29 March 2013

One Of A Kind Is Back In Town!

It's that time of year, peeps! The One of a Kind Spring Show is back in town, and I took a very decadent day off work to attend. So worth it.

I know I gush every year over every show, and I'm sure some of you are like, OH MY GAWD, HERE SHE GOES AGAIN! But you know. It is what it is. And what it is, is awesome.

Despite my overwhelming love of the show, I'll be honest: it isn't every year that I could spend myself into bankruptcy (or close to it) on fabulous finds. This year is definitely that year.

Dudes, there were so many items I wanted to take home with me. I don't know if I'm just seeing the show differently (maybe the new house ~ and all the rooms I have yet to decorate ~ is giving me fresh eyes) or if the artists and products really are as fresh, cool and hip as I think they are. Whatever the reason, it was all I could do to hold myself back from stocking up my shopping bag and spending myself into a fashionable little hole.

If you have an opportunity this weekend, when not hiding eggs or hunting eggs or cooking eggs for a brunch for 40, you should definitely check it out. Here are just a few of my fave booths:

~ mined reCREATIONS ~
Joanne Jones, the owner and designer of mined reCREATIONS, was so incredibly lovely, and her pieces are flat out amazing. I totally bought one ~ a gorgeous Shearer bag for my camera. It makes me feel like a hipster photo-journalist (don't judge). Joanne's work is so complex and gorgeous, each piece is a steal at twice the price. And maybe the coolest thing she does? Memorabilia bags. If you've got a high school jacket or varsity sweater that you want to give second life to, she's your gal. I highly recommend a visit.

~ Creations Li ~
Wai-Yant Li at Creations Li is a new artist to the OOAK show, and her adorable little alien ceramic pieces are a wonderful addition. My favourite is the octopus-shaped hanging planter (I'm actually debating going back for it, and hanging it over my kitchen sink. Can you imagine?) but there's definitely something for everyone: mugs, butter dishes, vases, serving bowls... all with adorable little faces that say, "Take me home!" So.... you probably should.

Fabulous Canadiana, thy name is Identity. Designer Meghan Irish divines inspiration from vintage army and Hudson's Bay blankets and classic Canadian imagery (think bears, moose, antlers and the Queen), and marries the two to wonderful, whimsical effect. It was the pillows and purses that caught my eye first, but her t-shirts are are instant classics too: comfortable, fashion-forward and perfectly patriotic.

~ Lovefresh ~
It's rare that I find myself drawn into the bath and beauty booths at the OOAK, Lovefresh sucked me right in with their gorgeously simple, French-inspired packaging and the scents... People, the scents are to-die-for. The pomegranate body butter smells so good you could eat it, and the lavender scrub is floral yet refreshing. With flavours like Key Lime, Lemon Verbena, Vanilla and Pear (my personal favourite), there's a lotion, scrub or butter to please every palate.

~ Mod Pieces ~
I think it's fair to say that my love of mid-mod and vintage pieces is fairly well known (and if you don't know, now you do. I love it.) So when I came across Mod Pieces and their selection of vintage lamps with customized shades, I completely fell in love. This is statement lighting, to be sure, and some are not for the faint of heart (lampshades screen printed with anatomical lung paintings, anyone?) but they are flat-out gorgeous, folks, and definitely worth a visit.

~ Tealish ~
Hubby Daryn is the "fancy" tea drinker in the family (I'm strictly an orange pekoe kind of gal) but when I spotted the Tealish booth in the Taste of OOAK section, I made a beeline. Their colourful, slightly retro-looking tins are pretty enough, but it was the smell that sealed the deal. I chose three to bring home with me: Lemon Meringue, Green Harmony and Delicious Detox. They all smell FABULOUS, like you could eat them straight out of the tin (and with all-natural ingredients, you likely could). There's a good possibility I'm heading back tomorrow for another three; you can never have enough gourmet tea in the cupboard.

 ~ Love Nail Tree ~
If you are even remotely interested, affectionate towards or covetous of the hipster vibe, Love Nail Tree should be your first stop. Their printed apparel - long- and short-sleeved tees, dresses and sweaters, etc. - are branded with messaging and images that risk being trite if it weren't so cool (their mandate? to provoke conversation about topics ignored in the world.). From a strictly fashion perspective, topping it off are the vintage pocket watch necklaces that are a little bit of steam punk cool made wearable for everyday.

~ Meter by Metre ~
The selection of handbags at Meter by Metre are fresh, fun and stylish, not to mention pretty, feminine and beautifully crafted. Designer Priya is as lovely as she is creative, and her classic-meets-preppy-meets-sweet style equals handbags that move easily from day to night and work to weekend. Stop by and give them some love!

 ~ Moth Jewelry ~

Leslie Howchin of Moth Jewelry is a stunning artist, using waxed linen to weave a rainbow of dramatic jewelry that is both rugged and delicate. Necklaces, cuffs, bracelets, earrings... the array of styles, inspiration and colour is amazing and gorgeous. I particularly liked the connection to Native Canadian arts that I sensed in her use of stones and natural materials (which may just be my interpretation of her work, but it's appreciated all the same). Her pieces are easy to dress up and dress down, and with hundreds of colour variations to choose from, a few key choices will coordinate with your entire wardrobe!

 ~ Otra ~
Offering pendant lampshades in graphic colours and geometric shapes as well as carry-all bags and unique jewelry, among other items, Otra offers the eco-conscious shopper a series of unique, eclectic statement pieces for home and body. What initially drew me to their booth was the pendant lights: their silhouettes echo the classic Nelson lamps, but the cut-out shades in punchy colours ramp up the contemporary feel. The visible grommets, on the other hand, give them a homespun feel that reminds me of cut-out snowflake garlands you'd make in primary school. The effect is sophisticated and disarming at the same time, and being entirely constructed of recycled materials means you can feel extra good about the splurge.

Another springtime, another show, folks. I had a fabulous time trolling the aisles for beautiful treasures, and yet I'm sure I missed as many as I spotted. That's the beauty of the OOAK show: each time you visit, you can find something new and notable to drool over, covet, appreciate. I'm planning on heading back before the show closes, just to give it a final walk-through and maybe pick up a few of those pieces I left behind today (and shouldn't have). Maybe I'll see you there!

PS - All photos are mine. Awesomely amazing composites are courtesy of Mosaic Maker.