Nerding Out

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I have found my new favourite hang out in T.O. I stumbled upon it while Lee was at his accountants doing tax stuff. It looked pretty interesting so I wondered in and was pleasantly surprised that it is the brother cafe to my old local espresso joint “Thor”. @Odinhus cafe+bar is such a thoughtfully designed space. The detail put into the design is impressive from the extra thick letterpress business cards, to the alto water jug.

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From the honeycomb white tile backsplash to the angular carpentry, this place got my design brain firing on all cylinders! Also the fact that it doubles as bar makes me really happy!

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The first thing I noticed when I came through the door was how modern the espresso machines looked. Knowing that Thor has a “Roles Royce” espresso machine, I asked the barista what type of machine these were. I was informed they are called MOD. Whatever they are, they are gorgeous. I opted for a cold brew coffee, but next time it will be an Americano I want to see the machine in action! The barista in me wanted to jump the counter and take it for a spin…

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Shaaaaaaa wiiiiing! I love me a beautiful Bertoia chair 🙂

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Unless you look up, you would probably miss this cool air plant installation. I love round orbs, especially floating above my head.

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Here is that honeycomb tile I mentioned earlier. And THAT turntable…. *swoon*

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I never realized how cool Corktown has become. I too heart Corktown. I also love the t-shirts they sell.
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I am really loving the colour palette of the ottomans. Mustard-ish yellow? What do you call that colour?

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A little out-of-place, but charming non-the-less  a piñata highlighting the fact they sell frozen pops. I was tempted, but opted for the cold brew instead. This is a pretty cute little cooler though!

Anyway, if you are in the King East neighbourhood, make a point to pop in and nerd out on all the design details that make this space awesome. You might see me there!

Check out Odin HERE

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3 Pieces Of Advice From Sarah Richardson

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(photos courtesy of Annawithlove Photography)

Last weekend I attended the Canadian Blogging summit: Blog Podium.  I went with the expectation that I would network with amazing people interested in things similar to me, get advice on how to improve my blog and learn how I can improve my digital marketing business.  I was not disappointed.  Highlights included a key note speech by the one and only Sarah Richardson, an excellent panel discussion including the editors of a few Canadian powerhouse magazines and a very insightful seminar from  Karen Bertelsen from the blog: The Art of Doing Stuff.

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(photos courtesy of Annawithlove Photography)

The attendees were all given these charming note books to write down important things they were learning in the seminars.   I felt as though I had written a novel, but when I went back to read my notes it turned out that all I wrote was “have a unique style, or at least a point of view”, “whimsy gets a bad wrap” and in bold I scribed “promote the artisan”- all quotes from Sarah Richardson.   Apparently that is the only information I thought I could not retain.

So now what?

Well… I have decided to hone in and blog specifically about things people are making locally (within Canada) by hand.  (Cookie says not to worry because she will still make appearances on here occasionally blogging about her favourite products/brands/stores).  I am excited to streamline the content of my blog and comb the nation for inspiring stories of talented people practicing their skills to make a living, something to which I aspire; entrepreneurship.   Let me know if there is anyone I need to know about or products you love and think other people should know about too.

Hope you like the new angle!

Peace, love and have fun mehking stuff, eh!

-Amanda
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14 Inspirational Business Card Ideas

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I received an update newsletter from Blog Podium about the goings on for next weeks conference.  One of the items in the newsletter was a little reminder and challenge about our personal business cards.  There is going to be a prize for the winner with the most effective and appropriate business card to spend an afternoon with Chatelaine Home Editor Emma Reddington.  That would be fun!  So I have begun researching to get inspired to update my business card.

Here is my current card for mehker:

3cardI made these using veneer sheets. I painted the background white and mod podged beautiful hand made paper on the front.  I used my old typewriter on the back as well a really awesome stamp my mom gave me from when she was a kid.  This card screams hand made!!

I think for this challenge I am going to focus on mehker social (my freelance online marketing business) because I don’t have a card yet and it is already on my to-do list.  Plus I am going to this event to gain knowledge for my business. My challenge is to tell people I am an expert at amplifying their brand and I do this using social tools and networking online.  This should be interesting…  I will preview some sketch ideas later this weekend.

In the meantime, here are some cool cards I found while cruising the web:

bike tool cheese grater clothes pin cross stitch cute grass gift google grey with wax hair stylist instagram photo mail photographer russina dolls triangleWhich one do you like the best?  Have you seen any other inspiring business cards I should have a look at?

Living In A Concrete Jungle

I am inspired about an upcoming trip to go and view some property in a neighboring city where land/building prices are low and the square footage is high!  Lee and I have decided a move is in the cards this year and are looking for a bigger space to live and work out of.  We were sitting in an inspiring space the other night and started dreaming about how we see our space come to reality.  I brought up the idea of including a green (living) wall.  I was first inspired by this during a trip Lee planned on Valentines day to the Royal Botanical Gardens just outside of Toronto.  The air was fresh and we both commented about how the environment made us feel better than usual, similar to the feeling of an oxygen bar.  Later during a field trip in University my c lass made our way around the city looking at green roofs and living walls.  Specifically the Centre for Social Innovation stuck in my mind ever since – but I can still remember seeing the green wall upon entrance to this old converted loft space.

centre for social innovationNot huge in size, but impressive none the less.  The smell knocks you in the face and it is such a quiet, warm space that you just want to linger.  The plants against the wood is such a beautiful contrast.  A few years later I was at the Cambridge City Hall.  If you ever have the chance – go visit. It is beautiful, open and has a GIANT living wall that circulates the air. This building has earned a gold for LEED certification.  Go Cambridge!

cambridgeI am constantly dreaming about a green wall and decided to look into it further in order to make it a reality when we find our studio space.  I have compiled a few images of walls that are interesting and realize I need to do a lot more research about how to build and maintain a wall.  (not to mention save my $$)  I can see this being an area I would like to study more and potentially go towards in my design career.  I hope these pictures spur some ideas of your own!

