Johanne

Currently coveting curves

Big news, everyone: I am now a loft owner!

(P.S. This is Johanne here, not Jordana who is also a new fab home owner and welcome to crash at my loft anytime).

YES it really happened- I will be moving all of 30 steps to the next-door building at Toronto’s iZone lofts. I’m essentially going from renting a sprawling factory loft to owning one, which is a very very good thing.

With January’s move comes new furniture that will make the best use of the space. For the past five days I’ve been obsessing over half-moon sectionals – mostly because I found a beautiful designer fabric-printed 1970’s Selig sectional at Toronto’s Guff. I really, REALLY want it but am currently having some domestic debate over whether or not to buy it. Don’t you think that a semi-circle sofa is not only tres cool but also *made* for sparkling conversation? (Me too!)

Anyway, I’m barely holding off (for now!) but can’t help thinking that something like this lovely white leather number (below) would be a very fun piece. As I keep telling my partner, when else in your life will you have a half-moon sofa? Hm?

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Beliani‘s modern white leather sofa is a party sparkler, non?

Conceptual art at MoMA

Last week when I was at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art I snapped this photo of Marcel Duchamp’s conceptual art installation:

dada

Did you know that Duchamp is considered to be one of the most important artists of the 20th century? I suppose having a spot at the MoMA would indicate as much. I have since discovered that he is considered to be one of three major artists (along with Picasso and Matisse) who revolutionized plastic arts at the start of the 20th century and important developments in painting and sculpture.

You’ll also be interested to know that he was an adviser to notable art collectors including Peggy Guggenheim and so nudged her and other major movers and shakers of the day into appreciating and collecting modern art such as the works by Picasso, Magritte, Tunnard, Dali, Chagall and so on.

Isn’t it great what a day at the museum can do?

Image by me.

NY withdrawal

Today I’m not in New York. Yesterday I was and it was fabulous, although drenched with thoughts of departure. What a five-day s√©jour I had and I’m envious of Jordana’s frequent bounce from here to there as her second home.

This morning I rode my bicycle to work like I do every day and I thought, New York, I miss you.

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Statue of Liberty’s gown card by Keith Marsh available here

Cashmere needs your vote!

Last week I attended the 10th Annual White Cashmere Collection show and was blinded by the talent and beauty of the participating designers’ creations. Each year brings another stunningly wonderful parade of dresses and accessories made from the bathroom tissue, and each year I wonder how the designers made these incredible pieces.

Throughout October you’ll want to pick up rolls of the pink tissue in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and also cast your vote here for the best dress. Each vote gives you a chance to win a $10,000 shopping spree while also directly contributing a $1 donation to the cause so get voting!

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Vote for your fave 2013 White Cashmere Collection design and

Cashmere will donate $1 to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation

Image by me.

More fab vintage comes to Toronto

Lots of spectacular vintage is flooding the city this Saturday, Sep. 28, for the Toronto Vintage Clothing Show at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Boy oh, boy, I haven’t been this excited about going to an event at a convention centre in- ever! This is my kind of show. I can’t wait and I’m squealing inside as I write this. You can bet that I’ll be there for the 10am opening of the grand doors leading me to awesomeness.

Over the past year or two, I have been curating quite an impressive personal collection of vintage finds as well as cultivating my knowledge of fashion throughout the ages. It’s rather a treasure-trovey closet now that I call my own and I can hardly believe it. I used to wonder how to have beautiful closet of clothes (and a closet of beautiful clothes!) and I’ve got it, no doubt about that. I am so lucky to look at these outstandingly inspired and inspiring artful creations every day. I can’t tell you how much my life is enriched by vintage fashion.

Today I’m showing you just a couple of fun, recent-ish acquisitions staged on my silver fox muff- no, it’s not vintage but the jewelry is.

Hope to see you at the show, or that my love of vintage inspires you to stop into a flea market or vintage shop and pick up something special.

