Thursday, 12 April 2012

Staycationing: crafting in the city

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Views of the city - looking appropriately "springtime" on an epic walk about.

Every so often (but not quite often enough!), my friend Karen comes up to the city and we spend one really long day, walking all over the place, shopping, talking, exploring. Recently that happened again, and after one long day stomping around the city collecting supplies, we spent the next one crafting our fingers off. It was awesome.

The results

Whether you're visiting or living in it, Toronto is a great city for walking around.  As a "city of neighbourhoods" there is a different flavour to be discovered around every corner.

After going down to part time at work, I needed something to keep me busy, and normally my first thought is always "vacation!" but, it was leading up to Easter weekend and we had family to visit, so Karen came up and I had my very first "Staycation".

We spent the majority of our day on Queen Street West, which was once a strong neighbourhood of independent retailers and a fabric mecca. Luckily, you can still manage to find a good range of craft and fabric stores to peruse - even if they are slowly (sadly) disappearing to make way for "mall stores".

Karen is super excited by all the great finds!

Heading west along Queen St. past Spadina we managed to find more bright and shiny things than we knew what to do with.  The first few stops were an overwhelming experience in which I kept getting distracted by the next (and the next, and the next) pretty thing.  Stores of note along this strip include: Sussman's Trimmings, Bling-Bling, Arton Beads and Romni Wools.  Obviously, these are "stores of note" for crafting excursions such as this one.  If you want stores of note for "normal" shopping, then about 2 blocks west and stop in every shop along the street from Bathurst to Gladstone, you will be dazzled and amazed.

After some serious wandering and gathering, we broke for some poutine. I managed to sway myself away from the Pulled Pork ad Bacon Poutines and opted instead for a classic with mushroom. Got to stay healthy you know!

Nourishment covered it was back to the wandering, and oh the delights we did find:

It took all the willpower I had to not walk home with that hanging solar system!
This section of Queen West also has some pretty awesome home furnishing stores, not a huge amount, but what's there is good. Karen and I got stuck in Morba for about an hour because there is just so much to look at.  If you ever want to see a store stocked with amazing curiosities - check it out.

Finally, FINALLY, we finished walking, exhausted but excited, because now it was time for the event of the year... The Hunger Games. Teen fiction, what? Folks, totally worth it. This was two hours of awesome.

The next day it was time to get serious.  It was crafting day.

About half way through the day my hand cramped up so badly I had to stop for about 15 minutes to stretch it out. What a weakling - I felt pretty lame at that point.  But I perservered and by the end of the day I had lots of new, fab, summery, accessories to play with. Yay! This was one of the most relaxing "vacations" I can remember.  It was a total, much needed, release.

Tutorial credits:
pink and gold wrapped bracelet - Honestly, WTF
purple and turqouis braided bracely - Quiet Lion
blue nautical headband - Presserfoot
Earrings - Karen's own creation


  1. so fun! i tried to make the honestly wtf bracelets too but mine did not turn out nearly as well as yours...

    1. Thank you! I have to say it was a lot of fun to be able to dedicate an entire day to crafting!



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