Saturday, December 31, 2005

Confessions on a...

I vividly remember the first time I ever heard of Madonna. It was around January 1984 in T.O. and we were hanging out at the now defunct Chez Cappuccino. A then up-and-coming photographer/barista named Carol LeFlufy zealously played a tape she just brought back from New York. I was immediately smitten with this album. I LOVED them all...Borderline, Lucky Star, Burning Up, Holiday, Everybody - it all made for some serious groovin'.

Moreover, I loved Ms. Ciccone's look, hence she became one of my fashion icons in the 80's. Madonna's uninhibited sense of style certainly made a lifelong impression and as we ripen I evolve right along with her.

Celeb or not, we've all had our bad days, phases or whatever and this music video of Hung Up definitely represents one of them. If we cannot laugh at ourselves, especially on a dance floor, then what's the point?




Thursday, December 29, 2005

Hooped

One of my personal favourites in my vast collection of trinkets are my crystal hoops. The colour combination of Rose, Light Rose and Smokey Topaz were inspired by these funky Nike Shox that I acquired early last fall.

A girl's just gotta have matching earrings, no?



Each time I wear them, they forever get noticed and admired. Crystal hoops are simple, yet smashing and can be worn either dressed up or down. Izzy and Buds Swarovski hoops are just under two inches in diameter and range in price from CAD$35 to CAD$45 depending on the size of the crystals.

Get creative and customize your own hoops today!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Feliz Navidad!

It has been a couple of weeks since our last entry, but we needed to take some much needed rest to prepare for the arrival of Papá Noel.

While visions of Nanos and Shuffles danced in their heads...

We celebrated the day with our traditional Christmas brunch. Mimosas, freshly baked pains aux chocolats, Mallorquin pa'amb oli, Atlantic smoked salmon and fresh goat cheese served on Portuguese corn bread crostinis, an assortment of fine cheeses and pâtés and of course my favourite Raincoast Crisps appeared on the menu.

Fortunately, the dark and gloomy skies cleared up just in time for a quick holiday bike ride before we start into the gluttony of turkey dinner...

Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo!

Friday, December 09, 2005

So you want to host a party?

This season we've had many people inquire about Izzy & Buds Home Parties. Hosting a party is simple...just pick a date and invite all your friends who love fabulous, eye-catching jewelry that glitter and shout, "Ooh la la!" You provide the nibbles and drinks and we'll provide the invitations to send to your friends. What a great way to earn free merchandise and have a relaxing and fun girls' night out!

Hostess Benefits

  • Special "Thank You" gift for hosting the party.
  • With $300+ in sales earn 20% of total guests sales in merchandise credit.
  • Show sales under $300 earn 15% of total guests sales in merchandise credit. Show sales under $100 receive the special "Thank You" gift.

Invite your friends, neighbours, relatives and co-workers over for a wonderfully special and personal shopping adventure.



Gentlemen...why not book a Boys' Night Out at your local sports club or your favourite watering hole? Bring your clients and friends and get your holiday shopping done without compromising the fun.

Contact Koko Mongeot and book your special event today.

Monday, December 05, 2005

You said it best...

Below is a selection of recently received fan mail. We would love to hear from you - share your stories and send us a note. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

 What a treat to meet both of you yesterday. Koko, I need someone like you to market my jewelry, what a dynamic presence you are! I'm only guessing, but Jesee, you seemed to be quite comfortable being the artist in the background.

I hope that the show was a successful one for both of you, I couldn't believe the amount of other jewelry tables present. For the most part I noticed that while it was all nice work, there was very little that separated them in terms of design which is where Izzy and Buds really stands out, that and your display.


Brendalee, North Vancouver, BC

Paul brought me a gorgeous pair of black/white crystal earrings that Jesee made....they are absolutely fabulous! Thank you so much, Jesee. I can't wait to wear them with my little black dress. I'm sure that I'll be getting many compliments on them.

Maria, New Westminster, BC

I had to write to tell you I love the necklace and earrings. The design is particularly suited to my style and will definitely be among my most favourite adornments.

Thank you again.


Christine, Vancouver, BC

Just wanted to say that my wife, Julie absolutely loved the earrings; the colors were perfect! I would love to get her a necklace to match.

Paul, Vancouver, BC

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Made in BC

We finished the last of our Christmas shows at Bowen Island today. The snowy weather didn't keep any shoppers away from this well attended community event. Coming back to Bowen, our home away from home always gives us the warm fuzzies. All were feeling festive and jovial amongst the live musical performances, hot cocoa and island buzz.

One of the wonderful things about doing craft shows is making trades with other vendors. It's a most exciting way to do one's Christmas shopping especially for those of us who are so busy and haven't the time to start our lists. Not only are we giving our friends and families unique and handcrafted gifts, but we are supporting fellow artists at the same time. I do hope the trend of craft shows lives on in this colossal market of impersonal, mass-produced products. Look for the Made in BC sign and support our local economy.

We always love trading for one of Yvonne Bauche's traditional fruit cakes, hand decorated and hand painted as a Christmas parcel from Edible Art. Trust me, it tastes as delicious as it looks.

