cait +tiff


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T / happy monday / cambo love

Photo Credit: The uber talented Nataly Lee

Photo Credit: The uber talented Nataly Lee

So in a decision made in very quickly (turnaround probably took about 6 hours), I am heading out of Cambodia and into somewhere very special for an entire month!  And I thought my nine weeks of wandering was over. Most of you already know where I’m headed, but for those who don’t, I will probably keep that a little secret until my departure on Thursday.  A hint – it’s a special place for Cait too!  But anyways, any time I have to leave Cambodia, and especially on the heels of somewhere I’ve never been, I like to reflect on how much time I’ve spent here, and how special Cambodia is.  This little video by Jan Trnka Productions captures so much of that tapestry of interwoven elements perfectly. Especially what I’ve seen outside of Phnom Penh, through rolling hills, emerging provincial towns and markets, where all the noises are music to my ears, and little villages miles off the main road where you could hear a pin drop.

And for the past few years, it’s always made me happy to come back to this.

THE CAMBODIA from Jan Trnka Productions on Vimeo.


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C / a wedding dress

lace

When Tiff told me that her Crossfit coach, Jenny, wanted me to make her wedding dress, my obvious reply was “Why?” I had never made a wedding dress, and at that point, I had only ever designed a few non-wedding dresses. I was sure that Tiff was just being nice. When it was confirmed that a woman I had never met, did in fact trust me enough to design her wedding dress, I was equal parts flattered and terrified. I didn’t know Jenny, but I knew I didn’t want to eff up her wedding with a crappy dress.

process

We met, and she was awesome. (She’s still awesome, but this is a story: past tense) She was full of energy, kind, funny, and somehow managed to balance running the shop at Crossfit without sounding like a cult leader. In our first meeting, she was laid back, a joy to be around, and generally excited to get married. We went over a few styles and concepts, set up a Pinterest page and shared ideas for a few weeks. She decided on a relaxed, beachy vibe, something flowy with lace, but without going full flower-child.

market-lace

Let’s go back a little bit. I don’t know anything about lace. Well, I do now, but at the time of this design, I was googling the hell out of all my materials, and honestly didn’t know how different kinds of lace would work with designs. There are a million kinds of lace, some of it horrible, some of it gorgeous. She wanted a dress that hit just below the knee, and talked about dying it after, so she could wear it as a cocktail dress. We settled on a fairly simple design, with a few pretty details, and I am really happy with how it turned out. More importantly, so is she.

lace-back

At the tailor, nit-picking details.

final

Beautiful, happy Jenny on her wedding day.

final-back

And they lived happily ever after.

All photos by Tiffany Tsang. Please request permission for use.

caitsig


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C + T / Kep Weekend

Kep-HeaderOne of the most important things about living in Phnom Penh is leaving it. Seeing the Cambodian countryside is so different than experiencing life in the city. Everything is quiet, save for a rogue rooster or two, and by the time you get down to the coast, the smog and trash and millions of motos feel very far away. The road to Kep is vibrant and things just smell better outside the city.

Endless games and entertainment from these guys.

Endless games and entertainment from these guys.

We basically didn't leave the pool.  How could you with that view?

We basically didn’t leave the pool. How could you with that view?

Kep-Pool-Calm-Jump

Kep-Seafood-Trio

Unlimited bounties of the sea: crab soup, pan fried fish with awesome salsa, prawns atop a mango salad, and the resulting graveyard.

We went down last Friday with about 20 friends. The group was split between Villa Romonea, Kimly Lodge and Knai Bang Chatt. It was a weekend to celebrate a 30th birthday, a successful 3 months of logistical aid work in Liberia (and staying ebola-free), and just getting the hell out of Dodge. It’s officially hot season here and though our late morning hike was ill-timed, most everything else was wonderful. The food was amazing and crab was abundant, as were pool floaties, massages and Beer Lao. There were babies and old friends and new friends and board games.

Seriously. What are you still doing in the snow?Berto-Jump


All photos by Tiffany Tsang. Please request permission for use.

For details on our Kep trip, check out this post!

 


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C / rough drafts / alissa

alissa-fabric-header Our wonderful friend, Alissa, has given me three pieces of gorgeous fabric to work with for her pieces. Two are bright, unique and gorgeous fabrics from Tanzania, the third is a print from Cambodia. We are going to do three different pieces (potentially four, but she doesn’t know that yet) and the first one will be a work dress, using the Cambodian print.

Unless you happen to be Victoria Beckham, a lot of work dresses tend to lean toward the very very boring. Alissa is not boring, and I don’t want this dress to be. That being said, we need to lock it up a little bit, to make sure she can wear it when she meets with Cambodian government officials and old dudes in Geneva.

This print (seen above) is interesting and beautiful, has a bit of a floral vibe, but doesn’t go too far into girlytown. I want to make something that feels powerful and beautiful, which shouldn’t be hard to do on such an awesome lady.

Inspiration so far…

alissa

The first drawings…

alissa-work-dress

don’t worry, Alissa has hands and feet in real life

Meeting with Alissa tonight to discuss the details for this dress and the Tanzania pieces. If you want to know more about Alissa’s adventures finding these fabrics and other treasures, you can read her guest post that she wrote for us a few months ago. It’s so great.

More soon!

Inspiration photos from here and here.

caitsig


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humpjump / #shopsmall

Photo Credit: Fawn DeViney

Photo Credit: Fawn DeViney

Heyo Wednesday. Cait is on her way to Myanmar to hang with buddies and do some holiday shopping at the Bogyoke market in Yangon. The market is a crazy cavern of jewels and lacquer and food smells, making it one of the best places for treasure hunting. At the time this was written, she is at the airport cafe, Jingle Bell Rock is playing, and a nice Cambodian boy in a Santa hat just gave her tea. She is not convinced he is the real Santa.

Tiff is holding down the fort in Phnom Penh, sporadically acting like an adult at her other job and keeping things pretty. With any luck, the lovely proprietor of Botanico (our schmancy little work space) with come by with some of them Venezuelan donuts again.

So for humpjump this week, we are sticking with the “shop small” thing and sharing a some thoughts and few great companies that can help you spend all of your money. Enjoy!

This place is run by totally fantastic people who work n East Africa and their jewelry is gorgeous and well made.

20 versions of Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christimas is You”…because we all need this.

Tonlé and a bunch of other cool brands were just featured in this crazy useful article on shopping in Phnom Penh.  It is now time to show the world that there is cool stuff here.

These guys are a great choice for changing your blog and your life…and upping your Photoshop game…or anyone you love who is looking to jump into it all.

Gosh, I just love it when a local design phenom makes it big.  And that means getting featured on an ab fab style blog.

This lady is constantly featuring small businesses making awesome stuff with good practices.

We’re launching our own gift guides today, but also check out Cup of Jo for her awesome and very specific guides for giving to those awesome personalities in our lives.

Kinfolk is one of my favourite places to learn about lives of creatives, makers and small business owners.  And they go all the way to Japan to boot. A subscription also makes a great gift.

Shameless Canada plug: this father-daughter wood working collab is simply the best if you’re looking for hand crafted goodness.

Give something away that won’t last very long.  Weird concept yes. But tasty artisanal eats for the discerning eater are always welcomed! They’re also great for saying thanks for all those holiday hangovers.