Friday, 31 May 2013

Beautiful Little Fools

Here is my micro-collection of Gatsby-inspired feathery fascinators. Inspired by a story, they pretty much insisted on being staged. So I gathered some era-appropriate props and created my set.

The props come with their own stories. My grandmother's photo album is full of souvenirs from the jazz age. The silver cigarette case belonged to my grandfather. My bestest friend Heather gave me this awesome beaded purse yonks ago. The long string of pearls were a present from my mother, from the time of the Robert Redford Gatsby movie. (I was a toddler at the time. Winky-face.) The Tiffany lamp is a total fake, but we bought it at a defunct local store and it seems to belong in the shot. And the dead soldier of a Dom Perignon bottle is hiding its true vintage. Just pretend we found it floating in Gatsby's pool the morning after.

Here are the individual fascinators:

If you're going to a Gatsby-themed party or event this summer, one of these will set your head a-flutter. And get other turning. It's a tiny limited edition, so please contact me about prices and availability.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Winds of Change

It was another pretty dang nice day at St. Lawrence Market last Saturday. They were calling for all kinds of chilliness in the day's forecast, but the reality was quite a bit warmer, and lots of sun. So yay!

It was fiercely windy at times, though. My poor tent neighbour, Erin, who is selling the Miaow people's jewelry lately for Mark, had a custom display panel blown to the ground, which didn't do it much good. And the indispensable Scott and I had to hang on hard to our gridwall panels a couple of times, despite their eminent porousness. On my table, hats on styrofoam heads got blown over more often than I could count. Necessity is a mother, however, and I've devised a fiendish plan to prevent such occurrences in the future. I'll try it out next time and hope it works. Then I'll tell you, because I'm sure you won't be able to eat or sleep until I do.

(Sometimes I talk like this. Just ignore me.)

This just in: Strawberries! The farmers' market had them, at long last. Hurray! I'm so tired of eating apples at breakfast.

Business began with with Lynn, who was a pleasure to talk to. She bought a raffia and distressed sequin band as a gift. Then a looooong time passed before the next customer, but then the day's activity really picked up. So yay again!

Meghan, who bought a feather pad fascinator from me last week, brought her sister, Jessica, to choose something for herself. It's always the biggest compliment when that happens! I'm so happy and proud when someone likes something I've made enough to recommend me to their nearest and dearest. Thanks again, ladies! (And please remember your promise about emailing me photos of yourselves in my pieces at your upcoming event!)

I also had a nice chat with a lady from Newfoundland. We bonded a bit over our mutual admiration for Threads magazine. She kindly bought a lace fascinator, one of my higher end pieces, as a gift. This one was special to me because I used a piece of vintage Parisian lace on it. It's a precious Art Deco-era remnant, off the last bolt passed along to me, from my father's family's factory where they made very elegant lingerie, long ago in Toronto.

Mid-afternoon brought a very large parade of demonstrators against GMO food and Monsanto, a most usual suspect. They seemed to circle the block, tying up traffic for a good hour. The main thing is I was still able to cut through to the south market to get my pizza slice for lunch. There is always something going on down here, some kind of show.

Speaking of which, let's proceed with this one:

My Gatsby fascinators on display. I will post a wee piece on these soon.

Jessica, in her new sinamay leaves fascinator. The one that made her squeal, not the other one.

Irina in her new lace disc band, that looks so fabulous in her beautiful, dark hair.

Jo-Ann chose this saucy little trilby with brass ball chain trim. And I'm very glad she did.

The anti-Monsanto demonstration wending its way along Front Street.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Gatsby's Affairs

Having just re-read the book and seeing the new movie, I'm having a Gatsby moment. Apparently, I'm not alone:

In honour of this moment, and the shiny/sparkly Baz Luhrman movie, I am creating a wee line of blingy, feather fascinators! I'll be unveiling them at St. Lawrence Market this Saturday. I hope you'll come see them while they last.

If you'll be there, at A Gatsby Affair, it's what to wear in your hair. So there.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Summer Unofficially Begins!

Last weekend belonged to the late, great Queen Victoria. God bless her memory for having a birthday with which we in Canada mark the unofficial beginning of summer! For three happy and glorious days we open cottages, barbecue, garden (lots and lots of gardening) and set off fireworks, to the delight of children and dismay of dogs.

It was a spectacularly beautiful weekend, too! Three gorgeous days of sun and warm temperatures. Saturday at the Market was pure delight. It was busy, as usual for this long weekend, and people were feeling festive and in need of headgear! Yay!

On with the show...

After much debate and consultation, Susan decided that this was the fascinator-ling that would top off her outfit for an upcoming special occasion.

This is Linda K. Falk and she chose this floral cap, and I'm so glad she did.

Laura in her new braided raffia and distressed sequin band from the new Jess line. I love these! I'm so glad other people do, too.

Alexandra in another band from the Jess line. Lovely.

Pamela Walker chose this jade calla clip to wear to her nephew's wedding that afternoon. Pictures please, Pamela! And thank you again!

Alice is a vendor neighbour who makes and sells cards of her artwork. This is her second Hat by Anne, nice and wide to keep the sun off while she's peddling her wares outside. Many thanks, Alice!

Lillian chose this pink linen trilby with beaded raffia daisies that Adrian modeled last week as a gift. I hope they like it!

Tilly is the daily dog. Look at the pretty smile on her six-month-old corgi face! She is very sweet and very soft.

I also met a lovely big black Lab called Tank Murphy. It used to be just Tank, until his person saw "The Life of Pi" and loved that the tiger's name was Richard Parker.

Meghan chose just the feather pad clip to look especially awesome in her pretty dark hair.

Leah chose this coral organza rose band and rocks it.

Lydia was toying with this hat, and I asked her to model it for me. I think they make a lovely couple, myself.

Salome arrived wearing one of my bands, and left having chosen this one, too. Poor thing, I wish she'd come out of her shell and get over her fear of bright colours...

Victoria Day means tag day for the naval cadets. They are usually female, and ooh and ahhh over our girly merch which is not part of the uniform. Sometimes they come back in civvies and do some shopping at a later date. This young lady was very efficient at her job. I hope her superiors take notice.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Natural Wonder

I belong to a milliners' group on an online professional social network. This is how I came to "meet" (online as opposed to in person) Geoffrey. Geoffrey's company is a supplier of millinery materials and he was looking for volunteers to test some sinamay he was thinking of stocking.

Free toys?? Sign me up!

The sample arrived in all its high-quality glory. After a long hem-haw, I started in on it. This is what I made. I call it "Natural Wonder". You can call it whatever you like.

"Natural Wonder" is waiting for its forever home. Maybe that's with you? Email me your enquiries, or come see me at St. Lawrence Market some Saturday soon.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Old Home Weekend

It was a chilly start to my season at St. Lawrence Market, so it was business as usual. I was not able to be there for the real start, May 4, when the weather was sunny and balmy and business was booming, by all accounts. That was because I had exactly one and a half week's notice that the season for Market cart vendors, like myself, would be going ahead.

In mid-March when I went to the office to ask about the status of my application for the season, I was told that the program was on hold, that we would all have to re-apply, and to wait for further news and advisories by email. None of that happened. So, I stopped scrambling to figure out Plan B for the summer and went back to making stuff.

Bureaucracy. Don't you just love it? So my season began a week late. What the hay?

It was good to see the few regulars who braved the pre-Mother's Day chill and set up shop. Mark, my tent neighbour who sells jewelry made by the Miao people of China, has a new associate who was minding the store for him. Erin is a very nice minion who is a helpful neighbour and doesn't seem in the least expendable, so I won't be calling Mark a kingpin, as he would like, now that he is a mogul. And he doesn't seem to like being called King Pinhead, as I discovered. And moguls are for jumping over, aren't they?

Since Salome, my jewelry-making neighbour to my right, was vacationing in Cuba, celebrating a significant birthday with her sister, she sent her daughter Adrian in her place. Maria, the jewelry-maker to Adrian's right, was there, as usual. She and Salome are very hardy, maintaining their stalls all year round, through all kinds of weather. The indispensable Scott and I hadn't seen Maria, and her husband and daughter, in quite a while, as we hadn't been shopping at the Market for months. Pretty unusual for us to stay away so long. I guess we can blame the particularly wintery winter and its attendant lassitude. Maria's daughter Isabella was so big! When I started my annual gigs there, she was but a toddler. Little kids' weed-like growth makes me feel like such a geezer. Lordy, lordy...

Photographer Roberto Riveros was at a table across the street, too, so his friend and associate Stephen told me, although I never saw him. But seeing Stephen after so long was great. As it was with Liz, who makes really gorgeous bags and little textile accessories under her Froggy Fingers label. (Froggy Fingers is what her mother called her prehensile digits when she was but a little bitty crafter.)

My friend Janet came by to say hello! It was good to see her smiling face in person, instead of on my computer monitor. She did my the honour of purchasing a "Fred" (fuchsia and red) fascinator for her mother to wear to her birthday party that evening. Her mother had just had a haircut and was joking that she felt like the Queen, so needs must she be "crowned". Apparently it went over very well, so I'm very happy.

Another visitor was Jean, who had bought a hat from me a season or two ago. She told me that she still wears it a lot, and gets a lot of compliments whenever she does. How kind of her to say so! And she very sweetly went to her nearby home and reappeared, wearing said hat! I hope we'll be seeing each other more, and that Jean will add to her Hats by Anne collection soon.

So in good company we spent our first day of the market cart season, eating fresh soft pretzels from the baked goods goddesses at Oodles of Strudels inside the farmers' market, sipping lovely cappuccino from our fave Luba's Coffee Boutique, buying the first asparagus of the season from the farmers' market, and having a very jolly day. And the sun did come out!

My table, with a riot of someone's artwork as a backdrop.
The busker du jour, who made these pots, pans and lids sound like Tibetan singing bowls.
Jean, in her 2011 Hat by Anne.
Morris dancers, very jingly. Must be early spring.
Someone should tell Morris and his friends that playing at bashing each other with sticks is all very well and good until someone gets hurt. (More geezer talk.)
The Adrian series. I asked her to pose in this hat, because it went with her hair and complexion so perfectly. The sun that day came out like Adrian's smile does, a bit at a time. Adrian would have taken much better photos herself. She is a very talented photographer. Google her: Adrian Raymer. You'll be glad you did.