Friday, July 29, 2011

Happy Long Weekend!

It's officially after work, which means you are officially starting your great long weekend. But don't just spend it sitting there, live this weekend CRE-ATIV-ELY!

Don't Hug Me I'm Scared from This Is It on Vimeo.

Now that you're ready to use your minds to have a good time (safely, please), here's a few things to get you inspired:

1. Laura Fedynyszyn's solo exhibition, Souvenir of Home, is closing on Monday! This collection of lino prints of beautifully illustrated Canadian wildlife is a whole lot friendlier than the average mounted animal heads. No animals were hurt in the production of these delicate (they're printed on antique maps and book pages), but strong pieces.

2. Look around you! What do you have in your home that is no longer living up to its original utilitarian purpose? Don't let it just hide away, take a second look and appreciate its hidden charm. Got some old plates that you no longer use? Turn it into a clock! Here's how. (p.s. there's a long list of DIY projects for you to do in this side-blog of ours)

3. Be inspired by books! Here's what we are currently reading:
The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein - a must read if you love modern art, specifically early 1900s, and/or the new Woody Allen movie Midnight in Paris. (I have yet to watch it, but people who see me reading this book always tell me to go see it.)
Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert - Pick up this book to help you laugh, possibly cry and figure out why you can't remember the past properly.Very smart, very shocking, and of course, hilarious!!!
How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer - Karen has been tweeting some great quotes from this entertaining book that analyzes our decision making process from both neuroscience and real-life point of views. This book will help you understand YOU, and why you do and choose to do what you do - from crossing the street to landing a 747 without any hydraulics!

4. Want more ideas? Check out these awesome blogs that always get us inspired: Kitchenisms, Little Projectiles (by one of our contributors/artists/consignors, Nadia Tan), Poppytalk.
Or, be inspired by these wonderfully passionate and talented people!
5. Not satisfied? Come by our brick-and-mortar (939 Bloor St. West)! We are open all weekend long, from noon to 7:30 pm.

Have a great weekend!!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Welcoming Kempton Jones!

Kempton Jones' designer Michelle Matsui loves all things fabric and vintage. She has finally found an outlet for all the fabric stashes in her house. Owlies of Ontario are plush art owls that are named after small towns and cities that provoke fond memories for her or just sound cool. Some of the names are Varna, Malachi and Cutler! Each one is hand made with unique personalities and expressions.

During the day you will find her managing a graphic design studio. her creative life starts at 9pm, sometimes 8 on a good day.

Find her on facebook and find out more about her creative life on

Monday, July 18, 2011

Designer spotlight: Emily Gill

"Hello! I am Emily Gill, designer, goldsmith and jewellery instructor. I make botanical inspired jewellery in bright colours, using copper sheet metal and vitreous enamel, which I became enamored with several years ago while attending university! I cut out each brooch, earring or pendant one at a time with a jeweller’s saw, the teeniest blade you’ve ever seen. I use copper as a base for bright enamels, which are a glass powder melted onto a metal surface. I do this in an electric kiln, which fires the pieces at about 1500 degrees F. Needless to say, it gets pretty hot in my studio, but the results are well worth it!

I have been working as a goldsmith and living in Toronto for just over two years now, after completing my BFA in Jewellery and Metalsmithing at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax. I use many processes of traditional goldsmithing: fabrication and soldering, piercing, drilling, sawing, lost wax casting, and I also form sheet copper into nice pillowy shapes using a hydraulic press I designed and built myself! You could say I love using tools, almost just as much as jewellery itself. I have been building my studio space in the West End from scratch for the last few months, and it’s amazing what you can do with free scrap wood and a jigsaw. It’s all part of the fun process that brings the jewellery to you!

After wrapping up the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition last week at City Hall, I am very excited to be taking a two week trip to Quebec to Camp Ouareau, north of Montreal where I am from. It is a residential camp for girls aged 8-15 that I attended as a camper and CIT for 6 years and worked on staff as head of crafts and program director for 6 years. I’m not going to be teaching sailing anymore (although I’m sure I’ll squeeze a few boat rides in while I’m there!) This year, after a 5 year hiatus, will be bringing my professional skills as a jeweler and enamellist to the teenagers at camp, as part of their new and improved integrated crafts program!

Upon my return, look for me at a few fall shows: The Queen West Art Crawl in Trinity Bellwoods for starters, all listed on my website

The nice ladies Freedom Clothing Collective have been carrying my jewellery since last Holiday season 2010, and it has been a great experience and very important to me to sell in a local shop that is right in my neighbourhood. I hope to see you when I bring enameling workshops and gift making classes to Freedom for the fall and holiday season….but let’s wait until this heat wave passes over Toronto before firing up the electric kiln!

Until the fall, enjoy the rest of your summer, and pop into the shop to check out my new Chunky Enamel rings (now in gold colours and handpainted details), Fly Away Flower Studs and Dangles and Bold Flower Brooches.

