We’re on the Government of Canada’s website!

November 8th, 2013

So a cool thing happened! We ended up of the Government of Canada’s website for our CEREMONY set that was designed by Swedish architect firm Claesson Koivisto Rune. It is now my main mission to have this tea set ready for sale before December.

Here is the webpage: Link

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Max Papart lithograph

October 30th, 2013

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I’m not going to lie, it’s been awhile since we’ve been able to blog properly.  A mixture of travel, sickness and everyday life getting in the way. Things are happening over here but there’s no time to report on it! Who knew, kids need attention. A lot of it.

The last Junction Flea happened earlier in the month (sniffle) and it was a great run while it lasted! We thank Micah and Paul for putting it all together and wish them all the best for their future plans.

At the second to last flea (which I thought was the last flea) there was a piece of art that caught my eye, but price and mood got in the way. When I chanced upon it again at the actual last flea and found out the price was now $80, I just had to go for it. We had recently swapped out our sofa–it was time to let the 1960s sofa go – don’t worry, we replaced it with the same one, in natural–and found that our living room acquired a new vibe in the process.

I find it so hard to acquire art. On the one hand I want contemporary work but cannot necessarily afford to acquire it quickly. On the other hand I think it’s nice to balance the contemporary out with some older work. But striking a balance, and not going too kitchy is always a concern. I think this piece plays well with the contemporary piece it’s placed beside, as well as the natural leather and oak in the room.

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A detail.

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Max Papart (1911-1994), France.
Lithograph on Arches with Embossing, Signed and numbered in pencil.

Just needs a frame to finish it off!

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Winnipeg, Friendly Manitoba

October 13th, 2013

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Our main reason for visiting Winnipeg was to see our friends Nils Vik and Thom Fougere (and to make a new friend of Mike from Scandinavian Modern). We met Nils and Thom years ago at IDS (ahhh so young), when they had their prototype on display. Since then Nils opened a very successful cafe, Parlour Coffee, in the Exchange neighbourhood (more on Thom later).

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They offer pour over, which is still a rarity.

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A lot of interesting events happening in Winnipeg these days!

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The Parlour space is definitely more of a grab and go scenario, however there are some bar stools if you’re lucky to nab one.

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A simple menu. I imagine their treats sell out pretty early, as there seems to always be a lot of traffic.

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Babyccino?

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I spy Mjölk Volume II and a much coveted Volume I, probably the only one left worldwide!!!

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Tyndall stone facade and some benches to enjoy before the -40 temperatures start.

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As if we hadn’t had enough coffee we headed over to MAKE Coffee + Stuff. We were invited to be on the Jury for an international lighting competition they were holding, called 011_SHADE.

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Some of the other jury members.

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Although this light wasn’t photographed the best in the submission package, it turned out to be a surprise hit for us.

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This one we found to be a unique take on the bubble light.

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This design is so intriguing, with the weight of the concrete and lightness of the wire.

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You know how we love that charred wood look.

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We attempted a fancier meal on our last night at highly recommended Segovia. We don’t generally do dinner with Elodie as her bath time is at 6pm sharp and she’s in bed by 6:30-7. Add a time change and well, we were heading towards disaster city. We were THOSE people. The ones with a screaming toddler in a fancy restaurant. But I mean come on, who really goes out for an intimate dinner at 5PM??? Sheesh. We should have had that room to ourselves yet the tables filled up around us. Anyway, Elodie refused to sit with us or eat anything. I had bought her a Thomas the Tank Engine toy so she happily played with it on the floor…well happily until she tried to choo choo it to where all the servers bustle about. Rookie parent I am it took me forever to remember to shove my iphone at her, which let us shovel food into our mouths for about 7 minutes in relative peace. Check please!

I will say that although we crammed the food in (is there any other way with young kids anyway?), the food was incredible. Oh to be savored…maybe next time!

 

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The main event of our trip was the Thom Fougere + Børge Mogensen exhibition.

