Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Hello Fall!

*I had meant to post in September! But this got lost in the shuffle!*

Hello friends!

I'm sorry that it's been so long; but I needed a bit of a departure from my blog to focus on the beautiful summer weather and the many tasks we had to accomplish. 

I thought that it would be nice to reconnect, and every time the season changes It gives me pause to reflect;  sort out what's working; what isn't and where to focus my energies.

Today marks the first full day that we spent in our new home! A full year ago we drove up in our massive moving truck, car in tow and took a long look at our new home. It really felt just like a dream; and still does in many ways.

We spent the summer working on the house, working away in our studios and exporing the province with lots of road trips.  It is so nice to have immediate access to the ocean; the forests and hiking trails; and despite all of the work that needed to be done; we wanted to see a lot of our new home province this summer and enjoy the weather.

I am however, missing a lot of things about my home (t.) and my community there; and loving a lot about my lost and found/abandoned home (ns)...it's definitely been an interesting experience. Mixed feelings and all of the feels with the non stop intensity of the last year.

I've always felt more comfortable in urban environments...and as an introvert really miss the comfort and company of the streets of Toronto.  It's like the charasmatic, troubled bff you can't quit; when it's time to move on.
I completely miss the quiet in that chaos; but something I never anticipated was the calm that was to come from being here.

That calm is something that I wasn't really ready for,  but turned out to be the biggest gift of this entire experience. I could have never anticipated the impact that background stress was having on me; all of the experienced;  yet
unacknowledged background noise that would eventually shrink to a dull hum.  I am so happy to report that my shoulders are almost back to a more natural position; and my neck barely hurts anymore. 

But time to work!

I've been developing some new work for my fall/winter 2016 line and will be posting soon.
I have been trying to work on more one of a kind pieces; and have been a bit more playful in the studio which has been fun.  

I've been obsessed with large, statement earrings; bold strong pieces that are a departure from the teeny, minimalist stud earrings that I spend a lot of my time making.

I have been combining rough, black tourmaline with freshwater coin pearls, smooth pebble forms combined with irregular shapes and the scale is quite a bit larger.

Here are some photos is of what I've been developing and working on...as well as the world I find myself in...
hope you enjoy....and want to know; how do you find calm in your world? What's your secret? Report below :)

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Work. Work. Work. Work. Work.

In the works for, um. ever, I'll be launching a NEW WEBSITE~!
Stay tuned, this time, next week, for the launch...on June 9th.
There will be surprises, and of course, dancing.

Photo Credit: Chantal Anderson.  Super inspired work.  http://chantalanderson.com/

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Spring Changes.

Hello All!  It seems an eternity has passed since my last update.  It has been so incredibly overwhelming, chaotic, exciting and all of the feels over here.  So many changes, and so much to take care of with our new life on the East coast.

The winter was peaceful, and we spent a lot of our time checking out restaurants, coffee shops and bars along the South shore, and in Halifax.  The rest of the time we spent checking out the local hardware stores, paint departments and sourcing inspiration online, working on the house, and shining her up a bit.   

We were grateful for the very mild winter, it was so warm, we even had a couple of campfires in Feb. so for that we were grateful for the gentle welcome....and the kind neighbour who came by EVERY time it snowed (which thankfully was not often), with his giant tractor, and plowed our driveway.

Cameron and I participated in the Halifax Crafter's Society Holiday show as well as the Spring show, and were happy to meet so many talented artists, and friendly people that organize this show to make it such an incredible experience.  We're really looking forward to next year, and hope to make this a tradition!

I wanted to share some of the surprises here on the homestead, mostly in the form of floral ones....we seem to have inherited some amazing gardens on the porperty.  There are quince bushes, extremely old lilacs, highbush blueberries, many wild and cultivated roses and a very ancient apple and plum orchard.  It's been so inspiring to take time away from the studio, to just be grateful, soak it all in and slow down a bit.  

I've got some very exciting news, which I'll be sharing soon, so stay tuned!

Hope you are enjoying the Spring weather, and finding inspiration where you are!

Monday, 18 January 2016

The Wintersleep.

Hello All!

I've been having a bit of a winter rest, taking time to recharge and reflect after the very busy holiday season.  It's been a working rest, however, as I've been slowly picking away at home projects and renos.

We are currently in the midst of refinishing and repairing our plaster walls and discovering the mysteries beneath the many, many layers of wallpaper.  It's been a bit of a wallpaper time machine, and we even discovered a section of the house with what appears to be the oldest paper (likely late 1800's or turn of the century) as it has been block printed.

It's been a beautiful, very mild winter so far, so I've been spending a lot of time exploring the property, walking through the forest and soaking up the quiet.  Making a move from an extremely different environment definitely shifts your perspective...for me the peace..and the darkness of night have had the most impact.  It is so incredibly still and there are oh so many stars!  

Thought I'd photo journal the last month or so around here, as it's been difficult to find the time to write with all of the home renos and projects going on here.  Follow me on Instagram to join me on my adventures: https://www.instagram.com/touchthedutch/ 

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

White Wedding Wednesday: Lauren and Shawn

Bonjour!  It's been so long, but for good reason, I promise, and this weeks story is worth the wait!  I'm very excited to introduce this week's White wedding feature couple: Lauren and Shawn, founders of http://thesharedlife.ca/ a website that features their collaborative projects and adventures together.

