Category Archives: Studio stuff

That’s why they call it the ‘Best Coast’

I have to admit, we’re pretty spoiled living in a place like Vancouver Island.  Most of us, when driving to work, get to drive through areas full of thick old trees, drive over icy cold rivers, or cross majestic mountains next to our beautiful ocean.  I’ve had the privilege this past month to drive to the west coast of our island a couple of times.

My first trip was to a town called Sooke. Along this part of the west coast we have a number of provincial parks to spend the day exploring the amazing beaches, or to hike down to remote ocean front camping spots.  One of my favorite beaches here is called Botanical Beach.  If you arrive at this beach when the tide is low, there’s a large rock formation that has tide pools full of the most colorful sea life.

I’ve visited this place many times with various friends, and love to take my dog with us on these trips.  I think my funniest memory of a trip here was when my dog was having so much fun running around the rocks, he didn’t notice a tide pool in front of him, and fell right into it.

But my most favorite place on Vancouver island to visit is a place called Tofino.  It’s a little further north on our island then Sooke.  This is our ‘surfing capital’.

There are beaches that go on for miles and miles.  Large rock formations full of various sea life that rise out of the sea.

Amazing rain forests full of ferns larger then me, and trees so big that a car could drive right through it.

The one thing I love the most about Tofino is its sunsets.  Miles of beaches create to most stunning of colors over the horizon.  It’s one of the reasons why I go back there every year.  After watching the sun go down, it’s so beautiful to take a blanket to the beach, cuddle up on a blanket, and watch shooting stars fly through the sky amongst hundreds of thousand of other stars!

I feel very blessed to have been born and raised on Vancouver island.  I truly believe it’s one of the most beautiful places on the earth to live and enjoy all that nature has to offer <3

xo

Rachel

Jennifer Dewar - July 19, 2012 - 11:16 am

Beautiful Photos! Always amazed by the beauty of Canada and the many natural places that can be explored and enjoyed. Good for you for sharing and taking time to really be apart of where you live. Thank-you for giving us a glimpse of your part of the country.- Jennie, of Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

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Why I love the ones I work with

From the first day that I walked into Bamboletta I knew it was going to be an amazing journey. The colorful room and smiling faces really felt welcoming. My first day at Bamboletta was dressing day and all the dolls were scattered around the floor in their undies waiting to be dressed in their cute little outfits. I got super excited to become a part of something so different. After working at Bamboletta for just over a year now a lot in my life has changed. I feel so grateful to have each girl (and John) I work with be such a positive impact on me. I don’t know if all the girls even know how much I appreciate how much support they give me and help to guide me through this crazy life :p I take in all their opinions with an open heart really to learn because I feel like they all have such good advice and are there for me. It’s kind of like I have a bunch of different moms I could go to. Moms because I’m the ‘little one’ in the bunch that still has a lot to learn about life. I get all of this while I’m working at an amazing job sewing the little frocks. Because I’m at work full time, I’m around all the girls all day and they learn everything about you, it’s great to be able to come to work doing what I love to do and know if I was having a bad day, the moment I walk through the door everything will be okay  :)

xo

Nicole

Brenda Bell - July 18, 2012 - 6:22 pm

Look at all that gorgeous fabric behind you! Keep up the great work.

Matty-Lize Adams - July 18, 2012 - 11:48 pm

What a nice blog – you all are blessed to be working there and doing what you love to do! xxx

bindu - July 20, 2012 - 2:27 pm

the love of your extraordinary “moms” and John, and the warmth of your dreamland workplace aaaaaaaaaaaaaall shows up in your wonderful creations Nicole!

Sending hugs and more hugs to all of you :)
bindu.

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Cute to Cool

So my four year old daughter and I have been playing dress-up every morning for a few years now. In the beginning, I had free reign but as she’s grown and begins to understand and communicate more, the table has definitely turned. Now you will hear me saying “What do you think (or feel) about this outfit today?” Often there are multiple changes and or tweaks before walking out the door, and always the ” How do I look?” or “What do you think?” Of course without fail I respond with ” You look soooo cute!” This affirmation was always received with love until yesterday morning when she made it very clear that “Cool” was now the new “Cute”. Suppressing a giggle I assured her I agreed whole heartedly. And so in a blink of an eye our world had moved from “Cute” to “Cool”.

xo

Sarah

misty - June 30, 2012 - 9:18 pm

aaaaawe! I can’t wait till my little girl is at that stage!

