Saturday, 27 August 2011

Thanks, Jack

Jack Layton was an amazing guy. Such heart, such vision.

I had the great privilege of volunteering for his campaigns in the 1990's, and, since he was a good friend of our fearless leader, he would reciprocate as a volunteer auctioneer to help the animal protection non-profit organization I worked for. He was spectacular in that role, making it exciting and fun to part with money for a good cause. I will always be grateful to him, for that and for everything else he achieved in public life for the greater good.

Goodbye, Jack, and thank you so much.

Here's a 1995 newsletter snippet about a rock music event called Animal Magnetism, with Jack as auctioneer above, and me modeling a shirt donated by Leonard Cohen for the MuchMusic camera.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Absence Alert - Saturday, August 27

I will be away from my table at St. Lawrence Market this Saturday because I will be at a sale out of town this weekend. I will be back next Saturday, September 3.


Sunday, 21 August 2011

Brain Flowers and the Fountain of Youths*

The universe smiled once again on St. Lawrence Market the Saturday of this weekend, providing lovely weather and enough foot traffic to not notice this was the first weekend of the Canadian National Exhibition, or the Ex as we call it. This means that summer is winding down, in case the shortening days wasn't clue enough. I remain firmly in denial. Summer is way too short up here to kiss it goodbye before absolutely necessary.

Little kids, like Isabella (with her dad, Adam, above) were playing in the fountain with the dogs, and I wasn't. This is so wrong. I think I need to borrow a child to have an excuse to wade. A jazz duo serenaded a baby. Lots of pretty summer dresses walked by, held up by equally pretty women and girls. I bought some flowers that look like brains because they went with my table.

It was a really good day. Everyone seemed to be in an up mood and sales were going well. More like this, please!

On with the show:
Patrica in one of the two hats she bought.

And in the other one.

Caridad posed for me in this pink slouch cloche she was trying on.

Dog days of summer.

Lovely Mariam models a band that goes smashingly with her dress.

Brain flowers. If anyone would care to elucidate me as to what their proper name is, I will update this post.

Marie was very pleasant company as she chose which poorboy cap to make her own. She decided on this one.

Paula Corbett and one of her amazing puppets. This one is a Scotty dog. She had a Scottish punk puppet in a kilt and green mohawk that found its forever home yesterday. How I shall miss it...

That jazz duo and that baby.

It's high time I showed off Salome's creations again. She is an artist and she creates in many media. For the Market she makes jewelry which she crochets in wire and semi-precious stones and beads, in gorgeous colour combinations. And monsters! Big ones, little ones, and itty-bitty ones. You should buy them. Many do, you know.

Just as I thought I was done for the day, Judy comes along and bought my grandest hat. She's an interior designer. I always get a special thrill when an artist invests in me. Thank you, Judy!

*I couldn't decide which title I liked best for this post, so I used both.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Heather and Fate

Remember Heather, who bought the coral loopy sinamay fascinator last Saturday? Of course you do. She sent me a lovely email and photos yesterday, saying:

"I saw you at the St. Lawrence Market Saturday morning and bought my 'hat' that I wore to a wedding the same day. I had so many compliments and comments on it and it matched/topped off my outfit perfectly. Thanks so much. I love it."

Fate! Don't you think? I do. Thanks, Fate! And big thanks to Heather, whose fabulous feedback made my day!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Clear the Track, Here Comes Shack!*

Eddie Shack came by my table! Okay, not of his own volition, but because I asked him to. Eddie (or Mr. Shack as I humbly addressed him) is a Saturday morning fixture at St. Lawrence Market. He is an alumnus of the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team, back in the 1960s when they used to win the Stanley Cup with boring regularity. The team won five times between 1960 and 1967, then never since. Good times, good times...

Anyhoo, we see him every week, supporting his favourite vendors and being extremely gracious to everyone.

This Saturday the always sartorially stylin' Mr. S. was wearing this amazing autographed cowboy chapeau, so I asked him if he would drop by my portable hat shop and have his picture taken. So he did! The indispensable Scott was thrilled, because he's a Canadian male and therefore a hockey fan. (Yes, it's almost that much of a given.)

