Friday, June 30, 2006

bubble battle!

I was in a not-so-good mood last night and was impatiently waiting for the streetcar when I spied a train of bubbles floating through the air, and all of a sudden, everything was just better. It may have been a test run for this event - click on image below to enlarge ....

Thursday, June 29, 2006

fashion show on nassau tonight

Just got word on a fashion/art street partay tonight in the Market:

Real big fashion show this Thursday June 29 on Nassau St, Kensington mkt. Sidewalk catwalk, foil projections, streakers, Joga, 1000's pantyhose, some live music, bit of food and drink, surprise guests, clothes swap, more

Starts about 7pm, ending before midnight

no button machine? no problem!

Wanna express yourself through button art? Can't afford your own machine? Here's an opportunity to get in on the one inch button craze action:

one inch punch


One Inch Punch!!! (The Button Show)

ONE INCH PUNCH is a one night stand of original artwork on one inchbuttons. We invite you to submit your design for a one inch button andthe top 50 will be displayed in our gallery show in one of the most unique events of the year.

The night of the show we welcome you to come and see the hottest button designs where buttons will be available for purchase in random packages of five. Didn't get the button you wanted? Feel free to trade with other button pushers at the show.

DJ coco bryce and t-shirt designs from les robots are on the scene to keep things going through the night.

It's free to submit your artwork and free to participate in the show if you're chosen. In fact, if you're one of the artists chosen for One Inch Punch, we'll give you five copies of your button for free!

Complete submission details:

Join us Saturday, July 22nd at Lennox Contemporary Gallery for some
button down badness!!!

Les Robots

Thursday, June 22, 2006

scissor sharpening opp!

A message from Studio Opal:

Hello Toronto Craft Alert!

I thought your readers might want to know that Studio Opal is having a scissor sharpener come in next Tuesday and we’re inviting anyone who needs their shears honed come by. Drop in between 4 and 5 on Tuesday June 27th, bring your scissors and $10 (for each pair), and Sun Kee Scissors and Sharpening will get those blades ready for your summer projects. If you can’t make it on the day, you can drop them off and we’ll take care of it for you for an extra $5.

Hope to see you there!


Studio Opal, Centre for the Sewing Arts
1184 Queen Street, East
Toronto, Ontario


do the crawl: artscape's call for submissions

I hear that Artscape, organizers of the Queen West Art Crawl (among many other fun and useful things) are hungry for crafters for the event. Here's their call for submissions to this year's Crawl:

Calling All Artists!

Artscape is accepting submissions for the Queen West Art Crawl
September 15th - 17th, 2006

Submission Final Deadline Reminder - May 19th, 2006!

Artscape wants to hear from you! We are currently accepting submissions from visual artists, artisans and craftspeople to exhibit in the Outdoor Art Show + Sale in Trinity Bellwoods Park or to host an Artist Open Studio as part of the Queen West Art Crawl. The Queen West Art Crawl is a fabulous opportunity for you to sell your work, expand your contact list, and network with the public and fellow artists.

The Queen West Art Crawl is one of the largest multi-disciplinary, community-based festivals that Toronto has to offer. Now in its fourth year, The Queen West Art Crawl celebrates the buzz, character, edge, authenticity, and soul of historic Queen Street West with an annual weekend-long festival happening September 15th - 17th, 2006.

Please visit for the full Call for Submissions, required Artist Application Form and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Submission Deadline: Friday, June 30th, 2006, 4pm 

The Outdoor Art Show + Sale will feature 175 exhibitors selected by a professional jury. The show attracts over 10,000 people over two days and provides a great opportunity for artists to show and sell their work in a completely unique exhibition environment at Trinity Bellwoods Park in the heart of the West Queen West Art +Design District.


Submission Deadline: Friday, June 30th, 2006, 4pm

Artists with studios on or within walking distance of Queen Street West open their private studios to the public for an inspired look inside the "art kitchen".

For questions regarding the Queen West Art Crawl please e-mail Clinton Walker, Queen West Art Crawl Programmer at or 416-392-1038 ext. 35

For more information on Artscape please visit

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

apply to the DUDE, dude.

I'm sure many of you are familiar with the DUDE (Downtown Urban Design Event) - a three day craft/design show that has been happening for years at the Latvian House near College and Bathurst. This was actually my intro to the Toronto craft scene a few years ago, when visiting from Montreal over the holidays, and a couple of the vendors I was introduced to there are still some of my favourite local makers.

