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It’s Better In Bruges

Colin Farrell being all kinds of hottt In Bruges. I haven't seen it yet but people always ask if you ever mention Bruges.

Colin Farrell being all kinds of hottt In Bruges. I haven’t seen it yet but people always ask if you ever mention Bruges.

I thought I would cry while watching Frozen but I didn’t.  Over the holidays, I spent four days in Bruges, Belgium which kind of reminded me of spending time in a medieval animated movie.  I had done a fair bit of recon on what cities had the best Christmas markets and Bruges consistently came up on the best tourist list.  It was once of the only places where Christmas market doesn’t shut down, well after Christmas.  My kind of town! But guess what, it’s even better

My 3-yr old niece is obsessed and chides her mom, "Hug your sister!" then sings with dramatic emotion Let It Go. She also likes to wear a side braid a la Elsa.

My 3-yr old niece is obsessed and chides her mom, “Hug your sister!” then sings with dramatic emotion Let It Go. She also likes to wear a side braid a la Elsa.

There was so much to do in this cobblestone town, filled with craft beer, chocolate shops, vintage laces and charm.  Set amid a network of canals, the best way to explore this pretty postcard was to wander aimlessly among its star patterned streets.  All streets lead to the central square where you will find The Burg, cathedrals and gothic mansions.

Being an avid art lover, I found a series of intimate galleries featuring the works of the Dutch and Flemish masters, among them Van Dyck and Hans Memling.  My favourite places to take it all in were Groeningemuseum and Memlingmuseum.

This is the image of beautiful Christmas Bruges that sold me. It was better in real life.

This is the image of beautiful Christmas Bruges that sold me. It was better in real life.

Belgium is known for its chocolate, beer, waffles and moules frites.  It was kind of embarrassing when I ordered Moules Frites and a giant pot came to my table.  I made a valiant effort but the waiter tsk’ed tsk’ed my inability to finish the entire serving.  The afternoon snack of choice was of the crepe variety – I often found a homey spot and let the smell of waffles permeate my hair for the afternoon.  Watch as they make homemade crepes in this tiny café – Creperie de Bretoen.  I would love to go back to Bruges, perhaps in the summertime to enjoy some drinks al fresco and take a canal tour.

Moules frites is le diner de champions...not ladylike but whatever.

Moules frites is le diner de champions…not ladylike but whatever.

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April 4, 2015   No Comments

Christian Louboutin @ The Design Exchange

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The Paris-based shoe designer Christian Louboutin and his iconic shoe, known for its red sole

Funny how when I am travelling abroad, I make it a point to see interesting exhibits, visit every museum and immerse myself in local culture.  But at home, I am less inclined to do the same.  I am putting a stop to such madness.  Adding that to my summer TO DO list!

Recently, I had a beautiful al fresco brunch at Origin (107 King St. East).  Try the refreshing lychee mojito – ahem, you can ask them to de-virginize it.  Afterwards, we took a leisurely stroll to Bay Street to catch the Christian Louboutin exhibit (The Design Exchange from June 21st – September 15th, 2013).  Complimentary with your admission is a year-long subscription to Flare.

Here’s an excerpt of what it’s all about…

“Curated by The Design Museum London in conjunction with Christian Louboutin, this exhibition presents iconic French shoe designer Christian Louboutin, celebrating a career that has pushed the boundaries of high fashion shoe design. This exhibition celebrates Louboutin’s twenty years of designs and inspiration, revealing the artistry and theatricality of his shoe design from stilettos to lace-up boots, studded sneakers and bejeweled pumps. It is a magical journey of style, glamour, power, femininity and elegance.” – DSX website

louboutin sketching

Take a break and watch a few short films on Louboutin’s creative process

SPOILER ALERT… some of my highlights. But these images do not do the shoes justice or the interactivity of the exhibit.  You reallyx3 must check it out for yourself.  You promise me?

