Friday, 12 December 2014

City of Craft...

Hope that some of you can pull on some boots and check out this years City of Craft...the party starts Friday night, and ends on Sunday night!

It's been exhausting, but I'm looking forward to it!

Let's Party!

For the first time ever, City of Craft is adding a Friday night to our eruption of craft.

From 6-10 we are having a special opening night shopping party with music from our wonderful DJ Not From Concentrate. What's more? Thanks to Steamwhistle Brewery and BevLab, the first hundred (or so) people through door can opt into a $3 beer ticket. Party! Party! Party!

Free swag!

As always, we are giving away free stuffed tote bags to the first 100 people through the door on Saturday morning. Word is, the weather should be nicer by then. The tote bags feature a beautiful new design from our 2014 designer, Emily Taylor and are (almost) indestructible. To see previews of the stuff that might pop into the bags, follow us on Instagram (@cityofcraft).

Monday, 8 December 2014

Gift Guide #3: For the Mom who drove through a snowstorm for 2 hours to deliver you your passport so you could get to Vegas.

 Butterflies in the Victoria Butterfly Gardens

A butterfly garden!  Get her this bulb collection of Crown Jewels Butterfly Bush, Blue Sea Holly, Baby Joe Pye Weed and Tuberosa Butterfly Flower and Purple and White Blazing Stars.  You can help her in the garden planting them.


This completely amazing Icelandic blanket by Vik Prjonsdottir a collective of three designers who incorporate ancient Icelandic myths into the old traditions of blanket making. 

Tocca Violette Eau de Parfum from Bons Reves

Tocca has some great fragrance profiles, like Violette, with ginger oil, bergamot and coriander seed oil.  Or give her the gift set, and she can try the three favorites of their collection.

This marmalade keeps winning awards for a reason.  Pair it with some fresh biscuits.


Sign her up for garden design courses, or floral design courses at the Toronto Botanical Gardens.  It will keep her cheerful this winter, when skies are grey.


A beautiful leather wallet, for keeping everything organized.

Toasted Coconut. Medium Soy Candle. Hand-poured. 40 hr burn time.

I love lighting my candle before dinner every night, it's calming, and like a little campfire on the table.  Gift mom one from this collection.

Full of Beans Toronto

She'll appreciate a hot cup of coffee when the weather gets cooler.  Gift her some from a local roaster

Oval Scalloped Mirror Handmade Wall Mirror Ornate Organic Frameless Wall Mirror Miroir

This beautiful handmade mirror would look great in her entryway.

Spring Dishtowel

This cheerful tea towel would look great in her kitchen.  In fact all of her designs are lovely.

Rosemary "Mini-Christmas Tree" Plants
A little Rosemary Tree will keep her kitchen smelling sweet, and she can plant it outside in the Spring.  Find these at most grocery stores, along Roncesvalles in Toronto, or online.

Square handmade gold calligraphy "Today I have loved you for..." card

Never forget to keep telling her, and telling her and telling her, in a lovely note.  They will customize this card for you!  Of course it was the day you were born! xo.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Gift Guide #2: For your bearded boyfriend who makes you brunch and still writes you love notes.

noble hop toronto

Buy him a Home Brew Kit from Noble Hop....with kits like Badass IPA, you can't go wrong.
And the owner, Dave Crum is one of the nicest, most informative guys you can chat with about the finer points of home brewing.  They will even deliver to your door!

He's going to need something stylish to open those frosty beers with, and these stunning openers by Futagami have a timeless presence, when not in use. Get them at Mjolk.

Even if he's not a very outdoorsy sort of guy, and is just a casual camper, this book is a wealth of information from how to make your own emergency shelters, inventive solutions in the bush and wild edibles.

A Canadian icon inspired by a Canadian icon by an iconic Canadian company.

What a wormhole.  Tom Thompson Toque, by Roots.  Say that three times. Tom. Thompson Toque.

Leather journal, rustic orange-brown, 4" x 6", handmade journal by Dancing Grey Studio (1215)

This leather journal, for keeping track of things.

For still, summer lakes, and dreams of the warmer weather. These paddles would look great even when not in use.

Surprise him with enrollment in a class at The Healthy Butcher, or take a class together. Hone your knife skills, make pate, mortadella, haggis, hot dogs, duck confit, or sausage.  Lots of workshops available. 

2014 New Bag Arrival Genuine Leather Travel Bag Leather Duffle Bag  Weekender Bag Messenger Shoulder Bag Overnight Bag Leather Bag

This stunning handmade leather weekender bag.  I've had my eye on this one for my sweetie.

