Impressive and Stylish

Home T-shirt

I love to support Nova Scotia companies and when they’re doing good for the community as well as producing a product I love it’s a win-win.

Last year I wrote a blog post (see it here) about a t-shirt that my son received for Christmas that I thought was just wonderful. At that point the shirts were produced by a Truro jewellery company called Beck and Boosh. They have since broken off that part of the company into My Home Apparel and are donating 5% of their profits to groups in Nova Scotia fighting to end homelessness. CBC news did a story about the company and their impressive philanthropy which you can read here.

Go buy a t-shirt and help fight homelessness.

Not Your Traditional Batik Scarf | batik

Batik scarf

We’re in full-on summer mode here in Toronto this week – twenty eight degrees and humid. The hot summer season could also be known as icy, frigid air conditioning season too.  I made a lightweight, summery scarf recently at a  wonderful batik workshop at The Shop, a makerspace on College Street in Toronto. Find them here.

You can certainly find a ton of tutorials on YouTube or Pinterest with instructions on batik, I’ve looked. However, it’s so nice to have someone set everything up and have all the right equipment and experience to show you how it’s done. Seriously… having someone else clean up after you is a true luxury.

Full confession, I’m not a huge fan of traditional batik. I bought some fabric when I was in Thailand years ago and still have done nothing with it. My challenge going into this workshop was to take the traditional craft and make it something I found more appealing which to me meant less fussy and more spontaneous feeling.

Traditional batik can be very complicated and intricate but in a nutshell it is a resist dying method where you apply melted wax and dye to fabric. I applied the wax which you can see still in the fabric below with a large paintbrush in abstract shapes.

Batik wax

Above is the dyed fabric with the hardened wax. After ironing and washing the wax is gone and I’m very happy with the soft, unique pattern seen below.

Batik scarf

Batik scarf long

Riverside Eats and Beats | Riverside

Riverside, which is a neighbourhood east of the Don Valley along Queen Street East, is hosting it’s annual Eats & Beats Fest on Saturday June 6th from 1pm to 6pm. Riverside is just minutes from the downtown core and is easily accessible by streetcar and contains many artist’s lofts, some galleries, and a wide variety of restaurants and shops including numerous unique destinations.

Riverside sign

During Eats & Beats in Riverside, area restaurants will be serving special tasting plates (the Eats part) and presenting live music (the Beats part). At many different destinations there will be live music and entertainment. There will be arts events including a live painting, outdoor spin classes, cooking demonstrations, craft sales and lots of kid friendly events.

Live music will get you moving and shaking and will range from Jazz to Samba to Celtic. The atmosphere will be electrifying and festive. Click through to for a list of what to expect… BBQ and blues bands and flowers and coffee and knitting and burgers and fine arts and heritage buildings.

The Riverside area is a prime example of neighbourhood regeneration without gentrification or pretension. Look for the trademark quotes embedded in the sidewalk on the four corners of the intersection of Broadview and Queen which are part two of a public art installation “Time and a Clock” by Eldon Garnet. The four quotes read “Distance = velocity x time”, “Too soon free from time”, “Time is money, money is time” and “Better late than never”. Part one is placed on the Queen Street bridge across the Don Valley and reads “This river I step in is not the river I stand in”. Part three can be found in Jimmie Simpson Park further east on Queen Street atop banner poles and spells out TIME. – one of the touches that make the neighbourhood vibrant and unique.

Time sidewalk quote

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