Monday, November 30, 2009

OneofaKind Show: Top 25 Booths to Check Out

After hearing plenty about the OneofaKind shows from friends and family, I decided to check one out for myself. What seemed like a simple plan was thwarted by some errors in judgment on my part. My first mistake was going down on a Sunday morning, aka prime family outing time. My second mistake was only leaving an hour and a half to cover the entire show. My third mistake was going during the holiday season when the focus is on Christmas. This resulted in a hurried Jew who has no patience for the double strollers and slow walkers who crowded the aisles, and generally has no interest in santa-related paraphernalia. But, despite my sub-par planning , I still managed to skim through 95% of the exhibitors and pick out my favourite discoveries to share with you.


Without further adieu, here are my top 25 favourite finds from the OneofaKind Christmas show whose originality stood out from the moccasins and other wares that looked like they came from a souvenir store at the airport:


The graphic pop of art of Mark Jeremy Gleberzon.


The folksy simplicity of the carved wooden dinnerware by Ed Hummel.


The delectably delightful glass work by Andrea Ripley that takes my love for cupcakes into a higher art form.


The rainbow of edgy canvases by Blair Chivers.


The vibrant stationary and paper goods by Flakes Paperie.


The adorable aprons by Crumb Designs – especially “The Lucille” with it’s floral print reveal behind the lovely pleat.


The dreamy selection of wall art, linens and more from pi’lo.


The lovely gold lockets and chains by Biko


The tongue-in-chic canvas totes by Hoi Bo that are more Birkin than bag-lady.


The dancing poppies of Edward Chan.


The arrow-adorned pea coat by Desperately Different.


The so-cute-you-could-eat-them-up creations from the Cate & Levi collection – their goods are made with the goal of leaving “the softest possible pawprint on the planet”


The hippie-chick vibe of the spunky printed cushions by Rock My Soul.


The baby collection by Schoolyard – the black and white acorn onesie is too cute for words!


The made-for-the-cottage rustic simplicity of Jardinique’s frames, mirrors and signs.


The snazzy printed Ts by Model Citizen.


The quirky alphabet canvases by Dear Betty Designs.


The charming toss cushions made using vintage fabric remnants by Kailey a.m. hawthorne. I also loved her painted clocks and over-sized wood lettering.


The sleek memo pads by Schleeh Design that marry form and function – there is even a sticky note version!


The calming yellows and blues of abstract artist Caroline Versteeg.


Stunning toppers made by legendary Toronto millinery, Lilliput Hats.


The lovely grey and violet tones of the glazed ceramic pieces by Michelle Mendlowitz.


The beautiful wooden bowls, cutting boards, coasters and more by Stinson Studios.


The ethereal glow of the stone lamps made by Rocklit.


The edgy art blocks by B.C.-based Cedar Mountain.

In the end I was pleased to leave with some savory shortbread by the Coach House Shortbread Company and some small pieces by Kelly Grace for a gift. If you head down to the Direct Energy Centre, make sure to stop by the artisans mentioned above to check their stuff out for yourself, and if you’re not in Toronto, be sure to explore the artist’s websites because some of them are on etsy.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Watching Canadian Design Online

Did you know fans of Canadian mag House and Home can now watch episodes of House and Home TV online?


I'm loving that I can access the hands-on demos for projects such as quirky framed chalkboards, and the house tours of some of the recent beautiful spaces that have featured in the mag whenever I want.

Also available at the click of the mouse now is design lab with arren williams,  a fun look at the world of design from the point of view of the delightful freelance stylist and reporter. In the first webisode, he frolicks with Style at Home and Pure Design host  Samantha Pynn and discusses eco-friendly design. I'm loving the animated intro!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Shaking it for the Cure

We’re already into the end of Movember, so  I know I’m not exactly timely on posting these, but I wanted to share some photos from CIBC’s Run for the Cure, which I participated in for the first time this year.


Our team name was TuTu’s for TaTa’s and we had such an amazing day downtown marching with survivors and supporters alike.

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After the emotionally stirring walk, we celebrated with a festive brunch with adorable pink themed-decor –- even the chandelier was wrapped in tulle!

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Not content to be left out, all four of the cats decided to get in on the tutu action in the days following.

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Mis Miu went so far as to break into the closet so she could sleep in the bag that was storing them!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Carport Eden

I was looking through some old shelter mags and thought this stunning green roof  from House and Home’s October 2008 issue was totally worth posting:


Canadian company ZinCo built an unbelievable oasis on top of a carport that is simply breathtaking.


The industrial ladder juxtaposed with the lush purple blooms is so charming.


What a delight it must be to look out your window expecting to see yucky tar and see this view instead!image

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Perfect Pansies

I feel like I’m cheating on my darling Margherita, but I can’t help myself: I am in love with the Pensees collection by Bernardaud!image

I have always been a pansy girl  but I’ve never seen anything like these beauties before. The purple and gold palette is perfection with that little hint of blush pink, plus the gold border adds an extra shot of glamour.


The medium 7” bowl ($156) would be lovely to put out some candies in a formal living room, but the jackpot is the large round tray ($900), which is breathtaking! It would pop as a centrepiece on a modern white lacquered dining table, which is totally what I want it for - too bad it’s crazy $$$



Monday, November 16, 2009

5 Questions with… Kat Law of Knave of Valor

imageI am pleased to introduce you to Kat Law, co-founder and head designer of Knave of Valor. Besides boasting a Shakespearean name brimming with old world panache, Knave of Valor stands apart as a fresh and unexpected label that delivers comfortable, yet eclectic fashion. A lot of the pieces are unconventional, daring you to mix in the more unusual with your safe mainstays for a look that is all your own, yet perfectly fresh. I’m personally drawn to the stunning oversized florals and watery botanical prints, but even the basics are artfully done.


Kat, a Toronto native who got her fashion feet wet in NYC, was kind enough to answer some questions about the line, which is proudly made in Canada:


What inspired the creation of Knave of Valor?

After styling for many years I decided it was time to try something new. Designing was a great outlet for me to use my creativity in a new way. I am always asked about my clothes and many of them are vintage finds so I decided to use my wardrobe as inspiration for the line.


What celebrities could you see wearing your clothes?

Erin Wasson, Alexa Chung, Mary-Kate Olsen


What are three adjectives that describe the Knave of Valor look?

Appealing, relaxed, eclectic


Is there a specific goal you want to reach in your designing career?

To make clothes that people feel comfortable and confident in. I would love for my collection to inspire people to move away from basics and take more risks.


Where can people buy your clothes?

TNT in Toronto: Hazel Lanes & Eglinton and TNT Montreal


Thanks to Kat for the q&a – check out Knave of Valor for more information.