We can’t believe it’s been two years already, can you? So much so that yesterday was technically our anniversary. Oh well! One of these years we’re going to have to have a big party in January. Until then…come on by, do some Christmas shopping and grab a cookie [Moomin cookies made by Lindsey Bakes]!
THANK YOU to all the amazing people who come into our shop every day, who enjoy our space and our products in person.
THANK YOU to all the new customers we have met online, through our webshop which we launched in July. You guys have cleaned us out of almost all of our stock and there is still one week left until Christmas!
THANK YOU to all of the writers, editors, stylists and bloggers who have talked and tweeted about us all year long. We appreciate your ongoing interest in our lives and our shop.
THANK YOU to our incredible designers: without your talent, skill and vision we would not be able to curate such a beautiful shop. You are the heart of it all.
THANK YOU for an amazing second year!!!
****CONTEST CLOSED*****As a thank you for all your support, we have a contest to win a Kami Mug by Oji Masanori. Just leave a comment and we’ll choose the winner December 23rd using a random number generator.
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I don’t think we’ve ever shown a tiny bit of our temporary apartment. Here’s a tiny peek while sharing an early Christmas present to ourselves.
We first saw Carly Waito‘s collection of mineral paintings at a group show at Narwhal Art Projects on Queen Street. Later in September she finished her first solo show called “Specimens”. Unfortunately it just wasn’t our time to purchase one of her works.
Just recently Carly made 2 new works, a smoky quartz and a watermelon tourmaline. There was something about smoky quartz that we really connected with… The strong contrast, the blacks and grays and the way the light was reflected in the painting. When the opportunity arose to get this piece we decided not to hesitate and risk the painting selling. Now it’s sitting above our dining table so we can look at it during each meal.
Also! Visit Narwhal’s new Junction location at 2988 Dundas Street West. POM POM has a great selection of small items (perfect for holiday gifts) by Alibi, Alicia Nauta, Andrea Glenn, Bad Day, CryWolf, Diana VanderMeulin, Douglas Brown, Eric Quebral, Elizabeth Knight, Erica Weiner, Fieldguided, Ginette Lapalme, Hunter and Cook, Jennie Suddick, Julie Moon, Kiel Meade, Laura Lombardi, Lara Vincent, Lazy Oaf, Maryanne Casasanta, Noel Middleton, Selena Wong, Shannon Gerard, Species by the Thousands, Tania Sanhueza, The Regional Assembly of Text, Touch the Dutch, Wool and the Gang, Yellow Owl and more magicians TBA.
We were honored to be interviewed by Mark Robinson from OEN.
Check it out here
During our last trip to Japan in September, it was really important that we tracked down 3 artists that I’ve wanted to represent through our store. There were three main mediums we specifically wanted to showcase: wood, glass, and ceramics.
We feel these artisans represent the best of each medium, and we’re honored to be representing them.
This photograph represents all of these materials in use:
Rain glass by Tsuji Kazumi
Ceramic flower dish by Masanobu Ando
The tray is hand tooled from one solid piece of white oak. The coaster and “rain” glass follow this linear pattern.
Round chestnut tray by Tomii Takashi, and 3 glasses by Tsuji Kazumi.
Glass artist Kazumi Tsuji’s pieces are mouth blown and then manipulated based on each specific design. The clear glass series is inspired by weather patterns, representing a clear day, a rainy day, a snowy day, and a starry night. The other “dark” glasses are a experiment in different glass techniques, involving polishing, sand blasting, and cutting. Each glass is big enough to be a drinking glass, or a small yogurt bowl.
Please stop by the store to see all of the new works in person!
Yesterday I had a date with our basement. Our apartment walls are paper thin, and with the impending baby arrival I wanted to make a space in the basement that I would feel comfortable playing music in. The mini-reno took me to Home Depot, to buy 80 boards of cedar and a miter saw to clad up this weird little glassed in room. Cedar was ideal because it holds up against the moist basement, looks good, and it smells fantastic.
Here’s a view of the room under the stairs, I think I might frost the glass so I don’t have to look at the mess in the rest of the basement.
Time to get to work, the hardest part was deciding whether to install the slats vertical or horizontal. I ended up going horizontal to stay away from the traditional wood paneling look.
Here’s my new little Ryobi miter saw, only $99 and works perfectly for these little jobs. The only limitation is you can’t cut very wide boards.
I thought I would tackle the most difficult wall first, and it came out pretty nice.
For the next wall I just butted up the ends of the boards against each other, nothing fancy.
The angle under the stairs will be a nice little keyboard nook.
Here it is with all of the walls finished. I still need to decide on flooring, install the baseboards, and decide whether or not to conquer the ceiling.
Can’t wait to get it all cleaned up and move all my old gear in!
Yesterday we left the city to visit my parents. On the way there we stopped by Rise Above for some lunch, a vegan cafe/bakery/restaurant that my brother has been raving about. It was nice coming back home to see some life injected back into the old stomping grounds. I’ve always had long conversations about how to resurrect these beautiful downtown areas, and my big idea is to take over an entire block of real estate with a group of other young entrepreneurs offering something unique, and instantly creating a destination area worth visiting.
I’ve seen a lot of singular business with good potential have to close down because of little foot traffic, so it makes a lot of sense to create a reason for people to spend an afternoon or night in one central area. This could start with a manageable 3 businesses, most of the buildings in these areas are beautiful and the rents are very low. Investing a bit of money to the interior, branding, and signage are all key to the success of the business and branding the neighborhood. It doesn’t take too long to instill a sense of pride in the community if you simply bring the area back to it’s former glory, and give people something to be proud of.
Rise Above is positively setting the tone for the potential in this area so hopefully we’ll see other interesting new businesses follow suit.
Now back to our lunch! The menu is comprised of an enticing collection of vegan comfort foods. They also had their daily soup, market sandwich, and pizza of the day.
I ordered the special which was a chana masala wrap with a green salad.
Juli got the potato/broccoli/vegan cheese ball with a side of oven cooked root vegetables.
The inside is so nice, it really shows the potential for the rest of the interiors on the street.
The Donuts looked delicious, but we had to pass since my mom had already promised to make us a batch for dessert.
After lunch we took a walk down St. Paul St. to scope out any other new gems in the neighborhood.
There are still too many vacancies though, which is a shame since it’s an interesting street!
We walked by a recently cleared area and it turns out they are planning to build a performing arts center designed by Diamond and Schmidt architects. This could be the very thing that this downtown area needs! It will bring out so many people, and before and after concerts people are going to want to go out for dinner and have drinks.
Really looking forward to seeing what it looks like when it’s finished.
And then a foggy ride to mom and dad’s for dinner!