Sunday, September 16, 2012


I think next year they should just go ahead and start calling this festival Super Duper Crawl, because it was seriously super duper.  There was just such a great vibe on the street coming off of every single person there.  Just sitting in our booth and watching people walk by, or talking to them when they came in was lovely. Hamilton, you totally rule. 

Here's some pictures of the weekend, through the camera of the Iphone that I finally got, hurray!

 I've spent a lot of time here in the last couple weeks, preparing for Locke Street Festival and Supercrawl.  It's not a bad place to be, I must say.
 Friday night dinner, on the way back to the studio to make more things.  Eric once again proved himself as Husband of the Century by learning to use my serger and serge into the night for me.
 Our booth!  Or at least my side of it.  And some of Natalie's scarves.

 Great Lake Swimmers!  Still one of my favourite bands ever, and we got to hear them twice on Saturday!
 Yep.  Those are acrobats in the intersection of York and James.
  Special Supercrawl onesies!  My new favourite thing is printing onesies.  I'm working on some non-supercrawl-related designs to sell in my shop soon.

Today consisted of napping in various places, church, food and a bike ride to gage park for further napping.  

good weekend. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

summer recap post!

Time has seriously gotten away with me this summer!  I had meant to write a post at the end of July and tell you all the wonderful things that happened that month.  Now here I am almost at the end of August and I am finally posting.  Sheeeeeesh.  So I now present to you:

 Brittni's July and August in Summary Form:


1. We had our very first Mint textile studio opening and craft fair during friday night art crawl and the next saturday!  I missed the Friday due to another great event that happened that day. It was super lovely!  We had a bit of trouble getting people to come up to the third floor where our studio is located, but I think it went better than we were all expecting!  We invited a whole bunch of our crafty friends and it was just a lovely time of hanging out.  Laughter, crafts, beer and friends-what more do you need?

2.  My sister-in-law Tineke and my new brother-in-law Rob got married! This was well worth missing the Mint opening on friday night for.  Family weddings are just so great and I'm so happy that these two are so in love and finally married! Plus now they have a sweet house in the country where we can come over for campfires and tractor driving.
3.  We went out west!  Eric was taking a week-long Fluvial Geomorphology course (yeah, I know what that is)  in Fernie, BC for his work and I decided to tag along.  Though it may not have been the most financially responsible decision we've ever made, it was definitely worth it for all the other, more important reasons.   We flew to Calgary on a friday and we didn't need to be in Fernie until sunday night, so we had a couple of days to explore.  We stayed in Banff for a night, took the gondola up Sulphur Mountain, climbed Tunnel Mountain, walked around in awe of mountains.  Mountains, mountains, mountains. We love mountains.  It was my second time in Banff, and Eric's third, but we got to see and do a lot more this time than we had before, so it was pretty wonderful.

On our way to Fernie we hiked up to Stanley Glacier.  This was one of the most amazing, but also most painful days of my life thus far.   The actual trail is a continuous climb up switchbacks until you get to a valley surrounded by gorgeous mountains and waterfalls.  The trail ends there, but most people hike up a bit farther to get a better view of Stanley Glacier.  We decided that since we were there, we'd be kicking ourselves later if we didn't hike up all the way to the glacier itself.  Painful.  Painful, but worth it.  I'm still pretty amazed that we made it that far.  When we calculated it later, we figured out that we had climbed more than a kilometer in elevation.  I'm so glad we did it though, touching a glacier surrounded by a view like that was just incredible. 

 Gondola up Sulphur Mountain.  Cheesy Smiles. 
 Sulphur Mountain
 Tunnel Mountain.  Eric took me here against my will as I was very unprepared to hike up a mountain.  Birks aren't the best climbing shoes, fyi.  I complained a lot, but the view from the top of  a mountain has a way of making stuff like that disappear.
 Stanley Glacier.  Partway up. You can sort of see the pain in Eric's face here. 

