it’s graphic: Boxsal

May 25, 2011

A Pretty. Fun. Picnic. In a Box.

Eco-friendly picnic boxes for urbanites with a hankering for a picnic. Fully compostable utensils, plates, cups and napkins.

“Sorry, wicker, it was fun while it lasted, but the new picnic belongs to post-consumer pulp. So pack up and park on. It’s time to escape the office for an afternoon, schedule that over-due date or just go have some fun.” – Boxal

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eye candy: Supermoon

March 29, 2011

saturday supermoon

On March 19th, the moon was at the nearest possible point from the ground, making it exceptionally large – 14% larger and 30% brighter to be exact.

Not to be repeated until 2029.

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locals only: Share Organics

November 18, 2010

I am relieved that I don’t want to purchase today’s Groupon. It’s a great deal – $11 for a Customizable Classic Calendar from Staples Canada (up to $22.99 Value) – but I’ve got that realm covered. I’ll be offering 2011 calendars on my online store soon! Stay tuned for a sneak peak and more info.

My first Groupon purchase was a “Singles Box” from Share Organics. A selection of fresh fruits and vegetables including root vegetables, greens and salad stuff all sourced close to home arrived on my doorstep this week. I beefed up my order with some organic milk, a baguette from Wild Fire Bakery and some raw milk parmesan.

contents of my Share Organics box

Although I enjoy sourcing my own food, I have always wanted to try one of these programs. It’s convenient and a thrill to have hand-picked organic groceries delivered right to your door. The contents of your box are emailed 5 days before delivery and you can customize the contents or add fresh local dairy, meat, baked goods, prepared meals…. the list goes on. What I was particularly excited about was the hope that the box would contain ingredients I don’t normally buy. The “what are those things?” in my box were Jerusalem Artichokes (sunchokes). Find out what I did with them later this week! The contents arrive in a plastic tote with a cold pack. You set your tote out on your next delivery day and voila – it’s filled back up again. Receive a delivery once a week or once in a blue moon.

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in the house: San Juan Special

November 12, 2010

Exceptionally modern, inquisitively rustic.


Designed by Tom Kundig, of the Seattle firm Olson Kundig Architects.
15-acre site in the San Juan Islands off Washington State
2,200-square-foot box with a sod roof and tall steel-framed windows
Master bathroom sink water runs through a series of small bowls that were cut into the rock and polished smooth
The living-dining room is a mixture of simple upholstered furniture, antiques and the contemporary art

More details here.

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eye candy: Floating Dining Room

August 4, 2010

This time of year you can’t spend enough time outside or near the water. Add fine dining, an elegant room floating on recycled plastic bottles and cuisine from C Restaurant and you have what I would call a summer trifecta of perfection.

Read more about the floating dining room and make a reservation at inhabitat’s website or at C Restaurant’s site.


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child star: Rattles and Sand Spheres

June 25, 2010

I’m an auntie (again) today! A lovely niece to add to my fine collection. Today’s count is 3 nephews, 4 nieces and another on the way.

I love these beautiful wooden rattles. Sustainable materials and non-toxic, they are a nice switch from the brightly coloured plastic toys in the mass-produced baby world.

spotted on Timbur Rattle

Now there is a place for brightly coloured plastic – the BEACH! A toy that’s easy on the eyes, inspires creativity and you only have to be 3 to use them.

from Sand Shapers

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on the road: Summer Glamping

June 21, 2010

Happy first day of SUMMER! Time to start making your to-do list. Ready when you are Mother Nature. Glamping (glamorous camping) is on mine.

from, near Hope in Treasure Mountain

from, Port Renfrew BC

from, near Cranbrook BC

from, Pender Harbour BC

from, Halfmoon Bay BC

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in the house: Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright & Patkau Architects

June 1, 2010
patkau architects vancouver bc


Exciting news for our Vancouver neighbours at Patkau Architects. It was announced last week that Patkau‘s winning designs for collection of cottages to accompany Frank Lloyd Wright‘s historic Fallingwater will become a reality.

Six small, on-site residences will snuggle right in next to the iconic Fallingwater, which caused a stir when it was featured on the cover of Time Magazine in 1938.

Imagine living on top of a 30′ waterfall?

Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright


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taste test: Red Fish Blue Fish Tacones

May 26, 2010

Tempura Cod Tacones one: $5.00 / two: $9.00
Sweet-smoked chili adobo + pea shoots + lemon pickled onions

It’s a deal, it’s a steal. Plenty of moist fish with a crispy coating, crunchy slaw-like filling and one is enough for lunch. The best part is they offer sustainable 100% Ocean Wise seafood and an earth friendly reuse and recycle system. The clam chowder seemed popular as did the Wild Pacific Fish and Chips (salmon, halibut, cod). Next time I’d like to try the Local Shrimp Roll (“lobster roll style”), curry chips, BBQ Thetis Queen Tuna, BBQ Fanny Bay Oyster Sandwich….. Red Fish Blue Fish is located in the Inner Harbour at 1006 Wharf Street at the foot of Broughton on the pier below Wharf Street. They’re open until 5pm 7 days a week, 3pm on rainy days like today.

red fish blue fish tacones

Tempura Cod Tacones at Red Fish Blue Fish, via iPhone

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artsy: Pam Longobardi

March 10, 2010

Her favorite spot to collect “art supplies” is in Hawaii. Not what you might think. Longobardi, an art prof at Georgia State University trolls the world’s coastlines in search of marine debris for her art exhibits. The gallery viewer is encouraged to reconcile between the gorgeous photographs of Hawaii and web-like installations made from the refuse collected there, reminding us to consider the connection between humans, land, sea and the industrial machine.

Read her artist’s statement or visit her website.

