Friday, August 31, 2007

READER REQUEST: studio space

A note from TCA reader Lola:

The building that I currently have my glassworking studio in is for sale, and rather than wait for the sky to fall, I am on the hunt for new digs!

I would prefer a ground floor space with outdoor access, whether that be a fire escape, alleyway, or whatever. Minimum space required is 400 square feet, and should be located in downtown Toronto, preferably in the east end. Shared space or space with elevator access is a possible consideration as well. Please let me know if you have any information on space that may accommodate my needs!

You may contact me at

Thank you!


Pendant by Lola (from her "Oyster" series)


*Creativity Classes OPEN HOUSE*

I would like to invite everyone to my CREATIVITY CLASSES OPEN HOUSE.


For over 40 years I've been teaching in GTA: UPHOLSTERY, LAMPSHADE
At my school you can create handcrafted home accents that reflect your
personality and allow you to customize items to blend with your
decorating scheme.

* To reupholster an old piece of furniture is a practical way of
saving money as well as highly satisfying recreation.You will
learn the 3'R of upholstery -restore, redesign, re-upholster.

* At the lampshade classes you will learn how to create
one-of-a-kind lampshade, a unique work of art that almost
mystically determines your own identity.

* Sew-whatever...or a very special garment; beginners and
experienced sewers welcome !

To learn more about my classes and location, please visit my web:

For all of you who who are too busy during the week and do not have time
to come to my classes you can join me at the Creative Festival, at Metro
Toronto Convention Center, October 26-28.
I will have following workshops:

* Mosaic Tapestry Collage Puzzle
* Victorian Style Lampshade
* Upholster a footstool

For more details please see:

Thanks for your interest
Evelyn Bouma

Lampshade by a student of Evelyn Bouma

Thursday, August 30, 2007

EXHIBITION: yea! community cafe TONIGHT


ART OPENING at YEA! Community Cafe

The non-profit YEA! Community Cafe is hosting a small group of artists that will be showcasing their work at the cafe. The opening is Thursday, August 30th at 7pm.

Free drinks and musical entertainment provided. The address is 721 Palmerston Ave., on the corner of Palmerston and Barton. The closest subway stop is Bathurst Station. YEA! is situated on a residential street corner Palmerston & Barton (closest intersection is Bathurst & Bloor).10-40% of artist sales will be donated to the non-profit.

GET SCHOOLED: contemporary textile studio co-op fall programming


The Contemporary Textile Studio Co-op has all kinds of news about:

*Fall Workshops
*Becoming an associate
*Portfolio Consultation Sessions
*Textile Talk: Design Aid and the Q'Enco Project in Peru; Richelle Sibolboro
*Nuit Blanche
*401 X-mas Market & Studio Open House

Go here for the full scoop on Akimbo.

CRAFTY CHAT: shannon gerard speaks at the zine library


A talk with guest speaker
Shannon Gerard

Sunday, September 9th, 2007. 1:30pm
Toronto Zine Library at the TRANZAC, second floor
292 Brunswick Avenue. Toronto

Please join us for a talk with book artist Shannon Gerard hosted by the Toronto Zine Library Collective at the Toronto Zine Library. In her talk, Shannon will discuss her artistic practice, the book as a medium, and her history as a zine-maker and micro-publisher.

Shannon Gerard publishes an ongoing illustrated auto-bio project called Hung. She also prints, binds and distributes little books and artist’s multiples that are mostly about faith, wishing and loss. Her most recent project is a series of multiples called Boobs and Dinks: Early Detection Kits, which involve plush crocheted breasts and penises with little lumps sewn inside that can be found by following instructions in the accompanying booklets- also made to encourage real-life monthly self-examinations.

The Toronto Zine Library is run by a collective of zine readers, zine makers and librarians who are looking to make zines more accessible in Toronto. We believe that zines are still an important medium of communication, and that they should be cherished, protected, and promoted. Our aim to do this through our public collection of zines, conducting related workshops at our physical library and abroad, and by holding events that promote zines as a method of open communication and free expression.

For more information, please contact us at
Or consult our new website and online catalogue:

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

VENDOR CALL: poppytalk handmade


Recently Jan of Poppytalk announced her new project: Poppytalk Handmade.

This is a great new concept that will function sort of like a virtual craft fair/flea market, but curated by Jan herself, a lady of fine taste.

Here’s a little excerpt from her Call for Submissions, to give you an idea of how it will work.

“This opportunity to highlight quality handmade goods will be made possible by creating a website ( which will host an image from each table/designer on the front page. A link from the image will go to the designer’s table (page) holding 9 items. Each page will introduce the designer and why they were picked or what we love about them and each item will have a description along with a link to their online store (be it Etsy, Mintd, Dawanda or personal online store/site). All monies exchanged will be between the buyer and the seller much like a real street market). And just like a regular street market, there will be a charge to rent a table (or in this case a page) which will cover administration and web hosting fees. Once an item sells, you will be able to upload a new item at any time.”

You can visit the full post on the Poppytalk Handmade blog for all of the details, but do so soon as the deadline for the first “show” in October is coming up on September 15th, 2007.

CRAFT SHOW: it's stitch'n'kitch time!


The Stitch ‘n’ Kitsch group presents their annual fall craft show and sale on Saturday, September 22nd, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at First United Church, Corner of King Street South and William Street, in downtown Waterloo. The show will feature handcrafted items such as: handbags, clothing, pottery, jewellery, wood pieces, bath & body, fashion accessories, artwork, home décor, felt and knit items.

