Meet The Maker: Shelley MacIsaac of Something Handmade

 

"I never expected it to turn into a little business, but I'm so happy it did."

You never know when you might be on the cusp of a new adventure. For Shelley MacIsaac, it all began one Christmas morning when she received a pair of earrings from her sister and that pivotal thought popped up into her head - "I could make this myself." 

Shelley's a stay-at-home mom living in beautiful Margaree, Cape Breton, and is now the owner of her new handmade jewelry business, Something Handmade, crafting earrings out of genuine leather, suede, and natural wood. Her story is a gentle reminder to stay curious and open to opportunity (especially in the most unlikely of times and places), and to always work from a place of authenticity and heart.

Today she talks to us about the organic start to her business, how her minimalist lifestyle shapes how and what she creates, and what Jimmy Rankin has to do with it all. Enjoy!  - Meghan

How did you get into making jewelry?

I’ve always had a creative streak, so I’ve tried many DIY projects. The first pair of earrings I made were the “kite earrings”, to give to my friends with my Christmas cards. I discovered that making them gave me a creative outlet I was craving. I loved working with wood to create something unique. That same Christmas my sister gifted me a pair of leather earrings. They were beautiful (but gold shimmer was a little too fancy for my taste) and naturally I said “I can make these”. So I picked up some leather in colours that were more my style and gave it a shot. Everyone seemed to want a pair of each, so I started selling some to help cover the cost. I never expected it to turn into a little business, but I’m so happy it did. 


What does your creative process look like? What inspires you?

My creative process is pretty simple - I’m a minimalist at heart so my designs are usually based on simple, symmetrical lines. The walnut looks so natural (because it is) which is something I love, so I’m always eager to come up with new styles with it. And sometimes the process involves  someone saying “you should make this style next” and if I’m feeling the idea I’ll give it a shot. 


Where is your favourite place to work?

I make leather earrings at home while my kids are sleeping but my favourite place to work is in my Dad's woodworking shop. He helps me bring my ideas to life, and has taught me so much about wood and the processes needed to perfect the styles I envision. 


What does your business mean to you?

I never intended on starting a business, but I have really enjoyed the process.  It happened so organically, and is growing organically, which takes the pressure off and I love that.

The name Something Handmade actually came from a Jimmy Rankin song (it doesn’t get much more Cape Breton than that)! The lyrics are a plea for something authentic, something handmade.  That principle resonates with me. Realness is a trend right now and I hope it sticks around. I’m a stay at home mom (which has always been my dream) and with that I’ve always wanted to be like the “proverbs 31 woman” which is basically a woman who is productive and who serves her family well. So having my own business means I can do something I really enjoy, and also make it work for my family’s needs. Plus I get to wear lots of cute earrings in the process!

Thanks for a behind-the-scenes peek, Shelley! Shop our selection of earrings in-store and online.

Welcoming Yellow Owl Workshop!

 

 

Here at LQ we're thrilled to be stocking Yellow Owl Workshop! Items chalk full of original graphics and bold colors, we're sure they will become one of your new favorites. 

Being one of your new favorites we thought you'd like to get to know Yellow Owl Workshop. Read on you pretty little LQ and get to know them a little better:

 

How it all began...

Christine Schmidt's art career began in primary school when she won a bike at the local grocer's coloring contest. This bike was red and had ten whole speeds! After a youth spent on the plains of Kansas City and art school in Washington D.C., she and her loverboy, Evan, moved west to a little place perched atop windy Bernal Hill in San Francisco. Fueled by too much black tea and public radio shows, she spent nights creating hand-printed cards and gifts. Seeking out local suppliers and working with fine, momma-earth loving materials, she began honing her line of wares. In 2007, after steeling her nerves, Christine took a box of her goods to some local stores, they placed orders and Yellow Owl Workshop was born.

Current day Yellow Owl Workshop now bustles with a team of hard-working ladies in a sunny Mission district studio. Though Yellow Owl Workshop has grown and can be found in stores worldwide, the original values of expert attention to detail, ecological awareness and premium U.S. made materials are evident in every product. Legend says if you hold a stamp set really closely you can probably still smell the Earl Grey and hear a "Radio Lab" episode.

