SAILING : WEEK FIVE

And finally – week 5 of our trip. For those of you that really only tune in to watch the things that I dye I thank you for your patience as my blog and instagram feed became a personal vacation slideshow. This is the last instalment for the foreseeable future – although I will be #tbt-ing the crap out of this trip because it was just so crazy inspirational.

In our last week on the water we finally turned back home. Heading south from Port McNeil we spent several 12 hour power days to make up for time we had spent playing up north. To my relief as we headed down the coast the weather turned from rain to crisp fall sun and we finally managed to get a little bit of actual sailing into the commute.

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Sailing down the Johnstone Strait as the wind picked up considerably. Because most of the trip was through various archipelagos and coastal inlets there was very little sailing weather which usually occurs in wide open seas. The Queen Charlotte Strait and Johnstone Straight were our two opportunities and on this day the wind did not disappoint.

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The light as we anchored in Owen Bay – a reportedly haunted spot where there have been many suspicious deaths over the years. As we were entering the bay our electronic navigation inexplicably stopped working and I almost steered us into some pretty serious rocks. I’m not saying I believe in ghosts but…

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As we headed down Johnstone Strait a pod of pacific white sided dolphins jumped and swam in our wake. I moved to the furthest point of the bow, feet propped up by our anchor, and watched the show. Unfortunately all of our photos seem to be missing said dolphins but I swear up and down there were there…

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Setting the crab traps in our little row boat, Maui.

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A trip to Alert Bay. The First Nations communities have suffered tremendously over the centuries including being banned by the Canadian government from holding potlatches – a cultural festival that connected the coastal communities – until 1951. The regalia from these celebrations were confiscated but later returned and are now on display by the First Nation run U’mista Cultural Centre – a must visit if you are in the area.

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We spent the night at New Van – a First Nations community just south of Alert bay. They give tours of their Big House which was fascinating and they have some very pretty dogs. We also stopped in at Mamalilaculla – a village ghost town with totem poles being reclaimed into the sea (you can just make out in all that moss the shape of carved wood). The island is now deserted but this once was the home of the most powerful band along the coast.

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From there we headed down to Desolation Sound – one of the most popular boating areas along the coast. For very fancy geological reasons the ocean here is a bright emerald and is the warmest sea north of Mexico. In mid September we went swimming – something I can’t remember ever doing in Canada before. We spent a few days here enjoying the last whispers of summer.

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We left Refuge Cove early one morning – the mountains lit with soft rosy light – and put up the spinnaker to get home faster.

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We clean up real nice. For weeks at a time we had no access to showers and the first few days back into the world of normal hygiene felt unbelievably luxurious.

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Goodbye sailing trip! Thanks for following along – we’ll be back to regular programming from here on out…

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SAILING : WEEK FOUR

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And then the rains came. We headed up to the Broughton Archipelago, the weather slipping from summer to fall the further north we sailed. In exchange for hot sunny days we found an abundance of wild life – humpbacks, salmon, an array of diving birds, dolphins and most notably bears. With Phil along for the ride we slowly inched our way towards Nimmo Bay Resort – a heli-fishing operation Kevin has wanted to check out for years. It did not disappoint.

1_ Watching a humpback feed – we ran into so many whales feeding in Blackfish Sound.

2_ The small islands that dot the coast – if you need any photos that embody ‘loneliness’ I’ve got them.

3/4/5_ The boys strung me up to the top of the mast. From 90 feet above we stumbled onto a pod of humpbacks feeding and I got to watch them surface from a new vantage point.

6_ The bears are out to play. We saw so many black bears in this area – mostly searching under rocks at low tide for food.

7_ With all the rain, waterfalls began appearing out of nowhere – this is Lacy Falls and is quite magnificent in person.

8_ This is Scare-bear. We were exploring a local river estuary in the dinghy when I looked over my shoulder and saw this black bear watching us. I do not have a zoom lens so that may give a sense as to how close he was to us – it felt like we could reach out and hi-five him if desired. I did everything you are not supposed to do : I panicked, I cowered and squeaked, ‘BEAR BEAR BEAR OHMYGODBEAR…’ over and over again. Not my finest moment.

