Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Lady's got Style

I was selling my wares at our Lunenburg Farmer's Market today, when this beautiful woman walked by.  The coat, the boots, the scarf, her hair, her face, absolute perfection.  The only thing missing was....

The headand, of course.  I was so relieved that she agreed with me.  Her name is Margaret, which is perfect because I happen to love all Margarets.  She was visiting from Salt Spring Island, BC.  That is a place I would love to visit.  At least I get to send an ambassador.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Lunenburg The Beautiful

Happy Monday morning.  That's a good one, right?  I have been hoarding thoughts to share with you on this blog regarding parenting and evil fifth grade science fair projects and the adventures of accidentally discovering the very existence of this science fair project two days before it's due date by way of another parent's Facebook post, but somehow, I just can't bring myself to revisit this experience.  So, instead I will share some photos of this beautiful town that I call home.  Ever since my sister in law donated her used iphone to me, I have been extremely snap happy.  I have no patience for lenses, apertures, focus and all that  other complicated photography paraphernalia, but I do love to have a little one click camera in my pocket to capture all the beauty around me.  Hope you enjoy them and hope they inspire you to visit me and see for yourself.
I call this,  Frozen Laundry on Donut Hill.  Not sure why this little path is called Donut hill.  Maybe it's because when you make it to the top you feel like you deserve a donut.

The front harbour of Lunenburg.  The front harbour is filled with ships and industry and the back harbour is peaceful and pastoral.

This is looking out over the back harbour onto First peninsula.   I couldn't quite capture what I was seeing, but it looked like part of a model railroad.

Every once in a while, on one of my morning walks with my trusted canine companion, I look back over my shoulder and catch a glimpse of magic.  This is the Lunenburg Academy.  Up until a few years ago it was the elementary school in town, but now it is being reborn as a home for The Lunenburg Academy of Music Peformance.  which is one more reason to come visit.  For, I believe, 20 weeks of the year the building is filled with world class, classical musicians giving workshops and performances.
So, there you have it.  More temptation.  Hope it's working. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Never Too Old

I have often considered changing my business name from The Hat Junkie to the Hat Therapist.  You wouldn't believe the things I hear every time someone approaches me to look at hats...My nose is too big, my chin is too small, my forehead is too flat, I'm too fat, too skinny, too short, too tall and the one that really drives me over the edge, is too old.  You are never too old to wear hats. Go back not too far in history and you will see that older women dressed beautifully and always wore hats. 
This is beautiful Sandria.  Eighty two years old, with the sparkliest eyes you have every seen and she is sporting the Emma Rose hat that I custom made for her.  I did not say 82 years young.  She's not young.  She's old and beautiful and inspirational.  There is beauty at all stages of life.  So, if you need permission to look beautiful, here it is, from Sandria to you.  Go forth and wear pretty hats.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

A Slipper Slope and a True Vacation

Happy New Year. Tomorrow is back to school day for the boy and back to reality day for the mom.  Fortunately, my reality is pretty fantasy.  

In past years, I have gone from intense hat making for orders straight into intense pajama making for my boys and, not too surprisingly, I never quite got that I had a break feeling.  So, this year for Christmas I gave the boys a happy mother/wife and made them absolutely zilch.  I pretended I was a normal person that didn't always have a voice in my head saying, I can make that.
Instead, I was completely selfish and felted myself a pair of slippers.  O.K, two pairs of slippers because I had to get it out of my system.  Which I haven't, but that's another story. 
I can't even begin to tell you how much fun I had.  As I mentioned before, my day to day reality is pretty darn idealic, but there is a slight grown up component to it where I need to make the hats that my customers order and despite my head constantly being filled with new ideas, I can't always make the time to get to them.  The night before I made these slippers, I lay in bed with my ipad and watched endless slipper making tutorials on youtube..  Most of them were in Russian, no I don't speak Russian, but the slavic drone in the background somehow made the experience all the more enjoyable.  You see, in my real life, I work.... all the time, and am forced to make these annoying connections between creating and eating, so wasting endless hours learning to do something with very little practical value other than to keep my feet warm and make me happy was sheer joy for me.

This is what they look like half way through.  Pretty crazy, huh?  Being my first pair, I hadn't realized how much that opening would stretch by the time the felting was done.  They still worked, but that's why I felt the need to tackle a second pair.
So, these ones were born.  I love them both, but being rather frugal when it comes to heat, I am living in these ones for the coldest months.
 I had a fabulous week off and then the day after Christmas went back to filling orders for a few days, so that we could head to Tony's sister's beautiful home in Winterport, Maine for New Year's.  This is one of my many favourite places.  This is the view from the kitchen window.  Being there is wonderfully relaxing.  Getting there is not.  It always seems to take us 11 hours and we are fine until the last 3, which are complete torture.  Fortunately, the reward at the end of the tunnel is great.