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Inside the designer’s studio: a smorgasbord of inspiration including Miss Piggy’s glitter platforms

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Let them eat cake: Inspired by Marie Antoinette

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Ruffles! The perfect flamenco shoe in a buttery satin.

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August 10, 2013   No Comments

The Love Collage Presents Creative Heart Collective Fall Show & Sale @ The Gladstone Hotel

The Love Collage presents Creative Heart Collective Fall Show and Sale for local artisans, crafters, designers, bakers and retailers.  The mission of the event is to give artists, entrepreneurs and retailers an opportunity to connect and showcase their wares with the community in a fun and inviting atmosphere.  We will be hosting a FREE Community DIY “Magnet-ic Attraction” where attendees are invited to make their own magnets and we will be giving away artisan crafted door prizes.

The focus for the show will be:

  • Emerging and local artists (small sized artwork, prints, cards)
  • Indie arts and crafts (toys, art/craft supplies)
  • Fashionable artisan gifts (jewellery, accessories)
  • Gourmet food (baked goods, preserves)
  • DIY presents
  • Apparel & Vintage

Date:  Sunday, September 18th, 2011

Time:  12pm – 6pm

Place:  The Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West

This event will be taking place during the weekend of Queen West Art Crawl.  From Trinity Bellwoods Park to Parkdale, hundreds of artists will be showcasing their work.  Enjoy special art exhibits and installations in galleries and cafes open to the public.  Such a wonderful way to take part and experience the vitality of the Toronto art scene – engage, get inspired and support local!  To preview all the ah-mazing exhibitors and vendors, check out the website www.creativeheartcollective.com

This truly has been a labour of love (aka blood, sweat, tears, etc) but it has been worth it to be able to bring such a talented group of artists and artisans together!  Hope to connect with you there! xoxo The LC

It's a ring thing: Bijoux Vintage Jewellery

OMFG! You will go ba-na-na-s for Mehrnaz's fashion illustrations and artwork! Take a sneak peek at www.mehrnazart.com

Holy yum-town! Lemon curd cupcakes from Lydia's Gourmet.

Be there! Creative Heart Collective Fall Show & Sale chez The Gladstone Hotel Ballroom.

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September 13, 2011   No Comments

The Tale of The Love Collage (aka Happy 2nd Birthday!)

Happy birthday LC! I confess I enjoy fireworks, especially in the shape of a heart.

Writing my blog for the past two years has been both a rewarding and exciting endeavour.  I write about haphazard musings that have taken hold of my fancy, from the frivolous to the heartfelt.  Time and again, I am surprised to meet strangers who follow me regularly, am utterly thankful for your ongoing support and am touched by those who embrace ‘living with inspiration.’  In many exchanges, I am asked how it was that The Love Collage came to be (here is a refresher).

When I originally built my website in WordPress, you only had one instant to choose a title.  The title was everything and for me, it had to convey sincere meaning with a dash of wit. 

“What should I name it?  Hrmm, what should I name it?”  Perplexed, my eyes darted around the room searching for an idea to spark a revelation.  I stared out the window.  The afternoon rays were peaking through the wooden blinds.  I sighed heavily.  My head twisted to the left.  There it was.

A month prior I had decided to feng shui my bedroom.  In my tidied love quadrant, lay charms meant to invoke love, the theory being that a mini-shrine to love would create an abundance of love.  This presumption made sense to me and plus, there truly was no real harm in creating a tableau in hues of red and pink.  Sitting atop an otherwise empty shelf was a vintage postcard of entwined tango partners, a tanned Spanish George Hamilton look-alike in a 70’s one-piece dance outfit and his female dance partner attired in ruffled flamenco garb, an oversized faux rose bouquet and a love collage which I had painted and carefully pieced together on my birthday.

And so became the title of my blog, The Love Collage.

I have come to grow very fond of this title because it captures the sentimentality of memories, the passion of dreams and the small things we treasure.  The Love Collage is more than a diversion – I write because I love to write but am ever thankful that you love to read.

