Tuesday, October 28, 2008

WIP: Hall Vignette

While walking home through Chinatown today I found these pretty silk orchids in a sad box outside a storefront and was inspired to display them in the vase I picked up at 18 Karat this past February.

I'm still on the hunt for the perfect mirror to hang over my little hall dresser...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Back from the Motherland!

Despite initial misgivings about literally spending 24/7 of the last 2 weeks with my family, I had a fantastic time! This was only the third time we've ever gone on vacation together since my parents owned a grocery store and had to work holidays too so it was a real blessing that now that we have our own lives and are (almost) all in our 30s, we can travel together as a family and not kill each other. :)

We arrived back early Sunday morning and I have been unpacking and doing laundry pretty much non-stop ever since. There's a semblance of order now that everything is mostly put away. My sister is actually in town with Piglet for an all-company meeting until Friday so I'll probably be back and forth to my mom's between now and then.

I have a ton of photos to sift through and will post them as soon as I can. In the meantime, here're a few teasers...

Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai

Bicycles for rent, Hangzhou

Summer Palace, Beijing

Friday, October 10, 2008

15 hours...

So I'm sort of packed. Sort of, because I have to re-pack my things into a larger bag that I'm sharing with my brother. Surprisingly, all my things fit into my expanded carry-on and backpack. I didn't think I would be able to do it, but then again, it's still warm where we're going: 11 days in China beginning with Shanghai, Suzhou, Wuzhen, Hangzhou, Xian and ending in Beijing.

We'll have 3 days after the tour to split between Hong Kong and Shenzhen where my grandmother lives. I figure there will be one dedicated shopping day in HK and I've got a list that I've been adding to whenever I remember things...like the new ipod nano in purple, design magazines that I can't get in Toronto, new sunglasses, and maybe a ceiling fixture?? My mother thinks I might find something in China because so much of what we see in North America is made there anyway. We'll see.

Better get ready for bed....in about 11 hours, my brother and I board a plane for a 15+ hour flight to Hong Kong where we'll be reunited with my mother, sister, her fiance and our little piglet to get on another plane to Shanghai.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Free Day

My boss stopped by my desk for a status update on the last-minute urgent project that dropped into my lap Thursday and to give me a free day off my first Monday back to recover from jetlag because I've been working so hard recently.

Super-nice of him...but I think there might have been a touch of guilt in there because he and a couple other guys on the team are off golfing this afternoon thanks to the free passes they got for the Big Kahuna's private club in the Muskokas. I don't golf, but I think I'd rather have a free day off to spend however I wish...like maybe a visit to the new West Elm....??

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Guest Quarters

My cousin M and his girlfriend I are FINALLY coming for a visit next month and will be staying with me so I have been thinking a lot about my den and how I'm going to furnish it. This will be I's first visit to Canada so I'd love for it to be lots of fun. Granted, they're only going to be here for 4 days, but you can pack a lot into 4 days!!

I've been browsing daybed options for awhile now and am thinking West Elm's circle-cutout daybed would be alright, although the overlapping squares daybed would have been better to go with with Ikea's Expedit which is what I had planned for the adjacent elevation. Or would that be too many squares?? Anyway, it's moot anyway since I'm thinking a scheme in red and black for this room and that particular daybed is only available in white....

According to their website, the Toronto store is opening on the 16th!!! I will have to check it out as soon as I'm back!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

5 more sleeps...

I haven't written much about my trip to China but that's only because it seemed so far away. But now I'm only 5 sleeps away to spending 15+ hours on a direct flight to Hong Kong where my family and I will be starting our 11 day tour of some of China's greatest hits, including the Terracotta Warriors in Xian, the Great Wall and the palaces in Beijing.

I've spent all weekend sick at home with the flu or something which is crappy in the short term but good in the grand scheme of things because I'd rather get it out of my system now rather than be sick on the trip. The bummer is that I had to sleep through Nuit Blanche this weekend which I was rather looking forward to. Oh well.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Knickers on the Wall

The original ink and acrylic prints I picked up a few weekends ago are finally framed and hung in my bathroom thanks to my friend, N, who's moved back for good after living 9+ years in the US. They're so adorable I can't help but stand and stare at them with a silly grin on my face. :)

I would have had these cuties up sooner but because they were already matted in 8x8 white, I had to order the size especially online through Frames-Direct.com - my Ikea stand-by, Ribba, was the wrong dimension and I wasn't about to pay to have them matted again when the quality of the existing matte was so good.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Project Blinkenlights

I walked through Nathan Phillips Square on my way home from yoga last night and noticed that the windows were all lit up in seemingly random patterns....until the letters L, O, V, E lit up the glass. I guessed that it was some kind of dry run for Nuit Blanche and turns out I was right.

Stereoscope by the Berlin-based trio, Project Blinkenlights uses every single window of city hall and a grid-work of multiple light sources to create a unified light show that can be activated by smart phones and control mechanisms at the site itself.

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