An Afternoon Crafting Party


Have you heard about the new specialty lifestyle television channel called Makeful, where the aim is to inspire creativity in everyone? Their programming focuses on the sharing of ideas and techniques for handmade one-of-a-kind projects, food preparation, home design and personal style.

To celebrate the holiday season they invited a group of local makers to an afternoon party, where we were treated to a couple of crafting workshops, delicious food and drink and the opportunity to socialize. It was really fun.

Located within one of the historic brick-and-beam former factory buildings on King Street West, the venue 2nd Floor Events was gorgeous.



We arrived to a room set out with rows of tables decorated with burlap clothes and flowers in hand-embellished mason jars, with a small bag of crafting supplies at each spot.




I sat beside a very talented lady within the realm of hand-lettering and made a new friend — her name is Doris Wai and her impressive skills are displayed on her site Lovelettering.


Mango Juice and Champagne Cocktail were offered as we arrived …





The event began with an introduction given by Vanessa Case from the network which created the channel, Blue Ant Media


Then we began our first craft, lead by Katri Luotonen. We made some handmade envelopes from beautiful paper. (They were like the ones I demonstrated in this post, if you’d like to make some yourself.)





Then there was an intermission, where were were invited to socialize and enjoy a variety of hors d’eouvres, prepared by the venue’s in-house chefs, which included Macaroni and Cheese Bites, Shrimp Cakes, Beef Tenderloin on Skewers and Small Lamb chops, each with a unique dipping sauce.



We were also welcome to help ourselves to the candy bar …






Our second crafting workshop was making a Modern Scandinavian style wreath, with yarn, baubles and greenery, lead by Melissa Direnzo.





Here’s a picture of the group holding up our creations, taken by Erin Lion and found on her Instagram here. There I am on the far right.


We were given those nice boxes to carry our wreaths and envelopes home in. (Mine things are actually already inside the box in the picture above and that wreath was made by my table-mate.) So, I walked home along King Street carrying that big box with a bow on top. It was a lovely afternoon and lots of people were out, so you can imagine how many joked about me having a gift for them! “Oh, you shouldn’t have!”

The whole party was very friendly and beautifully done. I really appreciate having been included and thank the people at #bemakeful for an excellent time.

xo loulou

Posted in Interesting Buildings, Making Things DIYs | 2 Comments

Sunday Funday : Sampling Craft Wine


According to the Urban Dictionary, by celebrating the “Sunday Funday” you can extend your weekend festivities just a little longer before hanging up your party pants.

Our party pants may have been loungewear, but you could say that we’ve done a little funday celebrating around here, over the last couple of weeks. The reason for that was that we were sent two bottles of wine to taste, and Sundays were the best days to do that.

The wine was made with products from RJS Craft Winemaking, who, according to their website, “have been helping amateur winemakers perfect the art of craft winemaking for over 50 years”.

If you’ve never tried craft wine before, you might be wondering if wine made by amateurs would be any good.

Now, I wouldn’t say that we’re particularly in-the-know where the finer nuances of wine characteristics are concerned, but we do drink it regularly and enjoy trying new and different kinds. And based on what we sampled, our opinion is yes, wine made this way does taste good.

RJS makes kits that are available at various shops throughout Canada. For example, in Toronto there’s a place called A Jug of Wine located on Yonge Street north of Eglinton, that offers their products and describes itself as “an exclusive member of the RJ Spagnols Craft Winemaking Academy”. They guarantee you an exceptional winemaking experience from start to finish.

There, customers choose what they’d like to make from a wide variety of grape juices and concentrates sourced from all over the world — a look at RJS’s product list indicates that you can pretty well craft any kind of wine that you’d like with their supplies. Then you mix it up and leave it there, properly stored, to age for four to eight weeks — different wines require different lengths of time. You later return to bottle and label your wine and you take it home.

We received a bottle of white and one of red to try out.



The red was this one, called Winemaker’s Trio, which was made from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Zinfandel grapes. The white was made with grapes from Argentina, and was one of RJS’s Restricted Quantities products.


For our first Sunday wine-date at home, we had the bottle of red with an afternoon treat of baked Brie, fresh bread and a homemade Pear, Rosemary and Red Wine Relish (I used a splash of the wine to make it).

To prepare this : heat your oven to 350. Place the cheese, with rind on, as is, without puncturing it, in an oven-proof shallow container, or use a brie baker if you have one — thanks mom, for ours! Bake uncovered for 15 minutes. In the meantime, make your Pear Relish.


The ingredients are : one Bosc Pear – with the skin left on, cored, and chopped into small cubes, about 1/3 cup of chopped white onion, a clove of garlic – minced, about a teaspoon of fresh Rosemary – finely chopped, about 1 tablespoon of olive oil, a dash of salt, and about 2 tablespoons of red wine. Heat a frying pan and add the oil. Saute the onion, pear and garlic for about 2 minutes, until softened. Stir in the rosemary and salt. Finish by stirring in the wine.

Serve hot with slices of baguette. We had the relish on the side because we weren’t going to eat all that food in one sitting, but if you’re serving more people, you can just pour the relish over-top of the whole cheese round. This makes a good snack or appetizer for 4 to 6 people.






Now, moving forward a week to this past Sunday afternoon, we opened the second bottle, the white wine.


We had this after lunch, while we played a game of Monopoly.





We were equally lucky with the dice which made for a pretty long game — long enough for the sun to set and candles to be lit.


Thank you to RJS Craft Winemaking for sending us the wine and thank you for dropping over to see what we’ve been up to. I hope you have a great weekend. Wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends.
xo loulou

Posted in Appetizers and Snacks, Hanging out at Home, Recipes, Wine | 2 Comments