Vender Call: Paint-A-Thon

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Calling all local artisans!

Paint-A-Thon is an innovative event that strives to engage and unite the community through art in public spaces. Paint-A-Thon is currently recruiting for handmade vendors to join us at our event on July 16th at Markham Civic Centre (Hwy 7 & Warden Ave.). We welcome artisans of goods including, but not limited to accessories, bath and beauty products, art, paper goods and needlecraft.

A 10' by 10' booth space is given free of charge (refundable deposit applies) and you can bring your own supplies and equipment.
We also provide rentals for tents, tables and chairs. Please note that there is a $5 fire safety fee.

Don't miss this opportunity to showcase your work! For more information, please email

Register early as space is limited!


On July 16th, for the first time ever Markham Civic Centre's parking lot will be transformed into a mini arts village featuring communal painting, live entertainment and local artisans. Members of the community will converge to paint to their hearts’ content on thirty-two 4x5 ft large-sized canvases. The best part is (besides all the fun and interaction with art), proceeds from the event (rental costs and patrons' charitable donations) will go to our beneficiary, Free The Children.

For more information about Paint-A-Thon, please visit here.

T.E.S.T. interview: Menace Creations

Friday, June 24, 2011

We hope to introduce you to all the great etsy sellers to be found right here in Toronto. Here at the T.E.S.T. blog, we plan to interview them all. This is the 19th in our series, an interview with MenaceCreations.

I loved the Enginearrings title and the item. How does your training as an engineer influence your art?

Thanks, I'm glad you like them! Civil Engineering is all about simplifying a problem, and capturing it's essentials. In my earlier work, I strived for photorealism to the extreme of shading individual leaves on a tree separately, or drawing individual blades of grass separately - even my "sketches" took me hours to complete, and as a result my drawings, although they were impressively accurate, lacked life and movement. In my more recent work, I've been more successful at catching the essentials of my subjects - the movement and shape, and allowing the viewer to fill in the more minute details. For example, drawings like my jellyfish are something I wouldn't have been capable of a few years ago.

I think this newfound respect for simplicity is also what has drawn me to start exploring origami again. There is something incredibly elegant about making complex shapes out of nothing but paper. I'm particularly proud of having developed my own origami/kirigami dragonfly pattern. You can see an example here .

I love the natural feel and flow of your pieces. What is the creative process behind collecting the materials and creating the pieces? Do you spend a lot of time gathering the materials?

I've always been a bit of a tinkerer and collector, and I'm very drawn to the natural world, so I find it really gratifying and cool to use found objects and upcycled vintage pieces in my work. When I crafted just as a hobby, I would just "come across" cool things every so often to craft with on hiking trips, visits to the beach or browsing through a vintage store.

Now that I'm crafting for a wider audience, I've had to start planning my supplies collecting a lot more carefully. I go on full-day seaglass-hunting outings with my ever-eager little sister, I have a circuit of thrift and vintage shops I visit on a regular basis for different supplies. I buy brass findings in bulk (conventional brass production uses over 98% recycled materials). I'm currently sourcing some fair-trade recycled glass beads for my necklaces and sari scrap ribbons to hang pendants from in place of chain. I do still use some conventional materials, but I'm working very hard to gradually transition to all environmentally-responsible materials.

It does take me a lot longer to get my materials this way. I'd say about a quarter of my crafting time is currently dedicated to acquiring materials, but I love every moment, and I know that it makes my products unique. You won't find a necklace like this one anywhere except for the Menace Creations shop.

What was the most exciting part of your venture to open the Menace Creations Etsy shop?

The most exciting moment for me was when my first notecard order arrived from the printers. It's a dream come true to have a stack of professional looking greeting cards with my artwork printed on the front and my company name and URL printed on the back. What's even better is that people are actually buying them.

Do you find a lot of support in your family, friends or community? If so how do you keep them involved?

My parents and partner are unwaveringly supportive of everything I do, which is really helpful in my moments of self-doubt. My partner has helped me with everything from photography to banner design to notecard layout, and my parents promote me on facebook. My friends are all encouraging, and more than a few have remarked on my crafts and artwork "Wait, you MADE all these things? Why the hell did you ever go into engineering?!?!"

My most avid fan by far, though, is my younger sister. She looks up to everything I do, and wants to help out every way she can. She comes materials-searching with me, gives me advice and inspiration for my artwork, even folds origami for me, and always thinks I'm the coolest older sister ever, even when nobody else agrees with her.

It's really great to have such an awesome support group.

Any suggestions or lessons for fellow creators who want to take their hobby to a greater public?

Have a clear goal about what you are trying to sell and who you want to sell it to. When I opened my shop, I really wasn't sure what I would sell except for "my crafts". I went out and bought materials for all sorts of different things, most of which ended up deciding I wouldn't sell anyway. Even now I have trouble controlling myself and not starting 27 unrelated projects at the same time, and I'm having a lot of trouble figuring out how to narrow my focus.

Which is your favorite item in your store?

I wouldn't try to sell anything that I didn't think was wonderful in some way, but I have a particular soft spot for these snail notecards.

Earlier this year I left engineering school for mental health reasons, and was feeling very down on myself. Getting back to drawing and crafting was very therapeutic for me and that little snail was one of my first sketches in years, and I'm really proud of it.

Check out more of MenaceCreations artwork, cards and jewelry in the MenaceCreations Etsy Shop. Interviewed, June, 2011, by Pusha

Vender Call: Creative Heart Collective

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Love Collage presents Creative Heart Collective, a Fall themed show and sale for local artisans, crafters, designers, bakers and retailers. The mission of the event is to give artists, entrepreneurs and retailers an opportunity to connect and showcase their wares with the community in a fun and inviting atmosphere. We will also be hosting free community workshops where attendees are invited to participate in craft or art activities.

The focus for the show will be:
• Emerging and local artists (small sized artwork, prints, cards)
• Indie arts and crafts (toys, art/craft supplies)
• Fashionable artisan gifts (jewellery, accessories)
• Homemade food (baked goods, preserves)
• DIY presents
• Apparel & Vintage

Creative Heart Collective is looking for a variety of high-quality artisans, bakers, artists, crafters and local retailers to exhibit and sell their work on Sunday, September 18th, 2011, 12pm – 6pm. This daytime event will be taking place at The Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West, Toronto ON) in The Ballroom during the weekend of Queen West Art Crawl.

Submissions will be accepted until Saturday, July 30th, 2011, however, please apply early as the number of available spots is limited and will be curated on a first-come, first-served basis. For more detailed information on how to apply, please visit

Vender Calls: Keep and Collect

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Keep & Collect Market is Hamilton's favourite destination for everything crafty!
Art, crafts, accessories, vintage items, jewellery, photography, fashion, stationary and baking. All locally made!

The Keep & Collect Market acts as a launching pad for local creators to showcase and sell their products while providing a new a different shopping experience in Hamilton. It's a place where shoppers can find one of a kind pieces and meet the talented people who've created them.

Launch date: Saturday June 25th
Time: 11am to 4pm
Location: The Freeway Coffee House located at 333 King Street East at the corner of Wellington St. N. in downtown Hamilton

Contact Info. / Vendor Info.: keepandcollectmarket @



Craft Events: Eye Spy Art Collective Spring Show

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Torched Studio and Sea Flower Studios will be at the Eye Spy Art Collective Spring Show Spectacular at the Cameron House today! Noon to 5pm.

The Cameron House -Toronto's Original artmusictheater bar located on Queen Street East.
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