Our 2018 segment of Loving Local has come to a delicious end. Delicious? Oh yes. We love getting to meet new makers and seeing all of the beautiful crafts they curate; but there’s something about our foodie friends that stands out (maybe because we get to eat it and we love food, hehe!)
At the beginning of June we sat down at Rise & Grind downtown Victoria with the lovely and talented (Patricia) Trish Francis of Kettle & Hive. Kettle & Hive creates a delicious Citron Tea, which comes in several yummy flavours.
What is Citron Tea? Popular in Korea, Trish has brought this lemon and honey beverage to Victoria for us Canadians to fall in love with! Citron Tea has a consistency similar to a Marmalade, made with Honey and Lemon, which you mix with hot water. It’s that simple!
Trish has always loved experimenting with food. She started making a lot of marmalade, and after creating a lemon and ginger marmalade that was so delicious, she thought it must be able to work as a beverage base. And not only did she want to be able to make a tea, she wanted to make sure she could create a product free of added pectin, citric acid, and white sugar. Through much trial and error, she succeeded, and her version of Citron Tea was born.
At first her tea was just a honey and lemon base. But because of the benefits many other plants and spices have for us humans, she created a few more blends. Currently available are Citron Tea with Extra Honey, Turmeric, Ginger, Cayenne, and her newest blend Mighty Medley (with all three; Turmeric, Ginger, and Cayenne). You can enjoy any of these flavours hot or cold!
Kettle & Hive has be running since May 2017. She struggled perfecting the recipe, and finding the right person to work with to help create a label, but everything came together and it definitely shows. Her Citron Tea quickly became a hit! So much so that trying to balance a full time job and running a small home business turned into her quitting her job and doing this full time!
And not only does she operate Kettle & Hive, but she also owns a candy company, Island Specialty Sweets! You can usually find her standing behind the booth for one of these great businesses at many of the markets in Victoria (and surrounding areas). While the candy business takes up a lot of Market time, you’ll be able to find Kettle & Hive at the Crafted Farmhouse in September, the Out of Hand christmas market, and the first chance & last chance christmas markets in Sidney this Winter.
While you can’t buy her products online yet, you can find Kettle & Hive in stores at Peppers (in Cadboro Bay), Belinda’s Biscotti in Sidney, and Sea Cider in Saanichton.
Trish is looking forward to be able to spend time creating new flavours for her citron tea, with different citrus bases, and cold beverage teas as well. But for now you can enjoy the five delicious flavours ready to go hot or cold, and in some fantastic drink (and food!) recipes we got form Trish too!
Kettle & Hive Citron Tea Recipes:
Lemon Drop Martini
2 oz Extra Honey Citron Tea (dissolved in water and cooled)
1.5 oz Vodka
Mix and pour into a martini glass rimmed with sugar and garnished with lemon! Enjoy!
1 Cup Frozen Mangos
2 Scoops Turmeric Citron Tea
Splash of Peach Juice (add more if needed)
2 oz White Rum
Mix in blender. Pour blended mixture in a bellini glass. Enjoy!
Ginger Cocktail (created by a customer!)
2 oz Ginger Citron Tea (dissolved in water and cooled)
1.5 oz Gin
Topped off with Ginger Ale
Pour ingredients over ice in a highball glass. Enjoy!
Lemon Ginger Glazed Chicken
3 TBSP Lemon Ginger Citron Tea
2 TBSP Olive Oil
2 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar
Salt & Pepper to taste
Marinate chicken (or pork, salmon, or tofu) in half of the mixture for at least 1 hour. Bake in the oven (follow standard baking times for your meat/tofu). Halfway through baking, brush the remaining mixture on top as a glaze. The honey caramelizes on top and the lemon gives a fresh bright citrus taste perfect for a summer dish! Enjoy!
These recipes are amazing and we can’t wait to try them over and over again! Follow Kettle & Hive on Instagram and watch out for upcoming market dates, and hopefully more yummy flavours!
