Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Roughing it in the Bush

It's difficult to imagine how hard it was...
the isolation and discomfort, the broken hearts.

I'm currently reading "Roughing it in the Bush", by Susanna Moodie an English writer, who emigrated to Canada in the 1830's.  Her editors wanted her to write a book that would serve as a guide for Englishmen and women considering emigration to Canada, but instead she gave them the truth. 

The bitter truth, about how truly difficult it is for someone of relative wealth and with no prior experience with farming to start a homestead in Canada.  Published in 1852, it was the first honest, firsthand account of a settlers experience that wasn't romanticised or misleading. 

The publishing house was the time Canada was being promoted as a utopia for the British emigrant, a land of natural riches and great beauty.

It became wildly successful, and is still in print and a great read, published by a rare book company.  It's part of a trilogy and I'm looking forward to the other two books, if it is even possible to find them.

These pics are from that time period, and from Retronaut.
The first image is a portrait of Susanna Moodie.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Summer is winding away....

Your white dress and shoe days are numbered....the early mornings have been getting a bit chilly, I think I need one last holiday hurrah before embracing Fall 2012.  Here's some Tim Walker for Vogue UK....some lovely white numbers to squeeze in before the season is over!

Agyness Deyn by Tim Walker for Vogue UK May 2011

Agyness Deyn by Tim Walker for Vogue UK May 2011

Agyness Deyn by Tim Walker for Vogue UK May 2011

Agyness Deyn by Tim Walker for Vogue UK May 2011

Monday, 20 August 2012

Long Lost Love....


I've wanted to open up a vintage shop for several years on Etsy, and it's finally become a reality!  I kept shoving the idea aside, having more than I could manage with teaching, exhibitions, and custom work.  I initially opened the shop in 2008, but it was a really bad time to try and tackle such an endeavour with a family illness on top of my professional commitments.  So it sat, and eventually I  shuttered it, thinking I would get back to it shortly.

Well, *sigh*... it's been a while.  A lot longer than anticipated, but finally, I'm swinging open the door and welcoming you in!  Featuring an ongoing collection of carefully curated home and cottage decor pieces, vintage clothing, vintage curiosities and previously loved ephemera from the past, the shop will have new pieces added to the collection on a bi-weekly basis, so be sure to add me to your favourites on Etsy, and check back from time to time to see whats new.

Here's a small selection, but check back, as I'm still working on shooting the pieces that I have in the studio.

Mark Willis and Sons Silver Soap Dish

Hinged Marble Jewellery Box

Art Nouveau Candlesticks

Friday, 17 August 2012

A Canadiana Wedding...

It's been a busy week for my axe brooches....Liam Vu from Global News (local Toronto News morning show), came by my studio yesterday, and picked up a couple of my axe brooches...he wrote me earlier to let me know that he was wearing one on air this morning....(never finished this post till Friday, so It was actually Tuesday morning). 
I never got to see their on air debut, however, as I was deep in sleep, when his show aired! 
I'm still not getting great sleep due to a noisy early departure of neighbours on a daily basis, so I grab sleep when I can.

I also got a note from a very thoughtful client of mine, Jennifer Pitt,  who got married this summer, in Toronto and had a wedding with a bit of a Canadiana bent to the festivities.  It was very sweet that they chose one of my pieces for their special day....I think the sterling silver and cherry axe brooch looks great here!

Their intimate wedding included a lovely lunch at the Brickworks, Cafe Belong, which is a stunning space.

Their wedding emphasized an inclusion of exclusively Canadian Designers:  Fluveog shoes, Coriander Girl for amazing floral inspiration,, and the dress, made by Mikaella Bridal,

Her amazing photos were shot by Tyler, from Mango Studios:

Congrats Jen!

Friday, 10 August 2012

If I could escape the city....Camp Wandawega

It was one of those days when I had to get out of the wasn't a possibility, with so much to do here, so I walked up to the High Park library at the top of the street.  There's a lovely corner on the top floor with vaulted ceilings.  I like to sit on the floor in the corner and pour over the design and gardening books.... It's calming.

I stumbled upon a book called "Found, Free and Flea" which was amazing eye candy, but mostly the story of this place is so fantastic.  The book is a series of collections that the new owners of the property completed after buying and renovating the property.

Camp Wandawega, in Wisconsin, is run by Tereasa Surratt and David Hernandez, and was whimsically purchased by the couple as it was the summer camp that David attended as a child.

Over the years the property has been:

1.  A speakeasy
2.  An Organized crime hideout
3.  House of ill repute (Brothel)
4.  A legitimate family resort
5.  A retreat for Latvian priests from Chicago
6.  Latvian church camp.

Today it's a vintage resort camp insipired by the 1950's ala Dirty Dancing camp resort.  Completely nostalgic and kitschy it's wonderfully inspired!

Check out their website here:

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Happy World Cat Day!

Nothing says amazing like cats....Slinky, sneaky, sexy cats! Meooooow!

The find!

I woke up this morning to find a really thoughtful note from a former student of mine.  She subscribes to the Toronto Life twitter feed, and told me she thought of me because of the recent article she saw about my work....What, what what?  I had no idea at I headed over to the site to check it out.  A virtual high five to the righteous writer and urban lumberjack,  Kevin Naulls for thinking of my work and creating such a thoughtful article! 
Here it is....

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Design Lines Magazine

Design Lines contacted me for a photo shoot lend in the summer, and the fall
magazine is out!  Featuring jewellers from across the city, the feature was on
mens rings, and featured my solid mens beveled sterling silver satin ring.

The link is here: