Looking Forward to Boxing Day!

Monday, December 23, 2013

What with the dramatic ice storm in this part of the world, we here at TEST are hoping you are all safe and warm and not making emergency back-up plans to barbecue your Christmas turkey in case you still don't have power! Stay safe everyone!

If the storm has interferred with your last-minute Christmas shopping plans, we've got you covered. You can now purchase Etsy gift cards in Canada so your loved one can get exactly what he or she wants. You can email the gift cards directly or print them at home, so there's no delay.

We also have some good news - something to look forward to, if winter so far has been tough...

This year marks Etsy’s first-ever Boxing Dale sale in Canada

From December 26th to 29th, nearly 500 participating sellers across the country will offer a 20% discount on their entire shop.  Avoid the lineups and shop TEST and Etsy’s curated collections from the coziness of your couch, featuring hand-made products and fabulous finds. 

We're offering you a sneak peek of participating Toronto Etsy Street Team shops! Check out our curated collection, featured on the TEST Etsy Page, shown below. Be sure to keep checking back as we will continue to add items to our curated Boxing Day Sale collection.

A full list of all participating shops across Canada will be available at: www.etsy.com/pages/etsy-canada as of midnight on December 26th.

Vendor Call: Leslieville Flea

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Are you a vintage or handcrafted enthusiast? Interested in becoming a vendor at the Leslieville Flea? The Leslieville Flea is moving to the Distillery for winter and early spring and is looking for customer oriented individuals with vintage funky collectibles to participate as vendors. The next Leslieville Flea is January 19th, 2014 ( see link below to the Distillery's event calendar).  

If interested, please submit your application online at www.leslievilleflea.com under 'vendors'.
Please be sure to include pictures and please note that presentation of your collection is important.

Christmas Marketplace - Free Workshops & More - Tomorrow!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Glenda of winter garden teaches Beginner Knitting from 12:00 to 1:00Quilter Steff
teaches Snowflake Making from 1:00 to 2:00
Tiapei of Plum Pavilion teaches Traditional Chinese Embroidery from 2:00 to 3:00Emma of Landfill Designs teaches Map Pendant Making from 3:00 to 4:00

Hoping to meet everyone's favorite Jolly Old Elf? Be sure to visit between noon and 4:00 to meet SANTA himself!

TEST's 1st Annual Christmas Marketplace this Saturday!

Monday, December 9, 2013

It's fast approaching and we're getting excited!
The Toronto Etsy Street Team will be holding its first Christmas Marketplace this 
Saturday, December 14th, 11:00 am to 5:30 pm at the Church of Saint Stephen-in-the-Fields
(103 Bellevue Ave @ College St. in the Kensington Market neighbourhood)

Along with our fabulous TEST vendors, the Christmas Marketplace will host 
FREE workshops, live music and... a visit from Old St. Nick himself!  

Browse the Vendor LookBook here

A little press: Toronto Etsy sellers on Toronto Life site

Toronto Life is featuring 10 local Etsy sellers today, and TEST is well represented! Included in their list are Cinders McLeod, Alison Gledhill of Grace Design, Ele of minouette, Marissa of Sea Flower Studios, Michelle of thunderpeep, Anthony of Route401, and Casey Von Esteban.

Congrats to the the 3 other local sellers too... who should visit us in the forums to join the team!

T.E.S.T. Interview: Darling Adornment

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 65th in our series with Michelle of DarlingAdornment.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your shop.

I am a 20 year-old performing artist from New Brunswick, and I recently moved to the GTA to pursue my dreams! I have always been a huge fan of all kinds of art, and I am forever making DIY projects, knitting, or bedazzling my belongings. My friends developed an interest in what I was creating, so Etsy seemed like a perfect place to display what I have been working on and to facilitate transactions!

How do you balance your performing arts career with your craft business?

When I'm not singing or acting, I am usually being artistic in other ways, such as working on my crafts. For me it is a time to relax and still be doing what I love, while managing to earn a few extra dollars.

What inspires your work?

Recently I've been mostly doing custom orders, so the inspiration comes from others. When beginning a new craft, I am inspired greatly by the feminine touch (bows, rhinestones and girly colour schemes). That is how I came up with the name "Darling Adornment", because the items I make are perfect for the "Darling" in your life, and the items themselves are "Darling" as well!

You love to bedazzle. What would be a dream item that you’d bedazzle if you could get your hands on it?

