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Category Archives: Home Decor and Table

Culinary Gifts Hardwood Serving and Chopping Boards

We all have those hard-to-buy-for friends. They are the ones who already own the latest gadget and have a collection of unique keepsakes from their travels.

Are you looking for the perfect gift for a someone?

A house warming present?

A wedding gift?

The perfect Christmas gift for a foodie?

Something useful for someone who likes to cook?

Hardwood Chopping Boards

Kathy Clarke and her husband moved to Bowen Island from British Columbia’s interior (Okanagan) on a whim, and now she says that she could not imagine living anywhere else. Bowen Island is a corner of paradise on Canada’s west coast, close enough to downtown Vancouver for commuters, but far enough away to support an authentic island community.

Hardwood Chopping Boards

Harnessing her creative talent and inspired by her surroundings, Kathy launched Schooner Lane Designs in 2014.

“The first boards I made were for Christmas presents. I loved making them and was pleased with how they turned out, so I decided to make a few more and take them to our local Christmas craft fair. The rest, as they say, is history.”

Hardwood Chopping Boards

Handcrafting Hardwood Chopping Boards

Clarke cuts each piece of hardwood with her handheld saw. Her workshop (atelier) is her deck, so the often-wet coastal weather dictates her work schedule. Without the use of a template, she crafts each board, so the final product is truly one-of-a-kind. Clarke then sands down each board to a rustic, yet silky smooth finish. The last step is preserving the boards with a food-safe beeswax & mineral oil paste.

Schooner Lane serving and chopping boards are made with Canadian hardwood (cherry, maple, and walnut). The durable wood and Clarke’s rigorous production methodology ensure that the boards are made to last for years to come.

These serving boards are unique and rustic. Each one is handcrafted from a single piece of Canadian hardwood that Clarke chooses for its beauty, unique characteristics and natural imperfections. She uses off-cuts of timber that have interesting knots and grains, and a few rough edges. Every Schooner Lane board is made from a single plank of wood, so there is no glueing or laminating, and hardly any wasted material.

Inspired by the beauty of her surroundings, her love of wood, and all things handmade, came Kathy Clarke’s line of … wait for it … “Board out of my Mind” ~ Cheese, Chopping & Serving Boards. Explore the collection today. There are several designs, sizes and wood finishes by Schooner Lane Designs.

Enjoy the Romance of Candlelight It’s a Recent Invention

Before the invention of the light bulb, candles were a necessity in homes, as once the sun set, it was DARK.

North American pioneers had few luxuries. They fabricated utilitarian candles from animal tallow (fat) or when available from beeswax. According an article from Pioneer Thinking households would have needed to make 400+ candles per year for their daily usage. Eventually, these settlers had kerosene lanterns, but even those were intended for specific tasks not for leisurely dinners discussing world affairs.

Candlelight Romance Beeswax Bees Wax Works

Within a monastery, the Chandler (learn more here) held an important position as he was the one in charge of the fabrication of candles. Traditionally, these candles were tapers formed by a tedious dipping method. The candles were used by monks and staff to move about the monastery buildings, check on livestock and other essential tasks. Alone in his room, a monk would have used his candle sparingly.

Candlelight Romance Beeswax Bees Wax Works

We can thank Mr Edison for his light bulb invention, which affords us all the luxury to live productive lives without having to worry about our candle inventory.

Now, we need to worry about blue light. These days we are practically chained to our mobile devices, for instant news and social media gratification. Health studies have shown that the blue light emitted from these devices may, in fact, interrupt our sleep patterns (details here).

Candlelight Romance Beeswax Bees Wax Works

Why We Love Candlelight

If you are taking the kids to Chucky Cheese for dinner, you do not expect or want, candles. However, for that special occasion; a birthday, anniversary or “date night” you crave something a more subdued – the romance of candlelight.

5 Reasons Why to Choose Beeswax Candles over Paraffin 

Maybe it’s just the act of lighting a candle that triggers your brain to say ok that day is done, and it’s time to wind down. Maybe the subdued light from candles allows our minds to begin to quiet for the day. Or, it could be that we like candlelight because it hides some of the wrinkles. Whatever your reason for wanting a softer glow, light a candle tonight and celebrate the gentle romance.

