Dream away

PS I'm obsessed with Rockwell right now.

I'm not alone...

...in my obsession with fire escapes. While at brunch at my friend's home, I spied a couple of these drawings on the wall. I did some sleuthing and found the blog they got them from. I adore the repetition of clean, simple lines.

source: the Fireladders of Soho



I've never explained my blog's title: it's in reference to an inspirational quote, naturally. But, I'm not going to explain it yet—I'll keep that in my back pocket for a rainy day.

In the meantime, here's something that sums it all up quite neatly. Completely handmade by Sara Watson, people!

source: urbanprankster



I'm a firm believer that you get what you give. First, give generously to yourself, then give lavishly to others and it will all come back. The loveliest part is that it keeps going.

Icee over at The Shapes of Things gave this to me yesterday and it makes me very happy. If you're in need of quick wit and sophisticated ideas, visit her often.
I couldn't resist changing the image a tad before I pass it along to other folks who create beautiful things that inspire me, blogs included:

Em at in pursuit of whatever...
Katie at Color Me Katie
Sharilyn at lovelydesign
Anabela at fieldguided
Karyn at make something


My love for you is like a shiny heart-shaped metaphor about the sea

Inspiration is a strange and lovely phenomenon. I don't think I ever saw this amazing, beautiful poster in Chicago a while back. I definitely would have photographed it had I observed it. But, based on the stuff I worked on a few weeks ago, I was clearly influenced by it somehow. I'll resist the urge to play detective and figure out if I walked by the poster; I'm just going to enjoy the mystery. It's better.

source: Jonathan Mathias via flickr



Art studios are special to me. I spent a good portion of my childhood taking all sorts of courses in all sorts of studios—pottery, drawing, drama, photography, dance, you name it, I did it. The studio was always a calm, luxurious refuge with large tables, blissful quiet, natural light, everything organized and a supportive teacher within reach. Thankfully, nothing has changed. I feel exactly the same way now as I did then.

Here are some of things I adore from Open Studio.

And stuff I worked on.


When there is nothing left to burn / You have to set yourself on fire ~Stars

Seems it was almost three weeks ago that one morning, I decided to go for a stroll through Philosopher's Walk. It was one of those stunning spring days and I found myself in the lucky position of having time to myself between leaving breakfast with a friend and getting to work on time. Instead of speeding through on my bike as I usually would, I walked. And I found these amazing burnt pieces of a textbook and class notes. Looked to be from a science class. I imagined a lone student, in heavy darkness, exorcising themselves from the memories of an awful professor who smelled like chalk and chemicals, harried TAs who just wanted to get the lab over already and apathetic fellow classmates who never felt like anything beyond a number in a lecture hall full of hundreds of other people. I like to think that this student felt a satisfied sense of relief after watching a year's worth of work burn and blow away.

I've hesitated posting this piece because I don't really understand why I was compelled to make it. But, I'm always telling other people how important it is to stay vulnerable, so here is my attempt to walk the talk.

After I pasted the burnt pages together, I attacked the heavy stock with black and white paint.

Then, I burnt the edges. It was nighttime and I was outside on my balcony, stamping out the flames when they got a bit too big to blow out. I felt kind of nuts. (Don't worry, I had water nearby.)

Here's what I ended up with; I'm perplexed, yet fascinated.



I started my Marina City collage a few weeks ago. The project is slightly daunting because I haven't built one of my own photos out of collage before. I decided to do the easiest part first and tackle the sky. (Sounds like some sort of inspirational poster that hangs in a telemarketing call centre, doesn't it? Tackle the sky.) I'll let the photos speak for themselves. I'm really happy with the process thus far.


Working on small joys

A friend reminded me that the purpose of this weblog is to show my work. I've decided that yes, I do need to show more of my actual process here. I don't want to indulge fully in navel gazing. However, I think that documenting things that I love also qualifies as stuff I'm working on, as I'm quickly realizing that the more I focus on that, the more work I produce.

Here is just one of the many small joys I've been cultivating lately:

I spent some time rooting through clothing and accessories that wove many stories at The Canadian Opera Company Costume Sale. My friend and I modeled jewel-toned ball gowns (selling for $60!) for each other and twirled around like little girls in grown-up lady clothes.

I found this watch but had no idea if it would ever work. I only knew that I loved it and it was meant to be mine because, as I do with any trinket that falls into the category of I love it, I need it, I have to have it, it's perfect for me, I immediately put it on and didn't want to take it off. In fact, I initially walked out with it on and forgot to pay. Of course, knowing that the Opera is a not-for-profit, I went back and forked over the modest asking price of two dollars.

After showing off the watch all week to anyone I thought would appreciate it, I finally took it to the jewelery doctor for a diagnosis. I was delaying it because I knew that I'd be less inclined to wear a watch I knew could never be fixed.

The doctor cured my baby! It tells beautiful digital time and thoughtfully provides the day and month, also keeping track of the seconds should I ever need to count something like my watch has been fixed for one hour, 23 minutes and 7 seconds. Repairing my watch cost me 6 times the amount I paid for it and brings me an exponential amount of joy. Every time I check the time, I'll admire my original piece that is both functional and full of history.

Here are a few more snaps from that lovely day.


Overheard on King Street yesterday...

I heard a mother tell this to her scrawny, teenage daughter while I walking down King Street yesterday. The mom told her daughter this in front of the daughter's friend, so clearly the daughter was embarrassed. My heart went out to the mom, because I know that the daughter was being insufferable because she's at that age where everything mom does is the most humiliating thing on earth. The daughter was probably showing off in front of her friend or some such nonsense.

It made me think of all the times I was such an awful, awful teenager to my mom, yet she always supported me unconditionally. And she still does.


In parenthesis

Once a highly cynical atheist, I've turned into a person who writes down inspirational quotes and spouts them to friends over Sunday brunch. Not quite sure how that happened, but it feels amazing. In particular, I love the combination of words, angst, expression, community and interaction happening in women's bathrooms. Here's a gem I came across today over at ffffound!. (I'm making up that this is a women's bathroom, but really, it must be.)

It's originally from Justin Blyth's blog which I can't seem to link to directly. Check his stuff wicked stuff.



I caught the Canadian premier of Hustwit's documentary Objectified last night at Hot Docs. Although I can't say I was as enamoured with the director's latest offer as his previous doc, Helvetica, it was a great wake up call to start to take time and observe the designed beauty of objects we take for granted everyday. When was the last time you gave props to your favourite potato peeler or ice cream scooper?

My favourite part of the doc was Hustwit's showcase of how people react to design and alter objects with which we aren't completely happy. I love fixing things to meet my own needs. From a simple re-jig at the shoemaker of my new shoes to jamming paper beer coasters underneath wobbly table legs, creating easy solutions makes me incredibly happy.