Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Truth

When people see my hats they often say, "You must be so happy." I hear it all the time and I get it. My hats are happy. I'm happy they are happy hats and mostly I am happy too, but here's a little secret. Sometimes, O.K, a lot of times, I'm a real grouch. Tony and Dusty get to see this side of me more than others and I dare say my parents and anyone else that may have been married to me know this about me as well. One of the things that has made me grouchy lately has been the Halifax Farmers Market. It was a combination of crowds, waking up before 4a.m, children with blueberry smoothies playing with my hats, grown ups setting down oily pastry bags and coffee on my hats, too much noise and not enough money. I realized that I was starting to blow the happy cover. I suddenly heard myself complaining once too often to anybody that would listen. It was time to take a break. That's what I did. I disappeared from the market for a few months and holed up in my beautiful Lunenburg studio and just made hats for wholesale and internet orders. That to me is peace on earth..Quiet, a beautiful window to look out of, beautiful fabrics and small breaks for good coffee and to walk the dog. Last week I decided I would go back to the market on Saturday and I was scared. Scared of waking up before 4am, scared of spilled coffee on my hats, scared of being exhausted, scared of being broke, scared of being invisible in a sea of thousands of people. And so I made a pact with myself. My one goal for the day was to look for every positive experience there was to be found in the day that had nothing to do with money. Kind of like those eye spy books that Dusty loves so much. This is what I found... I laughed with many fellow vendor buddies, I sat down with a cappuccino and cranberry scone, I listened to my favourite podcasts on the drive in, I met a customer who wore my hat after having brain surgery and she told me how her hat made her feel beautiful at a very difficult time in her life, I saw my 76 year old friend Anne, whose 97 year old boyfriend just died and I gave her a hug. I sold this Suitcase Sally travel hat to this woman in the photo and she was lovely and appreciative. I discovered that my new rain hats make everyone smile. And then, someone spilled their coffee on my table. I looked down and there was this filled coffee cup lying horizontally.... and it was fine. Nothing got ruined and I'm here to tell the tale. I can't say I feel the need to rush back there next week, but the day sure was a heck of a lot easier with my new found attitude and maybe even worth it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Colour Crazy

Help I just can't stop! Since my friend, Heather, sold me her lot of procion fabric dyes and her top loading washing machine that she had rigged with a constant agitation cycle, I have found myself spending countless hours in the basement dying up new batches of colour. This is nothing like that box of Rit dye. Each colour takes around two hours, with several trips up and down the stairs mixing 7 lbs of salt, stirring up the soda ash to fix the dye and timing it all perfectly. Tony always marvels at how I need to do everything the hard way, but heck, he's one to talk with his dove tailed joints. I suppose we are two of a kind. Well, despite my belly aching, there is nothing quite as satisfying to me as bold, vivid colour and I am certainly getting my fix these days.