Things We Love

In every issue, we showcase products, ideas and places that we know you’ll love.

Living Composter System

Back in the before time—that’s the 1990s—vermicomposting was out there on the eco-fringe and the composters were fugly. They were usually fashioned from two big plastic bins, one set into the other. Made of just two compartments, they were also tricky to manage; worms could get too wet or dry out or (horrors!) escape. Now, with the Living Composter, we think it’s fair to say we are living in the golden age of vermiculture. With Danish good looks, this three-tiered system is made in Canada and comes in four fashionable colours (plum, grey, green and black), with sleek wooden legs—making it pretty enough to leave on display. Distributed by Cathy’s Crawlers, it boasts many features: the trays have moisture-control, water-retention channels; worms can now migrate between the trays; the raised trays allow plenty of airflow across the bedding; the double-walled lid and base provide insulation to help maintain an ideal environment; and the initial bedding is included, as is lifetime support. If you want to be green but the thought of handling slimy red wigglers gives you the shivers, this tray system is hands-free! –Signe Langford

Two Smiths Blacksmith Studio

Across the hundreds of years that the trade has been in existence, blacksmiths have traditionally been men. They were hardly considered artists, but more a necessity of village life, keeping farm equipment in working order and horse feet properly shod. Enter Sandra Dunn, a renowned Canadian blacksmith who manipulates iron and steel into pieces of art designed from her Two Smiths studio in Kitchener, Ontario, which she opened in 2000. Her work can be seen across Canada, including at the Royal Tyrell Museum in Alberta, where she and Alberta blacksmith Lynn Gratz created a special mount to display a replica Daspletosaurus skull found near Milk River, Alberta. If you’re looking for a unique, custom piece for your home, Two Smiths designs smaller-scale products to add interest to your spaces. You can also book a spot in one of the popular workshops, to create bowls and other decorative items.

Shay Salehi Glass Sculptures

Glass-blowing is quietly gaining mainstream recognition, with a new reality competition show on Netflix called Blown Away featuring artists from Canada and the U.S. It makes sense that people would tune in to the hold-your-breath drama that goes behind the scenes of the creation of a piece of art from a ball of hot glass. One artist not featured on the show but gaining recognition across Canada is Shay Salehi, who attended Sheridan College, like many glass-blowing artists before her. In her studio in Guelph, Ontario, she creates breathtaking, dramatic sculptures to decorate your space, turn heads and start conversations. She has also won such accolades as the One of a Kind Show Craft Community Award (2015), the GAAC Project Grant, and the Best of Exhibition (Student) at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition. You can find her gorgeous, decorative bowls for sale at Sandra Ainsley Gallery (, L.A. Pai Gallery ( and the Gallery Shop ( in the Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery.

Urban Cultivator

Fresh, organic produce year-round can be yours, and grown right in your own kitchen, to boot! Based out of Surrey, British Columbia, the Urban Cultivator gives you the ability to grow your very own fresh arugula, basil and other delicious herbs and greens no matter the season. Easy to use, with pre-programmed settings, the Urban Cultivator even has its own irrigation system and lighting that mimics sunlight, so your produce will taste like it was just picked from the fields. The residential unit is small and can be discreetly tucked under a counter or put on display. (We vote for the latter, because it’s so beautifully designed!)

Modern bright kitchen interior 3d render

Culinary Historians of Canada

Canada has a rich food history, informed by the food traditions of the First Nations people, a diverse immigrant population and regional specialties. The Culinary Historians of Canada furthers the expansion of our knowledge of Canadian cuisine, showcasing everything that makes the food here so wonderful. Exploring the history behind dishes and the evolution of our food narrative and history, the organization is a treasure trove of encyclopedic knowledge and practical experience. Offering tastings, workshops, prestigious awards and events highlighting food from our history, the group is working to educate Canadians on the importance of knowing our food history and where exactly our food and most-loved recipes come from.

Catalina Margulis
Catalina Margulis

An editor with 15-plus years in the publishing business, Catalina Margulis’ byline spans travel, food, decor, parenting, fashion, beauty, health and business. When she’s not chasing after her three young children, she can be found painting her home, taming her garden and baking muffins.

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Posted on Wednesday, January 13th, 2021
Filed under Gardening

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