Block Shop Textiles Employ Ancient Traditions For Their Modern Designs

Block Shop

Block Shop Textiles

Hand-printed fabrics made using ancient Indian traditional skills may sound too good to be true, but for a little over $100, it can be a reality in your wardrobe.
Block Shop Textiles, founded by sisters Lily and Hopie Stockman, work with a co-op of Master Printers in India, where they hand block print fabrics the same way they have been doing it for 350 years: using natural dyes and hand-carved blocks.

Continue reading

Handmade and Hot: Loyal Loot

Sage Log Bowl by Loyall Loot

We have long admired these Log Bowls by Canadian company Loyal Loot. The combination of the natural wood with their perfect choice of colours is so simple yet stunningly beautiful. After a bit of research we learned that this is not their only product.

Learn more in the short interview below.

workshop Loyall Loot

studio Loyal Loot

Who are you and where is your workshop? What is your studio like?

We are Anna Thomas + Doha Lindskoog of Loyal Loot. We have two studios, one in Edmonton and one in Calgary, our studios are in each of our homes. Anna’s studio is tiny but sunny, mine is big but in a basement with a lot of helpful lighting, both are a lesson in organized chaos.

When and why did you decide to start Loyal Loot?

We started Loyal Loot in 2004 with two other founding members Dara Humniski and Carmen Douville. We were all in the Industrial Design program at the University of Alberta and hit it off as friends and designers, having a similar aesthetic and influence. We decided to join forces to enter into our first design show ‘Cabin‘, organized by Motherbrand. We figured that if one of our designs was accepted, we could all go to the show in New York for the experience. Luckily for us it turned out that all 4 of us had a design accepted into the show.

log-bowls by Loyall Loot

The process to make a Log Bowl by Loyall Loot

We really love your log bowls. Can you tell us a little bit about the process and what inspires you to make them?

The process is a long one, that starts with the logs being collected in the winter months. They are cut down and dried in a humidity controlled shed for approximately 8 months. When we receive an order for a bowl or a group of bowls, we make each one to order. It is rare that we have stock on hand ready to sell. The bowls are turned on a lathe by our wood turner Ken, who is a very talented craftsman and retired surgeon. We then hand paint each bowl, with many layers to achieve the desired vibrancy, and gloss them with several layers of furniture grade finish. The bowls are finished off with a quick sand on the tops to clean them off, and are gone over to ensure the bark is clean of paint.

Why do you hand make your products? What do you get out of it?

We hand make a lot of our products because they’re actually somewhat difficult to mass produce – we also get great satisfaction from making something ourselves and using our hands. We do believe that handmade products have an inherent value that cannot be achieved with mass production. A human touch is present in each piece and they are each unique.


Where can we buy your products and what new things are you working on?

Our products are available worldwide, online and in our own web shop.


How would you like your collection to grow? And where else would you like to see it sold?

We like our collection to grow slow and steady – we do not design a new collection every year, our approach is thoughtful and we choose to move forward with a select few designs from our pool of ideas – this results in 1-2 new designs every couple of years. We would love to see our items sold in a few more brick and mortar stores in the US, as many of them have closed since the economy was hit hard a few years back.

What is the best thing about what you do?

We love being able to create beautiful things.

Thanks for answering our questions. We really love the Monsieur Dress Up Collar (above) too…. We look forward to keeping an eye on your work.

Tamra & Gwyn





We have added two new Deck Chairs and stools. And we are really excited about them.



Aroa is a lovely turquoise blue.

Both outdoor polyester fabrics have tiny white hand drawn triangles on them.

The overall look is really nice and subtle.

Each Deck Chair has a matching stool



Nungwi is a happy yellowy chartreuse… Both are great colours for this season.

Wonderful photography by the amazing Janis Nicolay.

Have a great weekend!
Tamra & Gwyn

Continue reading

ITC Maurya wins ‘Best Eco-friendly Hotel’ award


The ITC Maurya Hotel in Delhi has taken eco-friendly practices to an entirely new level, and we’re not the only ones who are noticing.

The ITC Maurya in India was named the “Best Eco-friendly Hotel” last month during the National Tourism Awards, hosted by India’s Ministry of Tourism.

“The award recognizes ITC Maurya’s outstanding contribution and ongoing commitment to the environment,” India’s Ministry of Tourism said in a press release about the award. But the word “commitment” seems like an understatement. “Endlessly devoted” is more like it.


ITC Maurya, which is named after India’s famous “Mauryan” dynasty in which the country’s culture, architecture and art flourished, is not only the largest LEED certified hotel in the world, but it is the first hotel to have been awarded LEED’s highest platinum rating.

The hotel exercises sustainable water conservation, recycling, energy practices and is consistently reducing its carbon emissions. It’s also the first hotel in the world to use Paraboloid solar concentrators.

Maurya - Swimming pool

Furthermore, the five-star hotel uses more than 50 percent of local or recycled consumables, along with low OVS paints and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified wood in its renovation efforts.

To top it off, 30 percent of ITC Maurya’s award-winning food and drinks are harvested within 160 kilometres of it’s property.

We bow our heads to this hotel, not only for its outstanding, five-star hospitality rating, but for its top-notch efforts to be environmentally conscious.

And if you head to this hotel anytime soon, take us with you.