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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!

How am I supposed to resist the obsessive urge to paint the coach house in Benjamin Moore's Marscapone when I see pictures like this? Can I register for 2 gallons of paint?

1. Rachel McAdams' waves in the Marie Claire story (new front runner for wedding hair);

2. Gardening (this is our garden last year and I'm determined to make this the BEST YEAR EVER in the garden);

3. This chapeau... perfect for gardening if I could justify the price;

I just did some internet shopping... it was coming on for a few days as I've been home sick and feeling sorry for myself. I found Vintage Rose Clothing via my fave of late, Jane.

So often vintage clothing is teeny tiny. I'm not short and I'm not skinny and it seems people in the 50s and 60s were one or the either of these most of the time. I'd loooove to get some of the things from Liebemarlene Vintage for instance, but they're just not in my size.

This morning, though, I happened upon some cute things that I can wear this summer that will actually fit (I hope).

This 1950s day dress should get a lot of play on weekdays. The skirt even looks like it'll be cycling-conducive:

and this loose cotton sundress is all I need for weekends:

Aside from these sandals, which I am severely coveting....
Must be strong....

This trestle from IKEA is beautiful to me. Eiffel-esque. If I ever have money and space, maybe I could also choose a table-top for it...

I'm thinkin' it would be impossible to be in a bad mood when wearing this circle skirt from Etsy seller sohomode.

With something slightly boyish on top, like this henley:

I just got paid, but I still shouldn't...

Some of the things I love:

Musicals (better with dancing), Audrey Hepburn, Paris. Ah, Funny Face. This is my favorite number, although the one where Audrey does the rad dance in the bar is pretty fab too...

...fancy dudes on fancy bikes? I would give the tip of my pinky finger for one of these Dutch Work Cycles. The guy? Bah, probably more trouble than he's worth.

C/O NYTimes.

P.S. This is a joke, right?

I read this Refinery29 interview with Garance Dore this morning just before getting dressed for the day. So instead of wearing cords, sneakers a cami and a cardigan, I'm wearing HEELS, a skirt I dragged out of the auxiliary closet, cami, cardigan and, of course, a scarf.

Also, I didn't brush my hair. When Pip and I were in Paris a few years ago I noticed that women had that perfectly messy hair. I dont' actually know how they do it so I mistakenly just don't brush my hair and then catch my image in the mirror later in the day and realise that I look frightful. Hrm... where's my brush?

Photos by Scott Schumann, via Refinery29.

Right now I'm working on something that may or may not be practical - a short-sleeved cotton cardigan. I'm using Anna Bell's Cherry Pattern:

I made Blustery from Anna's pattern a year or so ago and I find her patterns really thorough and the designs simple and wearable. I'm making it out of a mysterious organic cotton I got at Yuzawaya when I was in Tokyo for M&M's wedding last May.

I'm picturing it with the Joe grey skirt with white polka dots I got last spring and the Fluevog shoes I got last summer. A couple of knits, a couple of purls, and bingo bango - new outfit!

I'm working on the sleeves now, so I still have the painful finishing ahead of me, but I should have it done to wear to my bridal shower on May 24th...

One of these days i will get to work on knitting up all these cool knitted accessories i've been meaning to tackle. In the meantime, I'll add another to the list...

This sweet i-cord idea from etsy seller adventuresofjr is one of those "why the heck didn't i think of that a bazillion years ago" type of things that would be so simple to zip up and wear long or short with any old thing. The perfect yarn, although I've never used it before, is Berocco's Mica - this shade is called Mushroom and is perfect for me, although a deep bronze would be delicious also. Maybe I can zip one up this weekend as Pip and I have a little bus trip to take...

Love this photo from Grass Doe - my fave photo site.  Gorgeous photo and I'm sure it's not intended to be a fashion inspiration a la Garance Dore or Sartorialist, but I love it. 

Can I tell you how many times I've left the house with a kerchief tied jauntily at my neck and then . I always end up feeling silly and taking it off when I get to my destination. Maybe the key is to keep it simple, like the plain white one here, and add something kind of bohemian like the turquoise and silver necklace. Fine cotton knit kerchief? Hmm?

We have a winner! Skirt pattern from cute as a kitten Jenny Gordy. Ordered! Bang!

While I'm not buying anything... I'm trolling the summer looks, and thinking of what suits me and what I'd like to wear.  This look from A.P.C., via the blog of local shop Jonathan+Olivia, is very wearable although I'd replace the hat with a kerchief.  Sweet.

Ways to economize and still get the look and feel? Hrm, well, I'm sure you could get a comparable t-shirt at the Gap or some place like that. Theoretically, I could sew the skirt, and I know I've seen belts like that for half the price even on Bloor St.  Sigh.

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