Friday, 28 September 2012

On the Road: England

Sorry things have been so quiet on the blog as of late but I have a good reason for it... I've been exploring all over England with my boyfriend, Robert for this entire month. We've been having a fantastic time travelling to Manchester, Liverpool, Wales, London, Brighton, and Cambridge. Our trip isn't over either...soon we plan to drive all the way up Scotland. SO EXCITED! I'll definitely update more about each wonderful place we visited, but for now I wanted to share with you guys something silly.

We've been watching a lot of British television because Robert's father has a great cable set up. We've been away from television for ages...we don't have it back home. And the difference between American t.v. and British t.v. is crazy...we definitely prefer it over here in the UK! I wanted to share some of my favourite British commercials...I think they are just so well done and fun to watch. Have fun!

With stampedes of affection,

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Summer Days Well Spent

Sorry the blog has been a little bit abandoned as of late, but I've been keeping quite busy and haven't been spending too much time on the internet. So far August has been spent having picnics in the park after work, watching the Lion King outdoors in Stanley Park, watching amazing fireworks displays, dinner parties at friends houses, afternoons spent at the french cafe near our home... drinking americanos and playing card games, booking flights to England for very excited! And with the good comes the not-so-great...I've also been ill with a bad cold, and as soon as I got over that I had all four of my wisdom teeth taken out last Friday and have spent this weekend on the mend... eating lots of ice cream and pureed soup. There's still nearly three weeks left of August and I plan on spending them fully. Hope your summer is going well!

With stampedes of affection,

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

My Journey with Graphic Novels

Hi! I hope you are all enjoying your summer. I know it's been pretty quite around here lately...but I am proud of myself for keeping up with Magical Mondays! I haven't felt like writing much because I've just been trying to get out in the sunshine with my friends, and because I've discovered a new obsession...GRAPHIC NOVELS! I don't know why I never picked them up before. I've always been interested in them but never knew where to start. I found a list of the 'Top 50 Graphic Novels of All-Time' and wrote down the titles that interested me and it's just been an awesome journey since. I've read five in the past week or so and really appreciated each one individually. I've never been good at reviews or critiques but here we go!

When I started my research the novel that stood out the most to me was "Black Hole" by Charles Burns. I knew it was the book I wanted to be my first graphic novel. I went to a great independent bookstore called Pulp Fiction and found it quickly. When I went to purchase it, the staff said "Ahh....Black Hole. This was a good time for graphic novels". It didn't disappoint. The story is dark, a little scary, and deeply human. And I loved the artwork. All black and white with so many fine lines and details. Gorgeous. Glad I trusted my instincts.

One afternoon my boyfriend and I spent some time in Chapters. I was disappointed with their graphic novel section, but found "Arkham Asylum" by Grant Morrison and Dave McKean. I like Batman stories, especially the darker side of Batman's character, and when I heard about this story I knew I'd like to get my hands on it. I read it in one sitting. The artwork is absolutely stunning and often looks like mixed media at times. Beautiful, beautiful stuff.

I borrowed "Watchmen" by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons from a friend of mine named Elias. Whenever you begin to touch upon the world of graphic novels, everyone mentions "Watchmen". To many it is the best graphic novel ever written. It took me a few days to finish because there are a lot of stories going on at once, and I needed to focus a bit more than the other two novels I had read previously. It all paid off though. I sometimes have a hard time with 'super heroes' and the like, but this one was so human you kind of forget they are masked vigilantes. I'd like to read it again because I think some of the political aspects went over my head in some parts though. Very good read.

 Sigh..."Maus" by Art wonderful you are. My friend Anita leant this one to me and I'm so glad she did. It was also on my list. As you can probably tell from the cover, this is a true story about the Holocaust. Mice represent the Jewish people, and cats represent the Nazi Party. So far, this was the only graphic novel to make me cry...a couple times. I'm very much looking forward to reading part two.

This was such a great find! It was also on my list, but when I was at Chapters I found it in a random place, on sale for only $5.99! It was meant to be. I finished it in just over 24 hours. So compelling. And his artwork is perfect. His use of subtle shadows and smudging was sublime. Just one frame could make my heart clench.  Please, please, go read "Stitches" by David Small. None of my friends had heard of it, so I think it is lesser known than some other graphic novels. But it is incredible.

Yes, so there you have it. My first five graphic novels...and I already can't wait to read more! I'm going to have to start checking them out of the public library or else I'll end up broke at the rate I'm going. If you're sitting there thinking about how you've always wondered about the world of graphic novels...please do yourself a favour and get out there and read some. They are beautiful pieces of art. I couldn't stop thinking about how long it would take to make one of these books. So much work goes into it. Amazing! And ladies...don't let anyone tell you graphic novels and comics are just for the boys! 

With stampedes of affection,

Monday, 16 July 2012

Magical Mondays

This week I just really, really want to share with you some trailers for films that I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE! Just enjoy them. Gush with me. Can you tell I want it to be Halloween already?