And remember to keep on Loving Local!
Robyn & Beki
April showers really did bring May flowers, and now those flowers are blooming in the beautiful sun! That’s right, we just finished an amazing month of May, and we really are lucky to live on this wonderful island where we get months of spectacular weather.
Along with the best weather in Canada, we also have some of the most amazing makers, and the maker trend is certainly booming as we meet more and more makers and crafters every year.
This month we met Olivia Crossman, a BC born and bred gal (from Kamloops to Sooke), who started her home based business Circle & Stone only 7 months ago in October/November of 2017. (And to add to our “it’s a small world” remark from last months post, Olivia is really good friends with Melanie from Decor by Nature, whom we met last summer and featured on our Loving Local segment as well!)
Olivia is a mom working a full time job, and really needed a creative output at night when the kids were in bed to really give her something to put her artsy side into. Something she could have that was just hers. She started doing little crafts here and there, like cute little baby headbands. However, that wasn’t quite enough for her. She start exploring the craft of jewelry making; not just stringing things together though, she want to make and form the pieces by hand. She dabbled with moulding silver, but found it too frustrating to start with. But she wasn’t going to give up, and then she found concrete jewelry! That’s right.
Circle & Stone is a variety of handmade concrete beaded jewelry. It really spoke to her as she loves the earthiness of concrete that really brought in the wildness and her love of the island, along with the versatility of the pieces she’s able to make.
Some of her pieces she adds in jewels and stones to give the necklaces and earrings a more feminine touch.
When she first started, she found it frustrating not having her ideas turn out how she wanted them to right away, such as the silver moulds, but she’s looking forward to trying them again in the future! And being quite new to the maker seen, she jumped into a spring craft market and experienced that first market stress (we’ve all been there) she wasn’t prepared for- but we think she did just fine!
One of the most positive experiences she has had so far was the response stores have had to stocking her jewelry. She currently has stock in The Crows Nest, in Campbell River, and Gatley in Vancouver. She also sells on Etsy.
Her favourite piece that she makes she calls the “Wrecking Ball”; a concrete ball with gold flakes, remind her of travelling. It takes her more time to make this piece than the others but they always end up looking perfect, yet individually unique every time! It’s one of the first products she made when she started her concrete venture.
You’ll be able to find Circle & Stone at The Q Market this summer on (at least) June 10 and August 26, 2018. She’s hoping to partake in some Christmas Markets this year as well.
If you’re looking for a unique gift for any holiday or birthday, check out Circle & Stone!
Follow Circle & Stone on Instagram!
And keep on loving local <3
Well, hello. It’s that wonderful time of the year when we start our Loving Local segment up! We had such a fun time last year meeting makers from around Victoria (BC), we just had to do it again. Everyone is so lovely, and totally up to our little venture, so we figured why not make it a yearly thing! We learn so much, and are happy to be able to pass on our own experience to friendly artisans as well.
This month, we sat down with a super lovely woman named Maria of “Maria Miller Studio”, maker of handmade notebooks. We were lucky enough to briefly meet her once before back in December 2017, when we took part in the Uptown Modern Market, when she popped by our booth.
We sat down with her at Habit Coffee in The Atrium, downtown Victoria, and got to know her a bit!
Maria is originally from Coquitlam, BC (on the lower mainland) and came to Victoria in 2008. Fun fact; we found out that she and Robyn both went to the same high school (a few years apart, but that part isn’t important, hehe)! It really is a small world.
Maria started her journey back in 2016 when she looked at a pile of paper recycling, and decided, before it went off to be recycled maybe she could do something with it herself. So she turned her pile of recycled paper into new paper! It started off as something she could do for herself, making notebooks that were hand stitched, and eco-friendly paper she could use to write on. Eventually, within about a month, her craft snowballed into her business and she started selling her notebooks to the public. And Maria Miller Studio was born!