Explore the Bees Wax Works candle collection here.

Visiting Canmore Project A Pop-Up is a Gallery of Canadian Designers this Summer

Bordered by the serrated granite spires of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Canmore, Alberta is a beacon for artistic souls. It is also a town where it can be hard to find parking on a summer weekend. And, the number of mountain bikes might just outnumber the rabbits (ok maybe not).

Project A Pop-up Canmore

Jade Ansley is a metalsmith and one of those artistic souls, with a big idea for Canmore’s Main Street this summer.

“Project A is a curated pop-up gallery dedicated to promoting the work of emerging artists and makers. The gallery aims to create relationships between the public, other galleries, and artists, to build their careers.”

Ansley’s is naturally artistic, her mother is an interior designer, and her father is in construction. She says, “I have been an artist since I was a small child and started my first ‘business’ at age seven.”

This Canmore native studied jewellery design at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design (NBCCD). In 2012, Ansley began the 3-year NBCCD program and achieved a diploma in Jewellery and Metal Arts. A graduate studies program followed, dedicated to business within the arts.

“The graduate program was the course that got me into curating and business – I ran my first Project A pop-up in Fredericton (photo below)  as my thesis. It was funded by the government of New Brunswick (Heritage and Culture office), and featured 19 graduates and current students at NBCCD.”

Project A Pop-up Fredericton

Project A – Canmore is a larger undertaking. Ansley is assuming the rental risk of a vacant retail space on Canmore’s main drag. Her vision is to entice locals and summer tourists into the pop-up store to view (and buy) the work of 40+ emerging Canadian designers. These artistic productions include jewellery, clothing, leather goods, textiles, furniture, pottery, sculptures and paintings.

Project A Pop-up Canmore Construction

Project A Pop-up Canmore Construction

The bright and lofty space is perfect for the gallery concept that Ansley hopes to create for her impressive list of artists and anyone who ventures inside.

Coast-to-coast collection of emerging designers

Nu Ceramics – Fredericton, NB (pottery for your daily rituals)
The Spinner Weaver – Saint Johns, NB ( fashion and home decor)
Cassandra Elizabeth – Toronto, ON (women’s clothing)
Christina Pupo – Toronto, ON (furniture design)
Uppdoo – Toronto, ON (leather handbags)
Co Create Co. – Edmonton, AB (home décor you can’t live without)
AdrianMartinus – Calgary, AB (woodwork)
Kerry Langlois – Canmore, AB (painter)
Jennifer Wharton – Fort Simpson, NWT (ceramics)
And many more…

Project A Pop-up Artists

Project A Pop-up Canmore Artists

The Project A Pop-up opens its doors at 709 Main Street (Canmore) on June 1st and will run until approximately September 30th. Watch for special events and promotions all summer.

Barbecue Season Entertaining Designs that Make Gearing-up Easy

It’s officially barbecue season!

In the Northern Hemisphere, the darker months of the year are finally behind us, and we can look forward to enjoying warm, bright evenings spent outside. Spring and summer months are the time to take advantage of relaxed entertaining and outdoor grilling. With school holidays around the corner, the annual rituals of opening cabins and cottages for the summer involves heavy lifting. Before the relaxation can begin, there are chores to be done that include docks, deck chairs, gardens and boat trailers.

Make entertaining easy this season

 

Consider easy food preparation and presentation with a new wooden serving board. Hand carved from Canadian hardwood and finished with food-safe beeswax & mineral oil paste these boards are versatile serving platters. These Schooner Lane Designs boards transition effortlessly from a chopping surface to an elegant serving tray.

Arrange a tempting pre-dinner snack for your guests on a wooden backdrop. All you need is a selection of cheese, cold cuts and some mixed antipasto to get the evening started.

Choose from one of several board sizes, shapes and wood types. Kathy at Schooner Lane Designs works with maple, black walnut and cherry.

Choose the long, narrow baguette style board for bread and cheese.

Schooner Lane wooden serving boards

For a contemporary variation select this angular version.

walnut and maple serving boards

Show your guests you love them with the heart handle board.

