George Whitman, the owner of Shakespeare and Co. bookstore in Paris, died last week. I've long been a faraway fan of his bookstore and the ideals it encapsulates. Though I have yet to visit his store (now run by his daughter Sylvia Whitman), I have written about it here.
His obituary in the New York Times is beautiful and there's an interview with Sylvia, here, on CBC's As It Happens (part two).
(as it turns out, Cinema L'Amour is a cinema of the adult variety...)
I picked up my roll of black and white film this week and it got me thinking about my favorite films in black and white. Since the winter season is the perfect time to curl up indoors on the couch to watch a movie, I thought I would share with you my all-time favorites (with links to their wikipedia pages).
I bought Steve Martin's An Object of Beauty, last fall, when it was new on the shelves. I was taken with its stunning design and happy to fork over my precious pennies for such a beauty (pardon my use of the word). However, in the midst of my hectic year it was push aside. I had forgotten all about it until I began to pack up my book shelves for the move.
An Object of Beauty is a love letter, of sorts, to the world of art collecting and art dealers. It follows the career trajectory of the ambitious Lacey Yeager who works her way up the ranks only to succumb to the consequences of her own ruthlessness. I found myself wavering between the reader eager for comeuppance and a cheerleader for what the book jacket declares to be a lost cause. The tone of the book was surprisingly moralizing, but overall thoroughly entertaining.
Hi! You may not remember me, it's been awhile! It's not that I forgot about this little blog, it's that I started my first full-time job. I'm absolutely thrilled to be working in my chosen field (librarianship). The time commitment has been quite an adjustment, especially with the shortened daylight. It makes taking blog photos a challenge, but one I'm up for. I have a roll of film on the go to share with you, a new knit and some newly painted walls in the apartment, too.
In the meantime, if you follow me on twitter, you may have read about my love for the green maxi-skirt above. I ended up grabbing it on sale this past weekend. Wearing it makes me feel so elegant. It got me thinking about the colour green - I always gravitate towards green in the winter, in the sea of white snow, evergreen. OLO Fôret is the perfect scent for winter, it embodies this exact image in my head.
"I absolutely love
fashion. I love doing new things and finding ways to swerve in a
different direction. But one of the reasons why I try to use fabrics and
cuts that don’t go out of fashion is because I like the idea of women
buying the clothes and then… I don’t know what the word is… cherish
sounds over-emotional for a relationship with a piece of clothing… but
for a woman to feel proud, satisfied, comfortable and powerful in them,
to wear them and get on with their lives."
— Phoebe Philo (a designer I greatly admire)
Designing a sweater pattern has been on my to-do list for a long time. As long as I can remember, I've wanted to be a fashion designer - my grade six yearbook says "Likely to be a fashion designer living in a loft in NYC". While it's not the career path I've chosen, knitting allows me to fulfill my designing dreams. It took awhile for my knitting skills to catch up with my ambition, but I'm getting there.
The Broadcast Sweater is named after a seeding technique where seeds are scattered by hand or machine over soil. In the same way seed stitch covers the sweater and cables grow connect the arms to the neck.
I have some wonderful test-knitters editing the pattern and hope to have it ready for release in December. I am very excited to see the results!
Cooler weather and grey skies (for what feels like weeks!) make me instinctively reach for a mystery novel. I picked up a copy of The Little Stranger in Montreal where I was immediately drawn to the French version's cover art (far better than the English version, I'm afraid.).
The novel is primarily set at Hundreds Hall, a decaying estate house which is home to the Ayers family in post-WWII England. It's an intriguing story about a family trying to hold on to the-way-things-were versus a more uncertain future. The narrator is a local doctor, Dr. Faraday, who is called to visit Hundreds Hall one night when the regular doctor is on vacation. As a result, Dr. Faraday becomes increasingly involved in the Ayerses' lives. Eventually it appears that something is working against the Ayeres and their weakening ability to hold on to Hundreds.
This novel tricked me - I did not love the way it ended, but the more I let it roll around in my mind, I can see its subtle brilliance. The Little Stranger is not who or what it seems, it's an intriguing metaphor for the decline of English estates.
Finally, I'm currently obsessed with Downton Abbey, so The Little Stranger also offered to fulfill my need for more English estate drama.
I'm a picky eater. It's actually embarrassing for me to admit I'm picky and I try to hide it when eating out with friends. When faced with a new food item, I am usually gripped with irrational fear (irrational, because in the worst case scenario, I don't like it. The end) that passes in a moment or two.
Years ago, my friend Alison instituted a policy that required me to order a new dish every time we ate out together (she was frustrated with my constant order of chicken fingers and fries, and frankly, I should have been too). It was the best thing,and thanks to her I discovered so many new dishes I was previously afraid to try.
Since Alison and I have both moved away from home in opposite directions, I've had to make my own policy. It's a simple 'try everything once' rule.
