Monday, 30 April 2012

All White

After all this talk of colour, I’m taking a breather and presenting you with an all white post. This is in part inspired by the fact that today, at the gallery, we lost electricity. The two and a half hours before closing were spent in the dark, without the clickety-click of a computer keyboard or the ring of a single phone call. Art in the dark... Clearly, this isn’t good for business, but it gave me time to clear my head, write an impressive to-do list, clean my desk and sort my paperwork. (This makes me think of a quote I read recently that said something like “Tidy room, tidy mind.” Blah. I dislike quotes like these because they are a little bit true...) So tell me, how was your day?

All images via




Sunday, 29 April 2012

Mine!

A while back, I fell hard for these sandals:

Image via


Seriously, how gorgeous are they? I finally hunt them down at Zara’s and now they’re MINE! Woot! Woot! Did you make any fun purchases this weekend?

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Top 10 – Spring Edition


Am I the only girl who likes to change up her beauty routine from season to season? For example, Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion is perfect for the peak of summer, but not hard-core enough for winter. Same goes for makeup: I have my winter blush colours (any shade of pink) and my summer ones (golden corals). If you’ve been following this blog religiously (you have, right?), you’ve seen my Top 10 post from January. These products are still my go-to, but this current post features more skin-care products. Obviously, every skin is different, so please share with us your beauty routine!

With no further ado, here are my spring must-haves:


1. Bio-Oil; my oh my, I love this. It doesn’t work as well for me in the winter, but this month it’s doing miracles for my skin. If you also suffer from sensitive skin or rosacea, this is for you! I put it on after I wash my face at night. I’d wear it night and day if I could, but I find that my makeup doesn’t adhere well to the oil. / 2. Tangerine Tango: colour of the year! You’ve read THIS post, right? Well, I’m loving Smashbox’s Melondrama lipstick. (Melondrama... hee, hee, cute name.) I like to put Art Deco’s sheer gloss over it for some extra shine. / 3. Kiehl’s Panthenol Protein Moisturizing Face Cream. Love the richness. I tried to get Hubs to use Kiehl’s men’s line, but he wasn’t feeling it. He sticks to Cetaphil / 4. NARS Orgasm blush. I get that the name it trying to be titillating and it’s a great marketing ploy, but I’m not digging it. “Oh, look at my Orgasm blush, te-he-he.” Oh well, it is what it is and I happen to LOVE it! Great spring colour – beautiful on every skin tone! / 5. My friend MC converted me to Stila’s waterproof eyeliner. I go between this one and Lancôme’s, but Stila is a good choice if you need a very precise line. / 6. Avène Cleaning and Make-up Removing Micellar lotion: I’ve been using it for years, I refuse to change. / 7. Benefit’s Boi-ing concealer. You don’t own this? GET IT. No ifs and buts. GET IT. / 8. Urban Decay’s Naked Palette 2. I feel a little bad about this one since I abandoned all my other eye shadows when I purchased this palette. It’s got everything you need. Even the brush is lovely! / 9. MAC’s Hyperion nail polish is a beautiful grey-blue / 10. Hypnôse Doll Lashes by Lancôme... not a poufy brush, not a hard brush, but a magical cone brush. I have teeny tiny eyelashes and this helps them out.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Vernissage Marathon

Last night, The Kikster and I accomplished a vernissage marathon! We went to not one, but five gallery openings in one night. To be fair, four were in The Belgo Building. Our first stop was La Maison de la Culture Mercier, where we went to check out Matthieu Gauvin’s impressive art collection. We followed suit with Galerie Pangée, Galerie Liliane Rodrigez, did a quick pop-by at La Maison Kasini and ended at SAS.
At SAS, I fell in love. Feast your eyes on this: Patrick Bérubé’s Ancrage.





Ancrage is a French word play. Ancrage means anchorage, while Encrage (pronounced the same way) translates to inking. In this case, Bérubé’s miniature boat is literally docked in a pool of ink. I walked towards the piece thought: “This can’t be. It’s silicone.” But I tapped my heel to the ground and there is was: a ripple. Gasp! The Kikster was a little more subtle, gently blowing on the ink. Again: ripple. Just when you think you know every trick in the book, an artist like Bérubé turns the table on you. Beautiful!
Kiks was more impressed with L’alliance (The Alliance):




SAS’ exhibition, titled Fabuleux Cercles Viscieux (Fabulous Viscious Circles), featured five artists: Gwenaël Bélanger, Michel de Broin, Mathieu Latulippe, Frédéric Lavoie and Patrick Bérubé. Check it out!
Have you been intrigued/impressed/surprised by any artwork recently? Please feel free to share your discoveries!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

B-day post for Hubs

Happy birthday to my wonderful Hubby!

