November 2010


251In the summer my friend Michelle came to me with an idea. She called it KraftKaravan. Her idea was to take the craft show into peoples homes – something along the lines of a pampered Chef party. I was sold. We worked out the preliminary details and began to ask around if people would be interested in our idea. One of Michelle's friends, Leslie, was enamoured with the idea and we set a date.

We design an e-vite for Leslie to send to her guests and we were thrilled to discover that her guests were intrigued.

On the morning of the event I packed up the car, picked up Michelle and her boxes of handmade goodies and went to work. After a day at the office and my stomach doing backflips from nerves we headed out to Oakville for our first KraftKaravan.

Being slightly uncomfortable in social situations I was a nervous wreck by the time we arrived. We entered Leslie's home and her giant cat walked over and said hello. He was lovely and very interested in my box that held the cat nip toys. Leslie was afraid that he might be too old for the cat nip and asked me to keep him away from them just in case.

Taking over Leslie's dining room was a bizarre experience. I now have a new respect for Avon ladies. We set up our owls and monkeys, displayed our cards and Christmas stockings, we even had a selection of my mom's books pre-signed that we laid out. The room looked great.

Everyone arrived at about the same time. It was very casual and I relaxed a bit. Leslie had made wonderful treats and people were eating and drinking and talking. They would wander into the dining room and chat with us about our products and our process. Everyone was very interested in what we made and how we made it.

It was fun to see little piles of objects starting to form. A book and a monkey and 2 packs of note cards on a chair. 3 owls and a tooth fairy pocket on the stairs. A garland and a wooden fish under the table. People stashed the items they wanted to purchase in nooks and crannies and when the evening was winding down they would fetch their stash and pay us.

One woman had 2 cat nip toys in her pile a stashed it on a low shelf in the dining room. Leslie's cat found them in a matter of seconds. I freaked out. She had specifically asked me to keep it away from him and I had failed. She walked into the room at that very moment. I apologized and quickly got it away from him. Leslie just laughed and said he could have it. He was the best advertisement for my cat toys. He was all over it, rolling on it and licking it. When he had completely exhautsed himself he laid his head on it and slept with it.


By the end of the night we were as exhuasted as the cat and I still had to drive all the way home.  The night was a success with a big thanks to Leslie for being open to our idea.

we have had 2 more KraftKaravan's since our first and we are planning for another next week in Peterborough.


A Paper Punch and OCD?

247Japanese Paper I collect things. One of my biggest collections is of paper. I collect all sorts of paper scraps such as old used stamps, Wrapping paper, packaging, vintage patterns, fortune cookie fotunes, old letters.... I am also a bit obsessive about waste. I do not like to waste things.

I work in a graphic design studio where paper is consumed and discarded as if it didn't come from trees. Every studio that I have worked in has had a paper swatch library. Once a year the paper rep comes to

Childs Play

236Rose Avenue Junior School
If you ever happen to be walking through St James Town take a walk past Rose Avenue Junior Public School.

St. James Town is a diverse neighbourhood but also a poor neighbourhood. When I did some research I found a website ( which explained that "St. James Town contains eighteen high rise apartment buildings, almost seven thousand units, and over 15,000 residents, in an area of 32.1 acres. St. James Town's population increased 23% over the past 15 years. As such, St. James Town is the most densely populated neighbourhood in Canada."

I went on to read that the buildings are rundown and unsafe. "This neighbourhood was not originally designed to house children. In fact... it was against the law for children to live in St. James Town."

But now children do live in these buildings. In fact Rose Avenue Junior Public School crouches at the centre of it all.

Walk along the western facing wall of the school and you will see a small vegetable garden protected by an ordinary chain-link fence. Get a bit closer and you will notice

A True Master


Shaman IV By John Gould

2 weeks ago I wrote about curiosity which led me to sift through my old sketch books. In one of these books I found a tattered old announcement from the Roberts Gallery for a show of John Gould's work. This announcement has led me to this weeks blog...

When I was attending the Ontario College of Art and Design (now OCADU) I had Deborah Uman-sures as an instructor for drawing. For one of her projects she wanted us to experiment with media. I didn't know what I was going to do. I have never been shy about experimenting with media. I had tried just about everything already. I had been working with collage and mixed media and really liked the quality that this brought to an illustration. But I wanted to take on her challenge and do something new.

A few days after receiving this assignment I happened to be walking along Yonge Street and passed by the Roberts Gallery. In the window was one of the most incredible drawings I had ever seen. It was a portrait of

Selling Myself

It's 10:11 pm and I just got home from a 2 hour workshop called The Art of Selling – A Workshop for Crafters. It was held by Mary Breen, the owner of Wise Daughters Craft Market located in the Junction.

Firstly walking from Dundas West station through the Junction was wonderful. I haven't been there for years and it has changed dramatically. It was a very good thing that it was 6:30 pm and the shops were all closed.

The Art of Selling workshop is geared towards how to sell crafts. Mary started us off by going