Mjölk Volume 2, at the printers

June 12th, 2013
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Last Thursday I went with Emily Tu, our book designer, to the press approval for Mjölk Volume 2. It was my first time going (John went last time) and I got to see what a big job printing these books is.

We get it printed at Warren’s Waterless Waterless Printing, thanks to our friends over at Pure Green Magazine, who suggested it. We like that it’s printed locally, so that we can see the paper, process, and proofs, plus they are environmentally responsible. All that AND they are the same price as others quoted (in Toronto).

Above we discuss the proofs, which are unfortunately on coated paper, which makes it tricky to tell exactly how it will be on our paper stock. This is unfortunately industry standard and the paper manufacturer has no ambition to offer an uncoated proofing paper.

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The aluminum plates (our book had about 9). The plates are etched directly from the computer, so there are actually images and type all over the green, but because the ink hasn’t touched it yet you cannot see it. Where you see the black writing is where Dave, the production manager, put a felt tip marker to it.

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After approving the cover, they ran it. On the left is the black plate. On the right is the stack of covers.

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The press, plus the black and blue plate. Each of the three colours and black have their own plate.

 

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Running some recycled paper through to prime the press.

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Ink pots.

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Removing a page from the press.

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Then the technician places it on a table where the colour bands along the side get analyzed by a computer (left), then transfers the paper to another table where they can make adjustments to how much ink is distributed along each plate (right).

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This was pretty impressive, as a lot of decisions have to be made here. Of course it’s nice for a client to sign off on all pages, but we weren’t able to hang out until 3am!

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The ubiquitous calendar / clock (that isn’t a clock) shop shot.

Thank you to Dave who took the time to show us around!

Mjölk Volume 2 is arriving this afternoon, just in time since we have sold out of Volume 1!

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Rainy days

June 11th, 2013

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Toddlers are notoriously terrible with staying cooped up indoors.  What to do with all these rainy days we’ve been having? Any and all suggestions welcome…places to go, things to do at home.

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Souvenirs from Japan, J & J edition

June 10th, 2013

 

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A few weeks ago we shared some of the treasures we brought back for Elodie. This is our small, but lovely haul.

A beautiful ceramic jar from Zakka (sorry, I can’t find their website…zakka is used in a lot of shop names).

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A Boro or Japanese Patch work Tea bowl coaster in various indigo fabric with beautiful quilt stitching.

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Minä Perhonen socks. Yup, just socks! What a gorgeous shop though. Classic mid-century modern interior (see the website, I felt uncomfortable photographing it).

 

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We were planning on buying a Chemex so we grabbed one of these measuring sticks from Farmer’s Table (who incidentally moved locations and no longer have a cafe). We have since purchased our Chemex and have been enjoying it every morning.

 

 

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The most stunning hand towel we have ever found. It is so nice we can’t even bare to use it in our water closet, so it sits on our bench. It’s made of hand spun cotton with natural indigo dyes. The best part is, we’ll be carrying these textiles in our shop very soon!

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A wabi towel holder. It even hangs crooked. For the cottage…

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We absolutely love this stoneware oven dish. They only had three available but we’d love to pick up one more (or three more!). Everything cooks perfectly in it, and it’s ridiculously easy to clean. So far we’ve made meat pie and mac and cheese.

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Junction Flea + mjölk summer hours

June 9th, 2013

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It’s summer and the Junction Flea has returned! I cannot even express how excited we are: Micah and Paul (visit their new shop Thank You on Queen W just East of Dovercourt) have done so much for the neighborhood with their events. On Junction Flea Sundays, the area gets so many visitors from other parts of the city, and our streets are filled with so much energy.

Summer is pretty quiet in the city, due to everyone enjoying cottages, farms, beaches, parks etc. As a result we get pretty glum in the shop, having fewer visitors and seeing the sunny days pass us by. So this year, since there is only really John and Frank working in the shop, we’ve decided to CLOSE most SUNDAYS, with the EXCEPTION of every second Sunday of the month in conjunction with the Flea. So many reasons to visit!!!

We will be open the following Sundays:
June 9th
July 14th
August 11th

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This year there is a small cover charge, which we paid dutifully. It’s a lot of work pulling an event like this off, and every bit we can help to keep it running is fine by us! We arrived nice and early to beat the crowds (which really got going by 11:30). There’s also some Flea swag to help out with the running costs.

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Manual Labour Coffee. Toddlers and rocks, toddlers and rocks.

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We finally got a photo done by Tintype Studio! Basically it’s a quick snapshot, but while they prep the plate for three minutes, they place you and set the camera up. It was a long three minutes with Elodie wanting to explore but she sat like a champ for the actual photo, thank goodness. I am so impressed that they took the shot right when she looked at the camera (gosh she looks so much like dad, I’m the odd one out with my scary pale eyes). These guys are pros!
It’s $40.

 

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Cutest booth award. Elodie loved the light reflection from this mirror.

ps. these are instagram photos that mostly never actually appeared on instagram.

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Kazumi Tsuji Dinner

June 6th, 2013

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On their last night staying with us, Kazumi Tsuji cooked dinner. Kazumi lived in San Francisco so her cooking is a mash up between Japanese, American, and Italian.

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We used a mish mash of tableware: Teema (for some reason we only own four cereal bowls, but there were six of us), beautiful lacquer bowls bought from Sabita in Sapporo on our honeymoon, Kazumi Tsuji glasses, Masanobu Ando plates…Japanese cooking is all about the small and many plates, so it’s fun to get to use an assortment of beautiful pieces in one sitting.

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(Clockwise from top left)
Mussles in a white wine and garlic sauce
Spinach salad with toasted sesame seeds
Eggplant and zucchini, hands down the crowd favourite. I wish I knew what she did!!!
Tomato, steak and onion…stew?

It was such a treat to have Kazumi cook for us!

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Norihiko Terayama’s window installation at Mjölk

June 6th, 2013
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When Norihiko visited us in April he spent two days creating a beautiful window display for his exhibition “My Garden”. Since the results were so inspiring, he suggested that we frame it.

Ok, so I am no videographer (Kings of Convenience served as a lovely soundtrack, but of course that’s a no no). John just pointed out to me that videos are usually taken on the panoramic. Yup, makes sense! Anyway, the point of this quick video is to show how methodical Norihiko was with his process. He would select the pieces according to the spacing, and then use a little table brush to keep the floor clean before continuing. Two days on his hands and knees and a lot of coffee!

A few weeks ago we met Peter & Elizabeth Porebski, who have a professional framing business The Gilder, and got to talking with them. They came up with a plan and a few days ago we set about the task of transferring every little piece to two 4′ x 8′ canvases. We selected a nice Japanese washi paper to serve as the background.

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We used our iphones to photograph placement.

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A pizza break and then back to it!

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Then Peter & Elizabeth came to the shop with prepared frames and we hung them just in time for Kazumi’s show. They will be on semi-permanent display – one day they’ll probably make their way into our home but for now they will be in the shop for all to enjoy!

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