Happy New Year!

As 2010 draws to a close, I naturally took a look back at old posts to see what we accomplished this year... and from a reno & design standpoint, we didn't do too much!

Sure, we finally redesigned the master bedroom and got a good night's sleep. And we did make some fun things for the kiddo like built her a play kitchen and gave her mini-chair a makeover.

But other than that, mostly little projects got done. I made some art out of milk bottle caps and cleaned up the office. HandyMan built some rad rad covers for the bedroom and entry. We got the bathroom door installed to add a hint of Paris to our petite salle de bain and put in a runner to enhance the entry.

But mostly, we spent our time hitting antique fair after antique fair after antique fair. We started to get comfortable in our roles as parents, revelling in the mundane moments and the big birthday celebrations but getting a little melancholy too when our realized babies become toddlers in the blink of an eye. I also spent some time with blogger friends, in groups big and small and got to hang out with some pretty famous people here and there.

It was a good year, a full year - and I've enjoyed having you along for the ride. But I'm ready to turn the page and start with a brand new slate. Come with me, won't you? But first - we must celebrate!


Wildy's World Artist of the Year for 2010

Just as with Song of the Year, the Artist of the Year is a difficult pick.  This competion was actually a lot closer than the song category as there are several artists in this year's countdown with valid arguments both for their albums and their accomplishments beyond the recording studio.  While not a requirement to be named Artist of the Year, our pick was a Wildy's World Artist of the Month in 2010 and is the only artist to place two albums in this year's Top 60 Albums.  With an entry at #32, her live album Stages, and this year's #3 album After Dark, as well as her breakthrough success in Japan and a stunning voice, Halie Loren rose above a very talented pack during 2010. Congratulations, Halie Loren.  You are the Wildy's World Artist Of The Year for 2010.

Wildy's World Song Of The Year - 2010

900+ albums and it becomes difficult to pick just one song as the standout for an entire year of reviews.  But there is one song in particular, reviewed back in January of 2010 that continues as a playlist regular here at Wildy's World, often invoking repeat plays.  Shayna Zaid And The Catch's "Fireflies" is more than worth of the honor of Wildy's World Song Of The Year for 2010.  Below is a YouTube video of Zaid performing "Fireflies" at New York City's Rockwood Hall from 2009...

Wildy's World Top 60 Albums of 2010: #1

And here we are.  365 days, 960 submissions and 533 reviews later and we're done to the top album reviewed by Wildy's World in 2010.  It's been a long road with some great new music.  This year's #1 is a sleeper; one of those albums that will impress you the first time you hear but will keep growing on you.  Congratulations to D.B. Rielly for creating one of the most complete works of musical art to come across this desk in the past few years.  Love Potions And Snake Oil is the Wildy's World #1 album of 2010.

...but we're not done!  Keep checking back to find out who comes out on top with the Wildy's World Song Of The Year and Artist Of The Year!

Wildy's World Top 60 Albums of 2010: #2


2. Shayna Zaid & The Catch – Shayna Zaid & The Catch

Zaid has one of those voices that gets inside your head and stays there; combine that with an ability to write songs that grab you by the shirt and yell "listen to me" and you have a winning combination.

Come back in one hour for the #1 album of 2010, as reviewed by Wildy's World!

Dressing in heels

One of my New Year's Resolutions is to dress up a little more. For example, even just adding a pair of black heels to a regular outfit makes such a difference. Here, Susan Cernek looks so pretty. (And I love this Urban Outfitters pair.)

Are you making any New Year's Resolutions?

(Photo by Stockholm Street Style)

Wildy's World Top 60 Albums of 2010: #3


3. Halie Loren – After Dark

Halie Loren is already a star in Japan; it's only a matter of time before she recreates such success in the US and Europe.  Loren has a voice that is right at home amongst the Great Ladies of Song, and an ease of delivery that marks her as a natural.  After Dark is her finest effort to date.

Wildy's World Top 60 Albums of 2010: #4


4. Bess Rogers – Bess Rogers Presents Bess Rogers
Bess Rogers is the sort of songwriter who turns your expecations upside down, creating gem stones out of the emotional grist of life.  This is just the beginning for Rogers; expect big things from her in the future, particularly if Bess Rogers Presents Bess Rogers is any indication.

