Wednesday, July 30, 2008

SHOP CRAFTY: LINOBaby Summer Sale (August 1-3 & 8-10)


Thai Easy Pants Cotton $40 ... now $30
Thai Easy Pants Linen $44 ... now $35 Linen
Also on Sale Onesies, T's, SilkFilled Duvets and much more!

sale dates:
August 1-3 and August 8-10
Friday Saturday and Sunday

1018 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON M6J 1H6

Any questions please call 647 866 8802

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Whodunnit? @ Ontario College of Art & Design (deadline October 17th)

Be part of the mystery!
The Ontario College of Art & Design is accepting donations of work for the OCAD Whodunit? Mystery Art Sale!

Submission deadline: October 17, 2008

In six short years, the Whodunit? OCAD Mystery Art Sale, the Ontario College of Art & Design's signature fundraising event, has established itself as one of Toronto's favourite art events. The support of the OCAD community for Whodunit?, which raised more than $225,000 in 2007 to support our creative environment, has been simply outstanding.

Whodunit? will take place from November 19 to 22, 2008. The 5½" x 7½" works donated by OCAD students, faculty and alumni, as well as by other artists, designers and creative celebrities who support the university, will be exhibited for three days and then offered for sale on the final day, all at the same price of $75.


*Request an artist package and create two or more 5½" x 7½" pieces to donate to the sale.
* Recruit other artists and creative celebrities to donate art work.


Three-dimensional pieces are welcome! Three-dimensional pieces should have a footprint no more than 5½" deep x 7½" wide x 8½" high (14 cm deep x 19 cm wide x 21 cm high). Acid-free cards, generously provided by Aboveground Art Supplies, are included in the artist package for you to use as a base or as a size-template for other base material.

Tax receipts! You will receive a $75 tax receipt for each piece of your work that is sold. Alternately, we are happy to provide a tax receipt for the full value of your work - please see the Submission Guidelines info sheet for further details.

Whodunit? supports OCAD's Library! This year, Whodunit? proceeds will fund resources and upgrades for the Dorothy H. Hoover Library and new student Learning Zone at OCAD. Every piece of art sold supports the learning experience of OCAD students.

Submissions can be (but are not limited to) any of the following:

Industrial Design
Jewellery & Metalsmithing
Environmental Design

Graphic Design
Models & Maquettes
Textile & Fibre

Request an artist package

For more information about this event, please contact

Whodunit? can only succeed with your support!

Thank you for donating to the Ontario College of Art & Design.

100 McCaul Street, Toronto

CRAFTY BIZ: The Grant Writing Workshop with William Huffman (deadline: Aug 11, workshop: Aug 13)

Via Akimbo

The Cryptic Canvas' Seminar Series is pleased to offer to:

The Grant Writing Workshop
with William Huffman
Toronto Arts Council/Foundation
Associate Director & Grant Officer

Wednesday August 13th, 2008 6:30-9:30pm
Discussion & Q&A: 6:30-8:30
Reception: 8:30-9:30

The Cryptic Canvas Gallery
8 Waterloo Terrace
Toronto, ON

Reservations Required
Cost: $25.00+tx
Reserve at or 416.703.0379.

Deadline for Reservations:
Monday August 11, 2008
Limited Space - Reserve Early!

About William Huffman:
A native of the Niagara Region, William Huffman is an arts administrator, curator and writer with a history of extensive involvement on both local and international cultural fronts. Huffman is currently the Associate Director of the Toronto Arts Council (TAC) and Toronto Arts Council Foundation (TACF). Before joining TAC/F in 2002, he worked with a number of visual arts organizations in Ontario such as Rodman Hall Arts Centre, Blackwood Gallery, Arts Toronto, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, A Space Gallery, Canadian Art Foundation and Art Gallery of Sudbury. Huffman is a past Board member of Mercer Union Centre for Contemporary Art, Ontario Cultural Human Resources Council, Canadian Artists Representation / Le Front des Artistes Canadiens and Alliance Française de Toronto. He is Founding Director of Le Consortium pour l'echange (France/Canada), a member of the Program Advisory Committee for Art & Art History, a joint program between Sheridan College and University of Toronto at Mississauga and a member of the Board of Directors of Parkdale Liberty Economic Development Corporation (Toronto). In 1999, Huffman created the Art & Art History Program's ongoing William Huffman Award for Excellence in Studio Practice. His past curatorial initiatives include: Aurora: A Survey of New Media Work from Finland (Canada/USA), Head Frame for the 2001 Biennale di Venezia (Italy), Stephen Andrews: the 1st part of the 2nd half (France/Italy/Canada), traductions (Montréal) and La Grande Expérience for Toronto's inaugural Nuit Blanche. The Ambassade de France recently appointed Huffman Chef du Projet of the Marseille-Toronto visual art exchange initiative scheduled to launch in 2009.