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Necklace from Ruby Slipper Vintage Shoppe in Winnipeg

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Silver and white pearlized earrings from Debbie’s Vintage Vibes in Toronto

My new old-fashioned toy

I haven’t been this excited in a long time: I have a new film camera!

It’s a Lomography lc-A + with a Russina lens – the brand that came up with those super saturated images now known as Instagram effects on digital captures. This is where that started. There was a film camera before there was the Internet, remember? Seems like forever ago. This camera has a lens that is ready for effects and adventure. You’ll know instantly what I mean when you see what she can do- and my images of my images here didn’t do justice to the beautiful prints I have.

I’m in *love* with my camera. Sadly there aren’t enough people driving business for Lomography’s rent payments on Toronto’s Queen West and the necessary profit margins, so the shop closed. Online is open 24/7 though.

I shot my first roll of film and it was incredible. I wish I could turn these all into black and white images to post them all here. I promise to shoot a roll for you. Maybe for the first snow this fall?

Here are a few snaps from the roll:

image At Sandbanks’dunes this summer

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View of the CN Tower from the parkette at the CBC

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My sister in front of her new house, two weeks before the move

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My nephew Maxime at the Winnipeg Zoo’s butterfly garden,

one month before his sixth birthday

All images by me.

Coffee table topper

For the design aficionado in you and everyone else who enjoys seeing things well done and well photographed, I present the next book to top your must-have list.

The iF Design Awards book features the best of product design and continues in the tradition established in 1954 of recognizing the best creatives working in the field. Each year, more than 2,000 submissions coming from 37 countries compete for the coveted awards. This yearbook features the best in international product design, focusing on newly developed materials and the innovative use of existing materials.

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The iF Design Awards book is available at shops including Amazon

Away we sail

Do you know how to sail?

I’m a beginner and like all new pursuits, learning the sport comes with learning another language: there’s the terminology (ready to tack!) and the parts (hoist the spinnaker!). Then you hold your breath and hope for smooth sailing.

This weekend I’m heading up north for a sail aboard our new Hobie Cat 16! I can’t wait.

HOBIE_FlyingH_800

 

hobie16

And so this might be handy:

points-of-sail

A new baby

Well, dear readers, I’ve been wanting to share with you the news that there is a new baby in the White Cabana family. Since I contribute on White Wednesdays and consider living in white a lightening and inspiring experience, I’m so delighted to welcome baby Everett to the family! My sister’s second child is here and he is adorable- his big sister Anabelle loves him very much, too.

I’ve always had a soft spot for handmade decorations and I adore these felted creations on Etsy in the shop Lazy Animals. Don’t you want the entire collection?

nursery mobile

 

Nursery mobile – so sweet – at Lazy Animals

Sub zero zig-zag

Sub Zero is a refrigeration industry brand that might as well be royalty- it’s not just fancy for fancy’s sake, the guts are where the glory is. Today’s feature is the cool Z-Refrigerator that employs a very unique shape for storing various items: when the door is opened to the left, a large space is available and to the right is a slot for drinks and instant food.

The fridge also saves energy by minimizing the amount of cold air escaping at once. And yes, it’s an award-winner of the 2013 iF Design award for concept design by Hee Young Lee. How cool.

refridgerator

 

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Images courtesy of Sub Zero and iF Design.

All aboard

anchor hook

Anchor hook, $15 on Etsy by Bold House

Spring is synonymous with sailor stripes and nautical chic.

If you have a small deck or outdoor patio, this anchor hook would be great to hang your hat, towel, or a lantern for sundown.

 

The Monarch Stool

Yet another wonder of 3-D printing: behold the Monarch Stool by Finnish designer Janne Kyttanen, winner of the Best Newcomer Award, the Red Dot Design Award 2005, the Best New Exhibitor Award, and numerous others.

These glass-filled polyamide stools are strong despite their delicate appearance and mesh butterflies with open weave.

