Curious Oddities: Treasures Lost and Found

Ever wonder how designer Kat Shura creates the beautiful pieces in her Curious Oddities collections? We journey with her on her travels through Belgium, Nevada and Ohio to seek out the gorgeous found treasures she includes in her line.

Curious Oddities: Treasures Lost and Found

“C’est combien?” I ask the man leaning over the table. He looks down at my grubby, outstretched hands that display a chaotic mess of aged paper, bits of brass, keys, broken glass and hardware. “Quinze” he replies. Struggling to match his Morrocan-Belgian accented French to my own very limited, grade 11/12 French, I play it safe and handed him a 20 Euro note. Stuffing my change into my pocket, I take the brown paper bag of treasures and move to the next stall to dig through another mound of boxes. Littered with old buttons, ancient wooden spools and shoe forms, this one’s an exciting collection, cleared out of an old garment factory.
From the outdoor junk market in Belgium to the wilds of the Nevada desert, from a crystal mine in California to an antique mall in Ohio, collecting is the most delightful part of my job as Curator for the Curious Oddities collection.

Curious Oddities Treasure hunting

Working with salvaged materials is a wonderful challenge: to combine materials and finishes, to breathe new life into cast-away pieces. Exposure to a variety of antiquities also serves as an inspiration for the pieces that I compile from new material, providing a reference for surface treatments and design.
It’s lovely to be able to share both my found treasures and the new pieces that I compile. I hope that the Curious Oddities collection inspires in you the stories of our history, the stories of your family and of your imagination.

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Love Letter from Laura-Jean

love-letter-copy-copyPeople often ask us how we choose what product to sell in our stores. With the new, fresh, fall season upon us, what better time than now to let you know a bit of our product selection process.

First, our specialty is independent Canadian designers with a focus on Toronto based lines.  We carry boots, shoes, and tights from international brands so we can offer a complete look for our customers.

When looking for product, we really have your life in mind.  We know our customers well and are always looking for what’s going to work for the lives YOU live in the clothes.

For instance, when sourcing tights and leggings, we’re thinking about what you’re doing in them. We know you’re living big lives – going from daycare drop off to a client meeting to grocery shopping and back again…  Or working a full day, then planning your art show or new business launch at night…  Or maybe you’re finishing your PhD and working part-time while dating a hot new guy and training for a 5K run.  Our job is to pay attention to the quality of the tights, knowing that they have to stand up to your full, busy lives, and has to be a high quality, as to not run or catch when your dog jumps up.

WE KNOW!  It’s crazy, right?  And really, would you have your life any other way?

So that’s why we source cute dresses you can ride your bike in.  Boots that look sexy but you can walk all day in.  Soft and cozy cardigans that take you from the office to a date.  We look for comfort, practicality, quality AND great style, flattering cuts and awesome colours.  We seek out timeless shapes, versatility and pieces that can build a great wardrobe.

Then, we let YOU decide.  We try out lines based on our best instincts, and then we keep and expand on the lines that are selling.  Every week we analyze our best-sellers to see why they’re succeeding – what it is that you like about them – and then we work to replicate and expand on that in future choices.

We believe fashion should be easy and fun and support the big stuff you’re up to in life.  We do the legwork so you can be gorgeous, free, comfortable and look like a million bucks with ease.

And with that, I’d like to introduce two of the lines we’ve launched this fall; enCircled and burfurtART.

This fall, we were intent on finding pieces with “convertibility”, the ability to wear it more than one way and to provide our customers a versatile piece for your wardrobe that can last you season after season. Both burfurtART and enCircled fit this bill perfectly with many different ways to wear pieces in each of their lines.

enCircled creates The Chrysalis Cardi. We loved this piece because it can streamline your wardrobe, so you can maximize your closet (and suitcase) space, and make space in your life for other more important things, like travel, friends and family.

The many looks of the enCircled Chrysalis Cardi

The many looks of the enCircled Chrysalis Cardi

We loved that enCircled creates products thinking versatility first. Innovative design, iconic style. Sustainably & ethically produced, to give people more with less.

