Category Archives: Antiques & Collectibles

20170713_133828

MY LATEST VISIT TO PORT HOPE ENDS WITH A TRANSFORMER AND T-REX! HUH?

I took my friend, artist Nancy Bennett, to Port Hope (my “spiritual home”) today where I introduced her to my fave cafe & bakery, bling store, boutiques and flower shop, ending with a quick visit to Primitive Designs on the outskirts of town where giant metal dinosaurs roam and a huge Transformer greets visitors. So come along for a virtual visit with us…… 20170713_112639Driving into Port Hope, we made straight for the Ganaraska River (above) that rushed through the genteel little town where fat lazy Canada Geese waddled and wobbled leaving a rather unsightly trail of poo…oops, watch where you’re walking Nancy.20170713_11241320170713_112406Our first port of call, as always, was Queenie’s Bake Shop where today we enjoyed coffee, tea and sticky buns, courtesy of chef/owner Adam and his charming server (below)20170713_115627 20170713_112915…then once we’d polished off all that, we popped next door to visit the super fabulous Kenneth Bell in his jewellery & accessories store. Kenneth supplies hundreds of boutiques across the country with their bling and baubles. He was already busy entertaining two other lovely ladies, Helene (below L) and Nancee (below R).20170713_113746What a warm welcome….and it just so happened that he was starting a 50-80% off sale so talk about perfect timing! Nancy and I dove right in and found some lovely sparklies…  www.kennethbell.com20170713_120538 20170713_120952Nancy found a great pair of sunglasses for her daughter on the rack of shades (below)…20170713_120958 20170713_121014And I loved these stylish silk embroidered clutch purses (below) from the Far East with tiny tassels and charms.20170713_120947Bidding adieu to Ken, we then headed up Walton St to a relatively new boutique called Turquoise where we found multiple pretty pieces that would look good in our closets!  www.Facebook.com/TurquoiseBoutiques20170713_123030 20170713_122943 20170713_122845Then into Flourish, another new shop…. www.flourishfashions.com20170713_124414….and Nancy’s eye was caught by a beautiful green lightweight top, perfect for wearing over a camisole or tank top. What do you think…should she buy it?20170713_123400Well, she did! A perfect top for an upcoming art expo where she knows she’ll get a tad chilly in her booth. Big thanks for her warm hospitality to owner Julie Pandoff (below) and congrats on such a lovely boutique. I then spied the sock rack…wow, these are too cool!20170713_124126 20170713_124215…and I loved these two tunics (below) that could hide a multitude of my caloric sins…LOL!20170713_124357Past the flower shop, we trekked further up Walton St where I discovered yet another fab new store…20170713_124436 20170713_124446….Dwellissimo, a beautifully presented vintage furniture store that was a treasure trove of mid-century modern. Oh my, I was in heaven!   www.dwellissimo.com20170713_124903_001 20170713_124827 20170713_124922 20170713_125139I really really really want this red horse lamp. Hey, Santa, make note of this one, okay? You never brought me that pony I asked for when I was 6 so now’s the time to make up for that glaring omission.

As we wound down our Port Hope walkabout, Nancy and I popped into the Art Gallery of Northumberland shop on Queen St, and found these beautifully crafted works of art….20170713_131201 20170713_131207 20170713_131215 20170713_131336We enjoyed a quick late lunch at Jim’s Pizza but we were both too hungry to even think about a photo so we just gobbled it all up. But we both recommend Jim’s for a great Italian nosh! www.jimsporthope.ca

In between rain showers, we made it down to the lakefront beach…er, where’s the beach? Due to high water levels, the beach, the kid’s playground and picnic area were all complete submerged. Yikes!

One last drive thru town….20170713_131704….then off to visit Primitive Designs, a very strange, wonderful and fantastic series of barns, tents and outbuildings devoted to exotic imports. Located a little N.E. of town, you cannot miss this place – you’re greeted by a Transformer and a herd of huge metallic dinosaurs – yep, talk about eye-catching.20170713_151850 20170713_151655 20170713_151725Thank goodness this happy little Buddha watched over us as we left the car park…I was gettin’ scared!20170713_151810You gotta go visit in person to truly appreciate the weird, wild, wackiness of this place.  www.primitivedesignscanada.com

So there we are, another trip to Port Hope done and dusted! If you would like to learn more about this friendly small town that offers big entertainment, sports, shopping and dining, you can visit their tourism office for more information and directions:  www.visitporthope.ca  and tell them Glenda sent you!

