Thursday, September 30, 2010

Studio Update: Woolen Vest

Hello from the studio!

It's "Let's get ready for fall" time--yayyy! I love fall because you can wear all sorts of extra clothes. None of this "Holy man, it's hot in here! I have to take my _____ off and risk having no one ever see it or compliment me on it. I must resort to wearing this one singular garment instead. Hmm....I hope it holds it's own and looks good without any extras."

Now really. What's the fun in that?

That is why we have invented layering--go layering! Just with layering in mind we've come up with the best little vest ever. It's form-fitting (so you look more chic and less grandpa), has an adorable pocket, and goes with all sorts of colours because it's really dark blue. The pockets even have ribbon decoration on them: either a 70's mexican tile kinda pattern or cute "eskimo" and husky mush mush dogs. So totally awesome; throw on that boatneck tee of yours, toss on this vest and you are set!

Beware if you want one of these, however, as there are only about 12 in existence in the entire universe. We will have them divvied up between all stores, but you've been warned--numbers are limited and it's first come, first...vested?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Victoria Shop Update: Erica Weiner Jewelry

We are very excited to see Brooklyn-based designer Erica Weiner in this month's issue of Ready Made magazine! Her vintage-inspired, fun, fabulous creations are available in our Johnson Street (Victoria) and Main Street (Vancouver) stores.

Take a peek at for a fun jewelry display idea courtesy of Erica herself. Here's the photo:

She also includes how to make a lovely locket necklace!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Vancouver Update: The Flaming Lips at Malkin Bowl

Guess what Trish and I and some friends did last night! We partied with The Flaming Lips!

Photos: The Flaming Lips at Malkin Bowl

Here's a video filmed from our vantage point last night. Wayne's wearing a strobe light, so the usual warning regarding strobe lights should be headed, and you should also beware of the uncontrollable joy that will ensue. My cheeks still hurt from the ear to ear grinning I did all night.

We danced and laughed and sang and sang and sang and...... After all that uplifting spiritual connecting with our friends, and the band, and the universe in general, it's amazing that we were still able to get up and brave a big day of fabric shopping today. We found gorgeous silk dupionis for tea cozies, vivid oversized prints for little girls dresses, pink plaid wool with deers for skirts, as well as amazing new tooled leather for wallets. The last 2 days rocked!!

Where I Live: James Bay/Beacon Hill

James Bay is the oldest neighborhood in Victoria. It is full of amazing heritage homes built in the early 1900s, including the birthplace of the famous artist Emily Carr. Things I love about James Bay...where do I begin? If you left in the morning, you could walk downtown, up past the Inner Harbor, feed some seals at Fisherman's Wharf, stop for a cup of tea at Ogden Point, walk through the lush paths and pebble beach near Dallas Road on the Juan de Fuca Strait, feed some ducks in Beacon Hill Park, maybe even pet a goat there too, and you're back in time for lunch. Whew! And if you're hungry for something local, Niagara Grocery sells fresh bread and baked goods, local veggies, produce, and pretty much anything else tasty you can dream up! They even roast their own coffee, oh my! It is a hidden gem...that you all now know about!

Here are some pictures from Sunday: Heritage house with nice garden, path on Dallas Road, gnarly tree and peacock in Beacon Hill Park, and local veggies at Niagara Grocery.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Store Update:Timothy Wilson Hoey

Last year Rachael (you know her voice if you have placed a mail order with us) introduced me to her good friends, Tim and Candis. He is an artist and she's a fabulous hair stylist. I must say it has been great getting to know them. She has since become my hair dresser, I think she does a great job. I now have bangs which I thought wouldn't look good, but I can rock the look, so thanks Candis!

Now her husband Tim is an artist and all-round awesome guy. He is well known for his O-Canada paintings, but he has also created this series of works called 'Hey You Want Your Stuff Back?' These are one of a kind creations he put together with found objects from beach combing and stuff his friends have found. We are so excited to be featuring a selection of this series (see photos above) at The Milkman's Daughter.

Thanks for the introduction Rachael!

Lily Inspiration: Nature

While photographing tees yesterday, Diana noticed a snail hovering on the cement wall near her.

At first she thought it was dead, but when she gently removed it from the wall, she realized it was alive.

We admired the structure and colours of its shell and the delicate movements of its antennae (maybe a snail print would be strange/beautiful?), and then gently placed it on the grass nearby. We got all caught up in the moment and giggled in our childlike state of being in awe of nature. Beauty and joy are everywhere - even on cinderblock walls in driveways - how uplifting!

Too bad we won't be quite so enamoured with the slugs who are soon to creep out onto our wet sidewalks.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lily Spotlight: Conquistador Bolero

I have always secretly felt that bolero jackets are one of those pieces that really separate the fashion wheat from the chaff: they're "outside the box" enough to throw a lot of people off, yet look amazingly sharp on. "But, with the cropped length and short sleeves, what would I wear them with?" you might which I reply, "Ha! What wouldn't you wear them with!"

