Sunday, November 22, 2009

Places to Go, People to See

Here's our fall/winter show schedule for the next two weeks with two new venues added to our repertoire.

Pre-Olympic madness, fresh powdery snow and the 21st annual Bizarre Bazaar holiday craft market makes now the most favourable time to visit Whistler. Stop in après-ski and be dazzled by over 100 participating artisans at this well-attended show.

We're also looking forward to our debut showing at Portobello West, where we'll be representing Next Door Style as one of their designers featured alongside Bloomfield Clothing.

Whistler Arts Council Bizarre Bazaar (Booth #312)
November 27th, 15h00 to 20h00 & November 28th, 10h00 to 18h00
Telus Whistler Conference Centre
4010 Whistler Way
Whistler, BC

Portobello West Fashion & Art Market (Booth #30)
November 29th, 12h00 to 18h00
Rocky Mountaineer Station
1755 Cottrell Street
Vancouver, BC

VGH 13th Annual Holiday Craft Market
December 3rd & 4th, 07h30 to 15h30
Vancouver General Hospital
Jim Pattison Pavilion
899 W. 12th Avenue
Vancouver, BC

Partial proceeds benefit the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation to help fund the latest, most sophisticated medical equipment, pioneering research and highly specialized care for patients.

BICS Christmas Craft Fair (Booth #5)
December 6th, 10h00 to 16h00
Bowen Island Community School
1041 Mt. Gardner Road
Bowen Island, BC

This 24th annual event is a community favourite for informal gatherings and holiday cheer, but completely accessible to off-islanders via water taxi from Granville Island and just a short 5-minute walk from the pier...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Crawl

One of my favourite annual markets events to attend is the East Side Cultural Crawl. Its format stands apart from the rest in that it is not held under one roof, but rather at the studios of the individual artists themselves.

Celebrating its 13th year, the number of participating artists has grown immensely since its inception. The Crawl kicks-off this Friday, November 20th for three days with 300+ participants - you'll want to split your route up in order to see it all!

Bundle up in your weather appropriate gear and prepare to see some of the grooviest works of art in Vancouver!

Sunday, October 25, 2009


I had set my alarm for 01h55 01h57 allowing me just minutes to wake up and jump online. The apple glowed in the darkness of the living room, my eyes still full of sleep were forced to stare at the screen while I stretched my nervous fingers like a concert pianist typing student anticipating the countdown of a test.

The frenzy of buyers vying for billetes at overloaded the circuits and repeatedly booted me out [insert choice words here], but perseverance paid off after nearly thirty minutes. Confirmation email received at 02h28...we were the lucky owners of three seats to see the opening night of U2's 360° Tour at Camp Nou in Barcelona. To satisfy my curiosity, I logged back on at 05h30...SOLD OUT. I later read that a new Spanish record was made when these concert tickets sold out in 54 minutes!

Woohoo...only three more months until the big night!

June 30, 2009

We had already been in Barcelona for six days when the day of the concert finally arrived. Average temperatures since our arrival were about 35°C + 75% humidity levels = más cerveza, por favor! The box office opened at noon and as you can see in the video, there were thousands of people already queued for the general admission seating and most likely turned up after the clubs closed in the early hours.

It took some time to reach the ticket office from the metro, as Camp Nou is HUGE! Once we walked around to the OTHER side of the stadium, I was most impressed with the efficient system of ticket retrieval - easy access, just enough friendly checkpoint staff, in and out in less than five. Once they were in our hands, it was extremely tempting to sell these tickets for ridiculous sums of money people were willing to much that we could have paid for our entire holiday with these three little tickets...

At a monetary investment of 34.50€ per ticket (¿why didn't I buy more?) - we were intrigued, but fatigued - the heat may have caused us to make a potentially unwise decision. A meeting of the minds over a tapas and caña was in order.

Supertramp Live in Paris (1979) - Jesee was at this concert and still remembers it vividly; I wanted our daughter to have U2 in Barcelona etched in her memory, so the jury voted...we go.

