Tag Archives: life

} The Skinny Jeans

skinnyjeans

Not just any skinny jeans. And not as in the style of the jeans. I mean THE skinny jeans: that pair of jeans almost all women decide to keep at some point, despite all logical and practical reasons not to. That pair that you loooooved. That pair that you bought when you were at you’re skinniest, whatever that size was. That pair that you haven’t been able to get into in years. But, that pair that you hope to fit into again, someday. Yes, I’m talking about THOSE skinny jeans.

Well, last night I decided to get rid of some clothing suitable for donation, those clothes you forget you actually have. And so, I was in front of a big pile of not-worn-in-a-while jeans (hello, I’m a jeans addict. And perhaps I have a hoarding gene somewhere in there too. Lol), trying them on, and putting them in either the keep pile, or the donate pile (they all ended up there, I’m happy to say).

And then, the last pair of the bunch: MY skinny jeans. This is a Mavi pair I bought in 2001 (that’s actually them in the picture), following a CEGEP (what college is called here) sports class I had to take (let’s just say I wouldn’t have willingly selected running & fitness if I had a choice in the matter) and in which I had lost some weight, because I had applied myself enough to not flunk it. One day in the summer right after, I went in a store with a friend (who was tiny in height as well as size) who wanted to do some shopping. Altho I didn’t mind accompanying her at all, this was of not much interest as a plus size clothing wearer; there’s just not much for me to do in a “normal size store” except check out a couple of jewelry pieces and scarves, as well as give my opinion on my friend’s fashion trials. But then, the saleswoman decided to pay attention to me, and mentioned that she had some size 15 jeans I could try on. With a “YEAH RIGHT LOL” attitude, along with my friend’s pushy motivation, I tried them on anyway. And they fit! I mean, it was a pretty tight fit especially sitting down, but I was still in the smallest size of pants I’d been in for a while. I bought them. Needless to say I really loved them a lot, and also needless to say that with my sports class over, I couldn’t fit in them a couple months later. And armed with that weird hope syndrome for the future that we, women, often have for clothing, I kept them. Just in case.

So, back to last night… The jeans were in front of me, displayed on the bed. I took a deep breath (after seriously considering just ripping them apart lol), pulled one leg up, than the other, took another deep zen breath, and proceeded to close the zipper and button without any difficulty at all. WHAT!? What what what?! When did this happen???, I thought. Although I did lose a little bit of weight recently, it wasn’t that much that I could have predicted this outcome.

After all the shocking I-fit-in-them commotion (haha), I looked up to the mirror. And it was NOT what I was expecting to see: this womanly body didn’t look good in these youngster jeans. Clearly, my clothing style preferences had also changed a lot too, even tho jeans are still what I wear every single day of my life. Although the number was right, the fit was allllll wrong; floppy and loose, not fitting me well at all, and certainly not flattering…

And so I took them off, folded, put them in the donate pile, and just sat there, a little confused. All this wait and hope and hanging on to the past for THAT?! It was obvious as night and day: the actual number was not really of importance to me anymore, compared to fit and how I feel in them (which is a GREAT thing, don’t you think?) What importance does a number have if I feel like a burlap sack of potatoes…? Lol!

I was stunned. And then I remembered that, altho the scale number hadn’t changed all that much, my body certainly had over the years: mushier (lol) in some places, but firmer in others. It had merged into a woman’s body, rather than a young adult’s one.

And this is were you’d usually read something going along the lines of “don’t dwell on the past” or “live in the now” or even something a little more poetic such as “the past is past, leave it be”. And altho these can certainly be wise sometimes, it doesn’t always apply to every situation, nor to everybody.

