Friday, February 26, 2010

Happy Friday!

French toast with raspberry preserves and blackberries, from here

We're having people over for a potluck brunch tomorrow, and along with some yummy fruits and pancakes I'm thinking I might try making some vegan french toast. It is hands down my favourite brunch food (although is sometimes tied with something more savoury like a root hash or the polenta from Rhizome. Ok, I just really like brunch) but I have yet to try making my own vegan version of it. I'll admit I'm a little afraid that I'll be disappointed with an egg-free version but I've got some soft and crusty bread so should probably just give it a go!

I hope you all have lovely weekends, any exciting plans? I'm going to a gardening class on Sunday with a friend, can't wait!


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

WIP Wednesday: Tea Time, a break in a productive day.

Today is my day off from my day jobs and let me tell you, I've been getting stuff done! Crossing things off a to-do list is so satisfying, don't you think? Right now I'm taking a quick tea break, nibbling on these Chewy Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies (with some vegan white chocolate we picked up at Karmavore, they're pretty sweet though so I think I'll halve the sugar next time) and listening to a CBC podcast on Jean-Michel Basquiat. I'm sitting at my writing desk in our bedroom and looking out over a grey and gloomy Vancouver, enjoying being inside with the lights on and feeling cozy. When I was little one of my most favourite things was being at school on a rainy day and having the lights on during the daytime, it seemed both cozy and exciting at the same time, like being out after dark. Soon we'll be heading off to meet some friends and go on a tour of our neighbourhood, Chinatown, one of Vancouver's oldest neighbourhoods. Laundromats and pawnshops, I'm excited!

Shop Update & Spring Cleanin'

At long last, a shop update! Four new embroidery hoop clocks made from some of my favourite fabrics yet, and a bunch of new wooden bookmarks are now available in the shop. As always, all our bookmark images are taken from collected vintage paper ephemera (and most often a very old encyclopedia from the 1800's), and you can now choose from a gramophone, a typewriter, a bee, a music stand and some floral ornamentation (not sure what to call this, suggestions?) that is used to break up chapters in said encyclopedia. We've also been finding some really beautiful veneer lately, which I've been meaning to photograph to show you on here so perhaps I'll get to that today. I'm a sucker for wood grain.

Because Spring is coming, and because we have some new products in the works I've also created a new sale section where everything has been marked down by 25%! I most likely won't be re-listing these items once they've sold, unless someone is completely heartbroken that they missed out! Plus, for an extra treat there will be free shipping for all you lovely readers on everything in that section from now until the end of the month (Sunday Feb 28th, midnight PST). Simply enter the code 'Spring Cleaning' at the checkout and I will send you a revised receipt!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday Morning Goodness

The start of my little window sill garden, ready to be potted and soaking up the sun.

Morning! I hope you've all had lovely, relaxing weekends! We've been so lucky with the weather in Vancouver lately and this weekend was no exception. Beautiful blue skies and sunshine (sorry the rest of North America!), and for the most part I've been able to go coat free! So after a lovely brunch on Saturday morning with a bunch of local knitters, Richard and I ditched the inside chores and headed out for the day. It's amazing how much this weather can really lift my mood! We went out to Karmavore to pick up some vegan treats and cheese and then wandered around New West a bit to take a look at some thrift stores. Living downtown during the Olympics, it was really nice to get out of the city for a bit of a breather.

~ Mondays Mix, 'Here Comes the Sun' to celebrate soaking up some Vitamin D and to hopefully inject some sunshine into the more wintery areas of the world!

~ I made these delicious treats over the weekend with our vegan marshmallows and oh goodness were they good! The brown butter and salt combo? Amazing!

~ I'm really hoping I can snag myself a utility pouch soon (although perhaps a linen one), they're flying out of the store though so I think I'll have to camp out if she makes more!

~ We've spent some time in this community over the past week or so, trying to raise awareness about the lack of homes in Vancouver and the lack of a National Housing Project in Canada. For me it has been the best thing I've seen during the Winter Olympics.

Alright, off to (hopefully) catch a bus! I hope Monday is good to you!


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

WIP Wednesday: Petit Artiste

One of the wee girls I nanny has shown an amazing interest in art recently, so when her birthday rolled around last week I knew just what to get her. Having her own 'real' paints & brushes, a palette, some canvasses and little tote that I sewed up to keep them all in was so exciting for her, and watching her explore it all was just as exciting for me. I'm a firm believer that we are all experts in different fields, no matter what our age, and that we should use the correct 'titles' if you will whether someone is a child or not, so when she told me that she loved being an artist my heart totally melted.

