Saturday, November 28, 2009

Fresh new day

An arrangement that I delivered this morning with the help of Coriander Dad.

Thistles are one of my favorites to work with.

An arrangement inspired by the season.

And some bouquets made from evergreen boughs, berries and twigs by Melanie Ollenburg.

Hope you're all having a lovely weekend so far!
Alison : > xo

Friday, November 27, 2009

Mr. Nice girl

For everyone that would have turned that man away, you're way smarter than me. This is about protecting the self and I didn't do that last night. I let my emotions get the better of me and wasn't thinking clearly when I so thoughtlessly opened my wallet. One lowly man isn't going to affect my belief that there are good people in the world. But, I can't forget where I live. This is Parkdale and as much as I defend it, I can't trust anyone.
I have to say something to this guy, knowing full well he'll never read it.

Hey Terrance! (if that's your real name)
I've got a sob story for you too. I just gave a skammer $25 because I wanted to help. Despite the fact I just opened a new business and I'm hanging on by the skin of my teeth, I gave it to him because I saw someone who was in a far worse position than me. That was a decent piece of mediocre theatre actually. It wasn't worth $25 but it was worth the life lesson. I won't make the mistake of trusting some random person who comes into my shop again asking for help. Something was stolen yesterday and it wasn't my money. I gave it willingly. What I'd like to know is at what point you realized I was a fool? Was it before or after you complimented me on my hair? I should have known you weren't a stylist because Lionel Ritchie called, circa 1982, and he wants his hair back. Jackass.

That's all I'm going to say about that. Stay tuned for nicer posts about flowers and other good things.
I'll ignore the idiot guy outside who literally just pretended to take a whiz in my sap buckets. Chin up little one.
Ali xo

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Guy walks into my shop ten minutes ago crying.
Guy tells horrible story about his car being vandalized, tires stolen etc etc, cops came whole nine yards.
More terrible stories about having to pick his daughter up in Mississauga and needing directions. More tears.
Guy tells me his life story and where he works, offers to wash and blow dry my hair for life if I can loan him 20 bucks to go and come back.
I do it without any intention of ever getting my hair done.
Guy leaves with twenty.

Am I completely naive? I could have taken his phone number, address, drivers license. But I didn't.
Am I so desperate for people to prove their humanity? Am I so determined to not let myself become one of those people who would turn a crying and desperate man away?
Would you turn him away?
Did he see the sympathy in my face and totally take advantage of me? He assures me he will be back by noon tomorrow when he takes his break from hair styling.
Do I let the outcome of this determine my faith in humanity? Did I do this to teach myself a lesson, knowing full well I would never see my money again?
I think I did it because I believed him and I wanted to help. I hope I'm right because I don't want to stop believing in people.

In other news, it was a good day here at Coriander Girl. Jacques came with his beautiful truck of flowers and I danced down the aisles once again to some really up beat latin music. I think Jacques needs a jacuzzi tub and a wet bar!
I'm loving the flowers I chose. My fridge is bursting with beauty. Maybe this is why I wanted to believe the crying man. Because I feel so fortunate, I couldn't possibly turn him away.
Have a wonderful night dear readers.
Alison xo

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pink poinsettias

It's the end of November and still no snow. This is a-okay with me. I'd give anything for spring to return right after January 1st.
Tyler and I have to travel soon. I have an Air Canada credit that if I don't use, it's void. Hmmmmm....

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Can't sleep

It's 2:20am and I can't sleep even though I'm extremely tired. Perhaps it's the three pots of Jasmine green tea Tyler and I shared tonite, but then he should be up also. Actually, he can drink espresso before bed so I'm not surprised he's sleeping soundly.
I love house noises when you're feeling safe. The ticking clock, the hissing radiators, and the street noises below are all very soothing. Maybe it's time to give this sleep thing one more try. Exciting things are happening at the shop, I sort of feel like every night is the night before "back to school" after summer holidays. The newness of it all and the endless possibilities of what the year might be like. Not being able to sleep because you're wrought with nervous energy, imagining how your day will unfold.
Thrilling and not particularly sleep inducing but I'll give it another go.
Alison xo

