Wednesday, March 31, 2010

WIP Wednesday: Errands

After reading this post over on Enhabiten, I decided that I would walk my errands today instead of taking the bus. I even put this crazy pedometer app on my iPhone so I could see how far I walked, how many calories burned, how long it takes, etc. Really I mostly care about the steps and distance as I am terrible at guessing measurements of any kind and as soon as I get into the thousands it sounds really exciting and impressive to me, haha. I'm lucky to live in a really pretty neighbourhood which makes going for walks all the more enticing, especially at this time of year with the rambling flowers all over the place.

I actually have some more errands to run, including picking up a package from the post office (yay! mail!) and going to meet with a lovely local woman to talk about craft as activism, which excites me to no end. But first, have you seen these bird houses over at My Love For You? So great! Meighan always has such fantastic stuff on her blog and I really love her Process series, as you know I'm all about the work in progress. See more here!

Monday, March 29, 2010



I've been dreaming a lot of vacationing lately, trying to make an effort to get out of the city a little more, even just as a day trip. Or even finding more pockets in the city where I can escape a little. Unfortunately the weather at the moment has made me want to do nothing more than stay in bed or under quilts on the couch! Not that it would be much warmer where these photos were taken, but that icey blue and open, empty expanse are totally fueling my desire to...just go! For now I'll just dream and get lost in the rest of coquinete's incredible photo stream.

Happy Tuesday, friends!

Unplugged weekend & cozy feet.

via here

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Get up to anything exciting? I actually spent the majority of my weekend on the couch, in sweats and slippers, stitching away at our current wholesale order. Stitch, stitch, stitch. Even Richard joined in after he had finished building a guitar pedal out of an old sewing machine pedal (clever boy, that one). I've never really been much of a slippers gal, that is until my Grandma sent me some from New Zealand for Christmas and they're just about the softest things ever and now I'm obsessed. Seriously, when I put them on I may literally sigh. Having warm (not too cold, not too hot), cozy feet is one of the best feelings ever I think.

Ok, I must head to the store for more thread. We ran out last night and I was forced to bake brownies for a hot fudge sundae instead. Here's an unplugged Monday's Mix for you to start off your week. Be warned, we watched a lot of Big Love this weekend and have a general love for old timey music, so there is banjos and resonator guitars aplenty.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

WIP Wednesday: Woodgrain stitching

Currently working on completing a pretty large wholesale order, which involves a whole lot of stitching. Thankfully I enjoy it, and can do it on the couch in the sun while I listen to podcasts. Speaking of podcasts, you must listen to The Moth podcast with Starlee Kine about Radical Honesty. Oh man, it was hilarious and disturbing in the best way. You can find it for free on iTunes!

Oh, if you're not sure what this WIP Wednesday business is you can take a peek at the Flickr group here and perhaps join in yourself. It's pretty loose, and definitely not limited to crafty endeavours, but more about enjoying and finding the beauty in the process and not just a finished piece.

Hope you're well!


There's not much more that says Spring to me than daffodils. Often when I was younger and my Grandma would pick us up from school, we'd drive home through One Tree Hill to see if there were any lambs yet and the image of the babies jumping through fields and daffodils in the park's gardens is such a strong one in my mind. They also almost always make me think of that scene in the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory where Willy Wonka drinks tea out of one and then eats it like candy. Oh man, I wanted that to come true in my life so badly!

Thanks so much for all your kind comments and encouragement about our bunting! It's so good to finally have that done and listed! I hope your days are going well, we're lucky enough to have the sun out again here so I should really get up and enjoy it. I'm still fighting this cold (and an ear infection, ack!) but I'm sure the sun would be a great cure all. I'll be back later with a WIP Wednesday!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Now in stock!

Hooray! Finally the bunting is listed and up for grabs in the shop! There are both pre-made ones and custom orders, including a lovely wedding banner. I'm actually not totally thrilled with how the wedding banner photographed. The dark wood is so, so lovely in real life but is tricky to see in the picture so I think I'll re-do that this week. But for now, please go take a peek! They are all made with recycled wood veneer and cotton bias tape that is often thrifted. I hope you like them!


