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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.