Thursday, April 29, 2010

Love Thy Neighbor

Love thy neighbor as thyself takes on a whole new meaning when living in the city. We live in a multi-suite house and are surrounded by similar living situations. You know you live close to your neighbor when:

A. You know their bathroom routine as well as your own
B. It would be easy to hit them point blank with a b-b gun without leaving your front porch
C. Your baby might end up bilingual due to the proximity of Greek neighbors who frequently yell "opa!" outside the bedroom window
D. Their underwear or other unmentionables end up in your laundry basket
E. All of the above

Umm....I think you know the answer.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Real Deal

Cancelled! My heart sunk when I found out the draping course, through Vancouver Continuing Ed, I was signed up for was not going to happen due to lack of participation. This course was supposed to be my one-night-a-week liberation from mommy hood. What disappointed me the most was the lost opportunity to receive instruction from Blossom of Blossom Coutouriere. Blossom teaches true couture methods of pattern drafting and sewing techniques. She is a gem in a world of poorly made, quick-sew garments.

In my pre-baby life I probably would have thought, "oh well" and moved on. However, being a mom has taught me some grit and determination is needed to make things happen. I decided to give Blossom a call and find out about private lessons. Thank God I had her number from a course I had taken with her before. I tell you, what a lovely lady! She remembered me (It probably helped that I was the one with the huge stomach!) and invited Levi and I over to her house to see her studio and watch her students at work. It was flippin' awesome! It's not every day you get to see work done at the top of the trade you love! I was fascinated by the hand-sewing techniques used by her students and the quality and care put into their work. I found out that one of Blossom's students had recently gone to design school in Paris. At her interview the school looked at the work she had done with Blossom and fast-tracked her into third year.

Blossom fed us a delicious lunch and made Levi and I feel quite at home. Best way to entertain a baby: Spool of thread.

I was so thankful that Blossom understood my limitations as a mom. She offered me lessons for a full day, every four weeks, with as much homework as I can handle. The price was extremely reasonable (very important as we adjust to living off one income).

One lost opportunity has led to an even better one. I'm more stoked then I was before and I cannot wait to show pictures of what I create.

*Photo-Spring 2010 Armani Privè, taken by Marcio Madeira, courtesy of

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Product of the Week: Redfish Kids Clothing

Oh la la! That's what I feel like saying every time I see an item of Redfish Kids Clothing in a store. Redfish Clothing  is like a rainbow lollipop for the eyes. I've never seen kids clothing created with such amazing, colorful prints, versatile styles, and delightful intention. The purpose of Redfish Clothing is to allow children flexibility of movement, freedom of play and room for growth. Their motto is clothing for courageous kids. 

Redfish is a Vancouver based company founded by designer, Lorraine Kitsos. Lorraine exudes the vibrancy expressed in her clothing. I worked for Lorraine, sewing her t-shirts, and it was like Christmas every time a new, bright bolt of fabric found its way into my living room. Now that I have Levi, I continue to eagerly watch as Redfish thrives, appearing in more and more children's boutiques all over Vancouver and the world! What makes Redfish garments even more cool is that they are all locally made. 

Lorraine and her co-conspirator at Redfish, Kristy, are currently working on one of their best projects yet. From now until May 31st Redfish will match the amount of your online purchases with Redfish Clothing donations directly to children in Kenya. All you have to do is enter "Kenya Kids" in the comments section at checkout and they'll do the rest. To view Redfish products and to find out more about the Kenya project visit

Friday, April 16, 2010

Bare Some Skin

I don't know if it's because last summer my legs stayed hidden in our house, ghostly pale, as I learned the ropes of new parenthood, but it's only the beginning of spring and I'm already sporting shorts. This is particularly amusing to me as I walk along the beach passed Vancouverites in parkas and pants. What can I say? I'm determined that in 2010, my skin will see the light of day!

Vancouver may not be fully ready to embrace the change in season but The Sartorialist is on my wave length. He's bringing the warm weather our way with some shots he took for Italian Vogue Pelle last year. These photos smell like sand, sunscreen and summer!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My Baby

Large crowds tend to give me the runs so you can imagine why I've avoided play groups. However, I don't want Levi to be socially inept so today I brought him to a local community centre. I'm so glad I did because my little guy left me in awe of who he is. Watching him explore new territory in the company of other babies was amazing. I'm not sure I can find the words to describe what it felt like to see the wonder in his eyes as he pulled toy after toy from the shelves, leaving an ankle-breaking trail behind him. I love how Levi babbled away as he played, lost in his own little world. He seemed so much like his own person I felt momentarily displaced as a mommy, but then Levi would suddenly stop what he was doing and check to see that I was near by. He'd give me a little smile and keep on trucking. Levi's too precious to share all at once, but his eyes are enough to melt my heart!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Back on the Bandwagon

I'm so excited that on April 13th, I will begin taking an eight-week course titled Haute Couture: Draping a Mannequin. This course represents a huge step in returning to my pre-parent lifestyle. When Levi was an itty-bitty baby I questioned whether or not I'd ever be able to jump back on the hobby bandwagon. Thank God this opportunity has arisen at a time when Levi is becoming more independent and toddler-like (sniff, tear).

This course was last offered when I was nine months pregnant. I remember asking a mother in a course I was taking at the time whether she thought I could take the draping classes with my newborn in a sling. She laughed at me. Now I know why.

As prep for my course I decided  to get my hands dirty and create something. I have beautiful pashmina shawls lying around my closet that don't get enough wear. I sewed one of them into a vest. I think it turned out pretty rad, but don't look too closely, I sewed it at Project Runway speed and I can just picture the judges sneering at my finishing job.