Monarch_Stool

 

Image credit: Freedom of Creation

You know it’s a party when..

…When there’s confetti!

Confetti is quite possibly the most fun accessory to a memorable event. It’s exciting to throw and thrilling to be showered with the happy specs. No need to save them just for weddings.

I’ll be bringing seed-embedded paper confetti flakes for an early summer party; if you’re like me and don’t have green space, why not gift them (or throw them!) to a friend who does. I also like the enviro, no-cleanup-required: before you buy, just decide if you’ll be seeding with herbs or wildflowers, and let the festivities be as memorable as your lasting green gift.

plantable confettiEnough boring: plantable paper confetti by Bontanical Paperworks in either herbs or wildflowers- a garden party must for this summer

 

 

The Zen Circus yoga chair

Designers Caroline Kermarrec, Alexia Moisan and Kevin Geffroywould created a yoga chair- or rather, a chair to relax in and help you stretch after a day of activities. Made of flexible fabric and hanging from what appears to be white ash curved into three moon slivers, the chair looks like a cozy and fun place to.. hang out.

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The Zen Circus yoga chair by Caroline Kermarrec

Paper flower inspiration

Happy first day of spring!

As we wait for the season’s fresh blooms, I’m totally in love with and inspired by Balushka‘s over-sized paper flowers. Easy d√©cor for any wall- but I think I’d like to place these in a hallway where people tend to just wiz through.

Wouldn’t these give you reason to pause?

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Balushka’s beautiful paper flowers are available for sale or rent here

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balushka paper flowers 2

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All images courtesy of Balushka.

 

Foldable paper animal glow lamps

Aren’t these simply amazing? Leave it to Etsy to have the coolest, most unique stuff on the web.

Over here at White Cabana we do love our white animals. For about $50 CAD one of these lovelies by mostlikelyShop can be yours to fold and glow. Perfect for any room and making a very architectural and functional presence.

owl lamp paper

owl lamp litwolf lamp paperwolf lamp litpenguin lamp paperpenguin lamp litAll images courtesy of mostlikelyShop where you can purchase a lamp (or two!)

 

Always nesting

Do you ever tire of seeing sets of nesting bowls? I certainly don’t. Ditto for nesting tables.

Today’s collection is a special set of four pieces by Mud Australia for Goop. These are perfect for baking, serving, displaying and just about any other idea you can think of. I love a low bowl. You?

mud nesting bowls

 

Mud Australia for Goop nesting bowls, $285 

mud nesting bowls made

Glimpsing into the Mud Australia factory

Getting fancy

How fancy are you getting these days?

Some of us are fighting the winter blues by buying spring clothes that ¬†barely hit the retail floor, and some of us are getting into upscale fragrances. Do you know about Lucky Scent? It’s a shop with a scent bar specializing in top and otherwise uncommon fragrances from all over the world. Last week I splurged and ordered the L’Artisan Parfumeur Samples Pack– a great way to try 10 of the top phenomenal creations of all time at a fair price.

This caught my eye, too: fancy incense papers. I never liked the smell of incense before but, I have a feeling that its just like the difference between burning a fancy candle and a not so fancy one. Big difference.

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Today I’m featuring these lovely incense papers that come in one of three signature fragrances by Maison Francis Kukdjian, Paris. At $25 for a pack of 20, these incense papers are either in notes of rose or orange blossoms and lily of the valley. I have a feeling that they are divine- a user review on Lucky Scent’s site gave these full marks. They are decadently scented with only the best. This isn’t a fortune-teller’s sandalwood stick: this is expensive in a way that is refined and crafted with nuances and pure extracts. Paris! Come on, you’d love trying one of these, wouldn’t you?

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A central square with a hint of pink

I adore today’s feature pic: an illustration designed for graphic design firm¬†Cottage Collections‘ website. No wonder the site won a design award back in ’08.

