MY NEW HOOD + INSPO ROUND-UP

Hola internet! And by the way, the word internet is now officially referenced with a lowercase “i”instead of that authoritative uppercase “I” that persisted for so long. I think it’s about time.

Anywho, this blog continues to live and breathe despite my neglect, so I thought it was time for a fresh post about my neighbourhood and some cool art related inspiration. I moved to a new neighbourhood in Toronto earlier this year, and have started to discover its hidden gems.

First up, TOWN – a nifty little card shop featuring high quality cards, paper goods, gifts and trinkets located on Bloor St. W at Brock.

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Image via BlogTO

I’ve been meaning to stop by for several weeks now as they always have thoughtful window displays that catch my eye. They have a really nice selection of cards from Rifle Paper Co., Garance Dore, Paper E Clips, and other handprinted cards by local artists. Cards are a little pricey but hard to resist for a paper junkie like me. I had to get this Gemma Correll one for a friend who just had a baby. How cute is it?

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I resisted these ones from Smitten Kitten but they are hilarious. Someone is getting one of these cards from me real soon.

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Images via Smitten Kitten

Next up, GREY TIGER. A cool girl, artisnal AF coffee shop that makes delicious Americanos. I think they also do drinks at night. Anyways, it’s charming as hell in there and I hear they have cool cat wallpaper in the bathroom.

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Photos via BlogTO 

And lastly, a round up of some cool artists I’ve been having feeeeeeelings for lately…

Jeannie Phan (a Toronto freelance illustrator, yay the 6ix)

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All images via http://www.jeanniephan.com/

Kristin Texeira, an abstract painter based in Brooklyn, New York. Her colour palette is REALLY speaking to me these days. Love her work. I found an interview with her here.

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All images via http://www.kristintexeira.com/

 

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SUMMER MUSINGS

Um hi. So my blog has been on a bit of a hiatus. That’s why I forgot to post this blog entry back in June! Oops. There’s that thing called life we all need to take care of right? Anywho, there’s no shortage of wonderful things on the Internet and IRL these days to share, and this sorely neglected space is due for some colour. So here we go with a long overdue June roundup.

Flora Forager

I’ve been following this Instagram account for a while now and can honestly say it’s the best account I follow. Bridget Beth Collins is a botanical artists like no other. She is endlessly creative, using only flowers and greens to make stunning compositions. Every small square photo is bursting with cheer and colour. I can only imagine what her garden must look like.

 

Adult Colouring Books

So these are a real trend these days. I noticed the other day while in Indigo that there was a whole display of adult colouring books. Right on! Billed as a great way to unwind, many of the books had incredibly intricate designs, which could actually be a little stressful to fill in. Don’t go over the lines or else…

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Wall Hangings

They’re fun. They’re textural. They kind of look like a muppet on your wall and they remind me of a creepy owl wall hanging that hung in my grandparent’s basement. Urban Outfitters has Lap Looms for $45 which would be an easy way to give this trend a try.

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Peonies

Aren’t these just the best flower out there? Everyday I walk up and down my street and for the past few weeks I’ve been on peony patrol. It seems everyone in the neighbourhood has the most luscious peonies about to burst. I’d take a picture but don’t want to be known as a flower peeping Tom in my hood – you feel me? I’ve been particularly drawn to white peonies lately.

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HOWDY OCTOBER

I hope October is treating you well! It’s treating me well with a flood of new ideas, knowledge and experiences. Like many others, on my downtime I like to look at purdy things I don’t necessarily need online. Here’s what I’ve had my eye on the last little while. I hope this autumn season brings you a crisp perspective on life, dogs dressed in ill fitting halloween costumes, tasty eats and more pumpkin flavoured things than your body can handle. Happy Thanksgiving.

Ban.do Agendas

Now these are fun. My lovely friend gave me one as a gift, and this agenda takes me back to the years of middle school where you customized your school agenda to your heart’s content. It comes with stickers OKAY. Real life stickers for us adults to stick on shit. Two thumbs up.