I love bedazzling picture frames, jewellery boxes, and other items that could use a little sparkle to accent a room. I would love to bedazzle a musical instrument like a ukulele, or a microphone! The possibilities are endless when it comes to bedazzling!

What does being a part of the Etsy community add to your life or work?

Being a part of the Etsy community, especially the Toronto team, has made my transition into the big city a lot easier because I realize how many artists share my interests. Crafting has always been a hobby that makes me happy, so Etsy has been an amazing outlet for me.

And what are some of your favourite Etsy shops?

A couple of my friends have Etsy shops that I love. My friend Alex has a handmade jewelry store, and another friend makes crochet accessories. I love browsing people's Etsy shops in my spare time, especially handmade arts and crafts!

Check out the other items available from Michelle in her Etsy shop! You can find more of her work on Twitter and follow her performing arts career on Facebook.

Interviewed by Una of Whistle+Work in December 2013 in Toronto.

T.E.S.T. Interview: Whistle + Work

Sunday, December 8, 2013

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 64th in our series with Una of WhistleandWork.

Can you tell us about yourselves?

Whistle + Work is a father-daughter team. I’m Una - a freelance art director, artist and travel blogger. Because I work on a wide variety of projects I love the fact that no two days are ever the same. This is great kick-start for the creative process.

My father Aleks has spent his career working in architecture, design, urban analysis and illustration — also wearing many hats throughout his working life (sometimes even a beret).

We came together to form Whistle + Work in order to collaboratively create affordable art. Because who doesn’t need a little more art in their lives?

How did you get the idea to form a father-daughter team?

We’ve definitely always looked at each other’s work and offered help and advice, so it was the natural next step to collaborate. I get this question a lot: “What’s it like to work with your dad?” It’s a rewarding experience with lots of mutual respect and trust. I constantly learn new things, but there is room for role-reversal too!

What types of things can we expect to find when looking at your shop?

We are focused on hand-cut 3D illustrations and paper gift boxes. Each starts out as an original ink drawing that is printed and hand cut. The prints are then framed in shadowboxes allowing the layers to play with light and shadow. The gift boxes are assembled into various shapes and some can double as ornaments.

What does Etsy add to your lives?

Etsy is an amazing avenue to reach people globally and in a more personal way. We love the idea of participating in a new type of economy that values sustainability and social good. It’s also a constant source of inspiration and support from fellow artists and the Etsy team.

When did you start Whistle + Work?

We are very new! We started Whistle + Work in November of this year, though it’s something we’ve talked about for ages.

What's the story behind your shop name?

Whistle + Work is basically how we’d define our working philosophy: Working hard at what you love = happiness. We also like the fact that it’s a two-part name representing a two-person collaboration.

Do you sell your work outside of Etsy? If so, where?

In a week or so, you will find Whistle + Work products at the beautifully curated Likely General store on Roncesvalles.

What's next for Whistle + Work?

We just collaborated with Yen Magazine, a cool-kid Aussie publication on a DIY gift box project with an custom illustration. Look for it on their website in the coming days.
In the New Year we will be adding more prints to the shop and looking to participate in local markets.

Check out the other items available from Una and Aleks in their Etsy shop! You can find more of their work on their website and Twitter.

Interviewed by Michelle of DarlingAdornment in December 2013 in Toronto.

Craft News: Wychwood Barns Holiday Art Market

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Don't miss this year's Holiday Art Market at Artscape Wychwood Barns. The perfect place to shop for gifts, the Holiday Art Market features handmade items and unique offerings by local artists and creators. From ceramics to paintings, jewelery to prints, textile works to mixed-media works, you'll find a range of wonderful things at the Barns.

Sunday, December 8
12noon to 5pm

Craft News: Nathalie-Roze & Co. HOLIDAY POP UP (in the Yurt!)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Visit our Pop Up at the Yurt this weekend ~ it's a quirky-sweet venue perfect for lovely & local shopping. Expect a mix of winter accessories, including our popular sweater-toques, obi belts, cowls, baby merch & more, plus Vintage & discounted indie designer clothing, handcrafted jewellery, honey soap, ornaments, cards & prints and lots more cool stuff (most priced under $50). NOTE: There will be some $20 baskets to dig through & a few fabric packs for the crafty gals.

