Sunday, July 13, 2008

My Neck of the Woods - day 2

nelson12A Morning in Town - Oso Negro
It's a nice sunny morning today - smells good because we had some rain. It's still early in the season and I notice a few early bird tourists out looking for some breakfast or at least a cup of coffee. Most mornings, before I go to the studio, I head across the bridge and into town to 
Oso Negro. Oso is our local coffee shop hang out. It's a bit of a destination for locals and visitors(who are usually hoping to catch a not so rare glimpse of one of Nelson's legendary colourful characters).

One of the interesting things about Nelson is that everyone seems to have a lot of time on their hands to sit around and drink coffee - I don't always have a lot of time for sitting around but I definitely have time for a good cuppa joe. And in a small town the coffee shop is where many of us do business, have meetings and make connections. I see lots of people I know today including the very talented Tracey (who I will tell you about tomorrow!) It's very social here this morning and no one seems to mind if I take their pictures!


Global Underground and Bonspiel Bags.
Nelson has a cool little downtown and a buzzing main street called Baker Street. Anyone who lives in a small town knows that it can be hard to get any where in a hurry, not because of traffic, because you are always running into someone you know and stopping and chatting. So if I am in a hurry to get somewhere I head down the back alley (Herridge Lane) - the only trouble with that is that a whole bunch of new shops have opened up in this trendy little spot and now I can't resist heading in to check out what's new.

One of my favourite spots to buy a gift for a friend is Global Underground. Owner Laura Price has very good taste and features lots of indie Canadian designers in her cool shop including one of my faves Ellen Box from Bonspiel, a fellow BC designer and craftsperson.



I love Ellen's designs. She designs and produces all her pieces herself. In her words. "I love simplicity, clarity, texture, charm, cuteness and strangeness. And complex color combinations." 
This bag, above, with the fur corners is amazing and the quality is really beautiful. Do you think I could use this as a summer bag or does the fur make it a winter only accessory?


While I was out today I stopped by Snowpack to see the new designs by FlatFlat Bags, below, are designed and produced in Nelson using recycled bicycle inner tubes. Almost every woman I know in Nelson has a Flat bag and we love them for their style and durability. Shannon Hames is the designer and producer of Flat bags. Shannon says, "Being an avid mountain biker for years, there was always piles of old inner tubes in my basement. So in 1996 the first inner tube was cut, instead of patched… and with some old rain pants for material, I made the first Flat Bag. Now we collect used bike inner tubes and fun fabrics from colourful era’s to make a simple line of carrying bags." Shannon says that they have used around 15,000 ft of old inner tubes so far. Including a few of mine I'm sure!



I am really loving this new style, above, especially in the orange - might have to upgrade my Flat bag soon!


This yoga mat bag, below, is fantastic. I saw it on their website ( and I have just had a look at it in person and it is really durable and solid, not to mention super stylish and eco-friendly - which translates into very good karma for your yoga mat!

So now you have seen a little of what's available in Nelson BC, I'd love to know what talented designers you know in your neck of the woods.
Tomorrow, I'm going to lurk a little longer in the back alley and introduce you to some very clever friends of mine and their super shiny shop - stay tuned.

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