All the goods from Scout & Catalogue

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If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again. I am a sucker for tasteful tie-dye. In my opinion, Vancouver-based Scout & Catalogue does it best.

Moroccan Rugs from Baba Souk

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One day I will have a statement rug from Morocco. Bold, beautiful and handwoven it will be the showpiece of my home. Until then, a girl can dream and get lost in the colours of these Kilim rugs from Baba Souk – an online store based in Montreal thats projects the aesthetic of my dreams.

MANDALA MADNESS

Greetings winter friends! That’s right, it’s still winter in my neck of the woods with snow falling as I type this. But I digress, as there are way too many beautiful, colourful, inspiring things out there to distract oneself with. And spring is around a corner (a corner at the end of a very long New York City block type of around, sure). So for now, sit back behind your screen, keep scrolling fashion blog reviews of the Oscars’ best dressed (Jared Leto?), and prepared to be mesmerized with the beauty of Mandalas.

I found this quote from an art therapy book that serves as a good intro:

“Mandala means circle in Sanskrit. The Mandala design form radiates out from the centre. It is ancient and universal in cultures everywhere. It is the ‘magic circle’ and has ritual and religious symbolism. Here, it is intended as a drawing meditation for centering and integrating the self. In times of confusion or stress it is a way of ‘collecting ones thoughts.’ ”  – Lucia Capacchione, The Creative Journal 

I’m deeply drawn to Mandalas, Arabesques, Sacred Geometry and Islamic architecture. Life highlight: visiting the Alhambra in Spain to soak up the most spectacular architecture a person like me could hope to encounter. These designs stir something up inside me. I especially love finding contemporary interpretations of these ancient symbols. Enjoy!

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Carousel by Anita Ivancenko

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Sacred Geometry #9 by Jazzberry Blue

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Beautiful series – Mandala Flowers by Kathy Klein

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Another wicked series – I came across it this week through HonestlyWTF. These are Lululand Mandalas by Lula Aldunate.

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Surrender star III by Kirra Jamison

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Carnival Wheel In Paris by Sarah Giannobile

CUPPA CREATIVE

So as winter continues on, I find myself taking solace today in a simple cup of tea, a lemon poppyseed biscotti and the satisfaction of finishing a book for my book club that ended up surprising me with its feminist strength. Nothing comforts more than a warm mug of tea in the winter now does it? Okay maybe a mug of cider with a dash of bourbon.

On another note (and this post does seem to be a bit of a ramble), right now I’m really keen on ceramic art. I’ve seen so much wonderful ceramic creativity on Etsy and in the wider blogosphere lately – beautiful mugs, bowls and other ceramic artifacts with an organic, raw style. I love pieces with patterns painted freehand, it makes each piece truly unique. I’ve also noticed many playful pieces that have an animal and human influence. Once it’s a little warmer, I’m going to grab some cacti and some interesting ceramic vessels and put them on my windowsill. I particularly like Baba Souk’s new ceramic planter line. Check out what I’m talking about below!

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 Seeing Eye Bowl by Workaday Handmade.

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 Collection by Workaday Handmade.

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 Fun piece by Spanish Etsy seller, noemarin. Visit her shop here.

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 I’m not sure where the original source for this planter is from, but I found it here on Pinterest.

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 These pieces are by Toronto artist Lana Fillipone.

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 Baba Souk’s small cacti planters. Find them here.

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 Wacky dogs. They never get old to me! And I seriously would love one of those mugs. These pieces are by Eleonor Bostrom from her ‘Dog in a Cup’ series.

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These dogs and the planters above it are by artist Leah Goren, a seriously talented chick. Photos via wolfeyebrows.wordpress.com.

ARTIST OF INTEREST: OHARA HALE

Hey guys! Been a bit since I’ve posted. It’s winter white-out, aka freezing January up in here. Let’s give this -30 degree weather a swift kick in the arse with the rad world of Ohara Hale. Came across this Montreal-based artist a few weeks ago and her work has been putting a smile on my face this month. I bet you’ll be craving pizza after this set of images. Oh and to see more of her zany illustrations (she has a large portfolio and I recommend you see more of it), visit her website here.

