Archive for the Wood Tag

Something Sweet about Summer Time

For both of us here at C+H, time is of the essence.  As in, we just plain don’t have enough of it!   A few extra hours in the day would be worth their weight in gold (metaphorically of course).  I know we are not alone, as so many of you are struggling with the same challenges.  There is just so much that we want to do, especially now that it is finally, officially, SUMMER!  So, in honour of this fresh new season, and the jam-packed 24 hours that we are each get to share every day, may I present these fabulous clocks from Sunshine in the Summer.

Natural, peaceful, and easy on the eyes!

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I love the earthy, sun-soaked feel of driftwood.  It brings a little touch of summer any time of the year, and that really matters when we are suffering through those frigid days of February!

It would be pretty hard to be stressed out when looking at *this* clock, no matter what time it shows!

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Sunshine in the Summer Time is the creation of British Columbia’s Brandy Nohr.  Despite a fear of the water, her career (and her heart) have always kept her near the ocean.  Her love of all things nautical shows through in her work, and especially for those of us who are a bit land-locked, it is a breath of fresh salt air!

While I was admiring Brandy’s clocks, I also couldn’t help but notice these lovely little votive holders.  Perfect to nestle among your seaside treasures in the summer, or tuck among some holly and evergreens at Christmas-time!

Maybe you can’t have a bonfire on the beach, but maybe this can bring a little of that magic to your home!

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No matter how busy and hectic your days may be, here’s hoping that you can find a peaceful moment or two to refresh your mind.  Maybe we can’t get any extra hours in our days, but we can celebrate the moments that we do have, and embrace a new season as well!

Sun-soaked and loving it,

A “Touch” of Canadiana

We’ve still got moose on the brain here at our house – my girls are drawing pictures of the moose we saw while we were camping, they’re playing Mama and Baby Moose and so, forgive me, but I’m going to indulge the moose obsession a little more today!

The work of Anneke van Bommel (Touch the Dutch, on Etsy) is beautifully simple, with a sense of humour and nostalgia, especially in the Canadiana series, that spoke to me.

Anneke has been an Etsy Featured seller recently and shared a bit about the inspiration and themes behind her Canadiana series:

These works explore an “idea” of Canada, and allude to the souvenir. The desire to take a “piece” of a place home with us and to somehow authenticate a journey is a shared one. This common need allows us, to relate to one another across vast distances and to share our stories.

Moose Antler necklace by Touch the Dutch on Etsy featured on

The organic shape of the antlers is truly beautiful!

Stump brooch by Touch the Dutch on Etsy featured on

A wee little brooch - love the "rings" swirled in the cut!

The icons featured range from lumberjacks, narwhals, the east coast lobster, wolves and, of course, the ultimate in Canadian symbols: the beaver! I’ll leave you to click through and discover just what, exactly, the “Secret Order of the Beaver Legionnaires Trophy Brooch” might be (other than the best product name EVER!) and show off my favourite of the flat-tailed creatures:

Beaver brooch by Touch the Dutch on Etsy - featured on

Ah, the beaver. A perfectly adorable little nod to Canadian cliché!

I almost feel like I need to do a separate post for each category in her shop, but for now I’ll share a few of my favourites from the rest of her line and encourage you to visit her shop for yourself!

Pierced mint julep spoon by Touch the Dutch on Etsy - featured on

Thrifted spoons are repurposed into functional works of art! Such unexpected beauty!

porcelain stump ring by Touch the Dutch on Etsy - featured on

A little one-of-a-kind piece of art on your finger!

You can find Touch the Dutch on Etsy and in various galleries and shops. You can also follow along with her creative pursuits on her blog. Enjoy!



Combined talents

My husband picked up a pepper mill in a shop the other day, and was making moves toward buying it… and my “somebody in Canada MUST make pepper grinders” antenna went up.

It didn’t take long for me to find the lovely, simple grinders from Mapleseed Gallery:Salt or Pepper Mill by Mapleseed Gallery - www.canadianhandmade.caThe Owen Sound couple behind Mapleseed Gallery are a talented pair – Irwin Seidman’s wood turning skills are on display in their Etsy shop, as well as Susan Seidman’s original artwork.

I love the detail on the grinders, which can be used for pepper, sea salt or other spices, but this figured maple bowl is fabulous. Obviously decorative, the grain and knots are featured prominently.

Figured Maple Bowl by Mapleseed Gallery -
Mapleseed Gallery is Canadian in origin, in materials and in subject. This little 4″ x 4″ Snowplow watercolour by Susan is such a classic scene, especially this winter in Alberta (so much snow. My goodness we are ready for spring!)