Saturday, November 21, 2009

on a personal note

My mum called me the other day in tears because we hadn't spoken in so long (she would normally not share this with me for fear of making me feel bad). When I heard her little voice quiver my heart broke open. This is the problem with owning your own business. Just when you go to pick up the phone, something else pops up on your list of a thousand things to do and phone calls and e-mails and things that should actually be top priority get pushed aside.
She reads this blog now to feel close to me and I've got to say, dearest mum, you are my woman! You are the reason I am capable of all of this. My earliest memories are of my mother telling me to do what makes me happy and I know that's why I never settled. I never stayed in a job that I wasn't fulfilled by and I pursued my acting career because I had this woman in my corner championing my every move. (She and I are not only mother and daughter but kindred friends) I am so blessed. She is very practical, feet firmly planted on the ground and at times I've feared she would disapprove of my choices but instead she has celebrated every moment with me in total support- maybe she was living a bit vicariously through me. My dad has always had his head in the clouds and lives his life seeking pleasure. I'd like to think my brother and I fall somewhere in between. Although, I think my head is more often in the clouds than thinking practically. My brother, who is an awesome person, wrote this quote on his wall yesterday and I just have to share it, “When once you have tasted flight you will always walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward: for there you have been and there you will always be.” - Henry Van Dyke
It's so true. You can't taste the finest provencal cheese and go back to the whiz. Or, maybe the message is, you can go back to the whiz but you have the memory of that delectable gouda and you spend your life striving to taste that stinky cheese as often as you possibly can.
Aim high soldiers...aim high. And tell your family how much you adore them!
xo A
Shout out to P and B, you know who loves ya?! You know what I'm sayin?!

Lovely things

lovely little poem

with lovely dancing ladies, given to me by my lovely friend Jenn

lovely new tag

lovely cuisine from the magnificent Ali Baba's

and finally the lovliest of lovely things, Tyler, who surprised me with this romantic lunch.

If he were on the menu I'd order five of him and just eat him right up!
Alison xo

Thursday, November 19, 2009

November Rain

This post is dedicated to Axle Rose.

What an amazing day!! I have to share with you my most recent good fortune. In the last few months I have met some pretty fabulous women. First, I met the greatest lady by the name of Ciara Parr who then introduced me to the incredible Erin Candela and through Erin I met the awesome Sandy Dumais who was certain I had to meet the magnificent Tanya Scholes.
I'm telling you, these women are the kind of people you don't let go because their friendship is truly a gift. They are warrior women out there in the world making incredible things happen! Yes! I feel so fortunate!
Each woman is affecting me differently and bringing such joy to my world. Tanya is a fellow floral enthusiast. I think she's an ambassador of fun! And today she hooked me up with a floral supplier who came to my shop with his giant transport filled with beauty. I went on this truck today and hand picked the prettiest flowers, he plays music for you while you shop. I was doing the samba down the aisles in total bliss, clapping and twirling all the while! Sandy is a real gem. She is 8 months pregnant and living her life in the most joyful truthful way. You must check out her blog, she's a fabulous artist and person. Erin, I've talked about before. She has become a very dear friend of mine in a very short while. She too is an artist and an ambassador of cool! I sell her lovely hand drawn cards in my shop. Ciara is responsible for these relationships and this girl is just so wonderful. She has a very gentle spirit and the greatest sense of humor. I desperately want to get to know her better.
Take the time to tell your friends just how awesome they are. Even though you probably do as the caring and lovely friend that you are. Don't just tell people you love them, tell them why you love them.
Alison xo : >

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Do the humpty hump

It's hump day everyone! I'm sure Tyler will get a real kick out of this! ;>
It's been a good day. I feel that with anything you've got to get low before you can get high.
Not that things are terribly low but this is a process and success doesn't usually happen over night. Unless of course you're Susan Boyle. Have you seen this woman? Unless you have been living under a rock which apparently I have been, I only learned of Susan Boyle this afternoon when my Auntie came in to help me with my taxes. Ha! Susan Boyle! She rocks. I may have shed tears watching the clip on You tube.
Let's be bold and sing our little hearts out or dance or draw or sew or manage Denny's, just be sure to do it loudly! Make shit happen!
Ali :>

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I believe!

More luscious lavender soaps arrived today. I finally got to meet the soap man himself, Chris Marks, after months of telephone correspondence. He's visiting from Quebec to showcase Joie De Lavande at the Royal Winter Fair. I remember the winter fair when I was young, the sweet smell of candy apple mixed with that of horses and hay bails. These beautifully molded 'fleur de lys' bars are almost too pretty to use!

I want to eat them.

I've placed some pre arranged bouquets outside the shop today. I'm trying new ways of attracting people to the store. "If you build it, they will come." It has to be true. I believe this with my whole heart. If you dream something and you find a way to make it happen, the universe will support you.

