Thursday, May 23, 2013

Galaxy: A Series of Enameled Bowls

Of all the things I make I must admit my enamel bowls are my favourite. So I’m very, very excited to be making a special collection of art bowls for my very first solo exhibition. It will be held at Freedom Clothing Collective from June 7th to July 3rd.

My work has always had a certain elemental quality in the swirl of multiple layers of enamel and in these pieces I’ve taken it to the extreme in a “big bang” of colour. I love the random beauty of nature and these bowls are my romanticized view of the far flung objects in the night sky. Each piece represents a celestial body but on a much smaller and more imaginative scale.

The opening reception is Friday June 7th at Freedom Clothing Collective, 939 Bloor Street West, Toronto from 6pm to 8pm.
Here’s a sneak peek of just a few of the pieces that will be in the exhibition.
-Yvonne of Torched Studio

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

PEC - Prince Edward County

Shot taken at Lake on the Mountain. Absolutely stunning views, which will, we are sure, be hundreds of times nicer now that the foliage is green and lush! *swoon*
What if I told you there was a magical place where you can feast on amazing local food and wine, enjoy natural beauty and amazing landscapes and tuck in and out of small, home based studios and workshops talking to local artists and seeing their creations? What if I told you this place did exist, it was an island and it is in Ontario? Prince Edward County is a perfect oasis of wine, art, nature, amazing food and a population of 25,000 very friendly people who are always ready to talk to a visitor and ask “do you have a map?”
heathy snacks to keep the car trip fresh, most pit stop snacks are pretty bad - but not the food in PEC!
Recently, we seized an opportunity to spend two days in Prince Edward County in early spring. It is a perfect road trip drive (not too long or short) and easily accessible from Toronto, Kingston and Ottawa. As we travelled on a Monday morning and the busy summer season had not yet started, it felt like we had the island all to ourselves, which we wouldn’t have any other way.

image taken from > devilswishbone
The county has a mild climate because of Lake Ontario’s influence, which has resulted in the establishment of 34 wineries as of 2012. The area has many organic farms and innovative local chefs and has become a top culinary destination called “the gastronomic capital of Ontario”.

Constellation by Dale Dunning
Wine started as the main reason for our visit, but as we made our way through the idyllic country roads which wind through historic towns and villages, we noticed many artists’ studios, galleries and antique shops which dotted the shorelines of Lake Ontario and the Bay of Quinte. We discovered that we were following the Prince Edward County arts trail ( and realized that art was also a major part of Prince Edward County life. The 2013 trail includes 25 artist galleries and studios. Just look for these road signs >
Catherine Vamvakas Lay  Pomegranate Seeds Nestled on Bronze
The place we stayed – Huff Estates - was the perfect combination of wine and art as the inn was located on beautiful grounds which also included a winery and the impressive Oeno Gallery (, which exhibits contemporary art by artists from the region, other parts of Canada and occasionally, exceptional international artists. The gallery is spacious and light filled and includes both sculptures and paintings.

Christopher langstroth – Late Afternoon
We spent a lot of time in the gallery and also the outside sculpture garden which extends to the edge of the vineyard and is the perfect place to walk and linger at sunset after a day of sampling wine and eating great food. 
The sunset lighting made for really fantastic pictures please enjoy the following:

Shayne Dark – Tangle Wood
Floyd Elzinga – Hickory Leaf
Rick Lapointe - Arbusto
Mark Clark – Positive Moves
Clare Scott Taggart - Crow
You cannot leave Prince Edward County without also visiting the towns of Bloomfield and Picton and doing some window shopping. The true spirit of Prince Edward County was captured when we stepped in to the Rose Haven Farm Store in Picton. (
my favorite score, was a last second (they just got in and barely inventoried) grab of  'yarn' made of recycled sari's.
Silk! and upcycled! omygosh yes please - it's that beautiful green in the top left corner
The great display window of the specialty yarn shop caught our eye and drew us into the shop. Inside, you will find all types of yarns from around the world along with books, patterns, knitting and crochet supplies and a large lower area for clearance yarns and occasional workshops. The best part of the shop was Linda Swaine’s charm, friendliness and encyclopaedic knowledge of her own products and the local arts and crafts scene in Prince Edward County and other parts of Ontario. She gave Karen a complete tour of the store, answered all of her questions, and was genuinely interested in finding out more about Karen’s own work and about Freedom.

She was an enthusiastic ball of energy and, I have to admit, I couldn’t even keep up with her and ended up taking advantage of the comfortable chairs (for men!).

in the wee distance you could see the two women painstakingly up-keeping all the hundreds of houses
We finished our day with some nature and on a trip to Lake on the Mountain (a beautiful natural site), we encountered the whimshical Bird House City just outside Picton. Located in the beautiful Macaulay Mountain Conservation area, it includes over 100 handmade birdhouses, most of them reproductions of historic buildings in the area. The city was started by a dedicated former superintendent of the Prince Edward Region Conservation and is now a community involvement project as numerous schools, businesses and individuals helped create the birdhouses that are there now since 1980. There is an active group of volunteers who maintain the city. As we walked through, we admired the patience of two of these volunteers as they worked from house to house carrying out any necessary repairs and maintenance.
these picture don't grasp the magnitude of this place, you keep walking
 and up pops another row of houses, very hard to chose a favourite
We would definitely recommend Prince Edward County as a quick escape, short stay or maybe even permanent visit. The beautiful natural landscape, the friendly people and the constant presence of culture make it very tempting.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mother's Day Ideas!

As is often the case my own shopping inspired this blog!  I started shopping for my a gift for my own Mom and had so many ideas come to mind I had to share them.:)  

Plus, we recently got a NEW camera which allows us to take beautiful photos of our amazing artists work so these photos the first of many. :)

Hope you enjoy!

Beautiful pillows to spruce up Mom's couch!  Peacock feather ($45) by Freedom Reconstructed and Bird with postage ($45) by Sparrow Avenue.

Classy Mom!? Classy tote ($145) and clutch ($85) by Ccomme.

Sweet butterfly ($55) or poppy studs ($120) by Avital Lang and Kathryn Rebecca... And we have a nice selection of Mother's Day cards too.  This one keeps on giving if you plant it! 

Inspirational tea towels ($18) by Art that moves, Soap on vintage dish ($16) by Soap Utopia, Set of 4 coasters ($14) Knotted Nest.

One customer recently said "You can never have too many vases" which I am inclined to agree with.;)  These two beauties are by RcBoisjoli (squirrel- $40, anchor $20). Earrings from left Hammered brass fan drops ($36) by Jasmine Virani, Enenmaled drops by ($45) by Torched Studio, Mixed glass studs ($22) by Noujica, Plum Blooms ($28) by Jasmine Virani. 

One of a kind clock! $45 - Freedom Reconstructed

Heart necklace ($65) Melanie Leblanc, Coral wrap long necklace ($34) by Rae designs, Branch circle with grapefruit quartz set within ($150) by Kathryn Rebecca.

Bath salts to help Mom unwind available in 3 lovely scents! $16 by Dot and Lil

More pillows!  What can I say we just have wayyyy to many gorgeous ones to choose from.:)
These two lovelies are by Still life and are $30 each.

Come by to see what else we have to say thanks to your Mom this year.