Friday, October 29, 2010

Covetable Covers

Stopped by my local Chapters this week and stumbled upon these cool covers for classics. If I had a million dollars and a place big enough to house all my books, I'd be all over these. Which reminds me! I forgot to buy a LottoMax ticket tonight! CRAP! The jackpot was $50MM with 11 Maxamillions too!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Winter Vault

I finally finished Anne Michaels' The Winter Vault last night.  Like her debut novel, Fugitive Pieces, The Winter Vault was slow to start, but her writing is as I remember it - brilliantly lyrical.

There were so many phrases and scenes that I wish I could commit to memory forever but that's never been my skill.  Do you know someone like that?  A someone who remembers specific lines from movies or books and is able to recall them to quote at will in a conversation?  Ya, I'm not that person.

Anyway - one of my favourites in the book is a description of a dining area surrounded by books and the conversations that would take place around the table at mealtime:

After the war, my mother and I moved back to London, said Avery.  We had a tiny flat and our kitchen table - my father's huge wooden worktable where we ate all our meals - was in an alcove, surrounded by four walls of books.  Without getting out of our chairs, we could simply reach behind us and, yes, pluck! the appropriate book off a shelf.  That was my father's idea, so that there would always be active discussions at meals, and so that I or any guest could find a reference in a trice.  My father loved to call out directions from his end of the table like a mad navigator on a small boat: 'A bit more to the right, nine o'clock please, forty-five degrees left...' Over the years, certain thick or oversized volumes became landmarks which we steered: "The grey cover two inches to the right of The Child's New Illustrated Encyclopedia ("new" about forty years previous), below One Thousand and One Wonderful Things; about ten inches above Engines and Power...' And when the book was retrieved successfully from the shelf, my father would let out a sigh, as if just the right unreachable itch had been scratched.

I mean, isn't that fantastic???  I would love to sit at just such a dining table with the possibility of many a lively informed conversation.

I will admit that the back-half of the book was a little frustrating for me because of our heroine Jean's relationship with Lucjan, but after coming to the description of the winter vaults, where the dead wait for burial because the ground is too frozen for the digging of graves, I got the very bittersweet symbolism of their relationship. 

From the cover:

...In 1964, a newly married Canadian couple settles into a Nile River houseboat moored below the towering figures of Abu Simbel.  Avery is one of the engineers responsible for moving the temple above the rapidly rising waters of the Aswan Dam.  At the edge of a world about to be lost foreever, Avery and Jean suffer a tragedy of their own and return to Toronto to begin separate lives.  There, Jean meets Lucjan, a Polish artist whose haunting stories of his shattered childhood in occupied Warsaw touch her profoundly and lead her in time to a way of forgiveness.  The Winter Vault is a novel about how we are able to salvage what we can from the violence of life in our search for a place we can call home.  Vivid, sensuous, compassionate, it reveals the inescapability of the past, the devesation of loss, and the restorative powers of love...

Sunday, October 17, 2010


My iPhone 4 finally arrived on Wednesday, about a week earlier than expected from Apple. I had ordered it online Sep 18 because I refused to queue for it and when the email notice of its delivery hit my inbox on Monday, I took advantage of FedEx's tracking capability and eagerly anticipated its arrival.

I've had it now for 4 nights and can I tell you what a time suck it is? I've spent WAY too much time browsing apps and downloading them but OMG so much fun! I'm so happy with this purchase, part of it funded by birthday money from my siblings.

I downloaded a wack of games this afternoon after finishing Airport Mania. What to play next...?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Skincare in your 30s

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days was on TV last night and you know how Kate Hudson's character, Andie Anderson works at a women's magazine called Composure?  There's that scene early in the movie when they're having an editorial meeting brainstorming ideas which, if you've read a women's magazine, you'll know that the ideas aren't really all that creative or new.  Women's magazines were amongst the first to go green because they recycle stories like nobody's business (speaking of nobody' business, where did this expression come from?)  Anyway, this is my poor effort to segue to the many skincare by decade articles I've seen through my many years of magazine reading.  The most recent iteration was in Fashion Magazine's October Issue:

File under "The crucial decade for slowing down your skin's aging." Keep slathering on the sunscreen and use a moisturizer packed with vitamin C or glycolic acid to even out skin tone...Think of your neck and decolletage as part of your face and apply sunscreen and moisturizer there daily. "Women take great care of their facial skin but forget about the neck, which can brown and wrinkle with age..."

I already use sunscreen every day.  SPF 50+ no less!  But what struck me most was that last sentence which made me think of Susan Hay, a veteran broadcaster on Global News who is, without question, a beautiful woman.  However, I can't help but notice of late the aging that is showing in her neck:

So I thought to myself: OK, gotta start taking care and begin to moisturize beyond my face. So I moisturized and what happens? I break out with 3 white heads! NOT COOL!  So screw it. Skincare is not one size fits all.  We'll revisit again next year. My neck is fine, at least for now.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

London Wishlist

In 7 weeks I'll be in London, one of my favourite cities in the world, and also the city in which my favourite cousin resides.  London is also one of my favourite cities for shopping, and in advance of every visit, I like to browse and daydream about all the beautiful goodies that I may come home with.  So here's my current wishlist, which is by no means complete...
Ziggy Dress
55 GBP -
Monsoon dress »

Jametz Dress
160 GBP -
Corsage dress »

Baby signature leather metal work bag
165 GBP -
Tweed dress »

Cath Kidston - Provence rose IPhone case
25 GBP -

What I really really really want though, is Orla Kiely's Quilted Patent Ivy Bag in Violet.  The Tafetta Sleeveless Dress is pretty cute too.

Etsy Finds

I was browsing through the latest issue of Lonny when the blues and purples of this watercolour by Silver Ridge Studio on Etsy caught my eye.  So this led to over an hour of browsing, much of it spent in the "letterpress" shop where I unearthed some great new finds including Dutch Door Press' Birds and Blooms of the 50 States series.  Gorgeous, right?  I would LOVE to collect them all!
Enormous Champion's Keys Silver / Gold reminds me of Tiffany's Keys Collection - many of which I covet - and Albertine Press' Chronology was another that caught my eye...the old-school clock faces remind me of that scene at the train station in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. You remember the big clock?  Love too, Einstein's quote.
This Little Piggy by Ink Petals reminds me of my adorable Piglet.
Lark Press' Topography of a Bird is what I ended up getting for myself - I figured this is the perfect reference for a bird-obsessed chick like me.

Friday, October 08, 2010

New at West Elm...

I was prompted by Cherish Toronto's recent post to visit West Elm's website and was thrilled by what I found.  If you've been following me for a while, you'll know I have a thing for birds and they're most-definitely well-represented this season.  Here are my favourites:

On the furniture and lighting side of the equation, I've got my eye on these goodies, but particularly the cluster pendant, which I think would be perfect for my dining area...

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