It's an oil entitled "She and her Sister."
So, as you guys know, I'm thinking about redoing my office. (Remember all my talk about dark green paint?) Nothing is set in stone yet, and I haven't even started moving the furniture around, but I'm already thinking about art. I found a midcentury painting of a boat at Value Village recently (it's a massive oil, and I wish I could make out the signature, because I think it might be worth something), so I'm definitely going to be using that. I'm also considering a small salon wall with paintings of the ocean (since I have a few already). At the same time, I might want to go with new, rather than salvaged, art.
I was recently told about this company called Saatchi Online. It's one of those artist/buyer networking sites, where artists can list and sell their work and buyers can search and buy direct. It's a bit like Etsy for paintings and fine artworks (as opposed to crafts). Here are a few works from the site that I thought were interesting:
Own a painting for sale from Saatchi online, like this one by Alena Adamikova.
It's an oil entitled "She and her Sister."
This is a pencil drawing by Canadian Mark Liam Smith. It's called "Nemesis Beetle."
Vincent Van Gogh print by Tadao Cern from the "Revealing the Truth" series.
This last one might be my favourite. Remember Tadao Cern? The dude who did that amazing series of photos, inspired by famous paintings? He's on Saatchi! You can get a print of his famous Van Gogh "photograph" which was made by Photoshopping a painting, with the result as shown above. Want to see how it's done? Here's a video.
So basically, all you have to do is visit the Saatchi site, look around, and click a bit to buy. It's easy. What do you think about my choices?
Remember Sarah Richardson? She of the statement necklace? She of the white jeans? Well, she's back with another new show called Real Potential.
Back in 2010, I was invited to a preview sort of thing about Sarah's then-new show, Sarah 101. Sadly, I did not like the show much, and said so in my blog about it in early 2011. I haven't been invited to a Sarah Richardson event since. Haha. I can't say this bothers me much. So much of PR and Journalism is bullshit, and if I'm no longer in the loop, that must mean I'm not part of the bullshit, and that makes me happy.
Anyway, Sarah 101 wasn't good. It just wasn't. It wasn't horrible, but it was a disappointment. The show seemed to dumb down everything that had been appealing about Richardson's past shows. It was so banal. And it didn't last long. Whether by design or because someone or (many someones) on the team realized it was a bust, it seems to have ended after only two short seasons.
Now, however, Sarah is back. And I'm happy report that Real Potential is a lot better than Sarah 101. A LOT better.
The show is three quarters about real-estate shopping. Sarah helps a house-hunting couple shop for a place, gives them three options, they pick one and buy it, and then, finally, she helps improve the chosen home by renovating one room or area. The show is 22 minutes long and in my opinion, is a little light on the design and decorating side of things, but considering how much the masses seem to love real estate, the format was probably a smart choice. It debuted a couple of weeks ago and several episodes have already aired. I watched them online, though the HGTV website.
The design work is a lot more aspirational than the work on Sarah 101. It's much more in-line with the stuff done on Design Inc., which I was happy to see. Sarah uses a lot more colour than she used to, and the rooms she's done on Real Potential reflect that. I'm not sure how I feel about this change. Colour is good, but sometimes, the blues Sarah highlights, in particular, feel a bit grating to me, but different strokes for different folks and all that. More colour is probably not a bad thing. (I just really hated these chairs, below.)
My final verdict is this: Real Potential is okay. Good, even. The real estate bit isn't that interesting to me, personally, but you might like it. And if you like Sarah, you will probably enjoy the show in general. So far, Tommy hasn't been seen, and I'm sure some fans will be bummed about that, but Richardson herself is there in all her statement-jewellery-wearing, sarcastic glory. Give it a try.
I know. I haven't posted in ages. The chic blog has been effectively dead all summer. It's not my fault. It's just that my apartment is small, and it's done. AND I don't really have the money or desire to redecorate over and over again. So, lately, I just haven't had much to say.
Then, the other night, I decided my office/guest room isn't working for me anymore. It's most often a trash-room, where we put things that we are hiding from guests. We sometimes have one person stay over, but rarely two, so the twin beds, while great in theory, haven't been all that useful. And finally, we need some more storage, and this room could easily house some if it was reconfigured.
Mostly, though, I want to change the colour. I want to paint the room green. Dark green. Maybe sage green. I'm not sure. Here's how it looks right now.
It's cute. Very white and serene and country-ish. But I want to go in a completely different direction. Here are some inspiration shots.