Though I really loved the lighter, 70s-style denim of the Conquistadors we had in earlier this summer--which looked fantastic with tank tops, sleeveless dresses, and tee shirts--the new, darker denim ones we have in now are really, really awesome. I'm rocking one here with a tank, skirt, boots and tights, but love the way they look layered over snug-fitting, long-sleeved tees like our 3/4 length boatneck shirts (here is a very sassy picture of Margaret with just that outfit on!).

So be brave and experiment with difference--others will marvel at your effortless chic-ness and how you stand out in a crowd!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Vancouver Update: Happy Table

I was so happy to have this email sitting in our Vancouver inbox this morning:

Dear Erin & Glenda;

Here is a snap shot of the set of drawers I bought last year. Thanks for helping make my house a home:)
Best wishes,

I remember this set of drawers well (I think I may have even tried to convince glenda to skip the shop and sell them straight to me, I thought they were so cute! She *does* find the best stuff...). So glad to hear this piece helped put some finishing touches on your place, Margaret--and thanks for taking to time to send us a picture!

P.S. We really love getting pictures of Smoking Lily things in action from our fabulous customers, so don't be shy!

Where I Live: Burnside/Gorge

I live in Victoria, a twelve minute (on average) bike ride from Downtown in a cute little area called the Gorge. It's pretty industrial, with lots of rugged looking men trapsing around in steel toed boots (sadly not very good looking.) The cabinet shop and the paint store are within throwing distance of my house. There is also a tow truck family that has decided to buy up most of my block...but I love it! I am a five minute walk from the famed Galloping Goose trail and the ocean--the Gorge actually. I can walk into downtown in a half hour, or I can get right onto the #1 Highway or #17 Highway without having to traverse town to get up island or to Sidney or the ferry terminal. I have three chickens in my yard, with a couple of fruit trees. I can go for walks down to the SPCA and say hi to the kitties, or go get my lawn mower blades and scissors sharpened next to the tool rental shop. Also, Westcoast Appliance is right there which was really great when our dryer in the studio went kaput. Ooo yes, and when I have yard debris I can take it right down to the city's recycling center! Other people have to go so far. I live in a pretty awesome little part of Victoria.This is Charlotte
My three little hens. The black one is Jane, then Louise and Charlotte.
The view of the Gorge, a few minutes walk away from my place. That's the Galloping Goose tressel.
On the tressel with a view over the Gorge looking at the Bay Street Bridge. Straight ahead is Vic West, and slightly to the left is Downtown. To the right is Esquimalt.

Victoria Update: Rifflandia

This weekend will be music-filled in Victoria. The third annual Rifflandia Festival takes over the town September 23 - 26.

Smoking Lily is getting in on the fun by offering discounts to anyone wearing a Rifflandia wristband. Check out our kooky ad in the cool Rifflandia magazine.

I see that Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti is playing Rifflandia. They are also backing up The Flaming Lips on Sunday the 26th at the Malkin Bowl in Vancouver. Trish and I will be going to that show - we recently realized that we've only seen The Flaming Lips together, and it's 6 shows now! I'll be wearing my Utility Skirt, will you be wearing your Helicoptor Sakamoto Trish?

Where I Went On My Vacation: Bumbershoot

Each year I get together with some diehard Bumbershoot fans and spend 3 or 4 fun-filled days in Seattle. Actually, I missed last year because my cat had a dental emergency the morning I was to leave and required a personal nurse for a few days - sometimes family has to come before fun. This year I managed to leave all obligations behind and hit the 3 day fest running.

I didn't take my camera along so that I would spend less time capturing and more time experiencing, but here are a phone photos.

Great road trip info:

It was an odd music line up this year, but that allowed me to partake in more film and comedy and dance performances than I usually do. It was nice to mix the nutty routine up a bit.

My favourite stage each year: (this year - Delorean, Dandy Warhols, Raveonettes, Hey Marseilles...)

Rather obvious signage (it was the only entrance):

Here's a shot of our long-time Lily model, Blair, and my boyfriend, Christopher, (both wearing Smoking Lily men's tees) taking a rare rest. It may seem strange that the Krazy Kastle at the mid-way was restful, but if you've been to Bumbershoot you know well that the constant walking and running between venues to do more standing and dancing (for a full hour and a half in the rain to the English Beat!) does require grabbing a seat wherever you can.

Thank you Blair and Christina for turning your 10 year Bumbershoot addiction, into a full blown infatuation of mine too. Looking forward to next year!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Where I Live: Fernwood

From my daughter's bedroom in the evening, I look out on a stunning view of the 100 year old Garry Oaks flanking my street. Backed by a Cerulean blue sky, I am reminded of the inherhent beauty of where I live; the trees showing the path where Stanley Avenue once ran, the gulls calling out to one another and the moon shining brilliantly through a cloud free sky. I call this combination of prints "Fernwood", after the neighbourhood I love to live in.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Lily Inspiration: Other Blogs

I have to admit to a daily addiction of perusing a number of cool blogs. Design blogs are a particular guilty pleasure. I balance my guilt by keeping tabs on TED and BBC News, but all those gorgeous photos, showing off peoples' ever impressive design creativity, continue to draw me in.