You see, I am someone (and I’m sure I’m not the only one) who needs to TRULY understand the past in order to… go past it. Even tho sometimes people telling you the answers is enough for that lightbulb moment to occur, it doesn’t ALWAYS work as simply as that. That’s how I am, and I know it, and I’m okay with that part of myself. And most of the time, my friends, those who listen to me trying to find answers, are okay with that too. Sometimes they are annoyed I’m sure, but in the end, they still listen, they still try to offer me possible directions for me to explore to find those answers, and they still love me even if I channel a broken record once in a while.

So what I’m saying is, I’m actually glad that I kept that pair of jeans all those years. Because if I hadn’t kept them and tried them on last night, I wouldn’t have the insights I had when I realized that it’s okay to change, that it’s okay to be who I am right now, that it’s okay to have hopes and struggles that are based in the past (and that they’ll eventually untangle themselves as we evolve), and mostly, that it’s okay (and awesome, even. Lol) that I like my body now more than ever before in my entire life, and that is EVEN if it hasn’t changed that much all in all. I even have proof of that for myself: after all, I *did* wear a dress 5 times this summer as of yet, which is more than the rest of all the time since I’ve been able to choose my own clothing. Progress is what I’m calling that.

And so in an attempt to keep on moving forward, I went back to that donate pile of jeans, selected two pairs, and decided to cut them to make shorts (one super short, and one mid-thigh), which is something I do not wear at all in public. And so the progress, at the very least, makes an attempt to keep on going………….

‘Til next time, beautiful you. :)

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Filed under My Life

} On Staying Small

StaySmall

I was watching, on Sunday morning, an episode of a À la di Stasio (a Quebec tv cooking show that I like, but that I don’t watch religiously) in which there was an interview with Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune, a restaurant in Manhattan (East Village).

I listened with interest, without necessarily being over excited about the discussion, until she talked about being small (30 places in her very popular restaurant), and staying small. By choice. Gabrielle listed a couple of very legit reasons why she intended her business to stay that way (mostly to not be diluting the spirit of her business). She then concluded on the subject by simply saying “I also don’t want it.”

Hearing that sentence, in the midst of wanting to make my blog more personal once in a while, sparked the flame for this blog post.

I have said this before (on staying small, which doesn’t necessarily mean being the only employee forever and ever, by the way) on numerous occasions – to friends and family. I have pondered on this fact quite a lot by myself as well, especially after being asked “Where do you see your business in 5/10 years?” If I answer something along the lines of “Nothing very different. What’s wrong with it now?”, I sometimes encounter a face that I usually interpret as being “You’re not very ambitious.” I’ve also noticed that most of the time, people also associate ambition with success…

Truthfully, I already know that I’m not be the most ambitious person in the whole wide world. Well, not in a stereotypical “supersize your business/have plenty of employees/make tons of money/buy a mansion and fill it with a shitload of expensive objects” way anyway. If you have seen my work just a bit, you already know that this kind of thinking does not translate in my products either, creating mostly jewelry and objects for your everyday affordable life. In the 6.5 years of Nea, I have never listed a single item at over $150. Doesn’t mean I won’t ever, but if it ever happens, it’s going to be on a very time consuming piece, and that number will be about valuing my work/time right, not about the big bucks.

Back to (lack of) ambition. Well, that is a pretty subjective thing. Ambition might be about money and company growth for some, but for me it’s more about growing with the actual products, learning new skills, diversifying what I offer, finding promotions that work, evolving what I’m passionate about making.

Would I like to make a more decent salary? Sure. But truthfully, my answer to that is VERY far from “at all costs”. Not if it’s going to make me unhappy or feel crappy. For example, I kinda have a low acceptance threshold for brick&mortar stores who treat the consignors/designers badly (such as not paying them in decent delay, or asking for exclusivity for an unusually large area, or taking off the designer’s name tags on the items they sell). When that happens, if a talk or email doesn’t work, I don’t think twice about pulling my stock out of there. The quicker the better. I have decided to do it a couple of times, and never regretted it even for a second. I will not work with those kinds of businesses – it hurts all brick&mortar stores, it hurts all artists, it hurts my own brand, and it hurts my soul.