: ) Emily Gill

Friday, July 8, 2011

Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition

This weekend (July 8th - 10th) marks the 50th year of the annual Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, Canada’s largest juried outdoor art exhibition. Make sure you check out the following booths:

Baba Yaga by Rachael Speirs 

Amanda McCavour (Toronto-based fibre artist to be participating in our Fabricate exhibition in September) -- Booth 89, yellow.
Emily Gill (Jewellery artist who is also a consignor at Freedom) - Booth 47, yellow.
Mark Stebbins (Last year's TOAE Best In Show winner) - Booth 113, yellow.
Rachael Speirs (self-taught mixed-media artist who collaborated with Kathryn Rebecca in our Summer Solstice exhibition) - Booth 125, yellow.
Soyeon Kim (Illustrator whose 3D works have been installed in our window space after I fell in love with them at last year's TOAE) - Booth 293, blue.

Come, follow me by Soyeon Kim

An Honorary Mention:
Last but not least, Paola Savasta, who participated in last December's Paperback Nobodies No More fundraiser exhibition, is the 2011 recipient of the William Huffman Award for Excellence in Studio Practice. Savasta will present a new body of work in a solo exhibition entitled “Couches for the Liberated” at KWT Contemporary.  Congratulations, Paola!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July Exhibition: Souvenir of Home

Freedom CC is proud to present:

Souvenir of Home

July 8th – Aug 1st
Opening Reception: Friday, July 8th at 8 pm

It's obvious that Freedom CC loves Canada. We love Canadians, Canadian-made goods, we really are here first and foremost to cheer for Canada. It's only natural that one week after Canada Day, we choose to showcase a fantastic Canadian printmaker and painter who has just developed a whole series dedicated to Canadian wildlife.

In this series Souvenir of Home, Laura - a vegetarian - created life-sized lino prints of mounted animals on decorative papers and old maps to conjure up romantic images of an unknown and untamed Canadian wilderness. By juxtaposing the gruesome images of dead animals onto richly toned papers these works attempt to capture her feelings of both revulsion and obsession with taxidermy.

Come join us at the opening reception and meet Laura!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Summer 2011: A Local Romance

Please welcome Freedom’s first promo video. We’ve been wanting to create a video for some time now that would somehow encapsulate what Freedom is and show our love for what we do. This short film A Local Romance, we believe, achieves that.

Big hugs and thanks to the amazing crew that took part in the making of this film....

Nadia Tan (Filmographer) a woman with super talent spread across a myriad of disciplines, her paper art can be seen at last month's Not Just Paper Planes exhibition (pictured above).

Patricia and Mark (models) are not only the loveliest of couples, but they are also the photographers and artists behind Polygun Collective. Patricia had a solo show of her In Between Dreams series (pictured above) at Freedom a few months back and many of her pieces can be seen and purchased via the Freedom Market.
Marsya Maharani (stylist & photographer) was the key link in making this shoot happen.  Behind the scenes is a crazy, time consuming job, but she managed it with the finesse and charm of a ….. hahaha I want to write princess but not sure if that is quite right... well you know what I mean!! You rock M!
And of course, big thank you to the multitude of Canadian designers and artists that we represent. This short film is heavenly because of you! We are so very lucky to know such wonderful people!

The list of great people whose works are featured in the film, and in no particular order, cause we’re random like that:
Atelier-B (supplying awesome stylish clothing to us for over two years), Francesca Tallone (the wonderful pic of Atelier-b jumpsuit), Rae Designs (creating such wonderful, affordable jewelry designs, and being a great friend), Betina Lou (poshing up the store with the cutest little numbers), Loft-604 (menswear at it’s finest and crispest), Rachel (the sweetest Urban Farm Girl with pillows that flew off our shelves right after the shoot),  Hieng Tang (monsters!!!! Glow in the dark tees? amazing), Phresh Threads (great up-cycling and superb eco friendly fabrics), Kali Clothing (a trooper with an undeniably cool eco style that has been a great friend for a great many years), Larque by Jason (too-cute ear buds and necklaces), Jessica Bartram (talent that knows no boundaries, and they just keep coming), Tryst by Kerry (some classically elegant designs), Jen & Lauren of Freshly Printed (did you see the awesome post about their walnut dyes?),  Shopify (for giving us such great pointers and help, Ben & Caroline), Slo (the most local of designers ‘right down the street!’ and for the softest of cuddly blankets... and mittens), Kathryn Rebecca (for the style, grace and richness of each piece, so delicately crafted), Petal Pop (for great prints on super cool book pages), Koocoo Carrillo (one of Freedom’s own, fabulous fashion designer and a friend extraordinaire), and Poppyseed Creative Living (another Freedom gal with furniture that looks like candy).

Still haven't had enough of the video? Lucky for you, you can drool over and/or purchase the featured items right here and right now via our New and Improved Online Market!! With detailed photos of each piece and everything!