Thursday, 17 December 2009

Beach Sale Beached

In case anyone was planning to come to the last holiday craft sale I had booked, it's been cancelled.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

401 Redux

Well, it's all over. But it was great while it lasted.

The 401 Richmond Street Holiday Marketplace took place from last Thursday to last Sunday. The weather was quite kind, overall, and the traffic of visitors was excellent. Vendors are invited to participate by residents of the building. I felt very honoured to have been included.

I was pretty nervous about taking part in a sale that lasted four days straight. Long days, too, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on all but the last day, so no time or inclination to make more things for the next day. But as it was, I did have enough hats and smaller fare to last throughout, without having my display look sadly diminished at the end. Good thing I began preparing for the holiday season well in advance this year! Yay, brain! Sometimes it really functions well!

Did I mention that I helped decorate the joint, too? Because I did! Under the expert supervision of Carol Greaves, set dresser by vocation, awe-inspiring accessories creator (and vintage ephemera dealer) by avocation. It was a good way to get familiar with the somewhat convoluted main floor of the building, and to collect smiles and compliments. I'm a sucker for those, I admit it.

So here are some images of this wonderful sale. Make sure you watch for it for next year. It's a great shopping experience for anyone.

Pictured, from the top:
My table
Decorated railing
Carol's table
Our tribute to Cristo. (Just because it's wrapped, you know? Like he does?)
Janet Bike Girl, rocking her new rusty bucket hat
Mary-Ann Jelonek, jams and woolies wallah
Kathie Young, Phoenix Arts Group

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

401 Traffic

Today I spent helping to decks the halls at 401 Richmond Street. Mercifully, Carol Greaves was "lead hand" on this one. She is a film set dresser as well as a creator of lovely cuffs she sews and embellishes, plus a dealer in nifty vintage items. Naturally, I forgot my camera.

It was pretty gratifying to have so many tenants of the building say complimentary things as they passed by. It helped take the edge off the time spent away from millining. (Yes, I know it's not a word.) But the place looks great, especially our pillar tribute to Cristo. So you should all come and see it. And shop like mad while you're at it.

Friday, 4 December 2009


I've been so busy making things for the holiday craft shows I'm participating in to blog. I'm so busy I've developed calloused thumbs.

I've got hats, blocked and sewn, soft caps, embellished hairbands, fascinators and lil' tree ornaments. (Handy hostess gifts for your hattier friends.)

Please come see the fruits of my labours at any (or all) of these shows:

Saturday, Dec. 5:
Artisans' Gift Fair, Tranzac Club, 282 Brunswick Avenue (Bloor & Brunswick), noon - 6 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 10 - Sunday, Dec. 13:
401 Richmond Street West Holiday Marketplace
401 Richmond W. at Spadina
Thurs., Fri. 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.; Sat., Sun. 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Sunday, 8 November 2009


We're over Hallowe'en and bracing for the holiday season, making time for remembrance.

Heather, my best-friend-since-high-school, just celebrated a significant birthday. So naturally I made her a hat. Blue has always been her colour.

Isn't she a picture?

Thursday, 22 October 2009

The Milliner's New Hat

It's high time I had my own felt hat, don't you think? Here it is. I recycled it from an old felt hat that cost almost nothing. Fun, no?

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Still Here. Still, Here.

I am and it is. My hat display is cold and lonely on Market Street, so I've bailed on it for the season. I'll go back in the spring, if they'll have me back again. I have to reapply.

Now, Christmas looms. We'll see what that means, millinerily. Right now I'm confirmed for one craft sale, Traditions of Christmas at St. Mildred's-Lightbourn School in Oakville, on November 28.

I've been making hats, of course, and noodling with new ideas for hair accessories for the Christmas season. As soon as I have some photos to share, I'll post them.

In the meantime, do you want to see a photo of Chuck being adorable amongst my fabrics? Silly question. Of course you do.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009


Well, hark at me doing a sale on a Sunday! How unlike me! My lovely bosses David and Joanna kindly sprung me from my usual gig minding the store at Studio 998 to allow me to participate in the annual Rotary Club corn roast at Trace Manes Park last weekend. It's a dear little community fair with bouncy, climby, drivey fun for the wee ones, corn on the cob and hot dogs, and a few vendors, like moi. Joanne, a jewelry making fellow Market vendor, hipped me to it.

