#iheartscout; 405 Roncesvalles Ave., Toronto

Guys, I’m going to get a little sentimental here and go off on a little tangent, but believe me, this all winds back around to Scout (which happens to be my absolute favourite little boutique in Toronto).

So, if you’ve visited my little “About” page, you’ve seen about a quarter of what is the main street (literally, it’s called Main Street) of my little hometown of Warkworth, Ontario. I heart Warkworth. I was born and raised there, and I still return at least once a month to visit my family. On almost every occasion home, I end up on Main Street, which is one of the three streets that make up the heart of Warkworth (Church Street and East Street are the remaining two).

The village has changed a lot since I was young. Present-day Warkworth is a tiny little village full of surprises and shops that celebrate the arts, good food, and at times, the whimsically absurd, with the majority of goods coming from crafters, artisans, and small-batch clothing and food companies. It’s this spirit that I love about Warkworth; it’s all about community and supporting the little guys with passion and creativity. (More to come on Warkworth in an upcoming post though, including the upcoming East Street Market and Warkworth Long Lunch—a community affair!)

So what does this all have to do with Scout? Well, I’m a smalltown girl at heart. I live in the big city of Toronto now, and I enjoy its little neighbourhoods, but Scout was the first space in this city that gave me this same sense of community and pure joy the moment I walked into this little shop of happiness on Roncescvalles a little over a year and a half ago.

Scout offers one-of-a-kind and handmade goods—that includes everything from stationary and books to jewellery, bags, candles, natural beauty products, brooch Bowies and Ron Swansons, and everything in between. When it comes to my purchases, I have two pretty big obsessions: jewellery and mugs. Scout perpetuates both with its stellar selections. Really, I’m just plain hooked on Scout and could gush over this place for seemingly ever, but every post must eventually end.

Before I sign off and leave you with a little sneak-peek gallery, let me offer a couple of tips for your upcoming shopping trip to Scout (because, you know you just have to go now):

  1. Bring lots of money, because you’ll want to buy everything
  2. If you need any help, just ask; the ladies at Scout are always super helpful and the absolute sweetest!
  3. If you like it, buy it; things can go fast and as any one-of-a-kind goods lover knows, when it’s gone, it’s gone. (I’ve learned the hard way…sigh)

For more information on Scout’s location and hours, head on over to

Salvage Ink

Shannon Smith; Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I first came across Salvage Ink in the Etsy district at the One-of-a-Kind Spring Show in Toronto. When I learned about the inspiration behind the hand screenprinted patterns, I fell in love.

Salvage Ink is all about everyday lines and images, the simplification of common objects or sights into lines and recurring patterns, and the translation of the urban and industrial into something more natural. The manhole-inspired leaf pattern is a perfect example of the latter. Her bird patterns are a slight reversal of this, the focus being more on the lines and patterns than the flocks. Finally, Shannon’s diamond pattern is an example of how she takes an industrial antique to create a blockprint with a cast-iron original, leading to a raw, texturized look. This is the idea behind the name Salvage Ink.

My personal interpretation: There are times when cities have their eyesores or there are those little everyday elements in nature that we tend to overlook—those common objects and natural elements. Shannon’s works present these overlooked and forgotten features in a simple, minimalistic way that breaks them down into their basic forms, forcing us to see worn, salvaged items and nature in a new, inspiring way.

Shannon applies her contemporary designs to napkins, dish towels, and pillows, all made of eco-friendly organic and hemp fabrics whenever possible and water-based, non-toxic inks.

Purchase information: Find Shannon’s Salvage Ink creations on Etsy.