Tiny portraits

I have a bit of a thing for old portraits. Recently Richard spied this little pendant while doing some Ebay wheeling and dealing so snapped it up for me. Apparently it was bought from an estate sale of the woman in the top photo, and the bottom photo is her mother. Now I've just got to find myself a chain for it (and for a few other things actually, currently I'm just rotating pendants), but I'm excited to wear this little piece of family history around my neck!

Oh, and check out who sent it to us.


Staying in.

Despite grand plans for gardening, bike riding and birthday partying this weekend, I ended up spending it mostly in bed with a nasty cold (seriously, I feel like I've been perpetually sick this past year). It was pretty nice having a lazy weekend however, and we did venture out on Sunday to do a major bulk stock up at Famous Foods, making it home just in time to beat a downpour and cozy back up with some library books on the bed. Can I just say that if you're in Vancouver and have never been to Famous Foods you absolutely must go! It can be a little pricey, but they have such an incredible selection of natural foods. There is pretty much every herb, spice, root, tea, grain that you can imagine and now our pantry (read: cupboard above the sink) is organised and stocked with mason jars full of beans, lentils, organic sugars, grits for polenta and the like. It feels good.

This weekend found myself getting lost in the recent photos of India in this incredible flickr stream. Also? The latest installment in Ebony's Tokyo Guide. I can't wait for the official guide to come out, especially as Tokyo is somewhere we hope to be heading to in the not to distant future. Oh, one last thing. After seeing this stunning pysanka I have become obsessed with trying this myself. I'm pretty sure I have in fact done this or something like it before, but mostly likely in primary school and as much as I like to imagine myself full of patience and a delicate hand but I'm not so sure. Anyone tried it?

How were your weekends? Get up to anything exciting? Here's some tunes for your Monday morning (not mine this time, but this gal has some great taste. I love all her mixes!) , I hope it starts your week off well!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Just quickly...

Just a quick note to say that the wooden bunting photo shoot went really, really well yesterday. I am so happy with the results and can't wait to share them all with you! Maya really was the best model, and I couldn't be happier with how the dress worked in the photos. Once we were done shooting we sat around drinking tea and eating raspberry crumb cake with the sun streaming in. Not a bad day at all!

WIP Wednesday: Ink Spots

Over the weekend I played around with some india ink and some stamping methods I'd been wanting to try. There is something really satisfying about how jet black that ink is on the white card. What have you been working on lately? Be it crafty, foody or something a little more abstract, perhaps you'd like to share it with us on your blog or over here.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Smart ladies

Through the magic of the internet I've been lucky enough to have met a whole bunch of smart & creative ladies who are doing what they love, building businesses and generally working really hard to be able to do so. One such lady is the lovely Jen, who has just this past Friday opened up her shop Hound for business! While I really enjoy sewing, making actual clothes to be worn by myself is still a little ways off, let alone drafting patterns, so the idea of designing and making a whole beautiful line of clothing both overwhelms and amazes me. I know Jen has been working really hard on this, and it has totally paid off as it looks fantastic!

I think what strikes me the most about Hound's Spring line is the real cool ease it has about it, everything looks like it would be so comfortable yet sophisticated at the same time.
I seriously love the cartography print that runs through Jen's line and I'm pretty sure I need both that tote and the Helen sleeveless top in my life!

Speaking of smartypants crafty ladies, did you see that Erin and Victoria now both have vintage shops? Oh man, so much good stuff! Also, Liz has recently announced that she's planning on opening a yarn shop! Moss Stitch, such a perfect name (and also my most favourite stitch). I'm super excited for her, and generally inspired and motivated by all these fantastic, entrepreneurial ladies!

Colour pop!

via here

You wouldn't know it by looking at my wardrobe, but I've found myself being drawn to bright pops of colour lately. I think it's perhaps a Spring thing, or a combating the rainy, grey days thing. Luckily there's lots of bright flowers around the place in Vancouver for me to bring inside and pop around the house to brighten things up!

Speaking of combating the grey, rainy days, I made my first attempt at making marshmallow last night! I'm a little worried that I didn't quite beat them enough to make them really airy and light, but apparently I'm meant to leave them out for 24hrs (making them ready by 9pm this evening, perfect timing) which in my head has become the magical step in the process that will turn out lovely, fluffy marshmallows. We shall see!

