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Cloche To You

Saturday, November 10th, 2012
By Twistie

Well, it’s finally starting to feel like autumn around my neck of the woods, and some parts of the country have really been feeling the chill… and the damp… and the… let’s just say there are some places where I imagine bundling up is not merely a good idea right now, but an absolute necessity.

Of course, colder weather always makes me think of really great hats. Okay, I admit I think about them a lot all year round and in every kind of weather, but cold weather hats have a special place in my heart. And that adorable felted cloche with the buttons up top? Is seriously on my holiday wish list!

It’s the work of one Julie Sindon, who makes fabulous felted hats for a living. This one is just $55.00, which makes it an affordable number as well as attractive.

Oh, and right now she’s a featured artist on Poppytalk, where you can get a variety of her lovely hats and scarves.

Of her felting, Julie has this to say:

All hats are made of boiled wool, which means that they are knit large, and then felted (or shrunk).  It’s just like when you accidentally shrink your wool sweater in the washing machine, except that we do it on purpose.

Gotta love that.


As Mr. Spock Would Say… Fascinator

Thursday, July 5th, 2012
By Twistie

Once upon a time, a fascinator was a hooded scarf, not unlike this knitted opera hood:

(Via World Turn’d Upside Down)

Now they look more like this:

(Via MHL)

Don’t ask me when the definition changed, because I honestly don’t know.

Still, as much as the word ‘fascinator’ still immediately raises the image of a practical head covering for me, I really love some of the things being done  with the more modern version.

So imagine my delight when I wandered over to Criminal Crafts the other day (pairing two of my all time favorite subjects: crime and craft) and found an article about crime-related (and some not-so-crime-related) fascinators.

You couldn’t pay me to sit down and read the 50 Shades of Grey books… but I would absolutely rock this intense fascinator any day of the week.

Have I ever mentioned I look absolutely sparkly in grey?

Check out the fun!


How To Use It: Playing Dress Up

Saturday, May 19th, 2012
By Twistie

We love to craft. We love to make things with our hands. We love to show off our work.

Then again, the last thing we want is to look like we’re auditioning to play Ma Ingalls in a low-rent touring company of Little House on the Prairie. We prefer to exhibit a sense of style, a little elan in our homes and our wardrobes.

To that end, I’m going to show you a few classic, well-cut clothes and suggest some hand-crafted embellishments to go with them.

For instance, this silk cashmere knitted turtleneck dress from the Spiegel catalog is a stunner in its own right. It’s a versatile style that can go from the office to an evening of dining and theater without missing a beat. You could wear it to a wedding or on a romantic getaway. It’s also a breeze to accessorize with handmade jewelry, a painted silk scarf, or a jaunty hat of your own devising.

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I Hope It’s What They Want for Christmas….

Monday, April 30th, 2012
By Twistie

… because most of the people I know are going to get something a lot like this:

Not this specifically. It’s the work of Etsy artist chicthrills, and it’s beyond fabulous. It reminds me of Raoul Dufy’s work.

Image via Xaxor.com)

My needle felting isn’t quite that advanced yet, and my style is coming out a little different. Then again, I’ve only been doing this for a couple months.

All the same, I’m going crafty for the holidays and I’m giving myself a lot of lead time. It’s only April and I’ve just gotten myself a bunch of inexpensive wool berets from Amazon in a variety of colors that I know will appeal to those around me. We’re by and large a hat-wearing bunch, and berets are popular in my circle. So with some pretty wool rovings, a couple sharp needles, a few budget hats, and some of my infamous creativity, well, my friends and family will find themselves getting custom headwear from me and Mr. Twistie.

The journey starts today with a brown beret and some rovings in gold, maroon, and red. This one will be for me and will feature autumn leaves. After all, I want to start with something fairly simple that’s for me. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll get some good pointers for doing better with the next one. If it goes well, then I’ve got a new hat for my collection and a boost to my confidence.

Wish me luck, gang! I may need it.


To Top Things Off

Thursday, January 27th, 2011
By Twistie

all illustrations via Kate Bishop Hats and Flowers

Bay Area artist Kate Bishop is getting ready to retire, alas! This will be her final year as a milliner, and I shall weep buckets when it ends. I’ll miss the artistry, the whimsey, the glory of her work. More than that, though, I’ll miss her attitude about hats and about women. In a Spring, 2000 interview in Ornament Magazine, she had this to say about hats and the women who wear them:

“My craft is hats, my job is sewing them, but my work is making women feel good about themselves,”

Here are a couple more examples of how she accomplished just that:

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