Bono did not disappoint. We sang, we danced, we screamed along, we drank and dialled and left incomprehensible voicemail messages to friends back home. Woohoo! I picked up the obligatory concert tee on our way out as we queued up for the train back to our flat. Soothed by the nicely chilled metro, we relived the moments of the evening with fellow concert goers. *shiver*

In just a few days, U2 will come to Vancouver for their last date of the 360° Tour in 2009. As I listen to the Camp Nou concert setlist on my iTunes, I ponder...would attending this concert lessen the memory of BCN for me? Clearly, BC Place Stadium is no Camp Nou. That experience was surreal. It was freakin' amazing. It was "Magnificent".

Is it possible to have too much of a good thing? Perhaps after watching the global live webcast of U2 in Pasadena tonight, we will have the answer.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Modern Amusement Design Challenge

From now until June 12th, 2009 at 11:59PM EDST, you can cast your vote for the best T-shirt design of the Modern Amusement Design Challenge. Your vote counts as an entry to win 1 of 3 $500 Modern Amusement Wardrobes.

One of the thirty finalists include Vancouver artist, Adam Lupton, who's design was inspired by a passage in the Modern Amusement statement:

"... distinguished by the brand's attention to ironic detail, sophisticated ease, humor and graphic energy".

You can vote for Adam's design here.

I guess I don't mind crows, sometimes I even eat it, but when they expect me to part with my shiny objects of their desire, I have a problem with that.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

MMV One Year Anniversary Party

Izzy and Buds has just donated this très vert Swarovski crystal necklace and earring set for a raffle prize draw at the Modern Mix Vancouver One Year Anniversary and Reader Appreciation Party.

For your opportunity to win, be sure to RSVP for this social event on Tuesday, May 12th at Suki's Salon on South Granville, where you can mingle and mix it up with a little nosh from Cru and a sweet from Ganache.

Ciao bella!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Don't be a hater...let them eat pork!

Poor little piggies. They have received such a bum rap with this H1N1 outbreak (formerly known as the Swine Influenza). I was most disturbed to hear about the over reaction of the Egyptian government ordering the slaughter of some 300,000 plus pigs as a result of this epidemic.

Pork is good. We love pork. We are not afraid and will pay homage to the almighty pig. To begin with, how about...

Philippine style lechón, stuffed crown roast of pork, salt-roasted pork tenderloin, chorizo with aioli, jamon and olives, sautéed green beans with pancetta, head cheese and salami or pulled-pork sandwiches, cassoulet with pork confit, rillette on a crispy French baguette, pigs feet stewed in Chinese vinegar, honey garlic spareribs, crispy pigs' ears, bratwurst and sauerkraut, split pea soup with smoked pork hock, bacon and eggs sunny side up and what started my love affair with pork...char sui sandwiches on lightly toasted, Miracle Whip smothered Wonderbread found weekly in my Charlie's Angels (I was Sabrina) lunchbox.

I love pork so much, I married a pig! *snort*

As I write this, I just now realize how much pork dominates our diet. Last night during dinner with friends, a few of us talked about how much we loved pork and how we could not understand how anyone could not love this versatile "other white" meat. I then proceeded to share the story of the time we roasted a 50 kilo swine so divine; it started off a little uncertain as we repeatedly rammed the steel rod into Wilbur's arse in order to cook it over the make-shift fire pit in an old bathtub. Surely all were tightly clenching their buttocks, as my visually and vocally descriptive account of this moment had just assured the few pork-haters at the table that they could never be converted. They have no idea what they're missing.

As much as we love pork, I'm not sure if we are even in the running against our fellow pork devotee, Rob Bailey, the beloved Duke of Pork, who recently posted about his faux pas whilst in India. I say to you Mr. Bailey, "I'm sure you were as popular as a pork chop in a synagogue."

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Deserving Thyme Spring Warehouse Sale

If you only need one reason to fly Air Canada, perhaps the Deserving Thyme Amenity Kit could sway you.

For those of us who prefer WestJet, there's the Deserving Thyme Warehouse Sale. Stock up and save!

