Toronto

Snow, Breakfast, and Thor

December 7th, 2010

This is what I saw outside my window yesterday morning. This wasn’t the first snow fall this year, but it was the first time the snow stuck around.

It was our day off so we decided to go to Poor John’s in Parkdale for some brunch.

Juli had a breakfast bagel.

I had the traditional breakfast with marble rye toast, it was delicious! So nice to have a new brunch spot!

We finished our coffee at Poor Johns and decided to get another coffee at a new Scandinavian inspired espresso bar called Thor. We had the pleasure of meeting the owners Patrick and Tom during their renovations, but this was our first time actually seeing Thor in person.

Pine slats Spruce tongue and groove from a mid 1800s manufactory in the Kitchener/Waterloo area run the length of the bar.

It’s a cozy light filled space with sheepskins draped over white black and blue Eames shell chairs, the side tables are made from off-cuts from the bar.

The Eero Aarnio stools are from us, and they look amazing in the space!

A nice bright corner full of design and travel books, along with other goodies for sale.

Industrial felt covers pine benches underneath the span of windows.

One of the most important items at Thor is their “Slayer” espresso machine, one of only 52 on the planet.

The Viking themed artwork on the bathroom door by Afo Grigoriev, who also did the mural behind the bar. Love it!

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Melinda Josie – Dalahäst – at mjölk

November 27th, 2010

You may remember this painting we bought awhile back by artist Melinda Josie. Well, we are pleased to tell you that we have a special little exhibition of new artworks in Melinda Josie’s C series (or what has become a series!).

Now hanging at mjölk are the following gorgeous intricately hand painted pieces. It took all our strength to not scoop them all up (just one for our “permanent collection”)!

Dalahäst Björk
8.5″ x 8.5″ framed

$300

Dalahäst Korsstygn
8.5″ x 8.5″ framed

SOLD

Dalahäst Marinblå
8.5″ x 8.5″ framed

SOLD

Dalahäst Matsson
8.5″ x 8.5″ framed

$300

Dalahäst Mörbakelse
8.5″ x 8.5″ framed

$300

Dalahäst Sticka
8.5″ x 8.5″ framed

SOLD

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“Constructions” Contemporary Norwegian Arts & Crafts

November 23rd, 2010

Last week we went to the opening of “Constructions” a new exhibition at the Design Exchange highlighting contemporary Norwegian designers inspired by traditional folk crafts.

“This exhibition of contemporary Norwegian arts and crafts is based on the concept of “construction” – in the sense of the way something is put together. The term is used in many fields, including architecture, engineering and geometry, music and language. In the field of arts and crafts, “construction” is used to describe methods for both building three-dimensional forms and creating patterns in surfaces, or a fusion of these. There are many construction methods, ranging from work on a single object to the joining of different elements.”

Here is a small sampling of the show:

Crocheted jewlery made from mass produced ceramic figurines by Anne Lene Lovhaug.

Embroidered wooden boxes by Lars Sture

Burled birch bowl by Havard Larsen

Antler knife.

Bowl in Cherry wood with crushed eggshell lacquer interior by Lillian Dahle.

Contemporary Anorak bag inspired by traditional and ceremonial Anorak bags. By Marianne Moe.

A deconstructed quilt by Anne-Gry Loland.

Felt applique by Inger Johanne Rasmussen.

Embroidered wooden butterfly.

Antler Chain marked with plastic year markers used to mark reindeer, by Aslaug Juliussen.

The show is on from November 19th to January 23rd, check out the Design Exchange for directions and hours!

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Karelia

November 1st, 2010

Before there was Mjolk, there was a groundbreaking modernist store on Bloor Street West Front Street East called Karelia. It was a store that introduced modern Finnish design to Toronto. You could find high-end pieces by Yrjö Kukkapuro and Eero Aarnio, designers that still haven’t returned back to the Toronto modern retail scene.

The store existed before our time, but we have a lot of customers and former employees of Karelia that come in our store and reminisce about its time as a store.

Let me back track a little — Every Monday on our day off we visit a neighbourhood in the city. Today we trekked over to Leslieville, on Queen St. East. We visited Jake at one of the best stores in the city, Machine Age Modern. After talking obsessively about Tapio Wirkkala he took out an old poster he had from Karelia. He mentioned he had visited Janis Kravis, the owner of Karelia who is still working as an architect in Toronto.

He told me the owner has a whole wall of modernist glass, one of which was signed “Thanks for having me over for dinner – Alvar Aalto” A one of a kind piece created by Aalto to mark the occasion.

Imagine getting Finel coffee percolators for $15.95?

Jake gave us an early wedding gift, which are little mementos from the old Karelia store.

Two stainless steel hearts.

Which come together to form a sculpture. I’m not sure who the designer is but Jake thinks it’s from Sweden, I still need to do some research…

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Happy Canada Day!

July 1st, 2010

What did you do to celebrate?

Apparently we ate our faces off.

Starting with last night. John was feeling like exercising his culinary chops, so he made his very first risotto. Perfection (and looking forward to the leftovers tonight).

An unusual midweek day off for us meant heading over to the Annex to visit a favourite brunch spot that has been off our roster lately. At Insomnia, we always sit at the bar, and I secretly am peeved when someone is sitting in our precise spot, as there was today (bar was otherwise empty). Our favourite waitress was there which made up for that! By the way, Insomnia has great coffee. You just want to sit there and drink and drink and drink. I got the eggs florentine. They put dill in the sauce, and their potatoes are crazy ketchupy and strangely yummy.

John got the waffle with fruit. I took it to the extreme and had one quarter of it for dessert. What is my problem?

Because we slept in this morning (luxurious!), we literally headed home after brunch and packed up our stuff for a picnic in the park. We met Aprile and Jory, and Chloé and Adam at the busy High Park entrance. I proceeded to lead them into uncharted territory in the search for the perfect picnic spot. We ended up near the restaurant (charted territory). John brought his trusty splint basket!

A nice little spot.

Aprile and Jory are using the Furoshiki paper gift we brought back for them from Japan!

And the eating begins again! Aprile roasted pork this morning and we had sandwiches. Delish.

Jory’s potato salad.

A musical interlude.

Chloé’s blueberry scones, Aprile’s apple and raspberry pie, and oh no! I forgot to have Aprile’s granola bar for the road. Dang. Recipes please. Chloé had the bright idea of putting whip cream and strawberries on the scones to make them into impromptu strawberry shortcakes and my stomach approved.

Food coma.

Aprile’s homemade raspberry lemonade. Pretty!

That was my first ever High Park picnic, and it was so relaxing and fun. So glad that we live nearby! Thanks to everyone for all the delicious food that you brought. Sorry we kind of free loaded. Heh…..

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Nikole Herriott’s home

June 9th, 2010

Did everyone get a chance to see Nikole Herriot’s home on Design Sponge this week?

Nikole and Celine (Bonjour Celine) got together to photograph the space and the result is just fantastic! Nikole definitely scored a perfect apartment in one of Toronto’s older buildings, my guess it’s a low-rise. It just goes to show it’s not about how much space you have, it’s how you choose to use (and accessorize) the space.

We love the simplicity of Nikole’s bedroom. The wonderful black painted wall, crisp white sheets, and Eames rocker with a reindeer hide draped over it.

We’re still waiting on a few things to come together before we reveal our own finished bedroom, but it’s really coming along.

A beautiful white kitchen with ceramic tiles and open shelves.

Does that glass brush looks familiar?

Make sure you check out the full post here (love the bathroom!).

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