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

Etsy: Made in Canada 2015

Last weekend, it was finally showtime for Etsy: Made in Canada 2015.

Myself and my two co-organizers, Hilda & Lindy, have been working on this show since February. Though we’re volunteers, we’ve put a lot of work into this project. I can safely say I’ve spent an average of 12 to 16 hours per week on this show, equivalent to a part-time job.

This year, we had the privilege of working with Golden Acre Garden Sentre – a beautiful greenhouse with an outstanding staff. A huge part of the success of the day is due to their staff members. It’s rare to come across a business these days where employees clearly feel a sense of loyalty to their companies. Everyone loves working there and is happy to be a part of the company. It was so refreshing to see! Continue reading Etsy: Made in Canada 2015

The Making of Artifacts

As an archaeologist, sometimes I can’t help musing about what items we use today will become artifacts that future archaeologists uncover. The artifacts we find when we dig up ancient sites largely fall into four categories: stone, bone, metal, and ceramic. The ceramic pieces are very rarely intact, with various vessels breaking into chunks under the pressure soil, seasons, and the long passage of time. We call these chunks “sherds” and we find tonnes of them.

But being archaeological artifacts, they stay hidden behind the scenes, analyzed by archaeologists and left out of the public eye unless they can be refitted into a near-complete vessel. The cracked and reformed pieces seen in museums are extraordinarily rare, and the orphaned sherds are extraordinarily common. Continue reading The Making of Artifacts

Etsy Captains’ Summit 2015

On Sunday, I arrived in the snowy and cold city of Toronto – home to Etsy Canada’s headquarters. We’ve been having wonderfully warm weather in Calgary, so it was a bit of a shock to really be confronted with falling snow and chilly winds.

Weather aside though, I am incredibly happy to be here. I’m joined by co-organizers Lindy & Hilda to talk about the Made in Canada event for 2015, to share what we learned from organizing last year’s market and to hear about all the nifty things other cities and teams came up with for their own iterations of the market. Continue reading Etsy Captains’ Summit 2015

Etsy: Made in Canada – Calgary Edition

Earlier this year, I received an interesting invitation from Etsy, the online handmade and vintage marketplace. Etsy wanted to celebrate their Canadian vendors by organizing a multi-city pop-up marketplace in every major city across Canada. They needed help to do it, and as captain for the Calgary Artists team, I was invited to a special conference in Toronto.

Along with Hilda from Handmade Therapy, I spent three days in Toronto collaborating with fellow team captains and Etsy Canada’s staff to learn about their vision for what eventually became known as Made in Canada. There’s an interesting thing about being a vendor on Etsy – most of one’s sales come from buyers in the United States and overseas. Though there are thousands of talented Canadian Etsy sellers, Etsy remains a bit of a secret in Canada. I’ve seen this from my own shop, too. Of the sales I’ve had on Etsy, the majority have been shipped to US-based buyers. Continue reading Etsy: Made in Canada – Calgary Edition