Friday, April 30, 2010

Got Craft?

This Sunday you'll be able to find Richard and I, plus a whole bunch of Bliss in a Teacup goodies, at Got Craft? on Commercial Drive! This will be our third time doing Got Craft? and we absolutely love it. There are tons of great vendors (I'm particularly excited about The Gluten Free Epicurean and hope to finally make a purchase at Heyday Design!) plus my girl Lili from Spool of Thread will be there running a DIY table teaching you how to make cute pinwheel pins, for free no less!

If you live in the area be sure to come down and check it out, it's always a great time. If you do come, please stop by our table to say hello, it would be lovely to meet you! As a special treat for our local customers, all our prices will be the ones listed on Etsy in the US dollar amount. There will also be a deal or two!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

WIP Wednesday: Monogram

We were recently asked to make some large custom chalkboards for a wedding, to be used for seating arrangements and as at the reception entrance. For one of the chalkboards we were asked to place the couples monogram on one of the boards, and after much debate as to how to do this (it's really quite intricate) I came home today to find Richard having cut out a stencil and painting it by hand. That boy has about a million times more patience (and a much steadier hand!) than I will ever have. It's looking pretty amazing, though. 

Well, I have to be up in 6 hours for work (cries) so I best tear myself away from Marie Antionette and head to bed. 

Au revoir!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lost At Sea

My mind was pretty much blown when I saw these embroidered pieces by Nicole of astulabee. The colours and textures are fantastic, and the detailing in the stitching on the seals is so beautiful. I would love to have one (ok, all) of these pieces on my wall, both to look at and perhaps touch the silky looking pieces of fabric. I've had a bunch of embroidery ideas running around in my head to get to after we're finished with orders and craft fairs, and this has only fueled that even more. I would love to be able to create such incredible pieces of art with needle and thread!

If you haven't already seen the sculptures that Nicole makes you really should go take a look here because they're pretty incredible. I really love the way she uses the texture of the fabric to give that little bit of depth to her animals. She also has a shop, just in case you'd like to take one home with you. 

Blue Skies

Morning! As I'm sitting here eating breakfast this morning (and watching the seagulls go crazy over the city) I can see the tiniest patch of blue sky in the distance that I'm really hoping will make it's way out soon. While I don't mind the grey or even rain too much, having wet feet is probably one of my least favourite things in the entire world and I swear it only rains the days I don't wear my rain boots. One obvious fix would be buying new shoes so I have something other than the Urban Outfitter flats that are falling apart to wear. I'm thinking some Keds or these Vans or even/also some Toms would do the trick! Or all of the above. 

Eep! I must run or I'll be late for work! These blue skied photos are from one of the first rolls I've film I've taken in....3 or 4 years? If you'd like to check out the rest, head over here.  I'm pretty happy with them, especially as I had no idea how the camera (an old Petax Spotmatic) was going to work. Although I do kinda wish they'd printed all the photos, even the duds, so I can see what the camera (and I) am doing 'wrong' and also because I often just like those ones!

Hope you have a lovely day! If you're looking for a laugh, you should probably check out Drunk History. The Nikola Tesla and Oney Judge ones are my favourites. Beware of puking, though!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Working Weekend

This was a weekend of getting stuff done so there isn't too much exciting stuff to share. Although, we did find time to pop into the Blim Market for a cupcake (ridiculously good) and a chat with some lovely ladies. The rest of it was spent taking stock, preparing for craft fairs and working on some custom bunting orders. Oh, and I also managed to squeeze in some time to soak in the tub with this book, to watch a funny, funny Steve Buscemi movie and was lucky enough to have vegan strawberry cake delivered to my door (the perks of having a good friend who is also a food blogger and upstairs neighbour) to eat with ice cream on Sunday evening.

Sadly a working weekend doesn't make for very exciting photos or stories, it does mean cleaning music. And cleaning music means lots of sing-a-longs and chair dancing. Who doesn't love that? Basically cleaning music has become the catch all name for the music you listen to when you need to get stuff done. Ever since I was 17 it has meant this album in heavy rotation. I've made you a mixtape of some of the tracks that show up fairly often in my cleaning mixes, perhaps it will help your Monday get off to a good chair dancing start!

