Archive for the ‘Giving’ Category

I’m sure you must be aware by now that one of my all-time causes is the Furniture Bank.  Since childhood, I’ve participated in charitable events.  Does anyone remember Variety Villages’ Bike – a – thon?  Did it for years.

Well, now my energy goes to the Furniture Bank.  Right here in Toronto, the Furniture Bank is responsible for redirecting thousands of tons of furniture and household goods that would have ended up in landfills, helps thousands of families make their homes comfortable and liveable by providing items we just take for granted – like mattresses, bedding, sofa’s, chairs, utensils, etc.  I’ve volunteered as a client consultant and this will be the second year that I will be participating in the Chair Affair.  More on that later.

You too can help the Furniture Bank from the comfort of your own home by simply voting for it on the Keg’s 40th Anniversary Thanks a Million Grant program.  Just vote for it every day until June 14th, to help them win a a much needed grant of $25,000.

It’s really easy.  Just click here  every day for the next 2 weeks and vote for the Furniture Bank.

Thanks a Million!!!



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Exciting things are happening at the Furniture Bank!

As head of the Design Committee for the Chair Affair this year, I’ve been very busy this month reaching out to the design community.  This year, we are looking for 35 designer/artists to participate in this event. And the enthusiasm and response has been overwhelming.  Within a one month period we’ve had over 25 designers sign up!

Here’s a sneak peak of the list:

Jane Hall

Brothers Dressler

Ange-line Tetrault

Karen Kayne

Neil Johnson – Chapman Designs

Nathalie Nahas

Christine Flynn – Love the Design

Julie Jenkinson

And more…..

These amazing designers will be picking an ordinary donated chair from the Furniture Bank warehouse and transforming them into extraordinary pieces of artistic design.

Here are a few of last years designer submissions:

Karen Kayne Design

Sandra Muscat – Sky Factory Studio

Alex Chapman Designs

All designer submissions will need to be in before May 1st to be eligible for selection. And the final group of designers will be invited to the Designer Pre-Event.

If you are a designer or artist, or know of anyone who would like to participate, simply add your comment to this post and I’ll get back to you with details.

Cheers and I wish you a wonderful weekend!



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Good Morning everyone,

First off, I’d like to apologize for the random posts that you’ve received in the past few days.  I have been reorganizing my Gallery page in such a way that you can view some of my work on the same page, rather than have to scroll down to see the pictures.  So instead I’ve created thumbnails that when clicked will bring you to the page with the images.  If you haven’t seen it yet, please check it out (the Gallery tag is at the top of this page) and let me know what you think.

Secondly, I wanted to share some great news.  You already know about my favourite charity the Furniture Bank, since I blogged about my participation in their annual Chair Affair last year and since you can see it regularly down the right side of this page in the “GIVING” box. Remember my Chair Cozy?  Well, I’ve been honored with an invitation to lead the Design Committee this year.  And we’ll be meeting, (probably as you’re reading this) to discuss progress from the kick off meeting last month.  I can’t tell you too much at this point, but I can hint at a few things that are in the works.

There will be a big celebrity hosting the event this year.  I can’t say who, but let’s just say that he or she is a regular home design celebrity. The number of designers participating this year has increased to 35 from last year’s 30.  And that’s because the interest and response has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic in the design community. And the judging panel, will consist of leading design experts in the industry. I can hardly wait to let you know who will be participating!!!

We will be finding out any day where the event will be held. Last year’s event was at the Steam Whistle Brewery and it was fantastic!  So fingers crossed.

This year’s team of committee members bring a wide range of expertise and are devoted and enthusiastic.  Match that with a cause that is truly worthy of everyone’s attention- Helping families live in dignity by furnishing their homes.

Read more about what the Furniture Bank does for the environment as well.

I’ll keep you up to date on the progress of the Chair Affair as we get closer. Hmmm, what will I design this year?


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Keep on Giving!

Christy and Shana from Gus* Design Group, delivering one of many baskets of food to local food banks

Every year for the past 3 years Gus Design Group at Style Garage has held the “Keep on Giving” Event and this year has been the most successful one yet!

Gus* Design Group Inc., the Toronto-based modern home furnishings manufacturer, today announced the result of its third “Keep On Giving!” promotion, which offered North American consumers a discount on modern furniture when they donated to local food banks. Gus* and its participating retailers collected over 1800 pounds of food during the promotion, surpassing the previous year’s donation.

During the month of January, consumers that brought 3 non-perishable food items into a participating Gus* retailer received 15% off the MSRP on Gus* Modern Essentials upholstery, dining, storage, lighting, and accessories. Collected food was distributed by the participating retailers to local food banks in their respective communities.

