tweed house door

Here's the front door at our Tweed House. Or rather, this is a picture of a magazine colour proof of a picture of our Tweed House door. The shot is from a story I once did on tartan (shot in August BTW, neighbours thought we were NUTS to have a wreath up). Notice the marker notes on the left -- the art director's directions on colour correction. The original photo was taken by the lovely, really and truly lovely, and talented Stacey Brandford. Stacey is the very first interiors photographer I worked with, and you know I'm a sentimental fool, so his work is dear to me. So anyway, I found this in my office papers. Funny, because I was just waxing on about great front doors, and in particular my favourite one (10 Downing St.), over at my new House & Home blog the other day. A glossy pitch black front door with gleaming brass hardware (and a lion head knocker) is on the list of features for my someday dream house.

When we got our place in Tweed I thought, perfect, it'll look great when we switch out the door for a shiny black one just like 10 Downing St. Well, I can't do it. I know that we shouldn't keep this door. These old wooden doors are terribly drafty. It attracts cluster flies, and a half-glass door is a no-no when it comes to privacy and security (especially since I haven't even bothered to make any sort of window covering for it).

This door is like a favourite pair of jeans with a hole in them. The style is perfect, the fit divine, the condition....not so much. But there is beauty in decay and I find the decay of this door ravishing. Which is why not only can I not bring myself to replace it, I can't even bear the thought of stripping the finish and repainting it.

Green is one of my most favourite colours, and the aligatored pattern of the decrepit paint is just so endearing. (Eat your heart out Restoration Hardware). And please, I could do a whole post on my love for old glass and its wobbly character.

There's no shiny brass lion head knocker. Instead, this little key that you turn to ring. The bell peals out loud and clear like the recess bell at grade school.

And the hardware - I just love it. All of the main floor doors have this same intricately tooled oval knob with matching escutcheon. It's not shiny and brass, but it fits. It suits the door and the house. 

Someday I'll install a velvet portière against the drafts and the lookyloos (and BTW people in the town have flat out told me outright that they've come to peek inside -HA!). But for now it will stay just like this. Over the holidays, after numerous kms on highways for family visits, I will be ensconced behind this door for heaps of tea, shortbread, stew, blankies, movies, Downton Abbey season 2, NFL football, naps, Scrabble...all the very best of Christmas, and I will be giving thanks for being so blessed.


beautiful greens

It was a quiet Saturday. Out on my morning errands I saw these three sights. I was reminded that while I may rave on about coral and orange, it's green that I will always love. Green is transforming our world these days and every day a new green appears. I love green -- and it looks even more ravishing on a rainy day.

I couldn't resist buying a bunch of fiddleheads. My mom used to make these. I've never made them before so will be looking up prep instructions. Suggestions welcome.


a touch of frost

I am sooo not a morning person. On those rare occasions when I am up early, I really savour the scene, the quiet and the light (OK, after a bit of grumbling). Today was one of those days. It wasn't even that early when I got up today - 8:30. But on a Sunday, and a day when everyone else was soaking up an extra hour of sleep, it felt very early. I bundled myself and my wee dog up and we headed out on a walk. The scene was breathtaking. Crisp autumn air and everything in sight was kissed by frost. Autumn is my favourite season. There is beauty everywhere, and watching the colours change and mellow everyday fills me with wonder. These shots are from my next door neighbour's front garden in Tweed. Each shot makes me think how amazing it would be to capture this beauty in a fabric or wallpaper design. And the possible paint colours are endless. 



show and tell and more

'Memba the other day when I was telling you how much I'm loving orange? Well, here's a recent orange purchase I wanted to bring here for Show and Tell. So, get a load of the cuteness/coolness of this set. It's Japanese and I guess I would call it a coffee set. But man, those cups are petite -- back in the day when this was made (I'm guessing the '70s) they sure didn't swill coffee by the vente cup -- a vente likely wouldn't even fit in the pot. The 4 cups, pot and cream and sugar set me back all of $4. Can you believe? I found it at one of my fave thrift haunts: Hidden Treasures in the lovely village of Tweed, ON, where I spend as many weekends as I can. The place lives up to its name time and time again. 

