Wednesday, December 31, 2008

GET SCHOOLED: Beginner felt making classes at Shopgirls (January 10 &11)

Saturday January 10 and Sunday January 11, 2009
from 1:00pm - 4:00pm each day

Learn this ancient technique in unique modern ways!

By the end of this two-day workshop you will learn the basics of Wet Felting, including Flat Felting, Nuno Felting and 3D Felting.

Each student will also design and make their own piece of hand-felted cloth, a decorative felt bowl, a pouch or pocket (ideal for cell phones, iPods or even an eye glass case) and a 3D felted object.

This workshop takes place over two days with three hours of felting techniques taught on each day.

RSVP to or call 416-534-7467 to reserve your spot. Payment must be received in advance.

* The felting kit, available at the first class, is an additional $25 and includes: sponge, olive oil natural soap, felting mat, non-slip mat, small piece of firm plastic (to make pouches), fabric (silks and linens for Nuno Felting), 125 grams of wool (2-3 kinds/colours).

NOTE: A minimum of four students is required. If this number is not achieved, an alternate date will be provided. All workshops require full payment at time of sign-up.

Ticket Info: $80

FREE STUFF ALERT: free child admission to the ROM (January 1, 2009)

Any of you with little ones may be interested in this ROM offer for New Year's day.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

SUPPLY YOUR HABIT: 'Goodybye to all this wool' Party!! at nanopod (December 29)

'Goodybye to all this wool' Party!!

Incredible selection of yarn inherited from a professional knitter/crocheter/crafter/collector.

Brought to Canada from California!

Top designer brands in every colour!
Rare, never to be found in Canada brands!
All Natural! Hand-Dyed! Hand Spun!

Lot's of beautiful FREE yarn to choose from!

Yarn that normally sells between $3-$10
only a loonie!
Yarn that normally sells between $10+
only a toonie!

Free knitting needles (circular and straight), crochet hooks, etc., free while they last!
Free baskets for your yarn!

So don't miss out on this once in a lifetime yarn hop!
1 Day ONLY!

Monday, December 29, 2008
12:00pm - 6:00pm
The Annex
257 Albany Ave
Toronto, ON

Google Map

Saturday, December 27, 2008

ECOCRAFT: Kootsac re-usable bulk bags


I am a bit of a compulsive plastic bag avoider (which has lead to many a purse covered in bulk peanut butter & curious stares from passersby as I attempt to transport more than I can possibly carry sans bag), so I was really excited when I came across these Canadian-made eco bulk bags on sköna life.

Here is a description of the bags from maker of The Kootsac:

One day, while shopping in my favorite natural food store, I suddenly realized how much plastic filled our shopping carts. Beautiful organic nuts, grains, pulses and other healthy dried goods go home in a zillion plastic bags. I was appalled when I considered how many plastic bags we throw away in a year.

I wanted to find an alternative. They needed to be lightweight, yet strong, re-usable, washable and would fasten with a twist tie. They had to be capable of holding any bulk food item, even flour, without leakage.

As a clothing designer and textile artist I felt that I could come up with some alternative to this problem.

I've been using my ripstop nylon 'Kootsac' bags now for more than a year and I'm really pleased with them. I know you will be too.

Visit the Etsy site here & be sure to check out their handy FAQs as well.

+ This lisiting and image is reposted for news reporting purposes only

CRAFTY BUSINESS WITH LAURA-JEAN: should I stay or should I go?

crafty business

Here's a good question for any of you feeling defeated by a less than stellar holiday sales season... Email Laura-Jean with your own business related queries & quandaries.

Q: I don't know if you can help me because my question is pretty vague, but here goes: I've been making things for years, but about 3 months ago, I decided to try to make it into a business. I signed up for a couple craft shows, approached some stores and now, just three months into the whole thing, I'm feeling defeated and ready to throw in the towel! I knew it was going to be hard, but I've barely sold anything! When or how do I know if this just isn't going to work?

A: Well, if you're defeated and ready to throw in the towel, you're right on track! Just kidding, sort of..... I remember talking to one of the designers who was a member at Fresh Collective once. She had a tee-shirt line, and she had researched and worked and really built a nice little business in just a few months. She was really down about slow sales and said "I knew it would be hard, but I didn't expect this!" I was flabbergasted! Here was a person who had taken an idea and made it real in such a short time. From my perspective, she had accomplished a lot! Yes, the sales were the next obstacle, but sometimes we get so impatient, we expect the world and we expect it NOW!

I laughed and replied, "Well what exactly did you think would be hard? Counting all the money you were making?!? Carrying it all to the bank??!" I find myself constantly learning from the newer designers I work with, and this incident made me realize that probably the single hardest thing we face in our businesses is mood management. A small business is very mood driven: our excitement at how great and fun it will be fuels so much, but a rejection, defeat or problem can get blown up into a symbol of why this will never, ever work and we were fools to try.

To make your business work, you need to get your mood back on track and get your excitement level back up.

First, you should address practical concerns. Is your life set up to sustain you working on your business? I think part-time work is a must (unless you're rich) to keep money coming in and your stress levels down. I always waitressed, as it provided a good amount of money in my pocket right away, and I didn't need to care about it. When my shift was done, I was done. I also found it was a good way to promote my stuff! I wore the jewellery and clothing I made, and could tell customers and co-workers about my new business!

