christies antique market dundas ontario letters

Having visited the Aberfoyle Antique Market, I thought I was prepared for what awaited me at the Christie Antique Show last Saturday. I mean, really, how big could it be?

Well, it takes place in a conservation area (kind of appropriate, right?), in a giant field, limited only by a lake (Christie Lake, to be precise). That’s a lot of antiques, people.

In fact, after a while, everything kind of starts to look the same. Your eyes glaze over with endless stalls of 12-seater farm tables, Depression glass, vintage linens and other unidentifiable objects. And yet it’s hard to know when to say when, to stop looking for treasures you don’t know you need until you uncover them in the back corner of a vendor’s tent.

There were a few highly styled tents that really stood out; they were not only organized but carefully curated with an eye for (mostly) cottage chic. One in particular was an ode to ultra feminine details, like this Victorian-era wire bustle. Can you even imagine wearing that all day?

christies antique market dundas ontario wire bustle

Having just completed this round-up of vintage picnic baskets over on At Home with Kim Vallée, I couldn’t help but spot them everywhere I looked. These were just two that caught my eye (though it looks like they’ve had their fair share of rained out picnics).

There was so much I coulda, shoulda, woulda brought home – a pair of Paris park chairs, countless embroidered tablecloths, any number of pretty little tschotskes.

Like blue apothecary bottles just asking to be filled with single stems…

christies antique market dundas ontario apothecary bottles blue

Amazing hand-sewn quilts…

christies antique market dundas ontario quilts vintage

And stacks of worn leather suitcases labelled with their travels.

christies antique market dundas ontario vintage suitcases brown

In the end, I brought home an 1890s milk glass bowl and a stack of handmade doilies that will be put to use as part of my sister’s wedding decor later this fall. Oh, and mini pies from The Tiny Shop Bakery – which we hit up on the way out of the conservation area (you can’t miss the cute little red cottage right across the road from the entrance).

There’s some debate amongst antiquers over whether it’s best to bring a list or not, but I think next time I’ll at least try to take an inventory of what we could use for our apartment so as not be quite so overwhelmed by the wares. Jen from Rambling Renovators has a great list of tips which are worth reading if you plan to hit up any other antique sales this season.

The next Christie Antique Show is in September, so you have lots of time to prepare. See you there!

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Since attending the first Canadian Design Bloggers meet-up last November, it’s been way less intimidating and way more fun to get out and socialize with other bloggers. Case in point: last Thursday’s design blogger tweet-up at the new (beautiful!) Crate and Barrel store at Square One in Mississauga.

Not only was it a chance to reconnect with a few of the design dames I’d met last fall, but also to see some real deal interior designers – namely Jo Alcorn, Meredith Heron and Lisa Ferguson – put the store’s gorgeous wares to use. And you can bet nothing pleased me more than to see purple pop up in each of their creations. Heart.

Despite less than seasonal temps, Jo brought spring to her dining table arrangement with a fresh mix of pea soup green pillows and “statement” tableware. Little pops of lavender in the linens helped to soften the acidity of the shades.

design bloggers tweetup crate and barrel jo alcorn

Meredith, meanwhile, transformed a boring beige sofa (guilty, as charged) with jewel-toned cushions and a throw in pretty sapphire blue. I think that teeny touch of lavender keeps things from becoming too masculine.

design bloggers tweet up crate and barrel meredith heron

My favourite of the night was Lisa’s texture-rich table setting. Had I not been so distracted by her shoes, I might have captured more than just the pretty plates and wood-handled cutlery. (Interestingly, she cited her fashion sensibilities as a jumping off point for many of her designs: classic pieces with pops of colour and bold hits of metal.)

She cleverly mixed two pairs of seemingly disparate chairs – 2 galvanized metal café chairs with 2 clean-lined white resin seats – with a wooden table and textured accessories. It’s not matchy-matchy, it just goes, which somehow makes it seem achievable with the odds and sods I already have kicking around.

design bloggers tweet up crate and barrel lisa ferguson

It was so interesting to see three designers at work, and the range in their styles. Aside from getting the how-to on design trends, I loved finally getting a chance to chat with my favourite Rambling Renovator, making another meet-up date with practically-my-neighbour Chanele, and getting to know out-of-towners Tina and Alison. Oh, and did I mention I won a Crate and Barrel gift card? Icing. Cake. (A massive slice of it, in fact).

A huge thanks to Vie of Verdigris Vie for organizing another fantastic meetup (she has more great pics from the night) and to the lovely Crate and Barrel folks for their generosity and hospitality. The next design blogger meetup is right around the corner – will you be there?

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Alternate title: Things I Didn’t Buy, But Wish I Had

The best part about the spring edition of the One of A Kind Show – Toronto’s 35+-year-old show and sale of  handmade goods – is that there’s no obligation to buy anyone else anything.

I never miss the Christmas One of A Kind show and always manage to cross most people off my shopping list because of the amazing array of goods (there’s truly something for everyone). Christmas is all about them. The Spring show? Totally self-indulgent.

Of course, it’s hard to choose how to spoil oneself when you fall in love at every. other. booth. Gratefully, most of these sellers have companion online shops so I can pick away at this list for the remainder of the year.

1. There’s no shortage of jewellery at the show. Dushka caught my eye because of their subtle, delicate aesthetic. Their earrings were particularly lovely.

2. I could handle a cupboard full of Ceramik B. dishes. Except they’re too pretty to be stored in a cupboard and, instead, would be put to use in every room except the kitchen.

ceramik b handmade toronto ceramics

3. I couldn’t decide which of Avril Loreti‘s colourful tea towels I loved the most. Normal people would just buy one of each. Instead, I stupidly bought none.

4. I’m kicking myself the most for not buying this super charming organic cotton scarf from Jenna Rose. Because what’s awesomer than wearing a bicycle print scarf when riding your bike? Not much.

jenna rose bicycle scarf organic handmade

5. I don’t think I’ve ever wished to fit into a larger clothing size, but Stefanie Bezaire‘s collection had me wanting to do a few extra laps of the food aisles at the show. She designs feminine, vintage-inspired pieces for size 12 and up. WANT this top. And the adorable denim circle skirt it was paired with.

6. You know what go really well with that bicycle print scarf and denim circle skirt? Any one of these amazing Hoi Bo bags. A trip to their Distillery District studio is now on my to do very soon list.

hoi bo distillery bags handmade toronto

Photos courtesy of the respective artisans

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