Saturday, November 28, 2009

Good Day

Today was a good day!
The laundry got done.
The new mattress and box spring moved in and the old set moved out.
The One of a Kind Show resulted in successful shopping.

Check it out!

Jenna Rose Screen Printed Organic Cotton Blanket
Great for naps!!

Bookhou Screen Printed Linen Storage Box
Perfect for holding extra rolls of TP!!

Nugs characters like Sansoer here.
"He can't remember where he left his keys.
This is a peculiar situation as he
doesn't have any keys to anything.
Gets my vote for most creative!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

My Visit with Tutankhamun

When the Tutankhamun exhibit last visited Toronto, the year was 1979, and I was just nine years old. Although most of my childhood is a blur, one thing I remember clearly is my obsession with all things related to King Tut. I was such a fanatic that I withdrew $10.00 from my bank account (that was a lot of money back in 1979!!) to purchase a ceramic copy of the funeral mask. Unfortunately, being such a young child and living outside of the city, I didn't have the opportunity to visit the AGO for the event.

All of that changed tonight when after 30 years of waiting, I finally had the good fortune to spend a few hours exploring ancient Egypt at the Art Gallery of Ontario. I attended a Private Viewing Event hosted by Amex, which meant that there were a limited number of people in the gallery for the evening. It was such a pleasure to peruse the exhibit at a leisurely pace and soak in the history. The statues, the treasures, the artifacts - it was absolutely amazing!!!! My only disappointment was that the funeral mask no longer travels with the exhibit - too delicate to travel, it permanently resides in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

My American Express Pass for the Event

Anubis Guards the AGO Entrance

On a Side Note:

The redesign of the Art Gallery of Ontario by Canadian architect and designer Frank Gehry is simply awe inspiring. The Gehry project was completed and reopened in November 2008, but tonight was my first opportunity to see the gallery since the redesign. Although I've seen it in photos, I couldn't help but be impressed when I saw the magnificent Douglas fir staircase spiralling above Walker Court. The American Express reception was held in Baillie Court on the 3rd floor, with a spectacular view of the CN Tower to the south.

Although cameras were not allowed in the galleries, you can follow this link to access photos of all the artifacts on display in the King Tut exhibit at the AGO.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

One of a Kind Show

The annual One of a Kind Christmas Show and Sale is returning once again to the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place, running from November 26th to December 6th. There are always great gift ideas for Christmas and birthdays, so go ahead and stock up for the upcoming year!!
**Tip: Purchase tickets online ahead of time, it is cheaper and you won't waste time in line when you arrive. Enter this coupon code into the Promotion Code box at the online checkout for $3 off the regular price of admission: ADx4bp2

As always, the show promises to bring together an interesting group of participants showcasing their talents and wares. I have browsed through the list of exhibitors and chosen a few promising artisans to highlight:

Jenna Rose
Big Bins

Bird Pillow

Printed Linen Napkins

Rock My Soul
Printed Pillow

Printed Tea Towels

Muskoka Candle Company
Soy Wax Candles

Marmalade Designs
Triple Tiny Circle Necklace

I hope you have the chance to visit the show - I'll be there this weekend looking for some great gift ideas.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Night Lights

Walking through Toronto's downtown core this past weekend, I discovered that the Christmas spirit is quickly spreading through the city. The Cavalcade of Lights at Toronto's City Hall will launch this coming Saturday, November 28th, with ceremonies starting at 7 pm in Nathan Phillips Square. It's sure to be quite a celebration, but until then, check out some of these other fabulous Night Lights!!

CIBC @ King & Bay
The Blue lights cast an icy glow.

Toronto Eaton Centre @ Yonge & Queen
The Swarovski tree sparkles at the centre of it all.

Brookfield Place @ Wellington & Bay
Lights stream from the glass ceiling of the galleria.

Dundas Square @ Yonge & Dundas
The LED lights change from blue to white.

Yorkville @ Cumberland & Bellair
Lights twinkle on every tree.
(And finally some traditional Christmas Red!!)

Stay tuned throughout the holiday season to see more of Toronto's Christmas spirit!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Twelve Trees of Christmas

I have been in Toronto for more than 15 years, but I have never taken the time to visit the Gardiner Museum - until this afternoon. The Gardiner Museum sits across the avenue from the Royal Ontario Museum, and showcases a complete history of ceramics, earthenware, pottery and porcelain.

In addition to the museum's permanent galleries, a special exhibit is currently on display, entitled Twelve Trees of Christmas. These trees have been decorated by local Toronto designers and architects. The theme of the event is "My Christmas Is...", where each tree incorporates the design team's unique ideas for the holiday season.

My Christmas Is...

...My First Christmas
Anne Hepfer
Anne Hepfer Design

...Shaping Up Nicely
Sparling Landscape Architects
with Ellen Harrington Design

...Filled With Memories
Ralph Neal & Jonathon Neal
Upper Canada House Ltd.

...Full of Surprises!
Susan Taylor & Katherine Burke
Katherine Burke Design

...A White Christmas
(Just Like the Ones We Used to Know)
Del Weall & Suzanne Davison
Del Weall Interior Design
Suzanne Davison Interior Design

...Visions of Sugarplums
Anne Swaine & Christine Ecclestone
Annabelle's Interior Design Inc.