Isn’t this European market square space sweet and charming, and a perfect space to enjoy a Mayan hot chocolate with your loved one on Valentine’s Day?

Or a glass of pink bubbly would do.

Make-Mine-Pink

 

Image courtesy of Cottage Collections

 

 

3D sound

Happy new year everyone!

Just as I was thinking over the holidays, Yes, 3D printers would be great for creating vinyl records, TA-DA!

3D printed record by Amanda Ghassaei

Amanda Ghassaei has been tinkering with a 3D printer and created a method for converting digital audio files into printable 3D vinyl records. You can read more about her research and process via the link above.

Although the sound quality is not quite right yet, Amanda’s work is really good news for us audiophiles who have gone back to vinyl after a few detoured decades via cassette tapes and CDs. It’s about time I hear of a use for 3D printers that doesn’t feel bizarre!

What’s your take on 3D printing?

French print busts

Animal busts, Restoration Hardware Baby + Child

This week I’m coveting these lovely papier m√Ęch√©¬†animal busts available at Restoration Hardware Baby + Child. It seems I’m surrounded by happy news of spring babies coming this 2013 and I have baby’s room on the mind. I love how these modern papier¬†m√Ęch√© busts work as well in a cozy living room, front hall or baby’s room.

I spotted these last week when they were featured on flawlessly fabulous Gwyneth Paltrow’s pet project, Goop, and she informed me that they’re entirely eco-friendly. The animals are made by hand by Haitian artisans using recycled paper, recycled steel wire and arrowroot starch glue.

The best part: the outer layer is from French newspapers.

C’est merveilleux!

 

And look how lovely in a baby’s room!

Animals we love

Decorative sculptures are especially special when they come in animal shapes. There is something lovely and magical about a fox on your bookshelf or a bowl in the long lean proportions of a Dachshund. We’re talking about classics that appeal to all ages and add personality to a space.

Jonathan Adler has really taken the animal sculpture to a whole new place by carving out a collection of pieces that are cheerful while beautifully echoing the geometry and symmetry in nature. I know that Jordana has a thing for these lovely creations, too. I think I can hear the roar of her lion!

Here are the new additions to Adler’s menagerie now available on his website:

Bear, $98

Owl canister, $75

Monkey, $198

To do: The Design Exchange

Here’s something for the upcoming rainy weekend in Toronto: check out the new and ongoing exhibits at the city’s ¬†Design Exchange¬†(DX).

Located in the spectacular space formerly the hectic trading floor of the Toronto Stock Exchange, the Design Exchange “is Canada’s only museum dedicated exclusively to the pursuit of design excellence and preservation of design heritage.”

I highly recommend dropping by to see what’s in house and on display at the DX, and if you have no time for a proper tour, the gift shop is a mecca of cool finds, unique books and design gifts. I’ve always found a DX visit inspiring and refreshing and I know if you’re reading this blog, you’ll like your visit.

A few current exhibits you will enjoy at the DX:

Vertical Urban Factory,¬†Sep. 3- Dec. 9. Looking at more than 30 factories to consider their integration within urban settings such as Detroit and New York, with case studies such as the American Apparel factory in L.A. and the VW “Transparent” factory in Dresden, Germany. (paid exhibit)

Considering the Quake: Seismic Design on the Edge, Sep. 13 – Dec. 9. “Design meets practical application. Examples: From ARUP’s Herm√®s Building featuring the work of Renzo Piano Architects in Tokyo, Japan and their York University Subway Station with Foster and Partners in Toronto, to Daniel Libeskind’s Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, to Cast Connex’s seismic technology that will be included in New York City’s World Trade Center 3 design.” (included with general admission, about $10)

Permanent/ongoing exhibit Р the Must-See:

DXUNCRATED

This exhibit features iconic pieces from the Design Exchange’s permanent collection, which celebrates Canada’s rich industrial design history from 1945 to the present. Spanning over five decades, the Design Exchange’s permanent collection covers more than six hundred industrial design objects and archival materials including furniture, housewares, textiles, electronics, and lighting.¬†DXUNCRATED illustrates political, technological, and social changes that occurred following World War II to present day. Items on display will include the famous Clairtone Project G Stereo (pictured below), Thomas Lamb’s Steamer Chair, and Russel Spanner’s Dining Chair.