Kristi is the Chief Fashionpreneur of enCircled. enCircled creates ethical, sustainable and versatile women’s apparel, manufactured in Canada from eco-conscious fabrics.  enCircled’s first design, the Chrysalis Cardi is available at all Fresh Collective locations in Raspberry, Black and Cobalt. For more information, check out http://www.encircled.ca or follow enCircled on Facebook.  (http://www.facebook.com/getencircled)

Check out her most recent blog post here.

Salome is the force behind burfurtART. We love her line because it is as quirky and fun as she is, AND the ch-ch-chains collection sold us on the versatility. It can be worn as a bracelet, or a necklace with an extender. With two bracelets, you can increase the drama of the necklace for a real statement piece. It’s a collection that you can have for years, and add new ch-ch-chains pieces to refresh the look.

Laura-Jean modelling the pieces from the ch-ch-chains line

Laura-Jean modelling the pieces from the ch-ch-chains line

She told us in her own words why she does what she does:

“I know that I’m not the only jewelry crocheter in the world, and that’s cool. But I do strive to be as distinctive and unique as I possibly can.

 

I make, really and for true, one of a kind.

Everyone of my pieces are individually hand made by me, never to be exactly reproduced again. I’m not comfortable with re-making the same piece.

 

I use high quality stock, and buy small amounts of semi precious stones. agates, amber, carnelian, coral, jaspers, Canadian labradorite, pearls…I could go on forever.

These are but a few of the stones that inspire me.

As often as possible,  I strive to ensure that the piece you own fits you perfectly. When you wear my jewelry, you get noticed. When you get noticed, you feel good… When you feel good – I’ve done my job.

 

On a different note…

 

The first cat I ever had the pleasure of being an owner to, was wonderfully fun, charming and beautifully awkward. After he passed away, I promised myself that at some point in my life he would be honoured.

 

So, I named my company after him.”

You can read more about Salome’s journey to Fresh Collective here, and see pictures of her fantastic lines, including her convertible ch-ch-chains collection here.

The Swagger Coach – Nesting: An Organizational Tale

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If I have one addiction, it’s shopping. I’m a sucker for fun fashion, expressive pieces, cool textures and playful colours. I have a lot of fun dressing myself, and I am lucky to have a partner who indulges me by allowing me to act as his own personal style consultant. I love playing dress-up so very much that I found myself a job with a great company which allows me to play dress-up all day long, and get paid for it. I think I hit the jackpot.

I’ve always sung the praises of items which can transition your wardrobe from season to season, and finding new ways to wear items which you already own. I love shopping, yes, but I also know that we’re real people with real budgets and real rent and hydro and car bills to pay, so I really emphasize the versatility of certain items which will help you get the best bang for your buck.

Last weekend, I was meandering around my apartment, and I realized that I had lots of everything. This everything has a place, yes, but instead of having one area where I keep, say, hair accessories, I had several. One special spot in almost every room. I also noticed that our black-and-white decor which once seemed modern and cool, had become a bit bland for my tastes. I set out, mentally re-organizing our place, room by room. After only a few hours and a lot of garbage runs, I cleared out our junk, sorted the keepers and tidied everything. I was really impressed with the turnout, so during the week, I treated our place to some new bits and pieces, ranging from fun little art pieces to a whole new TV bench. I have planned a painting party for next weekend which will give our place a fun splash of colour. Today, I’ll be sharing some of the simple tips I used to makeover my apartment, and how to create an oasis out of chaos with little pocket damage and only a few hours of work.

PAINT IT

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The easiest way to re-do a room? A fresh coat of paint. You can add interest with a focus wall painted in a vibrant hue, or add warmth to white walls with a toasty tan colour. Keep the use of the room in mind too. For example, if you’d like your washroom to take on the feel of a calm, spa-like atmosphere, painting the walls a rubber-ducky yellow may not be the most soothing on the eyes. Similarly, painting your breakfast area a dull shade of blue-grey may cast a lethargic shadow on your day. Colour is directly tied to mood, so consider who will be using the room, and when, and pick accordingly. Also, while fresh matte paint is lovely, it can definitely attract scuffs and smudges, especially in light colours. Picking an eggshell or semi-gloss paint will provide low-maintenance walls for years… or until you decide to redecorate again! I’ve become increasingly smitten with vintage-looking furniture too, and a coat of paint can be distressed with sandpaper or steel wool, creating a romantic, old-world feel for your ho-hum furniture too. Inspired by my black-and-white Miz Mooz Patsy shoes, I’ll be transforming my dove grey walls to bright white, with jet-black trim to make our new seafoam furniture pop! Easy and affordable!

