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There is amazing stuff close by – local artisans and independently owned retailers, cool things to do and eat, and great charities to support. It’s good for the economy, the environment and the soul.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Little Local under our Tree

A few local items were under our tree this year - chocolate Santas by COCO Crafted Organic Chocolates were probably the favourite sweet thing we consumed. However COCO's truffles were also a big hit.
I was lucky enough to receive a Kaleidescope pendant by Biko jewellery. I can't wait to wear it - and take a colourful break in the day. I also unwrapped a beautiful pottery bowl by Carol McGarry. Will have to find a special spot for that. Thanks Brian!
Hope you all had a great holiday with family and friends and enjoyed a few 100 Mile things - whether it was a locally raised turkey or just got together with some 'local' friends. Enjoy the rest of the holidays,
Susan and Shirley

Friday, December 23, 2011

Rasko diamonds

Through an interesting series of events my husband and I were invited to the Rasko diamonds showroom last Sunday. The showroom is invitation only. It is in an unassuming building at Yonge and the 401, in an office that you would never guess carried the unimaginable treasures inside.

Talk about one of Toronto's best kept secrets, I thought that was us!!

First the Abraham's just let us peruse the 3 showcases at our leisure. Of course I had questions, and like any true artisan Mr. Abraham couldn't help himself from regaling us with the history of each of the pieces we asked about and then he was gracious enough to pull out some of his own favourites. The pieces were spectacular, every detail is a fantastic work of art. I realized early on that we were in the presence of a true artisan, who possessed an expertise that only decades of experience will grant. We had so much fun as the couple bantered back and forth, by the end of our visit I felt like we had made new friends.

The Abraham's travel the world handpicking exquisite gems and then transforming them into artistic masterpieces. We were lucky enough to get a peek at some gems that hadn't been set yet. Weitzman knew exactly what each gem was going to be transformed into. It reminded me of hearing a wood carver once say that the wood knew what it was going to be, it was up to the carver to listen. Honestly some of the pieces literally took my breath away. Apparently pink diamonds are all the rage! Black ones too! Weitzman educated us about which gem came from where, only get your emeralds from Columbia... I got to hold a necklace that Goldie Hawn wore!

Honestly diamonds and emeralds aren't in our budget right now, but one day... What I didn't know is that Rasko diamonds does a booming business in resetting customers own gems and smaller works. If you are looking for an exquisite yet affordable jeweller, look no further! I have to warn you, up until Sunday I wasn't really into fine jewellery, those days are behind me, that is for sure!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

thunderpeep designs

You may not have time to use thunderpeep designs holiday cards for the overseas relatives at this point, but keep them in mind for that special card you may need to give. Michelle Reaney is the designer of thunderpeep, and Michelle is a 'designer of fun'. According to Michelle, "I have a passion for traditions and quirky stories. I started thunderpeep designs because I love doodling designs for everyday consumption. Whether it’s a simple note card to make someone giggle, or an everyday tote to keep you organized, I'm here to make sure you can do it with a style that is unique and you".
Michell is inspired by inspired by the bold colours and strong lines of Scandinavian design and art. She merges these inspirations with her artistic background and love of 'strange folk tale'. Michelle offers custom card services and wedding invites as well as her stock of original designs.

Monday, December 19, 2011

COCO Chocolates

You may not be too late to get some incredible artisanal chocolates by COCO Crafted Organic Chocolates. This 100 Mile Finds vendor knows how to endear herself to me - Deborah had me at the thought of Chai squares and Maple Cream Truffles. I am looking forward to picking up my quota on the 23rd - as a hostess gift of course........And Deborah's Xtra Dark is dairy free.
And the kids will be thrilled with the gorgeous 'vintage' Santas (the chocoloate is not vintage, but the look of the Santas does take you back). I am opting for the personalized note that can be enclosed. Nothing like keeping the magic a little longer.
Thanks goodness the holidays are coming - great chocolate has something for everyone!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Beaulance Natural Skin Care

Margaret Mackintosh is the founder and sole proprietor of Beaulance Natural Skin Care. In 2000, Margaret decided to start off the new millenium with a new business in Natural and Organic skin care featuring wildcrafted herbs, oils and botanicals.
According to Margaret, "It really started with an article about pure essential oils that I happened to read in a health journal. I had a strong instinctive feeling that I should pursue a study of them and so I did. One course led to another and from there, I established my own line of really clean, chemical-free products to address the concerns and interests of so many people (myself included) with sensitive skin, but also those who choose to be pro-active in protecting the environment as well as their own health."

