Marketplace: Christmas at EQ3

Yup – the shops are in full-on Christmas mode (and have been since November 1st, right?)! Let’s have a look at a few of the goodies that Winnipeg-based¬†EQ3 has to offer this year…


Christopher decorative tree, $19.99



owl ornament, $14.99 for 3g3nAizCQuzUUu_B4UMEWOCRr53QfMlnIVN4G3oi0D4M


Radiate paper star, $7.99


Marimekko fabric – Kuusikossa

Note: Marimekko fabric is 25% off until November 25th at select EQ3 stores in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, and Winnipeg.

Marketplace: Make it a Minted Holiday + Giveaway

If you’ve spent any time reading blogs or browsing Pinterest, then you’ve surely heard of Minted. It has grown over the years to now include personalized stationery, art, and beautiful party decor packages. When I ordered a party kit a while back (for more PhD celebrations, obviously), I was honestly impressed with the paper and printing quality. My shipment arrived in good time and was very well-packaged to ensure that the contents would stay in perfect condition. Anyway, I’m getting off topic. Today I’m highlighting some of my fave holiday goodies from Minted.


white noel ornament cards by hooray creative


radiant shine Christmas photo card by kelli hall


vintage library year in review holiday card by four wet feet design


polar bear wishes by carolyn maclaren


glam vintage by wendy van ryn


joy of family by kerri spath

I also like these cards: Modern Pine,  Cheerio, The Christmas Tree, Festive Glow, and The Greens.

When I placed my own Christmas card order, I was impressed with all the options for card shape and style, as well as envelope details such as liner and address labels. The online ordering process was really straightforward and user-friendly. My cards haven’t yet arrived but I have no doubt they’ll be a good-looking bunch. (p.s. I also ordered a piece of art…a colourful one!) Any guesses as to what I ordered?

It’s Giveaway Time!

I genuinely appreciate companies who are keen to work with bloggers, and who give back to the readers/customers who help to grow their businesses. Minted is one of those companies! Minted is offering one lucky White Cabana reader a $75 gift card (yay!).

You have four ways to enter using the fancy schmancy Rafflecopter. You can: 1. Answer the question (mandatory). 2. Follow Minted on Twitter. 3. Follow White Cabana (me!) on Twitter. 4. Tweet about the giveaway. Contest closes on Sunday November 24th, 2013. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Many thanks to Minted for sponsoring this post.

Uptown: The Tronchi Lighting

When I bought my house I thought one of the first things to go would be the hall light fixtures. They looked, to me at least, to be too flashy and I couldn’t really imagine how they would match my furniture. The dark burgundy walls didn’t help their case.


before: the foyer with dark walls and a fancy chandelier

Once I painted the place white, the chandeliers seemed to (almost) disappear. They looked less gawdy than before and they actually began to grow on me. In fact, I’ve become such a fan of them over the last few months that I have now decided to keep them.

And I don’t seem to be alone in my interest in this style of chandelier.


From the Right Bank


47 Park Avenue


via Ebay

The chandeliers in the above photos are the¬†tronchi style. They’re made of crystal and each piece is in the shape of a tube or trunk (hence the Italian translation of the name). These handmade Murano glass Venini chandeliers can also be made up of prism crystals and balls like the gorgeous fixture from 1st Dibs below.



via 1st Dibs

A couple of weeks ago, I found a few similar chandeliers and decided to scoop them up for¬†other places around the house. I’m completely hooked on these now and I have completely embraced their fascinating style! I should say, though, that¬†my collection of lighting fixtures is made up of the budget/imitation version of the Venini glass chandeliers but they still reflect the light beautifully and are interesting to look at (not to mention great conversation pieces). The lucite prisms in my chandelier collection are proving that they work perfectly with my decor. I’ve dropped a few of the prisms as I cleaned them so I’m pretty thankful that the pieces are durable. They’re fairly lightweight too which has made installation smooth. Be on the lookout, people. I have no doubt that we’ll be seeing more of these Venini chandeliers (or the lucite versions) all over the design blogs and magazines soon enough.

