Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Frantic February, but it's all coming together!

Aloha! Hope you're all keeping well :) It's been business plan central in the studio for the past month, with lots of help from my own and my friends' dads! The plan itself is now bubbling away in the background, and I have lots of exciting and non-spreadsheet related developments to share with you! Predictably after a whole month's lack of blogging, it's a biggy, so get a cup of tea and put your slippers on (or borrow that spare office for 15 minutes) :) Normal service will resume from here on in...

The 21st century welcomes me to the party...


The new website will be launched by the end of the week! Very exciting! Here's a sneaky peak to whet your appetites, I'll pop the link on here as soon as it's fully up and running :)

I'm also embracing life as a Twitterati with more regular snippets throughout the week (you can follow me here), as well as setting up new facebook page (work in progress - keep an eye on the blog for an update!)

Business building blocks


Rose told me that one of her previous students was selling all her hat blocks in the quest for new adventures, so I set off (on a rather snowy Sunday afternoon!) on a slightly scary road trip from which I returned with around 25 blocks and dollies and a new friend. Good luck Ros, and I promise I'll look after them for you!

My block babies! I didn't take four of these, but the rest are gloriously mine all mine!

Obviously I've set to work immediately, couldn't help myself! Here are a couple in progress...

Green sinamay tipped brim (Work in progress)

Tweed bubble: Irish tweed on canvas foundation (Work in progress)

Window shopping


A couple of weeks ago, my favourite local fabric shop, Linda Harper's, had a great sale on to make room for even more gorgeous fabrics! I have a lot of trouble showing self restraint in fabric shops under normal circumstances, and predictably went a bit mad for the tweed...

New addiction: Scottish and Irish wool tweed
As Linda was cutting my fabric, we got chatting (there was a lot!) and my tweed hats will hopefully be making their shop window debut in the next couple of weeks!! SO EXCITING! This cheeky mini topper is nearly done, I'm just waiting for the pheasant feathers from my lovely neighbour and his super clever gun dog to be ready before adding some dramatic plumage!

Mini topper: Wool tweed perching top hat on canvas foundation, with brown merry widow veiling (Work in progress)

Living the high life


I've placed an ad in March's edition of Warwickshire Life (page 108 for Midlands / Shire dwellers!) and look out for me in my purple hat offering a 'top tip' on page 106. There's a small chance I'm actually going to frame this as my first bit of 'Press' :) Keep an eye on Twitter and Facebook - I'll be posting the pages (if I'm allowed!) when it's published on Thursday! Woop!

Slightly tenuous nail link... 


I know this isn't strictly millinery related but since I haven't had my hands in canvas, pins and stiffener all day every day, February has also been a good month for nails!

My nail themed mug: Since my favourite tea cup is still buried in one of my unpacked boxes in the unknown territory of the Back of the Garage, I am celebrating my new professional status with a nail art inspired tankard mug from Crazy Kiln. Hatting is a very thirsty business.

This update has been brought to you by...


I have a lot of Very Talented friends and family, so I'm calling in favours left, right and centre and this seems a good opportunity to say thank you! Dad's workshop is nearly finished, which means he can get cracking on some more blocks for me (as well as spending some quality Dad Time in new shed - it's beautiful!); my marketing mogul Mad has been fab helping with a superclean and sharp logo, postcards, business cards and the website; my sister has taken amazing and extremely professional photos (whilst we both hold our breaths to avoid blurring!); Simon and Simon are helping me into my best Sensible Hat and advising on business planning; Lucy of Sweet As is patiently teaching me how to social network; and I'm in the process of roping in almost literally everyone I know to wear a hat to Ascot, with as many cards as we can carry in tow! I love you guys :)

Handmade Monday


I've missed this bit over the past few weeks! Top picks this week: Handmade Harbour's seaside paintings; Grace's Favours' Easter Bunny garland (and she's making a hat next week - good luck!); Adaliza's amazing songbird quilt; Fiddly Fingers' crocheted baby sandals (adorable!); Tillymint Boutique's free hand embroidery cards; Ginx Craft's garden party outfit for Sophie the Dutch Doll (fabulous hat darling!); and Little Crab Designs' nursery pictures (the beach huts are my favourite, and more free hand embroidery, I need to get better at that!)

See you all next week my dears!

Today's post is dedicated to Sue Jayram - a truly top craftster and expert knitter who was constantly learning new skills and techniques, always happy to share ideas and advice, and made a mean handbag x


  1. Am loving the tweed top hat - fabulous!

  2. Totally amazing hats - can't wait to see the tweed one with added feathers! Thanks for popping over to my blog, and giving me a mention too. Have you tried working with Welsh wools? There are some amazing woollen mills and I don't think they've ever done hats. Let me know if you'd like details.

    1. Thanks, and you're v welcome! Welsh wools sound interesting - to be honest if it's good quality and British I'm always interested!! ;) I would love details please, can you see my email address on this?

  3. Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog. You have certainly been VERY busy. It all sounds so exciting. I really like the hats - the green one rather catches my eye although the tweed top hat looks fun and a bit different. I really hope this week goes well for you - shall be keeping my eyes peeled for the new website launch. xx

    1. Thanks my dear! You're v welcome, I've missed seeing what you've been up to! I didn't even know there were different styles of crochet - you've blown my mind ha! ;)

      It is exciting! And a tiny bit scary, but mainly exciting :) The green one is a very happy hat isn't it, haven't quite decided on dressing yet but it's going to be bold and bright! Aiming to launch the website on Thursday morning, will let you know! :) x