INVEST IN CUSTOM ORGANIZATION

 

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Simple. We use what we like. By investing in organizational items and fixtures, you’ll be far more prone to using them. Forget about the pre-established organizational containers and find your own. Have more necklaces that you’d normally fit into one of those tiny jewellery boxes? (Like I do! I have more Curious Oddities and Sailor Girl jewellery than I know what to do with!) Skip it and find an interesting cork board and fun pushpins and space it out as you need. Loads of purses? Pass on typical purse hangers and opt for S-hooks, hanging them along an easy-to-instal secondary garment rail. Customizable closet organizers are wonderful because they allow you to alter your space to accommodate your needs. That way, you don’t have a gaping space where you’ve hung two long dresses, while the tiny spot for tops is jam-packed. Organizing in a way that works for you is important. If you normally blow-dry your hair in the bedroom, store your dryer and brushes there. If you ONLY read in the living room, placing your bookshelves in the same room will avoid displaced clutter. Do you take your shoes off before you enter the home? Keeping space free for a shoe cabinet will relieve your hallway of old-shoe landmines and streamline your entrance way. Storing things in visually attractive containers will encourage you to sort them more often, and making them easy-access will ensure you get all the use out of the garments and accessories you have.

 

OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND

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If you’re like me, you have a lot of little things. Little things which often don’t really have a “right place”. So I will say this once, and I’ll hope that it doesn’t get abused: Having a junk drawer is okay. For the rest of the stuff, even if it IS organized impeccably, any collection of items which is visually accessible can look like clutter. So, rather than storing it away and having to fish for it later, add a barrier to contain the items. For example, having a shelf full of DVDs can take away from colour or themed decor, so placing them inside a cabinet with doors will keep them accessible but out of sight, creating that much more of a neat environment. Rather than having a dozen bottles of perfume scattered across your dresser, place them inside a neat, little, patterned box which matches the theme of the room. I’ve grabbed some cute fabric boxes in patterns similar to our Mandala Design and Annie50 fabrics. Leaving some items free can create a cool effect too, as you’ll read next, but for non-exciting items which have little to no artistic or decor value, keep these guys tucked away so that the focus of the room is on the fun stuff.

BUNCHES OF BUNCHES

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To totally contradict what’s written above, we’ll chat about the few times that bunches of “organized chaos” is attractive in a home. Some of our jewellery designers do this when setting up their cases, to make the small space visually dynamic and interesting. Scattering small clusters of colour co-ordinated items (like books, candles, or vintage-looking glass bottles) can create a warm, inviting and interesting vibe for your space. Typical statuettes and photo frames can easily be replaced by quirkier items, which are intended solely for decor. This does not mean that you should crack out your Mum’s old 60s blender and plop it on a side table, but rather display items you truly enjoy and ones which have a story or history behind them, and can act as discussion topics. No one is fascinated with your son’s collection of toy cars, but they do want to hear about the adorable vintage alarm clock which is sitting on your mantel.

IMPULSE BUY

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Impulse buying happens when a person reacts to a product which they were instantly attracted to. We’re rarely attracted to a neutral, safe curtain, or to a muted throw pillow. If you see something which really grabs your attention, think of how fabulous it’ll look incorporated into your place! Its those instant “wow” moments and the items which inspire them, which are so telling of our style and tastes. For example, our stores always showcase our most vibrant, and exciting items prominently, because we know our customers will love them, and we want to make it easy for you to find what you need. Taking ‘risks;’ on things like coloured rugs, textured vases and oversized clocks can bring about a totally fresh vibe for your home! So, if you’re browsing your favourite home store, and you come across an item which draws your attention, find one in a colour which suits your theme (an accent colour, not a neutral! No cheating!) and bring it home with you! Its those touches of design flare, like a chevron curtain, or a crystal-look chandelier, which give your place character, taste and personality. Go crazy, have fun, and make your space YOURS!

