Monday, April 29, 2013

DIY Spring Window Display

Without fail, every time I visit Freedom Clothing Collective I get lost in the aisles because there is always something new that draws the eye or something that was already there that I did not spot in my previous visit. The colours and shapes of all the different products constantly tease and draw you to them so unless you have the entire day to explore, you will never see everything in one visit or be able to give each item the attention it deserves.

This attraction does not start when you enter the door. It starts outside from the sidewalk as you walk or from the street as you drive by. The Freedom window is the store’s true showcase as it constantly changes to reflect the new season or the arrival of new local creations. Carefully curated, it gives you a glimpse of the treasures inside. Right now, the window is brightening the spirits of Bloorcourt pedestrians by reminding them of the arrival of spring and the new creations the season brings. 

The window was not created by professional window decorators with an unlimited budget, but by the hard work and ingenuity of Freedom and its friends – including myself, a non-crafter aspiring to the level of ‘competent.’
What is the best way to recover from a week-long trip and get over those post-vacation blues?
Karen somehow convinced me that crafting was the only solution and in a whirlwind she and Jules’ were over with their bags of supplies and equipment to create Freedom’s new window. 

snacks and hydration are very important, this craft session took 5+ hours!
My initial plan to volunteer as the event caterer and drink supplier was quickly rebuffed as a pair of scissors was thrown into my hands and a massive pile of decorative paper was put in front of me with (kind) orders to cut as many leaves as possible and don’t stop. 
Lots of up-cycled paper and lots and lots of cutting
So that is what I did for five hours without complaint and, surprisingly, it did prove to be a relaxing and meditative way to spend the day and evening. The snacks, wine and Jules’ amazing kale chips also played a part. 
it started with a Pinterest Board >> FCC WINDOWS
Inspired by a Pinterest posting, the idea was to create a decorative branch and leaves that could adorn the front of the window. By chance, we had an unused artificial decorative branch, which was claimed from the closet to be transformed into the beautiful plant that can be seen now at Freedom. 
loving the contract against the dark floors
While my cut leaves were extremely important, the true credit has to go to Karen and Jules for the ideas and artistry and Jules' extreme dedication in somehow tediously connecting the leaves and wrapping up the branch in decorative yarn. The idea to use upcycled paper was genius and added variety, contrast and colour to the already beautiful shapes.

Finished branch with garland decorating and art piece wonderfully

The final product looks real, but like it comes from an alternate world awash in colour where leaves aren’t similar and just shades of green, but more like snowflakes and a mixture of every colour with no two exactly alike.
It is amazing what a little creative inspiration and some dedicated hard labour can produce when inspired by wine and kale chips (see recipe > KALE!! )

Friday, April 26, 2013

More amazing items donated for the fundraiser...

Perfect for SPRING! We have 2 in the fundraiser by Koocoo Carrillo in a Small and Medium !!!

Super soft Noujica scarf in calming blue...
and Branch necklace in sterling silver with peridot and freshwater pearls by Kathryn Rebecca

Deer pouch! By HANA

Things are moving fast so come on by anytime to check it out! And remember.... everything will be an additional 10% off the already discounted price as well as we will be doing 15 % off for customer appreciation on Thursday May 2nd 6:00-8:30. We're looking forward to a fun night!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Workshop: Torched Studio

Last week Karen, Emma and I visited Torched Studio, a locally based jewelry studio run and managed by our friend and fellow designer Yvonne Villeneuve. Yvonne is the creative force behind the beautifully crafted and brightly coloured enameled jewelry you can find in our shop. Beside creating beautifully crafted accessories and home decor herself, Yvonne also teaches enameling classes and offers you the benefit of creating your own piece of enameled treasure in just one afternoon. We had so much fun with the process and encourage you to try out the same. You won't be sorry you did.

So much fun to look at Yvonne's stash of jewelry beauties
appropriate reading materials
Emma and Jelena hard at work
Drilling some finding holes for future chain or string
do not use the lifting-spatula-tridenty-thing as a sword... not safe!
Out of the kiln, into the water, into the pickle, wipe with some baking soda and clean and shiny pieces you have!
Like baking you sift the fine glass particles onto your base
last firing (of many!) and then some filing to make all the edges smooooth. 
back sides are equally pretty!

finished piece with braided hemp string 'chain' and detailing
We took the beginner course but there are several for you to choose from including one where you work with precious metal clay! What!?
Here are the details and listing of classes:

Not only is Yvonne a talented artist, she's stellar at her social media, check her out at any of the following:

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Plate Wall Inspiration

I (Jelena) live in a semi open concept house in which living and dining room occupy one big space. From that space, on the dining room side, there are stairs leading to upstairs bedrooms, and below those stairs is the wall that I find quite challenging when it comes to accessorizing.
1. it is triangular in shape and does not leave many options or much room to hang art
2. the switch plate is placed quite awkwardly and I don't have much drive to initiate a project in which it would be moved. This switch has the built in dimmer for the dining room lights and allows us to control the lights upstairs, so it is quite useful and can not be covered.

Awkward wall with my messy sideboard top. It is not always like that, but on this particular morning I had not time to move things around

With hese two contingencies the end result will somehow have to balance the sharp geometrical feature of the wall as well as allow easy navigation around the switch plate. I think that decorating with china and creating a plate wall would solve that problem ( round and oval plates  would soften the triangle, not to mention that the wall is in the dining room so it is all fitting).
For inspiration I decided to check out what Pinterest had to offer  and here are the few looks that I found 
fun and appropriate...

I somehow have to get my hands on that fun Marimekko cow plate

Situation similar to mine with the exception of the curved wall

I will have a bit of time in the next few days which will hopefully allow me to dedicate some more time to finally tackle this problem. If all goes well I am hoping to be able to reveal the end result early next week.