Comings and goings

The winter in Canada has been strangely mild, thanks to our good friend global warming. For the first time, I decided to experiment and not buy a TTC metropass. Instead, I bought tonnes of tokens.

I'm trying to save money and walk more. I definitely walk more than I ever have but, let me tell you, it's much, much easier to convince myself to take a cab to work when I'm running late when a token costs $2.75. So saving money? Probably not. It's likely worked out evenly. But, thwarting the monopoly the TTC had on my winter travelling in past years made for happier cold months filled with discoveries I never would have had if I'd succumbed to the pressure of buying a monthly pass.

Another bonus? I have new material for yet another project. I found myself with layers and layers of paper transfers lining my coat and purse pockets. To paraphrase from a woman in a promotional ad for Hoarders, "I don't consider myself a hoarder, I consider myself a collector of things." It's a fine line, sister.

All these little pieces of paper serve as an interesting record of my city routes and I'm excited for bike season to start so I can complete my jar of winter TTC transfers and get started on turning them into something.



One summer when I was 18, I saved every penny I got my hands on, then went to Europe for three weeks. While there, I did a bunch of things including going to the Anne Frank museum slightly stoned. What can I say? I was 18 and in Amsterdam for only a few days. I wanted to pack everything in; some things don't change.

I also saw Medusa by Caravaggio

I was in awe of the anguish on her face because she looked so much more raw than the cartoon version that lived in my mind.

I'd forgotten about my childhood obsession with the myth of Medusa until I got the best gift I've received in quite awhile in the mail on Monday. I love the idea of a woman being so powerful as to be able to turn people to stone from a mere glance. Fitting then, that I finally own a jellyfish necklace that I remember eyeing at City of Craft in 2008. The Meduse necklace by mynta, a jewelery designer from Montreal who I met at this year's show. She made me a version with brushed silver tentacles and a longer chain, which I absolutely adore. Who knows? Maybe wearing it will give me superhero powers.

The photo is from mynta's etsy shop as it turns out the jellyfish is really difficult to photograph!

UPDATE: Did you know that Meduse is the latin word for jellyfish? I learned something new today!


Fighting the winter blahs

My grandma, for as long as I can remember, gives all the women she knows Amaryllis bulb-growing kits for Christmas. She's more egalitarian now; the whole family gets them, regardless of gender. Amarylisses are strangely phallic flowers with long stems, massive blooms and no scent. Each year, the blooms are a welcome burst of brightness during the gloomy winter months.

I'm extra happy that this one turned out not only to be fuschia has multiple blooms!



My brother always sends me the best stuff.

Procrastination from Johnny Kelly on Vimeo.

source apartment therapy


Picture Files

I was introduced to the picture files at The Toronto Reference Library (TRL) last year and the first time I visited I immediately fell in love with the idea of an entire department dedicated to collecting magazine clippings and filing them in a system that sometimes makes sense but mostly doesn't.

Not only is The TRL gorgeous, it has special meaning for me because it's where my mother learned English when she first came to Canada almost 40 years ago. (Not to mention that my parents first met in a library, but that's a story for another day.)

I had the treat of visiting the picture files again because one of my friends is currently in love with The TRL for it's amazing calm energy and sense of community. After poking through the files I found a thick folder dedicated solely to trees.

Here are some quirky finds that I'd certainly never come across on a Google Image search. I just adore how someone has taken the time to write the category and source on each image—it tugs at my heart.

I've had trees on my mind lately because I've been trying to think through a logo using a tree to represent the inner workings of the brain.

Something like this, perhaps from Canada Post.

I appreciate the successful blend of colour and how the illustration is hopeful rather than macabre.



The much-discussed creative block is to me, actually just anxiety induced fear. But, everyone is delightfully different, even in the ways that our creative blocks manifest! Not to mention that creativity is a process and we all go through phases where we're more productive than others. Here's a wonderful collection of designers by ISO50 who share what they do when they face some sort of creative standstill.

source swiss miss


J.K. Rowling on Failing

I'm all about inspiration these days, no matter how cheesy. In fact, the cheesier the better! I love this talk for many reasons but mostly because it comforts me in this time of risk taking. I'll be speaking cryptically of these risks I'm taking for the next little while. It's an exciting time of plunging into the unknown and chasing things I love.

J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement from Harvard Magazine on Vimeo.


Heart day

Usually I can't be bothered with Valentine's Day regardless of what box I'm currently occupying in the relationship status section of my life. But, this year, I'm obsessed with hearts! So much so that I must've cut out about a hundred to make valentines that I sent to loved ones. I was a bit late in sending them out in the mail, but I figured, it's so rare to get a valentine in the mail these days that no one will complain when they finally do get theirs.

I drew imperfect hearts and cut them out with my trusty exacto knife.

I found lots of colourful paper in my stash and taped up the holes. Then, I glued pretty paper on the backsides and cut everything to size.

I found some red paper amoung my things and cut lots and lots of teeny hearts with scissors.

I placed each valentine face down and sprinkled with a generous helping of my heart confetti that will fall everywhere once the envelope is excitedly ripped open. (I tested this in person with a friend, it works!)

I sealed everything with amazing tinfoil duct tape that I cut into hearts, of course!


On Lee

I remember McQueen when he first started appearing on my television screen. I remember his surliness and reluctance to conform. I remember he used to wear large union jack t-shirts and compared to the pristine beauty of the models surrounding him, looked downright crazy.

I remember loving him, though I didn't know why back then. Now, I think it was because I saw my own eccentricities in him. Knowing that he's no longer with us saddens me a great deal, but I hope he's no longer in pain.

I remember watching this with my mouth gaping wide open, then smiling.

I'll remember him most as a shy, nonconformist artist who had an uncanny ability to poke fun at the very industry that fueled his creations.