SHOP CRAFTY: Julie Moon's "Buy, bye Toronto" studio sale (August 2 & 3)

Damn am I bummed that I have to miss this. Good thing I scored one of Julie's amazing vases at the TOAE (pictured below - don't you just love him???)

julie moonstache 002

Julie Moon is going to grad school...

"Buy, bye Toronto"
… a studio sale.

(one weekend only. )

*355 Spadina Avenue, Toronto.

Saturday, August2nd,12pm-6pm.
Sunday,August 3rd, 12pm-6pm.

One-of-a-kind ceramic art pieces, for sale .
-other random stuff also available. ie: books, fabrics, clothes..

(*located above Uncle Jacobs used bike shop.N of Baldwin, S of Cecil. East side.)

Word to your mutha.

VENDOR CALL: Good Catch Double Dutch Craft Show (deadline: July 31, show: August 17)

There is still a day left to apply for the next City of Craft event – the Good Catch Double Dutch Craft Show, taking place at the Good Catch General Store, out back. Read on for deets.

The Good Catch Dear Diary show (September 2007)

Wanna spot in the Good Catch Double Dutch Craft Show? Let us know by email by July 31st and include a link to pictures! Email

Some things you should know:

+ Show takes place on Sunday, August 17 from noon - 5pm

+ Fee to participate is $10

+ This is not a curated show and vendors will be chosen by lottery from submitted applications by July 31st.

+ This show is also themed as kid-friendly with a craft event happening brought to you by the Toronto Church of Craft. This doesn't mean that you need to make and sell stuff for and to kids, just that lots of kids and parents will be present.

In craftiness, Leah
(August Good Catch Co-Ordinator)

SUPPLY YOUR HABIT: Rozaneh Vintage Sale (end of Summer)

fabric pile

Rozaneh Vintage Sale

442 Dufferin Avenue, Unit E
Steps North of the Gladstone Hotel
South of Dundas at Alma Bus stop

Thursday 1-8
Friday 1-7
Sunday 1-8

to arrange another time, call 416-534-8303

Having a blow-out summer sale! Nothing over ten dollars! Reasonable
offers accepted. Introducing preview of fall stock.

Don't forget, yarns, vintage textiles and fabrics, books and patterns.
Also, tons of jewelry out at the moment.

Rozaneh has procured a deluxe collection of clothing from turn of the century to the 1940s. Ask to view!

FOR SALE: button maker stuff, booth, and tent for craft shows

Chantelle of Little Brown Wren has a few craft items for sale. She’s a new mom and has decided to put her touring career on hold sticking exclusively to working at OOAK. Here's what's up for grabs:


An industrial quality 1" button press and circle cutter. $250


A One of a Kind show approved, Rising Stars section booth (5x2 feet wooden kissing booth style currently painted blue- comes in 4 pieces and is light enough to carry on the roof of your car). $50


A brand new 10x10 easy to assemble tent for outdoor shows. $50

Prices are negotiable.
If interested, contact Chantelle at

EXHIBITION: One Inch Punch (August 8th)

One Inch Punch (The Button Show) — August 8th @ Lennox
One Inch Punch is back and it's time for the main event!

After two successful years, we're back with another one night stand of original artwork on one inch buttons.

We asked artists, designers, experts, and amateurs across the nation to submit their original designs for a one inch button. From these submissions, 50 button designs have fought their way to the top and are ready to be displayed in our gallery show in one of the most unique events of the year.

On Friday, August 8th, come to the Lennox Contemporary Gallery to see the hottest button designs from Toronto and around the world, where they 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.

Trading gets more intense every year, so brush up on your bargaining skills!

DJ Coco Bryce will keep things going through the night, and clothing by Les Robots will also be on display.

Join us Friday, August 8th at Lennox Contemporary Gallery for some button down badness!!!

Friday, August 8th

Lennox Contemporary Gallery

12 Ossington Ave (just north of Queen)
8pm - 12am

One Inch Punch!!! is curated by Les Robots and Tonia Addison

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Resident Artist Program @ The Living Arts Centre

Via Akimbo

The Resident Artist Program
has been created to provide opportunities for a blend of recent graduates of arts and design institutions, as well as mid-career artists, to create, explore, learn and exchange ideas and insights, within a multi-disciplinary environment.

We have eight professional studios in Wood, Glass, Sculpture, Flameworking, Photography, Painting and Drawing, Ceramics, Textile and Fibre Arts.

Short and long term residencies are available.

Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. Studio space is available in 2008-2009.

Operating within a facility that offers a diverse choice of performing and visual arts programs, patrons of all ages enjoy a line-up of musicians and artists, and opportunities for hands-on creative expression in a professional arts environment. This marriage between visual and performing arts, community education and professional art practice provides a valued and unique atmosphere for emerging artists.

