Saturday, June 30, 2012

My Favourite Midori Ribbon........and some new ones

When I say I love the colour chartreuse it is for many reasons, some sentimental another story for another day but mostly for it's ability to be beautifully chummy with any other colour especially when gift wrapping. The visual power of the colour chartreuse is a scientific fact and you can read why here. It will simply enhance any wrapping paper colour, solid or patterned, you have on hand. When readers ask me what my favorite ribbon is I would have to say the Goldfinch Double-Face Satin from Midori, a well-known company within the gift wrapping industry for their high-quality papers and ribbons. Midori's Goldfinch is what I consider a true chartreuse and I consider myself to be a bit of a chartreuse snob. Silly aren't I? I caught up with Midori's product line this morning and noticed that the 1 1/2" Goldfinch (aka Chartreuse) is now available in smaller 5.47 yd. rolls, perfect if you want to try this brilliant and sophisticated ribbon colour. If you happen to be a committed Chartreuse lover like me, you can also order a full roll here. Looking for a ribbon to give you a signature wrapping style? Some of the newer designs seen above in the Midori Icon Ribbon collection have presentation personality written all over it, especially if you tend towards using kraft, black, or solid wrapping papers. How cool is the Ancient Airships and Greek Key? How sweet the Lovebirds, Elephant, and Buggy? And I will be the first to tell you any of these would look downright fabulous layered with the Goldfinch (aka Chartreuse). 

All images from Midori

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I'll have what they're having

photo by Annie Leibovitz for Vogue

Everyone has to have a mental image when working it in the exercise department. This is mine. Once you get rolling into whatever exercise method you choose, you end up doing it because it just darn feels so good and productive. Something nice we have done for ourselves, mentally and physically. But getting to that point is hard, and being the frivolous gal that I am I use fashion images to get me motivated. I keep fashion photos of things I know I can wear better when I trim down and then I keep some gowns that I know I will never get to wear in this lifetime but would like to be ready if Oscar de la Renta or Vera Wang showed up at my door with a few frocks. For the most part, road cycling is a summer sport in our climate so each spring I must get super-motivated and the older I get the harder it is  come by and I have had a late start this year. But, recently I have been visiting my Dad in a nursing home while he does a 8 week rehab for a fractured leg and I never come out of that facility without telling myself " You silly girl, you get on that bike without complaining even if it is snowing outside". I realized I tend to think of cycling as a way to trim those hips and pounds (and it does, believe me), a novel and pleasant weight loss program and not what it should be.............a way to hopefully keep my old age happy and healthy. Right now that image is working better than a Vera Wang dress. You should see me cycle now.

Photo of Johnathan Horton and Karlie Kloss here

Monday, June 25, 2012

Ribbon Wrapping...........for summertime Gift Wrap

My husband turned into a power wash addict yesterday. I know it was addictive behavior because he wouldn't share and let me have my turn. Fine then, I am going to Pinterest Pin all day long and I think I did. Well actually, I did some other things too. I took Daisy to a rest home to see how she would do as a therapy dog and she barked at the wheel chairs but loved the people. She has potential if I can tone down her excitement level. And I baked some giant muffins from The Barefoot Contessa even though I give most of my baking away these days. I don't consider pinning a productive task, mostly I use it as a relaxation technique while I wait for muffins to cook or while pouting because the power washing was my idea. But sometimes it leads me to some great ideas as it did today when I ran into the Gift Wrap board of Larissa Hill and found this Kate-Spadish gift wrapping idea with neon stickers on kraft paper. Fun and easy, everything a summer gift presentation should be, don't you agree?

I also like this gift wrap technique, shall we call it ribbon wrapping? It works best with narrow and interesting ribbons and that is exactly what I found at The Gilded Bee while pinning away. So maybe pinning is productive at times because I sure do like this Etsy ribbon source.

These aren't your typical ribbons, more tinsel cording and unique trims for gift wrapping, weddings, and crafts but I love the gift wrapping potential, especially for sweet little gift presentations. Glittered Ric Rac, luxe velvets, fringe garlands, and yes, sequins and pom pom garlands as well. Love this Chartreuse  Pom Pom garland here

The Gilded Bee also sells these paper butterflies clips with their fuzzy centers and though I would tend to use them en masse, I love the one used below in a singular fashion as well. I tend to think of summertime wrapping as being more relaxed, with simpler techniques and bright colours and this is the season that humble kraft paper does itself proud.

If you really like this wrapped ribbon technique, note how the ribbon is laying flat and twisted, gives it a more interesting variation. You might have to try it a few times and a glass of wine beforehand might relax your hand perfectly for this imperfect technique. It can't hurt. Isn't this ribbon from The Gilded Bee wonderful? It works perfectly for this trendy gift wrap technique. 

Aren't you happy I didn't get my turn at power washing after all?
The Gilded Bee has over 993 items in their Etsy shop so be prepared 
and forewarned. You will want to do some ribbon wrapping of your own.

See my Pinterest boards here.

