contact us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right.

532 Annette St
Toronto, ON, M6S 2C2
Canada

4169349771

CREATIVE MATTERS INC.

INSPIRED FLOOR AND WALLCOVERINGS

Our mission is to design and create exceptional, original, high quality and ethically produced floor and wallcoverings

Narrative Threads

Happy 20th Birthday Creative Matters!!

Creative Matters

What a flurry of activity November has afforded Creative Matters! More than a week after our 20th Anniversary Gala Fundraiser, I finally have a chance to sit down and write about our fantastic night.

First of all, we’re 20! Happy Birthday Creative Matters! Congratulations to Carol and Donna for such a great feat – and here’s to 20 more, right? So, the night went off without a hitch and we saw just over 500 people come through our event at Gallery 345 to help us celebrate. Our long and arduous hours of installing the show, that saw the whole staff (and some of their parents!?) hammering and hanging, sweeping and cleaning, paid off.

The gallery was transformed from a very promising canvas into a feast for the eyes (and hearts!) that displayed our new collection of hand-knotted carpets as well as a retrospective of 20 years worth of CMI designs and photographs.

One of the other big highlights of the evening was the unveiling of Hariti, the responsible, luxury rug that was created as a fund-raising piece that will be raffled to benefit RugMark. RugMark, as you know, works to end illegal child labor in the carpet industry in South Asia and offers educational opportunities to children who are rescued from carpet mills. The carpet is stunning and we sold a ton of raffle tickets. We’re nearing our goal but we’re still not there – so buy buy buy! You still have 13 days left! I can't even tell you what an opportunity this is - the chance to win a hand knotted, one-of-a-kind, wool and silk carpet - for $25!

In addition to all of this we finally had the opportunity to meet a RugMark representative, in the flesh! Heather Joseph, RugMark’s Development Officer (who is lovely) flew in from Washington, D.C. She came and spoke and worked the room to spread the word. And as a special treat, Heather was joined by Robin Romano, the talented photographer (and amazing speaker) who shot the Faces of Freedom show that hung at Gallery 345 in conjunction with Floored to be 20. The photos were breath taking and we were so happy that they could share in our celebration.

Great big thank-yous to everyone who helped to make our party perfect! Stay tuned for more party pics on our next post "The Guest List".

Stay warm (curled up on a wool carpet)!

Erin

Memories of Nepal...

Creative Matters

With the RugMark Raffle well underway, many of you may be curious as to the origins of the carpet Hariti. We know that it was inspired by a photograph taken by Carol while on her first visit to Nepal and that the name translates as "Protectress of Children" in Tibetan. When asked about the photo and her trip to South Asia, Carol spoke about her feelings and memories from that sunny say in October 2000:

"The inspiration for our rug Hariti was taken from a photo I took in Kathmandu at Durbar Square in October 2000. It was my first trip to Nepal and I was overcome by the spiritual connectedness of the country and the people. This photo of a child in the temple area surrounded by the pigeons was a thrilling moment. The cooing of the pigeons, the relative quiet in the temple area and then stepping out to the mayhem of the street, foreign yet oddly familiar. People confirming their beliefs in the temple, turning the prayer wheels, lighting candles, oddly similar to going to church in Canada.

I'm so happy that the rug has been made and has the beautiful energy that reminds me of that October journey." - Carol Sebert

There you have it. The finished carpet is absolutely breath taking - and so are the photos but, you have to see it in person.

Hariti will be hanging at Gallery 345 from November 13th to 15th as a part of our 20th Anniversary gallery show, Floored to be 20. Tickets are available by visiting the RugMark website.

All proceeds go to support this great cause to end child labour in South Asian carpet mills.

Thanks in advance for your support!

Just a little reminder...

Creative Matters

Good morning everyone!

The countdown is on to win Hariti, Tibetan for “Protectress of Children”, an original and responsible, luxury rug designed by Creative Matters.

All proceeds from the raffle go directly to RugMark, a non-profit organization working to end child labour in South East Asia. The cost of only two tickets ($50.00) offers a child a full year of education.

If you have already purchased a ticket for Hariti, here is a great photo of the hand made wool and silk area rug, graced by furniture courtesy of Klaus by Nienkamper.

Visit the Creative Matters blog for the inspiration and progress of this journey. Send a child to school, give an opportunity for an educated future and hope to win Hariti.

Click Here to Purchase your Ticket for Hariti!

Have a great weekend and keeping checking in for more updates!

Erin

Cover Story

Creative Matters

We were delighted to see one of our projects on the cover of October 2008 Metropolitan Home this month titled "Asian Fusion". Working with the talented Shamir Shah on this Soho apartment, we assisted on textures and offered suggestions on some of the natural fibers. Needless to say, the rug was woven at one of our RugMark certified mills in Nepal. The striped rug was a combination of wool, hemp and silks in browns and gold tones with a bright persimmon accent.

