Thursday, January 31, 2008

GET SCHOOLED: nanopod guerilla rings & science centre workshops

nanopod: Hybrid Studio will be back at the Ontario Science Centre's Weston Family Innovation Centre Saturday, February 16th and Sunday, February 17th with special workshops for the whole family! See the OSC's website for further details.


Super Guerrilla Ring Band Workshops!
February 2nd, 1st workshop- noon to 2pm, 2nd workshop- 3pm to 5pm
5 student max per workshop $40 per person


What makes these workshops so Super?! Well, I'll tell ya. In approximately 90 minutes you will learn the basics of hand fabricating your own jewelry though making a beautiful ring band.
You will learn how to size your finger, calculate the length of metal necessary, how to anneal your ring blank using the oxy/propane mini torch, sawing, drilling, filing, stamping, soldering, cleaning, & polishing.

And why are they called, "Super Guerrilla" ring band workshops?
Because they are fast paced, and focussed.

Register online
over the phone {647 219 0585} with Visa, Mastercard
or at the sutdio with Visa, Mastercard, Debit, or cash.

See the TCA coupon page for discounts on nanopod classes.

nanopod: Hybrid Studio
322 Harbord Street
Toronto, ON

GET SCHOOLED: february workshops at n-r & co


February 2008 Workshops

(Register by phone with a credit card (Visa or M/C) or in-person use debit,cash or credit.)

Creative Card-Making
Saturday February 9th, 10am to 1pm

Instructor: Kim Kutner, the illustrator behind the popular Kim's Suitcase line of paper goods and accessories (

just in time for valentine's day!

This fun crafty session covers various methods for creating unique greeting cards, including hand and machine sewing as well as personalized collages of fabric, photos, ink stamps and paper ephemera. Various materials will be supplied to get the creative juices flowing, but ideally participants will also bring their own mix of favorite materials (photos, magazine clippings, maps, buttons, etc.). Everyone will leave with 2 to 6 one-of-a-kind cards and the inspiration to make more at home using everyday materials.

$49 + GST, including all materials as well as gourmet tea & treats served during the break.


Organic Soap-Making
Sunday February 10th, 11am to 2pm

Instructor: Amanda Montgomery, owner of the "simply. by amanda" soap company

In this hands-on session, learn how to make a batch of organic soap, using the cold press method. Learn all about making your own natural, moisturizing soap - then, choose your own scents (essential oils) and exfoliants to make a fresh batch customized to your personal preferences. All ingredients are 100% natural and fair-trade. Participants will leave with several bars to enjoy at home or to give as gifts.

Note: participants should dress casually.

$55 + GST,
including all supplies as well as tea & treats served during the break.


Oh, Baby: Hats & Bibs (for Wee Ones)
Saturday February 16th, 10am to 1pm

Instructor: Nathalie-Roze Fischer, accessories designer & DIY enthusiast

Using simple patterns, participants will learn how to make personalized fleece or cotton baby hats and bibs, as well as instructions on how to funkify them with cute appliques and hand-sewn embellishments. Basic machine-sewing skills are required. These practical projects make great gifts.

$55 + GST, including use of machines, hand-outs & patterns, fabric & felt for appliques - plus tea & treats served during the break.

NOTE: Participants must bring a metre of fleece, terry cloth or stretch cotton (or a used adult sweatshirt to recycle), plus a spool of quality thread. Optional: ribbon, trim or buttons for decoration.

Alternatively, a course kit can be purchased with registration ($10).


Knitting for Absolute-Beginners
Sunday February 17th, 11am to 1:30pm

Instructor: local knit-wit Andrea R. (loved for her patience & enthusiasm)

If you've been wanting to learn how to stitch your own unique wearables, this session - aimed at those with no knitting experience at all - is for you. Participants will learn the basic must-have foundation skills - how to start (cast-on), the key knit & purl stitches & binding/casting off. Virgin knitters will begin with the classic beginner project: a scarf. Just bring your creative mojo - a beginner kit will be provided (needles and yarn, plus resource sheets), although particpants are welcome to bring any favourite yarns they'd like to work with in class.

$55 + GST, includes a take-home kit, plus tea & baked goodies served during the break.


DIY Sock Monkey Dolls
Saturday February 23rd, 10am to 1pm

Instructor: Designer/illustrator Kim Kutner of "Kim's Suitcase"

The focus of this hand-sewing workshop is the classic yet quirky sock monkey.
Participants will learn the basic technique required to create a monkey doll, using traditional grey work socks with red stripes at the top (or the socks of your choice) as well as decorative handmade add-ons to give it your own creative stamp. Bring along your own socks (new men's socks work best) or purchase a pair for $10 from Kim. Everything else will be provided.

Note: basic hand-sewing skills required for this project.

$55 + GST, including instruction hand-outs, stuffing, buttons, felt, needles & thread, etc. - plus tea & treats served during the break.


Groovy Gauntlets (Fingerless Gloves/Arm-Warmers)
Saturday February 23rd, 2pm to 5pm

Instructor: Nathalie-Roze Fischer, accessories designer & DIY enthusiast

Using felted (shrunken) sweaters, recycled fleece and or cotton jersey, participants will learn how to make their own funky gauntlets/arm-warmers as well as how to customize a pair with add-ons like handcrafted appliques, buttons, beads and trim. Everyone will leave with, at least, one completed set.

