Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween!

This past Monday, I tried on a sample of a long sleeve shirt dress in the studio. Every morning this week I've thought about wearing this dress... so when I had a chance to grab it, I did. Steph told me that Rachael had been a little quicker and had plans to wear it on Saturday... obviously, I didn't let that stop me.

The new tunic will be available soon in sizes S, M, L... We're still working out the rest of the details. Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Lily Inspiration: Halloween

Holidays are great for inspiring new creativity. Rather than pull out the same decorations year after year, we like to reinvent the wheel here. Sometimes that involves as much frustration as excitement, but we get that giddy sensation of trying to figure out some grand new scheme and that keeps us hooked.

I don't usually do Halloween decorations for the store, but this year my house is Halloween Central (photos to be shared with you soon) and I figured a little creepiness would be fun in the store too. And I mean "a little". While in Seattle Trish and I spied a shoe in a window with a bat wing attached, so simple... and yet it caught our eyes. That inspired me to cut out and paint some big bat wings yesterday. I attached one to each mannequin and to a few other things in the shop. Cute and creepy!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lily at HOME: Rachael's Terrariums

So Rachael really dislikes writing on the blog, but she enjoys doing the jobs that others here hate, plus she's a pretty awesome co-worker, so she gets a pass. This week for Lily At Home we are writing about her side project, Fat Dog. She has been making fabulous terrariums using pretty ferns and mosses with hummingbird nests, eggs, bird skulls, and interesting trinkets adorn antique and new glass wear.

Here's Rachael's information on the terrariums:

"The glass vessels are both new and used, some from thrift stores, some from discount stores. The nests are from my back yard. Some of the plants (like the ferns and moss) are foraged from the woods. The closed terrariums should establish themselves to be their own environment, taking care of themselves. They do like it if you take the lid off once in a while for fresh air, but if all works out, and the plants are friends, they will make their own ecosystem. I am going to try some cactus and succulent terrariums soon - they will be open ones."

Fat Dog Terrariums (and men's ties!) available at Milkman's Daughter.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lily Sighting: BC Ferries

I was on my way over to The Milkman's Daughter's opening party, standing in line at the cafeteria counter on the ferry, minding my own business. Like, really minding my own business as I always do on the ferry crossing - my iPod washing positive sounds overtop of the din of babies and tourists and bored teenagers. As usual I was staring blankly ahead, far enough ahead to see the magazines and Denman Island Chocolates, but not far enough ahead to make eye contact with anyone. I prefer my travel time to be quiet time.

But there I was, waiting to order some fries, when into my field of vision pops a Smoking Lily zip wallet on a cafeteria tray. My solitary reverie was broken and I felt compelled to take off the headphones and actually make contact with the person in front of me. I startled her with "Do you mind if I take a photo of your wallet?" She was clearly in the ferry travel zone too. Turns out that she had received the wallet as a gift and had been loving it ever since - awh, nice!

We chatted for a bit, I took the photo, and then I fell back into my quiet space. She dined with friends. And then I was in Victoria....

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Where I Went on My Vacation: Seattle

This weekend Trish and Jan (our friend and Milkman's Daughter resident interior designer, of Modhaus) and I went to Seattle. W enjoyed the usual girls weekend activities - shopping, drinking and eating. We had a fantabulous time wandering and taking in the sights of a place that was "other" - not Victoria, not Vancouver, refreshingly other. Don't get me wrong, we looove where we live. It's just that a change of scenery is great for inspiration, for rejuvenating the imagination, and for the living in the moment experience of it all.

Trish was drawn across the middle of the street to check out this art work, which turned out to be a paper collage of a First Nations bust with a feather headdress and diamonds with diamonds. It is difficult to detect from the photo - and that's why we had to cross the street. It was really cool up close.

Love this view of the Camlin Hotel from the colourfully tiled I-5 overpass to Capitol Hill. Great ornate/concrete and glass juxtaposition.

I had been joking that my latest manicure looked like I went to an auto supply store, had them duct tape around my nails and spray them down with car paint. Then we passed by this car - hilarious!

This shop was under construction and must have had over 300 old Singer sewing machines in the windows and ready for other display.

A view from the central Seattle Public Library. It is an amazing place, designed in part by Rem Koolhaas. The ground floor wood flooring is completely covered in raised text of the first line of classic novels - amazing. It just gets more astoundingly interesting from there - the spatial design, the escalators, the carpeting, the sound scaping. Jan said it was so cool that she was still processing it the next day. Me too! It was so much to take in.

Vancouver Update: Fall Colours

The colours of Fall are really in full glory right now. Soft yellows and browns are competing with brilliant coppers and crimson reds. Every corner brings on a new jaw dropping deciduous visual extravaganza.

This morning I noticed some richly hued leaves had fallen into our window box here at the Main Street store. We've had no heavy frosts yet so our Bacopa's are still yielding pretty little white flowers, and the ornamental cabbages are a cool deep purple. Yes, purple. I'm sure there'll be some gasps and some giggles with the knowledge that I planted something purple. Even though it's my least favourite colour (by far!) I have to admit that it looks really nice in our window box. Especially accompanied by random leaves that have drifted in.