I think this pic is from Atlanta Homes Magazine. If you know anything more about the source, please let me know.
This one is apparently a room in a cottage in the Hamptons by Fox Nahem.
Annoyingly, I was not able to find credit info on this photo. Found it here.
Unfortunately, here's another with no credit. Found it here. If you know the origin, please comment.
Am I crazy? Green might not be an easy colour to work with. Have I lost my mind? Should I go for it? Is green the best idea anyone's ever had? Please comment. I need your help.
Lamps and pillows (and chairs) are some of my very favourite things. My basement is full of extras at the moment, mostly because I often can't help myself. And shops like Toronto's own Mod Pieces are no help at all.
It's local, it's filled with awesome restyled vintage lamps, amazing and unique lampshades, and now, throw pillows. There are so many things in stock that I want. Like, RIGHT now.
NOWNOWNOWNOWNOW. I am full of covetous feelings, in particular for this pair of lamps that I just realized have already sold, sadly.
But fear not! My favourite lamps have already been scooped up, but there are plenty of beautiful things left. Here are some photos from the shop's recent Summer 2013 look book. (Cropped to fit. They look better in all their glory here.)
Happily for you guys, shop owner Lia tells me that Mod Pieces is having their annual "Shop Like a Designer" sale this very weekend. All weekend long, the store is extending their trade discount of 25% off to the general public. It applies to all items in the online store.
There are some SUPER deals in the sale section at the moment, so I suggest you look there first.
According to Lia, "The sale begins this Friday, June 28th and ends at midnight on Monday, July 1st. All buyers have to do is enter coupon code "OHCANADA" at checkout to save 25% on their entire order."
Anyway, guys, I just wanted to let you know. I have not been doing a lot of blogging lately, but I hope to get back into the swing of things soon.
As is often the case with my crafting adventures, I blame Martha. In general, I'm not a jewellery person. I have a weird contact allergy that causes me to break out in a horrible rash when most metals touch my skin and the older I get, the worse it gets. I wear a few basics - small gold earrings on a french hooks (bridesmaid gifts from my sister's wedding), my own vintage wedding band, and on fancy occasions, I sometimes rock a brooch. That's it.
But then, in March, I saw this DIY pearl necklace project in Martha Stewart Living...
I went into a pearl-coveting trance and a few hours later I'd spent $50 on freshwater pearls and other jewellery supplies. Because I'm crazy like that.
I still haven't attempted the Martha necklace, because I'm a little unsure about the pearls I bought. They're a little big. Also, the silk cord I found is white rather than grey and I'm not certain it will look right. I might dye it. Nonetheless, in the meantime, I've been trying my hand at some other simple pearl jewellery projects. Mostly earrings. Here's what I've made:
These earrings couldn't be more simple. You just thread the pearl beads onto straight pins, then make a loop at the top of the pins, then hook that loop to the pre-made loop on the bottom of the french hook earwires. Done.
Truthfully, though, I'm not sure about these earrings. They're a little juvenile, right? Maybe single pearls look better than stacks? I dunno. I can't wear these anyway since the wires are stainless and/or silver plated. They were just for practice. Anyone want 'em? Should I try the necklace project? Gimmie feedback, you craft-lovers you.
Hey guys. Have any of you seen The Listings List? It's basically a Tumblr blog filled with curated picks from Toronto's Craiglist and Kijiji offerings.
I've been following it for a few weeks and here's what I think: There are pros and cons. Sure, the curation is good. The items featured on The Listings List are basically the coolest, most designer-friendly things available on Craigslist/Kijiji (in the area) and following the TLL is therefore fun and could be a serious time saver. No more slogging through mountains of crap to find the best stuff, right?
Isn't slogging through mountains of crap kind of what online garage sale-ing is all about? I mean, if someone else does the work for you, is the hunt compromised? Is the find as satisfying? Isn't it better to earn a deal rather than having one handed to you?
I'm not sure.
Besides that, TLL might not be as practical as it seems. Great items worth curating have a tendency to go fast, and once something has been featured on the site, it goes even faster. I've already experienced seeing more than one great thing on TLL, only to find it already sold.
Anyway. Here are some of my favourite finds, found on TLL just today. At the time of this posting, I think they're all still available.
I love midcentury stuff like this and I think this piece is only $100. The seller also has other stuff on offer AND, while in St. Catherine's, the ad says they can deliver to Toronto.
