Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Vancouver Update: Teak Dining Chairs

We have been having fun sourcing all kinds of interesting second-hand pieces of furniture to spruce up for you. Trish found these awesome Teak chairs in Victoria, and had Nicole (a fantastic seamstress/samplemaker/leather-worker, and now in-house upholsterer) recover the seats in some durable linen with Filigree and animal prints. Check these lovelies out!

The chairs arrived in Vancouver a few days ago. The set of four is $370.

I wish I had a dining room!!!

Plucky Pink Plaid Skirt

Me and the new plaid skirt getting ready to go to work.

New Print: Teeth!

Being the creative types that they are, the gals at the studio are always coming up with wacky, wonderful new designs for our silkscreens. Last week we got our first look at the new teeth prints and I think they fit the "strange+beautiful" Smoking Lily design ethos to a T...though, perhaps in our case that should be to a "tee!" Groan....

Monday, November 29, 2010

More Holiday Gift Ideas!

Well, the season is officially upon us here in Victoria. With window displays in every shop, holiday decorations framing each intersection, and (most obviously) the recent winter wonderland that the westcoast has been engulfed in, it definitely is starting to look and feel a lot like Christmas. After all, there is just under a month left for shopping (yikes!).

Don't fret! Here are a few awesome Smoking Lily gift ideas to help you get through your list:

1. The Girl on the Go

For the jetsetter that can't stay in one place for too long, our toiletries bag is perfect for over-night stays, long trips, and helps her stay organized day-to-day. The bag opens up to reveal three plastic-protected pockets inside, great for morning, noon and night.

2. The Homebody

Our newly printed Calendar Teatowels are so cute (and affordable at $14) that you might just have to get one for everyone on your list, but probably will be most appreciated by those who will see them most - the homebody!

3. The Bookworm

Perfect for the student on your list, or someone who is constantly carting around a bag full of books to the local coffee shop, this new Olaf Tote is big enough to satiate every Bookworm's book quota.

4. The Fashionista

For the girl on your list who loves unique accessories, and can't get enough of them.
(Clockwise from top right) reversable cotton Obi Belts, leather Cameo Belts and linen-printed Eyeglass Cases.

5. The Wee Ones

Those little guys and girls will be the cutest babies around in these Smoking Lily Baby Onesies.

6. The Sci-Fi Nerd

We haven't forgotten about the guys out there. Pair up one of these shirts with a Criterion Collection DVD of The Fly, and the Sci-Fi nerd in your life will be drooling (more than usual).

Happy shopping!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Special Event: Victoria Santa Parade

Tonight (November 27th) in Victoria, Santa is coming to town! To celebrate, our Milkman's Daughter store will have cookies and hot chocolate on hand! Drop by and get yours to enjoy while the parade passes by. By donation, all proceeds will be donated to our "Hearts for Haiti" fundraiser.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Lily of the Ages: My Mother's Kimono

Last week, my daughter Violet had an opportunity to dress up in a Kimono that has been in my family for over 70 years. Originally sewn in Kyoto, the kimono was made for my mother Hiroko before she was born. Along with other Japanese, my grandparents had settled in Manchuria, China and started a family. When the war started, my grandparents and their 5 children age 2 to 9 were forced into exile and had to leave behind everything. Any possessions that were valuable would have been confiscated, so my grandmother sewed a backpack and hid the kimono inside the lining. It was her hope that her youngest daughter, who was 2, would be able to wear the kimono as her older sisters had. It took 3 years for my family to make it back to Japan, and the kimono has been worn by every girl in our family since. Clothing can carry much sentiment and because of my grandmother's perseverance, this is now an important and happy family tradition.

My mother, Hiroko, 1940
Me, 1983

My daughter, Violet, 2010

My mom and Violet today

My grandparents, Shizue and Osamu Katakura and their children, 1940

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Studio Update: Festive Skirt

Have you been thinking "Ohh here we go. It's THAT time of year again. Choose from one/all of the following: My Boss, Grandma, Mother In-Law, Weird Neighbor, Good friend with potential dating possibility friend is going to invite me to go to that (choose from one/all of the following: office, family, Christmas, New Year's) Party and I am going to have to look hot. Not only am I going to have to look hot, but I am going to have to keep in mind that it's minus eighty degrees out. The current trend of leopard print Snuggie to woolen everything and back that has been going on the past week may not go over too great. Fuzzy socks? Yeah, not so much.Well here in the Smoking Lily studio we have come up with the perfect thing. We thought back to all of the awesome skirts that have come and gone and decided that there needed to be a revival of the Sooke Skirt. This skirt has an awesome detail of cute round pocket, (nothing else out there like it!) comfortable waistband and an ever flattering A-line, well, line. We located a gorgeous velvet with a thick wale (those lines like on corduroy) and printed it with a beautiful black leaf. They come in three highly compatible with what you might already have for a top colours: moss green, forest green and charcoal grey. Each pocket has a unique print peeking out from its circular frame. Combine this with nice tights, that top we were talking about and those awesome boots you scored at Winners, and there ya go. Keeping hotness, stylishness and holiday appropriate all in mind.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lily On The Road

Last Thursday, I bundled up some Lily wares and took them across town to my hairdresser's new Salon, Joji's (on Commercial Drive in Vancouver). She and her lovely business partners were throwing a customer appreciation night with a entertainment, refreshments and massages. I was pleased to be asked to be the shopping component to the evening. It was lots of fun and a great success. Congratulations Sally! Wishing you and everyone at Joji's lots of continued success!

Here are a few shots of the mini-Lily display.

More Hanami

As promised here is a photo of the Jackalope earrings.

And a few more...