Check back soon for a full lighting reveal!

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:


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.

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.


Necklace from Ruby Slipper Vintage Shoppe in Winnipeg


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

20 Below: Tea Infuser

No, I do not have my BlogPodium recap post ready to share quite yet. It’s fully in the works though so it won’t be long before you see it published here. In the meantime, I’ll continue with the regular 20 Below column by showing off this cool Luci tea infuser from Indigo*


Luci tea infuser, $12.50

*One of the sponsors of BlogPodium, in fact!

Marketplace: Over the Range Microwaves

I’m currently looking into replacing my oven’s vent hood with an over the range (OTR) microwave. This will increase the functionality of my kitchen and will keep my countertop free for food preparation (not that I’m a wild cook or anything, but still). I’ve looked at almost every home improvement store in Kitchener-Waterloo and I’m happy to report that there are several options available on the market.


LG OTR microwave, $278, Home Depot 


GE OTR microwave, $378, Home Depot



Magic Chef OTR microwave, $249, Home Depot


Whirlpool OTR microwave, $248, Home Depot


Samsung OTR microwave, $228, Home Depot


Panasonic OTR microwave, $448, Lowe’s


Lagan OTR microwave, $229, Ikea


Nutid OTR microwave, $299, Ikea

The research is ongoing as I need to confirm that I can install a smaller cabinet (via Ikea) above the over the range microwave. I think it’s doable…I hope it is!

Architecture: New from Lego

I love so many things about the new Lego Architecture Studio – it’s white, it reminds me of my childhood, and it encourages imaginative play for children and adults.


Lego Architecture Studio, $149.95, Barnes & Noble


photo by Janet Paik

What I don’t like about it? It’s not available in Canada. Darn.

Thanks to Boba for sending this my way.

Uptown: Moving In, Starting New

So…the last few months have been quite the adventure. In addition to wrapping up my PhD life in London (defence date set for August 20th!), I got a job, bought a townhouse, packed up and moved to a new city (Waterloo, Ontario). Things have been hectic to say the least but I’m definitely excited for this next chapter on my life.

While my new day job means that I’ll be trying to put my 12 years of post-secondary education to good use (12 years! Wild.), my new evening and weekend programs will consist of making some changes to my townhouse. And since I am a design blogger I think it’s only fitting that I document my renovation projects here. Yes?

So, let me introduce you all to the new series on White Cabana called Uptown. Where did the name come from? Let me explain.

As an outsider, I find the area of Waterloo quite confusing. People in this part of Ontario actually refer to this area as Kitchener-Waterloo (KW for short) because the two cities are basically attached at the hip. There are other communities around KW such as Cambridge and St. Jacob’s which are sometimes roped into the KW area as well. To add to the KW confusion, there’s a King Street for every cardinal direction and getting off the 401 and into KW can be a challenge even for the most skilled GPS system.

As if things weren’t confusing enough, the “downtown” district of Waterloo is actually called “uptown” and “downtown” Kitchener is called “downtown”. Uptown Waterloo, downtown Kitchener. Both city centres are on King Street. Confused? Yeah, me too. But with each day I’m here, Uptown Waterloo seems to roll of the tongue a little bit more naturally.

So, as I live near Uptown Waterloo, I thought that Uptown would be a great name for this series (actually, it was my Dad who came up with it and I agreed). So, anytime you see Uptown in the title, you’ll know that you’re in for a townhouse update!

Guest Post: Save the Date from Wedding Paper Divas

Planning a wedding? Wondering where to start? If so, you’ll definitely want to read today’s post. I’m very pleased to introduce you to Rebecca Leary from Wedding Paper Divas who is here to share her expertise about the importance of save the date cards and how to design the one that is right for you.


What is a save the date card?
A first glance, a first impression, save the date cards are generally the first printed notice guests receive announcing the date for an upcoming wedding. While an engagement party may have been thrown, and planning preparations are well underway, save the date cards ‚Äď as the name implies ‚Äď make note of the actual date the wedding is scheduled to take place.

