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Lifestyle


Holiday Gift Guide
Written by Fresh Vancouver   

LOLO

Smooth, sleek and sexy, the Lola fold-over clutch is one of the first to be introduced from LOLO’s new line of must-have leather clutches. Folded over or not, Lola can be worn day into evening and is a definite favourite this holiday. The tassel is to die for! Go online to shop for this clutch and more at LOLO.ca

lolo leather clutch folded over

HER WEARABLES

Hand-crafted with pieces of previously-fired brass casings, the Gunner Collection from Her Wearables offers gifts with a unique edge. The Shine Brighter necklace ($105) has a previously-fired 7.62 round cut to fit two Swarovski crystals in the bottom. Find more at her-wearables.com

necklace with pendant

MALENE GROTRIAN

Delight your favourite art aficionado with these colourful art cards by Vancouver artist and fashion designer Malene Grotrian ($28 for 5 cards, or $50 for 10 cards). To place your order, contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

photo of painting art work

VANCOUVER CANDLE CO.

Vancouver Candle Co. pays homage to the traditional craft of candle making using simple local ingredients—soy wax, fragrance oils, 100% cotton wicks—to create a clean-burning and long-lasting candle with a rich fragrance that gently fills the room. Handmade in the heart of Vancouver, each candle in the collection is named and inspired by neighbourhoods within the City. Find out more at VancouverCandleCo.com

candle

ESCENTS

Create your own custom bath and aroma spray products at home with the DIY Essential Oil Custom Blending Kit ($54.95 each). Available in Bath & Body Oil and Aroma Mist, these fun and educational kits include a scentless product, four 100% pure essential oils, a dropper, a bottle to blend your creations and five of Escents’ favourite recipes providing a variety of benefits and aromas to suit any mood.

escent kit

SKIN SPIN

The SKIN SPIN Roller System ($80) is the most effective and most diverse anti-aging skin care tool on the market. It doesn’t just improve the appearance of the skin but it also improves the health and function of the skin creating long term results. Learn more at skinspin.com

skin spin system

 
An Interview with Donna Giraud
Written by Roop Dosanjh   

photo of Donna GiraudDonna Giraud did not grow up dreaming about being an artist, but her journey to becoming a painter has been a beautiful unravelling of a hidden talent that she says she cannot imagine her life without.

Artistic Style...

My artistic style is abstract meets atmospheric. With rich texture, thick expanses of pigment, low saturation hues and smoky void space occupying the fore of my compositions, my work often shows hints of raw earth, rainfall, erosion or even natural disasters. My work is visceral and my intension is to draw the viewer deep into it's enchanting folds while exposing a deep seeded psychological narrative.

Her focus on abstract art…

Abstract art just has a way of “speaking to me,” and therefore I just gravitated towards that style naturally. There is something about the ambiguity, the randomness and the lack of rules of the abstract form that appeals to me. My work is an expression of my deepest and most profound thoughts, fears and desires, but what excites me the most about abstract art is the journey it takes the viewer on. I am always so fascinated by the depth and complexity of people’s imaginations and I love hearing how a piece of my abstract work makes someone feel, remember, think, question or even inspire. Abstract art knows no limits and I look forward to seeing how far I can take my work.

Motivations…

Donna's artwork 1Staying motivated is one of the hardest parts of being an artist. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t have those days when going to the studio was absolutely the last thing I wanted to do, but I did it. It’s in those moments when you didn’t think that you had an ounce of creativity left in you that you create some of your greatest work. When you have one of those moments (or sessions in the studio), or when everything is just perfectly aligned and something beautiful comes out of you, that is the feeling that keeps me coming back for more.

Her favourite piece of work...

One of my favourite pieces was painted earlier this year and I titled it “MILIEN”. It was a product of an 8 hour painting session that I did in front of a photographer that captured every moment of my process. The inspiration behind this painting was all about vulnerability and despite it being one of the most uncomfortable positions to be in, being vulnerable in fact yields some of the most beautiful results. I had the choice to awkwardly worry about how someone was inches away from me with a camera, capturing every step of my artistic process and every wrinkle on my face or to share a combination of beautifully natural moments where I could fully entrench myself in my craft while another artist equally did the same. Those moments and this piece of art was a result of a perfect combination of choosing to fully surrender to vulnerability and it made me think, “what if we all just surrendered to being vulnerable? What if we all decided to endure the uncertainty and just be brave?” I can only imagine the greatness that would ensue.

What’s next…?

Donna's artwork 2I am currently busy, working towards my next show at IDSWest (The Interior Design Show West) at the Vancouver Convention Centre West on September 24-27th. This show continues to be my favourite show of the year and I am exceptionally excited to show my newest creations amongst some of the best artists in Vancouver. In addition to my next show, I am currently working with Farm Boy Fine Arts on a commissioned commercial piece, being published in a book titled “Vanguard Visionaries out of New York City.” I am also creating a mentorship program where I will offer my wisdom and guidance to emerging artists as well as slowly working on a separate series of work that will be for my first solo show (date and time yet to be disclosed). I wholeheartedly look forward to this next year and how my how my creative endeavours will unfold.

