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Sumptuous Essentials 
 

Local Women's Handicrafts

Posted on November 21, 2017

EMPOWERING ONE WOMAN AT A TIME..

We're delighted to have just received our first shipment of cashmere scarves from a Nepalese women's collective dedicated to improving the lives of the women who work there.  In their own words:

Local Women is a fair trade textile and handicraft collective in Kathmandu, Nepal. We focus on empowering and educating disadvantaged/marginalized women using sustainable methods. All our products are ethically produced, providing fair wages and working conditions for the women who make them. Our social Business programs seek to uplift women, their children and their communities.

What is Local Women’s Social Business Model? Each woman who participates in our training program for 6 , 12 to 18 months.  Women have a choice of which skills they want to pursue. These skills include but not limited to design, sewing, weaving, embroidery, knitting, jewelry making and pattern work. While in training each woman receives a stipend. Through a dedicated and passionate team LWH has been able to establish a safe community which have trained and employed hundreds of women. With these new skills, a stipend and 12 months in a safe community, they are empowered to progress in their lives.

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Beautiful Thanksgiving Tables

Posted on September 30, 2017

Thanksgiving has to be the most perfect of holidays.  Families and friends get together to share their happiness and hospitality on a day dedicated, quite simply,  to giving thanks.

It is a longstanding tradition to take a moment to be mindful of all that we have, long before mindfulness ever entered our vernacular. It is a joyous, peaceful holiday,  lacking the specters of Halloween or the fireworks of Canada Day. Being non-denominational, it is also entirely inclusive.

Our own celebration has changed along with the times.  We've had tofurkey instead of the traditional fare, we've celebrated indoors, outdoors and with a wide variety of friends and extended family members in a number of different countries.  Though our traditional dinner used to be the full on, white linen tablecloth with multiple courses, I'm beginning to love paring it down in favor of less formal but equally gregarious affairs.

It begins with a change in decor.  I've switched out the white linen tablecloth for table runners. Instead of running lengthwise along the table, they run across the width of the table, covering two place settings and leaving room for serving dishes in between. The repetition of three or even four runners side by side down the table creates a very ordered aesthetic but it still shows bits of the table underneath.  What I scale down in some areas, I ramp up in others.  I can't bring myself to use something other than the elemental beauty of pure linen, but I do like to balance the simplicity of roughly textured linen table runners with the glam of beautiful crystal and an abundance of candles.  Group them in uneven numbers, float them in bowls of water, and surround them with greenery and gourds in earthy colors.  Having a magnificent centerpiece tells your guests that you went all out to make the table beautiful for them.  Another way to make people feel welcome is to do handwritten place cards so each guest knows you were thinking of them specifically in planning your celebration.

If the food is delicious and our guests are comfortable and happy, then we tend to linger at the table for a long time, recycling favorite family stories, ribbing each other and, in so doing, practicing the very thing that we are there to celebrate.  I believe a well lived life has a rich portfolio of those kind of moments.  

We have so much to be thankful for in our very peaceful, and exquisitely beautiful little piece of paradise that is the west coast of Canada.  We hope you enjoy every precious moment of your special day to give thanks.        

 Image result for images of beautiful thanksgiving tables

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Summer sidewalk sale

Posted on September 13, 2017

Few people like to see summer draw to a close.  We've had beautiful weather, long lazy days and that most precious of commodities, time for family, hobbies and just to putter. But kids are now back to school, gardens are changing colors and in the retail space, we change gears too.  We begin to bring in new colors, heavier weights of fabric, and we make preparations for holidays.  With Thanksgiving right around the corner,  this is the perfect time to plan for your big family dinner with a beautiful linen tablecloth, napkins or table centerpiece. 

Part of our planning for new fall arrivals is to have a sidewalk sale to make room for our new additions.  This Saturday, we'll be joining the other shops in our little plaza in having a sidewalk sale with discounts of 30 - 60% off products from past seasons.  Without ruining the fun of the surprise find, a few of the items we're including are patterned cotton quilts, linen pillows, a selection of whiteware,  lanterns, fabric and gourmet items.  

Then,when our cupboards are bare, we'll have such fun filling them back up again. 

Hope to see you there!

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Madison & Muse Custom Slipcovers

Posted on August 22, 2017

Living on the west coast is an extraordinary lifestyle.  Our climate is temperate, we enjoy lovely summers and the access to the ocean offers a host of activities that prolong life and happiness.  I pinch myself when our day begins with a morning kayak overlooking beautiful Mount Baker.  

Coastal living is not only a widespread aspiration but also an enduring look in interior design. The upscale yet relaxed sophistication of the Hamptons look is replicated and adapted worldwide and one of its hallmarks is slipcovered furniture.  

Slipcovers can be transformative, taking tired or dated furniture and rejuvenating them with new fabric, often in light and airy colors, to create an updated, timeless look. Slipcovers, often synonymous with beach or lakeside living, say, "Don't worry about wet feet or sandy clothes, just relax and enjoy!"    They are more about easy living than upkeep and this philosophy becomes practical when furniture can be easily cleaned.  Made from pre-washed, heavy duty cotton or linen, slipcovers can be machine washed on cold and put back on your furniture to dry.  They make living with messy kids, pets and... dare we say it...guests, a breeze.

Although white or light colored fabrics are the signature look for the Hamptons style, slipcovers can also build on the look you already have. We've slipcovered furniture in a rainbow of colors and patterns, giving you the option to have two looks, one for winter and a different look for summer.

Our slipcovers are very different than the ready made slipcovers purchased in the big box stores.   Generic slipcovers have a great price point and are a quick fix but they may not fit your furniture particularly well.  Custom slipcovers are tailored and it is the tailoring that gives them their sophisticated aesthetic.  To have them fit perfectly, we use your furniture as the form, returning it to you renewed.  

The price of custom slipcovers depends on the fabric you choose, with cotton being less expensive than our European linen.  Both make beautiful slipcovers; both can be washed. The easiest way to get a quote for your project is to email photos of your furniture to support@madisonandmuse.com.   We'll ask some basic finishing questions (piping or topstitching,  skirt or no skirt, solid fabric or pattern) and then we'll send you a quote.

If you live nearby, pop in to see the slipcovered furniture on our shop floor.  It will inspire you to kick start your own rejuvenating makeover.  

 

Madison & Muse    3826 Cadboro Bay Road      Victoria

 

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SALE on linen clothing

Posted on August 04, 2017

It's 27* today.  That kind of heat is the perfect weather for linen clothing.  Cool, protective and beautiful.  We have another full month of summer so let's make the most of it.  

We're putting all of our linen shirts on sale for 30% off starting today ( Friday, August 4th).  We have short and long sleeved shirts, some with collars, some with scoop necks in Sky Blue, Pink. Mauve, and White - just right for summer.

Pop in and get yours while we still have your size! 

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