Friday, January 30, 2009

Jay Howell

Well, the "All In Together Now" exhibit is almost upon us here at HQ. (psst. It opens February 7th) So, I thought I'd show you guys some work by one of the participating artists, Jay Howell. It's always a treat opening up packages of art that come into HQ for an exhibit but the Jay Howell work knocked me on my ass!
You can check out a cool interview with Jay here.
And check out his blog here.

I'll post more info about the exhibit and other artists participating in "All In Together Now" soon.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Star Wars Episode IV, according to a cutie pie!

I just randomly found this, and could NOT resist posting it. Take a gander if you want a quick round up of what Star Wars episode IV is all about, or if you're just in the mood to smile and giggle wildly

Shoes, Shoes, Shoes!

I posted last week about some of the new vintage boots we got in at the store, and now I will post a totally gratuitous post about some new shoes I bought for myself. Feel free to skip this post if you generally don't like to hear about recent purchases your friends make. In other words, skip along boys, this is basically the same as your girlfriend/roommate coming home from shopping and saying "Hey! Wanna see what I got?" and you just want to go back to playing Left 4 Dead.

Testing them out while shooting this
new necklace I made for my Etsy shop

Sooooo for Christmas this year I got cash from my parents (along with a wonderful voucher for a trip to a B&B in Nova Scotia, amazing!) So my little cheque was all for me, to do whatever I wanted with, what a treat! So of course I decided to spend it all on shoes. I had recently discovered this online store that seemed to be the online answer to constant dreams about shoe shopping in Hong Kong. After travelling to HK for work numerous times, I quickly got hooked on the super cheap yet OTT shoes. Now some of you may be thinking "hey, don't you own a store that's about promoting independently made stuff? You know NON mass produced junk?" The answer to that is yes, yes I do, but shoes are the one thing I just cannot say no to, for a few reasons.

Number one: there aren't that many folks making handmade shoes, basically due to the specialized machinery needed, and the logistical nightmare of making a size range, etc. It's a similar reason that there aren't that many indie designers making jeans.

Number two: price, any of the handmade shoes I HAVE seen are in the hundreds of dollars range, which is not even close to what I would consider affordable. There is no way I can buy a pair of shoes for $300, unless maybe they were killer winter boots or something highly practical

Number three: Style, straight up. Most of the shoes I want to spend $ on are more styley, less practical, not exactly the look you find with most handmade stuff.

Number four: I walk a lot, and my shoes get trashed. So at this point, with the snow and the salt, REAL leather has become a point of frustration and anger for me (except for my Docs), so I'm now all over plasticky synthetic winter boots. Patent is my favorite, it really keeps the slush out!

I recently discovered that my boots (up there in the collage) are
actually knock-offs of these Givenchy boots (above).
The originals are around $700, eep!
photo by:

So this post is really getting ridiculously long considering it's strictly about a few pairs of shoes that I got (5 pairs actually) for a ridiculously low price. If you want to check out the site I got them on it's

Don't even bother looking at the clothing though, it's a freakin' nightmare, and you'd be better off buying something from an indie designer ;)


Monday, January 26, 2009

Fashion Magazine Shout out

We just got a lovely and heartfelt shout out on the Fashion Magazine website ("Fashion" is a Toronto based national fashion magazine) written by Montreal blogger Magali Ould. She blogs regularly for "Fashion" online, check out her posts HERE and check out the fab post about HQ and my fringe skirts HERE


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Outfits of the Week: Jan 21, 2009

Hump day, yeah! Good ol' Wednesday, the day that gives hope to all who work in an office! Let's celebrate with some outfits of the week, shall we?

Wool jersey drapy cardigan by Haiku (Vancouver), handknit scarf by Yarn CPR (Montreal), satin reversible mini dress by Yarncraft (Montreal), vintage belt, vintage metallic vinyl purse, pendant necklace by La Raffinerie (Montreal), vintage fabric leggings by Norwegian Wood (Montreal), vintage side lace up boots.
Lined wool/poly blend jacket by Yarncraft (Montreal), top with silk attached scarf by Complex Geometries (Montreal), necklace by Vanessa Moore, vintage leather wrap belt, black lace leggings by Norwegian Wood, vintage Docs, blue wool jersey circle skirt by Haiku.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Vintage Boots Score!