Wildy's World Top 60 Albums of 2010: #5

The final five...  we'll be revealing one per hour until 1:00 PM EST today.

5. Mark Knopfler – Get Lucky
What do you say about Mark Knopfler?  He's among the greatest guitarist of his own or any generation.  Get Lucky is among Knopfler's most subtle and intriguing work to date.  The fact that it doesn't place higher on this list is a tribute to some of the great music that's crossed this desk in 2010.

The Shape of Things To Come


Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Erich Von Stroheim and a girlfriend eating dinner on New Year's Night, Detroit, Michigan: photo by Arthur S. Siegel, January 1942 (Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection, Library of Congress)

Even though he may be Getting Some
in Detroit City --

and that's the Good News,
because no one really Wants To Be Alone --

memory can't be stopped from relentlessly
dredging up Better Days.


Erich Von Stroheim, playing Count Karamzin, seduces Margaret DuPont, playing Helen Hughes, in Foolish Wives, 1922: screenshot by Luigibob, 2008

Yesterday's Gone


Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Lonely soldier and recruiting poster on New Year's Eve, Detroit, Michigan: photo by Arthur S. Siegel, December 1941

and it's good to see the back of it

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Celebrators standing at a bar on New Year's Eve, Detroit, Michigan: photo by Arthur S. Siegel, January 1942

Photos from Farm Security Administration/ Office of War Information Collection, Library of Congress

GREAT READS: A Year-End Blog Tour Part V

This week, I'll be introducing you to some of my most favourite bloggers. I've asked them to tell you a bit about their blog and provide a link to their favourite post they've written in the past year.

(click on the blog headers or links to hop over to the blogs)

About the blog:
Full House is a blog that is used for an outlet and a place to put design related posts that have to do with things ranging from the design of motherhood to the design of a bedroom. The majority of the items posted are design related with an emphasis on interiors. (Note from Jennifer: I would also add that Christina's blog offers a glimpse of a stylish, creative, loving and very full household with twin girls and triplet boys!)
My favourite post:
Do you know it is really hard to pick a favorite post:-) Seriously, thanks for the opportunity because it gave me a chance to reflect on events that happened last year that made me happy. I had many motherhood posts that I liked but settled on a post when my family went to stay with my in-laws on the farm during the summer. I didn't say anything profound and it wasn't really all that interesting but it just makes me happy and I felt like the pictures I took captured the fun times. It was one of the best times I had all year because it was so peaceful, freeing, fun and relaxing.


As far as a design related post I remember really liking the below post because it involved food pictures. I love anything honey whether it be food or color related.


About the blog:
Everything LE
B is about me and my journey to turn my apartment into a home with my now fiance. Along the way there are many inspirational photos, DIY projects and a few wedding posts here and there (at least till March 2011).
My favourite post:
My favorite post from this year is one of my all time favorite DIY projects - my zig zag tray:

About the blog:
Bijou and Boheme is a blog devoted to all things pretty. Here you'll find images that inspire beauty in design, fashion and life. An escape.
My favourite post:
Choosing my favourite post was actually not that difficult, which is surprising because I'm definitely not the world's best editor. In this case though, I easily picked my story inspired by jewelry line Fenton-Fallon. I think it was the first post that really felt true to my voice and style. I love writing these little fantasies and hope to do more vignettes filled with gorgeous pictures and fun little tales. I hope you enjoy!

About the blog:
Becoming Mom follows the trials and tribulations of Ariana Falerni as she attempts to be a good mother to a terrible two while trying to simultaneously keep her new photography business afloat.
My favourite post:
Jasper's Second Birthday Backyard Bonanza!

About the blog:
Moth Design is a portfolio of sorts; a collection of posts, images, and musings, which I hope provide inspiration for beautiful design in a life well lived.
My favourite post:
I'm a sentimental sap at heart, so my post of my ten most precious things in life is dear to my heart....
And from an aesthetic respect I'd have to say that my 'equine style' post would also be a favourite...