Fresh Collective For Mom

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Mother’s Day is THIS SUNDAY! Give her a gift as unique as she is.
It’s fast approaching! Have you picked something up for your Mom yet? Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered! Stop by or call any of our stores and we’ll help you hand pick a beautiful piece of one of a kind, stunning jewellery that will make this Mother’s Day one she’ll never forget.

The Swagger Coach: JEWELLERY JAM

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I spend far more money on jewellery than on shoes. Far more. Simply put, the jewellery which surrounds me daily is hand-crafted by the lovely folks I love and work with, plus is far more affordable than a new pair of wedge heels, double plus will likely leave my feet feeling better at the end of the day. So this week, I wanted to shine the spotlight on some of our most on-trend items and give kudos and shout-outs to the folks who made them with love. Oh, and FYI, the top that I’m wearing in ALL of these pics is one of my new favourite arrivals in-store! This is the Kyle top by Melow par Melissa Bolduc. Its actually TWO one-shouldered tops which can be worn a variety of different ways to take you from casual to athletic to flirty! I’m wearing it in black (to let the jewellery shine, of course!) but we also have it in emerald green, navy blue, and black and white jailhouse stripes!

1) SPRINGTIME BRIGHTS

Dreary winter days are gone, girls, and so should be your neutral winter accessories. With a season so full of colour, one simply can’t help but to totally bathe themselves in lush colours and bold shapes. Spring fashion is coming in like a lion with vivid colours, glossy finishes and a strong nod to mod themes. Splashing up your wardrobe with vivid accessories can be a great way for colour-shy girls to dip a toe into the fashion pool, or can be a way to take your notice-me dress to a whole new level of awesomeness. (Psst, that white oxford shirt in your closet is screaming for some of these, as you read this. Just so you know.)

Turquoise beaded earrings from Sugar Rush. Featuring antiqued brass fixtures and lever-back fasteners. Available in other colours!

Turquoise beaded earrings from Sugar Rush. Featuring antiqued brass fixtures and lever-back fasteners. Available in other colours!

Hand-layered glass pendant from SailorGirl. Large domed glass pendant featuring swirls of transparent and opaque tangerine glass, hung on a sterling silver chain with lobster-claw fastener. Also available in other colours including blends of sterling silver sheets within glass, and multi-toned glass.

Hand-layered glass pendant from SailorGirl. Large domed glass pendant featuring swirls of transparent and opaque tangerine glass, hung on a sterling silver chain with lobster-claw fastener. Also available in other colours including blends of sterling silver sheets within glass, and multi-toned glass.

Layered glass Carnival charm bracelet from SailorGirl. Each bead is hand formed and layered, then suspended on a sterling silver bracelet. Style also available in other collections including Tuscan Vineyard and Ocean Wave.

Layered glass Carnival charm bracelet from SailorGirl. Each bead is hand formed and layered, then suspended on a sterling silver bracelet. Style also available in other collections including Tuscan Vineyard and Ocean Wave.

Fused glass pendants from Leila Cools. Each unique pendant features a one-of-a-kind colour and image combination. A Fresh Collective best-seller for years, these are available in a multitude of shapes, sizes and images to suit every wearer.

Fused glass pendants from Leila Cools. Each unique pendant features a one-of-a-kind colour and image combination. A Fresh Collective best-seller for years, these are available in a multitude of shapes, sizes and images to suit every wearer.

2) BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

The advantage of springtime is the lack of necessity in bulking up with layers of heavy fabrics and stiff textures. We start to see chiffon, linen, goslin and light cotton weaves making their much-welcomed comeback, and we crave the warm breeze of a calm summer’s day. Hey, soul sister, its time to appreciate the art in the world around us, and that spills right over into the jewellery you choose to adorn yourself with. Get in touch with your artsy earthy side this summer with some of these! Pair these with flowwy skirts, tunic tops and your very favourite denim jeans.
A Printed Brass cuff from Odd Bird. Featuring this classic image layered sheerly over a lightweight brass cuff. Fully adjustable!

A Printed Brass cuff from Odd Bird. Featuring this classic image layered sheerly over a lightweight brass cuff. Fully adjustable!

