We Heart Moms & Bath Caddy Bonus!

bath-caddy

We made too many. And now you get a sweet deal! Just in time for Mother's Day.

We did a large run of bamboo bath caddies for a hotel and had a bunch left over.

So if the tub fits, you get a handmade B&B bath caddy for $99 instead of $145!

Want to gift the caddy for Mother's Day? Simply purchase before midnight EST on Sunday May 5th,

and we will send your bath caddy via Xpresspost, which is guaranteed 4 business days within North America.

That's not all!

Additionally, get $5 off if you spend more than $50 on anything in the store!

Use the coupon code WEHEARTMOMS before midnight EST Sunday May 5th.

Click here to start shopping!

Arm Wrap Harmony

cherry-arm-wraps-garinWe recently shipped off this pair of cherry arm wraps, and we are super stoked about them. They are intended for the two arms of the same couch, and so we made them from the same piece of cherry - you can see the gorgeous wood grain cross the surface of the two wraps. And cherry gets richer and darker over time, so that's fun too. If we're lucky, we'll see a pic of these in their new home!cherry-arm-wraps

Hand made magical and miraculous moments

magical-moments As proponents of recycling, reusing and minimal and conscientious consumption, we sometimes have conflicted feelings about the fact that we make products for consumption. We try to keep those objects as functional as possible, and do everything we can to make our business tread lightly on this planet, but sometimes we wonder if the answer is to sell everything we own and become monks.

We had some pretty special moments this past holiday season that reminded us that we can be makers of things, and feel really good about it too.

For example, we received this message from a client who had purchased a pair of chopsticks for herself.

"Tonight I ate dinner with my B&B chopsticks and I was thinking that each bite was coming to me via a tree that had fallen near your house via you picking up the fallen limb via you using your hands to carve and craft and smooth and adorn this utensil. It was kinda this spiritual, love-filled, connected-to-the-universe moment where I FELT what it means to utilize something handcrafted. And it was awesome. And I wanted you to know this 'cause THIS WHAT YOU DO ALL THE TIME EVEN IF NO ONE KNOWS IT!! You put love in objects that live in people's homes and that diffuse love slowly but surely."

Like, WOAH. That made us feel pretttty darn good about ourselves.

And then there was Allyson & Darryl.

Allyson contacted us via this very wee blog after stumbling across one of the gajillion sites that have pinned, linked, DIYed and shared our couch arm wrap. She knew the arm wrap was the perfect present for her husband Darryl, who is currently house-bound due to a serious aneurysm and stroke that he miraculously survived.

While attempting to covertly measure the couch, Allyson realized the arm of her couch wasn't a rectangle, and actually had one angled side. She asked us if it was still possible to make an arm wrap for it. We brainstormed the procedure, figured out what measurements we'd need from her and said "let's do it!". Allyson gifted Darryl with the arm wrap on Christmas, and then gifted us with an intimate video of Darryl opening his gift. There wasn't a dry eye in the house, lemme tell ya.

straight-on

Allyson and Darryl's story is incredible, and we are so honoured that our simple arm wrap is woven into it. We want to share it with you here, in Allyson's words:

"On February 6th, 2012, Darryl suffered a catastrophic aneurysm and stroke. As you're probably aware, most people don't survive an aneurysm, and if they do, they are often left with severe mental and physical impairment.

Darryl is originally from Toronto. I'm from Vancouver. When he collapsed,  he was in Toronto, and I was here in Vancouver. I received the call, and was advised to get to Ontario as soon as possible. I flew out immediately. When I was enroute, I had no idea when I arrived at Pearson if Darryl would still be alive. I tear up just thinking about it.  At that point, he was in an ambulance being transported to Toronto Western Hospital.  I was told that he would need to undergo a very rare and risky procedure - a cerebral bypass. This particular surgery is so rare, there's only one neurosurgeon in all of North America whose qualified to perform it. This doctor just happened to be in Toronto. I was also informed, that if he survived the procedure, he would most likely still succumb within 7 days due to "complications". Initially, he was doing well, but began to develop pneumonia the 3rd day after surgery. At that point, he was moved from Neuro ICU into the highest level Acute Care ICU. Sadly, most patients in that ward don't ever get to go home...