...Spending Family Time in the Country
Karen King, Robert King & Jasmine King-Nut
Norma King Design

Carmal Pirbhai & Melissa Walsh Gorton
Reid & Lyons

...Flights of Fancy
Armine Tatosian & Terese Sears
AT Design Group

...Remembrance of Things Past
Julia West & Isabella Dabrowiecki
Julia West Home

...Celebrating the Birth of Christ
Timothy Mather
TM Design Ltd

...Champagne, Oysters...and Catnip
Robert Tanz
Robert Tanz Interior Design

...A Recipe of Our Own Making
Tristan Fuller & Alana Boychuk
Boychuk & Fuller

The Twelve Trees of Christmas exhibit runs until December 10th at the Gardiner Museum. It's worth spending a few hours learning about the history of ceramics while at the same time discovering what Christmas means to these local designers.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Red, Gold & Green

A few weeks ago, I intended to post about the Christmas windows at The Bay flagship store when I was distracted by the fabulous windows promoting the relaunch of The Room. Today is a follow up to that post, now that the Christmas windows have been installed in the east windows along Yonge Street. The windows feature traditional Canadian winter scenes and are bathed in shades of Red, Gold & Green. I particularly like the window containing the canoe and classic Hudson Bay point blanket and pillow. It's so Canadian, eh?



(My favourite!!)

Homesense Launches New Online Site

It's no secret that Homesense is one of the best places to go for well priced home decor items. Now there is also a great Homesense website featuring tips & tricks for decorating and all things related to the home.

Some great highlights of the "Get Inspired" section include:
  • Hanging Pictures
  • Lighting
  • Setting the Table
  • The Perfect Wineglass

For the upcoming holiday season, has some inspirational decor ideas. It's definitely worth taking a browse through the website to pick up some pointers, while at the same time checking out what's in store right now.

Photo courtesy of Homesense.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Canadian House & Home Online

Just recently, Canadian House & Home launched its premier online episode of H&H Online TV. The weekly episodes feature interesting home tours, DIY projects and expert tips. One of the best parts of watching online - less commercial interruptions!!

Two episodes have already been released at

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Holiday Illumination

This evening from 5 to 7 pm, Brookfield Place at Bay & Wellington will hold its annual Holiday Lighting Ceremony, during which the Christmas lights will be illuminated throughout the Allen Lambert Galleria. The event is held in support of the Starlight Children's Foundation. The Christmas tree in the Rotunda has already been installed, and it's soooo pretty!!

Let the Lighting Ceremonies Begin!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Lego for Christmas

I can honestly say that "I Love New York", and it is absolutely my favourite city to visit. I am always blown away by the amazing architecture of the Manhattan skyline. Here are two images from my last trip:

Rotunda of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Lobby of the Empire State Building

In a related story, with Christmas just 5 weeks away, I've been snooping around for interesting gifts online. Trust me to find something for myself!! Considering my interest in all things related to New York City architecture, I found the perfect gifts to me, from LEGO:

These two landmark structures are part of LEGO's Architecture Series designed in collaboration with Adam Reed Tucker of Brickstructures Inc. Both sets have been advertised by Holt Renfrew, and should soon be available at select locations. I was able to order the Guggenheim directly from the Guggenheim online gift shop.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Playing Tourist

I'm outta here for a few days!!
Have a good weekend!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bavarian China

On a recent visit to Value Village I found this
beautiful teal plate with gold trim...

...and when I flipped it over...


Lately I've developed an attraction to pieces made in Bavaria. A couple of weeks ago I spotted (but did not purchase) a 40 piece set of Bavarian china at Nostalgic Journey in Peterborough. Simple and elegant, this set features gold trim on a creamy white background.

I don't know much about the history of Bavarian china, but I know that I love the pure beauty of these pieces. So pretty!! I think I may have to make a return trip to Peterborough for this set before it's gone.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Bay Flagship Revitalization

Since I posted photos of the Holt Renfrew Christmas windows, I thought it only fair that I should also check out the Bay's flagship store to take pics of their festive windows. Well...I got a little sidetracked from my mission when I arrived at Queen & Yonge to discover that the best windows were those lining Yonge, Richmond and Bay Streets. These displays highlight the recent relaunching of The Room on the store's 3rd floor.

Above & Below: Balmain

Above & Below: Erdem

Above & Below: Josh Goot,
Gianfranco Ferre, Barbara Bui

Above & Below: Proenza Schouler

Above: Matthew Williamson, Wayne Clark,
Antik Batik, Herve Leger

Above: John Galliano, Army by Yves Salomon
Ralph Lauren Black Label

Above & Below: Matthew Williamson, Elie Tahari,
Manoush, Harve Leger

Bonnie Brooks, recently appointed President & CEO of the Bay, has taken on the daunting task of resurrecting the Canadian company to its former glory which is by no means an easy task. The initial steps are promising - Brooks hired design firm Yabu Pushelberg to create a refreshing look for The Room and the transformation is simply stunning.

What I love the most about the redesign:
  • Windows have been uncovered along the east and south sides, letting in natural light.
  • Bright lighting and modern fixtures illuminate the formerly gloomy space.
  • White walls, white fixtures and gleaming white floors allow the merchandise to stand out.
  • Clutter has been cleared from the aisles, and there is less merchandise per square foot which allows customers to see more. The phrase "less is more" definitely applies in this case.
  • Mannequins are grouped in multiples for bigger impact.

Modern light fixtures are featured throughout the space.

Groups of mannequins create effective displays.

South facing windows let in natural light.

White floors & walls allow the merchandise to stand out.

Incorporated in 1670, the Hudson Bay Company is a Canadian retail survivor. There is hope that this upscale makeover will guarantee the company's continued success well into the 21st century.