Friday, July 29, 2011

Lily Inspiration: Locavores on Bikes!

Anyone with whom I have even a passing acquaintance can tell you that I like food. In fact, I like food a lot--especially locally grown, fresh, seasonal, Michael Pollan-approved kinds of food. In true locavore foodie spirit, Scott, our dear friend Aimée (who we sucker into working at the Vancouver shop every once in a while), and I decided to buy tickets for the Slow Food Vancouver cycle tour of Agassiz last Saturday. What an adventure! The annual tour is a self-guided visit to all sorts of interesting farms and food producers where you can eat, buy local products, and learn all sorts of fabulous things about good stuff to, well, eat. ...And, um, did I mention the eating?

This shot was taken at the first stop on our tour: The Farm House Natural Cheeses. Not only did they have incredibly delicious cheeses, but the world's friendliest donkey and insanely cute goats (see below!).

Riding through the orchard at Canadian Hazelnut was definitely a high point of the tour. The photo doesn't quite convey the overwhelming "enchanted forest" effect the dappled sun had.

Whilst checking out the UBC Dairy Education and Research Centre, we were required to "suit up" with these amazingly fashionable plastic booties in order to avoid tracking pathogens near newborn calves. They were a little silly and sweaty, but they allowed us to get up close and personal with....

...Superhumanly cute baby cows! We named this one Li'l Licky. You can guess why.

A little later in the day we stopped to gobble down homemade pies at Blackberry Lane B&B. Sitting in the grass, slurping down lemonade and pie while looking out over a paddock of happy little lambs was pretty idyllic. One recurring topic of discussion that afternoon was how incredibly cute farm animals are up close and in person....

Another major topic was how ridiculously beautiful Agassiz is.

This is, without a doubt, the best looking corn field I've ever seen--and my mother is from Kentucky farm country. I've seen a lot of corn fields!

The last stop of the day was at the quaintly rustic Limbert Mountain Farm, which sells an alluring assortment of fresh produce, garden plants, homemade comestibles and teas.

None of us had ever been on the tour before, but we had a great time and would highly recommend it to anyone with even a passing interest in food--you'd never guess how interesting a tour of a working family dairy farm from a second-generation dairy farmer is! We will definitely be signing up for next year's tour; you should, too!

Silk Screening Workshop!

This class is geared towards the DIY person. We will teach you how to make a screen from scratch, which you get to take home at the end. We will take the mystery out of photo emulsion. You will learn how to turn your ideas into prints using several different methods. We will provide you with tea towels and a super special tote made by Smoking Lily for you to print with your own designs.

The workshop is broken into 3 classes: August 9th, 5:30 to 7:30; August 16th, 5:30 to 8:00; and August 23rd, 5:30 to 9:00.

The workshop price is $220. You will go away with some lovely tea towels and a tote adorned with your designs, plus you take home your own screen so you can print more of the image you create in class. On top of that, you will have the knowledge to do the whole process yourself, from scratch!

We run on a first to pay, first in system. You can register at Smoking Lily 569 Johnson Street, 250-382-5459.

Oh yeah, you will have homework and there may be minimal expenses for materials ($5 or so).

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Studio Update: Farm Vacation

I was slated to post the Studio Update this week, and I'm pretty sure all the girls at the studio are busy sewing our fall clothes, but I'm on vacation at my parents farm in Ontario... so, I thought I'd share a few photos from my trip.

I found a few antlers in the barn - they're returning to Victoria with me for our fall scarf display.

There are plenty of Canadian thistles around the farm - great print idea.

I found rolls of raw wool in the shed.

Another print idea... chevron of a tractor tire.

I really like the hay rake.

My mom made 2 fresh raspberries pies the first day home. Yum!

My mom made two fresh raspberries pies the first day home. Yum!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lily Spotlight: Hester Skirt

Since we have just created a new incarnation of the Hester Skirt, I thought it fitting to do a little retrospective on this cute garment. We've been making this mini skirt for 5 years now. It's seen different pocket styles, and different fabrics, some have been silk-screened, and some not. The common thread is the great fit and cute factor.

I have to confess that I have 5 of them - yes, five! I know it seems crazy but I've loved every incarnation and they are my favourite go to piece for walking out the front door feeling good. In my early 40's I told myself that I would stop wearing mini skirts when I turned 45. Thankfully my boyfriend convinced my otherwise (what boy is going to say "yeah, I think that skirt is too short"?). I will say that I only wear them with tights now, the legs not being what they once were. It will be interesting to see if 50 becomes my new cutoff point for this skirt. For now I am grappling with whether to add a 6th to the collection. Who am I kidding...the new striped version is waaay to cute to resist.

