Monday, March 31, 2008

Broundoor by Marc Simard

Around the same time that we opened HQ our friend Marc Simard began making these amazing handcarved belts and hand carved AND sewn wallets & cuffs. He was pretty new at this whole making/selling his work thing, but since we were friends he felt comfortable enough selling in our store, and knew we would tell him what was working and what wasn't. At the time Marc was also busting his butt along with a couple other friends of ours doing landscaping, which Tyson was also doing before we opened HQ.

Well, flash forward 2 years, and we're still selling Marcs awesome designs, but now he is working on his stuff full time, has expanded his range to include handmade leather purses, new wallet designs, earrings, belt buckles and probably something else that I'm forgetting that is equally awesome. Marc is also selling in a whole slew of stores now, and we're so happy that HQ was one of the first to support his work.

So this post goes out to Marc, all the hard work is worth it, and we are SO impressed by how your techniques have developed! (all self taught by the way, this guy knows how to work it out!)

I can easily picture Marcs designs worn in a classic, high quality, utilitarian way (which is what Marc is all about), but I can also SO easily ALSO picture his bags and belts worn by very fashion forward girls, mixed with light floral chiffon dresses, leather wedge sandals and loose summery messy hair. I don't think Marc intended them this way, but I think his items have a great vintage feel to them, kind of like those old tooled/carved leather purses that you can sometimes find in a thrift shop if you're super lucky. I think Marcs stuff would look great with any of these outfits from Fashion Toast (my friend Amandas fave fashion blog, check it out HERE). Now we just need that weather to go with the cali girl look....

So way to go Marc, I'm sure you're thoroughly embarassed by this post, and I'll hear about it this weekend at the vernissage!

See more of Marcs work


Friday, March 28, 2008

Anastasia Lomonova, Spring 08

This top is super soft and also comes in a dark grey/blue colour

I'm so excited to tell you we now have stock in from the Spring 08 Anastasia Lomonova collection. I was just telling a friend of mine how I'm just blown away by all our designers this season, everyone is knocking my socks off, all at once.

This skirt is also available in a charcoal grey.
A girl tried it on in the store yesterday and it looked amazing!

Anastasia is certainly no exception! Her latest collection is light and breezy, perfect for the hot weather that WILL come soon, really it's just around the corner...

This dress is my favorite piece in the collection.
It comes in this beautiful black/white floral, but also in solid colours

Her photoshoot itself is stunning as well. It reminds me of some sort of fairy tale mashup between Goldilocks and the 3 Bears, and Snow White. Between my trip to the Biodome and Insectarium a few weekends ago with some family friends (first time there!) and this photoshoot, I'm really ready for some leafy greens to enter my life!

Although you can't see clearly in this pic, the fabric of this dress is a
gorgeous cotton crochet/lace (fully lined so you will remain a lady)

As I mentioned in our"moving" post, Tyson will be dealing with the movers while I'm down at HQ on Saturday, so stop by and say hi and try on a couple of these new designs from miss Lomonova!

These drapy pants are so great for swooshing around in this summer,
we also have them in black

p.s. Wow, I just noticed this is my 500th blog post! Can somebody start paying me for this already!



Anyone heading out to NY in April? If you are, why not stop by the Etsy Labs for a workshop with the amazing Supayana (Yana Gorbulsky that is!). She's popping into NY for the month of April, so you know, why not do a workshop on DIY undies while there?

Here are the deets:
Date: Saturday, April 19, 2008
Time: 1-4pm
Location: Etsy Labs, 325 Gold Street 3rd Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201
To sign up online, click HERE

I see London, I see France- I’m gonna teach you how to make underpants! This workshop will teach you how to transform an old t-shirt into a pair of super cute undies. You will be provided with step-by-step instructions, stretch lace, buttons, and patterns- you just need to bring a shirt!

There are only 8 spaces available in total so sign up quickly!

Class fee is $55.00.

