We'll Always Be Daddy's Little Girls

Over at LQ, we're our dads' #1 fans! It's so easy to take all they do for us for granted, but this weekend we're singing their praises. Singing it loud, and singing it proud. And we don't want to hear anything about our singing voices...after all we got that from you! And yes, my Johnny Cash voice is the same as my Bruce Springsteen voice...

So Happy Father's Day, big guy! 

You're just the greatest! And out of all the dads, that's really saying something. I mean, how many of them have a #1 Dad mug AND t-shirt?!

Not just anyone would let us express our early make-up interest by volunteering to be our model. Even when our color choices made our little brother cry when he saw you. That blush shade just didn't go with your moustache. And you never complained about the rash that make-up gave you. In our books, that makes you the absolute best.

Regardless of your sometimes questionable wardrobe choices, you really are the cat's pajamas. No, not everything goes with camouflage (and yes, we can still see you), but you're a trend setter. No, not everyone is wearing socks with sandals, but if everyone was jumping off a bridge, you wouldn't do that either. 

I mean, you've told us a million times, and we've started to believe you. Any one can be a Father. But, it really takes some one special to be a Dad. And you're doing it! 

We've always been impressed by your physical prowess. For teaching us how to flex our gangling little kid muscles. The proper form of a cannon ball. For taking the time to teach us that a real lady should know how to throw a real punch. And we all know that you don't land a lady like mom with just that winning personality. We all know she's with you for that bod. And because you can make your pectoral muscles dance. After all, we get our good looks from you, isn't that what you're always telling everyone? Oh, and our brains. Wait, what do we even get from Mom? Oh yeah, that's right, our attitude...

You've always taken the time to teach us those valuable life lessons, that some day we'll pass along to our human/fur children. You taught us that life isn't always easy, but it can be worth it. That most often the things that worry us most are the things that work themselves out. That it's okay to be different, because being different is what makes us special. How to stand up for ourselves. And that sometimes it doesn't matter how much sugar you add to those lemons, sometimes you just have to go for the oranges, and that's okay. 

Thanks for answering all those late night phone calls with a "WHAT?! What? Okay, bye." And showing up in record time with the Pajama Taxi. For also driving all our friends home, regardless of how out of the way it was. And for putting up with all those off key renditions of Bohemian Rhapsody from the back seat. You were already kind of deaf in one ear anyway, right?

Over the years we've really tested your patience. Like that time you took us fishing for hours, but by the time we got home we were hit with a wave of remorse and felt too bad about the little fishes flopping around in the bucket. So you took us back so that we could dump them back in.  Sometimes you didn't always understand us, and we haven't always seen eye to eye. But, you have always had our back. And we (and the fishes) thank you. 

From how to catch a tad pole, to how to properly mix paint colors, to the best milk ratio for the creamiest mashed potatoes. For the TV only seeming to ever be on the Discovery or History channel. You've taught us that we are capable of doing anything we put our minds too. That we may not be the best at everything, but it's at least worth a try. And maybe we wouldn't tell mom about it when she got home...        

For all the tea parties you attended, all the imaginary tea you drank, and opting to give Teddy your chair when he showed up late and hadn't even bothered to RSVP. For all the nights you got home late from work in the summer, and took us swimming anyway, until the sun went down. For all the shoes you booby trapped over doorways that fell on our heads. For finding us crying when we lost our two front teeth because we were convinced they would never grow back in, and for taking out your false front teeth to show us it was okay...and that some how made it all better. For wearing that hideous clown tie we gifted you when we were four to all important life events since. For joining the annual egg hunt six Easters ago, and pushing us to the ground on the run towards a cream egg. For being the first on and the last one off the dance floor. Quite simply, if awesome only went to ten, you'd go all the way to eleven. 

Just look at the daughter you raised, You did a great job, if we do say so ourselves. 

And you know it to be true when your children post your picture on the internet. Here's looking at you, Dad!

(Meghan and her Dad)

(Faith and her Dad)

 

(Melissa and her Dad)

Don't forget to browse all our Father's Day Card selections! 

June 15, 2018 — Faith Farrell

Tips and Tricks to Being the Very Best Wedding Guest

Ah, Wedding Season. That time of year when every magnet you've ever managed to take home from both exotic and domestic locations, pins squares of shiny potential all over that fridge of yours. You carefully put your best ensembles on rotation, which includes raiding all close closets. You scientifically test which of your clutches can contain all necessities...including a comfortable pair of flats. At this point you may feel like a seasoned veteran. But, let's be honest, you're always up to making wedding attendance smarter, not harder. 

 

 

 1. Get those RSVPs in!

 How nice! You've been chosen as tribute...I joke, I joke, I kid, I kid. But, you've been declared important enough to receive an invitation. And wouldn't you know it, you've also been garnered important enough to be fed. That means, that little Bride and Groom need to know how much food they'll need. Let's be honest that's a long day, and it doesn't matter how many stuffed chicken breasts you've had this season, you need that free meal ticket. All good wedding guests know setting a base for that reception is key to success. I mean they already put a stamp on it, get that puppy to the mail box.

