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).
Howell contemplating the Johnny Cakes.
John had the Chicken and Waffles. They also have a fantastic eggs benedict, and my favourite lunch item is homemade pierogies.
Next stop was the Evergreen Brickworks for a nature walk.
The fall colours are pretty much gone but the wintry light was still really pretty.
A boy and his stick. Thank goodness he’s obsessed with those rain boots.
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.
It’s a little bit tardy to be letting you know that the Junction Design Crawl is in a couple of days (Friday, August 23). This year we partnered up with local design studio MSDS. They are constructing a booth to be placed inside our shop, where we will be selling tasty treats until 11pm, or until it all runs out.
Be Guided by the Lights at the 3rd Annual Design Crawl. Friday, 23 August. 7pm – 11pm:
Hosted by Your Favourite Shops. Start off your Friday night by going out for an evening stroll, where all of your favourite stores will be playing host for the evening. The Junction Design Crawl is organized by a group of independent business owners in the Junction neighbourhood of Toronto. Come to participating locations to see innovative design displays, participate in one-of-a-kind installations, savour exotic snacks, and hear great live music. All of the businesses participating in the Junction Design Crawl will have white lights strung up outside of their shops, making it easy to navigate the evening.
It’s summer and the Junction Flea has returned! I cannot even express how excited we are: Micah and Paul (visit their new shop Thank You on Queen W just East of Dovercourt) have done so much for the neighborhood with their events. On Junction Flea Sundays, the area gets so many visitors from other parts of the city, and our streets are filled with so much energy.
Summer is pretty quiet in the city, due to everyone enjoying cottages, farms, beaches, parks etc. As a result we get pretty glum in the shop, having fewer visitors and seeing the sunny days pass us by. So this year, since there is only really John and Frank working in the shop, we’ve decided to CLOSE most SUNDAYS, with the EXCEPTION of every second Sunday of the month in conjunction with the Flea. So many reasons to visit!!!
We will be open the following Sundays:
This year there is a small cover charge, which we paid dutifully. It’s a lot of work pulling an event like this off, and every bit we can help to keep it running is fine by us! We arrived nice and early to beat the crowds (which really got going by 11:30). There’s also some Flea swag to help out with the running costs.
Manual Labour Coffee. Toddlers and rocks, toddlers and rocks.
We finally got a photo done by Tintype Studio! Basically it’s a quick snapshot, but while they prep the plate for three minutes, they place you and set the camera up. It was a long three minutes with Elodie wanting to explore but she sat like a champ for the actual photo, thank goodness. I am so impressed that they took the shot right when she looked at the camera (gosh she looks so much like dad, I’m the odd one out with my scary pale eyes). These guys are pros!
Cutest booth award. Elodie loved the light reflection from this mirror.
ps. these are instagram photos that mostly never actually appeared on instagram.
On Sunday evening we went to Studio Junction‘s closing party for the participants in their Art in a Courtyard House exhibition, which they put on in conjunction with Doors Open.We were very honored to be able to participate in the show and debut a set of tea and baking carts designed by Mjolk and Studio Junction, and crafted by Studio Junction.
Here is our description:
Tea Cart and Baking Cart Concept
It wasn’t too long ago that the tea cart was a much needed extension to the family home. It was much more common 30 or more years ago that the dining room was a separate entity from the kitchen, and things like formal living rooms were used for high tea in the afternoon. In contemporary times things like dining rooms and formal living rooms have become redundant, and this is probably for the best. However there are some things that were lost in this transition that we feel could have easily found a place in the modern family home.
Tea carts are an extension of the kitchen, they are on wheels and can be used to easily shuffle everything from tea or alcohol, to desserts from the kitchen to table. When necessary the tea cart can take on an important presence, and at the same time be quietly tucked against the wall when not in use. We made the top tray of the tea cart removable to be used like a tray when serving tea. This solves the awkwardness of moving many teacups and desserts at one time, but also provides a thoughtful presentation.
Several reoccurring themes that Studio Junction has been exploring are the court yard as an architectural element, and thinking of the kitchen in terms of a piece of furniture. When using this bar cart, it becomes an extension of the kitchen to the outdoor space. This could be the same for any Toronto backyard or balcony and brings an element from the inside of your home to the outside further blurring the line.
The handles are actually cut and sanded, not steam bent. It makes for an incredible grain.
You can clearly see the Danish influence with the use of tapers and the mix of oak and oiled Peruvian walnut. Our little “Ceremony” milk set was on display as well. As mentioned before, the tray is removable, so you can easily carry its contents from the cart to the dining table or living room table and keep it in use as a serving tray.
A burl pedestal by Adrian Kuzyk.
Paintings by Judith Geher
A potluck dinner with all the participants and their families.
