Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Trinkets and Treasures

I love browsing through AAnthropologie catalogues and looking for inspirations. These guys do things so well. So, browsing through the most recent catalogue I came across these gorgeous candle holders named Trinkets and Treasures, but at the sticker price of $398 per stick you better treasure them for life.
As a maker of things, I studied the picture a bit and decided to make my own version of these lovelies so I headed out and sourced all the goodness that I could find to make an awesome candle stick. I decided that starting off with an old lamp base would be a good way to go, as the middle rod that would normally house the electric cord would offer good support for the body and would allow me to turn it into a lamp should I choose to do so.
I, of course, bought more trinkets than I could use, but building a stand like this is a creative process that takes time, each one of them went through several iterations before I landed on the final concept. Having a few extras helps as drilling through some of them is a tedious task, and they do tend to break from time to time.
So here is the end result - three candle sticks that I am quite proud off and some left over material for the next one. They may not look exactly like the starting point, but that was never the goal. The idea was to give them my own spin and make them unique in their own way. Oh, and the fact that they are made from locally sourced goodness makes them a bit extra special in my mind too. Let me know what you think, would love to hear from you!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Freedom CC Team Visits the One of a Kind Show

The Freedom team took a field trip to the One of a Kind show to support our artists and designers. It felt a little bit like a reunion - we got to say hi to our out-of-town designers that we barely get to see, catch up with those that have gone MIA in preparations for holiday madness, and check out a wide selection of their goods. It was inspiring to see the booths that each of them put together. These little habitats shed another light into their creative vision and resourcefulness (of course, upscycled and restyled materials were often used in the building of these nooks). Without further ado, here are some quick shots that we took to share with you guys!
atelier b., made in Montreal by Catherine Metivier and Anne-Marie Laflamme. We carry an extensive selection of their extremely well-made, sustainable line. Each of us owns numerous items by them and we're still wanting more!
Jen Kneulman is the power girl behind Freshly Printed: a line of organic tea-towels, aprons, and other kitchen wear. She prints at her Harbourfront studio with all natural dyes
Based in Montreal, Cindy Cantin makes incredibly well-made bags from wool felt and leather that she obtains from furniture factories. Learn more about her line by clicking here.
Another fabulous Montreal designer is Noujica. These. Scarves. Are. The. Warmest. And. The. Coolest. Cannot emphasize that more.
Krystal Speck makes colourful earthenware with imagery from nature. Her pieces bring a bright touch of the outdoors to your kitchen and home. She's based in Toronto, but sometimes scours Ontario farmlands for discarded wood, in this case, she used these remnants for this comfortably rustic booth.
Made just a few minutes away from Freedom, these mittens by SLO are becoming a common sight all around Toronto. Made from upcycled wool sweaters and lined with fleece for extra comfort and warmth. Check out these new ones for them little guys!
Julie Sinden boiled hats are almost like a collector item. It's too hard to choose just one, the colours and styles are just adorable and you can find one to match any winter coat. The best part, your head still breaths, no one likes a sweaty hat head!
Last but not least is Voyou by Lise-Marie Cayer, who is so sweet she got us free tickets to the show. This whole blogpost would not happen without her generosity, and yet ironically, Marsya forgot to take a photo of her booth. Truth be told, she was too distracted by her new winter coats. (They come in black and red, with tan leather detailing and huge pockets.) Good thing Karen snapped a photo while Marsya wasn't looking.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Email I got

Last week I delivered the yellow dresser to a lovely young family that purchased it, and below I am sharing the email I received the next day... I can't even begin telling you how much this meant. Thank you guys!
"Thanks again for delivering the dresser, especially in a rainy day. We were so happy to have the dresser at home, it looks so nice and contemporary with that bright yellow color. Can you guess who was the most excited to see the dresser? It was not me, not my husband, it was my baby who is only 11 month old. She just couldn't ignore the dresser, she was pointing at it and asking me to bring her to it. She played with those flower knobs for about 20 minutes and couldn't let them go. She was pointing at the patterns on the dresser as well. She was still excited after we took her away from it. We were worried that she was going to be up all night from the excitement. Good thing is she finally tired out and fell asleep. I wish I had a photo of that moment, too bad my digital camera was not working for some reason. Thanks for producing such a nice piece. Keep on your great work!"

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tea Towel Art

During my last trip to Australia this past January I came across a beautiful old buss scroll (the kind that is printed on canvas and that the driver had to manually switch for every stop). Well, the one that crossed my path was priced at $1,000 - which was way out of my art buying budget. So instead I bought a tea towel at a local St.Kilda store called Scout. The tea towel listed all the streets surrounding the store with the store's name being featured as final destination. At $18 a towel, I could not pass on it. Back in Canada I started scouting for a frame, and quickly came across an ornate beauty that only lacked the glass pane and some paint. And here you have it, my final art project at a fraction of a cost and just as cool. As the matter of fact, here is the total price breakdown:  Tea towel $18 + Frame $5 + Glass $8 = immeasurable happiness!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