Notable for a sophisticated yet playful aesthetic, the products include rubber stamps and stamp ink pads, greeting cards and a line of exquisite gold pendants. Though the product line is diverse, consistent themes of innovative function, original graphics and bold colors emerge.

While Christine is handling the creative side of Yellow Owl, she is incredibly lucky to have amazing people handling the business of Yellow Owl. Her husband Evan Gross, longtime friend Maria Niubo, and a band of super ladies, keep the studio humming along.

Christine and Evan live in San Francisco with their new daughter, Emmy, who will begin entering coloring contests (and hopefully winning bikes!) after she masters solid foods and crawling.

Shop the whole collection here!

October 09, 2018 — Faith Farrell

Meet the Maker: The Little Red Door!

Meet Terri Buckland, the hands and heart behind The Little Red Door, and our new favorite polymer clay earrings!  

Terri lives in a teeny, tiny but beautifully renovated cottage on Whynaught’s Cove, Nova Scotia! Her partner Christine and she moved there after making the decision that they wanted to live the simple life close to the ocean where they could look out the window and see the ocean tides and breathe the salty air!

They live on a huge property that happens to back onto hundreds of kilometers of wooded trails within the Peggy’s Cove loop. This is ideal for them because they have 6 rescue dogs who get to enjoy those glorious trails every day! Something many people don’t know is that her partner and she work with a local dog rescue to foster dogs in need.

They’ve adopted out lots of dogs to happy families, but have kept a few misfits along the way! Their dogs are all very small, and all but two are quite old. They each have unique stories that will break your heart and make you want to love them to pieces, which they do! Their dogs are super-duper happy now. They sort of think of themselves as a dog sanctuary… a soft place to land for dogs that most people wouldn’t want to adopt for one reason or another. They don’t have any children, so it’s just them and theirr precious fur-babies!

Let's get to know Terri and her process a little better!

How did you get into making earrings?

When we moved here, there was a shed on the property with a red door. It is a HUGE shed, it looks like more like a house! It had an old-fashioned wood-burning stove and cedar siding. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to do something unique! It just called for a hobby. We moved here in order to be more ourselves, and for me that meant exploring my artistic side. I decided to use the shed as a studio. When I picked up a paint brush for the first time in 2015 it was an act of bravery. I had no idea if I could paint. My main goal was to explore an urge I had to get back to some fun. I started out painting furniture. I started to make a little name for myself in the furniture artist world, and I was featured multiple times by Unfolded, the company that manufactured my favorite paint by Annie Sloan, as well as by several other prominent furniture blogs.  A dresser was my favorite canvas, and I’m so inspired by nature that I often painted botanicals on the furniture. Less than a year ago, we sold our big car and bought a tiny little one, and I couldn’t fit furniture in it anymore. Still wanting to be creative, that’s when I picked up clay for the first time in January 2018…less than 9 months ago!

 

What does your creative process look like?

I am extremely influenced by nature. My partner and I travel around the Maritimes, and I photograph it! I actually have a separate Instagram account dedicated to my photography. It’s so important for me to create from a place of love and authenticity. Two of my favorite quotes, which I also use as my creative mantra are: “Work is Love made visible.” -Kahlil Gibran and “Let what you love be what you do.” -Rumi

I create from a place I call “Flow” -from a God given place- which is sacred. I honor it by staying true to my own visions. What happens to me is, when I’m out in nature or meditating or dreaming, a spark of an idea, inspiration, or vision comes into my mind that represents a thing I love. For example, the first clay earring I ever made came to me after I walked the little picturesque village in Peggy’s Cove. I sat down and out popped this little abstract representation of it! Sometimes, I recreate a scene, sometimes it’s the color of a sunset, and other times it’s the way a rock looked in the sunlight. I adore it! I feel very, very happy when I’m making my little clay creations. My designs and creativity can not be forced. It flows in when it’s ready.

Where is your favorite place to work?

I recently designed an office space in my home. It is a total sanctuary. It has crispy white walls, with beautiful floor to ceiling shelves that hold my earring art. My own artwork covers the walls like a gallery. My essential oils and gemstones are also on display as well. I love this space.