20160415_145001

A WALK BACK THRU TIME IN TORONTO’S HISTORIC CABBAGETOWN NEIGHBOURHOOD

Yesterday was such a lovely sunny day that I decided to down tools and step away from the ‘puter to enjoy a leisurely stroll thru one of Toronto’s historic old neighbourhoods – Cabbagetown. This was where I lived in the late 70’s when, as a starving actor/waitress, I shared a 3 storey semi at the end of Wellesley Street with 3 other actors & musicians, and next door to the fabulous Carole Pope & Kevin Staples of Rough Trade fame (Canada’s edgiest new wave/punk bands of the era).20160415_133443Above left is #445, my old house – I had the large master bedroom on the 2nd floor front – the dormer that jutted out over the front porch was the cosy alcove where I had my bed. Next door at #443 (above at right), I would watch an amazing procession of fabulous celebrity house guests knock on my neighbour’s front door …all manner of music stars would hang out with Carole when they came to town. I remember watching legendary Dusty Springfield wander up the garden path one afternoon – how exciting!  Cabbagetown was a haven for artists, actors, musicians and hippies back then…it was affordable to share the houses, most of which were run-down shadows of their former grand selves. But at the royal sum of $500 a month all inclusive, we still never quite made rent on time…LOL! But walking east on Wellesley yesterday, heading into this charming little enclave (below) brought back so many memories of innocent (but fun) times….come take a walk with me now.20160415_132759The residents association has been busy over the years, creating walking tours of the streets and gardens and they’ve posted all sorts of plaques designating certain homes as historical landmarks. I never knew a member of this famous Hollywood family once lived on Wellesley Street…did you?20160415_132834A couple of blocks south is a street full of picturesque workers’ cottages, now sympathetically renovated to suit their 21st century owners – this is Amelia Street. I always loved walking along here back in the 70’s as although most of these homes were rundown and scruffy, you could see the great “bones” and 19th or early 20th century design elements. Look at these gorgeous little chocolate box homes….20160415_14432420160415_14440420160415_14441420160415_14473320160415_145018I remember wanting to move into this charming 1920’s/30’s apartment building (above) as it looked so cool, even 40yrs ago when it was rather shabby and unpainted. Rent was about $275 to $350 a month back then…now, probably closer to $1500/mo.
This was once a cute handcrafted furniture store (below) when I lived in the ‘hood but it’s now been made into a private residence. Wouldn’t it make a lovely little antique shop or even a cosy tea room?20160415_144847This (below) has got to be one of the cutest cottages on the street, now the home offices for a design firm…20160415_145413…and opposite that is this modern make-over. I love the back-split balconies and the paint colour.20160415_145127Of course, being a vibrant community there are always notices posted about upcoming events as well as pleas for help finding lost loved ones. On one lamp-post I saw this rather sad flyer…I hope Lefty comes home soon!20160415_145154On a happier note, I took a quick side trip to the Riverdale Farm (below) – back when I lived there it was still called a “zoo” as they had all manner of exotic beasties living there including highland cattle and some bighorn sheep…50 or 60 yrs ago they kept a sad assortment of wild animals including bears and big cats in tiny cruel metal cages -I think the old deserted bear house may still be there down the back near the ravine. But yesterday it was all about the cute baby farmyard critters…20160415_141258 20160415_141351 20160415_142218 20160415_142256 20160415_142059 20160415_141708 20160415_141645 20160415_142415Opposite the park and farm used to stand Jeremiah’s Ice Cream Store which served up frozen treats to generations of families. Now the shop has been made into a private home (below) but at least they still operate an ice cream and snack food bar out of the side window. 20160415_141107In the park stands a noticeboard pointing out all the houses that once were home to various leading lights in Toronto and Canadian history (below). These correspond with the plaques posted on each property (like the Walter Huston one). Sadly, I couldn’t find a plaque for one of Canada’s greatest Olympic ice skaters and fine artists, Toller Cranston, who had a home and studio on Winchester near Parliament Street. I remember walking past, looking up into his studio window and seeing Toller busy painting – he would often wave back at me. I think it’s time to make amends and get the 70’s groundbreaking ice skater and avant garde painter properly acknowledged.20160415_143423As I walked out of this timeless village and back into reality on Parliament Street, I walked past Nettleship’s Hardware – this store has been there for decades and I remember when I worked part-time at Tom Foolery (one of the first vintage clothing stores in the city back in the 70’s), the owners and I used to hang out with Donny, the son who ran the shop. I betcha he’s still there. Must make an effort to go in and say hi next time I’m in the neighbourhood.20160415_145927(0)So I hope you enjoyed this little pictorial stroll thru my Cabbagetown. I definitely recommend visiting, esp the first weekend of May when they host a neighbourhood-wide Forsythia Festival. The trees are just now starting to bud and there are a few early spring flowers popping up…so much to see but make sure you look up as well, then you’ll notice antique weather veins such as this one (below) or you may even spot a couple of pink flamingos still dressed in their winter scarves & toques (bottom).20160415_14403520160415_145048

20151025_143831

KENSINGTON MARKET (TORONTO) – LAST “PEDESTRIAN SUNDAY” OF THE YEAR

Today, the sun was out and so was half of Toronto (it seemed) on the streets of Kensington Market to celebrate the last “pedestrian Sunday” and to support the art fair featuring local artists and craftspeople.20151025_132739My bestie, Erena, and I wandered down Augusta Ave where we saw lots of vendors and all the regular stores were decked out in their finest Halloween decorations. Best place to find groovy costumes for trick-or-treating!20151025_134254 20151025_142559 20151025_142811 20151025_143737Back in the late 70’s/early 80’s, I was one of the thousands of starving artists, actors or musicians who shopped, dined and partied in Kensington Mkt. This was the first period of vintage clothing crazes Toronto went thru and Kensington was the coolest neighbourhood where all the second hand and vintage togs were affordable….Courage My Love, Exile, Black Market….all my old haunts for buying clothing, shoes, jewellery. Nice to visit and see some of my old fave places still there and thriving. Nice to see the old House of Spice still there although it seems they’re more into incense than actual spices. Used to buy my curry powder there.20151025_143629 20151025_143818 20151025_135110But today was all about the artisans and street performers. We met the delightfully bright and cheery Whitney French (poetrybusker.tumblr.com) who was typing instant custom poetry and prose on her portable typewriter. 20151025_133803 20151025_133800

