Earth Day!

Today, April 22nd, is Earth Day.

Earth Day has been celebrated since 1970, as a way to promote the cause of environmental protection. Learn more about Earth Day here, and take some time to stop and celebrate!

Let's take a moment to reflect on the incredible planet we inhabit. Could we be more kind, more gentle, to this cosmic body that supports our existence? What small actions can we all take to help alleviate the strain of humankind?

We are celebrating Earth Day with a coupon code!

Houseplants are a great way to bring greenery, beauty and fresh air into your home.

Get 20% off all B&B plant hangers by using the coupon code FLOWERPOWER in our store. Expires at midnight PST.

Sushi Serving Sets are here!

Sushi serving sets for Spring and Summer: Suck it, stupid winter stews!

Try saying that five times fast!

As we write this, more snow is falling from the skies and settling on the chin-high snowscape that is our lawn. We can't wait to throw open the windows, set up the sunroom and dig our hands into the dirt.

Sushi is one of our favourite foods, but it sometimes feel odd to eat this cold meal in the depths of winter (plus the nearest sushi restaurant is three towns away!). But we can dream about all the sushi we will eat once the warmer weather is here - and we can't wait to serve it on our new Sushi Serving Set!

The minimalist design gives a nod to the Pagoda, with beveled edges and a floating look achieved by using two feet to elevate each platter. Choose from sets for 2 people or 4, and add our handmade chopsticks if you like!

We've done a small limited-edition run of these, so if you like them, don't wait! Buy them here or in our etsy shop.

PSST! Wannw win a set on Friday April 4th? Subscribe to our B&B Love Letters and you'll find out how to enter!

Featured Designer: Michelle of Simone's Rose

We are super-stoked to inaugurate our Featured Designer Series with Michelle Maynard, the incredible talent behind eco-conscious womenswear line, Simone's Rose.

We have had the pleasure of being wearers of Simone's Rose as well as collaborating with Michelle - in fact, Michelle is the one who makes our vintage kimono fabric chopstick sleeves! The material is all offcuts from the Simone's Rose studio.

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We have always been so impressed with the seamless way that Michelle incorporates eco-practices into her business - we think she's an incredible example, and she has certainly inspired many of the eco-minded decisions we have made while running B&B. 

The mandate of Michelle's Canadian fashion label, aside from creating gorgeous romantic clothes with impeccable tailoring (not to mention feats of fabric folding) is to "affect change by supporting and implementing sustainable and ecologically conscious business practices and projects internally, locally and across the globe". No small feat! She does this by using organic and fair trade fabrics, vintage textiles and trims, as well as deadstock. As she says; "After all, it's all about having style – both in the way we dress and the way we affect people and the world around us!" Who can argue with that?

We asked Michelle to speak about the importance of eco fashion & running en eco-conscious business.

B&B: Why is eco fashion important to you?

Michelle: Eco fashion for me is more about a lifestyle than a thing you "do" so to speak.  I believe that clothing can be made ethically from materials that are sustainable for our environment without compromising style. There is so much excess around us, it kind of drives me crazy.. sometimes I think the world has gone crazy!  I mean, do we really need $5 Walmart t-shirts that fall apart after one wash?  (Lets not even get started on what someone got paid to make that t-shirt.)  That seems so ridiculous to me and that's why eco fashion is so important.  

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B&B: How does Simone's Rose embody an eco/sustainable philosophy? How do you put it into practice?

Michelle: Everything I use for my collections & business is carefully picked for its sustainability or eco friendliness.  Even my designs are built around it! If a particular dress causes too much fabric waste I'll tweak the design or come up with a better way to do the pattern so it makes more sense where that's concerned.   I also use recycled paper products for my packaging and eco friendly shipping supplies.  If I choose to purchase a fabric locally, it has to be pretty awesome, the end of a fabric bolt and/or supporting a great local business (because that's important too).   

B&B: What's the hardest part about "going green", both with your business and your life?

Michelle: Its actually not that hard to be conscious about the environment!  When you start implementing small changes to your life, they become habit and part of your lifestyle.  I don't really see any drawbacks with choosing a recycled shipping product vs a regular shipping product for example.  It may sometimes cost a little bit more money but in the end its usually not that much and its a better choice.  The same goes for fabrics - I would much rather use a gorgeous organic cotton or hemp textile that feels great against the skin than a slick polyester covered in chemicals.  There's really no choice to be made there so I don't really see 'going green' as a challenge in any way.

