Lauren and Zoltan Move to an Island

We’ve been on many long treks and journeys since we started pursuing Lauren Mann and the Fairly Odd Folk as a full-time venture, but I feel like this past weekend has been one of the most significant journeys we’ve embarked on thus far. We packed up all our belongings in Calgary, AB, loaded them into a giant UHaul, and drove 14 hours, took two ferries, and ended up at our new house on Pender Island, BC. It’s been quite surreal, and a little overwhelming at times to start a new chapter of our lives in a new province and new community, but I can already feel that this is one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.

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If you don’t know where Pender Island is, it’s a small island in the southern Gulf of Georgia, between Vancouver and Victoria. It’s a beautiful place with endless amounts of hiking, beach combing, kayaking and other outdoor activities to do.

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The journey from Calgary to Pender was quite long, especially since we had our kitty Maxine with us, and since the UHaul didn’t appreciate the mountain passes so much. We got delayed at the start of our journey because of a mechanical malfunction before even leaving Calgary, and while we were able to get it fixed (luckily before all the mountain passes), we weren’t able to leave Calgary until 2pm. We drove for twelve hours, and made it to Hope, BC where we got a room for the night, and then took off early the next day to drive into Vancouver and catch our first of two ferries that would take us to the island.

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Once we made it to our new house we were greeted by friends and neighbours who helped us move in, invited us for dinner, and brought us chocolate cake, houseplants, and a box of fresh garden produce. Pender seriously has the most wonderful spirit of kindness and community that makes moving far away such a positive experience. We spent the first few days cleaning the cobwebs that have accumulated over two years of the house being vacant, and thouroughly cleaning the kitchen, and although it’s been hard work, it’s so fulfilling to be able to start making this place our own. Not to mention waking up every morning surrounded by trees and complete serenity. It’s the perfect fit for us, and we feel so blessed!

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We’ll be posting more photos of the house and what we do to it, so keep in touch, and if you’re ever out our way, let us know…we love visitors! I hope you’re all having an amazing summer!

Until next time,
Lauren.

Goodwill Style Chronicles

Last Thursday marked my last day of work at Goodwill Thrift Store. I spent eight months working there three days a week, and really enjoyed it. I found some really unique treasures, but the people I worked with made it so enjoyable. I will miss all of them, and it was a chapter of life I’m very thankful for!

Every Tuesday when I would come in, one of my tasks was to dress the mannequins. It was my favourite thing to do as I got to basically shop and find coordinating outfits and colour palettes. You never know what you’ll find in a thrift store, so it was always unexpected. Some of my stylings were posted on the Goodwill instagram and facebook, but I wanted to share some of my favourite “Fashion Finds” from my time at the thrift store, more so for me to have all these photos in one place, and hopefully for your enjoyment as well! What look is your favourite?

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Cheers,
Lauren.

Hang This On Your Wall

Well it certainly has been an exciting summer! We made a big announcement on our Facebook page last week about buying our first house and moving to Pender Island, BC! We’re so excited about what lies ahead, and I’ll definitely be writing more later about the house and the move and the entire transition.

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But today I wanted to give you all a behind-the-scenes look at our Exclusive Content for the month! One thing we love about this project is the ability to explore music and art in ways we haven’t done before, challenging ourselves to try new things and collaborating with other artists. This month we decided to make a wall-hanging inspired by the song Wooden Heart from our Visual EP, Where the Ocean Meets the Sky. We got in touch with our friend Ben in Philly, and he carved an image on lino for us and then we printed it onto pieces of cotton, added some dowel and string, and sent it out to all our subscribers! I had never done relief printing before, but it was so much fun to mix the colours and make each piece unique. It was a time consuming project, but I absolutely LOVE how they turned out, and I hope that all our subscribers do as well!

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If you’d like to be part of the Exclusive Content Project, you can sign up HERE and we’ll send you one of this month’s Wooden Heart wall hangings. We are so appreciative of everyone who has come on board so far, and we’re really excited to continue to develop this project while living on the island and with our new album coming out soon!

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I hope you’re all having a magical summer! Have you spent any time on art projects this year? Comment below and tell me what you’ve been up to!

Cheers,
Lauren.

