Moonstone and Labradorite from Dory Blue

Moonstone and Labradorite – Semi precious gems that play with light

In 2018 we introduced a new Canadian jewellery designer, Kim Paddon from Newfoundland. Her company, Dory Blue from Sparkes Design features one of a kind Labradorite and Moonstone jewellery. Both of these semiprecious gemstones, whether in their natural raw or polished form, create a shine, a flash, an aura, a rainbow, a magical effect when reflected in the light or as it moved from side to side.

Labradorite ring from Dory Blue
labradorite setting in ring

Labradorite (calcium sodium feldspar) is found in igneous rock and is a gemstone named after the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, where it was found. It was officially discovered on the Isle of Paul, Near Nain in 1770 by Moravian missionaries, who named it Labradorite. Prior to that ancient Inuit legends say that it was created when the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) became trapped inside the rocks and an Inuit warrior took his spear and freed the lights so it scattered throughout the rocks. They called it a “fire stone” and would use its powdered form to cure ailments.
Each piece of labradorite is unique and locked inside the gems are a variety of hues, colours, brightness and flash. The labradorescence refers to the quality and brilliance of each piece. Its blue sheen is called “royal blue”. It can also have a multicoloured sheen, which is called “rainbow” because of the inclusions of minerals such as hematite and copper which create a wide range of colour. Labradorite can be found in Finland, Norway, Australia, Costa Rica, Germany, Mexico, Russia, the United States, Madagascar and Canada.
Moonstone (potassium sodium), like labradorite is also part of the feldspar mineral group which covers approximately 45 percent of the Earth’s crust. It is known as Labradorite’s “sister” but is not a type of labradorite. Moonstone can be translucent to semitransparent. It has a lower reflective index and blue and white are the only colours of its’ sheen. Due to the thin layers, light is scattered between the layers and creates a magical aura. This is called adularescence.
Labradorite necklace
Labradorite setting – necklace

In Eastern cultures it was thought that moonstone held a living spirit within it and that it would bring good fortune. The Roman and Greeks believed that moonstone had healing properties. It was a gem of the gods. It was also used extensively in Edwardian and Art Nouveau periods. In India it is called a “dream stone” as it is thought that if you put it under your pillow you will have beautiful dreams. Moonstone is found in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Madagascar, Brazil, Australia and India.
When wearing labradorite and moonstone, the play of light creates the natural beauty in each piece. Sparkes Design’s Labradorite and Moonstone jewellery is encased in either hand brushed or shiny 925 sterling silver. Kim has travelled the world and works with multi-generational artisans to source, select and design these beautiful pieces. Sparkes Design truly recognizes the “artistry of nature” and the beauty of these gemstones.


Hoselton Sculptures – Art in Aluminum

Hoselton Sculptures – Art in Aluminum

At The Shop we have built relationships with many Canadian artists and their studios. One of our longest and closest relationships have been with Hoselton Studio, located just outside Colborne Ontario. We have offered a wide range of their sculptures and have enjoyed a tour of their operations during a visit several years ago. Their expansive studio is located near the ‘giant apple’ that you pass as you head east along the 401.
hoselton studio logo
It was here in 1967 where brothers Gord and Carl Hoselton decided to use easily obtained raw materials such as scrap metal and marble from local quarries, to apply their artistic talents. They created a range of sculptures from which they formed moulds to cast reproductions in aluminum.
Now 50 years later, Holselton Studio continues creating over 500 unique sculptures. Their artform begins as drawings and, with a collaborative approach, they are transformed into luminous aluminum sculptures, made from recycled alloy. A whole team is involved with this creation, using perfected techniques to cast, clean and polish the final product.
Ultimately the company was passed down to the next generation of Hoseltons. Gord and Carl’s daughters, Jan and Carol, took over the studio and now Jan Hoselton is the owner.

Their extensive and time-consuming process of sand casting was perfected by Gord and Allan Butters over 40 years ago. The sand cast is taken from the original image and a 2-piece mold is created. Heated to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit, the molten aluminum is poured into a new mould and then cooled.

When completed, the sculpture takes on a beautiful sheen either in a shiny or brushed finish. The simplicity of design of each piece is what creates a quiet elegant connection to nature and our beautiful country of Canada.
Hoselton’s Art in Aluminum have been presented to Heads of State, Prime Ministers, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Queen Elizabeth II as well as gifts on behalf of the Canadian Gov’t.
Their pieces are a popular item gifted to foreign visitors or brought to other countries as gifts by both business and personal travelers. Several versions of loons are available, varying in size and pose.

hoselton loon with chicks sculpture
The popular loon with chicks mounted sculpture on dark marble.