Products available on-line include unscented Hand and Body lotion, Belleza organic body butter, natural sunscreen and a range of facial oils.
Start the new year with a natural skin care regimen, and Welcome to 100 Mile Finds Beaulance Natural Skin Care!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Simply Sustainable

Leah of Simply Sustainable is a woman of many talents. According to Leah, "I was first exposed to the Artisans in Central America when I spent time there in 2006. Observing what two hands are capable of eventually led to picking up some pliers and wire. I held my breath – twisted, turned, tightened and there it was – my first pendant. I have been learning and practicing new techniques ever since". Leah's unique macrame accessories featuring Guatemalan Jade and Amber from Mexico, are hand made and gorgeous.

Leah's photography was inspired by her travels and reflects her love of the natural world.
Welcome to 100 Mile Finds!

Monday, December 12, 2011

From the Fridge Door

Once again we are amazed by the great ideas folks me up with here at 100 Mile Finds.
From the Fridge Door is a new vendor here on the site that creates one-of-a-kind dolls/stuffies inspired by your children's artwork!

Nicola Maguire is the artist behind the work. She first became interested in children's artwork while working as as Early Childhood Educator.
Since leaving the field of ECE to raise two sons she has been teaching art classes in her community. From the Fridge Door is Nicola's answer to the question of what to do with all t
hose masterpieces that are just a little too awesome for the fridge door.

Think how thrilled your child would be to get their own custom figure based on their creation. Nicola also makes custom accent pillows embellished with a fabric facsimile of your supplied artwork - what a great way to preserve a memory. From the Fridge Door will be at Lazy Daisy's Cafe from 6-8 pm on Dec 13 where she will have samples of her work and will take custom orders (click here for details). Welcome to 100 Mile Finds!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Soap Utopia Naturals

Every bar of Soap Utopia Naturals soapy perfection consists of a blend of 100% biodegradable olive oil, coconut oil, palm (sustainably farmed), soy/canola, heaps of fair trade shea butter, and castor bean oil. Choose from a wide variety of scents: coconut lime - cucumber/melon - lavender - muskoka boathouse (woodsy spice blend) - oatmeal milk & honey - pomegranate - sweet bee (honey floral) - tea rose - or vanilla. Pick any 4, and they will be shipped in a sweet cotton drawstring bag making a great gift.
Their all natural lip balm (no petroleum products) is inspired by the iconic WWII poster - the tube wisely advises to "Keep Calm and Carry Balm.". Lots of delicious flavours to choose from.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Another new vendor has joined us recently at 100 Mile Finds - DeniMural. We met Annis of DeniMural at the Made by Hand show in early November.
Annis Thompson has been an artist all her life, with art now becoming her primary occupation and passion. Annis works with a variety of subject matter, including portraits, landscapes, city scenes and wildlife.
As an artist, Annis is particulary inspired by the iconic symbol represented by the denim jacket and considers it a living canvas. She has created unique designs, under the working title, "DeniMural". Vintage denim jackets are recycled, reworked and painted by her in brilliant acrylics.

DeniMural is available online and will be at the
Artisan Gift Show, Saturday December 10th (click here for details)

Monday, December 5, 2011

From These Roots

New vendor From These Roots embodies the 100 Mile concept. A local Ontario preserving company situated within the Niagara Escarpment Green Belt where locally grown produce is combined with herbs and edible flowers from the kitchen garden. Created by Krista Harrington, the head jammer and recipe writer, her culinary adventures began with an early interest in sustainable and urban agriculture when in her early teens she started an organic market garden called "This Little Piggie Market Garden". Sales did not reflect her enthusiasm & she was left with an abundance of produce at the end of the summer so she took to preserving her efforts instead of letting the produce rot in the field. That's turning a lemon into lemonade (literally).

