Friday, December 6, 2013

Help glamjulz Grant Wishes This Year

The lovely people at glamjulz are doing a wonderful thing to help out a family in need. Please read the below message and help if you can. Earrings can be purchased here. Cost is $35
The 2013 Limited Edition glamjulz Swarovski Crystal "3 Little Wishes" Star Earrings:

The direct route, the fastest route, the easiest route, the scenic route...

When you're on a road trip, there are always different roads that can take you to the same destination....

You find some of these roads freshly paved. The sun is shining, the air is fresh and you can see for miles in any given direction, and sometimes your route can be uncertain, bumpy and dark, and the curves in the road don't allow you to see what's coming around the corner.

Life can be the same way...

We may not know what road we're on, and sometimes we might not even be on the road we think we are.

Grow up, get a job, fall in love, get married, have children...

For each person, these things can come at different times. Some people say that they come when and how they are supposed to. Sometimes they come easy or in a different order, some not at all, sometimes it's by choice and unfortunately sometimes not, like a pothole or a washed out bridge on that road.

Lana and Mark (not their real names) were your average, young married couple. They were happy, and life was good, they owned their own business and business was good, and just like many other young happily married couples, they wanted to start a family.

Everything looked like it was falling into place and moving along perfectly, until five and a half months into the pregnancy, there was a complication. The unborn baby was found to have a rare, life threatening congenital heart defect, and the doctors at the Toronto Sick Kids Hospital came to the conclusion that the baby would not survive the pregnancy.

That Christmas, Lana and Mark had to make the heart breaking decision to terminate the pregnancy of their first baby boy.

Over the next 3 months the couple found it hard to move forward and their business remained closed.

Sometime later after reopening the business and trying to get on with their lives, they found themselves encountering hurdle after hurdle with their business. Between zoning issues, a recession, "big box store" competition, and a 60% plummet in sales, it felt like everything was piling up on top of them... but they were going to do whatever it took to make it work, AND over the next few years the family was beginning to grow.

In 2009 Lana gave birth to a Daughter, and then a son in 2011.

All the hard work looked like it was paying off, and even with the stress and legal issues of running their own small business, they now had the family that they always wanted. Things could only keep getting better... right?

But then Lana was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Not only does this affect the family emotionally and physically, but also financially.

The couple have had to take their daughter out of Junior Kindergarten in order to minimize the risk of infection to Lana while she undergoes chemotherapy, a left breast mastectomy, removal of affected lymph nodes, and radiation. Mark now looks after both children, while trying to hold the business together and standing beside his wife for every frightening mile, on this dark, uncertain road.

As you know, each year around Christmas, glamjulz creates a special limited edition piece of jewelry to raise money for our "3 Little Wishes Fund", and each year we find that our friends and fans (that's you) continue to go above and beyond in order to help out.

This year, we hope that you can help Lana, Mark and their family buy purchasing our 2013 Limited Edition glamjulz Swarovski Crystal "3 LITTLE WISHES" Star Earrings, and that you keep this family in your thoughts and cherish every single day you have with the people that you love.

Thank you for your continued support.
Monica and Wayne

Monday, December 2, 2013

One of a Kind Christmas Show and Sale - New and Notable Artisans

I attended the One of a Kind Christmas show last week. I wanted to get there early so I could summarize some of the new and notable artisans for you if you happened to be heading there this week. Maybe it was because of the day I attended but I saw a lot of booths I had never noticed before. What the reason for that is I don't know, maybe it was always so crowded I kept on walking. The benefit of going on a weekday is there are less people and you see everything.
I will be heading back to the show December 5th for the late night shopping event and will post about that soon after.
Until then here are some artisans you should definitely take note of.

Chloe Angus Designs
Booth U48

This is a booth that is a regular at the show that I noticed for the first time. The colours and prints caught my attention as I was walking by as did the wraps the sales people were wearing.
Chloe Angus Designs are made from Bamboo and they promote locally made, sustainable clothing made for real women's bodies. Their Vancouver shop is a working studio with customers able to see items at various stages of production. One of the designers, Sarah MacLachlan, was in the booth and kind enough to speak to me. She let me know in addition to their ready to wear line they also do custom work which is amazing. Who wouldn't want their own individual piece?
One of the items that caught my eye was a beautiful shift dress, a great alternative to a sweater dress. I totally stalked a lady as she walked around with one and tried it on. I wanted to see what it would look like on. Extremely flattering is how I would describe it. I could definitely use it in my closet. I didn't purchase one at the show but I'm hoping in the near future I can.
The brand is also known for their wraps and have a few different styles available in many different colours. The how to video was playing and it really is amazing how many options there are for wearing this piece. I believe you can completely justify a purchase like this when it offers you so many wearable options! A must for every ladies closet.