What inspires you?

The Maritimes has so much beauty and I feel that we are so fortunate to call this place home. We have so much coastline, clean air, space, freedom and beauty! I never take it for granted. Since picking up a paintbrush in 2015 I’ve been inspired by botanicals, succulents and the scenery of our provinces. I call my creations after the thing that inspires it. I currently have four inspired collections: Beaches, Places, Nature and Nostalgia.


What does creating something with your own two hands mean to you?

Everything. I can’t even. This is the pinch me part! I couldn’t have dreamt in my wildest dreams that I had any talent at all, let alone having a successful business that is based on my own creativity. Creating something, for me, represents the belief in myself that I have something to offer. And that is everything, isn’t it? I think so. This business is love, made visible.


What has been your greatest challenge on this creative journey? What has been your greatest success?

The greatest challenges have led to my greatest successes!  Anyone who creates anything knows about the feeling of vulnerability there is in putting yourself (your work) out there as an artist. As I step into this path of “being seen” it is constantly having to keep in check the reasons why I do this…which is for the love of it. Not for the money, or the popularity, or the approval, or the social media likes. Those are so tempting to follow though! The greatest challenge has been the willingness to make mistakes publicly and be judged…for me, that takes a lot of bravery! What if the earring falls apart? What if people don’t like them? What if I didn’t make enough and someone has to wait longer than I promised? What if I accidentally send it to the wrong address? Well, since I am a human, it’s very possible that I’m not going to be perfect. But, I always, always work with integrity and do my best! So, if I make a mistake it’s ok! And that’s been my greatest success: showing up for myself and being willing to try despite being scared! It’s a triumph. The personal growth has been huge.

When you look to the future, where do you see this creative endeavour taking you?

This is an uncommon practice as a business owner, but I don’t make goals. Well, that’s not true…I have one goal, which is to always follow my bliss! I think’s that’s the surest way to have success! I feel like life works out when you are being yourself, working with integrity and staying in alignment with what is true for you at the time.

The growth that The Little Red Door and Terri Buckland Creations has had is astonishing to me! I started out making these for myself, and I was initially giving them away for free. Then suddenly 20 people wanted earrings, and then 50. It has been a truly magical journey. Creating from a place of love, making the things I love and then getting to incorporate my artwork and photography and design skills to enhance my creations is an absolute dream come true! I have so much love for the people who seem to love my little creations as much as I do.

I do have some exciting ideas that are naturally evolving, and soon I’ll incorporate some new things into The Little Red Door offerings. We’ve got a major gift culture going on, where people are sending earrings and notes to their loved ones though me, and I have some exciting ideas around how I’m going to support this gift culture. I can’t wait to share as the vision and idea evolves!

I love that people think of their earrings as little pieces of home. I hope that my creations continue to create light in some small way in the hearts of others, as it does my own.

Shop the collection now! 

September 17, 2018 — Faith Farrell

Welcoming Smash & Tess!

We are so excited to welcome Smash & Tess and offer their snugly goodness to our favorite LQs!

Owned and operated by a mother-daughter-bestie team, Smash & Tess has always had an obsession with stylish sleepwear. Matching pajamas have been one of their favorite traditions on Christmas morning since they can remember, but the search for cute, comfortable pajamas became nearly impossible as the years went by – there just wasn’t anything out there that they truly loved.

A few years of brainstorming, dreaming & serious fashion schooling later, Smash + Tess was born, finally bringing women the dreamwear they deserve.

Designed and ethically produced in North America, their line of premium loungewear invites women to relax, indulge and imagine, without ever having to leave the comfort of home.

They believe that women should feel confident and beautiful every minute of the day, no matter whether it’s spent in the boardroom, on a school run, or between the sheets after a day spent conquering the world.

They exist to change what women wear when enjoying their time at home or out and about!

They believe that there should be a well deserved stretch of personal time between work and sleep, when you can dive into your feminine side while still being confident and comfortable.

Their loungwear is effortlessly chic, using quality fabrics made to last.

Forget throwing on ratty sweatpants, yoga wear or flannels after a busy day of work – they’re here to bring you something you’ll be proud to wear, time and time again.

