Makers in the Raw: Knitatude

Hands up if you have warm, happy feelings associated with yarn! There’s just something about that squishy fibre that’s so easy to love. It keeps us warm, comes in gorgeous colours, and can be expertly crafted into functional yet beautiful patterns to enjoy.

This is the world Chantal of Knitatude lives in. In her bright apartment, there’s a shrine-like quality to her studio. Nested in a large papasan chair, her hands move quickly to crank out beanies, scarves, and even purses in beautiful, brightly coloured yarn. Continue reading Makers in the Raw: Knitatude

Etsy Captains’ Summit 2016

Last week, Lindy and I took off to Toronto to attend this year’s Etsy Captain’s Summit. Every year, Etsy Canada gathers team captains from across the country to come participate in a special conference where we share ideas and celebrate all things handmade & vintage.

The first Summit was held in 2014 and originally centred around the Etsy: Made in Canada market. In order to attend, each team had to agree to put on the market in their own city, which was great for putting on a united front and making Made in Canada the big cross-country event it deserved to be, but it also meant some really great people doing really great things stayed home for 2014 & 2015. Continue reading Etsy Captains’ Summit 2016

Makers in the Raw: Folly a Tet

Beautifully sculpted, with vibrant mixes of colour, Carly Allison’s Folly a Tet brand needle-felted artwork and accessories are a sight to behold. All of her pieces are one-of-a-kind and often directly inspired by the natural world.

“I used to live close to Nose Hill Park and spent a lot of my childhood exploring and playing in the park and the hills,” says Carly. “It’s sort of an active meditation being out in nature.” Continue reading Makers in the Raw: Folly a Tet

Maple and Oak Designs Lookbook 2016

It is 100% no secret that I love the products Leonie comes up with for her Maple and Oak Designs line of fashion accessories. There is literally something for everyone, which makes shooting a lookbook dynamic and fun!

After hunting around for a great location, we started the day off in Inglewood after discovering a great deep turquoise wall. The stunning deep colour was the perfect backdrop to give great contrast to all the Spring looks, like bright pastels and beautiful florals. Continue reading Maple and Oak Designs Lookbook 2016

Setting Technological Boundaries

We are so tied to our phones.

The constant stream of notifications from emails, text messages, app reminders, social media tags, and (every now and then) phone calls barrages us into submission. Sometimes I think all we do now is work.

Studies show people are working harder and longer hours than ever before, and it’s largely because of our constant attachment to technology. We sync our work emails to our personal accounts and all of a sudden, there’s no such thing as being off the clock. Continue reading Setting Technological Boundaries

Makers in the Raw: Agnes in August

With a motto like “nature simplified,” it’s easy to see how Kourtney Branagan’s Agnes in August line of modern string art pieces draw the essence of the Albertan wild indoors. The soft wood grains of the boards, lovingly sanded and finished, are contrasted with the perfect angles of stringed peaks, making artworks that are wonderful additions to the walls of every outdoor enthusiast’s home.

Born in Red Deer, but living in Calgary since she was four, Kourtney has always enjoyed everything the outdoors had to offer. Adventures with her mom took her and her brother snowshoeing through the snowy wilderness in winter and camping throughout her summers. Continue reading Makers in the Raw: Agnes in August

Hobbies as Income

A few weeks ago, my mother and I were chatting about how hard my father has worked and how he’s never really known anything other than that. As he heads into retirement in the next year, it’s going to be a considerable adjustment for him. A large part of his identity comes from being a working man, and this could be a very tough change.

As we chatted, I realized I have never known anything but work, either. The more I thought about it, any downtime hobby I’ve ever tried to establish ended up turning into another source of income. What does that say about me? Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Continue reading Hobbies as Income

Navigating the Multi-Purpose Life

With this year comes a big realization for me: I’m a workaholic and I like it that way.

I love being busy, making things, and just generally having my days full. Without a long list ahead of me, I tend to get bored and my creativity just seems to dry up. Though there’s a time and a place for being quiet and still, it’s not in my overall day-to-day.

This leaves me with an average of 4 part-time jobs and 1-2 volunteer projects at any given time. With a workload like that, things can get out of control fairly quickly, but thankfully, being organized is one of my favourite things and probably the main drive behind why I love diving into work.

With every passing year, I learn new ways of being organized and tactics for tackling all the objectives of my various jobs. Since many of my friends are fellow handmade business owners, I thought I would share some of the tools & tricks I use to keep on track and enjoy the process and life at the same time. Continue reading Navigating the Multi-Purpose Life

Letting Go: Getting Started Selling Your Art

On a near weekly basis, someone I know will tell me about something they made. Be it a handmade jewelry box, their own beauty products, or their first few paintings, there is always someone out there making for the first time.

And my first question to them is always, “Have you started selling it yet?” Continue reading Letting Go: Getting Started Selling Your Art

Introducing “Makers in the Raw”

It started when I began organizing local handmade markets. Applications would come in from hopeful artists eager to sell their goods to Calgary’s many handmade supporters. Included in their applications were photographs of their work, descriptions of their process, all to be juried by myself and my co-organizers.

It was easy to see how many talented people there are in Calgary. These artists take seemingly mundane materials and transform them into something beautiful. They make everything one could possibly need, from fashionable clothing to elegant home goods. It leaves me feeling a little awestruck and throughly impressed. Continue reading Introducing “Makers in the Raw”