Friday, November 30, 2007

This Just In: Wear Stretchy Clothing or Tunic Tops to the Vernissage this Saturday...

I've been baking up a storm this week, so dress appropriately. Thanks to everyone who voted in the poll (at right). I'd like to say that unfortunately there will not be popcorn balls at the verni, since as of yesterday they were being beaten out by the sugar cookies, but maybe we'll have a little shopping/snacking/drinking party at HQ closer to X-mas, which will definitely include popcorn balls. Here's what's on the menu for the vernissage:

I only made the swirly version above, not all those cookies!

Sugar cookies with a great peppermint swirl in the middle. I also did a version with a peach swirl in the middle, and my cookies are stars, not circles. I got the idea (and the pic) from the latest issue of Blueprint magazine

I found this pic online, but mine look pretty
much exactly like this. I'll be making them tonight!

Chocolate Peanut Butter balls! My grandmas recipe, these are a Christmas favorite that I am now forced to make every year. Delicious and sickeningly sweet, I don't even eat them anymore, I just make them for everyone else!

Shortbread spritz cookies (the spritz is the name of the cookie press). I just picked up my own cookie press this year, but the recipe is my grandmas (an old scandinavian recipe), and she's been making them FOREVER using this giant vintage metal cookie press. It's about 1 1/2 ft. long. I'm not even joking.

This isn't my pic either,
but I wish I had a stand like this for my cupcakes.

And of course, the HQ staple and most voted for treat in the poll, the mini cupcakes. Keeping things festive, I made spice cake, 1/2 with vanilla and 1/2 with creamcheese icing, with a dash of nutmeg on top. (thanks to Jill for icing them for me on Saturday since I will be in Ottawa for Ladyfest during the day, you saved the party Jill!)

New Mauve Naif at HQ

The colours in this one are SO GREAT!
I think this T would also look great with black jeans

We're so amazed by artist/designer Catherine LeBrun, she just keeps blowing us away every time she brings in some new tops from her Mauve Naif line. As I've mentioned before, these tops are HAND-FREAKIN'-PAINTED! Catherine really takes the idea that the t-shirt is a blank canvas and runs with it. The deep V neck longish t-shirts she chooses to paint on are also pretty fab from the start, with a great boyishly sexy fit for girls, and a nice classic slim cut for guys.

She just dropped off a whole junk-load of new designs this week (only some of which are pictured here), so don't forget to check them out on Saturday if you stop by for the IPWMTT (It's Probably Worth More Than That, I'm not writing it out anymore) vernissage.

As if I don't own one yet. This is a real problem...

The zip-up hoodie is a new addition, previously all the hoodies were pullovers. Zip-up is a great option, it helps one avoid staticky hair, and the ever embarassing "oops, I lifted up both shirts by accident"

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Light Show II: ALIVE!

Our friend/lightshow artist/boyfriend of Jen Storey who organized the light show, James Kerr, made a little video for the Light Show II. I absolutely do not have permission to post it on this site, but I don't think James would mind. Plus I really doubt he reads the HQ blog.

Prove me wrong James!

The light show has been taken down since Tyson is now hanging like crazy for the "It's Probably Worth More Than That" show, but if you're interested in any of the lights you see we can totally hook you up. Enjoy!

Little Miss Bossy tells you what to do this weekend

As a totally unrelated aside, we have a whole whack of the
Little Miss and Mr. Men books at HQ, always a popular gift,
but also good instead of giving someone a card, checking in at around $5

People who know me well know I am often a very bossy person. In fact there are probably multiple people doing things right now which I have told them to do (or not to do). One of them is supposed to be Tyson, but he's probably the only one not doing what he's told. He's really good at standing up for himself, since he knows I'll always forgive him. I guess that would make him Mr. Charming?

For those weakwilled folks out there who can't stand to say no to me, this is what you will be doing this Saturday:

- Get up early, drive to Ottawa to check out the Ladyfest "Not Your Grandmas Craft Sale" and do some early X-mas shopping. It starts at 10am, find out more info here.
- After eating a delicious lunch, leave Ottawa in your dust and head back to Montreal for the Flea Affair Craft Sale to do a bit more X-mas shopping and maybe get something for yourself.
- Take a shopping break, and grab a bite to eat or take a nap (or both!)
- After dinner head down to HQ for our Second Annual "It's Probably Worth More Than That" Christmas art show (see more info, above right). If you're looking to buy some art at this show, I seriously recommend that you get there early-ish, since this show sells out fast and the pieces this year are AMAZING!

OK that's it, my fit of bossiness is over. Go about your business. Or go get me some dessert.