Which leads me to an apple galette. As a child, there was something unappetizing to me about baked apples (crazy, I know). Up until Canadian Thanksgiving, I had never tried and liked an apple pie. But I was desperately determined to change this sad, sad fact. I started with Elephantine's brilliant recipe (and adorable video) and eventually concocted my own version, below.
As it turns out, my fears were unfounded, baked apples are delicious. Replies:
(photo text inspired by these, I'm teaching myself photoshop step by step)
Montreal was wonderful. We spent our time there eating the best food the city had to offer. This included the most melt-in-your-mouth roast beef, tarte au sucre, crepes (so many crepes from La Petite Marche) and delicious poutine from La Banquise recommended to me by Caroline ( she recommended it to us a year ago, but we finally made it this trip!).
This book has been discussed on numerous blogs, however, it was Christy's recommendation that prompted me to pick up a copy for myself. St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves is a series of stories narrated by characters that are either on the cusp of or the midst of adolescence. Despite the mythological elements of each tale, the pain and confusion associated with growing up is entirely relatable. Almost too relatable - I often found these stories to be painful reminders of the awkward middle school experience. Despite this, Karen Russell's narrators are charming in their insecurity, and it wasn't long before I was hooked. Most of the time, I wished each story was a little longer so I could spend more time with the characters. St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves deserves its rave reviews.
I've fallen head over heels for the Mulberry fall campaign. There is a lot to love about it - the bird print dress, the shearling coat and giant scarves. However, even more so, I am in love with the hair and makeup! I haven't been able to get it out of my head since coming across the campaign. I've made a hair appointment to dye my hair the shade of the model's (it's not a big change, just slightly lighter than my own).
Finally, I hope to bring this picture to a makeup counter for help picking out the correct colors. I am not sure which counter would be the most helpful - does anyone have recommendations? I don't often experiment with new makeup, so I'm excited to give this a try.
My apologies for my extended absence - last week started off rather busy, then I ended up with the chicken pox! Not recommended, to say the least.
Making up for it are my first successful Diana Mini photos! The majority of the roll is still out of focus, but I'm so happy I'm getting better at figuring out this adorable but tricky camera. I'm so smitten with the gorgeous blue tones from my lazy days at the cottage with J. I'm thinking of framing one or two for our 'soon-to-be-blue' bedroom. Soon-to-be, because we have yet to hang our navy curtains or pick from the samples of blue paint colors, but folks, it will happen.
However, I think I'll leave that for a day I'm not covered in calamine lotion...
Sometimes, it's just nice to sit on a dock and let time go by.
My cottage vacation was wonderful and I miss it already! The cottage is a few hours north of Toronto and I was delighted by the slight nip in the air signaling the arrival of fall. Jim and I swam in the lake every day, it was so cold it took the air right out of our lungs.
September marks the beginning of my very favorite season. Though I love many of the things summer has to offer, I am always anticipating the arrival of fall. As a knitter, I think the best part about the colder weather is the opportunity to layer on cozy knitted garments.
So, farewell to swimming in lakes, watermelon, summer breeze, ice cream cones and sweaty noses.
Bring on warm blankets, pumpkin pie, falling leaves, hot chocolate and flushed cheeks.
p.s. I've re-designed my blog a little and I've noticed that it doesn't work in all browsers. Does the header show up in a fancy script font or just in Arial font for you? I am curious to know.
It wasn't very warm out today - there's a hint of the upcoming fall in the air. Though fall is my favorite season, I'm always reluctant to let the summer go. In defiance, I chose lemonade over a warming cup of tea.
I'm really excited to pick paint colours with Jim for our apartment.
The blues are for one room and the greys are for another.
The grey walls are very inspired by Austin Gros' home as featured on Pennyweight. They will be a lot lighter than my old wall.
I spent a day with the cats before work. Cleo likes to sleep beside me.
Note: lingering moving boxes in the background.
*This series has been a little cat-con heavy, mea culpa. Living with pets is very new to me and I break out my camera whenever they do something adorable, which is most(all) of the time. (This made me laugh)
On that same note, fellow cat owners, what is your cat hair strategy?
What do you mean I'm not allowed on the table?
Usually I pick him up and put him back on the floor right away when I find him on the table, but he looked so cute and comfortable that I let him pose for the camera.
I've heard good things about Clafouti's Brown Sugar Cinnamon Croissant, but to get one, you have to get up early. I finally made it out of the house in time today. Let me tell you, it lives up to the hype.
When I was reading Elle's blog, I noticed that she is participating in this great blogging project called The August Break 2011. The idea is you must post at least one photo every day for the month of August, but you get a break from writing. A month to document the summer, and time to spend it outside. This sounded to me like a great plan, not because I particularly need a break from blogging, but I do want time to refresh this space and bring new content. So, in fact, posting one photo a day will be more than I usually blog and I'm looking forward to it. This photo is of the beautiful sunrise I woke up to in our new apartment.
