It has been months since I have posted anything on here. I’ve been so busy with my Etsy shop and the busiest months to date since I started FoldIT Creations back in November 2012. I am very proud to say that 2015 has gotten off to a great start and I see nothing but growth with my business, which is very satisfying for a small business owner. I am now selling online with another site that is locally based out of Toronto called The Noteworthys, and my jewelry is also available in Barrie, Ontario at the MaClaren Art Centre Gallery Shop. I am thrilled about the opportunity to diversify where I sell my creations and moving off the internet to sell locally within the Province.
In May I had the privilege of being a part of the Toronto launch of RAW: Natural Born Artists SENSORY show at the Mod Club. It was a night time event from 8pm-2am, showcasing over 40 locally based artists working in various mediums, from painting, fashion designers, to performance and makeup artists. It was a great experience to meet so many other people who work in so many different mediums of expression all under one roof.
December is almost here and it’s the busiest time of the year for anyone who makes things. This year I have filled my weekends with doing local shows so you can find me all over Toronto any given weekend between now and December 24th!
Here is a chronological list of the shows I am doing in the city and the links to their websites or Facebook pages. Check them out for more details on the events and the awesome vendors they have lined up.
Come on out for some unique one-of-a-kind gift finds and to support your local artisan community.
Hello all! Spring has sprung…. allegedly. I’ll believe it when I see some green shoots poking up through the soil! 😛
I’ve been doing a lot of shows and markets recently and I have met some incredibly amazing and talented people in the Toronto handmade circuit. One of those artists is Toronto’s Layla Azer. Along with her business partner Kara, Layla creates fantastically sewn screen printed bags, infinity scarves and home accents which can be found in her online Etsy shop, Night Memory. In her own time she creates garments and artwork with fabric and sometimes paper. Check out these awesome paper dresses!
I have often times struggled as an artist with finding meaning in the work I do. I remember in Art school having mini breakdowns because I felt the act of creating was something quite ego driven and selfish. I spent countless hours creating drawings and paintings that were autobiographical in nature and intended only for myself. The altruistic side of me wanted to run away again to some foreign place and make a life strictly from volunteerism and at the service of others. But how would I afford this? How would I survive on good intentions? An important lesson I learned when I was in Ghana is that although you can’t always change the world, you can influence, inspire and touch peoples lives on a daily basis in very small ways.
Recently I re-learned this lesson; A close friend of mine who is a silversmith told me when I first started FoldIT Creations that the life of an artist is truly “feast or famine.” We have weeks when we don’t seem to have time in the day to get on top of our orders and then there are times when it seems like weeks go by and we make no sales. I discovered the latter more recently. After a lull in sales this past week I was questioning my reason for starting this business. Is it really worth the 6+ hours I put into it everyday after I finish and 8 hour shift at my other jobs? Do I want my motivation to work to be dictated only by making money? Does what I do matter?
In the midst of this low point I got an email from a customer who purchased a necklace from me a while back for their daughters 16th birthday:
I immediately clicked the link to the website and spent the next 30 minutes getting to know about Alex and her struggle. I was in tears watching her videos and imagining what she had to go through. It was truly inspiring to see this amazing young girl pull through something life threatening, make a recovery and then go on to give speeches to educate and motivate others. I was very humbled by her experience and the last words in Alex’s story have become my inspiration and mantra:
Sometimes people have things going on in their lives. Sometimes people feel pain, suffering, and sorrow. And sometimes people just want to give up. But even if you are getting worse you can never give up.
I felt all of those feelings. Sometimes I felt like just giving up myself, but if I gave up I never would have become what I am today and I never would have succeeded. I learned that you can never give up. I learned that working hard pays off. And, I learned that you have to laugh a little.
Please visit her website and check out her story. Be inspired!
Spring has arrived officially in Toronto and with the wind chill today it felt more like the dead of winter. I heard that this time last year it was 26 degrees celsius in the city and that people were in shorts and t-shirts. I wouldn’t know since I was in Korea for the last two springs. It did get me all nostalgic though, memories of warm weather and pink cherry blossom trees in full bloom.
In the spring of 2012 I had the opportunity to leave Seoul for the weekend with several friends and head down to Gyeongju, a coastal city in the far southeastern corner of North Gyeongsang province and capitol of the ancient Silla Kingdon (57 BC – 935 AD). We stayed at a local hostel for two days and rented bikes to tour the town. We also did some hiking in the surrounding hills. I thought I would share some pictures from that memorable weekend in Gyeongju and the amazing Cherry Blossom Festival. I hope you enjoy. ^_^
This week FoldIT Creations was invited to the “Everything Paper and Pop-Up” Family day event at Zion Historic Schoolhouse here in Toronto. The day was filled with everything paper; from pop-up cards and flipbooks to paperdolls and origami. It was a great oppertunity to showcase and sell my wares and talk to the public about Japanese paper and FoldIT Creations. I also had the pleasure to do origami workshops with kids and their parents, a great bonding experience.
Another vendor who shared the Zion Schoolhouse space with me was the lovely Toronto-based paper doll designer, writer and independent art curator, Helena Frei. Drawing on her extensive knowledge of textiles and costume, as well as her love of digital manipulation, she designs paper cut-out dolls from different historical periods. You can check out her website at dollworks.ca.
Today was Thursday! Thursday is when I do my run; so after work today I eagerly headed to The Paper Place to get some new Chiyo. Every week I pick a new color and buy paper with motifs in different shades of that color. This week was purple. I also treated myself to a new bone folder that i’ve been eying.
This weeks selection of purple chiyogami papers.
On my bicycle trip back home from Queen West, I decided to stop into the rock store near Honest Eds. I often wander in there when I have days off. I love the ambiance of the rock store. I could spend hours looking at the crystals and gemstones. The Rock Store carries a large variety of rare stones from small tumbles to large specimens and geodes.
Brrrrr! Today was absolutely freezing here in Toronto! I braved the cold, wrapped in layers and my favorite hand-knitted puffin mittens from Newfoundland, I cycled down to Queen West in search of more papers. It has become an weekly occurrence now, Thursday paper runs. I get in the terrible of habit of buying new chiyogami paper with some motif that I absolutely love, working with it until I am sick of it, then heading back to The Paper Place the following week for a new fix wether I need paper or not. I guess you could say I am a bit of a paper junkie. Chiyogami is my like my artistic crack. Thank God they have a massive selection to keep me pacified. ^_^
Blue, Brown and Earth Tone Motifs
Blue Chiyogami Papers
The Japanese Paper Place & Dark Horse Coffee
I spend a lot of time just staring
Visit the Paper Place Toronto at: http://www.thepaperplace.ca/