Friday, 30 August 2013

Shop Local...

You know that building you always wondered about around the corner from you?  What exactly goes on in there?  The city of Toronto has a wonderful way to find local artists, designers and craftspeople on their website....check it out if you need custom work, have a special project in mind or want to find a gift for your special one.

Shop Toronto logo From their site:

Toronto has a wealth of talented designers creating wonderful products right here in our City. If you are looking for something different and a great shopping experience, why not try one of these stores? With over 28,000 designers in the city, Toronto has the largest design workforce in Canada and the third largest in North America.

For that unique gift for yourself or special souvenir for a loved one, here is a listing of Toronto stores which all carry at least 50% locally-designed product and what makes them so quintessentially Torontonian.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Studio visit....

After a much needed break on the east coast I feel refreshed and looking forward to getting back in the studio again.

It was great to see the new additions to my extended family and spend time together at the cottage, canoeing, campfires, and creating delicious meals together in Cape Breton. 
I've been slowly easing back into the quiet studio again, and wanted to throw open the doors and welcome you into my space. 

My studio building is located on a quiet street, next to a park in the Roncesvalles neighbourhood....I used to live a few doors down from my studio, but have since moved.  It was a dream commute for a several years, and there were many times I'd pop in very late in pjs to finish up some last minute orders.

The building itself is a turn of the century former textiles factory, but I'm not sure what they manufactured in there, and there are only a couple other buildings like this one on the street, but they have been converted into lofts.  There are mostly furniture makers, painters, printmakers and designers currently using the space. 

The most impressive thing about the building itself is the light, our studio has six windows, it's actually all windows on one wall which sounds oppressive, but the building is nicely cooled by the surrounding park and trees in the summer. 

The second amazing part about the space is that the building has its original interior, hardwood floors, staircases etc.  Each of the studios are linked by old phones so we can communicate between studios....but don't chat too long, it's a party line!

My other favourite part about the building is the original antique freight elevator with a hardwood gate...which I forgot to shoot photos of, but will post later. 

For those of you who are too far away to visit easily, welcome~!



Thursday, 8 August 2013

Only Love. Just Love in the end.

Meercats. National Geographic.

It's easy to get tangled in the emotions of daily life in the city....and hammered down by the crowds, the curt responses, the pushing, the competition just to navigate public spaces.

And, it's exhausting, and tedious, and trying....and sometimes it's hard to be kind, when the bad experiences in the day outnumber the good.  Or when people would rather run over you in their cars then slow down....but there is a lot of kindness too.

It's important to remember this kindness, it's usually lurking beneath the surface, and it's amazing when people just open up and talk to each other....a lot of good can happen.

George Saunders recently delivered a convocation speech to students at Syracuse University....a speech with a provocative and simple message.  A simple but complicated message to be kind to one his words:

So here’s something I know to be true, although it’s a little corny, and I don’t quite know what to do with it:

What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness.

Those moments when another human being was there, in front of me, suffering, and I responded…sensibly. Reservedly. Mildly.

Or, to look at it from the other end of the telescope: Who, in your life, do you remember most fondly, with the most undeniable feelings of warmth?

Those who were kindest to you, I bet.

It’s a little facile, maybe, and certainly hard to implement, but I’d say, as a goal in life, you could do worse than: Try to be kinder.

Now, the million-dollar question: What’s our problem? Why aren’t we kinder?"

Here is the link to his full speech here:

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

White Wedding Wednesdays: Introducing Rachel and Matt!

I'm really excited to launch my White Wedding Wednesdays series with a couple that are very special to me, Matt and Rachel.

Full disclosure, Rachel is my sister, and Matt my brother in law...which is why I wanted to feature them first!  They've been so supportive to me over the years, and I even abandoned Toronto for a while to live with them in the Rockies for a summer, several years ago.

I met Matt over 15 years ago, after he had run away from art school (NSCAD), at a party in Halifax.  He was the friend of my boyfriend at the time, and I immediately liked him.  He had a kindness and compassion that really stood out, but balanced well with his fondness of tomfoolery and chaos of an early 20 something.  I watched him meet my sister, and waited.

