All the Perks

Bubblegum Belles Perk Package

Within days of making my contribution to the Bubblegum Belles Artisan Collective Truck, I received an awesome package in the mail with some of the perks! Best kind of mail day! I’ve been proudly “toting around” my Bubblegum Belles cloth bag and every time I see the magnet on the fridge, I’m filled with the excitement of this project. Check out my previous post about this awesome artisan hub on wheels.

There’s still a ways to go to pull off the funding for the project. As of today, there’s 17 days left and about 34% of the money raised. 32 wonderful folks have already committed to donating over $9,000!!! Which is so awesome! Thanks to all those who have stepped up. Let’s keep spreading the word, and growing that donation amount so that we can expand the unique experience of our creative culture in Calgary!!

The amazing list of featured artists has grown. In fact, sounds like space in the Artisan Collective Truck is filling up. Really talented group of local artists and designers (proud to be included among them)! Some super fun shopping opportunities coming up in the future when this project hits the road!

So pop over to the Indiegogo campaign page and take a moment to donate (and score some great perks of your own)!

Let The Crafty Times Roll!

Picture this: a pimped out food truck that doesn’t serve up food, but acts as a mobile art & craft store, selling the wares of local Calgary artisans at festivals, outdoor markets & community events. Seriously? YES!!! Seriously! This is the concept behind the Artisan Collective Truck by Bubblegum Belles. I think it’s truly brilliant! To make this stellar idea a reality, Pam of Bubblegum Belles, has launched an official Indiegogo campaign to raise the funds to help pull it off. Please, pretty please, check out the campaign page and consider donating any amount (there’s lots of donations levels with plenty of fun perks). What an amazing way to grow the unique experience of our creative culture in Calgary!

Not only are hubby and I excited to be able to contribute to the campaign (we REALLY want to see this project take flight or rather, “hit the road”), but I’m also thrilled to be included among the growing list of artists who want to be a part of the collective. Yep, one day, you’ll be able to see a selection of Bubblegum Sass items, among other great local talent, all within a stylish ride. Wheels make things just that much cooler, don’t you think? Haha… really it’s about being able to reach that many more customers and introducing them to the awesomeness of local handmade goods!

Sounds like a ton of fun, right? I’m excited, as you can tell. Let’s get this truck rollin’!

*You can follow along Pam’s journey on her Instagram feed*


Lend a hand

Bow Crescent flooded
Bow Crescent flooded in Calgary (Photo by Lonnie Springer)

The natural disaster that Southern Alberta is dealing with is epic. If you haven’t heard much about it yet, then do a quick search on “flooding Alberta” and your screen will be filled with some very sad images.

The flip side of this whole thing is that, I have never before witnessed so many people coming together as a true community to help each other out. Honestly, when do you hear stories about having TOO MANY volunteers show up for a cause? When 50-100 volunteers are needed, a thousand show up. When 500 volunteers are needed, THOUSANDS show up to lend a hand. Simply incredible!

In fact, there is so much help being offered, it can be a little overwhelming to figure out where to begin. This post is coming a bit late for some of the initial clean-up efforts that have already taken place, but there is and will be plenty of help needed in the coming months. The biggest thing to remember, is that anyone and everyone can lend a hand!

YYC Helps
One of the best resources out there organizing and connecting Calgarians. There is a steady stream of requests for volunteers needed. Sign up to their email list and they will contact you as requests come in that fit your profile. They also have a list of community initiatives and events (including fundraising events).

Samaritan’s Purse
Also offering volunteer registration and organizing volunteer efforts. We saw lots of Samaritan’s Purse folks in Bowness helping home owners dig through the mess. Their website also provides info for prayer requests and opportunity to donate to the flood relief efforts.

If you’re interested in lending a hand further abroad, our First Nations people were hit hard by the flood as well. The Stoney Nakoda First Nation on Morley have donation and contact information on their website. I’m having trouble finding out more information for the Siksika Nation, although there is an official group on Facebook which is updated frequently. If you have an account you could contact them through there to ask what they are in need of most.

Other devastated areas include, High River and Bragg Creek. There is volunteer info available for High River. You can also donate to their relief fund. At this time, the town of High River does not have the resources to accept or collect donations of items. Keep checking the town website, as I’m sure down the road, they will be looking for item donations, once people can settle back into their homes.

There is volunteer and donation info for Bragg Creek on their website, just scroll down to their Bragg Creek Emergency Response Info section. You can check out the list of items that are needed and also pledge items for future donation (as with High River, many residents won’t be settling back into their home for a while).