"This rich moist fruit cake is made from a family recipe, using only the finest ingredients of cherries, apricots, sultanas, raisins, butter, brandy and almond paste with a fondant icing finish."

Unique and popular snow candles from Debbie Mahon of The Original Snow Candle Company.

Debbie was our neighbour at STA and as usual she almost ran out of stock! The beautiful quality and originality of these candles make them a must have on our table for Christmas entertaining.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Foot in Mouth

The hospital chaplain stopped by our display to pick out a gift for his wife. He found what he was looking for straight away; a pair of cube-shaped hematite earrings to match the bracelet the missus already owns.

The transaction was completed and he was on his way, when he complimented me on my vintage Siam crystal drops. Jesee then quipped that he likes the rack even more. The look on the poor chaplain's face was priceless. At a loss for words, he shyly smiled and walked away.

When I explained to Jesee that "rack" is also slang for breasts, he was most embarrassed. All that he meant to say was that he liked the mannequin better. Ingleesh is so confuzing!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Twilight Zone


The crack of dawn had barely passed when I had the most glorious ride into town. The glistening roads, snowcapped mountains and beaming lights coming off The Cut was a vision of winter wonderland. My digits were barely intact as the piercing temperatures hovered at zero; nonetheless it brought a smile to my face.

Over the summer I ran into an old friend from Toronto who reminded me of the time that my ears got frostbitten. It was minus twenty-two with the windchill factor and I refused to remove the metal, clip-on earrings my mother bought me. They transmitted the biting cold ten-fold; the foolish things we do for fashion.

Current Music: Golden Earring - Cut

Current Drink I Crave: Heineken

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Safety First

I've literally been walking around with my head in a fog today. For non-Vancouverites, this is all we've seen for the past three days...

As I pondered about safety gear and how one can make themselves be more visible, I thought, why not accessorize with some highly reflective crystal jewelry? There's nothing like a little bling to make your presence be known.

Current Music: Just What I Needed - The Cars

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Old Guys Rule

Tonight we celebrated our friend, David Graff's 50th birthday. After our record-breaking day at Dunbar, we zipped over to Bowen for an intimate evening with David's closest friends and family at the Aldercove Estates a.k.a Party Central. As always, delectable food was plentiful and especially welcomed after a very looong and busy day.

Here's a photo of David back in the early 80's during his days as a professional musician, looking very suave and sexy. Check out the Final Net helmut and sky-high shoulder pads! I vividly remember swooning over the likes of Spandau Ballet, Japan and Duran Duran. The 80's were a very good time.

As it happens, I recently found a photo of myself from a shoot back in 1985. During the break we were hanging out in the studio looking to have some fun with the camera. I was actually there to do the maquillage and not to be the mannequin.

You cannot tell in this photo, but the inspiration was Ryuichi Sakamoto's 1981 album cover - Left Handed Dream. Spontaneous over-indulgence and late nights resulted in something a little different. The 80's were a very good time.

Jesee and Mrs. Graff

Thursday, November 17, 2005

happy anniversary shed!

Heard about it, checked it out and give it two thumbs up. The Eatery on West Broadway is the place to go for sushi served with a side of funk, cool ambiance and great music. We loved the marinated tuna with special sauce, flying fish roe, sesame seeds and asparagus. Dee-lish!




We then made our way to shed home furnishings on West 10th to celebrate their one year anniversary. The store looked fabulous all done up and decorated with Christmas trinkets - très festive.

The unbelievable nibbles were provided by Chef Carol Wallace (ex-Bishops) from Blue Eyed Mary's on Bowen Island. The trifle was heavenly and beckoned a second serving, so we obliged. Chapeau!

We did some Christmas shopping, sipped a glass of wine, picked out a few more gifts, sipped some more wine...it's so easy to spend money when you're relaxed!

Check out shed at 4398 West 10th Avenue - lots and lots to look at. Then head out to the charming MIX the Bakery at 4430 West 10th for a latte and biscotti. Bring a friend and make a day of it.


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Oh My Gaud

It's happened twice now and I have to scream it out!

During the STA show on Sunday, a mother and daughter were shopping at our table. Mom was admiring the chandeliers for herself when her daughter piped up and said, "No mom, big earrings are gaudy".

I bit my tongue as I flicked my head so that my fabulous chandeliers jingled and shimmered. Mom settled for a classic and conservative vintage crystal set. They left unscathed.

Today, I asked my friend Christine, who created our website and business cards, what jewelry would she like Jesee to design for her. I suggested, perhaps some big chandeliers? She practically squawked, "You know me, I don't wear big gaudy earrings". (sorry Chris, but this amused me)

Again, I'm wearing my fabulous chandeliers. Did I mention FABULOUS? Needless to say, I didn't bite my tongue this time.

GAUDY? GAUDY! GAUDI?

Crikey, a lightbulb went off...is there a connection between gaudy and Gaudí?

Here's the Wikipedia definition:

Gaudy is a term used to describe anything as showy in a tasteless or vulgar way. Coined from the architect Antonio Gaudí who designed eccentric and elaborately grotesque buildings in the twentieth century.