For the way I am built, going big would be: being stressed WAY too much, spending excessive amounts of time on organization rather than creating and making, saying “see you sometime, perhaps” to most of my social life, not having time to notice one of many beautiful architecture details Montreal has to offer while walking to a business meeting in a hurry, having to be “the boss” rather than just “Janick” (plus, I would suck at that, big time. Pun intended.) Going big would be like turning the lights off, in my life as well as on my creativity.

For the way I am built, staying small is: doing what I love, the possibility to create (and offer easily and quickly) new items whenever inspiration takes over, having the freedom to go out to lunch with friends at (almost) any time, learning and exploring new skills, keeping stress levels usually low, making mistakes (no one can get out of that one) but that don’t have negative domino repercussions on other people’s lives, growing at a slow but steady pace (which totally fits my overall personality in the personal life too), noticing how a morning fog or a airy snowfall can beautify a concrete city. For me, staying small in business is happiness, which is how I personally define success. To recap, my ambitions are to stay happy. A tiny non-ambitious thing, really. lol ;)

And, what is wrong with staying small anyway?
For the customer, it means dealing with a person rather than a machine. It means the possibility of customization. It means you can actually feel the personality of someone thru their work. It means you are directly supporting a person in doing what they are passionate about. It means you can express your excitement towards an item and actually make someone’s day at the same time.
For the business (and the person behind it), it means every single story shared by your customers are actually heard, and cherished. It means you can make someone happy by the simple gesture of switching a blue bead for red bead. It means doing yearly taxes reports just takes a day or two (lol!). It means you know with precision what’s going on with every aspect of your business. It means that every time someone buys something you made, you feel honored. Staying small is big on the rewards.

Don’t the best ointments come in small packages? ;)

Yeah… Going big… I also don’t want it.

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Filed under My Life

} On Going Personal

Clearly, I’m swamped by work these days. Every year, each November/December Holiday season months, it gets harder to blog almost everyday. And when those craft shows kick in (3 this year), I go totally MIA on here. I’ll be back soon, promise!

Meanwhile, I’ve been doing some thinking about this blog while working like a madwoman…

This particular subject of thought actually started in a somewhat recent phone conversation with my awesome friend Paule. More precisely, I’ve been thinking about if I should make this blog a bit more personal (once in a while at least).

To add to that food for thought, I always remembered that when I transferred my Creativadoration blog onto here a year and a half ago to go along with the website remodel, my very savvy marketing adviser Guillaume made it a point that I understand that I should blog about myself (or my work rather) on a (at least) monthly basis. Which has been hard for me, I’ll admit…

Don’t get me wrong, I looove finding great/cool/inspiring/beautiful/useful (mostly) handmade finds and sharing them with anyone who will read. It’s what made me want to blog in the first place almost 7 years ago now. (Wow, time goes by fast, huh?)

But I do also get Paule’s point: blogs that get personal once in a while tend to engage people, and those people are more likely to comment/interact/makecontact/talkaboutit/reblog/retweet. Or just plain CARE.

I tried taking a step back since, by looking at my blog from a greater distance, and the conclusion I get to is this: is it actually really odd that I don’t get more personal with blog posts once in a while. Why odd? Because, well, I already do it on Twitter ALL THE TIME. So why not do it here as well?

I guess I thought something along the lines of “Who cares about how I bought my first dress EVER this summer and actually put it on only once.” And of course, on some level, you don’t really care about the actual fact. Reading that, and the why and the how and the what-color-it-is, will not change your life nor be a groundbreaking moment in it either. Altho I do admit that the possibility of it resonating on some level to even ONE single person is very probable.

Then again, I do do it on Twitter constantly. And a big amount (to me anyway) of people follow me there. And they reply. And the interact. And it’s interesting. And it’s human. And it means something (to me anyway). And it’s real. Yes, virtual can be real.