As well, set some realistic goals for your business. Realistic is key! Think long term, then work backwards. For example, if your goal is to sell $52,000 worth of your product in 2009, you can work backwards and see that you would need to sell $1000 each and every week. That's $200 each day, 5 days a week. If that's a reasonable goal for you, great! Now every day that you work on your business, you know that every move you make should be taking you closer to that goal. Whatever it is, it helps to make your goal something you can control. Rather than "getting into more stores" try thinking about "approaching a new store a week".

Writing your goals down, and posting them where you work helps keep them at the top of your priority list. The day to day of everything often takes over, and often the goals we have involve the parts of the business we don't want to do: sales, bookkeeping, promotion and administrative stuff. Almost no one needs to force themsleves to make more cute stuff!

Get involved with other designers. When all you see is the public face of other businesses, everything looks like it comes easy to them. But every single business has its struggles, obstacles and failures. Being part of a community of people offers you so much: support, different opinions, a new perspective, learning from another's experience, a shoulder to cry on, and people to celebrate your successes with you. I see relationships forming among the designers at my 2 collective shops, and designers are helping each other out in tons of different ways including helping with computer stuff and websites, sharing expenses (like a photographer), sharing booth costs at a show, offering their expertise and knowledge with certain techniques and materials and more. But even more important, I believe, is the camaraderie and friendship. So talk to other designers at craft shows, make friends in online forums (like Etsy), and if you are interested in joining one of our shops, we are always looking for new members!

As well as other designers, it's important to get family and friends on board. Send out emails to them letting them know what shows you're doing or announcing new products you've added to your website. You'll be amazed at the support you can get when people see that you're pursuing your dream. Many times, family and friends will be your first customers, and then they tell two friends and so on. For them too, it's fun to bring a friend by your booth at a show and show off their cool friend (You!) who makes things! It'll be great to get the business support, with them helping you spread the word. And the emotional support and respect for what you're doing is one step toward getting things set up to get your enthusiasm back.

That said, if you have any non-supporters (family members who complain that you should just get a real job) who are wearing you down, it can help to address the situation and let them know how important it is for you to at least try this. Sometimes people get panicky, thinking they may have to support you if you can't support yourself for a while, but maybe you can reassure them by talking about the part-time job that will pay your share of the bills, and letting them know that their emotional support is really important to you. I think loved ones can become non-supporters without realizing it because of their own fears about taking risks and following their dreams. If they feel trapped, it can be hard to encourage someone else to spread their wings. Or they can't stand to encourage you to try only to see your heart break if you fail. For you, having understanding about their attitudes toward what you are doing can help you build up a tougher skin to their comments, if you can't get them on board.

Realizing that mood management is a job in itself sometimes can take the pressure off. The way moods work on us is by tricking us into believing them. "I feel like a loser, so I must be a loser," is the message we sometimes feed ourselves. But once you realize that you're not alone, and everyone faces these struggles, it becomes just another part of the business to work on.

I used to fall into the trap of working harder and harder when things weren't going well. My mom convinced me, during one tearful phone call, that the best business move I could make would be taking a break. "You've got to take care of you best business asset-- yourself!" she wisely said. Now I'm a little better at keeping things in perspective, and not just working myself into another meltdown.

There is no formula to tell whether you're succeeding, or whether you should keep trying or pack it in. There are, however, a lot of factors to weigh to see if you really want to continue. Are you enjoying the journey to building your business? If not, could you get to enjoying the journey more? Are you able to hold your life together while doing this? Is this really what you want, or after exploring it, are you realizing that maybe a job that you can rely on will make your hobby something you can enjoy again? And did you plow into starting a business with lofty expectations of being profitable in your first 6 months, when maybe you now think it will take two years or more? If you can keep moving forward with your business and enjoy it along the way, while keeping your life together financially through part-time work or other means, that may be success for you for now, even if the progress is slower than you hoped and peppered with rejections. That's pretty much all you can hope for really, at least in the early years.

There's no shame in re-evaluating your goals, even if you see that all that's involved in having a business isn't what you want after all. But if you do want it, there's no shortage of ways to work on building your business! So get your mood back on track, and then start planning some other goals. Buy some books on sales, promotion and marketing and get to work. Ask your friends, family and new-found designer friends for some feedback on every aspect of your business: your product range, pricing, materials, display, logo, packaging, website and more. Slowly but surely, chugging along on making things better pays off. Sometimes it seems like it's taking forever, and sometimes you need a break, but I can say looking back over my 14+ years in business and say that every disaster made me stronger, more able to take risks, and more able to recover from the next disaster. I love having my own business, and wouldn't change it in for all the regular paycheques, benefits and mat leave in the world!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

GET SCHOOLED: Harbourfront Centre Courses and Workshops (Winter/Spring 2009)

Make time for you! A world of contemporary culture is waiting for you at Harbourfront Centre's Courses & Workshops!

TORONTO, Monday, December 22, 2008 — Travel to Harbourfront Centre, the most memorable and economical destination ever, to escape the winter cold and uncrate the spring sun with the city's best Courses & Workshops! Harbourfront Centre is pleased to offer a diverse and exciting line-up of contemporary culture courses throughout the winter and spring months. Adults can learn to paint; create their own website; explore the world of circus arts; tour the city's culinary neighbourhoods; go gallery hopping; make delicious candies and chocolates just in time for Valentine's Day; attend tea socials; join a book club; take a glass blowing course; and much more! Harbourfront Centre's Courses & Workshops are affordable and provide a perfect environment for adults to learn or improve skills, and expand their social circle with like-minded individuals at Toronto's leading arts and cultural centre.

