One of a Kind Show

The One of A Kind Show - Spring 2012 - Part 1

March 30, 2012

This week I had the opportunity to explore the One of a Kind Show here in Toronto which is running through Sunday, April 1st at Exhibition Place. The One of a Kind Show is held twice a year - once in the spring, and once before Christmas. I've only ever been to the show once, and it was a few years ago, so this was something a little bit new for me and I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I really enjoyed my time exploring (so much so I went back on a second day), and I can see why it a spring tradition for many people in the Greater Toronto Area to attend the show.
One of a Kind show Toronto
One of a Kind Show - Spring 2012
If you don't have the opportunity to attend I've rounded up a few of my favorites from the show to share with you. Most of the artists have websites, so I'll include them to you can take a look at more of their work. If you're heading to the show this weekend I hope you'll take a peek at the below to help you plan which of the many booths to explore (I've included the booth numbers).


OOAK - Kerry Walford
One of a Kind Show - Kerry Walford
Kerry Walford (Booth P-27) is an artist specializing in oil painting. The cute little 'Bird with red Scarf' above are $120 and I was rather tempted by them. She has prints and note cards available with her work as well if an oil original is outside your budget.

OOAK - Pebble art of Nova Scotia
One of Kind Show - Pebble Art of Nova Scotia
Pebble Art of Nova Scotia (Booth L-31) is created by Sharon Nowlan. All of the pebbles are collected on the beaches near her home. The picture above, entitled 'Spring' is $119 (my apologies for the photo which doesn't do her work justice)  Pebble Art on Etsy

OOAK - Mara Minuzzo
One of a Kind Show - Mara Minuzzo
Mara Minuzzo (Booth I-36) is an artist whose work I've seen before (most recently at The Artist Project). Her art blocks of Play Mobile figurines never fail to make me smile. ($35). Her art blocks of mid-century furniture items are great, and her paintings of people and scenery are wonderful . Blue Trike on Etsy


OOAK - Moonrox
One of a Kind Show - Moonrox
MoonRox (Booth Q-32) is jewelry and accessories made by Monique Chan. I love the colours and the combination of the metal and cord. The lovely entwined bracelets above are $65.  Moonrox on Etsy

OOAK - She Smiled and Ran
One of a Kind Show - She Smiled and Ran
She Smiled and Ran (Booth N-44) is a contemporary jewelry line created by Annie Tung. The Wave ring ($320) above fits over two fingers, and made me wish my birthday hadn't just passed.


OOAK - Nicole Tarasick
One of a Kind Show - Nicole Tarasick
Nicole Tarasick (Booth G-35) creates handmade screen printed items. The Canadian airport codes were what first drew my attention to her booth, and I love that what she had displayed all had a distinct Canadian angle. Small pillow: $65, Large: $95 (both with feather fill)  Nicole Tarasick on Etsy

OOAK - Bookhou
One of a Kind Show - Bookhou
Bookhou (Booth K-09) had a number of different products featured, but it was their textiles that drew my eye. I love these tea towels ($16) and the  Moose onesie ($25) made me smile. Bookhou on Etsy

OOAK - Jenna Rose
One of a Kind Show - Jenna Rose
Jenna Rose (Booth I-16) is a textile studio where all the designs are initially hand drawn by Jenna Fenwick before being screen printed using water-based pigments. I honestly couldn't tell you which of Jenna's designs I liked the best - they're all gorgeous. Blankets $98, Tea towels $15, Pillows $60.  Jenna Rose on Etsy

OOAK - Avril Loreti
One of a Kind Show - Avril Loreti
Avril Loreti (Booth L-05) is a textile designer whose use of vibrant colour and pattern is amazing. The tea towels above are $25 and I can't decide which of them I like best (I keep changing my mind).  Avril Loreti on Etsy

I'm going to give your scrolling finger a rest and end this post here. I'll post some more favorites later, but in the meantime, if you're heading to the One of a Kind show this weekend make sure you visit the booths of the artist above, or take a peak at their websites.


March Flowers - a Birthday Bouquet, and Photography Practice

March 28, 2012

Unbelievably it's nearing  the end of March - where did the month go? In February I decided that I was going to treat myself to flowers once a month. If you follow me on twitter you know that my brother J sent me a lovely bouquet for my birthday, so while I didn't treat myself I'm still counting these flowers towards my goal of having fresh flowers in my home at least once a month.

By the time I remembered to take pictures these lovelies had been in my apartment for almost a week so they're not quite as stunningly vibrant as they were when I first received them. A small warning - I decided to practice my close-up photography with the bouquet as my subject so there are quite a number of pictures to scroll through - I hope you don't mind.
March Birthday bouquet
My bouquet one week later. It's lasting rather well.
Yellow rose in the foregroud
March bouquet close-up

Orange Gerbera

Pink rose amongst other flowers

Pink rose close-up

Pink rose

Pink Rose close-up 

Yellow Rose
I have to say that I'm loving my new camera - I never would have been able to take pictures like these with my old point-and-shoot.


Almost Free Bird

March 19, 2012

Sometime last year I was browsing one of my favorite blogs -'The Art of Doing Stuff', when I came across a post where Karen took an inexpensive dollar store ceramic bird and transformed it with a quick spray of paint. I decided right then an there that I was going to do the same if I was ever so lucky to come across a ceramic dollar store bird of my own. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery right?