About the blog:
First, thank you Jennifer for including me! I've loved reading your blog and watching your house transformation!! My blog is mostly written about the account of our home with three young children and the things I love to do {some with the children & some without}: sew, bake, renovate, photograph, & explore!
My favourite post:
Our summer trip to my parents farm in Southern Illinois:


A huge Thank You to all the fabulous bloggers who participated in my Great Reads Blog Tour 2010! I've loved learning more about you and seeing what favourite posts are dear to your hearts. Hope you readers enjoyed the series and found some new blogs to follow!

Be sure to check out all the other Great Reads in Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV!


And in case you were wondering what my favourite post of 2010 was, I narrowed it down to two - this one about what's inside my home and this one about what's inside my heart.

A New Year

High hopes for 2011 (clockwise):
Notice the pretty little things.

This is going to end on a super-mushy note, in which I thank you all for so kindly taking me in as one of your own. My mom, who, though I love her immensely, has no computer proficiency whatsoever, asked me what a blog is — what is the point, and why does it not qualify as a magazine or something of the sort? The only answer I could come up with is the same reason that I love blogging: for me, it's an assortment of the prettiest and littlest things in the world, which have all come together to slap me in the face, gently, with a solid dose of sheer delight. Thank you for your support, your sweet comments, and for sharing everything lovely along the way.

And now, champagne!

Baby quilts

Loving these beautiful baby quilts and stroller blankets. They're handmade and look so timeless.

P.S. An added bonus: You can hang them on your wall when your baby outgrows them. Sweet.

GREAT READS: A Year-End Blog Tour Part IV

This week, I'll be introducing you to some of my most favourite bloggers. I've asked them to tell you a bit about their blog and provide a link to their favourite post they've written in the past year.

(click on the blog headers or links to hop over to the blogs)

About the blog:
Hi - its Mrs. Limestone here. Thanks so much to the Rambling Renovators - the ultra fab diy built in bloggers - for asking me to take part in their blog tour. I can't wait to see the other stops. My blog, Brooklyn Limestone chronicles my adventures in design, renovation, entertaining and travel. I hope you'll stop over for a visit.
My favourite post:
Picking just one favorite post for the year is so hard but I narrowed it down this one: Mod Beach Bathroom Reveal. It was a long time coming so I overjoyed to have it done. If you like it be sure to check out more of the before and the cheat sheet.

About the blog:
Cakies is a blog written by a mom who loves her family, crafting, shopping, and pretty old things!
My favourite post:
Our halloween stories is something I look forward to doing every year!

About the blog:
DIYdiva.net - Bridging the gap between "woman" and "powertool wielding badass" one project at a time.
My favourite post:
Picking my favorite post of the year is tough (mostly because I can barely remember what I wrote last week.) I would say my year-end message to all DIYers is a favorite:

Or maybe the man-cave bathroom reveal, because it meant I was done with the thing!

About the blog:
I would describe my style as "contemporary whimsy with a hint of vintage" and my blog, What's Up Whimsy, reflects that. It is my own little inspiration folder full of my "loves" - Home Decor, DIYs and Art - come and get inspired too!
My favourite post:
Reader Redesign - Angele's Dining Room

About the blog:
Under the Sycamore is the online home of Ashley Campbell. Updated every weekday, post topics include: photo tips, diy projects, musings on motherhood, kid's activities, home decorating, links to great online finds, craftivism & community involvement.
My favourite post:
"Being a mom in the mundane" because though I love to dabble in so many different things most of my days are seemingly mundane, but I find that those are the moments I would never want to miss.


Find more Great Reads on Part I, Part II and Part III

Syntax Lost in the Forest


Doctor Syntax on the Road (detail): Thomas Rowlandson, c. 1812 (Art Institute of Chicago)

Something in the loving plumpness of the abundant, energetic line
in the satiric tour-book drawing, a near perfect simulacrum
of the natural energy of life itself, winks back behind its hand at us,
knowing, as life does, what neither we nor Syntax yet know,
seeing, as life does, what neither we nor Syntax yet see,
of the misadventures that must inevitably befall,
for the moment insidiously biding their time,
waiting now viperishly coiled in each next obscure thicket,
concealed round each next blind corner
of that deceptive bucolic misrepresentation,
that fraudulent map of the insubstantial surface topography
draped over the harsh and grinding natural order of things,
the discursive sentence

His worst mistake, the same every time, stopping to ask for directions.