So, come on...you deserve it! Shop the collection to pre-order yours today!

September 07, 2018 — Faith Farrell

Into the Wardrobe: Your Summer Guide

It's here! It's finally here! Ahhhhh, sweet, sweet summer time! We're in the thick of it now, and we have all of your summer wardobe essentials, that you'll find yourself reaching for again and again for many Seasons to come. 

That's what you want in the pieces you carefully curate for yourself: items that speak to you, but also have the wear-ability to never go out of style. That way, when you have a favorite piece, you can love it eternally. 

So without further adieu, we give you the first wave of our Summer Collection!

The Luella Polka Dot Dress

A bright blue and white polka dot short sleeve dress with a v-neck and a button front with a self tying bow. The perfect midi length, made from that soft, stretch fabric our LQs love. Channel the perfect vintage vibe while being effortlessly chic. Dress this classic print up or down and pair it perfectly with a white pump.

The Harlow Dress

A navy and white striped, collared button down dress with an open back crossover twist, two quarter length cuffed sleeves and side seam pockets. Business in the front, and party in the back! This classic striped dress has the perfect modern twist, with a to-die-for back detail. Go seamlessly from the office to a night out with the girls!

Tie Tee in Kelly Green

A short sleeve, round neck stretch tee, with side tie detail. The side tie adds just the right amount of sophistication to a simple classic; not to mention, the color. We're all about modern twists on old classics. 

The Secret Garden Tee

A round neck, three quarter length sleeve, stretch tee with embroidered floral design. Bloom in our Secret Garden Tee. Just the right balance of comfort and whimsy, perfect for capturing those summer vibes all year long. 

The Ophelia Jumpsuit

A capri length, striped overall jumpsuit with ruffled shoulder straps, back zipper and side seam pockets. Ultra flattering, and sure to be the envy of all your friends! At LQ we love a jumpsuit, and what a jumpsuit it is...or should we say playsuit! Nothing says fun and flirty like The Ophelia! Prepare for the slew of compliments you're sure to receive wearing this number. 

The Swept Away Dress

A relaxed fit, striped tunic dress with a boat neck, cap sleeves, a gathered waistband and two front pockets. The Swept Away Dress is not only the perfect dress to throw on over your swimsuit, but also the perfect dress to wear out for ice cream. This is the definition of function, comfort, and cute!

The Summer Soiree Dress

Short flutter sleeve a-line floral dress with back zipper and side pockets; a classic silhouette, with just the right amount of fun. The Summer Soiree Dress is ultra flattering on all body types, and...it has pockets! You know how we feel about pockets!

The Make a Statement Dress

A self-tying wrap, stretch knit dress with an asymmetrical hem and keyhole, three quarter length bell sleeve. The Make A Statement Dress is ultra feminine and ultra chic, which makes it the perfect date night dress! Also, comfort is always key and with ultra soft fabric, this dress is as comfy as it is chic.

The Black Tee

A short sleeve, round neck, stretch knit tee with a relaxed fit and a asymmetrical hem with side slit. The Black Tee is a fun twist on a wardrobe staple. Add dimension to all of your classic looks (in any season). What we love about this piece is that the side slit bottom hem gives you look options. Leave it out, tuck it in or tie it to this side. This  is everything you want in a black tee. 

 

Rosebud Dress

A short sleeve, v-neck dress with a twist, in a soft blush color with the prettiest floral print. We're not kidding when we say this is the softest material and not to mention, comfy. This is a vintage look that we die for. Your Nan wished she had this dress when she had a bod just like you. Like all good things, this is a vintage inspired look that has come back around. Be forever ready for garden party season, in this little floral number! 

So many looks, to love and wear again and again!

Get shopping, ladies!

 

Photos: Hannah White

 

July 25, 2018 — Faith Farrell

Host with the Most: Sangria Ice Pops

  

You read that right. Sangria. Ice. Pops. Combining two of our favorite things: cool Popsicle treats and cocktails. A "Poptail" if you will. I mean, you know what fans of sangria we are, so we're invested. All of our refreshing summer drinks seem to be cropping up in frozen treat form, which is definitely a trend we can get behind.