20151025_133810Before heading over to the art fair, Erena and I just HAD to go grab some Turkish Delight…the best in the city…from a little spice and nut store on Bladwin St. They have THE best rose-flavoured fresh TD (see below)20151025_134633 20151025_134648…and as we walked away I noticed their next door neighbours. Their signage made me laugh – “hustlin’ since 1965″!20151025_134904Round the corner at the art fair, I met the lady at the BB Tresors handmade jewellery booth. I really liked the bracelets which reminded me of the California-based Satya line…but hers were half Satya’s price. Wow.  Check out the Etsy shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/bbtresors20151025_140715

20151025_140851 20151025_140725Along the next aisle was a real cute art/ceramics booth (below)20151025_141151…then I met Marcella Valentino of inch x inch. What super cool handcrafted jewellery designs (below). Loved the big pendants made from metal washers or oversized crystals.  www.inchxinchxmv.etsy.com20151025_141411 20151025_141453 20151025_141456One of the artists I had already scoped out online was Ralph Alfonso of BBAM! Gallery in Montreal, a rock’n’roll photographer whose pictures showcase the great bands of the 70s and 80’s and who was himself a music manager (The Diodes). http://www.bbamgallery.com/ Here’s Ralph (below left) surveying the scene.20151025_141912 20151025_141922

20151025_141940Here’s a cool way to light your home. Veggie lamps. Yes, artist Masa Lizdek creates plaster molds of vegetables & fruit, then handcrafts them into stunning porcelain lamps (below) under the designer name Ripe – check ’em out at www.masalizdek.com/artdownload IMG_7165 IMG_7177Erena and I were hungry and thirsty so we went looking for some nibblies…we shoulda grabbed some Rasta Pasta but the line up was too long!20151025_142622And of course, I wanted to ride the pony (below) but couldn’t find an actual pony anywhere!20151025_143018No idea what this was supposed to be (below), but that’s half the fun of Kensington Market – finding all the wacky characters and street art. I thought Lady Gaga had arrived with a giant eyeball or albino boob. I dunno – what do you see?20151025_144827So much to see, hear, smell, taste, touch….I needed a whole month of Sundays but will certainly make another visit soon during the week. Here are a few more photos and a couple of videos I shot – enjoy!20151025_135253 20151025_143625 20151025_134050

20151007_173046

ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL DAY SHOPPING & DINING IN PORT HOPE, ONTARIO

As  my regular readers know, I have a real love affair going with this picturesque town located about an hour east of Toronto. Port Hope offers a welcome respite from the hub-bub of the big city – the Ganaraska River runs thru the historic downtown, the stores carry fashions, accessories and nic-naks that cannot be found in the big box chain stores of Toronto and the people….well, they are what make Port Hope such a delight. So friendly you’d think you were in Mayberry. Even the local policeman waved at me yesterday when I was taking photos of the main street (Walton St) as he drove by. So come take a virtual stroll up Walton Street with me….. (all websites linked at end)20151007_135005My best friend, Erena, and I always make our first stop at the charming Queenies Bake Shop (pictured above – far right end of bldg) for a “tinkle and a tea”…LOL The young ladies behind the counter and Adam the master baker/owner always make sure we’re well nourished so check out yesterday’s treats…yummmm20151007_113115 20151007_113156While we sat and devoured our goodies, I overheard an interesting conversation at the next table and before you know it, I’m chatting with Port Hope Councilor Robert Polutnik and the town’s Marketing Manager Kevin Narraway. I shared my love of their town and how I’ve become an unofficial ambassador for the stores and points of interest….hopefully I can add my voice to the tourism siren’s call for Port Hope. I wouldn’t let them leave Queenies without a paparazzi shot so here’s Mr. Narraway (l) and Councilor Polutnik (r). 20151007_115623No visit to Port Hope is complete without a visit to the king of bling himself, Kenneth Bell, whose store is packed to the rafters with fabulous jewellery, accessories and fashion items. And so our spending spree began. Here’s Erena with Ken after dropping a load o’ cash for gloves, scarves and sparklies – no wonder Ken’s smiling…LOL! 20151007_123206Loved the cute toques with fur trim and the cute little owl pendant (below)…very on-trend, and very affordable.  20151007_12312920151007_123051Next up, while Erena was buying up shoes from Gould’s, I wandered up Walton Street to visit the colourful Holton Florists (below)…isn’t this pretty? They even had mini Kangaroo Paw wildflowers from my home (Western Australia) – the red and yellow ones below.20151007_131504 20151007_131601 20151007_132223 20151007_132138 20151007_135201I dropped in quickly to say hi to the ladies of Bubbles and Gems (below) who I visited back in the summer. Lots of groovy sparkly things and I even shot a video so log on to this YouTube link and take a trip down their aisles…. http://bit.ly/1jQPF7K 20151007_135121A block or two further up Walton, I discovered the best smelling shop in town – Joie de Vivre!  Owner Diane showed me around the shelves and introduced me to a new line of Canadian-made hand and body products called Barefoot Venus and I purchased their new Maple Blonde body lotion. My skin is now smooth as a baby’s bottom and I smell like a maple syrup latte…yummmm.20151007_14234420151007_141504 20151007_141508 20151007_141517 20151007_141622 20151007_141531I went looking for Erena who had found the motherlode of fall fashions at Susan Dewhurst, a fabulous ladies’ fashion and accessories boutique. The brightly coloured sweaters & socks were displayed along the walls while racks of well-priced designer separates offered a wide variety of wardrobe choices. Erena really injected major funds into the local economy there!!! No wonder owner Susan (bottom left) and her associate Tammy (bottom right) had big smiles on their faces.20151007_155641 20151007_152656 20151007_152827 20151007_152948 20151007_155931Erena also did some serious damage to her credit cards over the road at G. Facey, another great store offering top of the line fashions for men and women. Owner Teri-Jo has become a friend after two previous visits that helped empty her shelves..haa haa.20151007_140055After 5 hours in Port Hope’s finest shopping establishments spending like two drunken sailors on shore leave, Erena and I had worked up a real appetite so where did we go to end the day? Olympus Burgers….seriously these are the yummiest, biggest and freshest home-made burgers and fries you could ever imagine. No wonder the locals tell everyone to go there. Thanks to owner George (bottom pic) and his staff for taking such great care of our grumbly tummies. I was going to take photos of the burgers as we ate them but we devoured them so quickly (and we needed both hands to eat!) that all I can share with you are the plates as they came out of the kitchen.