Instructor Bio:
My name is Yana Gorbulsky, and I run the clothing line called Supayana. I was born in Moscow and jump-started my career in Brooklyn, NY, before deciding to come to Montreal. I first found my passion for sewing as a little girl, sewing dresses for my dolls and stuffed animals. I eventually started making clothing for myself, and then finally for others girls who shared an interest in unique clothing. I love reworking old clothes, but I also love to make things from scratch. I’ve been selling my clothes online and at brick and mortar stores for more than 5 years and I hope to for many more years to come!

Check out my Etsy shop,

***NOTE*** Class cancellations must be made at least 4 days prior to the class. Otherwise, refunds are not available.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The new route I would like to take every day...

Oh wall on the building that used to be Jacks Antiques on Amherst, I love you! Snapped this yesterday on the way to my hair appointment. Thanks wall!


Valerie Dumaine, Spring 08

I am in LOVE with this vest jumpsuit.
I just want to wear rompers all summer. Maybe I will...

We just received our spring stock from Montreal designer Valerie Dumaine. As usual her collection is absolutely gorgeous. To me her designs really sum up the idea of "effortless" style (the often flung about yet rarely explained term). Her dresses are often pretty but not in a "too girly" way, or sleek and sexy, but not in a trashy way. She manages to walk that line perfectly. Chalk up another successful season Valerie, you just keep getting better and better sweetheart! I can honestly say this is my absolute favorite Valerie Dumaine collection to date. There. I've said it. I'm officially gushing.

But here's the real question...

After looking at Valeries photoshoot, I suddenly want my bob to be bleached to a white blonde, is that weird?

I predict that this heather grey and acid yellow top is set to
become a summer staple in many a closet

You may recognize this gorgeous fabric from Valeries Fall 07 collection.
I'm so happy she's decided to continue this fabric, it is such great quality,
and really modernizes this feminine dress with just a HINT of metallic sheen.

These trousers are super hot and the jacket sweetens it up

This dress will be mine, that's a promise.
It also comes in a grey/black/white version (we have both at HQ),
but I'm in love with the above combo

I've fallen hard for the printed version of this dress,
but the plain white one is so crisp and cool, it's hard to resist

This dress is just stunning,
it also comes in a couple of solid colours

New Stuff from Roadkill

I popped into the store last night on my way to the hair salon. Wow. I'm in amazement. Tyson told me we got a lot of new stock in, but seriously, the ENTIRE STORE is full of new stuff! I'm going to try to do blog posts on everything over the next week or so, and hopefully I'll have time to do some fun photoshoots to highlight some of our new designers.

For now though check out this new bag design from Elaine Ho, the creator of Roadkill. Apparently Elaine is just as much of a packrat as me (although you'd never know it from her organized apartment!) and she's been keeping all the tiny scraps of fancy leather that is left over from making her various appliques purses and wallets. She was playing around in her studio one day and decided to make herself a denim bag adorned with TONS of these tiny scraps, cut into a kind of half circle and appliqued onto the denim to create and amazing fishscale look.

I saw Elaine carrying this purse at the Ladyfest Christmas Craft sale, and I believe I screamed at her "What the hell is that on your arm, it's AMAZING!!!!". So Elaine was kind enough to make a few more, and we have two down at HQ right now. One is a smaller size, and one is a nice jumbo size.

Elaine also dropped off some more of her signature applique purses with great new designs (robots anyone?) as well as some of her highly covetable antler necklaces.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Moving Day is almost upon us....

No, not the store (now THAT would be a job and a half) but rather our apartment. We're moving this weekend, so we will only be open until 6pm this Friday. Saturday will be business as usual with me (Angie) taking care of the store for a change.

