Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2013: A Very Good Year, Pt2

It's hard for me to even talk about the second half of 2013 right now, because I've been taken hostage by this Canadian winter,  complete with polar vortex. But then again, maybe thoughts and images of summer days gone by will warm me up, right?


Sigh, early summer means street festivals like Open Streets and park festivals like Seven Sundays. A massive popsicle run with friends during Open Streets inspired me for my favourite summer project. Look at all those cool dudes. Seven Sundays was a new festival this year, held at Gage Park. I only made it out to one of them, but it was amazing. Riding my bike across the city to the most beautiful park to hear local music and eat some all-natural snow cones is my perfect definition of summer.



We took on some crafty projects as soon as the weather got warmer. Doug made us an awesome sandwich board for outside the shop, and I subsequently spent my next shift making it look real pretty with some chalk markers. 

It was time that our outdoor bench got a facelift, and I tried my hand at making a popsicle pattern to decorate it with. I was a little worried because my execution of the ideas in my head rarely turn out well when I try and bring them to life, but this one turned out better than I had expected! I think it's pretty cute. A lesson for 2014 - to execute more ideas!

When Jane helped out she somehow got paint in her mouth. She quickly rinsed it out (after a photo-op) but still ended up with a terrible stomach-ache later that evening. Workplace hazards!

And just so I don't get depressed over the fact that I never have time to be crafty in my spare time - look! You do! 2013 was really a year for FINISHING what I started. Cross-stitch, quilting, natural dyeing, and knitting. I made sure to make time for it last year, and made sure that I stuck to it.

Well, that red cross quilt of mine still isn't done, but it's the only thing and it's really close, okay!?

In August we closed for a week to do some renovations to the shop so that we could build new fixtures that would be home to the new clothing lines that we were bringing in! New paint, new trim, new bannisters, new flooring. The works. We built our own shelving and racks and changerooms. We took a million trips to Home Depot, but we stayed within our timelines and re-opened with the store of my dreams. White Elephant all grown up.

September means Supercrawl and we hosted an incredible installation - Floropolis - that Kalpna Patel made for us. We can't thank this lady enough for being a part of our year. A serious highlight.

Supercrawl was an amazing weekend, as always. The organizers put on another great festival where downtown Hamilton shined for all to see. It's always an exhausting weekend, but it's that really great happy exhaustion where everyone is working together for the collective good and it's nothing but smiles on friends faces all weekend long.

I think I got home at 7am after staying out all night at Supercrawl. Some friends and I went for this amazing super breakfast at 4pm the next day. Give us all the food.

As summer turned into fall, I tended to my ever-growing garden, and preserved my bounty, and the bounty of Ontario farmers, to enjoy all winter long. As always I did some staples, such as tomatoes and pickles, but I tried some new recipes this year, and did more fermenting and drying than ever before. I'm most excited about the small batch of fig jam I squeezed in.

October was our birthday. We turned five! WE DID IT!

I also turned 30 that month, and had my fifth wedding anniversary. We had a keg party to celebrate, and October remained my favourite month of the year for the 30th year.

Winter means the One of a Kind Show (featuring wine and pretzels!), snow, and a little holiday cheer. I hardly have any photos from the past two months on my phone because we were just so busy. Which we are so crazy thankful for. This holiday season was probably our best holiday season yet, and it's so encouraging and lovely to see so many people out shopping locally and buying handmade gifts for their loved ones. We saw so many people consciously shopping for Canadian made items, and that's what we love to see and what we love to provide for you. Thank you.

We're not just thankful for the holiday season. We're thankful that we get to do this all year round. It's crazy that we're able to do what we love, in the city that we love. And in 2013 we got the chance to do it full-time. Which just means that we have so much more time now to work harder for you. Thanks for making 2013 an amazing year in downtown Hamilton, and we look forward to bringing you lots of fun times in 2014!

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