The Stitch ‘n’ Kitsch group is a collective of 30 talented crafts people, designers, and artists from all over Ontario. Each season Stitch ‘n’ Kitsch hosts their craft show and sale to feature their member’s work and the work of several guest artists. Visit to find out more about each artist.

Admission to the show is free and there is parking available at First United Church and at Waterloo Town Square. The church is wheel chair accessible and provides handicap parking.

Come check out the best, handmade items for fall that the K-W area has to offer.

CRAFTY HAPPENING: art that binds @ QWAC


I'm sure many of you are getting geared up for exhibiting at the Queen West Art Crawl
Outdoor Art Show and Sale at Trinity Bellwoods Park (Saturday 15 & Sunday 16, 11am – 6pm), and if not you should be penciling this event into your diaries!

If the 250 vendors aren't enough to keep you entertained while in the park, the accompanying performance art series should do the trick. Read on for more info....


Meet Canadian royalty, kick back with the top 40 beats of a cross-dressing boychoir, play a game of zombie-tag at the supermarket and take an intimate walking tour with local personalities. Art That Binds is a wild and hilarious performance art series curated by Shannon Cochrane for Artscape's Queen West Art Crawl, an annual weekend-long festival celebrating Toronto's Queen Street West, happening September 14 - 16, 2007.

Trinity Bellwood's Park becomes animated by some of Toronto's best loved performance artists including Anthea Foyer, Brenda Goldstein, Tanya Mars, Christina Zeidler, Miss Canadiana, Boychoir of Lesbos, The Movement Movement, The Winking Circle, Songs of the New Erotics (W.A. Davison), Laura Nanni and Adam Paolozza.

JOIN US! The Queen West Art Crawl kicks off with a LAUNCH PARTY at the Gladstone Hotel. On Friday, September 14, starting at 7pm, you can take in all of the Gladstone Hotel's Queen West Art Crawl events and party until the last person is left standing!

Go here for details on Art that Binds performances
Go here to find out about other QWAC events (& stay tuned for more info on The Good Catch Dear Diary Craft Fair co-curated by yours truly!)

Monday, August 27, 2007

CRAFTY BIZ: i heart felt survey


Hi! My name is Michele Scott, and I am starting a wee web shop called I heart felt, an online fibre and fabric store from Canada. I am conducting a small market survey on designer cotton fabric. If you are Canadian and sew, craft, etc, this survey would be beneficial to my business and what my customers are looking for. Your responses are completely anonymous.

If you have any further questions, please contact me at survey[AT]

Here is the link: Click Here to take the survey for I heart felt!

To thank you for your time, there will be a draw for a $25.00 gift certificate to shop at In order to be entered in the the draw, you need to complete the survey and sign up for our newsletter via this separate link: I heart felt newsletter draw... Once we finish getting in the results, we will notify the winner by email.

Kind regards,


Saturday, August 25, 2007



Also, you are invited to an all day open house at MADE on Sept. 8, a great opportunity to check out this cool Canadian design hub if you haven't yet had the chance:

MADE will hold an open house on Saturday, 8th September, 11 am to 6pm. The open house is an invitation to the public to come celebrate the first birthday of MADE.

Within their first year MADE has grown to represent the work of over 60 exceptional designers from backgrounds that range from industrial design to fine craft and architecture to fine art.

There will be opportunity to view an installation of new work by emerging design talents, VEST Collective. The exhibition “A VEST Guide to Smuggling” launches a new series of designs available in limited editions. The works explore the notion of illicit trade, dodging customs and prized goods. Visitors will also be treated to new furniture, lighting and home accessories from Molo and Propellor Design from Vancouver and Bev Hisey, Studio Thout and MADE all based in Toronto.

Friday, August 24, 2007

ASK CRAFTY: booth lighting, paper & fabric scraps & scarborogh craft sales

x I have an outdoor art show coming up. It runs from noon to 10pm on the first day so I'll need to bring my lights and plug 'em in. I have looked on Canadian Tire to see what kind of portable battery-type-devices they have.....but I'm totally lost. What sort of product I should be using to power-up my lights? – Lara

x Does anyone have advice on where I could find remanents or scraps of fabrics and/ or paper in Toronto - via TTC - Kate

x I am looking for craft sales in the Scarborugh area where I can rent a booth and sell hand made items. Are you aware of any? - Sharon

Please comment on this post with your advice!

FACEBOOK FIND: the great arts + crafts trading group

If you're on Facebook then do consider joining this group (found right here), started by Kristyn of pleasurecraft fibre studio.

AandC Trading group

the great arts + crafts trading group

a group for people (like me) who would be interested in trading their handmade wares (whether they be paintings, dolls, music, chocolates..whatever) with someone who has a talent that you don't.

we can all post photos/links/descriptions that are examples of the things we are good at making, and then, let the trading begin! send personal messages to other members offering an exchange of address and then get excited about a package arriving in the mail!

VOLUNTEER OPPS: nuit blanche


via instantcoffee

Volunteer Opportunities - Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, Sept 29

Are you interested in the arts?
Interested in being part of a dynamic team and meeting new people?

The Toronto Special Events Office is looking for dedicated and
enthusiastic people to be part of this year’s Scotiabank Nuit
Blanche, September 29.