Happy Tuesday! What are you up to today?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Happy Monday

Morning! How was your weekend? We spent ours working on some new projects, pretending it was summer and cooking veggie burgers to have with cold San Miguel's, opening up the doors and windows when the sun came out and hiding inside with hot tea when the rain came. I also finally figured out a way to photograph the wooden bunting that I'm much happier with, so I've planned a little photo shoot with my girl Maya later in the week which should hopefully mean they'll finally be up in the by the end of the week!

Oh! I also finally got to go the the antique fair and it was both amazing and terrifying at the same time. Daylight savings totally got the best of us so we were late in meeting our friends, which also meant it was super busy and those antiquers mean business. Lots of not so subtle ladies sliding their way in front of me if I was looking at this or that, so funny. Both Richard and I had completely forgotten to take cash with us which was probably a good thing as there were a number of cameras, pyrex dishes and pretty carpet bags I could have brought home with me.

I made you guys a mixtape to get your week going, it's a bit of a sleepy one as that's often how Mondays make me feel and now even more so due to losing an hour in the morning (not going to complain though, I love the extra evening light). Take a listen, I hope you like it!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Five Senses Friday

Five Senses Friday is something I've been meaning to take part in for awhile now, and well I guess I have but up until now it has mostly been in my head. You can see what it's all about over at the incredibly talented (and lovely!) Abby's place. Taking time to stop and reflect is something I'm trying make a habit of so I'm going to attempt to do this on a fairly regular basis! Let me know if you decide to play along, I'd love to see!


Blueberry pancakes for dinner, buffet lunch at All India Sweets and apple cinnamon pretend cheerios.


Heathered yarn and smooth wooden needles as I attempt to start a Barn Raising Quilt.


Creedence Clearwater Revival and Richard singing along while he makes pancakes.


The amazing early colour photographs by Russian photographer and chemist, Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii. I was floored the first time I saw these on Enhabiten, the colours are just incredible. I've been looking at these one's in particular as part of some research I'm doing for a project I'm working on. I love all the amazing textiles and patterns in them. If you want to see more, there are some fantastic landscapes and rural scenes, go take a look over here.


The freshness of the city after rain.

Happy weekend, lovelies.


Hot on the heels of my last gardening post I found these adorable Postcarden over on Heavy Petal and just had to share. You can choose from the above allotment garden, a city garden or a botanical garden. I think this would be a really sweet gift, especially if you know someone who's workspace needs a little greening up. The more greenery the better, in my opinion!

And because I have urban gardening and allotments on the brain I wanted to point you in the direction of a fantastic program called 'Sharing Backyards', that as the name would suggest is a space for people who have yards and space to share to connect with those looking to garden but don't have the space. We're lucky in Vancouver to have a fair amount of community gardens (both city sanctioned and not) but plots can still fill up fairly fast, and if you're not totally down with doing your own guerilla gardening then this could be the way to go. I especially like the communal aspects of it, and of course if you have some space but aren't sure where to start then perhaps this way you could find someone to come give you a hand to get going.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

How does your garden grow

guerilla garden in a newspaper box by posterchild, found here

With Spring in the air (despite the snow in parts of Vancouver lately) gardening has been fresh in my mind. I definitely dream of one day having a beautiful big section where I can grow all sorts of veggies and have cottagey, rambling garden. But for now despite living in an apartment, we're lucky enough to have a really large balcony, almost half the size of our apartment in fact, for us to garden on. Right now it's looking pretty neglected from us hibernating during the winter rain but I'm planning on having a bit of a working bee out there this weekend to get it cleaned up and ready to go. I've decided that this year I'm going to actually plan out what and where I'd like to plant, rather than just going to the farmers market and excitedly buy a bunch of corn seedlings (which did actually grow, but got dragged away by critters). After reading this post over at All Buttoned Up I felt really content with being a middle sized gardener. Biting off more than I can chew comes way too easily so this year it will be a few plants that I have time, space and patience for. I'm thinking peas, beans, tomatoes, some leafy greens a cuke or two and maybe a few fall/winter veggies. Also, because our balcony is basically a rather large concrete slab I'd like to plant some bright flowers or hanging baskets (also to bring some bees in!) and some creepers to give it more of a 'garden-y' feel. Any suggestions of hardy, fast growing creepers I can let loose on our trellis but easily stop from taking over the co-op would be great.

I'd also love to know what's in your gardens, lovely readers. Do tell!