Scare-bear, named after my level-10 panic, yawned a few times and then turned his back on us while we jumped quickly back into the boat, shot some photos and headed back to a safe distance.

9_ We anchored for a few nights at Big Nimmo Bay which had calm waters and Monet sunsets.

10_ The Nimmo Bay Fishing resort was amazing and well worth visiting if you are in the area. We dropped in and had massages which also included time in their hot tub which was nestled in the rainforest with a small waterfall behind it. After a week without showers this felt like paradise.

11/12/13_ I’ve acquired quite a few ‘treasures’ over the last few weeks – the driftwood, moss, eagle feathers and rocks that litter this coastline are gorgeous.

14_ Boo-bear – this guy was foraging near our boat most evenings.

15/16_ Hammock times – apparently when you sail with boys they like to see how high they can string you up. We each had a go at the hammock swinging over the ocean as the sun set.

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ROCK INSPIRATION

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I’ve been taking photos of the mostly granite shorelines as we slowly move by them – with their dusty colour palettes and intricate details these rocks look like gorgeous tapestries I can’t help but be inspired by.

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SAILING : WEEK THREE

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We have found Jurassic Park. We arrived in Thompson Sound, an unassuming inlet, late one night. I casually mentioned I wanted to see more wildlife and as an almost immediate answer heard the puff of a whale coming up for air before it’s long dive below the ocean surface for more food. I grabbed my binoculars and in the far distance was able to see several humpbacks surface – foreshadowing of days to come.

When we woke up the next morning we were completely enclosed in a fog bank, essentially blind to the natural world around us. Kevin was on deck trying to figure out if our anchor had moved during the night when he heard manic splashing. He called me up in time to have a pod of pacific white sided dolphins explode out of the fog and hurtle themselves 10 feet beside our boat heading full speed for the river behind us. We stood there with our mouths on the ground. Just as we were recovering more splashing was heard in the distance and four Orcas in hot pursuit of the dolphins blew by our boat stopping to jump fully out of the water a mere 20 feet from us for good measure. At one point an Orca jumped completely out of the water underneath a rainbow beside our boat. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!

The day continued to unfold with the wildlife meter on high and we started to think that maybe we wanted to spend a bit more time getting to know Thompson Sound – we ended up staying a full week. Every morning we would wake up to a wall of white cloud which burned off in the August sun leading to hot, lazy afternoons and long evenings. We made friends with the couple on the boat anchored next to us and met the local fur trapper/bear-watching guide (Trapper Rick) and his young British university student photographer/intern Felix who lived on a dock beside the creek.

It turned out the salmon had arrived – every year they return to the river they were born in to spawn and they are a massive food source for almost all of the local animals. When they arrive so does the surrounding animal kingdom and for our time there there were so many creatures in the area us we stopped even noticing the whales, dolphins, seals, seal lions (seriously two sea lions came up beside our boat and kissed each other and we were like, ‘phhhhhhffffff…whateves…’), eagles (we started calling them seagulls because there were so many bald eagles around they were no longer special to us), and bears. The one creature noticeably absent – humans. It was truly paradise and one of the most, if not the most, special time of the trip.

1/2_ Morning fog in Thompson Sound. The fallen trees in the river stick out of the water looking like fallen dinosaur bones adding to the Jurassic Park effect.

3/4_ Pod of dolphins hurtling by and the only photo we managed to snap of one of the Orcas. This does not capture how close and intense this experience was.

5_ The inlet once the fog had lifted.

6_ Watching one of the many humpback whales feeding along the shoreline from our dinghy.

7/8_ A pod of dolphins spent 45 minutes playing with us in the wake of our small powerboat.

9_ Fishing in the river as night falls. The river was full of bears also fishing so we were constantly singing ridiculous songs at the top of our lungs so they would know where we were. This did not stop me from being freaked out but it did add to the adventure. This was also my first time in waders – it is a very cool feeling to walk through water and remain dry…

10/11_ Crab and prawn traps were set. All of our crabs were undersized but we did pull up 24 of the largest prawns Kevin has ever caught which we brought over to our neighbours boat to contribute to dinner that night. I photographed every creature we could get our hands on so I can paint them when I get home.

12_ Kevin is an avid fly fisherman so this was paradise for him. He claims to have never been to a better river.