Note: basics will be provided, but participants should bring in their own embellishments (trim, buttons, beads, etc.) and or sweaters/sweatershirts/fleece to use (if they have colour preferences).

$55 + GST, including use of machine, hand-outs, basic materials as well as tea & treats served during the break.


Super-Fab Necklaces
Sunday February 24th, 11am - 2pm

Instructor: Nathalie-Roze Fischer, accessories designer & DIY enthusiast

In this fun beginner session participants will learn how to use key tools and basic techniques to create various contemporary pendant and beaded necklace designs incorporating wire, beads, buttons, fabric, leather, found objects & semi-precious stones. Everyone will leave with, at least, 2 completed designs. All tools and materials (beads, wire, etc.) will be provided, although particiants are encouraged to bring extra beads and findings with them to customize their creations.

$65 + GST, including project materials as well as tea & treats served during the break.

nathalie-roze & co.
1015 Queen St. East
@ Pape, Leslieville
CLOSED: Monday & Tuesday

Wed. to Thurs. 11-6, Friday 12-7, Saturday 11-6, Sun. 12-5

VENDOR CALL: brampton art fair

Looking for creative souls for Brampton Art Fair


Join us for the 2nd Brampton Art Fair, to be held Saturday May 3 from 9am to 4pm at the beautiful Rose Theatre in downtown Brampton. We're looking for artists, artisans, musicians, performers and creative crafters to join us. Visit our website for pics from last years show and details on how to apply. Go to Thanks!

Also: Stay tuned for the next Brampton Art Fair

Sat. Nov 22nd, 9am-4pm @ The Rose Theatre, Brampton, ON


Sharon Foster

GET SCHOOLED: anarres natural health clinic

Anarres Natural Health Clinic

Workshops and Labs for February, 2008

BOOK A PARTY (5 friends!), CLASS OR VALENTINE WORKSHOP Call for more info: 416 535 9620

What: The Love Lab ~ a drop in, PWYW, Valentine Craft making event
When: Sunday, February 3, 1-4 pm, Drop In, but please RSVP
The Love Lab is a special place where we crafty folks can get together! The Anarres Clinic kitchen will be all set up for making scintillating bath salts, magnificent massage oils, sassy SLS-free organic melt and pour soaps, terrific tub truffles, and intriguing infused oils. Over snacks and tea, I'll guide you through the process of making your ideas take shape. You'll come away with absolutely original, and useful, Valentine's goodies you've made for yourself, or to give as a gift, and skills that can serve you for a lifetime for a fraction of the cost of a handmade product habit. Bring your own packaging, or buy glass bottles and vegetable cellulose bags here. You can use your Workshopper Card to attend, or Pay What You Want (suggested prices available for the timid).

What: The Healthy Dips Lab ~ a drop in, PWYW, cooking from scratch event
When: Saturday, February 9, 3-6 pm, Drop In, but please RSVP
Say goodbye to expensive little tubs of abandoned dips in the fridge! The Anarres Clinic kitchen will be all set up for making hearty hummous, bombastic baba ghanouj, scintillating sun dried tomato paste, bountiful black bean dip and over the top olive paste. Best of all, we'll make it all from scratch with organically grown ingredients. I'll guide you through the process of making your own tasty versions. You'll come away with absolutely original, and useful, goodies you've made for yourself, or to give as a gift, and skills that can serve you for a lifetime for a fraction of the cost of buying little tubs in the store. Bring your own packaging. You can use your Workshopper Card to attend, or Pay What You Want (suggested prices available for the timid).

What: Learn a Relaxing Eastern Medicine Massage
When: Wednesday, February 13, 6 - 9 pm
Nothing says love like a massage! This hands on workshop is the perfect gift for yourself or your loved one. You'll learn a relaxing, yet energizing massage based on the work of Dr. Sivago, physician to the Buddha, as passed on in the monasteries of Thailand. We'll select the carrier oil to nourish your skin, and the perfect essential oils to nourish your mind body and spirit and help you get into whatever mood you wish. This class will be limited to four participants. Bring a friend (or lover!) and pay only $20 each. If you come as a gift to yourself, you'll be matched with someone of your gender. This class is also suited to teens, or a child with a parent.

What: Non Toxic Woman ~ How To Save Yourself, Your Family and the Environment Starting Today
When: Tuesday, February 19, 6 - 9 pm
There's so much that's said to be bad for you, and bad for the environment, but who do you believe, and where do you start? Don't worry; be healthy! From phthalates and plastics, to parabens and probiotics, we'll look at the toxins that commonly plague us in our environment, and talk about simple, immediate solutions that will benefit our health and our planet. We'll look at The Diva Cup and other healthy alternatives to disposables, and at common household cleaning, bath, baby and beauty products that can easily be replaced with healthful products you can make yourself, or buy locally. You'll come away with your own list of easy, life enhancing changes you can start making today, and the information you need to make healthy decisions and further changes if you like.

