What is your capacity to understand? To withstand? To produce? To learn? To love? Is your cup half full or is it half empty? How much of who you are is what you collect? Is infinity possible? These are some of the questions a new design show opening next week in Toronto is asking.

I'll throw a few more out there; how much do you know about female designer's living and working in Toronto? How often do you take for granted that almost everything you interact with on a daily basis from your alarm clock to your coffee maker to your computer was designed by someone? What is the purpose of design and how does it effect your life?

Capacity is one of a group of shows participating in TO DO, a series of off site events during Toronto Design Week. The show organized by Katherine Morley and Erin McCutcheon will showcase the work of ten of Toronto's top industrial, graphic, industrial, and textile designers who also just happen to be female.

I've blogged about Katherine Morley's work before and I'm familiar with Arounna Khounnoraj's work as she is one half of the design team behind Bookhou and a contributing columnist on Poppytalk. Many of the other artist's however are new to me and I'm excited to learn more about their work next week when I see the show.

I do have to single one artist out though and that is Erin McCutcheon. She is probably the most creative person I know and also just happens to be my sister-in-law. Check out what she made us for Christmas this year...

Erin makes a mold using discarded bottles and jars we interact with on a daily basis and slip casts them to create these simple, beautiful porcelain vessels. By rendering them nameless and brandless she allows us to focus on the delicate shapes and undulations of these everyday jars elevating them to a thing of beauty. A gentle reminder that everything we touch in life was designed by someone so much of which goes by unnoticed.

a succulent collaboration

I'd have to say that succulents are right up there as one of my favorite things. There is something very enchanting about them. Whenever I'm flipping through gardening books or magazines I'm always drawn to the arid, desert like gardens that are full of cacti, bougainvillea, and yuccas. Maybe, it's because it is a garden I would never be able to have in Canada. Luckily, I can have a small version of my dream garden.

Look at this lovely planter filled with locally grown succulents from the Niagara region.

It is a collaboration between Toronto industrial artist Katherine Morley and innovative, organic gardener Sarah Nixon. When Sarah sourced these beautiful succulents from growers just South of Toronto she wanted to find planters for them that were also locally made. You see, everything Sarah does starts in her own backyard (and many others). She plants, weeds, and tends to intensively planted residential gardens throughout the neighbourhood of Parkdale in exchange for the organically grown flowers.

The flowers are then turned into stunning bouquets for brides, offices, yoga studios and private homes which she sells through her business, My Luscious Backyard. Each bouquet is unique to the growing season and is absolutely the freshest it can be often handpicked only hours before it is delivered. As a bride, you can even walk the gardens with Sarah a few days before your wedding and chose your own bouquet. Wouldn't it be nice to know that your wedding flowers were grown using organic farming principles and didn't travel for miles and miles on a jet plane to get to you? Look at this stunning bouquet Sarah made....

As you can see, Sarah believes strongly in keeping things local which is why she turned to artist, Katherine Morley for unique planters for her succulents. Katherine is a very talented industrial designer whose work has been featured in Canadian House and Home and Moco Loco. Her work ranges from ceramics to textiles to graphics to writing and performing music. She's one talented lady!

I think these three legged planters she designed for the succulents are absolutely perfect. I love the small grooves in each of the feet and the slightly irregular shape of the bowl; such a pleasure to look at!

And the best thing is, I can take this little garden inside with me when the weather starts to turn colder.