Exciting Times!

I can honestly say that 2017 has been a complete whirlwind, and I have really missed taking time-out to reflect on what I’ve been doing.

Between organising the HATstock festival in Stockport, Wear A Hat Day,  a studio move, developing workshops, delivering talks, joining a new crit group, working with bio-fabric, doing courses in flatlay and working with straw as well as meeting my friend Katie’s Alpacas – its been totally full-on!

Thanks to the fantastic Sara Auty of SAZmedia, I also fitted in a photoshoot too! The pic of me in the scarf half-hat / percher is one of hers!

I’ll be sharing what I’ve been up to over the next few weeks and revealing whats to come – no spoilers but I’m working on lots of exciting projects! In the mean-time, get a flavour of the great time we all had at HATstock here.

 

All About Bramall

July saw the opening of Bramall Hall. The hall had been closed for over a year for major renovation and building works. As part of my day job, I worked on the project in the very early stages; packing objects, clearing attics and decorating the servants quarters. I also contributed to developing the shop in the renovated stable block – such a lovely space I couldn’t help but stick my oar in.

Life below stairs, parklife, the Arts & Crafts movement and country pursuits are some of the key stories that have guided the choice of products and the way they are displayed. I had the lovely job of choosing all the books and worked with visual merchandising wizard, Linda from design company, 442 to help set it all up before opening.

The shop is doing well and its not surprising – where else can you a 4ft ostrich feather duster, a handmade flatcap and a bag of premium duck food!

A selection of  my limited edition ‘Made in Stockport’ tweedy wool, silk / linen scarves are also available for a bargain at £25.00 while stocks last!

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Fun with Fabric Flowers

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It was another great day of learning new millinery skills at Hat Works on Saturday 20th June. This time we were getting to grips with fabric flowers. The worksheets on the table were a little daunting, with origami style diagrams that I find difficult at the best of times. But as always Sue and Marie were on hand, with their unwavering patience and encouragement to help us persevere. I made two (and a half) flowers and covered two other techniques – it might not look like a lot but the good thing is that I feel confident to practice these techniques on my own now. This week at the studio I’ve been trying these techniques on a smaller scale and using a range of fabrics to see how I could incorporate this into my work. I’m looking forward to the veiling workshop now on the 4th of July.

Feathers Find Me Out

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Anyone who has been on a millinery workshop or course with me will know that I have a totally irrational fear of trimming hats. I have no idea where this comes from – I think I love the simplicity of blocked shapes so much that it feels unnecessary to adorn with an added extra (millinery sacrilege to some I know). I am starting to gradually get over this thanks to the courses in different trimming techniques I have been attending at Hat Works. Last month’s 1 day course on feathers was fantastic and has really opened my eyes up to the range of techniques and qualities of different kinds of feathers to create stunning shapes and lines that would not act as a mere adornment but totally ‘make’ the hat or headpiece.

The day covered so much, we studied a vast array of feather types, learned their names, qualities / uses, looked at stunning images of couture creations, we got to handle hats from the museum collection, all on top of making our own feather corsage. There was even time for additional experimentation with feather flowers, feather curling, use of wire and beads.

Bring on the next session on the 20th June – Fabric Flowers, I can’t wait!