As I'm sure most of you know, moving is a big headache, but the saving grace is the fact that we're moving into a beautiful, old, charming apartment, and that we will no longer be living across the street from a strip club/biker bar. Oh and no junkies, we're pretty happy about that too! For all of you who know me personally, you will likely agree that all I've been able to talk about lately (besides log pillows) is decorating this new apartment. You see, decorating is my second love (after fashion), and sometimes it even jumps up to become my first love. I think they're pretty intertwined, what with the fabric, the colours, the textures, the balance (the obsessive blog reading), etc.

So hopefully I will be able to do some posts on the decorating developments in the new place. Maybe some of you will find it interesting, maybe some of you will just have to bear with me like my friends in "real life" currently have to.

For now however this is going to be a crazy weekend, but we'll try to keep everything at the store running as smoothly as possible. We've got TONS of new stock in (which I'm trying to catch up on blogging about, stay tuned) so hopefully the sun will come out this weekend and you all can stop by and try on some fun summer goodies.


The Odd Bird - Dominos for all!

The Odd Bird is one of the designers we work with that such a huge variety of people love. Our friend Toby even got a tattoo based on the pendant he bought from her line. THAT's devotion! I mean, come on. A pug in a a raincoat, who can resist that?!

Well, we just got a package full of brand new designs so all her biggest fans will have to stop by and see. We have pendants in a variety of sizes, and well as new kilt pin brooches.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

While we're on the subject of DIY...

I wanted to share this amazing DIY project with you all, which comes from none other than Queen Michelle of one of my favorite fashion blogs Kingdom of Style.

She's been hankering after some knee high gladiator sandals (much as I have been in my springtime daydreams) so she just went ahead and figured out a DIY version that is so indredibly versatile it just blows my mind. Behold the wonder that is DIY!

Here's what Michelle has to say about the creation of this amazing accessory, aptly dubbed "The Cage"


My idea was a very simple one - to turn my existing strappy gladiator style shoes into knee high versions should I so desire. So, I created a kind of 'cage' for the leg that consists of a big zip up the middle with sections of black elastic sewn on at intervals down the leg. That simple. The zip can be worn either at the front or the back and the effect is quite Alaia/Givenchy without the expense!

A very simple idea, but it's ability to transform all manner of my shoes is quite remarkable, especially as I have no shortage of shoes with which these 'cages' can go with. I also intend on adding little tassels on the end of the zips so they swish from side to side when I walk.

If the precision of the evenly placed strapping seems too hard, then taking the zip and the top and bottom sections of elastic as the foundation for your cage, you could then use thinner strapping in the centre part and criss-cross it randomly for something that's a little easier to create (no measuring required!). This would be equally effective.


"The Cage" is now easily on the top of my DIY list and will definitely be seen down at HQ this summer. Perhaps I will see a pair or two on some of our lovely customers?

See the full post HERE

Monday, March 24, 2008

My DIY project for Design*Sponge

Thanks to everyone who voted for my jewelry chest in the Design*Sponge DIY contest, it was great! I ended up getting what I call 4th place, but what is officially called honourable mention. Honestly, it was amazing to just be on the D*S blog (which I adore) but placing in the finals didn't hurt either! Thanks again to Grace for hosting this amazing contest!

Here are the full construction details if you're interested in trying out making one yourself. There are soooo many ways this idea could be adapted (ie. paint instead of stain, different drawer configurations, handpainting, wallpaper, etc), I'd love to see some other versions of this project, so if you DO make one take some pics and send them over, we'll post them here on the blog.

“Fira” chests from IKEA - 3 sets
“Fornbro” side table from IKEA
Sanding sponge - fine grit
Cotton rags
Rubber gloves
Stain in your choice of colour
Spray varnish - 6 cans
Handle for spray can (to make spraying easier, although this is not necessary)
Wrapping paper (although wallpaper scraps could be used as well)
White craft glue
“No More Nails” or similar adhesive
Small wood screws

1) Assemble the Fira chests, as per the included IKEA instructions (try to actually read them, I know it’s tempting with IKEA stuff to just go for the gusto and figure it out, but really, read them)

2) Lightly sand the chests, taking care to smooth off the edges. This is not the best quality wood, so these early prep stages are important to do properly. It can make the difference between a nice smooth finish, or a dull unprofessional look

3) Stain the chest (2 coats of stain) using a rag instead of a brush. Wipe on the varnish with one rag, then wipe off the excess with a clean rag. I suggest you have a lot of rags handy, and I HIGHLY suggest you wear rubber gloves, unless you think you would enjoy people staring at your hands for the next week or so.