The follow are shots of exteriors I thought were pretty cool!

outside

It is a really neat idea that you can watch your exterior change over time (filling in).  I like that you can put different plants in spots to create an interesting pattern.  I am not a huge fan of the bald spots, but that is my impatience speaking.  It is in general a beautiful process.

outside too

The scale of large wood windows creates a very warm approachable feel.  I would have liked to have seen street furniture in this shot.

iceland moss and volcanic rock

This is from Iceland – MOSS -can’t get enough!!!  The moss is growing over a volcanic rock.  How meditative.

home

This is my idea of a statement piece in your home. I would love a green wall as my living room backdrop!

cute store

Great for a retail store – I have seen this done by brands like West Elm, Lole & Underarmour.

wood looks great

Another beautiful backdrop with the wood bench contrast.

stunning

A huge scale project – reminds me of shipping containers.  I would love to see this in random places here in Toronto – like the alley ways behind the shops on Queen street.

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The separation of space is interesting – you could do some interesting artwork with living walls.

simple not my style but interesting

I don’t love this, but what I do love is that it was a student project at an elementary school. It is a clean looking project. Start em early~

pretty colour

The colour is stunning – I love that they covered an architecturally rich existing building.  succulent wall

Imagine a whole bunch of these scattered on a huge wall?  I love succulents – they are really hard to kill – win -win!

stairwell

This is interesting and unappealing to me- I am not a fan of stairs and I feel like the wall would grow out into the staircase and it would limit the space you have getting up and down. Maybe I am over thinking this.

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This person created a “Partick Blanc” styled wall – he is a pioneer of the living wall.

office

I would love to work in an office with a living wall – I be more alert and fall asleep less…ha!

metal plus wood plus plants

I like the metal wood an plant combo in this pic. Industrial chic – modern. LOVE IT.

jungleI love the scale of these really large walls!

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How cute are these?  Plants are ALIVE… humanizing them is super cute.

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Maybe staggering them so it creates an artistic display. art walls

Plants used as screens – movable? YES please! plant balls

These are really pretty – I might get a few and practice.  Again – loving the succulents!

plant puppyLast but not least – an ode to my dog Cookie – The dog garden!!!! WOOF!

Life Through Lavender Tinted Glasses

Part of my life that I really enjoy is working for Heather Shaw at Pi’lo here in Toronto.  Her work is timeless, beautiful and calming – as is her studio environment.  I love going in to work, it is mediation from a stressful days and also inspiration for life and projects.  I really appreciate Heather and look up to her as an example of well being. This picture was taken last night as I was filling lavendar laundry sachets for an order.   There is nothing I would rather do more in the evening then go to the studio, open the door and listen to the birds while toiling away on one of many amazing projects.  I feel so lucky.  I have collected some pictures of lavendar/ lavender in hopes they will soothe your day. Enjoy!

(Heather and I chatting in the studio)
laundry sachets (what I am filling)
filled with lavendar, these sachets are meant for your dryer and will release fresh lavendar for up to 4 months.
6 x 6″

Am I the only one? Bueller…

Growing up in the “middle of nowhere” made me really appreciate going into “town” to go shopping.  I pretty much romanticized it in my head about how great city living was (because of the opportunity to shop) and I solidified in my mind from a very early age that I would live in as many major cities around the world as I could.  So far I have made it to Toronto.  That’s it.  And the longer I am here, the more I realize my dream of city life shopping isn’t exactly all it’s crack up to be.

First of all – I feel like living in the  middle of nowhere allowed me to realize the value of saving my money for that one special item I saw the week prior when I was in town.  Now that I live in the city and have everything at my finger tips I spend my money much faster.  Secondly I live in the city which means: expensive and I generally have no $ for fun things.  All this being said the recent ban on plastic bags here in Toronto reminded me of a bazaar fetish I had growing up: collecting pretty (or what I thought were special) plastic bags from the purchases I made “in town”.  I would covet these bags and fold them up and hoard them under my bed and take them out to admire every now and again… weird, right?  haha! well I eventually grew out of my hoarding weird objects phase (I think?) and disposed of them. I thought it would be fun to see what kind of cool bags are out there now. Enjoy!

I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE!!! Check out the next picture! This person just had more vision to make their odd collection into a master piece- oh, how I wish I saved my bags!  What is/was your weird childhood collection/obsession?

Vintage Postal Charm

I am one of my only friends who still hand writes or types letters.  I have a fascination with stamps and vintage postcards.  I am working on branding Mehker and have found some images that inspire where I want it to go.  I have a designer working with me to create a logo and am so excited to see what he comes up with. I love the element of surprise and to see how someone else interprets the information I have shared.  Here is a selection of some post card backs I like – Enjoy!

Which one do you like the best?