Where can we find your work?

My work can be found in a variety of private home collections all over North America. My studio is located in the Mount Pleasant area of Vancouver and I encourage anyone to come by and have a look at completed work as well as what I am currently creating.

Images of all of my completed works can be found on my website at www.donnagiraud.com. I also offer custom commissioned work and I would be happy to come to your home for a consultation where we would discuss your preferences in size, colour and theme. For inquiries for any of the above options, please contact me by emailing me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
Life Can Always Use a Little Sparkle!
Written by Dan Tidsbury   
Kristal Barrett-Stuart shares her thoughts on the Sparkle Project BC.

photo of Kristal Barrett-Stuart

The Sparkle Project BC is a movement that seeks to inspire and equip young girls aged 10 to 17 years to lead healthy, self-confident, and successful lives. A community of British Columbian women, these entrepreneurs, artists, and public figures dream of a world where girls have a sense of self-love and selfconfidence to identify goals, pursue passions, and plan for success.

The women of Sparkle have pooled their collective wisdom to create inspirational and practical resources for young girls everywhere. The project includes workshops, a book titled Sparkle: An Inspirational Handbook for Young Girls, inspirational merchandise and the inspirational anthem “Sparkle” co-written and produced by Juno award-winning country singer, Carolyn Dawn Johnson and performed and co-written by The Sparkle Project founder, Kristal Barrett-Stuart.

Partial proceeds from sales of the book, song and workshops will help create bursaries for girls that need financial assistance to further pursue their dreams and ultimately, find and celebrate their inner sparkle.

We spoke with Kristal Barrett-Stuart about the Sparkle Project, her involvement in it, and the vision for the future.

WHY IS THE SPARKLE PROJECT NECESSARY?

Young girls today are faced with more challenges than ever before! The pressure to fit in and to be perfect is having a major impact on young girls confidence. Then add in social media. There is a real lack of self-love and a real lack of resources available to help support and empower young girls through their most challenging years.

HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED?

I founded The Sparkle Project BC in August of 2014. It had been a dream of mine since I was 16 years old. I felt such a need for support at that age and that need inspired my passion to make a difference and empower young girls when I grew up. I was moved to finally chase that dream with the birth of my daughter almost 4 years ago. As a mother, I just can’t stand the thought of my daughter growing up to lose sight of what makes her special and inherently valuable. If the Sparkle handbook, song and workshops can give girls some really simple, practical advice for holding onto who they are, I will feel like I’ve achieved one of my major goals in life. It’s time girls were taught to love themselves!

WHAT IMPACTS HAVE YOU SEEN IN THE LIVES OF THE GIRLS SERVED BY THE PROJECT?

I have heard so many amazing comments, whether it is from the mothers who thank me for inspiring their daughter through the workshop, or a young girl expressing how the Sparkle book changed her life.

HOW HAS YOUR INVOLVEMENT IN THE PROJECT CHANGED YOU?

This project has changed me in so many ways. I feel like I am finally living my true purpose. It has opened so many beautiful doors, has given me the opportunity to meet so many amazing women/people and most of all it has taught me a few key lessons:

  • Never be afraid to ask (the worst thing you could ever hear is no)
  • We are so much more powerful when we support each other (collaborate, instead of compete)
  • You can do anything you put your mind to

WHERE DO YOU SEE THE PROJECT GOING?

My long term goal is to create a global movement, to have sparkle facilitators in each community offering workshops/mentoring, and to launch a sparkle confidence camp next summer!

... AND THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES?

Spreading the sparkle - creating awareness that the project exists and is here to help support young girls!

HOW CAN OUR READERS GET INVOLVED?

Check out www.thesparkleprojectbc.com. Help us spread the word. Buy a sparkle book for a young girl in your life or send them to a sparkle workshop! Every bit makes a difference.

 
Get Confident! Live the Life of Your Dream
Written by Heather White   

I was standing on the tee box of the LPGA CP Women’s Open watching the best women golfer’s on the planet prepare to tee off. What I couldn’t help but notice in their eyes, and in the energy of these professionals was the essence of confidence that exuded from every part of their being. They were sure. They were focused. They were certain. I didn’t wonder if they believed in themselves and their abilities, I could feel that they did. They were prepared for the moment that they now found themselves in. They were ready. They were living their dream. But, this is not where they started. Confidence is an inner muscle they’ve built on the journey that landed them in this moment. It’s a muscle we must all build if we want to live the life we dream of.