We'll have different T.O. guest makers joining us each day ~ come see what's on offer. We'll also have a good selection of affordable & thoughtful little somethings appropriate for teachers & caregivers, Secret Santa exchanges, stocking stuffers & maybe a treat for you too.

Bonus: You can have a pint or a serving of sticky toffee pudding at the Ceili before or after you visit us.
Hope to see you there...

WHEN: December 7th & 8th, 11am to 4pm (this Sat./Sunday)

Craft News: Movies and Makers

Movies and Makers is an Art and Craft show featuring 32 of Toronto's finest makers of craft, design, fashion, jewelry and art. This year's show takes place a few weeks before Christmas at the Fox Theatre in the lovely Beach Neighbourhood of Toronto. A great place to find all your holiday needs!

Movies and Makers
Saturday December 7, 2013
10 am to 5:00 pm
Fox Theatre
2236 Queen St East


Presented by: 

T.E.S.T. Interview: Sew It Was

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 63rd in our series with Judy of SewItWasByJudy.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your shop.

I am a mom to 4 adult children, a gramma to 6 kids, and married to a very wonderful guy!
When I was a little girl my grandmother made my dresses. She inspired me to want to learn how to do this, so when I was 13 I took a Singer sewing course. I completed a lovely linen A-line dress with lace sleeves but when ironing it I pressed a full iron imprint into it! Clearly I had a lot to learn!
That was, however, the beginning of my lifelong passion for taking a flat piece of fabric and constructing it into something you could actually wear!
In 2012 I lost my job with TDSB [Toronto District School Board] to budget cutbacks. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, the next few months of sewing and selling at craft fairs was the start of what would become my new venture, Sew it Was.

How did you get the idea for your unique creations like turning shirts into pants and shirts into aprons?

With lots of time on my hands I wanted to make some things for my grandkids, but this time I wanted to make something different. I was ready for a new challenge so I searched the Internet and came across the world of upcycling! This really intrigued me and decided to get it a try. My first attempt was to make a pair of toddler pants from the sleeves of a shirt. I thought they looked kind of cute and my husband said “you should call those Shants” so, that’s what I did!! Very quickly I discovered I loved taking something that once was and reconstructing it into something completely new and wearable. I kept searching and found there were lots of ways to refashion a man’s shirt, pillowcases, silk ties, and vintage linens. Friends and family members offered suggestions and some I came up with on my own.

You say many of your creations come from thrift store finds. Are there any “hidden gem” thrift stores in Toronto you’d recommend checking out?

Ha ha, I wish I did have a “hidden gem” but the truth is I do most of my thrifting at the Sally Ann. I can’t look at a man’s shirt now without seeing shants, skirts, aprons, baby shoes and even earrings! Whenever we do travel the first thing I like to do is check out the local thrift shop. I once found a pillowcase with a large Rocking Horse starting on the front and continuing on the back – it made the cutest little dress!

Where do you sell other than Etsy?

A friend suggested I check out the Arts Market. After I was juried and accepted I needed a business name. I sent out an email to my family (I am the oldest of 10) asking for suggestions. After 3 days I had 101 entries, I chose my top 7, sent it out again and Sew it Was came out on top! I loved it from the moment I said it out loud and it totally encompasses what I do. Many thanks goes out to my brother-in-law Gord.
The Arts Market is in Leslieville at 1114 Queen St. E.
I also have some Shants at Kid Culture, 3124 Dundas St. W.

Do you have any advice for fellow Etsy Upcylers out there, or folks looking to take the leap into something new when it comes to sewing/crafting, etc. in their lives like you did?

One tip I can pass on is something that has proved very useful to me. When I deconstruct an item I now cut a scrap and tape it into a notebook and write pertinent info beside it like fabric care and content. Then when I am adding a new item on Etsy a quick look in my book will give me my listing information. This has saved some much time!
For those that are thinking about taking the leap – just do it! You will never know unless you try. It’s a lot of work to get started on Etsy, I almost gave up but someone said just do a bit each day and eventually you will open.
I love the global aspect of Etsy, being part of this and talking to people all over the world is fascinating and “sew” much fun!

Check out the other items available from Judy in her Etsy shop! You can find more of her work on Facebook.

Interviewed by Tanya of TanyaHarrisonPhoto in November 2013 in Toronto.

Craft News: Gladstone Flea

On the hunt for unique gems, fashion finds, vintage scores and other market must-haves, but hate the idea of spending the weekend knee-deep in thrift store piles?

