Thursday, April 24, 2014

Up and At Them

What's that saying about having the same amount of hours in the day as Beyonce? To be truthful, that has always bothered me because sure, we have the same amount of hours, but we don't have the same amount of servants and support staff and personal jets and everrrrrrrrrrthing else Bey has. Still, I'm feeling pretty proud of ourselves after yesterday's morning.


Hollie and I were up bright and early (so early that my coffee maker broke on me) so that we could pick up the lovely Katie and head to Gage Park for a quick photoshoot. Unfortunately for us (but mostly for Katie) the weather didn't really cooperate and we had a cold breeze and cloudy sky all morning.



Lucky for us, the Gage Park Tropical Greenhouse opens up at 8am, so we were the first visitors.  It was such a nice change to feel warm instead of freezing, and I think we ended up getting some really amazing shots. We'll be using these to promote our upcoming vintage dress sale in May, so stay tuned


We finished up so early we even had time to squeeze in a quick pit stop at Detour Coffee in Dundas, before heading up to Lynden to meet the lovely Claire at her home/farm.  Did someone say chicken selfies?



These dudes belong to Claire, and let me just say that one of them was slightly more charming (and way less terrifying) than the other. Can you guess who?

After a quick tour around Claire's farm we went to check out the main event: a beautiful location we'll be shooting some upcoming photos at soon.  I want to tell you more about it but I feel like it's best kept a secret for now. I will show you this though:


These amazing Italian Sheepdogs were guarding the property, but they were more than happy to tag along with us on our tour.  Point me to a photoshoot where I get to hang with dogs all day, and you've just guaranteed I'm never leaving.




The rest of the property was pretty cool too.

After the visit we went back down to the shop where Hollie opened just in time, I whipped up to the mountain to drop off some book keeping and tax documents, picked up some supplies for our next window display, did a little shopping at Girl on the Wing (yay! saltwater sandals!) and made it home just in time to take Pepper on a lunch hour walk. Pretty good morning if I don't say so myself. Maybe I should try leaving the house before 7am more often?


Maybe not.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

New Skirt, New Season


New spring clothing has been arriving almost every day for the last few weeks. If you haven't stopped by lately, now is definitely the time to come. There are so many cute things to choose from, and I am especially loving this Selena skirt by Darling. ($75)


Remember the other week when I showed you Anna Kari's beautiful new sweaters? Well, they are amazing. I put this cardigan on to take a picture for the blog today, and I haven't taken it off since. It might need to go home with me. Don't worry though - we have more in stock! ($188)


We've restocked everyone's favourite You Can Do Anything in Hamilton totes too. You really can do anything in this city, ESPECIALLY when it's getting nice and warm and everyone is feeling that Spring energy rushing back. ($34)


I seriously LOVE these porcelain stonewear studs by Therese Bombardier Design. They are so so beautiful. Therese handcrafts these, and carefully presses lace into porcelain before finishing them with beautiful glazes and sterling silver findings. ($30)


Have I mentioned how nice it is to have a crafter located directly across the street from your shop? Roisin hand-delivered these beauty pouches last week, and we have lots in stock. They always go fast, so hurry in! ($15)


One of our favourite textile artists Avril Loreti has sent a big restock of beautiful tea towels, handkerchiefs, pillows and more! These new prints are so bright and cheery, they're the perfect thing to brighten up your kitchen! ($25)

Finally, we're going to be open business as usual this Friday and Saturday, but we'll be closed Sunday and Monday. Hope you all have a great holiday weekend!


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sweater Weather

Eyelet Front Raglan Top - Alpaca and Silk - $168
If you visited the shop this winter, chances are you have seen and admired the knit mittlets we started carrying by Anna Kari.  They were one of our most popular items this winter, and we are thrilled that Anna has taken her work up a notch with these amazing knit sweaters, now in the shop.

