January - 2016
Year of the Fire Monkey
February 8th marks the start of Chinese New Year and the Year of the Red Fire Monkey. According to traditional belief, Buddha named a year for each of 12 loyal animals, which also represent the 12 cycles of the Chinese zodiac.
People are thought to have the characteristics of the animal representing the year of their birth. Monkey-year people are said to be clever, good at making decisions and financially skillful. Interested in learning, they read, see and know a great deal.
And what's more fun than a barrel of monkeys? A whole year full of them! We're already into monkey business, making red fire monkey cards and paper mache fire monkeys with plans to create monkey-themed collage laminations and lots more.
Want to know about Fire Monkeys, feng shui and other cool Chinese traditions - this is a great site. And would you like to make an origami monkey? Here's another fun link for you!
Invest in beauty - NOW is the best time to buy Canadian art
Don't let the drop in the Canadian dollar get you down. There are advantages to a low loonie especially when buying goods produced in Canada. Like original Canadian art.
Investing in Canadian art is most affordable right now. And if the artist is relatively unknown, the value of their work will likely increase as their popularity grows. At the very least your investment will not diminish. You may be buying original art as a gift for yourself (or someone else) but your investment means much more than that.
Your purchase financially supports individual artists and lets them know they do important work that is valued by others. You encourage a thriving cultural community which boosts tourism and helps local businesses of all kinds. And in addition to such warm fuzzies, you gain a tangible investment that provides years of personal enjoyment.
Original Canadian art IS very affordable - especially today. And collecting original art is not a guilty pleasure. It's a real financial investment that will give you aesthetic pleasure every day. You won't get that from a stock certificate hung on a wall.
So stop thinking about that piece you've been looking at for months and buy it - for the joy it will give you today and as an investment in your future.
Time to update that shade
Do you have a lampshade that's damaged or looks a bit tired? Give your shade new life by taking off the existing cover and replacing it with imported or specialty paper. This can be a fun, creative and sometimes challenging project.
Every lampshade is different and some are more simple to do than others. If you want to do it yourself and have never done one before, we suggest you bring the lampshade Downtown to our store any Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Pam works then and can look at your shade and offer you feedback on any problems you might encounter. You could also book a workshop for yourself or small group to receive detailed, individualized instructions on how to update your lampshade. Not feeling up to doing it yourself? We can even do it for you.
Want to see what might be involved? Here's our instructions for how to re-cover a wire frame lampshade.
We've been doing a lot of lamp and lampshade projects over the past months - some as examples for our store and others as repairs or commissions for others. Here's how a few of them turned out...
We Love Vintage Kimono
Every three months or so, we like to bring in a shipment of pre-owned vintage Japanese kimono. The contents of each shipment are always a happy surprise to us - we order them by the pound and are never sure what's been sent until we open the box.
Our recent arrivals are among the nicest yet. Drop by soon to check out the lovely features on these vintage garments - some even have metallic gold and silver embroidery!