Chloe Angus Button Wrap
Booth C54
I may be one of the few who still has a love of stationary. After seeing the products from Handmades by Rovena, I think she could definitely convert some people. The creation of Rovena Tey, she has made cards for a long time as a hobby and started to consider it as a business when a neighbour suggested it to her. Rovena designs and assembles the cards herself. When you see how many pieces make up some of the cards, you realize what a time consuming task it must be. It is definitely a labour of love for her.
On display at the show was an array of Christmas and holiday themed cards. In addition to those there is a science collection and cards for any type of occasion available. A scientist by trade Rovena always had a creativity streak in her as it seems to run in her family.
I strongly encourage you to check her out in the "Rising Stars" section of the show. Items are also
available for purchase through her Etsy shop.

Peter the Penguin Greeting Card $6.50

Christmas Holiday Card $5.41
Birthday Card $5.41
Booth P38
Creator of cate & levi, Josh Title, started the company when he and his wife were waiting for their first child to be born and realized there were very few options for one of a kind, responsibly made and beautifully designed products for children. He got the idea to put together a collection of unique products that would be finely crafted and environmentally responsible.
Each product is handmade at their studio in Toronto with all materials sourced as locally as possible to help reduce carbon footprint. Using reclaimed wool that is carefully selected for its textures and colours means no two items are the same resulting in a truly unique gift and keepsake for the child it is bought for.
In addition to the focus on being environmentally conscious a portion of sales is donated to to funds that support children's needs.
The line includes a variety of products from puppets, stuffed animals, home decor (the baby blankets are adorable) to bags and accessories.
When I spoke to Josh at the show he showed me a new app that had just come out. They have developed an app so your child can stage their own puppet show, record it and watch it. What a great way to combine creativity with technology.
cate & levi is at the One of a Kind show for 5 days. If you miss them, products are available for purchase on their website.
Animal Puppet - Cow $25

Stuffed Animal - Dog $60

Wool Baby Blanket - Monkey $55
Booth F16
For anyone who follows me on Twitter and reads my Facebook updates you know I recently developed an obsession with scarves. So much in fact I have spent a lot of time on YouTube and Pinterest searching out new ways to tie scarves. I had it all under control until I saw this booth at the show.
Taking scarfs and accessories to the next level is necknots, a scarf like accessory with many strands of material and can be worn and styled different ways, from scarf to headband. I was mesmerized by the how to video and the lovely lady in the booth put one on and styled it in a necklace form. I asked if it was as easy as the video made it seem and was told the model did everything in one take. Impressive.
There was a lot of buzz around this booth and I expect this fashion craze will catch on. This is going on my future to buy list and being added to my Not A Shopaholic Wish List board on Pinterest.
necknots were being sold for $45 at the show. If you have one and have mastered all the styles let us know!
You can view the how to video here.

Booth R25
A wonderful new addition to the show this year are the beautifully crafted watches from kroc N dial. Bracelet style watches made from leather and other materials, these watches are as eye catching as they are fashionable. Wearing one is like wearing a piece of art.
The company is run by two sisters, Kristi and Karlee. The about us section of their website lovingly refers to Karlee as a fun loving, entertaining creator of the line who loves to travel. Kristi, her sister, is the person credited with getting Kristi's idea to become a business.
A variety of styles offered, watch face sizes are available in 3, 3.5, and 4 cm widths. The bands are also different lengths but I was assured at the booth they could get any style I liked to fit me.
Show pricing was in effect so prices ranged from $90-120. Multiple units would also get you a savings.
One of my favourite styles was the triple wrap watch.

Pearl - $80*

Saylor - $80*
*prices are what is reflected on the website and does not include shipping cost

glamjulz at One Of A Kind Christmas Show

If you will be attending the Christmas One Of A Kind show please stop by and visit my friends at glamjulz, booth E44. If you are new to glamjulz you will love it as soon as you see it. I have quite the collection from them now and it is some of my favourite jewellery to wear, guaranteed compliments!

Hope to see you there --Christina