xmas card

And so Christmas vacation begins – for me at least. I’m very lucky to be heading home for the holidays (it’s been a year since I’ve been back to Vancouver) and I’m going to take a full break – from sewing, blogging, shipping – the whole works. So it is going to get quiet around here and I just wanted to take this time to wish you all a very happy holiday season and let you know one last time how grateful I am for all of your sales over the last month or so.

I will leave the online shop ‘open’ and stocked with only scarves. Whatever orders placed from now until December 31st will be shipped in the first week of January. I’ll dutifully photograph my Christmas break and share when I get back – as well, I’ll be launching the Spring 2011 S&C collection in the new year and am super excited about where it’s heading.


(and don’t forget you have one last day to enter in the S&C x Marion House Book giveaway – winner is announced on the Marion House Book tomorrow morning!)
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I would like all of these things from ‘The Gift Shop’ – a pop-up shop in Vancouver that is open only for the month of December. If you’re in the hood – check it out and support some local artists…

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As much as I try to deny it, it has become very apparent that I will be needing a new pair of boots this winter. I am currently alternating between chucks with a cracked sole and a pair of vintage shortie cowboy boots that leave my feet numb after just 5 minutes outside. I DO own a pair of ankle height Sorels and a pair of real (‘I mean business’) combat boots but both of these options leave a little to be desired once I’ve reached my destination of choice. I have two basic requirements:

1) Little or no heel. Not only will I be walking with these bad boys on snow and ice I am actually just impaired when it comes to heels. I always feel like I’m walking like a robot and people are pointing and staring – which I do and they are (and not in a good way).

2) They need to be warm or allow for warm things to be put in them (ie. room for multiple wool socks)

I am loving how many shearling options there are out there this season and am personally leaning towards a low heeled clog boot. What do you think or have bought for yourself this season?

(Clockwise: Loggins Lace-Up Boot, Shop Nasty Gal; Bering Boot, Rachel Comey; The Bowery Boot, ModCloth; Shearling Military Boot, All Saints; Tan Shearling Boot, Desire Clothing; Shearling Military Boot, All Saints; Classic Biker Buckle Boot, No. 6)
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I just recently discovered the Etsy shop – The Portland General Store – and I have completely fallen in love (although with over 6000 sales I can see I’m a little late to the party here). Natural creams, eau de toilettes and smelling salts all in the unusual and natural scents of wood, tobacco, smoke, moss and cardamon to name a few. Combined with tasteful packaging and I believe the results cause, as they say, my love to run eternal.

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I’m excited to announce that I’ve partnered up with Emma from The Marion House Book and am doing a zipper pouch giveaway! Emma is a very talented Interior Designer that in a fairly short time has cultivated a devoted blog readership and shone a substantial spotlight on the creative inhabitants of our Toronto neighborhood – Parkdale. We’ll be back on her blog in a few months in the form of a house tour which I’m very excited about.

Head on over to her blog for a chance to enter and see a bit more of my sweatshop, ahem, I mean my studio. She’ll be picking a winner on the 14th!!

(Comments left on this post do not enter you into the giveaway)
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I’m slowly amassing everything I need to create my Spring 2011 collection. Can’t wait to launch it in the first few weeks of January!

P.S. Due to such high volume with online orders and extreme crafters exhaustion I’ve pulled out of the Lavish & Squalor Trunk Sale this upcoming weekend – I’m sure the event will be fabulous so if you’re in the Toronto area make sure to check it out…
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Look! Book!

It’s the second Tuesday in the month and Julie is back with another installment of Look! Book!

For the second edition of Look! Book! I have selfishly chosen the books I want to read (or re-read) by the fire this December.

1. Colm Tóibin’s The Master (2004) is one of my all time faves but last year’s Brooklyn is a wonderful read. Tóibin tells the story of young Eilis who, alone, inexperienced and brave, leaves Ireland to make a life for herself in 1950s Brooklyn.

2. You might have heard that, earlier this year, Mumbai University banned Rohinton Mistry’s Such a Long Journey. Well there’s nothing quite like censorship to stir a girl’s interest. I’ve been meaning to read Such a Long Journey for ages as Mistry’s A Fine Balance might be the most breathtaking book of all time.

3. I recommend all of Nigel Slater’s books wholeheartedly but The Kitchen Diaries most of all. Slater takes us through a year of more or less everything he eats and it’s all illustrated with Jonathan Lovekin’s mouthwatering photos.

4. Tonight I’m hosting my bookclub (I’m freakin’). This month we read Michelle Huneven’s Blame. Lots of big issues at play from alcoholism and atonement to love, guilt and forgiveness, but Huneven keeps the pace up brilliantly. Fingers crossed the discussion flows as well as the bubbly.

5. Back to New York for Mary McCarthy’s The Group a veritable classic. McCarthy exposes the bizarre and clique-y world of 1930s New York through the lens of eight girlfriends who have just graduated from Vassar. None of the girls is perfect -each have fairly hideous flaws – but yet there is something altogether captivating about them all.