Snowplow by Mapleseed Gallery -

To see more of the special work from the duo behind Mapleseed Gallery, check out their shop at Etsy.


What’s in a Name?

For folks in some parts of the country, yesterday was Family Day.  It’s a holiday where we are encouraged to celebrate our families and those we hold dear.  At my house we had a sleepy morning full of toddler belly laughs, then an afternoon of noisy and crafty fun with the in-laws, and a turkey dinner feast to top it all off.  It was pretty nice, I must say!

One of the crafty projects that my mother in law had prepared were wooden plaques which we decorated with things like “Home Sweet Home” and our last names.  It was a fun project and captured the spirit of the day.   While my painting skills left something to be desired (ok, a LOT to be desired), I still think our little name plaque is something special.  So of course I came home and went online to see what kind of spin someone with much more talent than myself could put on a similar project.  I was not to be disappointed when I immediately found The Snowshoe Loft.  These rustic and beautiful wood-burned signs are a lovely way to put your name on any space, be it a cabin, cottage, or even just a favorite room.

It's like a warm welcome home, personalized just for you!

My husband *dreams* of having his own man cave. If/when that happens, it would definitely need one of these!

Coral is a hawaii-born creative type who fell in love with winter and fall when her family moved to Canada.  She is currently an urban woman, but dreams of a cabin in the woods, surrounded by nature’s beauty.  She burns all her signs by hand, without using any stencils or machines, under the watchful eye of her wiener dog named Walnut.

The cabin and tree image adds an extra special touch

I also really like these pretty little woodland animal blocks.  They would be great mixed in among family photos on a mantle or shelf!

They are all lovely, but I think the moose is my favorite.

You may not be encouraged to carve your initials in a tree these days, but Coral’s signs send the same warm and enduring statement of love, and are way more portable than a huge tree!  Or they can even be used as directional signs to an intimate outdoor wedding.

LP and SW, sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g....

If you want to see more, or to order your very own custom sign, visit The Snowshoe Loft’s Etsy shop.  While you are there, make sure you browse around, and see if you can find a picture of the adorable Walnut!

From my family to yours, have a wonderful day!

Feature Artist: The Woodman

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.

Is it a tractor, or a work of art? I think it's both!

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.

This gorgeous giraffe is one of Tom's paper mache creations from several years ago.

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.

So intricate and detailed, and I love the colour variety from the different types of wood!

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.

Who knew a tow truck could look this good?

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!

I can almost hear the call of the loons, and smell the marshmallows toasting...

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!


Billy Would Chuck Wood

Lately Sarah and I have both been feeling the need for a little “me time”, some quiet space within our busy days that is just for us.   A peaceful moment filled with things that inspire us and make us happy.  Since lovely jewelry always makes me smile, I knew that I wanted to share some with you today.  Billy Would Designs are made with reclaimed hardwood, and feature smooth, elegant, organic shapes and designs.  The moment I saw Adea’s work, it was as though a wave of calm washed over me, and it was just what I needed during an otherwise hectic morning!

This serene tree within a circle is just perfect

Let go of what is weighing you down and soar with these graceful feather shaped earrings!

Of course we believe that men should accessorize too, and Billy Would has a whole selection of items made from used and broken skateboard decks that would be perfect for any gender!  I know that Sarah’s husband received a fantastic pair of cuff links for Christmas, and I am tempted to play follow the leader* and get a pair for my dear husband!   I also really love the belt buckles and the vintage feel… so cool.

The wear and scratches are a constant reminder to have fun and let loose, just like whoever used to ride this board.

You can find Billy Would products in her Cargoh store, or click here for a list of retail locations, maybe there’s one near you!  You also won’t want to miss her website to see an even bigger assortment of her beautiful work.  If you tweet, then follow along on Twitter, or join the party on Facebook!


*hey, I am the little sister, and while I heartily deny ever “copying” Sarah, I will admit that from time to time she has been known to get to a good idea first!  At which point it’s not so much copying as it is a vote of agreement. :-p

We’re going to the Zoo!

Pretty much every kid loves animals.  I know my daughter squeals with delight if she even *hears* our cat, and gleefully points out any dog, bird, or squirrel that she sees on our walks.  Kids also love to see their own names.  It helps build their sense of identity, and is usually the first word that they learn to read and spell.  So it makes perfect sense to fit the two together, and why not make it a puzzle for good measure?  Enter: Zoodonyms.  Wooden name puzzles featuring bright colours and animal shapes!

Available for any name, it's a perfect gift to welcome a new baby.

Keep them on a wall or shelf for display until baby is old enough for safe play, then bring on the puzzle fun!

Help little one learn to count with the numbers train!

What kid wouldn't want to hang their towel or jacket on this cute elephant peg?