The seller says this is a solid oak desk, painted white, with new hardware. $100. Makeup table, maybe?
At $145 each, these chairs are NOT a deal, imo, but I wanted to include them to show how how good photography can make even a crappy item look special.
Anyway, what do you think? Do you love The Listing List or would you rather do the hunting all by yourself?
In honour of spring (and because I purchased a package of Marshmallow Peeps for the first time in my life) I made a cake. Sadly, much like this spring itself (so far, anyway), it did not turn out as hoped.
A store-bought cake, ACTUALLY. So I shouldn't feel that bad, right? Via Dixie Delights.
Whatever, right? The cake TASTED great. It was a moist chocolate and the icing was a classic butter cream. The Peep, as it turns out, was disgusting, so we threw him and his family away.
Ah well. So I'm not much of a baker. Or cake decorator or whatever. I mean well, I swear.
The Door Store keeps popping up in my life lately. A few weeks ago, some friends bought a pair of doors there and fashioned them into a headboard. (See a photo of their project at the end of this post.) Then, someone emailed me asking about knocker hardware for their front door and I sent them a link to my own front door update (which included a Door Store knocker). Finally, just today, while flipping through the Latest issue of Style at Home I saw a little thing about fun, animal-shaped hooks (for hanging coats and whatnot) and a few of the options were Door Store picks at excellent prices. Anyway, I think the universe is trying to tell me to write something about The Door Store, so here I am, writing something.
I've got to plug the aforementioned coat hooks. They're adorable, and I believe they're only about $10 a piece.
Cute, no? And these prices are much better than the ones at Anthro. (And besides, screw Anthro. They are so annoying.)
As for actual doors, the shop's selection is huge and worth checking out in person, but here are a few of my personal favourites I plucked from the currently-available mech photos on the website.
Front and back of the same door. LOVE that green.
More colourful vintage choices. More love.
A couple of international choices, from Paris and Egypt respectively, I think.
Finally, check out the headboard I mentioned in the first paragraph - the one my friends Josh and Megan made with two doors they snagged at The Door Store. (They paid $375 for the pair.) I think these were outhouse doors once upon a time, but I'm loving their second life.
I really wish I had an inch of space or that I needed a replacement door... ANY real excuse to buy some stuff, frankly. I'd be off to The Door Store immediately. Alas, I must live vicariously. If any of you have some DS finds you want to share, I'd love to hear about 'em in the comments.
Alright you guys, I'm back. Back with a new craft project, just in time for easter.
It did not turn out well. (In other words, I think you'll like it!)
So, if you read the blog you know that I'm not big into religious holidays. But if, like me, you like crafting, then I'm sure you've noticed that a lot of the projects and ideas out there revolve around such holidays. Maybe because it's just too hard to justify this sort of thing without some spiritual stamp of approval.
(Like if I said, "Hey you guys! I made this insane craft! It took a million hours and was a pain the ass! But isn't it cute? ISN'T IT CUTE?" you'd probably think I was weird, right? AND YOU WOULD BE RIGHT. A lot of crafting is pointless and strange and results in things that have no real purpose. But somehow, if you do a craft because it's a holiday, then God approves and everyone gets it. Right? Anyway. I digress.)
I made a craft. For easter. Dyed eggs. No big deal. Kind of a classic. Martha approved. Before today, I hadn't dyed an egg since about third grade, but what could possibly go wrong?
Sigh. Anyway, I used this project for inspiration: Marbled Eggs. Looked easy. Food colouring and oil. That's it. I was sure I could do it.
Things started to go wrong right off the bat. First off, I only had brown eggs. (So what? I thought. The colours might not look the same, but I don't mind brown. It'll be fine. It was NOT fine, but more on that later.)
Knowing my eggs would be beautiful and worth keeping for generations to come, I decided to blow them out rather than boil them. No big. All you need to do to blow out an egg is to make a little hole on either end, poke something inside said hole to break up the membrane/yolk, then blow through one of the holes to expel the egg from inside the shell. Alas, somehow I couldn't manage to make a smooth, round hole. I used an awl, then a nail, then a pin. Not one egg came out perfectly. I don't know if brown eggs have tougher shells or what, but it didn't work well and the results were annoying.
Gaze upon the ugly holes I made, friends. GAZE.
