Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Holiday Season Begins at Heintzman House

Heintzman House in Thornhill was buzzing this past weekend. The historical property and popular event venue was all dressed for the holiday season, and for the 42nd (!) annual Artisans Gift Sale. There were vendors on three floors. My hat display was there once again, also in holiday festive mode.

This time, I was in the Bride's Room. I've always coveted this space, on the second floor, overlooking the conservatory below. Helen Tucker, one of my crafty colleagues from St. Lawrence Market, was installed in its boudoir, selling her jewelry. Nice to have a comrade nearby.

Another Market-esque feature was a complement of costumed characters, representing United Empire Loyalists and reminding us that Heintzman House began as a UEL house. (The Heintzman family, of piano-making fame, were the last people who lived in it as a private residence.) These people were descendants of UEL ancestors, and represented various sectors of these antecedents' society. The most detailed story was that of the descendant of Lieutenant John Young, wearing the uniform of the British Army's "Indian Department." He had a great tale to tell of mutual respect and service between his ancestor and the Mohawk community he lived near.

I also learned a lot about bees and beekeeping, thanks to my neighbour, Hugh Simpson and his Osprey Bluffs Honey Company. His stock of jars and cartons of golden or creamy yumminess dwindled steadily over the weekend. (I bought some, and can vouch for its particular deliciousness.) It was really interesting listening to him tell his visitors about the bees, their diet, their stresses, and so on. He brought a beekeeper's smoker with him. It smelled amazing! (I'm a sucker for the smell of wood smoke.) Takeaway lesson: If you care about honey bees, don't kill the dandelions! They are the bee's first food of the season.

(Millinery has a relationship with apiaries because we sometimes use thread reinforced with beeswax. So there you go, your millinery nerdy factoid of the day. You're welcome.)

On with the show!

My pretty table in the pretty Bride's Room.

"Lieutenant John Young." Actually, his descendant.

Diane is in the costume of a lady, You can tell because her binding corset doesn't permit her to do much real work.

Unlike the farmer's wife, in her calico print short gown, but no corset. This UEL descendant made her own costume from period-correct patterns and fabrics. Very nice work!

Melissa, a.k.a. Mrs. Simpson, the beekeeper's wife, bought this black and white cloche, in which she looks a treat and will stay stylish and warm. She was the only non-camera-shy customer of the day. Thanks, Melissa!

Karen Pasieka, a fellow vendor in previous years, whose medium is polymer clay, bought this tucked toque, a rare self-indulgence. Her own work is just lovely.

Brigitte just had to have this red diskette fascinator with embellished fabric applique. They make a very happy couple. Thanks, Brigitte!

Among friends, at left Sabina Margitta, the chief organizer of the event.

Alyssa looks adorable in her new cobalt blue felt roses band. Thanks, Alyssa!

But my weekend was truly made when Jeannie came by. She was one of my first customers at Heintzman House, and she came by especially to see me! She loves red, and she chose this cozy, soft red cloche...

...and this red tapestry trilby. Great choices, Jeannie! Thank you very much

Customers like Jeannie, who make a point of coming back, are treasures. Having customers return is so validating. It's the best feeling in the world, and I couldn't be more grateful. Thank you again, Jeannie!

Well, that's a wonderful note to close this post!

Next: Big week! Stay tuned!

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