We recently attended the Health & Wellness Show held in Vancouver and had the pleasure of chatting with Carolyn Trotter of Mandala Blooms Creative. Carolyn is an East Vancouver artist that makes beautiful meditation mats under the name of Mandala Creative Blooms. She received a Diploma in Art in Merchandising from Langara College and has studied graphic design, printmaking, sacred geometry, technical illustration, interior design and visual marketing in both Canada and Mexico. A series of life experiences and health challenges brought Carolyn to study yoga and meditation. In 2014, Carolyn launched her business designing floral meditation mats with mandala centres. They are designed to provide a sacred centerpiece for a serene space to meditate. Carolyn is committed to the integration of art, personal health and daily mindfulness with the intention of helping people heal. Carolyn herself has faced many challenges in her life and her secrets for getting well were yoga and meditation. These practices enabled Carolyn to stay focused on the things that matter most. We invite you to visit Mandala Blooms Creative online shop open 24/7. Carolyn also makes colourful yoga towels with her designs as well as framed prints of her designs. If you dig a bit deeper, you can also find some paintings at CarolynTrotter.com which we have to say, we’d love to see on any of our walls.
Are you interested in tackling some DIY yourself projects for home, but don’t have the space? In case you haven’t heard, The Wood Shop, features some great one day do-it-yourself workshops. They are currently offering four workshops. You can choose to make a dining table, headboard, storage trunk or a planter box. The Wood Shop provides the space and the tools for the project you wish to tackle. Each workshop is led by an experienced Wood Working Educator in a professional wood working shop. You will learn how to use wood working tools and learn some introductory fabrication and finishing concepts. When they aren’t teaching classes, the Wood Shop crafts one-of-a-kind furniture and home décor items out of reclaimed wood. Cost of each class varies depending on what you choose to make, but they are offering a variety of dates. Workshops take place at 251 Southern Creek in the False Creek Flats near Main Street and Terminal Avenue. Heads up, the last time we featured these classes, they filled up quickly. Should you wish to tackle one of their projects, we recommend registering early. Note, gift certificates are available should you wish to give an early Father’s Day present For more information or to register, visit their website at The Wood Shop.
Are you a local maker, artist or crafter? Shiny Fuzzy Muddy is looking for you. They are getting prepared to host their 15th Annual Shiny Fuzzy Muddy Show on December 9 and 10, 2017 at the Heritage Hall. If you are unfamiliar with this show, it is one of ‘the’ shows to check out over the holiday season featuring high quality design and craftsmanship. They curate an amazing line up of talent. Applications are now being accepted for December’s event. If you are new artist, you also have the opportunity to submit an application under their Emerging Artist Program. Every year, they sponsor one artist/maker with under 3 years of professional experience. They provide them with a booth free of cost, so they can spend that money on supplies and display materials to help them grow their handmade business. They also provide mentorship, promotion and a chance for the artist to get a feel for the market at low risk to them. They are big believers in supporting up and coming talent and are now proud to offer this program for a 3rd year. All artists, makers and crafters are invited to submit their applications by the March 31st, 2017 deadline. To apply, visit ShinyFuzzyMuddy.com.
For one that was educated by a little East Van School, Queen Alexandra Elementary School, in the writer’s case, we are all about supporting efforts that make our community a better place. With that view in mind, we would like to introduce you to the efforts of some East Van parents raising money for Dr. A.R. Lord Elementary School. Local parents got together and designed a, we think, pretty cool T-shirt with the theme of All Roads Lead To East Van. Outside of that statement being true, we are loving the design. Parents have been working to raise funds for various projects including field trips, a community garden and most recently a new robotics program for students. An online store was recently set up which link we’ve included here. We invite you to check it out and support this cool initiative by purchasing a T-shirt(s). This simple act will make you look a) so cool b) show your love for East Van and c) provide a wider range of learning opportunities for our East Van kids. T-shirts are a very reasonable $25 and if you wish to save on shipping costs, pick up can be arranged in the Hastings Sunrise area.
Are you planning a wedding this year or maybe next year? If so, we have something for you. Weddings as many know are a fairly large expenditure, even if you are doing it on a budget. That is why we love the concept of The Bridal Swap happening April 2nd at the Croatian Cultural Centre. If you are unfamiliar with this unique concept, it brings together past brides, brides to be, decorators, wedding planners and craft artisans all under one roof. For brides to be, you have the opportunity to purchase gently used items from past brides and, of course, past brides have the opportunity to sell items from their weddings which could include the ‘dress’ and wedding décor including centerpieces, candles, linens, glassware and vases to name but a few items on hand. So instead of buying all new, it’s a great opportunity to re-use and repurpose items which we are big fans of. The Bridal Swap will also have on hand an array of artisans offering handmade items or services for your wedding day including photographers, jewellery, cakes, wedding favours, flowers, invitations and the list goes on. Bridal Swap takes place on Sunday, April 2nd from 10:30 am to 3:00 pm. Tickets are available through Eventbrite and you have two options $25 for early admission at 10:30 a.m. for first choice on items, or $15 for admission after 11:30 a.m. Now if you are a Past Bride and wish to sell some items, you are in luck, there are a few spots left. Tables are $50 and organizers are offering our followers $5 off with the discount code ILIVEINEASTVAN17.
One of the best sales in the City is back on Sunday, April 9th at the Heritage Hall, 3102 Main Street. Nifty for Fifty was founded by Adhesif Clothing designer, Melissa Ferreira, in 2007 with 12 designers. It has now grown to 30 sellers with over 3,000 shoppers attending the one day sale. This year is their 10th anniversary and we expect it will be one of the best sales yet. If you are not familiar with Nifty For Fifty, the sale is a way for designers to show gratitude to their customers by clearing out local merchandise all of which is $50 or less. You can expect to find clothing, jewelry, bags, scarves and much more by 30 local designers. Some local returning designers that will be on hand include Adhesif Clothing, Allison Wonderland, and Daub & Design. There are a host of new participants this year including Black Bird Studios with nature inspired ceramics, Lana Betty with gold and silver 3D printed jewellery, Scandinazn with handmade repurposed leather goods, Wallis-Evera with modern hemp business wear and Winterluxe with recycled cashmere. A number of items available on this day will be up to 80% off. So mark your calendar for this shopping event, but just a reminder this is a mainly cash event. For those that want the best selection or first dibs at some of the great deals, we recommend you get their early. The sale starts at 11:00 a.m. and goes to 8:00 p.m. Admission is $2 at the door.
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The Daisy Theatre returns to The Cultch on March 21st until April 9th. What is the Daisy Theatre? Well it’s a puppet show by the one and only Bonnie Burkett and this is NOT any puppet show. If you think you might not be interested in seeing puppets, you will likely be wrong. The Daisy Theatre is unlike anything you have ever seen. Ronnie Burkett, puppeteer provocateur and his company of over 40 marionettes, will not only entertain you, but will be sure to have you riding a wave of emotion as he brings his puppets to life. The energy he brings to his puppetry is rather awe inspiring and how he seamlessly transitions between all the characters on his stage. Did we mention it’s funny? Side splitting funny, Ronnie Burkett brings a sharp wit to his characters when he needs to, but he can be as soft as kitten when playing the character Schnitzel who usually begins and finishes his show. But having said that, each show is different so you don’t always know who is coming on stage to perform. We can say each performance is different, daring, ridiculous and honestly dam funny. It’s just not us saying it though, The Georgia Straight has previously called it “one of the best shows you’ll ever see”. Tickets start at $20 and are available online at The Cultch. Note, due to the mature content this is a 19+ show.
Photo Credit: Alejandro Santiago