’tis the season – thinking small

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It has been quite a while since I have written anything here but I really wanted to share some of my shops/spots I love or would like to check out myself this season because they seem lovely as can be!  There are far too many fabulous places to list so this is just a snippet.  Most are greater Hamilton area though others are a little further away but still very drivable!

There are plenty of coffee shops/cafes in that offer gift cards, coffee beans, tea, brewing equipment or treats you could grab along with a cup of something delicious on the go for that special host/hostess in your life from one of these wonderful places!

#HamOnt :

  • Cake and Loaf – Dundurn and the Farmer’s Market (baked goods are the market focus AND in December you can find packaged goodies at Limeridge Mall in their  holiday pop up!)
  • Relay Coffee Concession St and the Farmer’s Market
  • Durand Coffee – Corner of Charlton and Caroline
  • Emerald coffee Co. – Barton St E
  • The Cannon – Ottawa St N
  • Cafe Orange – King St E
  • Ward IV Coffee Bar – Main St E
  • Mulberry Coffee House – James St N
  • Donut Monster – Locke St S
  • The Mustard Seed Cafe – York Blvd

#HamOntDogFriendly :

  • My Dogs Cafe – Locke St S
  • Munchies Coffee Housed Barkery – Upper Gage Ave

#VeganHamOnt :

  • Democracy – Locke St S
  • The Hearty Hooligan – Ottawa St N

#Burlington :

  • Kelly’s Bake Shop (also Vegan!) – Brant St
  • The Sunshine Doughnut Company – Brock Ave

#Dundas :  Detour Cafe – King St W

#Simcoe :  Joy Cafe and Bakery – Robinson St

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Dining out is also a holiday favourite for many!  Taking those special to you, out for dinner or giving them a gift card so they can go after the seasonal rush is always welcomed.

#HamOnt :

  • Mattson & Co. – Locke St S
  • The West Town Bar & Grill – Locke St S
  • Hambrgr Hamilton – King William St + Ottawa St N
  • The Burnt Tongue – Cannon St E + Locke St S
  • Twin Elephants – Fennell Ave E
  • Patties Burger Bar – Rymal Rd E
  • The French – King William
  • Aberdeen Tavern – Aberdeen
  • Shorty’s Pizza – Cannon St E

#HamOntVegan : Boon Burger – Ottawa St N

#Burlington : Bitehaus Bistro – Guelph Line

#MountHope :  The Pigeon (Catering and Takeaway) – Homestead Drive (Near Hamilton Airport)

#Cayuga :  Twisted Lemon Restaurant – Norton St W

#Oakville :  West End Social – Lakeshore Rd W

#StoneyCreek : Rony’s – Gray Rd

You can find so many other awesome spots to eat on blogs like Hamilton Small Fries – hamiltonsmallfries.com, TasteHamOnt – tastehamont.com, Hungry in the Hammer –hungryinthehammer.blogspot.com

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Other yummy options for gift boxes/baskets and more!

#HamOnt :

  • Hello Baked Sugar Shop – Barton St E
  • Dundurn Market – Dundurn St
  • The Mustard Seed Co Op – York Blvd
  • East Hamilton Cheese Company – Ottawa St N

#Ancaster :

  • The Little Gourmet – Hatton Dr
  • Tajmahal Spices & Cheese – Wilson St E

#Dundas:

  • Beanermunky Chocolate – King St W
  • Picone Fine Food – King St W

#Waterdown :

  • Harrington Lane Farm Village Shop – Main St S
  • Beanermunky Chocolate – Main St S

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Perhaps you haven’t had a chance to make it out to one of the holiday markets this season but you really want a unique or made with love gift!  These fine places are either shops or makers you can purchase that special something from.

#HamOnt :

#Ancaster :  Black & Smith – Jerseyville Rd W

#Dundas :

  • The Made in Canada Store – King St W
  • The Handmade House – Foundry St

#Mississauga :  Whiskey Tan – whiskeytan.com

#Norfolk :  The Shop at Sweetwater – Cockshutt Rd

#PortColburne : Kayla Marie Ceramics – Clarence St

#StCatherines :  Shed Pottery – Pelham Rd

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There are great shopping options for that creative maker in your life too!

#HamOnt :

  • Needlework – James St N
  • Handknit Yarn – James St N
  • Hello Stella Fibres – hellostella.ca

#Ancaster :  Needle Emporium -Wilson St E

#Westdale :  Mixed Media Shop – King St W

#LocalPatternMakers :

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One of my favourite gifts to receive is a book.  Nothing beats flipping through actual pages of text!

