Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The other neck of the woods
Well we are all off to Vancouver today for a few days. We're having a sales meeting, a creative brainstorming session - and best of all our Cartolina Christmas party - can't wait! So this morning I thought I would be a bit of a tour guide to a few things I love about Vancouver(most of which will involve food and shopping!). The first place I want to tell you about is Salamagundi West in historic Gas Town. This is one of my all time favourite shops it ranks right up there with Tinsel Trading in New York and Cabin Fever in Sandpoint Idaho. It has a great old store front and it is jam packed to the gills with cool stuff - antiques, books, stationery, toys, prints, jewelry - an amazing selection of oddities. Ask anyone what they like best about Salamagundi West and they will tell you its the original Chinese apothecary chests in the basement - hundreds of tiny drawers filled with wonderful curiosities - you could hunt for treasures for hours - I know, because I have!

Top 4 pictures are of Salamagundi West. After an hour at Salamagundi my favourite thing to do is go around the corner to the Water Street Cafe(below) and eat grilled oysters in the most yummy chile and basil cream sauce - I love the simplicity of this restaurant - feels Parisian. Its been here forever and consistently produces a high calibre of Pacific Northwest cuisine(think seafood, asian, natural influences and incredible freshness) and top notch service.

We always try to go for dinner at Bin 941 (below) when we are in Vancouver. We love the busy, loud atmosphere and the tapas are the best. They play really great music here - its funky, casual and inexpensive. It's small and crowded and perfect!

This year we are having our Cartolina Christmas party at The Lift Bar and Grill . I haven't been here before but one of our Vancouver gals really recommends it and I am so looking forward to it. I had a peek into the interior the last time we were in Vancouver and I definitely give it the thumbs up for its interior. Pacific Northwest design and architecture has come along way in the last 20 years and has really found its niche in huge timbers, expanses of glass, eco friendly systems and views views views! Talking about views - the view is stunning from  The Lift - right over Coal Harbour where the float planes come in, across to Stanley Park and the marina. (And the menu looks delicious too!)

This is one of the little Aqua Busses that takes you from down town Vancouver over to Granville Island Market(below). It only take a couple of minutes but it transports you to a different world - of art, crafts, food, music and shopping. You can spend all day at Granville Island Market. the public market is a spectacle of growers and their harvests, cheeses, fish, flowers - you name it. 

The Island is also home to the Emily Carr University of Art and Design which is well worth the visit too. How fabulous is it to have a market, a marina, restaurants, an art school and great shopping all in one place, on the ocean, in the down town of a beautiful city like Vancouver. 
See you next week - hopefully with lots of inspiring Vancouver shots, because I've got a new camera and it's going to turn me into a better photographer . . .  no, really   :-)

Illustration | Nod Young

Interesting and beautiful, limited edition prints by Nod Young - available at L'Affiche Moderne

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Vintage Inspirations

Perfectly vintage inspired little candles and a platter from here. These little candles, decorations and serveware  are so cute!
Reader Special! | Sylvie and Bruno
Heather McNamara wrote to me to introduce me to her new online children's boutique, Sylvie and Bruno. I had great fun looking through the selection of gorgeous items - super stylish and unique pieces - beautiful Christmas presents. And she has offered our Cafe Cartolina readers $20 off any purchase over $100, just use the code holiday08 at the checkout - but you'd better be fast because it runs out on the 15th so you have exactly 6 days! And its not just for kids - checkout those sweet little chandeliers perfect for your pretty little powder room! Thanks Heather and good luck with your new store!

Your input required please!
Fellow blogger and Nelsonite Andrea Bell is developing a line of organic linens and housewares in hemp, silks, bamboo and organic cotton. Andrea has a background in the fashion industry and is inspired by the possibilities of all the newest natural and organic textiles available to us these days. Nelson is a great place to develop such a line because everyone is so eco-conscious here - BUT she does need some input from outside of our neck of the woods so I would love it if you would go over to her blog and fill in her little questionaire about your shopping habits(don't be shy!) Thanks - it's great to be able to help out an Indie business in the making. Good luck Andrea!

I think you may also really like Andrea's blog - she has some great local and international finds on there - and she's a way better writer than I am!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Inspiration | Elizabeth House
A year or so ago I started reading a blog by Elizabeth. Elizabeth from what I can tell had/has a store in St Louis Missouri, is/was an avid blogger and in between all that she is an amazing stylist and photographer with the most impressive collection of props. These images are taken from her blog, her store site and her photographers portfolio. I am still unsure if any, or all, of these sites are active or not. I am in awe of her styling capabilities. I think she has worked for Victoria Magazine, Romantic Homes and Home Companion. Sorry to be so vague!

One of the other reason I enjoyed her blog way back was because she gives some really good tips for wholesaling giftware to boutiques. So if you are a business owner looking for wholesale advice she has a lot to offer from a business owners point of view. I learned a lot from her.
Inspiration | Atmosphere
Firstly I have to say that I know nothing about this blog at all. I can't even figure out what country it comes from. But I love the images - very intriguing. Looks like everything is from one store - perhaps the writer has a store or is an interior designer (btw, since when did we start calling designers, decorators? - Aren't decorators the guys that wear white outfits and show up in a white van with ladders on the roof to paint your parents house?) Whatever. Anyway - I thought you might like these images - looks like a place I'd like to poke around in for a while.

This blog is called House of Atmosphere and I think I will make it a regular read - in fact I'm gonna put it on my list right now.
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