GASPARD : Grand Opening

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On Thursday I attended the opening celebration of a store built by Mercy (for whom I previously did some illustrations for a t-shirt line). It’s perfectly located between Clafouti and White Squirrel on Queen West, right across from Trinity Bellwoods.

I’m so excited their line will be available in Toronto again, and the other brands they carry are also terribly impressive, including Italian jewellery designers Iosselliani (I’m a huge fan), Les Prairies de Paris, La Botte Gardiane, and Ascher London – a scarf in the shop inspired my little sketch up top. It was a great night: seeing familiar faces and meeting new, very stylish, people. Congratulations to Jennifer and Richard on their new shop!

Trench + Belt

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For the month of August, I’ve had two fashion illustrations up on the walls of Club Monaco on Queen St West. This is the last weekend they will be up, so if you’re in the neighbourhood, stop in for a look!

Waiting Room

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Waiting for my parents to get ready for the game, I snapped a few shots in their hotel.

Logo + Banner for Carolanne

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Carolanne’s banner is up! This summer I designed a logo and a banner for her quiltmaking business. It was a great project and experience, as we were both on the same page from the beginning with respect to the concept and design. We decided on an abstract acorn motif for a number of reasons like, not wanting to be too literal, and creating an image that is versatile and maintains a flexibility in terms of usage.

Carolanne is a lovely and talented quiltmaker. Impressively she does everything the old-fashioned way, by hand. I learned to piece and quilt by hand from her and her enthusiasm for the craft is infectious! She teaches quilting at the workroom, and if you’d like to see some of her work, you can check out her blog here.

Fruit + Yogourt Popsicles

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So almost one year later I finally get around to making these popsicles!

They are loosely based on this recipe. I placed three different fruit (peach, mango, raspberry) with a couple tablespoons of turbinado sugar in a saucepan and stirred on low heat until the sugar melted – add enough sugar for the mixture to taste quite sweet, as it will taste less sweet when frozen. Then I used a hand blender to break up some of the bigger pieces. Alternating spoonfuls of the fruit mixture and yogourt into the popsicle molds (star-shaped!), the recipe turned out really well. I made two batches: one with lemon yogourt, and one with coconut. These are my two favorite flavours, and they both work very well with the popsicles. Delicious!

Also, I just heard about this new Zoku Quick Pop Maker from Williams Sonoma and it looks amazing. As soon as I had made my yogourt pops, I wanted to eat them straight away, which was impossible. However, this new contraption makes popsicles ready to eat in 7 minutes! So tempting!

Whole Cloth Quilting

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Ever since this whole mug rug trend came along in the crafting community, I’ve wanted to make some of my own. They are bigger than coasters, yet smaller than a placemat: the perfect size for a mug (an iced hot chocolate perhaps?) and a treat. I first saw this mug rug concept on Karyn’s blog, then on Katherine’s blog, and even my mom beat me to the project, only she calls them rug rats. From what I understand, the project originated here, where you can purchase a pattern, though using their approximate dimensions of 9.5”h x 6.5”w is probably enough to get you started.

When I signed up for Carolanne’s Whole Cloth Quilt class at The Workroom, it was the perfect opportunity to experiment with lots of hand quilting on a small, manageable scale. Which is a bit contrary to my normal approach to classes, which is usually to make something 3 times the size of everyone else’s, or make 2 instead of 1, or if everyone is making a square, make a circle. You get the idea.

The pattern I quilted was interlocking circles, and I’ve come away from the class with great interest in quilting more geometric patterns. I must admit that whole cloth quilting is a bit more calculated than it seems. The choice of fabric, thread, and pattern are crucial. The three fabrics I chose for the mug rugs (top, binding, bottom) look great together and would have worked well in a traditional pieced quilt. Whereas with the mug rugs, the quilting, which is supposed to be focus, is almost completely lost in the print, even though the print isn’t particularly busy with respect to colour. In general, I would recommend using a solid fabric for a quilting project like this, or at least one that has a muted and loosely space print. Learning from this first try, I am already gearing up for my next whole cloth quilt, which will potentially be the size of a quilt. For this next project, in consultation with Carolanne, I have selected a fabric, thread, and new geometric pattern to quilt that all complement each other, and am excited to move forward more whole cloth quilting adventures.

Yorkville : Italian Fashion Week

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Post Toronto Fashion Week this Spring, Yorkville hosted a Fashion Week of it’s own, put on by the Italian Trade Commission along with Fashion Television. The week was highlighted by a fashion show dance performance at the Glass Factory in Liberty Village.

I was asked by the Yorkville News to create an illustration for their site in celebration of the event. After visiting Via Cavour, I decided to work with the idea of accessories, and the made in Italy stamp you see on the soles of some great shoes. So, the blue men’s shoe is one of my favorites at the shop, and the women’s shoes are Valentino studded ankle-wrap pumps from this season (which I have yet to come across in person). Though I do LOVE LOVE LOVE them. What a fun drawing to do!

Good Day, Rainy Day

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This afternoon, over coffee, I had a lovely meeting about an exciting new illustration project. Coffee meetings are the best.

PS my new umbrella reveals a cherry blossom pattern when wet (thanks L!)
Click here to see a close up of the action!

Hardly Magazine Interview

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An interview I did with Hardly magazine was posted on their website today. I’ve done two interviews recently and it’s a new experience – normally I’m reading interviews of other artists or I’m the one asking the questions.  Check out the Q&A here!

Letter Writing and Coffee

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I needed to finish writing a letter. So I went for coffee.