Friday, April 24, 2009

VGH Spring Craft Market

Hey Vancouver! If you're looking for some unique gifts for Mother's Day (May 10th), stop by the VGH Spring Craft Market for some inspiration. You know we'll be there!

13th Annual VGH Spring Craft Market
Jim Pattison Pavilion, 1st Floor Corridor
899 W. 12th Avenue
Vancouver, BC

Thursday, May 7th from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Fix

One thing led to another and now we're hooked. About six weeks ago I purchased a bar of Lindt Fleur de Sel chocolate from a promotional display. The first hit resulted in pure pleasure; unexpected crunches of delicate Fleur de Sel crystals enveloped in 47% dark chocolate excellence caused a frenzy in our mouths. It went so well with our bottle of Merlot and disappeared before one could say, "It's even better than sex!".

Not as readily available as some of the other varieties, it made for several weeks of some serious withdrawal symptoms. Desperate and determined, I was elated when I finally found a supply at the Lindt Boutique at Sears on Robson Street. Now the challenge remains on how to ration these fine pieces of chocolate goodness.

Recently, Jesee and I were both invited to be guest judges for a Mediterranean "throw-down" that included some tasty dishes of Chicken Marsala, Lamb Tagine and Greek Chicken Estofado to name a few. Since we were with a group of fellow foodies, we knew they would be worthy of one of our precious bars of chocolate. As expected - another addict, maybe even two were created.

As a young child, Jesee was taught to collect his own sea salt by filling a cotton handkerchief that was placed into the concave surface of a large rock with sea water. Choosing a rock with maximum sun exposure will speed up the evaporation process, leaving one with a glistening salty treasure upon their return at the end of the day.

Needless to say, Fleur de Sel is a staple in our kitchen, but we also stock Murray River and Maldon sea salts, as each has it's own place in Jesee's ever growing repertoire.

While surfing around for recipes that marry the flavours of sea salt and chocolate, I came across celebrity chef, Rob Feenie's recipe for Chocolate Fleur de Sel Meringues. This definitely tops the list for quick and easy desserts, but for something that requires a little more skill, you may want to try Thomas Haas' Chocolate Caramel with Fleur De Sel. Both are sure to feed the need for the next fix.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Give Me a Ring

The trend of the week at Izzy and Buds appear to be our Swarovski crystal bling rings.

It all started at the Wired Woman Fashion Show last week, which was tons of fun meeting all these wonderful, intelligent women in the IT and new media industry. There's something so civilized about enjoying a glass of wine and groovin' to the tunes of DJ Leanne while shopping for shiny baubles. Several lucky ladies left with rings adorning their fingers that night and to our pleasant surprise...a couple more throughout the weekend.

It was also on that night, we sold our 3D chandeliers to a very special customer. Anita thought she recognized our jewelry from a show in West Vancouver a couple of years ago. She had purchased a pair of our brilliant Swarovski hoops for herself despite the fact she didn't have pierced ears. She admitted that she soon after went and had her ears pierced, just so that she could wear our earrings. *blush*

Unfortunately, Anita has since lost those earrings, so we were destined to meet again. When I held up these dangling pieces of architecture next to her face - I knew she would do them justice.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

This still makes me crazy...

The first time I saw this ad, I didn't know what it was for, as I couldn't see past the pah-ella debacle...enough said.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Wired Woman

Are you interested in an evening get together with other like-minded women with a career in technology? Do you have a penchant for ultra-feminine, sparkly Swarovski jewelry?

This Thursday, April 2nd, Izzy and Buds Jewelry Designs will be participating in the Wired Woman Fashion Show & Networking Event. Come down for the show, meet some great women and treat yourself to a little something special.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I'm just saying...

Whenever we go for an urban ride, I like to travel as light as possible and leave behind my cycling bag that stashes emergency repair kit paraphernalia in order to leave room for hair products and lip gloss.

I'm always queried by Jesee as to what I'm going to do if I get a flat and have no tools, tube or patch kit with me.

