Reading about Books
I am in something of a reading rut, with too many unfinished books that I am not in the mood for at the moment while trying to resist the urge of starting even more. So what do I do then? Well, I read about books, of course! That’s how over the past week or so I’ve read about the most expensive book set ever sold ($8m!), a beautiful catalogue of bird species in America created in the 1820/30s, (435 illustrations, also available for download).
There is also the story of the deadly book, Shadows from the Walls of Death, a catalogue of arsenic-laden wallpaper samples from 1874, put together by a doctor trying to raise awareness about the dangers of arsenic-pigmented wallpaper. Only four of the 100 original copies survive, most of the others having been destroyed on purpose.
And lastly, scratching the surface of jeweled bookbinding or treasure binding, an ancient art (first reference dating back to year 384) brought back to life at the beginning of the 1900s by Sangorski & Sutcliffe. One of their most legendary jeweled books sank with the Titanic and it’s still on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
My mom has been hand-knitting sweaters and all sorts of accessories for me forever, but the peak was definitely when I was in high school and during my University years. I would research different designs online (I still have a dedicated board on Pinterest), discuss with her the changes I wanted, try to find the right wool, in the perfect colour, and she would work her magic. I have always admired and wondered at her talent and for some reason, to this day I still haven’t tried my hand at it myself. I will always be grateful to her for offering me the gift of experimenting with clothes in this way, imagining and wearing some lovely unique pieces, tailored to my size and my taste!
It was back in those days, more than ten years ago, when I discovered Vogue Knitting! The best-known fashion magazine in the world had a sister that was all about the latest trends and coolest patterns, dedicated to wool-lovers, and it is still going strong, now with an app, a podcast and events (next one is in mid-September and it’s virtual!).
It’s fall and I’m thinking of a new project for my mom and me. If you want to take a leaf from our book, know that kitting has proven mental health benefits as well, so it’s not (all) about those covetable chunky sweaters & co.
Ikea Catalogues Archive
If you are like me, there is space in your heart and your home for a good mixture of antique and vintage furniture, modern items, designer touches, as well as the classic or not-so classy Ikea pieces. I admire Ikea for their success story, their unique personality, and innovative approach to business and furniture. For more insights watch this BBC documentary.
The yearly Ikea catalogue has long been deemed as a great source of inspiration and now all their Swedish catalogues, from 1950 to 2020, are available online. I did the obvious and went to check what was popular the year I was born, but you might have a more sophisticated curiosity. One thing I can say for sure, not much has changed in terms of house plants in the past 30 years or so. The same monstera, ferns and palms that I ordered at the beginning of this year for my house were en vogue back then as well.
And because you know I love a museum shop, here is Ikea’s. There aren’t many products listed, but I love the miniatures at the end. I was hoping for something related to their famous blue bag, which has inspired even fashion house Balenciaga to create a ‘fake’ that was some two thousand times more expensive than the original (priced for less than 1 €/£/$)! What a ripoff, right?
Iris Apfel is 99
This week was Iris Apfel’s 99th birthday and I think it’s the best occasion to highlight here an exquisite find from a few years ago, a documentary about her life, and how she became an Accidental (fashion) Icon in her eighties (although she’s had a fabulous life and career until then too, don’t be fooled!)
She’s living inspiration and a style legend, and I can only encourage everyone to read more about her and follow her on Insta! For the decor aficionados, here are also a few images of her apartment in Manhattan. Bonus gift idea for yourself or someone else who is into coloring books, she recently launched an autobiographical one. Enjoy!
Falling for Fall
It’s the beginning of September and once again, I am falling for fall!
There is something I love about each season, from the long and lazy days of summer and the snowy long evenings of winter, cozily spent indoors, to the mornings infused with the inimitable Spring flowers perfume. For autumn, it’s the crisp temperatures, getting out my knits, my memories of going back to school and buying new stationery and more. It’s impossible to put it into words, but it’s both a feeling of nostalgia and excitement for a new beginning, that hits me as soon as the temperatures start to drop and the days start to shorten.
The Match Striker
Last weekend I lit a candle for the first time in months because it was both cold enough and starting to get dark outside when I sat down with my book in the evening. My interest in candles is young and superficial, but I am minded to cultivate it. Established candle lovers might know about this, but I only recently found out about match strikers from one of my favourite bloggers and I think they make a lovely home accessory and potential gift, don’t you agree? Even better would be an antique permanent match like this one (how exquisite!), but since they are very rare, we’ll sacrifice and choose from the abundance of options for modern match strikers instead.
Music from another room
White noise is not a new concept and I’ve used it for years at work, when I’ve had to concentrate in a busy open space environment. I love the classics like rain pouring, fire crackling, footsteps in the snow, as well as more unconventional options like the bustle of New York City or even celestial noise. Jazz instrumentals are definitely not white noise, I know, but I’ve used them successfully for the same purpose, or for a lovely ambiance in my home. Christmas carols interpretations are my kink!
My latest discovery though is a different and strangely intimate experience – listening to music as if it’s being played in another room. Who comes up with these ideas? This sits right there, next to perfumes like Margiela’s REPLICA line, imitating real-life smells. I can’t say that they do indeed, but nonetheless, some of them, like the smell in a library or in a bar, have seduced me. Time and space traveling through the ears and the nose, bonne journée!
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