Oh, also? If you're following along with WIP Wednesday, but either blogging about it or taking photos of works in progress, be sure to add them to the Flickr group so we can all take a peek! After last weeks post talking about my craft group I was thinking how lovely it would be for us to be able to get together and share what we're working on virtually, via Flickr. So join up!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday Morning good-ess

Happy Monday everyone, I hope it is treating you well! I took these photos recently while out walking. It's actually the front lawn of a house I often walk pass, and all of a sudden it was full of blooming crocuses. I had visions of the family who live here throwing out seeds in the fall then waiting and watching to see what became of them, so beautiful and exactly the kind of front lawn I hope to one day have.

I hope you all had a lovely weekend, things have been crazy busy here in Vancouver with the beginning of the Olympics! We tried to stay out of the madness for the most part, but did venture out for some Winter Farmers Market shopping, more samosas and baking supplies for these (but with dark chocolate, mmm).

And now, for some link love to get your Monday going...

~ Monday Morning Mix, something a little dreamy.

~ I cannot get enough of this song, from one of my favourite ladies. Counting down until the new album!

~ A new Poppytalk Handmade Market! International Arts and Crafts fair is the new theme, and there is a lot of great stuff like this and this.

~ The latest Blog it Forward post on Bread of Many (I know I said in my previous post that it was going to be the next day...then I realised the next day was Saturday).

~ Fantastic Stephen King movie posters by Nick Tassone (Erin's beau! Talented couple, that).

~ letters to dead people.

~ A sweet giveaway from the lovely Naomi of The Gluttonous Vegan, a handwritten and illustrated recipe book! In a pretty embroidered notebook, too.

Have a wonderful day all!

Friday, February 12, 2010

What inspires me.

Six Day in Nelson and Cantebury, Colin McCahon (found here). I chose this because Colin McCahon tells
his story so, so well. Whenever I see his work I am instantly home.

First of all, please forgive me for posting my Blog It Forward post so late in the day! The only real excuse I can give is that I was so overwhelmed by the idea of putting 'what inspires me' into one post that I couldn't bring myself to start it and not have any idea where I was going. I feel like I'm ready for it now though, so here goes!

Last night I read the beautiful post over at Blissful Thinking and was really struck by how she touched on something that had been on my mind, ever since starting to think on this post, that is being inspired by....well, people (I'd recommend going over and reading the post, it's a bit more specific than just 'people', but you'll see what I mean). When contemplating what inspired me I was going back and forth between focusing on big, overarching themes or the smaller, more specific inspirations I see around me. There is so much that I'm inspired by daily, a particular song, a certain design sense, a perfect quote, beauty captured on film, my family, my friends...but chronicling all of that would take forever. When I thought about it, it all came back to people. I am inspired by people, and more specifically, people telling their stories. I have always loved storytelling, I love getting lost in someone else's ideas and worlds and getting a sense of connection to someone else, be it in person or not, is such a fantastic feeling.

Kurt Vonnegut once took a break from writing because he was frustrated with the tradition structure of storytelling. The idea of there being primary characters and secondary characters didn't sit well with him, because in reality there are no secondary characters. People are not secondary characters, everybody's story is just as valid as the next person. One of the things I love about the internet, is that in many ways it has brought us closer, and we can share our lives and stories with a wider audience. People are sharing their stories through the photo's they take, the blog posts they write, the treasures they create with their hands, through angry op-ed articles, in music written and recorded in someones bedroom, by podcasts with everyday people being given a voice and and their stories validated as interesting and important. We are invited into people's homes on design tours, we are taught by others & movements are grown.

It isn't just limited to the internet though, going to the library, meeting up with friends, marching in protest , watching independent film
, seeing a band play, chatting to someone on the bus, all inspire me as I get a glimpse into the world of someone else.

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that you inspire me. Community inspires me. Authenticity and openness inspires me. Sharing ourselves with each other inspires me. The excitement of others inspires me. Because it's all like I'm being told a wonderful story, and I can continue to get lost in the many ideas and worlds being shared around me.

For more inspiration, be sure to check out tomorrow's post over at the lovely Bread of Many. I hope you all have a lovely weekend!


Thursday, February 11, 2010

WIP Wednesday: Crafting community

Rhiannon's amazing hexagonal blanket, Jackie cutting paper for buttons, some bedsocks I'm working on.

