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November 23, 2012

PEOPLE ON BENCHES

1. Barton and Christie (Christie Pits) 2. Bremner and Simcoe (Olympic Park)

November 19, 2012

LATELY, IN MOVIES

I was surprised when I saw Singles was on TV. It has everything an epic 90s romcom needs - based in Seattle, the outfits are a perfect 90s grunge, the soundtrack is amazing - all the reasons why I love this film. Bones Brigade: An Autobiography was such a good documentary about the 80s/ 90s skate team Bones Brigade, the most well known team member being Tony Hawk. It was about how each of these guys were hand-picked when they were only kids and how they changed skate boarding forever. Anti-Christ was graphic. Extremely graphic. A few times I was so grossed out I was actually screaming and ended up in a fetal position under my blankets. I'm still confused as to what the movie meant - it seemed deep and interesting and will require more then one watch, but I was so grossed out that it won't be happening any time soon. But boy do I love Charlotte Gainsbourg. Couples Retreat was on TV this weekend so I watched it again with my mom. Pretty cute! I watched The Thing for the first time. I'm not really into sci-fi movies but I know it's a classic so I decided to indulge. The special FX and graphics from the 80s were amazing. I've been wanting to see Jeff Who Lives at Home for a while. It was all about following signs and living your life to the fullest so I was touched by the message as I swooned over Susan Sarandon.

November 10, 2012

COLLAGE

I have an old copy of the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival program that I've been using as a major source for some of my latest collages. It combines my love of movies and collages and I'm thrilled with the outcome.
1. Singin' in the Rain. 2. The woman is from A Nos Amour and the moon is from Le Voyage Dans La Lune - two movies that are on my must-watch list. All three of these films are also on TIFF's The Essential 100 list.

November 7, 2012

CITY SNAPSHOT: PORTLAND

Portland, Oregon was the third city I travelled to last September after Vancouver and Seattle. If there is any city in North America that I would live in other then Toronto, I'd choose Portland. It was definitely love at first sight.
1. The second I stepped off the train I got into contact with my AirBnB host and was told to meet her in a basement jazz bar. We drank gin and tonics and bar hopped to some truly incredible bars. All of the bars I went to in Portland were beautifully designed, had a low-key vibe, and were all unpretentious! 2. The show Portlandia totally got it right because the dream of the 90s is totally alive in Portland. Everyone drives a beater car and wears plaid flannel. I was in love. This picture was taken as I was sitting at a bus stop waiting to go into the downtown. I definitely recommend staying on the east side of the Willamette River. It's got an urban suburban feel to it and it has great pockets of really cool neighbourhoods with awesome bars and vintage stores. I had dinner and saw a band perform at the Jupiter Hotel which is an old motor-inn turned into a boutique hotel. So, so neat. 3. The architecture in Portland is so great. This photo was taken in the Pearl District where there are a lot of former and existing breweries. There is just something about brick.
4. This fountain is right downtown and close to the river. I haven't seen a public fountain that kids and families are encouraged to play in here in Toronto. Portland just gets it. 5. Right in the heart of the city sits a huge public square with amphitheater seating. It's a great place to people watch so I sat there feeling so excited about amazing urban design. 6. Here's another public water feature right downtown! This one was like an ocean tide. Can you imagine walking out of your downtown apartment with your baby in her bathing suit to just hang out in a public fountain after dinner. One day Toronto, one day.
7. The city is so wonderfully designed that every corner I turned put a new smile on my face. There are pops of colour and art everywhere. I stumbled across this community knit project, You Are The Chosen One. 8. Portland didn't seem to be taken over by the car, and to see this pop of colour in a parking lot was another wonderful surprise. 9. Everything is cool in Portland. 
10, 11. This 'boardwalk' was on the other side of the fountain in picture six. It was so dreamy to be taking a stroll in a mixed-use urban neighbourhood that cares about the pedestrian experience. The trees, plenty of seating options, and variety of sidewalk materials made the street feel warm and whole. It felt like I was walking through a neighbourhood where every single element was carefully thought of. It was a completely new type of urban setting that I've never experienced before, and I walked through it with a perma-smile. 12. At the end of the boardwalk was Tanner Springs Park, a park that represents the historic ecosystem of this area. Speechless. I actually almost cried when I found it.
13. Another element that stole my heart in Portland was the bike network. The city just gets it, again. I saw signs that designated lanes for not only bikers, but skateboarders and rollerbladers. When you visit Portland you must rent a bike and go everywhere. I took this photo as I was biking across the river and chasing a train. It as quite a thrill. 14. This photo was taken after I crossed the bridge over to the east side. I just heard a fact that Toronto has fewer bike lanes now then it did in 2009. Oh Portland, I wish you were closer.

