its that time of year again.

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for Christmas crafts. You know it and I know it. As you get older you are given gifts that you simply don’t need (which means they end up stuffed underneath the bed, donated, rewrapped, or left on your neighbours doorstep with a note that says, “love santa”) Unless they are gift cards to your favourite shops (ask me for my ideas), monetary (to pay for those guitar, tap, ballet, art classes, even bills) or a generous donation in your name to your favourite charity. All in all, I really don’t need anything. Save your pennies and help someone who could enjoy a cup of tea, a bowl of soup or a long overdue phone call. As a young kid I would always give the gift of craft making. And as a young woman, well it looks like its gonna be that way this year too. Amy Sedaris put it best in her book, Simple Times: Crafts For Poor People. Yes I own this book. I bought it the minute it came out. I have a serious girl crush on this brilliant woman and somehow I can relate. Not because of my brilliance (or lack thereof) but because of her unique charm, bold characters and weirdness. I love her! So…if you feel compelled to make crafts this year take a peek at her book. Otherwise here are a few of  my top suggestion:

– mason jars filled with sand and shells (a Hawaiian adventure)

– decoupaged wine bottles with a candle of course (include matches. Go the extra step)

– sock puppets (everyone loves mismatched socks with buttons on them)

– reindeer families made from sticks. Use cranberries for oversized noses (This will get em every time!)

Q-tip men (perfect for the nativity scene)

Enjoy! Get creative! Happy shopping (independent/local of course)







Not Just Any Ol Violet

About two years ago I was strolling (window shopping) along South Granville (as I tend to do…ALOT of) and stumbled upon Violet Boutique owned by the sweet and talented Genevieve Allen. As I walked into the brightly lit boutique inspired by decadent french decor, my heart started to pound as it usually does when I am surrounded by exclusive labels, colorful fabrics, delicate patterns and unique designs. I basically have A.D.D times two when I enter Boutique land and/or Vintage stores. Actually, anything with bright colors to be honest with you. I am a huge fan of independent designers and boutique owners, especially when they carry one of a kind items that you won’t find in other mainstream stores. I was pleasantly greeted by this young proprietor and her very friendly puppy, Beatrice who accompanies her to work every day. Well o.k, she’s actually the official “greeter” or “sniffer” of the boutique and the perfect employee at that. What a delightful space. I could live there! Seriously, one could fit a bed in the upper loft space. From the dressing rooms adorned with pink cushioned vintage chairs, the very large vintage mirror and the old blue dresser/display case filled with  jewelry from France and local Vancouver designers it is the perfect set up for an apartment. O.k, o.k enough with my imaginary silliness. But, I would move there in a heart beat. A girl can dream of being surrounded by such luxuries, Right? Sigh. Inspired by her many travels abroad, Genevieve has a distinctive eye for fashion and no problem putting together an eclectic package of goodies in this lovely shop called Violet.

I had a fun time chatting with the gals of Violet, Genevieve and Stephanie.  They allowed me to snap some shots and play dress up for them as I asked them to dress me in three different outfits. Here are,

The Getting To Know You Top 20

Name Genevieve Allen

Title Owner/Buyer

Boutique Violet Boutique

Mint Chocolate Chip OR Raspberry Sorbet? Both! But if I had to choose it would be mint chocolate chip.

1. What is the first thing you do when you get home from work? Take of my shoes, put on something comfy and take my dog to the park. Or make dinner, I love to cook.

2. How was “Violet” conceived and tell me about the origin of it’s name? – It was between one of three names, Blanche, after my Grandmother, The Library, after my love of books, and Violet, because the saying “shrinking Violet” was the endearing term my Mom used to describe my shyness as a child. I’ve always liked the phrase because it turned my awkwardness into something pretty and abstract. Not to mention Violets are one of my favorite flowers.

3. How long have you owned your store and what inspired you to open it?It will be 2 years in October. I’ve always wanted to have my own little store where I could bring my dog to work and be my own boss. The travel and clothes are a nice perk too.

4. Who is your hero? That’s a tough one; She-Ra Warrior Princess was my child hood hero so I think I’ll stick with that.

5. When someone walks into your boutique, How do you want them to feel?Comfortable, inspired, excited, beautiful.

6. Are you a lover Or a fighter? – Probably more of a lover, but I have a bit of fighter in me when necessary!

7. If you opened a sister store would you call it “Rose Boutique”, “Lily Boutique”, “Wild Flower Boutique” or None of the Above? – My favorite scent is rose… so maybe Rose Boutique, but I’ll have to get back to you on that one.

8. How many hats do you own? – One.

9. Favorite 80’s movie? – Dirty Dancing and The Little Mermaid.

10. High collard blouse OR Crop top? – Definitely high collared blouse.

11. When you put together your outfits, Do you base it on  A.) The weather  B.) Comfort  C.) What everyone’s wearing – A combo of A and B and also a bit of the seasons trends.

12. What is the theme of your boutique? – It’s very much about dressing beautifully, comfortably, individually and with a bit of an edge. The concept came from the idea of walking into a beautiful Paris apartment of a good friends. One with an amazing wardrobe, where all the best pieces have already been selected for you.

13. Favorite Designer? – Dries Van Noten, Rachel Comey, Lanvin, Sachin & Babi, Paul & Joe Sister

14. Independent Or Mainstream? – Independent.

15. If you had a tag line for your boutique what would it be? – Dreamy eccentricity.

16. What clothing/shoe lines do you carry in your store? Why these? – Alice By Temperley, Cotelac, Dace, Des Petites Hauts, Fiorentini & Baker, MIH Jeans, Paul & Joe Sister, Rachel Comey (clothes & shoes), Sachin & Babi, Shereen de Rousseau, Sita Murt and Tucker By Gay Basora. Because each of these designers works with beautiful material and creates unique and intelligent fashion that tells a story.

17. If you going to Hawaii and were only allowed to pack 3 items in your suitcase, What would they be? – Sunscreen SPF 60 –I’m a burner! A bikini and sun hat.

18. Which statement is True OR False: Genevieve hates dogs. Genevieve LOVES dogs.

19. What did you want to do when you were 5yrs old? – I’m pretty sure I wanted to be Dolly Parton. Clearly, I did not have my priorities in order!

20.  Describe your store – Feminine meets modern meets French ingénue.

THANK YOU GENEVIEVE!!!! Christina xo

Miss Beatrice: Not For Sale.

Beautiful Genevieve and Miss Beatrice. I love Genevieve’s heels. If you ever give them up! I will adopt those pretty pink heels.

Yes a Sale. And yes, I kept my wallet at home.

The Gals at work.

Beautiful pieces.

Love this teak table. It would fit perfectly in my living room.

There’s no place like home.

TUCKER DRESS -Silk in “The Silent Spaces” print.

RACHEL COMEY – “Farer’s Suite” in check print.

TUCKER blouse– “Light Footed Genies” print/DACE “Coco pant”, Black high-waisted cigarette pant (local)/ REMINISCENCE necklace (Paris)/My own vintage lace up shoes. All three outfits would look great with booties or wedges too!

I’m a fan of the candid shots! Oops! Holding up the ta ta’s.