Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Spotlight: Prometheus Pants

The past couple weeks I have been endlessly sewing pants trying to 
keep them in the stores. Good thing I like to sew!


They are made of a stretchy linen blend and are available in black or olive. They have a comfy lined waistband (printed on the inside), great slash pockets and an awesome exposed antique brass zipper at the side. Here is Rachael smiling in her new pants and Calamity Jane top.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Vancouver Car Free Day

June 20th was Car Free Day in Vancouver. In five neighbourhoods around town, long sections of main thoroughfares were cut off to car traffic. People walked, biked, skateboarded, rollerskated and otherwise alternatively transported themselves along blocks of city streets taking in music, shopping and socializing. It was pretty festive.

Here are a few shots around the 3600 block of Main Street.

Vancouver Update: Hama Hama Cousins

We are so lucky in the Smoking Lily shops to come across a wide variety of people. Our customers are awesome! We have loads of lovely regulars and are constantly meeting interesting new customers.

These two gals are cousins, well second cousins I think, their Mom's are cousins. Irène (on the left) is from Switzerland, she was visiting her cousin Astrid in Vancouver. They came into the Main Street shop a couple of weeks ago.

They were so much fun. We kept feeding the change rooms with garments as they giggled, told stories, encouraged and assisted each other. They looked so cute in their Hama Hama Dresses as they accessorized with Obis that I asked to snap a few shots on my phone. When they left the shop, with their piles of new Lily garments, we all had big smiles on our faces. Thanks ladies, you were sweet!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Victoria Store Update: Extended Hours

It's official! Smoking Lily Victoria is open until 8pm on Thursday and Friday throughout July and August.

Where I Live: Fernwood...almost

I live in that weird zone in a city where the downtown
meets a great neighbourhood. Light industry, social out reach programs and lots of traffic. Not the prettiest part of the city, but it has its good points. I live eleven blocks from work, I can walk to most everywhere, so no need for a car.

This is our bocce court, a block from my house, the Harris Green.

This sign always cracks me up when I go buy perogies at the Polish deli Cook and Pan over on Cook. They make the best potato salad in the city.

Up the hill in Fernwood village there is always something fun happening. Last week we went to Fernwood Bites and wine and food festival, a fundraiser for the local NRG. The music was awesome. (Who were they?)

Zambri's Restaurant is with in walking distance, which is great because after eating all that delicious food your really need a walk.

No neighbourhood is complete until it has a farm. Down the street we have a great just needs to have a stand so you can buy veggies, then I would say I live in a perfect hood.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Lily Inspiration: Blog Fluevog

About a month ago, I set out on a quest to find the perfect pair of shoes to compliment my growing collection of Smoking Lily skirts and dresses.

I walk a lot, and I'm a mom, so I was looking for shoes that were comfortable, durable and strong enough to hold my weight plus my 38 lb. daughter!

After much research, and a post from the shoemaker's Facebook Fan page, I decided on Fluevog's Operetta Malibrans in Wine. Heart & Sole on Cook Street had just my size (a half size no less) and once I put them on I knew they were everything I was searching for.

My Fluevogs look great with my a-line Portobella and Button skirts, and librarian sexy with my pencil skirt Petite Anglais in black. Complete with some fishnet hose and my Lily dress, I have a statement garment worthy of any fancy event. Also, the reverse side of my leather Cameo belt puts the finishing touches on any outfit, since the colour matches exactly.

I am so pleased with my Fluevog find that I even have my eyes on a pair of black leather knee-high Bellevue Boots - Mattie Silks, which will go so very well with my grey bamboo Hama Hama dress come autumn. Oh Fluevog, Smoking Lily loves you!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Spotlight: Linen Tunic Cuteness

Dara, the manager extraordinaire at Umeboshi Shoes--next door to us here in Vancouver--popped by today to try on our brand new Linen Tunic. Designed for wear with the pockets in the front or back, she looked so good we just had to get a shot of her for the blog. Thanks, Dara!

Also available in grass green, the tunic should be up on the website soon....

