Monday 30 December 2013

Thinking back on 2013

It has been a big year for Tanith Rowan Designs and for me. In this peaceful post-Christmas break, I've been spending lazy day watching the cricket, pottering around in the garden and enjoying my Christmas presents.

One that Rhiannon got for me was Kari Chapin's second book "Growing your handmade business". I really enjoyed her first book, and I'm enjoying working through this one too. It is shaping the way I am reflecting back on 2013, and the way I am planning for 2014. I feel full of inspiration and hope and excitement right now.

So I wanted to think about what I am proud of in 2013.

Starting up Tanith Rowan Designs again. Accepting the honour and challenge of putting my hats in a real shop even though it was almost as terrifying as it was exciting.

Hat display at Crago Mill

Improving my skills, in millinery, photography and editing, blogging and social media. Finding a UK milliner to learn from while I was overseas. Learning as often as I could about as much as I could.

Pink and black jinsin fascinator

Helping launch Wattle Flat Crafts with a group of lovely crafters from the greater Bathurst area. It has been great fun, and I've had to push myself to work on promoting it, and in teaching my first millinery class.

Wattle Flat Crafts at the courthouse

Choosing to be financially sensible and ethically sound by finding second hand hats to makeover and refashioning some of my own previously-made hats that didn't quite work or had damage to work around.

Before and after photos of a straw and sinamay hat refashion

Before and after photos of a red felt hat makeover

Wearing hats more myself, including to a wedding. I think it's important to keep working on this, so I know what my customers need and what is comfortable.

Navy wool felt blocked hat with pheasant feather

Making more hats than ever before in one year (I think about 23). Next year will have many many more!

A collage of some of my hats made in 2013

I can't wait to start the 2014 creative journey and sharing my exciting plans with you.

Sunday 22 December 2013

Craft Workshops at Wattle Flat

Two weekends ago we had our first craft workshops at Wattle Flat Crafts.

On Saturday, I taught a fascinator workshop. We focused on making trims with sinamay, artificial flowers and feathers.

Look at those totally professional-looking notes! (And all the mess!)

After learning a bit about each trim and doing some samples, we spent the last bit of time putting some of the elements together on into a finished fascinator on a comb, clip, or headband.

Then on Sunday, Dan of Saddleworx taught a leatherworking class. Their project was a laced leather key case.

She has such a huge range of decorative stamps!

There was lots of hammering! It looked like fun.

Here is one of the key cases in progress. I love the pattern of leaves chosen for this project.

There will be more classes in 2014!

Sunday 15 December 2013

More of this

I have one week left of teaching. I am taking one year of leave, but without any intention of returning.

Which means I'll have time for more hats, more creative things of all kinds, more baking, and more of all this...



Friday 6 December 2013

Ready for some makeovers

After learning about straw and sinamay, I'm keen to practise some more. But I'm trying to save money and be ethical, so for now I've been keeping an eye out at op shops.

Here are some pieces waiting to have their makeovers.

This was actually not in terrible condition when I bought it for $2 at Vinnies, and I was entertaining turning it into my new gardening hat.

But apparently if I didn't want it eaten by a cat, I shouldn't have gone into the bathroom for 2 minutes while he wanted attention.

This bow was what drew me to the hat in the first place. It's so cute!

Then I picked up this ones from the Salvos for $3. (Along with the blue one from my most recent hat refashion.)

A bit of pale pink sinamay is bound to be useful, and $3 is the right price.

Looks like I got a bargain.

Finally, an old straw hat. $0. Left by someone in the Maths staffroom x years ago, where x is a large number.

Stay tuned for transformations.

Sunday 1 December 2013

A Straw and Sinamay Op-shop Hat Refashion

Some hats are just in serious need of a makeover.

I picked this up at an op-shop, hoping to rescue it from its current, rather sad, state. It turns out this is a hat base from Spotlight (so NOT intended to be worn like this, without any trim or anything) which makes me feel better!

The original price tag: $34.95
Sale price at Spotlight: $5
Price at the op-shop: $3

I was looking forward to having some straw and sinamay to play with, and I ended up using some of each in the new hat. I blocked the straw over one of my lovely new handmade hat blocks, then used the band of sinamay and some (also second hand) flowers and buttons to finish it off.

And I still have the brim and a strip of straw to play with! I love hat refashions!

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