Anyhoo, the application for the upcoming winter DUDE show (December 8, 9, and 10) is up on their website, and you should all go apply. Deadline is September 12th.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

you best ask crafty

Any advice for these peeps? Post a comment, please! Or email me if you prefer.

x Please tell me where I can find coloured Velcro - bright or soft (vs. dark) colours would be best. And reflective/safety fabric or tape as well. – Jen

x I am looking for aubergine ribbons that I would like to use for my wedding bonbonnieres ... any idea where I can get some in Toronto? other than the overpriced Mokuba? – Rachelle

x I was wondering if you knew anywhere in toronto that I can buy small tins, [ much like the altoids tins ] I've only ever seen them online.- Amanda

x I am on the look out for clear plastic bags that reseal and fold over for my greeting cards. The bags need to measure approx. 6 X 4 3/8 inches. If any one could help me on that account I would be sooo greatful! – Kim

x Does anyone know of any places that offer beginner jewellery/silversmith classes? -Stephanie

Sunday, June 18, 2006

ask crafty response: oilcloth, fabric dyeing and painting classes, hot fabric shops

x"Where can I buy oilcloth in Toronto?" - Terri

-Oilcloth! I do know that they sell oilcloth products direct from Mexico at Clandestino (249 Crawford - across from Trinity Bellwoods). I had asked about buying yards of the materials from them for a wedding last summer and they said it was possible. -Also, you might want to try Italian/Greek/Portuguese neighbourhooods in Toronto and look for old school Mom & Pop hardware stores. They usually carry a small selection of patterns that you can purchase by the yard. - While there are rolls of oil cloth in photoprint ice cream, grapes and cheese or wine all over portugal village and in honest eds, if you go to Winkel (1107 queen east) they only order the awesome vintage-y florals and patterns that gramma had on the picnic table in those 1957 silent home videos. They have giant rolls of it! - i have seen cheesy kitchen themed oilcloths at the hardware store near gayleys at dundas and gladstone.

x"I'm trying to find classes to take in the art of fabric dying and painting, especially on velvet, silk and chiffon. Toronto or Mississauga location." - sam

- G & s Dyes on Dundas St W does great courses on fabric painting... [lots of people recommended this resource]

x"I'll be visiting Toronto the week after this. Can anyone recommend the best fabric stores to visit?" - magpie & cake

-one of my fave stores for fabric is Eurofab on the north side of Queen W, just west of Spadina. They have all the stuff that MacFab has, but it's cheaper! there's tons of other stores in the same area that have good deals. There are also a few stores on the west side of Spadina, just south of College that seem to be having a liquidation sale for the last year. I got super good discounts there, but I can never remember the actual store's name. -Designer Fabric Outlet (1360 Queen St. W ) -See Thimble’s list.

nanopod studio classes

Wow, some very innovative stuff is being made at nanopod studio (322a Harbord street), which doubles as a studio for jewellery artist/sculpter Tosca Hidalgo y Teran as well as a space to run jewellery workshops. Get in on the action by signing up for some of the following classes (No experience neccessary):

Guerrilla Jewelry!
Create a simple sterling silver ring band in 1 DAY!
This workshop will take place on June 17th, 3 student min., 5 max
Students will measure, cut, stamp, form, solder, form the ring and polish all in one afternoon.
De-mystify the jewelry experience, make a ring for yourself, a friend or .....?
5 hour intensive, noon to 5pm,
$85 per person, silver sold at $1 per gram (average ring $6.00)
Register TODAY! Deposit of $47.50

Beginning Jewelry 1
Tuesday June 20th 2006 3 student min., 5 max
8 weeks, 6:30-9:30pm 1 evening per week (tuesdays)
$250 + materials(approx. $35)

Learn to hand fabricate your own jewelry out of Sterling Silver!You will make a band ring, learn one of the oldest casting techniques, set stones, and much more...

This 8 week beginning jewelry course teaches students basic goldsmithing/silversmithing techniques through several projects.

Techniques covered through projects include:
cleaning up castings, forming beads & findings, setting stones, married metals, and more.

