Saturday, 31 December 2011

Auld Lang Syne

Call me crazy, but I rather liked 2011. My business grew, and many good things came my way, thanks to everyone who came my way. It's all about interdependence, which becomes more and more apparent with every passing year.

Thank you so much to everyone who came by my hat displays, wherever they were, especially my customers, and to my family, friends and colleagues who are the source of my many blessings.

May 2012 bring you all the important things, especially lots of love!

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Last Absence Alert of 2011

I will not be at St. Lawrence Market today after all. If anyone wants to see my hats and hair toys in time for Christmas giving, please email me ( an appointment at my house in the Beach.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Monday, 5 December 2011


Have you missed me? Hard to do when I won't go away, isn't it?

Anyhoo, I beg your indulgence one more time today to inform you that I will be back at the Artisans Gift Fair at the Tranzac Club next Saturday, December 10 from noon to 6 p.m. It's on Brunswick, just south of Bloor, in the Annex. Free admission and lots of vendors.

St. Lawrence Holiday Market

Come and see me and my hats and hair toys in the North Market on Friday, December 16 and Wednesday, December 21! Free admission!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Artisans Gift Fair

Yesterday the indispensable Scott and I set up the portable shop at the Artisans Gift Fair. It's at the Tranzac Club, the funky little place on Brunswick, just south of Bloor in the Annex. It's a fun show with free admission, and it takes place every weekend in December prior to Christmas. This year the last dates are December 17 and 18.

I thought I was going to be there on the 17th, also, but there was a snafu in communication and now I probably won't be, unless there's a last-minute stroke of luck. If there is, I'll post it here.

We did this show in 2008 and 2009, skipping last year, which was sad, so we came back again this year. I like the vibe there. Nothing pretentious, just a nice, low key event for the 99%. A good mix of crafts, including some I just hadn't run into before. Such as crocheted pasties. Well, it is almost winter... Roberto Riveros was there, too, at my recommendation, with his wife, Nancy, and his son, Severus. (How I love knowing someone named Severus! He isn't the least bit Snape-y, either.) Roberto is the photographer who was my tent neighbour at the Market this summer. It's always nice having friends at a sale.

I had my favourite spot, right in front of the stage, where my tall grids won't block any other vendor.

We were next to a lovely couple selling Mexican glass and ceramics. Pretty, but absolutely terrifying being so close to a shelving unit stuffed with stemmed glassware. It made us very, very mindful of each move we made. Thus was disaster averted. Phew.

Met some nice people and a lovely Dachshund named Dargo, who was too wiggly to photograph successfully. I tried. He had on a handsome green sweater.

One of the nice people was Priya, of Priya Means Love. She was selling her yummy, hand made botanical lotions and creams and such. She admired my new fascinator with a beaded taupe organza flower and metallic feathers, and it admired her.

Another visitor was Sam and his mother. He looked most fetching in a poorboy cap, as modeled here:

June couldn't resist this delicious felt creation with multiple personalities, so she bought it:

My friend and colleague Sheila came by to say hi, which was a lovely surprise. We were millinery students together. And another of our classmates came by at the same time. Three milliners, no waiting.

And you know who else was there? That guy from Rookie Blue! I love Rookie Blue! And that guy was there! You know, one of the seasoned cops, the one who got shot toward the end of the first season, but he was okay... If I'd been there when he passed my table I would have totally and shamelessly asked for a photo, but I wasn't. I'm sure the universe knows best.

It's been the season to run into recognizable people. Art Heintzman House there was Peter Kent, at Plaid Tidings it was Vanessa Harwood, former prima ballerina, and now my favourite fake cop. I wonder who will be at St. Lawrence Market?

Yup, as mentioned before, I will be back to my summer stomping grounds for two more days, but this time we'll be inside the North Market building, 93 Front Street East at Jarvis. Fellow artisan Marjorie Robles of Earth Faerie is spearheading this five day, last-minute sale. Here are the hours:

Thursday, Dec. 15: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 16 (that's me!): 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 20: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 21 (me again!): 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 22: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.

