Tag Archives: River Market

Curious?

Yesterday I participated in the Curious Flea for the first time. I’ve been a part of the Artisan Market at New Westminster River Market selling my handmade pillows but this time I hauled the plethora of fun vintage goods gathering dust in my garage to sell at the market. Taking part in the markets is always a good time, made even better this time due to the dual pleasure of making a little cash and clearing out space in my garage. My pillows made the trip with me and I sold a few but I’m cooking up a scheme for “Free Pillow Friday” on Fabrictherapy to find some loving homes for my surplus.

As with every time I have participated in one of these markets, holding on to any pennies earned is a challenging task with so many sweet vintage and handmade goods floating around. All the stores were delightful but there were a couple new vendors this weekend who are seriously noteworthy from an interior decor perspective.

I’m always a fan of up-cycling and Derek G. Fuller of Signtology uses his mad artistic talent to create unique pieces of eco-friendly art on reclaimed pieces of wood.

Notice the painting in the bottom right hand corner. It's of his and his wive's first dance. Aww...He does custom.

Notice the painting in the bottom right hand corner. It’s of him and his wife at their wedding. So sweet.

Derek takes on custom work as well. These kinds of paintings would look fantastic in either a country or modern design style depending on the subject matter and finish of the wood.

My other Flea fave was Arniture. Another perfect example of up-cycling, Arniture uses  metal barrels to make one of a kind chairs. These ultra modern chairs are pieces of art whether you choose a simple painted one or one which has been decorated with a skillfully hand painted design. I know that if I’m ever decorating someone’s home in a funky modern style I’ll be coming back to these guys!

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This branch design was my favorite.

This branch design was my favorite.

And did I mention they are comfortable too? These chairs would make a stunning conversation piece indoors or out. Check out their online store for item availability.

Not exactly your traditional flea market overtaken by old nick-knacks and fun doo-dads (though you’ll find that there too), the Curious Flea is increasingly becoming a selling destination for talented local craftsmen. A must see for those looking for unique interior decor items, the next Curious Flea will be held in November. See the Curious Flea facebook page for more information.

(FYI, I’m not dissing nick-knacks and doo-dads…they are my greatest Curious Flea weakness).

 

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Filed under In the Royal City, It's easy being green, Uncategorized

By Falling Down

Those who know me might be surprised to know that my husband and I practised martial arts for a while. If you lived next door to us during our first year of marriage you may have caught site of us in full combat gear, throwing punches and kicks at one another in the backyard, or walking down the street to the dojang carrying our bags of weaponry.

Why do I bring this up? Because my martial arts teacher had a saying, one which I can never remember correctly, but one which I think back to time and time again. It was something along the lines of “by falling down, we learn to get back up again”. I have thought about this saying during various trials in my life, both great and small. By falling (or failing) I learn to get back up again (rise above challenges) and each time I fall, it gets a bit easier to get up. Rising above does not necessarily mean I eventually succeed, though sometimes a new approach can lead to success. For me, rising above most often means letting go of the negative thoughts which failure so easily leads me to. I struggle with this. When I fail I tend to be a nasty wretch to myself. I say “you suck”, “you can’t do anything right”, “you should just give up” etc.

This is the trap I am in right now. I am writing this post as a tool to help me get back on my feet mentally. I took part in another Artisan Market and the honest truth is that in five hours I did not sell a single pillow. Right away my mind turns ugly on itself. I feel discouraged. I feel like I wasted my time and that I didn’t sell anything because my pillows are terrible. Let me claim some truth now. It was not a waste of time. I bought some gorgeous presents from other vendors. I met some really nice people and had enjoyable conversations. I got to treat myself to delicious meals that I didn’t have to lift a finger to make. I got to show off my beautiful pillows. This is the truth.

See for yourself. Here are some of my favourites that I recently made for the fair. They should be up on my etsy shop by the end of the month.

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The silk floral fabric is Armani

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This pillow is made out of left over fabric from a shower curtain I made.

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This pillow is reversible (see other side below)

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I love how unique and beautiful the “wrong” side of a fabric can be.

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Filed under DIY Projects, From the Heart: Thoughts on Life and Family, In the Royal City, Mental Health

Local Artisans Deck the Halls

I realized recently that I’m not great at following up on events I mention in blog posts. For instance, the chair I created for Chairs for Charity got auctioned off like two months ago, and it did well on the auction block.

And so, for the sake of keeping a bit more up-t0-date, I wanted to talk a bit about the Artisan Market I participated in last weekend. Due to the fact that is was the weekend following “black Friday” it wasn’t a very busy day for the vendors but it was an excellent time to meet new people and catch glimpses of students from the Vancouver Circus School flying through the air (really, there is a circus school on the second floor of the River Market. I’m totally signing Sofia up when she turns 4.)

