style :: Justine Ma Design & Hand Lettering

Do you remember the days of hand written notes? It’s hard to think back to an addressed, stamped, and slightly weathered envelope, and how much happiness its contents would bring. Now, we have the luxury of information at our fingertips (literally) and the ability to communicate with a few quick key strokes. Type. Type. Click send.

The art of hand writing has made a comeback in the most personalized and ethereal way. Justine Ma, master calligrapher and the incredibly talented woman behind her freelance business, longed for this nostalgic form of communication to be mainstream again. So she slowly started making it her own mainstream. What initially started as a project from her art director in 2010 has now turned into a freelance career that keeps her sketchpad full of inspired doodles and illustrations.

Trained and educated in design, and experienced in both small and large firms, she brings vast knowledge to the table with any new undertaking. Well known and highly respected amongst her peers in the industry, you can’t help but enjoy meeting and working with her.

Justine’s writing really is a thing of beauty, which just so happens to match her personality. Her gorgeous work can be spotted throughout our city: the chalkboard price list at Jacek Chocolate, prints and greeting cards at Plum Home + Design, and numerous creative identities gracing blogs, websites and business cards. Of course, there is also the personalized aspect that comes along with wedding invitations, bridal shower cards, and one of her latest and cutest ventures – hand lettered baby onesies!

The options are endless when it comes to this gal. Write on!

Justine Ma (

Edmonton Weekend Guide :: September 11-14

Cheer: Edmonton Eskimos vs Montreal Alouettes 
Do: Dress up like a gorilla and go for a run
Attend: e-town Festival
Eat & Party: Hawkers Market
Laugh: Rapid Fire Theatre - new season of improv kicks off this weekend
Buy these tickets early: Pecha Kucha 20

The Uniquely Me Fashion Show and Gala is on Thursday night at Porsche Centre Edmonton. Models will walk the runway wearing unique fashions by local designers. A great silent auction and live music will follow, all in support of the Edmonton Down Syndrome Society.

It's the last What the Truck?! of the season on Friday night. You'll have 25 food trucks to choose from in Churchill Square, so be sure to arrive hungry!

Alberta Avenue will be alive with creativity for Kaleido Family Arts Festival (Friday-Sunday). Performances will be everywhere: rooftops, back alleys, parks, and spaces old and new on 118 Ave. More info and schedule are available here.

Tickets are selling fast for this weekend's Red Shoe Crawl - a culinary crawl down 124th Street. On Sunday from noon-5pm, get your "passport" stamped at some of the best restaurants and shops along 124 Street, all in support of Ronald McDonald House.

Photo by Lauren Ross

From the Archives :: Made in Edmonton

This summer, Edmonton Journal interns were tasked with finding 40 things made or invented in Edmonton. There are plenty more that we could add to the list, but they did a good job of putting together notable businesses and some not-so-obvious choices. The article inspired us to remind you of some Made-in-Edmonton products we have previously featured on City and Dale (just a few of the many).

By the way, looking through our archives was fun in itself. You can head down the City and Dale rabbit hole anytime you'd like with the archive link at the bottom of each page.

Jacek Chocolate
With a swanky new location on 104 Street (just north of Jasper Ave), it's easier to get your hands on Jacek chocolates. We love that the cocoanista behind the brand, Jacqueline Jacek, follows a fashion business model. She launches a new line of chocolates for Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter, along with her Jacek staples to die for.





Wild Prairie Soap Co.
Tucked in the back of their Whyte Avenue location is where all of their natural, handcrafted soaps come to life. With 50% olive oil and all natural ingredients in their soaps, they're gentle on you, your tub, and the environment. It's hard to leave this delicious smelling store without a few new soaps and body products.

Where We Are From
Local graphic designer Jaime Calayo set out to learn more about the communities around him through icons representing each one. With over 100 icons complete, Jaime shares his icons in a poster and on t-shirts so you can wear them with pride. As of recently, you can find his products in the shop at Art Gallery of Alberta (congrats, Jaime!). Or as always, find them on the Where We Are From website.

IZM Modern Furniture
Local design duo Jerad Mack and Shane Pawluk are the men behind IZM Modern Furniture. They've been humbly making heirloom quality, contemporary style furniture in Edmonton and shipping around the world for over 10 years. 

BangBang Bijoux
Local jewelry maker Rachel Bingham is reducing waste and creating something beautiful while she's at it. She finds old factory leftovers of bangles and baubles made decades ago that would otherwise be thrown away, and uses them in her new jewelry. Find her treasures online or in store at Bamboo BallroomThread HillCarbonPonytails & Horseshoes and Groove Stone

What's your favourite product or business made in Edmonton?

Edmonton Weekend Guide :: September 4-7

Cheer: Edmonton Eskimos vs Calgary Stampeders
Attend: Her Success Financial Workshop
Eat: Rostizado by Tres Carnales
Monday: Make Something Monday 

Enjoy a five course meal with wine pairings in the countryside in support of Edmonton and Area Land Trust on Sunday.  Nature's Nourishment offers a gourmet dinner and wine pairings - all seasonal, local food artfully prepared by an executive chef. 

The last St. Albert Art Walk happens on Thursday night from 6-9pm. Look at the map to plan your route.

On Saturday, head to Callingwood Marketplace for the 16th annual Cornfest. Hot buttered taber corn and activities for the whole family in support of the Firefighters Burn Treatment Centre. 

Downtown Edmonton Community League is hosting their own Corn Fest. More corn ('tis the season) to eat, activities for everyone, and $5 community league memberships.

*Photo by Armelle Habib for Hearth

take me away :: Boston, MA

Last month I was pleased to spend a week with my university side kick who is now studying in Boston. August is the perfect time of year to experience Boston. It's hot and humid but you can find relief from the heat under a big tree in Boston's many parks or waterside by Charles River or the ocean. As one of the oldest cities in the USA, Boston is full of history. Boston in a nutshell: statues, parks, runners, history, brownstones, universities, and wicked strong accents.

See & Do

  • Boston Common is the oldest park in the USA, situated right in the middle of the city. The meticulously kept Georgian garden has plenty of park benches fit for an outdoor lunch or afternoon of people watching. Swans help make the view even prettier.
  • Freedom Trail is a tour through history and important places in the American Revolution. You can walk the trail yourself or catch a guided tour for more info than the plaques will tell you. It takes you through meeting halls, cemeteries, churches, Paul Revere's house, navy ships, and more. Boston loves their statues and there is no shortage on the Freedom Trail.
  • Museum of Fine Arts is worth spending a whole day in. It's a huge place that displays all types of art. The building itself is a wonderful mix of old and new. 
  • Boston is one of the most walkable cities in the States. Walk from Boston Common to the shore of Charles River. Runners pass by through the park and boats pass by on the water. It's a relaxing break from the busy city.
Even the rules at Museum of Fine Arts Boston were artfully displayed!

Even the rules at Museum of Fine Arts Boston were artfully displayed!


  • Kendall's recommendation of Beacon Hill Bistro proved to be a good one. It's a wonderful French bistro in the Beacon Hill Hotel that's no stranger to awards for its cuisine.
  • Favoured by the locals, Flour Bakery is a modern bakery with tasty sandwiches and desserts to go with their cafe pick-me-ups.


  • Newbury Street - A tree lined boulevard with a restaurant on every block makes for a perfect walk along the high end shops in historical brownstones. 
  • Beacon Hill - For something unique, pop in the vintage shops and independent retailers in the Beacon Hill area.