Tomorrow!! I hope to see you there.
making, learning & sharing a crafty life
It almost didn’t happen, but I’m so happy that our tradition of having a Valentines Trunk show is continuing this year. It’s been 5 years since we first teamed up with City of Craft to host the very first Trunk Show. It’s become a bright spot in the middle of winter to look forward to seeing lots of good friends, treating ourselves to special crafts, scooping up cool vintage finds and eating delicious snacks.
We’ve been sorting through our rummage for the show. We’ve got a new box of vintage patterns to share and all kinds of vintage fabric yardage & remnants. Most of our rummage is priced at $2! There are some serious deals here!
We also have lots of new fabrics & books on our shelves. Take a look here to see what’s new at the workroom.
The Junction Flea is also happening on Sunday from 10-5pm, just down the street from us. So much fun for a wintery day!
I hardly had a moment to take any photos at the Love & Rummage 3 Trunk Show on Sunday. When I arrived at the shop there was a line up outside for the City of Craft giveaway bags and from the moment we opened the door until just past 5pm, we were pretty busy. (some moments were Crazy Busy!)
I hadn’t had breakfast that morning so I snacked the day away on delicious chocolate heart cupcakes, brownies and cookies. Thank goodness we always do a snack table at our trunk shows. It was so busy at some points that many of you came and went without me even spotting you or saying ‘hi!’. I hope you had fun. I definitely did. It’s hard not to in a room filled with so many friends.
At the very last second of the show, I managed to run around and buy myself a few necessary treats. A ceramic heart from Krystal Speck, the tote I’ve been wanting so bad from Fieldguided, some postcards by Dead Weight and a very pretty Queen-filled envelope ready for mailing from Send More Mail. Coriander Girl gave me a little posy in a cute vintage bottle.
Thanks for supporting the show! Did you get some cute stuff too??!
Surprise! It’s time to shake things up with another big fabric sale at the workroom. It’s February already and I don’t know about you, but planning for spring and making spring-y things gets me through the last few months of winter. Now is the perfect time to treat yourself to some fabric love and plan some happy projects for these cozy winter nights.
I haven’t posted ANY clothing pictures for a few months, but I’m about to change that. I have a few back posts of clothing that I need to photograph AND I just finished a cute spring-y top that I’ll be wearing on Sunday at the Love & Rummage 3 Trunk Show. Fabric Sale + Love & Rummage!! It’s going to be a pretty great weekend!
The Love & Rummage Trunk Show weekend is finally here! This year will mark the fourth year we have done this annual Valentines event with City of Craft. (OMG… this means this is the workroom‘s fourth year of existence!!!!) For me, this is always a wonderfully cheery event in the middle of the long winter. I absolutely LOVE that frigid temperatures, snow storms and the fact that we keep scheduling it on Super Bowl Sunday don’t seem to deter crowds of you from dropping by to support our favourite local artists at this love-filled show.
For the early birds, there are gift bags available to the first 25 shoppers. Plus, a cute mini bunting make & take workshop sponsored by Etsy and facilitated by Michelle Renaud from 3-4pm. City of Craft has been posting vendor profiles, so you can get a sneak peek of all the fun you can expect on Sunday!! Are you coming? I hope so!
365 : crochet cookies by Shannon Gerard
The Love & Rummage 2 Trunk Show on Sunday was pretty incredible. I was overwhelmed by the huge turnout of people. It was so busy that I didn’t even get a moment to say hi to some of you! Thank you for dropping by. You guys are awesome.
We were able to raise $190 from the sales of the workroom’s rummage (all $1 or $2 items!). As promised, I matched the amount raised and donated a total of $400 to the Red Cross Haiti Relief Fund today. Since the Canadian Government is matching all donations until February 12th, that $400 will turn into $800!!
Donating could not be any easier. Simply visit the Red Cross Site and donate any amount you wish by paypal or credit card.
Can you believe it’s time for another fun trunk show? Our Valentine’s shows are always such a bright, warm spot in the dreary winter. Check out the City of Craft blog to see detailed vendor profiles for some of the show’s talent. I hope to see you this Sunday!
