Thursday, 10 November 2016

Open Secret: The Trinity Bellwoods Flea is one of the best markets in Toronto

As a firm believer in what is usually labeled handmade, craft, or artisanal, I love local markets. You know that I make greetings cards, and you may also know that I bake with sourdough, but I also love shopping for handmade gifts for my loved ones from other local vendors. After all, I can't make everything myself! Knowing that the wares have a small carbon footprint, and that I'm contributing to the salary of a local artist gives me a lot of joy. My husband's birthday is in the fall, so I did my gift shopping in the late summer. I know, not usually a time when there are tons of craft markets around. But there is one market reliably popping up every month that has an amazingly well-curated assembly of vendors every single time: the Trinity Bellwoods Flea. It's been so successful as a monthly market that it celebrated its first anniversary, i.e. its twelfth(!) incarnation in August. And needless to say, that's where I got some of my husband's gifts. My husband is a member of Postcrossing, i.e. in constant need of postcards; he is also a history buff and an American, so getting him Hamilton Musical colouring postcards by Justine Fisher was a PERFECT gift. Justine is really young and only just starting out, and without the Trinity Bellwoods Flea, I would have never found her! And that was just one of many cool moments from my own experience as a mere visitor or local shopper. The market takes place at the Studio Bar, which not only has a great vibe but is also really spacious. With its two rooms, it fits a ton of vendors, which is great for visitors, because the event has something to offer for everyone -- adults, kids, pet lovers, stationery enthusiasts, foodies, fashionistas,... The flea provides a really welcoming atmosphere for everyone, and you'll want to linger before, between and after your shopping. There is a different selection of new and seasoned vendors every month, so it's well worth making a monthly visit part of your routine. That's what I've done, and it's been very rewarding. The Studio Bar is located at 824 Dundas Street West, in the heart of the always beautiful Trinity Bellwoods neighbourhood, so you can combine your visit with a stroll through the park, or a meal in one of the neighbourhood's great restaurants. Sounds awesome, doesn't it?

For it's Pre-Holiday and Holiday editions, the market runs Saturdays AND Sundays to double the fun, and I'll give you another good reason why you should attend the next two Sunday pop-ups of the Trinity Bellwoods Flea: I will be part of it as a vendor, and you can get all your greeting cards without having to rely on Canada Post. Have you stocked up on holiday cards yet? You haven't? Well there you go, what better reason is there? For your card-loving friends and relatives you can buy giftable card sets that range from cute ("Panda Love") to elegant ("Four Seasons - Floral"), and from multicolour "Birthday" set to "Thank You" set. I also got you covered for the next few birthdays, weddings, funerals, births, anniversaries or "just because" moments.

I will be in the company of awesome crafters that will make your shopping experience totally worth your while. Let me introduce you to a few who will be sharing the room with me on Sunday, November 20:
  • FoldIt Creations: You've got to admit that it's practically impossible to find a better gift to pair my Santa Crane card with than a necklace that features an origami crane in silver or gold. Right?
  • The Otter Potter: My miniature paper creations are one of the things that draws people to my cards. What if I told you that there was a potter who has as much fun with the minis as I do, the only difference being that we're using two different mediums? Yup, that's the Otter Potter. 
  • Elixir Chic Designs: Remember the jewellery designer who interviewed me for the Toronto Etsy Street Team Blog this summer, and who got interviewed by me in return? She'll be there too with her funky, spiky designs.
  • Citchen Candle Co.: 'Cause who doesn't love the smell of Christmas or pumpkin pie when you're merely lighting a candle? The candles have a long burning time and come with the added bonus of a reusable mason jar at the end. Genius!
  • YYZ Imports: If you've seen me perform with PushPULL Dance, you will have seen one of their models with me on stage. Dancer-supporting jewellery designers for the win! Get starstruck or reminded of your favourite PushPULL moments by association. Hehe. But in all seriousness, their line includes some stunning pieces. 
  • Island Oysters: Because oysters. 

So, yeah, totally worth attending the Trinity Bellwoods Flea for, n'est-ce pas? And that's only a TINY selection! Imagine how awesome all the other vendors will be -- you can find the full list on the Event Facebook page. It shouldn't come as a surprise then that the Trinity Bellwoods Flea Pre-Holiday Edition has been listed among the markets that are a MUST for local holiday shopping. How could BlogTO, Narcity, Style Democracy, AND Daily Hive all be wrong? Basically a mini-version of the One of a Kind Show, except it's all FREE!

Here are all the remaining chances of visiting the Trinity Bellwoods Flea in 2016:

  • Saturday, November 19, 11am-6pm
  • Sunday, November 20, 11am-6pm -- PaperTurns will be there!
  • Saturday, December 17, 11am-5pm
  • Sunday, December 18, 11am-5pm -- PaperTurns will be there!

Monday, 7 November 2016

Live demo of how I make my cards... Coming up on Saturday, November 12

When people look at Paper Turns greeting cards, one of the first things I hear from them is often, "Wow, these are so intricate. How long does it take you to make one?" (Answer: It depends!) Or they ask, "How do you do origami with such tiny pieces of paper?" (Answer: It takes a lot of practice.) But with every art and craft, it's so much more useful to show, rather than tell. And so here is a unique chance to watch me fold origami and see the magic that goes into my cards live! Thirteen unique artists and crafters will be at the Gibson House Museum next weekend and demonstrate their work processes. On top of that, each artist will also have a vending table where you can purchase gorgeous handmade goods. Organised by the Toronto Etsy Street Team, this "intervention" has been included on several lists of not-to-miss holiday markets this season, including those on blogTO, and Narcity. So what are you waiting for?

If you have never heard of the Gibson House Museum, let me tell you why it's a really cool location for this event. The Gibson House is one of 10 historic museums operated by the City of Toronto. It was built in 1851 and is an elegant farmhouse with Georgian-style exterior. Scottish immigrant David Gibson and his family were the original inhabitants, and today visitors can travel into the past and experience what living there was like. The Etsy vendors will be set up throughout the house, which gives you the opportunity to take in both the historic grandeur of the museum and experience ancient crafts such as embroidery, sewing, jewellery making, and paper folding in their modern artistic reincarnations. On top of that, the museum has a tea room where you can enjoy festive treats and of course plenty of tea.

Event details:

When: Saturday, November 12, 11am-4pm.

Where: Gibson House Museum, 5172 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario M2N5P6.

Participating Etsy Vendors: Check out this LookBook featuring all participating vendors. 

How to get there, admission etc.: All available on this website.

Facebook Event Page: Confirm your attendance, set event reminders or invite your friends on this page.  

I looking forward to seeing you there.