And speaking of Hidden Treasures, I gave it a recco recently in the pages of STYLE AT HOME, along with the Bridgewater Trading Co antique co-op in Tweed and Funk N Grüven, an antiques shop in Belleville. This week I received a kind of a snippy handwritten letter from a reader from a town near Tweed. She felt compelled to remind me (on the piece of lined yellow scratch pad paper she chose as stationery) that Hidden Treasures is a thrift store that supports a charity and I really should have suggested that people make donations in addition to buying items there. Oy vey, a gal can't win! Mea culpa baby.

And 2 more topics for today:

1. The nature of blog content.

I don't want to get into the details, but between a very demanding work sched and some very important days spent at the hospital with my parents, I've experienced some blog ennui. So much of the goings on hereabouts seem just so very unimportant in the big picture. Who cares what 10 furniture items I hate? Who cares how cool it is to paint your floor white? Who cares what designers and bloggers are in the in-crowd? Who cares about seeing yet another shot from the Domino archive? Right now I don't care about many of these things. I also recently read Jane's post about keeping up with the bloggers here and overheard Jane and Chelsea on Twitter about the endless re-hashing of content and I kinda agreed. I'm certainly guilty (as recently as yesterday!) of this and would like to change things up a bit. I'm going to work on that. Ennui begone!

2. My photo above. 

Here's just a tiny step in the direction of offering something new here. The photo of my beloved coffee set is a shot I took while messing around with my iPhone. It's the Hipstamatic app with the Jimmy lens and Kodot film. 


linen love

Libeco Clément collectionI hereby declare my full and complete 24/7/365 love of linen. The affair deepens afresh every year around this time. Summer is made for linen. Soft and cool to wear. Sophisticated but relaxed. Luxurious. Durable. Earthy and earth-friendly. Pressed or rumbled -- I just adore it. My fave sources for linen products are Libeco Home Stores and The Linen Way. Libeco is a a Belgian company and they have the MOST beautiful linens for the table, the kitchen, the bed -- and to wear (and the duffle bags are so Great Gatsby chic!). The Linen Way is a wholesale source, but you can find their products at many retailers across North America. The lady who runs the company with her son -- well, they are just lovely lovely people. I like to give lovely people my business and I try to promote them as much as possible!

Also on my linen source list are Fog, Matteo and Rawganique. John and Juli at Mjölk sell Fog in Toronto. I don't need to tell you how great their store is -- I'm sure you already know. But here's a fun link to the story of their recent trip to Japan when the met the founder of Fog, Yumiko Sekine. Charming! Now, back to Rawganique. I have a major beef with them -- their site is HIDEOUS! Check it out here. Someone needs to save them from their preachy selves. Couldn't they store all their text-heavy eco-messaging behind a hot link? And is it against the tree-hugger code to celebrate beauty? I assure you, the products they sell -- the linen and hemp bedding specifically -- are devastatingly gorgeous but you'd be hard-pressed to know that looking at the site. So sad and such a missed opportunity.

I love to collect new and antique table and kitchen linens. On my current want list is linen bedding. I'd like to mix linen and hemp bedding for my place in Tweed -- if I can find some that I can afford! Last time I was at Muji in NYC they had some and I didn't buy it - drat! Hope they still have it when I'm back in Sept. Or maybe I'll call...Meanwhile, enjoy my little love letter to linen.

And one final heartbreak -- so sad that IKEA has discontinued the Aina drapery panels in pure linen. Truly one of my most favourite IKEA products of all time. A pox on them for doing so -- I mean, just look at the lovely way they flow and puddle hanging from my DIY four-poster!

sources: 1-5: Libeco. 6, 7, 13: Linen Way. 8: Matteo. 9. Bemz. 10, 11: Fog. 12: Pi'lo. 14: styling: me. photo: donna griffith.