Friday, August 21, 2009

The Gong Show

via spinning pieces

Just a quick little note on where I've been over the past few days. Sadly I have not been wrapped up in orders, writing and all the other work I've had to do as not only has our laptop broken but I also came down with the most awful stomach bug. Amazing timing, ha.

After being up all night with my head in a bucket (lovely image, I know) and the most out of control hair-do by the end of it, I was totally worn out and ended up sleeping a total of 21 hours in a day!

Thankfully I felt much more normal today when I woke up, although after an outing to the post office and video store for more Deadwood episodes, I'm feeling a little fragile again. Fingers crossed both the laptop* and I are back in action by Monday, I have work to do!

I hope you all have a lovely weekend!


*Right now I'm using our rather old desk top, which I am thankful for...but it tortures me. It is so painful to type on, doing that thing where the words take awhile to register on the screen as you type them, or sometimes the cursor jumps back to the beginning of the word. Just for fun!

Monday, August 17, 2009

In the thick of it all.

This was my view earlier in the day as I was quickly checking my emails (and twitter, and google reader...) this afternoon, and trying to pull myself back up the off the bed and get to work on my ever growing to do list. All I could think of was how jealous I was of Grayling getting to lounge about in the sun all day. He looks so comfy and content, lucky thing. We have been so crazy busy over the last few months it seems, and with Richard going back to work this it just feels like we have that much less time to get all the things done that we need to! I always feel kind of bad for complaining when we're busy, partly because I know I do it to myself and even more because the fact that we're busy with store stuff means that we're doing well - and that's a good thing! I guess I just feel a little overwhelmed by it all, and that maybe that going on one of those reality tv shows where your house gets cleaned out and organised wouldn't be such a bad idea after all. In saying all this, I really do love the things I am doing at the moment and I consider myself really lucky to be able to be doing something I love. If only my computer would stop eating documents and the internet would remain un-sketchy. That would help.

Ok, pity party over!

In happier news, we finally released a new product this week that we've been working on for awhile. Being the bibliophiles that we are, anything bookish strikes our fancy. We are also both big lovers of wood, and so looking through Richard's wood veneer collection we decided that they would make beautiful and long lasting bookmarks. No more dog eared books for us! Or you, if you'd like to pick one up over here. They're made from two different species of wood each, so that you get two beautiful grains and to make the bookmarks nice and strong. We've then added a little vintage image on them all from various books and paper ephemera we've collected, to peek out the top of your read. I'm really loving the birdseye maple grain that is on the front of this one! You can also find them over on our Poppytalk Handmade 'School Days' Market table, along with chalkboards and writing slates. Be sure to look around the market, as there is many a treat to be found!

Alright, before I leave I wanted to say a quick thank you and hello to the new readers who have been leaving me such lovely comments. I absolutely love hearing from you, and my hope is that this blog is a two way conversation between myself and all of you. I have yet to respond to your comment, or visit you at your blog space I promise I am coming soon! I also wanted to say thank you to the following few lovelies who have featured us on their blogs recently. This means a great deal to us, and we get rather excited when we see it! Please go and check out these blogs, some new and some old, they're all fantastic! Paper & Vintage, The Design Alphabet, On The Dot Creations, Hudsonny & the love Zoe from Conversation Pieces for bestowing a little award on this here blog!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Lemony Soda

It is no secret around these parts that lemon soda is weakness of mine. I've sampled all sorts, some too sweet, some not citrus-y enough, some with not quite the right ratio of lemon to lime or to soda. I must say that Limonata is by far my favourite. There is only a hint of sweetness, and is so perfectly sour and sharply fizzy. It's all I ever want when it is hot out, so imagine my excitement when Jeannette told me that she had made her own limonata. Um, sounds like perfection! I'd mused over making my own lemon soda of some sort before, but the call of San Pellegrino was too strong. It turns out it is incredibly easy, and truly does taste just like the soda! Because I don't like it too sweet there isn't much sugar involved, and the sugar that is used is agave nectar so all the better for us. Needless to say, I went out to grab some club soda and got straight to it. Now I'm totally hooked! If you are partial to a sour and citrus-y drop, then I highly recommend whipping up a glass or two!

Homemade Lemon Soda (h/t Jeannette)

- 1 glass club soda

- juice of one lemon

- 1 or 2 tablespoons of agave nectar to taste

Mix it all together and that's it! I found that the agave sinks to the bottom a bit, so its a good idea to give it a few stirs as you're drinking (and not keep adding more agave as I initially did), which probably means you'll have to buy some fun swizzle sticks to go with! Yum! (Also, as I've recently found out that the devil Nestle are the distributors of Limonata in North America, which is such a bummer and makes me want to steer clear of it, although I will confess that I had it this morning at breakfast with Diandra...)