20151007_161829 20151007_162632 20151007_163557 20151007_172111Thanks Olympus Burgers for sending us on our way home, well sated and burping happily!

If you want a fun day trip out of Toronto where you can find fashions, home accessories, antiques, shoes and food that you cannot find in the city, then Port Hope is the place for you. Head E on the 401 past Oshawa and it’s probably about 50 mins from the GTA. They have a lovely beach, beautiful heritage houses to admire and…the friendliest residents who make you feel right at home. Lots of community events, festivals and family activities, plus the turn-of-the-century Capitol Theatre (below) that presents amazing big name entertainers. In fact, my friend, Mike D’Urzo, is presenting his mystical and amazing Mega Magic show there on Oct. 30th.20151007_134846

If you’d like to check out the places in Port Hope Erena and I visited, here are their websites (and tell them Glenda sent you):

www.porthope.ca
https://www.facebook.com/Kenneth-Bell-Fashion-Accessories
www.holtonflowers.com
https://www.facebook.com/Joie-de-Vivre-Port-Hope-474932339252880/timeline/
https://www.facebook.com/Bubbles-and-Gems
https://www.facebook.com/gfaceys
www.olympusburger.ca

20150926_135716

ZEBUU HOME DECOR STORE OFFERS UNIQUE ACCESSORIES IN GALLERY-LIKE SETTING

When I visited Toronto’s Bloordale neighbourhood yesterday to celebrate the opening of the Dead Dog Records store, I walked past an intriguing store offering unique and incredibly beautiful home decor and art that I just could not resist…so I went inside.

20150926_140306Zebuu, located at 1265 Bloor St West just east of Lansdowne, presents its wares much like a curated gallery – collections of bird carvings from Brazilian artisans in lots of lovely colours grouped together like little birdies on a power line…delicately carved wooden angels flew across the entrance wall, and groups of wooden heads marched across the shelves live Easter Island moai come to life!

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20150926_140037Co-owner Craig Williamson explained that he and his partner, Geraldo Valerio, import their home decor, room accents and textiles mainly from Brazil, Turkey and India, all handcrafted by skilled artisans. Check out the stunning copperware from Turkey and the beautifully decorated shears and scissors from Mumbai, India, below.20150926_135902

20150926_135916So many cute little treasures for the wee ones’ rooms as well as the big people…I wanted to play with these hand-carved beasties….20150926_135741…and what kitchen or family room wouldn’t benefit from the addition of these fine home accents?20150926_140134 20150926_135725 20150926_135755Don’t the wooden spoons look like art (above), displayed the way Craig has hung them on the wall? Each is made by hand from native Brazilian hardwoods, ensuring a one-of-a-kind look and feel.

If you’re more into Canadiana, have no fear…Zebuu has lots of lovely goodies for the true blue Canucks, too.20150926_140045 20150926_140139The new website, www.zebuu.com, is still being populated with photos and product information, but you can call them on 647-748-1265 or email: info@zebuu.com 20150926_135656Zebuu is a welcome oasis of art, home decor and giftware amongst a row of unremarkable but friendly neighbourhood cafes, convenience stores and thrift shops.  You will feel welcome and at home so drop in and say hello to Craig and Geraldo, and do tell them I sent you.20150926_140110

 

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ANDY WARHOL: REVISITED

It was Saturday afternoon of this long weekend…I was bored, wandering around Yorkville just window shopping and bemoaning the fact that I had no “play money” (it’s rent weekend, big phone & internet bills to pay…blast it) I then suddenly remembered…Warhol! Yes, there’s a pop-up gallery that’s taken over the old Guess boutique space on Bloor St just west of Bay, featuring paintings and prints from the most prolific and important artist of the 60’s and 70’s…Andy Warhol.20150801_143915Most people have seen his “Marilyn Monroe” series at least one time or another and yes, she’s there in all her glory, but there are also many other brilliantly coloured works of art featuring political leaders, royalty and society mavens, as well as his advertising images, paintings of Hollywood divas and cartoon characters…all are represented in the space, thanks to Ron Rivlin’s Revolver Gallery.