Oh my goodness, it's been an ice-cream-all-the-time kind of week. We're melting into the pavement here!
It's one week today until I move into my new apartment and I still have so much packing to do.
I kind of left it to the last moment because I hate living with my stuff in boxes.
1. This is the only kind of hairstyle that is remotely appealing right now. Hot weather just makes me want all my hair off of my face and neck.
2. Thinking of doing a major blog overhaul and redesign, or rather, significantly improve the design. These free font resources from Simple Song will really help! I'm feeling less than inspired with my current web digs.
3. A lovely Nantucket cottage. Moving has gotten me so excited to decorate a new place! I cannot wait to trade my Ikea furniture bit by bit for beautiful new pieces, paint new walls and build shelving!
Our trip to Manitoba was lovely. I spent five days away from the computer, visiting with family and friends and reading with Jim in my parents' backyard. A vacation was just what we needed, time to slow down and to pause our moving preparations. I guess in that way, vacations are always too short. Of course, I only pulled out my camera in time to snap photos from the airplane window. Oops.
1. Check out the shoe rack in this post (seven photos down). A great use of space don't you think? I don't nearly have enough shoes to fill them, but I really like the idea.
2. Donuts atop cupcakes is a little to decadent for me, but I would love to make those cute little donuts on their own. This blog has been getting a lot of well deserved attention as of late, the writing is really sweet. In my favorite post, Julie writes about the difficulty of icing a perfect cake (I find it so difficult, too!). I admire bloggers who give a window into a world where every attempt to try something new can be a learning experience.
3. Kinfolk is out! (I'm sure you knew that already, but just in case). It is even more magical that I hoped. There's a great quote by David Dunn on page 114, author of Try Giving Yourself Away, that I was immediately drawn to. When I Googled the title of his book, I found it for free (absolutely free!) on the Internet Archive, here.
4.It's a sad fact that I'm always looking at fall clothing in the middle of summer.
I'm looking so forward to the weekend, a trip to the Art Gallery of Ontario and going to see the final Harry Potter movie (so excited!). What are your plans?
This morning Jim and I are headed to the airport to take a trip to Manitoba. We'll be visiting my family, going to a wedding and taking in the beauty of the prairies. It's Jim's first time to Manitoba and I have been buzzing with anticipation all week long; I'm going to take him all around to the places I loved growing up. We'll be back with stories and photos late next week!
1. I'm looking forward to eating from the barbecue. This corn sounds delicious.
I feel like I can finally take a deep breath for the first time in awhile; we found an apartment. We signed the lease yesterday. I'm so happy, it's in a great location for us and has a giant wrap around balcony I plan to fill with plants! Plants such as the strawberry one below. I don't know how successful I will be with this little one, if I get one strawberry it will be cause for celebration!
p.s. Happy Canada Day!
EDIT// Roberta Jane reminded me to talk about my nail polish and ring! My ring is by Gabriela Artigas and was purchased at Robber. Both nail polishes are Sephora by OPI the grey base is "Metro Chic" and the glitter is "Only Gold for Me" topcoat. I've been obsessed with that topcoat since Nomadic D. used it here.
P.s. I'm so happy you loved the soup delivery!
It's $10 for one litre of soup in a cute jar delivered to the door.
follow @afoodgypsy on twitter if you're in Toronto and want some delicious soup.
Reporting back re:soup delivery service. The asparagus and leek soup this week was delicious!
Next week is gazpacho with garlic scapes. More info on twitter @afoodgypsy
1. I love this croissant recipe and process. I think a lot of cook books forget to give directions and descriptions of the process, but it is often so vital to great results.
2.There's a Smithsonian app that helps users identify tree species by taking a picture of its leaves. Leafsnap. Useful on neighborhood strolls.
3. That's a Vamoose lemon chrysoprase bracelet on my wrist. It's so dainty and sweet.
4. Best idea ever. And a puppy.
5. One of my favorite apartments. Look at all that light!
Remedy Quarterly and Anthology are two new (to me) magazines I'm really enjoying. I ordered Remedy Quarterly Issue 4 from their website and picked up a copy of Anthology magazine from the Drake General Store, here in Toronto. They are both wonderful publications that I encourage you to get your hands on. Issue 5 of Remedy Quarterly is out now, but I'll have to wait until the Canada Post strike is over to order a copy.
Trust me to pick out the article about dessert.
Baked Alaska would be perfect for a summer gathering.
I loved Stephanie's article on the need for Happy Hour. Hear hear!
The third issue of Anthology is the Party issue, watch the cute promo video here. I was struck by the interior of Emily Henson's 700 square foot home. I mean, look at that red chair with the gorgeous blanket draped over it.
Always my favorite, there is a cute feature on Herriott Grace with a buttermilk cake recipe I have to try.