Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lily of the Ages: Camouflage Jacket

I was looking through my closets for some old Lily garment to post, when I came across my Camouflage Jacket. I have worn, and loved, this jacket for 5 years. Every Fall it gets pulled out and gets chosen over my other jackets regularly. It has loads of extra features, like a detachable hood, and secret slits to get into your jeans pockets. It looks awesome with my camouflage Utility Skirt - coolest skirt suit ever!

Trish looks like she's unsure about something, but it can't be about the awesome jacket.

Maybe she's unsure about the future of "Lily of the Ages"?

As I was digging through a physical history of Smoking Lily in my closets, I thought "Is it a good idea to post this on our weblog?". It will only insight zillions of questions about when we are bringing it back, or why we are torturing you with things you can't have (judging by the number of questions, there are lots of you reading the blog - yay!).

So I think, to be kind, this will be our last "Lily of the Ages" post. As we prefer to keep anxiety levels low with our lovely customers, we will keep our cherished "vintage" Lily to ourselves.

We'll come up with a new post theme - one to insight excitement and interest, rather than frustration.

Ok, deep breath.... phewf!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Lily inspiration and Victoria store update!

Check out our new Succulent window display...

With our obis in new prints and colours!

Which came first the chicken or the egg?

Our beautiful new prints or our lovely new flower display?

Lily Inspiration: Mennonites Gone Wild

I recently had the pleasure of reading A Complicated Kindness, by Miriam Toews, for my book club (yes, I am in a book club. Book clubs rule!) and would like to highly recommend it to anyone looking for their next summer read. Despite having won the 2004 Governor General's Award for English fiction, being nominated for the Giller Prize, and having spent an impressive amount of time on various bestseller lists, I had actually never heard of it or the author. I also had no idea that there were a bunch of Mennonites running around southern Saskatchewan--cool!

The novel is told in a sort of non-linear, memoir-type format by Nomi, a rebellious sixteen year-old girl from a fictional Mennonite town in the early eighties. For reasons that are unspecified at first, Nomi's mother and sister are no longer in contact with her and her father. There is a lot of longing for New York, an elegantly expressed soup of coming-of-age emotions, and a surprise ending that casts and entirely new light on all the preceding prose. An all-together very satisfying tale about unlikely people in an unusual place; has anybody else read it?

Vancouver Art: Beautiful Frontier

Two accomplished Main Street artists have joined forces and created a really interesting new team and first installation. It's a cool combination of nostalgia and visual beauty. Check it out at the On Main Gallery if you are in the neighbourhood before the end of the month!

As I am an art appreciator not an art reviewer I will leave the description to Urban Pill

"This work combines stories that respond to the traditional iconic imagery found in representations of life and personal histories growing up in rural BC in the 70's and 80's. This includes landscape, memory, and nostalgia of growing up in highway towns, Squamish and Westbank."

Congratulations Rosanne and Katherine! I'm looking forward to more enthralling shows!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

It's Summer!

Time for beaching, swimming (hopefully in less polluted waters), and touring the countryside!

Studio Update: Babies and Fabric kits

This is Sam!

His mom was kind enough to let me take a picture of him when they came by the store the other day. Isn't he SO cute??

Sam's mom is obviously very talented and creative. She made Sam's top even cuter with the addition of a few of our silkscreened bees she cut out of some fabric she found in one of our fabric kits. She says she also has a piece of the turquoise Oscillator dress fabric printed with rice and is in the process of making Sam a new pair of sweatpants! Fantastic and amazingly adorable!

Our Fabric kits are made using the extra bits we have leftover after we cut out our clothing... we pack up all the bit bits along with patches, zippers and ribbon ready for you to get creative! With lots of different kinds of good quality material there is a plethora of wonderful items awaiting your creation!
Yayy for using your hands and materials that would otherwise be cast aside!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Spotlight: OBI Belt

My favorite item in the store right now is most definitely the OBI Belt.

For the tall and the short, and women of every size and shape, the Obi Belt is the perfect accessory for any outfit. You can dress up your dresses, cinch in a tunic, feel fabulous in a T-Shirt and go from day to evening glamourous with a quick switch of this multi-purpose wrap.

Wear it "point up" to give an empire waist, or "point down" at the natural waist to lengthen your torso.

Tie it in a half bow off to the side for a structured statement, or a centered box knot with the ends hanging for a "casual but put-together" look.

Tie it at the hip for a drapey feel, or fold it and put it through the belt loops of your favorite jeans to add style and colour.

The reversible fabric prints also do double-duty to add an accent colour to your outfit or bring up a colour from your base garment.