According to past resident artist Andrea Marcus,
"It is not just the combination of artforms, but the possibility to connect and interact with so many people, visual artists, performing artists, businesses, and the general public that creates a wide scope of opportunity."

Resident Artist Benefits:

  • Resident Artist office – computer, printer, slide scanner, fax machine,telephone,internet
  • teaching and assisting opportunities
  • representation on the Centre's website
  • annual Resident Artist exhibition
  • opportunity for corporate commissions and to sell work in the Centre's Gift Shop
  • on-site Studio Technician
  • all utilities provided
  • free parking
  • opportunity for inter-disciplinary activities
For more information about the selection criteria and the application form, please visit our website at:


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

VENDOR CALL: 2008 Winter MADE Show & Sale (December 2008)

boisjoli fingers
Come hither and apply to MADE

The winter MADE Show Applications are now available!

Please contact the organizers and they will email one out to you - see a preview on their blog. For a review of the 2008 Spring MADE Show participants please visit the artist page here.

About MADE

The MADE Show is a group of artists and designers that create everything from fine art to utilitarian objects with focus on design and process in design.

As corporate buyers become increasingly estranged from the artists that produce their work, so do artists from the various stages of their own art. In order to compete with competitive pricing demands by buyers, many artists are forced to outsource elements of their work they would normally choose not to. Out-sourcing and mass production of art for design or function has many negative effects; Quality and individuality is often sacrificed, but more importantly, it weakens the social network of local and community-based artisans.

MADE is a step in a different direction. MADE invites participants to collaborate on ideas with the intent to keep the various stages of creative development within the art community. The idea of the show is to provide a platform where artists and artisans can create more involved process oriented work. There are no rules - artists will be selling both smaller priced functional items mixed with their more conceptual and innovative work. As part of each event, several Toronto based artists, shop owners and art spaces in the city will be attending in the hopes of strengthening the relationships between artists of various disciplines.

Come to the show, look around. Buy something perhaps - What we're trying to say is, buy less and buy better.

EXHIBITION: Quilt of Belonging at the C.N.E. (Aug 15- Sept. 1)

Wowza, this looks pretty dang amazing....and it's nice to see quilting elevated as an artform in a mainstream context.

Quilt of Belonging at the Canadian National Exhibition (C.N.E.)
August 15 to September 1, 2008
10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place, Toronto

CMC Panaroma for media kits

Quilt of Belonging will be on display this summer at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto, from August 15th to September 1st. The Quilt can be seen every day in the Direct Energy Centre, from 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.

Quilt of Belonging is a stunning collaborative textile art project that shows there is a place for all in the fabric of society. The rich tapestry is 36 metres long and 3.5 metres high. Its 263 blocks portray the rich cultural legacies of all the First Peoples in Canada and every nation of the world. From beaded caribou hides to gold-embroidered silk to the gossamer wings of butterflies, the astonishing range of materials and their stories connect the threads of our past to the limitless possibilities of our future.

For more information please contact either Elyse Marcus at 416-263-3571 ( or Esther Bryan at 613-347-2381 (

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

EXHIBITION: C1 art space presents ARTIST T-SHIRTS & TOPS (July25th - August 31st)

C1 art space Presents:

44 Ossington Avenue
July 25th to August 31, 2008.
Opening Reception: Saturday, July 25th at 7pm
Gallery Hours: Thursday to Saturday 12 to 6pm, Sunday 1 to 5pm or by appointment

C1 art space presents
ARTIST T-SHIRTS & TOPS, an invitational exhibition of original art on apparel. Wearable art! This show will feature originally designed artist t-shirts and apparel. From cute and quirky to witty and weird, there will be a variety of styles and designs to suit all. Artists include: Sandra Tarantino, Ross Bonfanti, Nora Kensington, Jocelyn De Backere, Erin Vincent, Chantal Doak, Yasmine Louis, Matt Schofield, Andrew Waite, Magda Trzaski, Jen Silk, James Gardner, Daryl Vocat, Brandon Steen and many others.

Visitors may also check out the summer 2008 schedule of screen printing workshops where students of all ages can print their own designs onto t-shirts.

C1 art space opened its doors in November of 2004 in the Queen West Gallery District of Toronto, Canada. The project was developed by artist/teacher Sandra Tarantino and artist Ross Bonfanti
as a space to foster creativity in the community. C1 art space houses a variety of activities with the aim of being an approachable and welcoming environment for people to visit. This includes an art shop showcasing unique fine craft and art pieces, an art school offering a variety of workshops in clay, painting, screen printing and more.

