Monday, June 29, 2009

Strawberry Shortcake & friends.

We've been getting lovely red strawberries in our Spud harvest boxes for the last few weeks, and while I normally just eat them fresh (read: grabbing them out of the fridge whenever I walk past), this week I decided to be a little more fancy. Richard suggested strawberry shortcake, which I resisted at first because I didn't think that I liked it. I've never been a big scone fan at all...or cream for that matter, but hearing Richard describe the way he liked it totally had me drooling so I went out to pick up some whipping cream that very day! I used this recipe and everything turned out really perfectly! I actually really loved the scones, and ate one (or two) sans strawberries and cream. They were lovely, buttery and light, and with just the right amount of sweetness. As both the scone and cream were sweetened, I decided to use very little sugar on the strawbs so as to not go into sugar overload.

To make things even more perfect, my lovely neighbour Jeannette (if you don't already read her food blog, you should!) came down to join me on our balcony for shortcake and limonatas in the sun. So beautiful, even if I did get a little too much sun. Oh! And I got to use my new-to-me cake stand that looks like a giant doily, and is every so slightly crooked.

Such a lovely end to a somewhat grey and migraine-y weekend beginning (does that sentence even make sense? You know what I mean!). There were even enough strawberries left over to have with coconut milk ice-cream (which is AMAZING by the way) later in the evening, for our second round of visiting friends.

I love summer!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Dreaming of an escape

With the onset of the lovely summer weather (ok, aside from the last few days, but secretly I enjoy the grey and rain when I get to hang out inside under quilts), I have been dreaming of a camping trip. Its a little tricky to swing it with mine and Richard's schedules, but I have a bit of time off coming up so fingers crossed! In the meantime, and while I brush up on my road rules so that I'm able to get my BC License and am actually able to drive us some place fantastic (we're fairly staunch public transit users), I'm going to live vicariously through these beautiful images.

I can almost smell the campfire smoke and damper*cooking! I'm definitely going to start planning a trip today! Has anyone got any BC camping tips or secret spots they can reveal? I'm thinking some island hoping could be in order, or a lovely lake for morning swims!

Perhaps for now I can try something a little like this? It looks so cozy! We do have a rather large balcony...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


As I was reading Modish the other day, and taking a peek at Jena's Etsy wishlist, I came across the amazing Iluchka from Tel Aviv. Aside from the adorable clothes, I was instantly smitten with the product shots. I love the colours and the campy pop collage kinda feel to them. So good!

Oh, its all too much! I love the guns, the fluro, the glasses and the feisty looking models. I especially love doubles, and that it all looks like it has been taken on some kind of crazy set for a Lost in Space episode. Ilana Bronstein, the woman behind Iluchka, also runs a boutique in Tel Aviv and has a fantastic website that is well worth checking out.
Ok, back to work for me. This to-do list will not finish itself (no matter how had I wish for it).
Happy Wednesday!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Shop Update!

Hello! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! Ours was so nice and relaxing, just what I needed.

This is just a quick note to say that we have just listed these lovely magnets in the shop, ready for you to snap up! They're mostly made from vintage playing or game cards, and also a lovely vintage looking map of Paris, one of my favourite cities. There will be more to come over the next couple of days, enjoy!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wrap it up.

I really love packaging. A lot. It's definitely one of my favourite parts of having our shop, getting to bundle up people's purchases in pretty paper and write them a little note. It is really important to me that everyone who receives something from us loves it from the moment they get it. I know that for me, I'm always a bit bummed when I get something in the mail where it is just the item and that's it. I always do the sneaky look back in the envelope for an extra treat, but furtively so that it doesn't actually look like I'm searching for more stuff and being a wee bit greedy. So, thinking there is likely other people like me out there...or just people who deserve to get something nice, I make sure that every package we send out to people is like a present for them to unwrap.

On the other hand, I really dislike waste. Often I see something really beautifully wrapped and fall in love, only to start to wonder if there really needed to be 10 sheets of ridiculously expensive tissue paper + even more expensive wrapping paper + various ribbons (ok, maybe needed) + flowers + etc, etc, especially when I know most if not all of this is going to be thrown out. This isn't even counting the bubble wrap and envelope or box! So I've become a saver. When I was younger and friends Mums or an odd Aunt would save wrapping paper ('Don't rip it!!'), carefully peeling the tape off and folding up the pieces to be kept for later use, I thought this was a little bit funny and definitely embarrassing - but I am now that Mum! We keep all the padded envelopes and boxes we get in the mail so that we can reuse them for the store, and we also try to use as much recycled materials in our wrapping as possible.

