reading list 1 : blue

blue book covers

Books on my reading list this year, clockwise from top :

Leaving the Sea: Stories

by Ben Marcus

With a cover design by Peter Mendelsund at Knopf (who also did the stunning cover for Flame Alphabet in the same vein), I can’t wait to read the latest from Ben Marcus. Notable American Women is one of the books of the past 10 years or so that has really stuck with me the most.

The Swan Gondola

by Timothy Schaffert

“A lush and thrilling romantic fable about two lovers set against the scandalous burlesques, midnight séances, and aerial ballets of the 1898 Omaha World’s Fair.”

Faithful Ruslan

by Georgi Vladimov, translated by Michael Glenny

I’ve read a few in Melville House’s Neversink novella series (favourites so far being Autobiography of a Supertramp by W. H. Davies, and After Midnight by Irmgard Keun).

The Blue Fox

by Sjón

I actually already read this one earlier in January, and only just now realized as I was looking at its blurbs that the Icelandic author wrote the lyrics to some of Bjork songs (including “Isobel”).

William Morris: Romantic to Revolutionary

by E. P. Thompson

Sounds like a good one, and maybe I’ll get inspired to actually participate in The William Morris Project (instead of what I’ve been doing which is living vicariously through other people’s organization projects).

BUtterfield 8

by John O’Hara

This will actually be a re-read for me. If you’ve seen the movie but not read the book, you’re in for a treat, because it’s one of the few instances where it’s actually a complete delight to hear a character’s voice as a specific actor’s (Elizabeth Taylor). If you haven’t seen the movie you’re still in for an enormous treat. I’m jealous.

reading, writing, resolutions

resolving to write more

The start of a new year is without doubt my favourite time. Even this year, with a bit of tumult going on (weather- and travel-related, mostly) I was still able to spend a good chunk of time day dreaming about the year to come. I tend to make resolutions year round, but new years is when I think big, and set my sights high. All while reading a good book, with hot chocolate in hand, listening to some new CDs I got for Christmas, if I’m lucky. This year my plans are both grand and loose. Some are secret, some are hard to articulate, so I’ll share just a few of the less nebulous ones here:

– read more (and share what I’m reading).

– write more letters.

– write more, period (but for myself alone).

– work on my Etsy shop. It’s been long-neglected, but I’ve got a hankering to make some more gocco prints, and maybe expand my horizons with some larger-scale printmaking.

Let’s see how this goes!

zines on Etsy

I love that there is still room for the printed, hand-assembled, stapled zine in today’s world. Of course Broken Pencil magazine has always been devoted to these indie publications, but another place zines are thriving is Etsy, where a search for “zine” brings up over 75, 000 results. It’s hard to quantify the impact the very idea of zines had on me as a teenager, but I think the DIY publishing ethos has inspired and stuck with me ever since.
zines on etsy

1. A Short Zine About How Leonard Cohen Is Totally AWESOME by Hannah Sheehan

2. Keepers’ Kanzine by Antiquated Future

3. Japanastic by Dana Damki

4. Winners & Losers by Whatever and Co.

5. Forest Tales by Jen Tong

6. Afloat by Harry Diaz

7. Juniper Girls by Anke Weckmann

gift guide : your BFF

Stockton & Co. Gift Guide 2013

1 : Maple Sugar Tea from mollyhatch

2 : Knit Toque from helloquiettiger

3 : AlicePotter Cotton Tote Bag, Winter Wolf

4 : Macaron Pill Case via Toronto Life

5 : Gift Pack  – 5 issues of Worn Magazine

6 : Kate Larsen for teNeues Cat Diary from theboxofbirdsshop

Vintage Tree Toppers

This list was inspired by this (not vintage, distinctly handmade) creation by Etsy seller LastCraft. I won’t lie, I don’t totally understand it, but I love Morrissey, and the idea of putting his face atop a Christmas tree is all kinds of amazing. (All images property of their owners.)

This winsome-looking angel is similar to the one we had growing up, and as a result I have a real soft spot for these ladies (also, mid-century! who knew?).

Glittering stars from the 1940s would look great on a metallic tree. I just found, after years of looking, a gold tree that I could actually afford. It’s one of those ones that has an awkward lack of branches at the top (i.e. it’s not a perfect triangle), presumably because it’s allowing for the tree topper to fill it out, so this is the route I’m going to take if I can find one that’s more pyramid-shaped.

If your tree hews more to the reds and greens, I like this poinsettia. Or, Santa! This one looks like it’s in fantastic shape.

10 free Halloween printables

Halloween is almost here!  If you haven’t done any decorating yet it’s not too late to add a little spooky to your maison with these free printables:

Ghost favor box

  • Arsenic & Old Lace-inspired labels from Country Living

Martha Stewart Halloween Printable

image :

5 great card sets

It’s not too early to start thinking about Christmas presents (I know, I know, it’s not even Halloween, but if you’re like me and need to send gifts far and wide, trust me, it’s never too early). One of my favourite gifts to give (and receive) are greeting card sets. As in a big whack of cards for all occasions that can help see you through the coming year. (Everyone always says they’d like the gift of time right? Well this will save your giftee a trip to the card store and then some.)

Without further ado, here are my favourites this year. (All images property of their creators.)

Assorted French Card Set from Rifle Paper

French Greeting Cards

Emergency Greeting Card Kit by CarrieCan.

Emergency Greeting Card Kit

Mixed “Hello” set from Quill and Fox.

Hello Quill and Fox

Artist Laura Berger lets you mix and match sets of 6, 10, and 20 in her shop Laura George. (Be sure to check out her “Best Dad” and “Best Mom” cards.)

Birthday Friends from Laura George

Birthday Friends, Laura George

Script Card set by Beau Ideal

Script Card Set