With the grace of a higher power, and the skill of Dr. Tymianski and his team, Darryl pulled through. Even though he was still considered "critical", it was a start...

After a month in Toronto Western, and another couple of months at the Toronto Rehab Institute, he was finally released.  He has suffered memory loss, and some minor physical issues, but he's done remarkably well. A miracle, really :)

I came across your product through a blog. When I first saw your wrap, I immediately knew it would be the perfect gift for Darryl. He's not able to work yet, so he spends his days at home, working on his continued recovery (often with a cup of tea and nowhere to rest it :)

When I first discovered your Etsy store, and then your website, and read more of your personal story, this line literally jumped out at me:

The story of Blisscraft&Brazen is a love story, set to a soundtrack of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”.

I couldn’t help but smile…it was fate…we were meant to cross paths :)

When Darryl's condition was at it's most dire, on a ventilator and unable to speak, he made a gesture that probably only I would understand. He wanted to listen to music on his iPhone. I asked the nurse if it would be okay. Cell phones aren't allowed in ICU, so the nurse said she could do one better. She appeared a few minutes later with a very rudimentary one-button remote that played "Hospital Radio" (shockingly, even in his weakened condition, Darryl had absolutely NO problem holding the remote :).

The very first song that we heard was: Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”. Your soundtrack song :)

In spite of all the tubes, IV's, and machines attached to his body, Darryl's toes very slowly started tapping in time to the music. It was a sign…he was going to be alright, and our love story would continue :)

In closing, I really just want to express how much we appreciate your finesse, skill, talent, kindness, and unwavering commitment to beautiful and sustainable products.

We will treasure your "art". Please know it's found a happy home where it will be well-loved and cared for :)"

We're so grateful for the ways in which we have connected with other people, people who have touched our lives in a profound way, in ways we never knew possible... and all through a "thing", a product, albeit handmade with lots of care and love. We're floored.

Valentine's, B&B style!

valentine-chopsticksWell, hello there! Happy New Year!

Whoa, so...2013 is two weeks old! And already feels like old news around these here parts!

We have about seventy five draft blog posts, Country Lessons, reflections, thank you's, How Tos, and general updates... there was definitely no plan for our first post of the year to be about the next commercial holiday!

Believe us, we are total Valentine's Day sceptics and know all too well that high expectations on this overly commodified occasion can result in disastrous and nightmarish Valentine's Day memories.

We also know that when you DO stumble across the perfect gift for your lover, or when things have been rough on the homefront and your love life is need of a gesture of goodwill, Valentine's is a great opportunity to take the time to say "I love you".

valentine-chopsticks-3

And so we've put together a humble, functional and touching valentine's gift package, that's perfect for foodies, lovers of asian take out, or the fast eater in your life (eating with chopsticks is a great way to force yourself to slow down and savour your food!)

For $50 CAD, you get:

:: two handmade chopsticks made from salvaged wood, with distinct faceted detailing!

:: free shipping!

:: free stamping of you and your lover's initials!

:: romantic b&B gift-wrapping and surprise goodies!

Check out the listing for all the details!

valentine-chopsticks-2

Featured shop on Etsy!

Portrait We're the etsy featured shop right now! We're really stoked about it. Come read more about our process and see some behind the scenes photos here!

If you're unfamiliar with Etsy, it's a great marketplace for small designer maker businesses to hawk their wares - so addictive!

November Lake

We went for a stroll down to the dock at sunset yesterday and again this morning. It's incredibly gorgeous and peaceful there and it's a great place to go when you need to calm your soul. We've had a bit of a rough week here at Silverwood, fighting colds and other productivity obstacles, so it was a nice reminder of all the beauty in the world. The water was like glass yesterday...