Antoni Gaudí i Cornet (June 25 1852 – June 10, 1926) was a Spanish architect famous for his unique style and highly individualistic designs.

Being that both Jesee and I are appreciative fans of Sr Gaudí, we'll take the gaudy comments muchisimas gracias.


La Sagrada Familia - Gaudí's unfinished masterpiece in Barcelona

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Big Weekend at STA

We should have known that seeing this magical rainbow on the way to St. Thomas Aquinas meant we would have a golden day.

To all of our customers who have given us their continuous patronage over the years, we say, "THANK YOU".

We are delighted with the glowing feedback and praise you have given us. You have encouraged us that our unique and original designs are what YOU want. Many of you were just as excited as we were about our latest and greatest made with silver filagree. You like it, you really like it and the numbers speak volumes.

We're now that much closer to our pot of gold ;-)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Word on the street is...

Forty is the new thirty. Since today is my forty and one half-birthday, I suppose I ought to make the most of the other one hundred and eighty-two point five days I have left.

I admit that there are very few days that I actually feel like I'm forty, EXCEPT if I stay up well past my bedtime, indulge in a red wine bender and neglect my daily dose of Wheaties and exercise.

Whew, it's bloody tough being forty! While my life is still a work in progress, I embrace all that I have and strive to be better. I graciously accept the "yummy mummy" compliments and adhere to the theory that it's important for one to feel "bien dans sa peau".

What's my secret? Work hard - play hard and SPF 30 is a MUST. Has anyone seen Ramon, the pool boy?

Current Tune in My Head: Don't Cha - Pussycat Dolls

*Disclaimer: This is not a reflection of my taste in music, but the song is so damn catchy, that I can't get it out of my head!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Ring of Fire

This weekend we viewed an incredible documentary called Cycling the Pacific Ring of Fire Part 2 presented by Pedal Magazine and MEC Stores. It's the story of a Canadian couple's mountain bike journey of the Pacific Rim on a quest to capture the spectacular sights of volcanoes.

Engrossed by the amazing photos and stories behind them, we left the viewing with only one thought in mind...when is it our turn? During the summer on Bowen Island, we met many Spanish visitors who encouraged us to go back to Spain believing that our jewelry would be a smashing success there.

Repeated conversations of returning to France and Spain for a sojourn are on the table once again. How about cycling from Montpellier or Lyon through the vignes in the South of France and over the Pyrénées to Catalonia and onward to Barcelona?

Dare we leave this paradise we call home? Not before we headed out to Kitsilano to indulge in some churros and chocolate caliente to give us more food for thought!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

$ense and Sensibility

Candied beetroot chips topped with Albacore tuna tartare, yam fritters drizzled with maple syrup, creamy Salt Spring Island organic goat cheese encrusted with poached peppercorns and served with delicate Raincoast Crisps.

Is your mouth watering yet? Tonight our senses received quite the delight at the opening reception of Bowen Island landscape artist, Ian Fry's new works - A Taste of the Earth held at the Pair Bistro in Point Grey.

As a jazz trio played to a buzzing crowd, we sampled many wines presented by the Mark Anthony Group. We were pleasantly impressed by a lovely 2002 Shiraz from Mission Hill, while the Chardonnay was a perfect companion to the Cortes Island oysters on the half shell.

Simultaneously, our sights feasted upon a gallery of original paintings. As we reached the top of the crickety stairs of this charming bistro, we were captivated by an oil on canvas - Dolphin and Girl. Sadly, there aren't enough pesetas in my bank account to add this original to my collection of Dogs Playing Poker...sigh.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Four One One

Our website has finally been updated! It is always a work in progress, but for now the Fall/Winter show calendar is up, as well as some new photos.

Current Mood: Dog-tired

Current Music: GREEN DAY - american idiot


Saturday, October 15, 2005

Deserving Thyme Warehouse Sale

You've heard me rave about it before and now you too can get some fabulous aromatherapy products at discounted prices. Deserving Thyme is having a warehouse sale and almost everything is reduced at 10% to 70% off!

When: October 17 to 21 from 9 am to 5:30 pm

Where:
Deserving Thyme Outlet Store, 726 Powell Street (between Heatley & Hawkes)

I feel as strong about my testimonial now, as I did the day I discovered their Brown Sugar Body Scrub. At the end of a long day, it's the perfect remedy to renew myself with the benefits of smoother and softer skin!

Don't miss out on this opportunity to stock up your medicine cabinet at great savings. They also have lovely boxed sets ready for gift giving or you can cleverly create your own.

Friday, October 14, 2005

It makes me giggle...

BCLC Lotto Super 7 ad with "Ivana Trump" flogging the Bejeweler.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Bestest Thanksgiving Pie

It's not very often that I dabble in the kitchen these days, but this past weekend I baked a pie that was so popular with my family, that I was asked to bake another. Layers of cheesecake and pumpkin pie topped with crunchy pecan topping warrants sharing the recipe. It's from the Better Homes and Gardens New Baking Book. Enjoy!