I headed out to Rhizome this earlier this evening to meet up with some other crafty folk and drink beer, eat amazing food (oh my goodness miso rice bowl and chi cake to follow, yum), chat and make together. I love these evenings, seeing what everyone else is working on, swapping tips, helping each other figure out where they've gone wrong in a pattern or giving an opinion on what fabric to match with what, and generally getting a chance to spend time with other like minded people, it's such a treat. Going to events like these since moving to Vancouver has actually been where I met people who I now count as dear friends and this is by far my favourite part. There is something really special about getting together to create, and watching a community form is something I cherish.

Do any of you have a local craft meet up, or bunch of friends you get together and make with? Perhaps you could start one! There are craft mafias
and Brown Owl groups all over, I'm sure there will be something to strike your fancy if you're interested. I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

(Almost) lost Salt Spring Photos

I did figure out how to get some of the potentially lost photos from Salt Spring Island off our camera, but completely forgot to post them here so thought I would share them with you know. They make me want to go back as soon as we can, there is something so magical about the light there.

Hope you're having a lovely Tuesday!

p.s. have you seen this lovely desktop calendar? I cleaned up my desktop especially so I could have this little piece of art to look at.

Monday, February 8, 2010

After a conversation on twitter amongst some lovely blogger friends a week or so ago about a giant blog collaboration or 'community' day of action, the idea of 'Blogging It Forward' was born. Victoria over at sfgirlbybay did an absolutely amazing job of putting this together, organising 300 bloggers who will all be writing about what inspires them over the next month or so.

Basically it is going to be like a kind of progressive dinner or relay, we've all been divided up into 10 groups and starting Wednesday on 10 different blogs each blogger will write about inspiration, and then link to the next person in line. If you want to follow along, you can see the schedule here. I'm up on Friday, and I'm sure there's going to be a lot of amazing posts to check out!

Monday morning good-ness.

Sometimes, not always, Monday mornings can be a little tough. So I've decided that each Monday I would share a little list of things with you that are making me happy, to perhaps brighten up the start to the week.

~ Monday Morning Mix: I made you a mix tape, 'A little bit 'o Soul' with some of my favourite ladies and perhaps one of the best song (and now mix tape) openings ever, in my opinion. A sing a long with any of these gals always makes my day that little bit brighter

~ Pretty pyrite necklaces, found via Erin. I quickly snapped one of these up and can't wait to see which one I get!

~ Reading through the Married To The Sea archives and giggling (ok, sometimes guffawing) to myself.

~ The sweetest (and free!) printable Valentines candy bar wrappers from Nice Package, natch.

~ Hearing that $6000+ was raised for Haiti Relief at the Vancouver Vegan Bake Sale last week. Perhaps there is a bake sale in your area, or perhaps you'd like to organise one yourself! Take a look here for more info.

~ Thinking about whipping up a second batch of raspberry scones. Seriously, the combination of berries and coconut oil? To die for.

Hope your week is off to a lovely start!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A thing of beauty is a joy forever

I finally got to see Bright Star last week and it was every bit as good as I was hoping it would be. I love Jane Campion (An Angel at My Table is a favourite) and knew that I would be in for a visual treat. Aside from the beautiful love story and a lovely Abby Cornish (and me bawling at the end), the film was just so incredibly stunning to look at. The colours, the natural lighting, the wide sweeping so good! There were so many moments where I actually did a little gasp and how beautiful the shot was so I thought I would share with you some of my favourites.

I hope you're all having lovely weekends wherever you are. I've spent mine sleeping in, lazying about in bed chatting to my bestie Jayne who is living in Edinburgh, eating bananas on toast and drinking tea. Soon we'll be off to a Waitangi Day celebration at a nearby pub to drink a beer or two, have a chip butty or two and no doubt listen to The Exponents.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

WIP Wednesday: Wooden bunting (and where I've been)

Wooden bunting in the making, soon to be in the shop!

Why hello there! We've been a mix of busy and a little under the weather over here, hence my absence for the past wee while. After an initial quiet few days, people went completely nuts over our guitar picks (huge thanks to Jan for featuring them on Poppytalk, I have no doubt this lead to the many orders!) and we were rushing to keep up so everyone could give them to their Valentines on time. Hence almost all of the weekend sitting in the living room, blender penning, sanding, cutting, packaging and watching some great movies (almost all of which made me cry).

I've started a Flickr group for WIP Wednesdays, if you'd like to join. Hopefully I will be able to figure out how to edit it soon so it can have it's own photo (and no spelling mistakes, argh). It's all pretty loose, mostly I'm just really interested in seeing how people make and create, their processes and what finding satisfaction and beauty in something that is unfinished. It doesn't necessarily have to be a craft project, it could be a meal, a drawing, an outfit...anything! If you do play along on your blog, let me know as I'd love to see!

I hope you're all having a lovely week!