Thursday, February 28, 2008

CRAFT TORONTO PICS: Booger on "Sheepskin" by very_lame

Booger on "Sheepskin", originally uploaded by very lame.
I made the "sheepskin" rug out of fun fur I got from a fabric swap at The Workroom. creations. From the Craft Toronto photo pool on Flickr. You can join, too!

GET SCHOOLED: paper, book & letterpress workshops at KOZO studio

Lots of you have asked about letterpress classes in town...this new class schedule from KOZO studio should do the trick. [Plus letterpress rental available - see bottom of listing for info]

Intro. to Letterpress

April 6 from 10 - 3 pm

Learn the basics of printing on a flatbed press with Akemi Nishidera at her studio.

The Vandercook press is one of the most popular presses for letterpress printers and the little Showcard is perfect for small editions, gift tags, and quick prints. In this introduction class participants will learn to print from a combination of wood type, metal type, and metal cuts. This is a great workshop to take if you have an inkling that you might like to get your own press.

Cost $ 55.00+GST plus supply fee of $10.00.

Letterpress 1

Sun. April 20 & 27, 10 - 5 pm

This intensive two day workshop picks up where the Intro. class ended. Participants will learn about composing, using furniture, locking up a form and registration. Each participant will create a small two colour edition of their own unique letterpress printed Broadsides

Participants should have 'Letterpress Printing Intro.' or have discussed their previous experience with the instructor.

Workshop price for the 2 days is $150.00+GST plus a $15.00 supply fee.

Letterpress - KOZO studio

Relief Printmaking

6 Wednesdays starting May 21 from 6 - 9 pm.

Relief printmaking is a popular form of printing because it can be done very simply and inexpensively if you are just a hobbyist or a beginner. In these hands-on sessions participants, will explore creating images with some traditional and non-traditional supplies We will also learn about tools used for creating these "plates", types of papers, inks, and methods of hand printing. Students will have created a portfolio of prints by the end of the session.

$140.00+GST plus $20.00 supply fee.

Book Binding 101

8 Tuesdays starting April 1 from 6 - 9 pm

In this set of 8 workshops participants will learn about bookbinding terminology, tools, supplies and create a variety of book forms (concertinas, stab bound, single page, pamphlet, hardcover, experimental, etc.). Students will learn about the book structure and the importance of the papers that are used. Methods of embellishment for books will also be taught.

Cost $ 186.00* plus $20.00 supply fee

KOZO workshop image 3

Progressions in Paper

4 Wednesdays starting April 16 from 6 - 9 pm

Four days of playing with paper! In this series we will explore the world of paper and methods of decorating them Participants will try paste papers, orizome marbling, relief, washes and glazes and momigami. The resulting papers are , sturdy, unique and perfect for bookbinding, scrapbook projects, cards, collage and so much more!

Cost $72.08 plus $20.00 supply fee

KOZO workshop image 2


Sunday May 4 from 10 - 3 pm

Chigiri-e is a Japanese art form that uses paper to create a 'painting'. Washi (known as rice paper) of varying colours, weights and textures are torn in small pieces and collaged to create an image that looks very much like a watercolour painting! Participants will learn about washi and why it is used, create their own 'painting', and frame it in a traditional Japanese style.

Cost $ 55.00+GST plus $15.00 supply fee.

Makes a great Mother'sDay gift!


Bind and Blab

Thursday March 27, April 24, May 29 & June 26, from 6 - 9 pm


Drop in for an informal gathering at the studio. Bring your book projects to work on, chat, trade information, share stories, opinions, ideas, meet people and have some tea.

Please call ahead to book a chair.

Studio rental for printing letterpress on the Vandercook SP15 is available.
$35.00 for the first two hours/session
$10.00 for each additional hour/session
Add $20.00/hour if you need assistance and/or technical help.

A minimum of two hours must be booked per session.

Included; black rubber based ink, access to available wood type, metal type and cuts, furniture, leading, chase, clean up supplies.

Registration Information

A deposit of 50%of the workshop cost (before 5% GST) is required upon registration to guarantee a space in the workshop. We will contact you by telephone or e-mail to confirm your registration. Remainder of payment plus GST on the total workshop cost is due on the first day of the workshop. Supply fees are payable to the instructor in cash at the workshop.

Cancellations are allowed up to three days before the date of the workshop and a cancellation fee of $15.00 will be charged. After that time, no refunds will be given.

We reserve the right to cancel a workshop if there is insufficient participation and in this case all fees will be refunded to the participants.

For more information contact Akemi.

tel: 416-214-1882

Payment is by cash, cheque., VISA or MC.. Registration and deposit may be mailed to

KOZO c/o Akemi Nishidera, 51 Cummings St., Toronto, ON M4M 1M9

Please do not forget to include your name, e-mail, telephone number and the name and date of the workshops you wish to register in!

*Cheques should be made out to Akemi Nishidera.

Please DO NOT put cash in the mail!

Registration should be mailed to

Akemi Nishidera, 51 Cummings St., Toronto, ON M4M 1M9

All workshops held at the studio located at 257 Broadview Ave.