This Esmerelda-inspired set is hand-crafted from the Sugar Rush spring romance collection. Featuring verdegrised brass hardware and coins, turquoise and seafoam beads and lever-back style fasteners. Similar styles available in other colour collections.

This Esmerelda-inspired set is hand-crafted from the Sugar Rush spring romance collection. Featuring verdegrised brass hardware and coins, turquoise and seafoam beads and lever-back style fasteners. Similar styles available in other colour collections.

Hand-crafted glass Tree of Life pendant from SailorGirl. This piece is created using many consistencies, layers and textures of glass to create realistic bark and a textured finish to the touch. Soon available in Cherry Tree colour combo as well.

Hand-crafted glass Tree of Life pendant from SailorGirl. This piece is created using many consistencies, layers and textures of glass to create realistic bark and a textured finish to the touch. Soon available in Cherry Tree colour combo as well.

Double-long kelly green beaded necklace from Curious Oddities. Soft green faceted beads set on a hand-linked brass chain featuring intricate patterns and fixtures. Can be created to order in many custom colour combinations and lengths.

Double-long kelly green beaded necklace from Curious Oddities. Soft green faceted beads set on a hand-linked brass chain featuring intricate patterns and fixtures. Can be created to order in many custom colour combinations and lengths.

3) PUT A BIRD ON IT
Birds have claimed their place in the hearts of fashionistas everywhere. Symbolic of freedom and peace, birds have been ruffling some feathers (see what I did there?) lately, and we’ve got the most adorable accessories to compliment your springtime wardrobe… no chirping included! If realism is your thing, we’ve got you covered there too, but my very favourite of the birdy jewellery is cartoon-inspired, charming and playful. Wear these with a cute summer dress with a matching cardigan, a bright blouse or a co-ordinating purse!
Hand-inked jay bird studs earrings and hairpins from Odd Bird. Printed on tiny slices of fallen branches, these colourful jays are retro-licious and just a tiny pop of cheekiness. Earrings on coated brass backings, hairpins on brass crimped pins.

Hand-inked jay bird studs earrings and hairpins from Odd Bird. Printed on tiny slices of fallen branches, these colourful jays are retro-licious and just a tiny pop of cheekiness. Earrings on coated brass backings, hairpins on brass crimped pins.

Wood-cut owl brooch from Odd Bird. Featuring argyle wings, this laminated piece is attached to a slim-fit silvertone pin backing. Adorable on blazers, jackets, scarves, hats and bags.

Wood-cut owl brooch from Odd Bird. Featuring argyle wings, this laminated piece is attached to a slim-fit silvertone pin backing. Adorable on blazers, jackets, scarves, hats and bags.

Sterling silver bird earrings from SailorGirl. These hammered silver birdies are affixed to fish-hook posts. Also available in a matching pendant on a sterling silver ball chain.

Sterling silver bird earrings from SailorGirl. These hammered silver birdies are affixed to fish-hook posts. Also available in a matching pendant on a sterling silver ball chain.

4) PRIM AND PROPER
Maybe it’s the release of the Great Gatsby (I <3 Baz Luhrmann). Maybe it’s the general “in-ness”  of retro-current fashion, or maybe folks are simply falling in love with romantic side of feminine jewellery. Sweet, ladylike accessories are IN, in a big way. This generation’s take on the prim styles feature more volume, whimsical details and unexpected splashes of colour. Paired with lace and chiffon, clean ivories or petal pinks, these feminine pieces will make you feel like YOU’RE the only girl in the world!
Layered brass necklace with capsuled brass key from Vanessa Yannow. Each unique necklace features a capsuled vintage charm or a vibrant feather.  This style available in silver, and with several different capsule pendants. Matching earrings also available.

Layered brass necklace with capsuled brass key from Vanessa Yannow. Each unique necklace features a capsuled vintage charm or a vibrant feather. This style available in silver, and with several different capsule pendants. Matching earrings also available.

Pearl Burst ring from Sugar Rush. Pearlized beads fastened alongside glass and crystal beads to create a burst of texture and shine, reminiscent of fireworks exploding in the sky. Ring is fully adjustable, wide band style made from antiqued brass. Also available in soft pink pearls, and seafoam pearls.

