Another attempt at a post

is sthis working?


Celebration: Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad

Today marks my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary. As in – FORTY!

I wish I had a dollar every time I heard my mom or dad ask this question to each other. I’d be one wealthy daughter, there’s no doubt about that!

Happy anniversary you crazy kids! Congratulations!

xo

J

Image via You Look Like the Right Type.


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.

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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

 

White boogie board via polyvore

My turn on the beach

I’m in Maine this week chasing ocean waves and eating lobster like a fiend.

See you next week with photos of my travels on the coast!

Johanne


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!


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: Olivia Spies a Seagull

I love, love, love this photo so much. The light, the white, the lines, the title, and imagining the excitement that Olivia must have felt when she spotted the seagull up high on the rooftop – these things are what put a smile on my face when I look at this photo. Love.

Olivia Spies a Seagull

Photo by JennyJ.


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-?


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.


20 Below: Pretty Spoons

I just love these absinthe spoons from Jayson Home. Each is a work of art, isn’t it?

absinthe spoons, $18 each, Jayson Home


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.

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Answers:

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