Thursday, 19 December 2013

Different Hats and Holidays

It's been quiet on the blogging front lately. I've been too busy in the real world to keep you posted as I should have. You may have heard me tweet, though, if you follow me (@hattierthanthou).

My Twitter profile pic

First, as I've mentioned before, I moved my hats and hair toys into the Arts Market on College at Ossington last month. So exciting to be among the local talent of makers of so many kinds, and vintage wallahs, too. My St. Lawrence Market friends, jewelry maker Maria Lopez and photographer Roberto Rivieros are there, too! It's a fantastic place to do your gift shopping, because there is something there bound to please most people on your list, and wonderful prices. Everyone shopping there looks like a kid in a toy store! Smiles, wide eyes, a palpable sense of delight. I'm not kidding. Go and be among those happy shoppers!

BlogTO shot of Arts Market, College Street exterior

Scott and me moving in

As soon as I was set up at the Arts Market, from late November through early December I was wearing my minion hat (not literally), working for Joanna of Belle Boutique at the One of A Kind Show. It's the second year I've helped her sell her beautiful and popular jewelry belts at the biggest craft sale of the year. Over 800 vendors stuff the space inside the Direct Energy Centre at the Exhibition grounds. Good thing they let patrons come back a second day for free. You need at least two days to see everything. I had nine days, which was great. So much talent in one place at one time. Awe-inspiring is an understatement.

(And so much noshiness to sample, too! My favourite new discovery there was Smoke Fine Foods, of Quebec. They do wonderful things with smoked herb mixtures that make fantastic dips, and smoked roast garlic which I put in almost everything. To. Die. For. Word.)

No sooner had I recovered from that marathon, than the indispensable Scott had his long-awaited book launch! "Willowdale: Yesterday's Farms, Today's Legacy", published by Dundurn and released November 23, was officially launched at the offices of the Ontario Historical Society on December 10. It was the Society's 125th anniversary, and their offices are in a historic house in Willowdale, so it was a match made in heaven. So many people came to congratulate Scott on the fruition of years of labour of love, nibbling delicious scones, sipping tea and punch, and buying lots of books which Scott signed. I couldn't have been prouder of him.

Me (in a Belle Boutique belt, btw) and Scott, newly minted author, at his book launch

And now we're in the countdown to Christmas! I have been fluffing my little spot at the Arts Market, dressing it for the holidays and adding cozy cloches and wee hats for the tree. Just added some more today, as it happens. The store is open late, until 9 p.m. tonight through Monday, so get yourself there if you can and browse and shop and be mighty impressed by your local makers of all things.

Wee hats for tree (or anything, for that matter) ornaments

Cardinal cloche

I've also been booking a bunch of appointments chez moi for bespoke hats and fascinators. Finding time to do any Christmas baking (my favourite seasonal activity) is becoming a bit of a challenge. But I have made one batch of shortbread, so that's good. Mince tarts and egg nog (really, really good egg nog) are yet to come. And they will, so help me St. Nick!

If I don't blog again soon, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone! Thanks for all your support in 2013!