It’s been too long since we’ve been able to do much blog posting but things are simmering down now that Howell is 5 months old. Also, we’re shifting gears from running to and from the cottage every week to staying in the city, which makes for a less chaotic week.
Now that Elodie is two and a half, we’re ready to engage more with the city and its surroundings. I am looking forward to creating new traditions for our family! The first one is apple picking!!!
Several friends recommended Avalon Orchards, a no frills organic orchard about 45 minutes from Toronto in Innisfil. Originally I was going to take us to one of those places that has tons of things to do (corn maze, playground, petting zoo) but then we talked about it and figured a two and a half year old can only handle so much, and since apple picking is the main attraction, it made sense to keep it simple.
Avalon has a little shop (above) where we picked up some apple cider.
Elodie picked out the wagon – as you can see, she’s very inspired by the “Little Red Wagon” song. There were only a couple of this type and she bee lined right for it.
It was wonderful being able to pick the fruit right from the tree and taste it. They had Freedom, Nova Mac and a few Pricilla’s ripe for the picking. Not the sweetest selection, maybe these types come earlier or later?
Rare family portrait of a mother and her two kids.
This is the first summer I can remember that simply flew by us without us even noticing. I can’t believe we just spent our last weekend at the cottage for the season and the leaves are already changing colours!
Things were a little busier here more than usual, the new baby, hosting 3 exhibitions back to back, and an unusually cooler summer which meant more people stayed back in the city and kept us busy in the store.
It wasn’t all business though, we had the chance to reset our batteries more than a few weekends. Here are some fond memories we got to share with Ryuji Mitani, Junko Mitani, Ai Hosokawa, Tsubaki Hosokawa, Hijiri Kojima and Yayoi Arimoto during their visit to Canada.
Above: The summer specially around here, smoked white fish, rye crackers, cream cheese and dill, along with a cucumber salad.
Trading off playing guitar with Mr. Mitani, he covered 500 miles by Peter Paul and Mary, along with some old Kayama Yuzo tunes.
We always eat well up North.
Little Howell passed out.
Happy chubby boy.
So many photos of the lake.
Impossible to capture Sunset.
Wow, what a pleasant surprise to see our home on the cover of Toronto Life! This magazine has always been good to us, and has surprised us many times. Maybe the most notable press we got when we first opened was being named number 5 of the 50 reasons to love Toronto.
Thanks again Toronto Life! Please pick up an issue and check out the other great interiors and some new images of our place!
So many people come to the store and always say that the shop is a lot bigger in person. That is usually because we rarely photograph the back half of our showroom.
There was some nice light earlier in the morning, so we decided to take a few images. Here is a little glimpse of what we have at the moment.
TMM floor lamp by Migel Mila
2209 leather sofa by Borge Mogensen
Spanish chair by Borge Mogensen
Spine coffee table and Lounge (right) by Space Copenhagen
Walnut side table by George / Mira Nakashima
Table lamp by George / Mira Nakashima
Shoji cabinet by Mjolk + Studio Junction
Hiroshima armchairs by Naoto Fukasawa
Roundish table by Naoto Fukasawa
Hunting chair by Borge Mogensen
Photograph by Peter Andrew
I know there were quite a few inquiries about when we would be putting Mr. Mitani’s work online, and I am pleased to say everything is finally available on our webshop:
Here is a sampling of what is available.
(above plum blossom dish with black and white Japanese urushi lacquer)
A baby spoon, bowl, and plate gift set.
A specially made Chemex coffee sleeve in mountain cherry.
Black and white urushi coffee cups.
A set of nesting bowls.
Tea leaf box in mountain cherry.
A unique white lacquer bowl.
Mr Mitani’s beautiful signature.
The morning after the evening reception we hosted for Mr. Ryuji Mitani, we arranged for a special spoon carving workshop at our home above the shop/gallery.
Mr. Mitani has hosted these workshops in Japan and he came up with the idea in order to further connect people with hand crafted things, and give them an appreciation of the work that goes into making something as simple as a wood spoon. He does the workshop also to show how enjoyable it is to use craft products in one’s life, so that is why he also invited famous chef Ai Hosokawa to come along to cook lunch for all of the participants of the workshop. The idea was to carve a spoon, then use it during dessert.
Carving tools for the workshop.
Chef Ai Hosokawa went to the Duffering Grove farmer’s market to pick up some fresh and in season produce.
Chef Ai Hosokawa (left) and actress Hijiri Kojima (right).
Wooden cups and plates waiting under tea towels before being used for lunch.
We were lucky enough to have a beautiful day, so we decided to have the workshop outside.
Mr. Mitani showing how it’s done.
Cross-handed carving technique.
Using every possible container in our kitchen to serve 14 people. Here is a Dansk loaf pan with strawberries.
Oven roasted peppers.
You can breathe easy, our home is littered with toys, despite our best efforts.
Serving dishes brought in just for the workshop.
Ai’s daughter making her own lunch with play food.
First dish: fresh Ontario strawberries with roasted red peppers.
Next a Rhubarb soup.
Pork ribs with peas, asparagus, cilantro, dill and parley.
This is making me hungry.
We had to move the table inside as the sun became too intense!
Just before dessert, Mr. Mitani instructs the students on how to oil finish their spoons.
While the spoons are drying, Ai gets her refreshing panna cotta ready.
The finished dessert with a freshly carved spoon to enjoy it with! Best panna cotta ever.
The whole group holding up their new spoons!