Getty Images Credits: Getty Images
Isn't it fabulous?Our favourite Canadian knitter has done it again - this free FARBE COWL pattern from Vancouver Island creative blogger Very Shannon is easy to knit (head over to her site for the instructions) , simple to customize and deliciously chunky, perfect for the turning season. Doesn't it make you feel cozier just looking at it?
What are you waiting for?
Blackout Credits: Getty Images
Holiday soirees, baking sessions and shopping excursions are filling up our weekly schedules, and it’s becoming all too easy to get wrapped up in such glories the festive season brings. But, with these winter delights come plenty of cold weather side effects—like power outages—that we need to prepare for.
Power outages are especially common in the winter because they’re typically caused by freezing rain, sleet and high winds damaging power lines and equipment. Aside from your beloved tech and appliances being out of commission during an outage, you could also find yourself without heat, hot water or running water.
To ensure you’re not left in the dark (figuratively!) if or when a blackout occurs, we’ve gathered a few tips that will help keep you as safe and comfortable as possible.
1. Think ahead. Power outages can happen at any time, so it’s important for you and your family to be prepared. Keep a battery-operated flashlight and extra batteries in an easily accessible place, ensure the carbon monoxide detector in your home is working and has a battery-powered back-up, and protect any sensitive electrical appliances with surge-protecting power bars.
2. Make a kit. The Red Cross recommends having a “disaster preparedness kit” filled with the supplies you’ll need for at least 72 hours. We’ve asked our readers what they include in their kits, and most of them agree on the importance of flashlights, matches, and first aid kits—as well as alcohol and chocolate. We couldn’t agree more, but the Red Cross also suggests stocking up on bottled water, non-perishable foods (you know, other than chocolate), extra batteries, extra keys for your house and car, cash, personal hygiene items, important documents, special needs items like medications and baby formula, and a copy of your emergency plan.
3. Know what to do. In the event of a power outage, you should: Check to see if your neighbours’ power is still on to determine whether only your home is affected, turn off your appliances and turn the heating thermostat down to prevent potential power surge damage when power is restored, keep one light on inside and one on outside so you know when the power is back on, refrain from opening your refrigerator or freezer to keep food cold, don’t leave candles unattended, and never use charcoal or gas barbecues inside the home since they emit carbon monoxide.
4. Have some fun. Since your TV won’t be on and everyone will want to conserve the batteries in their phones, tablets and laptops, a blackout provides a rare opportunity to reconnect with each other. Dig out the board games, whip out the comfort food and rediscover family game night.
Learn more on how to be prepared for a power outage at Red Cross.
Stay Home Club manages to find whimsy and humour in the introverted prospect of hanging out at home—instead of socializing and going out.
If your weekend goals include hanging out in your comfiest sweats, spooning your kitties and watching Netflix, Stay Home Club (SHC) is right up your alley. With sayings like “stay home and watch Buffy” and “boring is best,” this clothing and accessory brand makes introverts feel less alone. Olivia Mew, the founder and artist behind many of SHC’s designs, knows this well. The recent popularity of not only lapel pins and patches, but also simple apparel with strong messaging—often with tongue firmly in cheek—has boded well for Mew, whose small business in Montreal (with shipping across North America) is thriving.
How did you come up with the name Stay Home Club?
“I started the business when I was 24 and felt like my friends and I had totally different ways of blowing off steam and spending our free time. They were working day jobs all week and partying all weekend and I wanted to be working on something I loved, alone at home. One of my earlier Etsy stores was named ‘Stay Home’ and added the ‘Club’ when I decided that SHC would be a collaborative brand with work by other artists as well as myself. It went on to feel like every customer got initiated into the ‘club,’ which I loved.”
Many of the SHC designs seem to tap into a certain malaise or apathy—how tongue-in-cheek is the brand?
“While we’re evolving away from being just a “negative slogan” brand, that’s definitely a core part of how we started, and we still continue to nod at it in new collections. We’re definitely tongue-in-cheek with lots of our designs, but we aren’t limited to malaise. Our “I will make it out of this alive” patch is our best-seller, and the opposite of apathetic!”
Stay Home Club X Alison Weiss Patch, $7, stayhomeclub.ca.
What trends are you currently interested in?
“Lapel pins are a great way to showcase different aspects of your personality or aesthetic without being as in-your-face as a slogan t-shirt. Plus, they’re inexpensive. I’m also equal parts mad and enamored with the fact that Gucci’s recent collections have been covered in incredible embroidery and patches—a sort of upscale version of what we do (someone hire me as your next creative director!). I studied fibers in university so I’m all about interesting surface design and fashion’s recent re-embracing of intricate floral embroidery has been huge for me.
What’s the biggest reward of being a small business owner in Canada?
“Canada celebrates its entrepreneurs and successes by feeling a certain sense of pride that I don’t think exists for businesses in more populated countries like the USA and even the UK. You see it with our pop-culture icons all the time—for example “Canada’s own Drake!.” People are excited to have that ownership over what they do.”
SHC T-Shirt, $28, stayhomeclub.ca.