And so, I will try to, once in a while, ramble, just like in this post, on personal stuff. My life, thoughts, joys, frustrations, and regular everyday stuff such as dress buying (lol). Yeah? What do you think? :)

After all, one of my favorite movie lines is on being personal! From the You’ve Got Mail chick flick: “Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal.”

SO! Soon (most likely in 2013), I’ll give my opinion on the Twitter thing, as I recently celebrated (ok, maybe just more like noticed) 4 years on it. I promise it’ll be more than 140 digits. ;)

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Filed under My Life

Crafty Chicks: The Story

5 very different girls.

I always say that my friendships are the most important thing in my life. Without them, I have no idea in what mental state I would be in, seriously. Admit it, you feel the same about yours ;)

If you follow me on Twitter (if not, click right here), you probably already know who some of them are, especially those which I affectionately call my Crafty Chicks, since I regularly tweet with them.

But let me introduce to you properly my favorite Montreal crafty chicks! How we met, a glimpse of how they are, what they do! :D

We are 5, we are all very different (as you can see in the picture above!), and we are all creative fabulous ladies!

Je vous aime donc tout plein!!!!! -xxxxx- *mushy*

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

This is Noémie, aka Noemiah.

She is the very first of these ladies that I met. It’s with her that everything started, that my artsy, lonesome at home, world changed. And for that, I will forever be thankful.

Actually, I’m not even sure precisely how it happened, but I think we started messaging each other online business questions on Etsy. And then we started meeting and chatting a little at craft shows. And then, obviously, supply shopping together and coffees and lunches HAD TO happen!

She is one of the most creative and fashion savvy people I know! She’s always browsing the Web to not miss what’s new in fashion, find wonderful vintage clothing items and then let us all know about it! You think you discovered something new? NOPE! She’s soooo ahead of you already and knows all about it! haha! She’s a wonderfully sweet and funny person, as well as a little shy at times, but she’s also always the one to suggest a lunch so we can all see each other again and again and have wonderful times! :D

She makes fabulous feather jewelry, and here are a few of her latest pieces!

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

This is Mélanie, aka MelanieFavreau.

One day, Noémie purchased something from Mélanie on Etsy, and since they live like almost steps from each other, they decided to exchange the goodies in person, at their mutual post office. They kept bumping into each other there after that when shipping their sales, and it started a friendship. Noémie then organized a little something, and that’s how I met Mel too!

She is a very caring person, and always has a pep-talk ready for anyone close to her who needs it. She can at one moment tell-it-like-it-is, and then the next moment go completely soft and space out when she sees a kitty (no wonder she has 5!). She’s not one to follow trends: she does as she pleases, and you either like it or you don’t, and that’s just how it is. How refreshing, right? :)

She also creates from scratch awesome sterling silver jewelry, that she models herself in her photos. I’m still impressed, I don’t have that courage! lol

Here are a few:

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

This is Tamara, aka ThisIlk.

As Montrealers and fans of handmade, we all like to know what other locals are making, and selling on Etsy, and that is how everyone started noticing Tamara. How could someone not want to meet a cool chick like her, right!? After seeing her work in mutual consignment shops and at craft shows, Tamara naturally joined the group! The first time I really got to know more about her, we were vendor neighbors at the Souk@Sat 2009 craft show for a whole 4 days. It was truly a great show, enhanced by her presence! :)

She is one of the nicest people ever! She will talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime, with a bigggg smile. She always has a kind word or compliment for her friends, and their work. She is well-traveled, passionate about vintage eras, inspired by everything and anything, and super driven: everything life brings is another reason to push forward and improve. She’s definitely a free spirit!

Her jewelry line is adorned by vintage lace, which she totally makes her own!

Here are some pieces in which she unleashes her creativity:

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

This is Paule, aka Paule T. B.