Volunteer Opportunities are available in three zones:

Zone A - Bloor/Yorkville
Zone B - McCaul/University
Zone C - West Queen West

Volunteer Job Description:

Artist Liaison/Area Supervisor

Number of Positions: Approximately 40 per zone

Time Commitment: One two hour training session prior to Scotiabank
Nuit Blanche and the entire night of September 29. (7 pm – 7 am)

Description: Act as an assistant for artists/performers, oversees the
safe and on-schedule operations of the artist installation including
line control, stage managing etc.

Skills Required: Over the age of 18, excellent communication skills,
a genuine love of contemporary art along with the thrill of joining
an all night celebration of Toronto’s cultural renaissance.

Please send an email to spevvol[AT] to confirm your zone
interest by September 4, 2007.

Scotiabank Nuit Blanche
an all night contemporary art thing
September 29, 2007
7:03 pm to sunrise

For one sleepless night the familiar will be discarded and Toronto
will become the artistic playground for a series of exhilarating
contemporary art experiences.

One night only. All night long.

For more information about the event, visit

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

CRAFTY HAPPENING: city of craft


So the time has come for us to announce a crafty scheme we’ve been hatching for the past little while, something I hope many of you will be excited about attending & participating in. This project arose in part out of CraftChat T.O. where it became clear that there was a need for greater opportunities for resource and info sharing amongst the craft-inclined.

Enter City of Craft, which will go down on Dec. 1, 2007 at The Theatre Centre (1086 Queen Street West - Downstairs).

City of Craft aims to build community in the Toronto craftscape, support independent craft businesses, and encourage the larger community to get involved with crafty happenings in the city.

This is a community-based craft culture event where local guilds, community-arts groups, craft based initiatives/projects, studios, and other organisations are invited to do outreach to the public alongside a curated craft fair and craft-based installations. City of Craft is a place to buy, observe, experience, chat about, share and reimagine all things handmade.

We will put out a call for vendors & exhibitors shortly. And there will be all sorts of volunteer opportunities, so get baking!!!

Visit the site in progress here:
Get in touch with us at: cityofcraft[AT]

GET SCHOOLED: copy your favourite garmet at sew be it

Knock Off - Copy Your Favorite Garment


They say there is no copyright in fashion. Do you have a pair of trousers that you just love and wish you can copy it, well, this is your chance. Bring your favorite garments, and we will show you how to take a pattern from an existing finished garment. This class will teach you how to knock off your favorite designs and create your own inspired looks.

Date: September 8 & 15, Saturdays
Time: 10:30am - 1:30pm
Price: $135 + GST
* Please bring in a simple garment to Knock Off, no jackets or ball gowns please.

EXHIBITION: cirrostratus at OCC

GET SCHOOLED: glass fusing & jewellery making at nanopod


Create belt buckles, pendants, rings, cuff-links, earrings and more!

Glass Fusing & Jewelry Making Intensive!
Saturday August 25th noon to 5pm & Sunday August 26th 11am to 6pm
5 student max. $275 includes all materials

This is a 2-day intensive workshop that teaches not only how to make beautiful fused glass cabochons or "stones", but also how to mount and display them to their best advantage.
It is a fun, hands-on class that begins on the first day with glass cutting and ends with the completion of 6 to 10 fused pieces; cabochons for earrings, pendants and rings.

On the second day, students will choose from their glasswork made on Saturday and learn how to ‘set' them using sterling silver to create beautiful one-of-a-kind earrings, pendants and rings.
Resource list of where you can purchase materials, tools, equipment and how to set-up your own studio is included.

Class fee includes all materials: glass, sterling & fine silver, supplies, and firings. Tools are provided. Lunch is included on Sunday!

No Experience Necessary!
Register with a friend and receive 15% off

Register online, over the phone or in person at
nanopod: hybrid studio
Visa, Mastercard, Debit, or cash accepted.

Further information on courses and workshops offered:
Make sure to take a look at the page of past student's work!

nanopod: Hybrid Studio
322 Harbord Street
Toronto, ON M6G1H1
647 219 0585

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A NOTE FROM THE DESK OF TCA: survey closing

Thanks again to all of you who have filled out the TCA Reader Survey!

Just a quick note to let you know that I will be closing the survey at the end of the day tomorrow. I am very seriously taking all of your feedback into consideration, so if you have something to say & haven't already, please pop over and do the survey.

Click Here to take survey

EXHIBITION: sit down

Sit Down exhibit
Photo by Olena Sullivan

Sit Down
Tuesday Sept. 11, 7pm – Sunday Sept. 30, 6am
Hangman Gallery - 756 Queen St. E

Come and see how 23 up-and-coming painters, printmakers, photographers and furniture makers explore the idea of "chairness".The themed exhibition runs September 11th to September 30th, 2007 climaxing with a 12-hour game of musical chairs for Toronto’s Nuit Blanche September 29th sundown, to September 30th sunrise.

The show will proudly feature work by: • Melissa Bessey• Charis Brown-Tobias• Russell Brohier• Karen Cantello• Lydia Charak• Michele Cross• David Cumming• Rod Dioso• Lesley Dubey• Sebastian Fitch• Doug Ford• Ruth Gilson• Mark Gleberzon• March Gregoroff• Jill Kitchener• Winston Lau• Brgitte Nowak• Robin Polfuss• Irina Schestakowich• Jerry Silverberg• Olena Sullivan• Anne Tori• Jennifer Wigmore

EXHIBITION: shameless promotion at open studio

Shameless Promotion
September 6 -29, 2007
Opening reception Thurs Sept 6, 6-9pm.
Open for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche sunset Sept 29 to sunrise Sept 30.
401 Richmond Street West, Suite 104, Toronto

shameless promotion
Poster from the Hamilton exhibition, by Seripop.