It took a while, but eventually my local Dollarama had some birds I could try my hand at spraypainting. They had three styles, and when I first saw them I have to admit that I didn't even remember my plan to
copyemulate Karen's idea. By the time my brain kicked in, all my local Dollaramas were completely sold out of birds, and I had to Google the store to find some locations in the far reaches of suburbia. Okay - it wasn't that bad - I just had to travel about 30 minutes by bus. That store had one version of the bird left so I scooped him up, and brought him home where he resided wrapped in tissue paper for months. (I need to work on my idea/plan execution - this isn't the only project that's languished as I twiddled my thumbs - but that's a different blog post).
Dollarstore Bird - Before
Dollarstore bird - Before
Anyways, after my successful first two forays (one, two) into the magical world of spray paint I decided to unearth the bird for his transformation.

Three coats of spray paint later, and a little white felt on the bottom and he's been transformed.
Dollarstore bird after
Dollarstore bird - After
What do you think? As I already had the white spray paint and felt from my bookend project, this little bird project cost a whopping $2.26 (Incl. taxes). Pretty good right? My bird wasn't as cheap (cheep - Ha!) as Karen's, but I blame that entirely on Dollarama switching from the everything for $1 pricing model, to a few things for a $1, and most at $2.


Put a Little Bit of Ireland on Your Table: Irish Brown Bread

March 13, 2012

It's St. Patrick's day on Saturday, and as I'm genetically 50% Irish I feel I would be highly remiss if I didn't share something of my heritage with you. I love all things Irish - I was extremely lucky growing up and got to visit Ireland every summer. My boyfriend D says I can spot an Irish flag from any distance (For some reason he finds this odd - he's never been and therefore doesn't understand how wonderful a country Ireland is), and the sound of an Irish accent always makes me smile. 
Irish Brown Bread

I debated just what to share - there's the picture of me in the leprechaun hat (I decided that would most likely cause permanent damage to your retinas given the hat came complete with a red beard), but then remembered this recipe for brown bread that is quite similar to one my grandmother used to make (and still does) whenever I visit her in Dublin.
Brown bread, cream cheese, and smoked salmon

This bread is lovely served with plain cream cheese and lox, or even toasted with peanut butter.
Irish Brown Bread with cream cheese and lox
Irish brown bread with Cream cheese and Lox

print recipe

Irish Brown Bread
Fresh brown bread was always a staple in my grandmother's house whenever I visited her in Dublin.
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp. wheat bran
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 3/4 to 2 cups buttermilk*
* If you don't have buttermilk you can make your own. Pour 2 tbsp of lemon juice into a measuring cup. Fill to the 2 cup mark, and let sit for about 10 minutes until it's curdled.Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and grease a large loaf pan (I use a spray)In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Add the buttermilk, and stir to form a thick batter. Pour it into the prepared pan.Bake in the preheated oven for 1 to 1.5 hrs, or until the top is nicely browned. You’ll know the loaf is done when there is a hollow sound when you tap on the bottom of the pan. Remove the loaf from the pan and wrap it in a damp dish towel until cooled – this softens the crust (although it will still require a good bread knife)
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 loaf


Moving Furniture Without Lifting a Finger

March 07, 2012

When I first moved into my apartment I didn't have a single piece of living room furniture other than my desk, and the media console I inherited from the previous owner. I'm coming up on my two-year anniversary and I've managed to accumulate a bit more furniture since move-in day, but it's all been placed in the room in a rather unimaginative way - up against the walls. I've tried to imagine different room layouts, but the idea of moving all my big furniture around only to realise what worked in my head doesn't in reality has stopped me from testing my out my wonder woman powers.

While trolling the internet one day looking for some more lighting for my living room I spotted something intriguing on the Urban Barn website. It's an application called 'The Make room' planner and it allows you to try different configurations until you find the best layout for your space - all with barely lifting a finger! The application, which is online, allows you to create your own layout, and then add all you furniture and lighting elements. The  application comes pre-loaded with all of Urban Barn's products, but because most homeowners buy from various sources you can add custom sized elements to represent furniture you already own. I don't own any furniture from Urban Barn so I measured and created all my furniture on the program. Once you've got all your items gathered you can move them around and save different layouts for viewing again later.

I played around with it for a while, and I came up with some layouts that could work, but I need some help deciding which I should risk straining a muscle to recreate in my living room, and I'm hoping you might help (BTW - Urban Barn has no idea I'm writing this post. I found the tool and though it was neat so I'm sharing it).

Here are the furnishings I'm dreaming of moving around:
My new coffee table in place

My new Louis XV Style chairs

This is my current furniture layout:
My current living room layout
As you can see, it's not very imaginatively laid out. And it's a bit of a lie - those chairs are usually sitting up against a wall as I still haven't managed to refinish them. Also my desk isn't that clean - it's currently covered in piles of papers. I don't watch a huge amount of TV, but when I do the sofa isn't oriented in the best way to do so.

Here are the layouts I created online. They are in no particular order.
Livingroom layout option 1
Layout 1. The table and lamp behind the sofa would have to purchased
Livingroom layout option 2
Layout 2

Livingroom layout option 3
Layout 3
Livingroom layout option 4
Layout 4. The table and lamp behind the sofa would have to be purchased

Livingroom layout option 5
Layout 5
Livingroom layout option 6
Layout 6. The table and lamp behind the sofa would have to be purchased
What do you think? Would any of the options above work better than my current furniture placement? Are there any I haven't thought of?

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