Despite by recurrent nightmare that I would not sell any pillows, I was able to sell a grand total of six (I had made like 30…a bit over-zealous). It might not seem like much but it was a very affirming experience for me to sell that many on a slow day. As well, I was invited to sell some of my pillows at the New Westminster Christmas Treasury, located in Queen’s Park, where they display and sell locally crafted items from December 1-23rd.

I had a hard time setting up my display because I had made so many. Less than half of my inventory is up on that table.

I had a hard time setting up my display because I had made so many. Less than half of my inventory is up on that table.

The pillow with the funky blue and green floral is one of my favorite new patterns from Robert Allen.

The pillow with the funky blue and green floral is one of my favorite new patterns from Robert Allen.

I was also selling a small variety of craft and sewing books.

I was also selling a small variety of craft and sewing books.

In addition to selling, the slowness of the day allowed me to do a significant amount of browsing and buying. Some old favorites from the Curious Flea were there including sketcher Won Kang who has branched out and is now selling some tote bags and funky wrapping paper with his sketches on them.

Sketch by Won Kang of Sinclair Centre in Vancouver

Sketch by Won Kang of Sinclair Centre in Vancouver

Wrapping paper by Won Kang. But who would want to rip it?

Wrapping paper by Won Kang. But who would want to rip it?

Tote bag commemorating Copps Shoes in New Westminster which recently burnt to the ground.

Tote bag commemorating Copp’s Shoes in New Westminster which recently burnt to the ground.

Some new favorite vendors I was introduced to at this Artisan Market include “Get Thee to the Nunnery” where I bought some precious and inexpensive fabric wreaths. They also sell beautiful earrings and stationary (shown below).

Christmas Stationary by artist Krista Gibbard.

Christmas Stationary by artist Krista Gibbard.

There were  also many vendors selling impressive jewelry.  I directed my mom and mother-in-law to Bead for Life for beautiful beaded jewelry, handmade by women in Africa, and to Kathy Hart’s stand where she sells stunning bracelets made from vintage silver spoons (not shown).

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Examples of some beautiful beaded necklaces.

If you are beginning to feel like you missed out, you will be happy to know that there is another artisan market being held at the River market on December 14th and 15th from 12-5pm. I will be participating on the 15th and look forward to seeing what it is like when the artisans take over both floors of the market.

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Filed under In the Royal City

Pillow Talk

Tomorrow, weeks of hard work, messy house, and poor meals are about to come to a conclusion (and henceforth I shall be relaxed, have a pristine house, and cook five star meals. Ha. Ha. Ha.) Saturday, November 30, 2013, from 12 noon until 5pm I will be participating in my first artisan market at the New Westminster River Market. I have been sewing up a storm working with gorgeous designer fabrics to create beautiful pillows, or “couch art”, as I like to think of them, to sell at the market.

I expected to feel nervous about tomorrow: it’s in my nature to be anxious when committing to new ventures, however, I can’t wait! Whether I sell much or not (my dear mom has promised to buy a couple of pillows), I am looking forward to the experience of meeting new people, both shoppers and other artisans.

My sister is a talented photographer and was gracious enough to do a bit of a “photo shoot” with some of my pillows. This is a small sampling of what I have made but it shows you a bit of the variety:

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The pillows all come with inserts and range from $20-$40 depending on the fabric used. I also picked up some sweet DIY and sewing books to sell at my table which I will be selling for less than suggested retail value.

Whether or not you need some new pillows or other hand-crafted items, stop by and have a gander. I’d love to chat and it is a great way to show your love for local artisans, even if only with your interest. If nothing else, the cinnamon buns sold at the river market bakery will make it worth your trip!
Hope to see you there!

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Filed under DIY Projects, In the Royal City

Catching Fleas

Every month my husband and I get out cash for “fun” money. This is money we spend on things like coffees, movies, fabric, etc- the things that are wants rather than needs.

I had a lot of “fun” at the Curious Flea, held at New Westminster’s River Market, over the past weekend. So much “fun” that I’m going to be making my own coffee for the rest of the month.

My first temptation came in the form of sketches done by Won Kang. For the past three years he has been trying to do a sketch a day of sites mostly around East Vancouver. Having spent the first year and a half of my marriage living in that hood I was especially drawn to his work. The colours he has chosen to enhance his images with are stunning. I would love it if he would start going around Queensborough next and capturing our unique neighborhood! Do visit his site, it’s a delight! Here is one of the pics I picked up:

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My second temptation came in the unassuming form of a small family run stand called Time of Origin which specializes in up-cycled jewelery as well as vintage home decor items. I picked up some birthday presents here as well as a few goodies for my own home.

