The Best of Etsy: Seeing Red

[Skinny Laminx cushion]

As December draws near, the Covet Garden team is warming up to the winter by embracing a red palette. We're fond of fiery-coloured objects that infuse a cold room with energy. And we like to dress up a space (and ourselves) with scarlet tones. Skinny Laminx

[Sam Osborne's printable Christmas ornaments]

[Vintage Dansk tray]

[Mette quilt for baby with Liberty fabric]

We so ready for red that we've created a list of rouge-tinted favourites on our Covet Garden Etsy page. We'll be updating the collection throughout the winter so follow us and keep up-to-date on the hottest new finds.


Christmas Stocking Up

The holidays are just around the corner. Hanukkah starts next Wednesday, for goodness sake! Which means that it’s time for Covet Garden’s list of local sample sales and art shows to help you plan ahead for all of your present buying and decorating duties.

Virginia Johnson Semi-Annual Sample Sale

Textile artist and fashion designer Virginia Johnson's sample sales are always a treat. Expect great prices on scarves and fabric remnants, but make sure you arrive early — fans of Johnson's colourful prints have been known to buy up everything in sight!

Nook Collective Holiday Show and Sock It To ’Em Sale

Original art is one of the best things to give and get. Buying art can be intimidating, which is why we love the Nook Collective annual Holiday Show. First of all, it’s fun, laid back and you can actually meet the artists behind the art. Secondly, the show features the work of Toronto’s top illustrators plus there are an insane number of artists showing here so you are bound to discover a piece that really reaches out to you.

The first floor of the 156 Augusta Avenue studio will be home to the Sock It To 'Em Sale, which showcases beautiful crafts made by illustrators. Last year, I bought a gorgeous pillow by Katy Dockrill.

Fri. Dec. 6th (Holiday Show opening only)
7pm to Midnight

Sat Dec. 7th
11am to 6pm
156 Augusta Ave.

Alanna Cavanagh's Holiday Sale

Illustrator and designer Alanna Cavanagh is having an amazing sale of her amazing artwork. There will be prints, artists proofs and hot cider. Alanna's work has appeared in so many of the homes we've featured in Covet Garden and if you've ever coveted owning your own this is an excellent opportunity!

Sat Dec. 7th
12 to 6pm
38 Abell St., Suite 209.

Xenia Taler Studio Sale

We love Xenia Taler's wonderful ceramics (and we featured Xenia and Steven's place in our July 2012 issue),  so we are very stoked about thei first studio sale in four years! Buyers on a budget will be able to find deals on hundreds of  seconds, samples and discontinued items. There will also be snacks, some beverages,and cool tunes, so if you heart handmade gifts this is the party of the season for you!


If you can’t make it out to one of these shows, you can always find local artisans online in marketplaces like Etsy. Covet Garden has compiled a guide to some of our favourite Toronto-based shops (plus a few other T-dot-themed finds) to help you discover more homegrown talent. Click here to follow Covet Garden on Etsy.

Covet Garden Home

And finally, a copy of Covet Garden Home makes a great gift for yourself or a loved one. Order now to ensure delivery before December 24, order by Dec. 2 (or Nov. 22 for Africa and S. America).


People In Your Neighbourhood: Leslieville Flea

We here at Covet Garden can't get enough of Flea Markets. We love digging through the vendor tables looking for great deals, and we love how they bring a sense of fun and community to our city's neighbourhoods. So we are pleased to have Chris Roberts and Brigid Elmy, founders of the Leslieville Flea, as guest bloggers. They'll be writing regularly for us in the future, but first, we talked to Chris about were their passion for upcycling came from and why they started the Leslieville Flea.

I grew up hanging around in my dad’s workshop. While most girls my age were playing with dolls, I was turning wood on the lathe and putting metal plumbing parts together to make sculptures. There’s never been a dumpster I could pass without looking inside—just ask my husband about the time I hauled some old moldings home while seven months pregnant! I hate to see things end up in a landfill and think there’s so much potential in things people throw out…. that’s how my business She’s Crafty came about. I use old doors, windows, and salvaged wood and cast off items to upcycle and create something new and beautiful.

