Discovery: Stan Olthuis via The Rooster Coffee House

Good Morning!

One of the many things I love about my local coffee shop, the Rooster Coffee House on Broadview Avenue, is that they also serve as a bit of an art gallery.  They support artists by featuring their work on the walls (with prices in case any of their customers are so inclined), and rotate artists regularly. Not only does having their ever-changing wallscape make for great decor, but I get to be exposed to new artists just by getting a coffee. Although I usually only get to the Rooster about once a week (sadly it’s not on my way to work), I get pretty excited when I see that the art has been changed up again.  The artist I’m going to share with you today I discovered on my most recent visit to the Rooster: Canadian artist Stan Olthuis.   After my discovery, I checked out his website.  Truly lovely works.  But I’m most drawn to his “Gowns” collection, some of which are on display at the Rooster.  Here are a few of my favourites:

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Pretty great, right?  The concept is simple but the pieces are anything but that.  I love all the layers, and the shapes the dresses take in these.  I’m officially a fan.  You can see more from the collection and other on his website.  Now I just need to save my pennies so I can own one of his pieces someday.  Hope you’ve enjoyed this discovery as much as I have!


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Art Interiors – Festival of Smalls

Good Morning!

This morning I’m excited to share with you my visit to Art Interiors last Friday for a media sneak peek of their Festival of Smalls which opened last Saturday. I have been to Art Interiors before and have always had a great experience but what I didn’t know until my most recent visit was the story and vision behind the store.  Owners Lisa Diamond and Shira Wood went to school together and upon graduating realized there was a gap in the art community in Toronto.  There were high end galleries with expensive and exclusive art, and there were print/poster stores and nothing in between.  There wasn’t avenue for people who had some disposable income and wanted to start buying original art, but who might be intimidated by price point and atmosphere of a high end gallery. So, out of their parents basement they started their business.  It look off and now 20 years later, they are still going.  They represent primarily Canadian artists, although they do represent some international artists, and in an effort to keep beautiful art accessible to more people they have a policy that nothing is more than $5000. Fabulous concept.

And on the topic of accessible art, comes their annual Festival of Smalls, which also marks it’s 20th anniversary this year.  The festival features small sized art at a price point between $55 and $250. The festival gives people on a very limited budget access to beautiful original art. And let me tell you there is SO much to choose from.  The walls were beautifully curated, but what I found incredible is the sheer volume of gorgeous smalls they have. For example, this is what is you see lining the floors…..

Lots of paintings copy

And the festival has become so popular they are constantly replacing items that have sold from the walls with the stacks on the floor. But now I want to give a quick summary of some of my faves of the Festival of Smalls:

my faves - art interiors copy

  1. Richard Herman – Don’t these look like photographs?  Ah, no, these are paintings if you can believe it. The detail and colours make them so life-like, you really have to see them in person.
  2. Gabriella Collier –  I am always drawn to colour so I immediately gravitated to these colourful landscapes.  They are both bold and subdued at the same time.
  3. Sheri Kaskrow – At the time of my visit this painting had not yet been set up in the space and was on the floor near under a thingy that holds the unframed art (yes this is the technical term for it), and I’m so glad a spotted it.  I just love it.  The colours, the style….everything.
  4. Lori Doody –  How fun are these pieces with the Fisher Price style toys?  Perfect for a kids room!
  5. Jack Joel – An architect by trade, this artist does beautiful pencil drawings.  It’s hard to tell from the photo but the detail is phenomenal up close.  If you are in the store, ask how they came to represent this artist, it’s a great story!
  6. Christine Breakell-Lee – Another set of smalls that drew me in based on colour.  These are slightly more modern than the art I would normally be attracted to, but the colours really got my attention.
  7. Charlene Serden – Being from the east coast I always appreciate photography of ocean harbours, but these are more than typical. The use of the fog, especially when lines up together, makes these photographs gorgeous and unique.
  8. Amy Friend –  This lovely pieces is actually a framed artist’s palette! These were made specifically for the Festival of smalls by the artist, whose other work I also really liked.
  9. Maureen O’Connor – This may have been my favourite piece of the show, although that is a tough competition. This is an old vintage photograph on silver gelatin (not sure that is the right term) from probably the 1940’s or 50’s. It is a picture taken of a photo shoot of a topless model from behind.  I like that there seems to be a story behind it and, as some of you know, I’m a fan of art that shows the human form.
  10. Jet Melencio – these unique paper art sculpture birds are awesome, and would be a real conversation piece in your home.

Buying smalls is a great way to start a collection and is a great gift idea for someone on your list this holiday season. The Festival of Smalls runs until December 24th.  Most of the small are available online, but I would strongly recommend going in person if you can. It’s a great way spend a couple of hours.

And if you are looking for larger original art they are still in store during the festival.  On a previous visit I purchased these pieces by Mel Delija.  (Sorry for the poor picture quality).



I framed them myself (poorly) but one day I’ll have them framed professionally, but until then I get to enjoy these pieces and I didn’t need to break the bank to do it. I almost bought more of his work when I was there this time!  That is the thing about this place – you are instantly comfortable when you go in.  The staff are helpful, highly knowledgeable but not pushy.  And you just get the feeling that they truly just want you to find art that makes you happy.  Now if that isn’t a business model for success, I don’t know what is.