Courses & Workshops begin on January 18, 2009 at Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West. Register early as class size is limited.
To register or for more information, the public can call 416-973-4093, e-mail or visit

Winter/Spring 2009 Courses & Workshops

•Expressive Arts (Sunday, January 18)
•Drawing for Fashion Design (5 Mondays, January 19 to February 16)
•Introduction to Botanical Drawing (5 Mondays, January 19 to February 16)
•Sewing 101 (5 Mondays, January 19 to February 16)
•Fashion 101 (5 Tuesdays, January 20 to February 17)
•Painting (6 Tuesdays, January 20 to February 24)
•Parent Workshop: Engaging Kids with Contemporary Arts (Saturday, May 9)
•Toronto Island Watercolour Sketchbook (4 Sundays, May 24 to June 14)

Media Studies
•Creating your own Website (6 Mondays, January 19 to February 23)
•Demystifying the Digital Camera (Sunday, January 25)
•Digital Photography Manipulation (Saturday & Sunday, February 21 & 22)

Performing Arts
•Djembe Drumming (4 Thursdays, February 5 to 26)
•Circus (6 Mondays, Session 1: May 25 to June 29; Session 2:6 Wednesdays, May 27 to July 8)

•Candy-Making Workshop (Sunday, February 1)
•From Beer to There (3 Thursdays, April 16 to 30)

Literary Arts
•Authors at Harbourfront Centre Book Club (Ongoing, 3rd Tuesday of every month)

Urban & Cultural Studies
•Film & Food Club (3 Fridays, February 6 to 20)
•Tea 101 (4 Saturdays, February 21 to March 14)
•Gallery Hopping (6 Wednesdays, April 21 to May 25)
•Urban Portraiture (6 Tuesdays, April 21 to May 25)
•Artistic Architecture in the Public Space (6 Wednesdays, April 22 to May 26)
•Explore Toronto's Culinary Neighbourhoods (Saturday, April 25: Little India; Saturday, May 2: Kensington; Saturday, May 9: Chinatown; Saturday, May 16: Little Italy)

Craft Studio Courses
•Glass Blowing (Runs through May)
•Ceramics (Runs year-round)
•Introduction to Jewellery (Runs year-round)
•Intermediate Jewellery (Runs year-round)
•Textiles (Runs year-round)

FOCUS: Pause
Harbourfront Centre wants you. to. slow. down. In a world where we are constantly bombarded with information and images, what happens when someone really takes the time to reflect? Through May, Harbourfront Centre wants you to pause and make a connection to art, recreation, the world. Find time for yourself by taking one of our Courses and Workshops; reflect while you wait for the World Stage curtain to rise; enjoy while you skate on the Natrel Rink. Harbourfront Centre—time well spent.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

EXHIBITION: Stay Gold at Magic Pony (December 11 - January 4)

Stay Gold
Holiday Exhibition of Unique Art Gifts

Location: Magic Pony, 680 Queen Street W (new expanded gallery!)
Exhibition dates: December 11, 2008 - January 4, 2009

Exhibition Description:
Magic Pony is pleased to present Stay Gold, the fourth installment of our annual holiday exhibition of unique art gifts. This special exhibition showcases handcrafted work from over 20 artists. With a particular focus on tactile, three-dimensional objects, Stay Gold is comprised of sculpture, ceramics, textiles, dioramas, painting and collage. With a diverse range of media (from porcelain to wax), this exhibition celebrates specialized craftsmanship and a masterful use of material.

Participating Artists Include:
Allyson Mitchell (Canada)
C'est Moi Ce Soir (UK)
Coe&Waito (Canada)
Gary Taxali (Canada)
Ginette Lapalme (Canada)
Heather Goodchild (Canada)
Jacob Whibley (Canada)
Jennifer Rose Sciarrino (Canada)
Julie Moon (Canada)
Lauchie Reid/Melinda Josie (Canada)
Lola Goldstein (Argentina)
Lydia Klenck (Canada)
Madoka Hara (Canada)
Margot Jenner (Canada)
Mari Matsuo (Japan)
Melissa Fisher (Canada)
Molly Kalkstein (Canada)
Naomi Yasui/Stephen Appleby-Barr (Canada)
Nathan Jurevicius (Canada)
Noel Middleton (Canada)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

SHOP CRAFTY: The Purple Purl Pre-Boxing-Day Boxing Day Sale (December 21)

Pre-Boxing-Day Boxing Day Sale...
we are doing it again...
Sunday, December 21st only!
Doors will be open 10am-5pm and the sales will be yummy!

Hmmmm ....our regular line-up at least 20% off... and of course a few of your favourites will have extra festive pricing! Be sure to check out the door crasher sales!

Indigo Moon? Mirasol? Noro? Malibrigo? Mission Falls? Misti Alpaca? Does someone have a hankering for Cashmere? And we must not forget to mention the sparkly and intriguing Yang to coordinate with Yin or the quick knit chunky superwash Saphira.

And just in time to pick up last minute gifts for your favourite stitcher
(and yes... you count!)