Lily of the Ages: 1996 Cosmetics Case

We have decided to share a "Lily of the Ages" post with you on our blog every Thursday. There is loads of "vintage" Lily floating around out there and we'd love to share some of our favourites, some pieces that customers wander into the shop with, memories of great designs past, and the like.

I took the photos below last week. A customer came into the Main Street shop and mentioned that she had received a gift from a friend that she has been using for years - 14 years!! Out of her purse she pulled a lovely quilted zip wallet that she uses (still uses!) as a cosmetics case. Her friend purchased it in 1996 at the Out of Hand Craft Fair in Victoria - the first Christmas craft fair we ever did.

Did that bring back memories for me?! Oh my, yes. It reminded me of the vitamin tablets that I gave to Trish and myself that very day thinking we needed lots of energy for the long and busy day ahead. Unfortunately, we were not prepared for the intense skin rash and hot flashes that ensued. Rather than breathing a sigh of relief that all the hard work was behind us, that now we just had to mingle with people and sell our wares, we were freaking out that we had contracted some strange disease or flu... and then I recalled the common reaction to Naicin (one of the vitamins we had taken). Oops! Sabotage! (Sorry Trish!) Fortunately the Naicin Flush didn't last long, and soon we were up for selling pretty zip wallets to lovely customers who were purchasing Christmas gifts for their friends.

Oh dear, my stomach hurts from laughing! Thanks to the customer who shared her story with us - I wish I had got your name.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lily Home: peek into glenda's homewares

Here are a few shots of Lily Homewares in action in my home. Some items are available in our shops now, others were available in the past, and some were Special Orders and Print Yer Owns. Can you tell which are which? I'll date them for hints.

7 year old silk chiffon Bugz curtain

3 year old valise (and 7 year old acetate print from a window display)

4 year old Jellyfish pillow

3 year old Rotary Dial cocktail napkin

6 month old Bison tea towel (being used as an oven mitt)

Just a quick word about tea towels - no matter how pretty they are, they are meant to be used! I have found that many people are adverse to using cute tea towels. They hang as ornaments in the kitchen. But, our big tea towels are made from durable, absorbent cotton that is perfect for drying dishes, wiping hands, and folding up to grab hot items. I would advise you to put your Mom's habits aside and get those lovely tea towels off decorative hooks and out of drawers and use them. Make those mundane chores more fun by using something pretty. Really, it is those little things that can perk up your day!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Victoria Update: All Press is Good Press

Here's a link to an interesting article about the recent fashion fundraising event in Victoria.

You'll find the beginnings of a David (Vogue) and Goliath (local independent designers) story, controversy over event trademarks, and some cute shots of our lovely Aiko and her daughter Violet sporting Lily gear.

Vancouver Update: Oscillators love barbeques!

Imagine my delight last Friday, showing up to an after work barbeque and finding Susanna, one of our awesome Vancouver regulars, snuggled up in our fleecy Oscillator Dress. Being fairly cold and dusky--thanks, Juneuary!--she had it paired with jeans and threw one of her sweet homemade sweaters over top for extra warmth. (And herein lies the genius of the Oscillator: breathable cotton is great for our not-generally-super-scorching summer days, while the fleecy goodness on the inside is perfect for our generally chilly summer nights.) Being a good sport and all, Susanna even agreed to strike a pose for the blog--lookin' good, lady!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Contest Winners

Congratulations to 1st prize winner Alana, 2nd prize winner Leah, and 3rd prize winner Alison!  We'll be contacting you soon.  (And, if you're curious, there were 457 buttons in the jar) Thanks to all who entered and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Victoria Fashion's Night

Head to our Victoria store today (Thursday) from 5-8 to celebrate 'Fashion's Night' and kick off summer shopping hours on Johnson Street! Please bring a Mustard Seed Food Bank donation to receive 25% off in participating stores.

Also, be sure to enter our Button Contest! Guess the closest number to the amount of buttons in the jar and win the top prize of a $100 Smoking Lily gift certificate! Second prize is $60 gift certificate to Ferris' Oyster Bar & Grill and Third prize is $30 gift certificate to Silkroad.