This burger macaroon made me think of you! ...You see, when planning our wedding back in 2010, Hubs insisted on one thing: he wanted mini hamburger at our midnight buffet. The chef impressed us by creating a table of mini burgers, mini pizzas and mini hot-dogs. It was delicious. Such a happy memory! Hubby, may this new year bring you/us many more happy memories and adventures! I love you, xo

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Interview with Isabelle May


One of the goals when creating this blog was to share my love and enthusiasm for visual arts, fashion and music. Hopefully, I have piqued your interest in new artists and trends. PartyMixTape has certainly given me the platform to contact wonderfully creative people. One of these people is jewelry designer Isabelle May.

I have been a fan of her jewelry for several years and own more bracelets and necklaces than I dare say! Worn by women of all types and ages, Isabelle May designs are easily recognizable with their high quality gemstones and sparkly crystals. I hope you enjoy this interview! Don’t forget to visit her website by clicking HERE.


Isabelle May wearing her own designs


Who or what influenced your current collection?
For this collection, I was mainly inspired by my travels, different gemstones and surrounding nature. I visualized what I would want to wear on vacation, strolling on a beach, or on a summer evening lounging on a terrace. I wanted to create pretty, elegant and delicate pieces that are versatile and fun to wear. I worked with semi-precious stones and gold tones for a richer and warmer look. I took advantage of the color trends and incorporated colorful stones in many pieces with my usual attention for details. Coming up with new ideas and designs every season can be a challenge so I mostly follow my instincts and create what I love and would wear myself.



Model wearing Enchanted necklace

What is your typical day in the workshop like?
I always start the day by writing a “to do” list of all my objectives for the day or the week, otherwise my mind gets scattered. I hand-make every piece of jewelry in my collections, so I have a busy schedule on a daily basis, all the while being on the lookout for new ideas and shopping for new materials.

What motivated you to become a jewelry designer?
I have loved fashion from an early age and studied fashion design and illustration. Working in a field related to design was an inevitable path. My passion for jewelry started when a friend inspired me to make jewelry. It started as a hobby. My designs soon began selling in boutiques. The response was positive so that was a great motivation. Being your own boss is also nice!


The more the better!

What are some of the materials you use in your jewelry?
My jewelry is a combination of Swarovski crystals and semi-precious stones which I combine with gold, silver and rhodium chains to create a unique look. I often travel to buy the gemstones for my collections so that gives me new perspective and inspirations.
 
Out of all your creations, which is your favourite?
I would say that the Turquesa earrings are my favorite at the moment, and the colourful summer bracelets are my new babies!

 Model wearing Turquesa earrings

Which other jewelry designer do you admire?
I love Nicole Richie's House of Harlow line, Dannijo, Alexis Bittar... I admire anyone who has the passion to make it a living.

What’s the best fashion-related purchase you have ever made?
I love scarves and I recently purchased a Missoni scarf that I know I will wear for years to come. I think you can't go wrong with buying accessories, like jewelry, scarves or a great handbag. They can really turn the simplest outfit into a stylish one. My personal style has become more practical in the last few years because of my busy lifestyle. I wear lots of dresses in the summer, jeans, stacked bracelets, scarves and jewelry, of course! I am a big accessories fan and I rely on them to add style to my look.

Model wearing In Bloom necklace

Isabelle May’s top three songs:
Mr. Brightside – The Killers
Voulez Vous Abba
Heart of Glass – Blondie (Debbie Harry is one of my idols and a fashion icon. I really love the music and fashion of the 70's and early 80's.)

To see more, click HERE!


Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Perfect fit

Have you walked in downtown Montreal recently? If so, you’ve noticed MENS boutique. Now located at 1150 de Maisonneuve West, this one stop shop is dedicated to fulfilling men’s complete wardrobe needs, from underwear to designer suits. They carry numerous lines such as Bikkembergs, Hugo Boss and Moncler. And guess who just designed their showcase windows? Antoine Tavaglione! When fashion meets art, wonderful things happen!