13_ One of many bear sightings. After the first few I got used to the idea that they were around and it was very clear they had no issue with us being there too. As long as we didn’t surprise them they were far more focused on the salmon than on us.

14_ Kevin’s friend Phil arrived by float plane at the end of the week to spend some time with us on the boat. Like any good guest he came bearing gifts of fresh food, scotch and news from home.

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SAILING : WEEK ONE

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It has been a week on this trip and the time seems to have taken on an elastic quality with so much and so little being accomplished each day. This is the first time I’ve even been online in an entire week which seems like a surreal gift. Our boat travels at the equivalent of about 6 miles an hour so even with a week behind us we are still not that far from home – the going is seriously slow. There is the added issue of me not knowing what I am doing – my sum total of sailing knowledge comes from sailing lasers at the local community centre in 1994 and 95….so I am far from an expert. Even with a willingness to learn there is always a ton going on a once and I am often left feeling slightly overwhelmed and frustrated. The picture of me sailing the boat above was moments before I started screaming, ‘The wind is changing! The wind is changing! I-don’t-know-what-to-do-you-need-to-help-me-RIGHT-NOW!!!!!’

So, you know, total pro over here.

Our first few days were spent on an island called Thormanby just off of the Sunshine Coast where friends have an amazing cabin and a more-the-merrier attitude with guests. There were piles of us playing on the warm sand beaches, climbing the cliffs, pushing children around on water toys, walking along forest paths – it was insanely ideal. Like summer is supposed to be in every YA fiction book you read when you were a teenager. From there we headed to Hornby, an island known for it’s warm water beaches and artistic hippie community. Both did not disappoint – we swam, rode bikes to buy groceries at the local co-op, watched a family of deers graze, ate dinner in an apple orchard, licked melting ice creams and rowed from boat to cabin to visit more friends. At night the wind howled through the bay and made it sound like the boat was going to break in two.

We spent yesterday slowly sailing from Hornby to Cortes, stopping to fish when the impulse struck. We had a mild toilet back up issue that we are now referring to as the ‘Psunami’ where essentially two days of waste exploded like a bomb on deck and through a window where I was standing but EVEN THAT couldn’t take away from the incredible sunset while we drifted through the Copeland Islands or the moon as it rose behind us while we docked at Cortes.

There are showers here. Thank god.

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#FBF – ROADTRIPPING

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Today is my last day in the studio before packing up and heading off to sail for 5 weeks. I have no idea what I’m getting myself into and I am pretty excited. In honour of the adventure that is about to begin I thought I would re-run one of my first posts I published back in 2009 about another large journey – driving from Vancouver to Puerto Vallarta with everything we owned packed into a Volkswagen Jetta.

Before I moved to Mexico I had visited the country for a single week in my entire life. It was a bit of a leap of faith to say the least. I remember this trip so clearly because the further south we drove the more I was internally losing my sh*t. At that point in my life I had never lived outside of my hometown of Vancouver, V and I had only been dating a year, I had just left a stable job at the beginning of a recession, I didn’t speak a word of Spanish and the vast expanse of the Sonoran Desert was making it pretty clear that I had not done enough research on my ‘brand new life’. This was such an important time for me – so often leaps of faith feel terrifying while you are in the middle of them but they almost always lead to a feeling of increased self esteem as you rise to the challenge(s). This was definitely the case for me. We all have different circumstances that present themselves as hurdles and for me this essay marks the beginning of one of my life’s biggies:

 

‘ROADTRIP : SEPTEMBER 21 2009’

V and I had decided that the easiest way to get all of our stuff, as well as ourselves, to Mexico was to load up our car and make the long drive down. For some reason I had always placed any city in Mexico directly under Los Angeles and so I had been mentally preparing myself for a four-day excursion lengthened only slightly by staying with friends that lived in cities along the way. That bubble was burst when V worked out our travel schedule. The length of time he wagered it would take us made me leap to a map only to discover that Puerto Vallarta is halfway into Mexico – roughly the same distance from Vancouver as Toronto. Huh? All of my visions of casually driving up to LA to visit friends and intermittently brush shoulders with the rich and trendy were dashed. I tried to console myself with the idea that the more remote the location the bigger the adventure that awaited and as I got into the car on a bright, cold Vancouver morning I almost believed it.