4.  As soon as we got back from BC we headed off the Bon Echo with my family and spent a couple days relaxing.  We had some plans for some big canoe trips and hikes, but we were pretty beat from our trip and we all mostly wanted to just sit around, drink beer and eat.  My family is really, really good at that.   On the way home, I also dropped off an order of Hands&Feet goods at Quinn's of Tweed, so if you're ever in that area, go by and check out my stuff there!


1.  We had our second Mint textile studio craft fair for August art crawl.  Again, it's just a really fun night of hanging out with dear friends and meeting people who come through the studio.

2. I finally got a screen exposed in the studio and screen printed some fabric for the first time since school ended!  I'm now dreaming up and drawing prints and I hope that Hands&Feet will have some screenprinted goods available in the coming weeks.  

3.  We celebrated our one year anniversary!  In one way I can't believe it's been a year already, but in others it just feels like we've been doing this forever.  Either way, I think it's been the best year yet and I just know they're going to get better.  I'm posting a wedding photo a little bit because I'm talking about our anniversary, but mostly cause Eric looks super studly in this photo. 

3.  My dear wonderful friends Kira and Benjamin got married just this past saturday.  Kira and I have been best buds since we were babies and I just can't tell you how much I love that woman.  It was a pretty spectacular day, to say the least.   I managed to get through my best woman speech without crying too much and everyone had a fantastic night of dancing and laughter and so much love.

4.  I started a new job, which so far I am completely in love with.   Hurray!

5.  Since it's been so busy lately, I've now got a pretty small amount of time to get ready for the craft fairs  that I'm doing in September.  Hands&Feet will be at Locke Street Festival on September 8th and Supercrawl on September 15th!   I'm SO excited for these two festivals, but I better get my butt in gear and start spending some serious time at the studio.  I've got some new designs that I can't wait to bring to the festivals and see what people think!

 Tonight we're going to another wedding of my wonderful cousin and his lovely bride, and next week some more of our dear friends are getting married!  This has been the summer of weddings.  Normally, I'd probably get sick of so many weddings, but this summer it seems that all of our nearest and dearest friends are getting married and it just makes it so special and fun.   My heart's just exploding with all the love I've got for the people in my life.    Life is good, God is good.

Monday, July 9, 2012

mint-y fresh

Finally happening! We finally gave our collective studio a name and decided to open up our doors and show you what we're up to.  Not only that, we're having a CRAFT FAIR!  After a couple of unsuccessful (free) craft fairs (turns out you need some actual human traffic to have any human customers), a couple of my studio mates and I decided to take matters in our own hands and have our VERY OWN craft fair.  We've invited some of our crafty friends of ours and our studio is going to be set up as a real live craft market.  I'm super excited to sell Hands&Feet goods directly to Hamilton and to start getting the word out here.  This city is totally awesome. and I totally want to be part of it. 

And there's going to be cupcakes.  

THIS friday during art crawl AND all day saturday.  My dear sister-in-law is getting married on friday so I won't be there friday night, but Hands&Feet will be! I'm a little sad to miss it, but I'd be sadder to miss a family wedding, so I shall survive. 

Monday, June 11, 2012


  Eric and I took off on a last minute interior camping trip in Algonquin this past week.  The weather was wonderful, lots of sunshine and just enough rain and thunder to make it interesting.  There's almost nothing better than being in the middle of beautiful, beautiful nowhere with just a canoe, a tent, backpacks and the person you love the most.   My wilderness survival skills are subpar, but thankfully Eric is a naturally born wildman, so I'm learning.  I caught a 20 inch bass (which is quite impressive, I'm told) and had my first taste of freshly caught fish.  Delicious. I also worked up the courage and actually took the hook out of another much smaller fish after I caught it (which involved actually touching it, instead of quickly handing the rod off to Eric)

The trip also included, but was not limited to : moose chasing, rainbows, baby ducks and goslings, beavers, birds, a great deal of paddling, dragonflies, cigars, cooking over an open fire, napping in the sun and swimming in cold, clear lake water.  Oh, Northern Ontario, how I love you.

Being Canadian is the best.  Seriously. 