GET TOGETHER: church of craft this sunday

Church of Craft T.O. flag

A note from our Reverend Mother (of the Church of Craft):

It's cold, and it's going to snow again but we must forge ahead and anticipate the warm days to come… So, what I'm saying is that we should all come together with some tea and needles – of varying sizes and material and make stuff!

What better place to do this than the west end's favorite craft space, The Workroom (1340 Queen St. West) and what better day and time than Sunday, March 2 from 1pm – 4pm?

This will be a casual craft-on so bring whatever projects need finishing before the spring. Also, I'd like to throw out a biggish project idea for said spring/summer. That said, anyone with experience or an interest in public art (read: guerilla art/gardening) is welcome to come out and contribute to the discussion.

In craft, Leah

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

CRAFTY CHAT: harbourfront craft symposium recap

Thanks to Lucie we have a lucid report of what went down at the Harbourfront craft symposium I mentioned a few posts ago. Read on if you have an interest in fine craft history & related issues...

Lucky for us, TCA was invited down to Harbourfront’s Crafting New Traditions: Canadian Innovators and Influences symposium at the weekend, and we thought it only fair that we shared with our info-savvy readers exactly what went on.

One of the most thought-provoking elements of the entire event was the key-note speech delivered by
Mark Kingwell on Friday night. A philosopher at U of T, Mark espoused some pretty complex cultural and critical theory in his presentation – After a Fashion: Traditional and the Individual Talent. It initially had us cowering confused in our theatre seats, but placed in a wider context, he had some really interesting things to say about fashion and the economy of desire. Eschewing the notion that fashion is only for the tragically hip, he revealed how it was actually helpful, necessary even, when tracing our history. It also got us thinking about dissatisfaction with our lives, craft, job etc, and how we are all forever desiring something new - a state of unreachable satisfaction. Apparently, this is actually okay and helpful though (especially if you turn your desire towards something productive like craft making) which, we think you’ll agree, is nice to be reminded of, once in a while.

Walter Ostrom - Byzantine Flower
Walter Ostrom - Byzantine Flower

Other presentations were largely historical descriptions of contemporary and historic Canadian craftspeople, which can be found in the
Museum of Civilization-published accompanying book of the same name as the symposium. Despite the strong need to trace these largely unrecognized histories, we felt a little overwhelmed by the sheer amount of fact being thrown at us. But there were some highlights, and we were especially fascinated in the thorny issue of gender in relation to craft history (which, by the way, was echoed in the symposium roster of speakers which was at least 80 per cent women!). Writer, craftsperson and thinker Sandra Flood provided a helpful historical context, which demonstrated the battle women have fought to have their crafts exhibited, bought and recognised as professional over the last two centuries, as well as the way craft has been used as a political, social tool since the suffrage movement. Guerrilla knitters take note!

Sandra Noble Goss-Door_1
Sandra Noble Goss-Door

Meanwhile, Director of Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery and gay rights activist Robin Metcalfe also shed some light on gender and craft, examining the work of Glynis Humphreys through her astonishing piece Gorge, a wedding dress installation in dress size 66! which explored the notion of female body beauty, social positioning. Rachel Godley’s look at the work of famous Canadian craft couples, such as New Brunswick’s pioneer potters the Deichmanns, got us thinking about the kind of problems couples face in working together on a joint venture despite a typically romanticized portrayal by mainstream media.

Professor and
Design Exchange Curator Michael Prokopow’s provocative wrap-up speech clearly ruffled a few feathers, but his antipathy toward craft and questioning of where it fits within the larger economic machine posed a conundrum. How do we engage with craft and how do we describe it in a contemporary “post-modern” context? (its meaning, as opposed to its appearance). The answer according to the panel seemed to be that craft simple needs more people writing, curating and enquiring. Time to get enrolled on that OCAD course perhaps readers?

CRAFTIVISM: the good revolution survey

This survey is from my friend Laura who I met through this biz class I'm doing. I really respect her project idea and hope some of you will take her survey. Plus, FREE MONEY!


Dear Friend,

I am writing to let you know about an exciting project I'm working on called The Good Revolution. The goal is to unite and inspire individuals who are looking for a feeling of purpose and connection in their day to day life, and to create a strong and vibrant community of socially conscious people.

Through a new social networking site and direct involvement in local community events, The Good Revolution provides a cultural platform which encourages and enables people to live a socially conscious life. In addition, it provides tools and forums for you to express your ideas and feelings about issues that matter to you.

I need your help in making this project as relevant and useful as possible. If you have five minutes to spare to answer a few questions, listed below, I will be able to better serve you and those in your community. Also, I will be giving $50 to three lucky respondents, chosen at random, to thank you for helping me out.

Thanks for your time in reading this email, hope to hear from you soon.

The free money will be distributed on Thursday, February 28, so reply by then to enter the draw.