I ran into an old friend from another lifetime ago, Andrea Villiers. She has a pet-sitting business, and with her animal protection background, I can't think of a better person to take care of your fur children. She'll be getting into pet photography, too. Phone her at 416-421-6051.

And young Ali, hamming it up. But Pam bought the purple poorboy later.

Farewell to Summer

This was really the last weekend of the summer, and once again, the weather was spectacular. A teeny nip in the air on Saturday morning, but warm enough for backyard parties later.

This was also my last Saturday for the season in the "Park" at St. Lawrence Market , the area between Front and King on the west wall of the North Market. And what a glorious send-off I had! Sheila, my friend and fellow milliner came by, as did hatty blogger Darla Sycamore, which was fun. Otherwise, I was preparing myself for a philosophical moment of accepting fortune's vagaries (i.e: sales were slow), and went in search of a consolatory pizza slice. As I did so, Scott, my best beloved, sought me out to tell me someone at my table wanted to buy four hats! So the pizza and I went flying back to find Karen, who had been by earlier, and who clearly knew a good millinery deal when she saw one. She absolutely made my day.

After next weekend (when I won't be there for once) the tents are coming down and the Saturday craft vendors who remain will be vying for the few carts on Front Street, or on Market Street, which runs south off Front on the west wall of the South Market. So please look for me in both places on nice Saturdays in October, because I'm not sure where I'll be.

From top to bottom:

Karen, day-maker

Abby, who reminded me of Kate Hudson, especially in this hat. She didn't buy it...

...which left it available for Christine, who will be taking it back to Florida with her (note to self: must start map/pin system to track millinery world domination progress...)

Rachelle, rocking her new hairband with grey flannel rosies

Sheila and yours truly

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Market Corrections

Millinery takes its toll. Last week I had to quit my volunteer job I'd had for over four years, narrating books at the C.N.I.B. for people with poor vision. I loved that job and the people I worked with, whether volunteers or staff. It was a privilege to do that job, and you have to pass two auditions to get it. It hurt to say goodbye, but there are not enough days in the week as it is for me to do and make what I want with my hats, so say goodbye I did.

Still sucks, though.

So here are some images that remind me why I did what I did.

Snoopy was the absolute cutest husky puppy who waited patiently for his "granddad" to retrieve him at the Market last Saturday.

Denyse Dufour looks tres chic in her jazzy new blue fedora. She put it on at a rakish angle immediately, so I knew she was a true hat person. Look for her in it at the theatre this season, especially if it's in French.

Lauren (left) and Leslie took some time out from settling back in to university life to invest in some of my embellished hairbands. They look lovely, and as they are both studying opera, they sound lovely, too.

Young Pascale (bottom), Dawn, Danielle and Aleque (L to R), models. They came from Ottawa.

Jeanine in her new red hat and her friend, who approved her choice.

And just as I was packing up, Amy made her big decision and bought the tapestry fedora. I hope she'll love it for years to come.

Thank you, universe, for another gorgeous weekend! And thank you to everyone who came by!

Thursday, 10 September 2009


My friend and former classmate Jorge Midence is such a shy, retiring sort who lives to blend into the background.


His cutting-edge hat designs and reflections on contemporary style are quite arresting and may be found here.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Labour Day Weekend

Summer is unofficially over. It isn't fall until September 22, but women of my vintage and background are still putting their white shoes away until next year. But not until after May 24, of course. Someday I'll learn to shed these cultural inhibitions.

My sweet babboo and I spent Monday bicycling the Leslie Street Spit, a.k.a. Tommy Thompson Park, a tradition we seem to adhere to on summer long weekends. It's so cool down there, full of the man-made and natural reclamation, and exciting aircraft, if your timing's right. I took pictures and I'll link to them here when I've uploaded them.

Quel digression!

Anyroad, the weather for the weekend was absolutely gorgeous. Thank you, Mother Nature! The Market was bustling and lots of people graciously came by to try, buy or just say hi. Like buddies Chloe (left) and Natalie (right). Michelle is taking her gift of a new brown poorboy home to Manitoba, continuing the hat-as-citizen-of-the-world tradition. And Marcelle is very pleased with her new stripey bucket! I'm so glad; I worked hard to get the stripes to line up on the component pieces, like I did the checks on Natalie's.

All forces aligned to give me my best Market sale day yet. Thank you, everyone!

And hey -- if you want to know when your photo's been posted here, email me and I'll do that.

