Because I don’t write a traditional crafts blog with projects and tutorials and I don’t write a traditional lifestyleorwhatever blog with photos of my house and projects and tutorials and I don’t write a traditional business blog, it’s not often that I receive press releases that are actually related to what it is that I do write about. Oddly, there was a time when I was approached far too often about promoting winter car mats to my readers.

Anyway, I have a point.

Which is that a few weeks ago I was quite surprised to be invited to the media preview of the spanking new IKEA in Richmond, the suburb just to the south of Vancouver. There’s been an IKEA there since 1976, but they’ve built a new one across the street that’s about 130,000 square feet bigger. I’d known about the plan, but it wasn’t something I gave much thought to.

Richmond, BC, IKEA Media Preview

I admit that I went last night mostly because we’d decided it’s time to get Owen a wee table and chair, and IKEA seems the place to get such things. And we needed a couple new pillows. I had a headache but I went anyway. And good gods am I glad I did. The place is going to be packed when it opens tomorrow, and given that the old store was so crowded as to be annoying on any given rainy weekend, I anticipate the new store is going to be similarly packed for weeks to come. Because it. is. awesome. So shopping with only a couple hundred people in the store? A damn delight.

Now, it’s IKEA. We all know it, so I won’t go into it. I’ll just say this:

Richmond, BC, IKEA Media Preview

No mere ball pit for child-minding here. I wish I could have gone into this woodland wonderland to check it out more closely. When Owen’s 37″ tall, I may shop at IKEA just because of this.

But also because of this:

Richmond, BC, IKEA Media Preview

Peppered throughout the store are these wicked play stations short enough for toddlers and tall enough for bigger kids. This one is in the fabric area, which, brilliant.

And which brings me to:

Richmond, BC, IKEA Media Preview

Fabric. Last night I stood (practically by myself. Seriously, if you ever have a chance to shop at a nearly empty IKEA store, take it) in the kids’ area looking at curtains, and I thought once again about how IKEA curtains are made to fit the tallest windows in the land. And about how we live in our basement with smaller windows than even the bigger windows on the main floor that are still too short for IKEA curtains. And I continued to think about how I end up using IKEA curtains as just plain-old fabric, and then I looked down and there was fabric. Just, fabric. No seams to undo or other curtainy things to cut around. Fabric with spiders and owls and hedgehogs and squirrels and all the things my kid loves and I bought some immediately of course I did duh.

And during my meanderings I finally met for the very first time Jan from Poppytalk, who lives not very far away and whom I’ve exchanged some emails with but whom I’d never managed to see with my own two eyes. And I met Annemarie from Yoyomama, who has a lovely and contagious smile. (I met these two women because – take note – my Twitter avatar looks like me. Jan stopped me and asked if I’m @kpwerker, and of course I am! What a delight! And Annemarie stopped me, too, not because she knows me, but because I’d tweeted about the media event and she recognized me. So, face instead of logo, people, face instead of logo.) And I saw other local bloggers like Raul and Ariane and it was just a lovely time.

And this morning there was this:

Now Owen has a wee table and chair.

Disclosure: Attendees to this event received a discount on all purchases, which I admit was the bit that made me decide to go despite the headache. Also, there was an almost uncomfortably generous swag bag we were given on our way out. If I didn’t have nice things to say about my experience, though, I wouldn’t lie. This is not a sponsored post (for sponsored posts suck. Ask me why).