The Clairtone Project G stereo produced by Clairtone from 1964-7 is a Canadian design icon

To celebrate all that is design and Canadian ingenuity, this year’s annual fundraising party coincides with the DX’s relaunch on November 16, featuring interactive design installations, fancy food from celebrity chefs, and today’s big names in Canadian design. Find out more¬†here.

Origami chair

The lovely life-sized origami-style Folder chairs by designer Stefan Schoning are assembled by folding them just like an origami creation. How cool is that?

The ‘Folder’ can withstand your weight since it is made from paper-thin polypropylene, which means the look is very cool and the construction lightweight, rigid and tough. The chairs more durable than wood, plastic or metal and have been exhibited around the world: the National Design Museum in NY, Nike Design Library in Oregon, Colette in Paris, Salone Satellite in Milan, and 100% Design in London, UK.

What’s not to love?

Images courtesy of Stefan Schoning.

White Rabbit

Do you ever find yourself tempted to download a font and then wonder what you’ll do with it?

Well, now that the world of self-publishing has us doing everything from blogging to printing our own books, you’ll be surprised how many uses you’ll find for your new (free!) font.

Today I ran across the White Rabbit font designed by Matthew Welch. You can also see more of his design work here where the font is available for download. Use it to make your own Thank You cards, or better still- holiday gift tags.

And while we’re here, don’t we just love the font AND the name? So fun! And imagine my enthusiasm when I realized that White Rabbit is available for free on the site Font Squirrel.

White Rabbit font by Matthew Welch available at Font Squirrel

Tea for (f)all

I drink tea all year and I actually like a hot cuppa even during the summer months. As a coffee-in-the-morning kind of gal, I find that making an herbal tea after lunch is a great alternative to caffeinating my thoughts all day long.

With the rise of tea`s popularity in recent years, there is far more variety and easy access to unique blends from far-away places than ever before.

Today I`m showcasing a few mugs that make tea time that much more quaint. These are also really easy to get your hands on (!) since they`re widely available at Chapers-Indigo and make a perfect, random, `thinking about you`gift for a friend, colleague or parent. They make a really sweet add-on to an online book order for curling up on quiet weekends this season.

Stoneware mug made in Portugal, $12

Scrabble mug, $12

Forest stoneware mug, $8

Owl mug, $16.50

Textured zen mug, $8

Aegean mug, $8

Monogram mug, $8

And now this is fantastic- the mug with a perfect-fit filter for loose tea (below). The lid doubles as a filter holder for when steeping is done. I have one of these and I love using it at the office.

Mug with lid and filter, $20

Delicate strength

Today I’m spotlighting award-winning Japanese artist Kasuyo Aoki with a few pieces from her Predictive Dream series.

The porcelain pieces have an ethereal, sinuous-ocean quality, don’t they? Not to mention some of the skull-inspired shapes. I love how easy it is to get lost in the movement created by the swirls of porcelain.

Happy White Wednesday, everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

All images courtesy of Kasuyo Aoki.

Forging French doors

This week I had the most exciting time meeting and getting to know one of Canada’s foremost window dressers, Philip Minaker. Having created hundreds of major storefront windows during more than 25 years as a style director for many iconic Canadian and international retailers in Toronto and his home town of Winnipeg, Philip is a fascinating individual unlike any other.

His boundless creativity and problem-solving know-how are only surpassed by his sweet and fun personality. Philip is a fashion force and he’s put on countless runway shows and deconstructed trends working for various styling and retail roles at The Bay, BCBG, Lipton’s, Eaton’s, Mondi, Parachute, and the list goes on and on.

