Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year



I've never been one for new years resolutions but I'm a big believer in setting goals in order to stay focused. (Is that the similar?)

The last couple of years I wasn't able to accomplish my goals - I worked hard for a promotion that went to someone else, worked hard for people set in their ways and somewhat accomplished expanding my designer wardrobe (I wish I was kidding on that one). Funny enough, when I lost my 9-5 job, that's when everything became clear.

I took classes to explore printmaking, focused on my art and began producing accessories that I really love to make and am proud of. Most importantly, I developed a stronger bond with my husband, friends and family.

Of course I have artistic goals in mind but otherwise, I can't wait to see what the new year will bring. Over planning can be worse than not having a plan.

I'll end this post with a nice quote from this morning's newspaper -
"As you think, so shall you become." - Bruce Lee

Happy New Year everyone. : )

xoxo
Nathalie

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pink & Blue and Parisian Treats

Everything on this plate was incredibly delicious and was made from scratch by my mum, brother and myself.




Macaron ♥. My brother German made these beautiful little treats in dark chocolate ganache and buttercream fillings. I do believe they're his own recipes.

I made and decorated my own cake. This was a new recipe that I tried from Chatelaine. It's their Velvety Beet Cake with Raspberry Icing - the pink came from the fruit and not food colouring. I diverted from their raspberry icing and concocted my own. I'll share it in the near future.

Amy and German decked out in pinks and matching with the theme.

They say it's your birthday... It's my birthday too, yeah





Best family ever! ♥ Thanks mum, dad, Geoff, German, René and Diana.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Gifts for the Grandparents

Custom tea towels - Happy Christmas family!

Instead of gifting useless things for people, Geoff and I have gotten into the habit of giving yummy treats (and of course crafts) during the holidays for relatives who already have everything.

Last year, we made a big batch of Nigella Lawson's delicious Rocky Road and gifted it in a cute glass canister from Crate & Barrel.



This year, we're giving out Sweet Paul's Cranberry & Maple Loafs (baked in mini loaf pans) accompanied with custom tea towels that Diana and I made and screenprinted by hand.

I think these are great gift ideas that can be used all year round for the people in our lives who have everything.

Interesting tidbit - I heard the average person was spending over $900 on Christmas this year. That's kinda crazy.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Prints


I'm really excited to have received my order from Cassia Beck yesterday. (Thanks for the extra print Cassia!)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Walton Ford

video

I really enjoy listening to artists talk about their work and one of my favorites is Walton Ford. The process and the stories behind his art is so impressive.

This is the one book on my wishlist I hope to get.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Feature: Faux Fauna, Bookhou & Lines by Davis

Diana and I didn't get the chance to meet the artists of these two booths (at the One of A Kind Show) but we really liked their work and wanted to share it here.

We loved the vegetarian friendly taxidermy by Faux Fauna. Very charming!


Always a fan of Bookhou's textiles and wood workings.



Though he didn't have a booth at the OOAK show, we had the chance to meet an awesome local artist by the name of Davis Khounnoraj. He has an Etsy shop for his collection, Lines by Davis and will also be at this weekend's City of Craft.

Light Fixtures & Feature: Lost Nation


I never thought I'd say "thank goodness it's Monday." Geoff and my father spent 2 grueling days wiring the electrical for overhead lights in my home studio. On day two they were ready to install the light fixtures. Then we discovered that the pendant lamps I bought had no covers and would leave the holes and wires in my ceiling exposed. Whoops.


Moving on - this is Katie Barnstaple's work from Lost Nation. When I saw her booth at the One of A Kind show, I nearly broke down in tears for having gone with empty pockets.

I could just picture her Humane Antlers over top of my bed. Wouldn't that be brilliant?

And I could picture her Wooden Antler Chandelier hoisted above my dining room table.

Her Etsy profile sums up Lost Nation perfectly - "I am obsessed with brining the outdoors inside. I believe a home should reflect what grows and lives around it."

Lost Nation's Elkadee and Mustache on a Stick.

You can also check out Katie's blog here.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christ



My brother just got his proofs from ink & dot studio in NY. The final will be a 11x14 giclee fine art reproduction on gorgeous velvety etching paper. He's placed an order for me and I can't wait to get it.

Feature: Flakes Paperie



Diana and I went to our first One of a Kind Show last Friday (what took us so long?) and literally had 3 hours to go around the entire show. It was madness.

I briefly met Ashley Coulson of Flakes Paperie. I found out her studio is based in Cambridge, ON and she designs and prints everything herself. She focuses on beautifully silk screened items, from gift tags to stationary to calendars and everything in between.