Pumpkin-Cream Cheese Pie

Ingredients:

1 single crust pie
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin
1 cup evaporated milk
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
2 tbsps. all-purpose flour
2 tbsps. brown sugar
1 tbsp. butter, softened

Preparation:

If not using ready-made frozen pie shell, prepare and roll out pastry. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the pastry. Trim and crimp edge as desired; set aside.

In small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, vanilla and 1 slightly beaten egg with electric mixer on low to medium speed until smooth. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Spoon into pastry-lined pie plate.

In medium mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Carefully pour over creamcheese mixture. To prevent over-browning, cover edge of the pie with foil. Bake in 350°F oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for 25 minutes more.

Meanwhile, combine the pecans, flour, 2 tbsps. brown sugar and butter. Sprinkle over the pie. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes more or until a knife inserted near the centre comes out clean. Cool for 1 to 2 hours on a wire rack. Serves 8.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Dream

Photographed at UBC Endowment Lands
October 1, 2005

Current Music: Thievery Corporation - The Richest Man in Babylon

Current Mood: Bliss

Friday, September 30, 2005

Back in Vogue

Chandeliers for the home are making a huge comeback. They are no longer just a status symbol found hanging ostentatiously in the foyers or dining rooms of the rich and famous. Crystal chandeliers are now appearing in every imaginable room in the home.

The same can be said of chandelier earrings. These architectural gems have played an influential lead in our jewelry line for the past three years. Stylish Vancouver woman know that they need not wait for a black tie event to wear them. Glittering objet d'arts are fashionably dangling off earlobes and fetching second looks at any given time or place.

Izzy and Buds designs a unique line of chandeliers made with both Swarovski and vintage crystals - some even from actual chandeliers!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Suits Me Fine

When my dear friend asked me where she should go to buy a new suit, without hesitation I suggested something from the Jacqueline Conoir Collection.

Many of us shop for therapy when we've had a rough day, but if you've had a rough week...a visit to the JC Studio is exactly what the doctor recommends. How civilized it is to sip a glass of Chardonnay, whilst trying on vêtements selected by your own personal style consultant.

We had the pleasure of being assisted by Adanma, a very beautiful woman from Nigeria. Adanma's charming and professional disposition was perfectly suited for my friend's ultra conservative demeanor. Sixty minutes and two and a half gorgeous suits later, we were out the door; sans crowds, sans hassles.

What a wonderful way to end the day!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Southlands Country Fair

Looking for a little action this weekend? Grab your whips and chaps and head down to Southlands Country Fair on Sunday, September 25th. It's on from 10 a.m to 6 p.m. and promises to be great fun for the entire family.

Be sure to drop by our table located in the Country Market for a warm country welcome. Hee-haw!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

First Day of Fall

Autumn has officially arrived right on cue with refreshing, crisp air, gleaming sunshine, soft blue skies and cream cheese clouds. All that's missing is the environmentally incorrect smell of burning leaves and grandma's hot apple pie.

It was ideal weather for a walk down to Gastown to check out the Car Free Day celebrations. Water Street was closed to cars for most of the day and replaced with tents of exhibits and demos focusing on awareness to reduce energy consumption. Live music, a Pedalling Zoo and BMX bike tricks were some of the ongoing activities.

During our stroll, I was telling my friend Chris how excited we were to be getting some Swarovski's in their latest new colour Purple Velvet and how much it made me think of Andy Warhol. Don't ask me why, it just does. Chris voiced her opinion of Warhol by saying that it reminded her of an episode of Designing Woman where they went to an opening at an art gallery. They were viewing a modern art exhibit when one of the ladies placed her purse on a pedestal and soon a bidding war for the purse ensued. Like Warhol, it was a freak accident.

Whatever the view... Purple Velvet promises to be the hottest new colour on our tables this fall.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Insignificant

Watching the news of the horrific hurricane disasters in the U.S. really forces one think and put their own lives into perspective. Sometimes there just isn't anything worthy of saying when others are clearly distressed and desperately searching for refuge.

Blessed we are.

Current Mood: Melancholy

Current Music: Con Te Partirò by Andrea Bocelli

Monday, September 12, 2005

Bittersweet

Alas, summer is over and that means our weekends at Bowen are as well. As we reflect and smile upon the memories of the summer past, we also look forward to a low-keyed Indian summer in Vancouver.

We bid a sad farewell to our friends from Bowen, as we all celebrated the end of the season at Laurel and Rob Bailey's groovy home. I'm a big fan of Laurel's Lemon Lip Balm from Naked Soapworks and one can see just how the two of them get their inspiration when surrounded with a million dollar view of the ocean. We took a tour of Rob's Treehouse Studio where he treated us to a sample of some freshly mixed tunes which left our bodies beating furiously to the pounding percussion. Hats off to the hospitable hosts, who welcomed us all to share a piece of their rustic haven.