What: FREE Open House and Black History Month Sampling
When: Friday, February 29 2008, 6 - 9 pm, Drop In, but please RSVP.
Come and experience the wonders of natural healing from the African continent!
Feel shea butter in its natural state.
Hear how Africans founded aromatherapy thousands of years ago.
Learn how to buy and use natural African grown wonder ingredients while supporting fair trade and healthy partnerships.
You can take a "tour" of Anarres Natural Health Clinic, and ask about the modalities I use in my practice.
* Enjoy a tea or a crystal water, and a refreshing snack with relaxed informal discussion. Bring a friend!
Drop In 6 through 9pm. For address and other info 416.535.9620 or

Anarres' workshops are relaxing and fun and take place at Anarres Natural Health Clinic, College & Ossington. Classes are limited to six participants so that everyone gets a semi private lesson experience. There's fruit, veggies and dip to snack on, and, as always, a choice of cool crystal water or refreshing tea. There are always goodies to take home, as well as new found knowledge and skills.

Workshops are: $30 for 3 hours. Register with a friend, or for two workshops, for $20 each! REPEAT a workshop for $20. BEST DEAL: Buy a 10 workshop card for $150 for a limited (experimental) time only! Open Houses are FREE. SPACE IS LIMITED.
To RSVP, for address and other info 416.535.9620 or

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

CRAFT TORONTO PICS: Family Portrait by haleybydesign

Family Portrait, originally uploaded by hayleybydesign.

Fractals in Russian plush.

From the Craft Toronto photo pool on Flickr.

CRAFTIVISM: design hope auction

Kim Kutner sent along this notice for Design Hope 2008, an auction taking place at yummy rug shop Modern Weave to raise funds for the homeless. Kim's sister Michele Lucas will have a painting in the show, and apparently there will be craft pieces on offer – glass work by some Sheridan College students.

Michelle Lucas - painting for Design Hope auction

mortis and tenon by Michele Lucas (available at auction)

Design Hope Toronto 2008
Friday February 8, 7-10 PM
Modern Weave,
160 King St. E. (east of Jarvis)

Design Hope Toronto would like to announce its 3rd annual art auction
and gala to help the homeless.

This year's event will be held at Modern Weave,
160 King Street East,
on Friday, February 8 from
7-10PM. The new, more spacious location
allows Design Hope Toronto to exhibit more art and therefore raise
even more money for the homeless. The artwork will be on display
starting February 1.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

ASK CRAFTY: letterpress and pysanky classes, bag supplies in scarborough, natural wood paints & adult craft camp ideas

Pysanky & photo by Luba Petrusha

Some great questions in this round of ask crafty. Please share your advice by commenting on this post.

Also, the question of letterpress classes has come up a few times lately and I'm wondering if we could come up with a few local options.

x I want to make a crochet bag. Where can I find the bag handles,zips etc. Can somebody suggest the names of the stores in Scarborough? - Bindu

x I'm looking for pysanky classes--decorating eggs Ukrainian style--and I'm wondering if anyone can recommend any or even simply point me to some. - eunice

x Does anyone know where to buy, in Toronto, non-toxic or preferably all natural or vegetable based paints which conform to ASTM-D4236 (that is; they are child-safe or "food-grade") for use on wood.Or does anyone know how to make these paints or dyes? - kelly

x I am a frustrated crafter stuck in a very 'non-crafty corporate job' I was hoping to use a week of vacation this year to treat myself to a week of craft or art projects. Does anyone know of any intensive week-long workshops either in Toronto or willing to make a trip of it and go up north/ out to eastcoast etc. (Hopefully more on the funky-side than delicate watercolours) Am flexible on medium (bit of an ADHD crafter) and also on timing although summer would be best. Open to any ideas! - Carolyn

Monday, January 28, 2008

CRAFT TORONTO PICS: heart2 by shannon.gerard

shannon gerard's crocheted ticker
heart2, originally uploaded by shannon.gerard.
I've been hard at work making these little crocheted hearts for the City of Craft Valentine's Trunk Sale!

It's hard not to go overboard on Valentine's stuff in the craft world. And while I certainly respect some people's rejection of the holiday and its inherent frills, Shannon Gerard's pattern-making abilities (of possibly, freewheeling sense of sculpture) are undeniably grand.

For those keeping track, Valentine's Day marks my (Becky Johnson) 30th birthday this year. So I am a bit of a connoisseur of Valentine's-themed gifts (or a snob fueled by the birthday baggage of being a tomboy who annually had to smile for doughy teddy bears with hearts sewn to their hands). I also overdosed on cinnamon hearts at a young age. This little coronary creation of Shannon's sums up my general preferences for Valentine giving - a gift that suggests the grotesque while still honouring the fluffiness of the holiday and its symbols of love.

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


monday monday.... another weekend gone by. how is everyone out there in craft-cyber-land?
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, January 27, 2008

FROM THE DESK OF TCA: your advice on free listings

I'm looking to spread the word further about the TCA and I'm hoping you guys can recommend some free local listing opportunities (e.g. Kijiji , Craig's List, NOW community listings). Please post them in the comments so we can all benefit from knowing more venues to get the word out about our crafty affairs.


CRAFT SHOW: valentine's trunk show @ the workroom

This is the first craft show that I’ll be participating in as a vendor in years (better get making!), so it is with great trepidation-slash-anticipation that I’m announcing the next City of Craft event: The Valentine’s Trunk Show.