You're probably thinking, how did I not know about this? Don't worry, we've got you covered and the process and is simple. I know you're thinking, "is there some kind of trick?" But, really you simply take your favorite recipe and freeze it!

First, you will need a DIY Popsicle tray to get started then you throw together your favorite sangria recipe. 

Now remember, the summer sun is hot, and we're trying to stay hydrated, so I like to pack in the fruit. It's a cool treat. It's boozy. It's a snack. It's the best of everything. 

Something else you can do to sweeten the deal is add some simple syrup to your sangria mixture. This will make it more like a sweet treat. 

Fill those trays up right to the brim and freeze. Maybe you'd like to freeze them over night, (Preferably before a pool party. I'm invited right?) this way you won't be stuck standing outside the freezer waiting for them to freeze instantaneously. It's slower to watch things freeze, then to watch the grass grow. 

Finally, all you do is pop them out and enjoy! There's nothing as aesthetically pleasing as a Sangria Ice Pop in summer. Well, maybe a giant unicorn pool floatie, but I mean, why not do both?!

Invite the girls over, and pull these bad boys out of the freezer. Ta-da! You just became the most popular kid at the pool party. 

We browsed around for some other delicious Poptails and made a list of the ones we can't wait to try this summer: Tequila Sunrise Pops, Mud Slide Ice Pops, Pina Colada Pops and Mojito Pops, to name a few. What are some Poptails you've made or would love to try?

(photo inspiration found on Pinterest)

July 21, 2018 — Faith Farrell

The Scoop on Where to Get Cold Treats This Summer

(Hind Hart Studios)

 

Well, well, well, it's National Ice Cream Day! If you're anything like us you don't need an excuse to indulge, but if you do, today is your day!  

There's some things that are just better in the summer. While we're firm believers in ice cream all year long, there's just something about the sun beating down, your flip flops hitting the pavement, cone in hand. It really is the little things; life's small pleasures.

To celebrate in proper fashion, we thought we'd give you the scoop (see what we did there) on our top 5 places to indulge. Tis the season!

1. A & K Lick-A-Treat 

(Candice Tynski)

A & K Lick-A-Treat, I mean guys it's iconic. This little old school drive-in is pumping all Summer long. Sure to meet all your cool treat needs. From your classic cones: soft serve and hard. To homemade waffle cones, drumsticks and ice cream sandwiches. Not to mention toppings and dips galore. 

Located just across the parking lot from A & K Lick-A-Chick, doesn't get much better on a Summer night than dinner and a quick walk to dessert! Remember, it's cash only.

Get directions here

(@willowandtwigcreative)

2. The Bayside

(@mermaidfoodcb)

Another iconic little drive-in, it's tradition. The Bayside not only has a beautiful view while you enjoy a frozen treat, but they have dips galore. Can we talk about instagram worthy! A cotton candy dipped cone will have you swooning!

There's also bubble gum, birthday cake and peanut butter to name a few. Whatever your ice cream hankering, we're sure you'll find just what you're looking for. 

Get directions here

(@loadedhandbun)

3. George's Country Convenience

Remember when you were a kid, and you'd stop for ice cream. You would press your nose up against the glass and point to your favorites. If you were lucky you'd get a double scoop. Or a triple if you even dared. George's is perfect to feel that perfect summer nostalgia. They also have that old school candy you love!

And guys, they have soft serve frozen yogurt...made with real fruit! Get it in a waffle cone and up the anti. 

Get directions here

 

(@keshmb)

4. Chill Zone Cool Treats

It's all about location, location, location...even when you're having your favorite treat. What's better than digging into a mammoth ice cream drumstick? Digging into one while you enjoy the sunshine on Sydney's waterfront, that's what!

All your favorite soft serve and hard flavors with your favorite toppings. Not to mention their classic Chillzone Drumsticks. Guys, they have ice cream cake, and real fruit frozen yogurt, with a view.

Get directions here

5. Annie's Ice Cream Parlour

(@mermaidfoodcb)

New on the scene is Annie's Ice Cream Parlour. Ice cream on wheels. That's right, an ice cream food truck. Everything you love about a classic ice cream parlour, but with the ability to roam. Guys, this is dreams. 