Anna uses vintage knitting patterns and styles as inspiration in her work, and creates everything on her knitting machines and by hand. She combines super soft and fine wools like cashmere, merino and alpaca with silk so that the finished result is the comfiest coziest sweater you've ever owned.
Graduated Sparkle Stripe Cardigan - Cashmere, Merino and Silk - $188
Long Line Cardigan - Alpaca and Silk - $196
We currently have each of these sweaters in a range of colours and sizes, but they're so beautiful we don't expect them to last long.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Spring Dreams

Spring arrivals have been filling up the shop in the last couple weeks, and it`s giving me hope. No matter how cold it is right now, it`s March, and that means Spring is surely coming soon right? Right? We have tons of new spring clothes which really need to be seen to be believed, but we also have lots of new goods and accessories too. Here are some recent favourites:


My Krystal Speck pottery obsession might be a little off the charts. Her pieces are my go-to for gifts, and also the one thing that is almost always on my Christmas/Birthday/Just Because wish list for myself. Krystal dropped a beautiful selection of new work a couple weeks ago, and I basically just stare at it all day. ($25-$85)


Amy also restocked us with a bunch of beautiful Crownland Goods items. These beautiful pouches / pencil cases are some my favourites, because the leather is beautiful and soft, and the clasp is just so fun to play with. ($48)


We recently received our first ever shipment of Twisted Whimsy Designs jewelry and we are loving this new line. Described as metal with roots, these pieces make a pretty beautiful statement. ($22-$39)



We've restocked some favourites too. We received a big shipment of April Look bowties in colours and prints that are perfect for Spring and Summer. ($36) These are basically the best men's accessory for wedding season. We also keep restocking our selection of Karolina Anna Hajna's beautiful Street Maps series. The pieces we have in the shop right now are some of my favorites because of their size, shape, colours and prints. ($35-$80)



Don't let all these accessories fool you. We also have some beautiful spring clothes in the shop right now, and more keep arriving every day. Hollie and I have been spending our days steaming up a storm to get all the new pieces out on the shelves for you, and we've endured a few steamer burns in the process. This Bird of North America Poule dress is one of my favourites in the shop right now, and it also comes in white AND runs in a full size range of 2-16 as an added bonus.  ($209)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Flawless


When I really like something, I go hard into my obsession. It's all I talk about, all I think about, all I do. I've fallen deep into a Beyoncé obsession, and I don't know if I'm ever coming out. I've never been a huge fan previously, but her latest album has awakened the fan girl inside of me. If you come into the shop anytime soon, Beyoncé will most likely be on the stereo. And when I was trying to come up with something to put on the big heart in our window, I jokingly told my friend Lauren that I was going to make it say "breakfast", just like this Bey sweatshirt that we both have our eyes on.

But then I actually did it. Because breakfast is a universal love that knows no boundaries. Romantic love is all well and good, but feed me pancakes and a poached egg and I'll be yours forever. And maybe I'll wear that Eve Gravel dress while I eat it, because... I woke up like this.



Our newest line of jewelry in the shop - Tilly Doro - comes to us from Brooklyn. Edgy and versatile, her pieces are great for layering.

I love the boldness of the beaded blue wrapped necklace against the simplicity of the Martine dress from Betina Lou. Statement accessories are such a good and easy way to breath new life into your staple basics.


Lately, we've gotten lots of requests for bracelets. We listened and we tried our hardest to source lots of different styles for you! Simple bangles, heavy cuffs, delicate chains...I hope we didn't miss any. Some of our current favourites come from designer Liana Marie, who named her newest pieces after Toronto neighbourhoods.


Bespoke Uprising has done it again with new handkerchiefs made with Japanese cotton double gauze, and naturally dyed with indigo. So luxurious! I am a devoted hankie user, so I squealed with delight when she brought these in at the thought of expanding my collection. Bespoke Uprising is one of our best selling designers when it comes to gift-giving, and I think that streak will continue with the addition of these in store. Who wouldn't love to be gifted a beautiful handkerchief made right here in Hamilton? The thought of it makes my heart go pitter-patter.


New designs in this week from Ugly Bunny including these adorable cupcake stud earrings. Holy cow, these are just too much.


And of course we are well stocked with Valentine's Day cards for you to show that special person just how much you care about them. I adore this one from Rifle Paper Co. So traditional, so romantic, so pretty. Basically the perfect valentine.