For more information, visuals, or a preview appointment please contact:
Sandra Tarantino 416-538-7999 or

C1 art space
44 Ossington Avenue
Tel: 416-538-7999

Monday, July 21, 2008


so, i finally got some work done on my quilting project. i'm done all the cutting! whew! i know the sewing will take a while but i love when i get a big step completed. this reminds me of what i learned in the creativity classes for women that i took last fall, setting goals for myself and celebrating my accomplishments (not that finishing the cutting is a big accomplishment, but enough to give myself a pat on the back and keep on trucking!). how do you set goals and celebrate milestones in your craft practice?
as part of the Toronto Craft Alert's goal to galvanize the city's craft community, we'd like to get a bit of a discussion going. discuss any crafty topic you like... we'll be re-posting this thread every monday morning, so that the discussions can continue in the comments section of this post.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

FROM THE DESK OF TCA: a little summer break

Hi readers!

In the interest of circumventing carpal tunnel syndrome & preserving mental health, TCA is taking a vacay! We will be back in business on Monday July 28th. In the meantime you can email us and we will get to your message upon our return. If you rilly rilly need to get in touch before then, email us anyways and a special secret email will be revealed to you to do just that.

Whatever will you do without TCA for a whole week, you ask? There are plenty of juicy crafty morsels around the site to nibble on while we are away! Why not:
  • Check out all of the resources listed on the right sidebar and visit a new shop or gallery around town
  • Catch up with some local craft bloggers (list recently plumped up by our fabulous intern Roz)
  • Peruse the ask crafty archives and offer your advice to your fellow crafters
  • Write to Laura-Jean with a Crafty Business question
  • Post some pics of your work to the Craft Toronto flickr pool
  • Check out the sites & coupons of the generous sponsors (listed on the left) that keep this ship afloat!
Have a great week & keep crafty

TCA Trunk at the Spring Thing
This would be the TCA suitcase. Get it?

GET SCHOOLED: Frankenjewelry Workshop at The Knit Cafe (August 7)


Thursday August 7, 7-10pm.

The Knit Cafe
1050 Queen St. West
, On. M6J 1H7
416 533 5648

Bring in your old jewelry, wire, chains, and chachkas, buttons, ribbon, toys,
and fabrics, beads, badges, bows and bobbles, and reconfigure them into
wearable works of art. Onsite will be jewelry guidance counselors, with
direction and inspiration. We will be on hand to show you simple techniques for
joining pieces, and stringing beads. Wooly additions are encouraged and there
will be instruction on how to make felt beads, pom poms, knitted flowers,
crocheted gizmos and tassels galore. Possible creations include collars, cuffs,
necklaces, chapeaux, earrings, and brooches. Outcomes are only limited to
imaginations and therefore UNLIMITED!

Knitting experience is unnecessary! Just drop in any time between 7pm and 10pm,
to make and create. Remember to bring in your stashed materials, with a little
extra to share and trade.

Only $5

Props to Julia Burton for bringing her Frankenjewelry extravaganza to the Knit
Café! Hope you all can make it.

GET SCHOOLED: Beginner quilting classes at PageQuilts Studio


taught by Valerie Page of


jamaican rabbit

Learn the basics of quilting techniques and construction while you complete two projects over seven classes in a stimulating setting. These workshops will help you gain the skills needed to complete a variety of designs and larger projects with confidence.

Class One
Introduction to

•Quilting tools and uses – where and what to purchase
•How to choose materials—colours, patterns, fabric choices
•Machine or hand piecing
•Quilt construction basics

Classes two and three
Patchwork Project of choice: focusing on new techniques.

Classes four through seven
Small Quilt Project: explore colour; play on a design wall; incorporate new skills and techniques learned throughout the course. As you explore the design process you’ll pick up tips to make quilt construction simpler; some good basic drafting information, a bit of quilt history and inspiration.

Each workshop runs 3 hours a session for 7 classes (21 hrs).

** Workshop schedule can be adjusted to suit you **

Saturday classes run 10:00 to 1:00 or 2:00 to 5:00
Weekday classes run 10:00 to 1:00/ 1:00 to 4:00 or 6:00 to 9:00

As class size is limited, a deposit is required to guarantee your place.
Cost: $ 350. GST included. VISA/MC/CASH/CQ ACCEPTED

PageQuilts is offering special week long and one day classes this summer and fall.

Information on week /one day classes available on request from

PageQuilts studio is located in Leslieville, at 289 Booth Ave. the nearest junction is Logan Ave at Queen St. East. Please call 416.466.8292 for detailed instructions.


Saturday, July 19, 2008

CRAFTIVISM: Mend's Alterted Toy Project (deadline: September 19)

This org with a great handmade mandate from Boise would love for you all to participate in this fundraiser and possible publication of re-purposed toys.

mend ad

Call to Artists!

