a few good things no. 6

30 November 2012

i cannot believe today is the last day of November. where has the time gone? where have the days gone? i feel like i should be suffering a panic attack because i have SO MUCH WORK TO DO. instead, or perhaps as a way to calm myself, i put together a few good things that i have been coveting and collecting over the past month or so. YES, some of these goods might be on my holiday wish list (it's called a "wish list" for a reason), and there are a very select few to which i might have already treated myself or in which i plan to invest. but for the most part, sometimes it is enough simply to appreciate good craftsmanship, commitment to quality, attention to detail, and reverence for simple & honest beauty—values that i try to uphold as i encounter and sift through what often seems like an unending barrage of objects and ideas in my daily life.

1. this ancient floral leather pouch from ANN-YA captured my heart the first time i laid eyes on it. i am wooed by the warm, golden leather suede and feminine rose print, combined ANN-YA's no-fuss style. so exquisite. i have also been a wee obsessed with the combination of golden honey/amber brown and black lately. is it that obvious?
2. gorgeous oxfords handmade from vintage Moroccan rugs & leather by TEN & Co. (via Miss Moss).
3. madeline dress by Dear Creatures at Summerland. that rich golden brown colour pairs just as perfectly with cream as it does with black.

4. i've been crushing on this Falconwright golden brown leather clutch printed with a white claw pattern, which has magically disappeared from their online shop as i am preparing this post (guess it's sold out, and with good reason!). Toronto ladies Sandi Falconer & Danielle Wright have something good going on.
5. i am a lush for silk. 100% pure silk. i am also in love with the new MILL MERCANTILE shop and its appropriation of "the same quality, craftsmanship, and authentictiy that's usually reserved for the world of menswear" for women. YES. this pleated colour block blouse in copper & black by Billy Reid is only one of the shop's many treasures.
6. i have a strange and particular affinity for rock (well, maybe not-so strange given that i grew up in a heavily rocked mining community) and this art print by RK DESIGN captures it perfectly.

7. there can only be one case for my new MacBook Pro Retina, and i've decided that this wool and leather heritage laptop folio by London-based hard graft is it. i have to protect my investment with something good and beautiful, right? saving my pennies, or sterlings.
8. wool Susan cardigan made in Scotland by Howlin by Morrison. another beauty from MILL MERCANTILE.
9. L.L. Bean's classic 100th anniversary Maine hunting shoe. the way to a town & country woman's heart.

10. baby soft merino wool Annie cowl neck sweater in chestnut from TOAST.
11. i have long been searching for an affordable weekend bag for those occasional, but sometimes frequent, trips. could this weekender from Everlane, a shop with a new online-only retail model, be the one?
12. i recently happened upon the gorgeous Hudson Made New York. i am in awe over this flame-blackened is beautiful set, featuring a large Hudson Made black walnut cutting board and a collection of handcrafted, flame-blackened cherry wood cooking & serving utensils by Jonathan's Spoons. i love the aesthetic and feel of a masculine, dark wood-themed kitchen. my husband is an incredible (and ex-professional cook), after all. i follow his lead and try to indulge his indulgences.

13. i can't wait to get my hands on this book by Bryan Nash Gill, Woodcut. there's someone special on my list whom i think might appreciate it....
14. beltane necklace by Species By The Thousands. perfectly bewitching. 
15. these understated little bronze CLUSTRUM earrings are my favourite from Stone & Honey's latest collection, ARCOS. i think they've been overshadowed by some of the other works in the collection and deserve more attention.
16. there is something incredibly sexy about unisex accessories, like this wool fringed scarf in banded black from the 2012 Pendleton Portland Collection. available here (CAN), here (US), and here

17. stunning bronze antler and crystal necklace designed by Hannah Ferrara of Another Feather exclusively for CISTHENE
18. i have heard nothing but good and wonderful things about Belmondo's THE CLOUD face cream, organic skincare made in small batches in British Columbia, Canada, so i finally decided to go ahead and try it. i recently ordered a jar and am delightfully awaiting its arrival. 
19. Hudson Bay millenium bay point blanket, a Canadian icon, at Vancouver's Old Faithful Shop. we have a vintage one in green and it is one of my most cherished possessions. it keeps us warm through just about anything and will forever remain an heirloom in our family. 

shop sale + news!

22 November 2012

✚ enjoy 20% OFF everything in the shop from Friday, November 23 through to Monday, November 26 with coupon code: LITTLEBLACK.

 nova lily is undergoing some exciting re-branding, including a name change and new designs, and will be moving to a new home in the new year, so this will most likely be the last sale in the Etsy shop before then. 

✚ also, please note the following deadlines based on destination to receive gifts in time for the holidays:

within Canada: December 15 
United States: December 8 
everywhere else: November 27

✚ happy weekend!

deux choses

21 November 2012

1. Fly Away, a visually arresting photograph by Brigitte Niedermair.

2. Fortnight Lingerie's oh-so gorgeous Jolene long line and high waist knickers from their 2012 collection, forever a classic. available here (CANADA + on sale!), here (US + also available in limited edition rose/ivory + first look into Fortnight's much anticipated 2013 collection, Asteria), and here (US + on sale). 

personal confession: no one can compete with Jolene. she is my most cherished bra & knickers set in my lingerie drawer.

these days

17 November 2012

these days, it's been getting cold, prompting us to pull down the wool blankets and exchange the cotton sheets for flannel. ever since our mattress warranty claim was settled and we got the brand new oh-so luxurious replacement mattress, we've been spending A LOT of time in bed. we climb in early at night, where we finish our days out together, and i stay in bed as long as possible in the morning after andrew leaves for work, drinking coffee and starting work from beneath the layers of blankets as i snuggle with the animals. i swear that they conspire to keep me there.

these days, i've been doing my work from the dining room table (when i'm not in bed, that is). it's a large, unfinished pine wood space overlooking the kitchen and beside the sliding balcony doors that look out onto the backyard. i draw the curtains to let the light in and i draw them to shut out the dark. the heavy cotton floral curtains given to us from my wonderful mother-in-law. they are like an embodiment of her: traditional with a modern flair, rustic, whimsy, beautiful, spirited. being in their company makes me feel loved, safe, and ever-inspired. 

these days, i have been focusing almost single-mindedly on my dissertation project (almost, because there are of course endless distractions that keep me from absolute devotion to my work and thus from full productivity). i find my mind wandering, dreaming, and thinking about all the things. 