Thanks again,

Laura Rubino


1. Do you feel a sense of belonging to a community? If so, which community(ies)?
2. Do you discuss social or political issues with your friends?
3. Do you feel well informed about the issues you care about? If so, is it easy for you to access that information?
4. Do you prefer issue-oriented movies, tv, music, etc. or pure entertainment?
5. How much time do you spend a week enjoying online entertainment?
6. Have you ever posted a video, song, photo or blog on a website?
7. Do you feel you have good access to locally produced arts and media?
8. Do you do volunteer work? If not, are you interested in finding volunteer opportunities in your community? If single, would you be interested in volunteering social mixers? If you have children, would you be interested in family oriented volunteering?
9. Is it important to you where the products you use come from / how they were made?
Do you feel that information is easily accessible to you as a consumer?
10. What does the phrase “socially conscious” mean to you?


___ Please contact me with updates on this project
___ Don’t call me, I’ll call you

That's it! Thanks so much for taking the time to respond, and I hope you win the money I'm giving away for free.

GET SCHOOLED: sew be it sewing & fashion classes

Sew Be It wanted to refresh your memory about some classes taking place at their Studio. Visit the last post for details on the Bra Making & Make Your Own Dress Form classes, and read on for some new-to-TCA classes...

This is our third year of Fashion Design programs for teens looking towards a future in Fashion Design

This 4 Level course teaches everything from illustration through to pattern making, construction, branding, marketing and everything in between.
We help the student build their own portfolio and several of our students have gone on to Ryerson University’s Fashion program.
At the end of the 4th level of our Fashion Design program, we usually have a fashion show to showcase the work of our students.


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: April 3, ThursdaysTime: 4pm - 5:30pmCourse is 8 weeksPrice: $240.00 + GST

intermediate pic
Intermediate Sewing - The Perfect Fit

The perfect chance to make a dress for this upcoming summer.
Choose the garment you want to make as an addition to your wardrobe. Your project could be a shirt, pants, or a dress. In this course, you will learn intermediate techniques such as applying sleeves, zippers, proper fitting, basic pattern alteration and finishing tricks. These are the skills you will need to make the fabulous stylish clothing you want and then you can move to advance sewing. Challenge yourself, gain confidence and get the perfect fit! You pick the pattern, so the possibilities are endless. Note: students will learn the techniques from the sample we provide in addition to their projects.Class is 6 weeksDate: March 13, ThursdaysTime: 6pm - 9pmDate: April 2, WednesdaysTime: 10:30am - 1:30pmDate: April 22, TuesdaysTime: 6pm - 9pmPrice: $250 + GSTDid you know.....if you have already taken the Intermediate Sewing you can take as many times as you like at a 25% discount. Build your skill at this level by rendering a new garment.

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

VENDOR CALL: yonge-dundas square

The 2008 Yonge-Dundas Square Artisan Market Application is now available on the website. Interested but don’t want a full 10x10’ booth vendors are welcome to apply together and share a booth. There is a new category for new and emerging artisans. See the website for details.

Artisan Market Info

Click here to enlarge

HELP WANTED: fabric for sewing


A message from Tracey of Annares Natural Health:


I want to put it out there that I have upholstery samples and other fancy fabrics available to give away or barter.
My barter idea is that I would like to have essential oil "wallets" [examples here] made so that I can sell kits in my Anarres Natural Health Clinic.
The wallets would be made of the re-purposed fabrics, with button or snap closure and have elastics to hold the essential oil bottles in place.
If the kits sell, then I would buy the wallets from the maker regularly.
I am also interested in burlesque costuming made from some of the weirder fabrics like fun fur and PVC.
I am committed to using re-purposed fabrics rather than new.
I am an exhibitor at the Holistic World Expo in mid March, so having wallets to sell there would be a great start.
While I am talking about barter here, I do mean that it needs to be fair and worth your while, so it's all negotiable.

Love & RRRevolution, Tracey TieF
416.535.9620 or

GET SCHOOLED: film craft

TCA reader Lola sent this along...


Hi Folks,

I'm happy to announce my first Super 8mm Film Workshop!
This is a no-to-low profit endeavor with the goal of getting people out together mixing it up with some art and fun.

What is Super 8mm film? Well first off, it's film - like "movies" film - it comes in a cartridge, it gets developed - it's not video - it is projected onto a screen and it is silent.

The aim of this workshop is to just get out and do it.

We'll learn about Super8, we'll shoot Super8, and a week later (Friday Night) we'll watch Super8!

Yup, a pretty simple framework here:

- I've got a bunch of super 8mm cameras. You can bring your own if you have one.
- At 11:00am we'll have a quick (<1>

Costs: I'm charging only enough to cover the costs of the cartridge & developing (and a bit for transport costs, batteries, etc.) - $50.00 I'm providing the cameras free because I want to keep this as affordable as possible for everyone. (Volunteers/donations won't be turned down though!)

Group size: I'm hoping for a dozen go-for-it types - feel free to fwd this on to any friends that you think may be interested. Please be aware that I'm not sure how quickly the spots will fill up!

Location: Walnut Studios @ 83 Walnut Ave, three blocks West of Bathurst, South of King St West (in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, North America, Earth).

Screening: The Friday (March 7th) night screening will be a byob affair where we screen all of the films and pat ourselves on the back for a job well done.

To enroll, inquire or any of that sorta stuff please email me!