Little Otsu, for you!

Just in time for Christmas shopping, we just got a package full of print goodies from Little Otsu! We found out about this company just before we opened a year and a half ago, and have been in love with their stuff ever since. Printed on recycled paper using soy-based inks, the duo of Yvonne and Jeremy work with some wonderful artists and put together some really special printed material. We got in a whole box of stuff, but here's a quick recap of just a few of the things in store waiting for you to gaze upon:

Three year calendar by Lart Cognac Berliner
Three years of advance planning, just in case someone asks you what day
of the week January 28th 2009 is (it's a Wednesday)

Lart drew multiple versions (an immense amount of work!) of the 2008-2010 reference calendars for her upcoming Come Along Weekly Planner (LO44) using color pencil, and a lot of them at that, especially considering it was going to be printed in one color. When she showed the folks at LO one of the versions that she didn’t end up using, they liked it so much that they thought they should make it a calendar of its own. Here it is! It’s kind of crazy to be thinking about 2010 already, but it’s only a couple of years down the road and for those of you who need to do some long-term planning, it’s a fun, hand-drawn way to look ahead. Great for an office wall or desk!

2008 Milky Elephant Postcard Calendar by Eun-Ha Paek

The postcards are perfect for framing after
you're done with the calendar. Bravo, instant art!

I'm super excited about this Milky Elephant calendar from Eun-Ha Paek! Apparently the folks at LO have known Eun-Ha since her days at RISD and loved the collective she formed with Karl and Mumbleboy known as Milky Elephant. One of the highlights they always looked forward to was her annual take on the Milky Elephant calendar, but she’s been so busy that she hasn’t made one in a couple years. So rather than be deprived of such a treat, they asked her if they could help make it happen, and lo and behold, they have one of our coolest calendars yet! That's what we like at HQ, if it's not happening on it's own, make it happen yourself!

Come Along Weekly Planner by Lart C. Berliner

So beautiful you almost don't want to write in it, but the beauty of
Larts work is that the more scribbles you add the more personal it looks.

Yvonne & Jeremy had been talking with Lart about doing a planner for quite some time and had bounced around a lot of ideas, but hadn’t found anything that stuck. That is until they thought of the long scroll they had seen at the Ehon exhibit at the New York Public Library in which a man painted his trip down a river. It gave them the inspiration to have one long landscape that extended through your whole year. Combined with Lart’s prodigious imagination and artful exploration in a new medium (colored pencil), they now have one of their coolest planners yet! Come Along has all the fun and useful features you’ve come to expect from LO planners like lists, info, and notes pages while it takes you on a journey through 54 undated weeks. And since you’re moving along a landscape (over 64 feet!), they wanted to orient it landscape-style, so you get an interesting planner shape to boot. The spiral binding allows you to open your whole week out to lay flat on a desk.

Non-Planner Datebook by Keri Smith

Keri Smith came to LO with the idea for a more unstructured datebook meant to inspire creativity more than strictly plan your life and Yvonne & Jeremy in their infinite wisdom thought that would be a fun project to add to their continuum of planners. As you might guess by the name, this is not your everyday planner, in many senses of the word. The Non-Planner Datebook randomly intersperses undated monthly overviews with journal and idea pages so that you can have some sense of framework, but not feel constricted or bound by predictability. And Keri’s whimsical structure and art are meant to amuse and make you reflect, but also just capture current moments and states. It may seem paradoxical to be simultaneously looking towards the future and the present moment, but it works in reminding you that organizing the later can be just as enjoyable as living the now. This is the perfect "planner" for all of our HQ artists!

Little Otsu Annual MINI Vol. 1 Weekly Planner
With almost a year in the making and a resultant 128 pages, the Little Otsu Annual MINI Vol. 1 weekly planner is the most elaborate project they’ve ever worked on! Collaborating with their good friend, the amazing artist and graphic designer Martine Workman, they set a goal of making a dream planner that could provide plenty of space and function while showcasing different art on every page.

Incorporating a series of pattern drawings—among them abstract flowers, clouds, and many different shaped knots—they gave each week, 54 in all, a two-page spread with lots of features and a unique look. Starting with a dateless format, which allows you to begin your planner whenever you want, they give you a shortcut by allowing you to check off the month you’re in. Then each day is given plenty of alternating lines which make for easy list-making. They’ve also added structured room below the days to write lists, notes, and to-dos for the week. To top it off, each week has a different non sequitur question at the bottom for a laugh or just a break from organizing. Who said planning had to be so serious?