It was so amazing to see Thom’s work finally available for purchase, taking production into his own hands and working with local suppliers it is very inspiring. It was also a pleasure to meet and have dinner with Mike from Scandinavian.Modern, a kindred spirit indeed. He really knows his stuff and has impeccable taste. He is always pushing designers that tend to be a little less mainstream here in North America, and of course the Danish modern enthusiasts who are in the know have a ton of respect for his offerings.

Here is the images we could muster on a dark and cozy Winnipeg evening:

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The beautiful Tyndall stone table, an iconic stone used throughout the buildings in the prairies.

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Charge catch for holding your phone while it is being charged.

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Bench coat rack system, and wood and metal side table.

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The Parlour portable coffee bar.

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Believe it or not, this used to be just like our old apartment. We also have a vintage 2213 sofa in black leather with mahogany legs, as well as Thom’s tyndall table. I think it is a perfect combination.

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The newest work on exhibit is Thom’s magazine rack which is to the left of the Mogensen sofa.

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The brass detail of a rare armchair Børge Mogensen designed for Karl Andersson & Söner.

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Børge Mogensen canvas and oak Easy chair for Fredericia.

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An incredible module sofa with wall mounted headrests. If we had a place for it in our life, I would love this for our home.

We had a great time in Winnipeg, and we’re looking forward to our next visit!

 

 

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Winnipeg, MB

October 2nd, 2013

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The other week we visited Winnipeg. Why Winnipeg you ask? Well, firstly I (Juli) grew up visiting my grandmother and family several times a year, even attending a French day camp at St. Boniface for a month in the summer. More recently though, we have made quite a few friends through the shop that are from Winnipeg. Some events were happening all at the same time so we figured it was a good time to visit.

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It was Elodie’s first airplane ride and she was surprisingly amazing for a very busy 18 month old. Although I think a 2 hour flight is her maximum, she stayed in our lap and was quiet the whole flight (not as good the way back, but what can you do!). We rented a car and made our first stop The Forks for some lunch. We were going to go to the children’s museum but Mike from Scandinavian Modern told us about this amazing park right next door.The Variety Heritage Adventure Playground had plenty to do to burn off some of that toddler energy.

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After a long play session Elodie passed out in the car and we drove around town.

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We then visited Little Sister Coffee Maker, a new cafe in Osborne Village, co-owned by our friend Nils Vik of Parlour Coffee and his sister-in-law Vanessa. I am so embarrassed that I didn’t get any proper photos. Travelling with toddler made it hard to get in the zone, and we thought we would have time to visit again (we didn’t), so I only got two shots!

Regardless, the atmosphere is really lovely, and the details are all there, right down to the colour scheme and fresh flowers. Honestly, this is the type of cafe we would go to daily if given the opportunity. They actually use legit Iittala mugs and serve incredible croissants and baked goods. I had a mocha and it was the best I have ever had. John had a pour over, which not many places take the time to do. In order to get Elodie to sit still for a few minute we placated her with her very own cookie. She responded with a fairly adept impersonation of Cookie Monster (nom nom nom) and refused to share even one bite of her cookie with us. She is her mother’s daughter.

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A cute post box turned trash bin.

We were pretty tired after our busy day so we headed back to our fancy digs at The Fairmont to grab some room service and put Elodie to bed. We ended up with a double room suite (it was the only room available, I swear) and it was worth every penny. When your kid goes to bed around 7pm the last thing you want to do is sit in the dark for the rest of the evening. Also the room service was surprisingly good for a change.

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If you are familiar with Winnipeg then you will know that Stella’s is an institution at this point. I used to go with my grandma to the location in Osborne Village and it’s as good now as it ever was. Best breakfast in town – actually I wish there was one in Toronto!

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I know this looks pretty average but they make their own jam and bread which are two huge factors in the best breakfast category. We ate here both mornings.

Some architecture:

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The Exchange area

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Winnipeg City Hall

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Centennial Concert Hall

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Manitoba Museum and Planetarium

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The first diorama in the museum is the bison hunt, a classic. I always insisted on visiting the museum, every single time, dead of winter even (three buses).

