Wednesday, August 21, 2013

diana mini flash fun!

The novelty known as the Lomography store on Queen St. came to a close this past weekend. As much as I loved visiting the place and lusting over all the analog gadgets, I can see why they've gone out of business. Fortunately for me though, this meant a sale & a golden opportunity to finally pick up some items I've always wanted. The beloved Diana Mini + Flash is the newest darling in my unhealthy collection of film cameras, and not to mention at about 40% off the original price!

I initially was just going to go with the Diana Mini without flash, simply because it'd be less expensive, though I'm glad I didn't. Having the flash as an option really widens the possibilities with this camera. The obvious function is nighttime shooting, but the kit also comes with several coloured gel flash filters (pictured below) which you can easily swap out and experiment with.

Although I didn't have any film laying around to start shooting with my Diana Mini, I did some test shots using the flash in one hand and a digital camera in the other. With my little Rilakkuma bear as star of the photos, here are the results:

Bounced flash, no filter.

The darker colours like magenta and violet gave stronger colour payoff as opposed to the lighter ones which were more of a slight tint or wash. I suppose the colour opacity depends on the distance too. I used direct flash on all the colour filter photos. Needless to say, it was fun to play around with and I can't wait to see what these look like on film!

The Lomography Toronto location may be down but the site is still going strong! You can find the Diana Mini, as well as satisfy all your analog needs at

It's art.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Mr. Pickles Fan Club

The end of my semester was capped off on a good note with the opening of Gemma Correll's very first Canadian exhibition at, where else than the most suitable of places, Magic Pony! Gemma Correll has to be one of the first illustrators I've admired, back while I was still in high school. If you're not sure who I'm speaking of, Correll is probably most commonly known for her "Pugs Not Drugs" illustration which has been made into t-shirts found at Urban Outfitters. Besides this she is recognized for all things pugs and her illustrations created in combination of comedy and cuteness. It must be fun (and convenient) when you have your very own pug life models, her dogs Norman & Bella Pickles.

The exhibit, The Mr. Pickles Fan Club, is a highlight of Gemma's pug works ranging from drawings to flip flops (I'm being serious). All the merchandise featured in the show are for sale. Hazel and I had the opportunity of swinging by Magic Pony while Gemma was doing her book signing, so without further ado, here is a glimpse of the exhibit's opening night:

Hang in There (Pug edition) $10

I really admire Gemma for taking up embroidery. As an illustration student gone textile student, I think it's a neat marry between the two fields. I recently learned how to embroider like this on a hoop over the semester and boy, is it finicky.

Of course all pugs were welcome to the event.

Upon arrival at Magic Pony there were a few snacks like pretzels and Goldfish to nibble on, but later on came the good stuff  Mr. Pickles red velvet cupcakes. Adorable, delicious, no other words.

On top of signing a poster for me, Gemma was nice enough to sign a page of my sketchbook. She was such a sweetheart!

Had enough of pugs yet? No? Check out The Mr. Pickles Fan Club exhibit running from now until May 11th at Magic Pony. For more information visit Magic Pony's website under 'Events' or the Facebook event page here.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

lucky charm

Happy St. Patty's Day

A little charmer I picked when I was a kid. It's been pressed in a book for maybe ten years or so now.

Friday, February 8, 2013

snow day

It's a good ol' snow day in Toronto. And while it's usually happy news to hear you've got the day off, I'm missing out on some valuable studio work time at school. However, since I have no control over the weather and closures this weekend, I've cut my losses and replaced my worries with chocolate chip pancakes.

I hope everyone is warm, snuggly, and safe this afternoon!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

MTK Winterlicious

Last Friday I managed to snag a table for two this Winterlicious at Mildred's Temple Kitchen. Nic joined me downtown after a morning class and we made our way to Liberty Village. The Winterlicious restaurant selection for me consisted of menu-lurking/drooling. MTK's menu was particularly promising and also an easy destination to pick just because it's familiar, having been there twice prior.

If you didn't know already, Winterlicious consists of prix-fixe menus inclusive of an appetizer, entree, and dessert, with usually 3 or more options in each course. Whenever Nic and I dine out, we're quite strategic in our choices; that being, we order different items so that we're able to try more food. This time around was no different, so here's what we ordered:

For appetizers I had the baked Ontario goat cheese, "drizzled with extra virgin olive oil & a kiss of Mildred’s harvest honey with salted onion crisps". So rich & creamy!

And Nic had the Italian bread soup, "a rich chicken broth infused with roasted garlic & winter herbs with shaved pecorino & crunchy croutons".

"Can I take this back now?"

For the main, I went with a Mildred's brunch classic, the huevos Monty; "black bean refritos & sharp cheddar grilled in flour tortillas & topped with eggs sunny, fresh salsa & avocado crème". 

And Nic had the pulled pork sammy; "smoked Berkshire pork, rubbed with Mildred’s secret spice blend, slow cooked on the Big Green Egg with ancho chili, garlic & onion, served with winter slaw or frites". 

And lastly for dessert, I picked the cookies to-go! I have to say, this is a smart idea on Mildred's part. A three-course meal is far too much for a petite person like myself so this dessert to-go is perfect.

Nic finished with the affogato, "milk chocolate ice cream doused with hot espresso & a biscotti on the side". The espresso was poured onto the ice-cream right at our table by the waiter. The dessert really isn't visible at all in the photo on account of the rushed photography, melting ice-cream, and hungry boyfriend factor.

Some of Mildred's menu items were exclusive to Winterlicious, but most are available on their regular menu. If you want to check out MTK I'll leave their info below. They have such polite waitstaff, an awesome ongoing playlist, beautiful decor, and (I won't spoil it for you but) a neat washroom experience.

There are only two more full dining days for Winterlicious before they wrap it up! It's a tad late for reservations but if you want to have a go at it, find the list of participating restaurants and menus here. If not, there's always Summerlicious 2013 (July 5 - July 21)!

Mildred's Temple Kitchen
85 Hanna Avenue

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

City of Craft 2012

This past month was my first visit to the City of Craft event, and boy have I been missing out! For those of you who have never heard, City of Craft is an annual craft sale featuring local vendors. It's all entailing of printmakers, jewellery designers, illustrators, graphic designers, knitters, crocheters, and sewing extraordinaires. Whittled down from 200+ pictures, here is City of Craft 2012:

The event was split into three close venues and I started off at 1093 Queen.

Hyperbolic Coral Reef Project
Paper Pusher Printworks Table

City of Craft was just before Christmas and ideal for Christmas shopping, which meant limiting purchases for myself. I left the first location with just three things: a pom pom garland from Emily Taylor, a neon diamond print from Emily Taylor as well, and a rabbit tote from Morico as Christmas gift to Hazel

Next I head to The Theatre Centre at 1087 Queen, my favourite of the venues.

Old Weston
Rare Specimens

I left City of Craft regretting not having bought every single thing I liked. Since it's a two-day event, it's  probably best to grab everything and anything while you're there because you may not get the chance later (my new rule for the next City of Craft).

City of Craft
$2 admission