 

 

 2. Be on Time. 

There is a time to be fashionably late...weddings aren't really one of them. I mean it's one thing to take your shoes off and tuck and roll into the back of your friend's outdoor farm wedding. It's another thing to accidentally slam that ancient church door to the words, "or forever hold your peace." Girl, they thought you were Becky with the good hair, showing up and taking names. That's not how you want to go down in wedding history. Heck, get there early. 

 

3. Avoid wearing white.  

This seems like it would go without saying. But there will always be that associate in your friend group that says, "are you sure I can't just wear this dress? It's more of an off white. It's almost beige." No Heather. You can't. Of all the traditions we seem to get away from, that just isn't one of them (unless otherwise indicated on the invitation). And you don't want to be that girl. People don't forget. They won't remember what the Bride herself wore, but by Beyonce they'll remember that little faux pas of yours. 

*The good news is, it also used to be that you couldn't wear black either. The sensitive Bride becoming offended by the funeral chic look. But every girl loves a good little black dress, so we shattered that stipulation (next the glass ceiling). So get Gothic and wear your best black. Also if you mourn that your gal pal is marrying Berkley with the ham hands, and sub par IQ...this is a peaceful way to share your grief with the world... 

 

4. Be cool trying to nab the best snapshot.

Odds are the happy couple have probably hired a photographer to immortalize the big day. That's a trained professional. Someone with one of those big cameras with the million times zoom and an assistant. If that professional is not you, if you have received no professional training, get the heck out of the way. Roberta doesn't want to look back through her wedding album only to see your phone blocking her face, because you were in a battle with your girlfriends on who could get the best freelance shot or Instagram story. Think about unplugging, and being completely present in your friend's moment. The real framers are going to be the ones you take at the reception later, trust me. 

 

5. Do bring a card or gift. 

I get it, times are tough. You're an adult, out in that mad, mad world on your own dollar. You have to feed your dog. Your cat demands wet food. But, long gone are the days where you can just show up bringing that winning personality. And though someone's grumpy aunt might tell you different, we're firm believers that it is the thought that counts. Bring at least a card, I'm sure you're local dollar store has many lovely selections. And no matter what you put in it, it's the thought that counts. Some morning after, that newly wed couple is going to fall on their knees in gratitude that you enclosed a regifted 20 dollar McDonald's gift card in your wedding stationery offering. 

*If not, ancient wedding cannon dictates that you have one year to show up with a gift. Get something on sale.  

 

6. Keep negative comments to yourself. 

Yes, a large gathering like a wedding is often the breeding ground for sarcasm and snark. And you might not be able to understand why Abigail dressed her wiener dogs in flower crowns, and walked them down the isle in lieu of a bouquet...but that's okay. It's Abigail's day. And if she's about wiener dogs in flower crowns, so be it. Everyone is trying their best. Those wiener dogs are trying to keep it together. Rule of thumb is everyone always likes Nice Nancy so much more than Negative Nancy. Negative Nancy doesn't get invited to parties. No stuffed chicken breast for Negative Nancy. 

 

7. Don't monopolize the Bride and Groom's time. 

They are the main event after all. Folks have traveled far and wide for this. They owe everyone a little face time, all two hundred and fifty of them. So don't hog them. Give them an old "OOOO" "AAAHHHH" and a couple of hugs. They have to make their rounds so they can lead their best lives on the dance floor later. 

 

8. Mix and mingle. 

We know you and your high school clique laugh about your slogan "no new friends." But weddings are excellent places for friend/family groups to overlap and create sheer awesomeness. You feel powerful when your life friends end up liking your work friends, and vice versa. You're a friend matchmaker from heaven. So help the old Bride and Groom out. Yes you'll be on Grandpa's Beer Pong team pre-supper while the Bride and Groom are gone for sunset pictures. Be a born mingler. 

 

9. Monitor your cocktails. 

I know, you came here to party. And I know that pint of Fireball fits so neatly in your clutch next to your emergency flip flops. We're all for letting loose. But, just a PSA: don't be that girl. You know the one that fell out of her shoes on the dance floor. Three inch heels didn't seem that high, until you fell three inches without putting your hands out in front of you. Don't be the girl that passes out at her table, before the midnight pizzas come. And don't be the girl that drinks too much and ends up crying in the bathroom. You're getting older now, take your time, and don't forget to hydrate.  

 

10. Leave it all on the dance floor.

 

People will forget the vows that were said. People will forget what color the bridesmaids wore. People will forget what they ate. But what they will never forget the time that they had. Help out your Bride and Groom by leaving it all the dance floor. Weddings are make or break by the dance floor vibes. This is the moment you've been waiting for. Get it, Girl!

 

Majority of photo inspiration provided by our LQ Courtney Mackenzie of her big day! Taken by Hind Hart Studios. 