Also, be sure to pick up our charity calendar for The Princess Margaret Hospital. All the photos are crafters wearing nothing but their crafts. They are $20.00 and the whole $20.00 goes to the hospital. We have raised almost $5,000 and are trying to reach our goal of $10,000!

Friday, December 19, 2008

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: TTC Landsdown Fence - Temporary Artwork (deadline: February 9)

The TTC is holding a Two-Stage Competition to select an Artist or Artist Team to develop a temporary artwork that addresses the fence surrounding the TTC Lansdowne Yard. The exact duration of the artwork is not known; artists should consider that the work will be in place for a number of years.

The Artist's Scope of Work will include all stages of the development and installation of the artwork from conception to completion, including but limited to:

  • Working with the project team to achieve an accepted concept within the schedule set for the project;
  • Conducting technical research and providing samples of the proposed technique of integrating the artwork into the existing fence;
  • Working with the Commission's art consultant and the station project team to present the concept to both public and Commission events, as required;
  • Providing all materials, labour and services for the design, construction and installation of their artwork;
  • Working with the project team to address maintenance requirements for the artwork; and
  • Attendance at as many as 12 meetings with the TTC, public and various stakeholders
  • The budget for the winning artwork is $80,000 (plus GST).

The Toronto Transit Commission is inviting Artists to request Prequalification Statements which outline the submission materials required for Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the Competition. Stage 1 will be an anonymous review that requires the submission of a concept sketch and statement.

An electronic copy of the prequalification statements can be requested by email:
Brendan Campbell, Contract Administrator

Phone - (416) 393-6728
Fax - (416) 338-0121

Hard Copy prequalification statements can be picked up at:
5160 Yonge Street - 6th floor (use west elevators)
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday to Friday

Hard copy submissions must be received by Thursday February 9th, 2009 at 4:00 p.m.

Submissions will be reviewed by an independent jury convened for this project. A short list of 3 artists or artist teams will be selected to prepare a Stage 2 design proposal. Stage 2 finalists will be paid a $1,500 fee (plus GST) for their design proposal which they will be invited to present to the competition jury.

Artist presentations for Stage 2 will take place in March of 2009.

Additional information may be obtained by visiting the TTC's Materials and Procurement Website accessed at under "Business with the TTC" or go directly to



Methinks Presents
A special installation featuring art&craft by over 30 disparate creators. All pieces priced $150.00 and under.

Sat, Dec 20
7 - 11pm

Dec 20 - 24

Project 165
165 Augusta Ave, Kensington Market


CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: 100 Prints, Open Studio Fundraiser (deadline: February 20, 2009. show: May 13, 2009)

via Akimbo

Donate to Open Studio's 100 PRINTS
to be Eligible for 3 Print Award Cash Prizes!

Daryl Vocat, Practicing Strategic Invisibility is an
Excellent Way to Mislead Enemies, screenprint

100 PRINTS is Open Studio's biggest fundraising event, providing much needed revenue in support of the Studio's programs and operations. Taking place on Wednesday May 13 at Toronto's Palais Royale, 100 PRINTS 2009 is shaping up to be another fabulous event! We need artists to help support this event by donating your best printmaking works to us.

All work selected for inclusion by the jury is eligible for one of the three 2009 Open Studio Print Award cash prizes valued at $3,000, $1,500 and $500, to be announced the night of the event! Prizes will be awarded to works of special merit as determined by the jury. A charitable tax receipt for 100% of the value of each print will also be issued if your work is selected for inclusion in 100 PRINTS.

Submission guidelines:

* All Canadian printmakers are eligible; you do not need to be affiliated with Open Studio to participate.
* A maximum of 2 prints per artist (3 dimensional works will be accepted, however, no assembly of the work must be required).
* Works must be unframed.
* Maximum paper size for each work is 30 inches x 44 inches (diptychs will be accepted but combined must not exceed the maximum paper size). Any works larger then 30 inches x 44 inches will not be considered by the jury.
* Minimum value of each individual donated print must be $325.
* Works must have been created within the past 3 years.
* Works must be received in excellent condition. Works deemed damaged will not be considered by the jury.
* Please include a current CV and fill out a downloadable entry form for each work submitted.

Please send works to:
Open Studio, c/o 100 Prints 2009,
401 Richmond Street West, Suite 104,
Toronto ON M5V 3A8

Deadline for submissions: Friday, February 20, 2009
No extensions will be provided.
Submissions will be accepted starting January 5, 2009

If you have any questions, please contact:
Heather Webb, Director
Phone: 416-504-8238.

OPEN STUDIO, Canada's leading printmaking centre, is dedicated to the production, preservation and promotion of contemporary original fine art prints. Open Studio is a comprehensive artist-run centre for contemporary printmaking practice, providing multi-faceted services, programs and information to artists and the public alike. As a national organization, Open Studio offers affordable and equal access to printmaking facilities, programs and services for artists from across Canada and abroad. As an artist-run centre, it is our priority to support artists in the development of their professional endeavours. Open Studio acknowledges the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, our members, individual donors and volunteers.

What is 100 PRINTS? For Open Studio's major annual fundraising event, 100 prints are juried from prints donated by nationally and internationally recognized Canadian artists; 100 tickets are sold for the event, assuring each ticket holder an original fine art print. Tickets are drawn in random order on the evening of the event. As each ticket is drawn, its holder has one minute to choose a print. As the evening progresses the element of chance creates an air of anticipation and excitement. The festive night also includes fabulous prizes, hors d'oeuvres, cash bar and a silent auction of framed prints specially created by Open Studio artists for 100 Prints. Visit for further information.