...Rumour on the street is that TAVA was also selected to do their display for the Grand Prix in June.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Drama, drama

Let’s be honest here: today was a crummy day. My leopard umbrella is in the garbage due to torrential winds; I have a kink in my neck from trying to look over my shoulder while running to catch the bus (which I didn’t catch) and I have a bad-windy-poured-on-hair day. Giant sigh. What is a girl to do? The only logical answer seems to go on a pinning frenzy and wear warm pyjamas. Done and done. May this boost of colour make your day a little brighter!


Follow me on Pinterest!

Friday, 20 April 2012

30 minutes: Party on

Whether at the gym or at a party, the key to a successful workout/evening is to have a good music selection.  For Mel’s bachelorette party, I’ve prepared not one, but FIVE party mix CDs. Oh, and I’ve also purchased 180 shot glasses... (Kids, don’t do this at home.) Here’s a sample of what us girls will be rocking out to on Saturday.


Justin Bieber & Far East Movement – Live my Life  4.43
Bombs Aways – Super Soaker 3.43
Bounce – All I do is party  2.55
Pitbull – Back in Time  3.27
T-Pain – Turn all the lights on  3.38 (The man can rock auto-tune!)
Florida ft. Sia – Wild Ones  3.57 (Hey Kikster: are you still loving ‘Good Feeling’?)
David Guetta ft. Chris Brown – I Can Only Imagine  3.32



Click on the label "30 minutes" (as seen below) to view our previous workout selections.

TGIF


It’s Friday! How great is that? I’m pumped for this weekend as my dear friend D is coming to town and we are off to yet another bachelorette! Par-tay! It shall be a fun-filled weekend. What are you up to?
On a side note, I’m sure you were impressed by yesterday’s guest post by The Yummy Pixel (how talented is she? Profiteroles with Mango Mojito Sauce? Come on! How many people can whip that up?). If you would be interested in guest posting for PartyMixTape, or if you know of an awesome artist, designer or blogger who would like to be interviewed, please contact me via partymixtape@gmail.com.
Happy Friday!
E.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Guest Post: The Yummy Pixel

My name is Miljana and I started The Yummy Pixel as a food photography blog where I share my adventures in the kitchen and behind the lens. Incidentally, these are the two places where I’m happiest and most inspired, so what a better way to put those two together than to share them with the world!?


I love desserts that are light tasting and fruity - especially in the spring. Everything is in bloom, the brighter weather has started - the energy of the spring is here! The brighter weather makes you want to dress in your pretty colourful clothes that have been buried in the back of the closet for what seems like eternity! It makes you want to party!



My friend Emily has generously offered me a guest post on her very popular blog about fashion and all things pretty - PartyMixTape.   She said... make something fun, spring-inspired, something that makes you want to party!



So I thought about fun, bright, light-tasting desserts, and the first one that came to mind was Profiteroles with Mango Mojito Sauce. How can you party without Mojitos? And best of all, it's in a dessert!

These little babies I found in my favourite cookbook - Bon Appetit Desserts, and I was very intrigued by the mojito mango combination.



The timing was perfect because this last weekend was also the Orthodox Easter, so I told my mom not to worry about dessert - I would be bringing two!

The dough follows the typical profiterole/cream puff instructions - melting butter with milk, adding dough and cooking it on the stove for a few minutes before adding eggs. The dough should come out soft and sticky. If you have an ice cream scoop, it would be the best way to drop these onto a cookie sheet. They will come out even. Make sure to dip the scoop in hot water between each so they come out easier.  The recipe for the puffs may look a bit involved, but the whole process takes less than 1.5 hours, because you can do the filling and the sauce while the profiteroles are baking, and the assembly is done just right before eating.



I should mention that this dessert also takes a bit of planning - case in point - mangoes. At least 6 mangoes are required and they have to be soft and sweet. So, buy your mangoes well in advance if you can't find soft ones. Because the profiterole dough has no sugar and the filling very little, most of the sweetness should come from the mango, so it's even more important that they are ripe and sweet.

The profiteroles puff up when they bake, but stay hollow in the middle - perfect for filling. They can stand for 2-3 days but the longer they sit, the harder they get, so they should really get eaten in the first 1-2 days for maximum freshness.



The second recipe I picked was the one I found on Epicurious, and it left me quite intrigued. Avocado. In a pound cake? But, after discovering the delicious avocado pudding a few weeks ago, I decided that it was worth a try.



The recipe makes a double batch, and I believe the dough can keep for a few days, or be frozen.


Until next time, happy eating!
Toodles,

Miljana

RECIPES
..........................................................................................................................

