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OBJETIK

There is truly nothing better than the feeling you get when you buy something that is hand-crafted and made by someone who has spent years dedicating themselves to their particular field. From industrial design to pottery to lighting and toys, Objetik, Montreal’s newest online design boutique features unique items that are exclusively made in Quebec.

I’ve always known that Quebec is a hub for fashion design, but I never realized how many amazing product and industrial designers call the province home. It is something to be incredibly proud about as a Canadian. I haven’t been to Quebec in about six years and it literally sky-rocket to the top of my travel wishlist. Oh, how I’d love to spend a week browsing through studios and designer showrooms. I want to know what is so different about Quebec that fosters this kind of creativity. The creative masterminds behind Objetik are husband and wife team Adrian and Tara Milroy. Tara holds a Masters in Contemporary Design where her thesis searched for unifying themes in Canadian design, while Adrian has a background in Physics and handles business and technical operations.

With the aim of cultivating awareness of Quebec’s design culture, Objetik presents works by contemporary designers aspiring to create useful, impactful, and sustainable objects. Crafted with precision and passion, the items are true to their materials and locally produced as much as possible. Just take a scroll through some of these incredible products. I am currently coveting them all especially the products from designer YYY. In love!

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“Design in Quebec is thriving, and we wanted to create a virtual space to promote the designers, exhibit their works on a global scale, and offer them for sale,” says Objetik founder Tara Milroy. “We hope to draw attention to the discipline of design in Quebec, both locally and internationally, with the hope to redefine the ways that people experience everyday objects.”

Objetik.com currently features over 50 works by 17 designers, and will be offering worldwide shipping. Go forth + shop Canadian.

BATS FOR BRATS!

If the idea of 10 local artists armed with 10 custom-designed baseball bats sounds like a night in heaven to you, you won’t want to miss BATS for BRATS this weekend! Baseball enthusiasts, art lovers and party-goers will want to pop down to Commonwealth on Sunday for a night of baseball, beer and bidding. A free one-night-only charity event, BATs for BRATS features a silent auction of ten unique baseball bats with all profits going to support Kidsport Calgary, a non-profit organization with 178 chapters across Canada that provides financial assistance for registration fees and equipment to kids aged 18 and under.

The bats are handmade in Calgary by Schindel Bats and then customized by local artists, graphic designers and illustrators. Some of my favourite artists and designers like Heather Buchanan and Chris Pecora are participating – I can’t wait to see what they come up with! See the full list of artists here!

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It is going to be a great night of art, drinks + with a great fundraising component – you can’t lose. Oh – and it is free. Win – win – win – win – win…..

Sunday, June 12 @ 7pm 

Commonwealth Bar & Stage – 731 10 Ave SW

More information at www.batsforbrats.com

MINI LIFE: MINTED NAME LABELS

Gone are the days of writing your kid’s name on their belongings with a piece of tape and a sharpie. Minted just launched their brand new custom name + clothing labels collection and I am loving how they transformed such a tiny detail/chore into something absolutely adorable. They are all designed by Minted’s independent artist community and I loved browsing through the various designs to find something perfect for Jack. 

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These personalized name label bookplates for his books are so cute and have transformed them all into heirlooms that he will cherish for years to come.

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The new smaller-sized and machine washable name labels are perfectly designed for clothes. I chose the Venice Brush style in four bright colours – looks so adorable in his little shirts. You could really add them to anything tho – stuffed animals, bags, etc.

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The personalized name labels are a durable way to customize bottles, food containers, toys, sports equipment, clothing care tags and much more. The labels are waterproof, non-toxic, dishwasher and laundry safe. It is a great (and cute) way to alert people of your child’s allergies or dietary restrictions. These rainbow labels were too cute to pass up.

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FRIDAY EDIT NO. 001

Happy Friday, everyone! What are you up to this weekend? The first weekend of June already – it certainly feels like summer now, doesn’t it? I have a busy weekend ahead of me – hosting a garage sale (hurray for purging junk out of our home!) and celebrating my friend’s birthday. Sunday, I will be at Lilac Festival on 4th Street at The Mission with AVI Urban – come visit if you are in Calgary! Hope you have a good one whatever you get up to.

While you wait for the weekend to begin, here are a few of my favourite things this week…

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I am obsessed with this new Saved by the Bell themed diner in Chicago. Someone out there is making all of our dreams come true and I love it. And I love it even more that Vogue had the exclusive story on it.

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Louis Vuitton’s Resort 2017 show in Rio De Janeiro was earlier this week. Beyond the incredible fashion, I am head-over-heels for the seating choices flanking the curvy runway. Spray painted plastic crates for the win. Definitely DIY inspiration for my next backyard party. Also – that view?!

The AVOCADO emoji is coming, you guys! As is the black heart and ‘fingers crossed’ emoji. It is rather sad how excited I get about the addition of new emojis but I guess it is a part of modern life.

