Archive for December, 2010

Shiny Happy People

Friday, December 31st, 2010

One of my super awesome Christmas gifts this year was a cookbook called “Shiny Happy People“. It’s a  collection of Neil Roake’s friends and their recipes. Well, I guess it’s also a lifestyle book then too, because it features little interview type questions on the friends and beautiful pictures of not only their dishes but their homes. I mean it’s a ridiculously gorgeous book. I feel quite spoiled just flipping through the pages! As a fun little bonus, there are mini random tidbits of information peppered throughout the book, tucked away in the corners. There is also a couple of pages at the end just dedicated to that. Like did you know the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth is called arachibutyrophobia?

After just going through a few pages of this book, I’m itching to go to South Africa. The pictures are just breathtaking and I can’t wait to try the recipes. Squid ink and prawn ravioli anyone? This book is hard to find. We came across it at Anthropologie. So if you come across a copy, seriously snap it up and relish in Neil’s world. You’ll be feeling spoiled too. Guaranteed.  ~YY

City of Craft 2010 edition

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

The line before we decided to join it...

The lure of a swag bag couldn’t keep these girls from sleeping in on a Saturday morning…we staked out at Starbucks across the road to scope out the #s before we made our way over. It was hilarious to watch people come into Starbucks and also make their own observations about the lineup and when to lineup. Lurgs could’ve easily been #1! But it really made no difference as long as we were 2 of the 100.

Screen-printed pinwheel design! Love!

Unfortunately with my luck, I did not get one of the lucky random bags with the extra surprises in them that I read on their blog. Boooo! But I love love the sturdy canvas screenprinted bag and am using it right now as I type.

Gimme, gimme, gimme!

We spent a good amount of time over at Denture Thief Productions, one of our local favs (see: here). She has new cameo pins with all one of a kind characters. Swoon! No wonder we didn’t make progress beyond her table for a good while. When I have more $ to spare, I’m going to buy one of her embroidered artworks. Love!

Seriously right? THE darling place to be that weekend!

50 vendors had their wares for sale. I love the Theatre Gallery’s set up. There were about 7 vendors when you first walked in from the main street, then you walked into an entrance way leading to the upstairs of the theatre space, where you then went down the stairs to the remaining vendors. Real cozy and intimate handmade haven.

Just to highlight a few of my(our) favs. Bespoke Uprising does beautiful hand printed textile goods. We were in love with her Burlesque teatowels, even more so when she told us she used to work at a Burlesque place so they were a bit of a tribute to that time! I couldn’t think of anybody who would appreciate tea towels with this design, so I’m going to have to eventually buy these for myself. At least she sells them on her Etsy shop so I know it’s not the end of the world that I missed out on buying them.

Beside Herself had these fantastic wooden switchblades that had working parts. Well, obviously couldn’t cut, but the blade came out. The bigger versions had different painted designs, while the necklace ones were smaller and etched. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the necklace versions on hand that day, but I shall get my grubby mitts on of them one day! Etsy shop here.

Petit Flaneur sells hand-crafted children’s products (mobiles, clocks, pins, earrings etc.). Aren’t those wooden tags in the pic below amazing and beautiful? The photos don’t really do them justice. I think these were a hot item that weekend. I snapped up a set for my friend’s newborn. They’re made with non-toxic paint! I also scored a sweet quirky radish pin (her last one)! Such a lovely lady who also had the cutest little helpers that day.

I have been a fan of Pin Pals ever since I saw their sweet goods in a shop in Montreal. I love cross stitch things, so their stuff was right up my alley. Lucky for me and you, they also have an Etsy shop where you can snap up their lovely work. If you’re in Toronto, they also sell their goods at Magic Pony.  The girls at Pin Pals craft all sorts of neat things like cross-stitched earrings, pins, , barrettes, necklaces, buttons, paper puppets with fun characters like “Minou Mondain”, stuffed dolls, cards…Wow! I was really smitten by the dolls. They had the coolest lace stockings designed on them.

My favourite magazine, Frankie, all the ways from Australia, showcased LOCAL talent (yay!) Lee Meszaros‘ amazing merit badges and THIS is how I first heard of her. Then I think the “cat was out of the bag” (hahaha…) and from then on she was in a bit of treasuries and making Etsy FP. Full of idioms, wonderful artwork and careful stitching, these are truly handcrafted items! Now you can actually wear what you are proudly for the world to see. Reward someone you know for “being the best thing since sliced bread” or “making lemons out of lemonade” (amongst many things). Shop here.

It was a fun day out full of cool finds and inspiration. Sorry we couldn’t feature all the fine crafters who were present. Thanks to the City of Craft organizers and their hard work!

~ YY

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

The Silver Snail, one of Toronto’s main comic book/action figure/collectibles stores always has an interesting window display and here’s the Christmas window. A family of AT-AT Walkers enjoying their cozy Christmas morning (apologies for the poor photo with the reflections, just doesn’t do it justice). Mom and Dad are a little frazzled, but finding solace in their cups of coffee and the two junior walkers tearing into their gifts. Love the family portrait over the mantel too.

Hope you all are also having a lovely holiday season. Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays from the sweatshop and have a safe and happy new year!

Here’s more AT-AT fun with an awesome film by Patrick Boivin:

Handcrafted Holidays

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

Christmas and the holidays are always a great time to bring out the craftiness to the max. and let the cut & paste shine! I was hit with a cold/flu for a week that knocked me out, so I didn’t get to all the projects I had in mind, but here are a few lovely things that arrived in the mail from some thoughtful craftsters.

The annual cards from Ms. O are always simple, yet thoughtful and elegant. Some black ribbon form the shape of the tree and are attached with just a line of stitches from a sewing machine. Love the different textures and just the easy, casual way the ribbons lie.

This card from A&P is just so delightful to me. I think P has really captured their likeness and spirit in her self-portrait. Also like the simple drawing on white with the wood veneer background. I can imagine them on another usual stroll that turns into a small adventure.

And finally the titan of Christmas cards/packages. This year the theme being “brown paper packages tied up with string….”, Lennartz has outdone himself again with a 2 disc Christmas songs compilation. There’s also an accompanying booklet with a personal message and track listings. All beautifully packaged, ready to rock your Christmas party. And the sheer number that he produces is astounding, yet still not enough for all his fans. So it really is like getting a Willy Wonka Golden ticket and this year I was a Charlie Bucket.

Thanks for all these works of art and the love and effort put into them. You all inspire me in many ways and I wish you all the best for the holidays. Rest up from all your crazy crafting! ~ Lurgs

City of Craft – Dec. 18th & 19th

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Even though we didn’t get in as vendors this year (sob sob), I’m hoping to check out the City of Craft sale this weekend! 50 unique craftsters will be there showcasing their fine work at the Theatre Centre (Queen & Dovercourt). The sale runs from Sat. 11am- 6pm. and Sun. 11am. – 5pm.  and there’s a $2 admission. The first 100 shoppers each day can score a swag bag (I’ll see if I can wake up that early).  Denture Thief Productions and Shannon Gerard will be present so I already know it will be worth it! Click here for details.

I had a scare last month when I thought my skull pin from Denture Thief (click here for a refresher) had fallen off my jacket, lost to me forever. But I was so relieved to find it at the bottom of a bag. Some kind soul must have chucked it in where I’d put down my stuff.  Thanks secret skull saviour! Can’t wait to see what new things Denture Thief has in store. ~ Lurgs