Bonus: These serving and chopping boards are available in a variety of sizes, and can be engraved to personalise your selection.

Heart Handle Hardwood Boards

What about the table?

Chartreuse coloured leather napkin rings

Add a touch of colour with leather napkin rings. Summer entertaining may mean there is no need for a formal table and often “come and get it” is how it rolls. Dress-up the evening with a set bright leather napkin rings. Each piece of leather is cut by hand and cross-stitched with a strong, waxed cord. These napkin rings by Iron Art are available in several leather colour options: chartreuse, blue, red, white, purple, orange, grey and pink. Sold in sets of four (4) choose your preferred colour here.

White coloured leather napkin rings

Are you looking for natural leather? The napkin rings are also available in five leather hues – explore the options here.

Long warm evenings call for a bit of romance once the sun finally sets. Chandler Jill Smith has created a group of beautiful 100% beeswax candles. Beeswax provides a long-lasting, bright light. Read about the benefits of beeswax over paraffin here.

The Simple Fern will burn for over 50 hours.

Simple Fern Beeswax Candle

Expect the Vintage Bee to last up to 30 hours.

Vintage Bee Beeswax Candle

The smaller Key to My Heart should burn brightly for over 15 hours.

Key to my Heart Beeswax Candle

Make a house a home – the cosy touches

Alpine-themed fabric tea towels and aprons are whimsical touches for your kitchen and make for excellent hostess gifts. Anouk works with fine European linen as the base for their naturally inspired designs. Find out why they use this durable linen here.

Enjoy your BBQ season!

Barbecue Season Entertaining

Looking for Mother’s Day Gifts Designer Shopping Ideas

You are right! There is no reason to wait for a single Sunday, in May, to tell your mother that you love her. However, you must admit that if you do not send a card, take her for lunch or give her a small gift to acknowledge the day, it looks bad. We thought we would help with a few Mother’s Day gift ideas.

Mother's day Designer Gift Ideas

Zen Mama (or one needs a bit of calm in her life)

Give her a natural beeswax candle handcrafted by Chandler Jill Smith. These custom edition candles are available in three beautiful designs. Made with 100% pure beeswax sourced in Alberta, Smith creates these candles in her sweet-smelling garage on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia.

Why buy candles made with beeswax? They are a healthier choice. Slow burning beeswax candles produce a bright light and a non-toxic smoke. Read five (5) reasons to choose beeswax candles over paraffin here.

There are three Bees Wax Works candle designs to choose from (click here), but is “Key to My Heart” might be a good choice for your mother.

Just saying…

Key to my Heart Beeswax Candle

Pro Hostess and Entertainer Mom

Is she a passionate foodie and loves cooking? Get your mother something to brighten up her kitchen. Anouk has a series of alpine inspired European linen aprons and tea towels in five (5) different designs.

Anouk European Linen Aprons

Does your mother feed off the energy of social gatherings surrounded by friends and family?

These hand carved serving boards are long lasting gifts that are perfect for entertaining. West Coast weather permitting, Kathy Clark of Schooner Lane Designs cuts these hardwood boards on her Bowen Island deck. Using her trusty electric saw Clark hand cuts walnut, maple and cherry hardwood into a shape that will eventually become a cheese or charcuterie board. These serving boards are finished with food-safe beeswax and mineral oil paste. Schooner Lane Designs serving and chopping boards are created from rough off-cuts, giving this wood a renewed purpose.

Choose any one of these boards for your mother. Our personal favourite is the heart handle version. Add a special touch by requesting to have the board engraved with your mum’s initials.

Heart Handle Hardwood Boards

Fashionista Mother

Give her a scarf or shawl to add a pop of colour to her spring outfits without any additional bulk. Check out at the designer options here.

How about a little bling to make her eyes sparkle? We have a selection of unique, designer jewellery from earrings to rings, from bracelets to necklaces. Consider buying mum a semi-precious gemstone piece for added strength, clarity or confidence. Shop the jewellery options here.

What lady doesn’t want a new handbag? Our designers use high-quality leather, vintage fabrics, and beautiful silks. Browse the handbag selection here.