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*This is not a sponsored post

Last Weeks Loves – Online Shops Edition

Good morning!  Monday again, so you know what that means….my last weeks loves are up!  But today there is a little twist…instead of last weeks posts I loved, today I’m featuring online stores that I’m loving which I’ve only recently discovered (i.e. in the past week!).  I’ve come across these shops/stores either through searching for specific items or through other blogs, but all have items I would buy on the spot….if I only had unlimited funds and storage.

First up….

I love the great vintage housewares found at High Street Market – the shop is very well curated with lovely pieces with pretty details, and they appear to be in great condition.  Some of the beauties I’ve found are…

I want this lamp for my desk

I love this bold brass lamp with the plain white shade.

And I love this modern brass bowl.

I found Have You Met Miss Jones through this post by SF Girl by Bay.  This great online store is full of beautiful bone china, clay pottery and recycled glass art for your home.  I love the bone china lighting in all sorts of interesting shapes and forms, as well as their beautiful vases….like these ones….

And this adorable little doe nightlight, how cute would that be for a kids room?

And I love these handy yet pretty white china paper bags

Part of the reason I love upholstery is because I get to make old new again.  Which is also why I really like Found Design Miami.  They take old furniture and make it new again, by refinishing, redesigning and/or reupholstering. How could I not like that?

This piece called “Paige’s Curiosity Cabinet”, is so unique…..I can’t even think what kind of space I would put it in, but there is something about it that I’m drawn to.

I love a chairs with good shape, which this one definitely has, and I love the simple fabric with the detailed wood frame. Great piece.

I occasionally randomly search for vintage items on Etsy and during this weeks perusal I found Loverly Vintage.  Beside an amazing name, this store has a really neat collection of vintage items from housewares to accessories.

Hot pink and vintage go hand in hand, right? OK, maybe not normally, but this piece challenges that for sure. Love it.

ummm, pretty copper cups…gorge, totally gorge.

Vintage copper coloured beaded belt….pair this stunner with a LBD and you’ve taken your outfit from plain to fabulous.

It is crazy how many great online shops are out there, and these are just a tiny sampler.  Also, Miss Christine over at Bijou and Boheme featured two great blog shops this week, The Enchanted Home Shop and Recycled Consign and Design.  Go check out her post to see the fabulous items you will find in those shops, and then check them out for yourself! (Oh ya, and keep your peepers peeled for Christine’s shop in the coming months…with her talents, how could it not be fab?)

Have a great week!


Last Weeks Loves

Good Monday Morning!

Alas, the weekend has come and gone now back to the grind….boo! But I had a great time over the weekend celebrating my birthday so I can’t complain too much.  Unfortunately, due to some technical difficulties with my camera, I have no pictures to share, but I can assure you it was a fun time.

As I think many bloggers do, I draw a lot of my inspiration from other bloggers and this past week there were lots of great posts by my fellow bloggers, and today I’m featuring a few that caught my eye….

1. I love this painted lampshade DIY posted by Jenny over at Little Green Notebook.  I’ve actually been searching for a new lampshade but now I might actually tackle this on one of my own lampshades instead!

2. Rosa over at Flutter Flutter found these adorable little paper clips at Daiso and posted about it.

3. The ever style-saavy Victoria over at VMac & Cheese did a great post about lace shorts.  I personally love them but it would take the right style for me to buy a pair and  actually pull them off.  She provided a great list of style options here.

4.  Brittany at My Daily Randomness always has such great recipe posts, but this Sour Cream Coffee Cake made me salivate.  I love a good coffee cake, it makes me feel warm and cozy.  I’m not the greatest cook but I love to bake and this one is now on my to try list, fo’ shizzel.

5. I always love the fun finds in the posts written by Lisa at Wicked and Weird, and Saturday’s post on Lost Type Co-op, a site featuring super fun retro style fonts (in which the designers get 100% of the earnings from the purchase of the fonts) was no exception.  Here is an example of one of the fonts that Lisa featured.

6. I loved this light featured here last week on Design Sponge (and many others) from Apparatus lighting.

7. Oh, how I love a good art find, and Christine over at Bijou and Boheme is the BEST at discovering talented artists and sharing them with the world.  She and I also share the same brain when it comes to art, so I always love her choices.  This past week she featured a giveaway of a print from Zoe Pawlak whose work is crazy gorgeous.  The giveaway is over but you NEED to check out Zoe’s website to check out beauties like this one.

8. And finally, I saw these paint dipped wooden utensil DIY on House of Earnest via this post on Poppytalk.  How cute!

Have a great day!


Furniture Photo Art

Good Friday Morning! Today’s post I’m featuring some some photographs I’m considering framing and using to accessorize my bedroom.  I wanted photos to reflect my passion which is furniture and upholstering, and as you will see, the ones I’ve chosen show upholstered furniture in various forms and photographed in various locations. Some pieces are completely deconstructed while others are constructed. Some are in rooms while others in unusual places. But all are beautiful in a simple and minimalist way.

Jessica Turnbow & Holly Ouellette (Chez Jolly) via Etsy

Sarah Ann Loreth via Esty

Blandy Snorhal via Etsy

Alejandra Laviada via

Pamela Klaffke via Etsy

Alyssa Moore via Etsy

Lisa Civitiello via Etsy

Jennifer Glass, Bespoke Modern Photography via Etsy

rebecca catherine via Flickr

Jay of Polalove via Etsy

Have a lovely Friday! XOXO