Etsy favourites.