Monday, May 31, 2010

A squirrel for Sullivan: the making of a Koo & Poppet pillow

I made this pillow for 5 month old Sullivan. It's the latest addition to his Koo & Poppet collection - he was also the recipient of this mobile.....remember my lesson in physics? Live and learn people, live and learn.
Oh woodland critters - I can't get enough of you!

p.s. if anyone is wondering what the cheap n' easy trick is to appliquéing with stretchy fabrics, it's freezer paper.
Place appliqué against shiny side of freezer paper, flip the whole thing over and iron on the non-sticky side of paper to hold the two pieces together temporarily. Sew to fabric as you would any appliqué (as in the first photo). You can remove the freezer paper by spritzing water along the line of stitching and then carefully cutting a whole in the back of the fabric underneath the appliqué. Then you can easily pull out the freezer paper, voila!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Baby Season (and beautiful Jess)

If 2007 was the year of weddings, 2010 is the year of babies (in my little circle, anyway). My friend Caroline just had her second - a son - a few days ago, and my friend Roxanne is due with her first in a matter of weeks. And Jess, who is pictured here, is expecting at the end of June. Jess and I went to a local park a couple of weeks ago to take some photos. She's wearing her mom's navy blue knit dress from the 70s and a classic pair of Frye boots. Something tells me that boy or girl, this will be one stylish kid.
I'm really happy about the fact that more of my friends are becoming parents. Now Scott and I won't be the only ones with a 7:30 curfew!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Defeated in the kitchen, and a plea

This post is so somber it doesn't even have an accompanying image. Rest in peace, fusili.

For my entire life up until this point I have had little interest in the preparation of food. I like to dine, but I do not like to cook. I like to bake a little (around the holidays) but I do not like to plan meals. Now and then I'll get in the spirit and cook something for supper. Afterwards I might as well call the HAZMAT team to come in and clean up the mess. I'm the type that clutters a cutting board with so much stuff that I only have 3 square inches on the bottom right corner for chopping. When I was in university I ate cereal for dinner. When I was feeling wild and crazy, I made rice!

And then three things happened that have begun to change my thoughts on my non-existant cooking abilities:

1) I now have Sadie, who needs to eat healthy balanced meals everyday;

2) Husband who I used to rely on for sustenance because he used to love cooking and used to read cookbooks and watch the Food Network obsessively, is losing his zest for the culinary arts. Read: too many frozen pizzas lately.

3) I have been admiring all the beautiful foodie blogs around the web. Good food photography seduces me and makes me want to learn the ways of the likes of Orangette and others.

About a month ago I had dinner with friends at a great Italian restaurant. I ordered a delicious pasta - fusili with butternut squash, granny smith apples, toasted pecans, arugula and a gorgonzola cream sauce. It was so good that I vowed to try it at home. How hard could it be?

I tried last night. Failed miserably. It tasted like feet.

Then I got grumpy and pouted, which always happens when things go wrong in the kitchen. Once I was attempting shortbread and couldn't get the dough to bind and ended up in tears!

So I'm asking you for help. Anyone out there have a great recipe that looks and tastes impressive but is easy peasy for a rookie? Pray tell, where should I start???? I need something that is nearly impossible to screw up......

Monday, May 24, 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

Then and Now

This is what Friday nights used to look like (circa 2007):

Left to right: Haley, Nicole, Sarah, Whitney, me, Andrea, Roxanne  
And here is what they look like now:

At least one of us is in heels!

(And note that wine is a fixture, past and present). Ironically, I think the phrase "Put on your dancing shoes" is more applicable to Friday nights with Sadie.

The only photo missing from this essay is one of Scott and I sleeping on the couch after Miss Fancy Feet has gone to bed :-)

Have a great long weekend everyone!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

One Year of Koopoppeting!

Big news, big news! Koo & Poppet turns 1 this month.

[Insert Kooriotous poppet fanfare here]

To commemorate this event, I have decided to make a monumental Koo. One that is the King of Koos, nay, the KING KONG of Koos! It will be so large I will need to use 100 of the 250 bags of stuffing I now have stored in the crawlspace.

No. Seriously now. Let's do something much more practical, but celebratory all at the same time. Let's have a sale! Until June 1st a selection of items in the Koo & Poppet shop will be 50% off. And if you haven't been by the shop in a while, don't miss out - there are several new designs exclusive to 2010. How about Gary? Have you met Gary???

