39Vlasta van Kampen Hippo.jpgPurple Flip Flops – Vlasta van Kampen, Hip Hippos, 2008

After my last blog entry I have had many inquiries regarding my craft focused family. I have decided to start off my... more

The handmade handcrafted ideology runs in my family. My grandmother was a quilter, my mother an illustrator, my father a graphic designer (pre-computer) and my brother is starting a Toronto-based craft brewery.

My brother hired me as the company's graphic designer. Over the past few months I have been tagging along to beer festivals, pub crawls, beer tastings and tap countings in order to conduct serious

market research. I come home with my bags bursting with moist coasters, bent bottle caps, labels peeled delicately off bottles, weathered tent cards... more

It's a holiday Monday, the weather is perfect and my mom's Pontiac Solstice convertible is begging to be driven. We head out on the lush, curvy, hilly Ontario roads just east of Peterborough for a day trip I won't soon forget.

We end up in a typical rural town called Madoc. It has a couple street lights and some parks, a pizzeria and a few coffee shops. But what may escape the average day tripper is that just off the main drag is the home of a very unique and wonderfully interesting painter named Diane Woodward.

Diane and her cat Lily greet us as we dislodge ourselves from... more

I am a bit of a garbage picker and while waiting in the rain along a side street a big pile of recycleables caught my eye. The pile was in an alley at the back of a corner grocery store. The cardboard boxes were flattened and neatly piled, awaiting pick-up. Proudly perched atop a box, despite the rain, was a soggy little cardboard truck with all the features – side mirrors, grill, headlights, wheels and doors. It made me smile to think this simple cardboard box had a journey far greater than any cardboard box could ever hope for.

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Preparing for the New Bloor Street Festival has been a whirwind of sewing, printing and planning. The fever to get things done was helped by the 34 degree (feels like 43 with humidity) weather and no airconditioning. My office is in the master bedroom of my little flat-roofed house and this room reached temperatures close to that of an oven baking zucchini bread. But I got it all done: 24 sets of cards, 46 sock monkeys, 55 neopolitan ice cream garlands, 11 sets of tags and 13 cat-nip toys, as well as promotional items including iron on labels, tags, rubber stamp, packaging and promotional... more

This is it! This is my very own blog where I can write about what I do, what others do and what inspires me to do.

My new website is very exciting. Being a very handcraft oriented person, the computer has always been my nemesis. Funnily enough I sit behind one at least 9 hours a day. A very good friend of mine lent me a helping hand with this site. He programmed it so that it is completely idiot proof and no matter what I do it works! We are working through a few minor glitches as my Monkey Business images are not visible and I cannot input images into this section yet. But I'm... more