The best resource for great local shopping!

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.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Little Miss Kate Designs

Kate has always been what you call the crafty type and started sewing as a child. In her teen years she enjoyed making clothes and summer dresses for herself. Once Kate's son was born she started sewing to make practical items that we use on a daily basis, including nursing pads, nursing cover, burp cloths and quilts.
Kate enjoy making items that moms love and will use again and again.Little Miss Kate features nursing pads on 100 Mile Finds - check them out for any of the new moms in your life.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

love, ReB

Get back to the basics of life and what nature has to offer with the therapeutic values of essential oils and natural ingredients. love, ReB products do not use artificial or synthetic fragrances. No artificial colours are used in any of their products. love, ReB makes soaps, hand and body products and products for facial care.

Maybe the man in your life needs a little pampering too. Whatever your skin care needs, check out love, Reb for a kind and gentle option. The lavender products featured on the site must smell devine.

At love, ReB a "very important part of our mission statement is "Community". We believe in supporting something worthwhile and giving to our local community is definitely something invaluable to us". We like that thought here at 100 Mile Finds too!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Saracino Designs - meet Jane Saracino

I met with Jane Saracino of Saracino Designs this week and had a great chat. It is always so inspiring to meet artisans who are so passionate about what they do. Jane’s bags are meticulously made, they are eco-friendly, hip and fun! Jane designs bags for the professional on the go with styles that hold your everyday essentials, to bags for evening outings, walks with the dog, and weekends away.

Jane only produces limited editions of 5. Each bag is lined in either pink or red. There are pockets all around the interior of each bag to hold all your “stuff”, with plenty of room inside for even more stuff. Jane treats the bags so that they literally stand up when you set them down. She uses only the highest quality of snaps, grommets and other finishings. Her bags are made with recycled, found fabrics, everything from bed skirts to doilies have been incorporated into her bags.
Jane is a self-taught handbag designer. I asked Jane how she got started creating her handbags, and as is often the case is, it was a mix of someone expressing a need, an opportunity seized, and definitely the support of friends and family that got Jane started on this incredible journey.
Jane’s girl friend, Jamie, had a make-up bag that she absolutely adored, but it was falling to pieces. Jane came to the rescue, not only did she make Jamie a new one, but she added her own flair and revised it here and there to make the perfect make-up bag. As Jamie showed off her bag, the requests started pouring in. Jane’s sister needed a dog walking bag and the ‘Grab & Go’ bag was created! Now Jane has a full line of bags, everything from a little bag that fits a camera or phone all the way up to a Weekend Tote.

Grab & Go

Around the same time that Jane created the make-up bag, her Mom moved to the U.S. and left Jane with a bunch of cool fabric pieces, not one to ever waste anything, Jane was quick to take advantage of this stash of fabrics and started creating bags for friends and family.
Not long after that, Jane and her aunt were walking in Yorkville and passed a sign that said they were looking for local designers for a new store in the area. Jane’s aunt, one of Jane’s biggest fans, insisted that she give them a shout and Saracino Designs was born! Well Tart Bag was born which has evolved into Saracino Designs!
Jane has a great perspective on the dilemma many artisans face about trying to be true to themselves while offering a product that is high-quality and competitively priced. “I don’t want to be a traditional handbag designer. I create limited edition, signature bags. I want to be known for making unique handmade bags.” I loved it when she said that the tiny imperfections of a handmade piece are what sets it apart from the massed produced items. She also talked about their being a market for handmade bags and they are not the same people who want to buy something that is massed produced and that’s fine, you’re just not getting a massed produced bag from Saracino Designs!
This year Jane is co-chairing the Beach Studio Tour. It runs April 29th through May 1st and promises to be fantastic. If you have a chance, drop by.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Citrus Silver

There are a few Dundas and Bloor Westers on 100 Mile Finds, so we are very pleased to welcome another one of our neighbours, Karen of Citrus Silver. I have met Karen on the hockey rink (our hockey moms' hockey league is a blog unto itself), and I know many women in our neighbourhood who covet their Citrus Silver pendants.
Citrus Silver offers stunning sterling silver pendants and charms that are stamped with words, names or dates that are important to the person wearing it. Add a silver chain, beaded necklace or bracelet in the size and style that suits you best, as each piece is custom made just for you.
There is not a more perfect Mothers' Day gift - stamped with your family's names.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Decadence 2

Welcome to 100 Mile Finds Decadence 2! Brenda Braun is an amazing metalsmith and jewellery artist. Brenda lives in an 1850's fieldstone farmhouse in southwestern Ontario. She has a small boutique on her property if you are ever passing by. You might find Brenda there creating her jewellery from precious metals and gemstones.
The bracelet featured has a beautiful ochre, black and tan stone with an oxidized silver chain.
Brenda's work has been described as " flaunting a hint of the bordello, a touch of romance and the flavour of a treasure from your grandmother."
Take a peek at Brenda's Decadence 2 designs at 100 Mile Finds.