With stampedes of affection,

Monday, 9 July 2012

Magical Mondays

This particular Magical Monday is going to be short and sweet. It's late in the day...for most of us Monday is almost over. My day went alright. It was beautiful outside, I worked with fun people, and I read more of the first graphic novel I've ever owned (more on that later!). I didn't come up with a giant list of silly things to look at on the internet because I was working all night on my Etsy shop. It'd been awhile since I listed any new sweater clips because my boyfriend took our digital camera with him on his epic month-long bike journey, so although I have been creating clips, I couldn't list them. Anyways, they are up now and man, did it ever feel good to work on my shop again. Being creative with my own hands, and being able to share it all on Etsy is a huge source of happiness for me. I encourage all of you to create your own art, however you know how. It's so important to express ourselves in a creative way. I feel like part of me begins to decay when I don't get a chance to do this kind of expression. So, for today, all I want to share is this nice TED talk all about creativity, and hopefully it inspires you to make something this week!

With stampedes of affection,

Monday, 2 July 2012

Magical Mondays.

This's all about Etsy!

Ryan Gosling Hey Girl Patch by cathausDIY

Absolutely adore this Ryan Gosling patch. As all of my friends will know, I've had a thing for Mr. Gosling for a long, long time. At work, my cupboard is decorated with a portrait of the man surrounded by jellyfish. It makes sense, right?

Vintage Bowler 8x10 Print by ElizabethRosenArt

This print stood out to me because it features a lovely tin toy. I have a pretty big tin toy collection! There's something so beautiful and timeless about them, and this print makes me feel the same way.

Knit Bow Ring Purple by SheepishKnitCrochet
 I've been a fan of Meredith over at SheepishKnitCrochet for awhile. She makes such dainty and creative things! I love these rings, as well as her sunglass cases and crocheted tea cups! And you can read her blog over at One Sheepish Girl.

Vintage Butterfly Print Plugs by BMAMOD

And last, but certainly not least, lately I've really been dying to try wearing some new plug jewellery. I've had my ears stretched for seven years and have only ever really worn one pair of silver tunnels. Time for some fun! 

Hope you guys enjoyed my Etsy finds! I encourage everyone to take a browse on The community is incredible and every day I find something awesome.

With stampedes of affection,

Friday, 29 June 2012

An Ode to the Toy Store

The past few months have forced me to take an honest look back at my career at the toy store and reflect on everything I've experienced in the past three years. At the end of August I'll be leaving the only job I've ever known since living in Vancouver, and I'm sincerely really nervous. The owner at the Granville Island Toy Company hired me pretty much as soon as I arrived in the city. Everything moved really quickly and I ended up taking charge of the Granville Island location after only two short months. I had never been in charge before and at first it was a real struggle. It's been a ruthless learning experience. 

I've had so many ups and downs at this toy store. I've taken nearly ten seminars, I've been to two toy fairs, I've quit and returned to the job nearly three times, I've completely changed around the way the store looks, I routinely post silly things on our Facebook page, I've made relationships with lots of other vendors in the Kids' Market, I've explored every toy store in the city and can honestly say that I like ours the best.  It has truly become my home away from home. I feel safe in those red walls with the old wood ceilings and the clown face painted in the windows.

 No matter how many times I feel knocked down in my work, I can never regret my time spent there. Because of the toy store I've met the love of my life, the greatest best friends I've ever known, and my second family. And we've had so much fun together! Being introduced to the world of burlesque and true girl power, exploring Vancouver and all of the beauty it has to offer, holding our breath watching the 2010 Olympics on a tiny computer screen, laughing into the wee hours of the night playing boardgames and creating crafts, marching in Slut Walk protests downtown in the rain, watching the rise and defeat of the Vancouver Canucks in the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, three WONDERFUL Halloweens full of amazing costumes and jack-o-lanterns and trick or treaters, lavish Christmas parties with foot massages and too much alcohol, adorable tea parties with dresses, learning how to garden, being able to go to Seattle and New York City for toy fairs, epic movie nights, playing Mortal Kombat tournaments, shuffleboard and kareoke at the Legion, meeting countless celebrities,  and just generally having so much stupid fun every single day together at the shop. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

I've had three awesome years full of meeting awesome people, but this past year has really taken the cake. Robert, Megan, Drew, Elias, Dejan, Anita, Leah, Dan, Tianna, Elissa (and Rachael!)... you're some of the most fantastic people I've ever met and I couldn't get through these past few months without you. YOU are why I love my job as much as I do. I feel like we fell into something really special. In a big way I'm glad this will be my last summer  because I really don't know if it could get any better than this (at least for me anyways). You've all helped me grow into someone I'm proud of. You pick me up and dust me off when I feel defeated, and inspire me endlessly. Thank you guys.

 Here's to a magical summer!
With stampedes of affection,