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A newer diorama of a Ukrainian homestead. Looks like a William Kurelek painting!

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Old murals

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Tyndall stone, a limestone rich in decorative fossils, is widely used in commercial applications in Winnipeg. Our friend Thom made a gorgeous coffee table out of this material.

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The iconic The Golden Boy, perched on top of the legislature building.

Another post to follow!

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City of Toronto 2013 Urban Design Awards

September 12th, 2013

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Last night we attended the City of Toronto 2013 Urban Design Awards and were honoured to receive, along with Peter and Christine of Studio Junction, an award of excellence for our building, including the front facade restoration, the retail space and home! It was nice to be recognized in this manner because Studio Junction and their crew worked extremely hard on this project, and for us it’s nice to be acknowledged for bringing back the historic live/work aspect of a localized small business strip.

No one knew what big box stores would do to not only our shopping habits, but how we interact (or don’t) with the cityscape. We are so pleased to be a part of a new generation of small businesses working to regenerate the street life that makes our city a vibrant place to live.

Visit the list of winners.

The jury report summarizes the results of the competition.

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Quebec

September 4th, 2013

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Last week we took a little road trip, sans bébé, to visit our friends Renaud and Gilbert. They live in paradise and are exceptional cooks so you’re all very lucky we returned. We were ready to give it all up and live the country life. It’s quite a reminder that we don’t interact with nature enough (at all?) in our hectic city life. We will have to make more of an effort to head out into nature more often, especially with our little outdoorsbaby, who collapses in a heap of despair every time we try to bring her indoors.

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Gilbert and Renaud (pictured at right chatting with John) are building their own three storey home, with a wood shop on the main floor basement and a lovely ceramics studio just off the kitchen on the second floor. Both are exceptional craftsmen and the details of their home and work show it. We’ll be featuring their studio and home in our next Mjölk volume.

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Their property is nearly self sustaining, with a large garden patch, and a beautiful river that runs through it for swimming, contemplation, clay digging or rock hunting.

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They have a cat who is a real cat. He goes outside all night long and then passes out exhausted in the morning to sleep the day away. I didn’t realize that this seat was his special place. He made do.

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The neighbour down the lane owns the whole big property, and has a donkey, three (?) dogs and about 11 cats.

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The neighbour’s guest house (barn) and house.

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The house is still under construction as you can see but it has such a nice comfortable vibe. Left over Paella made by Gilbert for lunch before we hit the road.

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On our way home we stopped in Montreal for a day. We stayed at Hotel Gault near old Montreal.

With only a day we started at Olive & Gourmande (Renaud recommended it and it was around the corner from our hotel) for some coffee and light breakfast then headed up to Jean-Talon Market.

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Feeling kind of lazy we soon found ourselves at Cafe Ellefsen. We had considered doing a feature on it for our next book but found out from the owners that they recently sold it and that it will have to change themes before the end of September. I think the owners are looking for a new location. We had some coffee and then found that it was lunch time so we ordered some Smørrebrød and poutine (when in Quebec…).

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With full bellies we walked over to the Mile End neighbourhood. I don’t think I’ve ever been over there! The last time I was in Montreal was in younger years when we went for the nightlife and slept most of the day away. Now it’s the opposite, we’re in bed by 8! Soon we’ll be sporting practical clothing and shoes and backpacks to hike the city streets (never). So I am not sure if Mile End always had things happening or if it’s a relatively newer hot spot. It has some nice design shops, restaurants, cafes and clothing shops (above was my favourite). Worth visiting the neighbourhood as it’s away from the crowds and more youthful.

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All in all a relaxing little holiday!

Sorry we’ve been so quiet lately…we hope to get back into the swing of things this fall. We hope that you all had a really nice summer, though didn’t it seem so short this year? We don’t have too much planned for the fall at Mjölk, besides restocking the showroom for the holiday season and focusing our attention on finding new Scandinavian products and the blog. Hope to see you soon!

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