Wednesday, February 25, 2015

At Closet Crows Consignment Pop Up at 140 W. Hastings, I shopped not only from Rebecca Sherlock's designer clothing trove (Von Furstenberg) and shoes ( Fluevog) and much more, but also from the fabulous selection from Helen Siwak of Kitsilano Kitty's Closet, as well as three colorful racks of fun and fancy from the exacting eye of Myriam Laroche of Eco FashionWeek.  The setting was a large loft like space with brick walls - casual Gastown Chic, a wide open room, perfect for three unique presentations of "beautiful clothes that should be loved again". This pop up will be open until February 28th so you should get there as fast as you can.

Great collaboration and Pop Up, All!  Refreshment Partners: Cono Sur Vineyards and Winery, Scandal Brewery and appies from vitvitvegan!


Patterns and styles I was drawn to especially, were from Myriam

Loved the beach stripes and white shorts

Look at this whimsical design on a spring/summer pleated skirt

 Myriam and Rebecca!  The business of style!

There was lots of extra help and even some modelling and 
on trend discussion from Helen's intern, Aila and friend, Brittany

Great finds!

Monday, February 16, 2015

I love the ROM for its high ceilings and winding staircases and location in downtown Toronto. I love being dragged by Gordo the Barosaurus into the drama and scope of the past. I expect the giant skeleton to roar and crack those shiny wood floors with its heavy armored feet. As Sheree Fitch says about Gordo,"I was a paleontologist's puzzle, extinct, therefore I was--now I stand before you, Why? because, because..."  Photographed in all his glory by Jessica Toczko. Welcomed by volunteers who can answer almost anything, I take their maps and enter into world history for the day.  This is a feast for the eyes, a party with the exhibits, filled with people and now celebrating its first 100 years with a fabulous yellow (think gold) covered book: "Every Object Has A Story: Extraordinary Canadians Celebrate The Royal Ontario Museum".

Published in 2014, this is a partnership between the ROM and the Walrus Foundation and is a collection of 21 artifacts and the responses of Canadian writers, film makers, illustrators, scientists, photographers and curators.  When else have you had the chance to hear from curators and from Janet Carding, director and CEO of the ROM?  She, as well as all of the other contributors, encourages our interpretations and responses:  "Every individual who encounters an object brings something to it..."  It is all part of the ongoing, action filled story of the ROM.

In keeping with my passion for drama, costume and clothing, I am sharing my responses to two artifacts: an IKEM Headdress and a Sixth-Century Tunic.  I love the Headdress because both the hair and the head and face are regal, in fact, heart stopping.  The sculptured curls, piled high, remind me of my own teen ' up dos' controlled with cans of hair spray and calling out, "Take this oh mediocre adult world".  The real story is by Silvia Forni, Curator of Anthropology, who tells us that this headdress is also of a young woman, likely a teenager, who is being presented as marriageable to her community.  Hair and style, in all cultures, throughout history, always a rite and a door to somewhere. The Ikem Headdress, made of wood, antelope skin, bone and metal, could be worn by men or women for dance performances. With fabulous photography by Beau Gomez and poetry by Uzoma Esonwanne, further responses: "...her elongated neck soars--soars into her head palm crest, exfoliates two whorls of thick. black braids backing each other, ride the wind over her head..."  Once again, what we wore to dances and how we danced, always important rituals. Love the challenge of learning about the past, finding links from our own experiences and then taking it further in the best way we can.

 The Sixth-Century Tunic is presented by Anu Liivandi, Assistant Curator of Fashion and Textiles, of course, one of my favorite sections at the ROM.  This tunic, is woven, worn long or easily adjusted  to shorter and in my favorite colors, deep purple (royalty) and orange and yellow.  It truly reflects fashion of the day: Dionysian dancers, women in animal skins and scarves, and other necessaries for celebration - including musical instruments.  I like how Aritha Van Herk and photographer, Haley Wessel-Friesen, not only describe the tunic in minute detail but then pose the question: "Why was the tunic first worn?  For a celebration of the equinox?  For a name day? Or Simply because it was a new day and a new garment fit?"  Makes us think about what our own 'tunics', especially, those landscape prints, everywhere, today, say about our culture and times.

In its glory, the ROM and its celebration: EVERY OBJECT HAS A STORY: Extraordinary Canadians Celebrate The Royal Ontario Museum.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Molly writes the acclaimed blog, "Orangette" and has published two books, this one, in 2009 and a more recent account of her and her husband's cooking experiences: Delancey: A Man, A Woman, A Restaurant.

While reviews tend to be mixed, Wizenberg's writing shines. Dedicated to her father, Burg, a food enthusiast and bon vivant, "A Homemade Life" is a story of how food made with love and shared with gusto, nightly around the dinner table, made Molly ever comfortable in the kitchen and passionate about creating from scratch and inviting everyone to share her experiences. "We built a life for ourselves, together around that table."  
Molly describes her own food journey from early days as a baby on the floor of her family's busy kitchen, through her university days, searching for her profession, (professor, restaurant worker and more) and her wedding,  that continues on with her blogging, restaurant ownership and home cook, baker and designer.  Yes, I can see that she thinks about setting, colors, themes, taste and how to successfully bring it all together.
She lists only five pointers about using her recipes and the ingredients can be easily found and the steps are achievable.  Think Potato Salad, Banana Bread, French Toast, Pancakes...all made without boxes or packages and all with at least one ingredient you might not have thought of adding.  Banana Bread with crystalized ginger, French Toast with chocolate and how about that special cake: Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Cake with Glazed Oranges - yes, there is a recipe for that. And as for those tired old salads, how about Bread Salad with cherries, arugula and goat cheese? 
This collection is a taste of other worlds, in particular France and Seattle and of course, the world in your own kitchen.  Moly blogs, cooks, tells stories  and then follows up all of this with how it can all pan out really well in her own restaurant.  So, a proof of the pudding!  Want to read more, eat more and visit Delancey's next time I'm in Seattle.  Shine on, Molly Wizenberg!