6. What book round up is complete without Margaret Atwood? Seriously I have heard phenomenal things about The Year of the Flood and when I saw the special editions Bloomsbury UK released to celebrate Atwood’s 70th birthday, I knew I’d have to look into some overseas shipping. Sometimes it’s okay to judge a book by its cover.

Happy reading!

~ Julie

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new york times
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new york times

A friend posted this New York Times article on Facebook about a couple living in the Lower East Side in a 375 square foot apartment. It looks INSANELY fabulous, if not a bit cramped, and the most exciting thing out of the article is their reclaimed wood furniture line, Capsule Furniture. Made from wood they find about town each piece comes with an embedded glass capsule holding a letter outlining the history of the wood before it became a gorgeous table or bench. That is just the type of marketing gimmick I am a sucker for…

(Can’t link the article because all of a sudden NYT is making me set up an account before I can access it and I’m resisting having ANOTHER account online – it’s well worth the google)
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A few snapshots from my world this snowy (!) Monday morning. I am a true Vancouverite at heart and because my hometown barely ever sees snow it still has a magical quality to it for me. Yesterday when it started to fall I actually looked out the window and thought, ‘Where is all that glitter coming from?’ I’m fully aware that by February I’ll be sick of it but for now I LOVE looking out the window and seeing a winter wonderland of sorts.

A few months ago V and I found this wooden ironing board at Goodwill and since it was Freaky Friday where everything is half off we just couldn’t resist. Since then it’s been sitting in our bedroom annoying me with its uselessness. Until yesterday that is. I am a huge book person but before leaving for Mexico I ended up selling most of my collection. I realized that I had just enough books to transform this ironing board into a bookcase and, while I still have my eyes peeled for a more traditional way to store books, I am fairly happy with the results.

Saturday I was to be found at the Parkdale Bazaar selling zipper pouches and trying not to scare people off with my shy demeanor and clearly sick body. Happily Anabela and Geoff from the blog Fieldguided stopped by and purchased a constellation pouch. We chatted for a bit (it was the first time we had met in person) and then they very nicely gifted me with this awesome ‘There is thunder in our hearts’ tote. I had been secretly coveting it since they first released them and I was truly touched.

Today the morning will be devoted to cleaning my studio as tomorrow Emma from The Marion House Book is coming over to shoot my studio space for her blog. There will also be a giveaway announcement later in the week so stay tuned.

And finally – I spent Sunday wandering the aisles of the Toronto One of a Kind show. I was overwhelmed with how many vendors participated and, honestly, a bit underwhelmed with the product offering. There were a few standouts for me – most notably finally meeting Arounna of Bookhou (I purchased a lovely something but can’t post it for obvious gifting reasons), the waxed canvas bags and jewelry of Hoi Bo and the soft and sweet light boxes made by Christie Greyerbiehl.

Happy week everyone!
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As the online holiday rush starts to calm down my weekly Lunes Loves Etsy feature is back to its regular one shop focus. This week I wanted to share the gorgeous fashion of Toronto based Leilanni Land – the perfect store to grab your festive party gear or that crucial well cut basic. I pretty much love every single Leilanni item and I know you will too…

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So things have been a bit messy at my house over the last few days. I’ve been busy filling zipper pouch orders and lightly prepping for the Parkdale Bazaar which is being held in my neighborhood community center tomorrow. I’ve also been sick which has really slowed me down. Fingers crossed it all comes together!
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If you are in the Toronto area you are welcome to join me at two local events.

The first is this Saturday, December 4th, at the Parkdale Bazaar – being held at the Masaryk-Cowan Community Center (220 Cowan Avenue) from 11am to 5pm.

The second is the first ever Lavish & Squalor Trunk Sale (Upper Level (enter through store) 253 Queen Street West) – December 10 – 12th – schedule as follows:

Friday 12 – 8pm (cocktail hour 7-9pm)
Saturday 12 – 7pm
Sunday 12 – 6pm

Just a reminder that I will be shutting the online shop from December 15th to 31st so make sure to get your orders in in the next few weeks.
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A new Scavenger Series Pouch fabric – I’m calling this bad boy ‘Winter Stripe’. Available in the shop!
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It’s December 1st and, as we all know, the Holiday season is about giving not just receiving. So today I made a donation to Kiva.org – a company that helps out entrepreneurs in developing countries by organizing small business loans. Business owners approach Kiva with an outline of their company, how much money they require to grow their business and an estimated repayment plan (these are loans not donations). Kiva then posts their story on the site and asks for an individual loan donation of $25 dollars which they COMBINE with other $25 dollar donations until the grand loan total is reached.

