Swag Update: Embroidery Fun pack from Sublime Stitching!

sublime stitching (1)b

sublime stitching (3)b

As many of you may know, we host a raffle every year at City of Craft. As we draw nearer to the big weekend, this blog will be your source for all the previews of our awesome raffle prizes as well as goodies for the 200 (100 daily) swag bags for early bird shoppers.

Today's preview comes to us all the way from sunny Austin, Texas, home of one of our favourite pals, Sublime Stitching. Founded by illustrious embroidery heroine, Jenny Hart, Sublime Stitching aims to make the world a more beautiful place one stitch at a time. To that end, they have sent us a embroiderer's fantasy gift pack to raffle off this year. In it, you will find a wide array of stitch-enabling materials - needles, a hoop, thread, scissors, instructions and Sublime Stitching's trademark iron-on transfers. In all comes in a plane canvas tote, too. If you feel like festooning something right away, consider that your first canvas.

Thank you, Sublime Stitching! And good luck to all the raffle hopefuls with needlepoint dreams.


Sponsor Profile: Free Drawings/Cave Mind

cave mind advert

This update comes to you from the depth of indie awesomeness. Full disclosure makes me want to inform you, dear citizen, that the first time we approached Cave Mind/Jesjit/Free Drawings as a sponsor, their response was something along the lines of "How could we sponsor you? We have no money."

In some ways, these are the moments I enjoy. I get to tell Jesjit that an amazing contribution of copies of Free Drawings for all of our swag bags is a massive gift to us and that it is worth money (or has a value). Let me explain: Free Drawings is one of those magical, ideal projects that brings together a loose collective of artists to put out a publication that is then given out free through various indie outlets (fairs, boutiques, book stores, galleries). It is so close to the ideals that founded City of Craft, that it almost aches.

I could gush endlessly, but the point is this: all of our lucky swag bag recipients and talented vendors will be receiving a free copy of Free Drawings. Yes, all copies of Free Drawings are free but, as with most magical projects, the difficultly is not in affording them but in finding them.

For those of you who are not vendors or lucky enough to be one of the first 100 attendees each day, there are lots of places to track the publication down. Check the Free Drawings site for tips.


For Keeps: a mending show.

Good Day, Citizens. This just came to us down the pipeline from our partners-in-craft, WORN Fashion Journal and The Toronto Craft Alert. Check it out...

Mended Socks from Grant Heaps. Photo by Danijela Pruginic.

City of Craft 2010 in conjunction with Toronto Craft Alert and WORN Fashion Journal presents

FOR KEEPS: a Mending Show

Everyone’s got something they can’t throw away. Sometimes the “why” is obvious – it’s an heirloom or a collectible – but sometimes it’s not clear at all. Maybe you keep stitching up the thumb on your grubby mittens or gluing the handle back on your dollar store mug. For one reason or another you’ve become attached…

FOR KEEPS is an exhibition of ordinary objects made extraordinary by the efforts their owners have made to recognize, save, store, and repair – and our own desire to assign value and meaning in a disposable society. Some of the objects contributed include a 1920s dress, ripped open for an emergency delivery (and subsequently restitched), and a decaying teddy bear passed down and loved through generations. Oh, and socks.

But it’s not just about pondering the void and our own finite destiny… The opening reception features a mending circle from 7-9pm. Now’s your chance to deal with that thing you broke and can’t figure out how to fix (with the help of a facilitator and mending supplies), plus live music by L-CON. Later on there’ll be a dj, too (so if the thing you fixed was a can, you can shake it).

FOR KEEPS features work by and contribution from Serene Daoud, Becky Johnson, Leah Buckareff, Angela Turner, Jacqueline Lawson, Mary Kroetsch, Alison L. Pearce and Grant Heaps. Curated by Jen Anisef and Marsya Maharani, featuring photography by Danijela Pruginic.

Opening Reception on Thursday, December 9th / 7-9pm mending circle / L-CON at 10pm
Exhibition runs through December 21, 2010
Cream Tangerine Gallery, 1087 Queen St W, Toronto


Money and Mending (or Exhibitions at City of Craft 2010)

Leah's Plate
"I Suck" - Broken Plate on loan from Leah Buckareff
Photograph by Danijela Pruginic

This year, City of Craft is very excited to be playing host to two exciting and dynamic group shows in the environs of our Theatre Centre home.

