Thursday, December 28, 2006

stocking up

now that the big christmas shopping rush is over, the big boxing day/week rush is on!

if you're brave enough to venture into the world of retail this week and spy some great deals on craft supplies or handmade goods, or you're having a sale at your own store,
let us know. share the deals with fellow crafters so we can all stock up.



  • toronto and non-toronto handmade goods on sale at Red Pegasus on college st.
  • nathalie-roze in leslieville has discounted the stuff in her shop. nathalie-roze

Saturday, December 23, 2006

this and that

Hello dear readers,

I have been under the weather, hence the lack of posts. Hope all of you are staying strong & healthy and gearing up for some feasting, weekday matinees, cozy crafting by the fire, or
gallery hopping, perhaps?

Should you have last minute emergency shopping needs there are a couple of fairs happening this weekend:

The Artisans Gift Fair at the Tranzac (292 Brunswick - just south of Bloor). Saturday & Sunday 11am-6pm

And the 18th Annual Christmas Artists’ Market at Bellefair United Church (2002 Queen Street East, across from Kew Gardens). Saturday 11am - 4pm.

Happy weekend!


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

latkes are crafty, yes?

Couldn't pass up this Akimbo listing for a latke party TONIGHT.


Come celebrate the fifth night of Hanukkah and enjoy delicious handmade potato latkes with a little bit of knuckle in every bite!

Dana "Esther" Samuel and Risa "Rivkah" Horowitz invite you for a bissel nosh, with help from Brenda "Shoshana" Goldstein, Malka "Shoshana" Greene and Ilana "Shira" Schwartz. Applesauce, sour cream and sugar come standard.

Tuesday December 19, 7-10 p.m.

Katharine Mulherin's Sideshow
1080 Queen Street West, Toronto

All are welcome - you don't have to be Jewish!

So - you'll diet next year!


Come join Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects for our annual Eggnog Party and Sale, this Tuesday Dec 19th 7-10 p.m., also at the Sideshow Space (1080 Queen Street). Eggnog exhibition runs until December 23, and likely into the new year, but it's cash and carry! So don't forget your pocketbook! Eggnog? Doesn't sound kosher, but Katharine is such a mensch, we'll pretend not to notice.

Esther & Rivkah's Latke Party! is one night only!

More info on Esther can be found at and more info on Rivkah can be found at

Katharine Mulherin's online home is here:

Have a happy holiday!

vendors & cobblers, take note

Anne wrote to let us know about a last minute vending opportunity, as well as a shoemaking sale:

There's a craft sale at Bellefair United Church , 2002 Queen Street East, across from Kew Gardens, in the Beach. Established 18 years ago, it's been on every Saturday since late Nov. The last one is this coming Saturday, Dec. 23. It's open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with set-up beginning at 9:30 a.m. It's a mix of the hip and traditional. Apparently the last weekend should be very busy. 1/2 tables are $40, full tables are $80. Contact Bonnie Vadum, 416-513-1331
Also, a shoe factory is closing down and selling off its shoes and its shoe-making machinery, supplies and materials. Great bargains to be had! $15 pairs of lasts! $1 pairs of heels! Leathers (good for more than shoes)! Stuff that's very hard to come by! (I just came back and scored mightily.) For d-i-y shoemakers (like Sarah Rotering's former students), costumers, etc. Through Dec. 31, Mon. - Sat. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Celebrity Shoes, 53 Hymus Road (west off Warden, south of Eglinton), 416-751-8112.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

weekend agenda: pencil in some toronto craft

now let's see what you can fit into your busy weekend:

craft fairs


  • Nathalie-Roze & Co
    Easy Handsewing: Felt & Fabric Tree Decorations
    Sunday Dec. 17th
    1pm - 3:30pm @ 1015 Queen St. East @ Pape
    $35+GST, including all materials, plus a snack
    Participants will leave with 2+ ornaments (age 14+ up)
  • the Devil's Workshop
    Santa's Jewellery Making workshop
    Saturday afternoons, drop-in between 1-6pm
    955 Queen st. West
    $100+GST, including all materials

ongoing shows & sales

let us know if we've forgotten something! e-mail or leave a comment!

ask crafty response: sewing machine repair, cake decorating classes, and london area silversmith classes

A heads up to newer readers: you can write in with your questions concerning Toronto and craft/diy and we will try to answer them for you. See the sidebar for ask crafty archives to see if your question has been addressed previously, or just to glean a whole bunch of handy info.

