The One of a Kind Show.
Toronto, Ontario

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I hit my 50’s I imagine I’ll be shopping for Christmas presents a good 3 years in advance, shelling out slightly faded, out of date gifts cloaked in under bed dust bunnies for all to enjoy.

Go me.

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.

One Of A- Kind Show 1

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.

One Of A- Kind Show Moccasins


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.

One Of A- Kind Show Negatives Collage


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.
One Of A- Kind Show Purses Collage


Don’t think you’re a fan of pottery?

Think again.

One Of A- Kind Show 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.

One Of A- Kind Etsy Collage


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.

One Of A- Kind Show 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.

One Of A- Kind Glassware


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.

One Of A- Kind Show Krazy Lady Quilts


Kathy at Hark runs Ecclectic Pelican.  She makes bizarre things heavy on the Victorian.  I love them.

One Of A- Kind Show Ornament


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.

One Of A- Kind Show Pottery 2


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.

One Of A- Kind Show Wire Sculpture


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.

Perfect porcelain.

One Of A- Kind Show Heyday


Oh, I’m sorry … you need super-fine underpants? I have just the thing for you.

Courtesy of the Candi Factory.

One Of A- Kind Show Underpants


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.

One Of A- Kind Show Magnetic Cubes


Love it all Hugo.  LOVE IT ALL.

All hail Poutine.  And really hail  an actual ceramic poutine bowl. Oh Canada.

One Of A- Kind Show Nautical Ceramics


Earth Angel’s Retro Design Aprons.

For the person who cooks or who just likes to look like they do.

One Of A- Kind Show Aprons



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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  1. Kat says:

    OMG!!! That coat is to die for!!! I am so jealous!

    • Kat says:

      I just checked out his long sheepskins and they are even more beautiful, if that is possible!

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Thanks. Although all I did was try it on and buy it. I was SO cold for SO long this winter I said never again. I have a 10 year old Canada Goose which is great, but it feels a bit weird to wear a massive red Canada Goose coat to a wedding or out for a nice dinner, lol. ~ karen

  2. Pati Gulat says:

    LOVIN those salt and pepper shakers !!!!!

  3. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    I would be so broke if I went there..How could you not buy that salt & pepper??? That is so awesome!!!!

  4. Deb says:

    I’m with everyone above! I LOVE LOVE that coat. Absolutely stunning. Have to admit, I’d buy at least two of everything you showed, one for me, one for someone else. I was happily surprised that the coffee cups with the lipstick marks were left-handed (being left-handed I notice that stuff).

  5. Stephanie says:

    So many great finds! I covered the floor of our chicken house with the same vinyl flooring! We even have some left over but I’m not sure I’m brave or skilled enough to make a purse out of it. Love the lipstick mugs.

  6. Mary says:

    Hi Karen,
    Thanks for the tickets. They arrived Friday afternoon with some wonderful packets if herb seeds. Unfortunately, I was heading to the new place out of town and was unable to use them. If only they had arrived the day before, I would now own a pair of turquoise moccasins. I will now, however, have the pleasure of getting down to the business of planting seeds.
    Thanks again.

  7. Kyle says:

    Hey there,
    Is there a link for that nifty magnetic key wooden cubeything? I need/ want one.

    • Cindy says:

      Me too! Link for the “Thing thing” please???

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kyle – I’ve just added the link so you can contact the designer from the show if you want, but his site isn’t finished yet so there isn’t anything for sale on there. 🙁 ~ karen

  8. Suanne says:

    SO going to look at the coat website, right now. When you get yours, we want to see a pic of you in it! Thanks for taking us on this little jaunt with you and your family. Probably be the only chance most of us get to see this stuff. Love, love, love the wire art too!!!!

  9. Tigersmom says:

    So many links to click on!

    Did you notice that if you twist the wooden stopper in the salt and pepper shaker a quarter turn to the right it looks just a pig snout? Just sayin’.

    I wish the One of a Kind Show would take it n the road and come to Dallas so that I could be in it and shop it.

  10. karol says:

    Dang! Jealous, that’s all I can say. My sister and I holler out “Marco” until the other hollers out “Polo” when we have lost each other at craft shows.