Ballots must be dropped into our Contest Box in the Victoria Shop. Contest closes at 8:00 pm Thursday night.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Birth of a Wallet

The photos below show a brief history of the making of the Pat Wallet - from simple concept to beautiful final product. The Pat Wallet (and it's big brother Jack) are soft, sturdy leather with suede and metal snap details. They are available in rich brown, warm cream, and deep red.

Oh Pat, you are one cute new addition to the Lily family!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pass on the Smoking Lily Love

The other day a woman came to us with a very interesting story indeed... she asked us if we could help her's the email she sent to us!
Hi Smoking Lily Ladies!

I'm Lori and I'm writing to you from Victoria. 

Exactly 3 years and 1 month ago I bought a pair of your denim Thai pants at your Johnson street store. I was thrilled as I had worn my black ones for 2 years straight until they were so thin I could see through them. When I went to wear my new pants they were gone! Vanished! Missing in Action! I had no idea where they could have ended up and after searching high and low the mystery was eventually forgotten. Then, a couple of weeks ago I was sorting through some boxes in my storage shed and low and behold there were my pants still in the bag with the receipt ~ I was so excited! Then I put them on, or I should say "tried to put them on". Seems that my body has changed a bit since I bought them. (Sigh).

I'm sending along a picture with the original receipt. These pants are in PERFECT condition and have never, ever been worn. They are size small (not small-medium, just small). 

I am wondering if you have any ideas for me. I thought about putting them on Craigslist but perhaps you have someone who you know would like to buy them. If someone has one of your capes that they are willing to trade then I would be open to that too (it doesn't matter to me if it has been gently worn).

I will look forward to hearing from you. Thanks so much!

A devoted fan and owner of many of your gorgeous creations,


We thought this was very amusing, and of course would like to help Lori out! Do you have a cape that you are willing to trade Lori for her small pair of denim thai pants?? Pass on the Smoking Lily Love!
Contact Lori @ 250.592.7400

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Debonair Dudes

A couple of smokin' guys  from Ferris' Upstairs Oyster Bar got talked into modeling a small  run of linen ties we made just in time for Father's Day (June 20th)
They come in light blue, natural and black with an applique of anatomical hearts 
printed on assorted silk patches. 
Tell Dad you love him the "Smoking Lily" way! 
They are $52 and available in the stores while supplies last

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Oscillator

No, it's not a new ride at Playland, it's the newest creation out of the Lily studio. Erin and I did a little dance when we opened the shipment and these were laying on top! It's a super cute, comfy dress, with loads of lovely details.

I was actually taking photos of the Vancouver window display to post on the blog when we were so happily interupted. I immediately pulled the large Oscillator on and demanded that Erin take a shot of me in it, to share with you. Funny enough, I'm wearing my patent Fluevog boots today. So here's more proof of that excellent match - Fluevog and Smoking Lily!

The tag on this dress is giggle inducing. Thanks Trish for always keeping things fun here at Smoking Lily! The styles and prints have always kept people smiling - now even the inside of garments are worth investigating for quirkiness.

And finally, here's the Vancouver window display. The yellow Irises are just opening - awwhh.

I want to go to Iceland!

Inspired by Iceland Video from Inspired By Iceland on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Gorgeous Galiano

A couple weekends ago the bf and I were lucky enough to catch the first weekend of summer sun on Galiano Island. We packed our bikes and backpacks to near explosion, jumped on a morning ferry and headed out!

Our bikes at the campsite after a hilly ride.
Advise: consider hitch-hiking if you're carrying a lot of weight as there is
a pretty huge hill between the dock and Montague Harbor Provincial Park.

Danny and I practiced our mountain goat moves jumping around the rocky beaches.

Really cool tidal rock formations found all around the island.
Google won't help me out with finding their proper name. Googlefail.

Dinner's up! Danny has an awesome wood burning camp
stove that we cooked on for the entire trip.
No fuel needed other than twigs and pinecones!!

Our treat was renting kayaks for 3 hours from Montague Harbor Marina and going out before sunset on the calm evening ocean. We saw eagles, ravens, herons, and a ton of seals (while kayaking we ran into two of them fighting over some sort of crustacean dinner, yum!).
Conclusion: awesome weekend.