Posts from — February 2012
Happy Wednesday! How was your Valentine’s Day? Mine was good, with just the right amount of love notes and chocolate to get me through the week. Rachel and I have been busy bees planning our Spring market…it’s a lot different planning with the deadline of her leaving the country so close at hand! But thankfully, the majority of our planning happens online so we’re confident that we’ll adjust to the changes ahead.
When I opened the latest edition of Style At Home magazine last week, I was happy to see the work of our friend Janis featured and even more excited to see the amazing Gastown space that she photographed. I must say I’m super envious of her amazing job…getting an intimate look inside people’s homes must be so great! But I suppose that’s why we started this blog too…
Designed by architect, Omer Arbel, this industrial space in a less-than-savoury part of town was once unliveable. It is a long and skinny space, with the original windows being only at either end of the 33-by-150 foot home. In Omer’s words, “This was a cavernous space in a not-so-pretty neighbourhood. We decided to concentrate on light and create a sort of cube of nature in the middle of the floor plan rather than open up the views to the streets cape.” This was achieved by the construction of a glass walled courtyard in the middle of the living space. Genius, right?
I love how the layering of colourful art, rugs and upholstery keep the otherwise concrete and brick space from looking too cold or sterile. The addition of some fantastic vintage pieces (like the amazing antique cabinet in the bathroom) and modern lines in the streamlined kitchen, the overall design truly embraces the contrast of old and new…
I think it would be so cool to visit this space and to see it’s “lightbox” of a courtyard, especially on one of our wet West Coast days! Depending on the weather, either a rectangle of sunshine or one of rain becomes the focal point of this home, such a clever solution for bringing in some much needed light.
On another note, vendor applications are now open for Scout Handmade + Vintage Market! Visit our market blog for Frequently Asked Questions and more information. Looking forward to seeing the amazing talent of our vendors this time ’round!
February 15, 2012 8 Comments
Valentine’s Day has always been a pretty big deal for me since it’s also my birthday. I’m not entirely sure how old I am and lost count years ago. Besides a much needed weekend away, my birthday celebrations will be pretty low key this year which is fine by me. After I take the girls out for heart shaped pizza, we’ll have a family Skype session later this evening and open our Valentine’s. I know not everyone makes as big a deal of Valentine’s Day as we do around our house and to be honest, I might be a little heartbroken if they didn’t but it is a good reminder to show a little tenderness to those around you who make a difference in your life. I came across the Yellow Button Studio recently and fell in love with these affectionate prints. It’s a not too late to order one either because these would look just lovely displayed all year long. Pretty sweet, right?
My girls and I made a trip to the post office last week to send off a package of chocolate and Valentines to my husband and I can’t believe that it only took 3 days to travel 5000+ kilometres! After sending off more than 300 packages from our Birch + Bird Etsy shop, that could be a record. For the girls, I packed their lunch boxes with a love note, a few heart-shaped cookies and chocolates which is usually forbidden. To balance it out, I also tucked in a heart shaped hard boiled egg that I made with my new egg molds from Williams-Sonoma. If you have found yourself unprepared this Valentine’s Day and are now feeling a little guilty, I found some last minute Valentine ideas for you. I’m a big fan of using what you have around the house and there is no need to spend a fortune, after all, it’s the thought that counts.
What are your Valentine’s Day plans? Care to share?
February 14, 2012 12 Comments
Phew, what a weekend! On Friday morning, Rachel and I headed down to Seattle with our good friends Andrea and Monica for a much-needed getaway. Our drive started out somewhat leisurely, with several thrift store and antique stops in the quaint town of Lynden, WA. We were happy to luck out on some great vintage goodies, including one particularly amazing treasure spotted by Rachel at our second stop. We may share a sneak peek of our finds with you…or we might just wait until market day for the big reveal! After settling into our hotel downtown, we did some more shopping before making our way to Wild Ginger for an amazing dinner. It was such a delicious treat to sample fresh Asian food inside such a beautiful restaurant, especially with such great friends…
After a good sleep-in, we meandered through Pike Place Market, made the necessary stop at the original Starbucks and, at the suggestion of one of our readers (thanks Amy Beth!), stopped to taste the yummy ice cream at Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream….so good! I highly recommend the Earl Grey!
