The Little Bookroom

"The Little Bookroom...wants travelers to slow down. They've carved themselves a niche in the over-crowded travel book industry by thinking small with titles that define the character of a city."
—The Pittsburgh Tribune

My big European vacation is only one month away and despite overwhelming excitement, believe it or not I’ve done hardly any of the planning, thanks to my very organized and dedicated travelling companion who has taken on reading all the guidebooks and composing very comprehensive spreadsheets so that I could focus on the small business I decided to launch at the very same time that we decided to take this trip! His bedside has piles of travel guides; mine has business books.

However, we may have found a way to bring the two together, with the discovery of The Little Bookroom. An adorable name, yes, but also publishers of travel books that “take readers off the beaten path and provide an imaginative entrĂ©e into the world’s best loved cities.” These are no ordinary guide books, but art- and culture-related series’ on everything from literary tours, hidden vintage and handmade shops, restaurants off the beaten path and quiet tourist-free corners you would be hard pressed to find in a Lonely Planet.

These books may be my ticket to blending my vacation and my business and waving goodbye to any guilt over taking a month away from it. The ultimate supplies and research excursion, if you will.

At the top of my list are the two Made by Hand books for Paris and Amsterdam. The author, Pia Jane Bijkerk, an Australian stylist and photographer, takes you through these two beautiful cities to the places where she sources the props, accessories, and objects that she uses in the sets and photographs she creates. You’ll find jewelry, clothing, home furnishings, antiques, collectibles, and more, all made by hand. Fantastic!

I picture myself strolling through these beautiful shops, overflowing with inspiration for new products for Dear Edna. I better carry a notebook with me at all times!

If I was excited before… what do you call what I’m feeling now?!

I urge you to go to The Little Bookroom website and explore the many beautiful books they offer. you can tell a lot of thought has gone into the look and design of these books, which is something I really value and appreciate. There are detailed descriptions and excerpts of all the books on the website as well, which I think is really necessary when shopping online for books.
Do you have any guidebooks you love? What is your go-to travel book?

Fashion Finds: Sweet Trash

I'm very fortunate to have a boyfriend who's mother recently purchased Sweet Trash, a fabulous vintage clothing store in Elora, Ontario. We took a trip up to see her on Mother's Day and of course I selfishly took full advantage of the opportunity by trying on as many dresses as I could until the men couldn't take any more.

This store has to be seen to be believed. Lucky for you, we took pictures!

The experience begins as soon as you walk in the door and are faced with an entire wall of shoes! I challenge any woman to not squeal with delight at that sight. Are you squealing now?

Once you come out of your footwear reverie and turn away from the pumps, you realize that you have entered fashion heaven, no less than five rooms (including a bridal salon) full of gorgeous, impeccably preserved vintage clothing. And then the fun begins!

Don't forget the accessories. Hats, necklaces, ties... oh my!

Needless to say, I left a very satisified customer. Can you tell which dress I came home with?

Honestly, if you're into fashion, and especially if you're a vintage lover, plan a trip to Elora asap! And take me with you! Haha!

Sweet Trash Vintage Clothier
22 Metcalfe St.
Elora, Ontario

See more pictures in my gallery here.

Have a great holiday Monday everyone!

Shop Update

I'm proud to announce that the popular Dear Doily Totes are now available in my shop in both plum purple and light grey! Please drop by Dear Edna to take a look and let me know what you think. You may find a new apron or two there as well if you haven't been by in awhile.

Hamilton Happenings

My quick research in my break from tote sewing has only turned up a small smattering of events happening in the Hammer in the next couple weeks. If you have anything else to add, feel free to leave a comment.

James North Art Crawl: May 14 // 7-11 // Free // Always an enjoyable event and it looks like they just might luck out tonight with some nice weather for a change (knock on wood). This go around I'm looking forward to the grand opening of Books + Beats; White Elephant Vintage's grand farewell from their present location (they're moving across the street), for which they'll have some of their beautiful vintage frocks out on display; the return of the Maker's Market; and my friend Audria DiJulio's art exhibition, "Behind the City", at The Loose Canon Gallery. But of course there's lots more to see and do. Check it all out here.

Tastes of Downtown Walking Tour: May 15 // 11-4 // $60 // An interesting fundraising event for Goodwill. Select downtown establishments are divided up into three separate tour routes, each involving five participating restaurants where guests enjoy a sampling of the proprietor’s menu and an appropriately paired wine, beer, spirit or non-alcoholic beverage.

The Locke Street Artist Alley: May 22 // 9-3 // In the tiny alleyway between Olive’s Oddments and Ten Thousand Villages, artists will be displaying their work every Saturday of the summer. Live music and other activities are promised as well. Go for brunch, browse some boutiques, and then take a stroll through the art alley. Sounds like a perfect morning to me!

Christie Antiques Show: May 29 // 8-5 // $8 // More than 300 dealers and almost 10 acres of antiques for sale at Christie Conservation Area in Dundas. Now that's what I call a show.

Check out the excellent Downtown Update on Raise the Hammer for more exciting news of independent business openings, condo developments, and generally positive things happening (if you avoid the comments) in central Hamilton.

Have a great weekend everybody! I have lots of fun blog posts lined up for the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

Spring Cleaning

I have this weird neurosis where I have to tidy up my space before I can work. Shuffle papers around, stack books, put away laundry. At least one small thing needs to be done before I can get down to it. Mikey J can't seem to get his head around my need to do the dishes when I have ten totes to sew. But I think cleaning just helps me transition into a work headspace.

It's my thing. Let it go.

So, today's theme is unique desk organizers, inspired by this one I picked up recently.

I bought this adorable silver-etched glass ice bucket from one of my favourite shops, the lovely Maverick Antiques. The owner is always very friendly and tells us the stories behind the pieces we are drawn to. I totally recommend a visit there if you're ever in the Ottawa St. area. As you can see, it's currently sitting on my desk holding spools of thread, but I also think it would look equally as cute holding short-stemmed flowers, chunky jewelry, cotton balls... What would you put in it?

As a lover of tea and the cute tea cups it's served in, I can't get over this desk organizer from Black + Blum! At closer inspection, you'll notice those are contemporary office supplies decorating the cup. It even comes complete with pencils.

I’ve always wanted a rolodex, haven’t you? So sexy secretary. Faux bois vintage or real bois modern with vintage paper... take your pick. I want them both.

How cool is this? I love things that have secret compartments. It's described as a magazine and letter rack. Boring. It could be the secret hiding place for your scandalous love letters or those photos you don't want getting into the wrong hands. Ooh... intrigue!

Keep your books standing at attention with this adorable little piece. By the way, it's totally worth it to check out this shop for the photos alone, as every one has a different little owl pictured along with the item for sale. Too cute.

Or go vertical with a tiered serving tray to hold all your little bits and bobs? Love it.

Think outside the box, pick up some unique items, and you may find sitting down to your desk on Monday morning is new experience all together. Now I’m off to tidy up and get to work. See you next time with the new feature (Hint: TCOB. Think about it.).

Sneak Peek

Dear Doily Totes coming your way in two new colours... wait for it...
Grey and purple. Boom. Shaka.