14 August 2012

♦ ♣ ♥ ♠ Butterflies ♦ ♣ ♥ ♠

This piece was created for one of my favourite returning clients. She always has an idea, provides me with inspirational imagery and then leaves me to create with the freedom I often don’t get.

Her dress... orange, black and burgundy. A little unsure how I was going to make these colours work although I knew I would. Her other request was that butterflies, net and lots of spine feathers were included in the design. I knew I had some butterflies that I picked up off a market in Kota Kinabulu, Borneo back in August 2010. I have used the odd one in designs before but not on this scale. I knew they would be perfect and had a design in my head early on. Burgundy and black netting were added beneath the piece to add texture. Lots of feathers were cut, shaped and curled.

Here are the results...

10 July 2012

♦ ♣ ♥ ♠ My new favourite place, it would be hard to beat this ♦ ♣ ♥ ♠

About to embark on an adventure to Mongolia for three weeks. When I return I plan to get a little more up to date and get some pics of my latest creations on here. Until then I thought I would share some pictures from my new favourite place. Jane’s Teas. Hidden away in Oxfordshire this quaint little place is cake heaven. She makes everything herself and is only open one afternoon a week. I loved it there. You an probably see why, it is full of vintage bits and pieces or should I say crammed full of stuff. I absolutely loved wandering around and seeing what was hidden in the bushes. One of the most relaxing and welcoming places I have ever been to. Much better than sitting in Starbucks!

21 May 2012

♦ ♣ ♥ ♠ The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee ♦ ♣ ♥ ♠

Busy preparing for the Windsor Fair on Monday 4th June. Lots of red, white and blue creations are currently being made. However, at this rate I am going to sell out before I get there. More information and prices can be found here.

6 May 2012

♦ ♣ ♥ ♠ BEST OF BRITISH ♦ ♣ ♥ ♠

Just listed a new topper in my Etsy shop. I have been creating some Union Jack, British themed hats as part of a collaboration with Winchester based artist/designer Emma Clifton-Brown who is creating some pieces to showcase during Winchester Fashion Week. Emma invited me to work with her creating hats for her beautifully illustrated feathers to be mounted on. The two pictured were the first to be made (pictured without Emma’s feathers) and I am in the process of attaching her feathers to two top hats, one tartan. I can’t wait to get pics of the others up, they are quite special. I am hoping to create a few more designs in this range ready for the Windsor Royal Vintage Market


28 February 2012

♦ ♣ ♥ ♠ Ahoy there ♦ ♣ ♥ ♠

Lou at Vintagenie shared this with me the other day. I love it. I don’t know where she found it. I keep staring at it and asking myself what was it for? Pirate party? Boat show? Did she know it was there? Surely she did, maybe she didn’t. How is it held on? hmmmmm

26 February 2012

♦ ♣ ♥ ♠ Milliners of Etsy Challenge ♦ ♣ ♥ ♠

Here is my entry for the most recent MOE Challenge to create a hat or head piece inspired by a painting. Perfect theme for me.

Complete with plastic ants.

My main aim was to create a three dimensional representation of the painting. I have added specific quantities of the coloured goose, duck and chicken feathers in balance with the painting. For example at the back of the piece a burnt orange feather represents the pocket watch, this colour only appears once in the painting so a single feather has been used.

The base was covered with a fake leather fabric, the tree constructed from wire and paper and the dripping clock was free machine embroidered (no fancy computerised machine) including the numbers. Clock hands added, sadly not moving and of course some plastic ants embellish the front of the piece. At the front of the base three eyelashes have been added. The curly spiked feathers have also been used to represent the eyelash in the painting to give it extra texture. Although there is only one eyelash in the painting I have added quite a few... I couldn't help myself.

Hand Embroidered Clock - No fancy computerised sewing machine as you can probably tell. My nan’s old Bernina coped well with the little numbers. This was the first and only attempt at the clock.

24 February 2012

♦ ♣ ♥ ♠ An interesting offer ♦ ♣ ♥ ♠

I had a message on Etsy the other day by an editor of a US magazine. They offered to pay for a step-by-step guide for something similar to my Autumn Buttonhole.
I had come across requests like this. You hear horror stories of waiting for payment, items not being returned and designs being adapted to suit the reader. I have never really had an opinion about it although I know that I would never go down that road, it would go against the bespoke label i put on all my creations.