Besides the great weekly pages, they ALSO built in other sections to organize aspects of your life that don’t happen on a daily basis. There are easy reference pages for personal information, your important dates (like appointments, events, travel), special occasions, gifts, and entertainment interests (books, movies, music). They’ve also included mini reference calendars for 2007-2009, address book entries, and notes pages. They’ve even made a bookmark that doubles as a list of dates to remember so that your important days are always at hand! They thought of everything!

The (approximately) 5.5\” x 4.25\” book is perfect-bound and printed locally by a family-owned press with vegetable-based inks on 100% post-consumer recycled paper, which is one of our favorite parts of the book.

Owls Thank You Card by Kate Sutton

Owls nested among flowers and strawberries, can it get any sweeter than that? This is just one of the Otsu cards we ordered from England’s Kate Sutton ( The card is blank on the inside and the full-color printing was done in Hayward, CA at a family shop with vegetable-based inks on 100% post-consumer recycled paper. The card measures 6.25” wide x 4.5” tall folded and comes with a natural colored 100% post-consumer recycled paper envelope.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

New Stock From My Favorite Mirror

Yay! We just got in new stock from My Favorite Mirror, one of my favorite indie companies! I love the MFM product, but I also love the fact that owner Kellee appreciates indie artists enough to offer TONS of her little mirrors with the art of some of our favorites on them (over 25 indie artists available in their online shop, and we have almost all of them at HQ). So even if you can't afford a piece of art by one of these great artists, you can at least have a little mirror!

To give you a little background info, My Favorite Mirror is a small company based smack dab in the middle of the US, Fort Wayne, IN. The company is made up of Kellee & Matt Milner. They lived in NJ for a few years, but moved to the midwest to be adventurous and to save money! Kellee says that Matt likes to tell people they're hillbillies, but she has to remind him there aren't really *any* hills in Indiana. Most importantly, every product on their site is made by them, by hand. They don't outsource, they don't mass produce. If you have one of their products, you can be glad to know that your hard-earned dollars are supporting not only Kellee & Matt and the artist whose illustration graces the item you've bought (and also HQ of course).

In the latest load that we got, we've slipped in a few old faves, but also ordered tons of new designs, as well as a fun new product, coaster sets! Enjoy the pics and some background info on a few of the artists:

Susie Ghahremani of BoyGirlParty

(above) Susies beautiful coaster set which we have in store.
We also have a few of her mirrors.

In my opinion Susie Ghahremani wins the award for best company name. She is a painter, crafter, musician and keeper of finches. She made art and messes at the Rhode Island School of Design some time ago and currently resides in California where she works full-time on making things out of other things. View her illustrations or her line of gifts under the pseudonym boygirlparty at

Jenny Hart of Sublime Stitching

Jenny at work on the original embroidery
used as a print on the mirror!

Jenny Hart is a designer and artist based in Austin, Texas whose works in embroidery have been published and exhibited internationally. Part fine artist, part craft revolution pioneer, she is also the founder of Sublime Stitching, a seminal DIY design company launched in 2001 to revitalize the craft of hand embroidery, and is a member of the Austin Craft Mafia, and regular contributor to Supernaturale.

Jill Bliss of Blissen

We have the lovely coaster set,
as well as a few mirrors from Miss Bliss

Jill Bliss draws, sews and makes things in her studio everyday. Nestled in between two majestic redwood trees and an ancient cherry tree, one hour north of San Francisco. Jill's small company, blissen, collaborates with others to make beautiful, useful and thoughtful items in limited editions from reused materials. She's even worked with the wonderful people at Little Otsu, who make some of the beautiful planners and notebooks we carry. +

Eleanor Grosch

Perhaps you recognize her graphics from a
recent collaboration with Keds?
I know Amanda Moss should, she owns a pair!

From a young age, Eleanor drew animals. She drew them at home, she drew them in school, she drew them on vacation, in the car, when she was sick, whenever she could. She rarely drew people; there was just something special about animals that held her interest and continues to do so.

Caitlin Kuhwald

I just love this image, reminds me of the scruffy yet
super smart 10 year old boyI met in St. Henri this
summer while walking my dog Spidey

Caitlin Kuhwald is an artist from Oakland, CA. I couldn't find any bio info on her site, but I think her work is really gorgeous.

Ashley G. & Drew B.

Love the soft colours with the bright
yellow hair in this illustration by this duo

Ashley Goldberg, 25, and Drew Bell, 28, are creative partners in crime, living and loving in St. Louis, MO. They live with Isadora the cat and mounds of shipping supplies. Oh-- and they work really well together.