From Salsa to jams and preserves these original recipes have their own unique twists, such as Chili Peach Jam or Black Currant & Wild Violet Jam. Perfect for a holiday brunch, hostess gift or just a treat.
Welcome "From These Roots"!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Butterfly Tree

Butterfly Tree recently joined us on 100 Mile Finds - just in time to feature their great felted decoration kits. A perfect craft for the kids during the long holiday season that will be treasured for years. According to Ginny, "It all started when I inherited my grandparents' linens. Every bit of those fabrics feels special. So I used them to make that year's Christmas presents. Not one scrap was wasted. I found that I was more inspired by the odd shapes than the large sheet, and then I started seeing possibilities everywhere!"

Ginny tries to incorporate rescued materials in her kits and puts in effort to guarantee that every item in each kit is as eco-responsible as possible.

Join Ginny at Beadle tomorrow (Dec. 3) at Beadle for a Christmas Decoration making workshop.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


hana's slogan is "lets eat jujubes and wear pretty dresses" - I think that makes a lot of us feel pretty good. You may remember Hannah Richardson, the dynamic creative force behind hana, as the owner of Foundlings. Her new spring 2012 line features limited run art print textiles that are eco-friendly and chemical free. All products are made locally in Toronto.
hana's limited run gillyflower cotton/silk scarf is available in 6 designs 1. dolls 2. books 3. roboto 4. deer & owl 5. paint by number and 6. gummy bears. You won't find these whimsical and vibrant prints anywhere else. Available online and at different retail locations throughout the GTA.

Congratulations on your newest venture, Hannah - we hope it is a huge success!

Monday, November 28, 2011

401 Artisan Marketplace

This year the 401 Artisans Marketplace is returning for its 19th year. As part of FROLIC, the marketplace will be celebrating the art, culture and community that make the 401 marketplace so unique. An Artist Open Studio, Galleries + Shops, Tours and a Frolic Soiree are among the events that will be running from December 8 -11th. With the shops, tenants and local artisans offering unique gifts for sale this is the perfect time to discover this amazing space while getting some holiday shopping done too.

You can get fresh made soup and salads, sandwiches and fabulous baked breads from the Roastery Coffee House, they are a wireless hotspot too!

This year the market will showcase an amazing array of vendors. Including the fantastic creations of Chocosal Trader, artisanal chocolate with a soul. There will be everything from books, fair trade body products, hand knit accessories to hats and handbags. 100 mile finds will be there too! We will be holding a raffle and letting you know all about our website supporting local artisans.

The 401 Artisans Marketplace is located at Richmond just east of Spadina in the heart of Toronto's design district in the old tinware manufacturing factory originally occupied the MacDonald Manufacturing Co. Saved by the wrecker's ball in 1994 by the Zeidler family, the building was transformed from a rundown factory into thriving arts centre. Today the site is 200,000 square feet, housing over 140 artists and entrepreneurs, a vibrant urban community of fine artists, designers, milliners, architects, filmmakers, galleries, musicians, arts organizations, and magazines. The site also houses beautiful rooftop gardens and a courtyard, featuring eco-restored elements from tree planting to vertical gardens, biowalls, plants and vines. Year round there are tours offering a closer look at the architecture and the gardens but FROLIC is your only chance to get a peek inside the artists studios.

401 Artisans Marketplace (401 Richmond St. W. just east of Spadina)

Thursday 11am - 8pm
Friday 11am - 9pm
Saturday 11am - 6pm
Sunday 11am - 4pm

Friday, November 25, 2011

Recycled and Re-Sewn

100 Mile Finds is excited to be heading north with new vendor Teresa of Recycled and Re-Sewn. Teresa makes her wooly creations in Sault St. Marie Ontario so she has first hand experience in what it takes to keep warm!
Her hand made mittens have their origins in your old favourite sweater with the irreparable elbow. Re-purposed they find a new life in cozy mittens or scarves.

And Teresa makes these cool accent pillows out of re-purposed denim and wool. Great decor accent for a family room or a child's bedroom.