4) After staining, give the chests a light sanding, and wipe away dust with a large dry paintbrush or clean dry cloth.

5) Now for the varnishing. I used a spray varnish to get a nice even coat. Slow and steady wins the race with this project. I also got a plastic handle that attaches to the spray can which makes spraying easier and gives your finger a break too. Make sure to do this in a well ventilated area, and wear a mask if possible. In total I gave this project about 8 coats of varnish with some light sanding after the second and sixth coats. I found I was getting a little obsessive about the smoothness of the finish and probably could have done about 4 more coats, but in the end I got tired of continually going to the hardware store for more varnish and decided to stop at 8.

6) After everything was dry and ready to go I lined the inside of the drawers in vintage wrapping paper. I measured and cut the paper to size, then glued it in with some watered down white craft glue and an old paintbrush. I also used the end of the paintbrush to smooth out the paper as I went. These methods helps avoid bubbles and lumps.

7) I then covered the inside bottom of the drawers with cream coloured felt. I didn’t glue it down in case I wanted to change the colour some day. As long as it fits snugly, it isn’t going anywhere.

8) I needed some way to keep all the earrings and necklaces untangled, so the tiny metal tins with glass lids from Lee Valley Tools were perfect. They come in many different sizes and are surprisingly affordable. The added benefit is that you can easily see all your jewelry through the glass lids. And the tins are really cute.

9) I attached the “Fornbro” table base to one of the chests with simple screws (making sure they are only the depth of the thickness of the wood) as well as some “No More Nails” glue for extra security.

10) Lastly I attached the 3 drawer sections to each other with a zig zag of heavy duty glue in the centers of the sections to be glued together. I used “No More Nails” but I think a lot of other types of thick glue would work.

The one revision I may make to this piece is to take the unused tabletop of the “Fornbro” table and attach it to the bottom of the legs. Essentially I will be using the side table upside down at this point. I find the chest is pretty stable right now (ie. it won’t fall over on its own), but this would make it even more stable when I’m late in the morning and am crazily pulling out drawers looking for something. If this is the case, I will paint the entire base white, since the table top is currently black.

And if you're wondering who the 1st, 2nd & 3rd place winners are, here's a link to the page



Sunday, March 23, 2008

Melanie Renee, she's A-OK!

Located in San Luis Obispo, California, Melanie Renee is one of the newest members of the HQ family. Through the magic of Myspace Melanie found out about our store, and the magic began. We're stocking a selection of her spring collection in the store, and many of our regular customers have been drooling over it already. The collection is comprised of crisp cotton twills and lighter weight cottons in gorgeous solid colours and cute prints. If this collection isn't what spring is all about, then I just don't know what is!

A cute little babydoll top with buttons

This top is one of my faves, love the fabric and the little belt with buttons.

This is the dress my friend Jill has been dreaming about ever since she tried it on

Tyson tells me this is what this picture says to him:
"Hey guys. Thanks for waiting up, I just had to step into the "Cute-o-matik" machine and now I'm ready. Wanna go grab a coffee?"

I have to agree with him, the cuteness is off the charts!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Fingered Media

Fingered DVDzine

This is a pretty cool video zine which showcases independent artists and musicians. The winter/spring 2008 edition features some of your favorite Montreal based superstars: included are live performances by AIDS Wolf, Dreamcatcher and Panopticon, artwork by David Lafrance and Natalie Reis (see previous posts for pics from her show here at HQ) and a short film by Dandi Wind in collaboration with photographer/filmmaker John Londono. You can pick up a copy here for only $15.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Black Halos gear stolen!