And this morning there was a layer of frost over the dock...

souk@SAT!

Come souk with us! Isn't this poster gorgeous? Our friend Norma of Cara Camina made it! She'll be there with her gorgeous Frida Kahlo dolls and more, and we'll be surrounded by so many other friends and talented co-creators! Last year, despite being so busy, we managed to do a bunch of shopping on our quick breaks and came home with a gorgeous table runner from Anita Designs, a beautiful porcelain maple syrup bottle from Marianne Chenard (actually she'll be at smart design mart, not souk), and Rachel scored a cute Mimi Hammer bikini!

Smart Design Mart

We're super stoked to be selling our stuff at Smart Design Mart once again - we've been brainstorming the design of our 10' x 10' booth. Something clean and simple, and easy to fit in our small car along with all of our inventory! We came across these photos from our booth at last year's Smart Design Mart. It's an awesome show, if you are in Montreal, definitely put it on your calendar! December 7 - 9!

Wood Stove

It's starting to get really chilly up here in the hills! Thank goodness for our wood stove and our new "EcoFan" stovetop fan (it distributes hot air into the room)! The ceramic octopus lounging on a brick that graces the stove was made by Montreal sculptor Laurence Vallieres.

Urban Craft

We had a blast this past weekend, hawking our wares at Urban Craft, Ottawa's Monthly Craft Fair. We wish we could go back for next month's installment, but we're booked at a Montreal show. If you are in Ottawa on December 1st, check it out! The organizers tweeted this gorgeous photo they took of our salad servers.

Pure Green

   

We have been subscribers and big fans of Pure Green Magazine from the start, so we were delighted when they featured our maple mortar bowl in the most recent issue. It's beautifully designed, well-written and right up our alley with its smart and inspiring articles about eco living.

Eco couch

Have we ever told you about our couch? It's an eco-friendly couch, purchased from the amazing William of Grace Williams in Montreal. It's made by a Toronto company, Silva. They offer a green option to all their couches, which means it's made from FSC certified wood, no metal fasteners so that it can biodegrade completely in a landfill, the textile is made from post production textile waste and eco dyes, the stuffing is soy byproduct, and the piping is newsprint! And they added the custom nail detailing for free! This is a close up of our couch (Silva's "Rose") in grey with brass nail detailing, and sporting a custom B&B arm wrap!

Images speak louder than words

  We're having a really hard time keeping y'all up-to-date on country life as B&B enters the busiest season of the year. We're gonna try something new and just upload snapshots instead. When we have more time in January, we're coming back with super informative posts about wood, salvaged materials and more funny anecdotes about country livin'!

Country Mail

On Thursday, Aaron went to check the mail. It's about two minutes down the road, on the edge of the Renegade Pony's property. Our mailbox is a unit in a large Canada Post box holding about two dozen mailboxes. Each address is assigned a box with its own sexy Canada Post key. I usually check it on a morning stroll to the dock with my cup of coffee (yes, I know that is an envy-inducing sentence).

[One of the things I love about rural mail is if you are receiving a package, the mailperson will leave your package in one of two larger units and then leave you a key to that box, which you discard by putting in the general letter slot. I don't know what it is about seeing one of those keys in my mailbox but it makes me giddy - it's an added element of the gleeful package receiving ritual.]

Anyhow, back to Thursday. Aaron goes off to get the mail. And there's no mailbox. The two structures holding all the mail for our area is gone, with only a lighter rectangular patch on the gravel to indicate it was ever there.

Aaron returns home with his news and we do a quick "what were we expecting in the mail that may have been stolen" brainstorm. When I drop off B&B orders at the Post Office in town, I let them know our mailbox had been stolen. She laughs, explains that the mailbox had been moved to the "next location" (she doesn't know where) and that a notice had been sent out. She thinks.