Oh Fall, how you continue to impress me year after year, as though for the first time. It's strange and yet comforting to be rejuvenated by decay again and again.

On the shop front, we are just unpacking the new Wool Wollaston dresses and lovely canvas tote bags with Octopi, and Enormous Anatomical Hearts, and Nests. We have loads of the new Silk Patch Scarves and our staple Hester Skirt is in a new black denim, plus a full range of Capes and Capelets. Mmmmmm cozy!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Victoria Store Update: The wonderful Wollaston!

While getting ready for my work day, like many of us I stood in front of my closet hoping to find something that is easy to wear, looks great, and, most importantly, that will keep me cozy! It's definitely fall here in Victoria--rainy, cold, windy, and lets face it, grey, grey, grey! I needed something from my wardrobe that puts a little pep in my step, and there it was, the new Wollaston. Now available in luscious grey wool, as well as TWO other geometrically inspired prints. I like to wear this frock with a long sleeve boatneck top, my Cape of Good Hope, and, of course on a day like today, my Wellies!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lily Inspiration: The 70s

I don't know what's gotten into me lately, but I am seeing the 70's everywhere. Am I crazy? Do you guys see it, too? (I know Jo-Anne was last week.) In no particular order, I present a smattering of evidence!

Exhibit A: Music! The 70's-tastic style featured in this video for a single off the new Black Mountain album, Wilderness Heart, is perhaps outdone only by Kevin Barnes channeling David Bowie in this Pitchfork TV concoction.

Exhibit B: The colour brown. With its muted, "earthy" vibe, brown was definitely the old black. Personally, I am a big fan of the colour brown--it goes so well with so many other hues and, with its richer tone, is a softer alternative to black. The funny thing is that, while we never used to have brown in the shop (I even had a fabric wholesale guy once tell me in passing that Trish hated the colour), it's been creeping into the store bit by bit over the past year or so and now we have tons of it. Look out, Trish--the 70s strike again!

Exhibit C: My ridiculous 70's grandma sunglasses. Purchased a year ago for $9.99 from a rather crazy-looking vendor on Venice Beach because they were funny, I am now actually getting legitimate--and frequent!--compliments on them. I even really like them at this point--weird!

Thus, after this exhaustive exploration of the current 70's invasion, I rest my case. And, really, why not join in the 70's-inspired fun; at least it's not the 80's again, right?!!

the milkman's daughter: Opening Party

Last Monday, customers, trades, friends, and staff gathered at 1713 Government Street to celebrate the opening of the milkman's daughter.

Trish was in charge of decorations and created awesome printed white pumpkins for the front window and bunting made with printed paper and fabric. I don't want to take down the bunting - it looks so good!

Great shot of Trish mingling during the party.

Rachael has been supplying the milkman's daughter with terrariums. This one houses an African violet and a tiny bird's nest.

Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing the evening with us.

Studio Update: Keebler Elves

In the studio we have been working like Keebler Elves, appliquéing men's shirts, knit scarves, and wool blankets, making them one of a kind. Here's a sneak peak at some scarves. They are in stores now. Whomever buys my favorite fuschia scarf, with green silk grenade printed applique, be good to it and enjoy. I had a hard time letting that one leave the studio... (tears)

Lily Home: Part two

Last week Steph blogged about a blanket I was making. I don't usually hang out in the sewing room, but last week I was pacing around the studio waiting for a phone call and started cleaning up the remnant fabric area. Yes, I am a Virgo. After cleaning I thought I would sew the scraps together and make a blanket. I made two blankets in the end, and here are the finished products.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Famous People Like Us!

Sitting down to lunch this afternoon, I open up this week's Georgia Straight and what do I see but Ivan E. Coyote rocking a Smoking Lily tee--awesome! For those of you who are unfamiliar with Ms. Coyote, she is a stupendously good writer who currently calls Vancouver home. She pops into the Main Street shop every once in a while; glenda and I get all star struck and tongue-tied, which is pretty hilarious. Oh, the perils of being über-talented and well known!

According to the Straight, her new collection of short stories, Missed Her, is fantastic. We aren't surprised!

As part of the Vancouver International Writers Festival, Ivan E. Coyote will be appearing at PTC Studio on October 24th.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Vancouver Update: Fun With Woolly Pockets!

Now that the weather is finally starting to get cold, I find myself more concerned with the interior state of my house. Without sunshine and backyards to distract me, my thoughts are prone to wandering along the lines of, "Gee, I guess it really is time to reupholster that poor chair," "Where does all the clutter come from?" and, my favourite, "How the hell did I kill half the plants?!"

Now, I know I'm probably never going to reupholster that poor chair, and clutter? Pbbtthhh! It won the war years ago (oh, the joys of "character" homes with no closets. Argh!!). On the plant front, however, I think I may have finally found what I didn't even know I needed. Meet Wally! Made from recycled pop bottles, Wally is basically a plastic-lined felt envelope you screw into your wall, fill with dirt, then stuff with plants. The way they are built, water collects in a reservoir along the bottom so that the plant is never thirsty. Excess water is wicked up through the felt and evaporates, keeping plants from getting wet feet.