Emily Martin

I adore this apple head painting, so dreamy

Emily Martin is a painter, scribbler and stitcher living and working in Athens, GA. She really likes the phrase "cottage industry," and founded hers, The Black Apple, in 2005 after graduating from college.
Currently, she makes paintings, dolls, sculptures, and fabric goods and her online shop carries these, as well as pins, paper goods, and totes featuring her images. You can read her blog to find out loads more about her, as well her creations. I will tell you this: she loves rabbits, fruit, baking, fancy socks, her kitten Miette and vintage clothing.

Stella Im Hultberg

I am in LOVE with Stellas paintings.
I would love to have her illustrate an entire clothing collection
instead of doing a photoshoot.
That would be amazing.

Stella is a painter living and working in New York City, and is good friends with our very own Yana of Supayana! Despite her background in industrial design and toy design, she has recently turned to a more personal and expressive kind of creating, showing her works at galleries from late 2005. When she’s not drawing or painting, she likes to eat while thinking of more food to eat; search for the perfect cupcake; eat ice cream at the park; and just walk around her most favorite city in the world.

Winter Colour Combo

Lately I've been thinking a lot about colour theory... in terms of outfits that is. I'm always on the lookout for interesting new combos, something a little "off" or different from the norm. For example, I am wearing a pair of red jeans today, but I'm really picky about what I wear them with, and am very wary of the red/black/white combo.

#1 because it was my favorite combo in grade 7, and I feel I've hopefully developed my fashion sense somewhat since then.
#2 because I think I might end up looking like an emo kid. And I'm 27, and that would be bad.

So instead I like to wear them with navy and brown, or pale yellow, or a dusty mauvy pink (it works, I promise). White still works in my opinion, and heather grey is great as well.

In the same vein of thought, I zoomed in on this pic from Facehunter, and really love the combo of the navy/heather grey/cognac. Not brown, not beige, COGNAC. I need boots in this colour, they are now officially on my list.

And when I do find them, I will try my darndest to find a nice turquoise/robins egg blue bench to sit on and look pretty.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Outfits of the Week: Nov. 28/07

Wow, I'm really starting to feel the holiday crunch. With baking to do for our upcoming vernissage this saturday, decorating the store, sewing stuff for the Ladyfest "Not Your Grandmas Craft Sale" (sorry grandma Joan, I didn't name the sale!), as well as new development crunch at the gool 'ol full time job, I'm swamped! So sorry again for the delay in posting outfits of the week, but damn, I got no time!!! But I guarantee those baked snacks for Saturday will be delicious! (although I may not be able to make the cupcakes, update on that later)

Tweed shorts by Soi Disant (Montreal) (for real life I would pair them up
with some grey woolly tights, we didn't have any at the store)
with vintage black patent shoes with purple/pink/blue leather stripes

Mixed yarn scarf by Olivin Designs (Winnipeg), handpainted sweatshirt by Mauve Naif (Montreal), purple tweed bag with bunnies by Roadkill (Montreal)

Tweed capelet with satin lining and vintage buttons by Roadkill (Montreal),
floral jersey mini dress with 3/4 sleeves by Supayana (Brooklyn/Montreal)

If you click on the image you'll get a bigger version
(this is always the case, if you were wondering)
and you'll be able to see the beautiful little necklace by A Heart Apart (Montreal)

Friday, November 23, 2007

OMG, Another Sample Sale!

Wow, it's really sample sale season, I feel like I'm surrounded. Only the best for you though my friends...

Just heard about this sample sale from Clayton (the designer of Complex Geometries) and it looks to be a good one. Take Claytons advice and buy something for yourself before you have to give up all your hard earned cash on those "loved ones" and all that jazz.

Some of the designers you'll be able to score beautiful finds from are:

Complex Geometries
Jennifer Ann Gilpin
Pearls before Swine
Nudie Jeans
Denim Birds
Filippa K
Acne Jeans
Arielle de Pinto
Madame Jo
Paul Graham

Sounds like fun! Wish I could be there, but I'll be at HQ while Tyson is at Expozine. So sad.

A Flea Affair to Remember

This message goes out to all those crafters looking to sell their wares at a new local craft sale this holiday season. Two ladies by the name of Diana Ramirez and Jill Smith are hosting the newest arts and crafts fair on December 1st called the "Flea Affair".

The Flea Affair is a play on words -Flea Market / Social Affair, the purpose of which is to provide local artisans and other entrepreneurs a platform to sell their goods to the public at the height of the giving season via a table at the fair. Each table goes for $40 for 7 hours of selling time, followed by a vendors cocktail after the fact in the same space.