Beautiful photos, beautiful magazine - here are a few shots of the residence and carpet taken by Met photographer Antoine Bootz.

Hariti Coverage!

Creative Matters

Hi All,

Over the past week or so, we've been getting some good responses to our cause as "Hariti" takes centre stage.


Arren Williams, who has kindly posted us on his blog, is a freelance stylist, editor and trend reporter. His work can be seen regularly in the National Post, Flare and Canada's top decor mags. Arren is also a regular guest expert on Citytv's CityLine.

http://www.arrenwilliams.com/blog/2008/9/10/good-cause-good-design.html

We were also highlighted in the National Post's Home section this past Saturday:

http://www.nationalpost.com/life/homes/story.html?id=788114

We'll keep updating you as more coverage comes in!

The Big Day is Here!

Creative Matters

Hi everyone, this is Donna Hastings and I am pleased to let you know that

on our trip to Nepal a few weeks ago, Carol and I saw the completed "Hariti". It makes a strong statement, which we love. The colours are vibrant and rich, and current with the trend to more colourful living spaces. It could make a dramatic statement to the home or office and I can imagine it surrounded by rich maroons and corals on the walls and furniture. Handspun Tibetan yarn with silk details just make it sparkle!

As of today the raffle tickets for Hariti are available for sale. Just click here to purchase tickets via a secure donation system through RugMark, powered by Groundspring.

The tickets are $25 each, 5 for $100, or 12 for $200. Now is your chance to make a difference. It's amazing that only $50.00, the price of 2 tickets will cover the costs of sending 1 child to school for a year!

Creative Matters is proud to support such a worthy cause, and offer the opportunity for you to win a custom designed rug.

Namaste,

Donna

Letters to Canada Pt.1

Creative Matters

I'm happy to announce that Carol and Donna arrived home unscathed, albeit a bit late from their cross continent journey to South Asia. A "Storm Signal 9" typhoon called Nuri decided that she was going to swing by the Hong Kong airport where the ladies had a stopover, and wreak a little havoc. During their extended stay they took the time to write some great emails while the images were still fresh in their heads. Over the next few days we'll be sharing some of these writings and beautiful photos in preparation for September 8th (this Monday!) when raffle tickets officially go on sale, for a chance to win Hariti. As I mentioned before, she's all finished and we have photos...but you can't see those yet - you'll have to wait until Monday! In the meantime, here's some food for thought:

Donna and I went to the RugMark facilities today to see with our own eyes where the children are living who have been rescued from the looms and factories in Kathmandu.

It's a four storey building with a large playground that was, unfortunately, not usable at the time. It's rainy season here in Nepal so full of puddles, but one can imagine great games of soccer taking place. Many of the residents are young boys, as they are the more valuable child workers because they are strong at a young age. However, there are a number of girls here.

We were introduced to one lovely young girl, probably around the age of 11, who had been rescued just the day before. She had already woven 2 rugs but now has a chance for an education and a better life. She was not yet dressed in the uniform that all the children wear, a maroon shirt with navy pants. Boys and girls alike wear the same.

We toured all the facilities, from the bedrooms, which look a little like what we have in summer camp. There are bunk-beds in each room with around 10 beds in per space. The rooms were very clean and very tidy, the blankets all rolled up at the head of each bed with the pillow, shoes carefully lined up at the door. There's a cupboard for additional clothing, but these children do not have any personal items.

School books for studying were on some of the beds, rest time for some includes math review. There is a library where the children all meditate for half an hour each day, then can read and enjoy quieter games. The kitchen, which had delicious smel

ls wafting through, was staffed by a number of women, and there was a room adjacent that was the dining hall. In total there are about 40 children at this facility.

In the kitchen however, there were 5 older boys who had gone through the program at RugMark, had completed their Grade 12 level and now have sponsors for university in Kathmandu. It looked like they'd returned for a homecooked meal!

The three classrooms are simple with schoolbooks, tables and benches and a blackboard. The children are fast tracked to grade three level and depending on their competency they either continue on for the potential of university education with help from sponsors or are trained for vocational work such as carpentry.

We discussed with the managers about the cost of each student's education, and for around $50.00/ year they recieve their uniforms, school books and education. That works out to two tickets for the raffle of Hariti. Imagine, 2 tickets sends a child to school for one year! It was a great tour and wonderful to see the facilities. We are delighted to see first hand the great work being done by RugMark and feel so good about contributing directly to helping the children.

