Entries Tagged as 'Inspiration'

Marie Rose Place

Feb 20, 2015

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Inspirational women thriving in an inspirational space.


That was the exact vibe I got visiting Marie Rose Place, a new, affordable housing project in Winnipeg for immigrant women and their children. Next door to the centre is Holy Names House of Peace, a landing pad/safe home for single, refugee and immigrant women. Once these women are able to get on their feet, and secure work, they’ve got access to a viable housing option that offers all the basic amenities and of course, a warm community. It doesn’t hurt that it’s easy on the eyes either.


When EQ3 got wind of the project, we got involved by providing affordable furnishings for the building’s 40 suites and rec room.




Last Friday, our photographer Charles and I were lucky enough to get a tour and learn all about the 6-story Edmonton Street apartment. Fallon Gladu, design consultant for the project acted as our guide, leading us through the bright and punchy coloured hallways where the smell of curry heavily lingered in the best way imaginable.


Our first stop was the main floor rec room. It’s a work in progress as the team at MRP will be adding elements of warmth to make this common area feel more like home. The intention was to create a space for all the tenats to use, where they can hang out and get to know one another a little better.




Next, we visited one of the current tenant’s suites. Regina Silva and her daughter Maria Francesca warmly greeted us and welcomed us into their home.






When Regina and her daughter moved in, they had all the basic building blocks in their space – a sofa, beds, lighting, a coffee table and entertainment unit all from EQ3. It was amazing to see how they personalized their space to make it uniquely theirs. Note the coloured lanterns hanging from the Six Globe Floor Lamp.






And the feminine touches of pink.


I sat with Regina and learned a little bit more about her journey and life at Marie Rose Place, while Francesca showed Charles around their place.




Suzy: Where are you from?
Regina: Manila, Phillipines.


Suzy: How did you end up in Winnipeg?
Regina: Ended up? Am I ending now?

(We all laughed, and I knew then I’d really like her.)

Regina: I was given a chance to live here. It’s a new challenge, but at the same time, a new opportunity for me. A new place to explore.


Suzy: What do you think of the cold?
Regina: Well that’s the main challenge – but I see it as an opportunity to create something. Thinking of an event to make it an attraction – outdoor sports, a fun run.


Suzy: What do you do?
Regina: I work at a call centre in the evenings, but during the day I’m studying business – event planning, advertising, graphics, internet marketing. My daughter wants to take up architecture. If you see her bedroom she’s really very meticulous and organized.




Case in point.


Suzy: Where had you been living prior to Marie Rose Place and what were the conditions like?
Regina: I was living on David Street, by the Perimeter. It was a basic apartment – nothing special, but clean. But with this – it’s like I’m living in a hotel. It’s very comfortable.


Suzy: What was your initial reaction when you saw where you’d be living?
Regina: I didn’t expect it to be so nice and modern. It’s my dream to live in a place like this.


Suzy: How has your new environment impacted your daily life?
Regina: I’m more creative and more productive. And it’s accessible to everything – any place I want to go. People told me not to go downtown, but I think it’s safe. I’ve found it’s really nice. For me, I see people going into the office as early as 5 and 6. That motivates me. It’s a big difference.




(Did I forget to mention the 11-foot ceilings and big windows?)


Suzy: What’s it like being surrounded by other women who have been in a similar situation?
Regina: I found a new family here – we help each other. Especially the single moms. We help with the schedules and especially with the kids: picking them up and sending them to the bus stop. We’re helping each other.


Suzy: What kind of activities do you enjoy doing at home?
Regina: Whenever we’re home, we’re cleaning, organizing things, studying, eating. My daughter loves to bake.




Suzy: What does she bake?

Regina: Dark chocolate cake.

We listen to music, watch television, spend time on our laptops. I love reading business and entrepreneur magazines. I took fine arts – I used to paint and do graphics




Suzy: Where’s your favourite place to spend your time in here?
Regina: The nook – I like to read, do my work, eat here. Actually, everywhere is my favourite spot.


Suzy: What are your next steps?
Regina: Pursue my online business, while travelling back and forth between the Philippines.



Our visit left me feeling totally inspired – Regina’s optimism was incredibly refreshing. It’s amazing how your environment can lend itself so much to that. This bright and airy, modern space continues to improve the lives of these women and keep them motivated.


I think I can speak for both Charles and I when I say that visit was the best start to the weekend. Hopefully hearing about it does the same for you too.



Cinnamon Heart Soda

Feb 11, 2015

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Terrace Tumbler

Terrace Tumbler


Cinnamon Heart Soda is surprisingly refreshing and easy to make. All you have to do is make a simple syrup using cinnamon heart candies! Add the following ingredients to a small pot and bring to a simmer while whisking on the stovetop.


– ¼ cup of sugar
– Heaping ¼ cup of cinnamon heart candies
– ½ cup of water


The cinnamon heart candies will dissolve almost completely. Pour the syrup in a bowl or container and place it in the fridge without a lid to cool. There is no need to strain the syrup, as you pour it, any pieces of the candies should remain at the bottom of the pot.


Once your syrup is cooled you can mix the drink. In a glass, add the following:


– Ice cubes (we froze one cinnamon heart candy in each ice cube for extra flavour and to make the cubes red)
– 1oz cinnamon heart syrup (add more to taste if you like it sweeter)
– 1oz vodka
– The juice of one lemon wedge


Stir the ingredients together and top it all off with soda. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Behind the Scenes – EQ3 Spring/Summer 2015 Catalogue

Jan 27, 2015

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BTS – Climb Lifestyle – EQ3 S/S 15




Break of dawn + shooting a Spring/Summer catalogue in January in Winnipeg.



Gallery 2 in The Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art was our location for the Climb modular shelving system designed by Madi Cash.




The architectural firms behind The Buhler Center where the Plug In ICA is situated are: David Penner Architects, DIN + PSAS.


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Thom stepped up to the plate and modelled his hands and feet like a boss!




“I was doing design in the mornings and paintings in the afternoon, until the moment I knew I had to choose. It’s like having two boyfriends: it’s not possible.” Nathalie Du Pasquier




Painting by Louis Balko 1992.


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The EQ3 S/S 2015 Catalogue drops in March – until then! Charles xoxo


Paper Craft

Jan 23, 2015

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It’s usually just before the holidays at EQ3 when we roll up our sleeves and build some sets for our holiday photo shoot. Throughout the year we were inspired by many amazing examples of paper craft. Our sets didn’t require the precise hand cutting, folding, and gluing of tiny decorative details. Instead, they were built build using large rolls of red seamless paper and foam core matte board. Here’s a behind-the-scenes shot of one the sets, and the final image below it.


behind_the_scenes eq3_carousel


Across the globe many designers and artists are producing inspiring works crafted from paper. Zim & Zou, in France, have been getting a lot of attention for their highly intricate paper craft, often made of vibrant fluorescent papers. They appeared on one of the covers of Icon Magazine in 2012, and more recently, are being noticed for their installations for Hermès Maison Shanghai.

 s_by_sw_poster s_by_sw_detail icon_cover icon_cover_detail


Sabeena Karnik, in Mumbai, spent over 100 hours designing and executing this cover for Crain’s Chicago Business magazine. She describes her technique as “paper sculpturing.”

 BOL cover 2014.qxp


Here are a couple more of my recent favourites:


2014 Calendar by Nearly Normal

2014 Calendar by Nearly Normal


A-Type by Lobulo Design

A-Type by Lobulo Design

Winter Sauna

Dec 30, 2014

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While I grew up on the Canadian prairie, my family always celebrated the Scandinavian connection we had through my grandfather. His parents were immigrants from Scandinavia, and as their great-grandson I can’t speak any Scandinavian languages, but more and more I identify with their culture.  I feel as if my Scandinavian heritage has predisposed me towards saunas. I have always liked them. Whenever I am breathing in the hot fragrant air of a sauna, the combination of wood, fire, smoke and steam elicits a cerebral response in me and I can tell that this experience is imprinted somewhere way back in my psyche.


Residing in Winnipeg, a city which reaches winter temperatures that easily classify it as one of the coldest urban centres in the world, I’m a little envious of other Nordic countries like Finland where saunas are part of the everyday culture. What a powerful way to nullify the cold and embrace winter’s elements. As a designer, I’m attracted to the structures and spaces that make up the Finnish sauna experience too. Rough-hewn timber architecture, wood burning stoves, red hot stones, and rustic wooden furniture all create a primal yet sophisticated atmosphere. A cosmic, centuries-old spa treatment that always feels fresh and invigorating.


Winter sauna


Lately I’ve fantasized about the saunas my ancestors may have used. I imagine walking out through the snow towards my own savusauna early one frigid winter morning. The icy wind howls through my bathrobe, but I don’t mind because I know it’s only a few more steps away to the warmth of the sauna. Hot air welcomes me as soon as I step inside the timber cabin where the temperature is almost ninety degrees Celsius.  A large stack of rocks held above the woodstove is heated to glowing hot and a ladle of water from the bucket instantly sends a plume of steam rising from the rocks towards the ceiling. A few more ladles and the room is completely filled and cloudy. Sitting back on the wooden bench I inhale hot humid air and bathe in the steam.




After resting a while, I gently swat my back and legs using boughs of birch, a strange seeming gesture but I can feel built up tension in my muscles easing. The birch vahti also gives off a refreshing woody fragrance that adds another dimension to the bouquet of natural aromas in the cabin. The heat is almost overwhelming.  Moisture covers me, and my head and lungs seem steam saturated. I rise off the bench, and feeling slightly light headed, I steady myself for the bracing cold of the lake water dip that comes next.




Uimareita varten tehty avanto jäällä.



I hastily exit the savusauna and make a direct path towards the dark mouth of the avanto, a hole cut through the ice. Without hesitating, I plunge feet first into the super-chilled lake water and a collision of burning and tingling sensations electrify my body. I wait, bobbing in the dark water for a few moments to savour the dual sensations of warm inner core and icy skin surface. Bursting back up through the water’s surface I waste little time in grabbing my robe and towel while scrambling through the blowing snow back to my family’s farmhouse.






Sitting by the crackling fireplace, I sip on chilled low-proof kalja and savour pork sausages and piirakk with crispy rye crusts. Through design and architecture systems which humans perfected centuries ago, the sauna’s confluence of fire, steam, heat and ice somehow transports me to a different mind space. Winter is lovely.

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