One  jaw-dropping image that stopped me in my tracks almost as soon as I walked in was a painting I was not familiar with…Red Lenin (below).  This bright red image looms large over one section of the gallery and I felt pulled right in to his eyes – quite hypnotic.20150801_143644Next to Lenin is this gorgeous Alexander the Great painting (below) which I was also unfamiliar with.

20150801_143652Then there were the socialites, the men who made million$ and spent million$, who supported Andy with commissions and entertained him at chi-chi soirees and Club 54 (below). I surprised myself by recognizing many of the names…then realized how damned old I am that I actually remember who these guys were!!

20150801_143856I had forgotten Andy’s “wild west” series that included Geronimo, Col. Custer, Sitting Bull and “The Duke” who took centre spot on this wall (below). The portrait of Teddy Roosevelt, tho, looked disturbingly like Robin Williams in Night at the Museum but I soon realized just how important an artist Warhol was, considering major movie stars still fashion their on-screen characterizations after his work.

20150801_143843Muhammad Ali was there, as were Judy Garland and Ronald Reagan…even Uncle Sam and the Wicked Witch of the West are on display….

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But for me, the piece de resistance had to be the giant Mickey Mouse portrait….although I’m not a big Disney fan, I had purchased a museum quality print of Warhol’s Mickey back in the early 80’s. There was something very endearing and magical about it and the original didn’t disappoint, with some sparklies in the background paint and his big silly smile -I fell in love all over again with my own Mickey.

20150801_143822As you can see (above), Mickey was in great company surrounded by Aunt Jemima, Howdy Doody and Andy himself!

All hail Her Maj!

All hail Her Maj!

Blue Mao...part of a series of Mao Andy painted in various bright colours. Very provocative at the time.

Blue Mao…part of a series of Mao that Andy painted in various bright colours. Very provocative at the time.

The Revolver Gallery at 77 Bloor St West, Toronto, will showcase these incredible works of art until December 31st, with general admission tickets $10 (Seniors $8, Students and Youth $5) and VIP passes for $30 (lots of perks and return visits incl.). If you love art or simply have a soul(!), you MUST go visit in person.   Tel: 647-347-5355 or www.warholrevisited.com

And a big thank you to Korbin and his crew of knowledgeable art interns who guided me thru the exhibit.

Great gift shop with tons of cool souvenirs

Great gift shop with tons of cool souvenirs

20150801_144040And here’s my very own Warhol poster, purchased during the 1982 Hamburg, Germany, exhibition. He’s freshly dusted off and awaiting a re-hang; now if only I could find some space on my walls….

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For more info on ANDY WARHOL’s work and life, please visit: www.artsy.net/artist/andy-warhol

 

20150613_111719

WE’RE BAAAACK! ANOTHER VISIT TO PORT HOPE, ONTARIO, DELIVERS SURPRISES AND TREATS

On the one sunny day of this past week, my bestie, Erena, and I journeyed back to our favourite country town about an hour east of Toronto: Port Hope. It was Saturday and it was Farmers’ Market day in the parking lot behind the Municipal Offices so we tucked Erena’s vintage ‘vette into  a shady parking spot and strolled the market stands, grazing our way thru the yummy treats and picking up some new treasures from the craftspeople there, too.20150613_113207 20150613_114116 20150613_115948The overpowering fragrance of bacon beckoned me on towards The Social’s stall….yes, one bacon sandwich, please. Mmmmmm….20150613_113309Erena enjoyed some homemade perogies from the lady opposite the bacon…they were apparently so good that her eyes rolled back as she noshed away on half a dozen…LOL

20150613_113430I found some lovely local wines to wash down the bacon when I stopped in to say hello to Tim Kuepfer (below) of Broken Stone Winery in Pr. Edward County. www.brokenstone.ca  I found the pino noir very tasty and the other guests loved the chardonnay. Apparently Broken Stone participates in local wine tours so do check out their website to discover this emerging new wine region in Ontario.

20150613_113647 20150613_113853We then discovered Gary & Robin from the Tallboots Farm who were selling an awesome selection of jams, preserves, pickles, tarts, cookies and….oh boy….hand-crafted chocolates!! www.tallbootsfarm.ca   The jams were delish and both of us purchased a jar of the triple raspberry jam (I just had some on my toast for breakie this morning) and the chocolates we bought didn’t last long either!

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20150613_115702One lovely young local serenaded us as we all walked around…

20150613_121334…and we enjoyed meeting many of the farmers and vendors (below). As we got there a bit late (around 12 noon) most of the produce was long gone but we did see some massive radishes and lots of live tomato plants. We gotta come back earlier on summer Saturdays to grab the veggie deals.

20150613_115822 20150613_115828 20150613_115835 20150613_121326 20150613_120656Desperately needing a good cuppa coffee (and a quick tinkle) we left the market, walking thru the historic streets (below)…

20150613_121823 20150613_121859…and found our fave cafe, Queenies Bake Shop, the happiest shop on Walton St. The food and bevvies are superb and the hospitality warm and friendly. Thanks to the ladies and chef Adam (below) for looking after us once again.

20150613_124513 20150613_122352 20150613_122411No trip to Port Hope would be complete without a quick visit to Kenneth Bell‘s fabulous bling boutique just a couple of doors down from Queenies. www.kennethbell.com  Ken was heading off on a road trip with his wholesale treasures so we hung out with his assistant, Sherry (below) and played dress-up with young model, Madi (bottom pic) who showed us a very Rhianna-ish multi-strand chain necklace.

