Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Jeff Martin Joinery.

Meet Jeff.  He's a fine person all around, and happens to be exceptionally talented at working with wood.

He's the Jeff behind Jeff Martin Joinery, a company founded in 2010 and currently located in East Van's 1000 Parker Street studios.  It's a grumpy looking building from the outside, but I love it so.  It provides literal structure for the creative, and therefore has my undying affection.

Before launching JMJ, Jeff spent 6 months in Brooklyn apprenticing with renowned designer Palo Samko.  There, amongst the Bushwick hip, he worked on his craft and developed his clean, West-Coast style.  There's nothing fussy about Jeff's work - it's beautiful, and it's to the point.

I decided to visit him yesterday while he worked, because one must take advantage of having cool friends' with nearby studio spaces, mustn't they?  He was working on a table (see above - I'll fight you for it), a slew of pizza boards, and about a dozen other tasks from his list of commissions.

I suggest you snatch up one of his pieces before he becomes THE Jeff Martin and we'll only be able to view his work at the MOMA.  Currently he's still accessible Jeff, covered in dust and working hard at what he does.  And he does it so, so well.  Thanks for letting me hang, JM!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Breyers Better Move on Over,

'Cause Earnest Ice Cream has arrived.

Based in East Van, Ben and Erica got started just last month.  Considering they've been running on about 15 minutes of sleep per night, they look surprisingly fresh!  They sell their goods at Harvest Community Foods, Woodland Smoke House, and cycle their freezer trike to gatherings like the Trout Lake Farmers Market where I met them on Saturday.  Just look at them in their stripes and plaid - who wouldn't want to buy ice cream from these people?

They offer ice cream sandwiches (we went with the classically delicious Vanilla) and sell various flavours by the pint in sweet, reusable jars.  In other words, I'll feel far better about myself while eating an entire container than I would with say, Ben and Jerry's.  Earnest is local!  Earnest is recyclable!  It feels good to know my sweet tooth is bettering the world.  Somebody get it a trophy, already.  

Ben and Erica use seasonal ingredients whenever they can, so right now look for flavours like Rhubarb Oat Crumble.  Also, I'm quite enamoured with their logo and design, a whimsical, swirling scoop of ice cream that says "I am modern folk art at its tastiest."  Try them out, I tell you!

Friday, June 1, 2012

And we shall call it "The Most Ideal Weekend Ever."

Last weekend was the first I'd had off in awhile.  A long while.  My friends Dana, Heather and I decided to celebrate my freedom with an adventure, and through the unbelievable generousity of my friends Larry and Karen, we ended up on Galiano Island in their ocean-front cabin.  We pinched and pinched and pinched ourselves, and somehow it was all still real.

We hiked, biked, kayaked, and ate under sunny skies filled with bald eagles.  At one point, while preparing breakfast and dancing around the kitchen, I felt so euphoric I had to stop, breathe, and take a moment to realize how utterly happy I was; only then could I carry on with my biscuit-making.  It's a great thing to feel so consciously alive.

And how could I not?  These are the two beauties with whom I spent the weekend.

In an over-enthusiastic shopping trip before we left, Dana and I purchased endless amounts of food (the phrase "let's just get it, we're on vacay!" was tossed around multiple times in each aisle).  It all went to feed our fresh-air-induced appetites, and one of my favourite snacks was simple: cheese biscuits with sliced avocado, salt, and a background of blue ocean.  Eaten with my legs slung over the side of a chair.  So good.

One of the best hikes we did was to Dionisio Point at the island's most northern tip.  

Along the way, Dana made friends with a joke-telling crab,

and Heather found a leaf that transformed her into a forest nymph.  She's since grown wings and made her home in a shady grove there.

I too made a friend.  This dog belongs to the lady who rented us our kayaks, and as you can see, we're having a grand time.  He was such a ham.

From Montague Harbour, we kayaked out to a rock on which dozens of seals like to sunbathe.  We came in slowly, rested our paddles, and stared.  They stared back.  We had a stare-down with some seals and they absolutely won.  Also, if you're thinking "why do these two photos look like they were taken in the 1980's?" it's because we took them on a disposable, just like in the olden times.

It truly was The Most Ideal Weekend Ever.  Thank you Larry and Karen, thank you Heather and Dana,  and thank you Galiano for showing us such a good time.