Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Adventures in BlogLand! Or BlogVille? Or Blogania?

Well, it's Ally here and I am waiting for about five different things to finish up so I have a couple minutes to come by and post some bloggy things that have come up over the last few days.

First, I'd like to say thanks to all of you who commented on the St. Patrick's Day post yesterday! My Mom, who up until now I thought was our sole reader (I think she is hoping for pictures of The Peanut, actually ;) ) and Dad read them all and were just tickled pink. Mom is going to read the post and the comments to Nana the next time she goes in, so thank you again for all the lovely responses!

The second little blog-esque event is terribly exciting -- we were featured on another blog! Fellow Etsy seller Bluepebble, who makes all sorts of astonishingly beautiful jewellery in her Etsy shop, did a feature this past Saturday of Irish Etsy finds in honour of St. Pat's! And guess who was right at the top of the list? Us! With our blue and green Royal McGregor tote bag (pictured above)! Here is the link to the whole post:


There were many amazing finds and we were all over happy that we were included! Thank you Bluepebble!

And finally, we got tagged by Tiffani at RicRacSally in one of these Meme thingies -- we have to say 6 bits of randomness about ourselves. I'm going to try and do three for me and three for Nic (so forgive me for talking about myself in the third person :P ):

1) Ally has a 44" stuffed muskie (that's a fish) hanging over her fireplace. His name is Carl Thomas and she decorates him for holidays and birthday parties.

2) Nic can play the theme from "Riverdance" on her flute.

3) Ally had 52 My Little Ponies as a child, and her favourite was the green one with the clovers on its bum.

4) Nic has a neighbour whose dog barks LITERALLY all day long. It's so pervasive, we think maybe its a recording. No living animal could make that much noise everyday and not strain something.

5) Ally will only eat eggs if they are baked into a cake.

6) Nic used to have a cabinet door in her upstairs bathroom. No cabinet, just the door, mounted on the wall -- an odd aesthetic decision made by the previous owners. That has since been renovated :)

And now who to tag? Hmmmmm......

Lynn at The Rose Cottage
Lori at Faerie Window
Yippee Vintage
Nicole at DesignedbyRJ
Susan at SimplySusan
Hyla at My Fairy Babies

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Well, it's that time of year again, folks! It's Ally writing today, and Nic and I are wishing you a very happy St. Patrick's Day! What's everyone up to?

It's an interesting sort of holiday, and has meant a lot of different things to me over the years. Fun green crafts in elementary school, Shamrock Shakes (which I still maintain taste like toothpaste, ugh :P) in high school and a night of partying so prodigious it required about as much advance planning as New Year's Eve during university. Most recently, as an Irish dancer it usually means shows (hooooooley!) and therefore new choreography it takes me forever to learn :)

But there's a couple of things that are kind of special to my family that have remained pretty consistent over time. One, my Dad's birthday is March 18th and ever since I turned 19 I have been giving him the exact same thing: a night out with steak dinner, a movie and as many pints of Kilkenny as he can handle. Here's the man himself, with the Peanut at the beach:

Last year, timing and busy lives being what they are, this put us having our wee night o' birthday hijinks on St. Patty's Day itself. And although we chose a pretty nice restaurant, it was a pretty nice restaurant with a bar, and so it was packed with people wearing both green, and in some cases, their green beer. Fine by Dad and I -- we sat on a corner of one of the booths and had our drinks and did some people watching. Or rather, person watching. This guy across from us was totally, 100% asleep. His friends thought it was hilarious, and were taking pictures of him, so the rest of us decided to get in on it. Somewhere this guy has about a million group shots of random strangers with him drooling on the table front and centre. And I'm sure you can just imagine what these students thought when they found out what Dad did... "Dude, you're a PROF! That's like, awesome!"

The second is that my Nana left England, and her Irish-born mother, on St. Patrick's Day 1946 to come to Canada and marry my grandfather Carl Gorlick. Here she is, holding up the first quilt I ever made, which was for her, and laughing because Phil is telling her to "work it" :)

A few years ago Nana wrote her story down and this is what she said:

I wanted to go but then, I did not. Why would I leave my mother, my friends, my home town and my country to go to an unknown place. Ah! But then Carl was waiting for me in that unknown place. The taxi arrived to take me to Windsor train station. I turned to Mother to say goodbye. Mother got up, came over to me, put her arms lovingly around me and said "Go with my love, it will always be with you, now go and do not look back!"

Nana never saw her mother again, as she passed away a couple of years later. So St. Patrick's Day has always been a day of remembrance for my family as well as a day of celebration. I remember when I took up Irish dancing (a little later in life than the average), Nana was overwhelmingly supportive right from the beginning. She'd watch my steps, telling me stories about learning the heavy jig from her Mum as a girl. I carry a picture of her, and her mother with me when I compete for good luck. When I'm nervous I imagine them telling me to get on with it :) It really helps!

