Archive for September, 2010

Mi Bazaar Latino

Monday, September 27th, 2010

There’s nothing like getting good mail on a rainy ho-hum day. Here’s the cute package that I received today. I had bought a pair of yellow hoop earrings from Mi Bazaar Latino. It came so nicely packaged and I’m already wearing my new earrings!

She has lots of colourful and cute accessories. Definately go take a browse through her etsy shop here. ~ Lurgs

Houseful of stamps

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010


I adore this stamp! How clever is the design? Get it here.

Birdie friends

Monday, September 20th, 2010

It’s been so long, I don’t know where to begin. Lurgs has been holding down the fort and killing it with really amazing and fun posts while I did my thing. I’m so lucky to have such an awesome sweatshop partner!

I’ll be back on track soon enough but first just wanted to share a few pics that I’ve been meaning too…

These were taken from a building in Old Montreal. I’m not actually sure what they did in the building. I’m imagining something fun and creative! The bird drawings were just too sweet to pass up for a photo op, don’t you agree? ~yy

Dresses for Africa

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

Thanks to Sue for inviting us and some friends for a sewing party in her beautiful backyard. Dresses for Africa is a non-profit organization that collects simple, home-made dresses for girls in need in Africa. They provide some basic instructions to convert a pillowcase into a cute little dress. This is the first time most of us have even attempted making a garment, so it was a lot of fun learning and figuring things out together.

Bruno and Lottie checking our progress.

Hard at work.

Sandwiches for sustenance.

We all brought fabric, notions, old clothes to re-purpose, and with a bit of hesitation, we dove in and began our dresses. It took a little longer than we thought, but I think we all felt a sense of accomplishment with what we created. Most of us only started on one dress and still have some finishing touches to do (what? quota was 2?? we ARE  a little sweatshop!), but we really enjoyed this project and now I know what to do with my stash of fabrics. Thanks again Sue for hosting and sharing this worthy project.

Playing with Light

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

A while ago, I came across these light doodle videos “Pika Pika” — after some googling, I’m still not sure how this name came about (if it’s a Japanese light graffiti crew, or the name of the technique or both), but the results are so fun to watch. Armed with multi-coloured flashlights or glow sticks and a camera that can be set for long exposures, anyone can create these light doodles. I’m amazed at the more detailed bits of animation, and how you can keep track of what you just drew when it’s just a beam of light in the air that’s already disappeared.

You can find more info on Pika Pika projects here.

And now Dentsu London, a creative communications agency, has kicked it up a notch with the use of greater technology and the iPad, and creating 3D light animations. Check out the video here.

A lot more planning and a lot more precise, though maybe not as spontaneous or accessible, it’s an interesting new way to play and think about animation.

With no computer scanning equipment or iPad, a flashlight or match will do. Here’s my attempt at pika pika one night on a mountain in Peru. Watch out for those monsters S!! ~Lurgs

TIFF Block Party, K’naan and The First Grader

Monday, September 13th, 2010

I went to check out the TIFF Light Box Block Party to get a peek into the new building. The streets were crowded with people enjoying the food stands, free concerts, and the numerous activities for the kids.

So far, I quite like the new building which seems very open and airy and I’m looking forward to seeing what kinds of films and events it will offer. The first art exhibit will be of Tim Burton’s work opening this fall. Although it got some mixed reviews from a few friends that saw it at the MOMA, I think I’ll still go take a look for myself.

From the pit in the ground to these last few weeks as I’ve watched workers scrambling to get things together, I think it’s turned out quite nicely. Here’s Luma, the fine dining restaurant located on the 2nd floor.

I hadn’t read anything about the festivities before heading down, so I was pleasantly surprised to get there right in time for K’naan’s performance. A mom was excitedly snapping pictures of her young son and together they happily pumped their hands in the air to the music. There was also an older couple, the man supporting his wife as she stood on a bench to get a better look at this K’naan. It was great to see people of all ages out enjoying the day and getting into the music.

Here’s a clip for the Esguerra kids cause I know how they like the waving flag!

And the view from the Luma balcony was like a Where’s Waldo spread. The crowd singing the waving flag refrain was another sweet moment.

Then we headed over to the Winter Garden Theatre for the world premiere of The First Grader. It’s a truly touching film about and 84 yr. old man in Kenya who would like to go to school to learn to read. A full description and trailer can be found here. Seems like a simple story, but there’s so much more. Recovering from tragedy, it’s a story filled with grief, compassion, perseverance and courage.

It was gut-wrenching at times, but sprinkled with joy and makes you appreciate what a gift it is to have the opportunity to learn. Thanks all you teachers for your patience and faith. I really hope this film goes into wide release so more people can see it. ~ Lurgs

Director Justin Chadwick and leads Naomie Harris and Oliver Musila Litondo

A delicious day!

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

The Toronto International Film Festival is in full swing and I had the chance to check out Daydream Nation by first-time director Mike Goldbach. A teenage girl (Kat Dennings) moves to a small town and deals with being an outsider, starts a love triangle, and all while a serial killer is on the loose. It was beautifully shot and had a great cast and you can see a trailer here. Almost makes me want to buy a bike and ride leisurely through a small town.