City of Craft & the workroom present
The Valentine's Trunk Show
Sunday February 10, 2008
the workroom
1340 Queen Street West

City of Craft is partnering up with the workroom to present a small, informal craft sale that aims to fulfill all your Valentine's needs.

The Valentine's Trunk Show will feature 16+ local vendors, confined to setting up their displays in suitcases!

Jewellery! Crochet Woolies! Stitched medallions! Reimagined romance novels! Hair ties! Plush Anatomy! Handmade Pipes! Handbags! Craft Supplies! And, of course, heaps of cards and paper goods by local stuff-makers [Check them out here].

Plus, free snacks!

And that's not all. On top of the crafty goods on offer are a few on-demand services:

Some vendor images to entice you:

Embroidered needlebook by needle book

two toques pipe
Briar & bakelite pipe by two toques design

becky warmer
Neck warmer by the sweetie pie press

Hope to see you there!

STUDIO SPACE: workshop space at the burrow

Check out this lovely space for rent at The Burrow:

the burrow 2 views
2 views of the space

Attention all crafty teachers and groups! The Burrow Art Centre and Shop has a beautiful studio space in Mirvish village that could be used to host an event or class if you so desire. Our studio is approximately 200 sq ft. of bright, clean and inspiring space. There are tables, chairs, wash up and bathroom facilities also available. Prices are reasonable per hour, so give us a call @ 416-532-1777 or email:

The Burrow

CRAFT SHOW & GET SCHOOLED: events at the purple thumb

Upcoming events at The Purple Thumb

1018 & 1020 Queen Street West
tel: 905-598-0407

Designers Market @ The Purple Thumb 1018 Queen Street West

On February 9th & 10th from 11am-6pm come and do all of your Valentines Day shopping at the Designers Market featuring 6 local designers selling their goods. Admission is FREE.

zen fizz bath bomb

DIY Workshop – Make your own Zen Fizz Bath Bombs!

ATTENTION GUYS: This is a perfect way to make something from your heart to give to your loved one for Valentines Day.

Price: $45 (includes all materials & refreshments)
Date: Tuesday February 12th 2008
Time: Arrive 6:30 - Class starts @ 7pm
Where: At The Purple Thumb, 1018 Queen Street West
Duration of class: 1-1.5 hour(s)
Class Size: 10 people max
Difficulty: Beginner
Age group: 15 & up

In this DIY workshop you will learn how to make your own Zen fizz bath bombs. You will also learn about the ingredients and their benefits. After the class you can go home get into a hot bath and soak in a soothing fizz bath that you created.

Note: In order to secure a spot in the class payment must be paid in advance.
For cancellation, 2 days notice must be given.

To sign up for this class or for more information please call 905-598-0407 (leave a message) or e-mail

GET SCHOOLED: creativity classes

Lisa's offering a new round of her creativity classes with a special TCA discount (how sweet!):

girl can create

As a workshop leader, Lisa brings a sense of excitement and passion few can match. Her enthusiasm rubs off on the participants, now co-creators, in a world of movement and creativity carefully explored and unleashed in a safe, fun-filled experience. Lisa is both a masterful facilitator and a catalyst for stepping into the unknown. With such warmth and humour, she truly creates a joyous atmosphere in her classes and workshops.” - Beth Mairs, Director of Wild Woman Expeditions

She Can Create: Creativity Classes for Women

Join us for an experiential woman's creative group that meets once a week to play and create using a variety of different inspirations. Focusing on self-expression and the desire to bring more art to our lives we will use Collage, Storytelling, Movement, Doll making, Beadwork and Journaling to jumpstart our creativity and help create unique pieces of art and find ways how to continue creating after the classes are finished. Lisa will also talk about the overcoming creative blocks, taking steps to complete projects and letting the world know about your work. A sure fire inspiring workshop, register early to avoid disappointment as there is a limited amount of participants.

When: Tuesdays Nights from 6:15 to 9:00

February 5, 12, 19, 26

Where: Somewhere There Studios

340 Dufferin St., Toronto

One Block South of Queen
(entrance off Melbourne Ave)

Price: $150

To register please email Lisa at or call 416-516-4925

Plus special deal for Toronto Craft Alert, register and mention TCA and you will receive a complimentary creativity coaching session with Lisa Pijuan-Nomura.

About Lisa: For many years Lisa has helped other artists when times were tough. It seemed to be a natural extensions of her work as an artist and curator. Lisa has studied with many great creative minds including author and creativity expert Eric Maisel, Art Therapist Jacqueline Gautier, dancer Lisa Nelson, singer Ysaye Barnwell, musician Babatunde Olatunji, storyteller Judith Black and many others! With over 15 years of working as a performance artist, writer and educator, Lisa is especially passionate about bring art, humour and creativity to lives of women, youth and children.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: submit your love stories

'You See Me', Colleen Barn- (500 pixels)resize

Vancouver based jewellery artist Colleen Baran is looking for love stories for a very cool series of wearable love letter pieces and publications. Read on for the deets, and follow the progress of the project on her blog.