GET SCHOOLED: Fashion design for Teens at Sew Be It (starts January 29, 2009)

fashion design for teens small

Introduction to Fashion Design for Teens

Do you have a dream of becoming a fashion designer? Ever wonder what it takes to be one? This is the opportunity for you to get a taste of the world of fashion design.

This is an intensive Fashion design training course. You will get an overview of fashion sketching, sewing techniques, fabrics, design concepts, creating a portfolio, and most of all designing a wardrobe! You will be challenged to take your design conception to make it into a reality.

Date: January 29, Thursdays NO CLASS MARCH 19 or 26
Time: 4:15 - 5:45
This session is 10 weeks.

Price: $240.00 + GST

Sew Be It Studio
2156 Yonge Street
Toronto ON M4S 2A8

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Honest Threads with the Koffler Gallery (deadline: January 20, 2009, show opens January 22, 2009)


Honest Threads
Share your story and the shirt off your back in this art project by Iris Häussler

The Project

This January the Koffler Gallery hits the road with exhibitions in unexpected places all around the city of Toronto. The first of these opens on January 22 at Honest Ed's store on Bloor Street:
Honest Threads by Iris Häussler.

Exploring the intersection of visual art, literature, and theatre, Toronto artist Iris Häussler creates immersive environments that reveal personal histories, real or fictional. Responding to the Koffler Gallery's invitation to develop the first off-site project, Häussler chose Toronto's famous landmark, Honest Ed's, to host an installation that engages the GTA public in sharing real life stories.

We need
you and your stories to bring Honest Threads to life!
Honest Threads will display garments and the memories they carry. Lent by Torontonians, each item holds a personal story revealing a glimpse of the many threads that weave our identity over time. Visitors will be able to borrow the garments for a few days and wear them, experiencing both literally and psychologically what it is like to "walk in someone else's shoes." At the same time, they will add new layers to the clothes' history. Trading experiences on multiple levels will enrich our shared view of the place we call home. As pieces of a vast puzzle, these individual stories will render a fragmentary portrait of the city, attesting to its complex history.

The Place

With its overload of celebrity photographs and eccentric sales items, Honest Ed's is no ordinary store but a museum in itself. It blurs the lines between commercial, public and exhibition spaces. The place equally attests to the inspiring story of its founder, Ed Mirvish. The son of Jewish immigrants from Russia and Austria, Mirvish had an invaluable impact on Toronto's cultural scene and on the community through philanthropic gestures. Spotlighting Honest Ed's significance as a haven for newcomers to Canada, Honest Threads positions the store as the meeting point of individual Toronto stories of immigration, survival and childhood dreams, entwined with the city's cultural history. Among the participants you will also recognize local celebrities.

And You

This is your opportunity to bring out the cherished jacket your father wore on his clandestine journey across the ocean, the sari you inherited from your grandmother, or the shirt that made you look cool in your high-school band. Also included in the display will be a photograph of you or the original owner wearing the garment.
Share your stories and lend your unique voice to a project that brings together the many faces of Toronto's identity.

Deadline for contributions: Janaury 10, 2009

To contribute your garment, story and photograph, please call Mona Filip at 416 636 1880 x270 or email

For more information on this project and artist Iris Häussler go to

Thursday, December 18, 2008

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: 2009 Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition (deadline: March 1, 2009, show July 10-12, 2009)

Applications to one of my favourite shows of the year have opened up. Please do apply - I want to see you on the Square!

TOAE Logo_09

Nathan Phillips Square
July 10 - 12, 2009



Now in its 48th year, the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition [TOAE] is a juried showcase featuring contemporary fine art and craft that takes place on Nathan Phillips Square every July.

As the largest outdoor art exhibition in Canada, the TOAE offers a fresh-air alternative to conventional art shows and galleries. Approximately 500 artists participate and over 100,000 visitors attend the exhibition every year. Side by side, established artists, undiscovered talents and innovative students sell their work directly to the public and make lasting connections with art dealers and collectors. In 2008, the TOAE presented over $35,000 in cash awards and prizes to participating artists. We welcome applications from artists working in a wide range of traditional and experimental art forms.

Applications can be downloaded from the TOAE website at or call 416.408.2754 for more information.


For further information, please contact:
Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition
264 - 401 Richmond Street West
Toronto, ON M5V 3A8

TOAE is now on Facebook! To receive updates on the 48th annual exhibition and other related news, please visit the following webpage: .

The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition is a non-profit charitable organization supported by a group of volunteers active in the art and corporate communities. The exhibition is financed through registration fees, corporate sponsors and individual donors, enabling TOAE to charge one of the lowest registration fees in North America. No percentage of the artists' sales is taken by the organizers.

The TOAE gratefully acknowledges the support of the many sponsors and award donors that made the 2008 exhibition a success!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

CRAFT SHOW: Kozo Holiday Market (December 4 - 24)

CRAFT TORONTO PICS: arbutus - spoon 18 by maggienikole

From the Craft Toronto photo pool of Flickr. You can join, too!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

gone fishin' (for awesome crafts)

see you there!