In order to have a dream, we must first have have the courage to look inside our heart for the answers about the vision we hold for our life. No one, other than you, can ever know the dream that you hold in your heart. No one can tell you what it is you deeply desire to experience and accomplish in this lifetime. Only you can find those answers by going within.

From there things get increasingly more challenging. When we dream, we dream in images that play out with the same romanticism of a perfectly scripted hollywood movie. What we often don’t see in those initial glimpses is the uphill climb we’ll agree to in order to meet that dream in our reality. Every step we take along the journey is one that will build the confidence we need at that particular moment in order to simply take the next step. By the time we reach the top, look out into our life and see that the dream has come true, we will have built an inner confidence that we wouldn’t have known without the accumulation of all those previous steps.

Ready to go?

5 Steps to get confident and live the life of your dream:

1. Get started

Zig Ziglar had a zinger of a quote about this idea. “You don’t have to be great to start, but you need to start to be great.” And here’s the truth bomb: when you start, you start as a beginner. If you want to make that dream in your heart real, swallow those big pills of responsibility and humility and get stared. Be ready to fall down. Then get right back and carry on.

2. Practice

There’s no getting around doing the work. Malcolm Gladwell talks about the 10,000 hours to mastery in his book “Outliers”. Those golfers standing on the tee didn’t just show up one day and play at that level. Tens of thousands of hours have been left out on the practice facility in order for them to step into that moment. Continue to practice taking the steps that move you toward your dream life.

3. Reflect on your progress

I’ve saved every magazine and newspaper article that I’ve ever had published so that in those moments of doubt when I second guess myself and my abilities, I can look at how far I’ve actually come. Make sure you honour and celebrate as you go. It’s easy and important to stay focused forward, but balance it with some well deserved festivity.

4. “Find your tribe. Love them hard.” - Danielle Laporte

No one makes it alone. Surround yourself with a tribe of people who support you and that you support. Find and hang on to those vibrational matches, in terms of the way you think, the things you value, and the way you want to show up in the world enroute to your dream life.

5. Keep going

Times are going to get tough. Challenges are going to present themselves, a lot. Keep going. One foot in front of the other. When and if you get overwhelmed, focus just on the next step. But whatever you do, don’t give up.

Believe in yourself and your abilities. You deserve to love the life you live. Your confidence will grow within, lifting you as you climb into the life of your dreams.

 
Stylist Mindset
Written by Crystal Carson   

As we transition into the fall fashion season for 2015, we have to face the reality that there aren’t many things that are truly new anymore because trends are all in the details and silhouettes. The Decade of Inspiration is the 1970s; which means the silhouette is bells, touches of faux furs and heavy-textured fabrics you would normally see for the interior of homes from eras past. The colour of choice is orange, but the palette varies greatly from muted fall tones to bright pops of colour. From runway to street style, it’s the season to play with prints. For more details on how to create these looks, visit www.stylistmindset.com

PHOTOGRAPHER: AARON AUBREY / PRODUCER & STYLIST: CRYSTAL CARSON / MAKEUP & HAIR ARTIST: SARA ROSE FOR BRUSH HAIR SALON/ STYLIST ASSISTANT: MARA ONDEJKO / MANICURE: THE TEN SPOT USING CND VINYLUX ROUGE RITE / LOCATION: THE EMERALD EAST VAN SUPPER CLUB AND LOUNGE

model wearing pink and orange sweater and orange bell bottom pants

1. PINK AND ORANGE STRIPED SWEATER BY ST. JOHN (THECLOSETYVR) / ORANGE BELL BOTTOM PANTS BY VICTORIA BECKHAM (HOLT RENFREW)

woman wearing sleeveless shirt

2. SHIRT BY ROBERTO CAVALLI (HOLT RENFREW)

woman wearing multicoloured jumper, blue shirt and a chunky necklace

3. SWEATER BY ESKANDER (HOLT RENFREW) / JUMPER BY TORY BURCH (HOLT RENFREW) / NECKLACE FROM MINE & YOURS CO.

woman wearing faux fur and maroon top with a hat

4. HAT BY EUGENIA KIM (HOLT RENFREW) / FAUX FUR PIECE BY FENDI (HOLT RENFREW) / MAROON TOP BY CLUB MONACO (MINE & YOURS CO.) / SPOON RING BY MIKEL GRANT JEWELLERY (BAREFOOT CONTESSA)

model wearing blouse dress and over the knee boots

5. BLOUSE DRESS BY TWENTY 8 TWELVE (MINE & YOURS CO.) / OVER THE KNEE BOOTS BY BACCARINA (HOLT RENFREW)

model wearing an orange vintage pinstriped blazer

6. ORANGE VINTAGE PINSTRIPED BLAZER BY GIORGIO ARMANI (THECLOSETYVR) / AMETHYST STONE RING FROM ARGENTINA ANTIQUE MARKET

 
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