 

June 09, 2018 — Faith Farrell

What Happened Last Time on La Quaintrelle: The Round-up

What have we been up to in the past little while over here at LQ? Well a better question might be: what haven't we been up to!

Living Wreath Workshop

We celebrated the coming of spring with our green goddess guru, Trinity, with a Living Wreath Workshop. Many of you may be familiar with the Living Wreath workshops we host with Trinity during the winter holidays and how beautiful they are. Well, these spring wreaths are no exception!

 

What exactly is a living wreath? Well I can't give all of Trinity's secrets away, but we learned all about the Japanese style planting called Kokedama. Kokedama involves wrapping earth and a plants roots in moss so that, essentially, it can be planted freely anywhere...even on a wreath. Trinity put her own spin on it, and we used beautiful ivy and succulents. Not to mention the air plants we threw in for good measure. 

You know Trinity is an excellent guide through the whole process just by seeing how beautiful each individual wreath is as it goes out the door. And that's the amazing thing. Even though everyone is given the access to all the same supplies, each wreath is entirely unique to the maker! Everyone left with a smile on their face! :)

Ground and Grow Workshop

Online and in store, you may have noticed the pretty little macrame wall hangings we have hanging about. Each one was hand knotted by our own local Verna MacLean of Macrame by Verna. 

We teamed up with Verna for a gentle and relaxing workshop. We started with a gentle twenty minute vinyasa flow. We then sat on our mats, and Verna led us through the knotting of our very own macrame plant hanger. 

Trinity then joined us, and everyone got to choose and plant their very own baby ivy. Each freshly planted ivy fit snugly into their new home.

Everyone left contented and proud of their home decor projects. The true test of a successful workshop! And each plant hanger was gorgeous in its own right!

Mother's Day Pop Up at Creatives' Loft

You've probably heard already how three of our favorite photog industry ladies have teamed up and began sharing an office space in downtown Sydney. If you haven't, you should go check them out! Right now. I'll wait. 

They opted for the perfect name for their space: Creatives' Loft. It's a small space, but it is filled with light and inspiration. These ladies are not only working out of this space, they are sharing it with all other creatives and boss babes by hosting workshops and pop-up shops. 

It was a no brainer when they asked us to participate in their Mother's Day Pop Up this past month. We packed up all our mom faves and made the trek over to the other side of the water. We had an amazing day! It was so good to spread our wings, and spend some time in another exciting location. We got to see so many of our favorite faces, and some that we don't get to see as often. 

We look forward to seeing what these boss babes get up to next! 

 

June 01, 2018 — Faith Farrell

Welcoming Little and Lively

The Kindred Clothing Co. is a design studio located in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada. Their studio/boutique is the headquarters for their premier line, Little & Lively, a clothing line offering high-quality, stylish garments for you and your little darlings. They offer fashion-conscious, functional pieces that coordinate for subtly complimentary and totally matching 'mommy & me' looks. 



They make clothes for all the messes, embraces, games, practices, tantrums, coffee dates, shopping trips, daycare days, playground outings and random experiences of everyday life. 

The Kindred Clothing Co. was literally and figuratively built around the concept of family. Since they launched their main clothing line, Little & Lively, about two years ago, they have been a family-run business, creating clothing with family life in mind. 
 

Carmen West is the designer behind the brand Little & Lively and the owner of this company. She and her husband Jordan are the dream team behind this business. They have two daughters, Daphne and Wynnie. And she started making baby clothes when Daphne was just a baby. She had been hunting for locally-made baby leggings that had adequate room for cloth diapers. When she wasn't finding what she wanted, she decided to create her own. Over the course of the last couple of years, each of her carefully crafted designs have been born out of her determination to find something perfectly suited for a specific function or style. Everything they offer is made locally, right  in Abbotsford, their hometown. 

They source material from ethical factories, manufacture locally, set narrow price margins, manage their resources and space efficiently—and share their entire process with their costumers transparently. 

With part of the proceeds from their sales, they support organizations such as Plan International's: Because I am a Girl campaign, and Youth Unlimited's Young Families Initiative.  These organizations are carrying out work that aligns with their vision of a kinder and more just world. 

The Kindred Clothing Co. is the kind of brand that we at LQ can get behind. Any one who knows us, knows that we are all for family run, small town business! And believe us when we say all our Little and Lively selections are mucho comfortable, and oh so soft! The Peace Sign Tee didn't even last a day! Shop Little and Lively with us now. Watch for other selections coming soon!

May 24, 2018 — Faith Farrell

We Got it From our Mamas: The Original LQs

 


We're just a bunch of mother lovers over at La Quaintrelle! And who could blame us, she does it all. She's the real MVP. Your whole life she's been there, picking you up each time you fall. From the time you were a wee babe toddling, to now. If there was someone to answer that one phone call they give you, you know it's her. 
Sometimes it's hard to put into words just exactly what she means to you.


