Thursday, 1 September 2011


Last weekend I was in Amherstburg, near Windsor, selling my hats at ART by the River. It's an annual craft sale at historic Fort Malden, on the Detroit River, benefiting the local Gibson Gallery.

I was invited by my friend Jacqui Uza, who makes gorgeous vintage-style beaded purses. She and her husband, George, travel the world and sell the purses at all kinds of events as they go. Cool or what?

Never having sold my hats outside my major metropolitan area, and hardly ever getting out of it, period, I was excited and a bit nervous about my late summer adventure. The indispensable Scott stayed home to take care of our two cats. But he did handsomely have the car serviced pre-road trip and taught me how he loads it with my gear, which was great.

Thanks to Google Maps and our own map book, I got there without much trouble. Jacqui and George live in nearby LaSalle, where I was their guest for the weekend. We went to set up our tent and big display items as soon as I arrived.

What a pretty place Fort Malden is! It was pretty important during the War of 1812 and has had a varied career in its history. Vendor tents covered much of its grounds, which were looking terribly spruce after 200 years.
Remember this guy, from St. Lawrence Market in July? He sure gets around.

The weather was fabulous! We were so lucky, since it was a rain-or-shine deal. (Thanks a lot, sun, eh?)

Our tent site was in a lovely part of the park, near the riverbank. We couldn't have loved it more. On Saturday a tall ship flying Old Glory cheekily sailed past and boomed cannon at us, delighting the humans and frightening the dogs.

A sheltie panting post-boom.

I spent a lot of time looking at the river and wishing I could get in it.

That's Boblo Island, now a tony residential enclave, previously an amusement park where George worked summers in his youth. I understand there were hijinks. Or possibly high jinx.

Saturday began on a peckish note as we arrived to finish setting up before we had eaten anything. There was no handy eatery near enough to come back with hot coffee, and, amazingly, none of the food vendors had any. I need my caffeine in the morning, people! And something to eat, too! The morning was saved by the lovely and talented Wafa and her hubby Rusty, of Sun Sweet Catering, who make the most fantastic hummus dips. They very kindly fed me a toasted bagel shmeered with their awesome garlic spread and instant coffee with honey. Bless them both! (Yes, I had breath mints with me.)

The weekend sales started slowly each day, but progressed nicely as the days went on. Jacqui's purses are like catnip to the local ladies, who are no fools. My hats were well received, too. I was flattered to be invited to a hatty event nearby next winter.

It was difficult peeling myself away on Monday morning to head back home, but it was lovely to see my darlings again. Apparently I was missed! I'm lucky. (Have I mentioned that before?)

And now, photographic souvenirs of my millinery road trip:
The set-up tents all tucked in for the night, Friday.

Open for business, Saturday.

Our tent with hats and purses.

Our teeny table, with George just visible on the right.

Barb strikes a pensive pose in Mean Mr. Mustard.

Jalyn and Peyton, who indulged me by posing in their outfits that matched a couple of my pieces.

Shirley. Ditto.

Angel-Lee in her new gold linen band.

This lady took home a different hat than this one, leaving this one free to be chosen by someone else.

For when you need a safety pin.

A beauty models "Mood Indigo."

I missed Hannah's dance performance, but not her aqua braces, which matched this band.

Solange continues the colour theme.

And so does Emily.

A drum sergeant of the fife and drum corps.

A soldier's wife about to open a building and lead a tour. Her costume looked very authentically historical as she called us "guys" and worked on the computer.

Ballerina Megan strikes a pose in a purse by Jacqui and a band by me.

And she didn't think she looked fabulous in this. Tsk. But a chorus of "Yes, you do's" convinced her, and now the hat is hers.

Elise, left, knew she had to have this pink slouch cloche. Kelly is on the right. But I believe she was wrong not to have bought the cap she's rocking here.

Two silly ladies. The one who isn't me (in green) is Jacqui Uza, modeling "Eliza".

Another "Eliza" fan.

And, finally, Judy, who loved it so much she made it her own. It's crossing the river to live in the U.S. Godspeed, Judy and "Eliza"!

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