this is where we keep our stuff

A while ago I began a tour of our new living space. At the end of December Jeff and I moved into a beautiful brick apartment building that's over 100 years old and we are still settling in. You might remember that the building used to be a dormitory for nuns who worked at Vancouver General Hospital when it was first built. Now it's an apartment building with a lot of character and I am loving our place! Looking around our living room, I realize that we have a lot of stuff in here and a lot of stories. The room itself actually appears pretty spacious because our things are organized, but I can remember where I bought most of my books, where I read them, where I found records for our record collections, what favourite songs they have on them, and so on...so I'm going to break our living room up into at least two posts.

I thought that I would start with our built-in bookshelf (which also used to include a murphy bed back in the nun dormitory days). This bookshelf is really the main feature in the room and holds all of our most treasured possessions. Often it's the memories these objects evoke, and not necessarily the objects themselves, that are valuable to us. Let's take a closer look and I'll tell you about some of these things...

The first picture shows one of my favourite things. I went to a New Year's Eve party in Edmonton a long time ago and won that cat creamer. I really love it and find I've become very attached to it over the years. In fact, when I won it I hid it from the view of the other party goers so that no one would get any ideas about taking it away from me during a party gift swap. My friend Camilla ended up with a Thighmaster...also pretty sweet. I can't quite remember where those other strange things came from, surely thrift stores, probably from Halifax and Vancouver.

The second picture shows my two heydey design ceramic jars. One I bought during the East Side Culture Crawl, one Jeff gave to me as a Christmas gift. The little piece of spirit quartz I brought home from Calgary this Christmas. I love the colour and the fine texture of the crystals. The little Niagara Falls tv we got on during our one and only visit to the Honeymoon Capital of the World. It's actually a little viewfinder with slides of all the famous Niagara attractions: the floral clock, the skylon, the aero car, and so on.

The third photo shows off one of my favourite pieces of art, a painting by Alberta College of Art grad Sam Walrod. Jeff and I bought this at a student sale and I wish that we'd bought one of her larger paintings, they were so beautiful, but out of our price range at the time. Her recent work is totally gorgeous, too. The texture and colour of her work is what really appeals to me. I hope someday we'll get that big painting of hers! Do you have any favourite local artists?

The last photo demonstrates that for a year I tried to be up on new fiction and poetry. The Paris Review is pretty great, and I loved having a subscription, but I did not renew...I feel like it'll take me another year  just to get around to reading all of these issues. This photo also offers a glimpse of part of my vintage photo collection (these are from the Vancouver Flea Market), a photo I took of Lola with my Diana, a pencil holder my mom got for me from an antique mall in Calgary and a strange postcard our friend Adam brought us from Japan. Oh, the tragedy of soft ice cream... Enjoy your Sunday! I'll provide photos that share the whole living room a little more in my next post!


  1. Great blog. I'm following. #99 :)

  2. Aw, your knick knacks are adorable. I love those tiny details, especially the cat creamer. I'm very curious about the tragedy of soft ice cream now.

  3. Great setup! I wish I were so organized :)

  4. You live right down the street from me! I live in the darker red/brown building at hemlock! We wanted to move into your building but they only had a bachelor for rent when we were looking!

    (If you don't remember me, I met you briefly at Blim in early December!)

  5. i love home tours and seeing people's decor cos it says a lot about them :) and i adore sentimental or funny stories (like the cat creamer!)

    i can't wait to see the rest!

  6. Aww LOVE your set up! It's simple and vintage I love it.

  7. Hi!

    I also knew of the building because I saw the red and green exterior in one of your previous posts (in a picture of your desk I think!).

    This is my favourite neighbourhood in Van!

  8. Yay! Welcome followers #99-101. You totally made my day!

    Margaret: I have a postcard that shows the tragedy of soft ice cream...and I'm still not quite sure I get it!

    Jenn: Thank you! You should share some pics of your new space, too!

    Oddity: It's an illusion! We keep it clean, but we definitely have corners I would not share photographs of. Ever.

    Post Grad: It's a sweet building. I'm starting to really love this neighbourhood, too. Just wish there were better options for grocery shopping.

    Micaela: I think I've had the cat creamer for about 6 years now or so. I think part of the reason I like it so much is because my mom wants to have it!

    Jihee: Thanks! Our furniture finally fits in with our surroundings again. We've gone from living in the newest place either of us have ever dwelled in (ugh!) to the oldest. I'm happy about the change!

  9. I love your bookshelf!



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