Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Attention Shoppers

Please note that I will not be at my usual post at St. Lawrence Market this coming Saturday, July 31 due to an important family occasion. I'll be back, weather permitting, Saturday, August 7.


Pendant Moi Le Deluge*

*With apologies to Louis XV.

Last Saturday at St. Lawrence Market began beautifully -- sunny and breezy, not really hot like last Saturday was. Just about perfect, really. Lots of foot traffic, including two customers who came back for more! I love when that happens! Joanna Sipos of Belle Boutique was there, selling her fantastic jewelry. Everyone loves her. She's so nice and so talented. (Disclaimer: I work for Joanna and David Dunkley of KC's Hats on Sundays.) Somewhat fewer craft vendors than usual. Maybe they were scared away by the weather report.

They had a point. Mid-afternoon what looked like a piffle of a trickle at first glance quickly became a very purposeful downpour. My tent neighbours and a bunch of their friends and we were huddled under our tents, madly grabbing our creations out of harm's way, and learning quickly that the tents have holes in them. Not so much fun.

The last time we had a drenching like that was during Woofstock. Sometimes one is grateful for being off to one side, if said side has a concrete roof.

But it was good while it lasted. Herewith the photographic evidence:

The lovely Amanda, first customer of the day, gracing her new hairband.

Meagan, looking adorable in a straw bowler.

Rachel and Linda, playing dress-up. Although I do think Linda should make that Trilby hers, don't you?

Kate in a bow on a band.

Shy little Monica, the band's new owner.

The lovely and very talented Joanna. I was very flattered that she bought this band, and one other piece.

Carole found the perfect hat. Don't they look happy together?

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Market Post-Bastille Day

Bastille Day came and went and I almost forgot to sing the Marseillaise. Almost. I remembered in the nick of time and regaled my friend Heather with the first verse, very quietly, on the subway. She had taken me to see "Jersey Boys" for a very special birthday present. I had a blast! Everyone should see it and all bands should have choreography.

"Jersey Boys" and this French holiday have nothing to do with millinery, of course. Except for maybe cockades, those nifty little ribbon circles les citoyens wore on their caps. (Note to self: Make more cockades.) I could tell you some nerdy details about the origins of those, but not until you ask. Cheap bid for emails. (Sad, I know.)

Some Francophones did come by my table at the Market on Saturday, though.

The day began sunny and hot, but became cloudier and gustier later in the afternoon. My poor neighbour, Linda Childs, had a few hair-raising moments trying to keep her lovely creations framed in glass from falling to their deaths. It was close there, once or twice. Hats are bouncier.

Other than battening down our respective hatches, my tent neighbours and I were entertained by eye-catchingly costumed teams zooming about on a treasure hunt. It was The Great Urban Race, modeled after The Amazing Race on TV, to raise money for St. Jude's Hospital. They were having their pictures taken pretending to dive into the fountain and asking us where this and that were.

Otherwise, the north Market was abundantly bountiful with produce. Veggies, fruits and flowers seemed to have increased exponentially since last week. Come and see for yourself next Saturday.

Mark, looking quite dashing in an Ivy cap.

Sue, modeling her new wide-brimmed, hand-blocked, tea-stained straw. With chinstraps added for boating with confidence.

Syndey, Carleigh, Taylor, Kristi and Michaela - one attractive family, mostly from Arizona, and a bit from Michigan. Taylor chose a hairband with a zipper flower for a birthday present. Thanks, Taylor!

My friend and best customer, Lucy. She's been coveting this raspberry felt since Christmas, and finally took the plunge. She's looking forward to wearing it for real when it's more seasonally appropriate.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Feeling the Heat

Another spectacularly beautiful day at the Market yesterday. We were so lucky that the heat wave had broken the day before, taking the oppressive humidity away. It was hot and sunny, but not the trying-to-kill-you kind.

Lots of visitors from near and far were afoot, or a-wheel. One was Ramteen, a photographer. He kindly shared with me the cool photo he took of my hats (left). The colour, the composition, the light and shadow! How nice to see my work through someone else's lens. Thanks, Ramteen!

Also, a couple stopped by who used to run a millinery store on Adelaide. It's always fun to meet fellow milliners, but I always seem to meet retirees who have sold all their hat blocks. If you have hat blocks to sell, I'm all ears!

Now it's time to get cracking on a hat for Salome. She's off to Cuba this week, and she must be protected from that Caribbean sun.

On with this week's show:

This is Roslyn, who thought she didn't look good in hats. I love disabusing people of this illusion!

This charming Francophone is Gabrielle, who glows in her new coral linen chapeau.

This is Sydney. I could tell she was a dancer, but she chose not to strike a dancer-ly pose for this photo in which she models her just-made-that-day hairband.

Alley, front, and Blue. I once had a brother who was an Airedale, like Alley. It's true. My mother's other child.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Pat's Hat

Pat, my best friend Heather's mum, had me make her a hat. I had a delightful time taking my millinery road show to her beautiful Lake Simcoe home on a gorgeous day last month. It was just as fun taking her the completed chapeau, as Heather and her hubby Johnmark came, too (and did all the driving! Score!). A bit breezy, so no lake dipping this time either (nerts), but another delicious and abundant lunch, walks and frolics with Oliver, overgrown puppy deluxe.

Pat chose a hat for gardening and Floridian sun. I think she made an excellent choice. The sunny colour makes her complexion glow. Thanks, Pat!

School's Out!

This weekend took the nasty taste of last weekend clean away. It was sunny and warm, the kids were out of school, and everyone seemed to be breathing a collective sigh of post-summit relief.

As I said last time, I wasn't selling hats last weekend. My partner Scott and I did come to St. Lawrence Market anyway, to see what we were missing and to shop. We weren't missing anything. The weather was awful. The North Market was a virtual bowling alley. Very few farmers came in for the day. Only two brave souls selling their crafts under tarpaulins outside, trying not to be blown away by the winds. (Pathetic fallacy, anyone?) The South Market seemed quieter than usual, too. The liquor store on the corner was boarded up, but the bank wasn't, after all.

But last Saturday was very nice, indeed. We had our tent neighbour, Judy Welch, the model agent par excellence in her day, tell us about the time she met Elvis Presley. Lots of lovely people came by, like Judith, who had me make a custom linen trilby for her, and graciously allowed me to trim it as I saw fit. So I did. She loves it and it loves her. A few more hats found their forever homes, both locally and internationally. I thank their new "mothers".

Judith in her new trilby.

Trilby, trim-view.

Cheryl. She looked great in this one.

Gisele, in another trilby.

Helen and her new hat, which is preparing to enjoy life in Liverpool. Thankfully it's a big Beatles fan.

The lovely Ailish and Shannon, gracing well-chosen hair ornaments.