Welcome to 100 Mile Finds!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Kathryn, (a.k.a. Kat) is the founder of Katnip. Kat has created a unique fashion line of clothing and accessories specializing in handmade crocheted designs/crochet embellishments. One of a kind baby clothes, kids clothes, and adult clothes can be found here! All clothing is machine washable and 100% organic cotton, shirts come in all sizes.
Most of Kat's designs are inspired by nature and wildlife. Initially, Kat had a hole in her shirt and didn't want to throw it away, so she designed a crocheted chick and sewed it on, inspiring her clothing line. And we are glad she was inspired.
Welcome to 100 Mile Finds Kat!

Monday, November 21, 2011

The 17th Annual CBC Charity Craft Sale

Curious Oddities
This year the CBC Employees’ Charity Appeal will be presenting the 17th Annual CBC Charity Craft supporting UNICEF on Nov. 30th. In honour of Dec. 1, World HIV/AIDS Day, the 17th Annual CBC Charity Craft sale will be donating all proceeds from vendor fees and day of donations directly to Child Protection around the world, which includes HIV testing, and prevention in Africa and other nations for mothers, babies and children.
Torched Studio
The event will be held at the atrium of the CBC building at 250 Front St. W. (Front & John St.) from 8:30am to 5:30pm. Admission is free. There are over 60 vendors participating in 12 different categories ranging from art to Christmas to Kids and Knitting. With this amazing array of vendors, this show promises to be a good one. How great is it to be able to support a great charity AND get a little Christmas shopping done.

Suzie Saxx
Kynk Naturals, Echoes in the Attic, Torched Studio, Suzie Saxx, Curious Oddities, Odalis Petit Menagerie, and Fumiko Maehara are some of the high calibre vendors that will be selling their wares at the show. You should be able to find something for everyone on your list.

The CBC Employees' Charity Appeal has been supporting charities for decades. It is run by a committee of volunteers of both current and retired employees of the CBC, it's focus is to raise money from CBC employees. The CBC has many of it's own initiatives, but the CBC Employees Charity Appeal is separate from that, although supported by CBC management.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Cori Lee Marvin watercolours

Cori Lee Marvin is an artist living in Port Hope, Ontario, and recently joined us here at 100 Mile Finds. Her non-traditional approach to watercolour combines a flowing and loose medium with a precise and detailed style. Crisp, clean images and deep, saturated colours give her painting amazing clarity and depth. In many of her pieces, highly realistic subjects emerge in unusual surroundings and this juxtaposition creates intriguing visual stories. Cori Lee's love of nature and the pull toward still-life have resulted in an unexpected yet compelling pairing.
One of my favourites is Fellow Yellow, it looks like this little bird has found his soulmate. And my son likes Crow Wants a Pickle - I think he can imagine this scene at the cottage.
Cori Lee Marvin was recently picked to showcase her work in the Artist Project Toronto 2012.
Welcome to 100 Mile Finds Cori Lee Marvin!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Mummi Quilts

Stroller Blanket
Adorable personalized, designer blankets and accessories for babies and there is great new stuff for their Mommies too.

You can also DESIGN YOUR OWN blanket with designer fabrics in stock.
Mummi Quilts carries baby blankets, pullover bibs, security blankets "lovey", diaper bags, changing pads, fun summer hats, crochet Monkey hats....
MEMORY BEARS and MEMORY QUILTS made of old baby clothes, T-shirts, receiving blankets...

Did you know "Mummi" means Grandma is Finnish? It all started when Eeva the owner/designer of Mummi Quilts created a quilt for each of her own grandchildren. From there friends and family ordered their own quilts and Eeva was inspired to re-start her sewing on a larger scale.

Pullover BIB
Mummi designs are unique and practical everyday baby items and luxurious baby gifts. They are personalized, adorable and designer! What more could a Mom or Mom to be ask for?

Owl Beanie

Eeva from Mummi Quilts is always coming up with adorable new offerings like this adorable Crochet Owl Beanie!

If you've got a new Mom in your life, check out Mummi Quilts, you will be so glad you did! She's got diaper bags, totes and she is adding stuff to her store all the time.