Presenting the second Mend donation project, 'The Altered Toy Project'. Mend is a non-profit educational arts organization, located in Boise, Idaho USA. As an organization, we are interested in exploring the potential of hand made objects. Through this project, we hope to expand awareness of the importance of craft, improve quality of life for those in need and provide an organized opportunity to give back. Keeping with current trends towards green projects, we are inviting you to reuse existing toys, in the creation of new toys. All contributing artist/craftspeople will be part of Mend's donation to the Children's Home at the Warm Springs Counseling Center in Boise, Idaho. We welcome all artists and crafts people to join this project. Your toy will be a part of two group fundraiser shows and possibly included in a surprise publication. Submission deadline is September 19th, 2008. To participate or get more information please visit our website, or e-mail us at

CRAFTY BIZ: 'SIlkscreen NOW' book and DVD launch

Local silkscreen vet Kingi Carpenter of Peach Berserk is having a launch party:

peach beserk

Date: Wednesday, July 23 at 7pm
Location: Gladstone Hotel - Main Ballroom
Address: 1214 Queen Street West
For more details:

Come out for the launch of Kingi's new how-to book and DVD 'Silkscreen NOW'...and for a celebration of the fabulous Art of Silkscreening!

The event will feature silkscreening as Performance Art! , fabulously funky fashion shows!, and hand-printed free-bees, even give us the shirt of your back while you are there, and we will print it while you party!

$5 of each book sale, and $20 of each Silkscreen workshop sale, will
be donated to The Stephen Lewis Foundation.

Friday, July 18, 2008


by Pamela Grimaud

Sandra as a young lady

Sandra, who goes by her middle name Tatsuko professionally, has come a long way as a crafter since the gold-sprayed rigatoni Christmas wreath she presented to her Mum in kindergarten. Skilled in the art of jewellery making, stamp carving and in the use of chiyogami (Japanese paper) to create orizuru (cranes) and delicate, whimsical greeting cards, Sandra is what is known in show business as a "triple threat." Typically, this means someone who can sing, dance and act - think Shirley MacLaine or Hugh Jackman - but in Sandra's case she can do all of the above, and play the taiko, or Japanese drums. I'm suitably chastened, and henceforth will only ask questions, listen and learn...


Sandra, you may recall that I first encountered your work last autumn at the Villa Maria holiday craft sale in N.D.G, then followed you to yet another sale in the Town of Mount-Royal to pick up a greeting card you were creating for me. Immediately smitten with your work, I purchased earrings for my sister, and cards (one of Happy Doxie the datschund, and the other Pudgy Waiting Cat) for myself.

I am struck by the varied nature of your crafts as well as your dexterity with numerous materials; paper, stamp-making, stones, polymer clay among them. Can you tell me a bit about how and where you began as an artist and crafter? Were you immersed in one material or method before another, or were you experimenting and creating with various crafts from the start?

As a kid I was always drawing, painting and fiddling with paper, bombarding my parents with cards, pictures and whatever else I came up with. My mom kept a huge Morgan’s box (pre- The Bay days!) filled with my stuff, some of which I still have! Fast forward to 1999, when I made really wonky looking mini-sushi platter magnet as a funny little gift for my mom - when I made some improvements to that original rather primitive model, family and friends shockingly started ordering them from me! December 2001 I did my first couple of craft shows selling polymer clay jewellery and some holiday themed cards, and it just kind of grew from there. Because of the hoarding gene I inherited from my mom, whatever materials I like to work with become a bit of an obsession. In early 2002, all kinds of Japanese paper, card making supplies, polymer clay and tools started to overrun our office, turning it into what is now my little studio.

And yes, Pamela, I clearly remember you hiding behind a neighbouring vendor’s display, so that your sister wouldn’t see that you were buying earrings from me as a gift for her! So sneaky – what a sweet sister!

PudgyCat Indigo onBlue3
Pudgy Waiting Cat. Hand-carved stamp, printed and heat embossed in silver on burgundy cardstock, mounted on Japanese chiyogami.

What are some of the joys and challenges of working with the materials and processes you typically employ? Bingata washi and chiyogami (dyed and printed papers respectively), polymer clay, beads and stones?

The joys working with Japanese paper are many - mostly in that the paper on its own doesn’t have to do anything but just BE; whether it’s patterned chiyogami or bingata, or just subtly textured washi, it’s all so darn gorgeous to look at and wonderfully warm to touch. A major challenge is limited availability here in Montreal, so on the two trips I’ve made to Japan I’ve returned with wads of the stuff; I was terrified they would find a reason to confiscate it before boarding the plane! The few places you can buy Japanese paper here it is pricey, which is actually good otherwise I’d be buying it all the time.

Polymer clay is wonderful to work with - it’s remarkably strong yet very light-weight. I’ve done lots of reading on the subject, and learned how to work with it over the years through experimentation, trial and error, and lots of duds. Finding the right finish and glaze for my pieces has been a challenge – I’ve got a lot of full bottles of products that I’ve tried but once! Sworn enemies of anyone working with polymer clay: air bubbles and any kind of fuzz, fluff or lint… and furry cats that like to hang around the craft studio!

