Shopping handmade in Toronto the weekend before Christmas is waaayyy better than the mall!

Day 74/365

As you know, I participated in my final craft show of the year last weekend.  Naturally, people are asking me if I’m relaxing now and decompressing after a busy holiday show season, you know, taking it easy.
Nope.
I’m the type of person that cannot just sit and do nothing, cold turkey, after so much creative activity.  So instead I decided to take the day to go scope out a few shows.  Some I was considering participating in, others were unexpected surprises!  I just wanted to see what they’re like from the customer’s point of view.  Let me tell you, it was great!  Buying handmade really is fun!!

To give you a sense of what I mean, here’s what my day looked like.

1.  The Christmas Craft Beer Carnival10418905_782575241812311_1390269032052293587_n

I didn’t actually have any beer, in the name of enjoying the rest of my day with a clear head.  Instead I visited the booth of the lovely Nathalie Roze and purchased one of her warm and beautiful sweater toques!!

2. The LocalTOMarket Pop Up

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Although it’s inside a large event tent, it was still pretty cozy at this show.  Not everything was handmade, but the things that were had a nice variety and were well-made.

3. The Collective Show

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It is the fifth year for this holiday show, which I found out also happens in the summer!  Located in the beautiful new Artscape Youngplace, the level of craftsmanship and quality at this pop up was amazing!  And it runs till the 22, still time to check it out and shop handmade!!

 

Official Opening!

It’s with great pleasure that I announce the official opening party of my new vendor space at Arts Market!  I’m so pleased with my booth there, the lovely staff and the opportunity to host my book making workshops and classes on a regular basis.  It’s the start of something great!!DSC_0653

This opening is to celebrate not only my own vendor space, but also a few other Arts Market ‘newbies’.  We will be taking over the space for the evening and hope you’ll join us!

The details:
December 11, 2014 from 7:30pm – 9:30pm
Arts Market, 846 College Street, Toronto (just west of Ossington Avenue)

For more info, please take a look at our facebook event found here.

Books, Photos and Paper

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This is a project that started a long time ago.  It’s had a few reinventions, these are some of my favourites.  There is a deeper meaning to these pieces and as a result they have morphed into other objects, but for now I’ll just touch on them briefly.  Perhaps I’ll revisit the longer write up in a later post.

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They are books sculpted into dioramas featuring digitalized photos from special moments in my life, moments that I feel many people can relate to.  I’m talking about things like nostalgia, yearning and sometimes regret.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Consider the crowds in an Italian Piazza, the grand archway in the distance and the top of a carousel tucked in a corner.

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One last close up that shows the paper cutting that went into these pieces.  They are detailed and intricate.

There is a small selection available at the Arts Market, and I will have a select few at the One of a Kind Show at the end of the month.

Ornament Making

Day 39/365

photo1If you’ve started thinking about the holidays and where to start, I may have the answer for you.  In one week I’ll be teaching an Ornament Making Workshop over at the Arts Market on College.  It’s the perfect way to start off the season!

This is a hands-on workshop where you’ll create a personalized, unique book ornament. We will touch on the basics first, and then dive into the main project – you will leave with your very own handcrafted ornament!

No previous art or bookmaking experience is necessary.

For more information or to register, go here.

 

Monsters!

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Sometimes I get sidetracked from bookbinding and make other, book-related things.  For instance, these Monster Bookends.  They’re cute and they functional!

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Meet Gerald.  He’s an eccentric retired chemistry professor who loves debating and usually sees the sunny side of things.il_570xN.277783825

Meet Frank.  A cranky old man, he goes out of his way to ruin your day.

There are a few more characters as well, but these are my favourites, all available exclusively at Arts Market here in Toronto.

Join Me

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It seems to be the time of year; the garden is pulled out, the air is crisp and we all start thinking about cozy indoor activities.  So, without further ado, please won’t you join me next saturday at my next book making workshop!

I will be teaching the Longstitch/Linkstitch binding, which is the same binding as last weekend’s class, but we will be collaging the covers into beautiful art books.  It’s so much fun!

For more information and to register, please go here.

A Workshop!

Day 16/365

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Just a friendly reminder: my Coptic Binding Workshop is this sunday at Arts Market!  It’ll be loads of fun, with light refreshment, merriment and a great way to learn a new skill (or brush up on old an old skill).  Also, it’s just in time to start on making holiday gifts, if that’s your sort of thing.

Find out more here.

If you can’t make this one, don’t fret, there are a few more dates on the Workshops tab of my site, and there are a few more in the works for november and december.  I’ll announce them shortly.

Coptic Binding

Day 11/365

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Next weekend is the Coptic Bookbinding Class I’ll be teaching at the Arts Market on College!  This is a great hands-on class that teaches how to make a really nice hard cover journal.  Participants will leave with a finished journal, made from scratch!

I personally love the coptic binding for its immediacy as a non-adhesive binding (we will be pasting covers though, but the binding itself is non-adhesive).  Once the basic stitch is learned there are many variation possibilities, making this a very versatile binding technique.

It’s a great way to get started on personalized holiday gifts, too.

It runs on Sunday, October 26 11:30am – 2:30pm.  Go here to learn more and see how to register, or check out my workshops page for other upcoming dates.

Weekend Fun!

Toronto is a great city, there’s always something going on.  Usually there are several things going on, actually, and there’s something for everyone.  For all you creative types, or those dancing around the edge of being a ‘creative type’, this saturday is my first book making workshop at Arts Market on College at Ossington.  photo1

I’ll be teaching the basics of bookbinding, and then diving into a main project; a soft cover journal.  It’s a hands-on class for all skill levels, so everyone will leave with a finished project!

I’ve taught similar workshops at other galleries in Toronto and beyond and I love it!  I am by no means a master bookbinder or expert in the field, but the bindings I choose to teach are the ones I practice daily.  After much trial and error with several book binding techniques, I’ve whittled it down to a select few.  They are the most useful, durable and beautiful bindings that I’ve learned, and I’m so happy to share them in a workshop!

To learn more and register, click here.

A New Adventure

If you’ve been following my blog posts lately, you will already know that there has been some exciting news for Sprouts Press!  Well, there’s more.  That’s right, Sprouts Press has started a new adventure; we’ve joined the ranks of many other talented artists and artisans selling their work in the popular Toronto shop: Arts Market on College!  Yay!!  I couldn’t be happier with this decision and look forward to seeing what the future brings.photo-5

This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while now, but wasn’t able to until recently.  If I’m going to be honest I must admit that doubt made an appearance once (or twice, maybe) when a little voice in my head asked ‘what on earth are you doing!?!’.  But I got over that, put the first coat of paint on my space, measured out where my shelving would go (shelves that my dad made a long time ago, before I was born, that I re-finished) and really felt a sense of accomplishment.  When it was all done and everything was in place and displayed just as I wanted, it was a truly great feeling!

If you’re in the area, stop by and check it out at 846 College Street, Toronto.  There is probably something for everyone at the Arts Market; stationery, home decor, vintage, flora/plants, clothing, jewellery, you name it!

Even though all my pieces are there and up for sale, this is a soft opening.  Stay tuned for the dates of the ‘official’ opening, coming soon.

ps.  I tried something new and made a short video about setting up my space!  I will upload it to social media and provide a link.