The Common Creative

Friday, September 26, 2014

Curated By: Vol. 10

This week, I've been pinning like crazy. I don't know what it is...maybe the rain? It's been raining cats and dogs over here which sure doesn't make me want to go outside! And so, I pin and am inspired. I hope that life is a little sunnier for you, but in case you are stuck indoors, try making and baking these. And in case you need a pick-me-up, I've included a couple fun things to buy, as well!

1. This homemade funfetti cake post from My Name is Yeh is a very comprehensive guide to making a perfect looking funfetti cake, including what works and what doesn't. 

2. These almond buns from Hungry Brownie would be the perfect start to a cozy day inside.

3. Embracing fall means embracing candles and warm scents around the house. I would love to make my own and Oh Happy Day gives a fantastic tutorial.

4. Painting with watercolours is my current art form, but I have yet to master painting watercolour text. I love this tutorial of the process that Melissa Esplin demonstrates. 

5. Ok. I think that this would brighten up anybody's day. How fun is this Confetti Push-Pop?? This would be so delightful at any type of party or gathering!

6. I've been looking for a ring holder ever since my beloved elephant one broke. I love the look of this white and gold giraffe and for $16 you really can't go wrong!

Now go. Go create something magical!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

City to City: Sweet Revenge Patisserie

This summer, M and I spent a lot of time in the city. Because he's a teacher and there was a massive strike on for the past few months, when it came to summer plans, we were in a tight situation financially. Which meant less vacations and more stay-cations! One stay-cation we enjoyed was spending the day in Deep Cove to celebrate our 1 year anniversary. At the end of the day, we came back to Vancouver to enjoy a little dessert trip to our very favourite dessert cafe...Sweet Revenge! Not only does this place have AMAZING desserts and coffee/tea, it is also special to us because we've gone there to celebrate every significant milestone in our relationship. We are "welcomed back" by the same waiter almost every time and they treat us like we're royalty. 
Now, Sweet Revenge is definitely not the most trendy place to frequent in the city. In fact, their decor and atmosphere are more reminiscent of a 90's New York romantic comedy movie set...but perhaps that's why we like it so much. The nostalgia of it allures us, not to mention we are always swooned by the sweet sounds of 1940's jazz. Which, coincidentally, we had as a music theme for our wedding!
The space is looking pretty empty in my pictures because we happened to go there on a hot summer weekend and were let in a little bit before it opened to get out of the blazing heat. But my warning to you is if you decide to go, get there early! It's a tiny little space that fills up so fast. We enjoyed the quiet of the cafe for a few minutes before the whole place was full and there was a line up out the door! 
For some reason, the apple pie just felt right for the mid-summer evening. I normally choose anything chocolate, but this pie was incredible! I don't think I've ever had such a delicious (and HUGE) piece of pie. (Except for, of course, our Grandma's pies which she is known for!). M had a delightful slice of cheesecake and a press of London Fog while I opted for an espresso. Now, if you are a chocolate lover and not in the mood for pie, I strongly recommend the Sweet Revenge or Chocolate Gateau- both incredibly rich with chocolatey goodness.
Sweet Revenge is only open in the evenings, but if you are in the Vancouver area be sure to make it a mandatory way to end your day. And they're open really late, so perhaps it could be a late night romantic rendezvous...No matter the occasion, there's a little something to satisfy every sweet tooth!

Sweet Revenge Patisserie
4160 Main Street
604-879-7933
Hours: 7pm-12am, Open until 1am on weekends.
Website: Sweet Revenge

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Common Creative: Roxanne from Tonic

Creatives are everywhere. We love meeting them! Roxanne is someone I (Kristen) have been seeing around for years, shopping in her stores, but only recently gotten to know. Roxanne is a wonderfully talented lady who owns a fashion boutique with two locations in Saskatoon called Tonic, as well as the online store Farminista. Jenni and I both love Tonic, and the true prairie spirit it brings to fashion. I was happy to bring some of the beautifully curated prairie fashion back to Jenni when we visited Vancouver in August. We loved the pieces Roxanne picked, see our post on the Farminista blog for details on the fashion end of things!

We love hearing how other common creatives get their inspiration, and we were happy to have Roxanne tell us a little bit about her world! 
What brought you to the fashion world of Tonic and Farminista?
I've always been interested in being an entrepreneur. My grandpa had a general store back in the good old days, so I grew up playing store and reading small business magazines. I always had extra racks and displays around, so when I found a small space on broadway, I sold vintage furniture and accessores as well as bags I made. That was called the stuff store. I outgrew my first location and ended up moving behind Lydia's on Broadway and adding vintage clothing and locally made items. I slowly added new clothing until we outgrew that space and ended up moving to a huge space downtown and called it Tonic! So now we have 2 locations ( the 2nd being back on broadway).
What is the best part about running your own shop?
I like the creative process. I like to see something I love in a store in Europe (or any other place) and finding that style to bring back home. Now with farminista, our online store, it's a little reversed at times. We have local styles or designs that we send to our regular customers who have moved away and can't shop regularly at tonic like they used to.
Where do you find inspiration for fashion trends?
Every where!! I always notice something different and that's what we order for Tonic and Farminista. We do like to get a lot of our brands from Europe. We think they are just a little bit ahead of us in the risk taking fashion- so it's always unique and special!

What is the biggest lesson you've learned in running your shop, thus far?  
It's a ton of work. Fashion is always changing and so are we. We change all of our stock every season as well as the layout and decor of the shops- new paint and wallpaper to match the trends. 
Can you name your greatest success?
Staying open and having a family. It's a shock to have a baby and even more shocking to keep running a demanding business- nevermind not getting maternity leave! I feel very blessed to have staff who went above and beyond their job requirements to run the store so I could have 4 babies!

What is a day in the life of your job?
Well, I like to start at the Broadway location to see what they need restocked ( and to have a latte with the manager who happens to be my sister). That location is small, so we restock almost everyday. Then, I go downtown and go through the stock. We have to be careful not to take out items we just loaded online. Our downtown Tonic is our warehouse for our online store, so we keep those items online downtown. After we load up boxes for broadway, we go over new items to put online. We also go over social media, like Instagram and Facebook, to show our customers whats new. Then, I go over what's sold out and order more items if we need. In between all of that, we help girls find outfits or assist with the never ending search for the perfect dress!
What advice do you have to new businesses starting out?
It's a lot of work! 

How do you keep your creative mind going? What do you do to rejuvenate?
My family and friends. It's good to just be silly and do fun things for a few days. Then I find I'm full of new ideas!
Thanks Roxanne for letting us prairie sisters indulge in some prairie fashion on the west coast! And thanks so much for a glimpse into the Tonic and Farminista lifestyle. We love what you do! If you are in need of the perfect dress, or beautiful clothes for everyday, check out Farminista online! See our blog post there for outfit details. And now, just because, here are some silly shots. Because we can never stay serious for too long.