These days I seem to think a lot
About the things that I forgot to do
And all the times I had the chance to.

(Nico, "These Days")

i spread my projects and desires across the surface of the wood table from which i work, but even as i actively so so - all day, every day, day in & day out - there are always things i never get to. i drink cups of lady grey tea and stage still lives. i play with the cats and take their portraits. i collect books for research and books for pleasure, for moments of rapture and escape, for moments often overlooked or forgotten. i am distracted by my surroundings; in a room of my own.

these days, i muse about having a real digital SLR camera, but for now i make do with my old Nikon point-and-shoot, my iPhone, and the brilliant editing software designed by Visual Supply Co.

portraits of the majestic, stoic, and ever-handsome, Dr. Hunter S. Thomcat. he's been a little displeased that Glasgow has been stealing all the attention here lately. he's also developed some slight attitude problems adjusting to the new kitten (jealous? inconceivable!), so i thought i would give him a prominent spot here. he has been such a central part of our lives over the past six years, he really does deserve it.

the joys of adopting a young kitten: they're ever-so sweet but also full of SO MUCH TROUBLE. introducing, for the first time, Little Miss Virginia Woolf. she's slowly finding her place in the family and even gets to participate in group snuggles in the morning now.

this week i posted about the early morning and my new relationship to it. as difficult as it can be to get out of bed some mornings, the beauty that awaits is always worth it. yesterday morning's frost was truly exquisite, making the whole yard glow with a white frosted mist warmed by the golden sun.

still lives:

1. andrew has been bringing home lots of moose antler sheds from the bush lately, adding to our ever-growing collection. this particular white-tailed deer skull and antlers is one that we brought back from Alberta two years ago. it has been hanging around the past couple weeks waiting for us to hang it on the wall, but i have been enjoying its company.

2. sweet little Herriott Grace cake flags leftover from our wedding + a gorgeous knitted short-sleeve shirt, made in Canada, that i recently thrifted.

3. lady grey tea in one of my favourite vintage teacups and an old teapot from my Nana. perfection.

collected works:

1. good night, day: modern & minimalist knitting patterns, by tara-lynn morrison. first edition.
2. A Pictorial History of Wilderness, poems by Laressa Dickey & published by MIEL.
3. Penguin Books "Great Ideas" edition of Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own.
4. The Anatomy of Clay, poems by Gillian Sze.
5. issue no.1 of Sad Girls, a lovely little illustrated zine made by girls who make things and have lots of feelings.
6. A Guide to the Northwest Territory, poems by Josh Wallaert, also from MIEL.

collected works no.2 (on hysteria):

1. Aura Hysterica: Les exercises de la passion (1992), an artist's book by Montreal artist Nicole Jolicoeur.
2. Georges Didi-Huberman's The Invention of Hysteria: Charcot and the Photographic Iconography of the Salpêtrière.
3. The Hysterical Alphabet, text by Terri Kapsalis with drawings by Gina Litherland.
4. Nicole Jolicoeur's Traité de la perfection (1996).

early morning

12 November 2012

Enormous morning, ponderous, meticulous;
gray light streaking each bare branch,
each single twig, along one side,
making another tree, of glassy veins...
The bird still sits there. Now he seems to yawn.
excerpt from ELIZABETH BISHOP, "Five Flights Up

my mornings lately have been early. too early, perhaps. but i am learning how to appreciate what often seems like an ungodly hour; the quiet, the still, the haunting, the earthly. i am trading in my night owl for the early bird.


09 November 2012

while i savour the sultry heat, sun-filled days and long nights of summer, autumn is my favourite season. it is a season of transitions, preparations, harvests, layers, and pigments; of life, death, and decay. having lived in the city for nine years before moving to the country full-time this past June, i always found that autumn would come and go so quickly, almost without notice, at least not of all its nuances. trees are not in their natural habitat in the city and almost all urban trees are diseased, so i never got to experience the full splendour of fall's colours and subtle changes. this year, however, i was able to intimately track those changes over the course of five or six weeks every time i took glasgow for a walk in a nearby forested area we call "the cross," from first fall to first frost, from the only barely emerging yellows and oranges to the fiery and crimson reds at their peak, and finally to the fading of those colours into rusts, ochres, and browns. i watched the dark earth and lush greens of the forest floor first become peppered with sparsely fallen leaves, and then fully blanketed by a thick layer of still fresh scarlet maple leaves, which slowly faded into various shades of brown as they dried and decayed, becoming skeletons of their former full-bodied selves. only a handful of golden birch and poplar leaves remained, clinging to their branches, the limbs of oaks and maples reaching up toward the hallow sky like arteries. finally, early this week, the overnight's frost crystallized into tiny, intricate freckles of snow hugging patches of leaves, moss, rotting wood, and the ground around the bases of trees, starkly beautiful at the same time as they were a faint promise of what is to come. 

All photos taken from 01 October - 06 November 2012

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