Also, a few links to check out..

Sue's (aka Giant Dwarf) new Stashette Satchel is amazing, such a talented lady!

Speaking of bags, I plan on ordering one of these Baggu backpacks later this week. I just have to decide between nutmeg and duffel.

I hope to make these treats this week, I am quite the fan of the sweet and salty combo. Found via for me-for you

Friday, April 23, 2010

Five Senses Friday

photos from a camping trip in the Tararua's, via tschick

This week has flown by! I'm sure the weekend is going to be no different, especially as I've somehow only just realised that Got Craft? is next weekend. In my head it was at least 3 weeks away! I see a huge amount of crafting happening over this weekend! On grey days like today, I like staying inside and working but as soon as the sun comes out all my mind seems to be able to focus on is sipping some kind of alcoholic beverage on a patio somewhere. So, depending on the weather we shall see if I in fact have any wares to hawk next Sunday!


A little sore, but also accomplished after starting a new fitness regime with Jeannette early this morning.


This book arriving in the mail today. I'm quite excited.  


Lawns being mowed. 


Rehearsals For Retirement on a rainy Friday afternoon. I can never get enough of that sad voice.


Vanilla (soy) ice cream with blackberry syrup and roasted pecans. Let me tell you, this was one of the most delicious things I've tasted in a long while. I was craving something sweet but was all out of sugar for baking, all out of chocolate and all out of being bothered-ness, but then Richard found this syrup we'd bought when we were on Salt Spring and I remembered we had pecans somewhere in the depths of the pantry. It was amazing. 
I hope your weeks went well!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Osborne Shoes, lust and uneasiness.

 I've been wracking my brains trying to remember where I first saw those floral jazzies up there, but I've been totally swooning over them ever since. When I saw them again on Evie's blog today I took the chance to check out the rest of Osborn Shoes and was pretty smitten. The shoes are all made by a group of 21 artisans in Guatemala City, fair trade and with locally sourced and recycled materials (blankets, clothing and the like). I love that you can see the colour and traditional patterns in many of the shoes. Those booties up there are made from hand block printed cotton and the huipile jazzies in the middle are all one of a kind. Hand blocked printed cotton, people!

Osborne Shoes are such a fantastic example of the combination of art and function, and the fact that owners Carla Venticinque-Osborn and Aaron Osborn strive to provide meaningful and well paid work for people who live in an area that's economy has been nearly destroyed to fuel our desire for cheap crap, make me really happy*.  I also love that by looking at the range of prints and how much the collections seem to change, it looks like Osborne Shoes are really made with what is available at the time and that there has been a decision made to make things like huipil accessible to folks living outside communities who wear these traditional textiles in their day to day lives. 

On the other hand, I have to admit I feel a little weird about the Kente booties (yes, despite raving about them two paragraphs ago) because while aesthetically I think they're fantastic, Kente cloth has always a been a traditionally sacred textile. Of course it has become super recognizable and more common place over the years, I'm just not sure that it is anyone but the people of Ghana that get to decide how their textiles are used and whether or not they should become more accessible. Admittedly I'm saying this with absolutely no idea about how these particular textiles were acquired and used, but it makes me uneasy and I think it's important to raise these questions, you know?


*What doesn't make me happy is seeing Nylon describe some of the prints as 'native tribal' because it is just so unbelievably lazy and ethnocentric.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

WIP Wednesday: Tiny Cities

When he's not busy making bookmarks, guitar picks or scouring the neighbourhood for wood veneer off cuts, Richard builds guitar effects pedals. I pretty much have no clue as to where you'd even start with this kind of work so it always amazes me that after hours of picking through resistors and lots of soldering there is a fantastic sounding pedal at the other end. At the moment he's working on a series of pedals that have a psychedelic inspiration and will be etching beautiful Art Nouveau artwork onto the pedal cases, each taken from a different psychedelic plant. I'll show you when he's done, I'm sure they're doing to be gorgeous. 