The pictures on these lockets are from old children's books.

The pictures on these lockets are from old children’s books.

I love this little bird I bought.

I love this little bird I bought.

I plan on painting this brass candelabra a bright high gloss colour.

I plan on painting this brass candelabra a bright high gloss colour.

Next came Brick and Mortar. They have a store front in downtown New Westminster (see link for details), but I was lucky enough to catch them at the Curious Flea. They sell all sorts of locally made home goods including divine smelling bee’s wax candles, funky mason jar lights, and coasters made from old maps, magazines, and dictionaries.

Check out the cutting board in the background. It is in the shape of British Columbia (sideways).

Check out the cutting board in the background. It is in the shape of British Columbia (sideways).

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My last great temptation came at The Vintage Sisters stand. Their eye for style was evident in the artful way they set up their display of goods. Had I not already spent all the money I could I would have been hard pressed not to buy some of their beautiful vintage goods and creatively re-purposed items.

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I love this creative way of hanging pictures: a frame, chicken wire, and paper clips.

I love this creative way of hanging pictures: a frame, chicken wire, and clothes pins.

All in all a good (child-free) morning was had. These four vendors were my favorites but there was plenty more to see at the Curious Flea. If you wish you had been there but couldn’t be, don’t fear. The Curious Flea is coming back in November, just in time do do some Christmas shopping.

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A Feast for the Eyes: Mid-century Modern Home

My husband and I have very different taste. I’m more modern, he’s more traditional. However, one style we can both agree on is mid-century modern. On our infrequent but much anticipated trips to Antique Alley in New Westminster our favourite stop has always been Mid-century Modern Home.

In January Mid-century Modern Home moved from its spot on Antique Alley to River Market at New Westminster Quay. I’ve been wanting to check out their new location but was very pregnant…then very busy. This weekend I convinced my husband that our family could make a fun afternoon of it at the Quay, with a stop at our favourite store’s new location. While my husband wrangled the kidlets I got the chance to talk to the store owner, Jenny Cashin, and take pictures of some of my favourite pieces to share with you.

I love this photograph but my husband thought it was a bit risque for the living room.

I love this photograph but my husband thought it was a bit risqué for the living room. Too bad, the price point is great.

Oh how I want this chair for adult seating in the kids play area. Alas, its not in the budget.

Oh how I want this chair for adult seating in the kids play area. Alas, its not in the budget.

If our eat in kitchen had a seating area rather than a play area, this table would be in it!

If our eat-in kitchen had a seating area rather than a play area, this table would be in it!

My  husband and I oggle the gorgious sideboards in Jenny Cashin's e-mails each week. Too bad there is no room in our dining area.

My husband and I ogle the gorgeous sideboards in Jenny Cashin’s e-mails each week. We are particularly  fond of the ones like this which are made of rosewood. Too bad there is no room in our dining area.

Most of the furniture has been re-upholstered with gorgeous fabrics. A new service Jenny is now offering is to leave some furniture with the original fabric and let the customer choose what fabric it is re-upholstered with.

Most of the furniture,like this sofa, has been re-upholstered with gorgeous fabric (when you find out how much re-upholstering costs you realize how good the prices really are). A new service that is now being offered is to leave some furniture with the original fabric and let the customer choose what fabric it is re-upholstered with.

There's also a great selection of accessories like these beautiful glass pieces.

There’s also a great selection of accessories like these beautiful glass pieces.

I love chairs like these and the blue fabric looks fantastic with the orange tone of the teak. The gorgeous pillow with the applique is made by Oblong design.

I love the look of these chairs and the blue fabric looks fantastic with the orange wood tone of the teak. The gorgeous pillow with the applique is made by Blong Studio.

I love the selection of unique teak lamps.

There is an amazing selection of unique teak lamps.

Once the kidlets are a bit older we plan on investing in a coffee table like this for the living room.

Once the kidlets are a bit older we plan on investing in a coffee table like this for the living room.

If you haven’t been yet, this store is definitely a go for anyone interested in mid-century modern design. I’m excited that its new location is bringing in the business and introducing a new population of people to mid-century modern furniture. Coming up on September 14th and 15th Mid-Century Modern Home is a part of the Curious Flea at River Market. This flea style market will be featuring mid-century modern furniture, antiques, and upcycled items from twenty different vendors. If you can’t make it I’ll be there with my camera to snap some of the highlights for you.

If you want more information on any of these pieces contact owner, Jenny Cashin, at 604-515-1865 or better yet visit the store at 810 Quayside Drive,  New Westminster, located on the main level. To get weekly e-mail updates on new pieces of furniture sign up at Mid-Century Modern Home facebook page.

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