Monday, May 28, 2012

A Royal Millinery Retrospective

Meet me June 18th at the Paletta Lakefront Park and Mansion, as we celebrate the Queen's Jubilee with an exhibit of royalty inspired 1960's fashion hats.

The Mobile Millinery Museum's '60 Hats for 60 Years' Exhibit features high fashion hats from the 1960's, similar in design to many worn by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during that decade.

  • The Paletta Lakefront Park and Mansion, 4250 Lakeshore Road, Burlington, ON
  • 11:00 A.M. - 2:00 P.M. June 18th, 2012
  • Free Admission 
The Mobile Millinery Museum...we bring history to you!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

60 Things I Learned from a 60 year old Cheerleader.

Cake by Corinne Shephard 
by Ardra Shepinetz

1.  That there is no one else like me.
2.  That I am talented and special.
3.  That you must do what you love.
4.  That dressing up is fun.
5.  That 2 days are more believeable than 1.
6.  That dogs are not optional.
7.  To always check the ingredients.
8.  To challenge myself.
9.  To be extravagant.
10. To be extravagantly generous.
11. To laugh. Loudly.
12. That retail therapy is better than conventional therapy.
13. To always carry emergency chocolate.
14. That traditions are important. 
15. That pie is a legitimate breakfast food and popcorn can be dinner.
16. To read.
17. How to pluck my eyebrows and shave my legs.
18. That learning and knowledge are exciting.
19. To be curious and ask questions.
20. To say "Please" and "Thank you"
21. That accessories are essential.
22. That it doesn't matter if you suck at math. Focus on what you do excellently.
23. That it's good to be Queen.
24. To never hide my sparkle.
25. That you are only as old as your boobs.
26. To be unconventional.
27. That I have many blessings.
28. That I don't have to do anything I don't want to.
29. To be excited.
30. To look for the joy in everyday life.
31. That being messy is completely justifiable if you are creative.
32. To make time for myself.
33. That it's just money. (And you can just get more)
34. To be optimistic. Even when it seems crazy.
35. To be joyful.
36. How fortunate I am to have a sister and a brother and a father who love me.
37. That the dishes can wait.
38. That I don't always have to be nice.
39. That every decade gets better than the last.
40. That there is usually something funny in even the worst situations.
41. To be impulsive.
42. That if you don't want anyone else to read it, don't put it in writing.
43. That it's not gossip. It's information.
44. To never brush my teeth with pumice.
45. To suck in my stomach and stick out my boobs.
46. To surround yourself with beautiful things.
47. That practicality is overrated.
48. That sugar is a food group.
49. That watching soap operas is an acceptable pursuit if you are watching "for the fashions"
50. How to use a public washroom without ever touching a thing.
51. How to eat maple syrup from a bowl (no pancakes necessary)
52. That Christmas morning starts at 4am.
53. To never stop dreaming.
54. To always carry an up to date passport.
55. That nothing is impossible.
56.  How to pack a suitcase.
57. That excitement and joy are contagious.
58. How to see the positive in a challenging situation.
59. That she will always be on my side.
60. That there is no one else like her.

Happy Birthday Mom!  I love you.
Well the big day has finally arrived. I partied with friends under a super moon and enjoyed multiple blessings courtesy of my family. What does sixty look like? I'd say sixty looks like love.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Creepy, but Fun

Still shot from the movie Never Cry Werewolf
I watched the first horror movie of my life last night. Yes, I went to the Exorcist when it was first shown on the big screen, but I passed the time sitting in the lobby. I'm not a fan of the scary stuff.

Well, last night while I sat at the computer, dutifully working on the exhibit for an  upcoming installation of hats (The Mode in Millinery 1899 - 1946), Jim discovered a made-for-TV movie (while flipping through channels), that was filmed in Hamilton. Yeah, that's cool, but we often see film crews in the city these days, so I was mildly interested when he insisted that I, "Come see this".

Oh my gosh, the film was actually set in a house we used to live in. THE house we used to live in—the creepy one with the big porch—where we only lasted six weeks. Actually the girls and I only spent three weeks there as we were in France the rest of the time.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, our old house at 149 Stirton St. was the very appropriate setting for Never Cry Werewolf.  If you happen to find this film or Google the promotional images, take a look at the driveway and imagine the sound of a lawnmower being wheeled along those uneven stones at 3:00 A.M. I can still see Jim jumping out of bed to chase the thief down the sidewalk.

I don't think they had to do a single thing to enhance the ick factor of this house. The basement was certainly the same, and from what I could see of the downstairs kitchen (yes, there were two) it was unchanged. They didn't show the cool rooms, like the huge, bookshelf-lined dining room or the conservatory at the back of the house where poor old Quincy perished, so my bad memories of the three-story monstrosity are intact.

I was excited to call each of the kids and tell them to watch. I can't wait to hear what they have to say. It's interesting how life can turn a bad episode in your life to an evening of family fun years later.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


If you havn't experienced Aradia yet, check them out here.  This is uplifting, and not just because the red-headed soprano is my daughter Ardra.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Remembering Emily Dickinson and Andrew Svoboda

Toronto's Walmer Road Baptist Church was the perfect venue yesterday for a concert by organist Imre Olah and Soprano Ardra Shephard, who performed (among other pieces) Andrew Svoboda's choral composition of Emily Dickinson's famous poem, My Life Closed Twice.

The church's accommodation for parents with small children couldn't be more comfortable, although I would caution parents to avoid sitting under the curled strips of peeling paint that add charm to such an old building.
Staircase leading to the curved balcony
The sanctuary with all of its curved wood provided perfect acoustics, which even the baby enjoyed for a full two hours. The organ concert was outstanding. We alternated between playing with the baby on the floor and sinking into the soft leather couch at the back by the doors.

I recommend you check out this church even if there isn't a concert going on (they are held twice yearly), the interior of this beautiful old building deserves to be seen, maintained, and utilized.

And wouldn't it be an ideal location for a historic fashion exhibit? As I looked around, I couldn't help but remember the days when such a church would be filled weekly (balcony and all) with ladies and gentlemen in their Sunday best. And ooohh, the hats!

Connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. You can also signup for automatic email updates in  the box proved at the right.