Monday, 31 August 2009


Buskerfest has just ended. For you non-Torontonians, Buskerfest is a four-day festival in the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood where performers from around the world perform in the blocked-off streets. It's been going on for ten years now. There are stiltwalkers, clowns (more Cirque du Soleil than Ringling Bros.), acrobats and aerialists, amazing contraptions and tiny dancers, people who like playing with fire, puppeteers and magicians, and more. They put on shows that last about fifteen minutes, varying their performance spaces around the street, then pass the hat for donations. It was my first Buskerfest as a vendor and so much fun just being there, Friday's crummy weather notwithstanding. I felt like such a carnie! (Carny?)

I had some lovely new customers and visitors to my hat display, as well. Like lil Kendra, pictured here. And Judit who bought her friend Sharona my black and white plaid bucket hat for her birthday. My hat will soon be off to live in Israel! A few weeks ago a blue one went to live in Italy. Hats By Anne goes international!

And Darla, she of the "Many Hatty Returns" blog.

Come see some pictures from this special weekend

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Band Aid

Jane, the first customer ever to buy one of my new bands with an artfully stripped coq feather and beaded medallion.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

August 22 Market Report

Another summer Saturday at St. Lawrence Market. Changeable weather, but no tornadoes, thank goodness. Many joyous peals of wedding bells from St. James Cathedral behind me. First time I've noticed that, actually.

I'm making hats for fall/winter now. Here is Christine in hers.

Monday, 10 August 2009


This is Sebastian, looking in this hat, as he put it, "adorable like a baby kitten." Sebastien was the funniest thing that happened last weekend.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Adrian in "Audrey"

Everyone said this hat reminds them of Audrey Hepburn. I have to agree. Here is "Audrey" being modeled by its new owner, Adrian.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Market Report

Here we are again, for week two of our St. Lawrence Market adventure.

Friday was exciting, as my first Market customer picked up her bespoke hat and graciously posed for this commemorative photo. Doesn't she look great? Jane, you hold a special place in my milliner's heart. Merci!

Friday, 31 July 2009

A La Carte

Before and after.

My new gig at St. Lawrence Market, north side, in front of the fountain. I'll be here every Friday in August. Unless there's a monsoon. I also hope to be there many Saturdays while the weather holds. Same side, just a bit further back from Front Street.

Please come by. And buy. Or at least say hi.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Flora and Fauna

My first full piece in sinamay, a fascinator with leaves, flowers and a rather personable bug. It's held on by a comb.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Resident Installation Artist

I'm not the only one who's into creative modes of expression at my house. Oh my no. For instance, we have Chuck, who has been working on an installation piece for several months now. I suspect the completion day is nigh. Submit your bids.

He's heavily into deconstructionism as a form of social protest. Or maybe it's just monkey-wrenching. We won't get into how his colleague Audrey goes about it.

The piece is entitled, "You said you'd feed me as soon as that last seam was done..."

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Happy Summer!

How very thrilling that the first day of summer is actually summery! In honour of the occasion, here's a wide brimmed linen hat with a floppy boho touch.

And Happy Father's Day to all you papas out there.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

That's A Wrap

At the moment I'm in love with colours that remind me of dried mud. They make accent colours really pop. Viz this one.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Old Stuff

Well, it's new to me. And probably to you, too. See the pretty vintage straw pagoda hat I bought today!

New Stuff

You've been very patient with me, so here's your reward:
A New Spring Hat!

Saturday, 16 May 2009


Some new photos of hats in the right-hand margin with new information and a new masthead, subtle though its newness is. Can you spot what it is?? Let me know!

Sunday, 19 April 2009

I'm Still Here!

...and I'm still making hats. Currently I'm approaching the end of Theatrical Millinery, the final course requirement for my millinery certificate. The course began in January. Many friends from the first two courses in the class, and some wonderfully talented new faces. Including our teacher, Amanda Farquharson, who worked in the millinery department at the Stratford Festival (all bow down and worship). Amanda has bravely stepped into the breach created by the departure of the previous theatrical millinery teacher, and we're glad she did. Amanda also makes puppets! How cool is that?

Anyhoo, the course has kept me very busy, as they always do, so I haven't been photographing any spring hats. I've made some, though, and I'll show you pics as soon as I can.

In the meantime, my Balenciaga-ish hat (rear view) can be seen in the window of Studio 998, 998 Bathurst.