Pearl Burst ring from Sugar Rush. Pearlized beads fastened alongside glass and crystal beads to create a burst of texture and shine, reminiscent of fireworks exploding in the sky. Ring is fully adjustable, wide band style made from antiqued brass. Also available in soft pink pearls, and seafoam pearls.

Filligree heart pendant from Sugar Rush. This large hand-verdegrised heart pendant is set upon a powder blue chain, and complimented by pearlized and crystal beads. One of a kind, but similar items are available from the Summer Romance collection.

Filligree heart pendant from Sugar Rush. This large hand-verdegrised heart pendant is set upon a powder blue chain, and complimented by pearlized and crystal beads. One of a kind, but similar items are available from the Summer Romance collection.

5) PINUP PERFECTION
What’s more fun than circle skirts and adorable kitten heels? Vamping up like their bad-girl counterparts and getting in touch with your retro-rockabilly rockstar side! Polks dots, bold florals and juicy cherries are always a sure sign of fabulous weather, and this spring will be no exception. Hollywood’s hottest IT girls are rocking blatantly 50s style digs, and style queens like Zooey Deschanel, Gwen Stefani, Christina Hendricks and Dita Von Teese are all fans of the throwback styles. Get girly with us!
Resin rose pendant by Curious Oddities. Set on an antiqued brass chain, this necklace is the hottest selling piece of the season. Available in a rainbow of colours, and a variety of sizes, these flowers are also available on rings and lockets as well.

Resin rose pendant by Curious Oddities. Set on an antiqued brass chain, this necklace is the hottest selling piece of the season. Available in a rainbow of colours, and a variety of sizes, these flowers are also available on rings and lockets as well.

Red-on-white polka dot studs by Curious Oddities. Brass-framed studs are hand-set with glass domes and fused for durability. Brass is coated and long-wearing, and nickel-free. Butterfly backings. These are available in a variety of colour combinations and prints, plus matching pendants, bangles and hairpins!

Red-on-white polka dot studs by Curious Oddities. Brass-framed studs are hand-set with glass domes and fused for durability. Brass is coated and long-wearing, and nickel-free. Butterfly backings. These are available in a variety of colour combinations and prints, plus matching pendants, bangles and hairpins!

Cherry Lever-back drop earrings. Framed in the same setting as their polka dot counterparts above, these drops hang about a centimeter down and feature a levered back. Cherry background shown in light blue, also available in black and white, and in pendants, bangles and hairpins.

Cherry Lever-back drop earrings. Framed in the same setting as their polka dot counterparts above, these drops hang about a centimeter down and feature a levered back. Cherry background shown in light blue, also available in black and white, and in pendants, bangles and hairpins.

See something you love? Drop me a line at Jamie@freshcollective.com to chat about the items shown here. All items available for purchase, and may be able to be customized or adjusted for preference and fit. Many of our designers can accomodate custom items, and offer full collections of beautiful, locally made treasures. Looking forward to seeing you all in-store!

Introducing I’Moniq Accessories

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We’re pleased to welcome another gorgeous line of accessories to the Fresh Collective family! These beautifully crafted accessories featuring gorgeous textiles will be making an appearance at FC Queen THIS WEEK!
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About the Designer:
Monique Anderson successfully received a BA in fashion design from Ryerson University in 2004. Although her love for apparel was very apparent, it was while visiting India that she was inspired to realize her true calling. Her adoration of unique textiles and secret obsession for jewellery meant more than just a shopping experience – it was a way of life. Having been surrounded by colourful textiles and intricate artwork all her life, as a result of an Afro-Caribbean upbringing, Monique’s Indian excursion sparked an interest that had remained dormant for a long time. Monique then took her two loves – jewelry and textiles – and fused them together to give birth to I’MONIQ Accessories.

