September 30, 2011

This week I tweeted something about refusing to wear tights until at least October, so this picture seemed pretty timely. Well, that time is nearly here, and this weekend will be spent preparing to buckle down for the cold hard winter ahead. This week you only get two links because they are both awesome and brought me incredible inspiration this week.
  • Last night I attended an EVDS lecture at the U of C, and one of the speakers was Ingrid Fetell. She writes a blog called Aesthetics of Joy, consults at IDEO, and is a great designer to boot. Her words really touched me yesterday, so I'm going to spend a lot of time this weekend recollecting her presentation, and reflecting on my design mantra and philosophy.
  • And I know I posted this band earlier this week, but seriously. Please go and download their music immediately!

Encaustic painting above by Beverly Owens, from her Pattern Collection

September 28, 2011

Artist Profile: Mandy Stobo

I was first exposed to Mandy's paintings after seeing a series hung at Caffe Rosso here in downtown Calgary. Intrigued by her work, I set off to google and found out that in addition to her incredible paintings, she was also working on a project called Bad Portraits, where she produces quick "ugly" paintings of anyone who sent her a picture.

All summer I have been following her twitter, and seeing a few people I know get paintings done. This week I finally messaged her, and shortly thereafter, this arrived in my feed:

Pretty awesome right?

This is one done of my friend Chelsea.

And this is Brie.

They have nice eyelashes.

And you can have your own! Send Mandy a message here to have one commissioned.

And if you are in Calgary on October 6th, come down to Caffee Rosso and see an exhibition of the Bad Portraits, plus see the rest of what First Thursdays have to offer!

September 26, 2011

I am loving this tune by the Kings of Convenience. It has a beautiful softness to it, and reminds me a bit of Simon and Garfunkel. Enjoy!

September 24, 2011

Today Jim Henson would have been 75 years old.

My life is richer for having experienced your genius. Thank you.

September 23, 2011

It's Fab Friday! So lets get right to it shall we?
  • Gorgeous string lights with porcelain shades from Pigeon Toe Ceramics.
  • John and Juli over at Mjolk are sharing a few new shots of the store, after being featured in the latest issue of Dwell! Also, a peek at their new packaging for their online shop. So cute!
  • And finally here's a little tribute to REM, who decided to part ways this week They are a strong part of the soundtrack of my life, especially this song.

happy weekend!

September 21, 2011

It's time for CIFF again! Every year the film fest rolls in and out of town, and I always seem to regret not getting out more to see what it has to offer. So I've been spending time going through the website and watching the trailers and I've pegged a few that I'm really interested in seeing. So I'm buying my pass and I"m going to eat a lot of popcorn. Here's what I'm checking out:

September 20, 2011

I discovered Good Fucking Design Advice last fall, after seeing the site featured on The Donut Project. GFDA is a collaborative project between Jason Bacher and Brian Buirge, and was founded during their grad studies, through their shared frustration with the design business.

The pair have produced a variety of products which share their credo, including posters, pins, t-shirts, and mugs. Their posters are the first thing that I noticed them for, and each new edition temps me more than the last. I think the newest black on black edition would look fabulous in my black office.

The whole site brings it back to the basics. Simple and straightforward rules to working in design, while maintaining your passion and drive to keep doing good, fullfilling work.

In celebration of their 1 year anniversary, they put together this video below, Good Fucking Design Advice; The Passion Project.

G.F.D.A. / The Passion Project from Alexander on Vimeo.

September 19, 2011

I have spoken about my love for Michelle Williams before, and here's more proof why. Michelle is featured on the cover of the October issue of Vogue, where she's photographed in character as Marilyn Monroe, from her latest film, My Week with Marilyn.


You can see the rest of the photo's in the next issue of Vogue.

Photo's by Annie Liebovitz for Vogue.

September 16, 2011

As I write this post, it's kind of chilly and overcast, and I am feeling fall and loving it. Fall to me is long walks with the dog through leaf filled parks, layers of cozy cashmere sweaters, nights filled with jazz, and red wine to keep you warm. It's so romantic to me. I don't know why. Are love stories typically set against the flaming colours of fall foliage?

Anyway, these are links to get you settled into the change of seasons, even though I know when most of you read this, it will be like Indian Summer out there. Oh well.
  • Sukan is a fantastic etsy shop that sells pillows that are handmade from old kilims, and suzanis. A great variety of beautiful patterns and colours are available. Perfect for making your home warm and cozy.
  • These are the cutest taupe fingerless gloves, complete with leather button. Great for those chilly fall mornings.
  • I'm on the hunt for great boots this year. I have a really hard time finding anything that fits my legs properly, but these Julia Lace Up Boots from Frye look awesome. Their classic Campus Boots look great too. Oh, or these.
  • And here's a bit of Miles Davis, because he is so fine.

September 15, 2011

Hello gorgeous!

Eames Lounge and Ottoman

Herman Miller, the manufacturer of many iconic designs, such as the work of Charles and Ray Eames and Isamu Noguchi, has introduced some fantastic new finishes to freshen up these classics. The new finishes include white ash woods, pearl leather upholstery and powdercoat metal finishes.

Noguchi Table

Here's an installation of the Eames Lounge and Noguchi Table complete with the Herman Miller Canvas Office system, and a Lindsey Adelman Chandelier, at the product launch in Chicago earlier this year.