He is known for his stunning sales-boosting windows and his ‘let me show you’ philosophy about sharing his fashion knowledge. His windows are known to increase sales; a job well done, then. Look for his work coming up at Toronto’s downtown Josephson’s in the next few weeks- he told me that he’s currently fabricating the set pieces for the fall windows.

Beyond having a keen eye for styling, trends and balance, Philip is an incredibly talented artist and he creates much of what you see in his displays. Today’s French doors featured below are an example of his incredibly simple take on getting what you need: make it yourself.

When I met Philip on the weekend during his first of two¬†moving sales, he invited me in his home where he has these gorgeous antique French doors behind a bed (those aren’t for sale, though, sorry! but just DIY for these and drop in on Philip’s second sale for other very cool stuff).

These gorgeous French doors are not real; they’re two large format prints of doors that are glued to large pieces of foam. The antique look is truly outstanding and the quality of the print here is just right, working in favour of achieving that natural aged look that the doors have.

The best part about all this is that they weigh nothing! They’re made of foam! You know, the inch-and-a-half rectangle sheets of white foam from the craft store. So simple. Philip told me that he cut the print and foam in the curved shape at the top and he has another piece that creates an archway to really bring it all together. I think they are spectacular just like this.

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Images courtesy of me via Philip Minaker

You’ll want to be there for Philip’s second moving sale in a few weeks, September 13-16: he is parting with some of his window dressing treasures including props, decorative urns, industrial art, art hangings and artist canvasses, art that he has created, beautiful vintage mannequins, and so much more.

You’ll love meeting Philip- just drop in to say hi and check out all the fascinating pieces of his career that he’s selling to new good homes, and meanwhile take a look at his moving sale ad on Kijiji– lots more pics there to see what he’s got on the floor (including Herman Miller La Fonda chairs…).

Surf's up

I’m now back from the most beautiful week of sun and sea in Maine and I’ve got surfing on the mind. I’ve only been back on home continental turf for less than two days- but how I could easily slip back into the curl of the ocean’s waves.

Not surprisingly, I’m interested in bodyboarding since I spent the week perfecting catching waves on Ogunquit Beach. Bodyboarding is easier to master than bodysurfing since you use the board to help catch the wave and ride its curl. Bodysurfing involves your body riding the wave with your head pointing facing down and your hands extending in front of you like an arrow as the wave¬†propels¬†you forward. Both are fun, and while I’m slowly picking up the tricks of the bodysurfing trade, bodyboarding is proving to be a lot of fun.

What’s your ocean sport of choice?

white boogie board

 

A ruler among us

Since discovering earlier that Jordana has not one but six rulers, I thought I should share & show my own special ruler.

I, too, have more than one ruler but you’ll understand why this one is still kicking around: it’s a three-sided drafting ruler that belonged to my geologist dad. I inherited it since he no longer needs it (he no longers drafts but still has the drafting table… ahem office supplies hoarding, dad!) and as much as it is mildly confusing (to me) I can’t help but like its specificity and said handiness.

Ta-da! My ruler. I know, eh? It looks nothing like a ruler.

Now you get a better sense of it

The drafting ruler is made by Faber-Castell; the model number is indicated

and when I searched online I discovered that there are Faber-Castell

vintage drafting rulers for sale on Ebay! Who would have thought-? Mine is

definitely vintage but certainly not a fancy one

What makes this ruler special is that there are various ratio measurements

all along each side. So if you’re in school and you use the wrong side

to measure your algebra shapes you can kiss those homework marks goodbye.

You’ll find that each side offers two different sets of ratios running in the opposite

direction along the length, so there are six measurement scales in total (fyi)

I also like that the three colours along the sides are different:

red, forest green and black

Images courtesy of me.

