Tag Archives: Toronto

New Kids on the Block

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distillery show

Local Torontonians are probably familiar with the cities Distillery District, a national Historic Site where
the Gooderham and Worts Distillery once operated and where you can find the largest and best preserved
collection of Victorian Industrial Architecture in North America.

This part of town drew a different kind of crowd last weekend when Street Art Showcase took over for their inaugural Urban Art Festival. The entire day was dedicated to graffiti artists, painters, stencilled and of course YARN BOMBING!

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Bissell volunteers wrapping up the street lamps with some crochet cozies.

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All set and waiting for the show to start!

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Our first group of visitors adding their mark to the street with chalk drawings.

The group had been approached a few months ago to think up some ideas for the space. The culturally preserved buildings and cobbled streets make the area such a beautiful place to stroll, not to mention the cute cafes and unique shops around every corner. The group was absolutely thrilled to be a part of the event, especially since it gave us the much needed kick in the pants to really get out there and display something outdoors. earlier in our groups career we had been a bit hesitant to really get out on the streets since the summer had already experienced some pretty big weather mood swings (and our worries were before #stormTO had happened! Eep!) Members dedicate a lot of time and love into producing pieces, and a teeny-tiny selfish part of us want the works to stay clean and colourful for as long as possible. Bleached, and soaked through yarn tends to look a little drab, the opposite of how we want people to feel when they stumble across the yarn bombs.

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Although the morning was a bit cloudy, it was incredible to hear and see the reactions from those passing by.
Once we had all the lamp posts, barrels and even the clock covered with our crochet interventions,
it was time to pop on stage for a little demo.

Throughout the festival, artists working in different mediums were invited to show off their skills and produce a
brand new piece in front of a live audience. Since the Bissell Bombers are all about community and collaboration we
decided to get the audience to help us make even more yarn bombs to decorate the district. Armed with a much yarn in
as many colour imaginable, visitors of all ages got on stage with our Bissell leader and learned how they could make
some fuzzy Pom Poms. Even the event’s MC got in on the action and found himself with a
pure crochet flower festooning his hat!

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The live stage demo was so amazing to run, and seeing families and couples wanting to learn a new craft and ask
questions about yarn bombing was really inspiring. All the Bissell members and installation volunteers could really
feel all the love that went into planning the first ever urban art feat for the district, and were so honoured to have
been able to share what we do. It was such a great day and we owe a lot of thanks to those who organized
the festival and those came out to celebrate local arts and crafts!

Project Shoutout: Waterloo Women!

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We had another huge pile of donations come in this weekend all the way
from Waterloo and the Beta Sigma Phi sorority sisters.
Turns out there is a whole group of them that meet every Wednesday and they’ve
turned their attention away from making soft plushy pieces for loved ones
to making things for us! Awww! You guys are the best!

Fun fact: Susan V., a member of the Beta Sigma Phi and AGO yarnbomb
donator extraordinaire, also donated to the Bissell Bombers stair piece project last year.

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Stupid camera phone won’t let me capture the amazing neon green. Just trust me on it’s brightness. Thanks Susan V.!

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We think these Arctic camouflage pieces will work for some extra sneaky yarn bombing.

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New pieces by Angela H.

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These pieces by Angela H. are making me crave kimbap and sushi. Is that strange?

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Susan V., we’re really diggin’ the variety. Who would have thought teal and brown would rock out so well together.

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I can totes see these turning into a raniy-day-sippin’-tea-snuggling-blanket in the future.

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New pieces from Mara V. that will go great with her previous series.

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MORE FLOWERS! Because we weren’t jealous enough of Angela H.’s talent.

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Angela H. was inspired by the colours she saw in some Christian Morrisseau paintings.

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From Susan V., some Earth tones for the eco-conscious yarnbomber.

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I fought my love of pink for so long as a child, but I will definitely embrace it here with these pieces from Angela H.

Home Time!

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Success! All the little MMst-ers made it back to Toronto all in one piece.
No terrible skating accidents resulting in broken wrists.
I’m looking at you CASToff Curator!

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This is only a small sampling of what you can accomplish on a 5.5 hour
bus ride from Toronto to Ottawa, keeping in mind the naps, Hot Fuzz movie
showing, and the general giddiness that takes place when a group of nerds
get closer and closer to national institutions full of arts.

But as much fun as the trip was, it was great to return home to our familiar pillows
in our own beds… that are now covered in the huge amounts of donated material
waiting for us upon our arrival.

Seriously, we got a TON of stuff as part of our AGO yarnbombing project.
So much so, that when I attempted to tweet about it my account crashed!
Insanity!

So once the internet recovers from the multitude of granny hexagons and flowers
kindly crafters have given us, be sure to check out some photos and be
in awe of some talented ladies.

Calling All Crocheters!

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BIG NEWS GUYS! All the secret little meetings I’ve been running to, and all the teasers I’ve
been putting out into the inter webz have come to an end. I finally get to do the big reveal.
And it is pretty friggin’ big.
Or should I say tall??