Thursday Morning Jewellery
6 weeks, 10am to 2pm, $180 starting June 29th 3 student min., 5 max

Beginning Jewellery with a focus on soldering and sawing techniques:
1 enamel project (Saw & solder Champleve large pendant or brooch), 1 stone setting project (bezel setting ring, pendant, or bracelet), 1 Bead forming project for earrings, or a necklace. A list of supplies and materials needed for class will be emailed to students.

Learn how to carve, file & sculpt your own pieces of jewellery using wax- that will then be cast in sterling silver. Tuesday Afternoon Lost Wax
Starting July 11th
6 weeks, 1pm to 4pm, $180

Lost wax! Learn different carving techniques with various jeweller\'s wax-piece to be cast in sterling silver. Cuttlefish casting with cuttlebone.I ntroduction working with wax (safety, drilling, sawing) Finishing up wax for casting, cleaning up castings, various finishes, polishing.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

HELP WANTED: crafty book reviewer

So Random House Canada has offered to send us free craft books to review for the blog from their newish Potter Craft line (see some examples here). They've agreed to, where possible, provide us with books by Toronto-based (or Canadian) writers, or at least books that are availabe in the city. Would anyone be interested in doing this? Free books! Free books!

If so, email me and we'll discuss.


Thank you for your dozens (upon dozens!) of expressions of interest in reviewing the Random House craft books. Unfortunately there are a limited number of books to review and therefore only a few of you can do so. I will keep everyone’s emails on file for future reviewing opportunities. If you didn’t happen to mention which crafts you are interested in writing on in your email, please feel free to follow up with that info for future ref.

I am thrilled to see that there are so many budding craft journalists out there – and if any of you are interested in submitting reviews of Toronto-based craft/DIY books (a la
You Grow Girl or Knitting Rules! : The Yarn Harlot's Bag of Knitting Tricks), please do. The same goes for articles/profiles/etc. of anything Toronto and crafty.

Hope to hear from you !

dufferin grove craft fair

I mentioned a call for vendors in a recent digest post, but here's an invite to the actual show:
Dufferin Grove Craft Fair
*Sunday June 18th*
from 11am to 4pm
in Dufferin Grove Park
(east of Dufferin, South of Bloor)
come to the park this coming sunday afternoon and check out handmade crafts by some local folk-- there will be clothing (tshirts with bicycles on them, for instance) and lots of different people selling jewelry...and some cloth bags and beeswax candles and hand-printed cards and handmade notebooks and and all sorts of other things, most probably (since I still have a couple spots left)...oh and snacks from the guerrilla gourmet, very important. and maybe organic roti too.

hope to see you there... contact if you have any questions or would like to get one of those last remaining tables...

there are two other events in the park that day too... i'm really looking forward to the cooking fire theatre festival (it will be their last night) and it is also the "day of delight"....see for more is also a pizza day so you can make your own pizza in the brick oven there (they provide basic toppings but you can bring your own pesto or something if you want to...)

Friday, June 09, 2006

kit 'n kaboodle show & sale

This looks jam-packed with local goodness:

"Come checkout our show, THE KIT 'N KABOODLE SHOW & SALE at the stunning Great Hall at 1087 Queen St. W., Toronto. We've gathered over 30 of the Toronto area's top talents for one day only! You'll find oodles of fab hand crafted clothing, jewellery, accessories, bags, body care products, kids' stuff, plush toys, art and even cards -- the whole KIT 'N KABOODLE!!"

JUNE 16th, 2006

Go here for a list of participating vendors, and a slide show of some of the goodies on offer.

TCA on the radio!

Tune in to CIUT 89.5 FM this Sunday (@ 1:15) to hear an interview with the disembodied voice of Toronto Craft Alert (aka me). The interview will be part of the blog segment of The First Word, an arts, culture and lifestyle program that airs on Sundays from 1-3pm. How cool is that?!

backlog begone

Oh my! I’ve been out of town for a bit and Blogger was down yesterday, and so we have a bit of a craft news backlog here. This calls for a digest post – though I’m hoping none of the following gets lost in the mix, as there is lots of fun stuff to report.

