The craftings of a shadowy figure...

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Queen Bee's Derby Hat

So I promised to post this year's Derby project...

I made a hat for a boss who definitely evoked more 'His Girl Friday' than 'My Fair Lady' when I considered the possible style.  I knew I didn't want anything frou-frou, she is just not that kind of girl.  But I really wasn't sure what to do.  I didn't even know what she would wear - not that she did either! (I hope she does now!)

I did a little research.  I looked up Derby images and there was a little highlight of a milliner who's work was being shown as part of the Derby festivities.  The collection was comprised of nods to former Derby winners.  And the hat that caught my attention as appropriately understated was what is known as a 'pancake hat'.

I thought about things that summed her up and I realized there had been an inside joke about her being the Queen Bee.  But what I could do with that - I wasn't exactly sure. However in the recesses of my twisted little mind, I thought that a Pancake hat would make a chic bee-hive... 

So, I got to work looking up how to jimmy-rig hat-forms and use craft-store felt... I went crazy saving pictures and tips.  I took awhile because I think it intimidated me.  Someone I knew (that wasn't my little sister) would be wearing this - in public.

I ended up using a goldenrod felt, some purple/gold mesh, and some fuschia ribbon trim.  It's only decor is a gold queen bee trimmed with the wrong side of purple crushed velvet.  An elastic strap is worn to the back of the head so that the hat tips toward the forehead.

From the e-mail that I got once the package arrived, I think she liked it:

That is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.  I’m all abuzz.

It will really sting when no one else at Derby has this hat.

I think it will pollinate a new fashion trend.

So I am hoping for some good pictures of the Queen Bee and her hat at the derby very soon!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

How fascinating...

It's almost time for the Kentucky Derby, which means one thing for me, hats... 

I did some hat-making in my theatre classes in college.  You can imagine that I don't use that skill all that often.  Then last year a co-worker got me to make a fascinator for a charity function she was going to.  My boss at the time joked that I would have to make her one eventually.

Then the boss lady got a new job in Louisville so that means she will be going to the Derby this year.  In fact, as her going away gift I gave her a coupon promising to make her a hat.  So, now it's derby time and I am putting the finishing touches on one Derby hat.  And by finishing touches, I mean hiding all my mess-ups!

She has no idea I have actually made her that hat I promised...

I feel a little guilty that I'm putting this on here before she even gets to see her hat.

So instead I will show you the fascinator that I made that I made last year and just tease/promise you that I will post this year's hat later!  Stop cursing me...I can hear you.

I wanted to keep it small because my co-worker didn't give me much time.  Furthermore, she hadn't decided on her outfit...which made things tricky.  I made her pick a few ideas and she actually went with me to pick out flowers and pieces for the hat. 

She picked a deep red, almost burgundy, color.  She picked the flowers and some reedy looking pieces.  She wanted height and some movement.

I removed the leaves and some of the plastic stamens to avoid bulk. 

I started with a 3" plastic disk.

Luckily I had some velvet left over that was just the right color!
I cut the fabric and covered the disk.  First I glued the fabric to the disk so that it would stay in place while I stitched the edges to the disk.

I decided the best way to attach the headpiece would be with loops that she could pin it into her hair-do.

I was going to attach two disks together.  One disk, I would attach the flowers to and the other disk I would pull the loops through and use to cover the back of the first disk so the place where I attached the flowers. 

 Like I said - I have to hide the mistakes!

Here is the finished product!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Post-Mortem Ponderings...

This was one of those weeks that looking back I'm not sure how it all stuffed itself into just one.  There was a cousin's engagement, a friend's funeral, realizing how big my baby sister is when she came to work to shadow people since she is going to start looking at colleges and majors. I found some cool artists, some good new songs and I am still trying to process it all.

But it has me thinking about inspiration for what we do.  I usually like to create things for other people, that is typically my motivation.  But occasionally there is a need for the art for yourself.  That is what weeks like this are for.  I don't really know what to do with everything that happened.  I don't think I'm even ready to start a new project...but maybe looking around at other artists to see how their life has snuck into their art will give me some direction.

Elsie at A Beautiful Mess  has her art journals which I could find helpful after this week. 
This is just a cool site I totally feel like I'm there with her and ready to craft and it makes me want to dig out my hot glue gun.

While I was there digging through all the great ideas on 'A Beautiful Mess', I found a link to Art & Design Inspiration
I like her 'Too Cute Thursday' which is a set pictures that are sure to spark possible projects.  The posts are whimsical with inspirational quotes and illustrations that sneak into her pictures it makes me feel like I just got a needed hug.   

Dollar Store Crafts has become one of my favorite blogs!
It's inspiring to see all the unique solutions people can come up with from Dollar Store I need another reason to craft shop at the Dollar Store!  Sometimes, I find that a small random project can get me back into one of my more monumental undertakings.  This site is great for quick projects and clever ways to dress-up things you might have on hand.

My goal for the week is actually to finish up my current project so I can show you my most recent monster...fingers crossed everything goes well!