Mother's Day Fashion Gift Ideas

12 Days of Canadian Designer Christmas Creations from their Workshops

Our Canadian designers are real people who have studied and practised their artistic pursuits, perfecting techniques and designs along the way. What are they creating for Christmas?

In the past eleven days, we have featured their women’s fashion accessory and home decor products made with ostrich leather, cashmere, concrete, stainless steel, gemstones, silk, metal clay, beeswax linen, Canadian hardwood and recycled metals. We thought it might be time to give you a glimpse into their workshops – there are no elves to be seen, just our designers still hard at work.

Morija Reeb – weaving with silk at her loom:

morija-reeb-silk-weaver-artist-photo

Nancy Newman and her vintage fabrics – handbags in progress:

Nancy Newman Textiles work in the studio

Anastassia Selezneva handcrafting her sustainable jewellery from recycled metals:

anastassia-selezneva-working-on-designer-jewellery

The team at Artigiani Milanesi weaving  cashmere garments:

Artigiani Milanesi Cashmere Designs on Bowen Island

Colleen Poitras handcrafting jewellery for the “Pretty. Rocker. Chic.” in every gal:

Colleen Poitras designing Canadian women's jewellery

Kaarina and her KOTI Design silk evening bags at a designer show:

Kaarina Talvila @KOTIDesigns

Melanie Neves working with metal clay to create her gorgeous nature-inspired jewellery:

Melanie Neves Keme Jewellery Designer at work

Cassandra Burrell contemplating her next eco-friendly, designed for comfort clothing pieces:

Designer Cassandra Burrell @CassBurrDesigns

Erin Johnson showcasing her Erinlaura gemstone jewellery in Vancouver:

Erin Johnson @Erinlaura Jewelry

Christine VonBun designing her ostrich leather handbags:

Christine VonBun Leather Handbag Designer

Kathy Clarke in her outdoor workshop on a nice day on Bowen Island:

Kathy Clarke Schooner Lane Designs Workshop

Jill Smith relaxed after working with 45-pound blocks of beeswax:

Jill Smith @beeswaxworks

And, Katja dreaming up the next Skimbaco jewellery design:

katja @Skimbaco

It’s not too late to enter the “Get Social”  giveaway – full contest details are here.

Happy Holidays to one and all.

 

Designers at work for Pinterest:

Canadian fashion designers at work.

Day 6 – 12 days of Designer Christmas Beeswax Candles

Chandler, Jill Smith, starts her candle making process with 45-pound blocks of pure 100% beeswax that she sources from a single supplier in Alberta. These blocks arrive on a palette, delivered by truck to her Salt Spring Island driveway. She explained that it is quite a sight to see this load waiting for her to act.

The Key to My Heart #Beeswax #Candles @Beeswaxworks

A bit like a boxer and their punching bag, breaking these solid blocks of wax into manageable pieces does wonders for stress release. Jill then takes the smaller pieces and melts the wax to the correct temperature before pouring the molten liquid into her custom moulds.

Simple Fern #Beeswax #Candles @Beeswaxworks

There are three of her signature series candles available on Atelier: Key to my Heart, Simple Fern and Vintage Bee. These beautiful candles burn a clean, natural, sweet smelling smoke. Here are five reasons to buy a beeswax candle. 

Vintage Bee Beeswax Candles @Beeswaxworks

Consider natural beeswax candles as perfect holiday gifts and unique hostess presents. Fill someone’s stocking with a sweetly scented Vintage Bee, Simple Fern or Key to My Heart candle.

Or, create an artistic home decor combination package and include a hardwood serving board and linen tea towels, both made on Bowen Island near Vancouver.

Read more about the artisan craft of chandlery here.

Pin this image to your handcrafted, home decor board.

Beeswax candles made from pure wax for wonderful holiday light.

Day 4 – 12 days of Designer Christmas Shop for Linens

What better place to launch a business idea than over an aprés-ski cocktail? The founders of Anouk Designs Rebecca Bizzarri (British interior designer) and Australian Victoria Guy (business professional) sipped on their mulled wine in front of a roaring fire and decided to move forward with a design company that embraces nature and alpine living.