Eddie's hat was covered by autographs of heroes of hockey and other sports, including "Mr. Hockey" Gordie Howe, and Gordie's wife, Colleen; legendary ex-Leaf Red Kelly; golfer Moe Norman; basketball legend "Dr. J" Julius Erving; extremely cute ex-Blue Jay Kelly Gruber, and oodles more. Really a sports fan's bonanza.

As if that wasn't enough, Eddie pointed out that he was wearing a Stanley Cup ring. I had to snap that, too. Oooh! So big! So blingy!

And you know what else I just found out while Googling Eddie? He started his hockey career playing for the Guelph Biltmores, named after that city's famous hatters! How perfectly perfect is that?

So that was a good start to the day! The winning streak continued with two purchases right off the bat (or hockey stick), which is always so encouraging, and ended with one just as I was packing up. It was a really good day. The weather stayed excellent, no corn smokily roasting nearby (which is why I played hooky last week), the customers kept coming, and the full moon didn't repercuss badly at all! (Yes, yes, Spell Check, I know, I know... )

* Title of a #1 hit pop song by Douglas Rankine with the Secrets.

And on with the show!
The Hat. All sports fans bow down.

The Ring. And a very nice manicure. Man- icure.

Maggie, the first customer of the day. She's taking her new hat to live in Florida where it may get wet. And that's okay.

Heather, hot on Maggie's heels, in her new fascinator. Great colour choice!

Sometimes a girl just needs to try on something like this, as Avital demonstrates.

Jana models a cap that complements her outfit and lovely smile.

Mildred rocks her cute new two-tone poorboy cap.

Cutest dog of the day! And it had some fierce competition of not-fierce pooches, too.

This band on the south side of Front Street enlivened our afternoon with tubacious renditions of pop hits. Sadly, "Clear the Track, Here Comes Shack" was not among them. But "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was.

Salome in a hairband I made just for her. Just because she's always so generous and kind, and an absolute scream.

Cedy, in her new natural linen bucket hat. Her nephew bought it for her as I was packing up. Yay nephew! Yay Cedy!

Monday, 8 August 2011

Mary Anne's Hat

Mary Anne cuts my hair, and she's very good at it. When she asked me to make her a hat for a recent family wedding, I was delighted. Her talent and skill has been making my head look good for some time now, I wanted to return the favour.

She chose an eggplant parasisal straw base which I trimmed in singed iridescent organza -- a hat band and a flower of many individual petals and shades. The centre of the flower was created from a pair of earrings Mary Anne provided. (This was the first time I'd done something like that, and I was happy that it worked.) Natural, shaved coq feathers provided the finishing touch, nicely echoing the iridescence of the organza and the jeweled centre.

I was really happy with the results, and Mary Anne seemed pleased, too. She graciously provided the photo of herself and her partner, Jimmy, on their way to the wedding.

Many thanks to David Dunkley, who kindly helped with the brim. (He'd bribed me to spare him some extra time if he helped me finish this piece, so it was a win-win situation. Yay!)

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Absence Alert

Just to let you know I will be (most uncharacteristically) away from my post at St. Lawrence Market this Saturday, August 6. I will be back the following Saturday, though. In the meantime, feel free to email me.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

July Bye-Bye

July went out with a bang at the Market. Gorgeous weather and a good day for sales, Caribbean Carnival (the festival formerly known as Caribana) and long weekend notwithstanding. I wasn't at the Market on this weekend last year, so it was interesting to see what it would be like.

It was good! We had some friends drop by our tent to say hi, which is always nice, and there were more vendors than usual, which gave us all new things to look at and covet. Like ballerina bunny toys and big tissue paper pom-poms which were all kinds of jolly. I was tempted to grab a pair and lead everyone in a cheer, until sober second thought kicked in. (I was also sorely tempted to jump in the fountain and cool off with the dogs and little kids, but once again, that pesky maturity interfered.) Graham, above, didn't have any such scruples about modeling one of Elise's new hair toys. Go Graham!

Here is the rest of this week's gallery:

Lindsey and Danica played dress-up in fascinators....

...but Sarah made the Queen of Hearts-ish strawberry fascinator hers!

Alice chose this wide-brimmed silver striped hat with the chain band.

Jean in her new blue patchwork hat.