Lately I was inspired by a DIY post on design*sponge, one of my daily sources of eye candy. This particular photo got my mind working on a Lilyfied project.

Brenna's waxed paper chandelier is so smart and super pretty. I decided to use her awesome lamp as inspiration for a Smoking Lily window display for our new shop, "the milkman's daughter".

I sandwiched Lily images between the layers of waxed paper and created a backdrop for the front window. Here are a few shots of the final product.

It's nice when inspiration is at the tip of your fingers! Thanks Brenna!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Studio Update - Violet's day out!

As many of you know, Smoking Lily has opened a new store, the milkman's daughter on Government Street in Victoria. Along with many new exciting products we have launched a fantastic kid's line--sizes 2, 4, and 6 for boys and girls. These ultra-comfortable, soft garments can be layered, have practical features like adjustable elasticized waistbands and lovely details like lace, vintage buttons, and of course, Smoking Lily prints. My daughter Violet had a great time hamming it up for the camera, and even Trish got in on the fun too!
Cotton jersey Kid's Scarf $12, Longsleeve Tee $25, Billy Coco vest in navy $89, Sweet Jodhpur pants $72

Cotter's Girl top with lace detail in lavender $54

Emiliana jumper $68, Kid's Cardigan $32, printed cotton jersey Leggings $32

The most famous Trish Tacoma

Our kid's line will be available soon on the website and in the Vancouver shop as well.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Lily Home: Stools!

In addition to being a fantastic stylist, one of glenda's many talents here in Vancouver is the uncanny ability to consistently find the best stuff in thrift shops. Yes, she is our very own Sally Anne Superwoman--and, really, isn't that a much better super power than x-ray vision? (She does surprisingly well in alleys, too, come to think of it....)

One of the things glenda is constantly on the lookout for are cute or unusual stools to be given the Smoking Lily treatment; things that might have great legs but really ratty seats look amazing when given a good cleaning and some fantastic new upholstery. For example, the little stool on the left ($116) is insanely cute now, with its tiny dimensions (12" x 10"!), large, single button, and beautiful saag green silk dupioni playfully covered in airplanes. Nice!

Also in the Vancouver shop at the moment:

The only stool/chaise combination I have ever seen-- quite possibly the only one in existence. ($196)

Amazing Jesus needlepoint storage stool ($110)! Because Jesus loves storage....Well, I suppose Jesus *does* love everything and everyone, but still!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Vancouver Update: Fall is in the air...

Despite the continued sunny days, fall is definitely in the air of late. The shop is full of nice, cozy browns and greens, I've pulled my boots back out, the fleecy Oscillator Dress and boiled wool goodness of the D.D. Jacket (as we call it in Van!) are starting to make a looooot of sense--life is good. Yesterday--while buying a bison tea towel--someone even told me about a pet buffalo a friend of friends of hers has in Alberta; apparently the buffalo even drives around with his "owner" in some sort of modified Cadillac!! I swear, we hear the best stories in here...

Here are a couple quick snaps of some of the new things we've gotten in recently (and I apologize, as glenda takes much, *much* better photos than I do!):

Unisex adult and toddler-sized cardigans! (xs+sm, $52; sizes 2+4, $32)

Super cute leather satchel-style purses ($93)

We have lots of other fall things in as well, including a smattering of the D.D. Jacket in brown and raspberry (more coming on Friday!), a fantastic, light blue cotton purse called the Randy Bag ($86), and our very first wool mittens of the season (thanks, Steph!). We'll do our best to get photos up soon, don't worry! In the meantime, relax, sip some nice, hot tea and watch the leaves change. Lovely.

Sale Alert!

Hello Vancouver shoppers! Just wanted to let you know that we've added a few more things to the sale rack here on Main Street, so if you've had your eye on the Lily Dress or the Rhonda Honk Honk, now is the time to come on in. We also still have a pretty decent selection of scoop neck tees in mint and sangria (black is kind of slim pickins' at this point, however)...

Yay, sales!

Anatomical Heart Duvet: Blog Love

I'm happy to admit we have been quite smitten with our new duvet sets covered with the Enormous Heart print, and it looks like we're not alone! It's come to our attention that online rag Scout Magazine--headed by foodie-about-town extraordinaire Andrew Morrison--has listed our linens, along with the smashing picture imaged at left, in their running list, "Cool Thing We Want"--awesome! It warms my, well, heart to know we're not the only weirdos who think anatomical imagery is gorgeous and totally appropriate to snuggle up with....We even had some very cool visitors in the Vancouver shop from Hong Kong yesterday who loved it so much they decided to haul a set all the way overseas with them! Thanks for the props, Scout Mag; we think you're pretty neat, too:)

Queen duvet sets currently available in Vancouver also include greyhounds and pirate ships.

Friday, September 10, 2010

More photos!

The Milkman's Daughter
Hours 11 to 6:30 Tuesday to Saturday