It was so fantastic to be with great friends and to not have much of an agenda or plan. We were all just happy to be taking a little breather from daily life and it was such a treat to take our time and browse the day away. One stop that was a must on our list was Anthropologie and, with an explosion (literally!) of Spring colour, it didn’t disappoint us…
After a few more shops, we were feeling a little overstimulated and in need of sustenance so off we went to P.F. Chang’s for some more Asian deliciousness…and well deserved refreshments, of course! Did you know it’s Rachel’s birthday tomorrow? Well, yes it is, and we sure maxed out our dessert opportunities by letting every server know about her special day. After our food intake this weekend, I’m thinking a few really long runs are in order but it was oh-so worth it!
Yesterday, we packed our bags for home and made our way over to my most anticipated stop…West Elm. It was my first time visiting one of their stores in person and I was even more impressed than I thought I’d be! The fresh colours, clean lines and industrial touches had me at hello and I would have happily taken home any of their lovely vignettes, especially those incorporating sea glass greens and blues. With a Vancouver location in the works for later this year, I’d better hide my credit card!
All photos by Birch + Bird, except where noted.
Now, it’s back to real life for me and the final days of packing for Rachel. I’m trying really hard to ignore the calendar and the dwindling time until her departure but I know it’s going to be a huge shock not having her just around the corner anymore. I’m so glad that we got in one more shopping trip in before she leaves and hopefully it will be a good excuse for us all to meet up a little further from home and for longer next time…I’m thinking somewhere hot and sunny would be very good!
By the way, I just realized that we neglected to share our finalized Spring market plans here with you! Scout Handmade + Vintage Market will take place on May 25th-26th in an indoor space at the Parallel Marketplace here in Abbotsford and we couldn’t be more excited! Stay tuned to see how our plans unfold…
February 13, 2012 23 Comments
After all of our eleven kids have been dropped off at school this morning, we are heading out on our girls only getaway to beautiful Seattle, Washington. We hope to cram in as much shopping, thrifting, eating, chatting and sleeping as possible. Cassandra Coco+Kelley put together a detailed Seattle Design Guide over at Design*Sponge. I thought it might be fun to hit up some of her suggestions including the original Starbucks, of course. Anthropologie wasn’t on her list but it’s kind of a given, for me anyway. The last time we went, we filled my truck as full as it’s ever been. I wonder if we’ll break our record this weekend.
All photographs by Big Bean Photography
Overnight bag? Check. Camera? Check. GPS? Check. Credit Card? Check.
Have a great weekend, everyone!
February 10, 2012 9 Comments
What a week! This mama is tuckered out and I’m very much in need of the weekend getaway ahead! The last few days have been filled with birthday party preparations and yesterday our house was filled up with 11 (yes, eleven!) very excited little girls to celebrate my daughter Sadie’s 6th birthday. It was my first time hosting an after school party and I must say I really liked the timeframe…short and sweet! We had a tea party (although all the little ladies opted for hot chocolate or lemonade instead) and plenty of cake, candy, and itty-bitty sandwiches to go around. And at the end of the day, there were plenty of sticky finger prints everywhere and one very happy six year old!
My daughters are both big fans of pink and, with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I figured it’s the right time of year to showcase some bold hued rooms. Both red and pink can easily be overdone but I think each of these spaces have injected just the right pop of colour to warm things up…
Unfortunately, the clouds darkened our sky (and my house) and these were the only two blog worthy photos of our party yesterday. Sadie and I made a brave attempt at our first layer cake (a rainbow one at that!) and, if you squint your eyes and stand waaay back from the screen, I think you’ll agree with me that it turned out okay! Alright, so I’m no baker but at least all of the little girls were impressed…
Do red or pink make regular appearances in your home decor? I generally prefer red but I’ve been coming around to pink, if it’s less bubblegum and more of the coral variety. I’m off to the gym and then out for lunch to celebrate my good friend Aprille’s birthday, not to mention nullifying my workout! I might even get a chance to put my feet up this afternoon before getting the family organized for a weekend without me, although it’s not likely. I’ll save the R+R for Seattle…see you next week!
February 9, 2012 8 Comments