There is something very reassuring about traveling great distances over long periods of time. You are able to watch the land change, moving from the familiar to the foreign, not in a period of hours as with air travel, but in days. It took us two days to move through Washington and Oregon; countryside that looks identical to that of the Lower Mainland and this gave me just enough time to make peace with what I was leaving behind. The northwest coast is exceptionally beautiful; it’s rainy climate allowing shocking displays of greens and blues. In this part of the world most of your closet is filled with wool and gortex and you deeply appreciate the pleasures enjoyed on a truly hot and sunny day. While I was excited to live in a place that only required me to wear shorts and sundresses I knew I would eventually miss this landscape and made a point to take it in as we slowly headed south.

After awhile there are only so many green fields you can drive through before becoming mind numbingly bored. This is when V and I decided to turn from the countryside sliding beside us and chose instead to turn on each other. I am not exactly sure how large the interior of a Volkswagen Jetta is, but after a few 8-hour days on the road it feels like it’s the approximate size of a matchbox. Combined with the fact that the car was filled to the brim with all of our worldly possessions, forcing both of our seats to be crushed against the dashboard, and you have a recipe for nothing but trouble. We quickly realized that V’s expectations as to how clean the car should be were vastly different from mine. While I am someone who has never agreed with rotting food, I am able to withstand quite a bit of clutter. V was immerging from this experience as a closet neat freak who sternly enforced a car garbage system and could not stand the sound of me eating anything crunchier than a ripe peach. I, on the other hand, expected quite a bit more conversation than he did – the more soul baring the better – but most of my leading questions were met with blank eyes and a strong willed resistance. My terror filled gasps when V accelerated to any speed above 100km/h, no matter how light the traffic, did nothing to endear me to him. On day three, as I was busy pouting about being reprimanded for not cleaning off the top of a Coke can properly, I began contemplating what seemed the only possible outcome of our road trip – my potential life in prison sentence for first-degree murder.

We spent a few days in LA, with a couple named Sophie and Steve, whom I’d known when they lived in Vancouver and who had remained close friends even after they relocated to Los Angeles. When we arrived after another long day of driving Steve helped us unload our car. The first thing out of his mouth was, ‘Why did you guys decide to drive? Soph and I almost killed each other when we drove from Florida to Vancouver. Road trips are a surefire way to end any relationship.’ I nodded at this sage wisdom, a little concerned that we were only halfway to our final destination. Sophie showed up a few hours later, gave us both huge hugs and turned to me whispering, ‘Are you surviving the road trip? Steve and I wanted each other dead when we drove from Florida to Vancouver.’ This did not bode well.

Thankfully things started to look up for V and I after we left LA four days later. We were entering Mexico and the ‘differentness’ of it brought us together as one foreign unit. I had been terrified of crossing the border in Mexico; in the days before we left Vancouver the news had been full of reports of drug shootings in border towns. V had made sure to take us to an exceptionally small crossing just outside of an Arizona town called Ajo, the Spanish word for garlic. We were now in desert country where the sky stretched farther than I had ever imagined, bearing down relentlessly on the dusty earth below.

We crossed the border extremely easily with none of the media hyped corruption or gang violence and spent the day driving as far into northern Mexico as possible. Northwest Mexico is a place that no tourist need ever visit. It is hot, dry, full of large factories and poor rural towns. I had only spent one brief week in Mexico, in Puerto Vallarta, prior to deciding to move there and I was beginning to wonder if I had made a very big mistake. Had I wanted to change my life so badly that I had convinced myself that Mexico was lush and beautiful? As the hours and days crept slowly by there was no change to the dusty Mexican vista outside my window. Not wanting to alarm V that I may have to book a flight home as soon as we got to Puerto Vallarta I kept all my internal angst on the inside for once, falling into hours of silent despair while he drove us deeper into the bowels of what I only could only imagine as hell on earth. I had left the crisp greens and deep blues of British Columbia to live in a rust coloured sandbox where the only things that flourished were cacti and the El Cartel.