She initially started with making paper, and she’s self taught; she scoured YouTube for “how-to” videos until she finally honed her skills. Through much trial & error, she found the process to be quite time consuming being able to find the right “recipe” for her paper making, while still keeping it eco-friendly. And being an artist first, the business side of things was a new challenge for her; but we think she’s doing great!
She started off as a photographer, and since her home based business has turned into a full-time job for her, she’s been able to use her photography skills to help her beautifully crafted notebooks shine.
She told us one of the ups she’s encountered since she started was hearing about how happy her customers have been; one girl took her small journal on an 800km month long trek! And also being able to do what she loves full time has been an amazing experience for her.
Like most makers, going through ups and downs, and having to learn new skills from scratch (whether it be self taught or taking a class) she’s happy where shes ended up and wouldn’t have done anything differently.
BUT, we have things to look forward to with Maria! Since being self taught, she’s decided now to educate herself on the art and history of papermaking, if only to expand her knowledge and be able to create new products. She’s looking forward to making new types of notebooks, such as an accordian style. Currently she has 3 styles of notebooks she creates. Two are soft cover books; one with a very simple binding stitch, and one very beautifully produced with the Japanese Stab Binding technique. And one style of hardcover notebooks.
Her favourite product incorporates all her favourite aspects of her craft; hand making paper, journal creating with a stitched binding, and being able to practise painting. It’s her Handmade recycled paper soft cover notebooks. The cover is made with handmade (by her) recycled paper, with an interior of lined recycled paper made with wind power. AND if it couldn’t get any better, 15% of the sale of each of these notebooks will go towards the Canadian Wildlife Federation! As if you didn’t already need a reason to buy a notebook, help support our Wildlife!
Maria was also took part in starting a local collective in 2017 called “Local Made by Hand”; a small collective of local artisans (including Moss & Stone, who was one of our first loving local interviewees!). She’s very thankful for the like minded people of Victoria, and the public who are so willing to support and purchase locally made products from herself, and many more amazing makers. And the makers who all wonderfully support each other!
Currently Maria strictly sells her products online on her etsy store, and at markets she vendors at.
Follow Maria Miller Studio on Instagram and check out her Etsy Store.
Keep on Loving Local!
Wow! It's the end of September already? We had a busy summer, so our Loving Local segment took a bit of a pause while we both moved and did other summery things!
But we were lucky enough to meet up with the lovely Melanie of Decor By Nature, a wonderful decor artisan of beautiful Victoria BC. We sat down for a chat at Starbucks in Langford on a beautiful summer evening in August to find out more about Melanie and her amazing hand made products.
Melanie is from Victoria; however before settling down and having a family in Westshore, she spent some time off the island, and the country, to explore. She spent some time going to school in Kamloops, lived in Ireland and Australia, and traveled around Europe and Asia.
Returning to Victoria, and starting her family, prompted her to start making her own west coast adventure inspired decorations when she was trying to find items to fill her first sons nursery with. She really wanted to capture her own sense of adventure and pass along her love for the great outdoors to her kids, so her home based side business "Decor by Nature" began to evolve.
Her hand made wooden signs began to take shape, learning calligraphy, and working on different art pieces, friends and family began to notice asking for pieces to be made. She had lots of time to develop products while on several stints of maternity leave (she has three beautiful boys now!)
In 2014 she decided to try her hand at selling at some markets, although it wasn't until this year (2017) that she really began to actively persue selling her signs. She's had some trial and error with markets, but had a very positive outlook and just started saying yes to everything that came her way! This year she took part in the Sidney Night Market, in the past she's been a part of The Owl Designer and the Little Kids Owl fairs in the fall and winter, and you may just find her there this year as well. She also took part in a collaborated pop up market put on by Modern Baby in the spring.
And this year her items have been out on store shelves, including Momease Baby Boutique on
Hillside in Victoria, Thistle & Wren in Fernwood, and R-Cubed in Parksville.