 

About I’MONIQ Accessories:
          I’MONIQ Accessories incorporates rich textiles offering a new and fresh take on costume jewelry. The silk scarves used in each piece are hand-dyed in different cities and villages from around the world including Bali, Thailand, and Chennai. These colourful and luxurious scarves are then knotted and combined with diverse materials and transformed into amazing new art forms. A great deal of time, craftsmanship and care goes into each piece resulting in intricate and unique jewelry to complete the finest of collections.
Hand-crafted in Monique’s Toronto-based studio, I’MONIQ offers limited runs of necklaces, bracelets and earrings composed of strong mixed metals, crystals and vibrant silks from cities and villages across the globe. Prices range from $50 – $350.
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“I’MONIQ is the perfect marriage of classic and current designs, with a signature twist. The intricate designs and detailed craftsmanship of this jewelry are incomparable to anything I’ve seen. You can see the love and inspiration put into each piece.”
–       Melanie Fiona, Singer, Grammy winner


Check out some stunning designs at the I’Moniq pop up shop this Wednesday and Thursday (Feb 13th and 14th) at our Queen Street store! 1pm-5pm daily.
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All You Need is Love… and a little sparkle…

Valentines Day is around the corner, and Fresh Collective has you covered with beautiful love-themed jewellery and accessories (maybe you want to accidentally leave this blog post open on your significant others’ computer? hint hint)! Whether you’re seeking a gift for a special someone in your life, or a little something sweet for yourself, we’ve got the goods – handcrafted by local designers and made with LOVE!

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Sterling silver heart necklace – handmade by Andrea Apa (Apa Designs) – $42

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Hand-beaded bracelet from BlackJam: Objects of Designed Happenstance – $50 (take an additional 20% off now!)

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Rose pendant and stud earrings from Curious Oddities – Necklace: $25, Earrings: $16  (available in multiple colours!)

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Rose Quartz statement necklace from Elementals Jewellery – $169

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Sterling Silver rose earrings from new FC addition Sailor Girl Jewellery – Only $20!

Which of these stunning pieces do you hope finds it’s way to you this February 14th? See more great Valentine’s jewellery on the FC Facebook Page!

Designer Spotlight: Kyle Osnack

kyleHi my name is Kyle Osnack

I am a Jewellery designer who specifies in Chainmaile, Steam Punk & recycled Vintage/Antique Jewellery , Lapidary (faceting and polishing semi-precious stones), Wire Jewellery & Wire wrapping stones I polish myself.

I love hunting for new product to use, Have it be an auction, a thrift store, bazaars, antique shoppes or even online. I tend to keep away from all the made in China Jewelley components and sway more towards; American, Canadian, Austrian, European and Antique/Vintage Parts.

Its all about who has the best quality to me so I can ensure my pieces are built to last and will not require repairs with normal use!

Some of my Favorite materials to use are;

1.Anodized Aluminum Jumprings:
aluminum jumpringsUsed for the majority of my Chainmaile pieces. A lightweight , strong, non-tarnish metal. Similar to Gold Filled in the sense of 10% of the the metal contains the colour so it will not rub off like gold or silver plating does.

 

2. 92.5 & 99.9 Silver Wire, Jumprings & findings:
ring 1Silver is usually everyone’s favorite, It looks great, low tarnish, dosen’t cause many allergic reactions, and its a fraction of the price of gold or other precious metals

Check out my Sterling Silver Chainmaile Rings – available at Fresh Collective Queen location! They can easily be sized to fit and can be custom made with any colour Swarovski Crystal.
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3. Clock Parts!
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Yet it be a Vintage German Coo-coo clock, an old 50’s wind up Alarm clock, A Pocket Watch or even an old mantle-wall mount clock, I’m there and I’m taking it apart!
clock closeI love taking watches and clock and re-working them into pieces of jewellery. It never gets old looking at a ticking clock with all its moving gears.

Some clocks stay whole and others end up with their insides out so they can be re-purposed into something else.
crystal clock necklaceGear Guard. Vintage alarm clock, Real amber, Chainmaile, Indian Spikes, Gears and Swarovski Crystals

TinkerBellsAntique German Coo-coo clock, Vintage Indian Brass bells, Swarovski & Precosia Crystals with Jewelers Brass chain Hand linked (Chainmaile) by me. 

clock insides Taking apart any wind up clock can be very dangerous! The larger clocks have over 60 feet of steel cord wrapped up inside, and the second you take the last screw off and give it a nudge it will all spring out into action , gears will go flying and the sound it makes usually leaves me with a bit of an adrenaline rush afterwards!

4. Natural stones:
clear quartz reiki
Vintage Brass Bullet shell, Faceted Clear Quartz, Precosia Crystal. Reiki Infused on a Braided Cotton cord.