We then headed to the Senator Cafe for brunch (ah, breakfast food is always great!). It’s Toronto’s oldest restaurant. It has lots of great breakfast choices and cozy booths to enjoy your meal in. Sorry, no pictures, cause we were too hungry and wolfed down our bacon and eggs, but definately worth checking out if you’re in the Dundas Square area.

The rest of the afternoon was spent browsing and window shopping, getting ideas for future projects. While wandering in Yorkville, we may have inadvertently started a rumour, as people had gathered around a cafe, speculating on which celebrity was inside. (It was definately not Joshua Jackson in that cafe).

After our wanderings, we stopped for a snack at Crêpes à GoGo! So delicious! So French! it’s like snacking in Paris!

There are both savoury and sweet crepes to choose from and they come piping hot, folded into mouth-watering packages and delivered into your awaiting hands. Here’s my Julia crepe — dark chocolate with raspberry jam!

And no visit is complete without a taste of the refreshing Limonana. This is their own unique blend of lemon, mint and cane juice. Not too sweet and perfect when you’re parched.

And finally, before we headed home, we caught a glimpse of Mr. James McAvoy here for the premiere of the Conspirator.  Eyes so blue! He and Robin Wright were very patient and kind, making their way down the long line of fans and posing for photos.

**I was so happy with my shots. I was swift! I was nimble! I floated through the crowd, getting in close as he kindly made his way to the far ends of the crowd. I learned everything I know from Denninja (celebrity photo master) who coached me through my Ewan encounter and leaped through the crowds like a gazelle.

Just a thought for any movie producers out there….”A Weekend in Narnia”. Mr. Tumnus deals with a visit from his crazy cousin Kieran? Polar opposites learn from each other’s strengths and overcome obstacles.  (ok, I haven’t seen Dinner for Schmucks, but doesn’t this pair scream comedic potential?) ~ Lurgs

Button Machines

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

I’m often asked how I make my buttons and where do I get supplies. When I was looking to purchase my machine, I found 2 main American companies at the time: Tecre and Badge-a-minit. I knew I wanted a manual bench press type model (like the one pictured above) because I knew I’d be making quite a volume and even though a hand press is a lot cheaper (pictured below),  it would rely on hand strength and I read it was a bit harder to use.

Another difference between the machines was the pin types on the back of the buttons. Badge-a-minit’s pins are similar to the one on the left and Tecre’s is the one in the middle for their smaller sizes. In hindsight, I think I would have preferred the pin on the left because it seems easier to put on, but I’ve found both capable of coming undone and falling off. Ideally, it’d be great if the safety pin back on the right was available, but I’ve yet to find that from a supplier.

Another thing to consider is size. Round button machines can make buttons from 7/8″ to 6″ in diameter. Unfortunately, most machines can only make one size of button, so you really have to commit to a size before you buy your machine. Badge-a-minit has a combo machine that can make 3 different button sizes, but it costs a small fortune. I’m very happy with my 1″ machine, but I think I’d now go for a 1-1/4″ or 1-1/2″ machine so I’d have more surface area to work with and maybe get more detail in my work.

Also, these machines could make more than pins! You can order various parts to make magnets, earrings, tie tacks, coasters, mirrors, lanyards and key chains. So what you want to make will weigh in on the size of the machine you’d like too. Here’s a cute 3″ diameter pocket mirror I got from the Paper Place.

I finally went with a Tecre 1″ button machine because I found it cheaper on Ebay and it came with 1000 button parts to start me off. And thanks to Uncle J for lugging it over the border in his carry-on. Thankfully, I’ve now found a Canadian supplier in Toronto (less shipping costs! no duties!!). Check out Critical Buttons! They carry both Tecre and Badge-a-minit machines and supplies and they can also make buttons for you if you don’t want to do the manual labour.

My machine has served me well through thousands of pins and magnets now. And it’s so easy to use! I always like watching someone new try the machine for the first time and just stare in amazement when their little drawing or piece of paper gets wrapped in mylar and turned into a little button. They hold it in their palm and keep looking and poking at it. It’s done wedding favours, school events, entertained children, and started my own little business.  It’s been a great investment. ~ Lurgs


Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Some high-lights of the day…

Just when do you see a rat this size on the street? (hopefully not too often). Unfortunately, it was there to illustrate the plight of Hyatt hotel workers who are on strike across the street (news article here).  Still a sight to behold as it stood there squaring off with the hotel, snarling in fury. And just where does one find a 9m. tall inflatable rat?  Anyways, I was impressed by the surface detailing. Good luck hotel workers!

The day was further made complete with a Gandhi’s Chicken Tikka Masala roti thanks to a lunchtime pact that was made in the morning even before my first sip of coffee. Always call ahead! There’s usually a line-up and the rotis take some time to prepare. Foodhogger has a more in-depth review here.

Coincidentally, the Toronto Star also published this article today about the fat and caloric content of our beloved Gandhi’s, but that didn’t stop us. There’s something about biting into a delicious roti as the rain pours outside. Thanks again G for getting soaked and picking up our order!

Go go YY who’s busy studying for an exam which is why she’s been absent from the sweatshop. She’ll be back soon! Send some studious vibes her way.

~ Lurgs