Colleen Baran- Share Your Love- Open Call- for posting online- (front- 500x)Resize

Submit your stories of love. Select stories will be used in an artist book & zines (that may be made into a book) while very select others may be used in pieces in my 'Like Wearing a Love Letter' Series ( The handmade book will be used in my upcoming solo show "Like Wearing a Love Letter' at the Crafthouse Gallery (March 27th to May 4th, 2008) in Vancouver Canada. Further showing tba.

I’m collecting 'stories of love'. I'm looking for the full spectrum of love, both good and bad: lustful, platonic, passionate, bitter, pure, joyous, brief, long-term, deep, shallow, unconditional, etc. Love of a partner, a vocation, an idea. Do you have a secret crush? Have you fallen in love? Have you fallen out of love? Tell me about your first kiss! What makes you excited to wake up in the morning! Tell me who and what you love!

All languages are welcome! Though 'non-English' submissions would be best accompanied by a rough English translation. I currently have stories from Canada the United States and Italy.

To put the stories into a sociological perspective I'm asking for brief (largely optional) biographical info (as below) to accompany the story.

1) Name (very optional) or Initials (also optional):
2) Sex:
3) Age:
4) Country (needed) and City (optional):
5) Title (optional):
6) Story (a single line to a few paragraphs):

Email stories to with the subject line 'Share Your Love'. DEADLINE MARCH 1ST for inclusion in upcoming show. Specify whether you are submitting for both the book and the jewellery or just the book. Those that do not specific may be used in both.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

CRAFTIVISM: six hour sweatshop @ the sewing studio UPDATE



Due to "the storm of the century," The Sewing Studio's first-ever, month-long holiday charity event has changed dates. The Sewing Studio would like to announce that deadlines for participants have been extended and the wrap party will now be held on February 24th, 2008.

The Sewing Studio's
Six-Hour Sweatshop Wrap-Up
Holiday Party
Sunday, February 24, from 9.30am to 3.30pm

The Sewing Studio
266 Avenue Road

As The Sewing Studio's first-ever, month-long holiday charity event, the Six-Hour Sweatshop, comes to an end participants, media and friends are invited to stop by the studio to join the instructors for holiday cheer (that means treats!), and to sew or purchase hand-crafted gifts for three very deserving charities. On
Sunday, February 24, from 9.30am to 3.30pm, see familiar faces and donate your time and creative spirit to those in need. Everyone who stops by has a chance to win some great prizes, including a one-year subscription to FASHION Magazine, a free Feature Workshop and a free full-length course at the studio!

Participants in the Six-Hour Sweatshop have been hard at work on embellished scarves for The Assaulted Women's Helpline (, a tote bag for children in Africa, being sent through Fundamentalz Project P.L.A.Y. ( and a children's plush toy for kids with Down Syndrome at the Quinte Health Care centre (

Start the holidays off right with an afternoon of giving. See you at The Sewing Studio.

For more information on the Six-Hour SweatShop, including info about the charities supported through this event, check out

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

HELP WANTED: calling all contract sewers

Karyn at the workroom is on the hunt for sewers interested in freelance work:


There seems to be a real need for sewers in Toronto. Since the workroom opened in October, I've had daily requests from people who would like everything from drapes and slip covers to clothing (for people AND dogs!) to pillows and bedding.

the workroom would like to compile a list of recommended local sewers who are interested in doing freelance contract sewing. This would be both for production sewing and also for one-time projects. Please get in touch and let me know what type of sewing you do, your experience, and some photos of your work.

VENDOR CALL: good catch seeking valentines day crafts

If you make crafty goodies that are valentine's day appropriate, mosey (or rather skedaddle) on over to the Good Catch General Store and show em what you've got. Rumour has it they are actively looking for valentines cards and valentine's-themed goods for consignment asap.

1556 Queen Street West
(at Sorauren)
Toronto, Ontario


good catch dan
Dan of Good Catch with neckwarmer by Becky.

CRAFTY CHAT: siue moffat @ the toronto zine library collective

Those of you interested in food craft (or self-publishing. or fun stuff) might like to check this out:

A talk with guest speaker
Siue Moffat
Hosted by the Toronto Zine Library Collective

Sunday, February 3rd, 2008. 1:30pm
Toronto Zine Library at the TRANZAC, second floor
292 Brunswick Avenue. Toronto


Siue Moffat began making zines in 1988. The subjects have ranged from gross food; yummy food; amusement parks in the Portland, Oregon; her involvement in the punk zine; and even, oddly enough, a zine that mixed Monty Python and punk. In 2003 Siue self published Lickin' the Beaters: Low Fat Vegan Desserts Illustrated by 8 Fantastic Artists. Basically a zine in book form, she did nearly everything herself including the photos and index. Siue busies herself between vegan food, punk rock and film archiving. Her second book of vegan chocolate and candy recipes will be published in the spring, while the first is scheduled for reprinting in March. Both books are being published by PM Press, the new imprint of AK Press. Siue is very proud of her large collection of veg cookzines.

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

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

Illustration credit: Allyson Mitchell

GET SCHOOLED: glass, metal, wire & beads at MaRGie studio


The following classses are available at MaRGie Jewellery Studio:

Glass Fusing
1 day class ($100+GST)(materials included)
Make a glass pendant, pin and/or key chain.
4 classes ($300+GST)(materials included)
Learn all the basics of glass fusing; including cutting, shaping, layering and kiln use.