Inukshuks, bears, beavers and moose are also representative of Canada, and all can be mounted on marble creating a stunning look.
Inukshuk circle on white marble
Five inukshuks in a circle mounted on white marble.

tree of life in aluminum
The Tree of Life – can also be mounted.

Clothing and Accessories Leather

Laparelle Leather Handbags

New to the Shop are LAPARELLE handbags. Using Italian Top Grain leather, these handbags are beautifully made by hand in Toronto by two sisters both designers in fashion and architecture. They are “fresh and elegantly constructed” and, by featuring contrasting colours of the outer and inner leathers, are easily reversible for a new look.

There are three very current styles:

“The Reversible Shell” is a top handled tote bag with a contrasting interior and signature hardware details. The Shell Style is presently available in two sizes, medium and mini. The hardware is also available in a variety of finishes. This tote was their first design to start the company and is “truly a showstopper”.

“The Oyster” is a reversible clutch bag with its custom hardware and chain. The chain can be tucked inside or worn as a shoulder strap. Made in three sizes and with several finishes available for the hardware, this bag is very chic for day or evening.

“The Envelope Clutch” is a classic understated beauty that is detailed with their signature closure and is reversible as well. Properly proportioned to fit smartly in the hand or under your arm.

LAPARALLE handbags are all about COLOUR. Luxurious and supple top grain Italian leather are available in a range of colours or can be ordered from the swatches displayed in The Shop.
Come into The Shop and choose your bag for the season. So many gorgeous styles and colours that will truly create the perfect fashion pairing.


Pomp & Ceremony Men’s Accessories made with Liberty London fabrics

Andrea Dixon has an eye for style – that is obvious from the prints she chooses for her men’s ties, pocket squares and bow ties. She selects from the range of patterns offered by Liberty London in their quality cottons, wools and silks. Since some of the patterns are seasonal, these accessories may only be offered for a very limited time.
While some patterns are bold and colourful, others are more subdued. This means you can choose items for very different occasions. Better yet, mix and match the patterns to come up with your own distinctive looks.

Liberty prints are made for Liberty London, a department store located in London England. The store was started back in 1875 by Arthur Lasenby Liberty who grew the business into what was considered the trendiest or most fashionable shop in London. He used British designers to create prints that were then manufactured in textile factories in Merton. The designs of the fabrics and fashions rivaled those of other European fashion centres. This reputation for fabric design continues to this day.

Andrea works out of Toronto, making this yet another small local company we are supporting. Her products caught our eye last year, and we are pleased that she has agrees to make us the first Mississauga store to highlight her products.

The bow ties are self tie – (shouldn’t every man know how to tie their own bow tie? – would James Bond wear a pre-tied?) and can adjust to a twenty-inch neck size. Regular ties are 2.75 inches wide at the end – perfect width that is always in style! And yes, these are self tie as well! The pocket squares are 15 inches by 15 inches.
Later, we may add ascots, thin ties, matching cuff links and bow ties for boys from her selection.

mens grooming skin and beauty

Aging or Ageless

The Rolling Stones lamented about it, Ponce De Leon supposedly searched for a cure, and Indiana Jones even found the magic potion to stop and reverse it – the passage of time and the effect on our body.  But time does progress and we suffer the tug of gravity and the wear of wind and sun – we know that aging occurs. By practicing daily rituals it is possible to minimize the damage and maintain our skin the best we can.

The beauty, makeup and skincare industry has targeted the effects of time by promoting products termed ‘anti aging’.  Push back to this term (and mindset) has been growing. Sonja from Double Happiness writes about the terminology of anti-aging.

Allure magazine has stopped using the term . It is not so much political correctness, it is more an issue of truthfulness. Huffpost writes:

At 54, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is looking better than ever, and we think it may have something to do with her unique approach to aging.
“I hate that word [anti-aging]! It should be something positive, like pro-aging,” the actress told NewBeauty Magazine in a recent interview she did as their spring cover girl.

At The Shop we carry a range of moisturizers, scrubs and lotions that help maintain a more healthy skin.  Other products are formulated for problem skin – has a preshave, shave cream and soap as well as aftershave balm for sensitive skin.  Exercise, good diet, enough sleep and proper skin care all go a long way in maintaining our healthy bodies.