Wedding Paper Divas Framed Elegance Save the Date - White

Why send save the date cards?
Not long ago most couples simply sent out wedding invitations six to eight weeks in advance of their wedding, and the celebration went on without a hitch. However, with the popularity of destination weddings and multi-day events, and as families move further apart and across the country, many couples want to get on their guests’ calendars as far in advance as possible. Although there are no set rules as to when they are sent out, most couples opt to send them anywhere from four months to a whole year in advance.  This gives guests the opportunity to make travel and other necessary arrangements well in advance.

Wedding Paper Divas Initial Simplicity Save the Date - White

What goes on a save the date card?
Save the date cards are simple by nature. Without giving too many of the celebration details away, the save the date card should include the names of the bride- and groom-to-be, the date of the wedding and the general location of the wedding, and the city and state where the celebration will take place. For destination or whole weekend events, couples often list a wedding website, so guests can refer to it as they like for updates surrounding the big day. A save the date card may read like this:

Please save the date of
November 10, 2013
for the wedding of
Catherine Jones and Thomas Kilburn
New York, New York

Formal wedding invitation to follow

Wedding Paper Divas Regal Pattern Save the Date - White

Wedding Paper Divas Endearing Script Save the Date - White

While the wedding invitation sets the tone and provides all of the details, including the time, address, attire, etc. for the celebration to come, save the date cards serve as the initial notice and a first impression of what to expect. To this end, many couples select a card that complements their wedding invitation ensemble. Additionally, many couples use the save the date card as an opportunity to send a photo or two, often incorporating it into the design. With so many creative elements and opportunities for personalization available, couples will have no trouble finding something to suit their wedding style.


Thanks so much Rebecca for sharing your wedding planning wisdom and shedding some light on the importance of and value that should be placed on the save the date card. 

The Friday Five: Buntings

Bloggers love buntings. And I’m sure a lot of readers do too. They are an easy DIY (using everything from colourful crepe paper to doilies) that can be on temporary or permanent display.


felt foliage garland via A Subtle Revelry


via 79Ideas


via KoJo Designs

white bunting & pompoms

source unknown


via Forever Love

What are your thoughts about buntings? Where would you use one?

Happy Friday everyone!

The Friday Five: The Home Depot

I recently received a gift card from one of Canada’s favourite home building centres – The Home Depot¬†(thanks!). Over the last year I have made so many trips to The Home Depot with my parents as they were going through their renovation. As for my own needs, since I’m in a rental, I’m usually there when I need paint, garden supplies (i.e., tomato plant seeds), or feel inspired to make some DIY jewelry with brass ball chains and washers¬†(I’ve made both and love them.).

I made a trip to The Home Depot this week because I needed more soil and containers for the seeds that I transplanted. This year, instead of tomatoes, I’m trying to grow green beans, basil, sweet pea, and morning glory as per this recommendation. While I was at the store I decided to put my new camera (more on that later) to use and see what other spring/summer essentials The Home Depot has in stock.


I love the curved repetition in this photo of stacks of hosesP1000363

this John Deere looks like it’s smiling

I have always wanted a bbq for my balcony (it’s allowed in my building). This white Weber would be perfect (smaller version also available).P1000379

stacked Rubbermaid garbage cans – too big for my balcony but essential for yard workP1000407

The white plastic patio chair: A summer essential

What’s on your shopping list this spring? What makes The Home Depot the right place for you?

Photos by Jordana. 

Many thanks to The Home Depot and to Candace B. and Jordana W.




Travel: Dallas: Live Large, Think Big

I took my cowboy boots to Dallas a couple of weeks ago and they sure did feel at home! As did I!¬†The Dallasites (Dallastonians?) warmly welcomed me to their city and I covered quite a bit of ground in between my work obligations. Since the weather was perfect-for-me – 20C and sunny every day – I managed to stock up on some real vitamin D. I sure as heck did¬†not miss the snowy grey weather in London. Here’s my report for y’all…

Dallas_White Cabana_1

 never-ending Sonic drive-up area


My conference was at the Sheraton downtown and this area is mostly modern and shiny and full of concrete. I barely saw any grass and trees were minimal. I was expecting more of a hustle-and-bustle atmosphere because of the cluster of hotels and office buildings but it was a pretty quiet neighbourhood. I honestly don’t know where everyone was.