On a very brrrr cold winter night last year, Noémie, Mélanie, Tamara and I decided to check out the opening night of an art exhibit at (R.I.P.) Headquarters Boutique. It was a showcase of the super talented Paule. As Mel and I were browsing the gallery, Noémie and Tamara started chatting with Paule about a painting of a girl that, weirdly enough, looked a whole lot like Tamara! The two girls quickly arranged to do collaborations with Paule for their own work. Since they obviously found her super cool, Mel & I quickly got to meet her too in the Spring. We all meshed so good and easily with her, it was a no-brainer to invite her to every meet we had from that point on!

She is truly a hilarious girl: never you will have a dull moment in her company! Oh my, the intense laughs we’ve all had when her quirky humor just bursts out! She is a sensitive person, and she has a whole lot of compassion and understanding for the people she cares about. She can also offer up much needed advice and opinions when she’s asked to (and that is how I learned that when I straighten my hair too much, I look too harsh and it doesn’t match my personality. lol!).

She draws fabulous pieces of art that everyone wants, and so will you:

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

This is me, Janick, aka Nea.

I am like this and like that.

And I make this and that.

And my life is truly better since I met these wonderful women.

11 Comments

Filed under Art, Fashion - Accessories, Handmade, Québécois

} Crafty Chicks: The Story

5 very different girls.

I always say that my friendships are the most important thing in my life. Without them, I have no idea in what mental state I would be in, seriously. Admit it, you feel the same about yours ;)

If you follow me on Twitter (if not, click right here), you probably already know who some of them are, especially those which I affectionately call my Crafty Chicks, since I regularly tweet with them.

But let me introduce to you properly my favorite Montreal crafty chicks! How we met, a glimpse of how they are, what they do! :D

We are 5, we are all very different (as you can see in the picture above!), and we are all creative fabulous ladies!

Je vous aime donc tout plein!!!!! -xxxxx- *mushy*

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

This is Noémie, aka Noemiah.

She is the very first of these ladies that I met. It’s with her that everything started, that my artsy, lonesome at home, world changed. And for that, I will forever be thankful.

Actually, I’m not even sure precisely how it happened, but I think we started messaging each other online business questions on Etsy. And then we started meeting and chatting a little at craft shows. And then, obviously, supply shopping together and coffees and lunches HAD TO happen!

She is one of the most creative and fashion savvy people I know! She’s always browsing the Web to not miss what’s new in fashion, find wonderful vintage clothing items and then let us all know about it! You think you discovered something new? NOPE! She’s soooo ahead of you already and knows all about it! haha! She’s a wonderfully sweet and funny person, as well as a little shy at times, but she’s also always the one to suggest a lunch so we can all see each other again and again and have wonderful times! :D

She makes fabulous feather jewelry, and here are a few of her latest pieces!

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

This is Mélanie, aka MelanieFavreau.

One day, Noémie purchased something from Mélanie on Etsy, and since they live like almost steps from each other, they decided to exchange the goodies in person, at their mutual post office. They kept bumping into each other there after that when shipping their sales, and it started a friendship. Noémie then organized a little something, and that’s how I met Mel too!

She is a very caring person, and always has a pep-talk ready for anyone close to her who needs it. She can at one moment tell-it-like-it-is, and then the next moment go completely soft and space out when she sees a kitty (no wonder she has 5!). She’s not one to follow trends: she does as she pleases, and you either like it or you don’t, and that’s just how it is. How refreshing, right? :)

She also creates from scratch awesome sterling silver jewelry, that she models herself in her photos. I’m still impressed, I don’t have that courage! lol

Here are a few:

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

This is Tamara, aka ThisIlk.

