September 20th, 2014
Ato Seitu is a compelling artist whose work draws you in and commands your attention. Ato, born in Kingston Jamaica, has been living in Canada since 1963 and creating his captivating images for over 30 years. Mostly using pen, pencil and acrylic, Ato frequently incorporates our Chiyogami paper in his work.
Below is just a sampling of his distinct work and his website atoseitu.com is a must visit.
September 3rd, 2014
Like many others this past long weekend I was fortunate enough to escape the city and get back to nature at a friend’s cottage. I knew going up there that it would be the perfect environment to do some material exploration so I brought along with me our Suminagashi Marbling kit and decided to try my hand at some floating ink marbling.
Our store owner Heather had created some really beautiful samples using our Usu Kuchi Heavy, so I brought some of that along with me as well to test out along with a couple of sheets of our wood veneer. Being someone who enjoys working with natural and found materials I also harvested some birch bark from the woods surrounding the cottage to experiment with.
Heather’s marbling samples using the Suminagashi Marbling kit and Usu Kuchi Heavy.
The marbling kit works by filling a clean shallow pan with water and then dropping the high-grade cosmetic pigment ink onto a small circle of float paper that helps keep them on the surface. The ink can then be swirled and manipulated using a stick or your finger before you place the material (paper, cloth, hide, wood, etc) face down on the ink to let it sink in.
I’ll admit that my first time cottage attempts at marbling didn’t turn out as well as Heather’s samples, but the process of doing it was really fun and I found the contrast of the bright marbled ink on the natural birch to be a really interesting juxtaposition even though the details of the marble didn’t come through as strongly as I had hoped.
My first attempts on paper and wood veneer (which be warned, will curl in the water, but really soaks up the ink nicely).
As far as cottage activities go the Marbling kit was both relaxing and meditative and fun to share with my friends. I can see it being both a great tool for artists wishing to create their own one of a kind patterned paper and a fun activity for kids to experiment with during craft time (the inks are non-toxic so safe for kids 6 and above to use). I’m definitely looking forward to more adventures in marbling and have a newfound appreciation for artists such as Robert Wu, whose prints we carry and sell in store, who have clearly mastered the technique.
August 23rd, 2014
Well, it’s that time of year again! Whether you’re a kid or a grown up, back to school shopping always promises to be lots of fun. Luckily, we’ve got a wide selection of cute and practical school supplies for young and old that will make learning much more fun!
For the kiddos, we have a large selection of fun and functional notebooks, novelty pencils and pens, and of course a pouch to hold them in! Aren’t those squirrel page markers insanely cute?
And for the older students, we have some more practical back to school supplies…because a new Iphone case is totally necessary for heading back to class in style right? As well, our infamous Le Pens and fancy notebooks are sure to make your note taking career a bit more cheerful!
Stop in and take a look, but be quick. Summer is almost over!
August 13th, 2014
This weekend, in store only, we have selected Chiyogami patterns on sale like you will never see again!!! Over 70 patterns! Full sheets, normally $16 per sheet, are on sale for $9 or the price of a regular half sheet. Sat, August 16th from 10am-6pm and Sun, August 17th from 12-5pm. See you here!!!
August 7th, 2014
If anyone knows me they know, I love using Washi Tape. It’s easy to get creative when you are using something with endless potential. After 4 years of living in my small apartment with my boyfriend it feels like it’s time for a bit of change. I was getting a little bored of the piece that hung above our bed and wanted to add a little something extra to our plain old boring walls. We rent and my boyfriend doesn’t really like the idea of painting the walls to add a bit of colour to the room.
Our apartment has a lot of blues, greys, and red so I wanted to add something in the same colour family. Using Washi Tape, I created a geometrical mountain pattern. I first cut out pieces of kraft in the sizes that I wanted so I could map out where exactly I was going to tape off. I made outlines on the wall around my kraft pieces and then discarded them. I found it easiest to know exactly where I was going to tape off with the outlines. Once I had my mountains in place I just filled in the space.
I made each stripe the width of two pieces of tape and measured the spaces in between each one to make sure they’re look uniform. After I had everything taped off I cut off the excess making clean straight lines.
It took an afternoon to create and looks great! Now get out there and make something new with some Washi Tape!