This smoked paprika is the best...seriously it will change your life.  Okay, not your life, but he'll make you the best paella you've ever had with this secret ingredient.  Stuff it in his stocking.  

100% Natural Beard Oil. Beard Tonic. Beard Conditioner. Stocking Stuffer.

He'll smell fantastic with this Cedar and Bergamot beard tonic.

Dark Brown Waxed Canvas Lunch Bag

Taking lunch to work in this waxed canvas bag will make him feel like he's on a picnic.
A rustic, explorers picnic in the Rockies.  These are beautifully made, I've gifted one before.

Magazine Rack - Wall hung wooden magazine holder

This stunning, solid walnut wall mounted magazine caddy will keep his subscriptions to National Geographic and the Walrus looking stylish.

Chevron Pattern Turkish Towel Peshtemal towel in ivory Black color Cotton Woven pure soft

He can use this Turkish peshtemal as a lightweight, quick drying towel, a throw on his couch, a beach blanket or as a wrap when you stare at the stars together around a campfire.

If he doesn't have this record.  He needs it.  Nostalgia, a glass of wine and a campfire. 

Backyard Axe Throwing League

If meeting his friends for pints is too boring there's always the Axe Throwing League, you can sign him up, and he can do some serious kick axe throwing (sorry). Or go with a group of friends, it's byob.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Gift Guide #4: For the Father who can take anyone down in a Scrabble challenge and build you anything.

Personalized Whiskey Leather Dopp Kit with Initials and Optional Custom Lining for Him

This handsome dopp kit for storing his shaving essentials while he jet sets.

Outil multifonctions New Wave réf. 830078
This Leatherman multi tool is a great gift for your Dad to MacGyver his way out of anything.  Need help with that beer? Check.  Screw loose on your table leg? Check. Marshmallow roasting stick? Check.

The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary

Never get in another Scrabble word dispute again.  He was pieing in public?  Gasp.

Hudson Bay Axe

Some of the most beautiful hand made axes around. The best shape is the Hudson Bay style axe.  This one is called "Sam McGee", inspired by the poem "The Cremation of Sam McGee".  Other equally clever names on the site for the other axe styles they have available.

Beard Oil MAHOGANY Scented Beard Oil For Men Made with Natural Oils Great Holiday Gift for Him for Movember

Just a few drops will keep Dad's beard conditioned, and smelling amazing, like he just finished up working on a great project.  This one is in their "Mahogany" fragrance profile.  Too funny.

What's better than spending time with Dad?  Spending time with him, and cheering on his favorite team. Season tickets here.

Walter Caesar

A truly Canadian cocktail the Caesar never fails to disappoint.  I watched a friend eat/drink a Caesar at dinner a month ago that was garnished with an entire sausage and okra.  Intense.  Give Dad the best Caesar mix around.

Cookshack Super Smoker elite Series Smoker

Dad can take his BBQ game to a whole new epic level with this wood fired smoker.  Perfect for the giant family reunion.

All-Purpose Spice Rub

Give Dad a bit of your time, and whip up some custom spice rubs for the bbq.
Lots of recipes are available here and here.

An interactive map of the world to visually document all of the places he's travelled to.

Take an epic road trip with your Dad, or fly to Vegas and watch Willie Nelson play in a casino. Surreal.

Large Waxed Canvas Log FIrewood Carrier Tote Gray

This will make it so much easier for Dad to lug the wood indoors for the fireplace.

If he knows what to do with this, and you often find him covered in wood dust get these for him here or here

File:The goldfinch by donna tart.png

Trust me. He will love this book.....Donna Tartt's work is staggering and fascinating, and she is my favorite author.  Plus. She won the Pulitzer prize for this book, so I'm not the only one who feels this way about her work.

Organic Heirloom Rainbow Swiss Chard Seeds

Give him some great gardening dreams through the long winter.  Get him some seeds for stocking stuffers.  I buy mine online from this organic seed seller

funny card, fathers day card, birthday card for dad, hey dad you're awesome, black white bold rustic modern typography, letterhappy

Cause it never hurts to remind him.  A hand written note thanking him for all of his awesomeness.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Gift Guide #1: For the quirky girlfriend who's always willing to lend a hand and join in your adventures.

I get pretty excited around this time of the year....overwhelmed, anxious, but also, excited.
I love searching for gifts for my pals and family, and try to focus on handmade, thoughtful gifts that they will enjoy.  I generally try to make some of my gifts, and have made spiced dill pickles, soap, knitted scarves and other things in the past.  This year I've been planning on making some custom essential oil soy candles for my family and friends, and I'm just waiting on the oils to finish arriving. 

