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2014/07/11 / Shanan

ANOTHER COUNTRY BUMP-KIN

A-a-a-a-a-nd, the rumours are true.  In case anybody doesn’t know at this point, I’m pregnant!  Just past five months along*, to be exact.  This time around I’ve been so tired I sometimes can’t see straight (or, um, get it together to write a blog…) but over the past few weeks my energy has been slowly returning and overall I feel pretty good.

All the miracles of pregnancy are present the second time around (feeling baby’s movement much earlier on!), along with its indignities (wait, you can get a varicose vein in your… NEVER MIND) — and I’m just trying to take it in stride.  As you can see, Theo is VERY excited about the prospect of a sister sibling, and also wants to know how people get pregnant.  Way to ask the tough questions, kid.  Party of four, here we come!

xx Shanan

* For those not wishing to do the math, I’m due in the third week of November!

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(not pictured: Chris, who might have had something to do with all this baby business)

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2014/07/04 / Shanan

BORN IN THE USA

And a happy day to the old red, white, and blue — believe it or not, I was born there, too.  A grab-bag of greatness, all made with love in the U. S. of A.  Take it easy.

1.  Grecian Bouquet cut-out dress in neoprene, Clover Canyon   /   2.  The War On Drugs, Lost in the Dream, 2014   /   3.  Sunburst Earrings in brass and onyx, Pamela Love   /   4.  Ham hock coaster art set, Chen Chen & Kai Williams via The Future Perfect   /   5.  Local Magazine, a quarterly publication chronicling one town in America per issue   /   6.  Courtyard silk rectangle scarf, Miranda Bennett.

ps. Last year on Canada Day I did a made-in-Canada round-up, the likes of which you can see here.  Archives and all that…

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2014/06/26 / Shanan

SUGARED FLOWERS

Since it’s now (officially!) summer and the days of pretending that I’m this cool, unencumbered babe who spends her days swanning around parks armed with nothing more than a pretentious novel and a tall iced coffee are long gone, I’m kind of embracing the twee.

As in: patterned paper straws, cute miniature food, and gleeful hand-holding of a twirling three year old wherever I go.  Because that’s what parenthood on the internet is all about these days, no?  It was with this in mind that Theo and I decided, a few weeks back, to spend our afternoon making sugared flowers.  You know, for a lark.

The lilacs were in full bloom and I was informed that they were in fact edible.  Off to the Martha Stewart site we skipped, and a ton of adorable little flowers did we sugar.

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Have you ever done this?  The process is about as ridiculous as it sounds — you use a teeny tiny brush to paint egg whites onto the individual blooms and then dip them in superfine sugar and let them dry.  It was quite messy and labour-intensive but the results were VERY cute and quite tasty (a subtle crunch and a sweet floral flavour). And sometimes cute is just what you’re looking for.

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Here’s the sugared flower recipe we used, courtesy of Martha (natch).  Be sure that the flowers you are using are edible (!!!) and either grown in your own garden or harvested wild where they won’t be covered in pesticides or car exhaust.

We decorated a Victoria sponge cake, the recipe for which I dug up from Nigella Lawson’s near-classic How To Be a Domestic Goddess.  I think this was the first baking book I ever bought?  We filled it with lemon cream (the recipe is here) and store-bought raspberry jam.

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Can I say cute just one more time?  Let’s hear it.  Bye bye, “street cred.”  All photos by The Symmetric / Shanan Kurtz.

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2014/05/29 / Shanan

IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S ME

I guess the song was right… one IS the loneliest number.  Sigh.  I’ve been trying to avoid having to write this post, but it’s time to let you know about ‘the break-up.’

After lots of discussion and soul-searching, Gillian has decided to leave The Symmetric.  She’s preparing to take on full-time work in her field of child and family therapy, and is being pulled in too many different directions to be able to commit the time to really enjoy and help grow the business.  We joked over lunch last week that the story would sound way more dramatic if we could tell people that we’d gotten into a major catfight over a vintage purse, but alas, there’s no love lost on this front (in reality we shared tacos, promised not to let ourselves feel too sad, then we went over to the local Salvation Army where she made me buy a hot polyester maxidress).

But, I will admit that I’m definitely disappointed.  Not in Gillian, whose decision I completely understand and respect, but in picturing things going forward without her.  On a personal note, I don’t think I realized how lonely I’d been feeling since moving out here, until the two of us had the opportunity to hang out on a regular basis, to plan and thrift and just laugh with a girlfriend every week.  I know I’ll miss that aspect of things.  And not to get all wind-beneath-my-wings-y, but having Gillian come on board gave me the courage and the push to drive this labour-of-love blog forward into something a little bigger.  It was something that felt great to do together, as partners.

Fortunately we’re still keeping the door open for the occasional ‘special guest appearance’ – co-hosting an event, modelling, or anything else that might feel fun and natural for Gillian to work on should time permit.

So… so that’s that.  It’s going to take me a little time to regroup.  I need to feel out what’s realistic for me, to figure out what I want to do as a solo act again.  The blog will soldier on – it still feels like a necessary creative outlet on my end – and the shop is still open, although you may not see any new listings for awhile (but don’t let that stop you from checking out all the great vintage summer dresses, etc, plug plug).

Gillian, you will be missed.

xx Shanan

ps. There were no post-its involved in the actual break-up.