Friday, May 26, 2017

From Sandwich Wraps to Glamping Hats


Today's blog is brought to you by a block of bees wax. This hat, modeled by Pam, comes later in the tale.


The story begins with these bees wax fabric food wraps.  I got them from my friend, Elisabeth Bailey, the locally famous cook book author.  If, like me, you lose sleep over plastic in the ocean, and are always looking for alternatives to disposable plastic, then you should contact Elisabeth and buy a pack of six for $28.  You can message her on her Facebook Page.


You could use them to wrap up goodies from Rose Bay Scratch Baking, who are at the Lunenburg Farmers Market every second week. Best cranberry muffins ever.


 I have been using them to wrap bits of cheese.  The wax coating allows the fabric to hold the shape of whatever you wrap it around.

You might look at one of these wraps and say, "Cool beans"....and think no more on it.  But for me, these little wraps inspired a whole new obsession.  Now instead of losing sleep over plastic in the ocean I am losing sleep over the possibilities of waxed fabric.



Actually, this obsession with waxed fabric began when I saw these adorable waxed canvas bags in the window of Luvly in Lunenburg, last summer.  They are made by the Antigonish Bag Company.
Thinking that waxed canvas would make a great hat, I went about searching the internet to see where I could buy this fabric.  I didn't have much luck. But one year later, when I laid my hands on Elisabeth's food wraps  it occurred to me that one makes waxed canvas. Aaaahhhh....a total V8 moment.

So, then I started watching Youtube videos to learn how to wax canvas and this led me to all kinds of red neck survivalist videos.  Really quite entertaining.  Basically, you melt beeswax, or any other kind of wax mixed with oil and paint it on the fabric.  Then you take a heat gun and melt the mixture into the fabric.  I haven't tried it yet, but I did get to the part where I buy 7 pounds of bees wax from my neighbour, Jason.


Holy Queen Bee, does this stuff ever smell strong!  It's a wonderful, sweet smell in small doses, but 7 pounds of it in my little studio smells like an Avon convention.  I had to wrap it in plastic bags.  Oh, the irony of it all.


Well, back to the hat.  I bought some cotton canvas, hand dyed it my favourite colour and designed a new cloche hat.  It's quite practical without being waxed, but for the next round I will go all the way.  Once the hat is waxed it will be totally waterproof.
I'm not sure if you are with me on this image, but I see this as a survivalist flapper cloche.... or Glamping hat.  I mean, why not?  It is a rugged canvas hat, but it just happens to be beautiful. I know of no law that says you can't be glamorous while being chased up a tree by a bear.
I'm particularly excited by this little rose.

I learned to make the rose from this book, circa 1925, from The Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences, Scranton, Pennsylvania.  I'm pretty sure my sister-in-law, Amy, got me this book some time ago.

As we speak, I am dying a batch of canvas, periwinkle blue.  You can be sure that I will let you know how my next hat, fully waxed,  turns out.



 In other news....there is life beyond the walls of my studio.  Last Sunday morning I happened to be walking Lego while this beautiful tall ship, carrying the students from Class Afloat, was entering the harbour.  The Bluenose was there to greet her. So much fun to hear the two schooners talking to each other.
I was standing next to one other local woman and we talked of what a gift it is to live in a town where this sort of thing happens all the time.


To be honest, I'm not really a festivities kind of gal.  Mostly I love to work in my garden.  (Finally found some Rugosa transplants to start a hedge)

And make pretty hats in my studio.  But I do love knowing that all these grand things are happening here and every once in a while I roll down the hill and join the party.
If, however, you need to escape the hustle and bustle of a lively Lunenburg summer weekend, then come on up the hill a few blocks and come visit me in my studio at the back of town.  If you time your visit right there will be strawberries....or raspberries....or blueberries..... but always hats.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Hats, Rainbows, Sunsets and Breaking up with Facebook


What a week it's been.   I made hats, I sold hats, I received heartwarming messages from happy customers, gardened, walked my dog, talked to the man and the boy and, oh yeah...I broke up with Facebook.

 After years of screaming at my screen, I decided to take control. I'm tired of a world that steals my ability to read a book,  think, work and like people.  I'll still use it to share my blogs and I'll glance over the latest gossip, but I'm going to reclaim my long form life. It's been about a week and I can't tell you how much happier I am without it.

But enough about that.  Let's talk about Beautiful Jamie, instead. These photos are courtesy of Eyes on Windsor.  Jamie participates in the annual Tweed ride, in Windsor, Ontario.


She asked me to make this hat for her to match her handmade vest.  I love everything about her outfit and am completely covetous of her boots.  Her man is also dashing, but really, you can't compete with Jamie.


Speaking of wonderful customers.  This is Amy, in Michigan.  A true starlet.  I think this is Amy's fourth, maybe fifth Hat Junkie hat. It's really been so much fun for me to develop long distance relationships with my customers.  The ability to connect with people far away is the sunny side of the internet.


Connecting to people near by is also a sunny thing.  And what better place to chat with my neighbours and tourists alike than at The Lunenburg Farmers Market.  You can find me there every Thursday morning from 8-12.  In my humble opinion (which is not really that humble) we have one of  the best Farmers Markets in Nova Scotia. It has everything.  Two large bakeries, several smaller ones, a coffee roaster,  two butchers, cheese makers, two hatters, artists, a knife sharpener, two florists, painters, a potter, sometimes a weaver, a wood worker, maple syrup, honey, jams and Kimchi, and now Danette from Seadog Bags will be back next week.  You see what I mean? It's simply amazing.
 Beautiful Sydney walked by my booth yesterday and this hat literally jumped on her head.  Really, I'm not making that up.  It jumped off the mannequin onto her head and they lived happily ever after.

Although I think that everyone should come to Lunenburg and prance around this pretty town, I know that life sometimes gets in the way.  So, if you live in Halifax, I just shipped a batch of Suitcase Sally hats to Lady Luck Boutique.  They now have two stores, one in The Hydrostone Market and one in Dartmouth.  I'll also be doing a Trunk show in the Hydrostone store on June 3rd. (Don't worry, I'll remind you.)


I'll leave you with two Lunenburg shots from this week.  Sometimes you can just tell that the sky is about to show off.  I saw this one coming and ran out the door, phone in hand, screaming, "I'm off to chase the sunset.  Be back soon."  I was right.


This one I owe to Tony.  I was in a cranky mood when Tony beckoned from outside.  I shook my head... No.  
He nodded his head.... Yes.  We repeated this a couple times and then I relented.  I was rewarded by a double rainbow.  Hard to stay cranky for long around these parts.