For now though, here's some of the many circuit boards that line his work space. I love how they look like tiny cities. 

What are you working on today? Perhaps you'd like to show us?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Hello Mama

Hello! Wow, the day really got a way on me (just eating dinner now, yes it's after 10pm) today so I'll just pop in really quickly as I'm pretty wrecked! 

How was all your weekends? Mine was really lovely! We stopped in at a local record store and then totally nerded out over poutine and beer by reading record sleeves and the DOXA (Documentary Film Festival) catalogue while we hid from the rain. Sunday was the day for a marathon brunch with my Sunday Adventure Club (these lovely ladies) that was full of delicious food and a crazy amount of good conversation. Basically, therapy with french toast. 

The rest of my weekend was taken up mostly by thinking about and working on the new website for my doula collective, Hello Mama. I'm so thrilled with the results, and pretty darn proud of myself for doing it all on my own (there was a meltdown or two, I must admit)! I find it so easy to let myself get busy with other stuff, just life in general, working on orders, etc, but then when I take the time to focus on my other love, doula work, it strikes me how powerful my passion for it is. Today I wrote out the mission statement for our collective, and then this evening I went to a doula speed dating event and had the (albeit hurried) chance to chat to parents to be about how I can support them in their journey and help to achieve the best birth experience possible. What an honour! I plan on writing more about this over on the new site for those of you interested in the birthy side of things. 

Ok, time for me to head to bed. I hope you're all well! Oh! If you head over here you'll find yourselves a giveaway of our bookmarks and a discount code for Bliss in a Teacup! 
Follow my blog with

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A little help...

In August of last year I heard (via Anabela) about Emily Richmond who was planning to sail around the world. This completely blew my mind, 24,000 miles in 24 months, by boat! I will admit that as much as sailing seems really dreamy to me, the idea of being on a boat and not being able to see land terrifies me. So on one hand what Emily is doing scares the hell out of me, but on the other the idea of all the incredible things she is going to see and experience, the people she'll meet and not to mention completing such an amazing feat, excites me to no end!

Emily used Kickstarter to help her raise the money she needed to initially get her boat ready, get equipment, etc and be able to set sail in January, and it was amazing to see the huge amount of support she got. Kickstarter is a pretty amazing organisation, that's all about helping people fund all kinds of creative projects. Each project has incentives for the backers, so for certain pledge amounts the person will receive some kind of goody. For example, I'm eagerly awaiting the day when I receive a polaroid from Emily's trip as my reward for pledging money, and others are getting a coconut mailed to them or even a sailor hat!

The thing is, Emily is now in Mexico and is planning to leave soon for the South Pacific and needs to purchase a bunch of safety equipment to help get her there in one piece. She needs to raise $5000 by tonight and is so close to getting there! With Kickstarter, if you don't meet your goal then you don't actually get any of the money pledged so it's really important that people help her out. You can see all the details of this project here, as well as all the sweet rewards for backers, and you can pledge amounts starting at $1! I'm looking forward to receiving my Huck Finn inspired sticker pack, but even more so to continuing to watch Emily live her dream and sail around the world. Please consider helping a sister out, and also follow Emily's incredible journey on her blog over here.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Five Senses Friday

purple underbelly by afton lorraine

Fridays are a little funny around here. With Richard working the night shift (and now often with extended hours since we're trying to save, save, save for NZ) it means that he doesn't usually get up until around 12ish, we have lunch/dinner around 4 and then by the time I'm ready for bed in the evening it's the middle of his day and he's ready to do stuff. Which means we try and squeeze as much in those in between hours. It can get a little frustrating for us both I think, but daylight savings making it a little easier, as is taking the time out to reflect on my week like this. Also, the idea that just because it's The Weekend it doesn't mean I have to instantly start wanting to do a million activities. Why I have a brain that thinks like that is totally beyond me, it is almost never what my body wants to do!


Blue Sky Cola, I love it so.


The results from the first rolls of film I've had developed in a couple years.


Spring rain on hot asphalt, easily one of the best smells in the whole world.


More birds and a few bees as we've started leaving the windows open.


Excited to go check out some Record Store Day sales tomorrow!