While her items have solely been home decor based, she dipped her toes in the wedding scene his year creating some beautiful wedding decorations, and hopes to expand into more of that in 2018.
We asked Melanie what her favourite pieces were; she loves her "Be Brave" bear sign which she graciously gave to us, her "Life Rules" sign she made with her boys in mind, and her dream catchers she began to create this year as well. We also got a few more signs from Melanie, which you can see down below!
So look out for Decor by Nature in Victoria at local shops and markets, and stock up on some amazing west coast inspired decorations for your home. And check her out online on Instagram (@decorbynaturemg) or her website (www.decorbynature.com).
Keep on loving local!
As June comes to a close, we continue our loving local journey with a spunky gal named Kirsten and her adorable and down to earth hand made jewelry collection, more famously known as Kirsten Lara Jewelry.
We met Kirsten in May, on one of the few hot days we were blessed with, at a cute little café by fisherman’s wharf called Imagine Studio Café.
Kirsten is from Calgary Alberta, she moved to Victoria when she was 15 and has lived here ever since. Living in Victoria, BC, Canada, for most of her life, she started to appreciate her surroundings and wanting to utilize what was given to her by nature as inspiration and tools for creating her own jewelry. As many people in Victoria have found, finding unique pieces can be hard to come by, especially when you're after something specific and to your own taste, so she began her jewelry making journey.
At first she started collecting shells and creating necklaces. Originally she called her line “Pocket Full of Shells”. She still wanted more though, and after trying to find unpolished raw pieces of metal jewelry, she couldn’t find anything to her liking, so she found a woman named Judith Hirczy, from Austria, who taught her how to do silversmithing the traditional way. And after a 2 month course starting in September of 2016, “Kirsten Lara Jewelry” was born (her loving and supportive husbands idea for the name)!
After initially learning the silversmith craft, she continued learning- on her own. She felt that rather than reading books and learning step by step processes, or one set way on how to do things, she’d continue to teach herself, make a few mistakes here and there, but end up with something new and unique. And some of those mistakes ended up being, as she called them, “happy accidents”, like her “Two Faced” necklace. She calls it two faced because, as we all know, necklaces tend to have a mind of their own and flip around, and this way no matter which way it flips, it’s still beautiful!
Although she did wish she had started taking classes sooner, she began her journey with low expectations so she didn't get let down during the process. And although it's only been 10 months, she has made quite a name for herself in the local handmade scene of Victoria.
She recently created her logo, a very unique swan, which roots to her ancestry as her father is from Denmark, and the swan is Denmark’s national bird, so she thought it fitted her work perfectly.
She has her own etsy shop where she sells some select pieces, but she also does custom orders for most people who ask. You can usually find her set up at the Victoria Public Market (in the Hudson) once a month. She also participated in Car Free YYJ on June 18, and will be part of the Fort Commons Market on August 3, 2017. She also has a wedding jewelry line sold exclusively at the White Peony, where she works part time.
Kirsten is hoping to expand her line soon with affordable diamond engagement rings that are fun and unique, compared to the commercial ones we see in chain jewelry stores. We asked her what her favourite pieces she makes are and she said her Two Faced Necklaces, tear drop opal rings, and her circle earrings.
Kirsten also gifted us with adorable and simple silver circle necklaces. They are perfect for layering and add just the right touch of sparkle to the plainest outfit. We wish Kirsten the best of luck as she continues her journey and look forward to seeing what more she has in store!
Find Kirsten Lara Jewelry on Instagram @kirsten.lara.jewelry or her etsy shop kirstenlarajewelry.etsy.com, and keep an eye out for her market dates and new pieces added to her etsy shop!
And as always, keep loving local!
We're changing things up this month for Loving Local, and snacking on some amazing homemade baked goods from a Sidney home based business, Sidney Scones!
