Category Archive: Local

Dessert Break at Jedd’s



Brownie, peanut butter cookie, and most importantly: frozen custard. (too much?)

If you’ve never had frozen custard, it’s like ice cream made with the addition of egg yolks. And it’s pretty delicious. They normally have chocolate, vanilla, and a flavour of the day. They’re all good, but the vanilla is my favorite.

Jedd’s Patisserie Cafe is at Yonge and Eglinton. And PS he’s very nice.

Wool Felting




(1) felt balls, (2) roving before felting, (3) flat felted sheets

On Friday I learned how to felt wool roving from Julie Sinden at the workroom and it was so much fun. It really only involves soap, hot water, wool roving, and hands for agitating (or dancing feet, if your project is large!)

One of the most gratifying and addictive objects to make would have to be mini felt balls. There are so many things you can make with these things! Zipper-pulls, trivets, and a personal favorite: necklaces like these made by Jenny Gordy.

So excited to have learned these new techniques! Felting is totally good, clean fun.

To follow Julie’s textile experiments, check out her new blog.

Coffee Break at Little Nicky’s




Maybe I had been resisting my first visit to Little Nicky’s because I am in the neighborhood so often that I thought it would easier to resist temptation if I hadn’t experienced it. Makes sense, right? So anyhow, my brother Aaron offered to take me when we were both in the area this week, and I couldn’t say no. And it was amazing.

Taking in all the details around me while sipping my latte, the interior design caught my attention. The shop gives off a relaxed vibe, but also very polished and very done – very Toronto. The efficient use of space stood out – making great use of the high ceilings, they have placed an assortment of vintage furniture and fixtures to keep your eyes occupied, if you can pry your attention from the coffee and donuts that is.

Their mini donuts are a novel idea – made fresh right in front of you. I think they are priced at about $4 for a dozen – though I’m pretty sure we got a few extra. They are definitely a perfect accompaniment to a latte. If you haven’t been yet, you should go.

Japanese Paper Place Visit



First image (3d objects) by Cybele Young, second image (mobile) created by Genevieve Jodouin

While waiting for the Jeannie Thib talk to begin at The Japanese Paper Place, I took a lot of photographs in their gallery. It is completely amazing what these artists have accomplished, many of which using washi.

During the talk, Jeannie Thib shared with us her work, mostly black and white, and a number of pieces which were created during various artist residencies. The stories of these international residencies sound amazing and romantic and possibly altogether much different than they are in reality – or so I imagine.

The first image below is from a series Jeannie generated through dissecting damask prints. She pulled sections out of a larger repeat print and isolated them. Kind of fantastic. The second image is from a series of hands she carved out of lino blocks. Some of the hands have pattern on them, and others contain words and shapes and read like an aerial map. Also amazing.

Since moving from their prominent retail space of 23  years on Queen Street across from Trinity Bellwoods park, the Japanese Paper Place has been located at Brock and Queen since 2005. Now a wholesale supplier of Japanese paper, they regularly host events and workshops and are definitely worth connecting with – you can even check them out on facebook or follow them on twitter. And they have been known to serve tea and Portuguese egg tarts after lectures. Just sayin.




Best Day Ever!


I recently went to Shops at Don Mills for the first time, and had such an amazing time!

First I met up with Natalie at McEwan grocery, where we spent so long I don’t even want to acknowledge it – I’m pretty sure it was hours. They carry product I’ve only ever seen abroad, like Niederegger marzipan, and brands like Wilkin & Sons who make jams and marmalade (even lime marmalade!) which you can find around, but not easily. And while pasta is not something that is usually of much interest to me, they carry the most amazingly beautiful pastas – I had to pick up some of the rainbow bowtie pasta – they have stripes of 6 different colours. They even carry beautiful butterfly-shaped pasta!

Of course I had to try some chocolate, so I chose an organic mexican taza chocolate disc for drinking, and a small Simon Coll con leche chocolate bar from Barcelona.

Then, passing through by the condiments aisle, I could not leave without some Blackcurrant Tarragon mustard from France. It’s purple. Need I say more?

Lastly, while admiring the whimsical, fanciful pastries, a woman came out from behind the bakery counter to see if we needed anything. We spoke for some time about baking during the holidays, family traditions, and delicious memories. Finally, when it was time to move on, she gave us a little rocky road brownie for energy. It was so something my mother would do and say. Needless to say, I found it endearing.

Okay, so this has quickly turned into a post entirely about McEwan. I’ll post more about my visit to Shops at Don Mills soon. In the meantime, here are some highlights on my List of 10 reasons why you might want to visit McEwan:

1. Niederegger marzipan and drink mixes
2. Large selection of tea (including Kusmi) and drinking chocolate
3. Unsweetened matcha lattes
4. Marble slab ice cream
5. Variety of Honey, including chestnut honey
6. Impressive mustard selection
7. Kewpie mayonnaise from Japan (what?!)
8. Most colourful pasta selection I’ve ever seen
9. Bakery (would love a birthday cake from here!)
10. Customer service



Coffee Break at Bulldog




Stopped by Bulldog the other day for a lovely coffee experience.

Pup Cup


Today’s Metro Globe and Mail should contain a supplement featuring this new illustration I created for Paws for the Cause, a dog fashion show and cocktail party benefiting the SPCA. Pick up a copy and find out how you can support!

My T-shirt Illustrations for Mercy




This week I picked up some sample t-shirts from Mercy (one of my favorite Toronto labels!)

Jennifer Halchuk and Richard Lyle, the label’s designers, produce a t-shirt line exclusively for a shop in Japan, and I created these pen and ink illustrations for their current collection. After providing them with the illustrations, they added pieces of Liberty in fun shapes and along the neckline of the shirts, and then had the illustrations silkscreened on top. (You can click each image to view it larger)

I have to say it was really a dream project for me. Working with people whose work you completely admire, and working by hand, is all so gratifying.

The t-shirts are available at Usagi Pour Toi in Japan.

Hand Quilting




I had to hold off on posting this until I finally picked up a pillow form this weekend.
(If you’re curious, the back looks like this)

Not to be extreme or anything, but since the pillow was hand-pieced and hand-quilted, I decided the entire operation should be free of any machine work, so I hand-stitched the zipper in place, and backstitched the whole thing together, by hand.

A second pillow is almost finished too, but it might be a gift, so I haven’t decided whether or not to post it yet…we’ll see!

Portrait No.10 : Nadia Litz


This is the last weekend of TIFF 2010 – which means the neighborhood will be getting back to normal soon. Normally I’m really into TIFF one year, and the next generally do not get involved at all. This year was pretty exciting – for the first time I was able to contribute some illustrations – and even some writing on the topic!

This portrait of Nadia Litz is up today on The Style Notebook. It was the first TIFF-related illustration I did this year and was published last. Go figure. Nadia is a Canadian actress who directed the short film, How to Rid your Lover of a Negative Emotion Caused by You!, that debuted at TIFF this year. I didn’t get a chance to see it, but it sounds amazing, doesn’t it? She talks about the film and about her experience directing for the first time here in her interview!