I love the raw minerals, unpolished or polished they are all beautiful. Stones all have natural healing properties which is why I infuse my stones with Reiki. This way the stone has been pre-programmed to do what it does best and it also wont need to be cleared of stale energy.

Here are a few pictures of my Reiki Infused Bullet Pendants at Fresh Collective and come pop by this weekend if you have any questions or if you would like a specific stone to aid you in your quest!
denim crystal reikiVintage Brass Bullet Shell, Gem Quality Blue Kyanite RFaceted by myself. Denim Blue Swarovski Crystal.Reiki infused

green reiki

Vintage Brass Bullet Shell. Faceted Green Adventurine stone, Erinite Swarovski Crystal, Braided cotton cord. Reiki Infused.
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I am currently in the market for some new machinery and I will be introducing my Lapidary jewellery line very soon!

If you’re interested in seeing me create a piece from the start and see the work that goes into it please check out a blog I wrote about Creating a cabochon stone: http://kyleosnack.blogspot.ca/2011/10/cabochon-machine-how-to.html

That about sums up what I do and what I’m about!
I hope to see you all at my Trunk show at Fresh Collective Queen this weekend!
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Meet Sailor Girl!

We’re excited to welcome another talented and amazing designer to the FC fold! We now carry Sailor Girl Jewelry at our Roncesvalles location.

sailor1 sailor2

 

Designer Catherine Winter on her process:

I make glass beads using a technique called lampworking or flameworking. I use a gas/oxygen torch to melt rods of glass. My raw glass is Moretti glass from Italy. The melted glass is wound around a thin steel rod (called a mandrel), then shaped and decorated with thin rods of glass (called stringers). Some of the beads have silver leaf added inside. There is no paint on any of my beads, they are all layers and layers of glass.
All of my beads are annealed (baked) in a kiln at approximately 950 degrees F. This removes stress from the glass and prevents the bead from cracking. Because my beads are annealed, they are durable. Try not to drop them on cement or marble. They will hold up well under normal, everyday wear.
As they are handmade, each bead is unique. While I do my very best to produce exactly what you see on the screen, there will be some slight variations in the beads.

Catherine Winter, creator of Sailor Girl

My goal is to live an inspired, adventurous, creative life.

I love sailing. I spend a couple of months every year on my small white sailboat in warm waters. I make glass beads. I design and sell jewelry with my glass beads. I ride my bike everywhere.
Once upon a time I rode my bike around Ireland. I’m learning Spanish (it’s been 20 years). I love to cook.
I believe every meal should be garnished. I’m a cat girl. I like pretty coloured fish and birds. I love flowers. Hanging out in coffee shops watching the world go by is one of my favourite pastimes. Blue and green should always be seen. I have a weak spot for bonnet dramas on the BBC. I love radio plays, audiobooks and podcasts. My toenails are painted bright metallic blue. I’m a sun bunny. I was born in New Zealand, moved to Australia, and immigrated to Canada when I was 11. I love vegemite on toast. If I had 2 heads, 4 hands and never slept I still wouldn’t get everything done on my list. I love small business. I can never have enough colour around me.

Join us at our Roncesvalles Store on Saturday, January 19th  to welcome Sailor Girl Jewellery. Meet designer Catherine and see a live glass firing and jewellery creation demo in store between 1-5pm!

 

Supporting Movember in style with Curious Oddities!

We’re halfway through my favourite month of the year! Our moustachioed man-friend Joe is growing it in nice and thick (doesn’t he look handsome?)

Joe’s MO has already raised $130 for the very worthy cause of men’s health, and now designer Kat Shura of Curious Oddities is lending a hand to support!

As of today, we have AMAZING Curious Oddities Movember jewellery! These adorable pieces featuring various moustache styles set against different background colours and patterns are not only stylish and fun, but will have you feeling darn good about yourself. Why? Because $3 from every sale of a Movember piece will go directly to Movember! 

These pieces are currently in-store at Queen St and Roncesvalles and are making their way to Kensington as we speak! You’ll walk out with a brand new MO and the knowledge that you helped change the face of Men’s health! WIN WIN!

Can’t make into store today? You can still contribute by donating to Joe’s Mo HERE.