She's the best friend the universe built into your life. She's the one who answers with Sophia snark when you're having a saucy Dorothy day. Like Sophia always said, "It's not easy being a mother. If it were easy, fathers would do it."

When you get right down to it, your Mom is cool. Cooler than you'd like to admit sometimes. The bonafide cat's pajamas. 
There's just some days where she is the only person you want to talk to. The only person you can yell at without them taking it personally. 


Think of all the things she's championed just for you. That time she stayed up all night making individual Christmas cookies for everyone in your grade three class. All of your school projects she some how ended up gluing together. That last minute Halloween costume she tacked together out of an old sheet because you couldn't decide what you wanted to be. That kinda woman is plain fantastical. 


She deserves the biggest hug. And let's be honest. There ain't no hug, like a Mom Hug. 


She's the one answering all anxiety fueled texts throughout the day and night. She's the one you check your WebMD diagnosis with. The one who can tell you how long to cook a piece of chicken so you don't get salmonella, before Alexa or Google ever could. She's the one who can give you step by step instructions on how to use a washing machine, she herself has never actually seen. 
 

She's your biggest cheerleader always. In all things. And though you should sing her praises more often, today you're doing it big. Yell it from the roof tops: "THAT'S MY MOM!"
If we're honest, on some nights we were the reason she had that extra glass of wine. She'll also tell you that we are also responsible for that prominent grey streak she covers once a month. 


Even though we don't like to admit it, sometimes she was right. Okay about almost everything. Maybe even everything. Including that boy she didn't like that you dated in high school...what were you thinking?

 

Even though you swore you would never become your mother, there are times when you hear her voice come out of your lips. And there will be days you realize you didn't just inherit that butt that looks cute in jeans, but some of that familial psychosis. It's important to pass on traditions. 


And when you look back on everything you have been through together, you really couldn't make it up. 


You just wouldn't be you without her. And in sight of all that is humble, her life just wouldn't be the same without you. 

 

And all of this is really just to say thank you. Thanks for letting us take up womb. You know, physically for at least nine months. But in our hearts? Forever. Plus all that time we spent holed up on your couch, eating your food, drinking your wine, and watching your cable. 


Thank you for putting up with our shit. Lord knows there's been times when we've really put you through your paces (hello teenage angst ridden years).


So thank your mother loving stars you have that Shero guiding you through this crazy thing called Life. 


Thank her for teaching you All. Of. The.Things. How to cross the street by looking both ways. How to feed and clothe yourself. How to be a strong, independent woman. From how to properly fold a towel, to how to beat a gentleman at quarters. Most importantly, how to get back up and dust yourself off, and how to hope. Thank her for raising a little badass, by leading with a badass example.


There's just no one quite like your mother. So thank her from the bottom of your heart. 

And if someday you have children of your own, know that if you do it right, some Mother's day your children may post your picture on the internet. The only thing bigger than our moms' hair, is their Badassness. 

 (Meghan and her Mom)

(Faith and her Mom)

(Melissa and her Mom) 

Meet the Maker: Foggy Tide

Foggy Tide is a family of beachcombers who have spent years collecting seacandy and driftwood on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea. They decided to share their treasures and create beach art for the outdoor lover and beach bums around the globe. Unique and created with love, Foggy Tide is happy to share the spirit of Cape Breton Island and Scotland with all those filled with awe and wonder for the sea.

Meghan MacLean is the mastermind behind Foggy Tide and puts her heart and soul into every piece of art she creates. 

We are happy to have Meghan's creations in our boutique, so lovers of the sea and sand can bring a piece of the beach home with them. 

 1. Where are you from? 
I'm from Florence, Cape Breton. I came back to Cape Breton five years ago from Scotland due to an illness in my family and ultimately ended up relocating back to where I started.  This is where my workshop is located and where I create my Sea Glass Mobiles. 

2. When and why did Foggy Tide start?
Foggy Tide started in my living room floor over two years ago sorting mounds of sea glass my husband and I had been collecting for years here in Cape Breton and in Aberdeen Scotland.  I knew I had wanted to create with it but wasn't sure of the direction I was going to go in.  

I had also started dragging driftwood and all found objects home from my beach combing excursions knowing they would have a purpose but still unsure what it was.
As a new mother I knew I wanted to create from home. I started with driftwood folk art and then one Sunday morning I stumbled across a website of the most amazing sea glass and driftwood mobile creations made in Hawaii. I contacted the lady behind the creations and we began to email.  She was extremely encouraging but stopped short of telling me her techniques and how they were made.  She explained in the most loving way that I would figure it out with trial & error if that was my path. So I taught myself my craft. I figured out my materials, and with trial and much error, perfected how to sew sea glass strands.