Sidney Scones is run by an amazing bubbly woman named Chelsey Columbus, a stay at home mom and a scone expert. She used her personal chef experience, and her LOVE for cooking and baking, as her starting base for her scone adventure. Clients would ask for scones specifically, and she would deliver.
We met with Chelsey on April 23, 2017, at the Five & Dime Diner in Sidney. A cozy little diner with great fresh food!
Chelsey grew up in Langford, BC. She moved to California in March of 2010, and worked in Laguna Beach as a personal chef. While working in California, she met her now husband, and they soon moved back to Victoria in 2012. She worked in a diner for a while, and tried her hand at being a personal chef in Victoria, but the demand just wasn't as high as it was in California. She then spent 6 weeks in Italy developing her skills.
In late 2016, after finishing her mat leave, she decided to be a stay at home mom with her son. But, she didn't just want to sit around so she took to making scones for friends and family by request. After getting such an amazing response she decided to post her scones on a Sidney mom's buy & sell & swap Facebook group. Her first post (which happened to be Halloween, October 31, 2016) alone, got an amazing response of 70 orders! She soon started posting weekly to promote her brand.
Her brand that she quickly came up with in ONE NIGHT. Although she wished she had done a been more research into starting a business before her initial post, and the response was unexpected (a little too much, too fast), she still felt amazing to have such a following in such a short amount of time.
The demand was so high she had to move from her home based kitchen, to a larger rental kitchen to expand her working space. Since her husband works in the marketing industry, he was able to help her set up a website, and create the first draft of her business cards, so she at least had something to use until she had more time to create more marketing materials, such as her new business cards and her personal stamp she uses on all her scone boxes (pizza boxes, but they work great!)
While Sidney Scones is currently home based, and Chelsey hopes to expand into more stores and cafes, there are many places you can find her scones, besides directly from her! Her scones are currently sold at Toast Cafe, The Beacon Cafe, Dakota Cafe, and The Surley Mermaid Sunday Brunch Menu, in Sidney BC. She also stocks the Deep Cove Market and Melinda's Biscotti. Sidney Scones is also part of this years Sidney Night Market, and frequently is found set up at the Victoria Public Market and The Hudson.
Her scone menu is full of some unique scone flavours, including, her favourite, "Early of Grey" loose leaf earl grey tea with a brown butter glaze. She also makes a "Stuffy Scone", which is basically thanksgiving in a scone. We tried a savoury Sharp Cheddar and Green Onion, and a super sweet and delicious Cranberry Orange with White Chocolate Ganache. They're all so good it's hard to pick our favourite!
You can find Sidney Scones on Instagram @sidneyscones or on Facebook. Chelsey also has a website with her regular menu posted www.sidneyscones.ca.
Below are some photos of the scones Chelsey gave us to try! They are just as yummy (if not more) than they look! Even re-heated they are moist and flaky. And remember to keep on LOVING LOCAL and support local small businesses who put tons of love into all the goods they make so you get high quality amazing products with every purchase.
Our loving local business journey continues this month with a wonderful woman named Piper Black.
Piper owns a small jewelry company called Moss & Stone. Born and raised on Vancouver Island, Piper is originally from Errington, BC (just outside Parksville). My first thought upon discovering Moss & Stone was, does her stuff actually have moss and stone in it because that is super awesome if it does! Turns out, it doesn't, and the name was just a quick pick and the first thing that came to mind when a good friend asked what she would call her booming business. However, her work is still super awesome!
Piper began her home based venture in August 2016, unintentionally. Working in a local Victoria bakery, she was approached on numerous occasions on where one could find the necklaces she would wear to work, and one day she was approached about selling her pieces with a small collective group of artisans at Nourish Victoria, along with a few pieces stocked at Duchess & Duke. Soon she started regularly stocking her unique one of a kind items at Amelia Lee Boutique, still to this day.