  11. Rondina Muncy says:

    I suspect that you had a really difficult time deciding on what you would like to take away from this awesome event. I agree with Tigersmom. Bring it to the Metroplex.

  12. Dan says:

    My ladyfriend has bought me two pairs of the candi factory underbritches. They’re super-comfortable, and the fabric panels are strategically constructed/place to enhance your……uh….comfort.

  13. Nicola says:

    What great finds! Thanks for some great stuff to inspire my day and the next few months!

  14. Vicky says:

    I love the coat. We definitely need pictures when you get yours!

  15. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    What a cool adventure. I love the lipstick mugs, lol. I don’t think I would ever be cold enough here in NC to wear a coat like that, this winter I may have come close. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Ev Wilcox says:

    Thanks for sharing the craft show with us! Great stuff. But really, those S & P shakers were too much and you didn’t buy them? Coat is beautiful-please post a pic of you wearing it when you get it. Did I miss where that show is held?

  17. Stacy.P says:

    Karen, I love you! My favorite line for the whole post:
    “She and I are friends now. Well, friends who have to look up each other’s first names on the Internet.”
    I wish I lived closer to you, so we could be more than internet friends! <3
    I also love Hugo's Not Made in China! He is also at the Montreal Salon des Metiers d'Art, the 3 weeks before xmas!

  18. Bols says:

    I stopped going many years ago. Yeah, there are many beautiful items at the show but also a lot of kitsch.
    I would probably spend a lot of money on things I want but don’t need.
    The Pépin coats are nice but I have a very similar one (although without the, umm, dangling bits) from artificial fur that everybody believes is real. It was one of the best buys I ever made and I never got as many compliments on anything else combined as on that fur coat. It is extremely warm and no animals died for it.

    I looked at his website but I have to say I don’t like website with no prices stated. I hate having to call or email to find out that I fell in love with something that I cannot afford. (Yes, I do know the old adage “If you have to ask ….”. I do realize that the price per item may vary based on size, the type of skin, and his mood that day, but at least a base point would be nice.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Bols – I knew there were some that would take issue with it being an genuine pelt, but as someone who eats meat and wears leather it would be hypocritical of me to say I wouldn’t wear sheepskin. I’m not sure why the prices aren’t on the site. I suspect it’s because much of the work is custom. ~ karen!

  19. Lorry Vassar says:

    I’m not Canadian but would love to know where to buy the moccasins. Thank you, I love your blog. It makes me laugh everyday.
    Best Regards

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lorry – The moccasin place was the one place I couldn’t the card I had taken for. So I’m not sure who/where they are. Maybe someone else browsing this site will recognize them and be able to help you out. Sorry! ~ karen

  20. Robin says:

    I start shopping in December the 26th to be exact…for next December. The trick is remembering what you bought for who and where I stored it! I have to choose wisely, because I have one friend that has exactly the same taste as me, so I obviously need to purchase two of the same items…one for her and of course one for me. So Christmas shopping can be a very expensive undertaking. I’d love to see a show like the “One of a Kind” show here in Victoria, but that will never happen! Also, like everyone else, love the coat!

  21. Jan Jarrett says:

    Hey from Waterdown! So I am a forum posting virgin and a long time lurker. OK. There. I said it. Whew, what a relief! but I just had to show off and tell you that I may have found the info sought by Lorry moccasin-wise without even leaving the comfort of my jammies. I think the artisan is “Hides in Hand” ( in Rockwood Ontario. Ta da! Guess I should get dressed now and accomplish something for real eh?

  22. Julie says:

    those moccasins are quite a good price! i love the colours.

  23. Bols says:

    @ Ev Wilcox

    – One of a Kind show takes place in Toronto.

  24. Jenny says:

    *wishes to be on Karen’s Christmas list* – nice finds! and awesome highlight of the Zissou brooch. Can you hear the Jack Whales singing?

  25. theresa says:

    I really needed a shopping foray but just can’t afford it right now so thank you for taking us with you–this show is so amazing!!

  26. Laura Watt says:

    So much fun M.I.R.L.!

  27. Barbie says:

    ….I sure hope your going to show us a picture of the coat once it’s finished.

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