3. Where did the name "Foggy Tide" come from?
How the name came about isn't an exciting story! My husband and I were basically throwing Sea, Beach and Ocean related adjectives and nouns together back and forth...I put Foggy & Tide together and really liked it...that's it...Foggy Tide was born!! Pretty boring lol 

4. What does your creation process look like? 
My creation process can look like many things. A great piece of driftwood is like the perfect lipstick to an amazing outfit, so it can start there. I could be feeling a colour or be influenced by nature. My Mini Wave Wanderers started with some of my beach bum girlfriends wanting a Sea Glass Mobile for their cars. It's a balance of creating what I want and also creating what my clients want as well! 
 I'm also trying to create a feeling. I want the people who purchase my creations regardless of the size to feel that Ocean connection..That they can have that dreamy beach house wherever they are...and that it's tangible.. Feeling the wood, touching the glass, grounding yourself in nature.  Closing your eyes knowing you're connected to the place you love.


5. Where do you find all of the materials to make your products? 
My Sea Glass materials are 98% sourced from across Cape Breton Island and from the beaches surrounding Aberdeen Scotland where my husband is from and we resided. The odd time I will purchase rare colours from trusted sources abroad because I just can't resist a rare colour of glass. All of the driftwood used in my mobiles are from the shores, lakes and streams of our beautiful island.

6. Where is your favorite place to create?  and what is your favorite item to create? 
I really only create in one area, which is my workshop in my house.  I need lots of space when I'm working.  I love everything I create! The process is very tedious but the product is always worth the time! Working with glass means you're working with light, and for me, that gives it some kind of Beachy Magic. It always gives me butterflies when one is completed. Again, it's that connection to the ocean, my island.

7. What does creating your products mean to you?
I guess I answered this above. Firstly, it's my creative outlet.  I've painted for years but my life changed and so have I...I changed my path. Being truly connected to nature and the ocean is very fulfilling for me as I create. I'm also on a yoga practice journey, a spiritual journey. These all are connected for me.  My husband Stuart helps me with the wood for each Mobile.  We've taken our son on beach combing missions since he was a baby, so it's about family connection as well. 


8. What has been your greatest challenge and success?
My greatest challenge has been balance. Trying to achieve it as a stay at home mom and working from home at the same time. My son isn't in day care so life is super busy! I have a ton of support and wouldn't be able to achieve my dreams without it!  
My biggest success is every mobile that connects with a person. Knowing my mobiles are popping up all over the world through the power of social media is an amazing feeling!

9. When you think of the future of Foggy Tide, what do you see? What's in store?
When this dream started to form in my head I decided to dream big. To see how far I could take this and not to limit myself.  To believe in the dream and myself. La Quaintrelle carries my Mini Wave Mobiles and the Black Spoon Cafe has supported Foggy Tide and showcased my mobiles in their restaurant since the beginning. Monica & Mike Black have been very supportive. 
This summer a few other locations with be carrying Foggy Tide Handcrafted Sea Glass Mobiles so I'm busy and excited about the future....anything is possible! 

Check out Foggy Tide art on Instagram, Facebook, or at our shop.
May 07, 2018 — Melissa MacGillivary

Meet the Maker: Liv & Lux Design Co.

Liv & Lux Design Co. is an art and design company specializing in one-of-a-kind folky, custom, hand painted portraits and ready to frame artwork. Kayla is the girl behind Liv & Lux Design Co. Kayla is a lover of all things art.. From typography to watercolor to digital media. 

She believes that life is too short to not do what you love; designing and creating is her passion.

We are so happy to have Liv & Lux with us La Quaintrelle.

We had a chance to get to know Kayla a little better. Check out her Q&A below!

Where are you from? 

I was born and raised here in Cape Breton. I went to school and lived in Sydney before heading off to Antigonish for university. After that, I eventually found my way to Glace Bay and purchased my grandparents former home. That's where I now reside - with my husband, our little boy and our pup, as well as running Liv & Lux from there!

When and why did "Liv & Lux Design Co." start?

I’ve always been a creative - even while studying Business, I minored in Studio Art and after that, completed my graphic design diploma. A few years ago one of my best friends asked me to paint a portrait for her growing family. From there, another friend asked, then another, and then one for a gift... I realized that maybe it was a direction worth pursuing as a business. "Liv & Lux Design Co" as a brand & company began in 2015, a name change from my previous business and following this new direction entirely. Instead of my previous focus on building other brands and business logos, I shifted toward my first love; painting! 

 

 

Where did the name "Liv and Lux" come from?

I've always strived in my personal life to be as positive as I can (this isn't saying there aren't times where I'm a total negative Nancy...because my husband can attest, I absolutely can be!) But, in general, I try to look on the lighter side.

"Living in light" -- i.e. living in happiness, in understanding, compassion, empathy is something that I try to apply to my everyday life. 

"Light" translated into latin is "Lux" -  Live in Lux became Liv & Lux.. and here we are! 

 

What does your creation process look like? 