"Don't sweat it, I have BCBA, you know - a membership to the British Columbia Bicycling Association. I just dial 1-800-Jesee!", I chortled with a devilish smirk. The usual double-take to this wisecrack is a scrunched up forehead, followed with a rolling of the eyes and a slightly angled, shake of the head. It's times like this that I'm sure he's wondering why he ever married me!

My thoughts are that it would be a worse crime if I didn't have my emergency glam kit with me in case a handsome cyclist stops to help me out of my predicament.

You can imagine the chuckle I had when years later I read page 57 in the Spring issue of Westworld Magazine announcing a Bike Assist program designed to benefit members with roadside assistance for flats and mechanical breakdowns beginning in April 2009. Booyah!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

¿Bulli, Gaudi y Jesee?

Three eccentric Spaniards all with a common passion to create dramatically visual art which is subjective to the eye of the beholder.

Ferran Adrià, world renowned chef of El Bulli has created much controversy amongst food purists that describe his unparallelled dishes as molecular gastronomy. While this type of experimental fare doesn't really tickle our culinary appetite, there is a morbid curiosity within us to go just for the adventure. With limited reservations (open June to December) accepted only on one single day in October for the following year, I would hope that my U2 ticket buying experience rubs off ;)

In preparation for a recent photo shoot with Martin Krzywinski from Lumondo Photography, I directed Jesee to create some extraordinary pieces for himself and not just something uninspired for the mainstream market. One of the results was this pair of three-dimensional hematite and crystal earrings...a purely unconscious resemblance to Gaudi's avant-garde design of La Sagrada Familia...crazy minds think alike.

Friday, March 27, 2009

No Joe Mojo

Sadly, even with the addition of a second show, we won't be able to catch Joe Jonas and his bros when they come to Vancouver this summer on June 30th. *smirk* Instead, we will be at the kick-off of the U2 360° Tour at Camp Nou in BARCELONA!

I had my alarm set for 1:57 a.m. (9:57 in Spain) Wednesday morning, so that I could log on to Ticketmaster and purchase the concert tickets. It was an exercise in frustration waiting for the system to process my request, much like online Boxing Day shopping at Future Shop. After being booted off the site twice *grrr* and some twenty-eight minutes later...said tickets secured!

I crept back into bed hoping to catch a couple more hours of sleep before facing the daily grind, but the excitement was too great to let my brain settle down. Drifting in and out of consciousness, I dreamt that I was rocking out at the show with Rafa.

Barely awake, I made myself a double espresso and checked for ticket availability again at 5:30 a.m. ...SOLD OUT. *happy dance*

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Dining Out for Life

This Thursday, March 12th is the annual Dining Out for Life event, where 25% of all food revenue sold from participating restaurants is donated to support local people living with AIDS/SIDA.

Every little bit helps...PLEASE dine out for life.

Bowen Goodness

Body...and soul.

A weekend to recharge with good friends cures all woes. A scrumptious birthday dinner party, Sunday brunch at Artisan Eats and a bagful of my favourite soap from Naked's new store.

All is good and je suis bien dans ma peau.

Friday, February 20, 2009

let them eat bread

The much anticipated opening of a new food establishment at Artisan Square has finally arrived.

About three months ago while attending a soiree at the Gilt Studio Gallery, I found myself peering through the windows of the then closed-down and vacant Galley Bistro dreaming of what "I" would do with this space - as it has so much potential.

That same evening, we were delighted to learn that Julie and Christophe of Tuscany's along with chef Thierry Mohrbach were about to embark on a new venture in this very location. With their proven success at Tuscany's, I am certain that Artisan Eats will mark yet another notch on their belts.

Wholesome homemade foods and a view to feed the soul - all under one roof!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Hearts and Tarts

Edgy double-heart earrings without all the sweetness available online at Next Door Style just in time for Valentine's or anytime.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

La Isla Bonita

Carmen is a passionate love story of a free-spirited gypsy involved in a fiery romance with both a toreador and a jealous, inexperienced soldier that eventually results in her demise.