On Friday, I head out of the house in search of our mailbox. I decide to go left, and after a couple of minutes, I come across four postal units. I try our key in mailbox #4 of each unit, and on the last one, the key fits! Mailbox successfully located, though we're kinda bummed that the new mailbox is farther away, up a hill, and requires crossing at the apex of a dangerous turn in the road.

Today, I went to check the mail and bust a gut when I found this notice:

There is so much wrong with this letter, above and beyond the fact that is showed up IN the new mailbox location AFTER the boxes were moved.

1. It's not yet August 27.

2. What consultation?

3. New mailbox location is both inconvenient AND dangerous.

Oh well! The longer uphill walk is good exercise and none of our mail was stolen.

Country School #9: Tempo Timing

What should you do with the first nice weekend in April? No, don't go to your nearest mechanic to have your winter tires removed (see Country School #8). Instead, consider taking down your Tempo instead. Tempos are those hideous temporary garages in all their steel rod frame and plastic tarp glory. And guess what? If they aren't down by May 1st, you will pay a nice little fine for each day it graces your driveaway as of May 2nd.

So that's what that municipal truck was doing as it slowly rolled by each morning during my coffee break.

Also, not sure how this lesson works with Country School's last lesson about keeping winter tires on well into May... either way, we got SCHOOLED.

p.s. to be fair, I should mention that our adorable little town, perhaps because they know we are newbies, gave us a one month grace period and withheld the fines. We do not plan on testing this theory. What we do want to know is, if we got a clear tarp, and used it as a greenhouse the rest of the year, is it still an illegal tempo?

Ottawanians! Ottawans! Folks in Ottawa!

To the dear people of The Capital... brace yourself! We are headed your way! Sunday May 27th, B&B will be hawking our wares at Tarts N' Crafts, a Ladyfest Ottawa sale benefitting Ten Oaks & Rock Camp for Girls. $2 admission.

Here's a link to the facebook event page. We will have live edge platters, split log candle holders, mini bud vases, feather bookmarks, salt bowls and spoons, cooking spoons, salad servers, hand painted rock magnets, bowls, pickle forks... plenty, in other words. We'd love to see you there!

Country Schooled #8: Keep those tires on

Whoops! I never hit "publish" on this bad boy. Snow has long melted but never to late to be Country Schooled! We woke up on Monday morning (a Monday in April) to a six inch layer of snow on the ground, with tons more of it falling from the skies - y'know, the usual freak late April snowstorm. It snowed for two days straight and the white stuff lingered on the ground for a week. Of course, we had changed our winter tires for our summer tires at the beginning of April, thinking we were being so on top of things and smart and such.

Atleast we had the sense to stay home.

Oh wait! No we didn't. Cause we had mad Mother's Day orders to get to the post office. Picture city folks in a Honda Civic with no hubcabs (we may have forgotten them when we swapped our tires, and we may have thought that was something you did on your own, later...right?) fishtailing down a snowy country road, and then calling CAA when the car wouldn't start on our way back home.

At least we're providing our neighbours and local retailers with something to talk about, right? Fueling the fires of "oh, those city folk"...

Spring Interrupted, or Gratuitous use of Macro

We got snow. Like, REAL SNOW. Like, serious waking up to 6 inches on the ground and still coming SNOW.

I know, I know - we shouldn't be surprised by the annual freak April snowstorm that Mother Nature throws your way when your winter coat is at the dry cleaner's. It's just her way of showing us who's boss and making sure we stay on our suede-clad peep-toes.

Despite our crazy spring snow day adventures, which I'll rant about in this week's instalment of Country Schooled, we decided to spend our late afternoon hiking around a lake we had yet to visit. I took my camera and got lots of juicy pictures of bursting new buds drenched by freezing rain. Here's some eye candy to remind us it's spring and not fall, and that this snow will melt and reveal luscious grass, flowers and veggies.

[There's a spot on my lens, and it's not ON the lens, but behind it. It needs a professional camera cleaning, especially as it'll be the main camera at a wedding this summer. Any recommendations for a good, reliable and reasonably priced place to take it, in Montreal?)