Friday, February 28, 2014

Outfit Fun!

I have recently fallen in love with the trendy and unique colour palate of aqua and red!  It seems to be popping up everywhere but Karen of KooCoo Carrillo was the first to bring it unto my radar with a beautiful aqua tray with jewellery display she did here at the store.  Since then I've been seeing it in fashion and interior design and I'm falling more in love every time I spot it!

til next time !
*Kathryn Rebecca

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Made in Canada: Sprouts Press

Sprouts Press is the creative child of Carolyn Eady who is happy to share her story.
I’ve had many different creative outlets over the years, but book binding has always stuck around.  I love how it works so easily with other media like printmaking, papermaking, origami and painting.  And I love making beautiful objects that are also functional.  The idea of making something that holds and supports someone else’s creative dreams is pretty amazing to me.

Learning is a big part of my life, so discovering new (to me) bookbinding techniques fuels my creativity.  But taking this a step further and losing myself in my work to tweak and change a binding to create something new is even better.

I also teach workshops on bookbinding and love to advocate for books, the written word and handwritten letters.  One thing I’ve learned is that I think more people are curious about book binding than they let on.  So, while I teach these workshops, I’ve also created book binding kits for the home learner or those too shy to admit they really do want to know about the importance of paper grain and linen thread.

check out an upcoming bookbinding workshop - Click here! 

When I can, I embrace the intermingling of found objects and reclaimed materials with traditional and historical book designs.  I’m always on the lookout for possible book making materials, my favourites are old books and cigar boxes.  The methodical process of deconstructing and dissecting a book or cigar box is a welcome contrast to the more creative side of what I do.  It usually involves things like noting the craftsmanship originally used (or not), breaking it down to its raw materials and then re-using what I can to create a new journal ready for a second life.  It’s pretty basic, but I think that’s a good place to start; knowing what my materials are.

While I strive to use reclaimed and recycled materials whenever possible, occasionally I cannot resist a beautiful Chiyogami or Florentine paper. When crafting hand-bound books using thread and needle the old fashioned way, I consider size, shape, texture, colour and practicality.  My creations are inspired by my personal experience with writing and sketching but I’ve also realized that the functionality of a book structure and how it can be designed to suit certain activities (such as watercolour painting while hiking or hand-sized journals for toting along to the coffee shop) has shaped many of my book projects.  Aesthetics are important, but I also really want people to express their hearts out on the pages of the books I make. These are objects designed to be used, well worn and well loved.

You could also follow Carolyn's work on her Instagram, twitter and Facebook:

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Different Body Shapes

We are all shaped differently and trying to fit clothes to your shape could often be tricky. When you shop for your shape rather than just your size, you will be amazed by the look you can achieve.
This short blog explains two shapes and gives examples of both. 
The pictures include the same tartan navy and black fabric but different style dresses that better show off each shape. 
At the end of this post is a link to further get to know 6 common body shapes, how to best dress each shape and some other fun tid bits.

Shoulders and hips and waist are relatively equal. Athletic Figure
-The Aim: create the illusion of a waist and curves
-look for dresses and blouses that have a nipped-in waist or ones you could belt
-feminine touches are a good thing and a belt is your friend!

Your shoulders and hips are equal widths with a very defined waist. 
-The Aim: to proportionally dress the top and bottom half to make your waist the focal point
- stick to silhouettes that skim your body rather than trying to camouflage your curves
- skinny belts are key to accentuating your waist

Shopgirls has a great online catalogue of shapes and explanations
For more go here >> Shop Your Shape  and we thank them for letting us use their descriptions for this mini blog.

An article from The Star a few years back talks about how we long to find that special someone and their body shape plays a major roll in attraction. Click here to read full article >> Article 

Remember to Shop Local! Shop Canadian Made!!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Made in Canada Series: Chocosol

On a cold January afternoon in Toronto we visited ChocoSol Traders on St. Clair West. We met with Mathieu McFadden, tasted some delicious coffee (with grass-fed butter!) and chatted about the business and the philosophy behind it.

Here is their story...

The story of Chocosol began in Mexico 10 years ago when Michael Sacco, the founder of of this social enterprise, left Canada to pursue research focused on using solar power to roast coffee beans, cacao, peanuts etc. From Canada he brought a solar-powered roaster that eventually led him to an indigenous community where he learned traditional craft of chocolate making from a local medicine woman. Quickly the focus of his research shifted to traditional chocolate making practices. He started selling his chocolates at local farmers markets which in return funded his research.
After having spent five years in Mexico, the call of Michael's homeland was tugging too heavily at his soul so he decided to return and bring with him all the knowledge he acquired and share it with his fellow Canadians.

The idea behind ChocoSol is not merely to sell chocolates. The team also likes to emphasize the importance of educating the public on the topic of sustainably grown foods but also the denaturing of food (mass production of food and its pitfalls) . Intercultural and ecological collaborations present the core of ChocoSol as a social enterprise. Their farmers receive above average wages. Cacao is grown following ancient Mayan traditions that preserves biodiversity of the local ecosystem.

Coffee with butter!
This bike powers the blender that makes the hot chocolate of the gods

Consumers are encouraged to reuse the packaging and in return receive small price reductions.
They refer to the space they occupy as a showroom rather than a store. A place where people can purchase the products they sell but also get educated and informed about food and food growing traditions. They strongly believe in the importance of interaction between the food growers/sellers and their customers.
half of the back area where the magic happens

ChocoSol products (5 eating and 5 drinking chocolates, cacao, coffee and spices) can be found in 40 stores in the downtown core but also at different Farmers’ markets. For a full list of retailers and markets please click here

We were lucky enough to go to the back to watch them grinding the cocoa. This one has vanilla pods in them and smelled glorious.

While we were there Mathieu let us try a new fun little project test he was working on, a lipstick made from natural ingredients and an unusual die from a mexican spice called Achiote. It was in it’s early stages so it was intensely orange and fun and spicey when you lick your lips. Here is a short video of Mathieu talking about achiote and some other projects he’s working on:

The stick of lipstick achiote we were able to test
Achiote tree/bush