20150613_130326 20150613_124950 20150613_125721 20150613_125321We also spent some time (and dollars!) with the ladies of Bubbles & Gems, another few doors down from Ken’s store. Erena picked up some lovely jewellery there and I enjoyed browsing thru the groovy purses.  http://www.bubblesandgems.com/

20150613_135344 20150613_135347 20150613_135508We decided to take a quick nature break and visit the lakeside boardwalk just a little east of the downtown core as well as visit the beach at the foot of the Ganaraska River, so after a quick visit to our friends at Facey’s and Engine Gallery (see my previous blog posted in May), we headed off into the wilds of Northumberland County and look what we found…..sheer leafy bliss!

20150613_152407 20150613_152433 20150613_152612 20150613_152643 20150613_152900And we weren’t alone. One bold as brass chipmunk came right up to me, posing for pics and obviously looking for some nibblies. Next time we go, I’m taking peanuts with me as I have a feeling this little guy would take them right out of my hand.

20150613_153040 20150613_153041 20150613_153716We walked back to the car, then headed off towards town and hit the beach.

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20150613_155311 20150613_155415I had fun paddling in the cool waters of Lake Ontario…how clean and clear it was, too.

20150613_162353 20150613_162405 20150613_162820We decided to end our day in Port Hope by dining at Crawford’s Lakeview Cafe, just up from the beach. What a charming cafe with a lovely wrap-around porch where we dined on fish and chips (me) and a gourmet burger (Erena), topped off with homemade desserts of apple pie and icecream (me) and a lemon slice (Erena) …yummmm.

20150613_174458 20150613_191506 20150613_191415Apparently Crawford’s serves THE best breakfast for miles and Chef Pino Ruberto told us that his French toast and pancake stacks attract diners from miles around! We’ll be back for breakie soon, that’s for sure.
As we left the cafe, we witnessed what, to me, looked like a scene out of Jurassic Park: strange dinosaur-like creatures invading the streets.  I never knew baby Canadian geese looked so weird!

20150613_191549 20150613_191551So goodbye to the beach, the cafe and the goslings…Port Hope, we’ll be back again soon!

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Plan your own trip to Port Hope by first visiting:

http://www.visitporthope.ca/

http://www.porthopechamber.ca/

 

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JOIN ME FOR A TRIP TO PORT HOPE

What a beautiful Sunday morning, blue skies, warm sun and the open road ahead of us. My best friend, Erena, picked me up in her fab ’85 Corvette (below) and we headed East to the town of Port Hope, an historical little gem about an hour east of Toronto.

20150517_181323We found Port Hope just like the touristy photos showed us online….quaint, turn-of-the-last-century buildings, a riverside haven for weekend fishermen and people like us seeking to escape the big city noise and pollution. So charming and quaint.

20150517_114641The town really welcomes visitors and this is reflected in their free parking lot behind the municipal offices (below). Tons of space, surrounded by lots of trees and chirping birds.

20150517_113854Our first port of call was a charming little tea room called Queenie’s (the grey building below) where we enjoyed lattes and a light lunch. It was recommended to me by my Facebook friend, Sharon, who knows relatives of the previous owners. Good call, Sharon. It was great.

20150517_114818The girls working there were friendly and offered some suggestions for boutiques to visit. Nothing like a little retail therapy to go with the sunshine, eh? We sat outside and watched the cars drive by – here’s our view…

20150517_121542A couple of doors down from Queenie’s was the fabulous Kenneth Bell bling boutique….I was in sparkle heaven!

20150517_123453 20150517_123501 20150517_123515 20150517_123527Never come between ladies and their bling!  Ken helped Erena and me try on all sorts of necklaces, bracelets, scarves……

20150517_123449 20150517_131450…and the King of Glitz himself let me try on a tiara. I was having a flash-back to one of my favourite episodes of Big Bang Theory when Sheldon presents Amy with a tiara so I was doing my best impression of Amy (below)

20150517_125754Then before I knew it, my bestie did a deal with Ken and…I got my tiara!!

20150517_130648(0)If you visit Port Hope you simply must drop in on Ken – we had so much fun and he’s definitely the town’s #1 goodwill ambassador.  http://kennethbell.com/

Next stop, Engine Gallery.  You may recognize the name as owner Steven Schwartz (pics 2 & 3) used to have an art gallery in Toronto’s Distillery District before moving to Port Hope. What a gorgeous (and very big) space he has there. His colleague, Marilyn, showed us around and I was thrilled to recognize some familiar names and work (incl. Kelly Grace – see earlier blog). The gallery offers stunning large format paintings, modern sculptures and some fun retro images. Check out their collections here: http://enginegallery.ca/

20150517_133504 20150517_133824 20150517_134249 20150517_134355 20150517_134358Our next stop was G. Facey, a grand old-fashioned ladies’ and men’s clothing store that carried high quality designer duds and of course, Miss Erena went to town on the racks. We can always find groovy clothes for her…me, not so much. I really must make an effort to loose this damned weight :>(

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IMG_0115 She shops…she scores! Erena found a ton of cute tops and while she tried them all on, I chatted with Teri-Jo (above at cash register) who told me about the wonderful arts community around Port Hope. This talented lady is also a theatre director so we chatted about potential projects as I wandered around the store…creaky original wooden floors and lots of vintage fixtures…a great located for a “murder-mystery” play perhaps…hmmm?  http://www.gfaceys.com/about/

Just around the corner from G. Facey was the Capitol Theatre, a stunning early 20th century theatre space that presents concerts, plays, all sorts of entertainment. What a treasure. There was an event going on when I stepped inside so I wasn’t able to see inside but I betcha it’s glorious. I found an old B&W vintage picture showing the town and theatre in their heyday…cool, eh?  http://capitoltheatre.com/ 

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th (6)It was soon time to bid aloha to Port Hope…but we’ll be back. We never made it to the beach so next trip, we hit the sand! Yes, there’s a beautiful picturesque beach on Lake Ontario just 5 minutes from the historical old town so…I’m bringing my bikini and sunscreen next time..LOL!  We walked back along the river and found more fishermen casting lines for trout and lots of spring lilac shrubs.