The Love Collage is inspired by…

Early Carrie Bradshaw. I do type in cute outfits where possible or paint my nails between checking emails. Mad skills.

Do you dream in black & white or colour? A sketchbook a day keeps the doctor away. The mini hoarder in me collects postcards, jots down observations and sketches inspiration.

NERD Alert: I am like reallyx3 into the library lately. I want to wear a tweed blazer with patches on the elbows and my Lisa Loeb glasses. Nerd pick-up lines: "Study much?" "Do you want to be my french tutor?"

The possibility of travel: In 2012, I have resolved to hang glide from Sugarloaf Mountain in Brazil (tandem of course). Oh yes, I am a fashionistah adventuress.

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August 15, 2011   1 Comment

VENDOR CALL: Creative Heart Collective Fall Show & Sale Sept 18 @ The Gladstone Hotel

The Love Collage presents Creative Heart Collective Fall Show and Sale for local artisans, crafters, designers, bakers and retailers.  The mission of the event is to give artists, entrepreneurs and retailers an opportunity to connect and showcase their wares with the community in a fun and inviting atmosphere.  We will also be hosting FREE community workshops where attendees are invited to participate in arts and craft activities.

The focus for the show will be:

  • Emerging and local artists (small sized artwork, prints, cards)
  • Indie arts and crafts (toys, art/craft supplies)
  • Fashionable artisan gifts (jewellery, accessories)
  • Homemade food (baked goods, preserves)
  • DIY presents
  • Apparel & Vintage

Creative Heart Collective is looking for high-quality artisans, bakers, artists, crafters and local retailers to exhibit and sell their work on Sunday, September 18th, 2011, 12pm – 6pm.  This daytime event will be taking place at The Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West) in The Ballroom (click to view images).

Submissions will be accepted until Saturday, July 30th, 2011, however, please apply early as the number of available spots is limited and will be curated on a first-come, first-served basis.  For more detailed information on how to apply, please visit www.creativeheartcollective.com

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June 23, 2011   No Comments

I Craft Therefore I Am

With Erica, making this grosgrain ribbon necklace is sooo easy. An excerpt from her book, PS I Made This.

Crafternoons are lovely, are they not?  Flipping through a magazine and then realizing you have a bureau of fabric scraps, threads, findings and a glue gun.  Why spend a $500 on a mass-produced bauble when you can make it for less?  Plus, the slow pace of creating has a cathartic quality akin to meditation.  Ooohm-chante-chante, pass the sequins-ooohm.

Erica Domesek of PS. I Made This  blog fame is the modern girl’s answer to Martha Stewart.  With her bright, whimsical storyboards, she makes crafting fashionable with her many easy step-by-step DIY projects.  When I saw a photograph of her craft closet on Casa Sugar, I almost died.  For me, the craft closet is #3 on the list of dream rooms in future dream house, only after #1 walk-in closet with vintage divan and #2 Harry Potter-esque library with wall height step ladder.  While I can always daydream about my castle in the clouds, her new book PS. I Made This would make a great gift for someone who loves to make things.  Hint-hint.

Heavenly: Ahhh! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alle-luia...I think three angels just earned their wings once she opened up this craft closet. Tiny drawers for ribbons, coloured post-its and glue sticks.

Have them asking, “Who’s your dress by? Alice + Olivia?  Alexander Wang?” Reply with, “No you silly.  It’s a (insert your name) Couture!”  Ooh la!  The Party Dress Book by Mary Adams provides sewing fashionistahs with patterns to create timeless silhouettes.  The photos of swirling fabric and printed ribbons, makes me want to shut myself up in a room for days to give a few of these patterns a go.  Compliments are doubly exciting when you can say that you’ve made what you’re wearing.

For more advice on novice sewing, check out my post Sew Impossibly Chic.

The Party Dress Book: Sew be it!

This dress says tra-la-la to me. I can sew a dress without a judy, however, I prefer to use one than poke myself with pins.

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December 12, 2010   No Comments