I first met Lauren in my Toronto studio, when she was looking for a white gold wedding band flecked with diamonds to compliment her stunning art deco engagement ring.  After some sketching and meetings, we came together on a design, and I set out to make her a memorable piece.

Lauren and Shawn chose some locations and spots very dear to my heart as well, having married at a loft around the corner from my old house, and for their celebrations, a local favorite, Duggan's Brewery, is a spot I'm missing very much at the moment!  

So check out their amazing, handmade wedding and all of the thoughtful details!

Where did you both meet?

He said: 
We met online, but had our first meet up at Disgraceland (a bar in Toronto). I had already consumed about 5 cups of coffee before she arrived. She showed up wearing a t-shirt with paint on it for some renovations she had been doing, and that made me know she was the one. 

She said: 
Online! Perhaps not the most serendipitous of love stories, but it is ours and comes with the added bonus of having our first conversations documented online allowing us to use those awkward and embarrassing words as our wedding speech.


At what point in the relationship did you know that you wanted to get married to each other? 
 He said: From fairly early on we had experienced a lot of things, both in physical life and emotionally that I had always wanted to experience as far as knowing if this person was meant for me. Then once we began casually discussing what our wedding and future lives would be like and how excited those conversations made us, I knew it would be a done deal sooner than later.   She said: It took us a little while for our equally cerebral minds to trust our hearts that we had found our forever, but we definitely knew early on that this was something special and within a few months were planning for a life together

How did you imagine your wedding day to be as a child or teenager?  Or did you?  He said: 
I always daydreamed about watching my bride walk down the aisle and was pretty certain that I would probably cry. Well, 1 of 2 happened (and in case you're wondering which one... I didn't cry). I think it was all just a far more surreal experience for me than I had imagined it being.  
She said: 
As a child I often dreamed about my husband and our life together, but never really put much thought in to the actual wedding. If I imagined anything it was around the feel of the day being as close as possible to an intimate family dinner with food, drinks and love overflowing and great music playing in the background. 

What is the trait/weird habit/inspiring oddity that you admire most about the other person?  He said: Her capability to do anything she puts her mind to. She dreams big and makes it happen. She has impeccable taste and has created a world around her that is truly hers. And now that I've been in the picture a while, we're creating a world that is truly 'ours'. It's amazing. 
 She said:  
Shawn’s attention to detail not only in the work he does but in how he treats the people in his life is inspiring. He wants so badly to do well not only for himself professionally, but as a person and especially as a partner.   
He is also the happiest person in the world when he wakes up and it is such a gift to wake up beside him each day. 

What was your most memorable date or trip together? 
 He said: 
Recently we spent 10 days up at the family cottage for our belated honeymoon. We pickled, made jams and amazing dinners, took day trips, had the fire going none-stop, and talked about the future and what we've accomplished so far. It was magical. 
 She said:  Relatively early on in our relationship we took a little driving trip to Upstate New York for a long weekend of following whatever road our hearts lead us and stopping at all the antique stores along the way. I can remember so many times during that trip looking over at Shawn driving and feeling such contentment and happiness. It was so easy to just let the days unfold with him and during that trip I knew our lives together would be full of so many more moments finding joy in just being together. 
shawn tie

invite close up

What was the most memorable/surprising thing about your wedding day? 
He said: 
The food (which was amazing!). Also, seeing so many of our loved ones and friends all together in one spot was wonderful. The day was all about sharing our love with everyone and having everyone feel loved, and I think we truly accomplished that. 

She said: I think the most surprising thing about the wedding was how calm I was the whole day. From the moment I woke up I felt so present in each moment and was really able to soak it all in. 

What do you like to do on weekends, as a couple? 

He said:  
Work on our home. A morning trip to Home Depot with coffee in hand, then home to work. 

She said:  
Home Renos! We tend to wake up early with a house project on our minds, perhaps chat out the details in bed with some coffee before hopping in the car for another quick coffee stop on our way to Home Depot where we happily shop together for supplies to make our renovation dreams come true. The rest of the weekend is usually dedicated to working on our home, quenching our thirst with a great IPA and then rewarding ourselves at the end of the day with a home cooked meal. 

 What does your new jewelley mean to you? Did you know what you wanted early on?  He said: 
Looking down at my ring and feeling it sit on my finger brings me such a sense of contentment and protection as I know it not only symbolizes my love and commitment to Shawn, but also has the positive energy and love from our friends and family who were at our wedding ceremony. 

She said:
I knew I wanted something simple that would nestle in nicely to my engagement ring, but aside from that I was not totally sure what I wanted and after a failed attempt at buying one online I was very happy for the guidance and talents of Touch the Dutch. 



What is your biggest fantasy/dream/hope as a couple?  He said:  Farm in the country. Then, pretty much anything we set our minds to. 
 She said: 
Big dreams we most definitely have and at the top of the list right now is to buy a farm that will not only house our life together, but also a Montessori School run by Shawn in one of the barns converted into the most supportive learning environment and then a B&B for us to host guests at in another part of the propertyThe dream of working the land together, eating from what we raise and grow and being steps from our work and each other each day is a dream we are so excited to see come true. 
On a more experiential level, my hope is to always find the greatest joy in each others company may it be sitting side by side on long drives or in bed reading the morning fliers, I dream (and know) that together will always be my happiest place.