20150517_16420620150517_164422And when I got home, I tried on my new Port Hope tiara and voila…I was a princess!!

Princess2Thanks to all the friendly folks of Port Hope. Erena and I had a wonderful visit and I’m sure we stimulated the local economy a little, too. LOL!

 

 

 

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I VISIT PLAYDEAD CULT BOUTIQUE & GALLERY in TORONTO

One of us…one of us! I LOVE all things Playdead Cult – fashion, furniture, art – all done by artist & musician Stu Andrenelli who I’ve known for many years since buying one of his original paintings right off the wall of the old Shanghai Cowgirl diner on Queen Street W back when the neighbourhood was still groovy and the hipsters were still….well, hip.

20150401_140001_001 20150401_140024Since then, I’ve added numerous pieces to my collection of original edgy art and watched Playdead Cult grow from a niche fashion and art boutique into a thriving design business, bringing a real sense of edgy cool to Toronto’s indie culture.  Stu (pictured below) is also an accomplished musician – he’s the drummer of Toronto alt. rock band A Primitive Evolution (A.P.E.).

20150401_144655Playdead Cult was originally headquartered in a vintage auto body shop near Queen & Dufferin where Stu and then-partner Bean created art and fashion designs using the Playdead Cult logo/brand as the key element.  Playdead then moved into a Kensington Market store where they built a loyal following among the artsy-fartsy market set, as well as attracting numerous recording artists and TV personalities such as George Stroumboulopoulos who is frequently seen sporting a Playdead Cult t-shirt.

20150401_140044Last year, Stu decided to bring Playdead Cult back to Queen West and found a great (and much larger) store at 1696 Queen West, just East of Roncesvalles, and after a grand opening party, has steadily been building an even more fascinating, engaging and intriguing identity….as soon as I walked in today I felt at home in this playful pandora’s box of a store/gallery surrounded by a riot of art, clothing, re-purposed furniture, toys, nic-nacs and even customized guitars. Check it out…..

20150401_140036 20150401_140219 20150401_140227_001 20150401_142628_002 20150401_141335 20150401_141357 20150401_141432One of my favourite art groupings are these insane customized Playdead Barbie heads (below)  – d’you remember back in the80’s when little girls would style Barbie’s hair on these things? Yikes.

20150401_141249_001Speaking of hair do’s….Playdead Cult also has a very comfortable vintage shampoo chair and cut’n’style work station on-site  (below) for any last minute ‘dos, too.

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20150401_140207Stu has recently designed and decorated a local hair salon and diner so he’s now set to give Colin & Justin a run for their decorating dollars!!

Playdead Cult offers so many unique art pieces – great furnishings for your loft, condo or mum’s basement! Look at this sexy coffee table (below) which started out life as a old fashioned luggage trolley – Stu refinished and polished it up and made it into something a little less “in yer face” for the more conservative buyer. The skulls and stripes kerchief makes a great doily, dontcha think?

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20150401_141754_001I just had to pick up one of Stu’s miniatures (pictured below) to add to my collection – it’s the middle heart & skulls on the bottom row, and it’s now hanging happily on my wall at home.

20150401_140032Big thank you to Stu and his colleague, Brett (pictured below L to R) who showed me around the new store. I suggest you allow yourself at least an hour to go thru all the shelves, looking at every little treasure in every nook and cranny. Check every inch of wall space for the unusual original artwork and definitely go thru the clothing racks

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Playdead Cult Boutique & Gallery

Clothing, art and events for the black collar worker!

1696 Queen St West

https://www.playdeadcult.com

https://www.facebook.com/playdeadcult

20150322_132248

SUNDAY AFTERNOON STROLL AROUND THE LESLIEVILLE FLEA MARKET, TORONTO

It’s almost flea market and yard sale season and what better way to start off the spring than a visit to the Leslieville Flea Market held 3rd Sunday of each month down at Toronto’s historic Distillery District…lots of old stuff, new stuff, weird stuff and WTF stuff and I just love it all!

20150322_130719First stop (as always) was to Whisky & Spice, the delicious booze-infused handcrafted mustards created by east-ender Dan Gordon. Dan and his lovely wife Laura held court today (below), offering samples of the Whisky/honey, Porter beer or Riesling wine & apple flavoured mustards.  www.whiskeyandspice.ca

20150322_125701 20150322_125813 20150322_142044Opposite W&S was the Bragg & Bee Vintage Supply Company who offered a very cool 1930’s medical poster. Wouldn’t this look great hanging your doctor’s office? You can find BraggandBee on Facebook.

