Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Wow, within the 1 week I'm helping my mom move and my sister move.  Last weekend my sis moved into her new house near Montreal.  This week I'm on Vancouver Island helping my mom pack up.  She moves to Montreal next week and will stay with my sis for a while.  It'll be great to have all 3 of us in the same area.  Seeing as I am away from the workshop and unable to ship any sold items during this time, I thought I'd have a promotion for all of you lovelies who are jonesing for a sweet spring hobo bag.  Use the coupon code SPRING2012 in my Etsy shop ( and get 15% off your purchase until April 3rd.  All items will ship April 3rd (give or take a day).  I have been working hard on posting new bags and there are some beauties up in the shop right now. 

Back to the moving.... So, my mom had a gift certificate for Rawthentic Eatery in Qualicum Beach, which she used for today's lunch.  I had the raw chili with flat bread -- delish!  They even serve it warmed.  Dave had the bruschetta pizza, which he said was very good.  The portion wasn't very big, however.  My mom had the sandwich.  I didn't get feedback from her, but I've had their sandwiches before and they're great.  So, if you're in Qualicum Beach at any point, grab yourself a healthy raw lunch at the Rawthentic Eatery.

All for now.  Hope you are all having a hobolicious day!


Monday, February 27, 2012

Great Handmade Blog

Hey everyone!  I'm involved in a great giveaway that I mentioned over a week ago.  It is being hosted by Jolynn's Hobby Shop and I'm giving away one of my skull and roses hobo bags.  The giveaway is still on and ends of Friday -- so, get your buns over there and enter to win.  Here's the link:

Well in promoting my giveaway, I stumbled upon an awesome blog: .  This site has also posted the giveaway -- THANKS handmadeables!  This blog has great gift ideas and focuses only on handmade stuff.  One more point for handmade. 

In other news, I'm still on my cauliflower kick.  Ate 3 whole cauliflowers last week.  Well, and they were on sale for $1.67 at the restaurant supply store so that may explain why I bought so many.  lol  I've been making my own salad dressing (garlic, oil, vinegar, spices) that I just can't seem to get tired of.... *tooting horn* 


Renee ♥

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Peek into my Messy Workshop...

Hey my little hobo peeps!  Just dropped by to post a pic of my messy workshop.  lol  This is where all the action takes place.  It's awesome to have a space I can totally 'take over' and extra awesome that I have a 16-foot window right next to me.  Renee

Friday, February 17, 2012

Wanna win some handmade swag?

Hey my little hobo bunnies!  I'm participating in my first blog giveaway.... Here's the scoop...

Okay everyone, the giveaway has started. There are 3 prizes to be won -- one of my delicious skull bags and 2 lovely items from other Etsy sellers. Follow this link to Jolynn's Hobby Shop....  There you will find the rules on how to participate. The contest runs until March 2nd, so you have time to get as many entries as possible. Please share this link with all your friends who would LOVE to win some handmade swag. THANKS! (Any questions, just comment below).

I'm really excited about this giveaway and really want to get as many people involved as possible.  So PLEASE pass the word along.... Have a hobolicious day!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cauliflower and Upcycled Clothing

Hey Peeps!  So this week I've rediscovered my love for cauliflower.  I've always been a veggie lover but sometimes I get in a rut of eating the same thing over and over.  I've been trying to eat as raw and as cheaply as possible.  Cauliflower was on sale at this FANTASTIC restaurant-food supply store, so I bought me a large head.  I've been putting chunks of it in my salad along with spinach, onions, avocadoes and tomatoes, topped off with my homemade oil and vinegar dressing.  So this is basically all I've been eating this week.... a fresh start after falling off the wagon last week, eating chips, cookies and old-fashioned cooked food.  I'm already feeling a lot better.  I will post more regularly and more specifically about raw food in the future... for now it'll just be a few ramblings here and there.

In other news, I've been working hard on my Etsy shop: see .  I've struggled with taking good pics and am finally getting the hang of it.  I've been making bags for almost 6 years now and am looking to diversify.  I think upcycled clothing could really be a hit, especially since it's not a saturated market and has a specific target group.  (Listen to me with all that biz speak! lol)  I've already got a few pieces done.  It's been tough since I'm not a patternmaker.  I will post pics very soon.  Fingers crossed that it'll be a hit. 