We'll gladly greet autumn's crisp, fresh air and cascading maple leaves in golden colours of Colorado, topaz, olivine and Indian red. This will set a fantastic background for weekends of recreation. We have only a few short months to enjoy our rides on the trails before the rainy season sets in. Soon after that, it will be time to prepare for the Christmas shows. There is no rest for the wicked.



Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Communication Breakdown!

Our computer has been hit by some debilitating virus and it's been three weeks of hell trying to get it up and running again. This is just a short FYI message to let you know that we are alive and well. Please keep checking for the latest tidbits.

Hanging out at the Paradise Grill on Bowen Island

Saturday, August 20, 2005

I Do

The morning started with an urgent request from Shari Ulrich to replace a lost necklace that her daughter had commissioned Jesee to make for her father's wedding today. Apparently, the young Miss Graff loved the necklace so much that she wore it prior to the big event, but misplaced it somewhere at the beach. This time the necklace was even more special, as Jesee added some crystals that were from her grandmother's jewelry box.

Holly Keyes and David Graff's wedding is one of five weddings going on at Bowen Island (we did the jewelry for two them) today. We met these artists through the market and soon became cohorts. We were most honored to celebrate this special day with them, if only the reception because we were still working at the time.

The event was held at the Alder Cove Estate, a.k.a. the home that Harrison Ford was rumoured to be purchasing. On this beautiful, sunny afternoon, children were running joyously about the front garden of this marvelous ten-acre waterfront property. The rest of us big kids lazed about with cocktails while we soaked up the extraordinary view of cruise ships and ferries sailing by.

It was a magnificent setting for an intimate and casual celebration of about seventy seven guests. The buffet of assorted hors d'oeuvres, alder grilled Westcoast salmon, Parmesan chicken, grilled market vegetables, fresh, crisp salads and delectable desserts was sure to please any food enthusiast.

The evening progressed to hours of dancing at our very own Ibiza. An eclectic array of music, flashing lights and lively partygoers (young and old alike) celebrated alongside the newlyweds under the harvest moon. Even though I was recovering from a Superman crash off my bike at Cypress Mountain the day before, I managed to rock out with the very best of them. We wish to say a very big thank you to the most gracious hosts, Walt and Laura, for a wonderful time.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Beast Wars

It was an honest mistake when I confused a black bear for my husband.

During one of our rides, Jesee slowed down to take in the view at one of his favourite spots along the Seymour River. As I rode past him, I said that I would go on ahead and he could catch up with me. At some point, I turned my head to see if he was behind me and saw a dark figure out of the corner of my eye. I just assumed that it was Jesee, so I started to pedal hard and resume the pace we were at. I was completely in my "zone" and enjoying the intense cardio, when I did a quick peek behind my back and noticed that Jesee was no longer behind me.

I pulled over and waited SEVERAL minutes and was starting to be concerned, as I contemplated riding back to see what was wrong. Jesee finally showed up frantic and breathless when he managed to spit out, "DID YOU SEE THE BEAR?" I shrugged my shoulders and replied very calmly, "What bear?”

Apparently, as I pedaled pass him, I also pedaled right past a bear. Startled by my presence, he growled and started to follow me. You see, the dark figure was NOT Jesee, but in fact the big, black bear (although they have very similar profiles). Witnessing the bear’s irritation, Jesee immediately dismounted and threw his Sexy Beast (bike) over his head and made lots of noise to distract it. After what felt like an eternity and much to Jesee's relief, the bear decided that he wasn't so bothered and perhaps the kaleidoscope of yellow, red and silver colours flashing at it sent it off in a tizzy?

As I said, it was an honest mistake.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Bateaux, Bowen et Baptêmes

"Long life to the crazy people!" This has long been Jesee's motto and it certainly explains how we have managed to survive this urban jungle we live in. We desire to exit this autobahn in hopes of something less complex, but find it incredibly difficult to leave it all (Vancouver) behind.

On Friday, we went on a glorious boat cruise aboard the Kona Winds from False Creek up to Eagle Harbour. We basked in the sun with cold beers in hand as the scent of the salty, ocean air lulled us for four blissful hours.

All was wonderful...until I got home and realized that our flat was rocking something fierce! I popped a couple of Gravol pills and went straight to my spinning bed for the night. Ugh.

Saturday was another busy day at the market and somewhat uneventful. I think I was still dopey and recovering from Friday's seasickness, understandably, I was a bit apprehensive about the ferry ride over.

We officially became godparents yesterday at Sarah's baptism. A simple and lovely ceremony, followed by a huge luncheon, THEN followed by a grazing of Pasteis de Bacalhau, Rissóis de Camarao, Pasteis de Nata (all my personal favourites) and much, much more. Hard to believe that this was considered small by traditional Portuguese standards! As we celebrated with good friends, it became obvious that we just need to stay crazy.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Missed the Boat

There was oodles of action at the market this weekend; beginning with a mad sale of semi-precious stone n'cord necklaces. We have to laugh at how Jesee's life has come full circle. Once upon a time he sold his macramé jewelry to the tourists in Mallorca and now thirty years later on this little Gulf Island, he's doing it again. We wanted to create something for men to wear, as we believe they too, like to adorn themselves with jewelry. Bowen being Bowen, oozes of "crunchy-granola" flavour and was the perfect place to market these Bohemian treasures.

