Huddling up for Warmth

I'm at Studio Huddle watching the shop with Aaron Oussoren, glass artist and co-founder of this amazing studio space and collective. It's pretty wintery out there, but I braved the wind and snow from Burlington and am now comfortably shop-sitting, waiting for eager patrons to stumble in off the street and spend some time with lovely handmade goods. So far, it's pretty quiet here. But I can't blame the public. It's the perfect day to stay inside, cuddled up with Earl Grey and a cozy blanket. Toss in some Friends reruns, and/or a good book (Storm of Swords) and the day is made. The blizzard outside only adds to the magic.

But if you're feeling so inclined, come by for a visit (97 Niagara St. Toronto). We are here until 6pm. The wind is only a little chilling, and the snow only slightly deep. Plus, maybe you could pick up a lovely handmade mug to drink your Earl Grey in later tonight. Or, a handmade flask - to keep your insides warm on the transit-ride home. Here's one of Sally McCubbin's "Holy Water Flasks":

holy water flaskIf you can't make it today, there's still time to come and visit! The shop is open until December 24th.

Studio Huddle

Toronto's group studio "Studio Huddle" is having its annual holiday shopping event this month. I am very thankful to have been invited to participate in this show, with many artists I admire. Jesse and I attended the opening shopping night last Thursday, to shmooze with other artisans and see how they had displayed the work. Margaret Lim did a fantastic job with the display, and the mulled wine was delicious. I always love attending openings but I don't often make it to many because I don't live in the city. When I do get the chance, I try to spend a long time catching up with my craft-peers, and absorbing the quality of the work. There is still so much to learn and exhibitions are one of the best places to be inspired! I'm thankful Jesse is a trouper and joins me on these ventures, even when I spend the night chatting with other artists.

IMG_4737 It was very comforting to see my work alongside these other fantastic artisans. To say I am delighted would be an understatement!

If you haven't had the chance yet, check out the show this month (it runs until Christmas Eve). I'll be there this Saturday from 2:30-6pm, watching the shop and absorbing the greatness. You could stop and say hello! The work is exceptional, and what better gift to give that special someone, than a one-of-a-kind piece of art?

I picked up one of Brad Copping's "Stumpware" candle holders at the opening (featured below, next to my mugs and espresso cups). I have added it to my personal collection because, well, sometimes it's nice to treat yourself (:

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Studio Huddle is located at 97 Niagara St. in Toronto, ON. For more information about the show, visit my NEWS page for the event postcard, or the Studdle Huddle Pop-Up Shop event page

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The Grotto

Days off are my favourite part about living in Wiarton -  I can spend the day going on adventures, and relish every ounce of the environment. There are so many treasures to find and so many lovely places to visit!

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Last weekend my friend Alicia came up to visit me and we went on a Bruce Peninsula road trip. We hit up Eugenia, Wiarton, Tobermory and Lion's Head in under 24 hours - sharing a meal in each one and taking time to marvel at the scenery. Tobermory lies at the tip of the peninsula that separates Lake Huron from Georgian Bay. Off the coast of Tobermory are dozens of shipwrecks that you can see if you take a glass-bottom boat tour, and many islands to visit, including Manitoulin. This little town is a huge tourist attraction in the summer, due to its fantastic hiking spots, gorgeous views and excellent waters for boating. In the winter, however, the population drops down to a few hundred.

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We spent the better part of the day poking around the gift shops and art galleries, took a walk to see the Chi Cheemaun ferry, and then drove out to the point to get a good view of the islands. I was particularly fond of the Marine Chart Shop, where there were stacks of maps to look through and lots of interesting marine books to peruse. I have been looking for marine charts for quite some time now, so was pleased to have found the hot spot for these lovely treasures. I will have to get back there and pick up a few before my time in Wiarton is done. I would love to plaster  those large nautical charts on my future studio's walls.

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On our way to Lion's Head we went to the Bruce Peninsula National Park (Cypress Lake) and hiked out to the Grotto. The Grotto is a well known cave at the edge of the bay. You can carefully climb down the cliffside to the dank cavern and go for a swim in its pool. Deep in the grotto is a tunnel that exits into the bay on the other side of the cliff wall. Theoretically, you can dive down into the pool, through the tunnel and out the other side. Not many people venture down, but there were some scuba divers making the trek during our visit. Apparently you can complete the dive and tunnel swim without an oxygen tank, but it's risky business. I am much too claustrophobic to enjoy such a daredevil act. However, the colour of the water alone makes the Grotto a must see.

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