First, we are teaming up with the Toronto Craft Alert and WORN Fashion Journal to present For Keeps: a mending show. Co-curated by Jen Anisef and Marsya Maharani, For Keeps has collected a variety of lovingly mended articles and given them to local photographer Danijela Prugenic to interpret the everyday into the artful. Most of the items and all the photographs will be on display at Cream Tangerine Gallery from December 9-21, 2010. And if you like to blend art, mending and parties, you'll probably want to stop by the December 9th opening party/mending circle/dance dance dance spearheaded by the awesome ladies of WORN.

More on all the contributors and partners can be found here.

Tender Tender - Meags Fitzgerald
Tender Tender by Meags Fitzgerald for Love and Money

Over at the Ontario Crafts Council Gallery is a show that considers thrift, craft and commerce in a very different light. Curated by Tara Bursey, Love and Money is a group show that brings together work from disparate artists and craft practices to tackle concepts of currency, skill, craft, business and love (and more).

The work is so exciting and overwhelming in its scope, that you may just have to check it out yourself.

Love and Money runs December 16 - 31, 2010 at the OCC Gallery with an opening reception on the 16th.

More info on Love and Money and be found here.

More updates and information of both of these shows and their respective openings will be popping up here in the coming weeks. Who knows, maybe the curators might even pipe up. That was a hint, ladies.


Swag Update: Tickle Your Funny Bone at Comedy Bar.

comedy bar tickets

As we draw nearer to the big City of Craft weekend (just over one month and counting), goodies for the raffle and swag bags are beginning to roll in and this blog is your one stop for all sneak peeks in that direction.

First up, the fine folks at Comedy Bar on sparkling Bloor Street West have found it in their hilarious hearts to supply vouchers for two free tickets in every single swag bag. These vouchers will be good for one of the two house shows, Catch23 Improv and Sunday Night Live, and last through the end of February. Sketch and improv comedy may not be craft in a tangible set, but Comedy Bar has made it their mission to support and house independently produced comedy in the city of Toronto. Since City of Craft loves all things independently produced, we are really excited to spread the joy of DIY performance to our attendees.

Thanks for sharing the fun with us, Comedy Bar!

Note: Special City of Craft Swag Bags will be handed out to the first 100 attendees each day. It may be worth bundling up to get one as folks tend to line up.


Vendor Hype: Shannon Gerard at Open Studio.

open studio 2

open studio

City of Craft would like to send a big congratulations to super-vendor and staffer, Shannon Gerard, for her new show opening tonight at Open Studio in Toronto. Unspent Love (or things i wish i told you) is the large-scale culmination of a bookwork that began on the internet (well, it probably began in Shannon's head/heart and then went through her pen, but you get the idea). See what happens when thought, feeling, drawing, digitizing, screen printing, letterpress, bookbinding and installation combine. If you are a Toronto crafter, you may see some familiar faces on the wall and pages, too.

The show opens tonight with an artist talk from Shannon (followed by a reception) and runs through November 27th. Tonight's event also serves as a launch for the print version of the book (button hole stitched by the artist herself, no less).

More information can be found via facebook here.

Way to go, Shan!



Other Shows (or the Craft Fair Season Looms).

puces pop composite
Photo of Puces Pop 2009 by sweetie pie press

First, I am back from Europe and doggedly trying to dig through all the emails that piled up during my last few weeks of internet-slim travel. All questions shall be answered and all mysteries revealed in the coming days.

This is also the time of year when the email box fills up with messages from people who missed our deadlines asking for space at the show (impossible) and/or information on other shows (possible). That's why I was so happy to open our email to find a wonderfully comprehensive list of local (and nearby) winter craft fairs compiled by the lovely Jen of the Toronto Craft Alert. The Craft Alert is technically on hiatus until the new year so I was extra thrilled at this surprise. Jen has posted the entire list on the TCA forums here (with users contributing even more shows).

A few fairs still have calls open, too, like the wonderful Puces Pop in Montreal and the Movies and Makers in Leslieville. So get on it, crafties. And feel free to check out the growing call for vendors forum on the TCA for anything last-minute that may pop up.

Yours in Craft,