Open Studio is pleased to present Shameless Promotion, a group exhibition curated by Suzanne Carte-Blanchenot and featuring artists and design groups Stacey Case, Doublenaut, Jeff Garcia, Jesjit Gill and Nicholas Kennedy from September 6 to 27, 2007. This exhibition presents the crossover between promotional material, particularly in the form of posters, and the art object. Part of the blurring between these usually distinct products is that the works in Shameless Promotion are screenprinted by hand sometimes in large volumes or in small editions, making them even more coveted and collectible.

The posters produced by these artists are promotional vehicles for musicians, artists, companies and other parties interested in attracting special attention in our cluttered visual culture. They are also incredibly crafted and original often with a wider conceptual approach – for example one of the artists Nicholas Kennedy who runs his commercial studio shop Trip Print Press exclusively uses found images, “scavenged” paper and materials, and unique typography arrangements using salvaged type on his letterpress. He avoids the confines of branding and appreciates reusable materials and tools that are made fresh under his design. The approach by the artists in this show demonstrate the range of possibilities – Doublenaut is the digital savvy group that opts for hand screenprinting over offset printing both for lower production costs and a preferred aesthetic; and Jesjit Gill, currently an OCAD student working out of the group Punchclock, produces popular limited edition posters – as low as 20 – for the alternative music and DJ culture.

Curator Suzanne Carte-Blanchenot points out, “handprinted materials have become fetish objects and rarities,” and participating artist Stacey Case, printer/owner of Merchguy Showprint that is distinctly recognizable for its vintage poster appeal, echoes that his work has been “torn down from street posts for years, often ending up in picture frames by admirers.” An essay by Suzanne Carte-Blanchenot accompanies the exhibition.

CRAFTY BIZ: the end-of summer scoop from nathalie-roze & co.

Dessert Lady
Ice creams & Sorbets by The Dessert Lady

A note from Nathalie-Roze:

In case you don't know already, there are some fab happenings going down at nathalie-roze & co. in Leslieville - read on for details...

Luscious Leslieville Licks:
HOMEMADE Ice Cream @ N-R & Co.!!

We are now serving homemade ice cream outside on the side patio - weekends only (12-5).

My new bestfriend Mandy (aka "The Dessert Lady"), a celebrated pastry chef & chocolatier, is making these dynamite & 100% natural yummies. Flavours are rotating weekly, but some of the faves to date include Ginger Kiss, Lemon Zinger (fro-yo), Belgian Truffle, Pina Colada, Magnificent Mango, Guava-Lime and Green Apple & Rosemary - note: these last 3 are ices, which are fantastic alternatives for non-dairy folk.

Singletons $3, Double-Deckers $4.25, Kidlets $2
Ice cream weekends continue thru to the end of September, FYI.

WARNING: These frozen treats may trigger food-orgasms!


Stellar Summer Sale
Summer deals continue thru to August 31st.
Almost everything in the store is 20 - 70% off regular prices.

The sale includes popular local labels like Dagg and Stacey, Snoflake, Momo, SLO, Paper People, Cha Cha bags, Cindy Seto (50+ other lines) - as well as our exclusive Leslieville eco-totes & tees, plus hip sunhats & visors, sunglasses, flip flops, beach bags, hair accessories, etc. And, select jewellery & belts. Vintage goodies too! Plenty of the reduced merch can transition into Fall, so come take a gander.
The official flip into autumn wearables happens Labour Day weekend.

WHERE: Nathalie-Roze & Co.
1015 Queen St. East, Leslieville
(at Pape Ave.)

Summer Hours:
CLOSED Monday & Tuesday
Wednesday & Thursday 11am - 6pm, Friday 11am - 7pm, Saturday 11am - 6pm,
Sunday: 12noon - 5pm.

Friday, August 17, 2007

GET SCHOOLED: custom sewing classes


Fashion designer/Costume Designer offering semi private and private sewing classes at affordable rates.

Learn to sew from a down to earth individual in the comfort of your home or come out with your friends for an afternoon of friendly sewing and chatting.

Classes range from beginner- advanced, couture techniques, vintage, reconstruction (turn one garment into something new and original), and personal pattern making. If you would rather take a stab at interior design, l can help you there too. Also offered: special classes geared towards creating the hottest trends at bargain basement prices and with the accessories to match! I strongly believe that any person can learn how to sew and have fun at it. The sewing machine is not a monster ladies! If you prefer to hand sew, l can teach you professional industry secrets.

Feel free to contact me for further information or to discuss your sewing needs. Cheers!


Thursday, August 16, 2007

CRAFT FAIR & CLOTHING SWAP: events at good catch this weekend

Crafts and Clothing and Chocolate Tasting!



SATURDAY AUGUST 18TH –1st Anniversary Craft Fair and Weenie Roast! 12pm TO 5pm

Come join us in our backyard and take advantage of selecting choice merchandise from some of the 20plus crafters who will be setting up shop for the afternoon. This is not a test! There are well over 20 vendors that are cramming into our backyard for the event! Great goods and great prices! Time to begin your holiday shopping now!

