Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Burned Toast

Don't forget, Thursday night is the opening of "Burned Toast" a group exhibit featuring customized toasters by local artists.

A toast to toast!

Come and celebrate the opening of a one of a kind exhibit that celebrates the toaster. As important as a coffee maker, the toaster is often the second appliance to start working early in the morning.

It is here rethought, redesigned or completely transformed by many artists from different backgrounds but all familiar with our trusted toaster.

Participating artists:

Caroline Blais
Claudia Mannigel
Tyson Bodnarchuk
Mike Giles
Mélanie Baillairgé
Fred D.
Dale Hayward
Yanick Blanchet aka Frenchie
Andreas Schuster
And more…

There will also be non-toaster themed work as well, so come down for the first warm weather HQ party of the year!

See you then,


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Petal Pop by Jackie Bassett

I first spotted Jackie's cards back in 2008 when I did THIS roundup of Montreal artist/designers for a St. Jean-Baptiste day article for The Storque (Etsys blog). I was using the "shop local" function on Etsy, which is a way of shopping that allows you to type in your location (ie city, province, country, etc) and shop through all the results. I love this feature as it allows us to scan through the goodies for new local designers for HQ.

Now, there was a time when I was reading a lot of Design*Sponge, Decor8 and SFGirlByBay (all decor blogs) and I was OBSESSED with greeting cards, but I thought my addiction was under control...not so! I immediately added Jackie as one of the artists in the article, made a mental note about talking to her about HQ, then promptly got distracted by Norwegian Wood stuff and forgot.
Then, along came Twitter and Jackie found me again, and then along came Smart Design Mart and we were able to meet in person, and I finally talked to Jackie about bringing her delicious designs down to HQ.

Jackie's cards really are incredible, and really not your "garden variety" (I crack myself up) pressed flower cards. She combines petite oh-so-perfect tiny pressed flowers with modern graphics to create feminine yet unfussy cards. We love how these cards can be perfect for someone of almost any age, and could be appropriate either for a casual friend, or your special someone.

So let this be a lesson for all of you who knock Twitter and "don't see the point"....making connections with lovely artists...isn't that enough?


Friday, March 12, 2010

Birds Of North America

It's funny how things work out. I was just sitting down to write a short little post about the new Spring stock from local designer Hayley Gibson's line "Birds Of North America" that we just got in, when who comes through our door but none other than Bernie LaRue.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Bernie, he's a regular customer of ours and an avid birdwatcher. He was also one of the head directors at the department of Ornithology at the Museum Of Natural History in New York from 1968 until 1987. So, when he asked what I was doing he got really excited and wanted to show me some pictures of Birds from North America that he had in his scrapbook that he carries around with him for some reason. I figured this would be a great opportunity. so I started rolling my Dictaphone and captured our conversation. For better or for worse, here it is:
Rooster dress $159.

Tyson: OK, Bernie this is the first time I've done something like this. I guess it could be interesting, seeing as your hobby very loosely fits in with the subject of this post.

Bernie LaRue: What do you mean loosely? You're talking about Birds of North America right? That's my field, sonny.

Tyson: Well, yes but it's a clothing line called Birds of North America, I'm not actually.... uh, forget it. What is this first picture you're showing me?

Bernie LaRue: Oh, this is the North American Turd Owl. The reason it's called that is because it is the only animal that gives birth through the anus.

Tyson: Jesus!

Bernie LaRue: Yes, and the young are born with fifteen beaks, so it isn't a pleasant process for the Mother. But don't worry, they shed all of their extra beaks during the first week.

Tyson: Oh, how nice for them. Let's move on....

Rock Wren Dress $179.

Tyson: Good God, what is that?

Bernie LaRue: A very rare carnivorous bird called the Ottawa Tittymunch.

Tyson: What? The Ottawa Tittymunch? You're making this up. I've never heard of this before.

Bernie LaRue: No I'm not! Don't say that! I had one of these birds and they make great pets. But I had to get rid of it.... let's just say they're not good with kids.

Tyson: Wait, what do you mean not good with kids? What happened?

Bernie LaRue: Well, children's small fingers are like, a delicacy for them. And their tender earlobes.....It's like candy!

Tyson: Oh my God! So someone's child was maimed by your bird?

Bernie LaRue: Well not so much maimed, as ..... mumble,mumble.....

Tyson: What? You kind of mumbled there, I didn't catch that last part...

Bernie LaRue: I said, not so much maimed as killed and eaten! Happy now?

Kite Top $119.

Grouse Dress $149.

Tyson: OK, so this just looks like a Rooster. Why are you showing me this?

Bernie LaRue: Yeah. This one is kind of boring.

Tyson: Well, why are you showing it to me?

Bernie LaRue: I was thinking of getting one and I wanted a second opinion. My alarm clock is broken.... And I can probably write it off.

Tyson: What? This isn't Looney Tunes. You can't get a rooster when you live in the city. Don't you live a few blocks away from the store? What about your neighbors?

Bernie LaRue: I hate them.

Cormorant skirt $139.

Tyson: This isn't even real! It's a Skesis from The Jim Henson movie, "The Dark Crystal"!

Bernie LaRue: Who was head at the department for Ornithology in New York, you or me?

Tyson: You, but-

Bernie LaRue: Then shut up, wise guy. I know it's from a movie! One of the greatest documentaries of all time....

Tyson: Documentary?

Caspian Tern Dress $139.

Tyson: Where do I even begin with whats wrong here?

Bernie LaRue: What?

Tyson: Well first off, this is a still from "King Kong". Pterodactyls have been extinct for millions of years and I don't even think they are technically bir-

Bernie LaRue: Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realize that you were an expert on birds. How stupid of me! Here I thought all along that all you did all day was sit in your little store, being a creep to nice customers like myself-

Tyson: Wait, I'm not a creep, if anyone is being a creep it's you!

Bernie LaRue: Do you want to see the rest of my pictures or not?

Tyson: OK, fine. Please continue.
Carolina Wren Dress $179.

Tyson: I think we're done here.

Bernie LaRue: Wait, we're not even at the good stuff yet. I have, like, thirty more pictures to show you!

At this point I just turned the computer off and had to physically force Bernie out of the shop. He was swearing and clutching at anything he could anchor onto but he's pretty old, so it wasn't hard to yank him free.

He threatened to get another Ottawa Tittymunch and have it eat my tender parts, so, Bernie is now banned from HQ for life.


Thursday, March 04, 2010

Girls Of A Feather

Hiyo! Don't forget, tomorrow night is the opening night for our first exhibit of 2010, "Girls Of A Feather". A collaborative show by Paule Trudel Bellmare and Norwegian Wood's Angie Johnson. Hope to see everyone out for a fun night of fashion, art and magic!