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2014/05/02 / Shanan


We tend to not take Mother’s Day too seriously in these parts; not that I don’t welcome an excuse to fête and be fêted, of course.  We just don’t usually do gifts, especially of the typical tea, apron, or fancy scarf persuasion.  I always feel that if I’m going to get something for my mum, it should be tailored to her in particular — not based on some trope of what mothers are ‘supposed’ to like.

So, here’s my virtual gift guide just for you, Marms.  Maybe the rest of you might find something here that strikes a chord, too?

Image above:  Why wait ’til 5pm? This couldn’t be more spot-on if it tried: Notes of Chardonnay eau de parfum by Kelly & Jones, via Brika.

mean girls pencils carbon crusader regina's mom

Hot pink Mean Girls-inspired pencils from The Carbon Crusader.  Because she’s not like a regular mom, she’s a cool mom <wink>.  Oh, and also because none of her damn pens ever work.

good wife dvd set

We LOVE this show.  Superb acting, great writing, and my mother only watches a TV series if it’s available on DVD, so she doesn’t even know the insane plot thing that happened this season (no spoilers here)!!

vintage gold locket mother's day gift

A vintage gold locket, because she wears delicate jewelry and you could personalize it by tucking a tiny childhood photo of yourself inside (or one of her beloved cat…).

windows htc smartphone

For the love of god, please get rid of that ridiculous Blackberry that you can’t operate and get a phone that’s easy to use.  Consider this a Mother’s Day intervention!  The Windows Phone by HTC fits the bill.

Are you doing anything special for your mum this year?

xx Shanan

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2014/04/16 / Shanan


Sometimes I use Pinterest for collecting ideas and images and objects that feel fitting of a particular theme… it’s not practical, just more about conjuring up a mood from disparate things and seeing where, from a visual vantage point, it may lead.

I was reminded of a few boards I have going and thought I’d do a little virtual collaging (a process which is surprisingly therapeutic…).  The theme today is…


1.  Nomad necklace by Djurdjica Kesic, made from recycled timber, 18K gold, linen thread.

2.  Hunter perfume by MCMC Fragrances, via Cisthene.

3.  Marcel Dzama, You Gotta Make Room for the New Ones, 2005. Ink and watercolour on paper. Courtesy of David Zwirner Gallery.

4.  Kate MacDowellCasualty, 2009. Hand built porcelain, glaze.

5.  Calf-hair Chelsea boot in warm caramel from Madewell (last season).

6.  Furniture combining cast aluminium and wood by Hilla Shamia.

7.  “You are Going to Die” article by Tim Kreider for the NYT. Illustration by Daehyun Kim.

8.  Tiny colour block Legacy bag by J.W. Hulme.

9.  Encyclopedia of Flowers, Flower Works by Makoto Azuma, photographed by Shunsuke Shiinoki, published by Lars Müller.

10.  Natural gift wrap ideas from Artifact Uprising.

11.  Katherine Wolkoff, Deer Beds, 2009. Photograph.

(oh ps, are you following The Symmetric on Pinterest?)

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2014/04/14 / Shanan


So spring is finally coming around and with that comes the inevitable urge to clean out and reorganize every surface, nook and cranny in your place, including your wardrobe.  Or is that just me?

Over the last 10 years or so I’ve become pretty ruthless when it comes to getting rid of clothing and accessories that I no longer want or wear.  And usually it feels great and cathartic (although occasionally I get a little overzealous and I’ll look back on photos and lament an old coat that I sent off prematurely to Goodwill, wah wah).

As a result, I tend to not have a ton of really old pieces hanging around my closet.  I don’t mean ‘old’ as in the actual age of the stuff – obviously I’m into vintage so I’ve got purses and such from the 1960s, but I haven’t actually owned or wore them since that era.

I was thinking then – what is the wardrobe item I’ve held onto the longest, that I still wear?  I can’t promise scientific accuracy here but this crazy knit cardigan (which is now literally falling apart at the seams) was in rotation when I was a teenager, and has recently been resurrected as one of my most favourite sweaters.

It used to be my mother’s, and my little sister mocked me whenever I busted it out.  Granted at the time I was probably wearing it layered with a choker, a baby tee and a skirt over jeans, so the critical validity was probably somewhat there.  Now, it provides just the right hit of texture to an outfit and feels irreplaceable.

I’ll clock the sweater in at about 19 years and counting.  Tell us — which wardrobe item have you had the longest?

ps. Just in case anyone is wondering (Bueller? …Bueller…?), there’s been no recap of the NYC trip I was set to take at the beginning of this month because it had to be postponed.  I’m stuck here in the sticks for another month or so, but the rescheduling will happen…

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2014/04/07 / Shanan


Could these be any more beautiful?  Finnish designer Klaus Haapaniemi takes his cues from folklore and nature to create these striking collections of shawls, blankets, and silk scarves.  They’re like ancient tapestries made modern with creepy crawlies and great colour palettes.  We still have some chilly nights looming ahead, yeah?

Image above: Lambswool ‘bees’ blanket in blue.

klaus haapaniemi silk scarf spider

Wool and silk ‘spider’ scarf with hand-knotted fringe.

Klaus Haapaniemi silk batflowers

Heavy silk crepe ‘bat and flowers’ scarf.

Klaus Haapaniemi bees blanket peach

Lambswool ‘bees’ blanket in peach.

Klaus Haapaniemi throw bird

Lambswool and silk ‘bird’ throw.