Our last stop before we were to reach Puerto Vallarta was Mazatlan. About two hours out of the city the land began to distinctly change character. Gone were the arid sand dunes with the unending highway stretched in front of us – here the land was more fertile. Farms began to look like they could actually support life and every so often an ocean view would surprise us as we rounded a corner on the toll highway. This was the Mexico I had signed up for and the further south we headed the better it got.

The next day we arrived. The sturdy jungle covered mountains that stood proud above Puerto Vallarta’s large ocean bay reminded me of the tropical version of the city we had left only 10 days earlier. Driving into El Centro, the old town, with it’s crumbling and cramped buildings and quaint cobblestone streets I felt as though we had landed in a small European town. We parked outside V’s mother’s house and stretched our cramped limbs, pushing away thoughts of returning home anytime in the near future. I would take on almost anything, if only to avoid another road trip.
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SAIL AWAY

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Remember when I yammered on about needing a break to clear my head and then instead of peacing-out I continued working steady state? Right. Me too.

So when writing that post I had imagined taking August off to lay low in Vancouver and then take a small sailing trip through our local islands. BUT THEN an opportunity came up to take 5 weeks to sail around Vancouver Island – starting mid August. So instead of closing shop and hanging in coffee shops aggressively soul searching I have been busting my ass to get all the small to-do’s done before setting sail on August 15th. As I’m sure you can all relate it is very rare to be able to take a month away from life and I can not wait to leave the day to day hustle behind.

During this time I’ll have extremely limited access to wifi (once a week, maybe) but I’ll be taking lots of photos and am hoping to post a few updates while we’re away just to keep you in the loop. British Columbia is home to some of the most beautiful and untouched wilderness in the world and often the only access to it is via boat so needless to say this is an opportunity I am super excited about. For the first time in what seems like forever I will be shutting the online shop while I am away so if you have been thinking of grabbing something please make your purchase by Tuesday Aug 9th. The shop will re-open at the end of September with some new goodies for Fall/Winter included in the mix.

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MIDDLE DISTANCE DEEP THOUGHTS

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How is your summer going? You may or may not have noticed that things over at S&C HQ have slowed down a bit. As I stated in my previous post 2016 (and actually a fair amount of 2015) have been challenging – specifically with running this small business. Over the last year I have been wrestling with just how I want my life to be as an entrepreneur.

Before I started Scout & Catalogue I worked in a ‘regular’ job – one where I was expected to be somewhere every day, worked with a team and received a regular and very healthy pay check. In starting this brand, seven years ago, one of it’s biggest draws for me was that I would be able to choose how, where and what I was working on. This control was more valuable to me than stability in work and income. As S&C grew in success I was so grateful and also very motivated to grow with it. But these days I am feeling more stuck and unsure about my company’s next steps. Continuous growth means continuous financial risk, continuous hustle, continuous hours. Holding the company back, allowing for my own life to be more balanced, means risking the brands failure as more and more competitors flood this congested market. Scout & Catalogue has always been for me a job born out of joy. That is not to say that it is always fun because nothing is and a small business is CRAZY PANTS full of tasks that suck balls but the idea of creating an income, a lifestyle and a product that I can believe in has always been a motivator for me. I seem to be at a crossroads with this work – on one hand I can choose the health of my company and on the other the balance in my life – and to be honest I have no idea which road I will choose. Do you ever get to a place when a big decision has to be made and you exhaust yourself with cases for both outcomes? This is what happened to me this spring – I was rooted in the spot by indecision and nothing felt (or feels) clear.

So, I have made the short term decision to take my foot off the gas this summer. I am going to take advantage of the few warm summer months we get in the Pacific Northwest and sail often, meet friends for dinner, go for runs and trust that my next steps will present themselves to me if I have the patience (I seldom do) to wait. S&C is DEFINITELY still open for business but my social media presence may be a bit more sporadic and my email responses a day or so behind. I hope you are also able to take some time this summer to slow down and enjoy the beauty in the slow moments this season brings.

And lastly I just wanted to say a quick thank you for your years of support – for reading this blog (still), for buying our product, for following our progress via social media, for wishing S&C well. I so appreciate your involvement in this journey forever and always.

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HAPPY CANADA DAY + HAPPY 4TH OF JULY

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Happy belated Canada Day and happy 4th of July! I hope your long weekends kicked off summer in all the best ways. We spent the weekend in the gulf islands – fishing, exploring, pointing at seals, eating BBQ, reading, napping, swimming…all the good stuff. Happy summer days everyone!