The problem with stones and beads is that there are so many great places online to make easy purchases (I buy a lot of my supplies from fellow Etsy sellers), hence my crazy stash of beads. I will attribute this bead weakness – or some call it a disease - once again to the dreaded hoarding gene, so it’s beyond my control.

Sushi combo3
Sushi combo 3. Necklace and earrings handcrafted out of polymer clay.

Your designs and subject matter are so varied and personal; from the hand-carved animal stamped cards I brought home - patiently waiting to be framed - to delicate bead and stone earrings and bracelets, and polymer sushi pendants. Cherry blossoms and even taiko drums - not one but two kinds - appear in your work. Besides being inspired by your Japanese heritage, which I'd love for you to elaborate on, what else infuses your work?

I love playing with colour – going for calming, harmonious blends, or zinging it up with sharp contrasts. Colour can completely change the mood of a piece, injecting a bit of drama and flair, or lightness and humour. Yup, I do like things with a sense of humour - I tend to gravitate towards quirky things that don’t take themselves too seriously.

Cats, albeit indirectly, affect my work, or at least how I feel throughout the work day. I live with two of the finest specimens, Chibi and Ebi, and I’ve never met a cat I didn’t like. There is something about feline grace and their take-it-or-leave-it demeanor that makes me happy. If my husband goes before I do, I can totally see myself as a wacky old cat lady sharing the dinner table with a whole slew of cats eating at their assigned places. They make their way into my work as well – my logo is a stamp I carved, inspired by my late, great cat, Jerzy.

Being born and raised here in Montreal, I wasn’t exposed to a whole lot of “Japaneseness” at home besides food. Like many third generation Japanese Canadians, I don’t speak Japanese and finding some kind of a connection to my heritage became really important to me once I was in my 20’s. After becoming involved in the community newspaper and then in taiko, or Japanese drumming, I guess my creative side was shaken up a bit! I think my artistic and aesthetic choices are a reflection of my Japanese roots that are firmly planted here in my birthplace, my home, Montréal.

My mom, who passed away in 2006, was one of my biggest fans and supporters. She always said, “I don’t know where you got the talent from, certainly not from me or dad!” which was her way to say she was proud of me. I think of her often when I’m feeling lazy or unproductive to give me the boot I need.

Kingyo5 earrings4
Kingyo earrings. Chiyogami paper is sealed onto layers of polymer clay.

In reading up on
taiko, or Japanese drum playing, and kumi-daiko, the group playing of the instrument, I was struck by the sense of community that is such an important part of learning and performing with this instrument. To quote directly from your groups' website (

"The practice of taiko can be seen as a metaphor for life; Arashi Daiko encourages its members to experience and share taiko through the practice of self-challenge and striving for personal growth. Each member must overcome their own obstacles and face life’s many confrontations. It is only through the development of each individual, both within and outside of Arashi Daiko, that the group may evolve as a collective."

Can you describe the connection and influence of performing taiko on you as an artist and crafter?

Hmmm, neat question… One of Arashi Daiko’s main goals in performing is sharing with the audience, which is a very rewarding part of playing taiko for both the giver and the receiver; similarly, I get a thrill every time someone looks at and chooses to buy something I’ve created. I feel really honoured that they actually want to wear this thing I made, or share it with someone else – if you think about it, it is pretty amazing! There is also the element of giving your best at every moment, which we strive to do as taiko performers, and which I also do as an artisan – some pieces take forever to come together! In my mind, there is no sense in putting something out there with your name on it that is not a true reflection of you or your creative self.

Momiji orangeSe4t
Momiji Orange set. Beaded necklace with chiyogami & polymer pendant.

How do you balance the demands of being an artist, managing your Etsy site and a blog? Are you able to take advantage of quieter seasons, assuming there are any, to create in anticipation or more demanding periods such as the holiday season?

I still have to discipline myself to work regular hours in the day and try to keep at least some evenings free, which is a major problem when you’re self-employed; and especially if you’re doing something you love, it doesn’t feel like work, so you end up working all the time. Summer is less busy craft-wise, but it’s our taiko group’s busiest time, with performances every week-end along with rehearsals, so it’s not really a quiet time, schedule-wise.

I’ve tried to map out my creation and production plans, to work on new designs well before busy periods, but I’ve got no control over ideas that pop into my head at the least convenient moments! I have a couple of new items in production now for a festival I’m doing in Vancouver at the beginning of August, and I’d like to have new Christmas card designs ready for September so that I can then concentrate on production for my fall and holiday craft events. But we’ll see how good I am at actually keeping this schedule! In the fall I’ll be teaching some craft classes too, which are always fun, but I have to keep some time aside to plan for those too. My intentions and planning skills are good – following through, not always so great! I usually have to call in my trusty craft assistant, my husband Jean-François, for help during the holiday season since I inevitably run into times when I’m in “panic mode” with too much to do and not enough time to get it done.