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For those of you who don’t recognize these hyper stylized stairs, these are what
visitors use when they’re leaving the Walker Court and heading to the Thompson collection
of the ART GALLERY OF ONTARIO!

Yeah, that AGO.
*insert squeals of joy

The back story for this crazy project goes like this.
For the past few months the AGO has been hosting a series of wildly successful adult nights called
1st Thursdays which happen as one might suspect on the first Thursday of every month.
In preparation for February’s event, the Bissell Bombers were contacted by a few OCAD
students who have been curatorially collaborating with street artist to bring their projects indoors.

*insert squeals of joy

This is a FANTASTIC honour and the offer blew the Bissell Bomber minds.
And we’re determined not to disappoint!

With that sentiment in mind, we sheepishly approach you all for a wee bit of help.

They say that the camera adds 10 pounds. Well in this case it might be more like 100 pounds.
These stairs seem to get bigger every time I look up at them, especially when I have to stand at the very opposite end of the court in order to capture it with my little instagraming phone. And while our small group of knitters are very speedy, we’re hoping that fellow knitters might feel
inspired by some festive holiday feelings and donate a few castaways for a cause.

And donations will not go unrecognised!

To show our appreciation for all the hard work random people are putting into
making our big ideas come to fruition, we’ve set up a little rewards system.

1 granny hexagon = your name/knit pseudonym on our blog
10 & above granny h’s = name on blog + tag on your piece in the show
amazing amounts of granny h’s = all of the above AND we will live tweet a photo of your piece during the night of the event surrounded by all your loving and adoring fans

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And because we all know how super talented you are, we’re not going to
do something silly like restrict that creative genius with colour combos or style guides.
Once we’ve collected all the contributions we’re going to start stitching them together
and cover those stairs (and possibly some smaller  surprise locations as well).

So let us know what you think!
If you’re interested in contributing drop us a line through our Contact Us page
and if you’ve  got any unanswered questions, take a peek at our official Bissell Call Out (which you’re

free to distribute at your Stitch n’ Bitch sessions *wink  wink).

THANKS GUYS!
So excited to see this!!!

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Lost and Found

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I’ve been going through a late “spring cleaning” phase lately and
started uncovering lots of little treasures around my place.

Like copious amounts of Rilakkuma stationary.
A few rings I thought I had lost to nights on the town.
And photos of yarn bombs, naturally.

     

These come courtesy of our dearly departed CASToff Curator.
Here’s hoping she send me some more stuff from those
majestic Alberta mountains.

And here’s hoping I don’t forget to post about them!
*collar tug*

Dare to Wear

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Many, many, many, MANY weeks ago I went to the Textile Museum of Canada.
I’d originally heard of this place through my museum studies classes, and to be honest
tapestries, costumes, etc. did not really interest me.

That being said, it’s kind of  surprising how I’ve taken to yarn bombing.
I’m just so darn complicated!

The reason I took a lovely little walk through some supposed television shoot at the corner
of College and University (sorry guys!) was to scope out a possible location for a fake exhibition
I had been working on for class. I thought,
“What better place to  have a yarn exhibit than an TEXTILE museum!”

 And because I am a bad museum studies student, I took some photos of my trip
(without the flash of course) so you can get a little taste of the stuff they show.

These are from their Dare to Wear show on the 3rd floor. It’s all about celebrated work of top Canadian
fashion designers created to raise awareness and funds for the AIDS/HIV pandemic in sub‐Saharan Africa.

  

Now because I am also a bad blogger, this exhibition has already come down BUT!!!!
I was speaking to someone who is working with someone  who said that the museum
might have a yarn bombing section for an upcoming exhibit.

Intriguing…

In an early post I mentioned that the Textile Museum has been yarn bombed before, but
has never had a yarn bomb exhibition. So I’m going to keep and eye out for any
more news about this potential show.

Day Off!!!

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Hello again!
I warned you that the Bissell Bombers would be taking a bit of a break this summer, so I
hope you’re not too upset with us and how long we’ve been taking between posts.

Since a lot of bombers have taken on unpaid internships for the summer (thanks economy!) we’ve
been supplementing our non-income with other interests like beer wenchery, and other fun restaurant gigs.

But every once in a super moon there comes a day when we’re not on call at either our museum
networking/museum skills building institution OR our paid part time gig.
And today was such a day!!!

First up, a little breakfast at Futures with CASToff Curator followed by a walk around
Kensington market. It’s been ages since I was last there and I was hoping to come
across something quirky and crafty. A few weeks ago an honorary Bissell Bomber
had walked past these knitted birds and what I’m hoping is a carrot cake muffin.

We didn’t have the same luck as her, but it was still a gorgeous day to be
meandering through all the little shops.  So nooooo complaints!

The rest of the day was spent trying to jam in as much “me time” as possible before
I turned into a pumpkin wearing an Irish style kilt and tediously reminding people
that we don’t do reservations for the patio *le sigh*

Until the next super moon!