Perhaps you'd love to try your hand at growing your own food but are also pushed for space. If so be sure to check out Gayla Trail's new book 'Grow Great Grub
', all about growing organic produce in urban areas. I love how she challenges the idea of needing a ton of space to be able to have a veggie garden, and her suggestions are super creative and workable. Once you've started you'll probably need this cute 'Microfarmer' tee, too. I know I do.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Morning ritual

Every morning I can pretty much guarantee what is going to happen. I get up, put the kettle on for tea, grab some cereal or toast and then climb back into bed with my laptop to check my emails under the coziness of the quilts. It's about then that Ursula joins me, climbing on to my lap...or my chest/neck if the computer is in the way, which is interesting. But warm. Usually she wins out over the laptop and she ends up just lying there, staring at me and drooling. Look at that face! No way I could ever say no.

I hope you're having a lovely start to your morning. It's chilly here, and I hear is even snowing in some parts! Crazy. I'm crossing my fingers for the sun to come out later in the day so I can re-take my bunting photos. For now I'm happy with my extra layers and delicious tea.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Two cute things.

Brian and Sarah of Westervin

1. The above adorable couple and their upcoming wedding, that sounds like it will be amazing and full of fantastic sustainable and independent design. And wildflowers, lovely. Their actually in the running to win the Crate and Barrell ultimate wedding contest in order to make it happen. Cute, cute. I'm such a sucker for romance. You can go and vote for them to help them get their wish!

2. Maranon necklaces. I have been coveting, coveting those necklaces for quite sometime now (yep, all of them. I'll take one of each) and so you can imagine my excitement when I saw that Westervin is hosting a giveaway of a peacock fan necklace. You too can enter to win by voting for Brian and Sarah and then letting them know you've done so in the comments of this post. If you do, make sure to tell them that I sent you!

Little Green

Have you heard about Poppytalk's Spring Colour Week? Perhaps you took part in the Fall Colour Week last year, but if you're new to all this then I'd suggested heading on over to take a look at what's going on. Basically, Jan has chosen a Spring colour for each day of the week and we're all taking photo's based on that theme each day. There are so many gorgeous ones in the Flickr pool, and clearly I'm a little slow on the uptake as there are already ones in there for tomorrow! Eep! I actually missed out on yesterdays one, and my promised bunting shop update as our computer got infected by a nasty virus over the weekend. It was so scary, and even made our laptop start playing siren noises and audio from Lysol and other germ removal type commercials! Thankfully we got it all fixed but a few files did get eaten so I've spent yesterday and today doing a bunch of rewrites and making sure nothing I send anyone will infect their computer!

I'd love to know if you're playing along with the colour week, even if you haven't started yet, it's never too late to jump in!

Monday, March 8, 2010

International Women's Day.

Zapatista Women, found here

When I saw that one of my favourite blogs, Gender Across Borders had organised for a bunch of blogs to blog for International Women's Day, I jumped at the chance to take part! You can check out who else is taking part in the directory here, I'm so looking forward to filling myself up on some feminist-y goodness later on today.

I love that I'm writing this the morning after seeing the first women win best director, and then go on to take best picture at the Oscars. Seeing her holding the two Oscars in her hands was so satisfying, especially knowing that not only had she made history but had beaten out her ex-husband (evil of me to be happy about that? Perhaps). I have yet to see The Hurt Locker, but the very fact that it has taken 82 years for this to happen and as Jill at Feministe points out, in 2007 women made up only 29.9% of speaking roles in films and that of those films directors, producers and writers, 83% were men, is an inspiring accomplishment. Also, using Helen Reddy's 'I Am Woman' as patronizing exit music and hearing comments about how she looked more like an actress than a director on the red carpet (we all know you can't be both smart and hot!) illustrated how much of a divide is still really there.

Gender Across Borders has posed the question, based on the U.N.'s theme for International Women's Day, 'What does 'equal rights for all' mean to you?'. My first response was, well....everything? Is that not what we're all working for? Well, sadly not everyone is working for that, but you know what I mean. The fact is though, that there are thousands of people who are tirelessly working towards a reality of equal rights for all, but only a handful of those are ever recognised and very, very few get fancy awards. I don't want to diminish Kathryn Bigelows award at all, because I realise how hard she worked and what a fantastic achievement it is, but we can't ignore the fact that she comes from a place of privilege. She is white, wealthy, cisgendered, straight and American, and has had opportunities many women only dream of.