It was bad enough finding someone online had copied my designs. I know I am not the first or the last to use playing cards and even though it was for their own personal use it didn’t ease the creative torment I went through. They acknowledged me and my website which was fine, but it still niggled away especially when they stated how easy it was to create their own. Over the past few years I have strived to develop and perfect every last detail in my creations, something that people forget about. The money is one thing but the time you can’t get back.

Anyway, I sent a reply back and tried my hardest to sound appreciative of the positive comments they made even though at the back of my mind I was thinking that they say it to everyone and that I was just another ‘crafter’ they were targeting. I never in a million years expected to get a reply like I did. Personal, understanding and very complimentary of my work. Apparently they fell in love with my creations. It was just what I needed to hear. It has been a few weeks since I have had the glue gun on and even longer since I have made a feather order. I think it was just what I needed to hear to get me going again.

So this weekend I will be chatting to my good friend Ellen about the creations for her wedding in June (of which I am very much looking forward to. The theme is right up my street, and it is not Alice in Wonderland) and I will be putting the final touches to my entry to the MOE (Milliners of Etsy) Team Challenge to create a hat inspired by a painting.

I can’t wait!

5 February 2012

♦ ♣ ♥ ♠ Vintage and Handmade Fair, 21st April 2012, UK♦ ♣ ♥ ♠

♥ ♥ ♥
On Saturday 21st April Vintagenie and I will be hosting a Vintage and Handmade Fair in Newbury, Berkshire, UK (10am - 4pm). For more information and a full outline of what the day will hold visit this link, or email or

Stalls are being snapped up so if you are interested in joining us here’s a quick price list.

♥ Vintage and Craft - £25 - two tables and two chairs. Maximum two rails.
♥ Food stalls - 10% of takings due to goods being perishable.
♥ Young Traders (under 18s) - £15 - two tables and two chairs.

♥ Exhibit in the Gallery - free, email for info.

♥ CoCo Crafts - Bag Workshops - £30 all materials included. Workshops will last for approx 2 hours.
Email me for more info as there is limited space for these workshops.

♦ ♣ ♥ ♠ Treasure Hunting ♦ ♣ ♥ ♠

Yesterday I ventured out in temperatures of -7 (nothing compared to some places I know but it was cold) to go to Nettlebed, Henley to see what all the fuss is about. Lou of Vintagenie and White Rabbit Bakery had mentioned this place full of stuff that I would love. Tempted by the sound of filling my shoppers with materials for hats it was an opportunity not to be missed.

We went to the Sue Ryder Sale at Nettle bed Hospice. It happens around twice a month and is located a at a house crammed to the rafters full of donated goods. We trawled through boxes of books and maps, rummaged through fabrics both for my hats and for Lou’s new venture and purchased items at very low prices. Lou’s deck of cards priced at 5p were the bargain of the day, sadly missing the all important Ace of Spades though.

Pots, cake stands, hideous tea pots... I know at least 10 people that would love this part of the sale.

Toys. I tried to look for a few bits for Darren but I hadn’t a clue what to look for. I am sure one day he will experience the pushing and shoving.

Even though it was only at half capacity, it was still pretty busy. There were queues to enter the garden shed full of tools and the women’s clothing area. We did go into the mens room and had a look at the rails of some rather nice jackets and some hideous shirts! I managed to purchase a knitted tie pictured below. It is quite special.

Some of my purchases included a stack of fake flowers perfect for Easter bonnet season! Some picture cards, Thunderbirds and a set of Platnik Animals. I could have easily purchased a stack of maps but I had to restrain myself. Although mostly priced at 25p each, at one point I couldn’t carry the pile. It was time to edit. 

You can’t quite appreciate the fabric in my dodgy picture. I wish I had taken my decent camera. 4 yards of tweed, 3-4 yards of houndstooth, brown velvet and a black wool fur type fabric all for £6. Beats the high street any day. There were plenty more fabrics to choose from mostly at £1 a yard. I couldn’t leave these 4 behind.

Middle left is a little boat. I have to search high and low for the perfect vessels for hats. The galleon I created a while back is so heavy. Hopefully I can transform this mini one into something spectacular soon and get it in my Etsy shop. The hat was kindly donated to Soobird by Lou. It had been sat on her Vintagenie stall for some time now. She even gave me some tubs of feathers. I think I am going to save them and create something unique as part of a White Rabbit Bakery/Soobird collaborative project. So many ideas!