Intermediate 2 day class
($300+GST) (materials included)
Learn to make coasters and/or tea light holders.

Glass Flameworking
($300+GST)(materials included)
Learn the basics to make your own glass beads! We focus on different shapes, colours and sizes.

1 day class ($125+GST)(materials included)

Choose from one of the following classes:
Name Tag Pendant
Pendant with Beveled Stone
Band Ring

1 day class ($45+GST)(includes all findings)
Bring your own bead and learn the basics of Beading.

Kids Beading
- 6 years + ($45+GST)
(includes all findings and beads)

Wire Working
1 day class ($60+GST) (includes wire and findings)
Bring your own beads and learn the basics of wire working.


1162 Queen St East
Toronto ON M4M 1L4
(Inside The Purple Purl)

Monday, January 21, 2008

QUESTIONS FOR CRAFTERS: quilter grant heaps

Grant Heaps
Grant at work

Questions for Crafters: Grant Heaps
Interview by Lucie Davies

An Assistant Wardrobe Co-ordinator at the National Ballet, Grant Heaps knows a thing or two about sewing. But it was only recently that he decided to ‘out’ his quilt-making past-time to the world. Large-scale, visually-stunning and almost entirely hand sewn, these labours of love were revealed to TCA when we had the honour of visiting his treasure trove home.

Looking around it’s clear you are a real hoarder. How long have you been collecting for?

Since I was a child. I have this funny story actually about when I was a little boy. My grandparents used to live in this big old house in High Park and my grandmother wasn’t very good at throwing things away. So when they moved I took whatever I could, including a light bulb I’d found. Twenty years later, I bought these vintage, pumpkin Halloween lights, but when I put them up I realised one of the lights had burnt out. I thought to myself “I have one of those bulbs”. Sure enough, I still had the bulb from when I was eight, it was the right size and everything!

You’ve also got this huge collection of old photographs and photo albums, what draws you to images of complete strangers?

I just find them fascinating, both the people themselves who are interesting and I am also looking for patterns to use in my work.

And what about your antique sailor doll collection?

You’ll see lots of sailor stuff around. I just think they are amazing because they are unlike any other male costume or uniform in the Western world. Originally they would actually make their own uniforms, so the really clever man would make uniforms for his fellow sailors for extra money.

Grant's fleet of crafty men at sea

You started your quilt-making odyssey about ten years ago, what turned you on to it?

My mom made this quilt for me and I thought wow! The colours were amazing, I like the traditional patterns and it got me thinking about other ways to use fabric. I started off with a small quilt and from there I went big. I am obsessed with the whole basket weave look and there are so many variations. I love striped fabric and I love knots too, so in my second quilt you can see how I just took those three things and stuck them together.

Did you teach yourself to quilt?

Yes. I mean I do know about sewing and the ways of putting things together, but, in a way, I think it’s more akin to carpentry than it is to making clothes.

What does quilting mean to you?

It’s a creative outlet - this thing I have to do. Not a lot of people have seen what I am doing. And while I am ready to let the world see my work, I am not doing it to show to people.

Your quiltwork is incredibly colourful. Where do you find the fabrics that you use in the quilts?

From stores, from the street. When I see a piece of clothing I always take a look just to see, or an old mattress, I’ll sometimes I’ll cut a piece out. Window screening, anything with texture – the orange plastic mesh that clementines come in. Also from work, I get tons of scraps from there, including old dirty face wipes from the men’s change room that the dancers use to remove their make-up! I like them, not only because I enjoy using garbage, but because I like the idea of using something very personal to my life and my work.

You can really see the evolution in your work. And it seems you taken the leap from something purely about texture and design to something conceptual in your current quilt.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how when you look at something you reflect it back in a personal way. Like when you go to a movie you are judging it in a personal way. Film criticism drives me insane because they present it as logical, but it’s really not. It really hit me one day - this is really what my theatre quilt [Grant’s current piece] is all about. It’s about somebody seeing something but what they are actually seeing is what’s inside themselves and not the visions they are being presented with. Hopefully those two things coincide but it doesn’t really matter if they don’t.

This quilt you are working on at the moment is just one part of a series which tells a story about the theatre. What’s this one specifically about?

Because it’s an ever-evolving thought process I have no idea where the story is going. At this point it’s about somebody is watching a performance, the curtains up, there’s one man on stage, he’s obviously in agony. But it’s not all about agony. I think when most people go to the theatre they go with hope because it can give you the greatest joy.

The figure in the middle of the piece comes from a drawing a friend of yours copied from one of your photographs. It’s obvious you enjoy a collaborative approach. What comes next?