My business partner Brigid Elmy shares a similar love of upcycling. While working as a project manager for a large educational institution she began on weekends to re-imagine salvaged pieces of wood, metal and other objects into functional pieces of furniture and her business Objektkul was born. Working with select craftspeople she enjoys the process of bringing an idea to fruition.

With upcycling as our foundation, Brigid and I began to seek out solutions to maximize our potential reach and customer base. It occurred to us that there must be many other artists, craftspeople, collectors and creators out there looking to do the same. And that's how The Leslieville Flea was born!

After much searching we found a location that would work. The marketing engine was turned on and we began to spread the good word.  Applications from vendors came pouring in and we quickly realized that there was a huge need for this type of market in the East End.

There is a real trend towards people embracing vintage and handmade items. They satisfy a sense of nostalgia and the desire to find something truly original for yourself or your home right now. I think people are also realizing the huge value in vintage and handcrafted goods…both sentimental and in the quality of the items.

We love to help people find that one thing that resonates with them. Several customers have emailed us looking for something in particular and with a resource of over 50 vendors we can help them find it at the Flea. 

So many people have visited The Leslieville Flea and commented on how it has really made the neighbourhood —and Toronto—even more vibrant. It’s a fun outing and people look forward to it each month.  

With the weather getting colder we’ve moved indoors for the winter...our November 17th and December 15th Fleas will be held at The Jimmy Simpson Rec Center at 870 Queen Street East. We will have even more vendors and will have 10 food vendors to satisfy your hunger from all that shopping!

In addition to running the Flea, Brigid and I are working on a story for an upcoming Covet Garden post about Holiday Decorating with Vintage Finds. There are so many great ideas with these one of a kind items! We are looking forward to sharing it with you and being part of Covet Garden as regular guest bloggers.

[Chris Roberts and Brigid Elmy: founders of the Leslieville Flea]

The Leslieville community and city as a whole have supported and welcomed us and we feel truly privileged to work with all of the fantastic vendors at the Leslieville Flea whose passion is contagious! We have such a great time interacting with all the Flea-goers—it’s a really fun and happy vibe and we’ve met the best people! There is an excitement in the air about that great item they just found, or that amazing deal someone just got. It’s the thrill of the find and it never gets old!

In the meantime, stay in touch with us at www.leslievilleflea.com for all the news on the Flea!

p.s. The Covet Garden team will be selling copies of Covet Garden Home, our hot-off-the-presses print edition at the December 15th Leslieville Flea! Come out and say 'hi'!


Etsy: Where One-of-a-Kind Gifts Come From

We here at Covet Garden are now officially Etsy tastemakers! We have been having a ball putting together lists of our favourite handmade and vintage finds on our Etsy pages. We are currently on the hunt for pieces that make great gifts for the holidays and as always we are especially attracted to objects that tell a story. The genious of Etsy is that every seller has a personal tale to tell — whether it's how they learned their craft, the inspiration behind the items they sell or the process of how each piece came to be.

To celebrate the unique nature of the Etsy experience, the company has produced three videos that share the story of where these one-of-a-kind presents come from.

And we want to share our favourite under $50 finds on the Covet Garden Holiday 2013 Gift Guide. We've assembled all kinds of great handmade and vintage treasures! We're constantly adding new lists and updating our pages so click the Follow button to get updated on our newest discoveries.



Issue 39 is Now Live!

[cover image: Maya Visnyei]

This month, Covet Garden goes in country with a tour of the home of urban farmer Lorraine. She's a writer and garden activist so the story of her home and how she has nurtured her interiors is a darn good one. She not only down-sized when she moved into this charming house, she managed to yield even more living space (and in an earth-friendly way with green investments and amazing upcycling skills).

We also love Lorraine's personality and this month's DIY projects and style pages are infused with her spirit. We know you'll find seeds of inspiration for your own home from this issue, so step inside already!