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Kelsey Dundon

Meet Parallelograms

I don’t even know where to begin with this one. Because I actually began a year and a half ago and have been toiling away on this ever since (in between my work with my Northill clients and wrangling two little redheads). But here we are (FINALLY!). And I could not be more excited.

Meet Parallelograms, themed art kits designed for you and yours to do alongside each other (in parallel!), delivered straight to your door (like telegrams!). Each series is available in two versions: one with artist-quality supplies, the other with kid-friendly supplies (ages 3+).

Our first series? Colourful cacti and fancy flamingos. Summer in a nutshell!

The concept behind Parallelograms was inspired by a table we have that’s devoted to art (in the sense that it’s covered in more art supplies than a Michael’s). I noticed whenever our friends came over — our friends, not our kids’ — they would plunk themselves down and start doodling and scribbling and painting and whatnot. And these weren’t our artsy fartsy friends either. In fact, they would probably tell you they don’t have a creative bone in their bodies.

Yet, they’d sit and make art while we hung out. My hunch is that it has something to do with how easily everything is laid out, how low the stakes are (the kid sitting beside you sure isn’t going to judge your work!) and how relaxing it can be to create something with your hands.

Then, when I was on the verge of serious burnout after I had my second baby (such exhausting times, those!), I bought myself some artist-quality supplies. I’d fill a sketchbook while my older daughter filled a colouring book right beside me. It’s as close as I ever get to meditating. And I swear it’s just as restorative. (It’s actually something I touched on in this post about creativity and burnout.)

I’m a writer and somehow creating visual art restored my ability to write. I figure if my friends and I were finding some magic in this, then hopefully others would too.

So here we are!

I would love, love, love your feedback on all things Parallelograms so please share. And thank you to every single one of you who helped me bring this to life. I am forever indebted to you!

[First and third photo by Hayley Hudson, second and fourth photo by Kelsey Dundon for @Parallelograms.co on Instagram]

P.S. I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the concept and branding so I’m going to write a series of posts that will take you through exactly that: the naming, the branding, the logo (which was done by my frequent Northill collaborator Sonja Keserich — I love it more than I could tell you!), and all the other pieces it took to launch this thing.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go ship the first batch of Parallelograms orders. (Yay! THANK YOU!!!)

Workspace | We want to see your space!

I’ll admit it: I’m a creative creep. I love to see other people’s studios, offices, workspaces of any sort (like A Fabulous Fete‘s moodboard, pictured above). That’s why the Workspace column has long been one of my favourites (and one of The Anthology’s longtime readers’ favourites too!). In it, we showcased everything from home offices to corner offices to brand-new architectural wonders of corporate offices, in every industry you can think of. Everyone from beauty bloggers to advertising executives shared their analog to-do lists, their gummy worm obsessions and their favourite work-related reads.

And I want to do it all again. So I’m bringing the Workspace column back.

If you know someone (like, say…you!) who has a beautifully designed space, an interesting story behind the coffee mug that sits beside their laptop, or just needs some motivation to tidy up their desk (or not — we won’t judge!), send me a note at KDundon@TheAnthology.ca. I can’t wait to see these spaces!

[Image from A Fabulous Fete]

Food and Drink | Mothers’ Day in support of BC Women’s Hospital

Where are you taking your mom on Mothers’ Day? Haven’t quite decided yet? No worries: here are a few suggestions for you and your siblings to debate and discuss until the most enterprising one of you makes a reservation. On Sunday, May 14th, these Vancouver restaurants will donate 5% of their sales to fund the most urgent needs of BC Women’s Hospital:

Ask for Luigi
Bauhaus Restaurant (pictured)
Bella Gelateria
Go Fish
Juice Truck
La Mezcaleria
La Taqueria
Les Faux Bourgeois
Los Cuervos
Maenam
Merchants Oyster Bar
Pizzeria Bufala
Pizzeria Farina
Pourhouse
Sorella
The Sardine Can
H2 Rotisserie + Bar

So eat! Drink! Order dessert! It’ll be great for your mom, and a whole lot of other moms too.

Diary | Boobyball Mini Vancouver 2017

I’ve been to my fair share of fundraising events. Heck, I’ve thrown my fair share of fundraising events. But I’d never been to one geared specifically for kids. And I think the idea is genius.

Rethink Breast Cancer threw an enchanted forest-themed event for the Boobyball Mini, which is, as you guessed, geared to the minis. It had a magic wand-making station, a face painting station, a silent auction (whre I won a session with All City Athletics!) a dance floor that was packed with preschoolers bouncing around to Bruno Mars…

…and a reading corner that my baby bookworms got a real kick out of. It was quite the memorable way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon.

And it raised more than $17,000, a huge amount for mini people.

Get Involved | Variety BC’s One Night in Monte Carlo Gala

When I was backpacking through Europe during undergrad, I tried to get into a very swanky casino in Monte Carlo. And was denied. The security guard looked my friend and I up and down, zeroed in on our flip flops (which had trod more hostel floors than he could have known) and gave us the boot.

A post shared by Kelsey Dundon (@kelseydundon) on

The folks at Variety BC’s One Night in Monte Carlo gala were much more welcoming.

The inaugural event — which featured dinner, dancing, and a casino of sorts — took place at the Pinnacle Harbourfront Hotel and raised $200,000 for the foundation’s mobility program.