We like Syntax may have often been blind and vain

in our persistent foolish quest for a picturesque element
in the stark and grim picture of actuality:
this element is the dream of almost-reason which language constructs for us,
employing its misguiding signs to divert us toward impossible pleasures,
advertising its illusionary rest stops to deceive us into thinking there is relief to be found,
offering its delusive pretences to a destination
when the real world contains no such convenient thing,
only more of the same, more of the going on,
more of the stupid expectation of some meaningful conclusion,
some sensible and pleasing shape to the whole project,
which is, with its endless extenuations, its insistent aggravations,
of its nature formless and inchoate,
incapable of being shaped into even the approximate semblance
of the true and credible article, the meaningful tale, the bright history,
the shining evidence of greater purpose, as promised
in the compliant gestures and winning smile
of the charming milkmaid who comes forward to greet one
from the unidentified building beyond, perhaps a congenial inn,
with a quiet fire in the hearth and a kettle upon the hob,
or then again, perhaps a den of cunning highwaymen,
lying in wait to set upon the unsuspecting traveler
and shunt him off, without a by-your-leave, into that labyrinth
of digressive clauses that will lead him deeper and deeper
into that sepia forest from which, originally, he had emerged,
always confused, always silly, always lost, but never more so than in this moment,
in which the final sound to be heard upon the pointless pointing of the period
is the gentle and completely senseless lowing of a cow.

Doctor Syntax on the Road: Thomas Rowlandson, c. 1812 (Art Institute of Chicago)

This post dedicated to all who have been badly guided

Wildy's World Top 60 Albums of 2010: 10-6

We're down to the top 10 albums of the year!  Today we'll get down to #6.  Tomorrow, we'll unveil the top 5, one an hour between 9:00 AM EST and 1:00 PM EST.  Without further adieu...

10. Treasa Levasseur – Low Fidelity

Levasseur is a glorious throwback full of the vitality of youth.  With a voice that could melt butter and a talent for songwriting that's a step above the rest, Low Fidelity is one of the true treats of the year.

9. Lucy Wainwright-Roche – Lucy

Wainwright-Roche shows a subtlety and grace on Lucy that is incomparable.  Her ability to find beauty in mundane moments sets her apart.

8. Skyler – Long Gone
Rock music with a distinctive pop sensibility inspired by pure joy.  Irresistible. 

7. Amy MacDonald – A Curious Thing

MacDonald followed a top-ten, multi-platinum selling album with a more complex and incredibly mature song cycle that will make you forget she's all but 22 years old.

6. Cosmo Jarvis – HumAsYouHitch/SonOfAB!tch
A no holds barred musical assault that's well written, driven and full of the unabashed energy of punk rock.  Jarvis is a tour-de-force.

Stay tuned.  Tomorrow we'll reveal the top 5, hour by hour, starting at 9:00 AM EST.

Recording a Lindsey Buckingham Song

Dear Rich: I have friends in a band in Norway and they want to release a song written by Lindsay Buckingham. They plan on releasing 1000 CDs and 500 vinyl singles. Does the label ask for permission or should the band? We think your friends should look at their recording contract (if they have one) to determine who has responsibility for paying for the rights. In the U.S., the label typically pays (and then charges it to the band somehow).
Rights Organizations. In the U.S., the band would have a fairly easy time sorting this out. They could either pay the compulsory license fees and follow the instructions issued by the Copyright Office. Or they could take the easier route of charging the fees to their credit card at the HFA site -- you just set up an account and tell them how many copies. HFA instructions note, however, that the license is only for recordings distributed in the U.S. In Norway, rights are commonly sorted by Kopinor, and your friends might want to check their website for assistance. Other European rights organizations are shown here.
Small Correction Dept. You spelled Mr. B's name as Lindsay; the hypervigilant Dear Rich Staff reports that it's actually the more common male variant, Lindsey (placing #834 among male names -- compared to #1211 for Lindsay). 

