Thursday, 31 October 2013

Holiday Season Begins!

Happy Hallowe'en! Let's hope this rain departs before the little ghosts and goblins begin their annual candy crawl. Can't wait to see what our Jack O'Lantern will look like once the indispensable Scott has carved it. Bless his pumpkin-gutsy hands! I'm up to my elbows in felt, fabric and feathers, so I'm very grateful that Scott takes the Hallowe'en duties upon himself.

Also, when your book is about to come out, having your hands immersed in pumpkin keeps you from biting your nails to the quick.

But I digress. I want to tell you about my holiday craft shows.

They begin at the Heintzman House Artisans Craft Sale in Thornhill, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Saturday, November 9 and Sunday, November 10. I missed this one last year, but I'm back again. It's such a lovely and interesting historic house (adobe! You'd never guess), once belonging to the family who manufactured Heintzman pianos, so it's worth a trip for that alone. The $2 admission goes to the auxiliary who use it to maintain the property. And it's a real bargain, for you get to see the house and see the work of three floors worth of fabulous makers of swoon-worthy creations, to give our to indulge yourself with.

The next one is Vaughan of A Kind, in Woodbridge, On Saturday, November 16, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. I'm looking forward to Hats by Anne's second appearance there, after an enthusiastic reception last year. It's another sale full to bursting with lots of crafty talent, in a bright, new community centre. Free admission and parking!

And in between those two events, I am making my debut at the Arts Market at 846 College Street, just west of Ossington. Have you heard about it yet? It's a very cool, year-round, indoor craft market for makers of all kinds of arts and crafts. It's the brain child of Daniel Cohen, whom I met at St. Lawrence Market a couple of years ago. Daniel is a photographer, who traveled the world and sold photos of his discoveries. He thought it would be a good idea to have a year-round craft sale where the creations gets to stay warm and dry, no matter what it's doing outside, and you get to keep making things and someone else (Daniel) minds the store. Daniel looked at examples of such places on his international travels, honing his concept with the best examples out there, came home and got to work. He opened the Arts Market at its original location in Leslieville in the summer of 2011, and it's been such a success that he's more recently been able to open the College Street location! He's such a friendly, warm person and he's worked very hard to make the Arts Market a viable concern. Salome and Maria, my jewelry-making friends at St. Lawrence Market, are currently sharing the front window at the Leslieville location at 1114 Queen St. East, and Maria also has a spot in the window at 846 College Street. So it's nice to be among friends.

I move into the Arts Market on Wednesday, November 13. Like the other makers, I get a swath of wall space to decorate and furnish and stock with my millinery goodness. I'll make another announcement about it when I'm in there and all stocked up.

Beyond these happenings, I'm also on the waiting list for a spot at the Wychwood Barns holiday craft shows, so I'll update you here if I get in.

So there you have it! My hats, toques, cozy cloches, fascinators and more and I will be delighted to see you at one or more of these great shopping opportunities.

Thank you for your support and for reading this far! Wishing you a dry evening and the very best of the leftover Hallowe'en candy.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Rain, Fall, Farewell

Last Saturday at St. Lawrence Market was a great one for me! By 10:30 a.m. I had sold three hats, plus a hair toy or two. Pretty fast out of the gate for moi. I thank the universe for kindly listening when I asked as nicely as possible for a good day.

I mostly thank the individuals who made it so, especially Dionne from Washington, up for a bit of R & R. She wisely invested in Salome's fabulous jewelry, then cast her eyes to the right and favoured my wares with her attention. She liked what she saw, and chose not one but two of my pieces! And she's a very stylin' lady, so I am delighted that two of my chapeaux will be spending their days in the capital of the U.S.A. on the capital of Dionne.

My tent neighbour, Mark, teaches ESL when he's not selling jewelry made by the Miaow people of south China. Ever the innovator, he was making little videos to explain English idioms to his students. He asked me for one, explaining a few hat-related examples, like "Keep it under your hat" and "Mad as a hatter". It was fun! So who knows, maybe you'll see me if you take one of Mark's classes.

Deborah bought the very first of my new sewn cloches! I'm so glad she did, because she looks wonderful in it, with her mass of curls. It's always a happy day when a new design finds its first home. I'll be making more for the holiday season and winter.

Mean Mr. Mustard also found its forever home! Thanks to Edwin, who can rock a chartreuse felt like few others. Atmospheric conditions prevented any hat-modeling photographs at that moment, sadly. It would have been a good one.

The rain came early. We weren't expecting any until 1-ish, but the it clearly had a packed schedule and didn't stand on ceremony regarding its previously announced start time. It came, and it was good and wet. There is only so much you can do with flimsy sheets of plastic and clamps, and pretty soon it was apparent that the day was over. We packed up and beat a hasty retreat.

Last Saturday at St. Lawrence Market was just that -- my last Saturday, at least until next May, when the tents go up again. On to the holiday season! Remember, you can subscribe to my blog to make sure you don't miss any announcements about holiday sales, or any other post. The button is at the top of the right sidebar.

On with the show!

Deborah in the very first sewn cloche! I think they suit each other perfectly.

The stylin' Ms. Dionne from DC in the red bucket she bought...