My blog and my web shop on Etsy both suffer from my “all or nothing” tendency, which isn’t always good for business. I miss blogging when I’m not doing it, but it takes up a lot of my time – finding stuff to write about, writing it up, reading other people’s blogs, commenting… And I’ve been falling behind on my photo-taking – I have to take pics of some of the new pieces I’ve been making and post them in my Etsy shop. It gets a little overwhelming at times, but I really feel lucky to be able to do what I love.

crane cards aqua4
Orizuru. Folded paper card.


After thirteen years in the United States and one brutally expensive master's degree from New York University, Pamela Grimaud returned to her beloved Montreal, where she works as a costume historian, college instructor, researcher, independent lecturer and writer. She is currently reading everything she can get her hands on regarding the field of ethical fashion, is a fervent admirer of all things crafty and considers herself a junior knitter. She blogs about all kinds of things at Oh, Little Bird!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

CRAFT TORONTO PICS: Koi fish papercut by Lisui

Koi fish papercut, originally uploaded by LISUI's.

I'm kind of freaking out that someone who does such insanely detailed papercuts (see more here) lives in Toronto. Not because insanely talented people don't live in Toronto (duh), but I'm so used to seeing this kind of work in books at the reference library or the websites of far off exotic galleries or museums that it's hard to imagine passing someone on the street that creates such things. Wowza.

From the Craft Toronto flickr pool. You can join too!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

GET SCHOOLED: Toronto School of Art (July & August dates)

via Akimbo

Looking for some interesting crafty courses? Want to pick up some new skills this summer?

School of Art
410 Adelaide St. West 3rd Floor
Toronto, ON M5V 1S8

In the TSA Gallery
Louise D'Andrade
July 7 – 11, opening Wednesday July 9 at 6 to 9 pm.

The Summer term has started and we are taking registration throughout for upcoming week-long intensives.
*Mention this akimbo ad and get a $20 discount on these courses. Bring a friend and receive another $20 off.

Courses include:

July 14 to 18 (Monday to Friday)

713 Journal Sketching - Iris Haeussler
723 Monoprinting - Moira Clare
757 Encaustic Painting 1 - Nicole Collins
730 Youth Digital iMovie - Lyla Rye

July 21 to 25 (Monday to Friday)

727 Drawing 2 - An Experimental Approach- Celia Neubauer
770 Artist Books - Shelagh Keeley
758 Encaustic Painting 2 - Nicole Collins
763 Web Design for Absolute Beginners - Miklos Legrady

July 28 to August 1 (Monday to Friday)

702 Anatomy and Figure Drawing - Thomas Hendry
708 Drawing 1 - Amanda Burk
772 Sculpture 1—Soapstone Carving - Laura Moore
764 Final Cut Pro Essentials - Rudi Martell

August 5 to 9 (Tuesday to Saturday)

709 Painting Toronto -Brian Burnett
749 Collage Explorations - Donnely Smallwood
742 Acrylic Abstraction on Paper - Tina Poplawski
769 Creative Suite 3 - Karen Justl
741 Introduction to Black & White Photography (for Youth 15–18) - Tobi Asmoucha

August 11 to 15 (Monday to Friday)

716 Acrylic Studio - Tina Poplawski
754 Figure Painting 1 - Gillian Iles
729 Youth Studio - Tina Oehmsen-Clark
766 Illustrator 1 / Photoshop 1 - Brian Burnett

August 18 to 22 (Monday to Friday)

781 Drawing for Painting - Martha Eleen
729 Youth Studio - Malcolm Cullen
768 Digital Documentation/Photoshop 1 - Luke Painter
728 Life Painting 2 - Gillian Iles

Please see for more course details.

VENDOR CALL: 2008 Parkdale Youth Festival ( deadline July 31)

The 2008 Parkdale Youth Festival is seeking: Artist, performers, vendors and

Are you an artist or musician looking to showcase your talents? Are you part of
an organization that services young people? Do you want to get involved in a
community event? Then you might be interested in taking part in the fourth
annual Parkdale Youth Festival. It's been dubbed the largest gathering of youth
service organizations in the west end of Toronto, and this year we will once
again be showcasing a spectacular line up of local entertainment for people of
all ages.

On Saturday August 23 from 2:00pm -10:00 pm Masaryk-Cowan Park and Community Centre will play host to a day of music, art and information to raise awareness for various city-wide youth service organizations. The event will also include a Community Marketplace, Workshops, Interactive Art Zone, Massive Mural Mix, Film Festival, Kidz Korner, and more.

Festival organizers are looking for:
Youth service organizations, artists and vendors who want to request a table,
sponsors who want to get involved, volunteers, and performers who would like to
be considered -dance, theatre, singers, MC's, DJ's, bands, and performance
artists. Preference will be given to youth performers, vendors, artists and

All youth organizations are offered a complimentary community table to display
their information on available youth services and programs.