Art and Exchange: Thomas Rowlandson: Ackermann's Microcosm of London


Exhibition Room, Somerset House
: Thomas Rowlandson (with architectural backdrop by A.C. Pugin), in Rudolf Ackermann's Repository of the Arts, 8 January 1808 (from the series Microcosm of London)
(Beinecke Library, Yale)

The famous purchases of the Prince Regent, an ardent art buyer, provided a royal boost to the commodification of art in London, the first true "world city" of capital speculation, spectacle and display.

Having one's portrait done by a painter of prominence was a common way of declaring one's social importance. The most successful of the portrait painters was Thomas Lawrence, noted for his remarkable ability to provide "improvements". Lawrence famously "improved" (i.e. shrunk) the exceptionally large nose of the Duke of Wellington, and limned the dissipated fifty-two-year-old Prince Regent as, in the words of William Hazlitt, "a well-fleshed Adonis of thirty-three": Hazlitt had fun imagining the "transports with which his Royal Highness must have received this improved version of himself".

As is seen in Thomas Rowlandson and Auguste Charles Pugin's "view" in Rudolf Ackermann's Microcosm of London -- a mirror representing the city and its manners and mores to itself -- the Royal Academy collection crowded the walls of a new repository, Sir William Chambers' Somerset House.

With the rise of the new "middling" commercial classes, the "fine arts" became, almost overnight, taste indicator and investment opportunity.

There were, of course, a few who saw the humour in this. Generally these few derived from the class above.

As Reay Tannehill relates in a monograph on the Regency "golden age" of illustration and engraving (Regency England: The Great Age of the Colour Print), around this time an acquaintance enquired of Byron:

What is the end of fame?

To which Byron is to have countered:

To have, when the original is dust,
A name, a wretched picture and worse bust


Christies's Auction Room
: Thomas Rowlandson (with architectural backdrop by A.C. Pugin), in Rudolf Ackermann's Repository of the Arts, 1 February 1808 (from the series Microcosm of London)
(Beinecke Library, Yale)

Love print

What a cute print. :)

New Year's Chic

I'm a cat, and Alice & Olivia is just dangling a goldfish in front of my face with their nightlife-themed lookbook. Isn't this the perfect inspiration for fresh New Year's Eve ensembles? I'm a sucker for the black and white palette with the only occasional glimpses of gold and silver — the simple shades keep voluminous ruffles, gleaming sequins, and soft velvet from looking too gaudy or ostentatious. The vibe isn't in-your-face so much as it is "Oh, is it 2011 already? Perfect, hand me another glass of Prosecco so I can toast a year of looking fantastic."

Because you know 2011 will be the year of looking, feeling, and being fantastic.

GREAT READS: A Year-End Blog Tour Part III

This week, I'll be introducing you to some of my most favourite bloggers. I've asked them to tell you a bit about their blog and provide a link to their favourite post they've written in the past year.

(click on the blog headers or links to hop over to the blogs)

About the blog:
Little Green Notebook is a daily design journal where I post about what's on my mind, whether that has to do with something I'm working on with a decorating client, or a project in my own home, or just something I spied in a store or online that I'm loving. I like to try and be budget-conscious and find ways to get an expensive look for a lot less.
My favourite post:
Last summer, I was home visiting my family in Arizona and basically on a whim, we decided to redecorate my parents’ bedroom. It was such a FUN couple of days working with my mom and dad and sister to brainstorm projects, shop, paint and sew. It was a major collaborative effort and it made me wish I lived nearby so we could open a design studio together. :)

About the blog:
a life's design is a collection of lovely spaces. home inspiration. pretty pictures. fabulous renovations. good photography. lifes happenings. creative outlet. architecture appreciation. vintage finds. a daily escape.
My favourite post:
This post featured one of my favorite homes from last year... http://alifesdesign.blogspot.com/2010/05/just-to-swoon.html

