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2014/05/29 / Shanan


I guess the song was right… one IS the loneliest number.  Sigh.  I’ve been trying to avoid having to write this post, but it’s time to let you know about ‘the break-up.’

After lots of discussion and soul-searching, Gillian has decided to leave The Symmetric.  She’s preparing to take on full-time work in her field of child and family therapy, and is being pulled in too many different directions to be able to commit the time to really enjoy and help grow the business.  We joked over lunch last week that the story would sound way more dramatic if we could tell people that we’d gotten into a major catfight over a vintage purse, but alas, there’s no love lost on this front (in reality we shared tacos, promised not to let ourselves feel too sad, then we went over to the local Salvation Army where she made me buy a hot polyester maxidress).

But, I will admit that I’m definitely disappointed.  Not in Gillian, whose decision I completely understand and respect, but in picturing things going forward without her.  On a personal note, I don’t think I realized how lonely I’d been feeling since moving out here, until the two of us had the opportunity to hang out on a regular basis, to plan and thrift and just laugh with a girlfriend every week.  I know I’ll miss that aspect of things.  And not to get all wind-beneath-my-wings-y, but having Gillian come on board gave me the courage and the push to drive this labour-of-love blog forward into something a little bigger.  It was something that felt great to do together, as partners.

Fortunately we’re still keeping the door open for the occasional ‘special guest appearance’ – co-hosting an event, modelling, or anything else that might feel fun and natural for Gillian to work on should time permit.

So… so that’s that.  It’s going to take me a little time to regroup.  I need to feel out what’s realistic for me, to figure out what I want to do as a solo act again.  The blog will soldier on – it still feels like a necessary creative outlet on my end – and the shop is still open, although you may not see any new listings for awhile (but don’t let that stop you from checking out all the great vintage summer dresses, etc, plug plug).

Gillian, you will be missed.

xx Shanan

ps. There were no post-its involved in the actual break-up.

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2014/05/26 / Shanan


It feels like it’s been awhile since we tackled any major decorating projects in our house, but the time has come to whip out and make use of the many rooms I’ve pinned and then never, ever looked at again!  There are renos going on in our walk-out basement as we speak and it’s finally going to emerge as a functional, beautiful space, and not just an entire floor dedicated to housing our random overflow of crap (I’m ignoring what is perhaps the larger issue, which is where said overflow of crap will live when this is all done).

I’ll take some photos of the space in progress (right now it’s all drywall dust and electrical sockets), but naturally I’m moving right ahead to dreaming of the finished product.  We’ll have a family room with a new working fireplace, our TV (which has been more or less sitting in a closet for the last two years), and some form of built-in shelving along one wall to showcase all our books and mementoes. I’ve been collecting inspiration for built-ins and these are some of my favourite possibilities.

Image above: Ugh, this gridded rainbow bookshelf is pretty over-the-top rad, right?  NYC apartment tour via A Cup of Jo. Photo by Alpha Smoot, styling by Kendra Smoot.


Sophie Holt (managing director of Australian brand Country Road)’s built-ins in grey/green look sophisticated and unusual. From Belle, Feb/March 2013, via Great Dane Furniture.


The drama of a really dark bookshelf definitely has its appeal – especially since the rest of our room will be a lot lighter (blonde wood floors, cream sofa, etc). I hate to not properly credit photos, but I couldn’t find the source for this one.

low shelving

Now on to the classics… I love the relaxed feel of this low-slung horizontal shelving with storage drawers and cabinets at the bottom.  We’ll likely need to utilize the space going up the wall for all our books, but this is such a nice minimalist shelving solution. Photo by Paul Massey via House to Home.


Simple white bookshelves temper the crazy a little bit in the Wrubel family house, via Our Style Stories.  Not that I have an issue with the crazy.


Clean, classic shelving with that all-important closed storage at the bottom.  The styling on these is great – a nice mix of objects, photos, and books.  From the Brooklyn cottage home of Lyndsay Caleo and Fitzhugh Karol, via Apartment Therapy.

Decisions, decisions…

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2014/05/21 / Shanan


I will admit to being continually blown away by the level of imagination and care taken by my daughter when she’s milling around outside on her own.  She floats in a near-constant state of flower-picking, followed by some artful arranging, the gentle stowing away of leaves and blooms into pockets to save for friends, and the dreaming up of ‘edible’ concoctions (dandelion tea, pinecone ice cream).  Such a beauty in her focus and quiet excitement…  Yeah, I’m feeling sentimental today.  Let’s blame it on hormones and move right along, shall we?







(hope you don’t mind the onslaught of personal/home photos on the blog lately… now that we’re spending more time outside, I’ve been motivated to pick up my camera again)  xx Shanan

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2014/05/16 / Shanan


Lately, I’ve been finding myself drawn to the somewhat crazy resurgence in the popularity of woven textile art.  A million years ago these commonly took the form of macramé owls, rendered in écru and brown wools, hanging in living rooms with wall-to-wall shag carpeting.  I think you know what I’m talking about here.

I always appreciate a traditional skill-based medium made to feel modern again, and these weavings feel especially beautiful and current if you picture them living in more minimal settings – their inherent warmth and texture really plays well with contemporary furnishings and white walls.  They’re just such a great mixture of art, design, and craft; colour, pattern and composition. One of each, please.

Image above: weaving in shades of cream and blush by Maryanne Moodie.

Heddle and Needle blink wall hanging weaving

‘Blink’ weaving by Heddle and Needle.

Minna cabin fever weaving wall hanging

‘Cabin Fever’ weaving by Minna.


Wall hanging by Julie Thevenot.

Hazel and Hunter red desert weaving wall hanging

‘Red Desert’ weaving by Hazel and Hunter.

Brook and Lyn Palm Tree Park weaving wall hanging

‘Palm Tree Bark’ weaving by Brook & Lyn.

vintage fiber art wall hanging the brick house

Vintage fiber art (had to include one example of the real old deal) from The Brick House.

All Roads weavings wall hanging

‘Founders Weaving’ and ‘Mini Triangle’ by All Roads.

Can you see past the ’70s hangover and picture one of these in your home now?  Are you as oddly tempted as I am to try your hand at making one (yes, yes, a possible fool’s errand)?

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2014/05/15 / Shanan


I’m popping in today to let you know that a northern style icon has officially been born.  Just kidding.  But, Portland-based fashion blog Votre Grande Soeur did so kindly ask me to be a part of her ‘Sister Style’ series and the post is up today!

See me get dressed up and go about my regular everyday activities, like cutting watermelon and swanning around the apple trees.  And posing next to oversized teddy bears (somehow I just noticed that big guy sneaking into the photo above).

Photos by Sarah Tacoma.  Thanks again!  Here’s the link to the post.