How adorable are these?! You’re looking at the artistic and creative genius of Debi Munce, the mastermind behind Moxie and Zab. Debi works with upcycled fabrics, specifically vintage chenille, retro-inspired cotton, antique linens, cashmere, angora, and wool felt to create unforgettable toys, blankets, bibs, bags, and more.
The Easter bunny brought the two stuffed bunnies pictured to my nieces Olivia and Addison yesterday. Livvy and Addie are no strangers to Moxie and Zab creations – they each have their own handmade blankets, cloud pillows, and bags, too! In fact, the flower on Addison’s bunny is a bit of love from Debi: the same flowers are featured on Addie’s upcycled vintage chenille blanket!
Get your own Moxie and Zab creation in Goderich at Elizabeth’s Art Gallery, in Dorchester at Second Bloom Design, at Curiosities Gift Shop in London, at Artist’s Walk in Burlington, and Harmony on West in Port Colborne. Or contact Debi about a custom order: moxieandzab (at) yahoo.com.
Easter Fun on Instagram
Happy first long weekend of Spring! We love watching the holidays unfold on Instagram, and Easter is no exception. These four shots are a few of our favourites from the past few days. The sweetsimplicity of these photos made us smile, so we thought we would share them with you.
Top left is a deliciously simple chocolate easter bark taken by kimmm_edwards, a London, Ontario based blogger who writes Making Baby Cents, a blog all about earth and money friendly choices for your baby.
Top right is the first crocus of spring taken by jacksoncreek, a freelance graphic designer and letterpress printer. Check out his incredible work on the Jacksoncreek Press website.
Bottom Left is a photo taken by eatingniagara of an easter egg cleverly hidden during Thursday’s office egg hunt. Tiffany Mayer writes the popular niagara-based food blog Eating Niagara.
Lower right is a cute little chicken foot dish just perfect for displaying your easter eggs taken by hiveofbayfield. Hive is literally buzzing with new Spring inventory right now, be sure to stay updated with the latest news by following owner Jenny Wallace on her Hive website.
If you’re an Instagrammer, please introduce yourself. We are always happy to meet a fellow ruralist. There is nothing we enjoy more than discovering your inspiring rural Ontario images. Who knows, we may even invite you to be part of a future Ruralist feature! You can search for @ruralist on Instagram or simply click here.
–Erin and Sarah
What is a Pop-up Shop?
A pop-up shop is a retail venue that is temporary. The trend involves “popping-up” one day, then disappearing anywhere from one day to several weeks later. These shops, while small, allow a company to create a unique environment that is tied to a season or an event. The Hazlitt Vintage Rentals (HVR) Pop-up shop is all about Spring. HVR is a boutique studio which offers an extensive collection of vintage prop rentals, design and decorating services. The pop-up shop will be open for business April 4-6 inside Luann`s Flowers and Gift Shop in Goderich. Vintage collectors will enjoy the gorgeous array of linens, trinkets and treasures that owner Selena Hazlitt has assembled for sale. Selena says this excess inventory must go in order to clear space for her new 2013 pieces. When we asked her about what she has in store for her customers, Selena sent us these pretty photos along a with a description of a few of the items she has for sale.
Selena Hazlitt, Owner of Hazlitt Vintage Rentals:
Winter is lingering and my soul is eager for spring. Flowers always help bring my senses ahead to sunny skies and warm spring breezes. The onset of spring usually brings out creativity too. So I decided to pull together my passion for vintage with my need for spring. I packed up a few pieces from home and spent the afternoon at Luann’s Flowers & Gifts talking flowers and watching her create some pretty spring arrangements in the junky pieces I collected.
Mix & Match: It doesn’t matter what vintage pieces you have, it is always fun to mix and match. I gathered green vintage books with some gold touches on the covers, three perfectly imperfect gold frames and some containers. I attached a pretty feather boutonniere created by Pomp & Plumage to the bottle. I happened to have it left over from a photo shoot and thought it would look pretty. Luann added white roses and pussy willow to the vintage bottle. She used pink roses in two different milk glass vases. Milk glass was a hot item last year and continues to be strong. If you can’t afford the real thing, there are lots of imposters at the local Habitat for Humanity shop or your local florist will have them too.
Tins: Cookie tins, tea tins, camping tins and vintage food tins are a trendy find. Again, anything that can provide storage and look good is always something you should buy. I fell in love with the primary colours of the camping bowls last year and just had to buy them. Combined with a couple of food tins I found at my Mom’s, Luann created another pretty spring arrangement. Ferns, moss, mini-daffodils and a bright red tulip with touches of pussy willow would make it feel like spring in any home.
Vintage Bird Cages: Not always easy to find but definitely something to buy when you spot one. Spray paint it white (or a fun colour) and use for every season. A trio looks pretty hanging in the trees, place a candle inside for a simple center piece or showcase on a book shelf. Luann added fern, moss, nest with eggs and a wee bird. It looks like a fairy land. In fact, it was so sweet I bought it for our spring centre piece. My 7 year old son named the bird, Tweet.