I would also like to thank everyone who has supported Koo & Poppet over the last year. I'm so grateful for the encouragement, the comments, the feedback, the spreading of the word.....and in some cases even the slave labour! *



[*Last year, just as I was about to drown in the tidal wave that was the Christmas rush, I called upon my friends and they rallied to help. My parents offered us their empty downstairs room and my dad organized some folding tables and made triangle sandwiches. One by one, male and female, more than a dozen of my closest peeps showed up to assist however they could; cutting patterns, tying ribbon, assembling hang tags. I paid them in licorice and argyle socks. I don't know how I would have filled every order in the month of December without their help (needless to say, I am already preparing for this year). Also needless to say, I have the world's greatest friends.]

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Summery Sadie

Around this time every year, I start to go a bit mad for summer fashion. I can be found perusing local boutiques for smocks and frocks on my lunch break and scouring my favourite online stores for warm weather style. And I'm not just talking big girl stuff. To wit: Sadie made her seasonal sundress debut last weekend in a tiered number from Joe. Rainbows - they're so hot right now ;-)
I'm an advocate for wearing dresses all summer long. I plan to wear them almost exclusively this year.
So here is my pick for a grown-up dress; a strapless floral print from BCBG:

I couldn't resist!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Koo & Poppet at Onlyhuman, Victoria BC

Well hello there, Gary. Stop your sleuthing around.

I am so pleased to tell you that Koo & Poppet is now available at Onlyhuman in downtown Victoria. Located at 616 Yates Street (the former Design House location) the showroom is a bull's eye for unique design and exquisitely crafted contemporary furniture.
The Koos are so very honoured to be included in the studio's eclectic mix of novelty designer items.
If you're in Victoria, definitely put Onlyhuman on your list of spots to visit this spring.
To read more about the store's philosophy, check out Meade Design Group's interview with owners Chris and Christina here.

Clockwise from top left: Summer, Gary and Christopher (a seafaring bunny)

Esmerelda prefers to keep to herself. Perhaps you can help socialize her?

Christopher and the piggy are fast friends. Good luck separating them. They're like dogs at the SPCA (except much more chic) who form a bond and have to be adopted into a new home together.

All of the new Koo & Poppet designs shown here are also available in the online shop.

My thanks to Chris and Christina at Onlyhuman!

Tastebuds: an ordinary miracle

Warning: Sadie love-fest to follow

When Sadie was born, I remember being astonished by the fact that she had a nose. In fact, I was totally blown away that she posessed all of the physical features of a human being. This might sound ridiculous I know, and it's not like I was expecting to give birth to a kangaroo, but in my post-partum state I was utterly amazed that my body had grown this little being - and correctly at that! A nose! A perfect nose! How???? (Okay, okay, meiosis, blah blah blah).

But to all the parents out there, you know what I'm talking about, right?

I've had a year and a half to get used to all the little miracles that make up her physical form. As she gets older, it's her language development and comprehension that amaze me on a daily basis. Her new favourite game is "Shhh! Hide!" which she initiates independently and spontaneously, and she has somehow acquired a distinct recognition of the game of hockey, even though Scott and I are far from devoted fans.
She nods when appropriate, responds to suggestions, and pats her thigh to summon the dog. She laughs when things are funny.
One day we picked up Scott from the sea plane terminal and now everytime she hears or sees a float plane she says: "Daddy?" I am facinated by her little brain and the associations it is capable of making.

We have a 45 minute drive home everyday and for the most part, Sadie sits silently in the backseat, gazing out the window at the mountains and the trees. We wonder what she could possibly be thinking about. Milk? Coco? Toys? Mommydadda? The theory of relativity?

I find it hard to believe I've only known her for a year and a half. Where has she been all this time?
I believe that at least some small part of her has been with me all along - in the melodies I've heard, in the sunshine I've felt, in the love that I have found.

Photo: Michelle Loewen

Friday, May 7, 2010

Koo & Poppet World Headquarters

At long last, my home office reno is complete!
Scott prepping the trim for new window installation (also the answer to the photo riddle a few posts back.....the images were of paint-covered plastic in place of the glass).

I'll post an overall room view when the light allows.

Let's review - here are the before shots:
Just a cold basement room when we moved in.

You wouldn't believe some of the school photos we found in the demo'd walls. Mullets and braces and bangs all a-feather!


And after:
Ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Bear calendar by The Sis Crew
Circus prints by holli

bird collage by Pinn Studio

Hazel checking out the view.

Liam gettin' all up in yo' face.

Strawberry girl in the boss's chair.

San Francisco poster: Ork
Paris Metro photo: Irene Suchocki
rain cloud collages: Cabin + Cub
ink sketch: Koo & Poppet

And still, she watches.