Avocado Pound Cake
Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons ripe mashed avocados
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk

Place a rack in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9x5-inch loaf pans and set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add avocado and beat for another 2 minutes. Stop mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating on medium speed for 1 minute after each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape down to make sure everything is thoroughly mixed. Beat in vanilla.
With the mixer on low speed, add half of the flour mixture. Beat until just incorporated. Add the buttermilk and the remaining flour mixture. Beat until just incorporated. Remove bowl from the stand mixer, and finish incorporating the batter with a spatula.
Divide the batter between the pans and bake on alternating racks for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, rotate racks and bake for another 15 to 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 20 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Cake will last, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to 4 days.


............................................................................................................................

Mango Profiteroles with Mango Mojito Sauce


Ingredients:

Puffs:
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, diced
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup all purpose flour
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
Filling:
2 cups 1/3-inch cubes peeled pitted mango (from about 4 large; see Test-Kitchen Tip below for details)
1 cup chilled sour cream
1 cup chilled whipping cream
1 cup powdered sugar, divided
Spiced Mango-Mojito Sauce:
2 large mangoes, peeled, pitted, diced
6 tablespoons plain whole-milk yogurt
4 tablespoons (or more) sugar
3 tablespoons spiced rum
1 tablespoon fresh Key lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons (packed) finely chopped fresh mint

Preparation:

Profiteroles:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Bring milk, butter, and salt to boil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until butter melts. Add flour all at once. Reduce heat to medium and stir with wooden spoon until dough forms ball and some batter films bottom of pan thickly, about 4 minutes. Transfer dough to medium bowl and cool 5 minutes. Using electric mixer, beat in eggs and yolks 1 at a time.

Drop dough by generous tablespoonfuls 3 inches apart onto baking sheets, making about 24 puffs. Smooth tops with wet fingertips.

Bake puffs 15 minutes. Reverse sheets and bake puffs until deep golden, about 10 minutes longer. Make small slit in side of each puff. Return to oven, turn off heat, and let dry 15 minutes. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)


Filling:
Stir mango and sour cream in medium bowl to blend. Beat whipping cream and 1/2 cup powdered sugar in large bowl until peaks form. Fold whipped cream into mango mixture. Cover bowl; refrigerate filling at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours.

Cut cream puffs horizontally in half. Spoon heaping tablespoon filling into each bottom half; cover with tops. Sift remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar over.

Divide cream puffs among 8 plates. Spoon sauce onto plates and serve.

Spicy Mango-Mojito Sauce:
Purée mangoes in blender or processor until smooth. Transfer 1 1/2 cups purée to medium bowl (reserve remaining purée for another use). Mix yogurt, 4 tablespoons sugar, spiced rum, fresh lime juice, and chopped mint into purée. Sweeten sauce to taste with more sugar, if desired. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

This loaf is the perfect way to use up your ripe mushy avocados (if you don't want guacamole), and you can use some on top for decoration. My favourite thing about this loaf is that it's lime green inside - so pretty and so much fun! It's very moist - perfect for having with tea.


Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Destination Wedding (for Mel)

Remember when I told you about my friend, bride-to-be-Mel? Well... her Big Day is coming fast, and guess what? It’s a destination wedding! SO romantic! Obviously, this got me thinking about special occasion beach attire. If you are attending a beach wedding this summer, here are a few suggestions for what to wear:


LOOK 1: alice+olivia Gabriella Printed Long Dress / White Pineapple Ring by Juicy Couture / Proenza Schouler Tiki Clutch Stingray found at Barneys / Giambattista Valli Metal-cuffed leather T-bar sandals  LOOK 2: Melissa Odabash Aurora bandeau jersey maxi dress / Turquesa earrings by Isabelle May / Delavan Terrace Delora clutch by Kate Spade / Marc Jacobs Daisy Leather Tie Sandals  LOOK 3: Diane von Furstenburg, Casandra printed beach dress / Betsey Johnson Hawaiian Luau Blue Flower Clip Earrings / Diane von Furstenberg Lytton python-effect leather box clutch / Juicy Couture Palm Beach Poolside Parrot Bangle / Kate Spade Ingrid Sandal

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Frame it

When I wrote my last post, I mentioned that Jaime Angelopoulos’ art was well framed. I received several emails from colleagues saying “Well... what was the framing like?”

As promised: Jaime Angelopoulos’ art, framed by Parisian Laundry (image via)


If it’s time for you to frame those family portraits or the new work you purchased at Papier12, here are a few tidbits about my tastes in framing:

While the eighties were plagued with lime and antique rose mats, the nineties were most memorable for their love of anti-reflective glass and gold frames. Today, most of my clients opt for simplicity: oversized white mats with clean white or black frames. 



