Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hatstruck Couture Millinery's "Take My Junk Please!" Millinery Supply Giveaway Contest

It is so dull around here at the Hatstruck blog; especially after going through that intense Diamond Jubilee millinery contest.  I need some excitement around here.  I think a contest is in order.  Plus I haven't completed processing the photos and videos I took at Mrs. Edwards fashion show that took place on May 19. That post should have followed my previous post.

I have so much millinery junk here in my little place.  I was pulling out some stuff to sell on Ebay, then it came to me, "Why not have a millinery supply contest!"  That would really put some excitement into the mix.

Without going on and on, here are the rules to qualify you for the contest:

The colored text below is being added in real-time (almost).  These are comments I added after my first post for this contest.  Things just come up that I don't expect.  I should have gone back to my last contest to refresh my memory.

Second Try!  Please Read the Entry Rules.   Many of you are not site members and are not email subscribers.  PLEASE READ THE ENTRY RULES and follow them in order to qualify for the contest!  I don't want you to miss out on a chance to win some millinery supplies or a free class.

I just received an anonymous entry.  I don't quite get anonymous comments, etc., on a blog since there are so many free email providers, and it's possible to use any user name wanted.  I really don't know how to enter an anonymous person into this contest.  Actually, there are a few anonymous visitors to my site, some leave a first name.  This is great because I feel that I'm consistently communicating with the same person, regardless of what their real name is.  Please DO NOT LEAVE ANONYMOUS ENTRIES, especially without a name.

Important:  Don't forget to activate your email feed.  I noticed that a number of you have not.  I guess this is done by clicking on a link that was sent to you when you sign up for blog post updates.  Inactive/Unverified email accounts do not count.

The Entry Rules:

1.  You must be a member of this site.  If you are not a member, please "Join this site," by clicking on the button to your right and following the instructions given.

2.  You must be an email subscriber.  If you are not an email subscriber, inter your email address into the text box under "Enter your email address to receive blog updates:" and push "Subscribe."  If you use the site but do not want to participate in the contest, please consider becoming a member.  Membership and comments keep me motivated.

3.  You must leave a comment saying something like, "Enter me into the contest."  If you are already an email subscriber, you must still let me know that you would like to participate in the contest.

4.  Please, only enter once!  IF YOU ENTER MORE THAN ONCE, YOU WILL BE DISQUALIFIED. It is just too much trouble to strip out multiple entries.

Please see additional rules below mixed in with the text.

The winners...did I say winners!  Yes I did!  The first place winner will win a box of supplies and a hat block.  The second place winner will receive supplies only.  Finally, the third place winner, drum roll please, will receive a free, free-form millinery class with me.  OK, the third place prize is not that exciting, and there is a catch to this prize.  You must be a Southern California resident.  Although those living in Southern California will have a chance to win a first or second place prize, he or she is only eligible to win one prize.  So, if you live in Southern California, and would like to take the free, free-form class with me, let me know when you leave your comment.  All supplies will be provided for this free class.  Winners notified June 6, 2012.

How will the winners be chosen?  Each person leaving a comment will be given a number, starting with one.  I will use an Internet random number generator to pick the numbers.  The third place Southern California winner, if he or she did not win a first or second place prize, will be renumbered and the random number generator will be ran again for this group of people.  I WILL SHIP ANYWHERE AROUND THE WORLD.

One purpose of this contest is to ensure that more of you receive email notices when I issue a new post.  I am so guilty of not visiting my favorite blogs lately mainly because, although I receive there update notices in my Google reader, I seldom take the time to go there.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Tooling (Shaping) Artificial Fabric Flower Petals Without the Use of Traditional Flower Making Tools

I have been promising you a flower making tutorial for some time now.  So, I finally put something together.  This is a tutorial showing how to tool (shape) fabric flower petals without the use of expensive flower making tools.  Even the method I use for stiffening the material is not traditional, being that the petals are stiffened individually.  This is not meant to be a comprehensive tutorial on flower making, but it is, I feel, the most important aspect of it.  The rest can be figured out by observing how vintage artificial flowers or flowers founds in crafts stores are assembled.  There are many wonderful flower making books that can be found on Ebay, and other booksellers' sites.  Also, check out the free out-of-print flower making book links to your right under "Speedy Resource Access: Flower Making" on this site.

Please note that the fabric stiffener I used for this project is not the only stiffener that is used to stiffen flowers.  I used this stiffener because it better suited the fabric I was using.

Following my video is a video showing how to assemble an artificial flower. Note again, this is not the only method of assembling a flower.  Experiment, experiment, research, research, and observe.  Have fun!

P.S., Yes the flower above was made with a spoon and awl.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Why Do the Pretty Hats Always Have to Win?

First Place:  Vlad Straticiuc

Second Place:  Jill Humphries
First, congratulations Diamond Jubilee contest winners!  Actually, I posted my congratulatory remarks earlier on my Facebook wall; I hope all of you saw them; if not, here is another one for you.  Your hats are absolutely lovely.

The second reason for this post is to answer some of the questions I will be receiving--as I did last week-- when I attend class on Thursday night.  Everyone will want to know who won, what did the hats look like, what were the prizes, etc.  So, a picture is worth a thousand words, and hopefully most of their questions will be answered before I return to class.
Third Place:  Marie Hennessey Halewood

Peoples' Choice:  Ama Mbeaba Quarshie
Here is a link to Talenthouse showing all of the participants, and here is a link showing the names, country, and number of votes each contestant received.