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AROUND HERE

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A few shots from around here :

  1. Some inspiration tears in a corner of my apartment
  2. One of my favourite shots of our Parisina Pencil Case in the new colour – Earth.
  3. Everywhere I go I take photos of shadows.
  4. A bit of time spent on the Sunshine Coast to recover from the long days in Toronto.
  5. Our new S&C string backpack carrying my lunch for a long work day.
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AROUND HERE

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A few shots from around these parts :

  1. Last week I shot product for 5 days straight. The light was only good for a 4 hour window each day and so I was focused on my task at hand. At one point I looked up and was caught off guard by the beauty of the day. I took a 5 minute break to just breathe and feel grateful for life/sun/spring.
  2. Last week I turned 36 and was lucky enough to spend my birthday weekend in a small house on the ocean curtesy of one of my fabulous friends. The weekend was spent sleeping, eating and puttering which are pretty much my top 3 favourite activities in life.
  3. Product shooting all day, everyday.
  4. One of a Kind is coming up so fast! Toronto I will be there at the end of the month (March 23th to 27th) for all your spring/summer tie dye needs. Can’t wait to see you all!
  5. Planning an on-model shoot for this Thursday and hoping to get this fabulous space for the day. Fingers crossed.
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THE AVIARY

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At the end of last year I shut down my Vancouver studio as most of my production had moved to Portland. As an experiment I worked from home – crossing my measly 400 sq foot studio apartment from bed to desk in the morning to get to work. My ‘work from home’ trial was a disaster – I have learned that I need to have to put on shoes to get to my work place in order to be a happy human. After a bit of a search I found a beautiful shared office concept called The Aviary just down the street from my home. This is week two of working out of it’s beautifully designed space and I can not stress enough how valuable being around other creative people has been to my daily life.

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AROUND HERE

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A few shots from life these days :

  1. Some serious chair game at the photo studio I spent a couple days in last week in Portland.
  2. Don’t be a dick.
  3. A found scrap of paper with the nicest sentiment.
  4. Shooting product for a client.
  5. Returned home to these guys – they barely noticed I was gone.
  6. Headed up the local mountains yesterday to cross country ski for the very first time. I won MVP for falling.

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AROUND HERE

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A few shots from around life these days :

  1. The eternal mess of running a dye studio – usually it looks a lot less photogenic than this…
  2. Just booked my ticket back to this winter wonderland for the Easter weekend – I’ll be returning to Toronto for the Spring One of a Kind Show so make sure to stop by and see me if you’re in the area.
  3. Working through some signage options.
  4. Slowly gathering all the bits and pieces together for the Spring line – should be ready to shop in February
  5. Matching my socks to my life! I love how just simply adding iron into the dye mix changes the colour of a cloth from light amber to deep purple/brown (the canvas I’m standing in front of was dyed with one Brazilwood dyebath and the colour differences you can see here are just from adding different levels of iron).

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2015 IN REVIEW

2015 has come to a close and, as per the tradition of this blog, I thought I would pull together a few images that help to tell it’s story (on a sad note I broke my camera card this year with a TON of images on it that were not backed up so this collection is pulled from what I could find in my archives) :

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From the very beginning of the year I knew I was planning on spending a couple of months in Los Angeles and I spent the first bit of 2015 setting up S&C to run without a daily presence in the studio. All my time was spent dyeing, marbling, shooting, photo-editing, and organizing before I got in the car and headed south. After spending the majority of 2013 and 2014 getting S&C established in Vancouver and Portland I knew I needed to spend an extended period of time away from the business to recharge – heading to LA for April and May was one of the best decisions I made all year.

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I headed south down the I-5 from Vancouver to Portland and then onwards to San Francisco and finally LA. I had never done a solo road trip before and I would highly recommend it to anyone – I had so many beautiful and personal moments while driving that it felt like I was living every road trip/wanderlust cliche to the fullest. Los Angeles was kind to me, the weather was lovely and the time away from my daily grind was energizing and re-focusing. I relaxed with friends, met new people and took time to work on personal projects – one of which I continue to work on in spare moments – Places I Have Stayed. Scout & Catalogue started as a personal project of mine while living in Mexico and, while I recognize the value of working on ideas that inspire ‘just because’, it has been a long time since I’ve had the opportunity to do so.