Top image via Pinterest/1, 2, 3, and 4 via The Gilded Bee

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Far away, So close............on Father's Day

Yesterday afternoon the house was quiet, truthfully more quiet than it has been for months. Our overnight company had departed after a late breakfast, my husband was golfing, our son now far away in Oklahoma City where he will begin his residency in a few short weeks and I was content and immersed in a moving, personal essay titled Far Away, So Close written by award-winning Globe & Mail columnist Ian Brown who reflects on what we lose when our fathers are gone. Like all exceptional writing, this essay got me to thinking of my own father who I will visit today and of the special relationship that my husband has always had with our only son, more like brothers than the father-son relationship of previous generations.

"You miss your mother in a different, more dramatic way: You were ripped from her body, after all, and so when she dies, a part of what was once you disappears for good. But your father stands apart, watching, the one who shows you how life works, who provides context – your instructor, your guide, your tracker, your friend (if you’re fortunate, and I was) and finally your companion. Eventually, if things go the way they are supposed to, he leaves before you do and you face the world without the person who first ventured it beside you.
What he leaves is a gap, a fissure in your belief that the world is worth exploring. It doesn’t feel like much at first, especially if he was a good father, because he’s made you believe you don’t need him. That is the job of the father, after all – to fail his children, gently."

When I read the last few lines, it got me to thinking of the recent, sometimes heated conversations I would have with my son about his father's habit of leaving him daily to-do notes in the weeks before he prepared to move to another country for the next three years. Lists saying such things as "Did you finish all your US Visa paperwork? Get the oil changed before driving to Oklahoma. Check your US health coverage. Get your tires checked. "Our son thought them highly offensive "Why does dad leave me all these annoying lists? I am 30 years old and have gotten this far, does he think I really need to have him remind me what I have to do?" At first we would giggle, blame it on the particular personality traits of dentists and their task-orientated nature, dismiss his precise handwriting and go on our merry way. As the days passed, the lists became longer, more repetitive, more annoying. We tried rolled our eyes, hinting out loud that we weren't a pair of wayward teens who needed constant reminding of our adult duties, but each morning there was another. I was perplexed, in all other regards my husband treats our son with the adult respect he now deserves, so when we were sitting together after talking to our son in his new destination, I asked him "why do you keep asking him these mundane things, you know he is perfectly capable and you know it drives him crazy". A look was both impish and wistful as he answered simply "it's all I can do now to still feel like his father". I thought of his look and his answer as I read how Ian Brown described a good father as one who has made you believe you don't need him. Then I thought of the tiny drawing our son left behind, one which obviously shows he sees his father and himself as equals now and it was clear.............yes, he has done his job well, beautifully in fact. Those lists were just his way of gently letting go after all. Happy Father's Day JPC. xo

drawing by APC

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Max Mara................and maybe me again

This is my life. One week I talk about buying grocery store couture along with my lettuce and yogurt, the next week I am immersed in the hushed cocoon of a Max Mara store like a giddy schoolgirl with a limited allowance trying not to giggle with pure lust and act my age. I do know I should not have taken one step into Max Mara for a number of reasons. The first being I already wore jumpsuits many decades ago and you know what that obvious disconnect between what I would like to wear and what I should. But isn't it divine?

My clothing budget might be much leaner than it was in my hard working, Max Mara wearing days but these two outfits got me re-thinking my strategy in a number of ways. Maybe I need a job? Obviously. Maybe I need to cycle even more? Most definitely. Maybe I need to stay out of Max Mara? Duh. One touch of the fabrics on both these outfits and I was a goner (though I wish the sleeves on the red ensemble were just a tad longer). How I have missed wearing Max Mara.

But look at those plush sleeves and leather buckles! There isn't enough Spanx in the world for me to wear this dress but that silhouette is incredible isn't it? I have always adored their fabrics, the way Max Mara quietly nudges style into the simplicity of their cut. 

Canadians can have severe winters, at least that is what we tell ourselves when purchasing winter coats. Any expenditure is worth it when it comes to keeping warm. Totally justified. 

No Spanx needed...............just that job I mentioned and a hearty Canadian winter. Anyone want to see my resume?

iphone photos via Max Mara catalogue

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Beautiful Chics of a Feathery Nature

No, I am not getting chickens but I do think they are incredibly beautiful creatures. Have you noticed that they have become the coddled pet of choice lately? I am sure there is nothing sweeter for a young child to nurture along with adult hands than little chicks, how they fit perfectly into tiny hands, how soft and fluffy they are, and then surprise, surprise when they mature..............they lay eggs! The ones we eat on Sunday mornings, the ones we use to make birthday cakes. I imagine children are magically and responsibly transformed by the experience of cuddling, feeding, cleaning, and grow quite attached. Probably the most difficult part of raising chicks is telling your children that "no, they can't sleep in your bed". You should go over here and see the "highfalutin" coop mobile that Mandy's husband from A la Parisienne has made for their feathery family, meet the adorable Phoebe. Even though I have limited rural experience, I never imagined there were so many colourful breeds of chickens and since it is Sunday morning, I though I would show you a well-dressed parade of feathery friends. You know.......they really are quite chic these days. And quite sociable I hear.

Is this beauty wearing a Sunday hat. Or is that a fascinator?
Want to see more Sunday morning sweetness?
Go here and meet Donatella, the stylish one at Velvet & Linen. 

Happy Sunday. 

photo 1, 2, 3 from Pinterest here/ photo 4 here


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