Dallas_White Cabana_6 Dallas_White Cabana_3 Dallas_White Cabana_8

downtown Dallas

Fort Worth + Billy Bob’s

While I spent most of my days at the conference, I still managed to find energy to explore the city too. I was lucky to have a friend (of a friend of a friend) as my tour guide for a bit and together we stomped our boots at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth. Oh. My. Goodness. It was amazing! A feast for the senses, really. The country music, the cowboy boots, the plaid shirts, and the belts all grabbed my attention. And the hats – yes, please! I experienced a bit of culture shock to tell you the truth. There was just so much to look at. The people were friendly, happy, and their dance steps blew me away. Away, I say! I was completely jealous of all the couples – young and old – who were showing off their fancy footwork on the salt-dusted wood dance floor. Just incredible. It was definitely worth the drive to Fort Worth (about 40 minutes from Dallas).

Dallas_White Cabana_10


I ventured out to Target (of course) and walked out of the store with less money in my wallet and a whole lot of – well, I’m not quite sure what. Isn’t how it always goes on trips to Target? (side note: Target opened in London while I was away!)

On my hunt to find a “quaint” or “charming” area, I stumbled on the West Village. Newly built (well, everything looked pretty new) residences, restaurants and shops fill a few blocks just around the corner from the City Place DART station. It was very convenient and easy to get to by public transportation. The boutiques carried a unique selection of clothing brands and if I had more time I’m sure I would have picked out some interesting items.

Dallas_White Cabana_5

West Village, Dallas

The Mavericks

This is the conversation I had with a scalper near the American Airlines Center when I noticed crowds of people and heard loud country music.

Me: What’s going on here tonight?
Scalper: The Mavericks are playing.
Me: Oh yeah. What sport is that?
Scalper: What? [you can imagine the look I got!]
Me: I’m a tourist.
Scalper: Basketball. Dallas Mavericks.
Me (noticing his t-shirt): Oh. I get it. Nice t-shirt.
Scalper: Where are you from?
Me: Toronto.
Scalper: Oh. You’ve got the Raptors.
Me: I don’t follow basketball. But yeah, the Raptors. Thanks.

So, after that exchange, I thought I should try to go see the game. So – guess how much I got a last minute single ticket for the Dallas Mavericks versus Oklahoma City (insert team name here) game? Um. $5. Yeah. Crazy, right? It was a right-place-right-time kind of thing. I would never have gone out of my way to go watch the game. Remember – I don’t follow basketball (but I may start now!). I was fully entertained throughout the (3 hour?) game. The excitement of the crowd was like nothing I’ve really experienced. Let’s Go Mavs!

Dallas_White Cabana_4

An intense basketball game at the American Airlines Center, Dallas


Okay. So. I had some interesting experiences with transportation around Dallas. I didn’t rent a car for this trip (but would on a future trip) so I relied on public transportation (aka the DART light rail) and taxis to get me where I needed to go. The DART light rail was awesome. It is probably the cleanest version of a tram/metro/streetcar that I’ve come across.

Taxis – well – those were interesting. I think I took about six different taxi rides and I had to help each driver navigate. I pulled out my own map on at least three of the trips. It made me laugh in the end. Everyone was nice and pretty talkative and two of the drivers had actually been to Toronto which was cool. Niagara Falls is a big hit, apparently.

Oh – and every time I asked someone for walking directions they pretty much looked at me like I was crazy. I quickly learned that people don’t care much for walking and Dallas is really a driving city. The DART was mostly empty every time I took it.

Dallas_White Cabana_2

stonework at a DART station

Dallas_White Cabana_7

 Victory Station

Dallas_White Cabana_9stairs versus escalator at the City Place station

So there you have it – a short summary of my 4 days in Dallas. Would I go again? Yeah, probably. What better place to learn country dancing?