I'll post more about this when I have more to post.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Branksome House and Heintzman Hall*

* Okay, Heintzman House and Branksome Hall. It's been a hectic week.

Gia, aglow in her new red sinamay fascinator.

The indispensable Scott and my table

The holiday season is off to a rousing start with two back-to-back sales on consecutive weekends. First we made our second appearance at the Heintzman House Artisan Craft Sale, their 40th. I'd say it was pretty well established! We (the indispensable Scott and me) shared the second floor Heintzman Room once again with Wendy Emery, the fused glass wiz, and Janice, doll maker, and her pal, Luella. It was nice to see them all again. We make good roommates.

My display looked awesome, if I do say so myself. Wendy also had the great idea of angling my table at the far end, which looked really good and gave us more room to move behind it. Janice wisely made many more dolls this time, as they simply flew out of there last year. Wendy's display was once again by the window to allow the sunlight to play with her creations. It had grown, too, by at least a tree.

Wendy's table

Janice's table

Scott and I enjoyed seeing crafty old friends again, along with the lovely ladies of the Auxiliary who are so gracious and helpful, and some of whom do me the honour of becoming customers. It was another successful sale for us all. Yay!



A bevy of Branksome beauties

The momentum continued with one more week of mad millining (yes, I know it's not a word) leading up to Plaid Tidings, the holiday season craft sale at Branksome Hall. It's a private girls' school in Rosedale. The sale was established about twenty years ago, and this was my first time there as a vendor. It's really beautifully done. The new gym is professionally outfitted with red carpets, draped booths and spot lighting so that it looks like a mini One of A Kind Show. And the vendors were all superb quality and had items at all price points. As at Heintzman House, there was a tea room with tasty treats to keep one "suffunctified" while browsing. The $10 admission was well worth it.

Good thing I brought extra lights!
I was next to my friend, Jacqui Uza, and her husband, George, my hosts last summer when I shared her tent at ART by the River in Amherstburg. Peripatetic to say the least, they travel the world, selling Jacqui's breathtaking beaded, vintage style purses as they go. It's great to see them as they cross my orbit, however briefly.

Friday evening was the opening gala, with a silent auction, wine and canapes -- and a piper, of course.

Piping in the season

As may be deduced from the name of the event, it's a very Scottish theme at Branksome Hall. Clans and kilts abound. Jacqui spent the evening swamped with admiring customers. I love it when people are smart enough to know gorgeousness when they see it, especially when it's the work of a friend.

Jacqui's busy table

A clearer view

Leslie looking lovely

Lydia Levin, Communications Manager

Frances and Gwen

Amelia and Elizabeth

A & E again, international women of mystery

Mimi and Riannon

Riannon in her new poorboy cap




Lauren and Lexi

Saturday and Sunday were very good with lots of people shopping. On Sunday we were approached by a lady who was promoting a similar event at another school. She looked so familiar, and I finally figured out that she bore a striking resemblance to my high school art teacher. I was right! She was as tickled to run into an old (ancienne, not vieille, thank you) student as I was to run into her. We had a fun chat. Oy, such a small world!

Mary Lou



Maggie fascinating


Various vendors:

Brave Brown Bag

Vendor neighbour Susan Cavanagh's Collectibles, all the way from New Liskeard

Julia McNeely's awesome animal art. I love them!

Weaver's Cabin. Beautiful, cozy woven woollies from Severn Bridge

Shane Lambert's gorgeous woodwork. The pepper mills! Oh, the pepper mills!

Willa Designs had an architect design their necklace displays.

Christy's Gourmet Gifts. Yum.

The staff, planning committee and girls were all lovely, and the customers were, too.
It all added up to a most successful sale. Thank you, Plaid Tidings! I hope to be there again next year.