Flavors and toppings galore. They have signature Annie's embellished cones with all the sugary goodness you could imagine. And that's not even the best part...they have ice cream tacos and burritos. Yes! You read that right.

Get directions here

 (@elizabethcross)

and there you have it. 

We strongly suggest an Ice Cream Bucket List! Do the tour! Taste them all! Do you have a favorite? Is there any where that is a must on the Island for ice cream? Let us know!

(Hind Hart Studios)

July 15, 2018 — Faith Farrell

Host with the Most: Sangria Saturdays

Summer time and the living...and the pouring of Sangria...is easy. There's not many things I like to put into a seasonal corner, (except Christmas theme socks, they are all the way in the corner) but, there is just something so satisfying about Sangria in Summer. 

Sangria Saturday is a summer tradition that I wholeheartedly believe in, and I'm putting out the call. Come join me friends...

I have Sangria-ed here, I have Sangria-ed there, I would Sangria anywhere. Which is all the more reason to develop your own brew. I'll tell you now, I have shown up to a Summer Shindig with a cooler full of mason jars, with the perfect Sangria to fruit ratio in each, ready to party. Sangria, party of one. (But, remember sharing is caring. And you may not make friends with salad, but you sure can with Sangria).

But, I digress...back to brewing up your own. What do we need? Well I like to mix mine up in a big vat. A large drink dispenser is ideal. Your Dad's lobster pot. That Crystal punch bowl that's been passed down three generations...be careful with that one at a party. 

Once you've chosen your vessel, its time to choose your wine. My fav is white wine Sangria, so I usually go for a nice fruity Moscato. For party purposes I usually double my batch and get two bottles. You can also choose whether to accompany your wine with rum or vodka. Now the choice is yours, as well as quantity. It really depends on how boozy you'd like your mixture. And remember, you can still Sangria with no booze at all. After all Sangria Saturday is a state of mind, not an alcohol percentage. 

Next choose your fruit. Regardless of what other fruit I choose, I always choose lemons. One, they remind  me of Beyonce and make me feel powerful. And two, I find them the most refreshing. I slice them in nice rounds. And I remove all the seeds. You don't want to be heimlich-ed later, and also if you chose a drink dispenser this is the kind of thing that can clog your spout (as well as cutting your fruit too small).

My next go to is strawberries, pineapple and mangoes. I hull my strawberries and slice them long. I pick up a debarked and hulled pineapple, cut it in half the long way and slice it up. Now mangoes for me are a struggle. It is rare that I find myself capable of cutting them without being left with a mushy mess. I opt to buy a bag of frozen mango and dump it in. We're for Sangria-ing smarter, not harder. Choose whatever fruit is your favorite. 

Now I throw all my fruit in, and pour in all the liquor (or not). I also like to pour in two parts Tropicana Mango Pineapple juice. I've also been known to on occassion throw in one part pink lemonade. It depends on my mood. But, you can use whatever juice you see fit. 

Now I like to marinate it all over night. But if your short on time, two hours to chill should be fine. 

Now for the best part! The serving.Keep a slotted ladle handy, scoop out some fruit. I like a balance of each, place them into your glass. And fill to your desired height with your summer loving potion. Now at this point I love to add something a little bubbly to the mixture A sparkling water, or a Sprite family soda to top it off. Because bubbles make everything more fun. You could also throw in a few sprigs of fresh mint, if you're feeling fancy. 

And Ta-Da! You're Sangria-ing on a Saturday Friend! What is your favorite Sangria recipe?

 (photo inspo from our trusty Pintrest and one from our girl Faith's personal collection)

July 14, 2018 — Faith Farrell

Meet the Maker: Blooming Lotus Creations

Meet Courtney Oldham, the beautiful face behind Blooming Lotus Creations, a mama bear, soon-to-be nursing student, yoga teacher, and creative and adventure seeker.
 

Courtney was born on the mainland, but has called Cape Breton home for most of her life. She spent several years after high school living in Alberta, but after the birth of her son, she moved back to the island. Since then, Courtney has worked tirelessly to be able to stay here permanently, creating opportunities for herself through yoga, her passion for mala-making, and helping others. 