As Montrealers and fans of handmade, we all like to know what other locals are making, and selling on Etsy, and that is how everyone started noticing Tamara. How could someone not want to meet a cool chick like her, right!? After seeing her work in mutual consignment shops and at craft shows, Tamara naturally joined the group! The first time I really got to know more about her, we were vendor neighbors at the Souk@Sat 2009 craft show for a whole 4 days. It was truly a great show, enhanced by her presence! :)

She is one of the nicest people ever! She will talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime, with a bigggg smile. She always has a kind word or compliment for her friends, and their work. She is well-traveled, passionate about vintage eras, inspired by everything and anything, and super driven: everything life brings is another reason to push forward and improve. She’s definitely a free spirit!

Her jewelry line is adorned by vintage lace, which she totally makes her own!

Here are some pieces in which she unleashes her creativity:

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

This is Paule, aka Paule T. B.

On a very brrrr cold winter night last year, Noémie, Mélanie, Tamara and I decided to check out the opening night of an art exhibit at (R.I.P.) Headquarters Boutique. It was a showcase of the super talented Paule. As Mel and I were browsing the gallery, Noémie and Tamara started chatting with Paule about a painting of a girl that, weirdly enough, looked a whole lot like Tamara! The two girls quickly arranged to do collaborations with Paule for their own work. Since they obviously found her super cool, Mel & I quickly got to meet her too in the Spring. We all meshed so good and easily with her, it was a no-brainer to invite her to every meet we had from that point on!

She is truly a hilarious girl: never you will have a dull moment in her company! Oh my, the intense laughs we’ve all had when her quirky humor just bursts out! She is a sensitive person, and she has a whole lot of compassion and understanding for the people she cares about. She can also offer up much needed advice and opinions when she’s asked to (and that is how I learned that when I straighten my hair too much, I look too harsh and it doesn’t match my personality. lol!).

She draws fabulous pieces of art that everyone wants, and so will you:

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

This is me, Janick, aka Nea.

I am like this and like that.

And I make this and that.

And my life is truly better since I met these wonderful women.

11 Comments

Filed under Art, Fashion - Accessories, Handmade, My Life, Québécois

Stress

Pedicure

Même mon chat comprend que je suis stressée… On gruge nos ongles tous les deux!

Je ne peux pas dire exactement de quoi il s’agit, mais ça implique me faire prendre en photo, et je déteste me faire prendre en photo… Haha!

À suivre… Dans un peu plus d’une semaine!

—-

Even my cat understands I’m stressed… We both bite our nails!

I can’t say exactly why yet, but it involves being photographed, and I hate being photographed… lol!

To be followed… In a little more than a week!

3 Comments

Filed under Nea Jewelry & Wall Wear, Photography

Busy & Tired!

Ouf!

  • Beaucoup de travail pour Fonetik dans les dernières semaines, occupée occupée!
  • Peu de temps pour Nea même si des nouveaux items sont faits depuis des semaines et que je n’ai pas le temps de lister!
  • Pas de temps pour lire mes fils RSS de blogues (3257 nouveaux posts non-lus, et je viens juste d’en regarder une centaine!)
  • Pas le temps d’explorer la nouvelle imprimante Canon géniale, à part pour mettre mon portfolio imprimé à jour (l’impression en 13″x19″ m’attend! Un jour!). NeaBlossoms offrira bientôt (j’espère!) des cartes de souhaits, des étiquettes, et d’autres items papiers!
  • Fatiguée, épuisée… zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!
  • Et pas le temps de blogger trop trop.. Je m’excuse!! :(

Oï!

  • Lots of work for Fonetik in the past few weeks, busy busy I am!
  • Not much time for Nea, even tough new items are done for weeks now, just no time to list them!
  • No time to check out my pending blogs RSS feeds (3257 non-read posts, and I just looked at like about a hundred just now!)
  • No time to explore my new and awesome Canon printer, except for updating my printed portfolio (13″x19″ printing, here I come! Eventually…!). NeaBlossoms will soon (hopefully) offer greeting cards, tags, and other paper items!
  • Tired, burned-out… zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!
  • And not much time to blog… I’m sorry!! :(

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Filed under Other Stuff