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Sheri Radford

One Bag to Rule Them All

By SHERI RADFORD

The Venturesafe 25L GII day pack by Pacsafe

The Venturesafe 25L GII day pack by Pacsafe

Regular travellers adore Pacsafe, which makes suitcases, duffels, purses and wallets chock-full of anti-theft features. The Venturesafe 25L GII day pack just might be the company’s most versatile creation yet, doing triple duty as a laptop bag (with a padded sleeve for a 15-in Macbook), backpack for hiking (with a compartment for a 3L hydration pack), and carry-on luggage. To thwart thieves, a turn-and-lock hook allows it to be secured to a table or chair. To bamboozle bag slashers, lightweight stainless steel wire is built into its most vulnerable areas, including the straps. To prevent pickpockets from plying their trade, exterior zippers can be fastened to its concealed clips. To impede identity thieves, an RFID-reader-blocking pocket protects data stored on passports and credit cards. The most important thing this bag carries? Peace of mind. Available at Wanderlust.

Tiffany & Co.: To a T

By SHERI RADFORD

This square bangle is part of Tiffany & Co.'s new Tiffany T collection

This square bangle is part of Tiffany & Co.’s new Tiffany T collection

Francesca Amfitheatrof had a clear mission for her Tiffany T jewellery collection: capture the energy of New York. Tiffany & Co.’s new design director definitely achieved her goal. Her collection reflects the power and daring of the city in striking pieces such as a square bangle in 18K yellow gold (pictured). Pieces crafted from rose gold, white gold and sterling silver are equally bold, suggesting a future filled with more modern, eye-catching designs from Amfitheatrof.

Good Things Come in Small Packages

By SHERI RADFORD

One Small Room, the mini children's boutique on wheels

One Small Room, the mini children’s boutique on wheels

It’s difficult to imagine a store fitting into 7.5 sq m (80 sq ft), but Christine Becker has done it with One Small Room, a children’s clothing shop housed in a converted Chevy step van. She makes good use of the limited space, filling it with hard-to-find products by Canadian companies such as Om Home and Toad in a Tree. Becker can be found truckin’ around the streets of Squamish, Whistler or North Vancouver in her boutique on wheels, or in her new permanent store in Squamish. Who says bigger is always better?

Reuse, Reclaim, Rethink

By SHERI RADFORD

The Skipping Stones skirt by local company, Adhesif

The Skipping Stones skirt by Adhesif

Melissa Ferreira adores second-hand and vintage clothing. The self-taught designer is the force behind Adhesif, a local company devoted to using vintage fabrics and sustainable materials in all of its one-of-a-kind creations, which are produced right here in Vancouver. Eclectic prints mixed into clever colour combinations result in dazzling designs such as the Skipping Stones skirt (pictured), Damzel in Bliss knit dress and Coppertown cape. Distinctive? Always. Mass produced? Never.

50 Things We Love About Vancouver’s Granville Island

By JILL VON SPRECKEN and SHERI RADFORD

Want to explore False Creek on your way to Granville Island? Take the Aquabus mini ferry. (Photo by Dominic Schaefer)

Want to explore False Creek on your way to Granville Island? Take the Aquabus mini ferry. (Photo by Dominic Schaefer)

1. Commuting via Aquabus or False Creek Ferries.

2. SeaVillage, a charming collection of floating homes.

3. Browsing for fresh produce, bread and seafood in the Granville Island Public Market.

4. Spotting orcas with Wild Whales Vancouver.

5. Ocean Concrete, the oldest and largest tenant on the island. It’s been there since 1917.

6. Edible Canada at the Market, with its fresh regional fare on the menu, plus foodie tours and a gourmet artisan retail shop.

7. Watching buskers perform: musicians, jugglers, magicians and more.

8. Hand-pressed, hand-bottled sake from Artisan SakeMaker.

9. Splashing around in the Granville Island Waterpark.

10. Watching artisans hard at work in their studios.

(more…)

Talk Like a Pirate Day

By SHERI RADFORD

Bring home your pirate-themed booty in a tote bag from Make

Bring home your pirate-themed booty in a tote bag from Make

No need to walk the plank: landlubbers and salty dogs alike take part in International Talk Like a Pirate Day, which happens every year on Sep. 19. And there’s a treasure trove of pirate-themed fun in Vancouver.

Brush up on your facts with I Wonder Why Pirates Wore Earrings by Pat Jacobs and Wow! Surprising Facts About Pirates by Philip Steele (at local bookstores). Put your new knowledge to use composing a sonnet or haiku with a Pirate Magnetic Poetry Kit—though perhaps a ribald sea shanty would be more apropos. Discover all sorts of nautical lore at the Vancouver Maritime Museum, and if swashbuckling swordplay is more your thing, visit Academie Duello to learn how to use a rapier, longsword and more.