Jesee makes no secret of his dislike for the French opera, but as we were able to acquire good seats for a song, he reluctantly obliged. We are far from being experts and as fond as we are of the score, we concluded that Bizet's Carmen lacks the authentic feeling and portrayal of the Spanish joie de vivre. IOHO, had it been written in either Spanish or Italian, it would have felt much less constrained, allowing the lyrics to freely roll off the actors' tongues and thus exercising the power of passion.

The flights for our three-week Spanish holiday are booked and negotiations on a beach front apartment for our stay are nearly finalized. Next on the agenda is the planning of Jesee's 50th birthday and what comes to mind is a great big pig roast at the family hideaway...

Current Read: Everything but the Squeal - Eating the Whole Hog in Northern Spain

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

An Evening with Diana Krall

Upon request, we happily donated one of our stunning Crystal AB cuffs for the Diana Krall charity auction and benefit. This big night takes place on Monday, February 16, 2009 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, which coincidentally is where I was promised the best Chocolate Martini...ever!

A colleague of mine who kindly delivered the package to the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation office mentioned that she was looking for something to go with her newly acquired diamond cocktail ring and that this cuff could be the perfect match. I told the said interested party that it could be hers if she could finagle tickets to this black tie, invitation-only event at a mere $1000 per ticket AND win the highest auction bid!

Bonne chance ma chéri!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

In Living Colour

The unbounded palette of colours in the Swarovski crystal bead collection is the grown-up equivalent of a big ass box of Crayola Crayons! With new colours added to the collection two to three times a year, it's near impossible to keep track of them all!

However grand our inventory is, we do not stock every size, shape or colour. If you have your heart set on something particular - with adequate notice (and a big budget), we can special order most anything for your custom request.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Put Your Face On

My bad, I nearly missed the boat on blogging this contest...

Next Door Style is offering YOU a chance to win either a photo shoot with Lumondo Photography OR a $100.00 Gift Certificate for just by posting on their Facebook Fan Page.

For more information visit Next Door Diary and hurry...the contest ends on January 31, 2009.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Get Polished

Psst, I'm finally going to share my little beauty treasure with y'all. I found a nail bar that does manicures for only ten dollars (pedicures are $20)!

Melissa, previously from the Absolute Spa Group is absolutely fabulous. I'm very meticulous (actually anal retentive) about my nails and she does NOT disappoint, unlike some of my other spa experiences.

I am a loyal OPI fan, however Essie is their product of choice. Nothing to snivel at, but with colours like Midnight in Moscow and Russian Navy at my fingertips - it's hard to convert.

This promotional price (Tues thru Thurs) will not last forever, so go get POLISHED and tell Melissa (that's her real name) that Koko sent you! At this price you can treat yourself weekly...I know I do ;)

Polished Hair & Nail Bar
4222 Hastings Street

Beauty Tip: Never get caught with chipped nail polish; apply a top coat at least once between appointments to keep your manicure looking fresh and shiny.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Bliss Without Boundaries

If you're looking for something out of the "norm" for your nuptial celebrations, then visit the Indie I Do wedding event showcasing independent designers and retailers.

Intended to be a departure from traditional wedding shows, Indie I Do is targeted to couples who have modern and unique views of marriage and weddings, as well as the traditionalist looking to add a little bit of personality to their wedding. The event will feature independent, edgy and innovative exhibitors in wedding-related areas such as fashion & accessories, jewelry, florists, wedding coordinators, food and beverage, photographers and videographers.

Unfortunately we didn't find out about this show in time to participate this year, but hope to do so for 2010. It sounds like the perfect venue for Izzy and Buds Jewelry Designs...funky, Spanish attitude...inspiring and unique jewelry that glitter and shout, "Ooh la la!"

Wacky wedding fiascoes can be seen on Bride Wars, which opens in theaters today. When looking at the trailers, I was rather disappointed that neither of the brides were adorned in jewelry - clearly Patricia Fields was not the costume designer ;)

Current Music:
Beginner's Guide to Buddha Lounge