And the season has just begun! Next up, it's the Artisans Gift Fair at the Tranzac Club, Saturday, December 3 and Saturday, December 17, noon to 6 p.m. Free admission! And on Friday, December 16, I will be at St. Lawrence Market once more, but this time inside the North Market (where the farmers are on Saturdays), for a holiday craft sale of St. Lawrence Market's craft vendors. I'll also be elfing somewhat. Stay tuned!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Holiday Craft Show Schedule 2011

40th Annual Artisan Craft Sale
Heintzman House
135 Bay Thorn Drive, Thornhill
Saturday, November 12 & Sunday, November 13, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission $2
A well-established annual event in a historic house, Ontario's first adobe structure, and named after its most prominent inhabitants, the piano-making Heintzmans. Proceeds benefit the house's upkeep.

Plaid Tidings
Branksome Hall
10 Elm Avenue, Toronto
Friday, November 18, 3:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday, November 19 and Sunday, November 20, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission $4.50
Since 1992, Plaid Tidings has offered a lovely selection of creative vendors for seasonal shopping, in support of this private girls' school's programs.This is my first year at Plaid Tidings. I visited the show last year. It's like a mini One of A Kind show, with the room professionally set up and lit. Wish me luck!

Artisans Gift Fair
Tranzac Club
292 Brunswick Avenue, Toronto
Saturday, December 3 and Saturday, December 17, noon to 6 p.m.
Free admission
For over twenty years a really nice, down-to-earth, family-friendly neighbourhood event in the Annex.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Last Saturday

Last Saturday was my last Saturday at St. Lawrence Market for the summer season, which starts in mid-spring and goes to early autumn. And what a gorgeous day it was! We were expecting all kinds of "meh" or worse weather, and instead were treated to warm and sunny. Lots of relieved-looking people were about, browsing and shopping.

Someone was giving away these cool burlap bags, so I nabbed one.

This week's musicians noticed I was aiming my camera at them and obliging smiled for me.

Salome had the nerve to be absent for my last day. Instead, her lovely daughter, Adrian, filled in for her. We fed her big, soft pretzels, as was only fitting, as her mother usually shares hers with us and many others. (We get them at the farmers' market at Oodles of Strudels. You should, too.)

Steve was around again, so I put him to work as a hat model. Look for him in weekends to come, with his high-tech fabric active wear.

I had made some new hat pins, which were well received. Here's Marg, who plans on wearing hers on a scarf.

Raelene from Perth, Australia bought a hat. It's always extra flattering to have one of my pieces chosen by someone who lives in a millinery hotspot.

And speaking of travelers, here is Marlin, from the U.S.A., in his new poorboy cap.

And speaking of poorboy caps, Jill made an inspired choice with this one.

Charlie in a pink hairband.

Charlene in her new hat. Clearly, ladies whose names begin "Char" know how to flatter their outfits and complexions with headwear.

Roberto and Stephen pointed out their new "Open" sign, which was tres amusant.

A small child on a Winnie the Pooh leash came by, too cute to miss capturing.

This lady demonstrated why she looks good in headwear -- her head could have been the model for the ubiquitous styrofoam ones. And that girl can wear anything.

Three disparate examples of Market style. The bike looks like it belongs to a resident of Ward's Island. For non-Torontonians, Ward's is one of the islands in our harbour, and the last one with homes. There are no cars allowed, so the residents have these nifty, tricked-out bikes of impressive variety to do as much duty as possible, like lugging home groceries. And, apparently, tiny canoes, like on the back of this one.

And, finally, the lovely Ms. Gail, who celebrated her birthday with a sinamay swirl and feathers. A career ballerina, she was also quite taken with a white feather fascinator she dubbed "Swan Lake". The one she chose didn't require pointe shoes, however.

Well, that's a season. And a glorious one it was, too, after the first few wet weeks. Lovely weather, people and sales. Thank you, one and all, and a big thank you to you, universe!

I'm now in major production mode, getting ready for my holiday season craft sales. So stay tuned for news about those.