SHOP CRAFTY: Sultry Suds Holiday Open House & Studio Sale (December 13)

Sultry Suds Holiday Open House & Studio Sale

136 Geary Avenue, Unit 218 (Dupont & Dovercourt, Toronto)
10am - 6pm

It's a chance to get some last-minute holiday shopping done, and to see where our products are created. We will also be serving hot apple cider and holiday cookies!

* image: holiday soap set ($12) which will be available at the open house.

Friday, December 12, 2008

CRAFT SHOW: Artscape Wychwood Barns Art Show (December 13)


This Saturday Dec 13th from 2pm to 5pm, Toronto's newest arts community the Artscape Wychwood Barns is proud to present the a holiday art show and sale.

Come by and check out Canada's first industrial heritage L.E.E.D building!

For more information please visit our facebook group.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

GET SCHOOLED: Wood working lessons for the holidays

(Pssst. This is my husband, and I can attest that he is a great teacher & does lovely work (see some of it here). So if you think this is something that you might be interested in, I would encourage you to get in touch!).


Having trouble finding that perfect gift for your dad, boyfriend or DIY-loving pal? The Two Toques Design Studio has got your back as we're now offering gift certificates for one-on-one wood working classes (at your home or our studio). We have project based classes for the absolute greenhorn as well as for the intermediate maestro. Available classes include:

*Building a Decorative Shelf
*Easy Bedside Table
*Introduction to Hand Tools (includes a small box project)
*Building a Stowable Workbench (perfect for small workspaces!)
Custom classes can also be designed around the interests of the student.

Classes range from $90 to $400 and include all materials. For details or to book a class, contact Michael Kennedy at

This year, give the gift of wood.

Decorative Shelf
Two Toques Decorative Shelf

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

GET SCHOOLED: Learn to Sew Beginner Classes (January-March)

Deadline to sign up: December 28th, 2008

CRAFT SHOW: Last -Minute Mini Holiday Sale (Dec. 20th & 21st)

Last Minute Mini Holiday Sale

Local Artisans
Jewelry, fused glass and ceramics, paintings, knits, baked goods and natural health products

Sat Dec 20 12-6
Sun Dec 21 1-5

229 Crawford St
By Trinity-Bellwoods Park


More info at:

GET SCHOOLED: Sew Be It Studio - Upcoming Classes

We are introducing a whole new program. For those who are looking at applying to Fashion School, you don't want to miss this.

Fashion School Application Seminars

Four, two-hour seminars and workshops to help you prepare your application to fashion schools.

In this course we will be covering:

  • Cover letter writing, resumes, portfolio basics, professional etiquette at interviews & over the phone, choosing work to present and application criterion.
  • Drawing presentation (colour, views, information, what makes a "good" drawing).
  • Design critique: bring in your drawings and designs for critique and advice.
  • Portfolio styles and presentation. Photography for fashion.
  • Portfolio planning: plan your portfolio with expert guidance.
  • The interview and application process
You also get the chance to practice your interview and get final advice before the big day.

Note: these are not sewing or drawing classes, but an opportunity to get all the other things together and have professional critique before you send it in.

4 Weeks
Date: January 24, Saturdays
Time: 5pm – 7pm
Price: $120 + GST

Simple Winter Sweater

The perfect class for those ready to tackle a larger project!

Conquer your first sweater step-by-step in four weeks. Top-down raglan construction means you can try your work on as you go ensuring the perfect, flattering fit for petites through 3X. Multiple customization options make this sweater truly your own!

In this class, you will learn to take measurements, knit in the round, follow a super simple but impressive charted lace pattern and complete basic garment shaping and finishing.

A stylish first sweater for the adventurous beginner!

Confident knowledge of the knit and purl stitches and basic increasing and decreasing is required.

Date: January 18, Sundays
Time: 5:30 - 7:30pm
Price: $120 + GST

5 Sessions. No Class on February 15.

Bring circular knitting needles and worsted weight yarn appropriate to meet gauge
An optional "swatching party" will be held in advance of the first class.

March Break Camp

This is not your typical camp. It's not just a break for the kids, but for parents too.

We will dedicate this time off to making fabulous fashion accessories and creative clothing. Students will be able to choose various projects to make and they will be encouraged to add their own design interpretations.

We even take the students out shopping for fabric.

We have two fabulous locations to choose from. Our Yonge/Eglinton Studio or down at the Canadian Stage Company Wardrobe Shop at 26 Berkeley Street.

We recommend registering earlier rather than later for this session due to limited enrollment.
Camp runs Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm. March 2009

March 16 – 20 or March 23 - 27

Zipper Workshop

Don't let those little zipper teeth scare you! Learn the methods to insert different types of zippers. In this workshop, students will learn how to insert basic zipper application, invisible zipper, separating zipper, and fly front zipper.

All materials and zippers will be provided in this workshop.

Date: February 22, Sunday
Time: 10am - 1pm
Price: $55 + GST (includes all materials)

Alteration 101

Learn to alter your clothing properly! It's time to learn to fit them properly. In this workshop, students will learn the techniques of hemming, seam alternation and mending. We will also discuss the different ways to handle different materials. Students will need to bring in items of clothing to be altered.

