Saturday, September 30, 2006

TCA on the road

Posts have been a bit sparse lately as I've been somewhat consumed by some major shifting of gears - namely quitting my job and preparing for a month long trip to Peru. I leave for the latter on Monday and as the focus of my trip will be visiting artisan markets and cooperatives, I will be most definitely sharing some crafty stories and pics with you all along the way.

But don't despair - Guest Columnist Angelune will be keeping her pulse on the Toronto beat while I'm gone - so keep checking back for the goods on crafty T.O.

Have a great Nuit Blanche tonight and speak to you again from down South!


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

CRAFTY CRUSH: canuck design hub MADE


MADE is the latest addition to one of my favourite areas of budding indie goodness, Dundas Street West. Nestled between a Brazilian grill house and a construction site in progress, the gleam of the quirky and ultra-modern furniture, lighting, and homeware on display at MADE make it difficult to miss.

MADE owners Shaun Moore and Julie Nicholson were motivated to open their shop by a perceived gap in the Toronto design world. As Julie explains, “We knew or knew of all these fantastic designers who would occasionally surface as part of an exhibit or show but as soon as the shows were over they would disappear again. There were so few places that you could go to find fantastic Canadian design, yet we knew it was there.” Shaun elaborates: “We really believed that this work deserved a permanent home. We wanted a space where great designers working on a small scale and producing high quality work could be found all year.”

The resulting space houses the work of designers from backgrounds that range from industrial design to fine craft, architecture to fine art. The natural world is a recurring element in MADE’s aesthetic and a push towards a more environmentally responsible design ethic part of their mandate. Hot stuff to look out for includes the nature-inspired ceramic work of coe & waito, log bowls by Alberta’s Loyal Loot Collective, and the Melanie Zanker’s furniture that often incorporates found elements. Canadiana-obsessed collective Castor design is behind the reclaimed fluorescent tube light that hangs above the desk (not to mention the fully portable sauna box that made an appearance at MADE’s soft opening).

Pop by MADE headquarters at 867 Dundas West. Party it up at their Grand Opening on November 4th.

nuit blanche: crafty action

So Nuit Blanche is coming up, and I thought it might be handy to compile a little listing of craft related events happening as part of the programming.

A few of you alerted me to the mega clothes swap happening at the Textile Museum complete with “style councillors, accessory advisors and seam rippers on hand to modify and rework your new finds”. Other fun happenings include an appearance by my childhood hero (and knitting fanatic), Tracy Ullman. Check out the flyer here.

The Ontario Crafts Council is doing an interactive 3D art & crafts project at the CN Tower main floor, alongside all night demos by renowned craft artists.

The Knit Cafe is open for an all night knit-a-thon

Check out the sexy new Gardiner Museum for some ceramics-inspired art making.

If you know of more, share the love in the comments!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

knit-o-matic sale

This from Haley of Knit-o-Matic:

Knit-O-Matic is having a Fall Craft/DIY Sale!

Sale includes back issues of Readymade Magazine & Family Circle Easy Knitting, beading books, embroidery books, kids craft books and of course knitting & crochet books & pattern magazines. Everything is listed on

1378 Bathurst St
Toronto ON
M5R 3J1
Phone 416-653-7849

queen west art crawl this weekend

Tons of crafty action happening this weekend (Fri.-Sun.) as part of Artscape's Queen West Art Crawl. The artists & crafters hawking their goodies in Trinity-Bellwoods Park are always a must-see, but there is some hardcore programming happening up and down the Queen West strip such as artists' open studios, community shops, restaurants and organizations hosting creative happenings, and oh! design your own cupcakes at Dufflet's - yeah!

Go here for all of the dirt on the Crawl.

Friday, September 08, 2006

ask crafty newbies

Only three ask crafty questions for you to tackle - easy peasy.

Email me or comment on this post with your words of wisdom.

x Looking for papier mache workshops for adults in T.O. Any leads? - Evelyn

x I am always on the lookout for smallish to medium-sized craft shows and fairs to sell my jewellery, but I always seem to find out about them when it's too late. Is there a reliable website or resource that lists upcoming shows well in advance? Or do people mostly hear about shows through word of mouth? - Michelle (and TCA...always on the hunt for this kinda info).

x I'm looking for magnetic snaps (for making purses). I used to get them at Leathertown on Queen (near Spadina), but they've closed permanently. Does anyone know of a place downtown that sells them? Thanks! - Wendy

ask crafty response: freezer paper, beeswax & mannequin heads

x i am obsessed with trying these freezer paper stencils that are everywhere. where can i find freezer paper? – andrea