Colin Richards


Our first Crafty Business Question! How exciting…

crafty business

My question has to do with finaces:

How did you get he capital to start up your business?
Have you recieved and grants or loans and do you have any advice on how to smartly go about doing this? – Serah-Marie

Good question!

For me, I started my business very, very small. I borrowed $600 from my roomate for a used knitting machine (and this was after I had sold my first sweaters made on a borrowed machine) and set up in my living room. I wasn't even sure I was starting a business, except that I thought it might be possible. So in the very beginning, any financial risks I took were small enough that I could waitress my way out of debt, if need be. I grew by investing back heavily, selling two sweaters and using the money to make 4 more.

I kept a part-time job during the early months of my business, and gradually went down to 3 shifts a week, then 2, then thought, "Ok I'll give it 6 months and see if I can make this business work." And I never went back!

I was young, and my personal expenses were very low. I had no family to support, and worked like crazy on my business. So this approach wouldn't be right for everyone, but it worked for me.

Looking back, I'm very glad I grew slowly. I know now that if I had borrowed tens of thousands to open a store right away, I would have been way in over my head. By making my mistakes small as I went along, I learned and developed my product and my business, and never had any devastating failures.

Over the years, I've had a few expensive expansions. Most of them I financed with my personal credit cards and whatever lines of credit I could get, but always based on my personal credit. I am careful about interest, always trying to get the lowest interest rate, and using my line of credit to pay off my credit card in full each month.

When I opened Fresh Collective in 2003, I learned a lot about financing, in that I got totally overwhelmed! I've always managed to do an expansion in a big burst of energy, then pay off the debt within a year or so, but FC was a way bigger project than any I had taken on. I had big expectations about paying off all the startup costs quickly, and when that wasn't happening I suffered a lot of stress. I eventually took a step back and made some longer term plans about paying it off over several years, with manageable monthly payments and that was a lot more sane.

Although I never got any grants, or business loans (other than on my personal credit), I did get accepted into a version of the SEB program years ago when my business was very young. It's a great government program to help people start businesses. Not only do they provide support in the form of classes and guidance as you set up the business, they provide financial support! Here's a link to one site with info about it

Thanks for the question. I hope my answer is helpful!


Send your burning crafty biz questions to

CRAFTY HAPPENING: craft & design sunday

Phewph. This craft nerd is still recovering from a marathon weekend of craft & design. Friday night and Saturday was the Crafting New Traditions symposium at Harbourfront Centre (stay tuned for Lucie’s commentary on this event). This necessitated a design cram session on Sunday to catch the Interior Design Show and Come Up to My Room at the Gladstone before making it over to the workroom for the tail end of Quilt Sunday and a huge messy fabric swap. I am still thanking MADE for extending their Radiant Dark show to March 2nd so that I can rest up a bit before checking that out.

Here is a little photodoc of my Sunday travels. Click on the flickr badge at the bottom to see more.


Loyal Loot collective forest2
Forest installation by Loyal Loot – indie design cuties from Alberta. I love how the trade show lighting streams through this like sunlight….

Jennifer Graham ceramics
Jennifer Graham’s wabi-sabi ceramics

Mushroom stools
Yummy mushroom stools – part of the Ministry of the Interior collection


Magic Pony Collection CUTMR08
The Ukrainian tradition inspired Magic Pony room was ridiculous. As in ridiculously good….work by Julie Moon, coe&waito, and Elizabeth Ulrich

Twig Warmer
There was no end to the cleverness in Motherbrand’s Souvenir Shop room – like this Twig Warmer by Caroline Arsenault. Rumour has it that the SS will remain at the Gladstone as a permanent fixture…

the workroom

Drawing a Blank Merit badge
My souvenir of the day was an embroidered and illustrated Merit Badge by Lee Meszaros, celebrating my ability to “Draw a Blank”. Pictured here on top of a super lovely quilt by the super speedy Claire Milne.

Monday, February 25, 2008

CRAFT TORONTO PICS: Jellyfish by moon_angel

Jellyfish, originally uploaded by moon angel.
3rd crochet project ever! a red and orange jellyfish.

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


ok... so i missed last monday, but it was family day and i was on vacation! i was crocheting up a storm and finished some projects. this past weekend was also action-packed, and i scored some supplies from the swap at the workroom. is anyone else feeling a little stir-crazy and needing to get out and about?

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, February 24, 2008

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: short video/film for kino05

TCA reader Su-Ying Lee thought some of you might be interested in this call for submissions:

I know many crafty types are multi-talented....

Call for Submissions – Short Video/film


For screenings at Camera Bar March 18th & April 29th

Kino05 – a collective of artists working in film and video, invite you to join us by submitting work for upcoming screenings at Camera Bar, Toronto.