Pre-requisites: basic sewing skills are a must

Date: January 17, Saturday
Time: 10am - 1pm
Price: $45 + GST

Sew Be It Studio
2156 Yonge Street
Toronto ON M4S 2A8

GET SCHOOLED: TANK Jewelry & Beads - Beadmaking Workshop with Master Flameworker Kristina Logan ( May 16th & 17th 2009)

TANK Jewelry & Beads is please to announce a workshop with Master Flameworker Kristina Logan

May 16th & 17th 2009 at TANK studio (in the Distillery) 10am to 6pm

The Fee will be $525 + gst - this includes all materials.

Beadmaking Workshop: Perfecting your beadmaking skills

Advanced Beadmaking -- Dot Placement, Precision, and Form.
This workshop is designed for people who would like to improve their beadmaking skills. A broad spectrum of techniques will be explained and demonstrated - various surface decorations, clear casing, working large beads, and trouble shooting common mistakes and difficulties. Students will also be encouraged to concentrate on individual projects, ask questions, and work towards defining their own specific style.

Students will be expected to have had a foundation in the basics of beadmaking.

About the Artist

Kristina Logan is recognized internationally for her glass beads. She is an independent artist who lives and works in New Hampshire.

She was one of only four artists selected for exhibition in the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery Invitational : Four Discoveries in Craft, 2002. "Logan"s beads exist in their own right as art... ", writes Kenneth Trapp, Curator-in-Charge at the Renwick Gallery.

Kristina served as president of the International Society of Glass Beadmakers from 1996 - 1998.

Kristina has taught beadmaking at such well know schools as The Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York, Urban Glass in Brooklyn, New York, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine, Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, Musée-Atelier du Verre à Sars-Poteries in France, and Centro Studio Vetro and Abate Zanetti in Venice, Italy.

The artist writes that beads "are part of my lifelong fascination with art and ornamentation. Glass beads form an historical thread, connecting people and cultures throughout our history". Kristina's work and desire to educate has been an inspiration for many glass beadmakers throughout the world.

Kristina's work has been collected by The Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Renwick Gallery, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA, and the Corning Museum of Glass, Corning NY, and the Musée du Verre de Sars-Poteries, Sars-Poteries, France.

Registration & Payment:

A $125 + gst ($131.25) deposit is required to hold your spot as interest has been very high. The balance will be due March 1st 2009.

If in the unlikely event the class doesn't run, your deposit will be fully refunded. In the event that you are unable to attend, the deposit will be refunded once your spot has been filled.

Payment can be made by cheque (made out to "TANK"), cash, debit, or credit card.

Please let us know if you are mailing a cheque via email so we know to look out for it.


Cheques can be mailed to:
TANK 105
Bldg #74, 55 MIll ST.
Toronto ON. M5A 3C4

We are accepting deposits effective immediately on a first come first serve basis.

Amy & Jill

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

CRAFT TORONTO PICS: flaming flakes

flaming flakes, originally uploaded by sweetie pie press.

This is a photo by Becky, but the design & laser-cutting labour is all Day Milman (with some assistance from the lovely Karyn Valino). Taken at the decor & swag making sesh for you guessed it, City of Craft 2008.

From the Craft Toronto Flickr Group. You can join too!


By Amy Borkwood

Cody Cochrane is a Toronto-based illustrator and painter with a strong background in printmaking. Her work is rich in texture and story, and her colour choices are stunning. I noticed her at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition in the summer, and caught up with her to find out more about her practice, her process, and her influences.

cody cochrane one

Can you tell me about the process of your work?

I'm a mildly OCD type of personality, I think, so I have to have a routine, and this is especially true with my work. I usually get up pretty early, around 7:30; jog, shower, breakfast, and then down to the business of painting. On a good productive day i like to get in 8-10 hours of work. If I'm working on a series, I have loose papers with tiny thumbnail ideas for paintings, and that's about all I do in terms of planning. Then it's all downhill from there! I just do a rough outline of the idea on the surface, usually wood, and I get down to it. Bigger pieces take me around 2 weeks to finish, and smaller pieces can take a day or a week, depending on how finicky the subject matter.

cody cochrane  three

I first noticed your work at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition - can you tell me a bit about that weekend? How was the show for you personally, what was the audience's reaction to your work?

That weekend was pretty funny, and strange, actually. I just moved back to Toronto after 2 and one half years of living and working in Glasgow, Scotland, so that was my first time showing my new stuff publicly, and I guess it was so strange because it's such a broad audience. I think that's also what made it so fun though! Some of the questions I got were hilarious, and the reactions from more conservative folks were that of... well, let's just say, they maybe didn't get the humor in some of my stuff! I have a pretty macabre sense of what's funny and ironic, and I think that can get mistaken or perhaps misunderstood. That's okay, though, I like people having a strong reaction to things. It's genuine.

cody cochrane  five

Your work is haunting: shadowy, with echoes of mythology and folklore, references to death and darkness. Have you always worked with these themes? Are you working with any specific folklore/mythologies that you can discuss?

As I said previously, I feel like I have a strange, maybe dark sense of humor. Rarely do I take myself too seriously, and I feel the same way about the art I like to make. It doesn't take itself too seriously either! I like being given the freedom to explore and laugh at dark subject matter. I think I've just always been attracted to juxtaposition, and the idea that things that are dark and morbid can be romantic, beautiful, and funny too. It's all in there, you just have to look for it.