-Freezer paper should be readily available at yer' average grocery store - with the other storage supplies like ziploc bags and such. It comes packaged like Saran Wrap and tinfoil, in long, rectangular boxes. Failing that, try checking with a butcher shop to see if they can give you any leads. Good luck!
-Is freezer paper the same as parchment paper? i bought some unbleached parchment at whole foods but sure that you could find at any supermarket...I am just looking at the box and it says that it is silicone coated...the company website is that helps!
- I've spent tonnes of time looking for freezer paper too. None of the grocery stores around me carry it. Yesterday, though, I found something called Pantry Pro Shelf Liner at my local Loblaws (the one right above St. Clair W subway station) and it's the exact same thing as freezer paper: [plasticky] on one side, not so [plasticky] on the other. I've even made a stencil with it. [It irons like a charm.] I didn't find it with the foil, etc. Instead, it was in the Kosher section amid all of the Sabot candles. I never would have would have thought about looking there. It was a good thing I needed some Kosher salt, I suppose.
-I was looking for freezer paper too, and my local No Frills didn't have it, but Dominion did. I think the brand was Reynolds. If you are ironing it to fabric for applique, stencils, etc... you want the kind with a plasticy coating on one side, NOT wax. You don't want melted wax on your fabric. Baking parchment paper is not the same, but it is excellent to use as a semi-transparent non-stick "press cloth" for fusible applique. (Can you tell I'm a quilter?)

x do you know where I can find sheets of beeswax to make candles in toronto? and wicks as well. – Amanda

-Wicks and other candlemaking supplies can be found here: They have beeswax but I'm not sure if they sell them in sheets.Michael's definitely has beeswax sheets. You can also order online from here, but they're in Ottawa:

x I am looking for a mannequin-like head to block/display the hats that I knit. I've seen the glass ones (I'm assuming they are glass because it's clear...could be plastic) on other people's blogs. No clue where to find one in Toronto though…I was hoping your readers would have other suggestions for blocking hats if the heads are difficult to come by. - Natalie

-with respect to the mannequin heads i saw some great ones at a designer's store here in TO, Virginia Johnson (164 Dundas @ Ossington)...i saw the heads in TOronto LIfe mag though. they look handmade by paper mache and really cool. and it would be easy to make and customize. i got a real mannequin head on ebay though. it's also beautiful.
-Hot tip - there's a mannequin head for sale in the display case at the Goodwill at Queen Street West & Roncesvalles! I was there Thursday night around 7:30pm! (This was awhile ago…sorry guys – ed.)
-There is a store on Adelaide and Spadina called King's Display that sells mannequin heads; plastic or styrofoam. I bought like three of them for fifteen bucks :DYou may need a vendor permit to spend more than a certain amount of money at this place though, but I'm not sure... -i recommend king's display as well, the address is 410 Adelaide st. W. I have gotten many jewelry displays from there i am happy with. There is also a display place right across the street from them (i cannot remember the name) but check out there as well.

good catch back2skool craft fair

Good Catch, Parkdale's only pirate-themed general store is hosting its fall craft fair this Saturday, September 9th.

So far, here's what's happening:

1) Zeesy Powers will be doing watercolour portraits live, affordable and in colour
2) Becky of the Sweetie Pie Press will be selling off a big chunk of her vintage clothing collection at garage sale prices in preparation for a three month craft fair tour (lucky duck).

If you've got tomorrow free and would like to participate in the fair, email Becky here.

For some reason I'm having trouble uploading the flyer, so follow this link for more info.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

wanna vend? the tranzac fair needs you!

The Tranzac is seeking crafty vendors for their upcoming Opens House fair on Saturday September 23rd. This is an outdoor fair with live music in the the Tranzac lot at 292 Brunswick Ave (quite close to Bloor Street shopping traffic). Vendors will be selling their stuff between 10 am and 7 pm.

If you are interested in participating, contact Annetta here.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

MADE opening: fresh canadian design

MADE evite

(click above to see more)

Saturday, September 02, 2006

exile vintage purge

Our wily Scavenger Angelune found this on Craig's List. Wowee....

Colossal Rummage sale Exile Vintage Clothing Kensington Market

This is a huge event. We are selling off items from our storage warehouse.

For sale:

Textiles including Bark cloth, drapes brocades, quilts, vintage 70's yardage, bedspreads, small rugs, kilims, wool blankets, tapestry's, damaged furs for crafts IE purses, pillows, teddy bears, add a collar and cuffs to your jean jacket. Great for sewing projects or designers in Film's Wardrobe or set departments.

Clothing galore from Victorian pieces to 70's bell bottoms .Vintage 1930's Circus Poster Clowns and Can Can Girls 1oo pieces never used from Conklin Auction 1970's. Bulk prices for dealers all must go.

Prices range from $1 to $50 dollars. Affordable and open to haggling One Day only. Starting at 11am to 6pm Saturday Sept. 9TH.

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