May 2011

The First Kraft Karavan of 2011

373The Two Industrious GirlsMichelle Matsui of Kempton Jones and me at the first Kraft Karavan of 2011.

On Sunday Michelle and I had our first Kraft Karavan of 2011 and what a terrific success it was. The hostess was my mom and the event was at her house so I arrived on Saturday in order to help her put some goodies together for the guests. By noon on Sunday Michelle had arrived, the table was organized and the treats had been plated and set out. Just after 1:00 we heard the sound of tires on gravel and watched as 5 cars pulled into the driveway. It was GO TIME! Our guests took a few moments to introduce themselves and then headed over to our table of Handmade Hapiness.

371GranolavicGranola made fresh by Tomislava and Granolavic.

This Kraft Karavan featured a new seller – Granlolavic ( made fresh by Tomislava. I urge you to take a peek at her beautiful website. Her granola is every bit as tasty as it sounds

372Bunny Bags by VlastaBunny Bags hand made by Vlasta van Kampen.

We also had a few new products including my mom's Bunny Bags and Piggy Pockets: Fun fleecy creatures with a secret spot for you rchild or grandchild to tuck their pj's after they wake up in the morning.

Of course we also helped Guillaume and his charity called Earn and Learn. The cards, gift bags and notebooks that the syudents made were on our table too. Earn and Learn is a program set up to help keep children living in India in school instead of having to work and help provide for their family. The money that Guillaume earns from selling these products goes towards this program. The Kraft Karavan hopes to be able to continue helping Guillaume and this amazing organization.

The day was a big success. Everyone left happy and a few more sock monkeys have found new homes.

374The Kraft Karavan SpreadThe Kraft Karavan table – What a spread!



Kraft Karavan:



Vlasta van Kampen:

Earn n Learn:

Music and creativity.

370Crystal Stilts 2011Crystal Stilts Live in Toronto at Sneaky Dee's May 22, 2011. – image by Saskia.

Whenever I hit the wall and cannot find my creative energies I seek for inspiration in my music collection. Over the years my musical tastes have broadened so that I now have a vast selection of genres ranging from folk and bluegrass, indie, pop and rock to classical, world music and electronica. There isn't a mood I cannot enhance or alter by my choice of tunes.

Last week I was on vacation – staycation actually. I stayed home to  finish my basement renovation (did not get it completed–sigh) and my backyard patio. It was interesting staying in the Toronto because I took advantage of my evenings by going to see live music.

One of the bands I saw was Crystal Stilts at Sneaky Dee's. They are a band from Brooklyn who tend to sound a bit like Joy Division with some surfer sounds and punk mixed in. It was fantastic and the crowd was diverse and fun.

It was a good and inspirational night.

OCAD University has a new Identity.

369OCAD U New logo
- image taken from
Being a graduate and now a teacher at OCAD University I have a first hand understanding of how difficult it would be to summarize this institution in a logo. One of our 3rd year design projects was to design a logo for OCAD (not yet a university). No one in our class nailed it. It is not an easy task especially now that is has become a University with a much broader outlook on the art and design world. 

The school has gone through several changes since I have known it, including several logo changes of which none have done the school justice. Until now.

The creative process brought forward by Bruce Mau for the development of this new logo was quite unique. There were open forums where students, alumni and faculty could be a part of the discussion. There were walls in the school dedicated to information gathering. Anyone could write their ideas for the identity and general thoughts about the school on note paper and stick them on the wall. This process was open to everyone.

On first glance the logo seems uninspired and, actually, a little dull. It is only one colour – black – for an art and design school? But it’s the endless possibilities and the unique individuality that has been captured in this truly inspired result.

–This post was originally written for SOS Design by your truly.

A Layered World

The first time I tried to meet with Nahúm Flores he was unavailable because he was installing a show in Chatham. The second time I had to cancel due to a friend's illness. They say that the third time is a charm and indeed, it was our third attempt at meeting up that finally worked out. It was well worth the wait.

Nahúm was one of the individuals I met at the Artist Project. His work immediately caught my attention. The tiny delicate white wooden boxes with minimal, spidery line drawings were the pieces that drew me in to have a closer look. These littles boxes were so inviting and yet so lonely – drawings captured in boxes forever separated from each other.

359Tiny White Boxes Nahum FloresUnpacking "Odes to the Anonymous Passengers" by Nahúm Flores.

363Odes to the Anonymous PassengersOdes to the Anonymous Passengers by Nahum Flores – images provided by Nahúm Flores

I introduced myself to Nahúm. It is so wonderful to have the opportunity to speak with an artist especially when the artist so compliments their work. Nahúm was very soft spoken, very quiet, like his drawings but I knew there was more to the story. The paintings that were hanging beside the tiny white boxes weren't so quiet. Haunting faces