THRIFTED: Garage Sale Edition

Thrifted Garage Sale

As soon as the warm weather hits, the signs start popping up in the neighbourhood and people’s driveways filled with treasures, junk, and everything in between become the targets of the weekend bargain hunters! We’ve done a little bit of garage sale-ing this year, and have found quite the collection of nifty treasures! I’ve chronicled a few of my thrifting adventures on my Cabin Knits blog, and today I thought it would be fun to share with you THRIFTED: The Garage Sale Edition.

A few weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon we headed down to Lilac Festival to watch our friend JJ Shiplett play. Lilac Fest is one of Calgary’s only, and best, street festivals where they shut down 4th Street downtown and it’s filled with art, music, food and people. It’s pretty much the best way to ring in summer. As we were leaving downtown on our little Vespa, we noticed a few garage sales so we had to stop. The one we checked out was loaded with really cool stuff and we walked away with a few gems.

Edmonton Oilers Jacket – $10
Zoltan is not an Oiler’s fan, but he’s convinced that next time we’re in Edmonton we’ll be able to sell it to someone and make a profit. What an entrepreneur. ;)

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Baseball Bat – $5, Birkenstocks – $5
We’ve been playing a lot of catch lately, and now we’re finally able to step up our game and play ball! Anyone in Calgary want to join us for a pick up game? And the Birks, what a deal! I’d been hoping to find a used pair since my last pair wore out and got demoted to painting/yard work sandals. I’m definitely going to live in these this summer!

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Another Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago we were heading to Glenmore Park for a picnic and a bikeride around the reservoir and we stopped at a few garage sales but didn’t find anything. Then we saw a sign for an estate sale (those are the good ones!) and found some really neat vintage items! I also found an awesome lawn chair that has been my go-to spot for reading the past little while!

Pineapple Dish – $1
This little wooden dish caught my eye! It’s such a cute piece, but I’m so undecided about what I want to use it for. Any ideas?

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Old Piano Books – $1
I’m a sucker for old sheet music. You can never have enough music to play, and they look really nice too! I’m excited to go through the book of folk songs and learn a bit about Canada’s musical history.

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The House at Pooh Corner Record – $1
I love Winnie the Pooh so obviously I had to pick up this record. It’ll be great for when kids come along someday, but I’m sure I’ll also enjoy it!

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Inuit Coasters – $1
I never realized how handy coasters are until having my own house and wanting to put down cups of water everywhere! These stood out to me with their handmade quality and pretty colour. (The cups were a sweet find at Goodwill a while back, and I’m on the hunt to find matching ones since the set only came with three).

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Antique Saudi Arabian Necklace – $35
And last but not least, one of my favourite finds this year, from a garage sale we found when we were in Madison, WI. (I briefly mentioned it in my blog about our trip here). The man running the garage sale had a table full of antique Saudi Arabian and other Middle Eastern jewelry that he had collected over many years of travel. After trying the necklace on I knew it would make the perfect statement piece. He gave us an amazing deal, and not only was I super excited about finding the necklace, but it was really cool to hear his stories about travelling!

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Have you stopped at any garage sales yet this year? Or hosted any garage sales? I’d love to hear what cool treasures (or ordinary things) that you found! Let me know in the comments! Happy sale-ing!

Lauren.

Old Songs Made New

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Yesterday we announced our Exclusive Content for the month of June, and it’s something unique that we’re quite excited about. We decided to take a trip back through time and revisit some really old songs that I wrote in high school and university that never made it onto a record and breathe new life into them. Sometimes old songs get tired and boring, and I tend to not like them anymore, so it was a bit of a challenge to find the motivation to make something neat happen. I did a bit of experimenting, so some of the songs don’t sound like other LMATFOF songs, but it was a really good exercise for me, and I was able to get the songs to a place where I wanted to share them. Zoltan and I have been working hard at getting better at producing and engineering our own music, so having a project like this to work on has been great for the learning process!

If you’re interested in getting these songs, you can sign up for our Exclusive Content Project for $6/month HERE. This is a project we started at the end of last year to not only keep us busy while we’re not on tour, but to be able to connect a bit better with our fans, and in return, being able to build up a monthly income so that we can work towards a sustainable career in music. We’re so thankful for everyone who has joined up so far, and it’s been so much fun getting to know people, mailing letters, and sharing all these songs. If you want to be a part of what we’re doing, head to our website.

Until next time,
Lauren.