July 2nd, 2022 is the day I celebrate 40 years as an artisan. Thinking I might call my business ‘Jumpers’ which is what I grew up in England calling sweaters…but changed my mind and settled on my name. I had been knitting for friends for small fees, designing my own styles and, with one year of Fashion Technique and Design under my belt from 1969/70 I decided I’d follow my passion.
I walked downtown Toronto to register my business on University Avenue….then I did a lot of knitting (by hand), photographed my work and applied for the Ottawa Christmas Craft show for that year. I was accepted and that was the start of this wonderful roller coaster ride.
It was either fashion or children…I had done both then decided to go back to clothing…I was 32.
End of an Era
Well, these things happen. Roxana at L’Artellier du Village in Pointe Claire QU closed after many successful years.
I can’t remember how long it was ago when she messaged me (or called…I can’t remember) to ask me to put my work in her fun, funky and fab boutique. I was honoured and had been sending her work for the past number of years…and she’s been selling to her lovely clientele.
I visited her one last time to retrieve some remaining pieces and to catch up and say goodbye, however, we stay in touch via Facebook.
A Little History
Many moons ago during one of my years at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition in Nathan Phillips Square I had a lady purchase a cotton colour block cardi.
The woman said she was giving it to her sister Caroline Rea…the actress. I was tickled and hoped that the cardi would fit. Time goes on and I never thought anything of it until I was looking at some fun old TV show bits recently on YouTube and saw this in a clip!!! Caroline in her CMB cardi on Hollywood Squares!!! It fit and it looks great on her.
Once again, at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition as it used to be called, I won an award…Honorable Mention – Fibre 1998.
I had designed one of my first assymetrical cardigans where one side was longer than the other. I had comments like ‘did you mean to do that?’, or ‘doesn’t that button up funny’. I wondered if folk knew it was an art show and they were going to see odd and wierd things.
One lady kept coming back and staring at this cardi and I wondered if she might want to try it on with a view to purchase. Off I went to the Eatons Centre for sunscreen chapstick and on returning my husband presented me with an envelope. Apparently the woman was Dorothy Caldwell and was one of the adjudicators for the show! I had won $100 and an invitation to attend a bit of a party with wine and nibbles in City Hall! Stunned and happy.