Design by Christine Ralphs and Michelle Lloyd (image via)



Design by Cydney Morris (image via).

When purchasing art or selecting a frame, the key is to trust your instincts. Trends will come and go – but if your choices reflect your personal style, what’s “in” and what’s “out” will matter very little.

(Image via) Case in point!


(Image via) When in doubt: opt for simplicity!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Papier12: Top 3


The Papier12 art fair is such a wonderful place to visit. You are bound to meet people you know, you’ll have the opportunity to chat with up-and-coming artists and, most importantly, it’s the occasion to view amazing art. Located in Montreal’s Quartier des Spectacles, Papier12 went all out to celebrate its fifth anniversary, with a ritzy red carpet and two large red and blue sculptures by Canadian artist Shayne Dark. 

Image via RSVP Report

I entered Papier12’s large white tent on Saturday afternoon, happy to be greeted by familiar faces at Galerie d’art Jean-Claude Bergeron. I meandered through the rows, contemplated every artist at every booth – and am now ready to let you know my top three artists.
I’ll start with Elmyna Bouchard from Galerie Trois Points. I’ve been keeping an eye out for Bouchard’s etchings for quite some time, and was pleasantly surprised to see her new production of stamping on paper. (I’ll give a well deserved shout out to GTP’s staff that was extremely friendly and approachable. When entering any art venue, I am a firm believer that a friendly face is a must.)

Elmyna Bouchard’s Tiges, Stamping on paper, 2011


Parisian Laundry's booth blew me away with artwork by Jaime Angelopoulos. Using conté and oil pastels on paper, Angelopoulos’ deceptively simple compositions and bright colours were a feast for the eyes. Not only was the work fantastic, but so was the framing.

Jaime Angelopoulos: The Traveller, pastel on paper, 2011 & Untitled, pastel on paper, 2012

Finally, my heart melted when I saw Arnaud Maggs at booth number 203: Susan Hobbs Gallery. When writing my MA thesis on Mail Art several years ago, I fell hard for Maggs’ photographs of envelopes, Notificationi and ii. To see two photographs of his Contamination series was a huge treat.
Arnaud Maggs, Contamination, edition of 3
 
An honourable mention goes out to Antoine Tavaglione, who has been featured numerous times on this blog. Presented at the Maison Kasini booth, I was delighted to see Tava’s collaboration with Dave Tarado.


Sunny

What a gorgeous day! Enjoy the sunshine… if you’re lucky enough, you’ll be rocking a pair of Tom Ford Cat Eye Sunglasses!



I’ll see you later… when I’ll be revealing my top three artists from Papier12!

Friday, 13 April 2012

Weekend plans

It’s Friday night! Woot! Woot! I just spent a wonderful evening eating sushi and shopping for makeup with my good friend, ze-bride-to-be-Mel. (Oh, don’t worry; I’ll say more about that soon!) I’ve been looking forward to this weekend for a while, not only because of my date with Mel, but also because my absolute favourite art fair is taking place in Montreal. PAPIER12 showcases art on paper in a variety of different forms: prints, drawings, sculptures, etc. The Montreal art scene is literally buzzing with excitement! Stay tuned: I’ll let you know my top three artists on Sunday!



Hope to see you there!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Keep, Toss or Donate

When you go on a shopping frenzy, as I just did in New York, you come home to a huge problem: lack of closet space. I find that the more I squeeze into my closet, the less I see the clothes, and the more I complain about having nothing to wear. Admit it: you’ve been there!

Image via Polyvore

For every change of season, I take the time to reevaluate the contents of my closet. Think about every item as falling into one of three categories: Keep, Toss or Donate. If it’s ripped, stained, or worn-out: ladies, let it go. TOSS! As for that cute top you purchased three years ago and never worn? DONATE. Try on everything, and be honest with yourself. Is this piece doing you any favours? Does it make you want to high-five the mirror? If not, DONATE. Still unsure as to whether you should keep or donate? Here’s my secret: I have a bag stashed under my bed. When in doubt, I place the questionable item in the bag. When I look a few months later, I’m either ecstatic... or, more likely, can’t believe I held on to it and hid it under my bed. Finally, if it looks awesome, fits awesome and makes you feel awesome: KEEP.

Sounds simple enough – yet I feel a friendly reminder is always appreciated! Happy spring cleaning!