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When I drove home summer had arrived to the Pacific Northwest and I used the hot and lazy months to prep all the dye work for S&C’s Fall/Winter 2015 collection. I also said goodbye to the studio space I had shared for 2.5 years in Vancouver and moved the bulk of my production down to Portland.

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The last quarter of the year was all about selling the goods. I launched the new collection in mid October and then promptly spent most of November and some of December selling in markets, in stores and online. The pace was hectic but, after so much time off this year, I was happy to hustle. In the last few weeks of the year I hunkered down and spent time with friends and family and tried to enjoy winter instead of fight against it.

And now here we are in January. I am busy pulling together some new items for the new year and feel happy and excited about what is to come. I hope you all had amazing 2015’s and are looking forward to a rewarding and exciting 2016.

xo Bre

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AROUND HERE

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A few shots from life these days:

  1. Choosing trim for the S/S 16 season
  2. Holiday guests – my lovely friend Tamar (who usually lives at Casa Bonita) is staying with me in my tiny studio apartment over Christmas
  3. Almost time for my annual NYE sage burning ritual. A friend and I did this last year and 2015 was off the hook for both of us so we’re brining it back. Am looking forward to seeing what 2016 has up it’s sleeve.
  4. Testing the Yelapita Purse in mesh for the next collection!
  5. Bringing back our Casa Bonita Cushion from last season in the new collection.

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THROWBACK AROUND HERE

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Recently my SD card cracked in half and a years worth of my pictures were lost. Outside of this blog I didn’t have anything backed up (stupid, I know) and this morning I started to go through my archives to see what images I managed to save on my computer in their original size. I have everything backed up properly until about halfway through 2014 and then – nothing. Sad face.

But I DID end up stumbling into memories from years past so I thought I’d do throwback ‘Around Here’ post to celebrate the images I still have access to:

  1. Remember when Debbie Carlos and I first launched this marble poster?! It originally came in both black on white and black on pink. This is one of my favourite collaborations I have ever done…
  2. Nesting dolls found in a shop in the small town of Grand Forks from one of my favourite family vacations.
  3. Dye tests foreves.
  4. A snap from the butterfly conservatory in Seattle. There were about 3 butterflies in the entire place but the plants were gorgeous and the hot tropical conditions were an amazing respite from the rainy Pacific Northwest winter weather that day.
  5. Marbled leather panels drying and waiting to be sewn into clutches for our Of A Kind collab.
  6. Our first shoot in our Vancouver studio with the talented Aiya Feldman modelling and Hana Pesut shooting.
  7. Natural dye course at Maiwa.
  8. The first week of the Vancouver studio. RIP.
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BLOEDEL CONSERVATORY

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Last Friday I walked up the road to the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park. I hadn’t been since I was a kid but I wanted to shoot some plant life for the online store and a geodesic dome filled with tropical flora and fauna seemed like the perfect place to do it. Little known fact – there is a parrot at the Bloedel Conservatory that can meow like a cat which is pretty much worth the cost of admission right there…

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AROUND HERE

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A few shots from life these days:

1/2) I am temporarily without a studio and I’ve been using a friends apartment with great light and an even more amazing view to shoot my product in for the online shop.

3) Cacti in the corners of this apartment.

4) Life piles. Still unpacking from my recent trip to Toronto to see a good friend get married.

5/6) Work piles. Product waiting to be shot.

7) For some reason I find this shot very amusing. Like this cactus just at some point decided it was over growing up and took a sharp right turn to horizontal-ville…

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EXHIBIT A : YOUNG WOMAN IN THE BIG CITY

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Have you ever stayed in an airBNB where the person has left out all of their personal effects? This past trip to Toronto I stayed in a tiny studio apartment and the girl (who I never met) had left out her hard drive, jewelry, toiletries – it felt like she had just walked out the door a moment before I arrived. I spent some time on my trip at the Royal Ontario Museum and the act of peering at the exhibits and wondering about the lives led by the owners of the artifacts reminded me a little bit of my airBNB. Stories only half told…

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