Tag Archives: weekend trips

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ARTFEST BRINGS EXCITING ARTISTS AND CRAFTSPEOPLE TO TORONTO’S HISTORIC DISTILLERY DISTRICT

Over the long weekend, my bestie, Erena, and I made a quick visit to the annual ArtFest crafts and fine arts market in the Distillery District of downtown Toronto. We also visited some of the established art galleries located in the enclave of 19th & early 20th century warehouses and cellars. It was so crowded that it was hard just to get in to some of the tents so Erena and I focused on just a few.

Our very first stop was at Joseph Calleja‘s handcrafted silk & cotton scarf display The Toronto-based photographer & artist incorporates many of his own photos into the unique and beautiful prints in multiple colours, shapes and sizes. Some are pure silk, others a cotton/silk blend as well as long wraps in the softest of cotton. Erena purchased 2, one a vibrant pink and the other…the blue one she’s modelling below. www.callejascarves.com20160522_133428 20160522_133236I then noticed a very talented sculptor, Chaka Chikodzi, who hails from Kingston, ON, which has become quite the artists’ colony thanks to the great light quality in that area (about 3hrs east of Toronto, on Lake Ontario). This one charming piece of carved Springstone is a a guinea fowl and it really called to me. Perhaps next time he comes to Toronto, I will have the $s to make it mine!   www.chakachikodzi.com20160522_141408Erena and I wandered around some more trying not to trip over the cobblestones (hint: NEVER wear your Manolo Blahniks to the Distillery District!!) and saw lots of returning exhibitors from last year which I previously covered in my blog, so we sought refuge from the hot sun inside the Thompson Landry Gallery and discovered all sorts of amazing artists we’d never previously seen, for example Tommy Zen from Montreal. He is descended from several generations of Venetian cabinet makers and artisans, eventually discovering his own love for clay and ceramics. The gallery (there are actually 2 amazing Thompson Landry Galleries on-site, opposite each other) proudly displays his giant ceramics, each gilded with sparkling gold and vibrant colours. Below are 2 of my favourite pieces, each well over 6ft tall!!  www.thompsonlandry.com20160522_160806 20160522_161353Many more artists are showcased there including this massive 10′ x 6′ canvas of a raging bull (titled Turbo) by Dominic Besner (below). This was Erena’s fave.20160522_161251I also liked these pieces…what do you think?20160522_16131520160522_160924We then walked over to artagallery where I found some more gorgeous works of art that really resonated with me. I really liked these two: below left is P. Colbert’s “Dream Creek” oil on canvas (36″x48″) and below right is I. Stoyanov’s “Yellow #18″ mixed media on canvas (68″x48″)  You can find out more at www.artagallery.ca20160522_164359I also found these florals engaging…and happy!20160522_164730 20160522_164742….and Erena made a bee-line for the playful pieces featuring wildlife!20160522_164839artagallery offers some unique display settings, too – I really liked this rusted old boiler plating (below)20160522_164702The next Artfest takes place over the labour day long weekend (Sept. 2-5) in the same venue; if you’d like to check out the shopping, dining and sight-seeing opportunities at Toronto’s Distillery District, visit their website for hours & directions: www.thedistillerydistrict.com20160522_164631

 

 

 

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BEACH WEATHER IN PORT HOPE!!

Is that Waikiki? Bora Bora? How about world famous Bondi beach in Sydney? No, believe it or not, this is the lovely little beach on the shores of Lake Ontario at Port Hope, a charming historic town just 50 mins. east of Toronto. And with our unusually warm weather in the middle of what should be winter, my fabulous intern and photographer Gabriella Luchetta and I decided to take a little road trip yesterday so we could have some fun as well as getting work stuff done! Come run your toes thru the sand with us on this virtual beachcombing stroll…..File 2016-02-04, 7 30 14 PMI grabbed my Samsung Note 4 and started shooting video and snapshots…stand still please, seagulls!20160204_145223 20160204_145703

Here’s Gabriella in action…20160204_145047

and this is the shot she just took…File 2016-02-04, 7 25 56 PMWe took some cool “boomerang” videos, too, and I’ll upload those later. I’ll also take you for another walk along the streets of my favourite town and intro you to my PH friends who welcome visitors year-round to their stores and restaurants in another blog that should be published by the end of today. Until that’s uploaded, enjoy the beauty and peace of Port Hope’s lovely little beach….where’s my sunscreen???File 2016-02-04, 7 30 49 PMwww.porthope.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!