Images: Dave Rothstein (top) (bottom)

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it’s graphic: Logorama Short

March 8, 2010

Last night’s Oscar-Winning Animated Short Film, Logorama, proves just how permeating modern advertising is. The 16-minute film was comprised solely of well known logos and characters from over 2,500 large corporations.

Nicolas Schmerkin, the film’s producer, says “The brain can register 14 logos in less than one second. Making the logos characters with sets and props is about what we’re living. I’m not talking about what the logos represent. They’re used for what they are.” It took longer than Avatar to produce.

I was a terrible movie watcher this year, seeing only 2 out of all the nominees. Both were documentaries that I watched in flight. The Cove, won for documentary feature and follows an impressive team of activists, filmmakers and freedivers (a woman from Vancouver) as they embark on a covert mission to penetrate a remote and hidden cove in Taiji, Japan, shining a light on a dark and deadly secret. Utilizing state-of-the-art techniques, including hidden microphones and cameras in fake rocks, the team uncovers how this small seaside village serves as a horrifying microcosm of massive ecological crimes happening worldwide.

Everyone should see Food Inc. It’s a reality check and a reminder to re-connect with where your food is coming from, how it is processed and how to support a positive food economy. It’s worth watching just to hear what farmer Joel Salatin has to say. He’ll make you want to ditch your skinny jeans for a pair of overalls and get your hands on a family of pigs and chickens.

My pick for best dressed:


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locals only: New Pizzeria Prima Strada

February 2, 2010


Pizzeria Prima Strada is opening a new location on Bridge Street! They’re describing this new location as a “warm urban environment with lots and lots of amazing reclaimed wood. Family style tables will accommodate up to 16 people-perfect for you and your lunch pals. Hungry on your way home from work? Call in for a take-out pizza to grab on your way home.”

Pizzeria Prima Strada practices the traditional techniques of the masters by using Caputo 00 flour, Italian plum tomatoes and local ingredients, including Mozzarella di Bufala from Canada’s only Water Buffalo herd.

Lighting at the Cook Street location was surely not an afterthought, same goes for this new restaurant. Check out those cool rectangular fixtures!

If you haven’t tried their pizzas (salads are good too), get in there and enjoy a tumbler of wine along with a slice.

Keep posted on their blog or sign up for the newsletter for info and deals on their main site.

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child star: CleverTomato

December 30, 2009
Baby to Toddler high chair

Baby to Toddler high chair

CleverTomato started following me today on Twitter so I went to check them out. Modern kids furniture, helleluja! From the site, “We specialize in modern furniture products for babies, kids, teens and a few great things for Mom + Dad. These inventive products provide stylish work, sleep and play spaces that will inspire you as well as your kids.” From what I gather, they are based in the New York area, and don’t currently offer shipping to Canada. Unfortunately, such is often the case with many great finds I come across.

The high chair in the image above is on sale for $99. Check out this changer, the surfboard growth chart and this sweet toy box.

Baby bedding can be overwhelming to say the least. There is a fine line between fun and funny looking. Love this organic Fish and Pebbles bedding.

Fish & Pebbles bedding from CleverTomato

Fish & Pebbles bedding from CleverTomato

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artsy: Gift Bag Tutorial

December 21, 2009

artsy-3While I get caught up in the Christmas rush, here is a teaser for tomorrow’s tutorial. Love this Recycled Gift Bag from Chinchilla Media spotted on Design Sponge.

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bits & bytes: Conversations on Design

November 3, 2009


They collected the thoughts of 30 of the world’s most inspired creative professionals. Architects, designers, authors and leaders of iconic brands.

Then they asked them two questions: “What single example of design inspires you most?” and “What problem should design solve next?”

I appreciated Edwin Chan’s response. These points struck a chord with me:

  • Find real inspiration by looking beyond the latest gadgets to something more timeless and spiritual
  • The act of creation by visualization followed by concretetization resonates with the most transient and rootless nature of our existence
  • Not new age
  • As designers we should address the problem of how to reconcile our own survival on the planet with the quality of life we are accustomed to
  • Green design as a fad
  • Energy conscious trend is a rehash of what has been good design all along
  • Begin by thinking about the little things
  • Reduce waste
  • Live in a smaller house
  • Stop commuting
  • Stop buying things you don’t need with money you don’t have
  • Stop depleting resources to satisfy your need for things
  • Re-orientate to focus on what is essential
  • Find the essence of who you are and what you need in order to be
  • Simple but not simplistic

View the full conversation here.
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child star: Green Toys Inc.

September 22, 2009

Green Toy tea set

Cool packaging, cooler toys. Made from plastic milk jugs in California, all Green Toys products are packaged in slick recycled corrugated boxes with no plastics, cellophane or twist-ties, and are 100% recyclable. Check out the recycling truck! Available from one of my favorite local toy stores, Buddies Toys, in Estevan Village or Beacon Avenue in Sidney. Can’t find a website for Buddies! Let me know if you know of one. They can be reached at (250) 595-6501‎.

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locals only: Island Chef’s Collaborative

September 11, 2009

I was walking through Bastion Square this morning just as the Island Chef’s Collaborative farmer’s market was setting up. I think it’s the best farmer’s market I’ve seen around town – perfect rows of strawberries, raspberries and blackberries, a really impressive selection of local greens and a rainbow of different coloured beets and tomatoes to name a few. They operate on Thursdays and Fridays and will be offering their impressive selection through September. Get down there before it’s too late! Read about this non-profit organization and find out how to support local growers on their website.

Categories: locals only.

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in the house: outside in

September 9, 2009

Let the outside in. More window, less wall. Is there anyone who wouldn’t want to live this way? Click on the images to flip through.

Widjedal Racki Bergerhoff (Sweden)
Marc Gerritsen (Taipei)
Belinda George (New Zealand)

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