Come in store today and let us tie one on you. This accessory is meant to be played with, and it loves it!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Vancouver Update: It's HOT!

I put all four fans on first thing this morning, with the hopes that it will keep it somewhat cool in here today. With the larger shop there is more airflow and less fishbowl, but that afternoon sun hits the window and it still gets pretty intense. I think I'll put some moist towelettes (why does that always make me giggle?) in the fridge for cooling down customer's wrists this afternoon.

Will we have to resort to standing in a bucket of ice water behind the cash desk like last year?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Lily Inspiration: The Good Doctor

"You know how four out of five dentists always recommend stuff? I'm the fifth dentist!" These are the words of Dr. Sean Sikorski: world's most awesome dentist. Cousin to a very good friend of mine, I have always thought Sean was just about the coolest guy ever; in addition to his West End practice, he spends a lot of his time working as a street dentist in the Downtown East Side and cöauthoring academic papers with titles like "Oral Cancer Screening in a High-Risk Underserved Community: Vancouver Downtown Eastside (2007)." Sean is also an acrobat and, now, a multimedia artist! Earlier this month I had the pleasure of attending his show at the Interurban Gallery in Vancouver. Highlights included a pink, flocked Jesus sculpture--made me think of our hot pink Mary tea cozy--and a lovely cake toped with really gross extracted teeth. (I asked Sean where he got all the teeth and he just sort of rolled his eyes....) Because, hey, if you're going to be marginalized within society, you might as well have happy gums, and if you're going to have a "suffering Christ," it might as well be pink and fuzzy, right?
Thank you to Sean "Mr. Books on the Radio" Cranbury for the photos.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lily of the Ages: My Sakamoto

While I was drinking coffee this morning I was thinking about what to put on today's blog about 'vintage' Lily. I came up with a brilliant idea to show you the very first skirt we produced. On my way down to the basement to haul it out of my "clothes that I love and really hope a) they come back in style or b) one day it will fit me again" box, I got sucked into watching the Tour de France. It was pretty exciting finish today and local boy Ryder Hesjedal came in forth. Anyways long story short, time was a ticking and I never got to the box. I quickly changed into my favourite skirt, the Sakamoto. This is my stand by skirt for when I'm either in a rush or when I go to an outdoor concert. This skirt has seen Flaming Lips, the National, Modest Mouse, Flight of the Concords and a lot more. Many of these I've seen with Glenda whose concert skirt is the Utility skirt. I'm sure I have a photo some where of both of us in our full concert gear, I'll post it as soon as I come across it. Plus I'll pull the old skirt out and show you next time it is my turn to show you something from our past.

Studio Update - Sneak Peak

A treat for our blog readers today, a Sneak Peak at a new top still in design phase.  Made of sensual silk, it will be great for Summer or Autumn.  This jewel-tone top is soft, drapey and may be front/back reversible.  Keep your eyes out for this shimmery stunner, due for release soon.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lily Home: Apron in the works...

In the midst of her ironing, Liz decided to try on the new apron we're working on for fall. It's a linen cotton blend, printed in navy all-over flies, trimmed in a geometric print japanese cotton. The waist tie is obi-inspired and adds to the feminine shape. 

This apron is sadly not available just yet, but it should be in stores by fall!

Lily Cuteness

Here is a quick addition to yesterday's blog, this super-smiley girl is Willa. Her mom says she dresses her in her Tiny Dancer when she wants to impress other moms. We love it!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Vancouver Update: Upcycling is fun!

Today I just wanted to share something that makes me happy. A couple months ago, my bigger half, Scott, accidentally tore the elbow right out of a nice green dress shirt of his. The shirt had been well loved and was a second hand find to begin with, but I was still sad (I really love green). Then inspiration struck! I would send the shirt on to the Smoking Lily studio gals to see if they could imagine a third life for it--a Maëlle Tunic, perhaps? Et voilà! Even cuter than a Maëlle, they used part of it as a colourful top to one of our Tiny Dancer dresses. It went right on a mannequin and every time I see it, it makes me smile to know that something that would otherwise have ended up in a landfill has been turned into something so pretty.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Victoria Store Update: Rhonda Honk Honk!

Here's our new awesome Rhonda!

It hit the Vic store this weekend and will be in Vancouver tomorrow

I think you seriously need this dress.
Just say screw it and come try one on!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sale on Vesuvius Tops!

We are selling out the last of our cute Vesuvius Tops for the awesome price of....$26.00.

V = VaVaVaVoom Vneck + Value!

These cotton tops come in 3 sizes - small, medium and large. However, there are only a few large left. Just thought you'd like to know.