Call for Submissions – Short Video/Film Work

Submissions guidelines:
-Length: 1-10 minutes maximum; there is no restriction on theme or genre
-Submit your video for consideration to :
13 Tyndall Avenue, Unit 1, Toronto, ON Canada M6K 2E8
or drop off to the same address, bottom mail box
include your full name, telephone, mailing address, email contact information and the title of your work

* To have your work returned to you, please include a postage-paid envelope with your address
*If you wish to send your work digitally, please contact for instructions*

-If selected for screening you will be contacted via email.
-deadline for March 18th screening is March 11th
-deadline for April 29th screening is April 15th
* work submitted by March 10th may be considered for either screening date

About Kino05:

Inspired by the Kino motto: "Do well with nothing, do better with little and do it now!" the femmes of Kino05 have decided to do better for videomakers-and to do it right now, by relaunching the Toronto cell of the international Kino movement.

Anyone, no matter their experience level, can submit work to any of our screenings. Submissions are divided into two sections: a fierce and focused grouping of work and the thrillingly risky free-screen where anything—well, almost anything—goes. On our free-screen we're looking to open up a space for strange and sublime experiments, accidents and work-in-progress. LAUNCH COMING SOON

The principle members of Kino05 are:
Irene Cortes
Lauren Di Monte
Michelle Edmunds
Su-Ying Lee
Cherie O’Connor

GET SCHOOLED: felt bracelet, vase & classes for kids

Create your own Felt Bracelet!

Bring your favorite button and join us for a felting bracelet workshop.
Saturday March 1st 11:00-12:30, adults welcome.

felt bracelet pheonix

Ongoing Saturday Art Classes for Children

11:00-12:30 Ages 8-10 ($35 per class or 5-weeks -- $150 includes materials)

See a short video...

Learn the Ancient Craft of Felting!

Felted Vase
Thursday February 28th, 2008
$45 per class, includes materials

felt vase

Felt is the oldest form of fabric known to man. What is Felt? Very simply, felt is matted wool. Wool becomes felt when it is subjected to moisture, heat, and pressure. Hot soapy water makes the wool slippery, and causes tiny scales on the fiber to "open up". The scales prevent the fibers from backing up again after they slide across each other; with agitation, the fibers get hopelessly tangled together. When cooled and dried, the scales close and lock the wool into the tough, durable material we call felt.

Please call to register ASAP as class size is limited

Kathie Young

Saturday, February 23, 2008

CRAFT TORONTO PICS: blue daisies by loscann

blue daisies - open, originally uploaded by loscann.
The inside print has a cute blue and red daisy pattern on a brown background.

From the Craft Toronto photo pool on Flickr. Join up!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

ASK CRAFTY: epoxy resin & accessories, foil embossing sheets, CNE arts and crafts show & metallic textile suppliers

CNE - Midway

Some more tough guys this round of ask crafty. Help a fellow T.O. crafter out by commenting on this post with your advice. Check out the ask crafty archives here.

x I was wondering if you can help me find a source for epoxy resin and accessories (molds, colours etc.). I have been having trouble finding a store or website that is local. - Betty

x where in Toronto can I get copper or brass foil (extra thin) sheets for embossing. I am looking for 2 ft x 2 ft in size. Loomis has small sizes (9" x 12") packaged in a small container, but I need larger size sheets. Michaels Craft store does not carry this itemany more. - cpace

x I know this has been asked before, but with very few responses from anyonewho's actually done it: Has anyone done the CNE arts and crafts building? I've had a few people tell me they've done really well and will do it thisyear again, but I'm not convinced! Any feedback from someone who's done itwould be greatly appreciated. - Ella

x I'm trying to find a reliable wholesale supplier of silver/metallic fabric/textile, which I want to manufacture t-shirts with, and print artwork on them. I'm looking for a supplier of a fabric which looks flashy, is fairly comfortable to wear and upon which the artwork prints can adhere to with reasonable durability. All I seem to run into are run of the mill, flimsy lames, as opposed to a smooth, shiny, stretchy canvas, fairly thick and coated with silver. I've seen such fabrics before and was very impressed, but now that I want it, I can't find it! It seems as if anytime I search Google and whatnot, I just about always get tons of listings for large textile manufacturers overseas, especially China. I'm looking to distribute my wares basically to small independent stores in the GTA. I live near Kensington Market. - Audrey

GET SUPPLIED: knit t.o.

knit map 2

I just stumbled upon this quite incredible knit shop mapping resource: KnitMap. Anyone interested in finding knit shops around town (and sharing your raves and gripes about them) should take a gander. Not only to they plot knit shops in Toronto, surrounding regions, and hell - the world, on a map, but they also allow you to comment and rate each shop. So far In the Loop Café is a popular fave. Go ahead and weigh in with your votes...

And then coincidentally Becky sent me a link to this handy blog: Yarn Shops in Toronto. She gives an overview of yarn shops throughout the GTA, highlighting their features and sharing tips on discounts and sales. Not just the biggies, either – she did a
profile on alpaca farmers Eugenix. [Sadly things posting has slowed (stopped?) but still an excellent resource].

Look at crafters getting organized! Love it.

CRAFTIVISM: donate your crafts to shameless mag

As some of you may know, Shameless is an awesome independent girl mag based in Toronto. They are looking for crafty donations for a fundraising effort. Read on for details....


