March 21, 2015

Design and Development: Sourcing the Finest Crystals

natural amethyst druzy geode gemshow
mineral and gem show with tibetan cystal quartz
sourcing through clusters of tibetan crystal quartz
gem haul of crystal quartz and tibetan quartz
rare spirit quartz gemstones and crystals
Lessons in Sourcing

When I worked for my last fashion design job, most of our trims and embellishments were brought to us on trim cards, all neatly laid with lists of color options. We would call our own in-house trim department to bring us several options of any trim we had our heart set on and in a weeks time, we would get an abundance of trims to choose from; from photos to real trims brought to us.
  
It was just as simple as a phone call or an email.

Having my own company presents its own set of challenges in sourcing as I don't have my own trim department and not everything is brought to me on a color card. Instead, I do my own shopping, locally and at trade shows, finding the right companies to work with that have the best quality and selection.

It's fun to pick out my own crystals and inspect them myself as each crystal is truly unique and one of a kind. It's like picking out a diamond, you're looking for cut, clarity and carat. For me designing and creating a product is about the process, always striving to continually perfect my craft. 
And because of this, I find I am very attached to most of my work because I know the story of how I bought each crystal and where it came from.

February 21, 2015

In the Studio

It's getting colder in the studio these days as my desks is right next to the window, which is looking mighty frosty outside. The wind chill in Toronto takes my breath away. I’m lucky I get lots of light, but it's a drawback in the winter months as it brings in the chilly air. I’ve hung my handmade dreamcatcher next to the window which catches lots of light and hopefully will bring spring weather soon.

loveatfirstblush studio desk
loveatfirstblush studio dreamcatcher

loveatfirstblush studio dreamcatcher
loveatfirstblush leather jewelry studio paintbrushes

February 11, 2015

Wanderlust: Santa Barbara and my Top 5


photoshoot on butterfly beach
santa barbara harbour

Last year I was lucky to get in some time to travel to the beautiful beaches of Santa Barbara. It's still cold and wintery in Toronto, so what better way to look back at my California trip than today.

Here are my top 5 things to do in Santa Barbara:

1. Butterfly Beach- this beach is away from the main downtown area so you can enjoy your time away from the crowd. Sometimes you might run into tourists with their cameras if you decide to photo shoot on this beach. While I was messing around with this billowy scarf, 2 Japanese tourists started taking my photo. Erm, kind of embarrassing.


bike cruiser on santa barbara beach

2. Rent a Bike Cruiser- The best possible way to cover ground and see all of the beaches on foot would be to rent a bike cruiser for a few hours. Its fun and you get great exercise, especially if you can make it up the peak for the great view of the harbor. I recommend taking some sandwiches and snacks for the rest stops.

bacara resort's galmourous pool

3. Pool hopping- Hands down, the Bacara resort has the most beautiful pool to dip your toes in. You won’t be disappointed with their picturesque pool especially when the sun starts to set.

photoshoot on butterfly beach, SB

four seasons biltmore hotel

high tea at four seasons
1. High Tea at the Four Seasons Biltmore- A beautiful view of the ocean from the patio and sweeping fabric from the indoor courtyard remind me a Moroccan villa. I recommend the High Tea just so you spend a few hours soaking up the beauty of this place and the excellent service. You definitely need to spoil yourself here.

farmers market in SB, california
succulents at the farmers market in cali

flower cactus in California
 5. Farmer’s market- Sunday’s are not complete without checking out the market for the colorful fruit and vegetables, picking up a bundle of Gerber flowers, and fresh herbs for homemade tea.

A few other places that didn’t quite make the cut, but are still worthy to check out:
• walking down State Street, the heart of the city
• the new public market for fresh and organic meals
• getting Mexican food at Playa Azul or Superica

For my most recent adventures and studio happenings, please follow me on instagram @loveatfirstblush.

sunset on the boardwalk in California SB

California sunset in Santa Barbara

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