So here’s a new batch of questions for you all to answer in the comments to this post or via email.

x Can anyone recommend a sewing machine repair shop? I have a White machine, about 8 years old, and it needs some TLC. Any advice? - Elana
  • Try the sewing center on 2144 Yonge street, one block south of Eglinton across from the ArtShoppe. Joe is very nice and honest. He fix all my domestic machines and stuff. the number is 416-487-4438
  • i had my sewing machine fixed at a teeny tiny place on queen street west at augusta. the place is downstairs so you have to look for a door directly between the "second cup" and a fabric store on the south side of the street (just a few doors down from arton beads). i'm pretty sure he usually has a sandwich board outside that says "sewing machine repairs" to help you find it easier. i was very happy with his work and i think it cost about $80 for maintenance and to have a minor part or two replaced.
  • YES - I'd *highly* recommend going to Sewing World at Victoria Park & Danforth (in Shoppers World, S.W. corner of this intersection)'s near the Zellers in the mini-mall. A bit far in the deep-East/borderline Scarborough, but worth the pilgrimage. I've had my oldest/fave/over-worked machine (a 1969 Singer) repaired/tuned up there a couple of times now. Teresa, the manager is very helpful and has talked me through a few crisis situations via telephone (eg. when I had a bobbin fiasco out days before the One of a Kind Show & it totally conked out).The repair service is quick and reasonably priced - plus they can pick up/drop off machines for a small fee. The shop doubles as a sewing school and they also sell quality new & used equipment (free lessons with any machine purchase). I recently got my new favourite domestic machine there : the Janome JS-1004 Limited Edition. It's excellent for working with thick or layered fabrics, including denim and leather. I love it so much that I snagged a second one to teach beginners on at my studio. Here are the details: Tel. 416-699-7119 or Shoppers World Plaza, 3003 Danforth Ave. - near Vic Park subway station.

x Does anyone know of cake decorating classes that are not $500? I'm dying to learn! - Roxanne

  • I think that there are affordable cake decorating classes through the Toronto School Board. They have a ton of evening classes. There is a guide available on their website!
  • I know people who have take cake decorating classes at:
McCall's: about $155
George Brown College: about $250
Michaels Crafts: check stores for class info

x I was wondering if anyone could help me find some courses in metalsmithing? I am from London Ontario looking to start into it. Is there any art shows dealing with silversmiths? Please let me know! - Lisa

  • George Brown has an Intro to Silversmithing. If you are looking for jewellery courses check out GB, The Devil's Workshop or Nanopod. I do not think there are shows that focus only on metalsmithing (you may
    want to check SNAG Society of North American Goldsmiths web-site)....check out the craft fair list for local shows.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

looking for jewellery/metalsmithing classes?

I've had lots of requests from readers for info on metalsmithing or jewellery making courses, so this should interest a few of you....

Attention all aspiring metalsmiths! A recent graduate of the OCAD jewellery and textiles programs, Suzanne Carlsen will be teaching introductory jewellery/metalsmithing classes at the Harbourfront Studios. Stay warm this
winter by the light of your soldering torch…give your sweetheart a handcrafted ring for Valentine's Day. (Or melt down the one you received last year and make another!) This 8-week course will explore the basic techniques involved in working with metal such as piercing, drilling, filing, roller printing, soldering, casting and stone setting. Find all class information below.

All interested students can email me for more information or drop by the Harbourfront Studios from
10am to 6pm, Tuesday through Sunday. Any one of the residents there will be happy to answer your questions, pass along a
registration form or take your deposit.

Happy Holidays!
Suzanne Carlsen
ps feel free to pass this along to friends and family members you think might be interested.

Beginner Jewellery Classes
Harbourfront Centre, Metal Studio
Starting Thursday January 4th-February 22nd
6:30 -9:30
Cost: $260-all material included except for minimal charge for silver
Class Size: 5-8 people

Course outline: Basic Jewellery techniques such as piercing, drilling, filing, roller printing, soldering, casting, stone setting etc.

Product: At the end of the class you will have made a silver band ring, a cast project such as a pendant, ring or brooch and a final project of your choice. If there is interest there will also be a class covering jewellery
and the use of alternative materials.