Courtney is a go-getter and our kinda gal. Let's get to know her and her malas a little better! 
 
 
 

First of all, what is a Mala?

A Mala is a sacred string of beads. The word 'mala' comes from a sanskrit word meaning "heavenly garland". Traditionally, malas have 108 beads crafted from gemstones and/or wood and are often finished with an additional guru bead and a tassel. The guru bead is a sign of gratitude for those who have helped us along our journey of self. Malas are often used in japa meditation, which means to recite. This is where our “mantra” comes into play. A mantra is simply this. A word, sound or phrase recited over and over again to aid concentration in meditation. The tassel is said to represent enlightenment.
 

Why 108 beads?

108 has long been considered a sacred number in Hinduism and Yoga, and there are many reasons why:

  • There are 54 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet. Each has masculine and feminine, shiva and shakti. 54 x 2 = 108.
  • The chakras are the intersections of energy lines, and there are said to be a total of 108 energy lines converging to form the heart chakra.
  • Some say there are 108 feelings: 36 related to the past, 36 related to the present, and 36 related to the future.
  • Some also say there are 108 sacred places on the body and 108 stages on the journey of the human soul.

How do you use your mala for meditation?

You start by holding your mala in your right hand draped between your middle and index fingers. Starting at the guru bead, use your thumb to count each smaller bead, pulling it toward you as you recite your mantra. Do this 108 times, traveling around the mala, until you once again reach the guru bead. Our malas help to keep us grounded and in the present moment.

How did you get into mala making? 

As a kid I always had a love for rocks & gems (I never really knew why). Then yoga came into my life, and I started to connect all the dots. I at first got into making earrings and bracelets, nothing with gems. Then after attending a mala making workshop I fell in love with the whole creative process of making a mala, (setting intentions and choosing gemstones based on what healing properties you needed). Then I realized I wanted to share the mala love with my Cape Breton community.

Where did the name Blooming Lotus come from?

I have been forever drawn to the lotus. The story of the lotus is all about it growing in muddy water, yet still blossoming into the beautiful flower that it is. It's kind of how I try to live my life. Things can be tough sometimes, but the tough stuff makes us stronger and you always come out on top as long as you push through. I try to live my life with a really positive outlook (some days are way harder then others), and with my beautiful pieces I hope that the wonderful healing properties of each gemstone will help others to live the life of a lotus flower.
 
 

What does your creative process look like? 

Its different every time to be honest. A lot of my work is custom and the creative process is amazing because I get to connect with people on a really deep level. Some people are sharing their stories with me, so I get to make something beautiful for them based on these experiences.
 

Where is your favorite place to create?

Believe it or not, it's on my floor with lots of space & music. 

 

What inspires you?

Other people and their stories. They are the reason I create 
 

What does creating something with your own two hands mean to you?

I've never really been good at anything artsy like painting or sewing, so my work makes me feel really proud that I've found something that I feel I am creatively good at. I also love being part of something that is very meaningful to not only me, but to others as well. 

 

What has been your greatest challenge on this creative journey? What has been your greatest success?

My greatest challenge is probably finding a balance. I am a mom first. I work full time. I'm a yoga teacher & I will be starting school in September. My work isn't something that is quickly thrown together. It takes me time to create. So I'm trying to find that balance for myself.

My greatest success is just taking the leap of faith to start this journey, and having so many amazing people who love the work I am doing.

When you look to the future, where do you see this creative endeavor taking you?

I just want to continue to create and share. I have some big visions in mind for down the road, for sure! 

Thanks so much for sharing your story and your creations with us, Courtney! You can find her beautiful gemstone pieces in store and online.

July 08, 2018 — Faith Farrell

Wedding Crashing 101

Wedding Season. Those good weather months where all acquaintances and their dog seem to decide to give the old nuptials a try. Sometimes it can be daunting. You can only paper cut your finger so many times opening invitations. You only own so many magnets. But what if you didn't have an invitation? What if you were part of a folk singing group from Salt Lake City? Yeah, you are.