Image via

Saturday, February 14, 2015

To brighten up these dreary, rainy days in Vancouver, visit My Sister's Closet (BWSS) a Yaletown thrift store on Seymour Street. Always new works by local artisans, sharing of the unpacking of donated treasures, modelling of best 'new to you' looks, great soundtracks, lots of surprise events and all for a great cause, support for programs and services for battered women and their families.  Fabulous styles for women, men and a free cupboard for babies' and kiddies' things. 
On Wed. Feb 11, Creative Café Day, Spirit Bear Coffee offered lovely hot coffee and tea and more, and talented drummers and crafters really made this an all day drop in to enjoy. Samantha and Angela and all of the volunteers continue to widen the community of supporters for the many programs and services offered by BWSS.
The $5 rack out in front of the store, calls to everyone.  Who can resist such bargains?  I loved the Simon Chang Tux jacket, skirt and pants, but alas, someone else grabbed it.  For Creative Café Day, there was also a big table outside, with $2 bangles and beads, all in original packaging and ready for Valentine's Day gifting.
Check out that gorgeous, beaded red dress and fancy shoe selection!  That jacket and matching evening bag.  Oh and that stunning red coat.  See?  What a way to make a day, the best day!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Blushing Boutique is the showcase for Shelley Klassen's fabulous designs. On Thursday, January 29th, we were treated to an evening of two shows, wonderful refreshments and fashion forever! A spectacular range of colors and styles truly brightened up a dark day and gave us lots of ideas for a Spring that is on its way, sooner or later. In addition to beautiful dresses, skirts, suits, coats and jackets, jewelry and other accessories by local artists, make this a great one stop shopping experience. Terrific, personalized custom design, friendly, efficient consultation and a place to meet and share ideas - all this every time you visit. Thanks for the sunshine, all! Kudos to Lindsay Dober, Fashion Marketer extraordinaire from Kwantlen, who keeps us all informed of latest creations and events!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The LightWater Drums Festival, a light filled, musical family event, put on by Hastings North Community Partners Group, was a spectacular evening extravaganza, especially welcome after a long, dark and stormy Saturday. We packed our cameras and umbrellas but the night turned out to be warm and dry, such a grand night for a parade! Good thing that the umbrellas could be tossed, because we needed our hands for lanterns, light sticks, photo equipment and, at the end of it all, for holding that lovely hot chocolate and sharing big bags of buttery popcorn.

The setting for the festival, was just beyond the entrance to the Pacific National Exhibition at the new Creekway Park, part of the greening development of the PNE Park lands. This park used to be a parking lot but is now a series of walks around interconnected ponds, surrounded by trees and flowers, an oasis in the middle of the city. All of the walkways were lit by lanterns and works of art by children. Led by the Carnival Band and Bloca Energia, families added so much color with their hand made lanterns, made in workshops at Hastings Community Center, and even more animated discussion about the fun they had making these unique creations.  Along the way, fire performances set to music by Radiant Heat, added to the excitement and set feet to dancing. 

The evening ended with an indoor display by Circus West acrobats, jugglers, unicyclists, stilt walkers, and aerialists, all accompanied by families drumming.

Thanks to Hastings North Community Partners Group, Pamela Buck, Community Special Events Coordinator and to all of the following:

Ariel Anderson - Hooper - Bloco Energia

Carnival Band 

Circus West Performing Arts Society

Isabelle Kirouac Arevalo - Stilter

Radian Heat Fire Performance Troupe - Fireplay

Random Acts of Drumming - Ron Stelting, Drum Circle Facilitator 

Tetsu Taiko Drummers

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

RAW showcased an amazing array of visual and performing artists at the Five Sixty- a dynamic club at 560 Seymour.  RAW is a platform for all artists and is an independent, international art organization for artists by artists.  On January 8th, from 7:00 - until all hours, we were treated to Art, Fashion, Music, Film, Photography, Dance, Stand Up and so much more. This was truly a demonstration of the excellent artistic, creative talent we have in Vancouver. There were two floors and multiple spaces and the whole experience, from the registration, viewing, meet and greet, photo ops...every step of the way was engaging, organized and very crowd friendly.  I was excited to see the extraordinary work of Fariba Mirzaie, a Vancouver based,  award winning fashion and textile designer, whom I first met at the Silk Purse Gallery in West Vancouver. (Check out the post here)  This time, she presented two shows: Felt, Earth, Whisper and Garden of Eden.  Her clothes and accessories are very much based on the nature she photographs and collects, both locally and on her travels.  Her designs are intricately sewn and feature beautiful, natural colors, those that you see on a forest or beach walk.  You can see more at Gabbeh Gallery and you can find her at

I loved that the lighting and sound were used effectively: you could see the performers on stage and hear the stand ups even over the music and animated discussions by everyone, there.  From the second floor balcony, you could view the displays on both floors.  Special note to Paul Shannon, Murals & More Décor, who not only paints beautifully but paints in multiple ways.  Note the art mat and my red boot on it.  Would love one on a wall, on a table or at my front door. 

I urge you to contact RAW and get on the mailing list so you can be part of this interactive, dazzling community.  Thanks RAW!  More information at Also, check out Style By Fire's coverage of this event.

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