For more information or to get a registration form faxed to you, call 416 973 4994 or email me at You can also visit the Harbourfront website at

From Suzanne's series, "Alternative Transportation"

call for fresh designers

A message from Laura-Jean, the Knitting Queen:

I am a clothing designer with 2 fabulous stores, Fresh Collective and Fresh Baked Goods. As well as designing and making clothes, I rent out space in my stores to other local designers who work one day a week in the store. It's a great way to share the expenses and responsibilties of running a store, and gives people (especially those just starting out) a chance to get their product out there, available to the public 7 days a week! As well, working in the store gives you a chance to do market research, see what people are buying and why, and be available to your customers in a professional setting to meet for custom orders etc. There are a ton of advantages to selling your handmade goods this way, and I've seen many local designers be able to quit their "real" jobs and focus on their business full-time! Many have built very strong businesses in this framework, and some have even gone on to open their own stores! I am always on the look-out for talented, ambitious, creative people with great fashion, jewellery, accessories or kids stuff to join our group! Check out my websites and and feel free to contact me for more info:

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

call for crafty kiddies

Do you know (or are you yourself) a crafty youngster or young adult who would want to be on TV? If so, please take note....

Sinking Ship Entertianment Is Looking for Creative Kids

sinking ship

The producers of This is Daniel Cook and This is Emily Yeung are producing a new ‘make and do’ show about art called Upload.

We’re looking for kids between 6 and 14 years of age who are passionate about makin’ and creatin’ just about anything. This can include, but is not limited to, pictures, paintings, crafts, photos, models (robots, vehicles), fun things for their room (lamps, pillows, murals) or even for themselves or friends (jewelry, clothes, costumes) and computer-generated art.

By the way…the creations don’t have to be perfect! We’re just looking for kids who LOVE creating art and who would be excited to show other kids how to do it too. Upload will air on TV Ontario, The Knowledge Network in BC, Saskatchewan Communications Network and Access Alberta.

If you are someone who fits the bill or know someone who does please email Alison Miller at by Thursday December 21, 2006.

Please include the following information:

-Your name

-Phone number and email address

-A picture of your art

-A little paragraph about you and how you developed the passion for your art!

the shapetionary

Thought you illustrators out there might be interested in this neat-o project, via instant coffee.

Call For Submissions - Help Create The Shapetionary!

What is the Shapetionary? Its a visual index of objects.

It started from looking at the dictionary and wondering why some words are illustrated and others aren’t, then thinking it would be interesting to illustrate the whole dictionary, or all the object nouns...then organize them by shape.

So I extracted all, or most (aprox 9500), of the object nouns, now I am setting out to get them illustrated by as many different people as possible. I am interested in our subjective/collective understandings of objects. So far over 400 people are participating, I estimate that between 1200-1500 drawers are needs.

If you are interested in illustrating some words, email and I will send you a list of 6-8 words, along with complete instructions.

All contributors will be acknowledged in the final project.

Margaret Flood

[As an aside - I am interested in finding out about more Toronto-based illustrators...if anyone is an illustrator or has a fave, pretty please email the TCA or post a link in the comments. Thanks!]

Saturday, December 09, 2006

it's millenery time!

There are some pretty hot hats out there nowadays, and it sure would be handy to know how to DIY, no? Sew Be it Studio is offering a four day hat workshop in January:

Millenery - Create your own Buckram Hat

Construct your own Custom Buckram hat with professional Milliner, Monica Viani. This workshop will guide you through the process of taking proper head measurements, drafting your own custom hat pattern and the draping/construction of a beautiful fabric covered buckram hat.

Tried and true techniques, used within the construction of theatrical hats will be shared with participants. Hat style choices offered, for this introductory project, will be “the classic riding hat” or the “traditional boater”. Students are asked to provide their own fabric choice and matching thread. Rayon velvet is strongly suggested for it’s ideal draping and hand stitching properties.

Workshop runs over four days
January 6, 2007, Saturday 10am - 5pm
January 13, 2007, Saturday 10am - 5pm
January 20, 2007, Saturday 10am - 1pm
January 27, 2007, Saturday 10am - 1pm

Price: $255 + GST

Friday, December 08, 2006

last minute paper stuffs sale

The Embellishment Store ( and A.Turcotte Touch ( are teaming up to offer you fantastic savings on stamps, paper and embellishments.

Friday, December 8th 2:30 - 8:00 p.m. SALE!
Saturday, December 9th 10 am - 2 p.m. SALE!

Savings will range from 15%-40% off. There will be a huge selection of products on hand (brads, fibres, eyelets, charms, findings) and many new products for you to check out as well. There are also some paper racks for sale, and clearance and gently used items at over 50% off retail prices.