On my ever so short break, I wandered off to get an ice-cream that was justified by the sweltering heat. Actually, it felt like it was bucket worthy as the temperatures reached twenty seven degrees. I stood in the very long queue and salivated at the passersby with their crême glacée; meanwhile, I tried to make up my mind which flavour to get. During this time I missed a star sighting of Nicholas Cage at the market; it was very quick, as he was Gone in Sixty Seconds. By the time I caught up, I could only see his king-sized yacht sail off into the horizon,
while Bordeaux cherry drizzled down my hand.

Late in the afternoon, Jesee designed a fabulous pair of earrings that were SO fab; it didn't make it to the display. I nabbed these howlite gems for myself and giggled with glee as I paraded around in them. It didn't last too long though; a woman with the most beautiful silver hair was also captured by their beauty. She loved them so much, she bought them right off my ears. I should be thankful that she didn't take the shirt off my back!

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Big Turq

We can't keep up with the demand; yesterday it was carnelian and today it's turquoise.

All the magazines have touted turquoise as the new pink for the season, yet it wasn't until today that it really sunk in because we've now sold out of this vivid blue gemstone plus orders to fill.

Snagging the right turquoise won't be easy. We prefer the lighter colouring of the Chinese variety, but it appears that those from Brazil are more readily on hand. Whatever the shade of blue, it's still very hot!

summer = gorgeous bronzed skin + turquoise

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Karma Carnelian

For several weeks, our display of carnelian pieces drew very little interest; that is until today.

These reddish-brown stones are members of the quartz family and are found throughout the world. The most famous sites are in India, Brazil, Uruguay and Japan. Crystal healers believe that carnelian helps to calm and ease anxiety.

The morning started out with a very handsome woman unable to decide between two pairs of carnelian earrings. Both designs were equally unique and accented with Swarovski, one with Indian Red and the other with Crystal. Her husband and I were in agreement that the pair with the Indian Red complimented her colouring better, however she was hesitant to make a decision and her ever so patient man suggested they come back later.

You've heard this histoire before, but here's the twist...

Within MINUTES, the next two customers that came along each bought a pair of the two that she could not choose between. They have now put this poor woman out of her misery.

One of our Bowen regulars picked up yet another pair for her daughter (it's quite possible that her collection of Izzy & Buds is larger than my own!), while an out of town visitor snatched the other! It's either all or nothing; très amusant.

The day had passed when the couple finally returned and but of course, were disappointed to find out that both pairs had sold. As it happened, we had a few pieces of carnelian available and were able to design another pair to match a necklace we had on display. In the end, they purchased the set and it looked absolutely stunning on her. I believe that these earrings looked even more beautiful on her than the others. Call it karma?

Monday, July 25, 2005

Full Moon at Sassafras?

I was busy like one of Santa's elves making jewelry at my table when a nosy, middle-aged woman approached me and said, "These are made in China". It wasn't a question; it was clearly an uneducated observation.

Surprised by the insult, I replied, "No, I make all of this jewelry, as you can see I am making them right here".

The woman retorted, "No, these are made in China!

I had to laugh in disbelief that someone could be so ignorant, as I answered back with my muddled Spanish accent and shot back with, "Do I look Chinese?

Sunday, July 24, 2005

It would be impossible for us to not blog...

about one of our heroes, Lance Armstrong. For the past three weeks, we've woken up in the wee hours of the morning and faithfully followed le Tour de France to see him win the title for seventh and last time.

Admittedly, watching the tour has improved my commutes. If these riders can pedal more than a hundred kilometers each day at top speeds and sometimes during inclement weather conditions, then my 10km ride should be a piece of cake. Mind you if I was riding through the French countryside, I'm quite certain that it would even be more pleasurable, especially with a crusty baguette, fresh cheese and a bottle of vin rouge in my pack.

During Armstrong's parting speech he said, "I'm sorry for you. I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles, but this is a hell of a race," he said. "You should believe in these athletes, and you should believe in these people. I'll be a fan of the Tour de France for as long as I live. And there are no secrets - this is a hard sporting event and hard work wins it." Mais oui, words to live by.

"Vive le Tour, forever". It won't be the same without you driving the peloton to record breaking speeds, but we will continue to proudly sport our LIVESTRONG bracelets and have no qualms about wearing it alongside our very fashionable glitter!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

"Bam!"

A friend has just discovered that Crest Whitening Expressions Toothpaste is an excellent jewelry cleaner.

Upon her arrival home from a recent visit to the dentist, she decided to try out her new samples and confirmed that her gag reflexes worked just fine, thank you very much. Not one to be wasteful, she decided to give her jewelry a quick polishing with one of the packets. It's no secret that toothpaste makes a great metal cleaner, but apparently, the Crest Whitening Expressions really kicks it up a notch!

If you're not offended by the scent of Refreshing Vanilla Mint wafting in your face all day long - why not?