I made hot for food blog’s vegan BBQ (cauliflower) wings this week and was blown away by how delicious they were. I don’t even like ranch sauce and I was licking the bowl clean. Another vegan recipe for the win!

I didn’t know you could propagate your own succulents. This is a super helpful blog post detailing how to grow itty-bitty succulents right at home.

Some interesting articles for those of you working in creative fields:

Why I Stopped Calling Myself a Freelancer 

What Murakami and other Literary Giants Learned from Brand Writing

THE COOL LIST NO. 001

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Thought I’d start sharing some more of the cool stuff I find on my travels around town, the world and on the internet.

My new favourite local shop is called Guildhall Home and is filled with all sorts of beautiful treasures for your home. Lucky for all of my non-Calgary followers, they have a lovely online shop where you can scoop up all of the decor + design finds that owner Carey Jones has handpicked for the store. The Nicholai Wiig Hansen for Normann Copenhagen geo vacuum jug + creamer + cup set instantly went to the top of my wishlist. Love the blush tones.

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2. The cutest little donkey pinata in the whole world from Urban Outfitters; 3. the perfect place to stash bedside necessities  – marbled concrete box from Rove Concepts; 4. a plate that you could use every single day of the week – insert cake here plate from the Drake General Store.

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5. I’m well aware that we are approaching summer but I just fell in love with the Merry + Bright print from my faves at Zilverblauw; 6. I love how simple yet gorgeous the organic gold lip tray is from upintheairsomewhere; 7. Colours on point with this shapes necklace from Floti; 8. Swooning over these delicate little cloud plates from urbancartel

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9. The Linea Light from The UnCommons would be the perfect addition to any space needing some sparkle and glow. I’ve got my eye on the white one.

ON 4TH STREET: SHOKUNIN

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As part of my honourable duties as an ambassador for 4th Street, I am obliged to share my absolute favourite spots to eat and drink on the street. Such a tough job – but someone’s gotta do it. Which brings me to Shokunin, a new #localjapanese concept by Chef and Owner Darren MacLean (formerly of DowntownFood) that opened up earlier this year in the base of the Hopewell Group building on 4th Street. After being introduced to the menu in early April, I’ve returned a few more times to taste and try just about everything. Darren calls it local Japanese because although the entire concept of the restaurant is authentic Japanese cuisine, most or all of the ingredients used are found locally.

Besides the incredible menu and delicious share plates, the one thing that really set Shokunin apart for me was the attention to detail. And I don’t just mean the fact that they bring out a hot towel before your meal (luxurious!) or that they use real wasabi root (so damn good) instead of the powdered stuff. Those are things that certainly enhance the Shokunin experience – but it is the art, the lighting, the music, the ambiance – all of those details coming together to create an exciting dining experience. The one thing that really caught my eye (as someone who loves fine design) was the beautiful ceramic dishes and bowls that appeared with the equally gorgeous plated food.

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The name ‘Shokunin’ means artisan or craftsman so for Darren it was only natural to use local artisans to create the place settings for the restaurant. The artist in particular that Darren hired for Shokunin is Vin Arora, of Arora Pottery, who actually specializes in restaurant ware (he creates dishes for the famous Vij’s in Vancouver).  I sat down for a chat with him to talk about bringing in handcrafted ceramics for his menu and to photograph some of the delectable bites that live on these plates. And yes, I ate the Hamachi pictured – I also drank that cocktail. It was delicious, of course.

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➔ Why did you decide to hire a ceramics artist to create plates for Shokunin?

I am obsessed with using Alberta’s resources and ingredients for my restaurants – and I wanted to bring that element in for all aspects – not just the food. I am promoting sustainability by promoting local artists, using local clay and glazes – not only is the food coming from Albertan soil but the clay for the plates you’re eating off does too! We melded the Albertan and Japanese cultures with these plates – the techniques are actually traditional Japanese methods for creating pottery.

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➔ Why was having beautiful plates important for you?

I’m not overly concerned with crazy plating. I think that food that is beautiful needs only to be shown for what is is. You don’t necessarily need to over-manipulate the finished product. However, I do want our food to look good – so I wanted to create something that is aesthetically pleasing and unique that sets us apart. All of the plates are one-of-a-kind using different glazes from all over Alberta. Since we do so many small shares plates on our menu, you might get a stack of dishes that are all the same but the glazing or texture is different. It adds a bit of interest to your experience.

We designed these custom plates because we wanted to the natural, organic look for our menu. Nowadays, people put so much focus on what the food looks like (or should look like). We wanted to show the food for what is without overdoing the styling. Let the whole plate speak for itself.

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Shokunin and Chef Darren MacLean is hosting an amazing one-of-a-kind collaboration dinner on Thursday June 16th featuring Guest Chef Karaki Masafumi of Nagano Japan as well as welcoming Akira Kondo, maker and owner of Mikotsuru Sake.

