Arren Williams is the name, and I'm a stylist, editor and trend reporter. You'll catch my work regularly popping up in print in the likes of the National Post, House & Home and elsewhere. I'm also a guest expert on Citytv's CityLine, and you can occasionally find me on HGTV as well as on ABC 7 News in Chicago.

To keep things fun I've tapped a couple of friends - Julia Black and Jenn Hannotte - to contribute their views on design too. Enjoy!


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Entries in Susie Sheffman (2)


{that one great thing} Jan's handmade frame

I once had a landlord who mentioned that old chestnut, You scratch my back, I scratch yours while I was signing a lease, and delightfully went on to say You kick me, I kick you. Memorable, yes, but not exactly charming, so the first part - definitely not the second - came to mind when Jan Halvarson of Poppytalk kindly asked if she could grab the shot and story from Susie Sheffman's *that one great thing* pick to post on her fantastic blog. I said of course, and then proceeded to bug her into contributing one in return. So here goes!

Jan Halvarson: I have fond memories of my Swedish grandfather whittling away on a chair outside in the back deck on warm summer days. I would be playing in the yard, and he would watch me and whittle away. He made this frame, and I really don't even know the back story, nor does anyone else, but it's just always been around, following me everywhere I go; always there. And as I write this I'm realizing how profound that is. I remember it having three hearts, and I'm sure at one point there were four, but now only two remain. I love how he painted them gold, and left the rest. It's housed a favourite black and white photograph of my mother, at times my drawings and right now I love it best just left as is. Without even knowing it until now, it could very well be the inspiration to why I love handmade so much today.

In the photograph the frame is shown with a collection of found driftwood I wrapped a bit of yarn around and a crochet covered rock from artist Margie Oomen.


{that one great thing} Susie's Bahamas photo

I'd gotten to know Fashion magazine's fashion director Susie Sheffman a little over the years, mostly by bumping into her around town (as well as catching her lovely home in the Sept '08 issue of H&H). But then, in a curious case of it's-a-very-small-world, Susie's smart as a whip daughter ended up on a work placement with my other half, David. So, with that great serendipitous small-worldness in mind I thought I'd get Susie to share something for my occasional series - that one great thing.

Susie Sheffman: This is one of my all time favorite photos from my all time favorite fashion shoot EVER in Eleuthera, Bahamas. I've been styling and directing fashion shoots for almost 30 years and by the time a shoot is printed and bound I'm somewhat over it and dreaming up the next one!

But not this time.

This photograph taken by my best friend, photographer Gabor Jurina was blown up life-size, framed in white (his suggestion) and is a visual magnet in my home. Everyone who sits on my couch is immediatley drawn to and transfixed by its hypnotic power. From the deep turquoise waves (I have a water obsession) to the haunting sky and the timeless, classic appeal of model Marie Eve Nadeau, we literally sit transported. fantasizing about being there (and being her!). It's hung beside my TV, and I often catch myself watching it instead of whatever show is on.

Here's the backstory:
We named the shoot Swept Away- and trust me we almost were! What? You thought this was all calm and serenity? Trust me it was anything but! Gabor was shooting from a teey weeny dinghy, tied a few feet from the boat. The sun was rapidly going down, the waves were enormous and pitching him every which way. Both of our asssitants were rendered completely useless- lying over the side of the boat seasick and vomiting... I stood (barely hanging on) just out of camera range trying to help him, running in every 2 seconds to adjust the jewellery while bobbing up and down like an apple. Gabor smacked his head on a wayward boom and to this day I have no clue how he held onto the camera much less captured such a moment. But here you have it- one of the most tranquil, serene looking photos and one of my favorite things!