Spring 2006

Summer 2007

Fall 2007

Fall 2007

Spring 2008

Fall 2008

Spring 2009

Fall 2010

Spring 2011

Spring 2011

Summer 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lily Inspiration: Martin Creed

On Thursday last I joined up with a few friends to take a guided tour through the current Rennie Collection. To experience Martin Creed's work we waded through pink balloons, avoided runners while viewing hundreds of broccoli cross-section stampings, listened to a wall of metronomes while viewing explorations in office supply felt markers, watched videos of people throwing up (needless to say it was the most challenging room in the building), and listened as a grand piano gently lifted and slammed shut over and over again. It was a varied and fun tour culminating in a perfect view of Martin Creed's neon piece "Everything Is Going To Be Alright".

Here are a few of the photos I took during the tour. I have a couple of videos of the balloon room that I'll try to get posted for you sometime soon.

Vancouver Update: New Skirts!

You may have noticed these newest additions to a very long line of Smoking Lily skirts posted on our website this weekend. They are fantastic skirts. We love skirts! They are fun, comfortable and I feel they make for a much less traumatic change-room experience than pants (Does anyone else find that pants are overly cruel about pointing out less than desirable physical features, while skirts are happy to help out with acceptable delusions of walking about in your younger body by skimming over the difficult spots and highlighting the good stuff? Aaah skirts, you're a good friend). As any of you that have shopped in our Vancouver store will know, Erin and I are always happy to extoll the benefits of the almighty skirt... and their awesome cousin, the slip.

Here's the new Cypress skirt in men's shirting cotton plaid, paired with a red Hama Hama top and a cotton jersey Cardigan.

And here's the new Hester skirt in striped cotton canvas paired with a Simple Tee - fun!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Victoria Shops Update: Blackbird Studio ceramics, and my first blog!

Welcome! My name's Chance. I started working at Smoking Lily back in March and the time has come for my first blog post! If you're familiar with this blog, I'm the one who can be seen thoroughly enjoying the Anthology magazine in one of our recent posts; it really is a great magazine :)

You should all try to make it down to The Milkman's Daughter soon so you can so you can A: say hi to me!; and, B: check out a new line of ceramics we're carrying by Blackbird Studios.

These beautiful pieces are created by Paige, who lives here in Victoria.

This lovely little kitty food & water dish (on the left) is so adorable it makes me want to get a cat just so I have a reason to buy it (I'm deathly allergic to cats, but it's just that cute!).

Each piece is 100% unique, with no design repeated.

I love this bowl, too, it's so purdy.

....And with the lovely flower and itty bitty polka dots inside? Get out, too cute!

These coffee mugs are just lovely, with their blue bottoms--a great touch.

I would have to say, though, that my favorite part about this whole line is that Paige signs each piece, adding a very personal and warm feel.

So happy to meet you all and I hope to see you down at Milk soon!

Victoria Pride Parade

Is it summer yet? I see the occasional pocket of sunshine and a whole lot of unseasonably cool weather. When it may not be as summery out as I would like, I think about Victoria's Pride Parade a couple of weeks ago.

The entire city was beaming with light and good energy. I went with a friend of mine and we trailed along the parade route behind the loud speakers of the last float. We danced through the city behind the Eve's of Destruction roller derby team, and behind the Cheesecake Burlesque troupe. Later in the afternoon I was joking to my friend that we're probably already on YouTube... and it turns out we were.

At :32 seconds I can be seen in my black Garden State dress with orange flowers in my hair. I was mighty tired by that point but my friend pirouettes through the frame. I can't wait until next year!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Studio Update: Banniverithary Day

Okay, today's post is shamelessly very much all about me. I have been working for the wonderful and great Smoking Lily for 1 year as of July 19th. When I first got in the studio I was generally quiet and could barely put in a zipper. Now, thanks to all the great ladies I work with, I am a master of the sewing machine.

I whipped up some awesome vanilla rainbow cupcakes with pretty purple icing as a thank you for putting up with me for the last year... I am known to quote movies, dance a lot, and ramble on about various things until I create obnoxious amounts of laughter.

Funny? yes.

Annoying to others?

... YES!

So, July 19th was my 1st Annual Smoking Lily Banniverithary Day.

Cut Loose... It's Friday.