unexpected guests: uppercase magazine.
today on unexpected guests we’re headed up to chilly calgary, canada, but this home is anything but cold. it’s the warm and cheerful home of Janine Vangool, publisher of UPPERCASE magazine, her husband novelist Glen Dresser, their toddler Finley and Percy the dog. Janine publishes the beautiful Uppercase magazine, as well as incredibly inventive books for the creative and curious. Their 800 square foot home, built in 1912, is full of bright art, books and magazines and especially full of creativity. A couple of years ago Janine and Glen took the Scandinavian aesthetic to heart (inspired by a visit to Sweden to work on The Suitcase Series with artist Camilla Engman) and painted everything white, installed Ikea gloss laminate flooring as well as floor to ceiling bookcases. I think they got it quite right — their home just exudes charm. janine featured my old home in the current issue of uppercase, so today we’re turning the tables — have a look around.
What part of Calgary do you live in, and what are a few of your favorite things to do in your neighborhood?
We live in the Sunnyside neighbourhood of Calgary — we’re just a block from the river so easy access to river pathways. There’s a nice park just a block away, for our son Finley (he’s almost three) to enjoy. To the north, there’s a bluff with more nice places to walk around and for our dog Percy to enjoy some off-leash time. If you follow me on instagram, I’m always taking photos on my walk to work through Prince’s Island Park; it is nice to have some natural spaces to experience and contrast with the high rises of downtown Calgary.
Do you have a secret spot or off the beaten path place you think we should know about?
If you’re visiting Calgary, make a point of visiting Vendome. It is an excellent coffeeshop and cafe a few blocks from our house—you might find me editing UPPERCASE there or my husband writing his next novel.
What are your top three etsy, handmade or online shops?
Urban Legend: I have three of her necklaces made from upcycled vintage beads.
I just bought a stack of vintage fabric from Nehi and Zotz.
The height chart inspired by vintage tape measures is from this Canadian Etsy shop, Kims Sister.
What’s your favorite possession?
That’s difficult to answer… I’m a person who likes “stuff” and “things”. Perhaps my favourite possession is really my growing collection of typewriter-related memorabilia and artifacts. En masse, they have inspired a lot of projects. My colourful typewriters from the 1950s have become UPPERCASE mascots of sorts.
What five things can’t you live without?
I can’t live without stacks of books and magazines around me. Wherever I happen to sit, I like to be able to reach over and grab something interesting to read or admire. My laptop and phone are vital to my piece of mind and for getting things done. And I supposed I can’t live without my huge Orla bag which can hold a surprising amount of things. I bring it everywhere.
If you could interview anyone in the world for UPPERCASE, who would it be?
hmmm… we’ll I’ve contacted Orla Kiely twice to no avail. Perhaps I should keep trying?
What bores you to death?
With a smart and active toddler, novelist husband and all my projects constantly swirling about in my mind, I’m not someone who gets bored. Sometimes, I guess, I get bored of having too much to do!