Monday, 27 January 2014

Is It Spring Yet?

Well, it's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon.... At least, I hope it was. I wasn't actually there, where they're fictional, yet used to deep freezes. I've been here, in Toronto, freezing and semi-thawing my all-too-real self along with everyone else. Polar vortex, polar shmortex... I tell you, we're rusty when it comes to real winter weather. Remember, two years ago winter was a teeny blip amid a long stretch of meh. Now it's over-corrected itself.

Spelunking on the couch. One cat's winter survival strategy.

The indispensable Scott, the cats and I survived the pre-Christmas ice storm here in the Beach very well, considering the plight of some of our neighbours. We're blessed by a wonderful tree canopy in our neighbourhood, and, of course, a lot of it came crashing down the night of December 21, taking power lines down with it. Our gorgeous, big oak in front of our house lost very little, but our power was out for just over a day, leaving us in the dark until midday Monday. Sunday night we sought warmth, food and company at a Kingston Road restaurant, amid many other refugees of the ice, and had a nice convivial chat with some neighbours at the next table. When we returned home, we lit a fire in the fireplace and lots of candles and played Trivial Pursuit until bedtime, bundled in duvets fireside, confounding the cats who are creatures of routine. Quite toasty, for one night. The next morning the house was much colder, so we were thrilled to find the heat and light restored after we came back from our morning hot breakfast forage. With light hearts we tidied up and carried on with our lives already in progress.

Past the boardwalk in Balmy (?!) Beach.

We kept thinking what the pioneers would have thought of our plight. They are much on our minds, with the release of Scott's book, "Willowdale: Yesterday's Farms, Today's Legacy". When they had ice storms, they probably couldn't even make it home, if they lived up a hill. If they were lucky, an enterprising neighbour down the incline may have built an inn to stay in until the roads were passable.

(BTW, if you want to follow the adventures of "Willowdale," there's a Facebook page where you can do just that:

A dad and kid demonstrating the pioneering spirit.

So we survived, Christmas came and went, New Year's, too. And since then I've been unusually busy with millinery work for this time of year. I love it! I'll take it! Old clients and new. I'm so lucky, and grateful.

As I do every new year, I take stock of the year that's past and look ahead to the year to come, trying to formulate plans and put them into action. It's encouraging to have actual work to accompany the theoretical planning. It's like the fruition of planning past, or maybe just what happens when you slog it out over a period of years.

Besides my commissioned pieces, I've been working on a bridal collection. It's been lovely to be cozy and warm inside my sunny-yellow studio, up to my elbows in silk and feathers, crystals and beads, while the snow swirls outside my window.

The before picture.

Then after a quick (?) whip-round tidy-up, my studio becomes my showroom for a visit from a client:

The after picture.

So that's the kind of month and change it's been around here. I'm still at the Arts Market, in case you still need a cozy, ear-covering toque or cloche. Last time I was there, my sculpted red felt cloche was in the window:

It, too, pulls down over your ears, if you have a petite head. (The inner head band keeps it from being itchy.)

As seen by moi chez moi:

Happy New Year, everyone! Onward and upward!