Saturday, March 28, 2009

Garage Sale Visit

The once a year, charity fundraising, extravaganza that is the Smoking Lily Garage Sale is a kooky thing to behold.  So much work goes into preparing for it and then in only 3 short hours of frenzied shopping it's all over.  I decided to head over from the Vancouver shop to behold the Victoria spectacle.  It was fun working with the Victoria crew.  We're in phone contact a lot, but there's nothing like discussing new designs with the people who'll be sewing them while holding the actual fabric - very satisfying.  But that was all prior to the sale.  

Day of, we had to batten down the hatches and great ready for the frenzy.  Dedicated customers in the know lined up really early to get first dibs on the deals (5:30 am was the earliest I heard - impressive!).  The doors opened at 10:00 and the scene was happy chaos.  Lots of darting about the racks, digging through $5 bins, and giggling while trying on mounds of serious scores.   I enjoyed catching up with old Victoria customers and meeting new ones.  

The photos above are a couple I took within the first 10 minutes of the sale.  Then I had to put my head down with Nicole and Beth and Trish behind the till.  After 3 intense hours, we took a brief break then put the studio back together.  People began silk-screening scarves and all was back to normal.  Incredible!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fabric Kit Love

I am constantly surprised by the creative women who stop by our little Lily shop here in Victoria. Always chatting about sewing, knitting, weaving, screening, just crafting in general, it seems like most Lily followers are busy themselves making beautiful things. So, of course we're always happy to supply these projects with Lily material! Starting first with out fabric kits. Anyone who has been into the shop knows about these wonderful bundles (usually put together by Miss Devon). Five dollars will get you a goody bag of printed fabric, leather...randomness. How wonderful! And now, as you can check out online we've begun making fabric buttons. A few weeks ago, pre-garage sale madness, an amazing women, Robyn, came in for more fabric kits and told me all about her "Smoking Lily Baby Blanket" she was creating. I was intrigued and asked her to email me a picture... so, here's Robyn's blanket in progress... if you have a wicked fabric kit project of your own, email it to us at

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Our VIP Party Winner & Love for the Petite Anglais Skirt

I am one very excited Lily Lady today! Not only did we finally come out with our Spring Petite Anglais Skirt (how adorable is this new ship print!?) but I get to announce our contest winner today for the VIP party on Friday.

I must say we have all enjoyed reading the amazing comments here at the studio over the past few weeks. Your posts were all so creative, personal and just so positive!! Choosing one Lily Lady was a very difficult task...

Of all the comments posted, there is a place in my heart for Susanna! Susanna won't be able to attend our Garage Sale because of her Dad's 90th birthday party and would have had to come all the way from Vancouver to be here... she actually popped into the Victoria shop when she was in town a few weeks ago and I must say I fell in love with this awesome teacher! Picking up one of our Port Dresses and chatting with me about her love for Lily I'm happy to invite her to our private party on Friday night!!

Suzanna, I don't actually have your contact information so please send us an email at so that we can confirm your attendance.

Thanks again to all of you for your awesome posts... we better see all of you on Saturday shopping your little hearts out at the Charity Garage Sale... bye for now, Tee xo

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Garage Sale News

The sale is just days away and we are getting so excited at the studio.  It kind of feels Santa's workshop, but with better music and way better looking craft's people. We've made our schedule for the week and hopefully have remembered all the little things that need doing so you'll have a pleasant time while you're here. According to my dashboard weather forecaster, it isn't going to rain, yah. 

Here is a list of answers to some of your questions and some tips to make things go easier for you.

1. We accept Visa, Mastercard, Debit and cash only.
2. First come, first serve.  Line up in order that you arrive, don't join your friends at the front of the line,                        be courteous to the people who have been waiting way longer than you.  
3. You can still Vote for your favourite charity at the sale.
4. Stuff and Shop. Bring your own tote bag, it will makes shopping so much easier for you.  
5.  All sales are final. No haggling, chances are we know about the hole in the item... that's why its on sale. 
6. Have fun! Celebrate the first day of Spring! with a new outfit.

Tomorrow we will announce the lucky winner of out 'leave a comment on our blog contest'.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Printing Frenzy

Last Monday was the finale of the Screen Printing Workshop. We had the whole class to work on our projects, while Trish gave us one-on-one suggestions, tips and techniques. The class went by way too fast for most of our we went into a little overtime. We knew time was really up though when Trish's boyfriend called to say that he was coming to get her...dinner was ready! Haha! Anyways, as promised, I have some samples of what each of us created on the last evening of the screen printing workshop:

Emma came up with this really sleek image of a gun shooting flowers...really pretty, sort of antique. She was printing on a few different mediums including fabric, wallpaper and newspaper. I think Emma also acquired an article of clothing from every student in her dorm at UVic...she had quite a few orders to complete!

