A dear friend of mine complained to me last week that I had not written a blog post in over a month so I am now writing. Happy, Rosemary? I know! I know…I’ve been pretty busy. And not just with a crazy-packed life, but with fun hair thingies! Where to begin? I shall do my best to write a coherent and mildly entertaining piece of blog, but I am listening to one neighbor whistle incessantly at his new bird and the other neighbors yell at their new dog. And possibly each other. Lots of profanities and slurred language. Your guess is as good as mine at this point.
Last time I wrote, Sara had just had her beautiful wedding. Since then, I have moved on to helping out another gorgeous lady with her wedding hair shenanigans. My darling friend Jenn is preparing for a crafty-fun wedding up in Tahoe to end summer. Or begin it. I’m not quite sure with all this fog and cold we’ve had for the last couple of months.
Anyway, she enlisted me to doll her up. So, on a fine afternoon she stopped by my house and we fooled around with antique brooches, lace, and feathers and came up with a design. She has created a simple look for herself (knee-length, strapless Betsy Johnson cocktail dress with shimmery heels) so we decided the headpiece should go along with the dressed-down idea.
I used tulle with little triangles on it to create a caplet, surrounded this with deep purple feathers, and pulled it all back with a neat retro brooch. The tulle is a soft cream, matching her dress, and with the triangles and rumpling we were able to give a slight 30s or 40s look. Jenn has beautiful luscious curls so the veiling sits perfectly in the cradle of hair at the back of her head.
Next up is my new pillbox hat. For those of you who follow me, you have heard about my pillbox and my excitement for it, I’m sure, is overwhelming. I decided to make it completely from scratch. Base included. As a milliner you have options for starting hats: to use a pre-made buckram frame or build your own frame. I have never built my own. Until this month. I grew bold and adventures after a quick jaunt to the Alameda antique fair where I bought a few yards of millinery raffia. I knew I had to start small, and what else then to build a pillbox hat?
It took me a few days (not including the days it took me to figure out what the heck to put on the hat once I was done) but I was able to stitch it all together. Voila! Vintage dress clip, 1930s netting with cute little birds (eeeepp! I couldn’t wait to use this netting!), and Seabright feathers. I think it turned out nicely for a first hat-making-from-scraps experience.
I also put together a quick number one evening in anticipation for a photoshoot I had with Jessie over at Crops & Bobbers. She’s been trying to build up a portfolio for herself, and I offered to let her doll me up. She did my hair and my make-up, and made me look like a right little pin-up.
Trust me when I say this girl can really swing when it comes to beauty. I do pin-up hair and looks for myself often but mine look like feeble attempts next to hers. Anyway, we’ve decided to try to do these photoshoots to help each other out. I provide the frills and feathers, and she the beauty care and camera. We both get great photos for the things we do. I
had a blast hanging out with her all evening. She played great music, gossiped with me, pampered me, and never once made me feel silly for posing in front of her camera. I kept telling her, “I’ve never done this before! Tell me what to do!” And she kept saying, “you’re doing great! Just keep doing what you’re doing!” And I did. And she got some great shots out of me. Who knew?
The plan is to finish a couple of more pieces for her so that I can get some girlfriends into her shop for some dress-up fun. So far I have two complete pieces for her window and a third one in process right now. Jessie loves vintage hats, and she asked me to make some more hat type pieces for her. I’ve been digging into all my fashion books, 1930s-50s DVDs, and old records for inspiration. If you ever see anything that would be fabulous to remake, let me know! Its always great to get other people’s input on the creative process.
Along with building new pieces I have also been deconstructing. I’ve bought a bunch of vintage hats that are in poor condition and am taking them apart. I will then revamp said hats into new and wonderous treasures! Its been fun! I’ve been ripping apart seams, cleaning netting, saving scraps, and reusing patterns. Thats been my month so far. Aside from the hollering neighbors and lack of sun (where did the sun go?!) and Peppermint Pinwheels buying me a stack of vintage hats in Virgina (I really need to drive across the country and go shopping on the East Coast) I have been up to here in lace and trims. Ah well. Such is life! Until next time…