Hope your weekends are all fantastic!

On the balcony

I mentioned last month that I was starting to plan out our balcony garden for the Spring/Summer and I must admit that we've yet to really get out there to get it started. I've done lots of scouring the internet for inspiration, though! That totally counts. Right? When I came across this photo by geninne d. zlatkis I realised that mostly I just want lots and lots of plants. I feel like if I just overwhelm the space with pots full of green, I'll get the cozy, secret garden feel I'm looking for. It is a really large area, which we're totally lucky to have, but it also means a huge space to fill! It's also a pretty exposed place, so along with some pretty daisy type bushes I'm leaning toward picking up a bunch of succulents that will hopefully best be able to withstand a lot of sunlight and being out in the open on what is essentially a giant concrete slab.

Staying with the secret garden feel, I plan on picking up some clematis and maybe honeysuckle this weekend to get going on our trellis that we've put up on either side to offer a little privacy. The weather has partly been an excuse for us not getting out in the 'garden' but with the beautiful forecast we've got this weekend I can put it off no longer! Although, you never can tell with Vancouver weather so we shall see. I'll report back on Monday!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

WIP Wednesday: Longer Days, Warmer Nights.

Can I tell you how much I love daylight savings? A lot. Just like the sun coming out, the longer days totally lift my mood. We're currently scouring craigslist for some patio furniture (mostly a table and umbrella actually, for some reason we have millions of chairs) so that we can start eating out there in the evenings, but for now I'm just happy sitting on the couch with the windows and sliding door open and sun streaming in. We get such a fantastic golden hour here and everything in our living room looks so pretty. I wanted to take some photos of it this evening, but sadly I'm pretty sure our camera is on the way out (case in point, a pretty case in point however). Luckily I'd just picked up a couple rolls of film this week and found this shot I'd taken to use up the roll. I love this little collection of bottles, most of which I picked up from the MCC for 25 cents and all have fantastic labels on them that I mostly can't make out but look like some kind of medical records.

Speaking of collections, you have seen this fantastic collection of collections by Lisa Congdon, yes? I have a lot of love for a lot of the same thing all gathered together in one place, and I also love that Lisa draws the collections she doesn't physically have. So good.

Also, speaking of Lisa's? Please go take a look at the Unexpected Guest over on sfgirlbybay today. It's the home of Lisa Solomon, which I'm pretty smitten with and her answer to the design challenge cracked me up and made me love her all the more.

What are you working on at the moment? If you're new to the blog, or aren't sure about this whole WIP Wednesday thing, take a look over at the Flickr group to see what it's all about and please join in!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Berry Crumb Cake

I know we've only just started Spring but I've slowly started to see summer fruit creep into stores over the past couple of weeks, and for this I am very excited ( Not that I'm not enjoying the 'now', because let's face it, I could eat rhubarb for every meal if I got the chance). So many of my favourite things make appearances in the summer time! Corn, peaches, nectarines, plums and berries. So many wonderful berries! Last year I found myself stopping to pick wild growing blackberries on my way to get gelato even, I was basically the embodiment of summertime!

We try to eat as seasonally and as locally as possible, so despite seeing big juicy strawberries at the store today I'm trying to hold off until some B.C. ones are ready or until I can go pick my own. Luckily we had some frozen berries left over from last year plus some we'd picked up from the farmers market (side note: do you also eat frozen berries as if they're candy? Especially blueberries and raspberries? I could seriously eat a whole bag full, no problem) which was perfect as I'd been meaning to try out the crumb cake that I had seen over on Vegan Yum Yum for awhile, and what better accompaniment is there to struesel topping that juicy berries?

I made it a few weeks ago when Maya came over for the bunting shoot, and followed the recipe pretty much exactly, save for dropping frozen berries over the top of the cake batter before adding the crumb topping. It was delicious! It makes for some serious size crumbs, which is exactly how I like it, and you could do the same thing with other fruits you might have handy such as peaches or sliced pears. Vegan or not, I'd recommend giving this recipe a go. I remember before I was vegetarian even and a bunch of my friends became straight edge and vegan, I couldn't begin to comprehend how you'd give up meat, let alone dairy! I mean, what on earth would you eat?? I guess I've taken a bit of a gradual path starting of vegetarian, but now that this is just the way I eat it surprises me when people ask me that same question. There are so many good vegan recipes out there, and I'm going to try and post more of them on here for you to try out. It's not just all lentils and celery sticks!