Sewing Machine Drawer: It is easy to find sewing machine drawers in the vintage market. Most sewing machines are being deconstructed so the iron bases can be turned into tables, leaving the drawers without a home. I use these drawers for everything; my son’s pencil collection, hand towels in the loo and three canning jars fit perfectly inside for displaying knives, spoons and forks at a party. Luann added three 4”pots of ferns and mini-daffodils, covered them with moss and added a few extra spring touches.
Photos by Evan Holt
Planning a summer road trip? Guest poster Evan Holt of Trail Swag recommends you add three extra-large outdoor Ontario sights to your must-see list.
Ontario Celebrates Iconic Canadian Symbols
Ontarians love nature and the outdoors. So much so that we build over-sized replicas of iconic Canadian symbols. It probably reached its heyday back in 2000 when Toronto had 326 life-sized moose sculptures roaming the city streets. While some of those moose are gone, we still have other interesting representations around the province, starting with the city of Toronto.
1. Canoe Landing Park – Right in the heart of Toronto, overlooking the lakeshore is a rather large canoe. It weathers the storms, but doesn’t float or go anywhere. This piece of Canadiana art was designed by Douglas Coupland and called “Tom Thomson’s Canoe.” Oversize fishing bobbers and an artistic beaver dam are situated nearby and add to the appeal of this free park.
Head up to Algonquin Park’s West Gate to witness two other curious sites:
2. World’s Largest Paddle – Algonquin Bound Outfitters has the World’s Largest Canoe Paddle. This staggeringly large canoe paddle would be be fit for Canadian legend Paul Bunyan when he’s taking a break from his lumberjack lifestyle.
3. Cell Phone Tree – In an effort to blend a cell phone tower into the surrounding foliage, this tower has been disguised as a tree (bark and all). You can play the “One of these trees is not like the other” game at the Whiskey Rapids Trail (at the 7 km marker). With a steel trunk and Fiberglass branches, Bell hopes to use this as a pilot project before “planting” more of them in rural areas.
Evan Holt is a Peterborough-based photographer, videographer, web designer, blogger, and founder of Trail Swag.
Trail Swag is a site to entice people to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Camping, Canoeing and Hiking are my favourites, but I try and cover everything within our amazing province. I grew up in a small town outside of Bancroft, and I believe the rural lifestyle shaped me into the person I am today. For me, rural Ontario offers a connection to Nature, a healthier lifestyle, friendlier people, better tasting water and something to be really proud of.
Give a Thoughtful Gift
I’m a huge fan of custom made gifts. There’s just something about those personal details that makes it feel so special to both give and receive. My husband and I have a record number of weddings, anniversaries and other celebrations to attend this year, so I’ve been looking for the perfect customized gift for each occasion. In my search I found these gorgeous options to share with you. Choosing and ordering a personalized gift just doesn’t happen overnight, so if you’re planning something special for your lucky recipient then you might want to start making your plans soon.
Monogrammed Initial Pillow, by Pillow Art Designs, Wainfleet - This 16 inch handpainted decorative accent cotton-poly pillow comes with your monogram as ordered, in your choice of font. The sample shown is in classic chalk white with initials and scrolling hand painted in black with metallic gold accents on top and bottom scrolling. $53.
Custom Engraved Cutlery, by 2 Sisters Handcrafted, Barrie - These personalized wedding cake forks are handstamped with the wedding date and either “Mr. and Mrs.”, “Bride and Groom” or “I do and Me too”. They are perfect for a wedding or anniversary. $46.
Personalized Photographic Tile Art - VersaTile, Almonte - This home decor and art company creates coasters and custom wall art by transferring graphics and photography to natural stone tiles. This would be a great way to display engagement, wedding or family photos, making them perfect almost any occasion. Large MOSAIX framed tile art starts at $150 and small at $75.
Custom Made Mailbox – Coolmailboxes.ca, Owen Sound – A custom printed mailboxes, available for both rural and in-town, are a great way to celebrate a new family, anniversary or housewarming. There are many amazing colours and styles or you can even supply your own photo or create a photo collage. Rural mailboxes with a standard photo start at $69. Custom designed rural mailboxes are $99.
Custom Engaved Tie Bar - Salvage Jewelery Co., Kingston - You can have these tie clips custom stamped with any words you like, monograms, initials or your wedding date for your groom or groomsmen. Available in brass or recycled aluminum. Skinny tie options are also available! Order in a single or a whole set for each of your groomsman. This gift would also be perfect for a new graduate or to congratulate him on his promotion. Tie bars are $35.
Custom Printed poster - Show off your rural wedding destination with this custom printed poster. Designer Brooke Witt will create an 8×10 print of the country, province or state of your choice with any city marked with a heart. This print would make the perfect wedding gift, anniversary gift or even a new baby gift. Color can be customized to match your wedding colors, home decor or favorite color. Unframed posters start at $25.