The older I get the earlier I start shopping for Christmas. I used to start Christmas shopping in December. Then it was November, then October. I’m now at the age where I start shopping for Christmas in the spring. Once I hit my 50’s I imagine I’ll be shopping for Christmas presents a good 3 years in advance, shelling out slightly faded, out of date gifts cloaked in under bed dust bunnies for all to enjoy.
This year I thought I could get my start at the One of a Kind Show in Toronto.
If you haven’t heard of it, the One of a Kind Show is a twice a year HUGE marketplace for craft and handmade items. Unique, one of a kind pieces. There’s the Christmas show and the Spring show. The sale was started in Toronto, Ontario in December, 1975 by June Bibby. June, you see, was an artisan, but couldn’t find anywhere to sell her hand made items before Christmas. So she and 2 friends decide to take matters into their own hands and create their own holiday shopping marketplace. The One of a Kind Show was born. 39 years later it’s the largest consumer craft show in North America.
So Betty, and my sisters, Pink Tool belt and Fish Pedicure headed out one Friday afternoon to see what sorts of presents we could find. As I got there and wandered up and down one or two aisles, I decided those on my gift list could suck it. And I started buying presents for myself …
I didn’t buy all of the things you see below, but I did buy some of them.
Beautiful, soft, colourful handmade moccasins. Starting things off the Canadian craft way, eh.
This guy’s work stopped me in my tracks.
Mini-Loop is a company (just that one guy actually) that creates light boxes out of old film negatives (among other things). What really struck me was how affordable they were, starting at around $100.
You can see more of his work on Etsy.
If you’re a purse nut then you have to have to have to go to the One of a Kind Show when it comes to your city. Handbag heaven.
The fine young man from Winnipeg who created Sol Designs had some of the most beautiful and innovated purses in the show made from felt, wood and other truly inspired materials.
Shop his Etsy store.
Don’t think you’re a fan of pottery?
I was thrilled to see an Esty section at the One of a Kind Show.
Etsy is really like the baby-sister/online version of the One of a Kind. Both encourage and promote handcrafted, unique items.
One of a Kind’s just been doing it for a bit longer. ‘Bout 30 years longer.
It was in the Etsy section that Laura Watt from Cubit’s seed shop and I were able to M.I.R.L.
Meet in real life.
Laura has advertised her shop on my site for years now, yet we’d never met in person.
I bought seeds. Because I
needed wanted seeds.
I got pink radishes and purple radishes.
Want your own radish seeds?
Go to Laura’s Etsy shop, as featured in the OOAK show’s Etsy section.
I loved the Brooch Boyfriends. So much lower maintenance than a real one. And less farty.
One guess as to what stopped me in my tracks at this last Etsy shop, Mava Style, that specializes in handmade, sterling silver and gold jewellery.
I spent part of the day today on the phone with my mother, both of us wondering why none of us bought these blown glass salt and pepper shakers.
They’re easily the greatest salt and pepper shakers known to mankind. Ever. In the history of the world and most probably the other planets as well. When I first saw them I let out some sort of bark/squeak.
The tumblers were ridiculously great as well. We were all just in such a daze wandering around because there’s SO much stuff and most of it is incredible. There’s the odd clunker, but frankly what I think is a clunker someone else might think was perfect.
Nobody thought the quilts from Krazy Lady Kreations were clunkers. They were beautiful and the artisan gave us a quick look on her iPad of what her next venture into quilting is going to be. Landscapes. YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN THIS QUILT.
A client asked if she’d make a quilt that represented Northern Ontario. She complied by quilting a Group of Seven type landscape of birch trees. I’ve never seen anything like it. Of course I can’t show you a picture of it because it wasn’t at the show it was on her iPad. And taking a picture of her iPad would have seemed odd, although at this show, odd behaviour (like squeaking, barking and drooling) is pretty normal. Shouldda taken the picture.
Kathy at Hark runs Ecclectic Pelican. She makes bizarre things heavy on the Victorian. I love them.
The major trend I noticed at the show was nautical. It wasn’t so everywhere that it couldn’t be missed, but it was there. Watch for a lot of nautical stuff showing up on Pinterest, then in stores soon.
Loved EVERYTHING in the Atelier Tréma booth.
Love a good rope handle.
I lost my sister Fish Pedicure twice during the show. Both times I found here at Rudy Kehkla’s booth. Once she was in a weird trance-like state, and once she was telling him his work should be in an art gallery. And he should.
The most amazing part of his wire sculptures is the fact that many of them move.
I really love his description of what he does.
Do you remember how Pink Tool Belt sister got me a porcelain mason jar for Christmas? Well I met the artist at the show.
Claire Madill of HeyDey Design was so very nice.
She and I are friends now. Well, friends who have to look up each other’s first names on the Internet.
Plus her work is impeccable. Not a seam, not a smudge, not a burr.
Oh, I’m sorry … you need super-fine underpants? I have just the thing for you.
Courtesy of the Candi Factory.
I bought one of these. Thing thing below. Not the I’m with Stupid underpants.
It’s a simple wood veneer cube filled with magnet so you can hang your keys off of it anywhere.
It just screws into the wall. I showed you how to fill a nail hole the other day so you don’t need to worry about these sorts of things anymore.
From Tat Chao.
Love it all Hugo. LOVE IT ALL.
All hail Poutine. And really hail an actual ceramic poutine bowl. Oh Canada.
Earth Angel’s Retro Design Aprons.
For the person who cooks or who just likes to look like they do.
So I came home with a couple of packets of seeds, a key holder and this …
A handmade sheepskin coat by Réjean Pépin, that absolutely NO Canadian winter wind can get through. Réjean is a Quebecois man who grew up poor in the countryside of Quebec. Sick of being cold he set out one day to find a tannery where he bought a skin to make himself a hat. It was a resounding failure. But it sparked a passion for working with skins that led him to design schools and training in haute couture techniques.
This isn’t the actual coat I got. Mine is going to be dark brown and custom made for me. This is the 3/4 length, and mine is the short length.
So the Christmas shopping trip to the One of a Kind Show was a huge success. As long as you were me and not someone on my gift list.
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