 A girl's day out with my sister in law, Amy, is my idea of heaven on earth.  We went to Belfast, Maine.  It's an adorable town, filled with old brick buildings, great stores, coffee shops and......
 the fabric store to end all fabric stores.  Walking into fiddle head artisan supply is like a religious experience for me.  Every display is like a shrine.  It's just beautiful.  I walked out with lots of fabrics for upcoming summer hats and a pattern for a beautiful coat which I will probably just stare at and never get around to making.  Maybe on my next forced vacation.

We arrived back in Lunenburg yesterday just before this arrived.  It's a beautiful mess out there.  I took this photo just before the whole thing turned to rain and slush.
 Getting away is wonderful and there are so many places I love, but coming home to Lunenburg never gets old.  I get to live in a fairy tale.  It's back to work for me, but it's still not real work.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Three Muses

This adorable photo comes to you from Chicago.  I received one of those hat emergency calls some weeks back that these three ladies had all purchased  polar fleece coats and now needed the matching hats.  The coat company had told them the color name and since we both use the same polartec fleece, I was able to match it up.  This is my Matta Hari hat and I love that it is being worn in three different ways. 
They originally purchased my hats at Beauchapeau hat shop in Niagara on The Lake.   
I was hoping for the Chicago skyline in the background, but they assure me that it is right behind the wall.  I do most of my traveling vicariously through my hats, so this is important to me.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A sweet success of a day.

Happy to report that our Drift show in Halifax was a super success, largely in part to the plethora of cookies.  It was really fun spending the day with some talented and fun ladies and force feeding our customers homemade goodies.  I baked these Rugelach, which if I may say so myself were quite the hit.  It was my little way of bringing a touch of Hannukah to the celebration.
My absolute favourite part of the day was acquiring a new treasure from the ridiculously talented Mariko Paterson.    Head to forage studio to see her amazing work.  I had no business shopping, but I could not seem to put it down and when I thought of someone else walking in and buying it, murderous thoughts flashed through my mind.  And then there were too little devil fellow craftspeople whispering,  "just get it, just get it."  in my ears.  So, what's a girl to do?  It was a hit with Dustin and Tony and I can't wait to use it for Maple Syrup. 
Also got myself one of Jennifer Harrison's calendars.  When a wad of cash falls from the sky, I will buy one of her originals, but until then, I will be staring at this one.  She is having a sale right now, so head over there if you are in the market for a beautiful painting.
But fear not, I did actually make more than I spent.  Had some of my favourite customers show up.  Randi is at the top of the list.  This isn't the one she went home with, but I love the photo.
Also met some new Hat Junkies, so all in all, it was a perfect day.
I will leave you with this photo of one of Mariko's three weiner dogs who adopted the Sea Dog bag that I use to carry everything.    My coat was in there to make it the perfect chill out spot.  I really didn't have the heart not to share.  My thoughts weren't quite as generous when he ate my lunch, but cuteness comes with a cost. 
Now, it's back to the sweatshop for me, so that I can take a well deserved break on Friday, when I will hang my closed sign up for a week.  That's my goal anyways.  See you soon.

Monday, December 8, 2014

There's No Place Like Work

This is where you can find me these days.  All day and into the night.  I have been filling orders up to my eyebrows.   This is the time of year when people order Christmas presents and boutiques need those hats to arrive in time for Holiday shopping.  So, the one woman sweat shop sweats on.
While I may have the aura of a martyr, doing what she needs to do to put food on the table for her family, the truth is, there is no place I'd rather be.  Tony  (that be the husband)  created this beautiful little doll house for me and now he is paying the price.  I have a hard time leaving it.
With a hat maker for a mother and a furniture maker for a father, our son has grown up believing that everyone loves their work.  Perhaps a bit of a warped reality, but, hopefully, it will wear off on him and he will know no other way to get through life.  Of course, there is a part of me that laughs at myself saying, "Just you wait, Anna.  The kid will be a banker, insurance agent, government employee, anything that makes a regular income and guarantees the steady supply of Lego sets."
While I sew away, I listen to podcasts, the news or Audio books.  Knowing my current deadlines, I had to download something really long.  So, right now I am listening to Les Miserables.  Sixty hours of unabridged misery.  I couldn't be happier.  I have not put the news on for days.  Also a good thing.  Let me know if I missed anything important.  Have you heard about the battle of Waterloo?
Like these photos?  Be sure to check out Heidi Jirotka's web site.