Cooking with Albertan and Canadian ingredients this 8 Course Collaborative Kaiseki dinner is an amazing immersion into the Shokunin experience. Kaiseki (懐石?) or kaiseki-ryōri (懐石料理) is a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner. The term also refers to the collection of skills and techniques that allow the preparation of such meals. Kaiseki is the highest form of Japanese Culinary Arts and is focused on seasonality and local foods. In keeping the menu will highlight Canadian ingredients as well as Japanese AAAAA Wagyu. It is going to be incredible!

The Details:

Thursday June 16, 2016 7:00-10:00pm

Shokunin – 2016 4 St SW

Click for to book your tickets!

PARKSHOW 2016 – TWO NITES!

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PARKSHOW Calgary presented by CF Chinook Centre is a fashion show and art exhibition featuring emerging Canadian designers and professional artists coming up on May 27 + 28! I am so sad that I can’t make it this year but you should definitely check it out if you are a Calgary fashion and art lover who is interested in today’s young talent that is making an impact across Canada. For the first time ever, PARKSHOW will take place over two days! Check out the incredible local talent on one or both nights! Friday night has more of a focus on streetwear while Saturday’s focus is couture and luxury brands. Both promise to be an amazing experience at CF Chinook Centre.

Friday Program: Vandal Goods // Kate Hewko // Lennard Taylor // Seed Yoga // Honubelle // Madame Wolf //Suka // Bano eeMee

Saturday Program: Cara Cheung // House of Nonie // Anneke Forbes // Rebecca King // Malika Couture // S.P. Badu // Anne B Accessories

Get your tickets now by clicking right here

 

 

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COCORRINA SHOP

Online retail therapy alert! One of my favourite blogger/designers (the fabulous Corina of Cocorrina) just launched her beautiful new online shop and it is flawless! Everything is executed so perfectly – I wouldn’t expect any less from such a talented designer – and I’m instantly coveting everything. Start your wishlist with my faves below:

marble cube candles

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oui tee

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the dream book 

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if lost print

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gold eye necklace

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FOTOCON AT LONDON DRUGS

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It is no secret that I am a bit of a camera junkie. Ever since I purchased my first SLR (film!) back when I was sixteen years old, I have been hooked on buying cameras. I even went to university to study photography – a skill that has come in handy ten-fold over the years. I love film, I love digital – I love toy cameras and Polaroids – I even love the camera on my phone. Constantly capturing images (even more so now with my little munchkin) I have been obsessed with creating images for a very long time.

Lucky for me (and you!) May is photography month at London Drugs and on June 4th and 5th there is a big #LDFotoCon event happening right here in Calgary! London Drugs is the best place to purchase the latest digital camera equipment – and whom better to learn from than the experts. Did you know that many of their Camera and Photolab staff are actually photographers themselves?

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#LDFotoCon brings together expert photographers and reps from the top camera manufacturers to create a unique experience for customers. Learn more about your camera, gain valuable photographic experience and take advantage of the amazing advice available to you. Make sure you register now to claim your spot and enjoy two fantastic days of nerding out on cameras and gear. I know I will be heading down as I have my eye on the SONY A6000. I have been looking for a new camera to replace my aging DSLR and it looks like the SONY models are where it is at! Can’t wait to learn more and hopefully pick up a new camera!

June 4: Heritage Plaza, 8330 MacLeod Trail SE

June 5: First Calgary SE, 4701-130th Avenue SE

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In a quick effort to get back into film photography, I purchased a disposable camera from London Drugs and took it out with me on a few adventures. The results (the photos in this post) I love – the images are unedited and somehow perfect all at the same time. All I can say is that I am addicted again. London Drugs is one of the few places that still processes film – my roll was ready and scanned onto a disk in less than 24 hours. Their photolab is fantastic so definitely check it out if you are looking to get back into film photography or get some prints made. The results are always wonderful and surprising!

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IKEA’S VIKTIGT LIMITED EDITION COLLECTION

It has been awhile since I have fallen SO hard for an IKEA collection (well, besides this one). The VIKTIGT collection which is created in collaboration with Swedish glass and ceramic designer Ingegerd Råman, is no exception to IKEA’s long line of timeless pieces. You must, of course, that the VIKTIGT collection is sadly fleeting; a limited edition line – it will only be in Canadian stores from May – July.

The VIKTIGT collection features handmade objects focusing on craftsmanship and simplicity including everything from glassware to furniture woven from natural fibres. Each piece is simple and beautiful yet can easily become it’s own statement in a minimalist space. Anyways, scroll down for some serious design eye candy. I want every piece. 

I will leave you with this quote by the designer, clearly a passionate, stylish and ingenious woman:

“This collection is about craft. It’s a project between the craftsmen and the designer. It has lots of energy. And looking at the objects now – the things we did – for me, it represents love.” Ingegerd Råman, Swedish designer.

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