Depending on the item I have at hand, my process differs greatly... but in general, for a portrait for instance, I study the subjects. What color hair do they have? Do they have highlights or any distinguishing feature I should include? An adorable little girl in pigtails? Details on a shirt, or in a dogs coloring. This is where I begin (that and a cup of tea). From there, I map out my canvas and pencil in the basic shapes - like VERY basic. Blobs really.. haha. Everything from that point forward is done with paint and adjusted as I go; I’m a sort of improv artist in that I don’t plan too much!

 

Where is your favorite place to create? What is your favorite thing to paint?

My absolute favourite place to create is in my little nook at home, but I have a notepad with me everywhere I go to jot down shapes that catch my attention or color combinations that inspire me. 
My favourite thing that I get to paint is anything custom. Whether it’s a portrait or a quote for someone, it usually has such meaning to the recipient. I've been lucky enough to be involved in wedding announcements, new baby arrivals, adoptions, celebrating loved ones who have passed on.. any and all of those are my most prized and most sacred. You're allowing me into your world to recreate a moment in time that was special to you, and for that, I'm forever grateful. 

 

What does painting mean to you? 

I've been fortunate enough to have been able to take many classes from some pretty amazing artists throughout my lifetime and I'd like to think bits from each one influenced my artistic path and gave me a new perspective. I've taken oil painting classes from one of Cape Breton's most well known artists but also have taken charcoal classes in an after-hours showroom and watercolour classes at the Lyceum (and had been the youngest there by a good 30 years). Painting has continuously been an extension of my thoughts and is my comfort zone, it's the place where I can be myself, and the place I experiment and try new things. Where I can let go of the 'what-ifs'.

 

What has been your greatest challenge and success?

I would have to say my greatest challenge AND my greatest success has been finding a balance between my day job, my family & friends, and my business.
Between being both a wife and mom, working full time and running a successful business, I have very few hours left in the run of a day. A challenge I've faced is taking on more than I can comfortably fit in the time that I do have. After a few months of stressing because I had taken on WAY too much, I've slowly realized that to keep loving what I do, I need to make rules for myself!

If I was working for someone else I wouldn't put up with it, so why should I working for myself?

Thankfully, I have a great support system that understands my crazy determination to keep it all afloat and I'm learning to make more time to just "be"...that’s still a challenge!

 

When you think of the future of Liv and Lux, what do you see? What's in store?

When I think of the future of this little business of mine, I see a lot of possibilities. I've seen some significant growth over the last year - and I'm so grateful for it all!

I've recently shipped some portraits out of the country and I'd love to continue on a global stage to reach even more people. I want to expand the lettering side of my business. I'd love to do more wedding signage this year and maybe take on a few sets of place cards!

Lastly, I'd also like to offer a line of "ready made" portraits to appeal to people who are shopping in a store or online and want something more instant & ready to go (like at La Quaintrelle!)

Check out Liv & Lux Design Co. prints here: Dreamer, Adventure, Vitamin Sea

 

 

 

 

 

April 16, 2018 — Melissa MacGillivary

Meet the Maker: Macrame by Verna

This sweet face belongs to the one and only, Verna MacLean! Maybe you've caught one of her yoga classes around town, but did you also know that Verna is the hands and heart behind Macrame by Verna? Her work is absolutely beautiful, and we would know, we have so many gorgeous wall hangings fluttering around the shop right now (come check them out)!

Verna is a boisterously lovely, out going spirit; she's one of our favorites! So, in true Maker Monday fashion, we dove in with her to help you get to know her a little better. We're sure she'll end up being one of your favorites, too.

Verna was born and raised on Cape Breton Island, spending most of her life living in Westmount. After high school, she left for a few years to pursue her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. She moved back home to settle on this beautiful island that she always called home. She is getting married this summer to a wonderful man, she is a mom to a dog and cat and LOVES to practice and teach yoga!

Check out her Q and A below:

 

How did you get into Macrame?

In 2018 I decided that I was going to take action to change all the things in my life that I wanted to change. Part of this was the decor in my house! Like most people who are re-decorating, I opened up my Pinterest app and starting to scroll for ideas. Scrolling through Pinterest is where I first came across macramé art. I thought it was so beautiful and knew it would fit perfectly with my style and ideas for my house. When I was young I was really into making friendship bracelets, as I looked closer I noticed the knots were very similar so I decided I could make myself something! Turns out, I am pretty good at it! I decided to start an Instagram account and the rest in history!

What does your creative process look like?

I am still a beginner! I like to try something new every time I sit down to make a project (unless it’s a custom order). I find a new knot or technique, make a plan then give it a try. I still make mistakes and have to undo knots all the time but I am enjoying the learning process and I am proud of the progress I am already seeing in my creations! 

What is your favourite place to work?

I like to work at home on my couch while I hang with my fiancé and my dog and cat! I usually bring projects with me wherever I go. I like to camp and spend time in nature so I bring some cord and create while I am out in the wild.

What Inspires you?

I am inspired by people who do what they love and be who they are with no exceptions.

What does creating something with your hands mean to you?