The thieves may or maynot have looked like the ones pictured above

Some old friends of mine from Winnipeg, Johnny Stewart and Jahmeel Russell, were in town (Montreal) with thier band, The Black Halos when thier van and trailer were stolen containing all thier gear and merch! I hate hearing about these kind of things, so please keep your eyes open. I know it's usually a lost cause but you never know........ Why coulnd't the thieves have ripped off a shit band like Nickleback?

Below is a list of gear that was stolen. PLEASE WATCH FOR ANY OF THESE ITEMS on the internet or at pawn shops. None of these items are insured.


Here is a large list of gear thats gone missing:

Ludwig 4 piece drum set Red Glitter Metal Flake
24 inch Bass drum w/ Black Halos front head logo
14 inch Rack Tom
18 inch Floor Tom
14 x 6.5 inch Dunnett custom metal snare drum (personally autgoraphed by Dunnett on inside of shell)
DW 5000 double chain drum pedal
3 Pearl strait cymbal stands
1 Pearl high hat stand
24 inch Paiste 2002 Ride Cymbal
14 inch Zildjen Z series high hats
18 inch Zildjen A series Rock Crash
19 inch Zildjen A series Rock Crash
16 inch Zildjen A series Rock Crash
Yamaha snare stand
Pearl rack tom mount stand
All drums are in hard shell black cases all with yellow Black Halos logo on them
two guitars in red/silver aluminum road case. guitar one: 1960 Gibson
les paul( sunburst finish). it has been re- finished on the backside
of the neck by the head-stock. it’s dis-colored there.
guitar two: white, Sparrow rat-rod ( looks like a les paul). has a
black pic guard and has the black halos logo lettering on the
body.skull and wings on the back of body.
one,Bogner guitar head. 100 watt model ( the Ecstasy) black , with no handle.
one, Fender 4/10 deville guitar amp. black/silver
one orange tool box full of guitar cords/ guitar strings/ three
guitar effect’s pedals.
pedals from orange box: 1.) vox wah-wah ( silver/blk)
2.) boss, super distortion (yellow)
3.) custom red/black distortion
pedal. (turbo tube screamer)
one suitcase with guitar effects pedal board. pedal 1.) bogner foot controller
2.) boss tuner (white/black
3.) morley a/b amp switch
4.) boss super phaser (green)
5.) digitech wah pedal ( red/black)
two guitar stands, one holds 3 guitar/ the other holds 5.
1 Black Custom made Sparrow primitive 335 Electric Hollowbody guitar. No Serial Number
name ....Vanessa.... painted on headstock . Silver Skull and Wings Art work on front of guitar.
Silver Black Halos Logo painted on back of guitar.
1 Black Custom made Sparrow primitive 335 Electric Hollowbody guitar. No Serial Number
Blue with Purple Detailed graphic artwork.
1 modified Peavey 100 watt Classic Guitar Amplifier Head. See Band Manifest for Serial Number
Tweed in Colour with Leapard Print Fabric on Front. Various stickers and Tape.
1 Black Scuba zip off BackPack.
Contains the following guitar items.
1 Blue MXR 10 band EQ guitar effect box.See Band Manifest for Serial Numbers
hardwired powercord attached had pink tape on it
1 modified Blue MXR 10 band EQ guitar effect box. Serial number not available.
no powercord attached. switch installed. had pink tape on it.
1 white Boss TU-2 guitar tuner. See Band Manifest for serial number.
3 black 18 ft guitar cords
1 black 2 ft gtr cord
1 tweed 18 ft guitar cord
2 blue 6 inch guitar cords
1 black 3 ft speaker cord
approximately 7-10 packs Ernie Ball Guitar Strings
1 pack of 50 sparrow guitar pics
1 Black 4x12 Trayner Guitar Speaker Cabinet
Fender Precision Bass. Sunburst finish with black pickguard.
SKB Fender hardshell case.
Rickenbacker 4003 Bass. Jet Glo (Black) finish with black Pickguardian
custom pickup cover.
Rickenbacker hardshell case.
Gallien-Krueger 800RB bass head.
Traynor TC810 bass cabinet
Proco Turbo Rat distortion pedal
Boss TU-2 Cromatic Tuner
Black bag with pedals also had items below.
2 Yorkville 20" patch cords (angled end)
1 Yorkville 10" patch cord
2 packs medium L&M bass strings.