All for now.  Please check out my Etsy shop and fan me on facebook... ... if you really want to go to town, follow me on Twitter... .  THANKS!

Wanna know what I'm listening to in the workshop today... Van the Man!  Check it out:

Later hobo peeps,


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Popping in for another quickie... lol

Hey peeps!  Don't really know if anyone is reading this, although it would be great some folks were entertained by my ramblings from time to time.  Just had to pop back in because the thoughts I expressed in my last post were haunting me.  I couldn't quite explain things the way I wanted to.  Words... how they frustrate me sometimes and do their exact job at other times.  The idea of customizing your life means to me -- taking the stuff that's on the inside (dreams, values, desires, interests, ideas, passions, curiosities, etc) and realizing it on the outside.  It is a gift to be able to do that and it is a gift those around you if you do it.   *feeling better now*  Later friends! 

Oh ya... if you're out there in cyberspace lurking, I'd love for you to leave a comment or follow my blog.  Feedback is inspiring.

Dropping by...

Just dropping by to say hello.  ♥  Been working hard on my Etsy shop...

Trying to revamp the pics of my bags.... so far pretty successful.  Although they now look pretty sterile.  Gotta throw in some personality in there somewhere.  Otherwise, I'm super happy with how bright they look considering I have to take them indoors for now, and thrilled that the fabrics look true to life.  Yay!  I've been hanging out in the Forums on the Etsy site and have met some AWESOME people there... hardworking crafters looking to make a life for themselves that is different from the mainstream.  So inspiring.  Yah, let's go there....  I love the idea of customizing your life.  Why do people have to live a certain way?  I suspect that most people, given the chance, would live differently than they currently are living.  And as I type this, I realize that many people in my society do have the opportunity to live differently, but don't.  That opportunity exists mainly in the first world and it is a shame to see it lost.  Most of the rest of the world don't have much of a choice, since their daily grind focuses on survival and getting the basics covered.  In my part of the world, the basics are taken for granted and there is a never-ending hole of insatiable desire that is constantly being stuffed and filled but never satisfied.  Kind of brutish I would say, non?  Greed is the creed.  Anyway, that's a whole other blog posting.  lol  Back to the idea of customization... Most people around me have the means to customize their lives, at least in part.  Hell, I'm trying to do that and I make less money than almost everyone I know and currently struggle to make ends meet.  Why is it fucking cool to customize your life?  Well, I think that it can really make people happy to have control over their lives and to carve themselves a life that satisfies their desires.  A deep sense of satisfaction can result.  ♥  Waxing philosophical now... lol  I'll leave you with that before I start speaking in tongues.  hahaha!  Later peeps!  Don't forget to check out my new swag.... and feel free to give me some feedback!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Just a few thoughts...

Signing in for a quickie!  lol  Today I'm working on some upcycled clothing designs in the workshop.  I hope to have them in production for this year's spring/summer season.  I also want to move my little business to a point where I only use recycled materials... that would be awesome!  Oh yeah, I guess I should give a bit of background here... Reader's Digest version?  Ok, here goes...

In 2006 I moved from Quebec to BC with my sugardaddy (aka. boyfriend).  For the previous 4 years I had been a barmaiden (or bartendress) and needed a break from that scene.  When we got to Vancouver Island I took the first job I could get... in the housekeeping department at Pacific Trails (?) Resort in Parksville.  As it so happened, it was the end of June and the weather was fucking insanely amazing!  I also had a really bad cold.  (Be patient with me... it's all gonna come together...).  My boss was a control freak (but a really nice gal otherwise) and perfectionist, too.  We had also bought tickets for the Vancouver Island Musicfest, which started on a Friday and ran through Sunday.  I had already asked for the Sat and Sun off but I would probably have to work on the Friday and miss half a day of the festival... oh no!  Anyway, all these different events and forces created an alchemic mixing pot the resulting climax of which was me quitting my job (a first!), basking in the sun, feeling much better, and enjoying the entirety of the Festival (more on that another time) at which I bought a large reversible bag to carry my shit in.