My mother was a talented crocheter. She passed away when I was 4 years old and I still have some of her projects, I was always so in awe of her talent. My favourite part of crafting is the assumption that she passed this talent on to me and that she would be proud.

What is your biggest challenge? What is your biggest success?

My biggest challenge is being confident in my work. I am still relatively new to this craft and there is always a critical voice in my head that makes me doubt myself. My biggest success is finding the courage to tell that voice to f*#& off and to create and share anyway.

Where will this creative endeavor take you?

I hope I will be able to keep creating, sharing and learning. I am so excited to watch my creations evolve and to see where Macrame by Verna can take me.

We can't wait to see where Verna's Macrame takes her in the future! In the meantime, swing by the shop (or Trinity's Florals) and check out her work in person, or surf over to our Home + Body Collection

March 26, 2018 — Faith Farrell

A Day In The Life Of A Quaintrelle: Meet Amber

Nothing makes our hearts flutter more than seeing and hearing about you finding an LQ item that bubbles your confidence, fills you with joy, and makes you shine! Over the past few years, our highlights have been our interactions with you in-store or online - helping you find that special outfit or that perfect gift. Over the past few years, you've become more than customers. You've become friends of LQ!

In the A Day In The Life Of A Quaintrelle series, we're getting to know more about YOU. How do you, our customers - our quaintrelles, spend your days? What inspiring things are you doing in your community? How do you live a quaintrelle life, and why?

We're excited to learn more about our community and to share your stories of how you emphasize a life of passion expressed through personal style, leisurely pastimes, charm, and cultivation of life’s pleasures. 

Today we're getting to know Amber Lovell, a bright, friendly and familiar face at the shop! 

Amber is a 22 year old CBU student and Small Business owner! After a brief hiatus from the University scene, she is currently taking a Bachelor of Arts in Community Studies with a concentration in Communication. And is all set to graduate in the Spring!

When she first began her journey at CBU, it was mid way through her degree program that she realized that what she really wanted, was to be a Hair Stylist. She took a break from CBU and followed her dream to the Hair Design Centre! 

After graduating from the HDC, Amber didn't like the atmosphere of her stylist job. The average Salon Ideal, just didn't work for her, and she wanted to change it. She wanted something more comfortable and relaxed. Not only for herself, but for her clients as well! And just like that The Babe Cave Hair Boutique was born!

When asked about her journey, Amber said with a big smile, "I wouldn't be able to live my dream life without my clients, who are my biggest supporters and I am extremely grateful!" 


First of all, what are you wearing?

In these photos I'm wearing the Lounge Sweater (which I 100% own in all four colours - sherbet, charcoal, heather grey and taupe), the checkered scarf (unsure of the name), the collegiate scarf, and the New Season Sweater in mustard. 

What is your current or past favorite LQ item? 
My favourite pieces in my closet are my lounge sweaters and the checkered scarf! I wear them both on a weekly (sometimes daily lol) basis! So comfortable and cute, they give me the confidence to have a good day!
 

What are some of your favorite pastimes? 

 My favourite pastimes other than doing hair and or makeup would definitely be music, whether I'm jamming out in my room singing some Ed Sheeran or posting videos on the internet. If I'm not shopping or playing music you can find me at a cafe buried in my laptop with a latte.

 

What are your favorite styles? 

My favourite styles tend to vary. My everyday style tends to be more cozy yet still chic (which LaQuaintrelle makes very simple for me) or when I'm doing something important I stick to more of a simple business casual.

What is your definition of a Quaintrelle? 

For me to define Quaintrelle, the first thing that comes to mind is definitely passion. Living your life through being genuinely passionate has been a huge lesson in the last year for me. A woman with a passion for something will let nothing get in her way.

How does your life reflect Quaintrellism? And, what does it mean to you?

I live my life daily with Quaintrellism in mind. I am very passionate about my work and having the ability to make someone feel genuinely beautiful is something I get to do everyday. I also love to express myself through the clothes that I wear. La Quaintrelle clothing provides me with the confidence I need to be myself and to be comfortable in new situations. I truly believe in the phrase "look good, feel good, do good" and I am very thankful that I have a place to go to buy my clothes to feel that way. Having a certain charm about myself is something I try to take pride in, being kindhearted in everything I do is really important for me! Getting to know the girls at LaQuaintrelle has actually helped me shape the business woman I am today, I am so very grateful for the store, the girls, and living through Quaintrellism every single day! 

 Thanks, Amber! 

Do you know someone who should be highlighted in this series? Send us an email, or comment below!

 

March 13, 2018 — Melissa MacGillivary

Meet the Maker: Willow and Twig

You may recognize Faith, as the smiling face behind our Door Desk when you enter the store. Not only does she spin around our little shop, but she spins yarn around her fingers as well! You'll find select items that she made with those two hands, love and care in the store now! We asked Faith to tell us a little bit about Willow and Twig, and this is what she had to say:

Well I Didn't Choose the Knit Life, the Knit Life Chose Me HaHa

If I were to squint my eyes all the way and try to place my finger on the very thing that started me on this Yarn Journey, I'd say it all started with my Little Horse Sweater. I still have it. It's hung on a hanger, smothered amongst my present-day chambray and cotton, looking rather small. I was that small once. Sometimes I still pull it out and rub the fibres between my fingers; make sure the zipper still works. Its a variegated wool, too worn to be itchy, all purples, browns and whites. And on the back there is the most majestic white horse head silhouette with a billowing mane. 