From Toronto to Calgary in Three Days

If someone told me a month ago that I will find myself on the road driving across the country, I would not have though it possible. But it did happen and I am so grateful and appreciative for the opportunity. A friend of mine that I have met through work many years ago has decided to move home to Alberta. Since she has just purchased a car, the only way to get there was on wheels, and who wants to drive alone. It really did not take long to convince me to join in for the fun and before I knew it the plans were confirmed and the return flight from Calgary booked. We left Toronto on a rainy Wednesday morning right on time to get stuck in the rush-hour traffic. Normally, this traffic situation would be stressing me out, but since were were already giddy and laughing hard, the time went by quickly, and one and a half hour later we found ourselves on the open road headed North.
The plan was to reach Thunder Bay before nightfall as, as soon as the sun goes down, the roads belong to the wild life and there is the danger of running into a deer or a moose. Needless to say, that plan was a bit ambitions and with sunset we landed in Wawa, which meant even more hours spent in the car the next day. We set out from Wawa at around 6:45 the next day with the goal of reaching Winnipeg. The road led us past beautiful lakes, forests and through Indian reserves with souvenir shops and trading posts at each major intersection. At one of those we acquired the little hedgehog trinket for the dashboard and named him Lil' Chief Algoma after the region where the trading post was located.
We reached Winnipeg at around 9PM, completely exhausted and dreading the next day's drive which was to take us through Manitoba and Saskatchewan since everyone kept warning us about the boring drive through the Prairies. Granted, it was flat and long, but beautiful nevertheless and worth every minute of the 11 hours that it took us to reach Alberta at sunset.
Our final destination was Canmore, just one hour West of Calgary. As soon as we entered Tara's new apartment, we were ready for bed. When we left the condo the next morning to go for breakfast and a hike in the Banff area I could not have expected better views. This was nature at its best for sure, lakes were reflecting snow covered peaks of the mountains surrounding us. The air was fresh and crisp and Elks were mingling with people at street intersections.
One last thing before my departure on Sunday was to check out the turquoise waters of Lake Louise. It was early morning and it had just started snowing so, unfortunately, turquoise was not meant to be. What was there instead was a beautifully calm lake with fog that has just started lifting revealing the steep cliffs of the Rockies
Back in Toronto, sitting in front of my computer, I can't but think of the natural wealth this county has to offer and am thankful to my dear friend that I got to share it with.

Monday, October 17, 2011

New Poppies

...and here they are, weeks in the making but finally here. All have been added to my Etsy shop. There are a few more unfinished items sitting in my basement awaiting their turn to be transformed. Hopefully I will get to it in the next couple of weeks.
Hope you like what you see.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Some thoughts to live by

I have been browsing the net for some inspirational photos and stumbled upon the Peccadillo Collection website. Let me tell you,on this site, the inspiration found me. And not just that, I found these quotes that we should all try to incorporate in our lives, the words that will make any rainy day a bit brighter.
Tomorrow, I will post the "afters" to some of the "befores" that I shared with you a few weeks back.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Black & White Fall 2011 collection by Mod Pieces

Black & White Collection Fall 2011 from Lia Fagan on Vimeo.

Lia Fagan is the creative mind behind Mod Peices and a decor blogger extraordinaire. Her work is not that much different from what I do and while I focus on larger furniture pieces, Lia has directed her attention to lighting. Her Black & White 20011 Fall collection is a true testament to her talent and creativity. You will also be able to read Lia's tips on how to work random discoveries into your decor in the Sytle at Home blog where she just joined as the newest guest blogger. Congratulations Lia!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Keepin' busy

Inspired by a photo from Pinterest I made these little personal Christmas trees, using 100% repurposed wood, unused drawer pulls and, of course, some paint that I have kicking around at all times. These lovelies would look wonderful on a shelf, in your cubicle or office, or as a little Holiday reminder in your kids' rooms.
I will be making a whole load of them for Freedom Clothing Collective, but will also make them available in my Tiny Poppies Etsy store. They should be making an appearance within the next two weeks. Would love to hear your thoughts!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fabulous Etsy Find

I did a post about this Etsy store about two year's ago and kept stalking it ever since. Finally, two days ago I made my long coveted purchase. It took a while until Marc and I could both decide on the pattern for our very first Wilderness Project as the artist calls it. And here it is, bold and beautiful in orange with subtle aviary pattern. I can't wait to have it in our house.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Up and Coming

Here are the pictures of the two pieces I scored this past Sunday. I do have a general color direction for both of them, but that may change last minute - you never know with these things. I have already removed all the hardware from the glass door cabinet and it is ready for sanding and painting. That may happen today, depending on how other projects currently on the go penn out.
Tomorrow, I will reveal my latest Etsy purchase. Can't wait to share it with you.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mr. Bear

This past Saturday Freedom Clothing Collective attended the Barns Art Market at the Toronto's Wychwood Barns. One of the studios displaying their works was halohalo and they were offering silkscreaning demonstrations to the visitors. I really liked this print and thought how it would make a nice addition to my mini art collection by local artist. I may chose to paint out the frame in the future but for now I will just have to make do.
Tomorrow I will share with you two new gems that I came across this Sunday and that will soon undergo some much needed Poppyfication.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

In the Works

My friend's mom scored this baby for me last Saturday. I couldn't wait to start working on it, and here is the sneak peak of what is going on. The week is crazy, but I hope to have it done by the end of it when it will find it's not home at Freedom Clothing Collective - only temporarily I hope. There are a few more pieces in the works at the moment, and I am hoping to have them all revealed in the course of the next week or so.
Enjoy your Wednesday friends.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Before and After

This time it is for my house. Two years into this adventure and this is the first piece I did for myself. Not that I had extra time to do it, but I decided to squeeze it in between two projects, as if I didn't do it now, another year would go by and other things would be given priority. The before picture is a bit fuzzy and I apologize for it, but hopefully you can see all the holes that were drilled and that I had to fill in. As it stands now, there are some knobs missing on the side doors and down the road I would like to change the pulls on the bottom drawer, but that may have to wait until i find something suitable. For now this will do. Next on the list for me is my coffee table, but that may have to wait, or not, will see how things go.