Rachel is quietly calm, generous and beautiful...but she's also like a swirling ocean eddy, with a richness under the surface, and a strength that I admire.  She noticed Matt for sure, and over 15 years later, is still noticing.

Wedding Day! City Hall.

Here is the he said/she said answers to my Interview with Rachel and Matt....

Where did you both meet, and where are you from? 

He said:  I am from Fall River, Nova Scotia. I met Rachel in Halifax through a friend of mine who was dating her sister. 

She said: I'm from Alma, Nova Scotia.  I met Matt in Halifax.  he was a friend of my sister's boyfriend, who was my roommate at the time.  He would often visit and I got to know him that way.

At what point in the relationship did you know that you wanted to get married to each other?

He said: After the first couple of years I knew we were in it for the long haul and we would get married at some point. I figure we had the marriage we just hadn’t gotten married…yet

She said:  as the years went on, I thought it was inevitable.  Since marriage wasn't a priority of mine, I didn't push the issue.  I knew Matt wanted to be married after about 2-3 years into our relationship.

How did you imagine your wedding day to be as a child or teenager?

He said: Never really thought about it.

She said: I never thought about it as a youth.

What is the trait that you admire most about the other person?

He said: Rachel’s ability to enjoy the simple things but also putting forth the effort to generate adventure. This has made for a rich life filled with a variety of experiences I wouldn’t have had if I was on my own. We have fun hiking a mountain or camping in the back yard.

She said: I like the fact that Matt is super practical and logical.  He's as boring as I am, so I don't feel like a weirdo.

What is the quirkiest trait that you've grown to love about the other person?

He said: Super frugality some interesting things come through the door because they were a good deal.

She said: he is so paranoid about safety things, like when I leave an open empty  tin can out; he always has to push the can lid in (rather than leaving it like I left it - open and sticking up out if the can). It's funny.     

What do you like to do on weekends, as a couple?

 He said: Quiet weekends at home are my favourite: hanging out together with our little boy watching him grow and learn, checking in on the garden, eating Rachel’s delicious meals, just enjoying being a family.

She said: "sleep in" while our little boy grabs at our faces and pulls our hair.  Lay around and watch tv/movies and have a leisurely brunch and coffee.  We like to stick around home and do yard work, etc.  not very romantic, lol.

What was your most memorable date or trip together:

He said: When we drove across Canada with our cat Sully on our move back east. Stopping and visiting along the way. Epic!

She said: I really enjoyed our trip to Annapolis royal in Oct 2011 when Matt gave me my engagement ring.  It was a big surprise which I did not expect.  I love surprises!  Little did I know just over a year  later I would be welcoming our son into the world!! That was another crazy surprise.  This whole life is a memorable trip...  

What was the most memorable/surprising thing about your wedding day?

He said: Peoples reactions to us getting married at the court house on our lunch break. They ranged from calling us geniuses to confusion. It’s our wedding, don’t worry about it. You can’t please everyone so we did it our way! Weddings have a tendency to become about everyone else.

She said: huh.  I guess it was the fact that we got married at the courthouse on our lunch break during the work day.  That's pretty memorable.

What does your new jewellery mean to you?

He said: to me, when we exchanged our rings in the Dominican Republic on our honeymoon that was our official wedding on our terms so they mean a lot to me. Plus now I have a beefy bad ass gold ring.

She said: it's so nice that my sister made my ring.  It's extra special.   

What is your biggest fantasy/dream/hope as a couple?

He said: to make the most of our life together as we raise our family enjoying every crazy moment.

She said: I hope our child(ren) grow up to be happy, healthy, independent and resourceful people.  Our son has exceeded any expectation and hope I had for a happy little boy.  He's so fun to watch every day and we are trying to enjoy all the little things with him.  Time goes so fast...


Mens 10K White Gold Heavy Solid High polished band


Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Warhol Live Webcam....

A curious live webcam....

The Warhol Figment project.

Do something wonderfully Warhol today.

Self Portrait with Skull. Andy Warhol.