Lily Inspiration: Strange and Beautiful

Strange and Beautiful is one of our favourite combos around here - esthetically speaking. I'm sure you are all pretty aware of that, having taken home a-line skirts covered in flies, leather handbags with peek-a-boo anatomical hearts, and silk scarves with chrysantemums and sperm (our "Mums and Dads" print).

In September of 2008, Trish and I were strolling around Toronto, taking in the the sites and smells and tastes. Gathering inspiration as one always does while travelling. One day while walking well down to the end of Queen St. W., we stopped to inspect a wooden ladder that had been wrapped in colourful rags. It hit the strange and beautiful mark dead on. That ladder was filed away in our minds for future inspiration.

Then, last summer, the memory of that ladder became a Lily window display. We silk-screened 60's floral bedsheets, tore them into strips, and wound the rags around a lamp, a chair and some antlers. Strange! and Beautiful! we thought.

Studio Update: Return of the Good Wallet

Exciting news from the studio! Trish got us a bunch of totally colourful leather and I made stuff with it! Now not only do we have amazing Jack and Pat wallets, but we brought back the Good Wallet of a little while ago in full varied and coordinated colour! 

I only made six so if you want one you'd better make your move fast... these are seriously good wallets. Many compartments suitable for neat card organization, a place for a pencil (or pen, or... stick of licorice...?) They are wide enough so you don't have to fold your bills to fit them in (the queen and her friends thank you) and for those people who like to keep their change in check, a nice big zippered pocket guaranteed to eliminate embarrassing "hold on... grr... if only this change compartment was bigger I could find that damn nickle..." Last but not least, these things love receipts. You might go years without having to deal with those. Really. Who could ask for anything more? Oh wait. Yes, you can ask for more. You could ask for a handle, because there is one of those as well. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lily Home: New Tea Towels!

I had it all planned out that I was going to do this awesome blog post using my Smoking Lily tea cozy and matching cocktail napkin set today. Alas.

The time came faster than I thought (I was in the store yesterday! It was busy!) So here I am showing you something else... something just as cool, but just not quite as "at use in my home" as I would like to demonstrate... actually... hold on, I might have a Facebook photo of a crepe breakfast tea party I recently hosted!.... Yes, I do!! You may be able to seek out the hidden Smoking Lily items amongst the table. (A sort of where's Waldo of tea accoutrements per say.)

Okay, so here it is, a very cool -brand new- black checked tea towel with seahorse print, and a photo of my kitchen table overflowing with flowers, food, and my favourite matching red with scissors tea cozy and matching napkins! (Yes, those are bobbins as well as scissors on the tea cozy... I am such a sewing nerd... mmm crepes...)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Vancouver Update: Posy Lights

I made some lighting for over the cash desk in the Vancouver shop awhile ago, and they have been getting lots of attention. I've been flattered to have people ask if they are from Anthropology! Wow, thanks!

Truth is they were easy - you could make them yourself. Here are some shots of them, and the brief instructions (sorry I didn't take any shots during the process of making them). For further electrical instructions check out wikiHow or other DIY sites.

Here's Erin gazing up at them. They are Sterling Silver Posy Vases that I turned upside down.

I drilled holes in the bottom of them with a metal drill bit. I fed a threaded rod through the hole and then fed electrical wire through the rod. I screwed a light socket to the rod on the inside of the vase and attached the wires. I then attached plugs to the other end of the wires and voila! Pretty hanging lights!

Well, truth be told, then I had my contractor boyfriend go up into the crawl space and drill a hole over the cash desk so that there were no cords dangling (thanks Christopher, it's kinda gross up there!). But, at home I would have hung them from a ceiling hook with the cords running down the wall.

The filigree detail lets the light through beautifully. I'll bet there are loads of other innocuous items laying in second hand stores, or in your basements, that could be used to create similar strange and beautiful lighting.

Victoria Store/Studio Update: New Bag for Your Bike

I just finished up a run of exciting new bags for your bike! ...These are not to be confused with the famous "bike bag"... and are in fact quite different. 

Made of durable, weather resistant leather, these little guys are totally awesome for carrying all sorts of things about on your bicycle. 

It has multiple strap snap settings for fitting onto whatever part of your (or type of) bike you have to strap it to. When you're parked, unsnap it and attach it to your belt or bag strap and use as a carry all. 

Imagine all the places you could fit it! Very cool, very practical...I can't wait to get out in the sun on my bike ride home to show this beauty off! (Also featured, a very awesome photo of a run of Jack wallets I recently finished, in exciting bright new leather!)