#HamOnt – James Street Bookseller – James St S, J.H. Gordon Books – King St E, Epic Books – Locke St S

#Waterdown :  Pickwick Books – Dundas St E

#Westdale :  King W. Books – King St W

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Last but not least for the flower lover on your list why not check out the stunning work of House of Penney on Barton St E or order something spectacular from Thuya Boutique Online!

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I hope this was somewhat helpful and that you find the perfect gifts for those near and dear this holiday season!  I will share all of these fantastic places on Instagram and I will share other places I love that are further away over the next week!

Happy Shopping/Eating/Sipping!

JESSICA

 

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Summer update and Boosh!

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Well in to August I feel like the summer is just flying by.  Most of our days have been spent with a quiet park wander, collecting acorns, sticks and stones and visiting with my grandmother.  I am also in the midst of writing my Live Small Town Fall piece and starting to think of back to school and fall projects!

A lot of heavy feelings have surrounded me lately so I have been putting extra energy in to the ups of everything.  Making goodies for people here and there, slowing down to enjoy nature in all its beauty, snuggling my kiddos a little longer – and Wally dog too!  Even in the thick of it there is something to smile about.

I also had a FANTASTIC experience with Boosh recently – they make and sell natural lipstick here in Ontario, Canada!  If you haven’t heard of the brand look them up on Instagram or Facebook!  I purchased the lip plumping balm and it seemed to take a long while to get to me but I couldn’t even remember when I ordered it so I sent an email just to ask.  Sarah replied so quickly and pleasantly eager to help.  Canada post was just slow (typical 😉 ) and it arrived the next day!

I love this product SO much!  It has the nicest cool sensation and keeps my lips so soft.  I am a pretty plain person and wear minimal make up but this will be something I use often.  I also have my eye on Nova – a light colour I think will be perfect for just a little something when the mood strikes.

If you like lip colour check out the bold and subtle choices available and support a wonderful small business.

I will leave it at that, on a high note and with a reminder to be a kind human.  It really makes all the difference.

JESSICA

 

Terre Ferme Pottery

IMG_2250Yesterday I received a BEAUTIFUL package from Kentia of Terre Ferme Pottery in Alberta.  I was anticipating something lovely but it is spectacular!  I had to share my entire experience with you!

I stumbled upon Terre Ferme in December I think it was on Instagram.  I truly have no idea how I did but there it was – this gorgeous account filled with so much functional art work!  After reading her bio I knew this was someone I most definitely wanted to follow!

Kentia has a delightful online presence.  She takes the time to connect with and interact with her followers.  It’s not easy to keep up with the oodles of comments, questions or DMs but she somehow does!

Her pieces are so unique – textured, full of delightful images, rich in colour and story.  I have followed all of the shop updates watching as the wonderful works are snagged quickly but hadn’t had the opportunity to get that perfect for me piece.

As luck and timing would have it about a month ago Kentia opened up a very limited pre-order for her Canadiana mug (Look for the story on the Terre Ferme IG!) that I happened to catch!  This mug captures the outdoorsy Canadian vibe perfectly and  I was drawn to it the moment I saw it.  I knew this was a piece I was meant to own and I was so happy to secure one.

The time flew by as this custom beauty was constructed and before I knew it, it was en route to me!  I was thrilled to bits to learn I would soon get to see this mug I have admired – in person!  It would be mine to enjoy a morning coffee or afternoon tea!

Yesterday when I picked up the package from the post office I noted the sweet Terre Ferme sticker on the side and the suitable Fragile label so the postal workers would know it is of delicate matter.

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I opened the box  as soon as I got home and in it sat another box tucked in brown paper to keep it from sliding.  The inner box had a sweet ribbon around it and there was the loveliest thank you note.  Inside nestled in packing peanuts was the mug hugged tightly with strong bubble wrap and a final layer of adorable dragon fly tissue, taped with lily pad washi to cradle this precious cargo.  A balance of beauty and practicality this package was.

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I unwrapped all of the layers and there it was – this stunning work of art.  All mine to love and use.  I am so thankful.

I have a strong passion for owning purposeful things built and made with care by fellow makers.  Pottery is just that – so useful and those who create it do so with love.  Kentia of Terre Ferme Pottery builds her pieces with intention and kindness and it shows.

If you love art that you can use as much as I do pop on over to the Terre Ferme Instagram and take a look at all of her creations!  You won’t be disappointed!

 

Happy Wednesday!