Oh, and that would be cherry pie up in the corner of the shot. Such a perfect combo!

I hope you're all gearing up for a lovely weekend, we're going to be busy over here! Lots of orders to fill, products to photograph, bags to be sewn, and the like. It's the last few days of the Home Sweet Home housewares market over at Poppytalk (be sure to check it out before it finishes, there are so many lovely things), but as we have loved it so much we'll be staying on for the Back To School one which starts Monday.

Happy weekend sweets, I'm off to cut up burlap sacks!


Monday, August 10, 2009

Le Poulpe

The youngest of the two wee girls I look after turned three this past week, so Richard and I decided to make her a new friend for her 'big girl bed'. She is pretty much one of the funniest kids I know, tells me stories that last for hours (usually with her hands on her hips, her head cocked to the side and one eye half closed. It's serious stuff), prefers trucks to princesses and I think will forever call me 'my Pecka'. A thrift store scarf, some fabric scraps, felt and a few buttons later we had Olivier, the French octopus. I'm not really sure how he became French, but I just felt that the moustache looked much more dapper than lips. It was a real team effort, with Richard hand sewing that jaunty beret!

Next up, we drew the names for the stationary giveaway today! It was so lovely hearing from you about your stationary loves. I must agree with Miss Gourmet Traveller about teachers and stationary, the day I got to go shopping for my first classroom was a very exciting one, indeed! Anyway, the winners are...
I will send you all an email shortly to get the address for sending your goodies too. It's rather rainy out, so I'm off to curl up on the couch with my book and a cuppa.
Happy Monday!

Sunday, August 9, 2009


This weekend has been lovely and lazy, filled with blackberries (my favourite!), a bit of thrifting, milkshakes and long lie-ins. Thanks so much for all your blog birthday well wishes! I haven't actually drawn a name yet, but I promise to do so tomorrow morning and let you all know quick smart! Before I get back to Deadwood (we've just started the series after many a recommendation) and my glass of wine, I thought I'd give you a glimpse into what we've been up to.

From the top: clock making, teeny grape eating, reading in bed, fresh blueberry pancakes, Werthers Originals and The Templeton greasy spoon for milkshakes and portabello mushroom burgers. Yum.

I hope your weekends were lovely and relaxing, also!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sweet Mother K.D.

The first time I heard the voice of Karen Dalton, I thought it was some bare bones obscure Billie Holiday track that I had never heard before. I definitely wasn't expecting to find a banjo player from the Greenwich Village folk scene when I started researching her. It led to an interesting conversation with Richard over what is considered black music vs. white music, and then cross overs and collaborations, which could be a whole other post. In the years since then she has become one of my absolute favourites, right up there with Joni, so when I stumbled across the newly released 'It's So Hard to Tell Who's Going to Love You the Best' at a local record store the other week, I snapped it up. I'll admit that up until now my listening has been limited what I could find to download, but having it played on vinyl is just too good. Her voice both gives me chills and breaks my heart at the same time, and the first time I put the record on it actually made me want to cry. Mushy, I know! She's just that good. I'm so happy to have found a video of her performing that I can share with you all, but before that here's a quote I found about her by Peter Stampfel of the Holy Modal Rounders,

"She was the only folk singer I ever met with an authentic 'folk' background. She came to the folk music scene under her own steam, as opposed to being 'discovered' and introduced to it by people already involved in it."

Performing with a very young Bob Dylan, and (I think!) Fred Neil

Sadly, she struggled with drug and alcohol abuse for many years, and eventually died of AIDS in 1993. I hope you enjoy the track, it is taken from a French documentary that was filmed in NYC in 1969.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Happy Birthday to us!

It is my one year blogiversary today! Like I mentioned yesterday, I very nearly missed it as I was pretty sure that it was on Saturday for some reason. I celebrated with a little slice of lemon tart (my favourite!) and some new notebooks from Yoko Yaya (partly because I can't help myself) which are too cute and funny. I love that one says 'When you wish to share what's deep in your heart'. Exactly what a notebook is for!