IIf you have any info abou this please contact Danny Cameo:

(604) 781-2075

Friday, March 14, 2008

Stylie Boys & Men

Guys, boys, men, whatever you call them, I think they're sometimes neglected in the fashion blogging world. I rounded up these pics from Facehunter and The Sartorialist as some examples of some very wearable looks by some very stylie guys. Listen up guys of Montreal, this is the quality of dress I demand to see walking around this summer!

Good luck getting your hands on a shirt this amazing,
but if you do, buy 10 in various colours

A great jacket in a great plaid. The glasses are the finishing touch.
If you need to wear glasses, why the heck wouldn't you wear a great pair?
None of that "oh these frames make the glasses almost invisible" crap.
No they don't. I can see you're wearing glasses.
The only person who can't see you're wearing those glasses is
some other person who is not wearing THEIR glasses.
Just go get some amazing glasses like this guy and be done with it.

This is the way to wear a really tailored fancy jacket in a super casual way.

Other than the throbbing forehead vein and the angry lips, I like this

He looks like he was plucked out of the late forties, love it so, so much

This combo is magical to me.
The belt and chain are the finishing touches

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wha S'appening?

Electric Hurricanes and Robot Invasions!

If you are looking for something to do over the next couple of days, set your Tivo to record "Lost" and get out of the house for a change.

The "Electric Hurricane" colab project had a group of us passing around large panels, each taking turns painting our own small parts of what turned out to be a larger collaborative work. The show opens tonight at General 54 starting at 7 pm. There will be music, drinks and art.. duh.

The Show at General 54 will also serve as the official launch of the new YPF yearbook. It is a 150 edition publication, featuring the unique contributions including silkscreen prints, hand drawings, wood cuts, photographs and lovely tidbits. Each book contains original work from each of the individual artists of the YPF. Contributing YPF artists include James Braithwate, Emily Birnbaum, Dessa Harhay, Aaron McConomy, Jen Storey, James Kerr, Amy Wong, Krissy Longtin, Neil Doshi, Milena Rogilic, Adam Gorley, and Danijela Pruginic. This year we have invited super-special guest artists Tyson Bodnarchuk, Fred Casia, Amber Albrecht and Shawn Keruneru to participate.

On Friday night be sure to head down to Off The Hook (1021 St. Catherines) for the "Montreal Munny Robot Invasion" show.

This is the piece I worked on. Once again showing off my horrible photography skills... yeesh!

Hope to see you all out in the next couple of days!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

DIY on Design*Sponge


I have news that I'm so excited to share! Design*Sponge (one of my favorite blogs) is hosting a DIY (do it yourself) contest and I'm one of the finalists! Grace received 500 entries, and I was lucky enough to be picked for the top 20. I was inspired by this George Nelson jewelry case, but at $1400, it was not really a sane option for my life. So I fashioned this little number using some components from Ikea, and with the help of Mike Giles from Furni (and the use of his shop) I was able to do a nice pro job on the staining, sanding and varnishing (oh, the varnishing....). I then lined the inside with some vintage wrapping paper and cream coloured felt and filled it with my ridiculous amounts of jewelry. Now all I need is your votes....

So go check out the contest, and if you feel like voting for me that is super awesome, but if you like someone elses piece better that's OK and I will consider forgiving you... there are some REALLY great entries!

You can see Graces post and more info on where to vote here