Summer update: creatures + herbs

 

Hello Stella

IMG_0964I’m not really sure how exactly I happened upon Hello Stella on Instagram but I’m so glad I did!  Lindsay is a Hamilton yarn dyer who uses Canadian wool base yarns. The colour ways she offers are brilliant and unique which is likely what drew me in!  A maker with a kind heart and solid passion for what she does.

My first purchase was a skein of ziggy with the intention of making socks!… They took a back seat to Christmas gift making but the yarn is beautifully soft and the colour way – just gorgeous.  It’s so fun watching it unfold as the socks are being worked up!

The 12 Days of Christmas yarn box was one the biggest hand dyed yarn lot I have ever bought.  And it was entirely worth it.  The box was packed with 12 adorable muslin bags each holding a skein with a hand stamped number tag.  I had every intention of opening them up one by one but with a warm sunny December 1st I decided to open them up and snap their pictures!

Some of you likely followed along on instagram where I posted daily but for those who didn’t the following lovelies were in this glorious box of 12 mini skeins – that is a LOT of yarn!  Harvest, tidal, OZ, Lazarus, persimmon, china girl, fox in the snow, purl grey, balsam, London fog, ziggy and bohemian were all a part of this festive collection!

It was a major splurge but if I am going to splurge on something, I would much rather support a fantastic small biz like Hello Stella.  I look forward to the post Christmas making calm when I can start to use the yarn for a special something just for me!  I really hope to get my hands on some worsted and big stella in the near future for some other projects I have in mind too!

If you knit or crochet and love supporting local talent check out Hello Stella!  You won’t be disappointed.

Happy Making!

JESSICA

November Hustle

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How did we get here?!  November already!  October was full of fall activities – pumpkin walk at the RBG and picking the perfect pumpkins to carve at this sweet little pumpkin patch were our favourites… well next to Halloween of course!  The kids loved dressing up and trekking house to house to collect treats.

This month making madness begins as I knit, crochet, sew and plan the perfect gifts for the people around me!  I’m hoping to involve Lilah and Max more in the process of spreading joy this year.  They both love to create and share as much as I do so I’m sure it will be a lot of fun for them!

Added in to the mix of my usual creating and mom life is planning a collaborative project with one of my dearest friends.  Since high school we imagined working side by side at some point so this is extra exciting.  It’s basically a dream come true for me and I can’t wait to watch it all unfold!

I also recently submitted my section for the Live Small Town Magazine’s Winter issue so stay tuned for that!

Lots of things going on my way this month, if you follow my instagram you will see bits and pieces as I go.

I hope that November treats you well!

JESSICA

 

 

 

Kindness matters

FullSizeRender 23A year ago on October 18th was one of the hardest days of my life.  It was the day we had to say goodbye to my old boy Toby.  In what had already been a year packed full of heart ache with the loss of our old girl on the 4th of April, finding out that our time with Toby was limited and everything in between – I was pretty broken.  The thing is, to me, dogs are much more than just an animal.  They are my people and if I being completely honest I prefer them to most humans.  The unconditional love dogs offer us just can’t be replaced and so losing my companion of 16yrs changed me in ways I didn’t anticipate.

Two days after Toby passed away I walked in to one of my favourite coffee shops – Cake and Loaf (who knew 😉 ).  I was trying my damnedest to keep it together but I just couldn’t.  Tears just fell despite my best efforts to keep them in and I told the lovely soul behind the counter about my loss.  I didn’t expect anything but what I received was irreplaceable. Sincere and heart felt condolences.  My feelings were validated and I felt human again for the first time since I said my goodbyes…  Really for the first time in the longest year of my life.

What this wonderful human did not know is that even before this moment she was already a part of my story.  I had been in many times before feeling wretched on the inside but smiling on the outside and was always treated with complete and authentic kindness.  It’s that kindness I received from her and some other fantastic staff that have kept me coming back especially on my worst days.  Those are the days when they really make a difference without even knowing it.

Life moves onward and things change but we make these connections with each other all of the time.  Sometimes they last only in that minute and others carry through for a life time.  I used to think I didn’t really need a whole bunch of friends and maybe that is so but one thing I have learned is how valuable our relationships with one another are, both big and small.  I know that my words and actions toward others really can make a difference because those of others have forever changed my life.

People come and go from one another life.  Sometimes we are pulled apart and separated for years only to find each other again at what seems to be just the right time.  Some people stay away forever while others never leave.  All of these moments matter though, all of these people matter.  They are part of our next painting, article or song – we carry them with us always in this beautiful chaotic life.

I never expected to find friendship while buying coffee but I most definitely did.

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