Isab-elle, off duty.

Sitting, ever faithful, my mascot. I noticed her across the way here today, and it struck me how beautiful and appreciated she is. She models my earmuffs and hats. She has been responsible for so much of my success.

I chuck her around and implement her without too much thought, usually. She serves me. She serves me well, with her unique, cartoonish, art deco, and yes, in-your-face beauty. She is Isab-elle.

I adopted her in 2012 at the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto. She is definitely the best $60 I ever spent.



Channeling my Mom’s knitting skills


mom2Today, my Mom would be celebrating her birthday. Marilyn passed away 18 months ago and I think about her often as I pick my way through my path and wonder…what would Mom think about this/what advice would she give about that.

My Mom was a masterful knitter. She knit everything from mitts and hats, to Christmas characters and decorations, and sweaters for my Dad and my kids, when they were babies.

She tried to instill this love of knitting in me when I was a kid, but I wasn’t interested. I tried, but there was nothing but frustration and impatience for me, and anyway all I wanted to do was run around and play and such.

I found myself trying to take it up at random times over the years, buying the odd ball of yarn, the odd set of needles at a yard sale…and again, not really much but failure on my part!

When my Mom passed away, I brought home some of her yarn and needles. I went to a yarn shop and told the lady that I wanted to learn how to knit, and asked for a pattern to make a hat. She said that I should start with something simpler, like a dishcloth or a scarf. Well..I didn’t want to make a dishcloth or a scarf…. I wanted to make some hats to go with all the damn pom poms I’ve got all over the place here!

So I got a pattern, and I knit my first hat. Unlike all the other times I tried to learn to knit, this time it was easy. It was like I had been knitting all my life and I banged that hat out in about three hours.

I think I’m channeling my Mom’s knitting skills — why else would I suddenly know how to knit ?


I don’t have a LOT of time to knit and to learn new patterns and techniques, so my repertoire is pretty limited so far, but that will come. The main time I spend on it, is on the TTC — my daily trips to ship orders at the post office. I bring my projects with me on the bus, streetcar and the subway, and when I walk, yes, I pull it out and knit a few stitches while I’m waiting for the light to turn green.

IMG_8992I’ve sold quite a few of my knit hats in my shop, and in some other shops in Toronto, and I hope to increase those sales this fall and winter.

I feel like knitting today 🙂 but my Mom was also a passionate and expert gardener — she loved flowers. I think I’ll chuck the knitting and the laptop and elle Vintage for a while today and go outside and plant some flowers.

Happy Birthday Mom, wherever you are (always on my shoulder <3)