I actually also just really enjoy doing it this way, as well as it being better for the environment (and our overly disposable tendencies as a society in general). There are so many fantastic ways to wrap goods without having to buy fancy wrapping paper, even (and some, including myself, might say especially) newspaper can look really beautiful. Here are a few of my tips...

1. Stamps. I love stamps. Hand stamping cards, addresses and wrapping paper (I love it on brown paper) is such an easy way to customize your packaging. My set of Muji alphabet stamps is something I use all.the.time. They make everything look cool. We also have a bunch of other picture stamps that we've collected or made ourselves. Making your own stamps is surprisingly easy, and it enables you to create stamps that reflect your style or brand if this is for a business-y type thing. Talk Crafty To Me has a great post with lots of tips on materials and making your own stamps here.

2.String/Yarn/Ribbon/Lace/RicRac. Again, you don't need to buy the fancy stuff to put the finishing touches on your gift wrap. Aside from string (which you can find really cheaply in Chinatown!) I thrift pretty much all of my other tie-ing supplies. These are the things I would often be buying for other crafting purposes, or because I have some kind of obsession where I cannot walk past these things. Having something pretty to tie your gift up not only makes it look fancy (and complete, I think. Even a brown paper package with string is so very sweet), but if you're careful can mean that you can use less or no tape, making it easier for the recipient to reuse the wrapping paper.

3. Old cards & postcards. I still really love to keep the cards that people give me, but in my earlier teenage years I kept every piece of cheesy correspondence I received. Going through it all (shoe box after shoe box) when I left home was both heartwarming and cringe inducing. Anyway, I've now learnt to let go and (sometimes*) reuse. I realise that some people may think cutting up the card someone sent you is a terrible thing to do, but...I'm over it. Obviously I keep the important ones! One of the best ways I've found to reuse cards is with the help of index cards (we had a BUNCH of these left over from our Spanish lessons, as we kept forgetting that the other person had bought them already). The blue card in the pictures above is actually the front of our wedding invite. We had some left over and really, what on earth do you do with unused wedding invites?? I love that image so much, its actually a linocut that Richard carved and printed (can you imagine the level of patience needed?!) which we then sent to the printer. I wanted to have cute note cards to write to people on, and so I cut the front off and pasted an index card on the back, cutting off the excess index card with an exacto/craft knife. Perfect! You can do this with old cards or images you have, and you can even sometimes find these thrifting if you're lucky! Doing this means you can save money by not having to buy or get note cards printed, and it also saves paper.

Right, now I actually have some wrapping to do so I best get to it! I hope this was helpful, and perhaps a little inspiring!

*I say sometimes because I don't think you should feel like you have to reuse everything just for the sake of reusing. For example, dolphin wrapping paper? You will be recycled.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


The very lovely Danni from Oh, Hello Friend (her equally lovely blog!) is hosting a giveaway of one of our Embroidery hoop chalkboards! She has also done a little interview with the two of us where I gush about how much I love working with Richard. You can details on how to enter here, along with how you can get free shipping on anything in our store for this week only!

Thanks Danni!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A bit of a break.

via chaps1

We had family fly in from New Zealand last Friday, and so the internet has been put on the back burner for a bit. Aside from it being more than lovely to hang out with them, it has kind of forced Richard and I to take a bit of a break. We've been spending the days enjoying the sun, eating lots of yummy summer fruit and other treats brought over from my Dad's vineyard back home (chardonnay mustard!), getting out in the garden and planning a Seattle road trip. So good.

So, I might be a bit quieter over the next few days, I'm enjoying going with the flow and fitting in as much quality time as possible. I'll be back though!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Beer and Knitting. Yes please.

My needles and yarn have been rather neglected lately, with the onset of warmer weather and doing lots of crafting of a more non-knitted variety. I have been missing it though, and excitedly tomorrow I will get the chance to meet up with some of my favourite crafty ladies to grab a pint and get making. If you're in Vancouver, you should definitely come along! Here are the details...

What? Vancouver Craft Mafia monthly Stitch 'n Bitch
Where? The Brick House bar, 730 Main Street (between Union and Georgia, east side of the street)
When? 8pm-10ish
How much? Free of course!

The Brick House is a favourite little spot of mine. Totally out of control decor, it kind of looks like somebodies rec room, but lots of comfy couches and some good beer. You don't have to knit, you can bring any kind of art or craft project that you like, or even just bring yourself and have a chat.

Hope to see you there!