It’s all business over here, so I thought I should dress the part today. It’s tax time and it’s one of the things I do not love about having my own business. All the accounting, paper work and tax stuff really eats up a lot of time.
Nevertheless, it was a good excuse for me to throw on this blazer that I got at the Love & Rummage Trunk Show from Jen. It’s so crazy cute. I just love the angular pockets and the tailored look. I’m not sure how old it is, but all the lining is stitched in by hand and there are weights inside the hem and tiny darts on the shoulders. It feels so great to wear something with such lovely workmanship.
Andrew bought us a huge full length mirror recently and I’m just realizing how amazing it is not to have to jump up and down or stand on a chair to see my entire outfit at once. It also means I can take much better photos of the clothing I make.
Okay, back to work for me!
The grand finale to my weekend was the much anticipated Love & Rummage Trunk Show. I don’t think we realized how enticing the ‘rummage’ aspect was going to be. Everyone was so excited to scoop up the vintage fabrics, buttons, clothing, housewares and trims. I have to admit, so was I. I got the sweetest vintage hankie with squirrels and bunnies on it and a lovely piece of vintage floral fabric from Claire. I also got a super colourful Vera scarf from Margie, which I think will bring a little spring to these last winter days and a darling grey vintage blazer from Jen.
I think I now officially have a Trunk Show bunny tradition. I can’t seem to resist the bunny! At this show I picked up one of Sarah McNeil‘s crazy cute knit bunny brooches. Of course, I also got one of Margie’s (Resurrection Fern) crochet sea stones. I have been coveting those stones for a very long time.
We got a lot of great press for this show, including that lovely article in the Toronto Star and mentions in The National Post, BlogTO, and Toronto Life. Many of you early birds also heard me on CBC radio’s Metro Morning on Friday with Jane Hawtin. It was a live chat, so I got up at 4:30am to be in the CBC studio for 5:30am! I didn’t realize that so many people listened to the radio so early in the morning. (while I’m usually fast asleep for a few more hours) It was really wonderful to meet all the people who discovered us through these mentions.
Since we never rest on our laurels over here, the end of a trunk show means the start of planning for the next one!
I first met Kalpna (aka Ghost Face Knittah) when she attended a Church of Craft gathering and spent the afternoon crocheting one of her little bears. This was one of the first times I had witnessed the wonders that were possible with crochet. My next encounter was when she participated in the Spring Thing Trunk Show last year. Kalpna opened up her trunk and proceeded to set up a charming display on birch logs of woodland-inspired jewelry. (She had me at birch logs!) There was just no way I could resist one of her acorn necklaces. I’m excited to see what other wonders appear when her trunk pops open this Sunday at the Love & Rummage Trunk Show!
How did you start down the road to craft?
KALPNA : Starting to make things myself was a direct by-product of being an accessories-obsessed but pathetically poor teenager in Toronto. Weekends were spent pressing my nose up against the glass of all the great shops on Queen West, ogling the jewellery and bags and fun clothes. Sometimes I’d have the courage to go in and actually fondle something, marvel at all the components and details, but always left empty-handed. Everything changed when I discovered how accessible and affordable jewellery-making supplies were, and I started to hit the bead shops instead. As any crafty person can attest, making things is highly habit-forming, and I just kept looking for interesting things to string up and wear around my neck. Three or four years ago I decided to step up my game and took a beginner’s metalsmithing class with Tosca Teran at her studio. Besides teaching me the basics, Tosca made me realize how possible everything is, and I’ve been consulting her (and using her soldering station!) ever since. I’m excited that I no longer make things just because I’m too broke to buy them, but because the process of putting things together and selecting all the right bits has become so much more rewarding that just the mere acquisition of stuff.
What does the name Old Weston mean to you? Is there a story behind it?
KALPNA : Old Weston Road is my street, I’ve lived there for over twenty years. While I love it dearly and can’t imagine living anywhere else in the city, I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not a particularly pretty street. It’s busy and noisy with traffic all day and most of the night, and there’s no green space. Growing up on Old Weston Road meant no ball-hockey in the street (too many cars) or jump-rope on the sidewalk (too narrow) so as kids, my sister and I would wait until the liquor store directly behind our house closed for the day so we could play frisbee and badminton in its parking lot! Across the street is a Roman Catholic Church that shines brilliantly at Christmas, and six doors to the right is a gas station that gets held up about twice a month. When we first moved here in ’86, the house attached to mine was a record store/recording studio called “Classic Sound” owned by a serious Rootsman named Ozzy, which provided a killer reggae soundtrack to my intensely urban childhood – I swear it was straight out of an Ezra Jack Keats storybook!
All this to say that finding beauty and inspiration on the block was (and is) no easy feat, and also to explain what I feel is a hypersensitivity to the natural world and small, natural wonders (like acorns!). As a kid (and even now) my only interaction with anything other than a concrete landscape is an hour or two spent in High Park (which is luckily just a twelve-minute bus ride away) or in my small backyard, where stumbling upon a tiny mushroom, a magical clump of moss, or a strange little flower (more likely a weed) is a momentous event. I will never forget the awe of finding these “rare” treasures, and how I would bring them indoors and desperately hope for them to last forever, turn them into something I could grow, take care of, or even wear (I distinctly remember my sister calling me a moron after catching me trying to shellac the crap out of a daisy – an eight-year-old’s attempt at turning it into a pendant). I have Old Weston Road to thank for my fascination and appreciation for all things natural, and for reminding me that there are wonders hiding everywhere, in even the most drab environments. Also, I make everything in my bedroom (and in the dining room, kitchen, and basement), and so life on Old Weston Road assures me that it’s okay not to have a studio or fancy workspace – it’s proof that if you want it bad enough, a creative, crafty life can be maintained and enjoyed any old place. Old Weston is my ‘hood; it’s why I make the things I make; I hope to enhance it’s charm, one silver acorn at a time.
What/Who is inspiring you these days?
KALPNA : In keeping with my unofficial mandate of trying to fabricate portions of the natural world that I don’t experience enough of (or sadly, that I may never see at all), I am utterly beguiled by Helle Jorgensen’s blog – “gooseflesh” – which the lovely Angelune Deslauriers directed me to. Her crocheted sea creatures and coral are breathtaking, and I hope to crochet some sea urchins for my windowsill soon (I destroyed a small collection of them in a dusting incident over the summer). And, since I spend almost every waking moment of my life surrounded by books, I’ve become increasingly drawn to children’s book illustration (ha! Get it? Drawn?!) – all the OG illustrators like Leo Lionni, Richard Scarry, and Gyo Fujikawa, and contemporaries like Marc Boutavant and Sara Varon. I think it may be time to sharpen them coloured pencils!
What was the last book you read?
KALPNA : I actually haven’t finished a book in quite a while. I’ve gotten into the really bad habit of getting into too many books at once (just like craft projects, I think I’ve currently got about eight on the go) and working full-time at the bookshop only encourages this kind of non-committal reading since people expect me to know a little something about everything on the shelf. I think the last book I read in its entirety was Jeremiah, Ohio – a novel in poems by Toronto’s own Adam Sol. It’s about Jeremiah (you know, like the prophet from the Bible?) and a truck driver named Bruce who go on a road trip across America and deliver prophecies in strip-mall parking lots as they make their way to the promised land of New York City. It’s a great read – beautiful, funny, tragic, a little bad-ass. I’ve never read poetry with such plot development before. I like it!
Are you going to be selling some rummage at the sale? If yes, what??!
KALPNA : Oh, I’ve got rummage. I’m hoping to share my “Bombay stash” – crafts, supplies and mementos that I’ve collected during two visits to that city – particularly some handmade, Indian paper gift boxes and envelopes scored from Chimanlals (an incredible “paper culture” shop), some glass and wooden beads, as well as some wonderfully tacky brooches and accessories that have some serious Bollywood flava.
What Valentine gift would melt your heart?
KALPNA : It wouldn’t take much to make my heart melt – a couple cupcakes from The Cupcakery, a well-chosen book (no one ever gives me books), or a snowy romp through High Park. Oh, and there’s a new Morrissey album coming out soon, that would be a perfect Valentine’s gift.