Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Lisbon Love Affair

When I was a kid, I was surrounded by a large, boisterous, opinionated, group of great food lovers. 
Emotions running on high most times with passion being a staple part of the normal atmosphere. 

Laughter and tears, often at the same time. 
Never a dull moment. 
It used to drive me a little up the wall when I was a kid.
Trying to find a corner to hide in just to get a moment of peace. 
I'm talking about growing up in a Portuguese family. 
If you have one, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

It's funny how the things that drive you crazy can end up being the exact same things you get nostalgic about when you become a grown up.

I guess that's why I stayed away from visiting Lisbon right away...
I knew I was going to be in for an all around REAL experience the moment I arrived...  

Lisbon is pretty magical

Part of what made our stay so incredibly special was staying in a
sweet little space called the Art Attic. 

A cozy space hosted by an amazing visual artist named Antje Webber, who has an impeccable 
flair for decor. A perfect mixture of romance, modernism and nostalgic qualities.

View of the Tagus River from the Art Attic

For anyone travelling to Lisbon, I highly recommend booking the Art Attic, located in the heart of the Alfama district which is the oldest neighborhood in Lisbon.

Little did I know before choosing this area to stay in that there exists a 
GIANT Flea Market called the Feira da Ladra

 I walked away with a jackpot of vintage buttons

In the same neighborhood is an AMAZING little shop called 

Amores de Toquio 

Isabel Tom├ís is the designer behind Amores de Toquio. 
Most of her designs are handmade, some of the fabrics and jewelry 
are laser cut with very cool designs. 

Her creations are also inspired by Japanese elements and aesthetics. 
Some of the details and fabrics had an up-cycled edge, which I really appreciated being as how I am a fellow up-cycler.

It was super cool having an artist for a host like Antje who was so kind to introduce me to some of her other creative pals like Isabel. 

I walked away with this awesome laser cut, geometric swallow pendant


I really could write multiple blogs about all of the AMAZING discoveries we found while in Lisbon. 

I was only there for 9 days but really managed to cram a tonne of ground work exploring this truly diverse city. 

One place that I made a point to go to before leaving Lisbon was an award winning shop 
called A Vida Portuguesa which translates as The Portuguese Life.

Everything in this shop is super authentic and proudly made in Portugal with a rich history and major nostalgic quality about what it means to live a Portuguese life.
A Vida Portuguesa believes that objects are capable of telling extraordinary and revealing stories. 

It's about the people of this land and their peculiar tastes, about a society and its context, about a history that is after all a common identity. The objects are magical in that they awaken sensations and memories within the Portuguese way of living.
THIS place REALLY tugged away at the heart strings of memory lane...

Check out the website filled with great regional products which can be purchased directly online. The website is full of intrigue and has a lot of interesting historical tid-bits about the Portuguese way.

I literally spent hours in this shop and I wanted EVERYTHING.
I walked off with some tasty treats & mementos for friends and family.

On my last morning in Lisbon, my host Antje gifted me with a book of her beautiful art post cards and I'm looking forward to putting them into frames to add to the growing vignette I have at home. 

When I left she was working on some really cool Shadow boxes (many of the objects she boasted finding at the Feira de Ladra Flea  market I mentioned earlier!) 

I really enjoy seeing what she's working on through her Instagram page @antjeweberart these days...

Something tells me I'll be back to the motherland again one day...

Until then...


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Gifting Local is the Gift that Keeps on Giving...

I've been self employed and running my own business for well over a decade now and I can tell you as rewarding as it is to be your own boss, it's a path less chosen for reason. Being a self employed designer (or self employed anything really) presents a a slough of daily challenges.

I think the biggest of those challenges is consistently educating the mainstream on the differences between handmade, slow culture which at it's heart is about quality over quantity versus mass produced, cheaply made products found at big box chain stores.

Fortunately I have had many opportunities to be in both local & national media speaking about our handmade eco friendly process and how much more interesting and better quality buying from a local artist or designer actually is...

Adhesif Clothing  can be found in at least a dozen artisan markets annually which is a great way to show our work in the public and to discuss these topics ones to one.

Vancouver Eco Fashion Week 2012

Shiny Fuzzy Muddy Show 2015

The Nifty for Fifty Sale 2016

What I hear from a lot of people is that they would like to support sustainable and locally made more but have a difficult time knowing where to start and to this I do sympathize. The little guy doesn't often get over shadowed by all the H&M's and Wallmarts of the world so even tough it seems like we don't exist we really do...

We're fortunate
that in Vancouver, BC we actually have a slough of local events that cater to the
indie-handmade scene. All you need to do is look at your local newspapers like The West Ender or the Georgia Straight newspaper and you can find loads of advertisements for art markets and craft fairs, Especially this time of year.

Alternatively if you find a local boutique or artisan you like all you have to do is go to their website. Many of them do participate at local art and design fairs and will have a list of the events they can be found at. Once you go to one fair you will be opened to another world of indie talent. Have a look at our website to see some of the events we were just involved in and new ones coming in 2017

There's also a lot of great publications that specifically highlight the work of indie
designers and artists like Belle Armoire Magazine based out of the U.S which we've been published in multiple times...

Another amazing resource is LOCO BC

LOCO BC is a non-profit local business alliance working to strengthen communities, grow the local economy and build strong, sustainable businesses by encouraging a shift in local purchasing by consumers, businesses and institutions/government. 
Their work is predicated on the belief that economic sustainability, along with social and environmental sustainability forms the bedrock of healthy and resilient communities. 

LOCO BC encourages purchasers to buy from B.C.-based companies, and to buy B.C. goods and services based on a shared commitment to strong communities, a healthy environment, meaningful employment and fair trade practices.

Back in 2011 we had the pleasure of having a joint interview with the West Ender Newspaper and the founder of LOCO BC, Amy Robinson for Vancouver Eco Fashion Week.

Now that Christmas is fast approaching and we are all in GO Mode I would encourage you to consider supporting locally made products and services this holiday season. The reasons why supporting local is so much better than the run of the mill are really endless. 

Whether it's the originality & quality or the impeccable customer service provided by having a personalized experience with an artist or merchant, you decide. What ever the reason, I guarantee you it's the gift that keeps on giving!

The Adhesif Clothing shop will be open for another 5 more days before we take our annual holiday break. Be sure to stop by and check out all of our amazing local offerings for your last minute Christmas gifts this season.

Adhesif Clothing 2202 Main Street Vancouver, BC 
 Hours~ Tues-Sat 11-7 Sun 12-5 Monday Closed 

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season and a great start in 2017!