...and again, in her new green toque! She looks great, and she'll keep cozy and warm until the cherry blossoms return. Many thanks, Dionne!

Liz, looking lovely in her new emerald band. Thanks, Liz!

Dog break!

Sticky Toffee, the habitué with his own website.

And again, from above, so you can read his t-shirt.

Two little wrestlers.

Meeting and greeting.

Dog break over! Back to people, or at least, not-dogs.

My flimsy tarp doing its best to keep the merch dry.

Salome returning borrowed scissors. I love this photo. Almost as much as I love....

....this one!

And so, adieu, Market of 2013! Thanks for the memories. See you next May!

The hattiness continues, even though the Market season has ended. Check back regularly for news, or better yet, subscribe!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Fascinating News

Catherine Curtis designs spectacular dresses for spectacular women. Women like Sarah Brightman, Jessica Holmes and Joely Fisher have trusted the fabulous and meticulous Ms. Curtis and her years of experience to dress them for special occasions, on or off the red carpet.

I am so happy to announce that a small collection of my fascinators are currently available at Catherine Curtis's boutique at 940 Bathurst Street, Toronto! What better way to top off an ensemble by Catherine Curtis than with a one of a mini kind millinery masterpiece? None, I say!

The garments and fascinators would love to see you. Please visit them and tell them I said hello.

Here are some lovely Instagrammed photos of said fascinators taken by the equally awesome Ms. Salome Cordeiro(whose jewelry may also be found chez Catherine Curtis).

La Folle Rouge

Dentelle Grise


.....and the one that was a runner-up in the online sinamay hat contest:

La Bergère Verte!

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Thanksgiving Saturday

Another gorgeous day was had by all Torontonians on this Saturday of the Thanksgiving weekend. It's like summer hasn't really ended. I'll take it!

Last Saturday it rained early in the morning, which hats (and especially fascinators) don't like, so we stayed home. The week before was very slow, but pleasant weather. I'll post its photos below.

This is usually a bustling weekend at St. Lawrence Market, with all that provisioning for Thanksgiving feasts. So it was today, despite one line of the subway being down for maintenance. Sunny crowds thronged, often in summer clothes. The mood was upbeat and festive.

My client who lives half the time in Rome came by for a visit, looking très chic in one of the hats I made for her. Apparently life in the Eternal City agrees with my hat, which is much better traveled than I am these days.

Erin, who was minding my tent neighbour Mark's table for the summer, dropped by to say hello. She is great with child, due next month, with a toddler at home. Needless to say her priorities have shifted to the home front, so Mark is back among us, minding his own business, so to speak. They are both great folks and wonderful vendor neighbours.

My immediate "neighbourhood" at the world's greatest market (according to National Geographic) is very neighbourly. All week long from May through October I look forward to seeing my fellow vendors and makers, catching up on their news and local gossip. We get to know each other's families, because they come visit or drop off/pick up, and help out (viz the indispensable Scott). My vendor neighbours are generally very kind, very mutually supportive, inspiring and super talented. Market Saturdays counts as a major component of my social life, frankly. For this community, on this Thanksgiving weekend, I am truly thankful. Amen!

On with the show...

My end-of-summer sale table two weeks ago, with its come-hither bunting.

Mihaela, who came hither and bought this lovely band from the Jess collection. Merci Mihaela!

Salome and felt. She was compiling felt colour combos for me for making head bands. She is an artist, you know. I mean, she actually went to art school. I feel it behoves me to take advantage of whatever arty favours she cares to bestow upon me, and I bow to her wow.

This little guy was left with me and the indispensable Scott while his "mum" did a spot of shopping. Did we know them? No. Do I remember his name? No. But that doesn't diminish his cuteness one little bit.

Now onto today's show.

Simone was the first customer of the day. She has a family wedding to attend next weekend, and this stylish "Lily Garbo" number is going with her. Thanks, Simone!

Fair Wages Now seeking support for a $14 minimum wage. There's always something extra going on at the Market.

Dog break!

Flash! He's a three-year-old Parson Russell terrier who bays most awesomely when missing his "mother", as he was. His "dad" tells me the breed is not that usual in Canada, but more so in Ireland. So now you know.

A random someone-or-other. A long-legged French bulldog? Who can say?

Milo! This five-year-old Maltese was fresh from the groomers, and quite enchanting. Smelled good, too.

Dog break over. Back to people.

Melanie arrived wearing a casual cap at a jaunty angle, so I knew right away she was of my tribe. (The people of the hat.) And she only joined the tribe a couple of years ago, but she has made up for lost time by accumulating quite a collection. I'm so happy that this one of mine is her latest acquisition, because they look made for each other. Thanks, Melanie!

Sophie! She spent quite a bit of time keeping me company while her parents browsed. Did you know that the right thumb is much better for tying a helium balloon to than is the left thumb? Well, Sophie says so and now you know. Here she is mugging for her dad's camera in her favourite item of mine, a teal lace fascinator. She got to take home a calla lily clip with feathers in the same colour of silk that her lovely dad bought her. Thanks, guys!

Sophia! As I was finishing making this band, this little cutie came by in her highly apposite outfit. A match made in cuteness heaven! Thanks, Sophia and family!

And that was the Thanksgiving Saturday that was. Join us next week (weather permitting) for another Market report.