Eames Aluminum Side Chair

It seems obvious really that these chairs have new powercoat options, as we saw this trend move through the plumbing world over the last couple of years. These Aluminum Group chair are completely reinvented with their slick monochromatic look.

Eames Soft Pad & Aluminum Group Management Chairs

Eames Aluminum Group Chair

All products available through your local Herman Miller dealer.

Photos courtesy of Herman Miller.

September 14, 2011

Check out these plates!

I want them.

Awesome right? Even more awesome is the fact that they are part of the new K by Keaton collection, by person extraordinaire, Diane Keaton. (swoon!) And those plates above go for less for $5 a piece, because the collection is in association with Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

Keaton is well known as an architecture and design enthusiast, and has been involved with architectural preservation through the Los Angeles Conservatory for many years. She describes the collection as having an "American look, which I think comes out of this factory-barn idea".

It's a fantastic collection, even though it is limited to these items and a few plain dishware pieces. Though very simple, the bedding has great detailing, like the asymmetrical zig zag on those pillows and the blanket stitch detailing around the cross accent pillow. It's great to have something designed so well to fill the more affordable part of the market.

Available nationwide at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

September 8, 2011

Yesterday I found the most beautiful book. No surprise, it was by Sibella Court, an interior stylist and owner of The Society Inc from Sydney, Australia.

It is called Stylists Guide to NYC and has been designed as a guidebook through Sibella's favourite haunts in New York City. (Where was this book 2 months ago!!!) The book carries forward with a similar art direction to her previous book, Etcetera, and website, having an assembled ephemera feeling. And it is just plain beautiful.

When you flip through the pages, it already feels like an old friend. Sibella has carefully assembled her favorite shops into categories such as Furniture & Interiors, Oddities & Curiosities, Kitchen & Table Paraphernalia, and Haberdashery & Handmade. Even that list is delightful!

Sibella worked as a stylist for over 15 years in New York and shares many incredible finds here. She depicts the shops through photography, typography, and a collage of little bits and pieces along the way.

And it appears that another book is coming out soon! Nomad: A Global Approach to Interior Style will be available in November.


September 7, 2011

On Monday I got to do something really indulgent. I got to listen to Jian Ghomeshi on Q on CBC. And he didn't disappoint, as usual. On this episode he featured musician Colin Stetson.

Stetson is a musician from Montreal who defies any genre and performs a wide variety of reed and horn instruments. He has leant his talents to a wide variety of amazing bands including LCD Soundsystem, Arcade Fire, and most recently, as a member of Bon Iver. His second solo record, New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges was released in January 2011, and was recently shortlisted for the prestigious Polaris Prize.

Prepare to be mesmerized.

September 5, 2011

More than anything, I am a coat fiend. A really fabulous tailored coat is all I love in fashion. So I pulled together a little roundup of a few gorgeous pieces that would look marvellous being modelled by my shoulders.

September 3, 2011

5 years

Loving what I know of you,

and trusting what I do not yet know,

through all that life may bring us,

I pledge myself to you

I will hold you, laugh with you, and cry with you.

I will be faithful to you in thought, word, and deed.

I will be your loving partner as we build a life together,

and I will be your faithful champion as you pursue your own dearly held dreams.

Happy Anniversary Beast!

September 2, 2011

It's my 5 year wedding anniversary tomorrow. Crazy.

5 years ago my married my high school sweetheart. That last part makes me cringe, to be honest. Everyone gets this saccharine expression when they hear it.

5 years has changed us so much. We are adults now, even though it doesn't seem like it at times. Funny because you should feel like an adult when you actually get married, but now that I look back, I really didn't.

Typically I would use this as an excuse to celebrate and go for an expensive dinner, but I don't seem to need an excuse for that these days. I think we are going to keep it low key, and enjoy some down time together.

Hope you all have pleasant weekend with your loved ones.

  • Anyone who calls themselves the Lipstick Queen must really love lip gloss. I love this range of products and the great graphic design of the packaging to boot.
  • This was our first dance at our wedding, for nostalgia sake. I wish it had a cuter video to accompany it, but oh well.

September 1, 2011

I was first introduced to Alanna Cavanagh's work at the Interior Design Show in Toronto this past winter. She was asked to design a mural for the Style at Home booth, which was really phenomenal. The booth was clearly one of the best in the show.

Here's a photo of the booth that I took during the show.

And here's a better view of the mural image in it's entirety.

Alanna is an illustrator and printmaker working in Toronto. She has an incredible list of clients, including The New York Times, The Globe and Mail, and Penguin Books. She also writes for Uppercase Magazine.

Alanna's Scissor Prints were also featured in the windows of The Workroom during IDS. The Workroom is a great quilting and sewing shop in Toronto, and these prints perfectly suited their display.

It's Alanna's beautiful screenprints that I am most drawn to. I love her bold but simple use of colours, and of course, the whimsical nature of her drawings.

This is a cute example of her illustration work.

And I love her hand lettering. It a perfect scrawl; a feminine script with an edge.

Here's a picture of Alanna, hard at work tea staining one of her Penguin Bookcovers. These are my favourite pieces from her portfolio. Each one stained by hand to create a truly one of a kind piece.

And here's a shot of it in situ. So beautiful.

Prints are available for purchase at Oliver Yaphe and you can also inquire directly with Alanna herself.