I really love that you can choose who you would like to loan your money to. I chose 3 women that run a small weaving business in Guatemala. I picked them because they hand weave and embroider Guipiles which are a traditional fabric/tunic made in the region. While I was in Mexico I went to many markets that had these gorgeous and elaborate textiles and somewhere along the way I heard that many traditional crafts (construction of Guipiles included) were dying out because no one valued the time and effort that went into creating them. I love the idea of supporting women in business, entrepreneurs AND a dying craft all in one easy click of the mouse.

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Last Friday the first floor of my apartment was rented for a photo shoot and yesterday the results were posted. Clearly my space was INSTRUMENTAL in making these shots what they are (insert heavy dose of sarcasm) – I mean, those paint drips on the floor (courtesy of moi) really give the shoot a sense of ‘place’.

I did nothing in the making of this shoot except open the door, stay out of the kitchen and spend an hour or so chatting with the very talented photographer, stylist and make-up artist while the shots downloaded at the end of the day. One of the things I miss most about office life is the people (you can only get so much conversation out of a cat) and it was really nice to have other creative folk around to feel inspired by and to talk about the industry.

Photography by Francisco Garcia, more shots here.

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I’ve spent a good part of the day sewing zipper pouches and all of them are now available in the shop! If you’ve been eyeing one (or two) grab them while you can…
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And speaking of 2011 Calendars – my new astrology calendar arrived today from the Prismatic Print Shop. Gorgeous and very sweetly packaged – get one while the getting is good!
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I just couldn’t wait until next week to do another Lunes (or in this case Martes) Loves Etsy Holiday Edition. Here are some more great items to give this year:

1) Calendars are such great gifts – I love that they give for the entire year. Dreamcats is designed by the very talented Toronto based couple/creative team Anabela and Geoff of Fieldguided (with modeling help by their kitten Pony).

Fieldguided, Dreamcats 2011, $20

2/4/6) What girl doesn’t love receiving jewelry? Especially jewelry that includes triangles, stunning crystals and oversized chains…

2) Noble Town Vintage, Vintage Brass Arrow Necklace, $22
4) Kuo Ting Jewelry, Gold-dipped Amethyst Drusy Earrings, $48
6) Noble Town Vintage, Mix of Chains mixed necklace, $22

3) I love the simplicity and size (not too big, not too small) of this soft grey rucksack.

Infusion, Rucksack, $148

5) I’m a huge book lover and would LOVE not only to receive beautiful vintage books but also to receive them on a theme. I’ve found collections of vintage books that are organized ‘for the gardener’, ‘for the teacher’ or just simply ‘classics’ – for me that extra touch really takes the gift to the next level. This particular stack of vintage books are the ‘John Steinbeck Collection’ – amazing literature we all probably haven’t revisited since highschool.

Little Dog Vintage, Vintage John Steinbeck Book Collection, $38

7) Lovely natural soaps and candles are always received with thanks (as I’ve mentioned before) and I LOVE these natural candles poured into vintage army canteens.

Grandiose Lab, Canteen Candle, $30

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As you all know this month I’m taking part in Poppytalk’s online market and I thought what better way to showcase the talent of my fellow vendors than to choose this weeks Lunes Loves Etsy gift guide ideas from the Poppytalk market.

And so without further ado:

1) The Toronto based husband and wife team behind the lovely little shop Bookhou have lots of gift ready things this season. I love their loose illustrations, often hand screened, on natural linen and whether it be tea towels, journals or this pillow I would be happy with anything Bookhou.

2) I am someone that takes pleasure in stones. I love the feel of them in my hand, I love scouring the shores of lakes, rivers and streams to find the perfect one to take home with me – my house is filled with little rock piles, each coming from different places I have visited. My father’s house is exactly the same – it must be genetic.

3/4) As I’ve mentioned many times I love the idea of giving and receiving art

5) Ceramic nuts! Love these – they seem both completely seasonal (The Nutcracker, of course) and seasonless. Perfect to find a home in a beautiful dish or possibly beside my stone piles…

6) This custom initial charm bracelet is so simple I couldn’t help but covet it. These seem ideal for close girlfriends taking the place of our childhood ‘best friends’ heart necklaces.

7) I’ve been a fan of Oh My Cavalier for awhile – beautiful stationary and lovely cards.

All of these lovely items (and way way way more) can be found via the Poppytalk online handmade market – check us out!

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The holidays are fast approaching and everything and everyone is on the move. This is a little reminder for shipping deadlines (all dates are estimates – due to heavy holiday postal use and customs there are no guarantees your package will arrive by the 25th):

Overseas – This Monday is your last day for delivery pre-Christmas
US – You should place your orders by December 4th
Canada – You should place your orders by December 9th

Also – I am heading home for the holidays on December 16th and the online shop will be shut for 2 weeks so the earlier you make your purchases/requests the better. I will not be able to sew anything past December 13th. The shop should re-open January 1st.

(The tracks picture I took outside of my mother’s house in Vancouver – I can’t wait to spend two whole weeks with friends and family in my hometown…long live Christmas!!)
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