If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know I’ve been really looking forward to Etsy’s Made in Canada Day. Across the country this morning, Etsy vendors left the comfort of their computer chairs to showcase their wares in person at pop up markets. The Toronto stalls were housed in the bricks and mortar of the MaRS Discovery District and did not disappoint. Amid a chorus of ‘oohs’ and ‘awws’, hundreds of Torontonians swooned over felted fauna, boyfriend brooches, cross-stitched cuss words and parasaurolophus planters.
The first 50 people to show up got Etsy swag bags filled with items from the vendors. My friend Nikki and I got in line 40 minutes before doors opened, and were probably initially within the first 50 people. Unfortunately, line jumpers pushed us back so we were about five people away from the last swag bag handed out. We still got goodies though, including vintage kimono silk samples & buttons, and other sewing odds & ends.
Custom cookies have stolen that place in Torontonians’ hearts once reserved for macarons and cupcakes. This was confirmed when they got their own BlogTO top ten list. iBakery is on the list and on Etsy, so owner Jacqueline Long was at the market today to show off her perfectly precise piping skills. She told us that the actual decorating goes pretty quickly (she obviously has a deft hand), but it’s the drying that is most time-intensive as each layer needs to set before the next can be added. I’ll be ordering bespoke baking for my office holiday party, so watch this space!
After hearing a lot of tinder horror stories lately, I can’t help but feel like Hannah Brown is offering the single ladies of Toronto a better option with her Brooch Boyfriends. You can request your own customized companion or go the celebrity route – she does felted versions of everyone from Conan O’Brien to the Fresh Prince. I wanted to get one but figured Kevin might get a bit jealous. Also, I’m holding out for her to do one of Benedict Cumberbatch or George Stroumboulopoulos.
I have a reputation at the office for having somewhat of a black thumb, which is really quite unfortunate as my mother is the most amazing gardener. She always tells me that succulents are very forgiving, so I was tempted by Crown Flora’s charming terrariums and planters. What better than a green brontosaurus with a crassulaceae spine to show my colleagues that my desk is capable of supporting plant life? Earrings across the hall seduced me away though, and since Crown Flora has a shop on Queen West I figured I could pick up a dino at a later date.
I came with a limited amount of cash because I know how addictive Etsy is online, and I figured it would be even enticing in person (spoiler – I was right). Many of the sellers actually took credit cards on their smartphones, but I was able to control myself. I did buy a pair of leather gold dipped earrings from Love at First Blush and a few ink and water colour greeting cards from Gotamago.
After a busy morning of shopping we needed to refuel, so we nipped over to the nearby Reds Midtown Tavern for some brunch. This place is busy during the week with the work crowds, but quiet on weekends as it’s outside of the normal brunch neighborhoods. The patio was way too hot (it was 25 today!) but we sat right by the open windows with the fresh air coming in. I had the Hunter’s French Toast with applewood smoked bacon which was delicious. They’ve also jumped on the brunch tapas bandwagon, and you can order a bunch of sharing plates with things like apple fritters, donut holes, mini sausage roles, etc. Perfect for those who can’t commit to savory or sweet for breakfast!
P.s.: I’ve been working on some autumn recipes and outfits, so tune in next week for the regular Frock & Fig programming!