Friday, April 15, 2011

JOS Originals

Jane Oakleaf Spanton is the Toronto artist behind JOS Originals  Jane has a BFA from York University and she has taken many art courses over the years, both privately and at The Toronto School of Art and George Brown College.
She has been painting with water colour and creating collages since 1989.

In 2003 Jane took up jewellery-making as a hobby and it quickly became an exciting new challenge. She approaches each design the way she approaches a new painting: colour choice, balance, depth and emotion all play a part. She likes to create pieces that the beholder really enjoys looking at- your eye continues to follow the lines of the necklace, not focusing on the front and centre.

Jane's work is truly 'sterling' - welcome to 100 Mile Finds JOS ORiginals!              

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Shopping Local - a complicated topic?

A few weeks ago at book club someone asked me how the website was doing and it lead to discussion of shopping locally. I've been thinking about it ever since. Oddly enough it can be a really complicated issue. I know that for many reasons shopping locally is the right thing to do. Not necessarily the only way to shop, but it is definitely a factor that influences how I spend my money.

Obviously I believe in shopping local. For God's sake, Susan and I started a local shopping website! I want to support local artisans, I want to support local farmers. I want to support my neighbourhood businesses. I want to reduce my carbon footprint. I truly believe that part of supporting the global economy is by making sure that your own local economy is strong. There are a ton of good reasons to shop locally. Really though the website came about not so much because we were local activists but simply because we realized that there was this incredible array local talent around and it was really hard to find out about it! We just wanted to let local customers know about all the amazing local talent that is available.

Since Susan came up with the idea for 100 mile finds and we made the commitment to develop a website and introduce it to the public, the learning curve has been almost totally vertical! I find though that the more I learn, the more I realize what I don't know! Inspiring and scary all at the same time. There are so many things to consider when we are going to spend our hard earned dollars.

One of those the things we really need to consider is the importance of a local sustainable food chain. I didn't realize how important it is to have a local sustainable food chain, honestly 2 years ago I didn't even know what one was. I still can't debate the point very well, as book club well knows, (they also know that after a couple of glasses of wine I'll give it a shot anyways) but I can send you in the direction of people who can. People who have convinced me that this is true. I've added some great links at the bottom if you are interested.

I now know that buying local produce isn't just about lowering our carbon footprint, it's about supporting local farmers, it's about knowing who is growing our food and being able to hold them accountable, it's about the fact that every minute after the produce is harvested it loses nutrients. Most importantly, I've learned that it is in our power to change what the supermarkets carry in their produce sections. We need to ask our produce managers to carry more locally grown fruits and vegetables. 

The deal is the death of the local economy, heard that one? Stay tuned...

The Locavore by Sarah Elton

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tentacle Tarte Studios

Tentacle Tarte Studios was founded by Heather Soeder and Amanda Nightingale-Terwoord in the October of 2010.  The recently joined 100 Mile Finds and we are always thrilled to have more talented
 vendors.  Whimsical comes to the forefront when I look at their designs.  From commercial illustration and graphic design to their amazing toy designs, Tentacle Tarte Studios is a lot of fun.

The Grape Gorilla featured at left is one of the products they offer.  Looks like it is well loved!

You have to check out their website. They have started featuring a monthly comic!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Paper Sweets

Erin Calhoun-Mangat of Papersweets is a woman of many talents. Independent stamper (of the ink and paper variety) and jewellery designer to mention just a couple. Erin joined 100 Mile Finds not that long ago, and features her WasherWear collection on our site.

These casual necklaces would look great with a T or sweater. Each piece is unique and handmade. And Erin was generous to donate one of these amazing necklaces to 100 Mile Finds as a giveaway - so keep looking and we will let y'all know when that is happening.
Thanks Erin - and welcome to 100 Mile Finds!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

planb Organics - their Spring Session is starting now!

This week I decided to try planb Organic Farms as my local organic delivery option. They are starting their spring session so it's a great time to join.
Here's what I've learned about planb Organic Farms so far. For starters, they have a great website.