Third, for my Facebook friends, with all of the activity on Facebook because of the millinery competition, I saw some Facebook friends' feeds that I have not seen for a long time.  I think how it works is that only the most recent friends show up in the feed.  What this means is that you see a small group of people over and over.  With me these people are mostly in groups.  This is not a bad thing, but what happens is that you miss some really great posts from other friends.  So drop in on me every once in a while, and I will do the same with you.  It was so good seeing all of you creative people again.  If you are not a follower of my blog, stop in, follow me, and sign up for the email updates.  Once again thanks for all of your support and votes.

Why Do the Pretty Hats Always Have to Win?

Friday, May 11, 2012

May 11, 20012: Last Day to Vote for Hatstruck Couture Millinery Diamond Jubilee Hat Submission

If you haven't voted for my diamond jubilee hat submission, please follow this Talenthouse link or click on the red hat in the right-hand column.  Today, May 11, is the last day to vote.  So, send me a little love by voting for my hat, "Elegant in Red."

Thanks a million,


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Hatstruck Couture Millinery Diamond Jubilee Hat Submission

It is almost 5:00 a.m. and I'm exhausted.  I'm babysitting Ms. E'.  She's a one-year-old teenager, stays up all night and sleeps until midday.  I've danced to  the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse song for maybe six times or more, and I've gone  through the basic colors, numbers, and shapes with her.  No she can't talk (except for momma, daddy, no, and a few other words), but she can point.  Anyway, I started this post earlier yesterday, but lost it somehow, and I dreaded doing it over again.  So here I go.

Below are a few details concerning an international millinery contest I entered.  So, if you would please, vote for me by following this Talenthouse link or by clicking on the red hat in the right-hand column.  Your vote will be greatly appreciated.  

The Details

I entered into the the international Dillon Wallwork and HATalk e-magazine millinery competition in celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee--her 60 years on the throne.  The contest directive was to create a hat inspired by this wondrous event.  After a few weeks of daydreaming and purchasing materials I would never use for this contest, I finally created "Elegant in Red."

While in London in 1999 I remembered seeing Windsor Castle guards from a distance.  One of the most noticeable things, not including the enormity of the castle, was their red coats and straight backs.  From television and books I saw beautiful jewels, opulence, and elegance, all bundled up into what seemed a fairytale.  So, the hat I wanted to create had to be elegant, rich, and for me, something outside of myself--a fairytale.  I also had to represent 60 years of the Queen's reign on the throne.  I had purchased some rather nice red and blue velvet for this project, but I did not use it because I had thrown out  my original design(s).  I sketched another design and insisted to myself that this final design had to go forward because NOW!

The Final Design

As I mentioned earlier, I wanted to represent 60 years of the Queen's reign.  I didn't want to put a big 60 atop my hat because I wanted it to be a bit refined (not that she would even be caught in a dark room with it on).  I remembered from numerology that six and 60 still equaled 6.  So I sketched a stylized six and attached it to my display head.  Yes, yes that's it!  I thought.  From this point I carved a Styrofoam hat block to block my materials on.  The velvet I had purchased would not work for this project, at least not with the ease I would want it to for this shape.  With this design I needed something that was also malleable to accommodate my design.  Well, in walked Ms. Suede.  Actually she had been living with me for months and years.

I collect suede and leather scraps that are large enough to make hats.  Suede and leather are two of my  favorite materials to work with.  They can be easily shaped and manipulated, something that is not easy to do with almost non-stretch velvet.  Just a little note, I learned that leather and suede actually have a grain.  Yes, it stretches in one direction more than the another; try it.  I learned this while researching and making gloves.

I also purchased glass pearls.  Well, in one of my previous designs (I will not say how many I had) my plan was to construct an elaborate crown.  O.K., given the time I had left to make the contest entry deadline, this was just not going to happen.  Given the results of my final project, I'm  happy I didn't have the time.  So I decided to create a wire frame in the form of something.  The reason I say something is because I didn't know what I was going to construct.  All I know is that when my fingers stopped moving, I had an appropriate crown for what was to become a side-mounted cocktail hat, and atop that crown was a big diamond crystal.  Yes, I also purchased a diamond shaped crystal, but it was to be placed in that crevice you see in the bottom center of my Styrofoam block.  In that position the crystal looked horrible, but it looked fantastic atop my wire frame crown.

The Trim and Wire Fram

Although I purchased two strands of pearls in different sizes, if you will notice, I only used one pearl.  With me, less is more; less turns my head.  Actually, I've been known to put one crystal on a hat at a strategic location.  With the richness of the red suede, I had to use Swarovski crystals, but not so many as to overpower the red suede.  I wanted them to stand together equally.  I really need to take a photography class to better capture the details in my images.

For the underside of my hat I used black suede and trimmed it with crystal yardage, the same yardage I used to trim my large diamond crystal.  The crystal was supported by the wire frame crown I created, as mentioned above.  The frame was then wrapped in vintage chenille.  The wide horsehair braid complements the underside view and the outside view of the hat, yielding two themes, sort of like darkness to light.  As a child I feasted on King Arthur and Sir Lancelot novels--medieval times; that was a long time ago.  Thanks to my grandparents and aunt for letting me daydream all day, etc.  I really enjoyed this journey!

 Below is a video I've prepared showing multiple views of my hat. 

Good luck to all contest participants!