Try saying it for yourself today, "I believe." Say it every time you feel defeated.
Alison xo

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Quiet Saturday

Until a dear friend of mine showed up today, and the squealing began, things were rather quiet here.
I've been stamping away and have made thirty business cards in six hours. I know this is not terribly productive. I need to have some stationary pre cut for me or something because I don't have that kind of time. Did I mention how sweet they are? I just adore the work Maybelle did for me. I keep pinching myself because this feels so dreamy!
Coriander Girl is becoming so real for me though and it's so satisfying to watch it develop and to see my little efforts pay off.
Well, I must go sweep the floors and turn the lights off on another glorious day.
Alison xo

Friday, November 13, 2009

It's official!

I am over the moon right now! I just received a very important package in the mail and it is the icing on this already perfectly delicious cake. I can barely put into words how excited I am to have just received all of my logo stuff and now I finally get to introduce you to the most phenomenal woman, my logo artist, Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls!
This woman is a warrior! Not only did she just give birth to the most adorable twin babies, Gunnar and Ligaya,

she has been working tirelessly with me for the last three months to create the most perfect logo for Coriander Girl. Maybelle went above and beyond for me. You won't believe this woman's credentials, she has worked for Martha Stewart for godsakes! It's an interesting story the way our working relationship began, I just new she was my artist, despite a few road blocks;), and I pursued her. It was the right choice and now I completely consider her my artist and friend. Logo creation has some war like parallels. We have been in the trenches together, we lost a lot of good border suggestions out there, but we survived. And look!

If you require Maybelle's services you can contact her through her website or I can give you information also.

It's time to go stamp things!!! A million times thank-you Maybelle!
Alison xo

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New Stuff!

Coriander girl is thrilled to introduce Ella's Botanicals! These delicious, locally made, lotions, soaps and salves, are loaded with pure essential oils and emollient rich ingredients, just perfect for our harsh winter season. Two bars for ten bucks! I know what Tyler's getting in his stocking this year.

And today I took a drive up North to get evergreens for the shop. It doesn't feel quite like christmas to me yet. We haven't had our first official snow fall. With the sun shining and slight crispness in the air it feels more like we should be curled up in blankets on the porch warming our rosy faces over steamy hot chocolate.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The kindness of strangers

I love random acts of kindness. I feel hopeful and inspired by these lovely do gooders and I try to pay it forward always.

About a month or so ago, a woman walked into my shop. She looked around and in a sort of matter of fact kind of way said, "You need a curtain." I thought to myself, "lady, you have no idea. My list of things to do is endless but darnit I have been planning to sew my under the sink curtain for weeks and who are you to tell me..." She interrupts my thought bubble with, "and I'm going to make it for you."

I liked this woman right away. She was bold and totally no nonsense and she was going to make my curtain for me whether I wanted her to or not. I'm not even sure if I accepted right away. I think I said something like, "if you come back in two weeks and I still haven't made my curtain then she's all yours." Needless to say, I didn't get around to my sewing that week and when she came back she left with my fabric and a self satisfied grin. "Who is this woman?" I thought to myself. It turns out, she is Elizabeth Oliveira, custom fashion designer extraordinaire. Check her out at
Why not lead by example today and do something nice for a complete stranger. Hell, just go out of your way and be kind to everyone!

This beautiful fabric is from The Workroom.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hawk Eyes

I would like to introduce you to Rachelle Turner of Hawk Eyes. This amazing gal was kind enough to lend me some of the gorgeous finds from her own store for my fall window display. Check out her shop and read all about her on her fabulous blog!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The wind beneath my wings

It was a good day. The weather was far too beautiful to stay indoors and so the streets were swarming with people. I enjoyed meeting all the new folks who hadn't been in to see the shop yet.

I love what I do. It's so awesome when people from the community thank me for being here. I want to thank them for being here and for being, "the wind beneath my wings." For realz.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The hard way

I really need to start taking deposits. It turns out you can't run a business on lolly pops and fairy dust. Lesson learned.

And this no toilet thing, well, let's just say it isn't working for me. What's a girl to do? Dehydrate herself so she won't have to go? This is what's become of me, a dehydrated little Coriander Girl who sits in her shop all day, thirsty and sad! I have been known to stick a note on the door that says, "Back in two" and I run across to Poor John's but the shop has been getting busy and I can't pop out like I once did. A good business woman has got to be available for the people! Well, clearly I have enough time to run across the street if I have enough time to write this ridiculous post!!! Gotta go!
Alison : >