**Christmas Gift Idea #1**

For the Ultimate Ultra Fabulous Host or Hostess.

opening party 46

Your Smoking Lily Tea Cozy is not only for keeping tea warm when Grandma is visiting--or for keeping your New England Stone Fence hot hot hot (recipe below)--it's also perfect for when you need to keep little ones entertained. Cozies sold separately, baby not included.

Coming in a variety of print and color combinations. Be the talk of the block with your very own Smoking Lily Tea Cozy.

opening party 31

New England Stone Fence
5 oz apple cider
1 oz rum - maybe more depending on what in-laws are visiting.

Combine in a warm tea pot, sprinkle nutmeg or cinnamon on top.
Cover with a Smoking Lily Tea Cozy.
I personally think whipped cream and a caramel drizzle is a great topper.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Vancouver Update: Hanami Earrings

We have a full range of Hanami Earrings in the Vancouver and Victoria shops right now.

These lightweight, pretty and quirky earrings are made by Brenda MacDonald, a Montreal based jewelry designer who studied Fashion Design and now works in the fashion industry in Montreal. Brenda started making the Hanami accessories line as a personal outlet for her creativity.

There is a heavy influence of Japanese kitschy cuteness and floral detail in her work, a result of her having lived in Japan for 5 years. Brenda is also inspired by vintage patterned fabrics and papers. As well, animals feature prominently on many of her pieces, including mythical ones. She says "I do so wish that the Jackalope were a real creature...!" (Photo of the jackalope earrings to come soon.)

All the earrings featured below are her own designs printed on paper and hand-coated in resin. They are light weight and durable. The earrings are just $20 a pair.

Special Event: Johnson Street Food Drive

Smoking Lily Victoria is taking part in the Johnson Street Holiday Food Drive. Bring a non perishable food item and receive 20% off any Smoking Lily merchandise this Thursday Nov. 25th from 6-9pm. Continue to donate until Dec. 29th to be entered to win a $1000 Johnson Street prize pack!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Victoria Update: New Prints - big birds and bugs!

For today's blog I thought I'd share 3 awesome new prints, just burned this weekend!

Up first: the majestic Raven--how dark and mysterious
This handsome devil is on our new floral nightie below.
Next is a new big Bee! (my mom will be so thrilled, bees are her favorite)
This little buzzer is on our new Perfect-Vee shirts. These will be in stores tomorrow.
And last but not least is this huge new glorious Beetle
(the item below is a Hama Dress that will be in vancouver tomorrow, come scoop it up!)
Look forward to these guys on lots of new merch in stores soon!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Vancouver Update: Snow!

It snowed on the West Coast last night! The timing is perfect for the snow challenged drivers of Vancouver as many people will not have to drive to work today. I will be walking to work. I'm all bundled up and looking forward to shovelling the sidewalk in front of the store, and salting, as it's supposed to go down to -7C tonight!

It was so beautiful that I had to go out for a walk in the fresh snow last night, and take a couple of quick photos with my phone. (My camera is at work so that I can get shots of the new garments up on the website: Pink Plaid Wool Skirt, Perfect Vee Long-sleeve Top with Teeth, Tooled Leather Snap Wallets.....soon, very soon)

This is the view out of my front window this morning. Beautiful Fall colours blanketed in the white stuff. Winter is here!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Lily Inspiration: People watching

Here in Victoria there is always an interesting outfit lurking on the streets somewhere. All you really have to do is go outside and stand there for a few minutes, then "Oohherr uuh... myy." Or "Ooooer, nice. I liiike" Working in the tiny shop is an amazing opportunity for such activities, Lower Johnson seems to bring out the best in creative outfits. It goes both ways too... lots of people end up watching you, because you're pretty much a curio cabinet doll on display. Sometimes people are much too busy to notice, though. I have been known to attempt to practice my clogging on colder days, and, despite the thumping, people don't seem to pay any attention.
I was running errands the other day between the Milkman's Daughter and the studio and having lunch and a very interesting thing happened. A woman approached me and said she has a feed on Twitter and that she roams the streets of Victoria looking for people wearing cool outfits to put up. Could she take my photo? Does the Pope love baby Jesus? I struck a rather modelistic (awkward) pose in my Oscillator, and asked her where I could find this Twitter thing. (I know NOTHING about Twitter by the way.) She gave it to me, YYJ Fashion and so now I hope she's not mad that I am blogging about it! I have been a long time fan of the Sartorialist (see Erin's post about the French last week) and felt very proud to be a part of this blossoming Victorian version! So yayy for cool outfits and getting out there and strutting your stuff. Also, thank you to the woman of YYJ Fashion, good luck out there!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sidney by the Sea

One afternoon I was feeling the need for a chai latte and some window shopping, so I drove out to "Sidney by the Sea," a small town just north of Victoria on the Saanich Pennisula, and sauntered the streets. As I walked by the Sidney Historical Museum and Archives I noticed it was featuring the Deep Cove Weavers and Spinners Guild. I knew I had to go in.

The exhibit was fantastic. The women of the Guild had made silk hats from scratch, hats from their dogs' hair, knitted hats, woven hats, felted hats....It was incredible. I stared and examined in awe for over an hour.

Since I was there for so long, I was lucky to meet some of the women who crafted the exhibit. Heidi Schneider joyfully filled me in on all the details.

The blue hat below was made by Sylvia Anderson and embellished by Audrey Bryant

Alix Day hand spun her Samoyed dog's hair into this white topper.

Audrey Bryant made a silk hat infused with paper, which she molded into shape and then embroidered and embellished with thread, yarn, beads, poppy seed heads and root-ends of garlic cloves.

The Guild has over 50 members. They meet on Tuesdays to work on their projects. I'm still amazed by the talent these women have. The Sidney Museum is open 7 days a week and is by donation.