We've teamed up with Anita Clarke of I want - I got and Haley Mlotek of Worn Fashion Journal to bring you a curated, handpicked, holiday marketplace for December 7. Packed with purpose, artist goods, reclaimed vintage, craft, design, jewelry, clothing, and more, Gladstone Flea curates the market to help save you from the thrift store itch.

Saturday, December 7th
10am to 4pm

Gladstone Hotel
1214 Queen St. West

T.E.S.T. Interview: Tanya Harrison Photography

Thursday, December 5, 2013

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 62nd in our series with Tanya of TanyaHarrisonPhoto.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your shop?

I'm a planetary scientist (which means I'm a geologist that specializes in other planets — in my case, mostly Mars) partially turned photographer from Seattle, but currently living in Toronto. I've always loved photography, and when I was 18 I went to the mall one day to buy my first "nice" camera after having saved up for months. It just so happened that there was a game show casting at the mall when I arrived, and long story short I ended up winning some money on the show, which allowed me to purchase an even better camera than I'd planned. After that I began inundating Flickr with my photos, and over time I started getting requests from people to purchase photos. So, in 2010 I finally got around to actively trying to sell my photos, and ended up opening shop on Etsy in 2011.

You've been interested in photography since you were young. What do you think led you in that direction?

My mother and grandfather (who lived with us when I was young) were both into photography. Even though I was born in the 1980s, a lot of my early childhood photos are in black and white from film that my mother shot with her Minolta SLR. I remember always being really excited to see photos when they came back from the lab, so I think the love of photography was just ingrained in me from a very young age.

You have a very interesting day job. How do you balance that with your Etsy shop?

It's very difficult! My days are filled with analyzing data, writing papers and grant applications, and I have to (or should I say "get to?") travel a lot. On the one hand, this cuts into the time I would like to be able to devote to photography. However, as a geologist I get to travel to a lot of beautiful locations to study them from a scientific standpoint, and I can photograph them while I'm there. For example, most of the desert landscapes in my shop were taken during a 2-week geology field expedition in Arizona and Utah. Photography is my way of de-stressing from the science stuff.

You state you are based in 4 different cities. Why is that and how are you able to manage your shop then?

Right now I am a Ph.D. student at the University of Western Ontario in London, but I commute between there and Toronto. I moved here from San Diego, where I worked for a NASA subcontractor for a few years. My partner still lives in our house down there, and so San Diego is still "home" at certain times of the year. My family still lives in Seattle and so that is my other home at times, although I (regretfully) rarely make it back there anymore. All of this travelling can definitely make managing a shop tricky. I have access to printing equipment in both Toronto and San Diego, which allows me to fulfill orders quickly, but if I am out in the field or in Seattle then I have to put my shop in vacation mode or post a note in the listings saying shipping will be delayed until a certain date.

What does Etsy add to your life?

Etsy is a way for me to use the non-science side of my brain, which I find fun. It's also incredibly gratifying when someone purchases a piece of your art to hang on their walls—to know that someone was moved enough by a photo to want to display it in their home. I often get messages from my buyers saying they chose a specific photo because it was from their hometown, or held an emotional significance. In one case, a woman bought a photo that happened to be of the location at which her now-husband proposed. Another customer purchased a photo as a birthday gift for her boyfriend of a place they'd vacationed together earlier that year.

I've found Etsy to also be a great way to interact with other artisans with a wide variety of styles and backgrounds, from the local to the international level. There are so many amazingly talented people on Etsy!
Photo of Tanya Harrison by Jean Fillion
Check out the other items available from Tanya in her Etsy shop! You can find more of her work on her blog, Twitter and Facebook.

Interviewed by Judy of SewItWasByJudy in November 2013 in Toronto.

Craft News: Maker's Cartel Winter Market

Maker's showcases independent, local talent that make quality hand-crafted goods.

This is their second year organizing the winter market and are very excited and proud of all their makers. This year the market will be held:
Saturday, Dec.7: 11 - 8pm & Sunday, Dec.8: 11 - 6pm
Location: The Foundery, 376 Bathurst St. Toronto, ON (Bathurst & Dundas) 

More info and vendor list can be found around their social network sites:

Test Members you can find at the show include Bread and CircusGrace Design,  Jack and Willa and Seaflower Studios
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