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!! )