The deadline for entry is Thursday November 29th (that's next Thursday so hurry!!)

The location is the Centro Gallego de Montreal, 4602 St. Laurent; 11-6pm.

The Cole Choir will be dropping by to entertain everyone, alongside Dj accompaniment throughout the day, and the Centro Gallego will be catering.

So far they have already brought in a variety of vendors, and they are now looking forward to filling up the last few tables. They would love to fill up the last few tables with some more local crafty folks.

Those interested may contact me them at this address: or at

A Few More One-Offs

This high waisted skirt is a beauty,
so sad to let it go!

I'm bringing home (and by home I mean HQ) the last group of one-off samples we'll be getting before Christmas. As well, the time has finally come to bring in the one-off jeans!

We have this wool empire waist dress in grey tweed and black wool.
It has the most amazing detail of pewter
coloured chain hand-stitched on the neckline!
Great for layering over a blouse, or even over a vintage t-shirt, I love that!

I picked out 6 fabulous pairs of jeans for now, that's it! I only wanted to bring in the best and cutest, so I was really picky. They're all skinny fits, and all different denims, with one black pair thrown in the mix. I will be putting them out at noon this Saturday, no earlier, no later, so if you're dying for a new pair of special jeans, get down here quick! Sizes are 27/28.

We have this style in two types of indigo
denim and one pair in the grey shown above

When I say high I mean high, no joking around here!

We also have some truly amazing vintage denim that I picked up on my last trip to Winnipeg. I really, really love the super high waisted wide leg fit of them (I kept one pair for myself). Unfortunately most of them are really small (size 25-28) since all of the larger sizes at my secret source have been snapped up over the last 10 years. All these vintage jeans also have SUPER long inseams, so we're also offering free hemming on them if needed.

We've got about 8 pairs of the vintage jeans in total, all different styles. There are some fun old brands in there too (Wrangler, Levis, HASH jeans). Here's a bit of Canadian trivia for you:

HASH jeans are an old Canadian line from the seventies, based in Winnipeg. One half of the design due was Allan Kemp, who is now the designer of Silver Jeans and 1921 Jeans. I used to work for Allan at my first job in the fashion industry (Silver Jeans), back in Winnipeg. He also designed a line of jeans called Fancy Ass (of which I owned a pair of hand-me-down denim cutoffs when I was about 10. Sheesh. A ten year old fancy ass.)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Gaudy and Gold

A nice little art deco panel with a green vintage bead

Just the way I like it!

I just put together a few fun and flashy gold necklaces, which are now down at HQ. I picked up some beautiful semi-precious stones to mix in with the flashy gold/bronze vintage bits I found, and am quite happy with the results.

The photography on the other hand .... well, it was convenient.

Sorry folks, too busy sewing, crafting and working to take decent pics, but if you can manage to get through the snow and slush head down to HQ this weekend to see them in person, they're much nicer than in the pics!

The tiny aqua bead adds a little special something

Even though the pic is so small you'd need
some special sort of CSI computer program to see it,
this necklace has an amazing crest in
the middle of it, with some fun charms hanging off the lower chain

A cute vintage enameled crab becomes the centerpiece for this one

OK I know it's over the top, but I couldn't resist.
And I don't even care if no one likes it or buys it,
'cause I'm gonna wear it all over town even if no one else will!

Sweet filigree and simple vintage ivory plastic beads

I made a few different varieties of this one.
The center is a semi-precious stone, and there are cute
vintage plastic fruit beads on either side.
I put together 3 gold versions and 2 silver ones,
all with different coloured beads and fruit.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Magical Mystery Metro

Image from Flickr account MTL guy

Have any of you stumbled upon the mystery car on the metro? I stumbled into it for the first time a week or so ago, and again this morning. An art installation by artist Rose-Marie Goulet, the car has been transformed with that sticky vinyl image stuff they use for ads in the metro, but this time it has been used for art rather than commerce. My world has been flipped upside down.

The most funny/strange/interesting part of the installation is the accompanying sounds that come on every few minutes. Ranging from laughing and talking to birds tweeting and church bells, it's a strange sensation to hear these sounds on the metro. Some people really lose their shit too when they first get in the car, which is really funny to watch. As someone who is not really a huge fan of installation art I was happy that this piece put a little smile on my face, and I really liked the look of the car completely enveloped in dark blue with graphics on the windows. Very cozy. That being said, this morning was the second time I found myself in this little moving gallery, and I was a little annoyed by the sounds on my way to work. I'm really not very nice in the morning. Ask Tyson.

Read a more deeply researched article on this project written by a less sleep deprived person here