Look the part in a skull t-shirt by Strellson (at The Bay), an anchor ring handmade by Vancouver company Lacar (at Cavalier) and an anchor pendant from Thomas Sabo. Deck out your abode with an anchor doormat from Kikkerland and a Jolly Roger from The Flag Shop. Carry your buccaneer booty home in a tote bag from Make.

Dress pint-sized pirates in super-soft clothes from Pineapple Pete Kids

Dress pint-sized pirates in super-soft clothes from Pineapple Pete Kids

Dress a pint-sized pirate in an adorable shirt made from ultra-soft bamboo/cotton by local company Pineapple Pete Kids and a Disney’s Jake and the Never Land Pirates watch by Flik Flak (at Swatch The Store). Then keep the rapscallions and scallywags busy with Pirate Adventure Dice (at www.amazon.ca), a sailing trip around False Creek with Pirate Adventures or a visit to the Gulf of Georgia Cannery, which on Sep. 19 features a pirate-themed scavenger hunt with the grand prize of a chocolate treasure chest. Also popular with the 10-and-under crowd is a Pirate Pak meal from White Spot, served in a cardboard boat.

Pillaging and plundering are hard work, so bring your appetite to the Burrard Bridge Marine Bar & Grill. Known as Vancouver’s pirate pub, this charming eatery goes overboard for International Talk Like a Pirate Day, with themed contests, drink specials, swag, trivia and a photo booth, plus a prize for the best-dressed pirate.

Trade in the usual grog for Crystal Head Vodka

Trade in the usual grog for Crystal Head Vodka

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum! If no grog is handy to wash down your rations, try some Crystal Head Vodka. Manufactured in Canada, this additive-free spirit was created by actor Dan Aykroyd and artist John Alexander, who designed the distinctive skull bottle (at local liquor stores).

Shiver me timbers, if only this day came around more than once a year!

Take a Hike

By SHERI RADFORD

Trails abound throughout the Lower Mainland, everything from easy strolls to near-vertical feats of endurance. Local stores can outfit you with everything you need to tackle any terrain

The Crush Scoop from Icebreaker

The Crush Scoop from Icebreaker may be the perfect layering piece

The Crush Scoop from Icebreaker combines style with practicality and comfort in a soft, lightweight wool top that looks great on its own or layered. Bonus: it resists odours for days and dries quickly after washing—just like all of the company’s other merino wool garments.

Tackle trails in Helly Hansen's Odin Flow Hiker HT

Tackle trails in Helly Hansen’s Odin Flow Hiker HT

Put your best foot forward in Helly Hansen’s new Odin Flow Hiker HT, which blends cushioning, comfort and stability in an attractive technical boot. Waterproof yet breathable, this boot offers unprecedented temperature control thanks to the clever H2Flow technology.

The Nikka shorts from Fjällräven

Keep comfortable and confident in the Nikka shorts from Fjällräven

Form or function? There’s no need to choose with the attractive yet durable Nikka shorts from Fjällräven. Reinforced in all the right places, with well-placed pockets and a bit of stretch where it’s needed most, these technical shorts were designed for trekking and climbing.

Keep essentials close at hand with the Talon 6 from Osprey

Keep essentials close at hand with the Talon 6 from Osprey

Lighten up: carry your day-hiking or trail-running essentials—and nothing extra to weigh you down—in the Talon 6 from Osprey. This technical lumbar pack also includes two BPA-free water bottles, making hydration easy-peasy. Available at Atmosphere.

Choose your next trekking destination with Easy Hiking Around Vancouver

Choose your next trekking destination with Easy Hiking Around Vancouver

Both casual hikers and intrepid outdoor adventurers turn to Easy Hiking Around Vancouver, 7th Edition by Jean Cousins to discover picturesque new places to explore. Most of the 68 hikes described are located within an hour’s drive of the city. At local bookstores.

This pocket companion makes it easy for women to answer the call of nature

This pocket companion makes it easy for women to answer the call of nature

Gotta go? In the great outdoors, it’s awkward for women to answer the call of nature. Fortunately, the Pee Pocket can save the day. Small enough to stow in a pocket, this single-use, disposable funnel allows women to stand up to go. Purchase online at www.the peepocket.com.

Happy Feet: Scotiabank Dance Centre Open House

By SHERI RADFORD

Kinesis Dance. (Photo: Chris Randle)

Kinesis Dance. (Photo: Chris Randle)

Were you born to boogie? Made to mambo? Compelled to calypso? Then head to the Scotiabank Dance Centre Open House on Sep. 13. Each year, this free day of workshops and open classes satisfies budding ballerinas and modern dancers alike.

Fall Beauty Favourites

By SHERI RADFORD

Féline Eyeshadow Quartet by Lise Watier

Féline Eyeshadow Quartet by Lise Watier

As the days get shorter and the nights grow longer, the minimalist beauty regime of summer shifts into the bolder, more polished looks of autumn. Lise Watier’s Féline Eyeshadow Quartet features four ultra-pigmented colours (champagne, luminous taupe, lace pink, coppery brown) in a cream powder formula that delivers impressive staying power, keeping eyes looking enticingly exotic until well into the evening.

