i heart indie home decor

at the moment, i am really into home decor. i want my house to be a bright but cozy and fun place for me and my family to hibernate this winter. so, of course i was super excited when these lovely pillows walked through the door yesterday! we also have a pair in yellow!

the most beautiful buttons…

as many of you know, i love to shamelessly promote my mom…

my mom is an amazing woman and is without a doubt the person from whom i got my love of handmade.  she is also very inspiring – she is a ceramist, living and working in an old sewing factory on the plateau in montreal.  in other words – living the dream.

she makes lovely ceramic dishes, wool scarves (see previous post) and now ceramic buttons – the ultimate handmade accent if you are a seamstress or a knitter.

and today, she put some of her buttons on her etsy site – congrats mom!  http://www.etsy.com/shop/helenstudio

Thank you…for being you.

If you ask any of the ladies at Workshop or Flock, they will tell you that stocking stuffers and gifts under $30 are my specialty!

I think this is because I consider Christmas a time to appreciate people that I don’t tend to appreciate regularly. I like to offer my hardworking postman a bottle of wine at this time of year (although I realized that might not have been the best choice when I saw him lug it away in his already bulging mailbag last year), and bring cookies to a few of neighbours who keep an eye out for my little girl.

I like to give small, handmade things to people who sometimes get overlooked: the crossing guard at the street corner near our house, the strong guys next door to the shop who always help us lug heavy boxes in through the back door, the friends of ours who thought Flock’s greenspace needed a bit of sprucing up and just went ahead and did it, and a few friends who just always make my life easier.

I like to handpick these gifts with time and intention, no Tim Horton’s gift cards for me.  And so, I have to start in November (sometimes October if I happen to be organized).  Over the years, I have been asking our designers to make tons of gifts under $30 so I would have more selection and this year, they all listened at once!

I have already put aside 2 pairs of wrist cuffs ($20 each), 2 coffee cup cozies ($14 each), 1 ceramic brooch in the shape of an owl ($18), 3 packs of pins (made at Flock, $6 per pack) and 1 set of Rookie MP playing cards ($5).  It’s going to be a fantastic holiday!

Let’s put it to a vote!

option one: grey & black

today we’re going to conduct a small poll, a tiny bit of market research on behalf of the lovely laura.

laura has an issue, you see: she love love loves this annie 50 jacket and absolutely knows she has to have it, but when it comes to choosing a colour (a little thing i like to call commitment), she just can’t do it!

so, take a look at her three colour options and give her your feedback – i’m going for grey & black! (-;

option two: blue & black

option three: black & white

Winter Love

allow me to introduce you to the cutest, warmest, coziest and floppiest toques around…oh happy snow days!

bridget. (-:

Flock is having a Fair Trade Sale!

Many of you know that I used to live in Africa. Swaziland, Africa to be precise.  I had a home there, a car, a bunch of friends and my now husband (then boyfriend) had a job that he really loved growing thousands and thousands of heads of lettuce in the countryside.

Always into handmade, I went wild for crafts in Africa.  The women there had both boundless ability and limitless creativity – a unbeatable combination for a crafter of any variety.  I took our old black car from town to town (in a teeny tiny country that it would be easy to drive around in one day) checking out what the women were up to, wandering through local markets and stopping on the side of the road in various outposts meant for tourists (there weren’t a lot of tourists, so I was a sight for sore eyes)!

In 2000, I convinced my brother to start a small fair trade importing business with me and he agreed.  We were certified by the Fair Trade Federation about a year later.  Our small import company lasted about 3 years and was as fun and fulfilling as I could have imagined.  We even got a teeny tiny order from Crate & Barrel!

After a few years, my brother decided to write the bar exam and my husband and I decided to move back to Canada. I began selling my fair trade goodies outdoors at the Byward Market, where I fortuitously met Christina and the real fun began!  We opened Workshop a a few months later.

I had a good friend with a barn (no that wasn’t a type-o, she actually had a barn) who graciously allowed me to store my fair trade goodies there (a whole barn full of carved giraffes and candy wrapper mirrors – my insurance company enjoyed that one).  Now, however, 8 years has gone by and those goodies need homes…so we’ve decided to have a fair trade sale!

From today until January 2012, the gallery space At Flock Boutique will be bursting with super cute hand-painted frames, suitcases for the kiddies, metal applique coat hooks, wire keychains, woven baskets and more!  Come and check it out!


Thank You!

Wednesday night was our big 6 1/2 year un-birthday bash…what an amazing night!  Thanks to the many many of you who came out to have a bit of cake and ice cream (dark chocolate and sea salt, thanks Pascale!) and to celebrate with us! You make us long for another 6 1/2!


Bridget & Christina

Winter, I will be ready by noon. Feel free to arrive then.

this morning, shortly after i woke up, i was unceremoniously informed that now was the time to head down into the dungeony basement of our house to get out the winter gear because it’s supposed to snow on friday.  thanks. thanks so much for ruining the amazing thing i had going with the ottawa weather of late.

no worries though, i’m canadian, from eastern european roots, which means that i’m a survivor. a survivor, yes, but going in that basement?  no way.

instead, i’m headed out to flock to get my winter gear – a cozy wool felt hat by julie sinden (laura is sporting one in the pic above) , some yummy toasty mitts by coklutch, and of course, a felted scarf by my helen (one of our designers and my wonderful mommy).  see? i am taking the season by storm!

Wallspace Gallery: One of Our Favourite Haunts

On Halloween weekend, Ayan (3 years old) and I got up, costumed ourselves, and instead of going to a party or having brunch, we headed out to Wallspace Gallery where the lovely Carmella Karijo Rother was busily teaching the neighbourhood kids how to felt.

Now, I’m sure many of you know Wallspace Gallery and can appreciate what a wonderful space it is to begin with. Add felting kiddies and a bit of face painting (by NSCAD grads too, no regular face painting here). And then add the tantalizing and textured  work of Nava Waxman.

It was almost too wonderful and stimulating all at once. I wanted to get my sleeping bag and camp out there so the feeling of creativity and serenity wouldn’t escape. Luckily for them, my sleeping bag wasn’t nearby.

If you haven’t yet checked out Nava Waxman: Mapping A World Beyond Reason at Wallspace, go soon because this opportunity to see her gloriously unusual pieces ends next week!

Thanks wallspace, for a wonderful afternoon!

A Hippo for Ella

Ella is flock’s lovely and fun co-op student. here she talks about one of her favourite flock pieces in her own words.

“what first drew in my eye to this one of a kind plush hippo was the beautiful fabrics. on one side the brown patterned fabric is sturdy and sophisticated. it reminds me of skyscrapers and businessmen on a coffee break. this strong material is then married to a joyful blue, pink, ivory and green floral fabric. the flowers remind me of fresh gardens in the middle of summer. the pale blue is comforting and relaxing all at the same time. the cherry on the top of this wonderful mixture is the pop of coral, which pulls everything together.

as if these colours and patterns were not the only things calling out to me, they have been put together to make a hippopotemus! the random combination of flowers, brown, coral and a hippo may seem weird to some. to me, it is completely genius. not only is this plush hippo easy on the eyes, but it can also be used as a comfortable pillow. and comfort isn’t all – on one side a pocket a provided for safe-keeping of small, important items. think about it, no one will steal your candy again!

with that kind of protection, this plush hippo is not just a decoration, it is also a necessity!”

Ella, co-op student, flock boutique