And Have Fun tonight with all your little spooky ones.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Mistletoe Magic Holiday Craft Show and Sale

Mark Thursday November 24th from 5pm to 9pm on your calendar. Dubbed Don Mills' own "One of a Kind show" with something for everyone and every budget, this years Mistletoe Magic Holiday Craft Show and Sale promises not to disappoint! Norman Ingram School, 50 Duncarin Rd. in Don Mills.
With more than 25 local artisans, selling everything from art, clothing and accessories, specialty foods, home decor, jewellery, kids' products, handbags and much more, this is the perfect venue to find that unique gift.

Organized by the Norman Ingram School Council as a school fundraiser and community spirit event, and supported by local businesses, this event is a huge success year after year. There is a raffle with over 25 prizes, and the first 300 guests receive a free shopping bag (courtesy of the Shops at Don Mills). Wait, that's not all, there is bake sale, free parking AND babysitting is available while you shop!

Saracino Designs
There are a ton of amazing vendors at this event. One of my personal favorites is Saracino Designs. Susan and I have had the pleasure of showcasing Jane's bags at several craft shows. Her work is amazing. They are beautifully made, no attention to detail is spared and they are soooo fun! Jane doesn't sell at a lot of shows so you don't want to miss your chance to see her work up close and personal!

Lulu & Mika
Another favorite here at 100 mile finds is the Lulu & Mika! Their sock monkeys are adorable, as are their baby hats and kimonos, yes I said kimonos! and they also create fabulous jewelery for Mom, wait I almost forgot their newest creation, cuff links made out of LEGO! How cool is that?!

There really is something for everyone on your shopping list at this show. Tarquin from Henna Planet will be on hand selling gift certificates, candles, magnets and photo holders. Her work is beautiful and what teenage girl wouldn't love a Henna Tattoo? Tarquin hosts parties and small events too! Hmmm...

Another great opportunity to get some of your holiday shopping done!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wandering Winter Craft Show

For the 2nd year, Shop Cats will be presenting it's annual Wandering Winter Craft Show. Two dates, two locations, two chances to buy handmade this holiday season! Here at 100 mile finds we are big fans of Shop Cats! How can we not be?! Their mission is to showcase local crafters and artists and exhibit their locally made handicrafts and goods at one of a kind pop-up craft markets! What's not to like?

Shop Cats is the brain child of Emma, of landfill designs. She has had a varied career including everything from the theatre, retail to manufacturing and quality assurance, and she's always been crafty along the way! All this experience adds to being one heck of a craft show organizer!

The shows are being held on Saturday November 26th from 11am- 5pm at the Church of the Holy Trinity (it's beside Sears on Trinity Way by the Eaton Centre) and on Saturday Dec. 10th at the Gladstone Hotel in their Ground floor Ballroom (1214 Queen St. W.)

They will have over 20 vendors at each show, showcasing a really cool bunch of local talent. There are painters, card makers, to toys for the kids and a great selection of jewellery. With vendors ranging from Candiware, offering the cutest little mini food jewellery to the Polished Penny, an artisan who specializes in fine sterling silver jewellery, you are sure to cross off some of your "hard to buy fors" on your list.

The Polished Penny
Susan and I will be hosting a raffle at the show on November 26th, we'd love it if you came by and said Hi! You can enter the draw, you might even win $250 worth of goodies and gift vouchers just for signing up for our newsletter!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

23 degrees roastery coffee part 2

As you may have heard, as a member of the Borden Team Influencers Program, I have had the pleasure of tasting/testing two different flavours of a new locally roasted coffee by 23 degrees roastery. I chose DECLAWED a medium/dark blend decaffeinated coffee and MORNING STAR a light/medium coffee. This way I can enjoy one fully caffeinated coffee first thing, possibly a combo mid-morning and straight decaf later in the day if I just need the experience and not the caffiene!

