Spring One Of A Kind Show

I may have mentioned that in this blog I want to feature others who are into the “homemade” way of living, and artisans tend to be those who best live by that mantra.

So it’s always inspiring to meet someone who does what they love for a living and finding a whole bunch of people who do what they love for a living all in one place is even better. This place is called the Spring One Of A Kind Show and I had the pleasure of attending the opening with my friends Barb and Jenny. We wandered the show floor to meet the vendors and check out their wares.

Among the many talented artisans we discovered several who were creating unique and beautiful clothing, jewellery and accessories. And now I get to share their stories with you.

“ANTLER LADY”- Actually her name is Dandi Maestre and she makes beautiful jewellery from found objects. She moved to Toronto from Columbia six years ago. Originally trained as a graphic designer, Dandi, like so many new to Canada decided to reinvent herself when she moved to Canada. Dandi’s accessories were recently seen on the runway at Toronto Fashion Week in Lucian Matis’ collection. Dandi, a self-taught jewellery designer, describes her pieces as “tribal.” Using all-natural materials like horn, hooves, antlers, seeds from the Amazon, coconut and reclaimed wood, Dandi’s jewellery really are statement pieces. This jewellery is definitely for the confident woman.

Colourful necklaces
Colourful necklaces

An assortment of bracelets
An assortment of bracelets
Objects from nature transformed into jewellery
Objects from nature transformed into jewellery
Dandi helping a customer
Dandi helping a customer

“FEATHER GIRL”- Nicole McInnis is a third year student studying fashion design at Ryerson University.  She was selling these precious hair ornaments at the Show. If you can’t make it to the show this weekend, you can always check out her online shop, Oh Dina! on Etsy.com To her delight, there were many shoppers interested in her accessories. They ranged in price from $30 to $125. Nicole, who also loves to make hats, says she gets her inspiration from Pin Up girls, vintage Hollywood glamour and as she says, “anything pretty.” Great for dolling up any outfit, or even as an accessory for your wedding day up-do, these feathered friends really are worth checking out. My photographs hardly do these ornaments justice, so go visit her Etsy site to get a better view.

A turquoise feather hair clip
A turquoise feather hair clip
An assortment of headbands
An assortment of headbands

Honeybea Design Hive– This vendor immediately caught my eye when I saw these lovely button bags on display. Becky Caulford is the creative genius behind Honeybea. With fashion design under her belt, Becky decided to create a line of “sustainable fashion” five years ago and began pedaling her wares at fairs and festivals across the country. Traveling in her VW wagon dec’d out with daisies Becky is a modern girl living the flower child lifestyle. Her fabulous button bags ($79) truly are eye-catching, as are her sexy mama halter tops ( for $59 which I procured for myself, as did Jenny) all have a very ’70’s vibe about them. All of her gear is made from discarded fabrics and objects like curtains, coasters, napkin and curtain rings (the “buttons” on her bags are actually made from vintage wooden drink coasters!) that she finds at thrift stores. Becky truly is a modern-day environmental maven. The best way to describe her style? “Not hokey, but folky.”

Button Bags
Button Bags
70's inspired belts
70's inspired belts
Sexy halter tops
Sexy halter tops
Becky
Becky

Sunday Brunch

There are no rules when it comes to brunch. The in-between nature of the gathering essentially gives me license to serve anything I want to my guests. The very melding of the words breakfast and lunch suggests the meal can and should be a combination of cold and hot dishes both heavy and light in nature. I love hosting brunch because it really allows me the freedom to get creative in the kitchen. I like to take my inspiration from Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten. In the past I have hosted brunches, both elaborate and simple in menus, for birthdays and showers or just as an excuse to get family and friends together. The latter was the reason for today’s brunch and the menu was relatively simple: fresh Gryfe’s bagels, cream cheese, lox, an assortment of hard cheeses, my favourite Beit Yitzak wild blueberry jam, spinach salad with cucumber, avocado and blood orange in a vinegrette, freshly baked peach raspberry crisp and fresh strawberries and blueberries.

Our guests included Dave’s parents, his uncle Ted and Aunt Dru in for a visit from New Jersey, as well as my parents who decided to crash the party for a short time. Oh yes, and the kidlets. Who can forget the kidlets???

There will be many more brunches to write about in the future. And I do hope people share their favourite brunch menus with me.

bagels
Fresh Gryfe's bagels
lox-cream-cheese
Lox & Cream Cheese
spinach-salad
Spinach salad with avocado, cucumber & blood orange
peach-crisp-fruit
Peach raspberry crisp & fresh fruit


RECIPE: Peanut Butterscotch Chocolate Squares

I admit, I have not “made” anything since my last entry. However, I am making the time to make an account of the items I have made in recent days. I got all nostalgic on the weekend and made a number of childhood favourites for my two boys, like chocolate pudding in individual cups, raspberry Jell-O and my grandmother’s peanut butterscotch chocolate squares. Super simple. Super delicious. It would fall into that “half-made homemade” category of baking that always wows a crowd. AND it’s ridiculously easy to make. It’s especially pleasing to those who enjoy the chocolate peanut butter combo. So here’s the recipe:

DORIN’S PEANUT BUTTERSCOTH CHOCOLATE SQUARES

Melt 1 cup of peanut butter (must be like Skippy–not all natural) with a heaping cup of butterscotch chips. This takes time, as the chipits have a stabilizer in them that makes them finicky to melt.

Once melted, mix with 4 cups of crushed Rice Crispies (or another kind of crispy cereal that crushes easily)

Pour into a 8 inch x 8 inch baking pan

Melt a heaping cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips and spread evenly on top of peanut butterscotch mixture and refrigerate.

After cooling completely, take it out of the fridge and allow to come up to close to room temperature and cut into squares (this will prevent the chocolate from shattering into jagged pieces).

ENJOY!

Peanut Butterscotch Chocolate Squares
Peanut Butterscotch Chocolate Squares

Welcome to home-made.ca, a place for all things homemade

Welcome to home-made.ca! A place for all things homemade. This is my first (albeit brief) post on this page. I have big dreams for this page, not the least of which is to show you all the great things that I like to make at home. That’s a catch-all for cooking, crafting, gardening, writing, my husband’s woodworking (my only contributions being the designs), and much, much more.

Ironically, I now hdorin_5ave to go and make dinner for the children. So I’ll be back soon. –dorin