When I first started this blog, I wasn't sure that I would be able to keep it up over time to be honest, but I have come to really love it. That first entry is so terrifying, not knowing if anyone will ever read or care about what you write, trying to figure out how to sound like yourself and still make sense to everyone! For sure the best part about keeping this blog has been all the amazing people I've met. Yes, that means you! When I first moved to Vancouver as a rather shy wee thing, the online crafty community was totally my saving grace. That's totally the beauty of this blogging world, being able to connect with like minded people and sharing your lives with them. Anabela and I talked about this a little while back, how we both talk about bloggers as if we know them while most of our real life friends would think we're crazy for doing so, but that is really how it feels to me, like we're just one giant group of friends!
So, speaking of Yoko Yaya, it is pretty much one of my favourite shops. Its like a little baby Daiso (the giant Japanese dollar store) and it is virtually impossible for me to leave there with out some kind of stationary, fruit scented highlighters or dog shaped markers. Obviously, there are only so many notebooks a girl needs (or so Richard says) and secretly I think part of me just loves the shopping experience. This, my friends, is good for you because I would like to celebrate my blogiversary by sending out some stationary packs to a few lucky readers! All you need to do is comment and tell me what your favourite item of stationary is. I'll admit that I saw this question on Found Paper Co. as part of their customer appreciation week, but really stationary is one of my absolute loves/obsessions and I can't wait to hear about yours!
I'll leave the entries open until midnight Friday August 7th, bring on the stationary love!
p.s. We have started a newsletter for the store/blog, that will let you know when sales, new stuff and giveaways are coming up. There will even be some secret squirrel subscriber sales! Go here if you'd like to sign up!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Crafty Goodness

Seattle was so much fun! We headed out early-ish Saturday morning, only to have a 2 hour wait at the border, but the car company (and lets be honest, air conditioning) was so good that it wasn't really that much of a big deal. I travelled down there with Kim, Lili and Rhiannon and while there was a lot of car time, it was actually really nice being able to hang out and chat with a bunch of girlfriends - awesome crafty ones at that! They even gave me my first real taste of Taco Bell, which was both terrifying and sadly delicious at the same time. I feel like in the past 6 months or so I've really made some great friends here and have been pushing myself to get out and meet people a little more. It's tricky for a homebody like myself! Not that I ever didn't like Vancouver, but it has made me all the more content and happy with my life here now that I've found fun and like minded people to hang out with. So good.

Anyway, we ended up spending about 3 hours or so at Urban Craft Uprising which I would never have thought possible! Not only did I pick up some sweet stuff, I also got to meet some sweet people. A little while ago The Berkleys and us set up a swap, and being the slacker I've been lately I finally had their stuff ready to take down to them this weekend. Which, secretly was a good thing because it meant I got to meet them in person and find out just how lovely and funny they really are (plus I picked up this super sweet* print for Richard). I also got to meet Jenny Hart of Sublime Stitching fame, who is also very lovely, and chat with her a little about the Daniel Johnston embroidery patterns which I had somehow never seen before but are weirdly fantastic!

Naturally, there was also much shopping to be done. I picked up those cute brooches up the top from Mucho Design and Schmancy. I really love that little twig! Next up are little business card holders from Mugwump. I love that quote on Richard's one, which I'm pretty sure is from an Edward Gorey book from the looks of it. I very nearly got one made from a map of New Zealand, but the hydrangea one was just so much prettier! Sorry, Stewart Island.

We decided to play Secret Santa on the way home, to beat the traffic boredom, and all had to buy a $5 gift for someone else in the car. Of course, there was no traffic on the way home just to spite us so we exchanged gifts while driving. Rebels, I know. I was lucky enough to get this fantastic notebook from Lili, that is made out of a vintage dictionary! The best part is that they've kept some of the old dictionary pages in which is both cute and potentially useful!
Alrighty, I'm so very tired and listening to some whacked out version of Benny and The Jets on youtube. Does anyone else do that, use youtube kind of like a radio? Hmm. Anyway time for bed for sure. Tomorrow is my 1 year bloggiversary, so look out for a fun giveaway or the like. To be honest, I thought the anniversary was on Saturday so I have no idea what I'm doing yet, but it will be good!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Long weekend love (psst! there is free shipping involved!).

It's a long weekend here in B.C., and in a few minutes I'll be heading down to Seattle to enjoy the start of it! I love road trips, and am secretly really excited about being in an air conditioned car for a few hours, ha! Also, I get to hang out with fun crafty ladies and visit Urban Craft Uprising (excited!) to shop for handmade goodness. Excitedly, Richard has just started his two week vacation time, so I'm hoping this is the first of many a summer day trip!

Because vacation time and road trips excite us to no end, I thought we'd to a little promotion in the shop to celebrate! Any purchase made between now and midnight on Monday will receive free shipping! All you need to do is make the purchase like normal, but instead of paying wait for us to send you an updated invoice and you're done! Easy, hey? We hope to add a few more clocks over the weekend, and there is also another secret project that Richard has been working on involving wood veneer and an old encyclopedia to look out for!

I hope you're all having a lovely weekend!