Also, for a mere $7 – enjoy a summertime meal of a fresh grilled weenie with a cold soda and a slice of cake to celebrate the occasion!

Click here for a larger poster with links!

SUNDAY AUGUST 19th –Good Catch Clothing Swap and Chocolate Tasting Party! 4pm to 7pm

Bring a bag of your old clothes and leave with a new bag of cool clothes! Also, enjoy tasting and voting for the tastiest chocolates from the Good Catch showroom! Good Catch specializes in a fine assortment of organic, fair-trade chocolates.

EXHIBITION: mittenfists at magic pony

Magic Pony Gallery
694 Queen St West , Toronto ON Canada

Exhibition runs August 2 - 25 2007

Kitten Willows
Kitten Willows by Melinda Josie

Magic Pony presents Mittenfists, a showcase of emerging artists Melinda Josie, Jacob Whibley and Andrew Wilson. With three unique approaches to their work, the show will juxtapose nonobjective and abstract collage work alongside enigmatic landscapes, mythical creatures, darling pugs, and watchful birds.

The show's title, Mittenfists, alludes to the youthful aggression in-which they apply their process, production, enthusiasm and sense of discovery.

Working with paper collage, Jacob Whibley (Team Macho) creates subtle and abstract compositions that vaguely hint at machined and organic forms. Composed with paper ephemera from as far back as the late 1800's, these constructions engage you into deciphering their fragmented colourful messages. Exploring the theme of interstitial spaces; those "between spaces", not outside nor inside existing structures and systems, he envisions what the accumulated detritus, bit rot, colour, and static might look like.

Andrew Wilson's multi-layered resin paintings depict vast mountainous scenes while geometric forms, detached mountains, and abstract factories map their way across the otherworldly sky. It is this imagined terra firma which sets the stage for his drawings of clustered houses, buildings and their fantastical occupants - all imagined from some personal folklore.

Dealing with the more objective, Melinda Josie's detailed paintings and drawings speak to the youthful imagination in all of us. Hers is a world where delicately rendered hedgehogs take afternoon naps in the most exquisitely patterned duvet; while outside of it's towering mushroom house, a Shiba Inu dog eagerly investigates why the local squirrels and sparrows are raising such a commotion amongst the doily laden trees.

From the indefinite to the literal, Mittenfists aims to be a visual splendor.

CALL FOR SUMBISSIONS:take over artist-rooms at canzine


Call for artists to take over artist-rooms at Canzine

Broken Pencil is currently looking for artists who would like to haunt the rooms in the Gladstone Hotel. On Sunday, Oct 28th, 2007 a horror-themed Canzine will move into the Gladstone and each year we look for artists and creators who would like to program a room for the day. Artist rooms are usually installations that are more than just something to gaze at. Participating artists should interact with Canzine attendees, or allow for attendees to interact with the room. Since the theme of this year's Canzine is horror, we're hoping that some artists will work that into their installation. Room rental is $75 and there are only seven rooms up for grabs, so jump on it. To get involved please send room proposals to Broken Pencil at editor[AT] with the subject line "Canzine art room proposal."
Deadline for proposals is October 10th, 2007.

Lindsay Gibb
Broken Pencil
PO Box 203 Stn P
Toronto ON M5S 2S7

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

SHOP CRAFTY: new store alert!

Marimekko tray (available at Ministry of the Interior)

I think every month there are new additions to the already awesome strip of Ossington between Dundas and Queen W. After a quaint lunch in the Get Real Cafe garden patio on Sunday (rudely interrupted by a moderate downpour) we wandered down Ossington on a reconnaissance mission to discover the newbies. lo and behold we fell in lYve!

Ministry of the Interior is a new shop+gallery that features marimekko home products, dwell bedding, vinyl wall decals, and a selection of modern wallpapers. The current exhibition in the gallery is a solo Jason Miller show. The staff were sweet and helpful, and told us that they have catalogs for many of these brands from which we can order. It's rare to find these products this side of the american border, and this way you can avoid shipping & customs fees from internet shopping. The storefront also featured a beautiful wood birdcage sculpture by local artisan Lucas Brancalion.

MOTI's web presence currently consists of a placeholder page with all their contact info, but they tell us that an expanded website is expected within a few weeks.

There's also another cute vintage shop (on top of all the other cute vintage shops on Ossington) that opened last month, Badlands Vintage. You can find locally made jewelry there too!

I can remember only a few years ago I would have described this area as 'seedy', and although there are still a few dodgey alleys, even Baby Doll's is starting to rent out dancefloor space for hipster parties.

So next time you're in the area, take a stroll down Ossington and check out the art galleries, the shops and the cafes.

BLOG ROLL: bits & bobs from local blogs

Was poking around a few local blogs and found some posts I thought I’d share:

I *heart* sensible shoes posted about this fun looking show at Brayham Contemporary Art on Queen St. East.

chickenhead - lauri lynnxe murphy
Lauri Lynnxe Murphy

Pink Vegan posted this awesome link to CBC’s collection of clips relating to Canadian Craft - past & present.

quick & cutie coaster tutorial from needlebook is definitely worth checking out.

finished_box by needlebook

CRAFTY BIZ: survey for eco dress company

This survey was forwarded to me by Krissy, along with this note from Margaret, the designer:

I am trying to get feedback from a wide range of women with various backgrounds (business professionals, journalists, creative artists, students, etc.) to determine the viability of my business -- I am starting a line of eco-friendly wedding & cocktail dresses. The survey is completely anonymous, and the information will be used to help me determine what is most important to women when making a purchasing decision.

