Monday, December 20, 2010

Pabrika at Dorly Designs

Last month Pabrika Handmade began selling its famous pillows at Dorly Designs in trendy Leslieville. And a few weeks later we were thrilled to be invited to showcase our jewellery as well!

And just in the nick of time -- I was just about to take off on work / holiday travels when the news came. So I packed up all of my jewellery inventory and lugged them over to the store to set up shop. Here’s a sneak peak at what sorts of lovelies you can find in the store from Pabrika Handmade:

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Restocked at JTrove

I stopped by JTrove today, in the beautiful Port Credit area of Mississauga, and restocked my pillows in anticipation of the holiday season. That's right, holiday season! It's almost November people!

Since opening earlier this year, the store has grown leaps and bounds, selling a beautiful and unique assortment of handcrafted goods by local artisans. You really won't find another store like it, and it's the perfect place to find that perfect gift for that special someone. And to boot, the surrounding area is stunning. It's located right on Lakeshore Blvd. just a stone's throw from the Lake. The street is lined with boutique shops and cafes, and I almost always have to stop for an ice cream cone because it's just the kind of place where holding an ice cream cone is a must... I suppose until winter -- eek!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The World is not your LItterbox

I think Felix the cat says it best here, "The world is not your litterbox". And so to do our part for a cleaner, greener future, Pabrika Handmade has launched its newest series of "Upcycled" pillows.

We have rescued old T-shirts and transformed them into beautiful pillows. I got the idea a couple years ago when my American Eagle "Just Bee Yourself" shirt, with a screen-printed cartoon bee on it, became too small on me. Thinking that the cartoon bee would make a great pillow design I stuffed that T-shirt with a pillow and it was like a light bulb went off in my head. Unfortunately at the time I was too pre-occupied with other things to develop the idea further... (During that time I was just starting up Pabrika Handmade and the original line of hand-painted pillows). And so the T-shirt-turned-pillow idea died.

The idea was revived when I was asked if I had any pillows of eco-friendly materials (organically grown cotton, hemp, natural water-based dyes, etc.) And I thought it was a great idea to extend my line and offer products that were environmentally friendly. I did my research and looked for suppliers of organic fabric, but did not end up going through with it because the cost of this fabric was astronomical! And then I thought back to that "Just Bee Yourself" t-shirt that sat in my living room stuffed with a pillow, and decided that there should be no reason to go out and purchase new materials when there is already a myriad of materials out there (i.e. t-shirts) just waiting to be discarded.

And here are the results of my little craft project. There are still many more to come! Click here to shop :)
The Care Bears are my favourite :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A DIY Wedding with a lot of Heart

This post is long overdue. It is a tribute to the most beautiful wedding I have had the honour of being a part of, and to the beautiful bride (my sister) who designed and orchestrated the whole show. And amazingly, the majority of this wedding was DIY! It took place in Hennebont, France.

So where to begin? Let's start with the "save the date" cards. These were designed and put together by the talented owner of Tulle Box Designs, who also happened to be the co-maid-of-honour. They set the tone for this blue and pink themed wedding...

Also out of her studio came the "Wall of Flowers" concept, and her trademark favor boxes topped with a tissue-paper peony, which some ladies used as corsages later that night! We spent many a late night puffing these tissue-paper creations, went a little nutty from fatigue, but they turned out spectacular. And a little nuttiness never hurt anyone!

And to complement the pink flowers my sister picked out a gorgeous navy blue printed fabric, which she ordered from, which I sewed the table runners from. I think she bought out their stock because I received an entire bolt of fabric in the mail (and used it all!).

My sister is very detail-oriented and did such a great job setting up the entire reception. She had buttons made that said "All you need is love", a creative bird-cage themed seating chart, apothecary jars filled with candy, a custom monogrammed guestbook, polaroid film for guestbook pictures, and much more. SO MUCH more...

And how did Pabrika Handmade help? Well of course I custom designed a ring-pillow for the special occasion. Our friend's 15-month-old baby was the proud ring bearer. But with a tendency to drop, or fling things, we thought it best to transform the ring pillow into a backpack by adding two loops of fat ribbon to it. It worked like a charm, and the rings were delivered safely.