Sunday, July 17, 2005

A Day in Provence

I was inspired by Rosie the lavender lady. Her beautiful long, silver hair delicately frames her gently, etched face carrying a smile that warms the heart. The spirit within her honest hug sparked me to create a beautiful pair of crystal turquoise and opal chandeliers.

These earring were especially alluring and were waiting for the right woman to enjoy them. Many women picked them up in admiration, but only ONE was meant to possess them.

Just a few hours later, that woman came along. A very pretty, Asian woman with exotic features, wearing Pocahontas braids, fell in love with them at once. Tormented by whether or not she should make this purchase, she reluctantly walked away from the table only to return five times! Seeking encouragement from her friends and partner, who all agreed that these chandeliers looked fantastic on her, she walked away once again and headed for the hiking trails. In the end, her John Smith insisted that she should come back and buy the earrings, as he knew very well that she would be disappointed if she waited until after the hike. Now there is a wise man...perhaps he had read our blog, "
You snooze...you lose"?

The market was positively busy, crowded with lobster-red, sun worshippers welcoming the long overdue summer heat. Ferry loads of people flocked to Bowen and were welcomed with the scents of the salty, ocean air and Rosie's fresh cut lavender as they strolled along the boardwalk. Not unlike Provence, Bowen is sure to delight both the young and the young at heart.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Word of the Day

bling /bli [ng]

n. Diamonds or high sparkle jewelry worn for personal adornment.
"She wore her little black dress, threw on some bling and was set for a night on the town".

Current Music: Sparkling Diamonds - Moulin Rouge Soundtrack

Monday, July 04, 2005

Magic Lemonade

It was the opening weekend of the Bowen Island Summer Market. We narrowly escaped the rain, but not the wind, always a tricky consideration at Bowen. Despite the BC Ferry disaster at Horseshoe Bay, we still welcomed many visitors to celebrate the Canada Day long weekend with us.

It was wonderful to see all the old faces of the fellow crafters return to the market. We were so happy to see Jean Marie Claret, a fantastic potter, whose charm is unmistakably French. We own one of his French butter dishes that I absolutely adore. It is a unique method of storing butter at room temperature without the worry of the butter oxidizing and getting spoiled.
C'est très chic!

Of course we also met some new faces. Most memorably, a five-year-old named Phineas, who was selling "magic" lemonade for a mere fifty cents! Phineas is quite the character - a little man with an old soul and comes with the kindest heart. A glass of his magic lemonade was guaranteed to make one happy, very happy indeed.

Phin's mother,
Jeanette Wrenshall, may be new to the market, but is no stranger to architectural ceramics! Her work is most awe inspiring (check out her Gaudi inspired fireplace) and we are so very pleased to have met both her and Phineas.

There are so many talented artists showcasing their work here at Bowen, be sure to come by and check us out. Bowen makes for a wonderful day trip, so grab your sunscreen and shades, pack a picnic and ahoy matey!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Spanakopita, souvlaki and churros?

Nick from The Barber Shop encouraged us to join in on the Greek Day festivities of feasting, dancing and music. We grazed on all sorts of Greek fare including baklava and cheered Nick on as he spun and leapt effortlessly around the stage while performing a traditional Greek folk dance. Opa! I now understand how he mastered his finesse to spin around the barber chair with his clippers.

As we were walking through the horde of people, we noticed a shop selling churros, a delectable Spanish donut. The queue at Churrolicious was all the way out the door, but we decided to give it a whirl anyway. It was well worth the 30 minute wait because Jesee was euphoric with childhood memories of Mallorca as he bit into this delicious sugar-coated donut. Crispy on the outside, moist on the inside and best of all, it wasn't greasy! The recipe and the machine come directly from Spain, hence its authentic flavour, texture and appearance.

Undoubtedly, this cozy little shop attracts many Spanish and South American ex-pats looking for a taste of home. An afternoon of Mediterranean culture for less than twenty Euro!

*Note: This is NOT to be compared with the less than adequate versions found in Disneyland.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Earth Calling Tokyo

Last night we participated in an orgy of sashimi with some very good friends of ours, Pluto and Venus. Seriously, the food just kept on coming.

Venus mentioned that every time she wears her vintage rose necklace from Izzy & Buds, she gets oodles of compliments from people. One time she had forgotten to remove her necklace prior to her workout at the gym. Fellow members could not help, but admire her sparkly bijoux as she spun out a roundhouse kick. I'm sure some might have thought it was a bit too Paris Hilton, but don't mess with this woman and her jewels, she just might Jet-Li your arse".

Venus, you fly girl!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

To Catch a Thief

The allurement of beautiful things ever so often invites those with sticky fingers. We encourage our customers to have a "hands on" experience at our table because jewelry is meant to be worn and adorned. It's a bit like playing dress up, except we're all grown up now.

Unfortunately, like any other retailer, we have also encountered theft at our booth. It's a terrible thing, really, but what could possibly be worse? Perhaps, the blatant knock-offs of our original designs? Is it a case of imitation is the sincerest form of flattery or great minds think alike?

When a fellow "jeweller" comes by our table whilst chatting on her camera phone, trying not to look obvious as her left ear scans the table...que pensez-vous?