1. Introducing the TCA events calendar
2. Japanese craft books available at the Japan Foundation library
3. Call for vendors: Dufferin Grove Craft Fair (June 18th)
4. nathalie-roze & co. store opening June 17 & 18th
5. Crafty Guide to Toronto @

1. Introducing the TCA events calendar

Glance to the sidebar on the right and you’ll find our newest feature, the TCA events calendar, which lists craft fairs and other crafty happenings of note. Helpful reader Saira recommended as a calendar-esque tool, and I think it’s a great option because any events that you list can be shared with all readers in your ‘Metro’ (i.e. Toronto). So the crafty word is being spread far and wide...ow ow. By the way, pretty pretty please let me know if you hear of a craft-related event going down that you feel should be listed on the calendar (including craft fairs looking for vendors).

2. Japanese craft books available at the Japan Foundation Library

Over the past couple of months, cutie blogger and illustrator Tania and I have been scheming to bring Japanese craft books to Toronto in collaboration with the Japan Foundation Library. The head librarian was kind enough to root through the pile of ISBNs we passed on to her, and has chosen six new books to add to their collection. Though they are written in Japanese, most of the projects have illustrated instructions you can decipher, and some even have patterns you can photocopy. You should all head over for a visit and take some of these sweeties home (click the 'Library' tab on the site for hours and location). While you're there it's worth checking out their collection of more traditional Japanese craft books, as well as paying a visit to the gallery (always an interesting show on at the JF). To further entice you, here are a few of the books now available at the library:

3. Call for vendors: Dufferin Grove Craft Fair (June 18)

Abbey sent along this message for a very reasonably priced craft fair geared towards newbie craft vendors:

Sunday June 18th

Dufferin Grove Park
(South of Bloor, East of Dufferin)

Looking for local folk who would like to sell their practical/portable/affordable and totally *handmade* crafts at this fair... where the table prices will be extremely low (no higher than $15-- still waiting to hear about how much park staff time we have to cover)

I'm actually looking for people who might have never actually done a craft fair before (but who have lots to put on their table!), or who are rather new to it... definitely no one whose craft is their profession. (they have other shows that are not accessible to the rest of us)

It will be an excellent day to be at the park, because there are two other events going on that day as well...see for more details

To book a spot, please email Abbey at with the following info:

1. what you make and why you make it (just a brief little description will do)
2. your price range
3. what size table would you prefer (3 ft or 6 ft)? or can you bring your own?
4. phone number(s) and the best time to reach you
5. some kind of promise not to cancel on me the day before the event! you can cancel two days beforehand, however, if you need to...

hope to see you there....

4. nathalie-roze & co. store opening June 17 & 18th

A heads-up from Nathalie-Roze:

Attention craft enthusiasts: nathalie-roze & co. is having a soft-opening next weekend (June 17 & 18)!
Come have a sneak peek at this new indie boutique & DIY studio in the making. Expect oodles of quirky-cool accessories, jewellery, clothing and beyond by over 70 craftista-designers with more stock arriving daily from all over Canada, the US and the UK.
WHERE: In lovely Leslieville at 1015 Queen St. East @ Pape (on the S. side)
Cupcakes and lemonade will be served all weekend.

5. Crafty Guide to Toronto @

Recently Thimble posted a very handy Crafty Guide to Toronto on her blog, and so if anyone’s looking for a cheat sheet for craft resources, you should check it out (and leave comments with your own recs!).

Thursday, June 01, 2006

y'all must go to flamboro

Hey, is anyone heading to the Flamboro Antique Show in Aberfoyle on June 17th? Angelune, who so kindly and awesomely designed TCA promotional flyers and buttons for the Crafternoon Tea show last weekend, is seeking a ride to the fair. If you'd like to give her a lift, email me and I'll hook you guys up.

If you aren't planning to go to the show - well - you just should. It is a truly excellent, mostly outdoor antique/vintage fair located in Aberfoyle, just south of Guelph. There are about 200 or so vendors selling homeware, furniture, nostalgia, toys, textiles, jewellery, clothing, etc. etc. There is also a shack with yummy eats, and carmel corn and fresh cut fry stands. Go early, not only to get the worm, but also because it will take you all day to make it through the show.

Don't forget to download the coupon for $2.00 off for everyone in your car.

Remaining dates this year:

Saturday June 17th
Saturday August 19th
Saturday September 30th
Saturday October 28th

Here are some pics from my visit to the first show of the season on May 6th:

French cock tray
Coq tray from France (1950s)

Elephant cushion & buttons
Embroidered elephant cushion & vintage buttons

Linens, fabrics & notions

Boys outfit
Little boy outfit from the fifties (w/ shorts to match!)