The Leslieville Flea

Leslieville Flea Winter/Spring Schedule

I’m super excited to be a first-time vendor at the Leslieville Flea next Sunday, January 18. I’ve visited the Flea several times during the summer, and it always has lots to see and do. During the winter months, the Flea takes place in Toronto’s beautiful Distillery District, inside the Fermenting Cellar. I’ve been busy these past few weeks making lots of new items, since there really wasn’t much stock left over after the holiday fairs.

In early December, I met Lynn from Lynn’s Lids at the Crafternoon Tea event, where we were neighbours. Lynn will also be a vendor at the Leslieville Flea and has very kindly offered to profile me on her blog – check our her blog post! Thank you, Lynn!


Springtime Activities

How I felt on this beautiful spring day! (Free image courtesy of

How I felt on this beautiful spring day!
(Free image courtesy of

After an endlessly long and frigid winter, spring was finally in the air yesterday. It was perfect road-trip weather – sunny but not too hot – so I hopped in my car and made my way to Grimbsy, about an hour’s drive from Toronto. The town was hosting its annual Wayzgoose Bookarts Fair, this year being its 35th edition. For a book- and paper-lover like me, it was hard not to spend my entire paycheck on beautiful handmade paper, letterpressed cards and posters, bookbinding tools, handmade books, and so many other lovelies…thankfully I was a model of restraint and only bought sewing needles and a few cool notebooks.

My new friend Hannelore of Hannelore’s Story Works was a vendor at the fair – we met last December at the Movies and Makers show and instantly hit it off. As she and I looked around the room at other vendors, we noted that it was interesting that although we (and many other bookbinders) work with similar materials (recycled maps, vinyl record LPs, old postcards and book covers, Japanese papers), each of our handmade books come out looking completely different from anyone else’s – we each have our own distinctive style.

I also had the pleasure of meeting master bookbinder Don Taylor. I’d been debating whether or not to take a week-long bookbinding course that he’s teaching this summer, and after a chat with him about the various projects made as part of the course, I’ve decided to finally go ahead and register. Since the aforementioned course is being offered in New Brunswick (my home province), I get to stay with one of my closest friends and hang out with him for an entire week (this makes me very, very happy). Creative vacations are the best!

Here’s a great video of Don Taylor talking about the art of bookbinding and book restoration:

All these thoughts of spring, beautiful weather, road trips, and bookbinding have inspired me to make…what else…travel journals:

Accordion Travel Journal

Accordion Travel Journal

Accordion Travel Journal - Inserts and Envelopes

Accordion Travel Journal – Inserts and Envelopes

I’ve also been having lots of fun working with spring colours in my art journal (you may remember it from this post). These are a few blank pages I’ve prepared ahead of time with acrylic paint, collaged papers and washi tape, so that I can simply add text the moment I feel inspired:

Art Journal - Prepped Pages

Art Journal – Prepped Pages

By the way, if you’re feeling inspired to learn bookbinding techniques – there are a few spots left in the Coptic-binding workshop I’ll be teaching on May 4! For more info and to register, visit

Bazaar of the Bizarre

I received some great news yesterday – I’ve been accepted as a vendor in the upcoming Bazaar of the Bizarre show on April 6! I’ve been a vendor at this show for the past few years, and it’s definitely one of the more unique and interesting shows out there – both in terms of customers and wares.

Bazaar of the Bizarre Spring 2013This year’s show will be held at a great new location – 918 Bathurst St. (@Bloor) in Toronto. About a year ago I had the pleasure of attending Kid Koala’s Space Cadet Headphone Concert at this venue, and it was one of the most fun and amazing experiences I’ve ever had. The following video gives an idea of what the show was like, but it really doesn’t capture the incredible magicalness of the experience :

Now I’ve got to get busy making stuff in preparation for the show – no excuses for me!

Where working like a madwoman finally pays off.

I’ve been making stuff whenever I have a spare moment in preparation for craft fairs and local shops’ holiday rush. There really isn’t much spare time or energy between planning and travelling to events for the pesky day job (7 in the past month), taking Italian classes, teaching workshops, fulfilling custom orders, and laundry. But my efforts are paying off in a big way.

Last weekend was the Crafternoon Tea fair, organized by the wonderful girls at nathalie-roze & co. As always, it was well-organized and well-attended. I sold more than expected (a good thing), which meant that I spent all day Sunday making new stock (a tiring thing, since I was hoping I could take the day off). This was what my booth looked like at the fair:

Crafternoon Tea booth

Sunday evening, I received an email from a new local shop, scout, with a message that they’ve sold out of my travel notebook and LP coasters and need more asap! Yikes! There go my plans to rest next weekend…

And tonight I’m putting together the final preparations for the CBC Charity Craft Sale taking place tomorrow. You know that last blog post I wrote about gifting George Stroumboulopoulos? This is what has happened since then:

Yesterday his assistant sent me a lovely email to say that George sends his thanks and loves his Clash LP journal. And today George tweeted about me and posted a photo of himself and the journal – how exciting is that?

I honestly wasn’t expecting such a fantastic response to my journal – I am truly flattered by his going out of his way to thank me publicly. All the more reason to be excited about tomorrow’s fair at the CBC!

Gifting George Stroumboulopoulos

This week seems to be all about making gifts for celebrities. It sure feels that way.

A week from tomorrow, I’ll be showing my wares at the annual CBC Charity Craft Sale. Last year was my first time participating in this event, and I have to say I had so much fun! I’m really looking forward to participating again this year, and now I know what to expect…

Even though I don’t own a TV, I am nonetheless a huge fan of George Stroumboulopoulos (aka Strombo). This recent interview with Kermit the Frog cracks me up every time I watch it – George’s giddiness is so completely adorable (particularly at the 5:09 mark):

I’ve taken the initiative to make Mr. Strombo a special gift (it’s made with an LP of the Clash, his favourite band):

I’ll be shipping it to him in advance of the CBC fair next week. Hopefully he’s so impressed he decides to stop by my booth on the day of the event! I’ll keep you posted!

Craft Fair Prepping

Now that the madness has FINALLY subdued at my pesky day job [at least for a few months], I’m super excited about focusing on Papermuse Designs activities and other personal projects (i.e. my upcoming art retreat in Italy!) over the spring and summer.

I’ve been busy making lots of items for the Movies and Makers show next weekend. Head over to the Movies and Makers blog to read an interview with me! If you’re planning to attend the show, you can expect lots of movie and musical soundtrack LP journals, in addition to the usual fare (70’s & 80’s LP journals, LP coasters). I also plan to introduce one or two new products, if I can make enough in time for the show!

There’s still so much left to do for the show, and so little time left to get it done:

    – Design, print and deliver coupons for the grab bags
    – Pick up small change at the bank [for the float]
    – Make a few more of each item
    – Prepare inventory and pricing list
    – Make a special business card holder
    – Wash and iron the table covers

…and that’s just for THIS show. I have several other projects on the go right now [including some very BIG news – an announcement will be made very soon!).