This photo is not from Algonquin, it's from last weekend camping at Pineries with family.  I just think it's adorable.  Uncle Eric and Charlie. BFF

Thursday, May 17, 2012


 I feel like I've been holding off on this post because I didn't feel like this was actually real. I've pinched myself again and again-and it's true!  We have a studio!  A big, bright, beautiful space to work and make in.  I'm sharing the space with 6 of my lovely friends who just graduated with me.  I love having like-minded friends who get excited about the silly things that I get excited about.  A wash-out sink! Exposed brick walls! A light table!  Wowser.  
Anyways, we're in the Sonic Unyon building on Wilson Street, just off of James Street North.  It's already been exciting just being close to the growing community of amazing-ness on that street- and I don't even know very many people yet!  We're hoping and planning that we can be open for James North Art Crawl every month so that people can come in, see what we're doing, and maybe even buy some things if we set up a fun pop-up shop!

We need a collective name, however.  Any ideas? 

The studio is not done being set up, by any means, and there's still a large amount of supplies and things that I'll need to get before I can start using it every day(my poor bank account) but it's getting there.   Eric and I, and my studio mate Mary, have been working hard at building a giant print table, a cutting table, putting up shelving, etc, etc.  When I say all three of us, I mostly mean Eric.  If I didn't know it before, I can now safely say that I'm married to the greatest man on earth.  What a guy.

Here's some pictures of our progress so far.  Some of the images aren't the best quality, but you get the idea!

 Big, beautiful, empty space!

 eric the great starting construction on the 20 foot long print table.
   Kijiji stools!  Reupholstered by yours truly. (the ugly red is the old upholstery)
 The cutting table! with built in shelving! It is now painted white and awaiting a cutting mat with a grid.  Oh, and what's that in the background?
 Print table, with padding.  The padding is now stapled on and there's a not-wide-enough drop cloth covering the surface. Oops.  We forgot to get double-wide length cotton.
Oh look!  Here's our embroidery/tea drinking/knitting/crocheting/drawing/sleeping loft!  We really wanted to have room for a couch or some chairs so we could have some space to just sit around in the studio (because screen printing and sewing is hard work-seriously) but we soon discovered that there wasn't going to be any extra room.  Thus-the loft was created!  The previous tenant,the talented Jenna Rose, had a darkroom for exposing screens built already (huge bonus for us!), so all Eric had to do was reinforce it with his framing know-how and build an adorable ladder and railing!  We're going to eventually put lots of pillows and maybe some carpet up there, so we have a nice cozy spot to take a break.  I also attacked the beams up there with a vaccum cleaner. Not completely fun, but definitely worth it.
I think it looks like a giant adult bunk bed and I'm not mad about it.

That's the studio!  I've been pretty busy with it, thus the lack of posting, and the lack of MAKING.  My sewing machines been packed up in a box, waiting to be taken out and used, but there's been too much sawdust in the studio to actually use it.  The construction is done now, though, so hopefully soon I can get back into the swing of things and start expanding this business!

Friday, April 27, 2012

craft sale!

Hey! Tomorrow Hands&Feet will be at it's very first craft fair! I've done craft fairs before, but never when I had a actual business/actual direction/actual knowledge of what the heck I'm doing/making. 
If you want to come out and support handmade, the sale is at Sheridan College, Oakville and is part of the annual Arts Open House event.  Not only can you come and peruse the craft sale, you can also check out the crafts&design studios and see a lot of great art and design from a lot of great people.  PLUS-our Craft&Design graduation show has moved into the gallery at the college, so you can check that out too! What a lovely day!

I'm excited.  I've had the luxury of not having a job or being in school this week, so I've been dyeing and piecing and sewing away.  I'm learning how to make things faster and more efficiently and I'm really starting to feel like "hey, if people actually buy this stuff, I can actually do this as a job!"

Now I'm sitting in a room full of Hands&Feet products and it's a good feeling.  Here's some photos from my preparations this week. 

 my elephant friend the teapot

 circle scarves!  There's only a few of these, and I'm interested to see how they sell, as I've never done them before.
 naturally dyed zipper totes
naturally dyed and pieced pouches!