I'm the type of girl who HAS to have her morning coffee, or it ain't pretty! About a year ago my husband and I bought a Nespresso maker. My husband is strictly an espresso drinker and I've been enjoying Americano's every morning and more than the occasional Latte. It was all good, UNTIL I started testing the 23 degrees roastery coffee! Nothing beats grinding your own beans and having that smell waft through the kitchen. I didn't know I missed the aroma until I was reintroduced to it! Now I'm looking for my own coffee maker that grinds the coffee and then brews it all in one step! Between all our various coffee/espresso making options there isn't going to be any room left on our counter top! So be it! This is a sacrifice I am prepared to make!

You've got to check out the 23 degrees roastery website, it is full of fascinating information about the coffee bean in all it's glory! I've learned a lot about Fair Trade coffee and a whole lot more and whoever wrote the text is pretty funny!  If you are looking for some new dinner time or cocktail party fodder, this might be the ticket!
For me the most important information is, one, what the packages look like, it's got to be easy to spot! and, two, where the heck it can be found! They are available at specialty stores all over Toronto, way too many to mention them all here! A couple of my personal favorites are Healthy Butcher, Max's Market and Cheese Boutique!  I gotta go and figure out exactly which coffee maker I should get to maximize my new coffee drinking experience!

LAST MINUTE UPDATE! Seems like I'm not the only one that loves 23 Degrees Roastery coffee! I've just heard that they are expanding the Roastery to double the space are getting a larger roaster put in! I love a local success story! Congrats!

Monday, November 14, 2011

The 17th annual Swansea Craft Show

The 17th annual Swansea Craft & Bake Sale is being held on Saturday November 19th, 10am to 3pm at Swansea Public School. There will be over 70 amazing vendors on hand selling everything from baked goods to Christmas gifts for the whole family.

Not only will Susan and I be at the Swansea Craft Show but some great 100 mile finds vendors will be there too! Susan and I are running a raffle, you've got to drop by, say hi, and enter the raffle! You could win $250 worth of merchandise and gift vouchers from the site! Just for joining our mailing list!

If you are looking for a personalized gift, make sure you check out CITRUS SILVER. Citrus offers stunning sterling silver pendants and charms that are stamped with words, names or dates that are important to the person wearing it.I have one of my own. It's one of my favorite pieces of jewellery!

Kaotic Ekko Curiosities is another really cool vendor participating in the show. If you are looking for something off-beat, may I say, a bit wacky, this is the booth to visit!  Pictured here are her adorable BLING! pins, from the Holdiay Hoopla Collection. See, you can still love Christmas, and retain your coolness!

Lilian O'Meara, is another artisan on our site that will be showcasing her work at the show this year. She always showcases and amazing array of work, definitely worth visit! This is just a little taste of what Lilian has to offer.

Happy 'beginning of the official holiday shopping season'!

Friday, November 11, 2011

23 degrees roastery

There's a new roastery in town and I'm checking it out! As a part of the Borden Team Influencers Program. I'm occasionally called upon to check out a new product on the market. Since my focus is local, as well as being a coffee lover, and of course having a social conscience, checking out a new, local, fair trade roastery seemed like the perfect match!

First maybe I should address how the heck a coffee company can call itself local!? Clearly it can't have been locally grown. If part of what factors into your purchasing decisions is supporting your local economy then supporting brand of coffee that is roasted locally and owned by local residents is better than something that is roasted in a far away land, and owned by a big conglomerate.

If you make your purchasing decisions with a social conscience, and I try to, then whether or not the coffee is "fair trade" will factor into your decision making process too! So far so good!

But who's kidding who! We're talking about coffee, if it doesn't taste good I don't care where it's from, who roasted it or who harvested it and under what conditions.The most important thing to me about a cup of coffee is how it tastes, okay, and how it smells! I didn't realize how much a part of the experience the smell of coffee was until I started to talk about this coffee! Man, it really smells good!

My day starts with a cup of coffee, or it just doesn't start. My kids learned very young that Mommy needed her coffee or it wasn't going to be pretty. I don't drink a ton of coffee, but that first cup is a real morning ritual for me. Occasionally I will have a second coffee mid morning and sometimes, on a particularly rough day, a mid afternoon decaf can really turn my day around! Sad but true! You what, all this talk about coffee, I'm gonna go and make myself a cup of 23 degrees 1/2 decaf, 1/2 morning star!
I'll be back in a bit...