Dear crafty folks,

International Women's Day, March 8, is just around the corner. What better way to celebrate than supporting Shameless Magazine, Canada's smart, sassy and feminist magazine for young women?

We at Shameless believe that it's more important than ever that girls get healthy messages from media. Everywhere you look, there's pressure on young women to conform to impossible standards as they navigate a world that values how they look and not what they think. Shameless Magazine is a fresh alternative to typical teen magazines. It's for girls who know there's more to life than makeup and diet tips. Packed with articles about arts, culture and current events, Shameless reaches out to readers who are often ignored by mainstream media: queer youth, women of colour, feminists, artists, and activists.

Here's how you can help! Shameless will be launching our next issue at a special feminist dance party fundraiser on March 8. We are soliciting donation items for our raffle at this event. Please consider donating an item, service, or gift certificate from your business or organization to support Shameless Magazine. We will publicly recognize your support at the event and we may be able to offer you advertising space in our magazine.

Because Shameless differs from other teen magazines (and because we refuse to print ads that make girls feel bad about themselves) we rely heavily on community and reader support. Shameless is an independent, non-profit magazine with a very small budget. Help us bring the magazine to youth by contributing much-needed funds to help us cover printing and distribution costs, office supplies, community workshops and training for our volunteer staff.

If you have additional questions, please contact Pike Krpan for more information at 416 703 6848 or

Thank you for your support.


piKe Krpan and the Shameless event committee

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

GETTING DOWN TO BIZNIZ: with laura-jean, knitting queen

I'm sure many of you budding crafty entrepreneurs out there will be excited as I am by our new craft business advice column by craftbiz vet, Laura-Jean Bernhardson. Laura-Jean has offered to share hard lessons learned through trial and error, such as the importance of marketing and promoting your work (ie not just making awesome stuff and expecting it to sell). Here's how it works – you send in your burning business questions and she will call upon her years of experience running small, local craft businesses in answering a selection of them here on the TCA.

Please direct your questions to Laura-Jean at

[Tip: Specific questions vs. things like "How did you get started?" or "Do you have any advice for someone starting a business?" are more likely to get chosen].

Here's a little bit about our new biz guru to give you a better idea of her background and expertise:

Laura-Jean Bernhardson, aka Laura-Jean the Knitting Queen, has made her living making and selling clothing and jewellery in Toronto and internationally for 16 years. She is the designer behind the clothing label, Fresh Baked Goods and the kid and baby clothing line, Bun. She also runs 2 retail stores that operate as collectives, featuring her own lines and the work of other local designers. Her work and stores have been on countless TV shows and in tons of magazines and newspapers. She has made sweaters and dresses for celebrities, done wardrobe for movies, hosted a TV show, made a Learn to Knit DVD and she loves the fun and challenge of running her own creative business. With no formal education in business or fashion, she has learned everything along the way while building her empire. She currently resides in her Parkdale home (production studio in the basement) with her husband, musician Steve Singh, her 18 month old son Dexter and her Cavalier King Charles, Jefferson.


Also, check it out! We’ve added a new Crafty Entrepreneur links list – always handy on the right blog sidebar. Take a look and feel free to suggest other resources to add to the list.

GET TOGETHER, GET SCHOOLED & SUPPLY YOUR HABIT: crafty action at the workroom

Allison's drunkard's path
Alison's version of Drunkard's Path from the Quilt Sampler Class

Karyn from the workroom wrote to share news about all of the quilt and fabric related action upcoming at her space. I can personally attest to the awesomeness of the quilt sampler class - I am at week five and loving the relaxed vibe, great instruction, tea on tap, and of course access to the best fabric bolts in town....

Quilt-love is growing at the workroom. Our next round of classes is posted on our website and includes the intensive 10 week Quilt Sampler class, Patchwork Table Runner, Quilt-as-you-go Tote Bag and the addictive English Paper Piecing. Of course, there are lots of non-quilting classes like Pencil Skirt, Easy Alterations and Hidden Tab Curtains.

Download the new calendar at

This Sunday we've got two special events happening side by side that you won't want to miss...

Sunday February 24, 1 - 3pm
@ the workroom
1340 Queen Street West

Calling all patchworkers and quilters! Join us for a monthly gathering to share our love of all things quilty and to ogle each others' projects (and fabrics). This is a great opportunity to bring out those unfinished objects (UFO's) you've been meaning to work on.

Quilt Sunday is the last Sunday of the month.

Brought to you by the workroom and City of Craft...

Start your spring cleaning early! Craft supplies of many sorts are welcome, but for this first swap, we have a sense that fibrous stuff will take centre stage (fabric, yarn, textiles...). It's also a give what you can, take what you need kind of set-up so don't worry if your contributions are low. We have a bunch of fabric graciously given to us by Laura-Jean at Fresh Baked Goods that will surely get the wheels rolling.

Leftovers go to local charity groups.

De-stash, re-stash and mingle. What fun!

CRAFTY COLLABO: have your creative process documented by a photographer

This is an interesting proposition - great for those who want images of their work.