Photos by Jordana.


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.



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?




How are your icons this year?

Thinking of freshening up your icons this year? It’s probably a good idea.

It’s not to be at the forefront of emerging technology that you’d download some new icons; we’re talking about keeping up with workplace expectations to be visually savvy and hip. It’s about being in the know without looking like you’re trying at all. And this new set of free icons by Brankic1979 is slick and clean, and downloading it for use is just an easy click. I love it when designers make their creative available for use by the public for free. Now we are all engaging with design in mind.



Icons by Branlic1979 are free to use personally or commercially and are designed to resize flawlessly

The Friday Five: Snowflakes

For some people I know, there’s nothing better than playing in the snow. For others (aka me), this isn’t the case. Even though I’m more a beach-gal than a snow bunny, I still do find some delight in the form of beautiful snowflakes – real or otherwise.

paper snowflake star DIY, via Life is Beautiful

felt snowflake ornament, $6 for set of 4, West Elm

velvet snowflake pillow, $29.95, Pier 1 Imports

Swarovski snowflake pendant, $145, Lord & Taylor

Banjo & Matilda snowflake cashmere sweater, $365, Net-a-Porter

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.



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


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!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khR-YWrs5kM?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

Design: Alessi

One of the first Alessi pieces I ever bought was the Juicy Salif citrus squeezer designed by Phillippe Starck. While friends were buying shoes and beauty products, I was investing in odd looking Alessi. I know, right?

Alessi’s Juicy Salif citrus squeezer, $100

The Juicy Salif is probably the most expensive citrus squeezer I’ll ever own. Seriously – who needs a $100 citrus squeezer? I’ve never even actually used it. I just love the design of this kitchen gadget and I’m happy to see it sitting on one of my shelves looking cool. It’s a wonderful sculpture that has been around for over 20 years. It’s also quite the conversation starter – many of my guests stare at it wondering what the heck it is.

While my collection of Alessi is small I do enjoy making frequent visits to the Alessi online shop (to add on to my wish list of course!). Here are some pieces – new and old – to come out of of the Alessi design factory.

Round tray, $74

Ape chip bowl, $53

Pluto milk jug, $32

Mary Biscuit, biscuit box, $60

La Rosa fruit bowl, $108

Mouse bottle opener, $20

Photography: Skates

My friend Joel took this picture of my skates while we were at the Covent Market rink a couple of weeks ago. The rink is now closed for the season which makes me a bit sad because I really do enjoy skating but it also makes me happy because maybe, just maybe, spring is really on its way.

photo by Joel Lopata

p.s. I’ve had these skates since Grade 8. I think it’s about time I get them sharpened.

Kaweco love

This week I’m sporting a new accessory: a beautiful white hexagonal Kaweco Sport pen given to me by Jordana- White Cabana‘s heart and soul.

Thank you so much Jordana! I love it!

(Isn’t it beautiful!?)

Kaweco is a German company that celebrated 100 years crafting beautiful and functional writing tools meant to be tucked in a pocket and resist leakage.

What first started as a fountain pen company, you can imagine that quite a bit of innovation went into preventing those fountain tips from dripping ink into trousers and petticoats. The Kaweco Sport no-leak fountain pen was introduced in 1913 and marketed to athletes, officers, and ladies, offering the most secure closure for every situation imaginable.

Kaweco continued to offer pens designed for specific markets such as the launch of a ladies’ pen in 1925 and a mechanical pencil in 1934. As the years went on, the Kaweco collection expanded and became something of a best-seller during the 1950s through to the 1970s, as business offices made it their tool of choice and offered it as a special promotional gift to business partners. With increased popularity, special editions of the Sport model appeared in 1965 and additional details like a leather pouch, Kaweco “clock” in a wooden case and a Stoffels handkerchief sweetened the instrument.

You may know that the pen was marketed as a pendant at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games- how stylish indeed!

Despite years of success and style, Kaweco pens went into relative dormancy from the 1980s -1994 until distributor H&M Gutberlet GMBH revived the product line and relaunched it full-force.