Jewellery mens grooming Uncategorized

Men’s Jewellery Cufflinks

Looking for a simple and effective way to make an individual fashion statement? Consider wearing cufflinks. The extra touch can stand out without being garish – unless of coarse that is the effect you are trying to create. Formal dress in a tux would be incomplete without cufflinks, but as the level of formality drops, their use becomes less essential, yet makes a real fashion statement. They lend a touch of class that brings attention to the detail in your overall look. Novelty themes of the jewellery become quickly noticed and are sure to elicit comments if not compliments.
Wearing Cufflinks
Normally worn with French (or double) cuffs, they also work with convertible cuffs which sport a hole beside the button(s) that allow access for a cufflink.

Photo by Joshua Reddekopp on Unsplash

There are a couple of methods of using cufflinks with convertible barrel cuffs. Here, the cuff is folded as if it were a French cuff, with the buttons now being on the opposite side of the cufflink, facing out. You can also shape the cuff as you would if the buttons were being used, now the buttons would be layered between the top and bottom cuff.

This barrel cuff is made with a button hole running between the two buttons affixed.

Here, the cufflink has been passed through the straight through the two button holes with the lower part of the cuff underneath the top, basically worn as a regular barrel cuff. This works best when the sleeve of the jacket is slimmer, not allowing for the extra width of the French Cuff.

Another option is to wear the cufflink through the holes with the same method used for French cuffs.

French cuff – a more formal look. But don’t be afraid to use these cuffs on less formal shirts and event.

In our next posting, we will show you a range of cufflink styles that are currently available.

Canadian made Lipson custom dress shirts are available at Ladner’s Clothiers in Streetsville.  (220 Queen St S – now on the upper level)

mens grooming

Pre-Shave Oil

“If I use a good shave cream or soap, why would I need another pre-shave product?”
There are a couple reasons to use a pre-shave, but the main purpose is to condition the skin and the stubble in a way that improves the shaving experience. Your skin should be moisturized and your beard softened making the cutting of the hairs easier. Some products do add a layer of lubricant as well, but that may not be critical if your shave cream is good quality. This classification of products could be of great advantage for those who suffer from sensitive skin and get rashes, razor burn or other discomfort after shaving.
Start your routine by cleaning your face with warm to hot water as you find comfortable, preferably using a good face scrub or face cleanser. The hot water helps open pours and soften the hairs. Next take a dime-sized amount of pre-shave oil, rub between your palms then apply to you face, best moving against the grain. The oil helps condition the skin and soften the hairs, so adequate contact and absorption are part of the routine. Check the product to see if they recommend waiting before lathering or if you go directly to the shave. You can apply during showering to take advantage of the effect of the steam and the extra time to help the product work. Apply your lather then enjoy your shave!

Truefitt and Hill Pre-shave Oil

Truefitt and Hill pre shave oil contains ten essential oils formulated to hydrate, lubricate and help with healing and conditioning your skin. Apply and enjoy the great scent.

Edwin Jagger Pre-shave Lotion

Edwin Jagger offers a lotion in a tube. Application leaves a cooling sensation from the menthol used in the formula. Ingredients are 99.9% natural and paraben free. The lotion hydrates the skin and hairs by increasing the water absorption of the hairs, and creates a thin layer to helps decrease the effect of the razor against the skin reducing razor burn. Unscented.

Peregrine Pre-shave Oil

With a sandalwood scent, Peregrine pre-shave oil works by softening the hairs and forming a lubricating layer. Pre-shave Gel

The Baume.Be line was created by a gentleman from Belgium who suffers from sensitive skin. His line includes a pre shave gel, shave soap, shave cream and an alcohol free aftershave balm. The pre-shave is a gel the helps to soften and lubricate.

Crown Shaving supreme glide pre shave

Containing aloe juice and other extracts, Crown Shaving Co pre shave is non greasy and non oily. Hydrates, lubricates and protects with a range of botanical extracts.

Takonic Pre-shave Oil

100% organic ingredients -Vitamin E, organic safflower, organic castor and grape seed oil SSoftens the beard, lubricates to help prevent razor burn. Unscented.

Weston And Lawrence Pre-shave Oil
Vegan made, contains grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, castor oil, tea tree oil, lavender oil, and eucalyptus oil.Protects and moisturizes.


the Authentic Cutthroat Shaving Company

The Cuttroat Shaving Company will be demonstrating their products in The Shop on Saturday May 7th. Come in and meet Amber and her line of shave soaps, balms, oils and shampoos. She also creates handmade razors and shaving brushes. We are hoping she is able to bring a selection for viewing!