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Training new friends

Over the last 2 weeks I have had the pleasure of training 8 new home sewers. For me it is so much more than a job training session. It is an opportunity to spend time meeting new women, initiate new members to the Bamboletta team and share the skills and vision that Christina shared with me years ago. My favorite part is when everyone is sewing and the conversation begins. Of course these moments
are short because we have so much to learn, but inevitably they happen. There is something so timeless about women chatting and doing handwork together.

One of my lines that I use during the training session is, ‘Christina is an artist and we are being asked to help create her art, so consider yourself an artist.’ I get such a warm feeling witnessing a new sewer learn, struggle, complete their first doll and bring it in as a completed work of art. Making a first doll is a moment that will not be forgotten. I always feel so honored and blessed to train new sewers.

xo

Shauna

Renea Pike - June 20, 2012 - 4:26 pm

Silly question, but I have to know..When you are training new sewers and they make their first doll, do they get to keep it? Or are they displayed somewhere in the shop for all you ladies to see? :)

Linsay - June 20, 2012 - 4:37 pm

Renea, not a silly question because I was thinking the exact same thing!

admin - June 20, 2012 - 7:46 pm

Yes! They do get to keep their first doll :) Then the subsequent dolls get done, seam ripped apart then re done. Then after that ‘phase’ we have the ladies make dolls out of our booboo parts – marks on them, or old ‘skin’ – we have LOTS of these bits that don’t make the ‘cut’. Then the ladies start making dolls that we keep here (we have over 200 now since January alone!). This phase varies with each sewer – we have some that make incredible dolls after only 10 or so then we have ladies that take quite a bit longer. It’s slow going in the beginning and it usually takes about 6 months before a SM is producing dolls to our standards. Even then each doll goes through Rachel and Sarah who spend two entire days going through every doll and check everything to make sure that it’s built to last! (we have a 74 point checklist they go through with every doll that we keep here) I am so lucky to have Shauna teach. Her doll making skills are amazing and she is a natural teacher (she actually teaches Five Rhythms here in the Cowichan Valley!). It’s so amazing to see how many people are a part of how this all works flows and it seems that the most perfect people come along at exactly the right times!

Matty - June 20, 2012 - 11:44 pm

Please come and train me in South Africa??? Pretty please?! You can combine it with a lovely holiday in our beautyful country. :) I would love to learn your skills and quality of work. Imagine having a Bambo sister-workshop in SA!

Atarah - June 21, 2012 - 8:09 am

Such laughter and fun going on at that table. <3

K - June 21, 2012 - 9:06 pm

sounds like a lot of fun!!

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We can work together

Two sad eyes,

Hanging shoulders,

no energy and a sleepless night,

It is so lonely!!

 

My sewing machine is disappointed in me,

I can feel it. It makes me sad.

 

But I can cheer it up. I have all these ideas in my

head. I have energy to sew up a new pants, a blouse, a shirt or maybe two.

Look at all my lovely fabrics, my scissors, tape-measure and thread, seamripper, my

elastic and velcro, all ready to start.

 

We don’t have to be sad, we can work together, we are crazy good together,

we stitch and cut, we ruffle and pleat, we go fast and slow and by the

end of the night….. we all SMILE again!

xo

Thamar

 

Tara A - June 18, 2012 - 3:33 pm

Awww, I need to start sewing again.

Jill Gustafson - June 18, 2012 - 3:42 pm

My sewing machine has to be really sad. It used to be so busy, but hasn’t been touched in a few years. Love this.!!

Beckie - June 18, 2012 - 4:53 pm

I learned many years ago, when I was teaching a group of ladies to sew clothes for their children, that a sewing machine can be your best friend or your worst enemy. It’s hard to tell someone that they are fighting their machine. My advice is to put the most money that you can into a sewing machine. If you can’t right now, save and upgrade when you can. Would your hubby buy the cheapest tools/items for his hobby? Doubtful.
The better the machine, the more enjoyable your sewing will be… and you’ll want to learn & practice more!

admin - June 18, 2012 - 8:12 pm

Beckie, that is some seriously sound advice, I couldn’t agree more!

Kim Giovannini - June 19, 2012 - 6:25 pm

What a wonderful post!
I recently found out that my granny made clothes for all of the children’s dolls in her neighborhood. Eventhough she’s been gone for a few years now, and I’m adopted, I love to be able to make doll shenanigans for my daughter – it was inherited by “nuture”, I guess. I so terribly love the care that goes into all of the Bamboletta dolls and clothes. <3 all of the magic the sewing mummas put into each frock. :)

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