“We had a great response to the Gus* Keep On Giving Event.”, said David Haleston, owner of Hip Furniture in Portland, Oregon.  “Our customers were thrilled to receive a good deal in return for a good deed.  In fact, some of the donations we received were from people that just wanted to help those in need in the community – they weren’t in the market for furniture right now.  That’s what the spirit of this event is all about.”

The Gus* Modern furniture collection is characterized by clean-lined upholstery and accents, all inspired by mid-century classics.  The promotion applied to all pieces in the Essentials line, which consists of in-stock modern furniture in a variety of finish options.  All of the upholstery frames in the Gus* Modern line, including the new condo-sized LOFT Series, are produced with FSC-certified wood, in support of responsible forest management.

Way to go everyone!





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I’m dubbing Tuesdays “Giving Days”!

And with that, I have to tell you about an amazing neighbour/friend, who with her awe-inspiring commitment and determination turned a little bake sale into a major fundraising initiative.

Like many of us, the devastation of the earthquake that hit Haiti last January had a profound effect on Susana Molinoto. Susana felt that she had to do something more.  So she put out a call to her friends and neighbours to make a bunch of cupcakes for a bake sale on her front lawn. Her goal was $5000.

She raised an astounding $12,000 plus.  This created an amazing amount of media buzz and she hasn’t stopped yet.

You can now buy the cookbook “Cupcakes for Haiti” this Saturday, November 6th from 2 to 4 pm.  The launch is being supported by a whole block of stores in Leslieville, from Voulez-Vous Café, 1560 Queen St. East to Beaufort Déco, 1576 Queen St. East.

With a 10 year goal to send $1 billion to help rebuild Haiti, 100% of the sale proceeds will go to MSF( Doctors without Borders) Canada and FINCA Canada.

The Haitian people are still struggling to survive.

So get down to the book launch and buy everyone you know one of these beautiful books for Christmas.

On sale for only $20 at the launch or directly from Susana at 416-906-6037.

We can make a difference, one cupcake at a time.


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I might have mentioned one or two times (especially if you’re following my Tweets) that I am donating a chair for the Chair Affair fundraising event for the Furniture Bank.  Well, I’ve finally finished it!  And I’m thrilled to share with you the process of making my Chair Cozy.

My final decision to make the “Cozy”  originally came for the animated Beauty and the Beast. Remember how the furniture was enchanted?  I love that movie. Since the chair has throughout history been the symbol of support for the human body, I decided to take the concept of the seat a little farther. Like Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, this chair not only supports you but will embrace and protect you as you snuggle in it’s arms.

Here’s how I did it:

First –  the plans

Then I gathered sweaters at Goodwill Buy the Pound and sorted them out according to the colour palette I had planned.

Then I ordered garment tags, picked up the felt and other supplies and had the word panels made by Wendy at The Wool Mill.

Then I sanded and painted the chair a matte black and fastened the felt to the seat with bolts.

Now the real fun!  Since making a pattern would just be silly, I measured and taped off my dining table to make the panels from.

Sew, sew, sew…  After almost breaking my serger and single stitch machine and 6 needles later…

The Chair Affair will be held on October 21st. So mark your calendars!

If you would like to make a bid for this chair or any other, please go to the Chair Affair.

A humungous thank you goes out to Patty Lowry for the wonderful words, Wendy Mortimer at The Wool Mill for the knit panels & supplies and Dale at macFAB for the felt!


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Giving back, helping your neighbours or volunteering for a worthy cause is one of the most satisfying things we can do.  My oldest son recently reminded me of this.

“It is necessary to help others, not only in our prayers, but in our daily lives. If we find we cannot help others, the least we can do is to desist from harming them.” Dalai Lama.

I met Linda Canning last year at a street yard sale.  You might remember the post I did on it – Clutter and What to do with it. Linda organized the street sale with her neighbours who donated the proceeds to her son Thomas.  This is just one of the fundraising events she puts on to raise money for extra medical procedures that her son Thomas requires.

Linda’s strength and love inspires me to be a better person and give where ever I can. So besides helping with the yard sale I felt I could do more and have donated my services for the silent auction “An Evening for Thomas”.  This evening is organized to raise money for a highly specialized surgical procedure that only 2 doctors in the whole world perform.  Read the Article in INSIDE TORONTO.

This year there are tons of items to bid on, including a weekend get-away in New York, a condominium stay in Costa Rica, an overnight stay in Ottawa for a Maple Leafs versus Senators game and a paint ball adventure for 10 in Huntsville, Ontario.

Visit Hope For Thomas for auction details.

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.  Winston Churchill

Wishing you a wonderful weekend.


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