A Hat Making Demonstration and Lots of Chatter

Hello again, Thanks for tuning in. Last I left you, I was off to visit family in Toronto. Nothing like being air lifted out of your everyday reality to help one contemplate life. One little trip, so many conclusions. More on that later, but first I have a video for you. I thought you might like to join me in my studio for a hatting demonstration. I also threw in some lovely Lunenburg interludes. This town can make anyone feel like a professional photographer/ videographer. It’s just so darn colourful here.

This Thumbnail makes me look a psychopathic hat killer.

Hope you enjoyed that. If you’re still with me I’ll share some of my life altering revelations from my trip to Toronto. (I’m prone to exaggeration.)

View from the Art Gallery of Ontario

It was a real treat to have a few days of walking around the city by myself. I visited some friends, saw family and even took myself to the Art Gallery of Ontario. I grew up in Toronto, but I don’t think I have been to the AGO since I was a child. To be honest, I have never thought of myself as a real museum person. I have trouble taking anything in on demand or in large quantities. I love to sit in Cafés and stare at one picture for an hour.

But I heard so much about the renovations that were done and I’m older now, so I decided to give the museum thing another shot. So glad I did. There was an exhibition about the impressionist painters of Paris during the Industrial revolution. I was truly blown away. Looking at these paintings was like a religious experience. I’m not even going to try to explain it. It’s just amazing to witness such beauty.

One thing I did, being alone, was I took my time and only walked around around the one exhibit. When I got tired, I sat in the café and rested.

And then I went back to the same exhibit and took it all in again. This really worked for me.

Ack, I can’t find the name of the artist. Please fill me in.

When a long time customer, who is a plein air painter, asked me to make her a hat that she wouldn’t mind getting paint on, I figured the best solution was to pre splatter the hat for her. (Tony suggested that this could become a theme, where I make chef hats with food stains, mechanic hats with oil stains…)

Anyways, the colours in the above painting inspired the colours in this hat.

A pre splatted painting hat for Plein Air painters

Here’s another photo of Toronto for you, taken from my brother’s office.

Toronto from Above.

I think the above photo is what a lot of people think of when they think Toronto, but once you get down into the neighbourhoods it’s actually a very colourful city.

China Town, Toronto

O.K, Now for those Toronto induced life revelations. I’m a bit of a tangential person, so you need patience to hear the end of a sentence.

I visited a couple of fellow artisan friends. One was, Karyn of Lilliput hats. Karyn is an amazing milliner, but she’s also an inspiring business woman. It was humbling to see how hard she works, running a store, overseeing her assistants and also travelling across North America to do high end craft shows.

And then I visited my friend, Andrea, of Pomp and Ceremony. Andrea makes beautiful mens’ accessories from Liberty of London Fabric. I was also blown away by how hard she is working, doing the show circuit and making all those ties and pocket squares by herself.

Andrea gave me a bag of Liberty of London fabric scraps and they are slowly being turned into fascinators.

Both of these visits made me realize that I was a tad spoiled. I have been a bit whiny lately because my head is always full of new ideas and it’s hard to make myself go into production mode where I make best seller hats that I have been making for years. Creatively, I just want to go to the next thing, but financially I need to also make what people want.

You are probably not grieving for my little problem and you shouldn’t. My hardest days still entail working in my beautiful studio, taking breaks to go for walks and not needing to travel anywhere further than my local Post Office to sell my work. In short, I am blessed. I have a pretty sweet deal.

I also was keenly aware of how privileged I am to live in Nova Scotia. Not that we don’t have our problems here, but my day to day life is pretty amazing. I am surrounded by quiet, fresh air, space and beauty. A family doctor would be nice, but at least it’s easier to stay healthy here.

Lynda in her new hand felted plaid hat

I have beautiful customers, like Lynda, who come right to my studio to buy hats.

I’m knitting the Kidalton Cardigan by Kate Davies

At lunch I get to sit in my yard and knit.

Meerschaum socks in Felicia Knock’s yak sock yarn

And knit…….

Also Meerschaum socks in Mondim sock yarn.

And when I need a change of scenery I just walk down the street to The Mariner’s Daughter to inhale the colours and textures of all that beautiful yarn. I have a beautiful life.

So, thanks for joining me. I really appreciated the comments on my last blog. Sorry, I’m horrid at responding. I did respond in my mind, but it may not have reached you. Take Care and hope to see you soon. Anna