This is where you forget being a Lady, and you become a Legend. These are the stories you tell your grandchildren. That's right. I'm talking about Wedding Crashing. That epic activity first recorded by that rag-a-muffin team Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. Each are legends in their own right. I mean, they literally wrote the book. 

So let us transcribe the first ten rules of Wedding Crashing care of V and C but with some LQ flare.

Rule #1: Never leave a fellow Crasher behind. 

 As in Wedding Crashing, as in life. Firstly, it's fun to be part of a team. What's more fun than crashing a wedding? Crashing a wedding with friends! And as any great sisterhood, you would never leave a solider behind. That goes for Mary over there complaining about how her feet hurt, don't even mention her questionable footwear choice. And it goes for Rita over there who is ninth grade, slow dance, making out with the Groom's uncle. You arrived together, and you'll hit a late night drive-thru together on the way home as you swap war stories. 

Rule #2: Never use your real name. 

This almost goes without saying. It's the key to any great disguise. Any great ruse. A crucial key to any back story.  George Costanza's Art Vandelay knew this, and so do you. Who is your Art Vandelay? 

Rule #3: Never confess.

Plead the fifth always. They can never prove anything. Same goes for your mother's cashmere sweater you borrowed without asking, dropped a hot wing on, and just put back at the bottom of the hamper. How did she not notice that stain when she took it off...you don't know. 

Rule #4: No one goes home alone. 

Now this really depends on the motive of your crashing. Maybe your goal was to have someone lend you their sports jacket, and carry your shoes. Maybe your goal was to end up eating chicken nuggets in bed alone. Or maybe it was to roll around your BFF's living room, watching Friends until the sun comes up, while eating shredded cheese from a bag. They all sound good to me, Boo. Never lose sight of your goals. 

Rule #5: Never let a girl get between you and a fellow crasher. 

The old Bros before Hos mentality. But you already knew that, you're a Lady. This goes in for the traditional sense. But, also don't let creepy Aunt Martha dance up between you and your crashers on the dance floor. For a tiny old lady, why is she so handsie?

Rule #6: Do not sit in the corner and sulk. It draws attention in a negative way. Draw attention to yourself, but on your own terms. 

You're living your best life. You're any one you want to be. It's not only a good night, it's a great night. No one knows you sing off key in the shower, or the number of selfies on your phone. You're the most powerful you've ever been. Use it. 

Rule #7: Blend in by standing out. 

No one suspects the girl dropping it low with Nanny Dorothy to Run Around Sue was the girl who wasn't invited. Let your cover story write itself. " You don't know cousin Belinda?! That's her over there dropping it low with Nanny Dorothy. Yeah, I heard she just got back from rescuing elephants in Thailand." It's me. I'm Belinda.  

Rule #8: Be the life of the party. 

You will never see any of these people again. I mean, even if they recognize you over the avocados at the grocery store while you're wearing your Clark Kent hipster glasses...Belinda who? That time you got carpet burn from practicing the worm in your bedroom when you were 12, it was for this moment. No holds bar. This is Belinda's night. She is the party. 

Rule #9: Whatever it takes to get in, get in. 

 Accept all challenges. Just because you wore your best lashes doesn't always mean you can shimmy in the front door. Most wedding venues have been known to have multiple points of entry. The food has to come from somewhere. Someone has to take Nanny Dorothy's elbow on her way back from the bathroom after her third flute of champagne. That someone is you. Hello Nanny Dorothy's new best friend. 

 

Rule #10: Invitations are for...wimps (of the cat variety). 

This life has conditioned many of us to wait to be invited to the party. And sometimes that means we miss out. Missed opportunities, dreams unfulfilled, just because we were waiting for some kind of validation. Well guess what? You're a strong, independent woman and you don't need no one to invite you to that party. You are the party. 

And when we get right down to the bottom of it. As I read back these rules...really, they're good for life. Friendship, confidence, being un-apologetically yourself, while being unafraid and just doing you. Girl, we need to start wedding crashing life!   

Do you have a wedding crashing story? Tell me! And if you don't, if you did crash a wedding, what would your backstory be? Let us know!

July 07, 2018 — Faith Farrell