But whatever, right? Plenty of egg remained intact and while the holes were less than perfect, I decided to continue. I rinsed and dried the blown out shells and set about mixing my dyes. I followed the food colouring instructions. The water was hot. I didn't forget the vinegar. The mixtures LOOKED good. I figured I'd start with yellow to amplify the brown base, then marble with the blue. And blue and yellow makes green, so if they went a bit greenish that would be fine. Green is pretty. Emerald, dudes. Colour of the year and whatnot.
Didn't work. The yellow dye had no effect on the shells at all. I tried the blue as well, pre-marbling, but it just made the eggs look dirty. CURSES.
Not wanting to waste my efforts, I mixed the dyes together (to form a green) then I added a bunch more dark green food colouring to deepen it. MORE DYE, I thought. This will solve all my problems. I popped the eggs in the new mixture and... they floated. Of course they floated. Hollow, they were. So I devised a really silly weight made of stacked, inverted pot lids to hold the eggs down under the water. It looked like this:
After 20 minutes, the dye was taking, but it didn't look great. I decided to move on to the marbling stage anyway. You put olive oil in a different batch of dye and mix the eggs in that. IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE EASY.
Again, it didn't really work. Well, no, that's not fair. It sorta worked, but the green on brown was 'effing ugly and I hated it, but I didn't want to abandon the project, so this is where things got messy. I took the eggs out of the oily water and just started dripping straight, undiluted dye all over them. I made a mess.
Red dye dripped on green egg. Actually, they don't look too bad at this stage. They got worse.
In addition to the mess that now covers my kitchen, my fingers ended up dyed too.
Look at those fingers! AND THIS WAS AFTER 12 WASHINGS. My digits might look this way forever, you guys. I just don't know.
But in the end, I guess the eggs aren't HORRIBLE. Are they? Are they sorta ugly/beautiful? Or just ugly? I don't know.
Hey y'allyall. I know I've been remiss. I haven't posted anything new to the Chic or Reviews blogs in AGES. I promise I'm working on a plan to get back into it on a regular basis, but in the meantime, I just had to tell you about a couple of bad ass deals I spotted this very afternoon at Toronto's own Honest Ed's.
First up: A kelly green trench coat. Brand: Ann Taylor. Original price: Around $180. Ed's Price: $12.99. Sizes: XS to XL and some variety of petites as well. It's looks kinda, but not exactly like this:
I seriously love this coat. I have no idea why the original Ann Taylor merchant had a problem with it. The whole lot I saw seemed fine. The buttons are a lovely tortoise colour, but could possibly use some reinforcement stiching (but I've had that problem even with garments from The Bay). The fabric - heavy and cottony, not unlike a light denim - seems to be in great shape and the green colouring is vibrant. This is one chic coat, my friends. AND IT'S ONLY $12.99.
Also, I nabbed a little pair of classic yellow rain boots. They look just like Tretorn Skerry Boots, which were designed for sailing (so chi chi). Tretorn Boots cost about $70. These look-a-likes? Ed's Price: $9.99. Ed's is carrying women's sizes 6 to 9 only. Here's how they look:
The boots are lined with a thin layer of cozy flannel or felt, so they're pretty comfy. I am not sure how they ended up at Ed's but I will say that I notice they have one irregularity: with this style of boot, at the top back, you usually see a little tab meant to help pull the boot on and off. At Ed's these tabs have all been cut off. This doesn't affect functionality or style, but it's worth noting.* SEE UPDATE BELOW!
There are lots of other fun finds at Honest Ed's right now. I had forgotten how much I loved the place. When I lived in the Annex, it was a go-to shopping haunt.
Now, I warn you, there's lots of junk to sift through if you want to find gems like these, but it's fun and so worth it. And if you don't believe me, I invite you to consider my favourite-ever Honest Ed's find: a vintage-style one-piece bathing suit. Classic black and white stripes. It looked like this and I got it back in 2008:
How much did I pay? $2.99. Two dollars and ninety-nine cents, people. Chic and cheap. My favourite.
Anyway, guys. If those yellow rain boots or that kelly green trench appeal, I advise you to hop on down to Honest Ed's before they're gone.
As for blogging on the Chic page, like I said, I'm going to try to get back into it soon. Hang tight.
* UPDATE: Just 3 weeks into wearing the yellow boots, the rubber was torn in multiple places. They now suck up water better than they keep it out. So that's ten bucks down the drain. The green coat however, is awesome. I hand-stitched a little button reinforcement and the thing is wearing great.