I have always been attracted to mythology, especially religious imagery. I used to collect lots of catholic art, the really gaudy stuff. I've always been attracted to it, and my fascination just grew from there. There is no limit to where I get ideas, and usually it’s from unexpected places, like old Russian films, illuminated manuscripts, deep south lynchings, songs, hymns, really everywhere. My time in Scotland definitely informs my art a lot too. Just being in a place that’s so steeped in a history that's quite dark and somewhat barbaric, it feels very heavy and haunting. I’m definitely influenced by mythology, but it’s more on a subconscious level. There are no particular mythological stories or figures that I can recall right now, i think I just read something or see something, and it seems to work its way into my paintings.

cody cochrane  four

What artists are you inspired by? Are there any local artists whose work you admire?

When I was younger I think, like most young aspiring artists, I was totally fascinated by Jean-Michel Basquiat, and the whole New York art scene. As I've grown up though I think I've started to gravitate more towards artists who are really 'tight' in their painting style. I really love Claire Rojas and Richard Colman. And I love the way Maya Hayuk portrays her nude figures. That's something I often include in my own stuff, because it’s so fun drawing hairy legs!

As for local artists, there are so many talented people I can think of, specifically I would say that I truly admire artists like Jeff Garcia, Dan Rocca, Jesjit Gill, Winston Hacking, Michael Deforge, there’s just too many to mention. They're all insanely prolific, and dedicated to what they do, which is rad. I also love Luke Painter's over-sized ink drawings. The way he does trees is amazing.

cody cochrane  two

You mentioned that you just moved back to Toronto after 2 years in Scotland - what is the art community like in Glasgow? How did your work change while you were living there?

Interestingly, the art scene in Glasgow is really thriving, but I think it's just starting to open up to outsiders. It's sort of notoriously cliquey. When I was there I was doing primarily poster design, and was fortunate enough to print posters for some great bands like Mogwai and Arab Strap. It wasn't until I came back to Toronto about a year ago that I started to see the impression Scotland left. All of a sudden I wanted to draw churches, and castles, and things related to battles and the plague. There's a very long history of violence and strife there. But because I have such a massive amount of fondness for Scotland, I've found the humor and beauty of all those things, and I think that's why my paintings aren't quite so dark.


Amy Borkwood is a bookbinder and freelance arts-writer living in Toronto. Her bookworks can be found at her online shop, Nightjar Books.

FROM THE DESK OF TCA: promote yourself at our City of Craft table! (December 13)

TCA - BIG festival2

TCA is going to have an outreach table at City of Craft next weekend, and like last year we are eager to help promote goings on in the T.O. craft community that may not be represented at City of Craft. So....if you have a last minute craft show, a studio sale, a gallery show, a class you're teaching, pretty much anything & everything Toronto-area crafty - bring down your flyers and drop them off at our table at any point during the day.

Look for us upstairs!

Monday, December 08, 2008

SHOP CRAFTY: Xenia Taler Studio Sale (December 13-14)

Xenia Taler Studio Sale

Date: December 13 and 14
Times: 12pm to 6pm
Location: 3884 Chesswood Drive,
TTC access from Downsview station, on-site parking
Contact: 416-588-8950

Our first studio sale in 5 years! That means we have 5 years' worth of great, "you can hardly tell" seconds at save-me-from-the-landfill prices. Plus an unsurpassed selection of 'firsts' in all our designs.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Create the Situation (deadline: December 15)





Create the Situation is looking for contributors. We want you to create the situation!

Inspired by the popular Yippie slogan "create the condition you describe", Create the Situation provides an opportunity for a broader awareness for creative acts of daily activism through the creation of short run zines that provide suggestions for ways to engage with ones city. Ideas from previous issues have included DIY pothole repair instructions and starting a neighborhood welcoming committee to get to know the neighbors who already live in your neighborhood that you just don't know yet.

In the Tipping Point author Malcolm Gladwell writes that a revolution isn't one huge monumental event, but instead a series of small things that build up and make a difference. These ideas for small acts that can be done in the neighborhoods and institutions that make up ones city can in turn lead to making changes in their social engagement with their environment and their neighbors that can lead to at the very least engaged citizenship.

This project is intended to inspire people to take these actions into their own hands, to create not only engaged communities, artists, activists and creative types, but ultimately to create engaged citizens.

We are looking for between 4-12 people to create issues of CTS. (Link to the issues we made). What are your ideas for how to interact with the people and places in your city in potentially unexpected ways?

Accepted individuals will receive a small honorarium as well as printed issues of the quarterly zine. Create the Situation will be printed in the DIY spirit of zine publications. The black and white photocopied booklet will list ideas for how to engage with not only ones neighbors, but with the institutions and infrastructures of the city in unexpected ways. Suggestions might include ways to use your local library, music stores, art galleries, and parks as well as ways to engage with people in your community and inventive solutions for city maintenance. CTS will also be available online as a PDF, as well as mailed out to subscribers and provided free locally in Portland, OR, Winnipeg, MB and the hometown of each contributing author.

To submit please follow the guidelines below to submit your ideas for how to create the situation!

Guidelines for submissions:

  • 4 suggestions for ways to engage with ones city. How would you "create the situation"? Feel free to include illustions, photos or diagrams if applicable.
  • A brief bio (100 words max)
  • Name, address, contact information
Email submissions to
by December
15, 2008.

Accepted contributors will be notified by January 3, 2009.