In addition to gaining new product knowledge and getting some great deals, you can also pick up your complimentary copy of the newly released Issue 4 of Scrapbook & Cards Today when you come to shop.

Invite a friend and join the fun.

Location / Directions:
129 Grand Valley Drive, Maple, ON L6A 3K6
From the 401 just hop on Hwy. 400 and head north until you hit Vaughan .
There are 5 interchanges for Vaughan.

Continue on the 400 until you get to the 5th interchange, which is Major MacKenzie Dr . Take this exit east (turn right) until the first set of lights, which will be Jane St . Turn north (left) and head up Jane until you reach the first set of lights again. This is Grand Valley Blvd. (on the left) and Roseheath on the right. Turn west (left) onto Grand Valley, come down past Discovery Blvd. and you will find us on the south side of the road, #129.

Please park on the road and come on in. We are located in a house at this time so that we can keep our overhead as low and offer you the best prices possible. Don't be fooled by our outside appearance though. We're bigger than you think!!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

workshops at nathale-roze & co.

Nathalie-Roze has sent along the current workshop line-up happening at her boutique & studio in Leslieville (1015 Queen St. East @ Pape). A bunch of stuff great for last minute holiday crafting...Behold:
December 10th (this coming Sunday!!):
Soap-Making with Amanda Montgomery of simply. by amanda - 1pm - 4pm
$45+GST, including all tools & materials - plus a snack
Participants will leave with several scented organic bars
December 12th & 19th (Tues.)
Crafty Mama (& Baby) Drop-In from 1pm to 4pm
Bring your own project to work on or take part in the informal craft of the day activity
(supplies provided)
Space for 5 moms & babies per session...babies are very welcome, but optional!
$15/$20, including a snack & tea
December 12th (Tues.)
Easy Wire & Bead Tree Ornaments from 6pm - 8pm
$35+GST, including all tools & supplies, plus a snack
Participants will leave with 2+ ornaments
(age 14+ up)
December 17th (Sun.)
Easy Handsewing: Felt & Fabric Tree Decorations from 1pm - 3:30pm
$35+GST, including all materials, plus a snack
Participants will leave with 2+ ornaments
(age 14+ up)
December 19th (Tues.)
Jewellery 101 (Wire & Bead Earrings) from 6 - 8:30pm
$40+GST, including all tools & materials, plus a snack
Participants will leave with a minimum of two pairs each
(age 14+ up)
Coming Up SOON:
Beginner Felting
Beginner Knitting
Paper Crafts (cards, notebooks)
Sewing 101 (tote bag or patchwork scarf)
Sewing 102 (easy skirt)
Hand-Sewing (basic mending)
Hand-Beading & Embroidery
Crafting for Teens
Easy Fabric Dolls
(more info to be posted at, once more dates are confirmed)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

cross country craft checkup: a call for suggestions

We all know the stereotype – we Torontonians think we are the center of the Canadian universe, and that the only things worth happening go down right here in our city. Well, some might admit to a sliver of truth in this perception, but I think for the most part we are open-minded folk that appreciate good stuff, no matter where it hails from, yes? So in the spirit of pan-Canadian love, I thought it would be fun to do a Cross Country Craft Checkup – a periodic snapshot of the craft scene in a different city (or town?) across the land.

Here’s the thing – we could use your help hooking up with crafty contacts in various places – people who can give us the lowdown on awesome peeps, projects, and happenings of a crafty/DIY/indie art nature in their town.


UPPERCASE in Calgary
Regional Assembly of Text & FABLE Industries in Vancouver
spins & needles & Not Your Grandma's Craft Sale in Ottawa
Les Brodeuses & Damned Dollies in Montreal
The Loop Craft Café in Halifax

You know, the kind of stuff that gets posted about & linked here on the TCA. If you know someone located elsewhere in Canada who would fit the bill as a crafty correspondent, or if you yourself have some non-T.O. gems to share, pretty please email us with the deets.

Looking forward to hearing your hot tips!

Monday, December 04, 2006

danforth clay studio

OCAD textile student & blogger Stefani Brust wants us all to know about the opening of the 1910 Danforth Clay Studio. There will be a fibre, metal, and clay works sale happening as part as the opening. See flyer below for all you need to know.

Danforth Clay Studio

Friday, December 01, 2006

Recap: what’s happening this weekend?

this is a very busy time of year, and to help you fill out your dance card, here’s a list of what’s happening in the next few days: