Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year!

There are just a couple of hours left in the year. I would like to take this opportunity to send out one last big thank you to all who supported me in my millinery endeavours in 2012.

Customers and clients, fellow creators, table and tent neighbours -- whether you came just to play, or stay and pay, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. You make what I do worthwhile and so much fun!

Especial gratitude is due to repeat customers, who have come back through the years. It's an honour to serve you. Long may I be able to!

As the old adage says, new friends are like silver, and old are like gold. You are all precious, no doubt about it.

Happy New Year, everyone! May 2013 bring you peace, love, prosperity and all good things!

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Holiday Season Begins for Local Milliner!

That would be me, now that my last sale for the year has come and gone.  I'm pooped!  I need my holiday!  I can't wait to start decking these halls and baking and gift shopping and watching Charlie Brown and the Grinch and George Bailey and the gang on DVD!

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Last Sunday I was at Artscape's Wychwood Barns art and craft sale.  It's such a cool venue --  the old TTC streetcar barns near St. Clair and Christie converted into a live/work artists' colony and public space.  I'm glad the barns escaped the wreckers' ball and got a new lease on life for such a creative endeavour.

It was my first time at this sale, which has been happening for just a few seasons now.  A small, select group of talent was present on Sunday, December 9 offering their works for the first sale.  A different group will be there on Sunday, December 16.  If I could have chosen to do both dates, I would have, but they keep it fresh by having vendors choose one or the other, not both.

My neighbour to my left was Leftovers -- painted lobster claws and casts of teeth, some wearing braces, as jewelry.  Truly unique.  But Elaine, the artist's mom, told me that her family's business back in the day was making hat boxes!  They were called Progress Paper Box.  The company still exists, under another name and run by new people.  And they still make hat boxes, probably the same ones we can buy locally.

My buddy Yolanda of Poetic Designs was there, as well, with her lovely steampunky jewelry, surrounded at all times by an admiring crowd.  I had to try a couple of times before she had  breathing space for a quick hello.  She's no stranger to the Wychwood Barns sales.  She's there in the summer, too, when they have monthly crafty events.

It was a fast, busy day, just noon to 5:00 p.m., but it was action-packed.  I was kept very busy in a very jolly atmosphere -- happy shoppers, friendly, talented vendors, well-selected seasonal music on the P.A. and a great big Christmas tree at the entrance.  And to top it off, a sprinkling of snow as we were leaving.  Magical.

Herewith some souvenir photos:

My table.  I wish our little car could accommodate one that's bigger than five feet.  It gets mighty crowded this time of year.

My first customer of the day, in her new charcoal flannel bucket with the safety pin flowers.  Tres chic!

Kate!  She was having her face painted by Tharmila Rajasingam, in the booth behind me, when she noticed my hairbands.  She interrupted her makeover, came and chose this band, price being no object (so of course I gave her a deal), and then returned to Tharmila to complete her maquillage.

If only she could come out of her shell just a little bit...

Nicole considered this cloche-y toque...
...but Joelle made it hers.  This photo does not convey how adorably flapper-ish she looks in it.  Her friend, Sharry, is on her left in her juicy new felt clusters band.  Thank, ladies!

Elaine, of the hat boxes, and mother of Lisa Carrie Goldberg, of Leftovers.

Sheryl, absolutely rocking this pink and red toque.

This saucy peacock fascinator has found its forever home with lovely Karen.

Jenna in a beaded straw bow band.

Leah, in her new grey tweedy toque with the velvet brim.  As one with a lifetime fear and loathing of hats, but who needed one for warmth, it took some time for her daughter and me to convince her that she really did look nice in this.


Last Thursday I was at the Barbara Frum Atrium in the CBC building on Front Street at the ungodly hour of 8:30 a.m. for their 13th annual employee's charity craft sale, benefiting Unicef.  Much bigger than the Artscape sale.  Despite being situated under a (very high) skylight on a sunny day, my table was mired in gloom.  I've been to that space many times before, for other events, and it was always well-lit, even on overcast days.  Hence my assumption that light wouldn't be a problem, and didn't ask for access to electricity, which I was told was scarce.  Wrong assumption!

I saw my jewelry-making friend Joanne there, of JET Designs, but not until close to the end of the day.  The sale was so big that she was hard to make out, even though she was only a few yards away.  Other familiar faces from craft shows past were there, too, as is usually the case.  It's really nice to have that sense of community, however casually.

I met some super folks, too.  Julia Carslake came over first thing to say nice things about my work, which is a lovely way to start a show.  She makes fantastic aprons under the banner My Grandmothers Apron in fabulous fabrics she imports from her native England, and cozy feather-filled travel pillows and cases.  Really, really nice work and great prices.  If only she had any laminated ones I'd have scooped one up, because I really need one.

Julia was there with her friend, Chantal Larocque, who makes astonishingly beautiful handmade paper flowers.  Her company name is Dragonfly Expression  The detail!  The colours!  Just.  Mesmerizing.  She liked me and I liked her and I hope there will be more news to share about all that before too long.

My table.  Lighting courtesy of my camera's flash.

Julia (left) and Chantal's table, just across from mine.

Chantal's flowers made into a piece of wall art.  I met this piece "in person".  Wow.  Just wow.

Rebecca playing dress-up in my sinamay creased beret with the peacock sword.

Beth, channeling Zoe Deschanel in this cheeky pink felt frou-frou.

A mere slice of the floor, showing just a smattering of the many tables at the sale.  Truly a crafty shopper's bonanza.
Sonja, in her new black felt with the peacock trim.  Thanks, Sonja, and Sonja's fiance who told her she HAD to buy this hat!

So that's the season!  I'm looking forward to a rest and a renewal and coming back recharged in the new year!  Speaking of which, if you need a fascinator for New Year's or for any occasion at all, please contact me!