I hope you're all having a fantastic Tuesday, any summer fruits or veg that you're waiting anxiously to arrive?

Monday, April 12, 2010


When you're sitting in your pajamas on a Sunday morning* eating pancakes with a day ahead of you full of laundry and housework, and your friend has asked you to take a Sunday drive with her to the seaside, the very best thing to do is get yourself dressed and over there as quickly as you can. Because can I tell you, a day of eating veggie burgers and a giant serving of chips, walking down a long pier, smelling saltwater, studying sand patterns, raspberry sherbet in a waffle cone and feeling just chapped and windswept enough, all with two favourite people and lots of laughs? Well, there's little better. The laundry can wait, you know?

I hope you all had a lovely weekend! Here's a little seaside Sunday drive inspired mixtape to start your week off right.


*Some may say that 12:15 is no longer what we'd call morning, but I feel like Sunday allows for a looser interpretation.

Green Pop

the oath by kikiandpolly, clothespin cushion cover by coucousalut

The new Poppytalk Handmade Market has just launched, and it's filled with eco-friendly and mother's day goodness. These two have already caught my eye, those clothespins are too much! You can check out our table here if you like, we're so happy to be surrounded my so many other talented artists and designers over there!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Sunshiny Days.

technicolor eden by rod graves

As much as I love stormy evenings and grey Fall skies, it is amazing how much the sun coming out can lift my mood. It is a gloriously sunny here today, and having the sun still streaming into our apartment at 7.30 in the evening makes me so happy. Everything is that little bit brighter and I find the motivation that seems to hibernate during the winter. It looks like this weather is sticking around for the weekend and I plan to make the most of it by getting outside as much as possible. I see sidewalk cafes and patio beers in my not too distant future. Here's my weeks reflection, a Five Senses Friday, I hope you join in and that you all have lovely weekends!


Rhubarb. Rhubarb crumble, rhubarb pastry pockets, rhubarb stewed on granola or ice cream, rhubarb muffins. I love rhubarb, a lot.


The sun on my back as I ran errands.


The excitement of a mother as she talked about the upcoming birth of her second babe, and the relief I was able to give her by letting her know that I'll be with her all the way.


New peppermint conditioner and lavender dish soap.


The lovely Laura Gibson on repeat during my bus ride to work.

You might like to check out a post over here where I talk about my love of Farmer's Markets, and over here where I did a little interview.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

And the winner is...

image by kyerabianca

....Dana! Congratulations! I'll send you an email soon in order to get all your info.

Thank you all so much for entering and for showing such fantastic support for Finch, it was so great to read all your comments and I'm sure even more so for Tanya and Phil!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

An Education

Oh man, such a grey and rainy day in Vancouver today! Perfect for lying on the couch and feeling a little sorry for myself as I had a bit of an upset stomach, blech. Luckily for me I had taken out An Education Monday and this was really the perfect day to watch it. Have you seen it? I absolutely loved it! Not only was it beautifully filmed, with fantastic costumes, but it really captured that feeling you have as a teenager of desperately wanting to make the leap into adulthood and trying to figure out what the heck you're going to do with your life. But not just any adulthood, not the adulthood of bills and working 9-5 but the adulthood where things are exciting and colourful, and so far from the stuffy boring life you feel you're trapped in. I loved how intoxicating it all was, trips to Paris and colourful cigarettes, but at the same time there was always this feeling of something being not quite right. Carey Mulligan was just fantastic in it and I have a bit of a secret crush on Peter Sasgaard (despite him playing some creepy guys!) so I would highly recommend it!

Ok, I hate to admit but we're only just getting around to dinner now (yep, 10pm). It's just been one of those days! So I best be off as a steaming hot bowl of dahl is a-waiting.