Plus, I made a banner for my booth, so that's fun.

FYI, if you haven't already, check out my Etsy shop linked on the top of this page! I'll be working on stocking it up more and more, so keep checking back!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

makin' changes

If you are observant, you might notice that my blog is a wee bit different.  That's because I :

a)  finally decided on a business name.  I wanted something simple, sweet and it had to include an ampersand, because I love them.  I went with Hands&Feet because really, using my hands and my feet to make things is one of the most important things to me.  Sounds really simple, but that's because it is.

b) finished school! Well, almost.  I still have a final critique and studio clean-up and things like that, but our graduation show, Here&There at Propellor Gallery in Toronto opened this past thursday and it was lovely and SUPER busy.  Seriously, I did not anticipate that many people being interested in us. I guess I usually underestimate myself when it comes to the things I make and I'm coming to terms with the fact that people might actually pay me to do what I love to do--make things!

You'll notice that on the top of this page there is a link to my Etsy shop.  If you go to the link and discover that there's nothing there, DO NOT FEAR.  I am working hard on stocking it up.  Keep checking back for more and more Hands&Feet goods! I hope to have it full in the next couple days.

I'm feeling pretty excited and positive about this new venture.  I've gotten a couple emails from people who picked up my card at the show and are interested in purchasing some things, and I even sold some things at the show itself.   I was talking to Eric about it and he just looked at me and asked "are you ready for this to be your job? are you ready for this?"  to which I replied, YEAH!

But in all seriousness, this is going to be a bit of a learning curve.  I am going to make mistakes.  I already realized that I made a mistake on my business card and the web address to my Etsy shop is wrong.  Bad move, Brittni.  Especially since I ran out of business cards at the show and now there are lots of cards out there with the wrong address on them.  So if you're reading this, and you tried the address on the card, I'm sorry.  You can use the link on the top of this page, or just search "Brittni Gazendam" under "People" on Etsy.

Please be patient with me. I'll do my very best, I promise.

Now, I'm off to my sewing machine!

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Yesterday a bunch of the textile ladies and I were talking about what we're all wearing to our gallery opening next week. (We are a studio full of women....). It got me thinking that it would be appropriate and fun to make a dress for myself.
I consider myself to be a pretty good sewer (seamstress?) and I've made a couple items of clothing before, but I'm not the greatest at tailoring things to make them fit, or making very complicated garments.  Usually when I make clothes I go for really easy, loose-fitting things that look fine no matter what you do because you can just slap a belt around it and you're good to go.

I got this fabric a while ago in the sale bin at Fabricland.  I still can't really decide if it's ugly or not.  Sometimes things are right on the edge of being either really awesome or really ugly, and I'm still not sure what side this fabric is on.  I think I'll just decide that it's really awesome.
I got a pdf pattern from BurdaStyle (love that website-I use it all the time for clothing patterns) and made a dress!   In the comments section of the website a couple people were saying that this dress is very "Mad Men-ish".  It makes me laugh that vintage 50's-60's style clothes are now just referred to as "Mad Men-ish".

It's hard to take proper pictures of yourself in clothing, and I feel a little silly posting these pictures on the internet. This is my concentrated face.

there! I made a dress with darts and lining and an invisible zipper and everything! I definitely messed some things up.  I didn't have a long enough zipper, so I have to basically dislocate my shoulder to get it over my shoulders ( shoulder hurts. what does a dislocated shoulder feel like?)  
oh well.  handmade. 

By now you're probably thinking  "wow, what are those awesome things on Brittni's feet?"  I'M GLAD YOU ASKED!  Those are just my wonderful new moccasins made by my wonderful husband!   After watching him make them for his mom and almost all his sisters and some of his brothers,  I finally got a pair of my own.  Aren't they beautiful?  I did the embroidery on them, but everything else is 100% Eric-made.  Want him to make you a pair?  I am conspiring to make him change career paths from engineering to leather-working.   

Now that I've spent my whole day off making a dress instead of doing my homework, I should go get some things done.  Almost graduated! YEAH!