Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Branksome House and Heintzman Hall*

* Okay, Heintzman House and Branksome Hall. It's been a hectic week.

Gia, aglow in her new red sinamay fascinator.

The indispensable Scott and my table

The holiday season is off to a rousing start with two back-to-back sales on consecutive weekends. First we made our second appearance at the Heintzman House Artisan Craft Sale, their 40th. I'd say it was pretty well established! We (the indispensable Scott and me) shared the second floor Heintzman Room once again with Wendy Emery, the fused glass wiz, and Janice, doll maker, and her pal, Luella. It was nice to see them all again. We make good roommates.

My display looked awesome, if I do say so myself. Wendy also had the great idea of angling my table at the far end, which looked really good and gave us more room to move behind it. Janice wisely made many more dolls this time, as they simply flew out of there last year. Wendy's display was once again by the window to allow the sunlight to play with her creations. It had grown, too, by at least a tree.

Wendy's table

Janice's table

Scott and I enjoyed seeing crafty old friends again, along with the lovely ladies of the Auxiliary who are so gracious and helpful, and some of whom do me the honour of becoming customers. It was another successful sale for us all. Yay!



A bevy of Branksome beauties

The momentum continued with one more week of mad millining (yes, I know it's not a word) leading up to Plaid Tidings, the holiday season craft sale at Branksome Hall. It's a private girls' school in Rosedale. The sale was established about twenty years ago, and this was my first time there as a vendor. It's really beautifully done. The new gym is professionally outfitted with red carpets, draped booths and spot lighting so that it looks like a mini One of A Kind Show. And the vendors were all superb quality and had items at all price points. As at Heintzman House, there was a tea room with tasty treats to keep one "suffunctified" while browsing. The $10 admission was well worth it.

Good thing I brought extra lights!
I was next to my friend, Jacqui Uza, and her husband, George, my hosts last summer when I shared her tent at ART by the River in Amherstburg. Peripatetic to say the least, they travel the world, selling Jacqui's breathtaking beaded, vintage style purses as they go. It's great to see them as they cross my orbit, however briefly.

Friday evening was the opening gala, with a silent auction, wine and canapes -- and a piper, of course.

Piping in the season

As may be deduced from the name of the event, it's a very Scottish theme at Branksome Hall. Clans and kilts abound. Jacqui spent the evening swamped with admiring customers. I love it when people are smart enough to know gorgeousness when they see it, especially when it's the work of a friend.

Jacqui's busy table

A clearer view

Leslie looking lovely

Lydia Levin, Communications Manager

Frances and Gwen

Amelia and Elizabeth

A & E again, international women of mystery

Mimi and Riannon

Riannon in her new poorboy cap




Lauren and Lexi

Saturday and Sunday were very good with lots of people shopping. On Sunday we were approached by a lady who was promoting a similar event at another school. She looked so familiar, and I finally figured out that she bore a striking resemblance to my high school art teacher. I was right! She was as tickled to run into an old (ancienne, not vieille, thank you) student as I was to run into her. We had a fun chat. Oy, such a small world!

Mary Lou



Maggie fascinating


Various vendors:

Brave Brown Bag

Vendor neighbour Susan Cavanagh's Collectibles, all the way from New Liskeard

Julia McNeely's awesome animal art. I love them!

Weaver's Cabin. Beautiful, cozy woven woollies from Severn Bridge

Shane Lambert's gorgeous woodwork. The pepper mills! Oh, the pepper mills!

Willa Designs had an architect design their necklace displays.

Christy's Gourmet Gifts. Yum.

The staff, planning committee and girls were all lovely, and the customers were, too.
It all added up to a most successful sale. Thank you, Plaid Tidings! I hope to be there again next year.

And the season has just begun! Next up, it's the Artisans Gift Fair at the Tranzac Club, Saturday, December 3 and Saturday, December 17, noon to 6 p.m. Free admission! And on Friday, December 16, I will be at St. Lawrence Market once more, but this time inside the North Market (where the farmers are on Saturdays), for a holiday craft sale of St. Lawrence Market's craft vendors. I'll also be elfing somewhat. Stay tuned!