About the blog:
My blog the cinnamon post is for me, a place to be creative, to write and photograph my life as I see it now and to capture moments I will want to remember. I hope others see my blog as somewhat of a magazine editorial; one not styled to be perfect but the kind where the homeowners pad around the house in bare feet and the toys don’t always get picked up.
My favourite post:
We Travel At Home

About the blog:
Thanks for inviting me to participate in your "Great Reads: A year-end blog tour", Jennifer! The focus of my blog, Isabella & Max Rooms, is to follow the process of transforming a room, sharing tips, resources and tutorials for the DIY projects included in the room design.
My favourite post:
My favorite post from 2010 is the 'Big Boy's Bedroom ~ Complete' post, showing the final result of redesigning my son Max's bedroom. This room was put together on a tight budget, with many DIY projects contributing to the design. It was also very exciting to be invited to tape a segment with Nate Berkus, sharing two projects that went into this room: how to make a chalkboard lamp and how to cover a lampshade with fabric.


About the blog:
I’ve been a practicing Interior Designer for 17 years, I started the blog as my personal journal about current client projects and all the things that inspire me and challenge me in my day to day work. Along the way I share my design philosophy, great finds, savvy tips, some before and afters, and practical advice for home renovation and decor enthusiasts.
My favourite post:
So Impossible to pick one! Without a doubt the favorite reader post this year was the one on “Painting Ikea Cabinets” and then a post with After pics of an E-Design Bathroom was a close second. But my personal favorite(s) was a series of posts from my East Coast Road Trip, this past summer (gee, I wish someone had told me I spelled “Coast” wrong in every single heading of the series!!). It was rejuvenating to spend time away from client work and indulge in my love of photography, travel (exploring) and food!


Looking for more Great Reads? Click on over to see Part I and Part II.

Wildy's World Top 60 Albums of 2010: 20-11

 Today we work ourselves down to the brink of the top-10.  The great music keeps rolling!  I know we're all excited to get to 2011, but this is one last chance to remember the great albums we talked about in the past year.  Let's roll...

20. Social Code – Rock N Roll
The Edmonton rockers pack a punch while retaining a distinct pop sense in their US debut, a big rock album that manages to be commercial without sounding like that was the point.

19. Steven Page – Page One
The former Barenaked Ladies co-front man proves he can make it on his own, bring his own special blend of darkness and pop sensibility to Page One.

18. Sami.The.Great – Nothing Left To See
Sami.The.Great is going to be a star someday.  Nothing Left To See is perhaps a reference to Sami's heart, which she wears on her sleeve.  It's certainly not representative of her songwriting.  You'll want a long musical relationship with Sami.The.Great.

17. Alexis Foxe – To Have And Want More
Alexis Foxe is over the top, ala Lady Gaga and Madonna.  Luckily she has the singing and songwriting talent to back up her musical hubris.  To Have And Want More is a brilliant start that will appeal to music fans of all ilks.

16. JD Eicher & The Goodnights – The Shape Of Things
Perhaps one of the most understated pop efforts of 2010, The Shape Of Things sneaks up on you, settles into your brain and takes you on a ride you won't soon forget.

15. Barenaked Ladies – All In Good Time
No one knew what to expect from Barenaked Ladies after the departure of co-founder Steven Page, but it's safe to say that the band surprised fans and critics alike with their most mature and musically satisfying album to date.

14. Scarlitt – Hope Unseen
Scarlitt avoids the comic-book character quality of many new pop/metal bands to deliver an old-school, wall shaking collection of songs so well constructed musically you won't quite believe what you're hearing.

13. Laura Roppé – I’m Still Here
Roppé  is the comeback kid; not only kicking cancer to the curb but remaking herself as an artist in one of the most brilliant and emotionally naked artistic turns of 2010.  Roppé jettison's the glitz and polish of her debut album for a depth of emotional honesty that is startling and welcome.

12. Trout Fishing In America – Lookin’ At Lucky
Trout Fishing In America returned in 2010 with their first album for adults in more than a decade, an amazing collection of songs that show maturity and nuance blended with an ear for melody that is incomparable.

11. Gunnar Madsen – Two Hands
While you might not think of Madsen as a piano virtuoso from his work with The Bobs, Two Hands is by far the most impressive instrumental album of 2010.