So while again, I think Bigelow winning was a great moment, it is helpful to look at it as a symbol, just like International Women's Day is a symbol. Things like IWD, Women's History Month, Black History Month, etc are all excellent tools for raising awareness and catalysts for action, however the reality is that not only should we be promoting equal rights everyday, but there are women all over the world who are demanding just that. The women represented by Bigelow are a small percentage of those women and if we're not also honouring and remembering the rest of us fighting for change then we are not fully concerning ourselves with equal rights for all. And by the 'rest of us' I mean women who are poor, women who are trans, gay women, women with disabilities, women of colour, women who are fat and women who are sex workers.

There are countless examples, but a few that spring to mind are;

- The Pink Chaddi Campaign were women in Bangalore and across India responded to attacks on women in pubs by a right-wing Hindu group, by sending the group piles and piles of pink panties and exercising their personal freedoms by continuing to go and enjoy drinks at pubs with their friends.

- Femen, women in the Ukraine fighting against the sex trade industry with their powerful slogan, 'Ukraine is not a Brothel' and dedication to creative self expression (found via the always awesome Craftivism).

- Sex workers in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside fighting to be heard and safely challenge adult prostitution laws.

- Garment workers in L.A. risking their jobs to sue Forever 21 and demand fair pay and working conditions.

- Human Rights Watch taking a stance against violence towards transgender folks in Honduras in their report 'Not Worth A Penny' and the transgender community continuing to protest against systemic violence which in turn puts their lives at risk.

- Websites such as Scarleteen, Our Bodies, Ourselves, Where's Your Line and stores like Good Vibrations, Womyns Ware and Come As You Are empowering women through sex positivity, body awareness and inclusiveness.

I could go on and on, but you get the picture I'm sure. There are so many examples of women not just working towards equal rights but demanding and outright taking them. While there is an inherent challenge in these examples, especially because they often illustrate the giant divide that still exists, there is also so much joy for me. Women all over are fighting for their rights and taking their rewards of self determination. So for someone like Kathryn Bigelow, I'm sure being awarded those statuettes and being recognised for her work was an amazing feeling, but for me the reward was the very fact that she was there in the first place, that she had the freedom to do the work she loves, and this freedom is afforded by an underlying structure of ongoing struggle for equal rights that has been going on for centuries and will continue until everyone has these freedoms.

Equal rights for all is a framework, a tapestry, a patchwork, a grid system of many, many people working for justice. Their fights are my fights, their successes are my successes, we all benefit from greater self determination. The continuous struggle for equality is often an unbelievably daunting task, until you realise that throughout the world there are incredible people pushing, demanding and fighting for the same thing and what an incredible picture that is.

Oh, there's is also a Monday's Mix today! In celebration of International Women's Day I give you, 'allez les filles!' Beware, there is angry women's music ahead.

Friday, March 5, 2010

This week.

I almost started off by saying this past week had been a bit of a write off. You know, it all started out on a pretty crappy note and we both have been in a bit of a funk ever since. But then I looked through some photos that I had taken on Wednesday while running errands and I realised that wasn't true at all. Because neither of us felt much like doing anything else, we spend a lot of time just hanging out, chatting, walking instead of busing, listening to records and the like. While we didn't get much stuff done, I feel pretty recharged now at the end of it. The Spring sun has been out in full force this week and I have been soaking it up, soaking up the sun and the blossoms that have started to cover the city. I've gone without socks, without my winter coat. I turned off my alarm last night and slept with the blinds up so I could wake up with sunlight instead. I walked around new neighbourhoods, smelled blossoms, painted my nails peach and stopped for delicious lunches. It was good.

I'm looking forward to a few days off coming up, trying not to plan too much for them (although I always do, I just get so excited!) but hoping to get in some more sun. I hope you all have a lovely weekend, I'll see you back here on Monday!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sneak Peek

A quick sneak peek at the wooden bunting that will soon be in the shop! I'm really happy with how they're turning out and might try hand lettering some soon (or find someone who is really good at hand lettering to collaborate with? ha!). I have a few more to finish up, and will hopefully be able to get some photos I'm happy with over the weekend so they'll be up for grabs next Tuesday morning!