General

From John, to Juli

December 28th, 2016

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Shaker chair, bought in part because we passed a chair up while on our shaker road trip–although it wasn’t a real Shaker chair, we had felt kind of disappointed we didn’t buy it. This one will come in handy with our upcoming exhibition in January!

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Cast-iron Doorstop Acorn by Eva Shildt and Maja Sten. We admired this piece when interviewing Eva Shildt in her home.

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The gorgeous brass Plate Moondrop in the foreground, by Ingegerd Råman. Howell is obsessed with this piece, and keeps getting his little fingerprints all over it.

In case you’re wondering, yes, the coffee table always has these objects(or some iteration) on it, and mostly the children pay no mind. We just have to be mindful when they are feeling some big feelings…then we have to batten down the hatches so to speak.

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Merry Christmas!

December 25th, 2016

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It’s becoming a yearly Christmas tradition for John to go on a Svenskt Tenn bender. With such a gorgeous and otherwise inaccessible collection it’s not hard to understand why. One spectacular piece he picked up is this giant candelabra. I cannot even find it on their website anymore so I assume it was a holiday thing. This is the only calm moment during an otherwise chaotic dinner.

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Before dinner on Christmas Eve we open presents. We celebrate our own little Christmas with local grandma Mémé before heading out to the other grandparent’s house in the morning. I am pretty proud of our holiday buying this year, one gift per kid (Howell received a Brio firefighter train extension set and Elodie received a Maplelea doll) plus one joint gift (Magnatiles). Paw Patroller courtesy of Mémé. How many Paw Patrol toys did your kids get? I assume too many.

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Our visit with Santa this year, at the Junction train platform. What a nice tradition our BIA has going. It’s so lovely to just walk across the street, see Santa arrive on a local firetruck, wander the neighbourhood watching local dance school students perform the Christmas themed dances in shop windows, grab a hot chocolate and warm up inside doing a craft at ARTiculations.

We hope that everyone had a lovely holiday, and we wish you all the best for 2017!

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Friday in the city

November 21st, 2016

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Last week I picked up a new camera, the Canon PowerShot G7X, in the hopes of blogging more – the quality I’m used to, a compact size and wifi were what I was looking for. On Friday I took it out for a test drive and am really excited for the potential!

First stop was newish Junction spot Dirty Food. When Locomotive and Little Fish closed awhile back we were pretty sad about a lack of early morning breakfast spots so Dirty Food has opened at an opportune time. With an 8am start to the day, they are ideal for our early risers (meaning we are only on second breakfast by the time we head over).

 

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Howell contemplating the Johnny Cakes.

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John had the Chicken and Waffles. They also have a fantastic eggs benedict, and my favourite lunch item is homemade pierogies.

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Next stop was the Evergreen Brickworks for a nature walk.

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The fall colours are pretty much gone but the wintry light was still really pretty.

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A boy and his stick. Thank goodness he’s obsessed with those rain boots.

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What a beautiful day it was. I hope everyone in Toronto had a chance to get out for a little bit, especially now that the cold has arrived.

 

Renaud Sauvé Exhibition at Mjölk

November 7th, 2016

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The other week we hosted Renaud Sauvé of Atelier des Cent-ans in his second exhibition at Mjölk. The theme this time was Bestiary, an exploration in sculpted, engraved and painted animals in porcelain.

Shop the Exhibition here.

Words from the artist:

In my mind, the attention I give animals reveals that through their movements, life remains the focal point and goes on unwaveringly. The violent convulsions of a dragon, the minute impulses of a snail or the quiet comprise and dignity of the tortoise, are an invitation to build a strong connection with them. Animals can express anything. Depending on the context of dynamics they can say anything. Sometimes just as I am falling asleep or returning to consciousness and my eyes are closed, animal images come to me. Such treasures will turn into porcelain motifs or bosses.

This exhibit gives me the opportunity to display a whole series of new works. The term “bestiary” comes to mind. The collection involves (sculpted, engraved or painted) animals that may be real or imaginary. The creatures are often strange but never estranged. At least that is my hope.
– Renaud Sauve

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John, Renaud and Juli.

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Reiko flower arranging.

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Apothecary jars.

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Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate the opening of Bestiary with us. The works will continue to remain in the showroom until November 9 (many will still be around after this date, and available online).

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True Nordic Exhibition at The Gardiner Museum

October 14th, 2016

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Tuesday night we were excited to go to the opening reception for The Gardiner Museum‘s new exhibition, True Nordic: How Scandinavia influenced design in Canada. Curated by Dr. Rachel Gotlieb and Michael Prokopow, we are honoured that our Garden Works collaboration with Anderssen & Voll is on display.

 

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From the press release: Scandinavian design initially reached Canada’s elite consumers and style-makers via museum and gallery exhibitions, showrooms, small retail shops and articles and advertisements in popular decorator magazines. However, it was the dynamic influx of émigré craftspeople from Scandinavia who both affirmed and vernacularized the aesthetic in Canada and who shaped profoundly the country’s design and craft movement from the 1930s onward. What was broadly known as “Danish modern” became synonymous with ideas about good design, and “comfortable and gracious living.” Capitalizing on the market opportunities presented, Canadian manufacturers added Scandinavian design to their conservative repertoire of colonial and historicist offerings and called these lines, Helsinki, Stanvanger, Scanda and so on. The culminating section of the exhibition will ask why Scandinavian and Nordic aesthetics continue to resonate with so many contemporary Canadian designers and artisans at work today.

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The exhibition was designed by friend of the shop Andrew Jones Design / Graphic design by q30 design inc. Loved the Alto-esque paper room divider and the intimate wall colours.

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During the Q&A discussion, there was a bit of talk about how a lot of the designers were married couples. Naturally we like this dynamic a lot!

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In the contemporary designers section there are a lot of local designers and artisans, such as Castor, Sean Plaice, MSDS, and Bookhou. It was nice to see everyone in the same place.

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The exhibition book was a nice surprise, containing some essays and the exhibition catalog. The fire tools pictured are from a project we have been working on with Winnipeg designer Thom Fougere (to be launched in January).

Please go see this show at the Gardiner Museum, running until January 8.

 

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Yoshinori Yano Meet & Greet at Mjölk

October 8th, 2016

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We were recently pleased to receive Yoshinori Yano at Mjölk. At the time, his works had become unfortunately waylaid by a postage fiasco, shunted around the East Coast and Montreal before finally making it to our shop. As a result, we had to cancel our opening. Although this seemed a terrible thing, we ultimately got to have an altogether different experience. On a Saturday afternoon, Mr. Yano did some woodworking in the shop, and chatted with curious customers, press and passersby.

 

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We were fortunate to be able to borrow some woodworking tools from Peter Tan of Studio Junction.

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The result of this day is a delicate leaf. Thankfully a few days after Mr. Yano left the boxes arrived. They are now in the showroom and in the online webshop. Thank you to all who made it in on short notice, and to all who took an eager interest in the woodworking demo!

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