Toronto Tempo

Check out this very cool time lapse video of the various rhythms of life in Toronto.  Photographer Ryan Emond has found some fascinating vantage points and done an amazing job of capturing the essence of life in a big city using thousands of photographs.  His editing is fantastic and he has created a beautiful homage to the city - makes me proud to live in Toronto!

One of a Kind Christmas Show 2011 - a roundup!

The 2011 Christmas One of a Kind Show opened yesterday and I was lucky enough to attend the media breakfast and take a tour of the offerings - which were plentiful to say the least!  Of course I took way too many photos (which all had to be edited since the lighting in there is so challenging) and have a daunting post ahead of me.  But there were so many eye-catching booths and beautiful pieces I really couldn't help myself.

First up is Avril Loreti, whose cheerful and bright display drew me over immediately.  You may recognize the 2012 tea towel above from Covet Garden magazine - it was one of my few purchases this year (trying to be responsible and all...)  Her paint chip linens are wonderful and would be a great addition to a modern monochrome table setting, and I love the donut bag (there was also a matching tea towel).  The vintage hockey prints, especially the pillows, seemed to be quite popular.  And just look how sweet Avril is!  She is at booth W-07 and you should definitely stop by.
When I walked up to the Coucou Salut booth, I felt like I had definitely seen her work before - and then I looked at my show guide (she was a featured artist).  Her mom was manning the booth when I was there and also reminded my that one of her pillows had been in House & Home magazine, and I remembered it immediately.  I love that her things are whimsical and playful, but could be just as fun in a 'grown up' space as they would in a kids room.  The monsters are so cute, as is the moustached strong man.  Coucou Salut is a featured "Rising Star" artist at H-43.
Danielle Hession's mixed media works also caught my eye - her photographs are beautifully layered and many of them had bright happy colours used in perfect quantities.  She had smaller affordable pieces that would look great on their own or in a group, as well as some pretty ornaments. She has booth K-53.
While I don't tend to stop at the lotions and potions booths, the beautiful display at Matter Company, especially behind the cash, drew me right in.  They did an outstanding job of merchandizing - booth L-53.
And speaking booths that drew me in, the neon colours of Judy Black's prints and clothing practically pulsed from the back of the vast room.  In a mostly subdued and crafty show, they were a welcome punch of funk. Bring your sunglasses to booth O-59.
This soothing ceramics display by Christopher Reid across the aisle was a study in contrasts! :) I loved his organic shapes and textures.  Booth O-37.
Tony Koukos's booth of world photographs was also very eye-catching.  I was particularly drawn to the square collection of resin-covered works showcasing the more abstract textures and patterns found on his travels, although his series of windows below I thought would also look very cool grouped together somewhere.  Booth Q-33.
There were many leather-ware booths, but this one in particular caught my eye with the hot pink felt clutch and industrial-looking iPad bags.  Now I just need that iPad... visit Circle Craft in booth Q-04.
Of course, neighbourhood typographic prints have been around for a little while, but I still get a kick out of seeing local Toronto ones, and these by Dave Murray are just done so well.  The one below had a cool glossy resin finish that worked perfectly with the black background and white type.  And he is super nice. :)  Go say hi in booth R-23.
I admired iDentity last year (and got one of the Canada t-shirts for my husband) and this year Meghan was back with her great T's and toques, but these fabulous pillows, blankets and plaid scarves.   So Canadian, eh?  The curling stone pillow made me super happy. Get yours at booth T-07.
I also stopped to admire the pretty simple ceramics by Thomas J. Suh - I love the cup below with its subtle blue glaze.  He also makes some pretty adorable characters, including these 3 little piggies.  Booth T-22.
My photos of the beautiful eco-clothing of atelier b.  do no justice to the clean lines and amazing craftsmanship of their pieces.  This red dress was so beautifully cut, and I if I didn't 'work' at home, I would definitely have taken one of their high-waisted pencil skirts shown below.  And the ladies were super-chic, and made a beautiful and inviting booth (V-38).
Another awesome Montreal artist that caught my eye (there were so many from Montreal this year!) was James Kennedy, with his laser cut steel works.  They were so graphic and unique - there are so many spaces I would love to see this large work featured in.  He also had others I didn't get photos of where he took the positive part of the cut-outs and places them on big chinks of wood from the area of the world their shape represented - i.e. the outline of asia was affixed to a big chunk of bamboo.  It was quite stunning.  Booth Y-38.
Yet another Montreal artist I stopped to chat with was Frederique Bonmatin, who makes these colourful ceramics.  These would be cool set to collect as every one is unique and ever-so-slightly different than the rest. They are warm and cheerful without being too attention-seeking (always good in a set of dishes).  Find her in booth Z - 09.
Of course I had to stop by to see the beautiful bags I lust for from Bookhou, and of course they had a lovely display.  This was the one other spot where I spent money, on another 2012 calendar.  I am not sure what has me so keen on 2012!   Booth O-07.
It was colour again that drew me to the block prints of Margaret Rankin.  I have always liked the look of traditional wood block prints, and these are rather traditional shapes and motifs with the bamboo and trees but printed with more modern colours.  The one at the bottom is my favourite with all the detail - she explained that this is her Dad's wood-sided house in Cape Breton.  She is in booth O-19.
I was on my way out the door, exhausted and hungry, when the paintings of Sarah Hillock caught my eye.  The bright green of this painting and the sweet soft cow eyes are amazing.  I wish we had room for one of these beauties in our house.  Sarah mentioned she was a vegetarian and I was not at all surprised - I think you can see it in the way she paint the animals.  She was at booth K-03.  She also gave me a couple of great blogs to check out - thanks Sarah!
Phew!  That is about it - I had a few more but I have run out of steam.  Of course there were many, many more wonderful artisans I would have loved to talk to and feature, but I had to draw the line somewhere - and William had to get to school!   This show is just so good!  It continues through December 4th at the Direct Energy Centre, and I noticed there is special late night shopping until 11pm on Thursday Dec 1!  Let me know of any favourites you find that I may or may not have mentioned!  Happy Shopping...