local love

so i tried to be crafty again last night by taking a tote bag making class at spool of thread. i didn’t seriously screw up the finished product of my bag although at one point i accidentally sewed the handle to the middle of the bag when it got caught in the sewing machine. this makes it sound like it was the machine’s fault. which it probably was. except that the instructor reminded me that i was in control of the machine the entire time. as in, i could have taken my foot off the pedal to avoid sewing loser mishaps. sewing loser. that is me. also, what kind of an idiot can’t use straight pins properly? they’re straight. they’re pins. nothing to it. yet surprisingly hard. i pricked myself more times than i care to admit (8) but somehow managed not to leave streaks of blood on the bag. it was a small miracle. i wanted to register for the kitchen apron making class but the instructor was all like “mmm…you should probably practice yourself a bit first”. fine. whatever. i didn’t want to make myself a kitchen apron anyhow.

i actually made the tote bag for my police officer husband. it sounds silly but i wanted him to have something that i had made. he was just super impressed with the pillow covers i made (although i think it was just because i had made something that didn’t instantly fall apart) that i wanted to take it a step further. i figured he could bring his lunch to work in it since currently he is using a gift bag of sorts and i am embarrassed of its ugliness. “it just needs to hold my lunch” he tried to explain to me. but he did like his bag even if it just might secretly have some blood on it. also i picked the most man-ish  fabrics i could find to make it. it’s the ron swanson of tote bags. if that could be a thing. i also forgot to mention that i almost burnt my hand on the iron because it was only the second time i had actually used an iron. the first time was during my first sewing class. the last time i tried to do a crafty project at home i ran the fabric through a hair iron. it sort of worked. whatever.

so anyway, tonight i went out for dinner at a french (obviously) bistro with my mom. it was a seriously welcome reprieve from the chaos at home. i’m mentioning this because the restaurant is on the same little slice of street as spool of thread but i haven’t gotten to actually shop the area because the classes i’ve taken have started after business hours. tonight was the perfect time to do this especially since i had zero children with me, thus no one to ruin my browsing experience.

the highlights were as follows:

collage collage

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if this shop/studio had been around when i was a kid i probably wouldn’t have become such a craft failure. they’re all about teaching kids (and occasionally adults) from as young as two how to do things like sew cute little critters, embroider, and make mixed media projects. when we entered the store there was a school-age class going on where even my mom noticed that the kids were doing better sewing jobs than either of us could currently do. sigh. my kids need this place.

also, the store carries some amazing art and books by vancouver locals. draw me a lion is the brainchild of lisa cinar, picture book enthusiast and designer. she’s currently on the faculty at emily carr university of art and design where she teaches picture book illustrating. dream job.

here’s a sampling of draw me a lion goodness.

art.

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and activities.

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collage collage also carries lisa cinar’s books which i love and have read to my kids countless times.

‘the day it all blew away’

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and ‘paulina p. (for petersen)’

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i also discovered during my hour spent in their carefully curated book section that one of my favourite illustrators EVER, julie morstad is a vancouverite so yay for local!

‘when you were small’ has long been one of my favourite books

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and she’s put out the most adorable board book called ‘swing’ which i went crazy for. which sounds a lot like “mom! mom! oh my god! look at this book! look at the pictures! #2 and #3 NEED to have this!!!” so here it is.

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tonight i looked julie morstad’s website up to check out what other amazing books/art she’s done and realized that she was responsible for the cover art on one of my favourite novels ‘the family fang’. i adore this book. it’s quirky and awesome and super fun to read.

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she also did the cover for this book.

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why was i unaware of this book’s existence? i’m beyond embarrassed for myself. i’m going out to purchase it tomorrow. my life would be better if i owned this.

oh ps, i will be taking kid #2 to the little kids drop in classes at collage collage. apparently yesterday the class focused around the book ‘the dot’ which she loves. she’s going to love the class. win win!

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moving along.

we then went over to precious and few, a cutey little children’s boutique owned by local favourite barefoot contessa.

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they too feature local goodies like fait pour toi. i wanted to take them all home for kids #2 and #3. or for me. does it matter?

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roxypop also makes adorable things. i considered purchasing this garland for kid #2’s room. i didn’t but totally should have.

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also, i could probably make this myself. not sure.

precious and few also carries local redfishkid designs which are pretty spectacular. apparently their line was featured in the movie ‘eat, pray, love’ so they’ve been getting worldwide attention. i will never read that book but that’s a different story for a different day.

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maybe kid #2 can wear one of their dresses the next time she goes to a wedding. not that we’ve been invited to one. today she insisted on wearing hand me down white patent leather party shoes several sizes too big. to the park. no matter. her only concern was that due to their size i might not let her wear that particular pair to a wedding so could i please buy her smaller ones for when she attends one. um…sure? she hasn’t been to any weddings. we don’t currently know anyone getting married. who is this crazy haired wedding-attending child?

whatever. anyway, before our super yummy dinner at les faux bourgeois we stopped in at spool of thread since my mom hadn’t been there. this is it by the way.

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“the place that started it all” she called it. as in, i once went into the store and decided it was time to uncork my inner seamstress. i was still feeling like a sewing loser but after getting super excited about the beautiful fabrics herself, my mom decided that it would be “easy” for me to make things. oh mom. as if.

 

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5 thoughts on “local love

  1. Loved, loved, loved our evening out in Paris and ‘yes dear, my somewhat crafty girl’ you will sew and create beautiful things (have patience)…. if all else fails, we’ll get your # 1 hubby to show you how!!

  2. Hi Robin.
    Did I ever tell you about the time I took a sewing course? I guess you inherited this craftyness from your Bubbie. But don’t forget you have lots of other talents.

    Love… Bubbie.
    PS. I won 60 cents at Mah Jongg to-day.

    • good to know because i couldn’t find a preview for it online…also nicole kidman has acquired the movie rights to family fang. she’s a weird choice to star in it though. she’ll play camilla i guess???

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