I am in love.
I get an extra little thrill when I find a beautiful, handcrafted item that I have absolutely no idea how to make myself. Some things I can imagine the process, or have even tried myself over the years, but watchmaking is not one of them. The watch above, created by Wilk Watchworks, is so pretty – and handmade by Scott Wilk in Ontario.
Trained in Metalsmithing and Gemmology, Scott brings his talents together in making the lovely cases and dials for his watches. The resin enamel patterns on the dials add some flair and colour to the otherwise understated cases.
And, oh oh oh! Look at this one! These are certainly unique pieces to save up for, but well worth it for the pride of ownership, I’d say.
My family and I spent last week in the foothills of the Rockies, and woke up Tuesday morning to see a Mama moose and her twin 1-week old babies playing and snacking near our campsite. We watched them for close to an hour before a park ranger drove by and they wandered off down the road.
Our girls have been talking about moose ever since, so we went looking yesterday for Etsy’s version of moose, and found Toronto’s Sparrow Avenue. Barbara di Lella works her magic drawing, painting and silk screening her artwork onto linens fashioned in to pillows, bags, wallets, aprons and more.
I also love this little tea towel – “Dogs have owners. Cats have staff”. As a family with 2 cats and a dog, I’m fairly qualified to say this is an accurate statement!
Barbara also has an interesting blog where she features more of her work and the projects she’s tackling! I really love seeing the process from idea to finished product, and the challenges along the way.
P.S. One more moose:
As we celebrate our first year of spreading the handmade love here at C+H, we invite you to spread a little love to your local crafters and artisans this weekend. Hunt down a market, show, or independent/handmade retailer near you, and let them know you appreciate all that they are doing to keep handmade alive and strong in Canada! If you are in Vancouver, Winnipeg, or Toronto, look no further than these great gatherings of talent… they can’t wait to show you what they have to offer!
Vancouver, BC: This month’s Portobello West market is happening on the 29th, and as always, it’s a great place to find a huge mix of handmade goodies. Head to the Creekside Community Recreation Centre (1 Athlete’s Way, Vancouver) on this Sunday. Become a member for only $15 and you get free admission every time you come back this year! And trust us, you *will* want to come back!
Winnipeg, MB: Aqua Books plays host to the awesomely-named Crafty Minions show and sale this Saturday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. Featuring “guerrilla DIY craft” with funk and flair, and admission is free. Aqua Books is at 274 Garry Street, so make sure you stop by and say “hi!”.
Toronto, ON: Fashionistas of any age will want to stop by The Clothing Show this Friday through Sunday in Toronto. Showing a mix of handmade, independent, and vintage clothing, it is certain to be a feast for the eyes. Avoid the lines and get tickets online here, then make your way to the show in the Queen Elizabeth Building at Exhibition Place.
Have a great weekend everyone!
If it ever stops raining here in Ontario, I am confident that warm and sunny weather will finally make an appearance. And with those longer, summery days come all kinds of wonderful outdoor activities for the whole family. More road trips, more all-day bbq’s, more days at the beach, more long and lazy afternoons at the park… *ahhh… bliss…*
But wait! we interrupt this daydream to bring you: Reality! Little persons like my own toddler sized munchkin still need to have a nap or two, often right when you want to be somewhere else. One possible solution? Napping on the go! A little bit of comfort and routine can go a long way, and these great nap mats from SewnNatural can give a little one their own familiar spot to rest, no matter where the summer breeze takes you.
All SewnNatural products are eco-friendly and organic, which is a great way to remind kids about protecting our earth! The underside is made of durable denim, and the inside can be any of the beautiful and soft cotton prints.
SewnNatural is an Ottawa based mother-daughter team who pair a love for sustainable and ethical products with a flair for fabrics that is not to be missed! Beyond the sweet and useful nap mats, there are toys, mobiles, bedding, bibs, and even these fantastic car seat organizers:
Oh, and last but definitely not least… they also have super-cute dresses like this one:
Now, if we could just get some sunshine around here…
Long weekends are always a good thing. They are even better when you can mix in some crafty goodness and handmade shopping! If you are in Southwestern Ontario or Vancouve, you have a great opportunity to satisfy your appetite for all things handmade… you won’t want to miss it!
Kitchener, ON: The 21st annual From Our Hands To Yours show takes place at the Kitchener Auditorium this Friday and Saturday. It’s a fantastic Easter tradition around K-W, and full of great local talent! Doors open at 10:oo am both days, and you can even save $1.00 on admission by printing this coupon. Not sure how to find the Aud? Directions are here. I’ll be stopping by on Friday, hope to see you there! *Insider’s Tip: make sure you get a sample of the delicious garlic spread, it will have you coming back for more, guaranteed!
Vancouver, BC: Portebello West
This monthly art market presents their Easter weekend sale! Their new location at the Creekside Recreation Centre in the Olympic Village has enough space for 90 vendors and, according to their website, has a fantastic view too :)
March 26th and 27th from 11am to 5pm
Admission: $2 for non-members.
Do you know of an event that we should be sharing with our readers? Send us an email, we’d love to spread the word…
I am having a bit of fun getting ready for Easter this year. Now that my daughter is old enough to have a little egg hunt, there is something a little more exciting about the whole experience! We already have some colourful plastic eggs to “hide”, a basket for her to gather them in, and she will probably even get a little treat or toy to play with. She is still a bit too young for much chocolate or candy, but that just means more for Mom and Dad, right? In fact, this year I think the Easter Bunny may go all out, and leave a few treats from Charlinda Belgian Chocolates when he/she hops on by!
