Monday, January 19, 2009

Feather Picks .... Those Crazy Biots

These colors remind me of Bird of Paradise
Flowers. These two picks are my favs. I tried to make them uniform and alike but the feathers had their own take on that idea, so I went with the flow.

I didn't use any wire in this one, just glue and floral tape.

I steamed white Biots for 15 minutes to get them soft ,then took a small dropper and dripped the dyes onto the feathers, put the lid back on and steamed for another 10 minutes. I rinsed them and laid them out to dry on the newspaper..
After they dried I grouped them together, glued and wired then wrapped them with floral tape. I had a heap mess of fun making these.. I haven't decided what to put them on yet..

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pac Man or Nam Cap

This cap is super cute on it's own, I just have to pile stuff on top I can't leave anything alone. It has a really nifty double brim I just love that type brim, it looks so finished before it's finished.

I started out thinking I would do that vine thing again but I got all caught up making pods that look like Ms Pacman.. I sewed 4 leaf shapes together to make one pod. I added some old stamens wrapped black wire with thin strips of the felt and wrapped the three together. I wanted it to stand on it's own but it got too heavy and bounced all over the hat. Very distracting.

I tried the trim a couple of ways one using gravity and ended with it looped together on one side.

Pheasant Tail Feather Experiment

This is how I started out my day, with a hammer. Just a typical day, I wasn't intending to smash feathers but that's what happens when I'm left alone with a hammer.
I pounded along the spine of a Pheasant Tail feather thinking maybe, just maybe it would make the spine pliable enough to bend easily after steaming. NO, the spine split perfectly down the middle. Hey, I can dig it. I've tried to cut a feather in half with an exacto knife. It was the perfect recipe for disaster, for the feather and my person. In my world those knives aren't so "exact-o.
I cut into the flues just above the black marks on each side of the feather to give it that step look. So far OK.

I then steamed it in a bamboo steamer on top of the stove, my usual, and while that was happening I covered my ironing board with a piece of clean muslin, not my usual, then pulled the feather out of the steam pinned it into curls and steam ironed the heck out of it. I pressed down with pressure and lifted and moved to the next spot shooting steam onto it. I smelled a plastic burn and realized I was melting the supposed glass top straight pins I bought a gajillion years ago. Note to self "Do the burn test on everything first and cover the world with muslin for protection.
After all that pressing back and front the result? Just O.K. The inside of the spine is white so I used a permanent marker in black to cover that up. I added another feather with more or less the same treatment to make it look fuller. I'll look at it for a bit and decide what to do next. Maybe somebody can come up with a better way to curl? I have a palette knife I use for curling. These curls I wanted to go in the opposite direction than if I used the knife.
The End or is it? BTW I just watched an amazing film "Stairway to Heaven" Director Michael Powell. He did The Red Shoes and Black Narcissus. Beautiful..

Monday, January 12, 2009

Hounds Tooth Hula Hopper Beret ..Hey

Another Beret ..Hey.

I think it's from the 40's but I could be wrong.

I bought the feather Butterflies from Micheals Craft Store. They look like the ones Philip Treacy used a while ago. I doubt they are the same these are very reasonable in price.

I was going to try the vintage glass cherries I've been hoarding somewhere on it but I think I stacked it up with enough stuff "don't ya think?" Uhm K? So I'll save the yummy little bits for another hat..