Oh Gocco

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A few months ago I first tried the Print Gocco home printing machine. It can be tricky to get your hands on one of these: at one point I heard they were only selling them within Japan. Fortunately in Toronto, you can rent one from the workroom. After a quick visit to the Paper Place for screens, light bulbs, and ink, I made my way home to try it out.

It’s basically a silk screen without the squeegee – simple enough. You can either draw an image by hand with their special pen, or use a photocopy of an image to create the screen. I had no luck with photocopies at all – they were of pretty detailed pen and ink illustrations I had done by hand (see fish image above). Finally I decided to just draw new images directly with their pen and created screens from them which worked out alright. For each box of screens and bulbs, you can process 5 screens. And well, including the failed attempts with photocopies, I destroyed the first 3 screens, rendering them useless, but was able to make something of my last two screens. Thank goodness.

Now I just need to figure out what to do with all the prints. Once I finally got the printing worked out, I couldn’t stop. I didn’t know when I would get the chance to use the gocco again, and you can’t really keep the screens very long. Plus, the printing is kind of addictive once you get going. While not without its limitations (size, image preparation, timeline, …), the gocco is much cleaner, quicker (once it’s working), and less of a production than regular silk screening.

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The pattern printed above is basically a variation on a larger design I silkscreened (with discharge and ink) onto linen last summer, pictured here and here and here.

Marika Charles

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I am a big fan of Marika Charles. They are a sister and brother team who have developed special techniques for colouring knits beautifully. From the looks of it, I would guess they apply some sort of resist via a stamp with a design on it, and then dye the garment? However it’s done, the sweaters are gorgeous.

In Toronto, they are available at Augustina, and in the States they are carried by a number of stores including Ron Herman.

Coffee Break at Xococava

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Orange + chocolate, Chocolate walnut macaroon, Americano with chocolate roulade

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Recently I visited Xococava for the first time. And as you can see, they’ve got amazing chocolate (and coffee too!). It’s a great place to pick up a hostess gift (orangette, or perhaps the earl grey+salt chocolate?), or even to stay and sample everything – so much to try!

MORE pictures here

Lècher les vitrines – encore

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One of the coolest stores in Toronto – if you’re into ribbon, trim, and lace – is Mokuba. And they always seem to do the most creative thing with ribbon for their windows.

It’s really like a candy store. Super colourful, shiny, and the variety! It’s one of those stores you dare not enter without being on a specific project mission, as you may end up leaving having spent way more than you had planned…

My tactic is to go by when they’re closed and just gaze into their magical world of ribbon – the one problem being, nighttime window shopping plus neon signs from across the street make for funny reflections in your photographs!

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The Bed Book

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When I was little, my favorite children’s book was The Bed Book by Sylvia Plath.

I could get lost in the watercolour illustrations for what seemed to be forever. I think part of why I loved this book so much was that it was about a girl and her two little brothers. So obviously I was the girl, and I have two little brothers – perfect! The story was written about us of course.

Each page explores an imaginative and amazing type of bed! There are underwater beds, hammocks, beds with a swimming pool on top of an elephant…I’ve only photographed a few below, but like I said, super creative, colourful, and imaginative!

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Soldes Update

I’ve just updated the list of Toronto sales with 2 new womenswear sales – totally excited about these! Anyone up for some shopping?

Coffee Break at Le Gourmand

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I’ve visited a number of times – and it’s always delicious. Though I have wanted to try their bread pudding forever, and they always seem to be out – I should definitely go in the morning sometime…

Pictured here is a berliner and a chocolate lava cake – both very nice. And to drink, I highly recommend their Vanilla Chai Latte. Normally I don’t get sweetened drinks as they tend to be too sweet, and this one definitely is sweet, but it works.

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Pringle X David Shrigley

I have been a fan of Shrigley since I first stumbled upon some of his flash animations a number of years ago. This video I found on the Elle UK site via Refinery 29. It takes us through the process by which Pringle of Scotland produces their sweaters (or jumpers).

Incidentally, the Pringle of Scotland website is currently showing a film by Ryan McGinley featuring Tilda Swinton on their homepage for their SS10 collection.

Sovereign Scribble

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While most of my art is digital at some stage, I usually do begin on paper. When I was looking for paper to sketch on while visiting my parents, I was pleasantly surprised when these vintage gems were unearthed.

The Empire School Series Spelling Tablet is so rad! Perhaps not ideal for sketching, but nonetheless…

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Apartment Light

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Last year a few people posted some images of the natural light on their walls. These are some that I took. I know, they’re mostly of one radiator but still…