Photograph by Donna Santos Click here to enlarge


I am a Toronto-based photographer looking to expand my lifestyle and product portfolio by collaborating with an individual who is in the field of furniture design, pottery, glass blowing or sculpture. I'm looking to photograph the process of creation, some portraits of the business owner and 5-10 product shots . It will require at least a half a day of shooting at your business/studio/workshop location (I suggest during time when it's slowest to avoid interruption and during the day). An amiable agreement will be signed by both parties so that we can use the images produced to help us both in our small business. Shoot dates to be filled are March 15 or 16, or March 22 or 23. Only two spots available. Please send me a brief description of your business, a website link if applicable and your photo. Thank you very much...looking forward on this collaboration.

Donna Santos

More images from Donna:

Image 1
Image 2
Image 3

VENDOR CALL: speakeasy spring show

Calling all artists, designers and crafters!

Attention design and craft gurus. We are currently looking for artisans to participate in our Spring Craft Show. Please see below for all of the show details.

SpeakEasy’s Spring Craft Show


The SpeakEasy Craft Shows are notorious for bringing Crafters, Artists and Designers together in a unique venue to share their creations with the community. Our vendors are chosen for their unique style, quality and originality of design. Jump on down to the Gladstone this April for a one-of-a-kind experience.

Show Date: Thursday April 3rd
Submission Deadline: Thursday March 6th
Submission Fee: Free
Participation Fee*: $40.00

Interested in showing your work?

Submitting work for consideration is easy. Show us what you got, and what you want to do.

Email us samples of your work (max. low res JPG files), along with a short bio and a description of the work you will be presenting. Do not send originals!

Please include the following with your submission:

Your Name (and company name if you have one)
Contact Information (Phone, Cell, email)
Website (If you have one)

Email submissions to: David Brown,

*Participation Fees are only paid if your work is selected to be part of the show.
All fees are collected on the night of the event.

SUPPLY YOUR HABIT: toronto vintage clothing & textile show & sale

This is one of my favourite vintage sales ever. This used to be conveniently located down the road from me, but I will still truck it out north to score amazing vintage fabric, notions & clothing.


Toronto Vintage Clothing & Textile 17th Annual Show & Sale
Sat. March 1, 10am. to 5 pm.
at The CNIB Conference Centre,
1929 Bayview Ave
28 top quality dealers
Admission $7. Partial proceeds donated to Cancer & M.S. Societies. Formerly at the
Enoch Turner Schoolhouse.

Dear Friends of Vintage:

Once again it is time for the Annual Toronto Vintage Clothing and Textile Show and Sale. This year is our 17th. New for this year is the venue change. We will be at the CNIB Centre with plenty of reasonably priced underground parking @ $6.50 for the day. Arrive on time to get a spot. The cafe within the building will be opened from 11-3pm for your convenience.

This year we have 28 exceptional vendors to showcase their delightful vintage for you.

Looking forward to another year of wonderful treasure finds, something for everyone.

Sincerely, June C. Troy, show promoter


CRAFTIVISM: streetknit at the naked sheep

Been meaning to donate a knit goodie to Streetknit but haven't had the chance? Here's a listing for an upcoming event at the Naked Sheep that will help you make this happen:

naked sheep

The Naked Sheep is holding a charity knitting event on Sunday February 24th. We will be knitting scarves, hats, mitts, and socks in support of Streetknit. Please join us from 12-4pm for some knitting or crocheting!

This is a great way to use up odds and ends in your stash! Don't have a stash? we will have inexpensive kits to purchase on the day of the event for hats and scarves.

Come and join us for a fun day and a good cause!

We will have some refreshments, or feel free to bring your own!

our Facebook event profile is here:

More info about Streetknit here:

The Naked Sheep Crew

Saturday, February 16, 2008

CRAFT TORONTO PICS: Embroidered felt tea cup cozy by the workroom

Embroidered felt tea cup cozy for the workroom, originally uploaded by the workroom.
we drink a lot of tea at
the workroom these new tea cup cozies will keep the tea warm and our hands cool.

There's something about this simple yet elegant project that suggest spring might be around the corner. Let's hope tea parties are in everyone's near futures with garden parties following closely behind.


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

Friday, February 15, 2008

GET SCHOOLED: craft classes for March Break

March Break is just around the corner, and for those moms & dads out there looking to keep their kiddos occupied, why not introduce them to the fun of arts & crafts!

From crafty TCA Reader Gwendolyne Preboy:

This March Break, inspire your child's creative spirit with a new experience that is both Artistic and Practical. Learn the creative Art of Needle Craft in a magical working studio in the heart of Toronto.

Join the G. of Gwendolyne Hats and art educator Kathie Young of Phoenix Arts Group for an Introductory course in creative needlework for children. Parents are welcome.

Have fun learning several stitchery styles. Explore different colours and compositions. Then create a special needle book to carry on those memories.

The classes are project based. So each participant will bring home new skills and the satisfaction of making something with their own hands.

This course builds confidence and develops dexterity. It encourages concentration & focus towards a goal.