Margaret MacLeod


One of Margaret's designs

CRAFTIVISM: hat pattern request for streetknit



I have a request from a woman who is organizing a sTReeTKnit drive at her place of work.

"Is there any chance you'd have some easy patterns for hats that we could share?"

I, of course, people-wrangle more than I do knit. If any of you fine knitting-knitsters have any easy patterns for hats you might share, I would be most happy to pass them on.

*About Streeknit*
Founded in 2006 by Sadie Lewis in Toronto, Streetknit rouses the knitting communities of u(To)pia, hobbyists, s n' bs, society yarn-darlings , needle-clackers of all ages to put needles together and spend some time knitting some warmth into an extra scarf, maybe some toques with affectionate or somber colours, mitts, blankets, socks, even a sweater and see it reach those without home. These can be dropped off at local yarn-knit shops Knit-O-Matic (1378 Bathurst St.), The Naked Sheep (2144 A Queen St. E.), Sew Be It Studio (2156 Yonge St.) and The Knit Cafe (1050 Queen W.).

Ryan Kamstra

GET SCHOOLED: jewel envy classes

Like I've said before, Toronto's gone indie jewellery kerazee! Here's another fine jewellery studio offering classes. Now you have zero excuse not to get out there and pursue your dream to make your own bling.


Jewel Envy

Our next set of class start dates is as follows:

Our next 8 week class will be starting on:
Monday August 20, 2007 (Introductory Class)
Tuesday August 21, 2007 (Introductory Class)
Thursday August 23, 2007 (Introductory Class)

Our next 1 day workshop will be on:
Saturday August 18, 2007 (band ring)
Sunday August 19, 2007 (band ring)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

MISC: facebook finds on the TCA wall

Wanted to share a few recent posts from the TCA facebook group. Feel free to join us over at the TCA facebook group here:

Knit-O-Matic Yarn Swap
sick of your stash? swap it!
Sunday, September 9, 2007
12:00pm - 5:00pm
1378 Bathurst St
Toronto, ON

Is knitting from your stash getting a bit stale? Swap it up! We're hosting a big yarn swap to revitalize you for the fall. Bring all the yarns & other craft materials that need a good home and you can take anything you want from the pile.All the left-overs will be donated to local charities, so if you've got a pile of mungy old acrylic you want to forget you owned please bring it in and we will make sure it goes to a better place. Everyone is welcome, the more the merrier! There is no cost to attend, we're just doing this for the FUN of it! Refreshments will be served but cookies will not be turned away.

Facebook event page:


I thought all of you would be interested in a Workshop we have coming up at Bead Junction. I don't get payed to tell you:-)

Melanie Potter (She was in the June/July issue of Beadwork)
She will be teaching 4 workshops On Friday Aug. 17 to 19th 2007
2 Beginner 2 Intermediate (I will taking one)
If you are interested go to the web site
see the projects and call and sign up.
Hope to see some of you there


Hi crafty ladies...
craftyCOUTURE is looking to hire part time instructors and assistants for afterschool + lunchtime fashion + craft programs.
If you are currently enrolled or have graduated from an arts, fashion or education program + have experience working with kids please send your resume and samples of your work to info[AT]

GET SCHOOLED: begining jewelry/goldsmith classes at nanopod

nanopod's at it again with more workshops on offer:

Beginning Jewelry/Goldsmith

Learn how to hand fabricate & cast your own jewelry,
sculptures, fashion accessories using Sterling Silver!
You will make a band ring, learn one of the oldest casting techniques, learn how to etch metal, set stones, and much more!

Wednesday evenings starting August 29th
5 student max., 8 wks, 6:30p.m.-9:30p.m.
1 evening per week $250 + materials*
Pre registration required w/$100 deposit

week#1: working with copper- introduction, drilling, sawing, soldering

week#2: making a ring band out of silver(stamp, hammer finish, roller print, etc)

week#3: finishing your ring, patinas, polishing, working with wax for lost wax casting

week#4: continue working with wax, lo-tech casting in class.

week#5: cleaning up castings, creating your own findings (ear wires, jump rings, pin backs)

week#6: forming metal using the dapping block, disk cutters, married metals, etching, riveting, bezel settings, tube settings

week#7: create a piece using learned techniques

week#8: finish up projects

*some materials included: sterling silver for 1 ring band, copper, brass, silver solder.
Stones, sterling for other projects offered at a reasonable price. Resource list
of local suppliers given on first evening.

No Experience Necessary!
Register with a friend and receive 15% off

Register online, over the phone or at the studio
Visa, Mastercard, Debit, or cash accepted.
nanopod: Hybrid Studio
322 Harbord Street
Toronto, ON
647 219 0585

Image shows past nano-student's work:


SALE: kooky handbags

Patricia wrote to tip us off to her summer end (wah) Etsy sale:

Whitby designer, Patricia Roberts of Kookyhandbags is having a end of summer sale at her Etsy shop:

Don't miss out on 25% off select bags in pretty, summery patterns and colors like these ones:
pretty in pink and green small tote:


and this whimsical fiSHy tote:


Saturday, August 11, 2007

GET SCHOOLED: dirty (&clean) crochet lessons at alley jaunt

This just in: Susan passed on this message from Shannon Gerrard:

Shannon Gerrard Boobs & Dinks

Hi Everyone:

The book launch on Tuesday night was a huge success! Thanks to all who made it out.

