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Can you even imagine?

Photo from the festival's website, not attributed.

Pip and I are newly back from our honeymoon in Stockholm. It was pretty great, let me tell you. Before going I had no real expectations of the trip. I knew, in the back of my mind, that Swedes are known for great style and beauty. I mean, I love IKEA and H&M. I grew up with a Carl Larsson print in our bathroom and I'd heard about Svensk Tenn but I wasn't prepared for the abundance of beauty and coolness that we encountered.

This is the first of a series of posts where I'll describe things and places I found and loved.

Åhléns is a Swedish department store. Like department store chains like Macy's or, here in Canada, The Bay, it has cosmetics, clothes, as well as home decor stuff. The difference is, the home decor stuff is much cooler. It's like an inner-city Ikea.
There was an Åhléns a block away from our hotel and I don't know how many times I wandered in for a look around.

The home bit was my definite favorite. They had great gardening supplies, bedding, and fabrics by the metre for extremely reasonable prices (for Sweden).Å

The fabric above, for example, is 149 SEK per metre, or about 20 dollars. A Josef Frank print of similar style at Svenskt Tenn goes for about 890 SEK per metre. I'll let you do the math.

They also had a good selection of oilcloth, which I saw a whole lot more of in the better shops in Stockholm than you'd see here.

Next up, Skansen.

I had never heard of this brand, but I happened upon a shop on the rue Sherbrooke in Montreal after a conference I was there for this week. It was gorgeous. Great muted colours and shapes and textures but my GOD the prices! Never, ever, ever will I be able to afford such things.

Also, I've decided that even if I could, there is reasonable limit. I can't imagine spending more than three or four hundred on a bag and the same for shoes, even if they are hand-made in Italy. I'm not willing to pay for names any more. BAH.

That being said, I bet you a $600 Brunello Cucinelli scarf that I change my tune within a month.

I've been enjoying Andre Jordan's doodles on Margaret Roach's A Way to Garden blog, such as the one below. They are cute and funny, sometimes a little sad, and just the sort of thing I like.

Today I finally went to his own site, a beautiful revolution and my GOD! So funny! He's even written a book!
Ha! No, but HA!

I'm happy in my job and in Toronto, but every so often I get the urge to pick up and MOVE THE HECK AWAY. I will probably never do this, but here is an example of how I get carried away.

A job was recently advertised that I'm well qualified for in St. John's, Newfoundland. I hear that the price of living is much lower in Nfld than in Toronto (how could it NOT be?!) so I'm thinking Pip and I move out there, I have a good paying 9 to 5 job, Pip can work in the public library or at the University part-time and write part-time. We could buy this 4.5 acre plot of land, 5 minutes out of St. John's, as advertised on Craiglist:

Not bad, huh?

and build one of these awesome Tumbleweed houses:

And I could sit and knit on the porch on the weekends, watching the boats in the cove. Sigh.

I took these photos at the baby shower for my friend April. These two sisters were so cute and so well dressed AND so well behaved. I couldn't get enough of them.

I played around on picnik.com last night. The first photo, I lomoized and 1960s-ized:

The second, I polaroid-ized:

Super fun!

By the fall I'm kind of a tired gardener.  I haven't managed to plant any bulbs since we've moved into our coach house and I've rationalized it by saying that I'm not going to invest in anything not easily dug up in the rented garden.

However, if I manage to get some in this year the front runners are..

alliums. Look how gorgeous they are, peeking up from the hostas. Wow. We have tons of hostas. We could have tons of alliums. Gorgeous.

and frittilaria. These seem like such moody and mysterious flower. Picture them early on a misty spring morning. Very atmospheric.

If I could put my good intentions in an envelope and reopen it in September/October I so would. And benefit from my work next spring.

Oops! All photos from A Way to Garden.  I'm loving this blog. Really fun writing and great photos!

This photo is the BEST. The kid's face is so little-adult, and that humongous bow, and all the white space! Love it!

Photo by Ophelia Wynne, from Little Fashion Gallery which I just read about on oh joy!

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