20150322_13011820150322_13013720150322_130557Found another vendor friend, Sonja from Woo-Hoo Home Decor, Accessories & Collectibles, just next door…I should have just kept walking ’cause I found so many things I wanted and I eventually purchased a gorgeous embroidered picture of sweet peas plus another piece of CarltonWare Australian design (the lovely leaf shaped green plate at the bottom) to match existing pieces I own. Sonja has some stunning vintage CCCP/Russian lacquer ware as well as lots of bunnykins and bunny-themed items just in time for Easter. Find all the treasures on Fcbk: /woohoodecor

20150322_142122 20150322_130650 20150322_130700 20150322_142339 20150322_14234620150322_14243120150322_142501Totem Jewelry & Accessories was next, featuring the “arm knitted” collar-scarves…yes, owner Sarah Podemski actually knits these using her arms, not knitting needles. Wow…and so soft and warm. Ideal for these next few chilly weeks before Spring really arrives.

20150322_131154 20150322_131158 20150322_131203Sandra and Carlos from No.7 Hot Sauce were there, too, hopefully warming up the visitors with their awesome range of spicy, HOT sauces. You can find No.7 Hot Sauce at various farmers’ markets or via their online store, too. http://no7hotsauce.com/

20150322_131312 20150322_131327Vintage Dan (below) was opposite Sandra & Carlos and his collection of vintage finds was pretty eclectic and wild.

20150322_131523 20150322_131548 20150322_131513…and below, here’s some fabulous bling from www.BlackIrisdesign.com.  Designer Iris will custom make rings to fit your finger size so do check out her website to see some of her cool sparklies.

20150322_131849 20150322_131900I ran into Sacha from Douglas + Son who had some awesome early/mid-20th century vintage collectibles including early 20th century school maps and a great floor lamp with a very industrial design (pictured below). Check out their Instagram account for more vintage treasures: @douglasandson

20150322_132316 20150322_132348Cute as a button Emily Green (below) introduced her line of Rhode & Rue Cosmetics – high quality ingredients, great range of lipstick colours – check out the full range at www.rhodeandrue.com

20150322_132539(0) 20150322_132546 20150322_132554Then in the next booth I found the charming Paper Hearts designs, featuring hand-crafted painted vinyl clutches, wee purses and make-up bags as well as adorable cards. See the rest of the goodies here: www.shoppaperhearts.com

20150322_132804 20150322_132810 20150322_132821One of the newest vendors at the Flea is Dcora Pillows, beautifully handmade pillow and cushion covers that make it so easy to change your decor without spending a fortune on new furniture. Congratulations to owner Myriam Jimenez (centre in photo below, flanked by her daughters), originally from Colombia, for introducing her exquisite fabrics to Toronto. Check out the full range here: http://www.dcora.madeurban.com/

20150322_133123 20150322_133157And below, here’s Aussie woodsman, Matt Obst, who re-purposes industrial wood and metal into one-of-a-kind furniture and accessories. Visit his gallery http://www.obstwood.com  Matt does commissioned works as well.

20150322_133826 20150322_133830 20150322_133835The lovely lady from Gold Apothecary (below) introduced me to her line of bath and body products, all of which smelled deeeevine! Pity the internet doesn’t have “scratch-n-sniff” but check out her luxurious treats for your skin (and nose) at www.goldapothecary.com

20150322_134612 20150322_134622 20150322_134617Also reconnected with Cassandra (below) from www.chicmadeconsciously.com which offers unique wearable art made from recycled inner tubes! These beautiful rubber latticework bracelets, cuffs and even bags are super cute and very durable…plus you’re helping the planet. We all win with Cassandra!

20150322_135056 20150322_135101 20150322_135108One of my fave new vendors (I’d never seen them before) was Shop Betty, curated vintage kitsch including these adorable eggie cups (below)…and although I’ve seen many Indian motorcyles, I’d never seen an Indian stepladder before…LOL! Thanks to Cindy & Melanie for sharing all the info on your wares. www.shopbetty.ca

20150322_135202 20150322_135205 20150322_135250 20150322_135749 20150322_135801www.MyFrugalFather.com offers some pretty elegant vintage blankets that are hand dipped dyed, some trimmed with a patterned blanket cut up, some mended and some Hudson Bay Blankets & Canadian made blankets from the 60’s.  Their site is still under construction but you can follow them on Instagram @myfrugalfather

20150322_135922 20150322_135931 20150322_135955Was pleased to meet Jessica D’Silva of Avani Creations (below) recycling and upcycling leather and fabric from South Asia. Avani also has a wide selection of porcelain door knobs and drawer pulls so you can add a little pizzazz to old furniture or cupboards. www.avanicreations.com

20150322_140051 20150322_140120 20150322_140125Now meet Justin Roth of Daily City Train, who takes great photos of musicians on stage, places and things, then creates unique coasters with the images. Great conversation pieces, esp. if you’re fans of the cutting edge Toronto musicians he features.  www.dailycitytrain.com

20150322_140840 20150322_140846 20150322_140856Next to Justin was his good friend and fellow artisan Felica Victoria Laplume who handcrafts pretty soy candles for her company Citchen Candle Co. Felicia’s candles threw a soft golden hue across the table and made everything look soft and sexy.  www.citchencandleco.com

20150322_141131 20150322_141143…and a few more random shots from another fun visit to the Leslieville Flea market. Don’t forget, 3rd Sunday of each month. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter and check out the website for news and vendor profiles. See you next month!  http://leslievilleflea.com/

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