NARS's Audacious Lipsticks in Geraldine

NARS’s Audacious Lipsticks in Geraldine

NARS’s Audacious Lipsticks, launched for the company’s 20th anniversary, deliver intense colour while locking in moisture and making lips look fuller; François Nars named the 30 pigment-rich shades after women who have influenced him throughout his career, including Raquel, Greta, Grace and Brigitte. Philosophy’s No Reason to Hide is an all-in-one transforming serum that treats everything from acne marks, dark spots, and redness to blotchiness, rough texture, and darkened and enlarged pores.

Correct eyeliner errors with the Prestige Makeup Eraser Pen

Correct eyeliner errors with the Prestige Makeup Eraser Pen

In case of a beauty mishap, the Prestige Makeup Eraser Pen saves the day, easily correcting eyeliner errors and mascara mistakes. Find the eyeshadow and makeup eraser pen at London Drugs, and the lipstick and transforming serum at Sephora or The Bay.

Pop Star Katy Perry

By SHERI RADFORD

Pop superstar Katy Perry

American pop superstar Katy Perry

She’s sung about kissing a girl and unforgettable “California gurls.” She isn’t afraid to colour her hair pink or purple and dress up in a gown shaped like a carousel or Christmas tree. And she had a highly publicized—if brief—marriage to comedian Russell Brand. Katy Perry definitely knows how to attract attention, and this time it’s for her tour in support of her newest release, Prism. Don’t miss her over-the-top shows Sep. 9 and 10 at Rogers Arena.

Jann Arden: Songs and Stories

By SHERI RADFORD

Canadian singer-songwriter Jann Arden

Canadian singer-songwriter Jann Arden

September 6

“Will You Remember Me.” “I Would Die for You.” “Insensitive.” “Unloved.” Though Jann Arden is best known for her heartbreaking ballads overflowing with angst, the Canadian singer-songwriter sparkles in her live shows, telling frank, funny stories and just generally charming the audience. Find out for yourself why she’s been a local favourite for more than two decades when her cross-country tour hits the Orpheum Theatre this month.

Pyrrha’s Top Talismans

By SHERI RADFORD

Imperfect by design? A Vancouver couple makes unique jewellery, their way

Danielle Wilmore and Wade Papin manage to juggle a happy home life (complete with a two-year-old daughter) and a thriving business. (Photo: KK Law)

Danielle Wilmore and Wade Papin manage to juggle a happy home life (complete with a two-year-old daughter) and a thriving business. (Photo: KK Law)

Most designers craft their jewellery to look absolutely perfect. Not Wade Papin and Danielle Wilmore, the unorthodox duo behind Pyrrha. They have been breaking the rules pretty much from the moment they met, became a couple and started their business, about 20 years ago.

For one thing, neither had a background in jewellery. “We’re totally self-taught,” Papin says. That didn’t stop them from quitting their day jobs and plunging in. “It made it a must to succeed, not having any other means of support. I sold off a lot of my record collection to fund Pyrrha in the early days,” he says. “The rest of it we funded on credit cards. I wouldn’t suggest that to anyone.” In those early years, he explains, “we were doing soldering in our bedroom—very unhealthy stuff.” Now Papin and Wilmore have a separate design studio here in Vancouver, as well as a flagship store in Los Angeles.

Handcrafted using reclaimed sterling silver or bronze, Pyrrha’s talisman rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings are based on 18th- and 19th-century wax seals. Each piece reflects the antique seals’ cracks and imperfections, and each carries a specific meaning. The Fidelity talisman, for example, shows a turtle dove on the tree of life, symbolizing interconnectedness and unity, while the Power and Protection talisman features a crown with a dragon head coming out of it.

(Photo: KK Law)

(Photo: KK Law)

Hollywood has taken note of these eye-catching creations. Pyrrha boasts an enviable roster of celebrity fans, including Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner, Brad Pitt and Halle Berry. How do the stars stumble upon the brand? Papin explains with a laugh that their company is well situated, “between all the filming that goes on in Vancouver, and the fact that every third person who comes into our LA store is someone famous.” Pyrhha also recently launched a line of talismans in partnership with HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Papin and Wilmore are determined to resist the siren call of the US—or anywhere else, for that matter—and keep producing their jewellery here. “We love Vancouver, and we want to support it. We love to be part of an arts community that’s growing,” Papin says. “It’s always been our mandate, from the very beginning, to keep it local. There aren’t a lot of people doing that anymore.” Once again, breaking the rules. And once again, with great results.

Find Pyrrha jewellery at Barefoot Contessa and BeautyMark, or shop online at www.pyrrha.com