Oh, hey, it's me. I took this photo because sometimes during the day I'll look down and realize that the majority of the clothing that I'm wearing is Canadian-made. That is SUCH a good feeling. In this instance, I'm wearing a Valerie Dumaine top, and Betina Lou skirt. Buying Canadian shows that you care about your national economy and craftspeople, and buying those pieces from a local independent shop shows that you care about your neighbourhood and city. We really love all you caring people out there.

To show you just how much we love you, we are offering 50% all clothing this weekend in the shop. Starting Friday at 11am until close at 4pm on Sunday you can swing by and scoop up some beautifully crafted Canadian pieces for your wardrobe. It's our valentine to you. The gift of love and a new dress? You can't go wrong.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Hello Sweetheart


I'm super excited about the special Valentine's Day package that we've come up with between some of our favourite shops in Hamilton. Look, we've been doing this shop girls thing long enough now to see a pattern that most of you leave shopping for special events to the very last minute. And that's okay! We do it too.

But we thought we'd help you out a bit, and make a one stop shop for all your valentine essentials. Jewelry, chocolate, flowers, BAM. And not just any chocolate or flowers, but some of the best chocolate and flowers in Hamilton. Made-from-scratch chocolate assortments from Cake & Loaf, and elegant, modern bouquets from I Fiori. Plus an adorable, understated, gold-plated heart necklace from Rare Specimens that will go with absolutely everything. All for $50. What more could you need?

I think my favourite part about this is that you won't just be showering your sweetheart with love, but also showing that love to so many great small businesses in our city. Local love! 



Flowers in the bundle will not be as pictured, this is just an example of Bev's beautiful work!

Quantities are limited, so putting in a pre-order with us would be so helpful! You can do that by emailing us at hello[AT]whiteelephantshop.ca by 5pm on Monday February 10th. Pickup will be on February 14th, at any of the locations you prefer during store hours. We'll actually have extended hours because Art Crawl happens to fall on Valentine's Day this year! So lucky in love, we are.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bouquet of Street Maps


One of my favourite things to recommend in the shop these days are the beautiful Bouquet of Street Maps necklaces by Karolina Anna Hajna.  I own two of these necklaces myself, and while I've always admired their beauty, it wasn't until I got to visit Karolina Anna's studio this past December that I really understood how much work and effort goes into each piece.

 


The Bouquet of Street Maps jewelry is inspired by the city of Paris and vintage floral tapestries. In fact, it is based on an actual street map of Paris that Karolina painstakingly researched, printed, and then made a full paper cut out of with an x-acto knife. You can see a shot of a new map in progress at this stage in the first picture above.

From there, she makes a plaster slab and traces the street map onto it line by line before she begins individually carving out each street. You can see a finished slip cast in the middle photo above. Finally, she pours porcelain into the slip, allows it to dry, and then begins cutting into the map, piece by piece, to create the jewelry you see in the shop. Each piece is then fired, sanded, glazed, fired again, decorated and fired one last time before they're ready to wear around your neck.  


When I visited Halifax last December, Karolina Anna invited me to stop by her studio to pick up some new pieces for the shop. Located in the newer Port Campus of NSCAD, it was a serious treat to get a tour of such a beautiful space.

Karolina Anna's studio space was filled with inspiration, works in progress, completed pieces, new ideas & lots of beautiful things to look at. She showed me some casting work she's been playing with, and some past projects as well. All in all it made me seriously want to go to art school, and I left with a greater understanding of how special one of my favourite necklaces really is.






When I got home that night, I spent a good 20 minutes staring at a google map of Paris, pinpointing the exact part of the city that I was wearing around my neck.

Karolina is currently taking part in a residency at the Guldagergaard-International Ceramic Research Center, as part of Project Network. She'll be there until the end of February, and is working on a new series of street maps of Copenhagen and Skaelskor. Before she left, she was gracious enough to send me home from her studio with lots of new pieces, so our store is currently stocked with her beautiful Bouquet of Street Maps collection.

It was amazing to get a full glimpse into the process behind one of the lines we carry in the shop.  I love seeing the amount of inspiration and work that goes into something that will eventually make someone else so happy to wear. It's the reason Hollie and I love carrying handmade items. Each piece has a story, and even if we can't blog about each piece we carry,  visits like this are always a great reminder about why we love doing what we do.

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