But chocolate shouldn’t only be an Easter treat, it’s so versatile that it can be perfect for any occasion or no occasion at all!
Perhaps there is an upcoming wedding or baby shower that could use some decor that doubles as a small gift or an extra desert…
Charlinda is a mother-daughter team from Stoufville Ontario, and they use an old family recipe that has stood the test of time. They have mouthwatering almond bark, truffles, chocolate cherries, and chocolate in multitude of shapes and designs. There’s even a 3D canoe filled with maritime goodies, and I really like this sleek sailboat:
The ladies can make almost anything your heart desires, and custom work is welcome. Weddings, trade shows and other events can have a little something extra that won’t end up gathering dust on someone’s shelf, or in next year’s garage sale! Contact them for more details, or visit the website to see what is available.
Wishing you and yours a day filled with sweetness,
I am so, so, SO ready for spring and Alberta is still buried under snowbanks that are almost as tall as me (and I’m 6’0 tall, folks!).
This pillow, designed and printed by Jenna Rose in her Hamilton studio, brought a little of that summer-y warm feeling into my heart today.
Originally from Guelph, Ontario (my hometown! Cheers to Guelph!), Jenna now works out of her studio space in Hamilton’s James North area. From her website:
Jenna illustrates each design by hand, drawing inspiration from daily life. Each piece is screen-printed in house using non-toxic water-based pigments and natural and organic materials.
The tote above was recently spotted in the fabulous new online design, travel and food magazine Dabble. A highly recommended new read that I’ve definitely enjoyed browsing.
Jenna will be at the Toronto One of a Kind show this spring so be sure to stop in and say Hi if you’re headed there later this month. You can find more of her work on Etsy as well as follow along on her photography-filled blog and her website.
It’s the quintessential fathers’ day gift, and a Christmas time staple. The tie. Almost every man has a selection to choose from, but lets be honest, most of the time they are just like every other tie out there. Bo-ring. So why not shake it up a little and get your husband, father, son, or even your boss, wrapped up in some handmade style. Nadine De Lange is an Ottawa artist who creates these fabulous marble effect hand painted silk ties.
Have an upcoming wedding that needs a splash of unique style? Nadine can hook the entire bridal party up with some one of a kind dapper duds. Take these cumberbund and bowtie combos, for example:
Nadine’s work is done in batches, with a very cool “floating paint” technique that gives her pieces great dimension. You can see the whole process, step by step, right here on her website.
Custom work is available, and Nadine prides herself on 100% customer satisfaction. Visit her website to see the whole range of colours and styles, from demure to dramatic!
Have a great day everyone,
Once in a while we like to take a moment to help you get to know some of our amazingly talented Canadian Artists and Crafters. It is a fun way to learn more about what makes these creative folks tick, and how they feel about the work that they do. When I first saw the incredible wooden models by Tom McAllister (aka The Woodman), I was absolutely blown away. I knew right away that I needed to share his wonderful work with you, our dear C+H readers.
I also asked Tom to share some of his thoughts on inspiration, being Canadian, and how he likes to work. Meet The Woodman, in his own words:
I have been designing and building thing for most of my 65 years, mostly in wood but I have done things in plastic, (acrylic) and paper mache too.
Where the ideas come from is as much a mystery to me as anybody.A word, a song, a sight, may get me going on something that for the most part has nothing to do with what I heard or seen. I don’t think I look for inspiration, I’m pretty sure it seeks me out.
The vast majority of what I do is not preplanned, I have a cursory idea in my head and I just run with it.That for me is much more satisfying then following a plan even if the plan was mine.
The favorite thing I ever did is usually the last thing I did. I am proud of the detail I try to put into the models I do, and often finish them and can’t believe I did them.
Tom also makes fantastic outdoor rocking chairs, perfect for the deck or fireside at the cottage!
Any one that has seen my business card or web site has to be well aware I am Canadian top to bottom side to side, couldn’t imagine being any thing else and would have no interest living any where but here.
Be sure to visit his website to see all the intricate and lovely models, or to request a custom item.
Thanks for sharing with us Tom!
The Superbowl is coming up in a couple of weeks. This is always a rather big deal at our house, as my husband is a huge sports fan (Football Sundays are sacred, and an annual pilgrimage to his hockey “hometown” is a must). This year though, the big game is even bigger than ever before. That’s because this year, my dear husband’s team is actually PLAYING in the Superbowl. Needless to say, there will be some sort of festivities at our house on game day, jerseys will be worn by everyone big or small (if they made cat-sized jerseys I am sure we’d have one of those too), and food and beverages will be consumed. This is where I get to have my fun. I do like the game, and will certainly be cheering loudly along with everyone else, but I also really like to plan the menu. And how great would it be to have a delicious spinach dip surrounded by pita crisps in one of these fun dip bowls from Maxwell Pottery?
I think the nautical feel of these pieces is perfectly casual and lighthearted. They are lovely for entertaining, but would be equally as suitable on the table for any family meal, or even at the cottage! Daniel starts each item from a ball of clay, then shapes them into useful and attractive stoneware in his studio about 40 kilometers from North Bay. He then colours them using his own glazes. Everything is dishwasher, oven, and microwave safe, so they are great for every day use.
Head to the website to see more about Daniel, the studio location, and some of his other works.