Laurie has a passion for marine life...and now she has a whole clothing collection displaying her carefully arranged sea critters and waves. I think I see a great skirt/t-shirt combo there to wear down to the beach.

Keith did some pretty amazing work here (I even overheard Trish give him an A+). Keith chose a of photograph of his and Laurie's dog - Beanz! Notice he used 4 colors in the reflection print. That means he had to line up the screen in the exact same position for each color. What skill!

came up with a print he is thinking about using for t-shirts. I think I overheard him say that he might be 'hitting the streets' with them at some point...then he was working on a little math...the numbers, the dollars...The 'R' symbol is the first letter of his last name.

Jenn came up with this stunning ethnic design. She was really excited to print on a piece of cream color bamboo knit. Although she had plans to make some scarves and cushion covers, I think she may have decided to make a wall-hanging instead because she really just liked looking at it!

And here is what I got up to. I ended up making a duvet cover with the toads and lilies! Just as my boyfriend requested. And I was quite pleased with how the little hummingbird turned out from a photograph I took down by the gorge.

And, that's it!

Rumor has it there may be another screen printing workshop in the near future! If you are interested, please contact our Johnson St. shop @ 250-382-5459.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Lily of the Jungle

My winter vacation took me from the Smoking Lily Main Street shop in Vancouver to the beaches and jungles of Maui.  I found my 5 year old Lily Utility Skirt to be the perfect hiking skirt.  Not only was blending into the background fun, the vertical zippers gave lots of leg room for clambering over roots and vines, the zipper pocket held my rental car keys (a beige Pontiac Sunfire - so exciting) and the larger pocket held my camera lens cap, and would have held a bottle opener if I had thought of it.  Fortunately we met some other, more equipped, hikers along the way (a bottle opener came standard with the wax comb on his surf shorts - brilliant!).

Here I am at Twin Falls less than two weeks ago after dining alfresco on smoked marlin, avocados, taro chips and locally brewed beer - mmm.  As usual I'm wearing Lily old and new.  The V-Neck Tank was so nice and light, and didn't show all the red volcanic dust like my (previously) white tank top did. 

Friday, March 13, 2009

A dessert top

Introducing the newest addition to our already amazing line of clothing- the Pavlova blouse. It's the epitome of cute with it's gathered bow-tie collar and light and airy Swiss dot fabric. Puff sleeves add an old world charm and with colours such as Chantilly creme and Licorice how could you resist such a delectable treat? Beth and I went out on the roof to show you how fun these tops are to wear and hope that you come by our little store to pick one up soon! I also hope you took notice of the skirt that Beth is wearing. It's the latest in our skirt department, a remake of the Galloping Goose, this time with stitched pockets and a hand sewn wool applique (Beth has a horse on her skirt!) It's made of gorgeous and durable natural coloured linen. It kind of makes me want to garden. Um. Well it makes me want to pick flowers. Or baby carrots. Nothing too strenuous.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Your Very Own Garage Sale Poster

With only a week left until our Charity Garage Sale, I thought I'd upload our beautiful poster in hot pink! So, if you fancy, print one or two or three off and post it up somewhere in town or even just put it up on your fridge as a reminder!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

GS Podcase

So the Garage Sale is just around the corner and we are coming up with all kinds of ideas to use up every last bit of fabric. Today we created a wool ipod case, and even more exciting it has deathstars on it!! (my favorite print).

In other news, check out this awesome cover of a classic Pat Benatar song at

Friday, March 6, 2009


...The studio was bustling with excitement during Monday's screen printing workshop as students prepared their artwork and screens for the next step of the screen building process: burning the artwork/images onto the screen. Finally! I think many of us could hardly wait to solve the mystery...Well, I'm pleased to report that we got to the bottom of it. As it turns out, it's a fairly simple process requiring just a little practice with timing and lighting. Like magic, our artwork popped up on our screens. Neat!

So, now the part we've really all been waiting for: Printing. After getting a few pointers and a review on the right technique, a few of the students got to work right away. Impressive! It was pretty interesting to see all the artwork too, including photographs, and how it turned out as a print on fabric. So, the next and final class, we get to sharpen our printing skills and get productive with some of our individual projects.

Stay tuned for the highlights of our last class and a collage of our silk screen creations!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Janis Joplin Would be Proud

So, we've been all about scarves this past week here in the studio... printing on psychedelic papaya and electric lime, I've decided to call this funky style of scarves the "Janis Joplin". Printed with Indian paisley, guns, feathers and tigers. Janis Joplin would definitely be tripping out wearing our wicked new Spring scarves. Love you Janis. xo tara