If you couldn't be there, or if you just can't get enough of those BOOBS & DINKS, come visit me this weekend, August 11 and 12th at ALLEY JAUNT!

Every summer, on the second weekend in August, home owners in the Trinity Bellwoods neighbourhood donate their garage spaces to local artists who transform them into interactive, site-specific workshops and gallery installations. Visitors get a map of the neighbourhood and follow chalked arrows to explore the back alleys and find amazing art!

I'm taking part again and am located at #4 on the attached map. I'm at the North East corner of the park, right by the big red garages that mark AJ headquarters.

I'm setting up the ART CART and offering crocheted lessons all weekend. You can learn just some basic stitches, or can try out on of the projects I'm teaching-- boobie tassles, finger puppets, and willy warmers (that winter jogging and cycling will be here before you know it). I also have Hung no3; Lonely Tylenol for sale as well as the BOOBS & DINKS.

Come out and help me raise some money for the cancer recovery initiative, Cottage Dreams (

Look on for more info, or consult the attachment for map and the weekend's programme.



Friday, August 10, 2007

GET SCHOOLED: fall jewellery courses at george brown

A message from jewellery artist Anneke van Bommel:

Hello All,

Just wanted to send along details of the upcoming Fall Courses at George Brown College in the Jewellery Studio. I am teaching the Intro, Jewellery Surface Treatments and Colouring, and the Felted Jewellery course.

***you've already taken an Intro course with me, feel free to pass along this [information] to friends/family that expressed interest in what you created during the course.

Enjoy the rest of your summer! Check the link below for course details and registration info.

Some images from past Jewellery 1 students:

Key fob by Amber Gertzbein

Pendant by Quinny Chiang

Thursday, August 09, 2007

amie scott introduces her new minidresses


Toronto Fashion Designer Amie Scott would like to announce the newest addition to her fashion family:

The Minidress! Hurray!!

These lovely frocks feature gathered sleeves, contrasting collar and cuffs, and wicked two tone graphic prints. They retail for $109, and are currently available at Distill in Toronto's Distillery District, Ottawa's Workshop Boutique, and Calgary's Looks Could Kill Art Boutique.

I hope you like them!

Regards, Amie Scott

nanopod guerrilla ring band workshops


nanopod: Hybrid Studio announces

Super Guerrilla Ring Band Workshops for the Jersey Street Festival!
Saturday, August 18th ONLY
$30 per session, 5 student max per workshop.
Pre-registration is required.
Workshop times listed on the website.

Make a beautiful shiny or matte sterling silver ring. You will learn how to size your finger, calculate the length of metal necessary, annealing your ring blank, sawing, drilling, filing, stamping, add texture(s), soldering using the Oxy/Propane mini torch, form and polish!
All of this in about an hour!
WOWZA! This workshop includes sterling silver for one ring, instruction and use of tools and equipment. Maximum of 5 participants per workshop - there will be four, 90 minute workshops taking place this day.

Register soon - as these workshops are sure to fill!
Register online at using Paypal
over the phone with Visa or Mastercard
or at nanopod studio

nanopod is located at
322 Harbord Street (between Jersey St. and Grace St.)
Toronto, ON
647 219 0585

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

EXHIBITION: square foot kickin it again


Show dates: August 10th - September 2nd, 2007
Reception: Friday, August 10th @ 7 P.M.
New Square Foot Location: 100A Ossington Ave, 2nd floor (just a few door North of AWOL Gallery)
Hours: Thurs. - Saturday 12 - 6 PM & Sunday 1 - 5 PM

“I could go on and on with my picks...If you‘ve spent the summer avoiding the gallery circuit, Square Foot is a great way to relieve your guilt and stay satiated until at least early October. Galleries within a square mile of AWOL might as well paper over their windows.”
- RM Vaughan, National Post, Square Foot August 2005

AWOL Gallery presents Square Foot 2007, a dynamic annual art exhibition, which showcases the work of hundreds of local and international artists. Now in its fifth year, the Square Foot show has become one of the foremost community art events in Toronto. With each artist creating work in a 12x12 inch format, the show is hung in a grid forming an installation of overwhelming proportions. Each year the Square Foot Exhibition has grown in scale and reached a larger audience. This year’s exhibition will be held at a larger off site venue located at 100a Ossington, just steps from AWOL Gallery. This 2,500 square foot room will be transformed into AWOL’s largest square foot show to date, showcasing over 500 artists from Canada, The United States, England, Korea, and Australia.

Square Foot brings together artists from a variety of backgrounds, disciplines and career levels and offers their work at $200 per piece. It provides the established artist a distinctive group show opportunity but is also a venue for many emerging artists to have their work discovered by galleries and collectors alike.

The AWOL Gallery Square Foot Show has spawned numerous imitation shows in Toronto and throughout North America. However it has been AWOL’S commitment to a non-juried, affordable, international community exhibition that has continually kept the show unique, fun, and versatile.