My Grandma made it. Just sitting in front of the TV, as the Night Owl she was, whipping yarn over her fingers. Knitting was just so natural to her. She wasn't even looking. And then one day, there it was, my Little Horse Sweater. And I loved it! I loved it so much I wore it even when my gangly little wrists dangled below the cuffs. It was that good! I can vividly remember running through the wilderness of my backyard, or the the wild fields at my Poppy's, with my cheeks rosy from the cold and feeling invincible in my Little Horse Sweater. For someone as small as me, it was powerful. A totem. The envy of all my older female cousins. 

Like some good totems do, it had to be retired. Once the wrists were out, and then the belly, then it didn't quite cross the expanse of my shoulders. And I remember the day I folded it up. I saved it thinking perhaps there would be another small person I could pass it along to (that's just how old a soul I am). Even though it was packed away, I never lost my awe of it. That my Grandma had made that with her very own hands. That she had taken a couple of nothing balls of yarn and made me this incredible something. I saw it as some great, super power. Magic maybe. 



A few years later, convinced that perhaps super power magic was hereditary, after much pleading she taught me to Knit and Purl. The only thing was, my super power seemed to have holes in it. I gave the old college try to a baby blanket, that more closely resembled a large artistic replica of Swiss Cheese. Grandma would try to trace back and tighten up my mistakes after I went to bed. But I didn't have that natural ability I saw in her, so I gave it up. And I never really gave it any more thought.

Fast forward to about 12 years later (about four years ago) and I found myself continuously walking down yarn isles. Squishing skeins and wistfully twirling needles. I went home and dug out my Grandma's Knitting Suitcase. It jingled with the sound of cascading needles, and is filled to the brim with knitting patterns and magazines that date back to my Great Grandma Jessie. I thought maybe I'll give it a try. 

I had just finished University and my now Fiancé had to travel away for months at a time to work; I had some down time. I had always been artistic and creative, but that Beginning-of-Life-Crisis that hits you around twenty-five was giving me an itch. I desperately not only wanted to create, but I wanted to be able to make something from nothing. I don't know if I needed to prove something to myself, or if I just needed the reassurance that some things were made from nothing every day. But, I picked up a pair of needles and with a memory and a book I nabbed from Michael's, I started knitting, and I haven't stopped. 

The creative process is a weird thing. I was continuously working, I was practicing, I was putting the time in and was continuously getting better. I started to accumulate stacks of knits. There was a Christmas where I gave almost everyone I knew something knitted. But, I was never really sure if they were good enough. But I kept knitting away. After a while it became meditative and calming. I started whipping yarn over my fingers as I watched TV. I carried yarn around in my purse, should the opportunity happen to arise. I would hear people say: "she's not even looking," and I'd get a little smile. A little bit of magic after all. 



And then I dared. I dared to consider that someone else, out in the great wide world, would love a little knitted thing, just as much as I had loved making it. Just like that, Willow and Twig was born. 

At this point you might ask: why Willow and Twig? And I could give you the John Lennon version of how he named the Beatles (with an "A") as he had a dream a man appeared on a flaming pie, and proclaimed: "You will be Beatles with an "A"." (Or something like that). At first I probably would have gone with the man on the pie. But, if I really sat down and thought about it I'd say the real idea is that everything is connected. The Willow to the Twig, the Twig to the Willow. All the people that it takes supporting and lifting me up to be able to do what I do. Me to you, and you to me. All the little, important elements that come together to make the dream work. 


"You are the result of the love of thousands." - Linda Hogan. Think about that for a minute. You exist because of a thousand other people that loved and paved the way for you. So am I. So many little connections that make a big picture. A thousand little strands to make all the glorious knits. 

All connected, us, this place that was shaped by the ocean, that shaped me. That's why so many of my items names are inspired by this place I grew up, and the good hearted people that surround me. Everything is relative. 

So here I am daring again, turning my Knit Life into a hustle. This little Willow and Twig is where I'm planting the seed of a dream and seeing how it grows. Where I get to be my own boss, and it feels good. It feels really good. So here's to Little Horse Sweaters, and to the warm and fuzzies a knit made with love and care can give! And here's to me and you, a thousand loves, and a growing dream!

We hope you get a case of the Warm and Fuzzies from Faith's Willow and Twig Work, just like we did! Feel free to come squish some exclusive knits in person in store, or check out her Etsy shop at WillowTwigCreative :)

Photos: Brittany MacLeod of Hind Hart Studios

March 12, 2018 — Faith Farrell