See more city snapshots:

November 4, 2012

FUTURE WORKSPACE

For the past three years I've been living in a beautiful basement apartment in Toronto by myself. It has brick walls, a soaker tub, it's cheap and laundry is on the property for free. I collect too many things and it was starting to feel a little small, so about six months ago I began thinking 'Okay, I'll save up some money and move to a larger, one bedroom, above ground apartment where I can live merrily with my future kitten'. But in August my landlord gave me two weeks to pack up all my things and go - temporarily. The house has termites and they needed to do a renovation in my apartment to fix the damage. They told me that it would be a quick fix and that they would love it (in fact prefer it) if I would move back after the construction was finished. They even paid for the movers and for the locker where all of my belongings are sitting.
I decided to take my moving as an opportunity to look for a new space. My apartment is tiny and my boxes are heavy so the move out was a bit of a mission. I wasn't looking forward to moving all of my things (for which I have too many) and I was craving a fresh start. For the past couple months I've been looking for a new apartment hoping to find something I've been dreaming of and something that I can afford. Unfortunately, the fall is not the right time to be looking for a place. It's been impossible to find a bachelor or one bedroom apartment that is above ground for less then $1000, and as I'm on my own and want to stay that way, spending more is not realistic. My heart was set on moving to a new space and starting fresh, but in the end I am glad to be going back to an apartment that I've made into a home.

That being said, I've decided to move back and give my apartment a makeover. My belongings have been sitting in storage for over three months now and I should be moving back in 'just over two weeks'. I'm thrilled to be able to sleep in my own bed again, to take luxurious baths, and to have some much needed me time. I've made it my mission to go back and give away 40% of what I own since I've clearly been fine without it. I also want to buy key furniture pieces like a bookshelf. I'm starting to think about how I use the small space I have to the fullest potential and that includes creating a workspace for myself. My apartment is super cosy and I love that, but I'm ready to get down and dirty in my career and to create as many projects as I can for myself. A creative workspace is vital.

I'm starting to think about what I can do with this space to make it beautiful, practical, and inspiring. Here are some images I've pulled from my Pinterest - finally started using this website and I'm hooked.
1. I love the natural wood and soft colours of this space. I'm going to make sure the design and feel of my space is light but it matches the rest of my apartment. 2, 3. Lots of baskets and shelves for storage, which I need! I don't like to have craft supplies or papers on display unless it's pretty (ha). I'm also going to be purchasing a sewing machine so I need lots of space! I also love the way that these pictures are displayed all clumped together. 4. I've been looking up ways to make a push-pin board so I can pin some inspiration above my desk. I recently purchased a 99 cent floral pillow case with the intention of making something with it - I'm definitely sold with this idea!

To see more of my apartment, check out the apartment tour that Katie did of my space for the Wanderers Palace.

November 2, 2012

COLLAGE

I've been doing handmade collages for about a year now, and lately it has really been an amazing creative outlet for me. Flipping through magazines to find certain images and spending time arranging them is helping me get back to creating my own design projects, something I've haven't done since I graduated. But my absolute favourite part of it all is cutting out the images. It can be so relaxing and detailed that it gets me to focus and make specific decisions... which that has been a bit of a challenge for me lately. These collages were all made in 2011 and early 2012. I have a few new collages I've made in the last couple weeks that I'm SO excited about. They're a totally different aesthetic then the ones here, but I really believe in process so I'm sharing the ones I first created. 
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