The Bag.  It was a nice bag, kind a thin cheap fabric, but I really liked the general shape/size/funkiness/reversability, etc.  My mom even gave me money to buy her a bag at the festival. Mine was brown and yellow.  Hers was turquoise and pink -- perhaps not her first choice for colours, but they didn't have much left by the time I bought hers.  My mom said something like "hey, these would be easy to make".  So, we made up our own version of the bag and the beast was born... Hobo's Designs!

Okay okay, so maybe this wasn't so much the Reader's Digest version, but it was compelling and a real page-turner nonetheless, non?  lol  So I became my own boss and bag lady.  I've managed to eke out a living making bags, but I'm the first to admit that I stink at valuing my time and charging appropriately and quite often end up working for nothing.  People can change.  hahaha!  I'm getting better, partly because of an informed self-respect for the work that I do and partly by the necessity in order to continue working for myself.  My clothing line will really be the test of what I've learned in this department.  I'll keep ya posted...

To get a better idea of what I do, check out my Facebook and Etsy...
Twitter:  @thehobotrain

I don't have a whole lot of product out there, but that's a gonna change over the next few weeks or so. 

Okay, so not much on raw food today.  I will be dehydrating apples for the first time this week.  I'm still maintaining a majority level of rawness, eating lots of salads.  Last week I made 3 different dehydrated cracker recipes and they are almost all gone!  I won't say too much more about the raw because I want to do a proper blog entry introducing my raw plans.  Coming soon!

All for now... hope you are all having wonderful days!!!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

HANDMADE SWAG + RAW FOOD... The beginning.

Hey wait a sec!  Crafts and food don't go together.  Oh yes they do.... 

And so it begins, here is my new blog that will embrace handmade artisan products (my own and those of others) and curious adventures in raw food.  I've been an artisan for 6 years now designing and making purses and a few other crafty things.  I appreciate the work, time, attention, love, sweat and originality that goes into making things with your hands, as well as the joy and despair that goes with being self-employed.  I support handmade as much as I can and think that it's a great way to develop community and human connection (I guess that's kinda the same thing, non?).  The root values of this way of thinking have to do with knowing where your purchases come from and paying a fair price.  This means making an effort to be accountable for what your dollars are supporting.  It's kinda like voting with your wallet.  It also means not taking for granted the stuff that you buy.  I don't know about you guys, but I seriously sometimes feel like a prisoner of STUFF... a mule to my things.  What the hell is all this shit?  It's in boxes, on shelves, in drawers, under the bed, collecting dust in the corner, etc.  You get the picture.  So, yeah, I'm a work in progress...  lol 

And so what does this have to do with food?  Well, I enjoy eating and I'm trying out this accountability thing with my food.  I know, I know... can't I just buy and eat what I want when I want?  Yeah, that's a very westernized way of thinking and I'm totally guilty of it and being responsible is kinda boring.  lol  But really I've found that the consumerist mentality in general just doesn't make me feel good as a person.  It makes me addicted to things and self-centered, too.  And when it comes to food and blind consumerism, the consequence is not feeling good as a body.  The effects of eating whatever you want whenever you crave it will always come out in your health.  So what does it mean to be accountable for what you eat?  Well, for me it means being aware of where your food comes from and what your food is.  It's kinda like voting with your fork.  The long-term picture for me is to eat an organically-grown (as locally as possible) raw food vegan diet.  Yikes!  Sounds daunting.... it's even scarier when I see it written down.  What does it all mean???  lol  How I got to this conclusion for myself will have to be saved for a later posting.  I'm not there yet, but that is the path I'm on.  I've played around with raw food for a couple of years now and have been a 99% vegan for 3 years.  I do believe that raw food veganism done properly is the best way to achieve optimum health.  (Of course, I'm no doctor, so don't take my word for it).  More on the goods and the bads of all this stuff later.

Hopefully you've enjoyed reading my little introduction.  Feedback is welcome.  I intend to use this blog as a casual conversation (assuming people answer me; otherwise, it will be more of a casual soliloquy) about the main things that interest me: handmade swag and raw food.  Please join me if you share these interests.  There always room on The Hobo Train... all aboard!!!  TOOT!  TOOT!  (Kinda cheesy? lol)



p.s.  By the way, here are the links to my handmade world:
Twitter:  #thehobotrain
Pinterest: under thehobotrain

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