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*All images sourced from the artist’s website and her Pinterest page.

December Round-Up

Hola! As the holidays grow nearer, I feel myself really getting into the seasonal spirit! I’ve been working on and thinking about the perfect quirky gifts, cookie recipes, Christmas sangria, holiday DIY projects and ugly sweaters for some time now and wanted to share some recent December inspiration here. Hope you enjoy!

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Okay. I think all presents should have to be wrapped this way from now on. Just saying. Head over to Mr. Printables  blog to see more of this animal wrap project.

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Also, check out these colourful lil fluff balls from Mr. Printables. I’m going to make some holiday pompoms for presents in the coming weeks.

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These beautiful marbled Christmas crackers, by UK blog Fall For DIY – a featured DIY project in the Etsy DIY Advent Calendar Series and a project I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to work on!

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This cranberry sangria from Mrs. Lillien  looks SO good. I must make and then guzzle.

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These Gilded Shadow Boxes from Terrain. I think these could be easily made!

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Ginger snaps. Also must make and mow. Image via Passports and Pancakes.

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This bulldog gift box I saw at Beau and Bauble this weekend in the Junction. Like, come on.

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This insanely colourful kick of Christmas decor cheer on the Etsy UK blog, styled by Knot and Pop.

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This knitted polar bear gang made for the front window display at the Knit Cafe in Parkdale. My friend knitted a few of these guys!

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Decorations at The Big Design Market in Australia. Image via Poppytalk.

FUROSHIKI-ing

Tis’ the season of gift wrapping. An art to be taken seriously.

One of my favourite parts about the holidays is wrapping gifts up beautifully. As a kid I would volunteer to do all the wrapping in my household. That curly ribbon trick with scissors? Oh yeah, nailed that real young. My first job in high school was working at a toy store. When the Christmas season arrived it was gift wrapping go time as the store offered customers complimentary wrapping. When mentioned to desperate last minute shoppers on Christmas Eve, this friendly service often turned into, “Oh, can you wrap all those separately? I want little Johnny boy to have lots of presents to open”. So, give me a pogo stick, finger puppet, chemistry set, I can speed wrap in my sleep.

But maybe it’s time for an alternative to gift bags and tissue. As much as I enjoy wrapping gifts up during the holidays, we do end up wasting quite a bit. Ribbon, paper, bags, tissue, gift tags, it all ends up on the living room floor come midday on Christmas. Some people wrap gifts in newspaper or fabric which I’ve always thought was a fantastic alternative. Little did I know, Furoshiki is a type of traditional Japanese wrapping cloth. The Japanese practice of wrapping items in cloth began at public baths as a way to bundle clothing. Modern Furoshiki is made from patterned silks, cottons and other fabric blends and is cut into squares for artful wrapping. Often it’s used to transport bento boxes.

I recently had the chance to learn how to properly wrap with Furoshiki cloth. It was easy and looked great, like a little present picnic basket. There are so many different ways to wrap up gifts this way and as you can imagine, there are many tutorials on YouTube like this one. I’m going to try wrapping some of my gifts this way this year – I think it works especially great for wine bottles as hostess gifts and bonus for being reusable and eco-friendly!

 

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JOLLY EDITION

Oh boy – it’s been a while! I’ve had a wonderful work opportunity come my way and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve been soaking that all up which has led to a lack of proper TLC over here. But I’m here now! And today I saw this lovely illustration by Jolly Edition that made me happy. Beautiful colours + whimsical florals = yes please.

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Jolly Edition is a custom stationary company from Maryland that specializes in wedding stationary and illustrations for special occasions, aka paper for party planning people. I think tangible, beautiful stationary printed or painted by hand on good quality card stock and sealed in a good old envelope is a thing to admire in this day and age – don’t you?

You can visit their Etsy Shop here.

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Photos sourced from Jolly Edition’s Facebook page  their Etsy page and jollyedition.com