Getaway car

Thinking of leaving it all behind for a summer escape? Why compromise on the comforts of home when you can take them on the road with you in this fabulous motor home by Vario?

Aptly named Perfect, this motor home model includes air conditioning, a full bathroom, luxurious finishes and – wait for it- a garage in the rear to take your Smart car with you. So when you do arrive at your destination you can park big daddy and slip away like an action film trick aboard your zippy compact wheels. So you never have to walk-!

It’s priced at $1.4 million, but really- who cares. It’s perfectly insane and I’d love to experience it.

At the cottage

This week I’m writing my White Wednesday post from our family’s beautiful cottage in the Haliburton Highlands, which is really just on the edge of Muskoka in Ontario. We’re on Livingstone Lake- a small, quiet lake near the quaint town of Dorset.

I came up here this week for a few days to relax and help out my dad who is building me a stunning canoe made from a cedar tree on our property that he cut and milled into cedar planks. The canoe has a ribbed interior that is now undergoing coats of clear varnish and its exterior is wrapped in a canvas that is coated with various fillers before being painted its final hue: a brilliant vermilion red! (My colour choice).

Today I share with you a few white things that caught my eye around here and give you a glimpse into the most special place in my life and the canoe that is nearly done.

There are all kinds of species of trees here, including birch (pictured above).

I quite like exploring clusters of trees, especially a magical spot where tall hemlock trees

create a very high canopy that prevents much underbrush from growing. Birch trees

let a lot of light through their leaves and many ferns and saplings grow underneath.

When you’re out on the Canadian Shield you’ll find lots of rocks

and since my dad is a geologist, rocks have always been in our viewfinder.

This is a¬†piece of white granite that is a decoration in my stepmom’s garden bed.

These are the tips of kayak paddles. I grew up in cottage country in Québec and Ontario

and my dad is a perpetual sportsman, having always loved and sought adventure. He taught me how

to ‘Eskimo roll’ back in my early teens and we went down a river in kayaks when I was barely

barely 13 years old. We still have the kayaks and I paddled them last month.

Ta-da! Here is my canoe wrapped in canvas and coated in a white sealant.

It’s sitting like this under the deck drying for a few weeks and then

we’ll apply another coat of sealant

This is a closeup that shows the strokes of the paintbrush from coating the canvas

with white ‘stuff’¬†that has the effect of an egg shell finish, and the¬†interior ribs sticking

out until they’re trimmed where the gunnels will be.

This is the can of filler that was brushed onto the canvas on the canoe

This is one end of the canoe and if you know your canoes, you’ll recognize the shape- it’s a Prospector.

This boat is slightly modified and built to be strong, fast and hold a good amount of camping gear.

Shifting, gears, we use a four-stroke motor to putter across the lake in an aluminum boat

during the in-between seasons when our regular ‘big’ boat is in storage for the winter.

I really like the type for this number four

This large buoy prevents us from accidentally scratching the hull of the boat

as we dock it. Not that we really *need* the bumpers but… just in case

Our cottage is off-grid and water-access, so learning how to tie knots is important.

Talk to seafaring folks and they’ll never call a rope a rope- it’s a ‘line’. A line can be used

for just about anything- I always keep one kicking around. I’ve been taught how

to tie a bowline knot but I always forget how, and this self-strengthening figure eight

is never quite right when I do it. My dad did this one when I arrived on Monday afternoon

and mine didn’t look nearly as nice.. so it’s not pictured

This is a danger warning sticker on the boat’s dashboard:

Warning! do not put your feet into the propeller. Ouch :S

I’ve been treated to beautiful sun and puffy white clouds this week.

I took this quick pic off the dock while looking for white stuff;

I’m hoping that when Jordana does make it up here for a visit she’ll

show me all the white things I’ve missed in today’s cottage tour for you all.

Happy summer, everyone!

The summer topper

Not all hats are created equal and today we’re featuring the ultimate in glam -yet practical- toppers.