The beautiful Kaweco Sport pen model that I received from Jordana was released in 1999 and is a ball point in classic white with gold plated trim. Its simple elegance and compact length really do make it a perfect pen to take on the road- it fits nicely in the tiniest of clutches and looks stylish when it comes out to sign your name on the dotted line.

Even my white cat Groseille likes it:

Groseille takes a sniff (above). He likes!

Bad Kitty! Bad bad bad Kitty!

January is organizing month

Happy New Year!

Are you poking around your home and office clearing out accumulations of stuff to start the new year a few pounds lighter?

We are. And we’re coveting these cool modular shelves by Belgian-Dane Julien De Smedt of JDS Architects for Muuto.¬†Perfect (or painfully obsessive) for the indecisive designer who likes to redesign.

Stacked shelving system designed by JDS Architects for Muuto, available at Design Within Reach

Julien De Smedt explains, “Our projects are humanly designed, politically engaged, financially viable, and structurally realistic.” When asked how he sees the “new Nordic” celebrated by the Danish company Muuto, De Smedt says it is “like an embrace of a southern culture with a northern rigueur.”

In three sizes and held together with strong steel clips, the shelves are the best design storage investment we’ve seen all year. Ha.

Might I recommend watching this neat video I’m now renaming, How Do I Shelve Thee? Let Me Count The Ways-?

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/27183069 w=400&h=225]

The Chip house

Have you heard of the CHIP house?

Neither had I until I found it in this feature on Dwell.

What you need to know about the CHIP house:

1. Your instincts are correct: at first glance, it appears to be a giant quilted Chanel handbag:

2. Upon looking inside, we discover innovations in storage and maximizing its bizarre shape:

3. The project is one of the highlights from this year’s Solar Decathlon, an annual¬†program by the¬†US Department of Energy to challenge collegiate teams to “design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy efficient and attractive.”

4. The CHIP home arrived to the Washington, DC, event with the help of a team of more than 100 SCI-Arc and Caltech students who designed and built it to promote a new kind of sustainability.

5. CHIP is an acronym for Compact, Hyper-Insulated Prototype.
6. The home is a 750 square foot wonder of tucked-in furniture made of foam for easy wall-lining storage

7. There’s also this great video about the concept and the build.

All images courtesy of Dwell online magazine.

Diana wore white

This weekend I had the pleasure of being introduced to Diana, a royalty of sorts.

Born in the ’60s with a bargain price tag of about $1, the plastic Diana seemed like a bad idea out of Hong Kong’s Great Wall¬†Plastics Factory. Perhaps she was ahead of her time: Diana’s charm lies in her unpredictably gritty and raw renditions of what glosses over the viewfinder. Diana’s film tells stories are sometimes blurry, colours saturated and dark shadows sometimes creep from the edges of the frame.

Well, well. Guess who rose to fame in her posthumous days as a cult fave now fully back in production?

Today Diana is still a steal with a starting price tag of a mere $59 for the Elderweiss model and comes in every colour, finish, and lens play you can think of- and then some. Might we recommend checking out what all the fancy Diana-toting peeps are doing with theirs? Those who have one are quite excited about it.

I really liked her in white at Toronto’s Lomography store. Here are a few pics of me and various Dianas taken on a non-Diana cam (but that may very well change-!).




Images courtesy of yours truly.

White covers

I’m back!

Okay, so I know you haven’t really missed me since Jordana’s been doing a fine job keeping up with the White Wednesday content for me while I took a momentary leave. Well, I just adore this blog and I really couldn’t stay away any longer- so¬†here¬†I am and so¬†happy to be in¬†white again.

This week¬†I’d like to share with you these fantastic silhouettes blown up as¬†novel posters from over at NovelPoster:

Can you identify the classic novels based on their illustrated outlines? (answers below)

The¬†elegant¬†posters are a nice an’ easy $30 a pop and would spice up any space, but¬† probably best in that cozy spot for curling up with a good ol’ classic.










Novel posters featured, clockwise from top right: Nineteen Eighty-Four, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Ragtime, and The Great Gatsby.