I'm not one to attend local BIA meetings; my BBB studio is a bit off the main drag of Hespeler. However, I do belong to the association to keep abreast of developments which of late are many:  the old of many windows iconic American Standard building where they used to enamel bathtubs is about to be 'condoized' along side a new 11 storey apartment building, the Fashion Museum now hangs its hat in the former post office building, a fab artisinal olive oil shop O&V,  a great vinyl record /book shop Millpond  and recently my building sold and has new owners who will open a kraft beer brewery! Hespeler is hip!

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Deb Annis is my right hand BBB maker.  When  I moved the biz to Cambridge in 2004 Deb took charge of crafting our tote with her solid background in textile work and quality control.  I have to see the big picture -the forest for the trees and Deb has an eye for detail and patience for process.  In short a good match as my 'forest' often turns upside down and backwards.

Not unusual then that Deb spotted a BBB in need of some of textile restoration.  A couple of months ago she was visiting the Emergenncy at Grand River Hospital with a sick family member.  A wait of 6 hours  and sitting across from her was a black well used - a bit on the delapidated side  -  black BBB.   Owner not apparent.


About a month later a longtime BBB customer  Carolyn Dempsey popped into the studio with her friend Barbara Cove.  Barbara is an ER nurse at Grand River Hospital. You can put 2 and 2 together.    The BBB in the ER belonged to Barbara.  She says its a great tote for her carry the tools of her trade such as the stethscope etc when she is on high alert.  It made me think of the amazing job ER nurses and nurses in general do.  How do they stay calm and cool surrounded by our various states of our emergency?  




Barbara was very happy with the BBB spa results and it was a pleasure to  administer some much needed TLC to her BBB;  restoring her tote for more appearances in the ER but looking bit more lively!  Our good deed for Earth Day.    

If you would like to do some Spring cleaning and send your BBB to us  until May 15 all restorations are on the house!







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The Sea Salt Soap Voyage of Charlotte & Castel

Charlotte and Castel Sea Salt Soap:  beautifully made, beautifully packaged  and an exquisite  experience to use.  Who are Charlotte and Castel?  Well not the names of the founders, 'charlotte' refers to a delicate dessert and castel? Is that a star .. The 'voyage' of the creators behind C&C is as intriquing as their collection of organic sea inspired products. 

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Buttons and bags: twigs and trees


Starting from top row left to right are  buttons made from branches of  yew, maple, boxwood, black cherry, birch, black walnut, mystery driftwoord, tulip and ash.

I confess I know very little about trees, even though growing up surrounded by them like birds, I considered them commonplace and paid little attention to their distinguishing features.   Looking south out my bedroom window - my favourite view and the best part about waking up with the sun rising over Lake Erie thru the trees.  Like watching a negative develop into colour , tree trunks and branches emerged from the pitch becoming charcoal silouettes against a salmon pink sky...

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Seagrams on water, please.

No, that's not a drink... but it could be.  Rather I am referring to Blair Seagram's photography.   Yes, Seagrams  Whiskey ( remember the famed Crown Royal  and its purple gift bag aka best marble bag ever) is one of the  pillars of Canadian spirits.  Photographer Blair happens to be the great great granddaughter of Joseph Emm Seagram (link) who founded the distillery in the Waterloo Ontario area where my business is located.  Blair shoots water that quenches our aesthetic thirst! Blair is also a great BBB customer who lives in Sag Harbor, New York and focuses her lens on its ocean vistas.

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BBB HOLIDAY BEZAAR STUDIO SALE with lots of BBB specials and DIY gifts with 10% going to Trinity Community Table.   For event info: Hope to see you.

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Bonny's Thanksgivng drift: the mobile wreath

Apropos of the Thanksgiving and holiday wreath-making season, sister and garden/artist  Bonny McKeough never fails to treat the mind's eye with the visual poetry of her driftwood/found object mobile sculptures.  I was wondering where my stash of old spoons went.   I don't like using unnecessary electricity these days for lighting up the season: reflective materials and chimes compliments of the wind are a whimsical solution for me.  Does that sound like 'bah, humbug'  Oh well.
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Founders Garden Club of Sarasota

Thank you Founders Garden Club of Sarasota for having me and the Brave Brown Bag collection at your Green Forever luncheon last Wed. One never knows what the display arrangements will be but this worked out wonderfully with a bit of artful tromp d'oeil greenery as my background.  Very forever green.  And loved the red/white and blue parapluie and the silent garcon.  He didn't charge for the espresso!

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Biddiing battle over BBB at the DX?

Last night at the annual Toronto Design Exchange DX Intersection party/fundraiser, our Antique Wax BBB was auctioned off to the highest bidder?  Were you there?  Did their honorary guest Monocle editor, Tyler Brule buy it? Oh such wishful thinking.  Every year since 2003 we've donated a BBB to the event.  

In 2003 the BBB received the Gold Award in the sustainable/fashion category;  an oxymoron if there ever was one -  Sustainable means to last and the latter is always changing....  Oh well.  Wish I could've been a fly on the wall and watched the bidding.  Or did someone think a paper bag was being auctioned as a high design joke. 


Now this is not a joke but an example of  fashion and sustainability.   Recently a customer  bought a new BBB and gave us this treasured daily companion for a day at the BBB spa.   The expression "give it up"  comes to mind.  But we will see what we can do and it might just be unsustainable....  On the other hand one should never give up hope.  And everyone has their pet 'cant throw it out yet' experiences.  I should talk.


I could not say no to this wheelbarrow of 50 geraniums destined for my neighbour's compost last weekend.  Where am I gong to put 50 pots inside this fall.  Or one deadheads them and into cold storage, if I had one....  I am sucker for geranium pink;  luckily there were not 100 of them. 

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Conko is back - the unscary clown!

Our Conko the clown tote is back.   An exclusive production for the Conko Foundation.  The Conklin family gave Canadians the wonderful Canadian National Exhibition.  Third generation Trish and Melissa Conklin although no longer involved with the CNE maintain the rights to the wonderful Conko logo designed by Chris Yaneff in the 60's.  It does indeed look very mid century...... and Trish and Melissa are also fans of our BBB.
I just don't understand this scary clown stuff that is in the local news these days... teenagers dressing up in scary clown costumes and doing the bogeyman bordering on bullying act jumping out of the bushes and frightening the hay out of young and old I suspect.   Some people do have clown phobias.  Trish has always had us place the image on both sides of the bag peaking above or around the edge as if to lessen any
direct in your face frightfulness.  
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