Jen lives in Ottawa, Canada where she handcrafts natural kids’ gear and decor for SewnNatural, the shop she shares with her mother. In the fleeting spaces in between mothering, she shares musings, recipes and eco-living tips on her blog, the SewnNatural studio.
On July 1st, Canadians celebrate our national birthday. Across this huge country of stunning natural beauty, six time zones, and a rich cultural mosaic of First Peoples and immigrants from every corner of the world, we all define what it means to be a Canadian a little differently. On Canada Day, a federal statutory holiday, celebrations are held across the country and are mostly about having fun, enjoying nature and celebrating a sense of community. There’s no standard recipe about how Canadians celebrate the holiday, and that’s part of the beauty of why Canada is so special.
If you took a road trip, driving from coast (Pacific Ocean) to coast (Atlantic Ocean) to coast (Arctic Ocean), these beautiful places are what you might see on your way, and these Etsy sellers are some of the people you could meet.
Jennifer from Salts Clothing makes eco-friendly garments and lives in British Columbia. “This photo shows me and my team at the Whiffin Spit Beach in Sooke, BC, on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. I am inspired by the ocean and our West Coast life on the beaches of Canada. I love to make beautiful clothes that you can move and play in.”
Tim from Coast Chimes, a.k.a. tskDesign, is a full-time glass, copper and wood artist from the sunshine coast in British Columbia. He makes wind chimes and suncatchers. “I work pretty hard. But every day I take the time to go for a long hike with my dog, Yukon. We mostly go up in the rainforest above our house. These woods are riddled with trails and old logging roads. It’s refreshing, revitalizing and a source of much inspiration. I love it up there.”
Artists Norm and Judy from matechuk live in Whitehorse, Yukon, in Canada’s far North. “We spent our honeymoon in Skagway, Alaska in 1969. We had to take the train the 100 miles from Whitehorse, Yukon, as there was no road! Last year we drove with our three adult children and celebrated our 41st anniversary with a fishing trip — salmon fishing in Haines, Alaska is a family tradition. Norm uses a lot of Alaska yellow birch in his woodturning, as we have no native hardwoods in the Yukon. My colorful Northern landscapes and sandblasted glass are inspired by the rich vista that surrounds us. We tend to think of ourselves as living in a Northern community and the U.S./Canadian boundaries are blurred here. We share amazing larger-than-life panoramas that bring out the inner artist in us all.”
Andi designs eco-friendly leather bags made from vintage leather jackets as hoakonhelga and lives in the province of Alberta. “Living in Calgary, Alberta gives me the perks of a short, one-hour drive to the Canadian Rocky Mountains. I spend my days in Calgary sewing in my home studio and enjoy weekends in the mountains any chance I can get. This picture was taken at one of my favorite spots — Moraine Lake in Banff National Park. Here you can enjoy an amazing hike, particularly beautiful in the fall when the needles of the Larches turn an amazing bright golden yellow. You can also canoe in the deep bright blue Moraine Lake framed by the mountains. It can’t get much better than this!”
Artist Helen, a.k.a. zukzuk, lives in Toronto after moving on a whim from New Zealand nine years ago. “Here is a picture of me at High Park in Toronto, which is a beautiful green space a short bike ride from my home. My craft is pen and ink drawings, which typically feature fanciful characters — bears, birds and the like — rendered in vibrant colours. I feel pretty joyful most of the time and I think that comes through in my work, but if I need a little creative pick-me-up I find the splendor and tranquility of nature most suitable for my spiritual replenishment — hence the little jaunts to High Park!”
Rebecca from replicca lives in Hamilton, Ontario. “I design clothing in Hamilton, an industrial city on a bay, where you can ride your bicycle in any direction and find amazing natural spaces — parks, forests, waterfalls and lakes. Here I am enjoying a hazy sunset at Bayfront Park on Lake Ontario, a five minute ride from home. I love that my city provides this fundamental balance, this requisite yin and yang.”
Jen her mother Jane of SewnNatural both live in Ottawa, where they handcraft eco-friendly kids’ gear. “I love the quieter, less discovered and natural parts of Ottawa, Canada’s capital city. Here I am in the bird-filled wildlife conservation area and arboretum next to the Rideau Canal, a place I love to visit with my daughter. Watching the joy and discovery of children in nature inspires me and reminds me that simpler is often better and much more beautiful.”
Zohar of PatternRecognitions is a Montreal-based video artist who adapts her images and digitally prints them on silk scarves and bandanas. “This picture was taken in the Laurentians, where my partner and I have a cottage near Morin Heights. Since I’m originally from Israel I have been particularly impressed by the dramatic scenery and seasonal changes of the Québec countryside, and much of the inspiration for my current work now comes from the nature that surrounds me.”
Guylaine and Isabelle of tomatedepingles are self-taught jewelers from Québec city. “We chose to take the picture in front of La Gare du Palais, precisely in front of the fountain. Its a beautifull fountain by Daudelin, a Québec artist that was a pioneer in both abstract art and in the integration of artwork and architecture in public spaces. This piece in particular is quite spectacular, both because of the simplicity and the beauty of its design. Also, we are truly inspired by the rusty yet modern look the fountain has compared to the old antiqued look of the Gare du Palais. We like to mix and match old and new in our own work.”
EveldasNeverland‘s Ewelina lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick. “My art is creating unique fashion accessories using earth-friendly materials of natural origin. I have always been inspired by the nature surrounding us. This picture of me was taken in a beautiful Acadian Forest, a place where I found many ideas for my creations. I come here whenever I need to relax and get a fresh artistic breeze.”
Rita from seaglassdesigns lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She handcrafts eco-friendly, organic jewellery from genuine sea glass, pottery and china shards. “Nova Scotian beaches are my favourite places in the world. I grew up in Cape Breton, which has some of the most rugged and beautiful beaches in the world, and I’ve been collecting sea glass since I was little. It’s always a thrill to see that little flash of colour hiding in the rocks and sand. I’m addicted, but it’s a happy addiction and I don’t wish to stop, ever. I took some metalsmithing courses about five years ago, fell in love with it, and have enjoyed combining the two passions. I feel very fortunate to be able to do something I enjoy every day.”
Thanks to Jen from SewnNatural for introducing us to some of Etsy’s Canadian artists
from across this expansive and beautiful country. Happy Canada Day!