No experience necessary
Ages: 8-12, adults welcome.
Dates: March 11, 12 &13 ~ from 10:00 to 12:00 noon daily
$175 for 3 days - 3x 2 hour sessions - fee includes materials

Don't be disappointed. Please register ASAP as class size is limited

phone: 416.351-1219

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.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

EXHIBITION: tara bursey's zines + bookworks

A note from Toronto Zine Library co-founder Tara Bursey:

Hello all,

Just wanted to drop everyone a line about a show I'll have up this month. It's an exhibition of all the work I've done pertaining to my zine-making practice. In other words, the main component of the show will be original art- mainly drawing- that was eventually put into zine format. In addition to original art, there will be zines and multiples on display and for sale at the opening and throughout the show's run.

The opening will be Friday, February 15th, from 8-11pm. There will be a cash bar with cheap beer, great tunes and lots of yummy snacks. Please try to make it out for a drink!

...AND there will be an after-party of sorts at the Smiling Buddha hosted by Cheap Date DJ's Elaine, Cristine and Matt, who will be spinning 60s garage, punk, soul and rock'n'roll all night long. It should be an awesome time...don't miss out.

Hope to see you all there. See the following info for details...



Zines + Bookworks
Tara Bursey

Opens February 15th, 2008
Freedom Clothing
939 Bloor Street West

Friday,February 15th

Tara Bursey has been making zines for over ten years. She is also a visual artist whose diverse practice encompasses sculpture, installation, drawing, multiples and craft. Tara’s sculpture and installation work in particular is characterized by an often obsessive use of repetition, pattern and delicate materials such as eggshells, onion skin and paper. In the past two years, Tara has exhibited extensively in abroad range of venues, from storefront installations and telephone poles to the Ontario Crafts Council Gallery and the Textile Museum of Canada. Her most recent projects include From Russia with Love-a storefront window installation, acting as Curator of She Said Boom!Window Space, and working as one-third of the Toronto Zine Library Collective. In addition to her work as a fine artist, Tara operates actively within Toronto’s independent music and small press communities as a writer, illustrator and designer whose commissions have included countless event posters,album cover/sleeve art and merchandise design. She currently lives and works in Toronto, Canada.

For more information, contact:

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

CRAFTY HAPPENING: february design fever

Two major design events are coming up this month, both neat-o responses to the Interior Design Show (February 21-24 at the Direct Energy Centre, check out Fibre Quarterly’s IDS08 preview here).

1. MADE presents Radiant Dark

Third Floor of the Burroughes Building, 639 Queen St. W.
Free Admission, open daily 12pm to 7pm (Sun.12-5), 21th February to 2nd March, 2008 [NB: show delayed & extended]
Opening Reception (by rsvp) - Wednesday 20th February, 7pm to 10pm

MADE curates and presents an exhibition of modern works by emerging Canadian designers and artists. The exhibition Radiant Dark examines themes of darkness and luxury. The grey February landscape shines with approximately 70 new works of artists, architects, industrial designers and craftspeople exploring options of materials, concepts and theme. Radiant Dark tells a rich story of current Canadian design.

Today’s changing concepts of luxury speak towards value over wealth; personalised experience over exclusivity. Radiant Dark offers designer’s personal explorations of luxury through pattern, decoration, tradition and materials. Wallcoverings span a more traditional paper format to sumptuous felts and experimental tiling (Rollout, Katy Chan, Andree Wejsmann). Furniture and textiles combine texture, quality and attention to detail that lends aesthetic richness (Melanie Zanker, Kelly Palmer, James Fowler).

A number of designers, unafraid to visit the dark side, create moody, ambient lighting covering table lamps to pendants to chandeliers (Tamara Rushlow, Jen Graham, Propellor Design). Others make comment on the decline of natural resources and their increasing luxury (James Wright, Standard Issue, Joe & Josephine). Some continue that conversation with research into sustainable methods, local sourcing and natural materials (Brothers Dressler,608 Design).

Several artists cross disciplines and boundaries, their work becoming more experiential and less a display (Dorkenwald-Spitzer,Todd Falkowsky, molo). All apply integrity of design. Radiant dark is an invitation to visitors to engage with thoughtful and individual design. Many of the makers will be present to discuss their works over the duration of the show.

A visit to the Radiant Dark website contains comprehensive information on designers and their works.

The free public event fulfills MADE’s mission to showcase and make available inspired, functional objects with a compelling selection of current Canadian design. The show will be on view daily from 12pm to 7pm, Wednesday 20th Feb to Thursday 27th of February (Sunday the 24th Noon-5PM).

For further information contact: Julie Nicholson or Shaun Moore, Tel: 416 607 6384, or email:

GLADSTONE HOTEL'S 5TH ANNUAL ALTERNATIVE DESIGN EVENT Friday February 22 - Sunday February 24, 2008


Thursday February 21
Friday February 22 12-8pm
Saturday February 23 12-10pm
Sunday February 24 12-5pm

OPENING RECEPTION 7-10pm • 2nd Floor
feat. DJ Equinox Forward sponsored by Mill St. Brewery

LoveDESIGN Party 10pm 'til late • Ballroom
feat. DJ Version Excursion FREE ADMISSION

Exhibition Entry $6.50 (includes catalogue) LoveDESIGN Party Free