My friend Marc recently got use of his parents car, so the first thing on our minds was to hit a few thrift shops that are difficult to reach by metro. We also took advantage of the fact that we wouldn't have to be hauling our finds around by hand, and really packed the car to maximum capacity. Marc was on the search for leather belts he could carve up and old leather jackets and bags he could cut up for his Broundoor line, and actually caused quite a ruckus at one store when he literally filled an entire shopping cart with great old belts!

When I'm thrifting I try to keep an open mind and not go in looking for one specific thing, but rather just keep my eyes open for general awesomeness. Sometimes the thrift gods send you a variety of things, and sometimes they just throw a whole whack of one sort of thing at you. This time, I got really lucky, and the thrift gods decided it was a boot sort of day.

So I'm happy to say we have a whole slew of new boots down at the shop, in a whole variety of sizes (although if you're around a size 7, you always have a few more options than most people, curse you size 7s!). These pics are just a few of the options I found, you'll have to brave the cold to see all the choices. All our boots go from $35-$40, and our vintage shoes are $15-$30, enjoy!


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Outfits of the Week: Jan 14/09

Maybe I should call this the "Outfits of the Last Four Weeks".... sheesh, what a slacker I've been! So very sorry for the long lapse in outfits posts, I haven't changed the mannequins in awhile to tell you the truth, so shameful!

Handknit scarf by Yarn CPR (Montreal), necklace by Tilly D'Oro (Montreal via NYC), t-shirt by MTAF (Montreal), vintage belt, wool/acrylic pleated skirt by MX Jeans (Montreal), vintage croc skin boots.

Bamboo fibre striped cutout shoulder cardigan by Yarncraft (Montreal), dress by Valerie Dumaine (Montreal), vintage belt, vintage fabric tote bag set by Vanessa Moore (Montreal), vintage leather boots.


Fringe on the Brain

Yes, I've still got fringe on the brain in a major way. I've conquered the simple fringe necklace, but I'm still working on some more OTT necklaces and other designs using the pre-made classic silky fringe (stay tuned for those creations) but I also decided I wanted to experiment with some fabric fringe.

To be honest I also wanted something fun to wear for New Years, so I came up with this sliced jersey (that's basically t-shirt type knit fabric) technique and applied it to a basic fitted mini skirt with a chunky elastic waistband. I'm so happy with how it came out, and I've started whipped them up in all sorts of colours and patterns. I have big plans for dresses, tops and jackets too, let's hope they materialize and don't just live as drawings in my sketchbook! Hopefully I'll have time this Saturday for a fun designing day and I'll make some progress on more fringe-y goodness!

In the meantime, all these fringey skirts are available in my Etsy shop, and hopefully I'll be bringing some down to HQ very soon. If you're in Montreal and can't wait for "pretty soon" shoot us an e-mail and we'll bring one down for you. Certain fabrics are vintage and are very limited however, so some may only be available once or twice (like the floral one above, I wish I could find more of this great fabric!!)

Speaking of the fringe, Susie from StyleBubble already gave me a little shout out in a gorgeous collaged blog post, and a new blogger (to me, not the world) named Jessie wrote a great post about Norwegian Wood, and even bought one of the fringe skirts and fringe necklaces from my Etsy shop, so sweet! The blog is in German, so if you want to read the text go over to Google Translator and they'll hook you up, it's worth it, her blog is great,
Her package is in the post right now, can't wait to see how the skirt looks on the girl herself!

Monday, January 12, 2009

2008 sucked ass... welcome to 2000-fine!

Well 2008 was kind of a bust. But 2009 or as I'm dubbing it, 2000-fine is going to be wayyy better.

Here's the proof:

For those of you who missed out on the "It's Probably Worth More Than That III" show, we've extended it until the end of January. There was so much work submitted that I couldn't fit it all into one show. Which actually turned out to be a blessing as a lot of work sold on opening night, so we were able to add to the show as the previous work moved to it's new homes. So, there is still time to check out the exhibit and for those of you who attended the opening, the show is constantly changing and it is quite different from opening night.

The next exhibit, which opens on Feb 7th 2009, is a group show featuring works from the Lifetime Collective. I got a sneak peek at the work and it's amazing!

And be sure not to miss March's show "Prints Are People Too!". which opens March 7th. This exhibit will feature prints from various artists from around the globe who sell on Etsy. Come by and show some Etsy love.