You can buy them in multiples and make large arrangements, or just have one little guy in a cosy spot. The best part is that they come with their own mounting hardware and don't need to be drilled into studs (if there is something I hate more than stud finders, I can't think of it right now!).

We have the single Wally size here in the Vancouver shop available in black, camel, and blue for $49 each. They do have other shapes and sizes, including the triple Wally planter, at The Milkman's Daughter, however; we are always happy to have Victoria send things over for us if you'd like to have a look here at the Main Street shop! I would also really like to encourage everyone to check out the Woolly Pocket website, as they have all sorts of amazing inspirational photos to snoop through....I, for one, know I will need all the inspiration I can get to put together a planter so insanely awesome that I no longer notice all the clutter. Go, Wally!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Victoria Update: a chill is in the air

Well fellow Victorians and Vancouverites, I don't know about you (perhaps I am just a spoiled west-coast baby) but this past week has been c-o-l-d.

Don't fret though! With the oncoming winter I love the process of discovering all of my awesome winter gear. Beautiful patterned pashminas, warm oversized sweaters, wool socks, toques, berets and all manners of hats. Not to mention all the beautiful colours! Rich reds, fuzzy soft whites, glistening greens, deep blues, and my new favorite the vibrant warm golden mustardy yellow.

And in case you've got the shivers like I do, you should come check out all of our new winter accessories at the stores.

Big Acrylic Scarves (these will be printed) $48

Angora/Acrylic Fuzzy Scarves $38-42

Smittens! $40
totally cute new hats! $10-22
AND a sneak peak of some upcoming scarves with silk applique patches :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Finally, The Official Grand Opening!

Another Lily Customer in Action

Nayla is one of our lovely mail order customers. She comes in to the shop when she's in town and keeps in touch via the website, blog and email when she's not. It's fun to feel connected to other parts of the country, and world, through our customers.

Here's a shot that Nayla sent of herself in the St. Augustine Dress - moody and sweet!

Lily Inspiration

Last weekend I went on a journey to visit my parents on the Sunshine Coast. The long drive and the two ferry rides from Victoria really got me thinking about Smoking Lily Christmas ideas. I decided to go through some of my Mom's old patterns for inspiration. Some patterns were so old they burst into dust as I touched them. After turning my Mom's sewing room upside down, I discovered this special little gem and I can honestly say it is older than me. Please pay special attention to gentleman on the left. Need I say more? Smoking Lily mens 70's housecoats coming complete with yellow glasses, curled coiff, matching mustache and beer? I have to see if the concept wins rave reviews with the ladies in the studio. Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Before and After: Door to Table

I found an old wood door in an alley on the way to work one morning this summer. A little sanding spruced it up quite nicely. It's still pretty rustic, but we like that around here.

Then on my way back from Bumbershoot, in Seattle, in September I bought a weird narrow table at a Goodwill south of Bellingham, for $6.99. I bought it for the legs (and the brackets that were included), thinking that they would be just the thing to turn the old door into a display table for the shop.

Here are the bits and pieces (the narrow board on the floor was the table top - odd),

And here is the door as a table! (sanded side as the top)

And here's a shot that I just took on my phone of the table in action, nicely displaying our kids clothes.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Lily Home: Blanket in the works

When I came into the studio this morning, I noticed something that wasn't here the night before. I guess Trish has been keeping busy, (or maybe procrastinating about paperwork) and started sewing together some cotton fabric remnants to make a blanket. Looks good so far!!

Vancouver Update: Customer Ingenuity

Because we usually do small runs of garments here at Smoking Lily, it happens, on occasion, that customers who choose to ponder a purchase for awhile can miss out altogether. It can be disappointing, I know, I didn't get a 113 jacket! I actually went to my coat cupboard the other day to put on a 113 because it would have been the perfect coat for the day, wasn't there - I didn't purchase one...drat! I had to go with my Camouflage Coat instead (not such a sad ending after all). Ok, I'm getting side tracked here.

What one ingenious customer did when she realized she should have bought the Double Take Skirt below,

was get her Smoking Lily Chevron Skirt

altered to be more of a pencil skirt! She even added the buttons for a closer approximation.

Here's a photo she sent of herself in her creation. Way to go Janie, you're sharp!

She's adventurous in other ways too. She and her husband cycled from Terrace to Prince Rupert this summer - woah!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Musical Chairs at the milkman's daughter

Available in two sizes and many prints. Washable cover and cube filled with fabric remnants. Small $110 Large $210

Set of 4 teak dining chairs $360
For your family of animals. Seats covered in 4 diffrent animal prints- hare, bison, jackall and red deer

Ottoman with drawer $140
Upholstered floral print. This little baby has lots of room for storage.

Very Charming French Settee $625
Upholstered in gold an black velvet stripe and linen printed with large flies. Sides come out, fold down and flip for ultra versatility.

Stop by the milkman's daughter at 1713 government street in victoria to see these fine products and many others.