Nana had a stroke in December 2006 and is now in long-term care. Things aren't the same as they were, of course, but the sassy bright spark that took a leap of hope to come to Canada in 1946 is still in there. She still claps with her good hand when I show her new steps, tells me I wear too much brown and laughs when I tell her stories about the Peanut.

Happy St. Patrick's Day, Nana.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Tiptoe-ing through the tulips with the CSST!

Yesterday was the big day! With Spring right around the corner (as hard as that is to believe sometimes) the Cottage Style Street Team on Etsy held our first ever team promotion, TulipMania!

The idea was put forward by our very own RicRacSally -- since we all craft in such different media (from textiles, to jewellery, to mixed media collage and more!) we all made an item in our craft of choice with the central theme of tulips. I'm pretty sure you can guess what WE chose to do here at I Heart That! Dance :) Oh you guessed it, a bag! We've got a whole bunch of this very unique pink and purple tartan around, and a bouquet of spring tulips on this slightly smaller version of our zip-top tote was the PERFECT solution!

The applique' also uses gold holographic lame' and green tissue lame' with rayon and metallic threads for a little bit of pop. It's lined in a cute green, pink and purple print, with one interior zip pocket lined in a shocking pink jersey with a wee bit of sparkle. OK that last part is a lie -- there's a LOT of sparkle!

The best part to me is the interior zip off pouch -- made of 100% cotton purple velvet and the lining print, this zip-top pouch actually zips right into the bag when you are on the go and then zips right out when you need it. So you can keep your craft projects, camera, or whatever else you might think needs protecting from your gum wrappers, lip balm, fabric store receipts that you are hiding from your husband... oh, is that just me?

So as you can see, crafting for this challenge was a blast! And hanging out with the CSST ladies on the Big Day? Awesome :) Want to check out the phenomenal tulip items put together by this brand new team (and who wouldn't?) Just click here and prepare to feel like spring has sprung :) For some amazing examples check out this treasury by CatnipStudio:

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Most Fun We've EVER Had In A Blizzard!

For those of you who live in the Greater Toronto area, you'll know that this past Saturday, the day of the HDA Indoor competition, was also smack in the middle of a 36-hour blizzard. But it turns out the IHTD Girls and Highland dancers are like the post office -- neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow shall stop them..... or however that's supposed to go. :)

So we and a bunch of brave dancers, teachers and dance parents arrived at Maple High School bright and early in the morning. OK, bright-ish. And we're very happy to report that our first ever vendor table experience was a blast. We got so much positive feedback from people coming by our table, and actually managed to sell a bunch of stuff! Yes, really! The small size shrugs sold out in a matter of minutes with orders for more, and we took a lot of custom bags orders as well. Even sold two bags right off the table -- one in a Purple McRae to a teeny weeny Primary hardly bigger than the bag (she liked the purple kitty print inside :) )

The best part? Seeing the smiles on girl's faces when they placed their custom order, and actually seeing people wearing and using our stuff! I don't think either of us were prepared for how good that was going to feel -- we're dancers too, so we know how hard it is to find things that are unique and just your style. And we are just so happy we can be a part of getting you something you love :)

So here we are at the end of the day, tired and contemplating a tough drive home but still so ecstatic we're practically giggling. A BIG thank you to everyone who came to visit our table, we loved chatting with all of you. We're definitely planning to do this again, at Highland and Irish competitions and we look forward to meeting more of you there.

And now we'd better get on with filling orders! Yay!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Price List Available!

Our price list is now available! If you'd like to download a copy you can do it here, or by using the link in the sidebar under "Where To See and Buy". Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Good Stuff From Florida!

Hi there! It's Ally here, and I'm baaaaaaaack :) Florida was great -- the weather was really nice, if a little chilly at times (hang on, don't throw things at me, I'm not complaining!). The Peanut LOVED Disney, and we went for the Princess Thing hook, line and sinker. It all started with a "private" meeting with Cinderella:

And ended with Mom and I purchasing the whole outfit (including glass slippers and tiara) in a 2T size, giggling the whole time at the cash register. Pictures of that to follow. All The Peanut wanted to do all day after that was meet Princesses -- I'll put a few shots up on Flickr once Dad Photoshops them to his high specifications. Other than the Royalty Tour, all she wanted was this balloon:

As it turns out, Florida isn't just the home of Disney and my parent's part-time condo, it's also the home of an extremely talented mosaicist: Eve from Kraken Mosaics. Kraken Mosaics is a member store of the Irish Rogue Artisans on Etsy, and after seeing her amazing work, I contacted her about doing a custom frame to match my new solo dress. THIS is what she came up with:

Yup, that's me looking delighted in the background :) Isn't it just amazing? When I first asked her about it I had been thinking of just the colours, but she added part of the applique design in copper beads -- it's really so much shinier than it looks in this picture, and I have to say I think it looks pretty good in this picture!

Anyway, I think this would be a great present to commemorate that special dance picture -- she is so great to work with, and very interested in doing further custom work for dancers, so please visit her website and get in touch with her if you are keen on having one of these lovely frames for yourself.