wisdom, sister, albert, mita, susan and libby

 the brooke astor library designed by albery hadley. illustration by mita corsini bland from the book Sister Parish Design by susan bartlett carter & libby cameron.

Wisdom is radiant and unfading, and she is easily discerned by those who love her, and is found by those who seek her. She hastens to make herself known to those who desire her. He who rises early to seek her will have no difficulty, for he will find her sitting at his gates. To fix one's thought on her is perfect understanding, and he who is vigilant on her account will soon be free from care, because she goes about seeking those worthy of her, and she graciously appears to them in their paths, and meets them in every thought.

Do you love these words as much as I do? I have been reading them over and over and over since the weekend. I heard them on Sunday at mass. That's right, mass. Catholic mass. Some Sundays I go. Last Sunday this was the first reading of the mass, from the Book of Wisdom 6:12-16. I particularly like how Wisdom is given the feminine pronoun. Go back and read that first sentence again: "radiant...unfading...easily discerned by those who love her...found by those who seek her." I mean come on -- aren't you loving this? I knew I wanted to share these words with you. Aren't we all looking for her?

So I got to thinking hmmm, what image should I use to illustrate this thought. To me wisdom = books = library. It just happens that I am currently reading this book:

It is filled with wisdom from the greatest design minds, from Sister Parish herself, to Albert Hadley, Bunny Williams, Miles Redd and many many more. It's a wonderful package of inspiration. And the room illustrations are so pretty and done by Mita Corsini Bland, who just happens to be the wife of Gerald Bland, the subject of an earlier blog post.  

It's funny how the world works: I was looking for wisdom and inspiration, so I picked up this book, then heard that reading, then wrote this and immediately thought of that room in this book...full circle.

On my to do list: making myself worthy and keeping an eye out for her on my path. Wisdom.

holy wallpaper!

So, this is very cool wallpaper. You may recognize the wallpaper as being from the Studio Printworks collection. To me it looks kinda like exaggerated punctuation. I've actually posted this pic before - it's by John Loecke, a charming design pro that I met last summer at an ebay event in Mahattan. Daring, I say - quite daring. Daring is good!  A little digging has revealed that this paper was designed by Given Campbell. And the latest Given Campbell collection is right up my alley. It's called the Divine collection. Inspiration was clearly heaven-sent since the patterns are all named for saints.

St. Peter, patron saint of fishermen

St. Catherine, patron saint of artists

St. Christopher, patron saint of travelers

And my favourite, for so many reasons,

St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of writersAnd why is saintly wallpaper up my alley, you may wonder? It's because I'm Catholic. I find the stories of lives of the saints fascinating. When I was little I used to love reading the stories -- drama, adventure, tragedy, devotion, sacrifice, miracles! I mean really, eat your heart out JK Rowling! I attended Catholic schools for my education: St. Anne's, St. Teresa's, St. Peter's High School, St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto. My dad was CEO of St. Joseph's Hospital for about 20 years. Did you know St. Joseph is the patron saint of Canada? That's why there are so many companies here named for St. Joseph -- most would have been started by immigrant Catholics. Two other very helpful saints are St. Anthony and St. Jude. Whenever I lost something and bugged Mom to help find it she would say "Say a prayer to St. Anthony and St. Jude." Anthony is the patron saint of lost items, St. Jude is for lost causes. Given Campbell's graphic modern collection has renewed my interest in the lives of the saints. If you'd like to find out more about your name saint, check out the searchable database at  Here are a couple of interesting ones: Martha is the patron saint of housewives and cooks (seriously, for reals!). And if you'd like an explanation of the whole St. Joseph ritual for selling your house, click over to Ask Sister Mary Martha -- a very amusing blog!