The floppy extra-wide brim hat is lightweight due to its straw construction, and all that extra girth will provide the wearer with ample shade and a fun accessory whether you’re lounging by a fancy pool or heading to the beach for a day.

I’ve always wanted one and it’s looking like this will be my summer to pounce on this tireless classic. Looks great with any swim suit, a breezy maxi dress, or knee-length shorts for a day of urban exploration. We recommend it in white although the colours available are quite fun to coordinate with your suit- black, fuschia, and natural straw.

The Del Mar wide brim hat by sur la tête, $27 at Village Hat Shop

White cover

Isn’t it refreshing to see a beautiful knit all in white on the cover of a rather bid deal mag?

The stunning Lily Donaldson was photographed by Richard Bush wearing a Chanel spring 2012 dress for Vogue Russia’s July issue. I love the shape of this dress- architectural in shape with high texture value.

Happy White Wednesday, everybody! Stay cool!

Image courtesy of Vogue Russia

Big top

The Big Top of Cavalia’s Odysseo production in Toronto, Canada

In case you’re not living in Toronto or have passed through in the last month, you wouldn’t know that the city’s whiteness just went to new heights: the big top of Cavalia’s Odysseo show is here! (and you can still get tickets!)

The beautiful big white tent is the largest touring big top in the world and it is currently at the Toronto Port Lands on the city’s east side waterfront where each night, skilled performers and 61 horses create a spectacle combining music and acrobatics to make your childhood equine fantasies come true.

Many horse breeds are in the show. Image via¬†Cavalia’s Odysseo

The big white tent is a sight to behold- I see it frequently from the Gardiner Expressway and I’m always admiring how lovely it is. The structure was conceived in Canada by set designer Marc Labelle, director Erick Villeneuve and Cirque du Soleil creator Normand Latourelle.

It is more than twice as large as the big top used for Cavalia’s original production and was designed with the help of the Italian firm Cannobio. The massive arches were built by Show Canada and the tent structure was manufactured in Italy. More than 60 people were involved in its creation process over the 11 months it took to finalize.

Big Top Facts

Dimensions: 125 high, covering an area of 393 feet long by 311 feet wide, which is more than 120,000 square feet.

Inside: A stage covering close to 8,200 square feet, no obstruction on stage or in the audience. Seating capacity: 2,290 people.

Assembly and transportation: Assembly requires more than 40 motors and a mechanical crane. The four arches are 88 feet high by 203 feet wide. 20 trucks are required to transport it all.

Below is a video of the assembly- amazing!

Whited eyed

All the excitement yesterday about the traverse of Venus across the sun has got me thinking about protective eyewear.

For me, wearing prescription sunglasses has improved my enjoyment of the outdoors a millionfold. And I love the sunshine- but being rather unable to wear contact lenses, and being sensitive to light in general, prescription sunglasses have changed my life.

Are you thinking about getting a new pair of sunglasses this summer? I am. And the white frames¬†do make for a very striking look, don’t they?

Neff’s Spectra sunglasses in matte white finish, $25 at Neff

Michael Kors retro Griffin sunglasses, $115 at Nordstom

Miu Miu white sunglassses, about $350 at House of Fraser

Knot a bad seat

After coming across my second knotty pouf, I decided it’s time I feature the thing. Surely we’re onto a trend here.

The knotted ottoman we have here today is a beautiful thing (isn’t it?) by Prague-based design studio Kumeko. Inspired by old techniques of weaving fabrics and baskets, the pouf comes in two sizes and are said to be outstandingly comfy. I really like the weave pattern we have here in the Kumeko but CB2 does a similar pouf (no white option, sadly- just black, blue or red) that is knitted with large ribs.

The fabric, knotty pouf is a really nice way to round out all those harsh modernist edges in otherwise very angular spaces and well, let’s face it, it offers up a backup place to sit for when there’s just no more room on that loveseat.

Knotty poufs by Kumeko

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