Contact Festival Innovator
Deadline for application is July 31st, 2008.

Parkdale Youth Festival - Saturday August 23rd, 2008 - 2pm to 10PM Masaryk Cowan Park and Community Centre -

SHOP CRAFTY: Lunule at Poppytalk Handmade (until Aug 6)


A note from TCA teamster Susan:

My decals for kids are included in this month's Poppytalk Handmade Market (July 7 through August 6)! Peruse my stall here or all the super-crafty items in the market here. I was going to try to choose some favorites but all of the work is definitely worth a peek. Toronto local crafter Petit Flaneur's is also included. See their table here.

STUDIO SPACE: Methinks studios in Kensington Market

Check out this opportunity for affordable studio space in the Market:


Methinks is very excited to announce the opening of our new artist-run project space + work studios in Kensington Market. We are looking for open-minded, creative, dedicated individuals to rent shared work studios.

The designated studio spaces vary in size and range in price from $160 - $240.

Studios include:

- 24-hr access
- full bathroom with shower
- a floor sink
- a/c and heating
- a common area for cooking, eating, meeting
- an outdoor patio area

Most importantly, you will have opportunities to participate in organized open studio events, resident group shows (which will complement curatorial programming) and other fun, exciting, professional activity!

A limited number of studios are available for AUGUST 1st.

For more info, or to arrange a time to take a look at the space, please contact:

Ryan Ringer
Director, curator


a day late and a dollar short... well I applied to my very first craft show this weekend. don't know if I'll get in, but at least I'll learn something about applying. any advice out there on applying to craft shows? what about taking rejection or maybe getting stock ready for a show?
as part of the Toronto Craft Alert's goal to galvanize the city's craft community, we'd like to get a bit of a discussion going. discuss any crafty topic you like... we'll be re-posting this thread every monday morning, so that the discussions can continue in the comments section of this post.

Monday, July 14, 2008

CRAFTY HAPPENING: Clothing swap party & alteration workshop – A fundraiser (July 20)


This is the ultimate clothing swap party!

Sunday July 20th from 1-4pm
the workroom
1340 Queen St. West
Facebook event page

Not only will we be swapping all our old clothes, but we'll be giving demos on how to do quick alterations and fittings. All the workroom's equipment will be available for you to work on your swap items, so that you can take them home and wear them right away.

There will be summery refreshments in the garden and a how-to zine for all attendees to take for future reference.

All this for $20!

The money raised is going towards City of Craft's winter craft show.

EXHIBITION: Mirror Mirror at INDEXG (July 24 - Aug 3)


Mirror Mirror
One Track Hand collective
7/22/2008 - 8/3/2008

OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, July 24, 2008 - 7-10 pm
LOCATION: 50 Gladstone Avenue, Toronto, ON

Mirror Mirror is an illustration exhibition exploring the many facets of the alter ego. From traditional to surreal, humorous and conceptual, the ideas and styles are as varied as their creators. With artists Franzisca Barczyk, Hanna Barczyk, Kristian Bauthus, Willow Dawson, Beata Kruszynski, Tiffani Lam, John Lang, Olga Poliakov (aka Fransel), and Emma SanCartier, Mirror Mirror presents an eclectic mix of work that will be sure to impress!

We hope you will consider coming! Sincerely,
-Members of The One Track Hand Collective.

FACEBOOK event link

CRAFT SHOW: Muskoka Arts and Crafts 46th Annual Summer Show (July 18-20)

Irina Rappaport sent in a notice about this upcoming show that she will be participating in this weekend.

muskoka flyer

Muskoka Arts and Crafts
46th Annual Summer Show
Annie Williams Memorial Park in Bracebridge

Two hundred sensational artists and craftspeople from Muskoka and across Canada show and sell their original and handmade work to over 20,000 enthusiastic people.

July 18-20, 2008
Hours: Friday, 10am-7pm, Saturday & Sunday, 10am-5pm.
Admission by Donation
Free Parking.
The park is located at the corner of Santa's Village Road and Wellington Street.

GET SCHOOLED: Fashion Design 101 at Sew Be It (starts September 15)


From the desk of Sew Be It Studio:

Our new Fashion Design Series is perfect for those who want to learn to design their own clothes or who just want to learn new skills. Perfect for people who are busy with work and life.
Fashion Design 101
This is the first level in our four part design series. It is designed for adults who have a busy lives and want to dive into the fashion design world. In this first level we start with skirts. Students will have the opportunity to begin their design portfolio with a skirt collection. We will cover fashion illustration, various construction techniques such as pockets, waistband, and pleats that apply to making the perfect skirt and pattern drafting.

10 weeks. 3 hours per class. $395.00

Beginner sewing skills are a must
Date: September 15, Mondays
Time: 6pm - 9pm

For more information call 416-481-7784 or email