Anouk home decor cushions linen fabric

The Anouk linen collection, available on Atelier, is inspired by alpine scenes and whimsical animals. Designer Rebecca Bizzarri sketches the patterns by hand, and the final versions are then printed on top quality European linen. Read the background on her inspiration from her time in the Swiss Alps in this post, “Why you should buy European linen for your home.”

Anouk aprons @Anouk

The linen cushions make for playful accents at your ski cabin or lakeside cottage. Or, give unique hostess gifts (hint: everyone brings wine) of Anouk tea towels and aprons.

Anouk Tea Towels Linen @Anouk

For your Pinterest home decor board:

Fine European Linens in Alpine Designs for hostess gifts

Seasonal Shopping a Holiday Gift Guide for Wine Lovers

What a fabulous holiday surprise!

Jill Barth is a travel writer with a laser focus on the wines of the world. She writes for numerous publications, works with several wine regions and finds time to write her blog L’Occasion.

Just in time for the festive season Jill published “Under the Tree: L’occasion Holiday Gift Guide + A Giveaway.” This is definitely a gift guide for the wine lover on your list – from gadgets to bottles, from books to wine studies and certification.

Of course, nothing goes much better with a glass of wine than a little cheese. This is what Jill had to say about our woodcraft designer on Bowen Island.

Heart Handle Hardwood Boards

 

SCHOONER LANE DESIGNS CHARCUTERIE BOARDS

In 2016 I had the opportunity to get to know the winemakers of British Columbia. First I connected with Julian from BC Wine Trends and then I met Sujinder Junea who put me in touch with several BC wineries during their harvest season. It was a year of learning about what it takes to make wine there, what life is like “north of the border”.  This gift, a selection of cheese and charcuterie boards, comes from an artisan from British Columbia. Each is made from a piece of Canadian hardwood and is handcrafted to last. To buy, visit Atelier Boutiques where these and other artisan gifts from the region can be found.

Read her full wine lover’s gift guide suggestions here.

Thank you, Jill!

Tis the Season Five Reasons to Buy a Beeswax Candle

At this time of year, careless flip-flop days and intense summer skies seem hopelessly far away… At least, December’s twinkling holiday lights have replaced the gloomy darkness of November evenings.

Impossibly short days are the perfect time to gather friends around a dinner table for long conversations fuelled by hearty red wine and slow cooked savoury meals.

#Beeswax #Candles @Beeswaxworks blog post

However, table setting is part of establishing the mood. Wine does not taste the same from a plastic glass, and an overly lit table can feel like a cafeteria. We turned to artisan creator Jill Smith at Bees Wax Works to share her five reasons to buy a beeswax candle for the holidays.

  1. Dark days bring the need for warm light.  Beeswax burns in the light spectrum of the sun. If summer seems far away, the light aura from these artisan candles will remind you of those days.
  2. The natural smell of beeswax – a reminder of the heavenly smell of warmer days spent outside – in the comfort of your living room.
  3. Innocent times with the tradition of beeswax candles at holiday times. The aroma is a trigger for many.  Especially for my European customers, the smell evokes childhood memories of a time when candles were hand-dipped by mums and grandmas.
  4. Beauty and simplicity in an effortless gift.
  5. Warmth: Brisk outdoor activities and quieter nights – beeswax candles bring an authentic heating to our indoor season.

Jill’s beeswax candles are handcrafted in her Salt Spring Island workshop, a place that she describes as “The best smelling garage on Salt Spring Island, with lovely windows and views of the Salish Sea.” The candles are made from blocks of 45-pound blocks of 100% Canadian beeswax (sourced in Alberta).

Beeswax Works candles are crafted following traditional methodologies (read about the art of chandlery). Jill describes the steps as easy enough, however, after wax patience is a critical ingredient in the process.

Warm up your winter days with one of these candles from the Beeswax Works custom collection:

Key to My Heart:

The Key to My Heart #Beeswax #Candles @Beeswaxworks

Simple Fern:

Simple Fern #Beeswax #Candles @Beeswaxworks

Vintage Bee:

Vintage Bee #Beeswax #Candles @Beeswaxworks

Image credits: Candle photos provided by and published with the permission of Jill Smith @ Bees Wax Works

 

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