This year, I thought I'd make a few gift guides of some of my favorite things!  The first in the series is a gift guide for your girlfriends that always stand by your side, laugh hysterically with you when you mess up, share a pint with you at the end of a long day, knows your secret tales and loves you loyally and fiercely. 

This cast iron green tea pot is actually from Home Depot which I found really surprising, as it's such a simple classic shape.  You and your pal can make an afternoon of shopping in Chinatown and looking for the best loose green teas to try.

Ujinotsuyu Japanese Loose Brown Rice Green Tea - Twin Packs - 2x 14.01 Oz - Genmai Cha (Genmaicha)

If you get her the pot, you'd better get her the best green tea in the world.  Seriously.  This is the only green tea that I drink.  It's the Genmaicha style with the roasted rice and it is so delicious.  It's like the popcorn crack of green tea.  I buy mine here at Sanko in Toronto, but you can also get it on Amazon.

Silk Chiffon Fringe Kimono - Rijksmuseum Collaboration - "The Threatened Swan" by Jan Asselijn

Beacause sometimes she's a frightened white swan....this absolutely amazing silk chiffon Fringe Kimono made by Angie Johnson of Norwegianwood, is a stunner.  Totally speechless.

Hammock Thigh High

These textured tights will keep her cozy this winter and would be perfect paired over a contrasting, full charcoal grey tight.  By Freepeople

DIY Hard Cider Kit

She likes sharing a cider with you, and likes to DIY, so why not get her a kit so she can try making her own

Chunky long convertible infinity loop scarf with buttons/ The Eskayjay/ Thick warm eternity scarf/Winter scarf/ Buttoned convertible scarf

This extra long (6ft!) hand knit scarf will keep her warm on those chilly winter days.  And in a pinch, she can hide underneath it like a turtle when she spies her ex heading her way.
By Hilltopknitwear.

100 % Genuine Australian Sage Smudge Sticks

Maybe she just moved and needs to bring some good energy into her space.  Grown and harvested in Australia by a white witch, this sage smudge stick should do the trick.

Wild Fern Leaf Leather Sunglasses Case

My partner thinks living ferns, anything with a fern pattern or fern paintings reference the Golden Girls.  Thank her for being a friend, and protect her eyeglasses or sunnies with this amazing hand painted, leather case. By Kertis.


Sometimes when I'm running errands in the jewellery district downtown, I somehow manage to go out of my way, and *poof!!* somehow end up sipping a spiced Mayan Hot chocolate shot at Soma.  Seriously. Pure bliss.  You can gift your best gal pal this amazing hot chocolate, or if she's a big chocolate lover, try out their Ultimate box of plenty, with shortbread, strawberry black pepper bar, dipped oranges, Mayan hot chocolate, gingerbread animals in Peruvian dark chocolate, and much more.  Small batch chocolate is

The Belinda Pouch ///// Ikat Pouch. Orange Yellow Pouch. Brown Leather Pouch. Tribal Clutch.

This stunning fold over leather clutch is hand made in Toronto by Grace Design.  She has lots of patterns, and incorporates vintage ikat and Japanese kimono textiles into her designs.  Exquisitely made and a perfect size for a night out of dancing.

She Believed She Could, Gold Typography Print, Inspirational Quote, Hand Drawn Script, Poster Print

"She believed she could, so she did".  Some encouragement for the long winter ahead.

This would be my dream, three wheels in my own studio! !! That's a new goal!
Helen_Levi_0054 (by Nicole Franzen Photography)
Want a gift you can share with your best girlfriend?  Sign up for ceramics classes in your area, or arrange private lessons with a local artist.  In Toronto?  Try the Harbourfront Centre for really great classes led by current artists in residence.

Half round walnut shelf - floating wood shelf

This solid walnut, wall mounted floating shelf is perfect for your space challenged pal.  She can stash her keys, display her favorite fragrances, jewellery or artwork.  It's stunning, and it's made by my talented fiancé. No bias there, but it is a stunner~!  Check out this and his other interior objects at Offcutstudio.

If my girlfriends have pierced ears, chances are they might have received a pair of one of my earring stud designs over the years.  This is a faceted pebble pair in sterling silver, which can be picked up in my studio, in my Etsy shop, Touchthedutch, or at the upcoming City of Craft show that I am participating in.

BATH SET - Soap and washcloth , Pick your natural soap, crochet washcloth, gift s for men , valentine gifts for women,

This is one of my go to gifts.  A lovely handknit, cotton cloth and handmade soap, made by the RightSoap company. Vegan, pure and organic. 

An old photo of me and my bestie.  Dancing the night away.  Hope you enjoyed my picks!