Namaste,

Carol and Donna

Yarn Spinning 101

Creative Matters

Happy Friday Everyone! I can barely believe that its the end of the week AND that, as we speak, Carol and Donna are in the sky, flying home from Nepal. They sound like they have some pretty amazing stories to tell. This is a little excerpt from an email from the ladies about their visit to the factory that produces the yarn for our carpets. Sounds like Carol and Donna had a little lesson in spinning yarn (and when we get those picture, I'll be sure to post them!) :)

On Tuesday we were able to visit a factory where the hand carding and hand-spinning of the beautiful Tibetan yarn takes place. After watching the skilled women who turn a pile of fluff into weaving yarn we tried our hand at it. Now, having seen it, first hand, we appreciate much more, the skill of the spinners. By hand they feed the yarn onto a simple spinning wheel. It is their shear skill and manipulation of the yarn that determines the fineness of the wool, super fine (like sewing thread) for 200 knot construction, a little thicker for 100 knot, thicker still for 60 knot. Incredible! We had quite a few laughs as Donna and I produced lumpy, broken, completely unusable yarn.

The group went on to explain all the ways the yarn can be spun. Most commercially and quickly is by using the spinning wheel. But we were also shown very simple ways that work too, like using a pencil, then using a spinning top that the shepherds use in the fields while tending their sheep. One of the women then showed us her Tibetan traditional robe that was woven from very fine hand spun yarn. Part of theTibetan costume is an apron of multi coloured stripes woven on narrow looms (6" wide) and sewn together. She showed us her tradtional piece, still well in use.

When the yarn comes in to be spun, it arrives from the hill stations in packages. It gets sorted into piles of white best yarn (from the underbelly of the sheep), to brown yarn (from the back) and to yarn that cannot be used (from behind the head). The best yarn is silky and smooth, and can be dyed to any colour. The brown yarn is good for flecky rugs and is also smooth but cannot be used for clean colours.

The wool from the back of the neck is like the white hairs on our heads - it's dead and has no lanolin or softness at all. The yarn is then washed and dried in the open air. Generally on the roof of the houses, which looks like a blanket of snow, even with icicles of wool dripping off the edge roof.

This is just one aspect of the many skilled portions of what goes into the hand made rugs we order. Every time I come to the Nepal I find I learn more and further appreciate the craftsmanship and detail that goes into our rugs.

See you Monday!

Carol and Donna

Check back soon for more stories and photos from the trip!

Have a great weekend!

Erin

Postcards from Nepal...

Creative Matters

The following is an email from Carol - straight from South Asia. We've all been sitting on the edge of our seats, waiting to see photos of Hariti on the loom. When Carol and Donna arrived in Nepal they had a huge surprise waiting. Read on:

Nepal never ceases to amaze.

Donna and I went to the carpet mills today. Theoretically rainy season but the rain seems to conveniently fall at night and the days are glorious with some sun and then huge clouds rolling over the Himalayas to blanket Kathmandu valley. Driving in Kathmandu is exciting. Quite frequently a cow will interrupt traffic and it is a terrible crime to hit a cow as they are holy. If they decide to stop and lie down in the middle of the highway, so be it. It's hard to describe the loose relaxed driving style in Kathmandu. There are traffic police at particularly busy intersections, which helps a lot, but otherwise one just moves through the traffic flow and magically it seems to work. Donna and I dart across the street, we clearly have not mastered the relaxed manner.

We saw Hariti today for the first time. It's fantastic - the colours in the silk and wool just dance off the floor. The weavers at the factory, who made the rug, were intrigued with the concept that a photo from here (Nepal) was turned into a design and then a 6' x 9' rug. The translation from photo to artwork and now to finished rug is really exciting. The gleam from the broach that the child was wearing in the photo really sparkles in the finished piece. It was expected that Hariti would be in mid-production, upon our arrival. We could have been dreaming it but, were the weavers were so intrigued about production of this exciting rug that they finished it in half the time?

That's all for now, gotta go and meet Dawa,

Cheers,

Carol

Stay tuned for more from Nepal. We're all so curious about Hariti...maybe they can squeeze her into their carry-on?

Until next time,

Erin

Extra, extra, read all about it!

Creative Matters

It’s been a busy summer, thus far, here at Creative Matters. We’re not sure where these precious days have gone but, here we are on this hazy July morning, working hard on the new additions to our Aerial Collection and on our November gallery show. Did she just say November??? Yes she did! Did I mention that we’re still working on our regular custom design projects?

And starting to cultivate ideas for the Domotex show in Hanover….and so it goes.

So, what better day for a little bit of summer excitement than today, to see Creative Matters splashed over a full page (L3 to be exact) of the Living section in the Toronto Star. It’s a great article called "Rug Designers at Top of Pile" by Star columnist Barbara Turnbull, who graced our office in early June to speak to Carol and Donna about just what it is that we do. Barbara chats with the ladies about design, colour, what we’re up to now and about Creative Matters’ impressive 20-year mark. It's a great read and a great photo (thanks to Keith Beaty at the Toronto Star).

http://www.thestar.com/living/Shopping/article/461414#Comments

Stay tuned for more updates on Hariti – we hope to show off some photos soon, after the ladies return from their trek to Nepal in August.

Enjoy the sun!

(and buy more carpets!)

Erin