Current Music: Stella by Yello

Monday, June 13, 2005

Inspiration


Current Music:
Gato Barbieri - Europa from Caliente!

Current Mood: Sshhh, the artiste is at work.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Sharing the love...

This weekend I found my friend again. Due to our ever busy lives, we hadn't seen each other in quite some time. I so enjoy sharing our love of biking, food and pretty , girly things together.

We both rode Kona bikes before buying our Giant Maestro Suspension mountain bikes together, also at The Cove. We like to moan and groan as we climb up big hills - something our partners aren't interested in hearing. Instead we might hear and laugh at ourselves when someone hollers, "SUCK IT UP PRINCESS!" as they blow past us. Once or maybe even twice, we skipped the climb altogether, and chose yummy food and chocolate martinis more willingly. It's a girl thing.

Tearing down a mountain side or getting dolled up in sparkly jewelry and dancing shoes for a night out on the town is so much more fun with a friend who shares the same love. Salsa at the bottom señorita?



Photo courtesy of Sheldon Ridout

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Fuerza Mallorca!

Rafael Nadal, tennis icon from Mallorca claimed the French Open Men's Singles Championship title today. It was a day of national pride to see this barely 19-year-old work his magic on the clay courts of Roland Garros in his ultra hip Nike gear.

Hours of nail-biting excitement ended in an emotional moment as the Spanish national anthem played and King Juan Carlos looked on. Very cool indeed.

Keep your eyes out for Izzy & Buds interpretation of the "tennis bracelet" available this summer.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Tea & Sympathy

Is it less dangerous to pour your heart out to a bartender or a hairstylist?

Confucius says, "Approach with caution...take comfort in both and you could wake up looking like a factory second Barbie doll".


Current Music: Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence soundtrack by Ryuichi Sakamoto

Monday, May 30, 2005

Morris

Honestly, sometimes I do believe that I have nine lives! Commuting on my bicicleta alongside with the big, bad, gas guzzling, oil burning, four-wheelers can be hazardous to one's health.


Don't get me wrong, I am also an owner of the said above, but when it comes to sharing the road, both parties need to show a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T!


I'd like to say that being a walking billboard for Izzy and Buds is much safer, but have you ever driven your car with chandeliers on? Try turning your head sideways as you put the car into reverse and suddenly find the side of your head is hitched to the seatbelt because of these dazzling beauties. Move VEERRY slowly and you can avoid ripping them out of your ears or worse...getting more kinky.


Current Drink: Café con leche


Current Music: Respect by Arethra Franklin

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Magpies

Crowds of shoppers hustling and bustling about, clutching their bags and some toting children while seeking unique and original gifts. We always get a gathering of women who hone into our dazzling display like magpies, cawing, "Ooh jewelry, I LOVE shiny things!"

There's something about Swarovski crystals and the way it captures the light and reflects a prism of colours like the Aurora Borealis. It's really quite stunning and most definitely eye-catching. So much in fact that I was once ambushed by a black bird of some sort while waiting for the bus early one morning. It swooped down off a tree and grazed my head with it's sharp, ugly feet, landing only a few metres in front of me on the road. I stood there in a stupor as it glared at me, as if we were competing in some childish staring contest.

I realized that it was eyeing my sparkly, crystal earrings and he meant business. It was between the bird and me. I was careful not to make any sudden moves, thanks in part to the horror stories of people having their eyes poked out by these varmints. Somewhat paralyzed, I was visualizing his little hide-a-way full of stolen gems from unsuspecting victims. I contemplated my next maneuver...will there be bloodshed as I foolhardily protect my precious earrings? I snapped out of this B-movie when the bus promptly arrived.




Sunday, May 15, 2005

Pretty in Pink

Welcome to the world Sarah Marie, our breathtaking, new godchild. Looking absolutely innocent and precious, I cannot wait to share so many sweet moments with you.

I'm not solely clear what a godmother's duty should be, nevertheless I promise to be there opening night of your starring role in the school production. You will have my shoulder to cry on when you encounter your first heartbreak and I'll hold your hand whilst you get your first tattoo.

With Tio Jesee as your godfather, you'll be sure to have an endless supply of beautiful bijoux to adorn yourself with. There's no time like the present to start your collection, so let's get on with the ear piercing. We needn't tell your parents, let's surprise them!

Ten perfect little fingers and toes...awesome!

Friday, May 13, 2005

Risky Business

Amongst many on my list of fears, glossophobia is right up there. In a valiant effort, I met this one head on...with the help of a friendly face in the house.

Current Music: Der Kommissar by Falco

Current Mood: The need to sport my Ray-Bans and prance about in my undies!

Friday, May 06, 2005

Brown sugar, how come you taste so good?

Oh my gawd, I have only just got my hands on a jar of Brown Sugar Body Scrub by Deserving Thyme. Where have I been? Il est le meilleur! Think Herbal Essence telly advert, but so much better. Once you slather this glorious concoction all over your body, you'll want to eat yourself all up!

Brown sugar, how come you taste so good?