Last but not least, as a confirmed word nerd and book lover, this one really stole my heart:

Who? Who? wants a bedtime story?

Check out the Zoodonyms online store to see the rest of the products, or to place a custom name order.  If you are in the Toronto area and haven’t yet been to the One Of A Kind Show (what are you waiting for?  run, don’t walk!) you can find Zoodonyms there alongside a *ton* of other talented and friendly crafters until Sunday afternoon.


Marching to a different drum

I’ve come to appreciate a well-played djembe drum in the past few years, and when I saw the gorgeous drums from Sylvan Temple I immediately thought of a few people who would love to play something so beautiful!

Handmade on Vancouver Island by Robin Shackleton, these one of a kind instruments are built with great care. Robin makes just 70 or so drums a year, and believes that “ideally, no drum is made until it is called forth”. I love that!

Sylvan Temple’s mission statement:

To uphold the ancient art of the craftsman drum-maker, and so strengthen intimacy, accountability and quality in the marketplace; To inspire choices that will allow Earth to heal us and so initiate the circle that will sweep us into balance.

Roped Djembes by Sylvan Temple -

Roped Djembe Drums

Top Bolted Doumbek and Darbuka by Sylvan Temple -

Cypress, Arbutus and Garry Oak, all with fish skin

Sylvan Temple is very focused on creating drums that leave a small environmental footprint – using wood that has been salvaged from various waste and burn sites on Vancouver Island, as well as sourcing skins and hardware that are “as local and considerate as possible“. Obviously, much care is taken with each drum and I’m quite sure that anyone lucky enough to play a Sylvan Temple drum would feel that.

You can find out more about Robin and Sylvan Temple at or on Facebook. Robin seems a little reluctant to embrace the wonders of Facebook, so maybe we can get him some new fans :)

Here’s hoping you find your own drumbeat and march to it every day,

P.S. If you’d like to hear some djembe playing, as well as a really lovely story, check out a little film called “The Visitor“.

It’s a man’s world…

I often find that choosing gifts for the men in our lives can be somewhat challenging.  Once you’ve exhausted the favorite sports team logos and cliche’d golf gadgets, it can get pretty tough!  What if you are looking for something a little more classy or unique?  Something a bit luxurious, even?

Then be sure to check out Green Leaf Wood Studio. They have a selection of hand turned pens, pepper mills, and gorgeous bowls, but my favorite are the shaving sets.  What better way to pamper that special man in your life than an old-school shaving brush, paired with an elegant and sleek handcrafted razor?

Fits Gillette Mach 3 razors, for a modern shave with retro charm!

I love the feel of a good, solid, smooth-writing pen. A little bit of luxury.

This peppermill wasn't originally intended to be purple, but I think "plan B" looks pretty wonderful!

The man behind Green Leaf Wood is Steven, he hails from Ajax, Ontario.  He chooses reclaimed and responsibly harvested wood, and uses safe finishes on all his pieces.  You can learn more about Steven, his work, and wood turning, on his blog.   Or, if you prefer, follow him on Facebook and Twitter!


Man (and Woman’s) Best Friend

I spent these past couple of days very much out of my element – I was a newbie spectator at the AAC National Agility Championship at Spruce Meadows, outside of Calgary. Our family boasts a couple of very talented handlers and their fantastic border collies, and they were competing at the top level all weekend. It was such a blast to see them run the tricky courses, and I was amazed by the way the dogs react to the slightest hand movement from their handlers (and maybe DON’T respond to the rather, um, insistent yelling quite as quickly?! *chuckle*)

So, I came home thinking that these dogs deserve something a little special… and I found it at Vurv Design! Glenn Ross’s work is a function of his training in architecture, which led to a love of modern furniture design. He says his  goal is

to create warm, comfortable spaces within the context of the modern home.

Seems to me that a family dog is a big part of the warmth of a family, and that these gorgeous accessories would fit into any modern home with style.

Cherry 2 Feeder by Vurv -

I clumsily kicked over the dog's water bowl in my cousin's hotel room this weekend. This water/feed stand might help avoid that!

If my dog ate from this bowl, he might be allowed to join us in the kitchen ;)

And the piece de resistance? After the dogs ran their little hearts out this weekend, maybe they could curl up in the super lovely Ellipse bed!

Ellipse Dog Bed by Vurv - www.canadianhandmade.caGlenn’s furniture is handmade in Coquitlam, BC and I for one would love to see more pieces! You can keep up with Vurv Designs at the shop on Cargoh, Twitter, or on his blog. For a  little taste of what else Glenn can do, visit his website and click the “Shop for People” link. That desk just made me swoon ;)

Cheers to our canine friends – they sure make life interesting!