Also, artists Garrett Van Winkle and Aya Kakeda will be staying with us at the end of this month to work on a collab project with Tyson . The results will be exhibited this Summer/Fall so keep your eyes peeled for details.

A small bit of feather

As promised, here's part two of my feather obsession: hairpins!

This fall I needed to find a wholesale supplier for chain, since I've been making all those chain vest/harness pieces, and in my search discovered that most places that sell chain wholesale also sell lots of other fun supplies. They also have large minimum orders. So I didn't need a truckload of chain, so why not stock up on other useful supplies? That's when I found these amazing super sized hair pin bases, and I thought that feathered hairpins could be a more subtle/easy to wear option for the ladies who don't want to go for the full out headband.

Each hairpin is absolutely one of a kind, since I use a lot of vintage buttons/beads/lace for them, and I tend to get my feathers from all over the place, so the supply is constantly changing. I was even able to incorporate some little bits of laser cut leather I had from doing some experiments with Mike Giles from Furni and their amazing laser cutting machine. Throw in a bit of felt for stability, and that pretty much sums these little guys up.

So here they are, a wide variety of hairpins, to wear in a wide variety of ways. Each pin goes for $15, so they're pretty easy on the wallet too!


Friday, January 09, 2009

Ring a Ling

Sooooooo, probably the biggest thing to happen for us in 2008....
Whoa! We're engaged!

It certainly caught me off guard, Tyson really got me with this one. He even snuck into my Etsy favorites and found this amazingly cute and gorgeous NON diamond engagement ring, which I love. I'm not much of a diamond type of gal, without getting all political about it, it's just not my thing. And I love that this ring was handmade by an indie artist, from Portland of all places, my favorite indie city! I took these pics this afternoon, I thought it was appropriate to photograph my pretty ring on all these succulents that Tyson got for me a few weeks ago when I was having a bad day. Wow, this post is making him sound really good...I guess that means he IS really good. Hmm, good thing I said yes ;)


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Feathered Friends

I'm soooo into watching cable TV and making feathered headgear lately, it's become an addiction... I blame the copious amounts of snow we seem to have gotten this winter. Going outside is not appealing in the least. I've spent the last hour editing these pics and I've REALLY gotta get back to the sewing, so here's a very photo heavy/text light post of a bunch of the new headbands I've recently put together... (I did a bunch of feathered hairpins too, those pics to follow shortly) All of my feathered friends here are between $35 and $45, enjoy!
EDIT: Since I've had a few people ask, none of these are currently listed in my Etsy shop, but if you would LIKE me to make a custom listing for you that is no problem at all, just shoot me a convo/e-mail and I'll make you a listing you can call your own ;)


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Catch Up Day

When I was in elementary school in the tiny (300 people) town I grew up in, we would often have what the teachers would call a "Catch Up" day, which was just a day for everyone to catch up on some of the work they were a little behind in, and the kids who were all caught up could just colour or something. Being the weird kid that I was I thought it was "Ketchup" day, so I didn't really get why they named it as such, but for the most part I was always done my work on time, so I was just psyched to have a full day of colouring ahead of me.

Ironic how the kid who doesn't even understand "catch up" was the one to have her work done...

I'm not really sure how old I was when I realized it was "Catch up" not "ketchup", but I've thought about this concept of having "Catch Up" days throughout my life, and it's definitely come in handy as a great way of staying on top of things. (So thank you Madame Vier) Basically, by PLANNING a day that is just meant for catching up on stuff, it makes it a lot easier to not fall behind.

Yes, I am that nerdy. I plan about how to plan.

So long (slightly pointless) story short, I'm having a bit of a "Catch Up" day here at home, and thought it might be a good time to put up a few things I've been meaning to post about for awhile:

First off, here's a video shot by Indyish WAAAAY back at the Spring 08 Puces POP. Just a little video of me at our table, a very flat pierogi, a few questions, a few answers, and some bangs that need to be trimmed badly...but really what's all that new about that....

Next up, an interview Tyson and I did with the Toronto Craft Alert, from what seems like ages ago, but was really Sept. 22, 08. Pamela did a really great job coming up with some amazing questions, and I would say this is one of the best articles anyone has ever written about the store actually...which is why it took me so long to post it. Yeah. Ahem. Sorry Toronto Craft Alert!!

Check out the article HERE