Also out of the Pabrika Handmade shop are the coveted Ramona Necklaces for the bridesmaids, made of large Swarovski Crystals and sterling silver. Don't look directly at them, you may hurt your eyes ;)
All in all it was a beautiful day. I am sure I have missed a ton of other details that my sister prepared (so keep an eye out for a second blog post if I happen to remember them all). The French know how to throw a party -- I thought it was just a typo when I read that the party would end at 4am...
(All photographs courtesy of One and Only Paris Photography.)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

RIP Tofu

I am sad to report that Tofu, the store mascot, passed away this summer :( She was a loving hamster that amused me to no end. I will always remember the time she peed in her wheel, continued to run in it, and came out showered in urine. She was shivering cold, but happy. Here's to the memories Tofu!

RIP Tofu. 2008-2010.

After an appropriate grieving period, I have adopted a new hamster (though certainly not a replacement!). His name is Cheddar because of his fur colour, and also because I quite enjoy pets named after food. Cheddar will be taking over the store mascotting responsibilities... namely entertaining the store owner :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

100 Mile Finds

My products are now also available for purchase directly through 100 Mile Finds! It is an innovative website aimed at sourcing locally made products, just in your neighborhood. Check it out to support your local community of artisans, and be a little greener while you're at it ;)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Pearl Crazy

So I went a little pearl crazy at the bead store -- because I hate when I run out! Or when the store runs out and only has the oddly-shaped, oddly-coloured pearls. So to justify the strands upon strands of newly acquired freshwater pearls, I got busy. I actually made these a while ago and haven't gotten around to posting them until now. I guess I didn't want to cause a frenzy in my shop just before my summer vacation. Because yes, in my grand imagination, I envisioned my store to be busier than a Macy's boxing day sale. (Or Canadian equivalent to Macy's?) I mean, I just may have to hire a security guard to control the crowds!

I am pleased to present (clockwise from top left): Olivia, Elizabeth, Fatima, Jacqueline, Fiona, and Rachel. Please hold your applause ;)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Introducing Kimono Kids!

Introducing my new line of Kimono Kids pillows! I find the Japanese culture fascinating, and admire the beautiful luxurious kimonos. The wide obi sashes are my favourite part!

I've found I come up with my best ideas on the ride home from work -- probably because the mind is relaxed after a gruelling day, and tends to just wander. This particular pillow was probably the quickest I've ever made my ideas come to life. I had the lightbulb idea on the subway ride, ironed out some details in my head, and as soon as I got home plopped on the couch and started drawing. A couple hours later I was off sewing! By the end of the night I had finished "Little Mayumi" and a few days later followed it up with "Little Famiko", pictured above. The design itself is appliqued on, and I've used various types of fabric to mix up the colours and textures. My favourite part is how the kimono obi is echoed by a wide piece of fabric on the pillow backing!

Stay tuned for more Kimono Kids in my Etsy shop!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Now selling at Ransack the Universe!!

I am pleased (and excited) to announce that my handmade throw cushions are now available at Ransack the Universe!! The store is located at 1207 Bloor St. W., in the 69 Vintage Collective building. Full of vintage and handmade treasures, it's the perfect place to find something utterly unique.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Shop for the Cause 2

Come out this weekend for Shop for the Cause 2! ALL money raised will go towards Haiti earthquake relief via the Canadian Red Cross.

This is the second "Shop for the Cause" event, the first one being for the 2005 Tsunami, which raised over $16000!

Invite your friends on Facebook.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

NEW: "La Promenade" Cushions

So on boxing day, instead of battling the crowds at the mall I went to the fabric store. I was intent on making some "gender neutral" pillows, because some people have been requesting some. But, hey, I'm a girl! So I couldn't help but buy this pink/black/grey fabric.

I actually already had these designs in my sketchbook and just didn't have the right fabric to apply them to. So I was excited to start sewing and see how it would turn out. I think it looks pretty good, don't you? My mom likes it :)

Don't you worry, I'll be sure to make my next pillows in army camoflauge ;) Well I don't actually have camo fabric, but I have an insect pillow in the works, so stay tuned... It's very manly.