Piper began making her own pieces after travelling and seeing minimalist jewelry that Victoria doesn't quite get. Being so small Victoria is usually slow to catch onto new trends, so Piper took it upon herself to create one of a kind items she couldn't find anywhere else. Slowly people started showing an interest in her unique designs, and her hobby quickly turned into a business.
Her products are made with jewelry grade clay, which she chose because it's lighter then other clay making it more comfortable to wear. Her classic, and most favourite, 5 sphere pieces are strung on a strand of vegan eco suede. Each piece is different (unless someone asks for her to replicate an existing product) and made with so much love. She considers the process of creating her beads and jewelry to be very meditating. A lot of hard work and meditation goes into every item she makes, so you know you're getting an amazing item made with so much love. She gets her inspiration from all her surroundings; she ties her pieces in with every season taking inspiration from cherry blossoms in the spring, to the beaches of Victoria in the summer. And every other piece of nature in her surroundings all year long. She even incorporates sand from her trips to Tofino into some of her clay spheres so you really can have a piece of our beautiful island from her work.
While she slowed down a bit in January, just like the rest of us went into hibernation mode during our incredibly cold and snowy winter, she's back at it working hard now that the days are longer and she can focus on expanding her clay work into more then just jewelry, but clay disks and ring holders, and maybe eventually display pieces.
She continues to do night markets with the rest of the small collective she is a part of at Nourish Victoria. You can also find her pieces regularly stocked at Amelia Lee Boutique in Victoria, and most recently she just sent of new stock to Haven Living in Port Alberni. If you follow Moss & Stone on Instagram (@mossandstone), you can see wonderful and new items she makes and also contact Piper directly if you'd like something made.
Piper was gracious enough to gift us with a few amazing pieces, including her classic 5 sphere necklace which really showcases the pastel colours of spring, along with some beautiful hand rolled marble beads on a gold chain and earrings to match! We were so grateful Piper took the time to meet with us and we hope she continues this amazing business of hers so we can stock up on more items soon!
Keep on Loving Local!
Artisanal Booty decided to get to know local small businesses, the little guys that do what we do! Home based entrepreneurs who sell special and unique hand made items.
This month we got to know a small home based business in Maple Ridge, BC, Glass & Brass Vintage!
Glass & Brass Vintage is owned by a wonderful stay at home mom named Angela (who I, Robyn, happened to go to middle school with). Angela was born and raised in Coquitlam, BC. After the birth of their son, they decided to move to East Maple Ridge so their son would have lots of room to run around and play.
Angela started her business off by making vintage tea cup saucer pedestals. After a broken saucer mishap, and her not being able to bear throwing it away, she began to make broken China jewelry. She soon expanded her business into making more contemporary jewelry, but always keeping a bit of vintage flair. Her inspiration for making jewelry mostly came from her having bad reactions to nickel based pieces, and wanting to make a line of jewelry that was nickel free, and affordable. Her love of vintage continues to shine through everything she makes.
Glass & Brass Vintage started up in April 2015, and her jewelry line up has been running strong for the last year. What started as just a small side project turned into a successful venture for this full time stay at home mom. While Angela does set up at markets in the lower mainland, her main source of business runs through her very successful Etsy shop, with over 800 sales to date! And several stores across Canada have began to sell her jewelry as well.
Angela's favourite product is her faux druzy earrings, "I have so many awesome colours but the gunmetal are my absolute favourite. You can dress them up or down. And with them being nickel free I can wear them loner than an hour which is great!" And I can concur, Angela was kind enough to send us a couple gunmetal faux druzy pieces of jewelry and I've been wearing my necklace almost everyday, it gives my plaid shirts a bit of pizazz and looks great with a little black dress!
You can find Glass & Brass Vintage on Facebook and Instagram, as well as on Etsy. Her prices are so affordable, ranging from $8 rings to $22 necklaces, there is something for everybody at an amazing price. You can also contact her for custom pieces.