I have planned four more sections. I am having an illustrator friend design the next one. And then for another piece, I am collaborating with a whole bunch of people and doing it in very small sections. Each person is going to design a star, so they can do it in two seconds, or, if they like, they can spend two hours drawing it!

double quilt - Grant Heaps

Panel one of theatre quilt project

CRAFTY BIZ: crafty co-op shop proposition

Lara originally posted this on the wall of the TCA facebook group and I invited her to send it along to be posted here. I think this is a much-needed venue for Toronto crafters to incubate their businesses and share their on and contact Lara if you'd like to see this happen.

bluebanana advert

the blue banana in Kensington has come under some scrutiny--gentrification/the wrong aesthetic/rips off artists---but while reading a promo flier the other day I realized they DO have a pretty sweet business model:
1. buy HUGE 16 000 foot property in prime location
2. rent out parcels of HUGE property to artists/craftsmakers

the benefits: artists dont have to man the store and they can keep track of their stock online
the downsides: rent, for not-so HUGE stalls, goes from $150 to $500 and commission on everything sold is 14%......

so, I was thinking.....why not the same idea, but a CO-OP?-->vendors provide a day of labour a week to keep rent and commission down this would allow people to sustain their "hobbies"... artistic hobbies can be expensive and should be accessible to all of us, no? it might even give people the push (mentally and economically) to do their "hobbies" for a living.....or, is there already a place like this in toronto? (let me know if there is,

EXHIBITION: structures - crucial minutiae

untilted (3x4web)-4
Montreal-based glass artists Venessa Yanow is having a solo show entitled Structures - Crucial Minutiae at the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery in Kitchener-Waterloo in Ontario. It opens January 27th from 1-5pm and runs until March 23, 2008. Below is a brief description of her recent explorations:

My subject matter has been loosely based on micro-organic, zoomorphic forms inspired by nature. But I am not dictated by this subject matter. It is context for my pursuit and interest in the abstract. The ambiguity in my work is of great importance to me right now. Though inanimate, my work displays a vivid sense of animation. My choice of form, composition, materials and colour tends to activate the finished pieces in a way that gives them a heart beat, an uncanny life force. They are my pets; creatures that reflect my inner makeup and also echo the exterior life forms that are forever repeating, mutating and evolving in the natural world. My recent work does not always conform to what is generally perceived as being beautiful. It is the strange and the grotesque, and the beauty found in these that intrigue me. To be both attracted and repelled by something is a much stronger, deeper emotion than to be simply attracted to something. I try to take my viewer out of their comfort zone and bring them to a place that, though strange and different, they would like to stay in longer and investigate.

CRAFT TORONTO PICS: Wilson Sugarbaby Jones by studioloo

Wilson Sugarbaby Jones, originally uploaded by studiolooflickr.
Handmade plush toy by

What to say about Wilson Sugarpants Jones? Hmm...well, he loves babydoll tshirts, he loves to disco and he is half panda, half grizzly, but 100% cutie pie. He is a big huggable bear and a bit of a robot. He likes to hold hands and hang around looking cool.

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

GET SCHOOLED: upcoming classes at TANK


TANK fire + metal... in the Distillery District
647-430-8589 Ask for Amy
or email


(We Offer TCA coupon discounts, go to the coupon link, found on the top of the left sidebar)

Beginner Series with Amy Johnson
$131 each or $442 for all 4 classes with our TCA coupon
(regular $155 each or $520 for all 4 classes)

Beginner Flamework Beadmaking with Amy Johnson
Sunday Feb 17th 10am - 5pm $131

Beginner Flamework Buttons with Amy Johnson
Sunday Feb 24th 10am -5pm $131

Beginner Flamework Gold, Silver, Palladium & Copper Leaf with Amy Johnson
Sunday March 9th 10am -5pm $131

Beginner Flamework Focal Beads & Pendants with Amy Johnson
Sunday March 16th 10am -5pm $131

Encasing & Hollow Beads with Jill Cribbin
$260 ($221 with TCA coupon)
Two Sundays (10am-5pm)
March 16th & 23rd
Four Thursday evenings (7-10pm)
Jan 31st -Feb 21st


Larry Brickman
Feb 2nd & 3rd 10am -5pm
$550 material inc.
($467 with TCA coupon)


Glass or Silversmithing Studio Bench Time
$15/hr or $120/10hr + glass or silver
Take advantage of working in a professional studio and feel free to ask for assistance.
Must reserve by phone or email and have beginner level experience


We are hosting the next toronto lampworkers dinner on Tuesday Jan 29th at 7pm. We will start off with dinner at The Mill St. Brew Pub, and follow up with a torching play time at our shop TANK. Anyone who wants to come is welcome, and you can try making a bead or just watch people demo. Bring stuff for show and tell! This meeting is free, each person pays for their own dinner at the pub.

Please RSVP so I can make a reservation at the restaurant. or 647-430-8589


TANK fire+ metal
103. Bldg #74
55 Mill St. Toronto, ON
Open Wed - Sun Noon - 5pm

FROM THE DESK OF TCA: The Motherlode of Craft Fair Lists

The New Year is the perfect time to get out and enjoy local craft! Our Toronto Craft Alert Event Calendar is the best way to stay updated on all the local crafty happenings, and with new events added every week, there are so many amazing ideas for your new crafty endeavours!

We are in the process of updating our Calendar of Events for 2008, so if you have any other local craft shows or fairs, please email your tips to us at

More information and local show dates will be added as they become available!

CRAFT SHOW: International Home & Garden Show

Exciting things are in store at this year's International Home & Garden Show!