  • They are a "multi farm CSA" CSA stands for Community Shared Agriculture it is a system of growing and distributing organic produce that restores the link between the farmers and city dwellers. 
  • It was established in 1997, so they have experience.
  • They are certified Organic by OCCP-Pro-Cert Canada.
  • The shares come in three sizes, Half or Single, Regular & Household. 
We got a Single share because the girls aren't all that adventurous and it is plenty for two adults and two kids when you are supplementing with some kiddie favorites.Ours was the last of the winter session and there were pears, lemons, apples, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, potatoes, oranges, two different kinds of salad greens and Kale. There was probably more, but I can't remember.

How do you buy your shares?
You go to and there is a ton of information. Click on 'order shares' and you can find lots of depot options, as luck would have it they do home deliveries to Toronto residents living south of St. Clair & West of Woodbine. There are also home deliveries done in specific areas of Oakville, Burlington & Hamilton. The website lets you know which day of the week your delivery will arrive or which day to pick up from the depot. You pick your box size, you then have the opportunity to customize if you want, and then set up your payment plan. The price you pay for the produce depends on when you join in a session. The last Half/Single share of the winter session cost $32.50. Because it is a CSA you are buying a session rather than just one box at a time.

You will then receive and email detailing everything you need to know. Your first delivery date, the pick up rules, and other important info.
Our tote was dropped Thursday afternoon as promised. There was a light knock on the door and and a smile and a wave from the delivery guys when I came to get the tote. All your invoices and any other information comes either by email or you can access your account through their website. This is the first time I've been involved in a CSA , because it was the last delivery of the winter session, I wasn't sure what kind of commitment I had made. I sent them an email asking for clarification and they answered promptly.

I was really impressed with all the options in the basket.  It was a great variety especially the fruit options. I listed them above. They only talk about the Summer Share on the website but obviously they are supplementing the produce offerings during the winter session from growers farther a field. I used the Kale recipe that was on their website, it was easy and fantastic! I found a recipe on-line for the other vegetable that I wouldn't usually buy, cabbage, and we're gonna have cheddar cheese cabbage gratin tonght, hopefully it will be yummy! All in all, it has been a great experience with planb Organic Farms, I definitely recommend them as a local organic food delivery option.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Yummy Skin

100 Mile Finds welcomes Yummy Skin - one of our newest vendors. Yummy Skin's products don't contain a lot of things: parabens, dyes, sulphates, phthalates (way too many consonants at the beginning of that word to be good for anyone) or silicones. They do contain natural ingredients your skin will love such as essential oils, shea butter and aloe leaf juice.

Amy Jantz started Yummy Skin in 2007 after learning about the chemicals in skin care. But it's not just good for you - customers love the smell of the products and their signature 'Smoothie Scrub' is a big hit.

Pamper yourself!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

April is Autism Awareness Month

Seven years ago, my son Michael was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  It has been a long and often emotionally painful journey, but the feeling when we see progress is incredibly rewarding.  Having support and compassion from our community has been an enormous help, and that’s why I feel it’s so important for the general public to be aware and understand this disorder that is becoming more and more prevalent.

So what Is Autism anyway?
Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life: it is the result of a neurological disorder that affects social and communication skills.  According to Canadian researchers, the current prevalence rate of autism is 1 in 165.
Children and adults with autism generally have difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities. They find it hard to communicate with others and relate to the outside world. In addition individuals may also experience sensory processing issues, unusual interests, self stimulatory behaviors such as hand flapping and rocking, and resistance to change which can lead to anxiety.
Fortunately there is an increase in autism awareness through media and World Autism Day on April 2nd and the “Light it up Blue for Autism” international campaign.  

On behalf of I Candy Crystals, I invite you to check out my new line of autism awareness jewelry.  10% of sales of all jewelry until April 30th, will benefit the Durham chapter of Autism Ontario.
For autism awareness and other exciting jewelry visit:
For more information on autism visit: 

Hey Lady Designs

You have to love when your jewellery has attitude. Samantha, the world travelling creative force behind Hey Lady produces pieces with lots of it. Samantha studied jewellery design and metal smithing in Australia, but we are happy to have her close by creating her amazing work.
I particularly love the knuckleduster necklace. Sterling silver - it's a knock out (ok, I know, bad pun). Maybe I'm getting a little punchy?
And if it is a ring that suits your fancy, this 'Lady Ring' turns heads.
Welcome to 100 Mile Finds Samantha!