I really dug her beautiful silk screened wall calendar, but alas, I went to the show with empty pockets.

You can check out Ashley's blog here and her etsy shop here.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

It's Time for an Etsy Update

Etsy shop update - Elephants handprinted Tea Towels

Diana and I printed, pressed and sewed these last week. They're printed on a hemp/ cotton blend textile which washes and wears very nicely.

The tea towel features my original artwork which was inspired by a CBC elephant documentary and my fondness for Indian design. This is my take on the two.



Etsy shop update - Hearts/ Moomin Reversible Kids Apron

We made these back in August and it's about time they made their way to the shop. Keep your eyes peeled for more kids arpons to come.

The reversible kids aprons were inspired by Geoff's nieces. I made Mackenzie an apron for her 6th birthday and the idea just spun off from there.

Recipe: Spice Cookies


This is what happens when my plans fall through - I bake. Last night I made Sweet Paul's Spice Cookies.

I had everything in my pantry and the recipe was easy enough but I didn't like this part - "divide the dough into 30 pieces and roll each piece to a ball".

I hate touching dough and it's the reason why I hardly make bread. Anyway, instead of dipping my hands in the sticky-ish dough and rolling 30 balls, I grabbed my cookie dough scoop and just plopped the raw dough balls into a little bowl of sugar, coated them and then placed them on a cookie sheet. SP's recipe says it makes 30 cookies but I ended up getting 51 cookies using the scoop method.

After they cooled (and I ate some), I wrapped and boxed 10 cookies as a thank you gift to someone using bakers twine. (I picked mine up at Crate & Barrel.) This is a great stress free recipe for the holidays which I plan on gifting.

You can find Sweet Paul's recipe here.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Feature: Touch the Dutch

Computer crisis is averted which means I can continue with the artist features. Thank goodness!


Here is Anneke van Bommel's work of Touch the Dutch. I was already familiar with her work having seen it at Distill Gallery. Turns out you can also buy her wares on Etsy.


Anneke is a multidisciplinary artist who works with paper, wood and porcelain in addition to metals. Her art always has a cool Canadiana theme.


I'm a sucker for small unique earrings and have my eye on Anneke's Bird Beak Studs. They're adorable!

Just one of those days...

Last month it was my camera and now it's my computer.

My mac stopped working last night. Apparently OSX quit! How does an operating system just stop working?

Anyway - the artist features I was working on will have to be put on hold as all of the pictures are on my mac and stupidly, I didn't back up. You don't exactly think your computer will die from one day to the next. Hopefully the people at Apple can help...

In the meanwhile, I'll leave you all with this really awesome clothes pin installation I found. When things look wary, find something that makes you smile.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I Want


Issue #1 of Anthology magazine by Anh-Minh and Meg Mateo Ilasco. I just placed my order. I love small press mags!


Feature: Offcut Studio


I met Cameron MacLean of Offcut Studio at SpeakEasy and was instantly drawn to the clean lines of his wooden clocks.


Cameron's collection is warm & cozy and has a contemporary Canadiana feel. His Etsy shop includes - wooden skate guards, rear wood bike fenders and wooden vases made out of walnut, maple, white oak and cherry offcut woods.



Rear Wood Bike Fender

I wish I could skate and owned a decent bike just to get some of Cameron's cool one of a kind pieces.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Feature: Kempton Jones




I met Michelle Matsui of Kempton Jones at SpeakEasy this past Thursday. She does these adorable Owlies of Ontario which come named and with their own personality traits. Very Cute.

Michelle also works on silkscreened Tooth Fairy pockets made out of eco-spun felt. You can check out her work on Etsy.

Wrap Up: Last Week



Last week has been insanely busy with craft fairs, birthdays and holiday parties.

I'm looking forward to a quieter week of catching up - updating our Etsy shop and updating you all on the awesome crafters and artists we've met recently.

Stay tuned for artist features all week long.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

SpeakEasy Holiday Craft Show - Dec 2


This week has been crazy busy as I get back into the groove of things after playing mommy for a week.

Have been busy screen printing cottons, linens and hemp blend fabrics into one of a kind zippered pouches and tea towels for our 2 events this week.

Tomorrow, Thursday Dec 2, (HAPPY BIRTHDAY DIANA!) from 7pm - 11pm, marks my first solo show. Stop by the Gladstone, Toronto, for SpeakEasy's Holiday Craft show and say hi.

::: Nathalie
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