Taking place from March 6-9, 2008 at the International Centre, a new feature at this spring's show is the Creative Arts Marketplace. This new feature area showcases Craft Suppliers and Artisans with products and services dedicated to scrapbooking, knitting, beading, pottery, paper crafts, ceramics, quilting and so much more.
There will also be a fabulous Make It and Take It area which will allow visitors to get creative.
More information can be found at

This event has also been added to the Toronto Craft Alert Event Calendar. Google Calendar users can add this event to their own calendars by clicking here.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

CRAFTY TREND: recycled glass vases

i've been seeing these pretty vases and glasses made of recycled wine and beer bottles everywhere i look lately, and it's telling me to get myself down to the the workroom to buy the $39 kit. has anyone out there attempted this project yet?
  1. reading my february issue of domino and spotted these:recycled glass carafe in domino mag

  2. apartment therapy and treehugger are loving Transglass by Artecnica. these are made by Emma Woffenden and the illustrious Tord Boontje. the recycled, handcrafted glassware comes in greens, clears, and browns (just like beer bottles!):
    transglass on apartmenttherapy.comtransglass on

  3. also design*sponge, featured a bud vase trio from the curiosity shoppe:curiosity shoppe's bud vase trio on design*sponge

Friday, January 18, 2008

VENDOR CALL: shop & workshop space for rent on w. queen w.

Designers/Vendors/Artists wanted for a designer market in the West Queen West District

I have a vacant store in the West Queen West Art & Design District that I will be renting out every weekend to 6 different designers/vendors on Saturday & Sunday for $65 each for both days. You get your own table & chair. This facility also has fitting room(s). This is an opportunity for designers/vendors who aren’t quite ready to rent space in a store but still want to get their name out their and sell their items without any high cost of commitment. From Monday to Friday this space will be available to anyone wanting to teach a class/workshop, etc… The hourly rate from Monday – Friday is $40/hour. I am also still looking for people to rent space in the store as well.

Please contact Jamie if you are interested at 905-598-0407 (leave a message) or

designer market

GET SCHOOLED: new years courses at the contemporary textile studio

Some class info has been updated on this late-December post. Please read ahead for current info...

Looking for a last minute gift idea?! How about a class or workshop at the Contemporary Textile Studio Co-op ?

Early registration is recommended, as class sizes are limited! For more information and registration, contact the instructor listed below. All classes take place at the Contemporary Textile Studio Co-op at 401 Richmond St. W, studio 109.

Intro to Screen-Printing
Hilary Dennis:
6 weeks: Wednesdays 6:30-9:30 pm
January 9 – February 13
March 19 – April 23
$255 + $65 material fee

This 6-week course will take you through the entire process of screen-printing on fabric, from developing imagery and films to coating and shooting a screen. We will also explore direct applications and alternative printing methods. Participants will have guided print time to develop their own project.

Screen-Printing Crash Course
Chan & Dennis:
Saturday's 9:30-1:30pm
February 9 and 16 or
April 12 and 19
$150 includes all materials

Learn how to screen-print! This crash course will cover everything you will need to know about creating a good film, coating and shooting a screen. You will have time in-class to print and experiment.

Mixed Media 1
Sharon Epstein:
8 Weeks: Thursdays 9:30 – 12:30 pm
January 17 – March 6
$270 + $65 material fee

This popular course is designed for those who enjoy experimentation and process. It will include non-toxic print-making processes suitable for work on both paper and fabric. Experimental drawing and traditional print-making techniques will be explored using water-based pigments and dyes. A variety of techniques will be introduced including polychromatic screen-printing, brushwork, mark-making, resists, transfer printing and collage.

Sketchbook Course
Sharon Epstein:
6 weeks: Saturdays 10:00 - 1:00pm
March 8 – April 12
$180 + $50 material fee

The sketchbook process can include a great deal of freedom and excitement for those working in both art and design. Learn a variety of working methods to map out visual ideas and utilize them in the art making process. Processes will include drawing and collage as you work from a source to develop a series of studies. You will develop a unique and personal way of exploring imagery and storing information.

Felting 101
Katy Chan:
4 weeks: Tuesdays 6:30-9:30pm
April 1 – 22
$195 includes all materials

Learn everything you need to know about 'wet' felting in this 4-part course. We will make a flat sheet, form a ball and a rope and learn the embellishment techniques of inlay and needle felting. You will complete a self-directed project in class using the techniques learned.

Felting Studio Sessions

Katy Chan:
4 weeks: Monday's 6- 9:00 pm
April 7-28
$140 + materials

These open studio sessions are for those who have some experience with felt-making and would like to work independently on their own projects. A CTS member will be on hand to answer questions. Students may provide their own fleece and felting soap or purchase from the instructor.

Printing Studio Sessions
Hilary Dennis:
3 weeks: Tuesday's 6:30 – 9:30 pm
January 15, 22, 29
February 12,19, 26
March 11, 18, 25

These sessions are open to those who already have some experience with screen-printing and would like studio access to carry out independent projects. A CTS studio member will be in attendance, but no instruction is provided. Participants provide their own screens, pigments, squeegees and fabrics. For more information on services and supplies offered, contact the instructor for details.

Thursday's at 7pm
January 24 or March 20

If you are working as a professional, or starting out in your own studio, it can be difficult to find an objective and knowledgeable outside eye to view your work. Studio members who are working artists and designers are available to consult and critique textile-based work, and to provide suggestions for professional development.