Wednesday, 22 May 2013

From Ontario with Love!

I am so excited to share my most recent news!  I'll be collaborating with Tourism Ontario,
who selected 10 makers whose work celebrates Canada and Ontario. 

This June, Toronto will be hosting the Travel Blogger Exchange (TBEX).

A thousand bloggers, tweeters, writers and photographers from around the world will be in Toronto to share Ontario’s story through social media. Every year, cities across North America compete for the chance to host this event, and Toronto is the winning city for 2013!

Anyone who knows Toronto well, knows that it is a city of neighbourhoods, with distinct characteristics and flavour... They're all very, very different and intimate once you live there for a while, and the best way to explore the neighbourhoods is to seek out the food that the neighbourhoods are known for.  Its hard to believe that Toronto is the 4th largest city in North America, following LA after recently surpassing Chicago by growth.  Yikes, the city has grown a lot in the 12 years I've lived here, mostly the condo explosion in the downtown area and that density is the biggest change.

I hope everyone gets a chance to explore some of my favorites, Parkdale, Roncesvalles, Toronto Island, The Junction and High Park.  I also hope that some of the visitors get an oppourtunity to explore outside of the city....the Bruce Peninsula is one area in particular I would is spectacular!

My pieces will be gifted and sent on adventures around the world, sharing a bit of my Canadiana love!

Image: Ontario Travel.

Roncesvalles. The Local Pub and the Revue Cinema.

Sean Magee

Image: Wayne Newton.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

California Dreaming....and Thanks, New York!

Looking out my studio window, it decidedly, absolutely Spring.  The trees are exploding in clusters of pink cherry blossom blooms and It looks incredible, magical and surreal.  Every time I look at these trees, I'm also reminded that It's time to launch my new work for Spring!

In the winter, I launched the beginning of this work, a series of neck pieces that are intricate, hand cut floral silhouettes, representing each province and territory, in Canada.

The Provincial Floral Silhouette Series, is a series of contemporary silhouette neck pieces

that explore the provincial and territorial floral symbols of Canada.

Each Canadian province and territory is assigned a flower, generally a prolific or symbolic flower for each province. These neck pieces will reference the floral symbols of each province beginning the journey from the East coast, and moving westward.

The exhibition, Capacity,, hosted the launch of this body of work, the East Coast series which exploits the floral symbols of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, P.E.I and New Brunswick.

Each provincial neckpiece will have several variations, and explorations in various materials,
finishes and scale. The will be fabricated from Nickel Silver, wood, and Sterling Silver.
Well, my Spring launch of new work, will include our neighbours to the South, and for this new work, I am continuing my North American road trip.  My first necklaces will celebrate the state symbol of New York, the cultivated rose, and the California poppy, their state flower. 

Many of my customers and clients hail from both of these states, and I wanted to pay homage to the states that have shown a lot of support and encouragement to me over the years.   Looking forward to sharing the pieces as they develop, but for now, here are some of the finished pieces, and the works in progress, in the studio....oh,  and those amazing trees!

 California Neckpiece in progress

 Prince Edward Island Neckpiece.

 New Brunswick Neckpiece

Nova Scotia Neckpiece

Handmade Wedding.

When Shana Mattheis got in touch with me to see if I was interested in being a part of her online handmade Wedding catalog, I had no idea that she was undertaking this project on her own.

The project is massive, an extensive collection of handmade goods by over 200 artists, designers and vendors to be used in the planning of your wedding.  She featured two ring designs of mine, a simple engraved ring, on page 1, on the "Proposal" page, and on page 24, a heavy hand carved custom wedding ring, under the "Groom" section of the magazine.

Shana Mattheis is from LA, and has an etsy shop, where she sells her whimsical, bohemian, handmade jewellery. 

Here's the link to the online magazine, and a big shout out to Shana.


Tuesday, 14 May 2013

A Spring Stroll.

The flower markets are bursting with tulips and other are some recent shots from a Spring walk in my neighbourhood.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Time may change me...but I can't trace time....

I've had this pretty frightening Hermes orange, mid century vinyl ottoman lurking and following me for some strange reason over the years.  I've moved it three times now, and well, it really only worked in the first space it was purchased for, when it was in much better shape.

It's been used over the years as the obligatory Christmas tree stand, and magazine catch all, but it was during its former duty that it developed this terrible stain one holiday from the tree....which was growing, potted and resting on the ottoman.

I likely should've abandoned the poor thing, but I didn't have the heart.  I really liked the simple form and something about it reminded me of a 1940s, blue and silver brocade ottoman that my grandmother had, that I thought was so glamorous growing up.

Rather than leaving it curbside, I decided to try my hand at re-upholstering the piece, and started looking into the right fabric.  My new place is pretty intense, the entire interior is covered in blonde wood paneling, so it's been pretty challenging.  Most people would run screaming from this space, but it's the best light I've ever seen, in a house in Toronto...(10 windows!)

Needless to say, I'm embracing the secret members cabin aesthetic of this weird place, and wanted a fabric that was graphic and warm.  I was thinking something like Norwegian sweater patterns, intricate and geometric. Too specific?  I had a few good leads from Designer Fabrics on Queen Street West, and was so happy to find this pattern, that is Ikat inspired, a thick heavy linen, that works perfectly in the space.  I am so happy with the results, and glad to have rehabilitated my ottoman.  Another project checked off the list. 

Monday, 6 May 2013

Spring Salads and Fresh Starts.

The warmer weather makes me want to spend as little time as possible indoors, and a switch in diet usually happens around this time as well.  More charcoal grilled veggies, fresh salads and grilled Rowe farms sausage tend to make an appearance as the weather improves, and the cooking transitions outside.  Here is a great, super healthy salad from Whole Living magazine, it's great with the grilled squash.  My addition is a bit of goat cheese broken on top for additional depth.  YUM!

Photo: Bryan Gardner


  • 1/2 head broccoli florets
  • 1 Delicata squash, sliced and seeded
  • 1 cup mixed tender greens
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion
  • Coarse salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup Tahini Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds



  1. Steam broccoli florets until bright green and tender, about 4 minutes. Remove and set aside. Steam squash until bright yellow and tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a bowl, toss greens, cabbage, and red onion. Top with steamed vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with tahini sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Use this dressing for Steamed Broccoli and Squash with Tahini Sauce (or any greens). It is also delicious simply drizzled over cooked salmon, tofu, or chicken breast.

Tahini Sauce Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 chopped garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Coarse salt


  1. In a food processor, puree tahini, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, paprika, and 3/4 cup water until smooth. Season with salt.

Cook's Note

Store sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

The Pin Ball is tonight~!  Very excited that my Toronto Trillium Brooch is the feature pic!
Hope to see you there tonight!