And, to follow up on the Global Television segment I did to help promote the event, I wore this Halston Heritage gown. With Rebecca Minkoff heels instead of flip flops.

Style | Moderating a Q&A at the Museum of Vancouver

So here’s something I didn’t want to focus on before I moderated a Q&A at the Museum of Vancouver this past weekend: I’ve never moderated a discussion like that before. I’ve presented on live television a trillion times. I lectured at one of Canada’s biggest universities for years. I’ve been on panels. I’ve spoken at events. I’ve given wedding speeches.

I’ve done many things you’d think would prepare me for something like this, but let me tell you: moderating a Q&A is a very different beast.

See, when you’re the one answering the questions, you’re already the subject matter expert (you’d hope). When you’re the one giving a presentation, you already have an idea of where you want to take things. When you’re giving a wedding speech, you just have to heckle the heck out of the bride.

But when you’re moderating a Q&A, chances are, you’re interviewing someone you just met a few minutes before you hit the stage. You don’t know what they’re going to want to talk about, you don’t know what they’d rather not delve into, you don’t know, frankly, how comfortable they’re going to be speaking in front of a live audience.

Since you don’t know where the discussion is going to go, you have to be prepared for it to go anywhere. Which means doing a lot of prep work. So, so much prep work; researching every public component of the interviewee’s life and career (and in my case, showing up with three pages of typed notes).

Thankfully, designer Evan Biddell and stylist Ellen Balsevich are both great interviews. Their collection, created for the 81lb. Challenge for Eco Fashion Week, is fascinating. And the message behind it — the average North American discards 81lb. of clothing and textiles in a year, making fashion the second-most polluting industry after oil — is powerful.

We talked about Evan launching his career on the first season of Project Runway Canada. We discussed the challenging parts of working in a creative field, we talked about Evan’s home/studio in Toronto’s Darling Mansion, and, because the event was part of Eco Fashion Week, we talked about the beauty — and significance — of upcycled clothing (while wearing coordinating upcycled outfits, no less).

It was fun. I learned a ton. And maybe at the next Q&A I moderate, I’ll only need to show up with two pages of notes.

Thanks for having me, Museum of Vancouver and Eco Fashion Week!

[Photos by Larissa Dundon — thanks for your help!]

Style | Upcycling Q&A at the Museum of Vancouver

I love a good upcycle. In fact, the early days of The Anthology were all about reinventing vintage pieces like this dress, this formerly comical piece, and even the odd piece of furniture, like these stools from Habitat for Humanity for the Vancouver Home and Design Show.

A post shared by Kelsey Dundon (@kelseydundon) on

But designer Evan Biddell (of Project Runway Canada fame) has taken upcycling to a whole new level. For Eco Fashion Week’s 81lbs. Challenge, he has created an entire line using the volume of textiles the average person discards in a year. (I covered last year’s event for Vancouver is Awesome — read up on it here.)

On Sunday, April 2nd, I’ll be moderating a Q&A at the Museum of Vancouver with Evan and stylist Ellen Balsevich. It starts at 2:00; you’ll find all the details here.

Want to come? We’re giving away a few tickets. Email me at KDundon@TheAnthology.ca with subject line: Museum of Vancouver for your chance to win.

Get involved | Variety BC’s One Night in Monte Carlo Gala

Here’s a serious question for you: If you could be any princess, who would you be? Kate Middleton? Elsa from Frozen? I’d choose Charlotte of Monaco. The woman is pure glamour (she’s Grace Kelly’s granddaughter after all), and seems to live a life of galas, yachts and horseback riding.

Why do I ask? (Aside from, you know…general curiosity?) Because Variety BC’s newest gala One Night in Monte Carlo is coming up on April 8th, which means a princess’s gown collection would come in handy. The gala will feature live entertainment, a red carpet, bespoke cocktails and fine dining at the Pinnacle Hotel in Vancouver. But the best part? It benefits Variety’s mobility program, which provides Sunshine Coaches for community organizations and offers safe, wheelchair-enabled transportation for families with children needing support.

I’ll be there! Will you? Get your tickets here.

Now, if you have a princess’ gown budget, you’re already set wardrobe-wise, I’m sure. But if you need a little inspiration for what to wear on a less-than-royal budget, I stopped by Global BC to share some ideas from Hudson’s Bay, Aldo, Town Shoes, Le Chateau, H&M, all provided by Coquitlam Centre. Take a look.

Thanks for having me, Variety and Global BC! And thanks as always for your help, Jerome Insorio!

Pinstagram | Dancing Queen

The Anthology’s Pinstagram column marries the dream (Pinterest) and the reality (Kelsey Dundon’s Instagram photos of places and faces in and around Vancouver).

Hit the floor. At my sister’s wedding (photo by The Apartment) + someone who is most definitely a dancing queen.

Patience is a virtue. My beast tolerating a grooming + his true feelings about it.

Art attack. Colourful canvasses at the Vancouver Art Gallery make me want to paint (a messy prospect, to be sure) + a delightfully colourful mess.

Tiles for miles. A honeycomb tile backsplash + something a little more complicated.

Flower power. Arranging flowers for a friend’s wedding (I’ve never been so intimated by a project, nor had as much fun doing one!) + my very favourite flowers: magnolias.

P.S. There are more photos where these came from so follow @KelseyDundon on Instagram.