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B&B: Where do you think people or businesses should start when they want to begin "going green"?

Michelle: I think starting with small changes is key to adjusting your business or lifestyle.  The next time you need to order paper for your printer, think about your choices... Is it recycled paper, is it made from bamboo, is it super white slick bleached paper and it doesn't need to be? The same goes for building your wardrobe.. why choose a cheap dress from the mall made from chemical covered polyester when you can have something that is not only made from a better fabric but also made in Canada or by a reputable company?  Consumers have an infinite amount of choices these days and it all starts with making small steps.  Why waste your hard earned money on clothing that will be tossed in the 'donation' pile and inevitably end up in the garbage?  I think spending a little more money on one item of quality that will last you a very long time, feels good, does good and looks great is a fantastic start.   Check out Etsy or search the web for local designers, pop in to your local boutiques rather than the mall and visit some arts & craft shows the next time there's one happening in your town or neighbourhood!    You never know what or who you will discover.  Going 'green' is just about making choices, it won't hurt & you'll be better off, I promise!  

Green Wedding Dreams

Despite not having had a wedding ourselves (nor any plans to anytime soon), we've had weddings on the brain a lot lately. We've been best man/groomsman/bridesmaid/maid of honour/emcee, made many products for friends' wedding, strangers' weddings, and recently showcased our wares at Ottawa's Indie Wedding Show, Wed By Hand.

We love the current trend of rustic, nature-inspired garden weddings with an emphasis on being green. Weddings are notoriously wasteful and we commend all efforts to leave less of an impact on the planet with your special day. We have added a bunch of items to our line to cater to requests we've received. Here's a little wedding round up of our favourite items sprinkled with nuptial-oriented B&B goods.

Rachel is obsessed with this bespoke wedding dress from eco-indie fashion label Simone's Rose. Just imagine a barefoot bride walking across the dewy grass in this beauty!simones-rose-wedding-dressIn the summer here at Silverwood, we always have jars full of flowering herbs from the herb garden. You don't want to let all your herbs go to flower, but chives are one of the few that flower early, and they make the most incredible bouquets. Those purple blossoms and bright green stems would just pop from antique tinted blue glass jars, don't you think?

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These white birch place card holders make a lovely compliment to jars full of chive flowers. We rent these, just contact us if you're interested in details!

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We love the beautiful artisanal letter press wedding invitations from Montreal's Tartine Paperie. If you are going the DIY route for your invites, why not use seed paper? A few summers ago, we enjoyed three large planters full of gorgeous wildflowers that started out a friend's wedding invitation.

Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 12.11.35 PMA really great way to incorporate a slideshow into your wedding reception is to use the picture frame function on your iPad - you create an album with your adorable romantic pictures in it, choose that album in the settings for the picture frame, then simply press the flower icon on the home screen of your iPad. It'll play an endless slideshow loop of that album, without going to sleep. Just remember to fully charge your iPad!

We created this tablet stand from a heavy maple log. A minimalist and sturdy way to hold your tablet on the reception table by your guest book.

tablet-stand-4Speaking of guest books, we make a wedding album that doubles as a guest book - the chicago bolts allow you to add more of the FSC certified archival quality paper. Why separate the photos captured on your special day from the heartwarming notes left by your guests?

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We love all of Dallas Curow's wedding photography, and especially this snap from her styled wedding shoot, Underwater Garden.

Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 11.47.22 AM Our scrap veneer bunting is a really versatile decoration - use it decorate your walls, run it across the garden, cap the ends of each row of seating - and when you're done, simply compost it!

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We love the current trend of using slices of log as a cake stand. Until we have a bandsaw big enough to slice logs, we have this vintage walnut cake stand that Rachel refinished and woodburned, as part of our new section "Refurbished by Rachel".walnut-platter-5When all is said and done, don't forget to thank all your friends and family who helped make your special day a reality! We had a "blast" (pardon the pun) making these custom rifle bookmarks with riveted recycled copper bullets for groomsmen who had organized a skeet shooting themed bachelor party. groomsman-bookmarks-4We also offer sets of chopsticks that make great wedding favours or even a wonderful wedding gift for your getting-hitched friends!

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