Again, keep in mind that even if you don’t have a lot of muscle to help gut homes, or a lot of spare money to donate to funds, there will be a steady flow of requests for help. You can bake treats and bring them around to neighborhoods damaged in floods (such a nice pick-me-up for all the volunteers, home owners, and tradespeople). You could make greeting cards with your kids and deliver them to flood victims (a simple kind gesture to let them know you’re praying for them). Time and understanding are some of the greatest gifts you can share with your neighbor at times like this. YYC Helps really is a great way to learn about some of the relief efforts (big and small).

If you have any good ideas on helping out flood victims, I’d love to hear them!! Just post your ideas in the comments section!

Four fab flood finds

Today’s post features a special collection of items, all of which provide donations to flood relief in Calgary. Our city remains in a state of emergency, as do many other towns. Day by day we’re all helping each other clean-up, assess the damage, replace lost items, but it is going to be a long road to recovery. It is definitely going to be longer for those who have lost their entire home. There are lots of ways to help and I hope to get a post written with more info on that in the next day or two. For now, you can show some Calgary pride AND provide much needed donations to flood relief by purchasing any of these fab items:

1. Hell or High Water t-shirt from the Calgary Stampede (proceeds go towards the Canadian Red Cross Alberta Floods Fund)
2. Calgary t-shirt from Ole Originals (50% of the purchase of this tee goes to Canadian Red Cross Alberta Floods Fund)
3. Hand Washed t-shirt by Neil Summerour (all proceeds go towards the Canadian Red Cross Alberta Floods Fund)
4. Keep Calm and Nenshi On scrabble tile pendant by TheWickedShop (50% of the purchase goes toward Alberta Flood Fund)

Hell or high water tee
1. Hell or High Water t-shirt from the Calgary Stampede

Calgary Vintage tee
2. Calgary t-shirt from Ole Originals

Hand Washed tee
3. Hand Washed t-shirt by Neil Summerour

Nenshi On pendant
4. Keep Calm and Nenshi On scrabble tile pendant by TheWickedShop

Two rivers…

…so much damage. The city of Calgary is in a state of emergency. Tons & tons of rain combined with spring run-off from the mountains has caused the two rivers that run through our city to overflow. So many communities have been evacuated. 75,000+ people have had to leave their homes. Countless roads closed. A muddy raging mess.

Thankfully our community is up on high ground. But many of our friends and family members have had to evacuate their homes. My parents still remain in their home, near the rising water, but not under evacuation. And although the city of Calgary has been hit hard, other towns in Alberta have been truly devastated. The clean-up and recovery process is going to be a long one, but there are some amazing stories of just how much Calgarians are helping each other during this time.

Ugh… and as I write this post, I can hear the pitter patter of rain starting to come down again. Wish some of this precipitation would head south to Colorado, where huge fires are still burning. But these things are not in our hands. So we do what we can to help each other and place the rest in His hands. Praying for safety for my fellow Calgarians and those in surrounding areas. Praying too for the safety of all the animals at our zoo and the thousands of pets that have been affected. “Things” can be replaced, but lives can not. Take care, everyone.

Calgary Flood 2013
Bow River flooding Bowness (looking towards train bridge with train stuck on it)

Calgary Flood 2013 - Bowness
Bow River flooding Bowness (houses under water at Bow Crescent)

Calgary Flood 2013 - East Bowness
Bow River flooding the east end of Bowness


Frost on front doorFor folks who live in the Calgary area, this post might seem like old news or something you’d rather ignore than admit. As Calgarians we do indeed choose to live in a place that can easily get down to -35 Celsius (without wind chill), which is I believe about -30 Fahrenheit. My American friends and family think that is down right ridiculous and I’ll admit that at below -40 Celsius, I begin to question my decision to leave the house.

This week was our first bit of deep cold and snow hit. Roads were bad and traffic was insane. Thankfully I take public transit to and from work, but even that becomes challenging in bad winter conditions. Not just because you risk frost bite, even if you bundle up, but because our light rail transit runs into problems with track switches freezing, doors freezing, vehicles getting stuck on tracks, and general passenger overload. Le sigh. If you’re lucky, you have a job that allows you to work from home on days like this. If you’re brave and smart, you’re prepared with lots of good quality layers. For me, this last part is a must and my go-to for the best stuff is Mountain Equipment Co-op. I grew up wearing hand-me-downs from M.E.C. and it was great for all our family outdoor adventures which included camping, hiking, and skiing. Not to mention just going out to shovel the sidewalks. When I was in University, I got a part-time job at a local fabric store that specialized in all outdoor related textiles (fleece, water-proof breathables, and lycra to name a few). One of the many amazing skills that I developed while working there was learning to sew with all these fabrics. Sadly, the store has since gone out of business, but I still have several technical fabrics in amongst my craft stash longing to be made into winter survival wear.

For now, the temperature is quickly rising and it looks like we are in for a bit of a break, which means that I can shed a few layers.

Happy Thanksgiving to all the folks south of the border! Wishing you safe travels and mild weather!