Screen by Joe Lin
Bamboo, rocks and water feature. Their courtyard is amazing (this photo doesn’t do it justice, was using a different lens and setting than usual and it was a hot mess).
Chair by LUBO – lubodesign.com
Hanging terrariums by Crown Flora Studio
Charred wood wall installation by Scott Eunson
Elodie nomming on some yogurt
Oak rocking chair by Megan Blake
Metal paintings by Lisa Petrocco
Children’s book by Jarl Anderson, illustrations and mask by Thomas Barker
The Boston Ivy is everywhere, greening the space in such a nice way.
It’s a rainy day here in Toronto, and I’m spending a quiet Sunday at the store reflecting on the past year and all of the amazing changes that have happened. There is nothing special about today, but it has a sort of significance for us because by this time next month we will have moved back into our home above the store.
Our mornings have consisted of talking about how nice it will be when we are back above the store, and our vision always includes enjoying coffee in various spots around the home. I go up almost every day to check on the progress, and I always find myself saying things like “Oh yes, the light is very nice here. This is the perfect place to have a cup of coffee.” In fact, there are 20 nice places to have coffee I think.
Now I feel a bit self conscious saying this next bit, but I think that if I acknowledge the stereotype all will be forgiven. Bloggers are often in the habit of apologizing about neglecting their blog, and we are guilty of this as well. We tell ourselves, once we are around nice surroundings we will be able to take more photos and talk with you more. I insist this is the truth, we will be back to our blogging ways soon enough.
Now I get a lot of people asking why we haven’t posted more photographs of the progress of our home, and I don’t really have a good answer. We’re always up for sharing most things, but this home is so intimate for us. I think over a time a mosaic of our home will be built with each post in the coming months. To just take a bunch of snaps of each room feels inappropriate. This is a space that needs time to settle in and evolve. Plus, if we show the whole house, how will we sell volume five of Mjolk?
Anyway, I’ve been holding on to these photos of Studio Junction’s new workshop. A space that we have greatly benefited from, as most of our mill work has churned out from here. New machines were buzzing away as I stopped by to visit a forest’s worth of white oak slated to be milled into doors, windows, and cabinets.
The work space is in a large brick building with a cantilevered mezzanine.
The work desk.
A prized Japanese hand saw.
A micro building model made of laminated wood.
The industrial glass windows are operable from this sliding track mechanism.
Piles and piles of white oak.
A huge slab of wenge being saved for something special – although we don’t know what that special something is yet!
The individual components for our doors.
The original light feature that was connected to the curve wall in our shop. The curve wall was originally part of an installation at the Gladtstone Hotel called “Come up to my room”. It was perfect timing because we commissioned our store shortly after and used the curved wall as a permanent feature at our store.
Seeing this, I wish we included the ceiling element as well!
The model of the infamous Courtyard House.
Only four more weeks to go. We can’t wait.
Last night was the 2nd Junction Design Crawl, and it was such a nice surprise to see so many familiar faces. Thank you to everyone who came out to explore the Junction and all of its unique businesses.
Our event was the tardy launch of Mjolk book volume 1. We had a bunch of special goodies on hand from Iceland and Hokkaido for people to buy as well as highlighting the makers and designers featured in our first volume.
The wrapwrap by Naoto Yoshida, the wood business card case by Masakage Tanno, and a very special hand carved Ainu bear from Hokkaido.
Kami cups, Pia Wallen and Iris Hantverk.
An Iba Takahito stool was on hand with our book – bookmarked to the page with an article on him.
This Ainu bear is perhaps the nicest one we have come across, it was kind of heart wrenching to see it go, but we know it went to a good home!
Something we were specifically excited about: all of the small Icelandic goodies we imported.
Opal and Topas candies, as well as Icelandic hot dog mustard.
Very cool wild herbs.
One of my favorite things in the world is show and tell. We thought it would be neat to display some things from our own personal collection, items we’ve picked up during our travels that continue to inspire us.
Many of the works are by artists we admire, or items that lead us to carrying a specific artist in our store.
Some wood spoons by Ryuji Mitani, and ceramic spoons by Nathalie Lahdenmaki.
On the left a plastic box, cherry wood cooking shovel, and box of air by Masanobu Ando.
A mix of objects including a copper Tapio Wirkkala bowl, Lisa Larsson fox, hand carved wood fox from Asahikawa, Japanese lacquer coated kin tea light holders by CKR.
We were so busy that we didn’t really have much of an opportunity to visit all of the shops in the neighborhood! This is just a sampling, but I’m sure there will be a lot of photos on the Design Crawl blog shortly, so stay tuned.
Mason’s beautiful cup light installation and harpist in the train platform across the street.
Articulations front window – there was more inside but it was too busy to get a quick peek (same for Opticianado). Sadly never made it over to Narwhal or Telephone Booth Gallery. Hopefully their exhibits will be up for a little bit longer!
Until next year……