Who are these guys? AWOL Gallery and Studios is a pioneer of the Queen West Gallery District. The seven-artist collective has produced hundreds of exhibitions, as well as eight grand annual group shows of varying formats since it’s inception in 1999. The Ossington Avenue location houses the gallery and fourteen studio spaces.

t: 416.535.5637

VENDOR CALL: heart on your sleeve seeking consigners


Natalie is looking for consigners for Heart on your Sleeve, her new shop in Kensington Market at the corner of Bellevue and Nassau. All of the goodies on offer are handmade in Canada with a focus on eco-friendly and animal-friendly materials. She is looking for consignment crafters that make stuff that is eco-friendly (recycled, organic) in nature and are also vegan. Consignment terms are 60/40.

Natalie Stephenson

susan on alley jaunt (this weekend!)

Here's a message from Susan, who so graciously helps out it putting together the TCA mailouts:


I just wanted to invite everyone to the Alley Jaunt this weekend.

This year's 'Jaunt promises an orphanage for abandoned monsters, 1001 images of Baghdad, a collaborative toy theatre parade, an unexpected poetry respite...

On Saturday August 11th and Sunday August 12th, donated back alley garages surrounding Trinity Bellwoods Park are transformed into provocative venues for contemporary art. Now in its fifth year, Alley Jaunt features over 40 local artists and arts collectives and invites the public to explore their work through the city's less travelled passage-ways in a free, non-traditional community environment.

The event gives exposure to local artists, encourages public interaction with art, and reaches out to a diverse community of all ages.

Visit for a detailed map of the participating alleys and garages or pick one up at the red door garage at the north end of Trinity Bellwoods Park.

My work for the event is an installation in two parts called "Coincidentism". The text begins on a building in the "bowl" in the south end of Trinity Bellwoods Park and continues on a series of windows at the Grateful Head at Dundas and Montrose. Using poetry and hand-cut vinyl, the installation exists somewhere between graffiti andoutdoor wallpaper.

"Get 'em while they are hot!¬¬I am also trying my hand at silkscreen and will make some cloth shopping bags and t-shirts inspired by the weekend to sell at the "Garage Sale"

For more information about my installation and my work, see: Comments are welcome!

Enjoy the summer!



the soft city needs you


The Soft City is looking for volunteers to help facilitate child centered workshops and to be involved in our plush city at the CNE from August 17 - 23. And to help during the entire run of the CNE until Sept 3rd.

If you or someone you know is interested in working along side an amazing bunch of people and interested in the intersection between urban politics, craft and design. Those whom are interested should send an email to the volunteer coordinator at:

About the project:
The Soft City is an ongoing plush and felt city that is made by both children and the imaginative. It has been exhibited at the Power Plant, Fort York, The Gladstone Hotel, as part of Doors Open, and in the fall will be at Toronto City Hall. This year we are exhibiting the work at the CNE, in a partnership with the Design exchange and the Art Gallery of Ontario, where we will be running child and family focused workshops. The public will have the opportunity to contribute to our ever-growing city. The entire city will also be exhibited.

For more information about the project visit:

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

who are you guys, anyhow?

So I’ve been meaning to do this for a long time…. A Toronto Craft Alert Reader Survey!

I am dying to know more about who visits the TCA and how you are using it. I could also really use some feedback on what could be improved or done differently. I won’t deny that I love hearing about what you all like about the project via email, but some tips for how to serve the community better would be super handy as well.

So please follow the link below to the survey below and give it a go. It is completely anonymous, though I will share the results here and will use the info generated for future TCA operations.

Many thanks to those who take the time to fill it out!

Click Here to take survey

arts & crafts on craigslist

Looks like Toronto Craigslist got wise to Angelune's scavenger concept and added an Arts & Crafts section to their For Sale classifieds.

A brief peruse revealed the following items on offer: a screenprinting squeegee, sewing patterns, rubber stamps & embossing gear, tailoring services, and my favourite, crocheted Egg Warmers:

crocheted egg warmers
Get yer Egg Warmers here while you can.

Thanks to Angelune for the heads up.

handwork studio opening


Handwork Studio
Opening Reception, Saturday September 15th, 12-4pm
Instructors, Students Exhibit and Unique Handwork Items

The Handwork Studio offers Felting, Sewing, Knitting, Painting & Drawing classes to children and adults. Located in downtown Toronto in a most unique building with a green roof (roof top garden.)

Come and visit us at 401 Richmond Street West, Room 203.
RSVP 416-545-7741

Sunday, August 05, 2007

tank fire + metal workshop


om home 4490 line

Congrats to Toronto-based designer Oorbee Roy of OM home, who has landed a spot at the New York International Gift Fair in the prestigious Handmade division. If you happen to be in NYC between August 11-15, 2007, catch Oorbee’s lovely work at booth 1D209.

All of Oorbee’s patterns tell a story, and OM home’s new line, “4490” is no exception.

4490, the number in Montreal of the first house the designer came as a new bride - homesick and apprehensive but hopeful. Choosing to mark her new territory in a bold way, the designer painted a freeform Alpona mural on the ceiling [TCA note: you may remember this pattern from a previous post]. With her life turned upside down, translating a technique usually reserved for floors onto the ceiling seemed only logical and more importantly, helped the designer feel at home in an unknown city. While the murals have since been painted over by the new owner, the pattern has found a new home in the luxurious 4490 pillows.

The embroidery styles are also new to OM home, one with lush hand embroidered threadwork and the other adorned with heavy hand embroidered zardozi work, an embroidery style using metallic thread dating from the Mughal Empire.

OM Home 4490 1
OM Home 4490 3

See more of Oorbee’s work on the OM home website: