Small Steps

Over the last two weeks I have taken a few steps closer to my year’s goals of opening an Etsy shop and booking a stall at a local craft fair.

I have brought a diary in which to set small daily(ish) goals. I am using the diary to make better use of my time and to remind me of the actions I have taken. It’s easy to feel deflated when something doesn’t work out and forget what you have already achieved, having a written note is such a positive reminder.

Planning my year

I’ve also created some ‘inspiration’ boards of hat and headpieces I love and feel inspired by. Over the coming weeks I’ll be adding in images of shapes and colours that I want to use in my work.

inspiration boards

To keep a balance at work / home / dream plans (and to avoid becoming completely obsessed by hats!) I’ve joined a local running club with my husband. I’m part of the beginners group and we are doing interval training, this week it a 30 minutes 4 minutes walk/2 minute run cycle. The aim is to be doing a 10km run in May. I’m feeling rather intimidated by the challenge but know I need to get fit  – my last attempt (some of you may remember our knitted and crochet flower bras) was for The London Moon Walk back in May 2014.

trainers fresh back from running club!

The plan to ‘stay creative’ is progressing well and I’ve made a few hats to sell – all based around an aqua colour theme….maybe the diary has inspire me more than I first thought with the colour choice?!?  ‘Take proper photos’ will be one of the next diary entries so I can post the designs onto my webpage www.isabellajosie.com.

aqua and royal sinamay saucer perching hat. Isabella Josieaqua and royal blue perching hat. Isabella Josieaqua sinamay percher with lace trim. Isabella Josieaqua free form sinamay swirl with feather trim. Isabella Josie

I’ve also been researching ‘Distance Selling Regulations’ – which are now called ‘Consumer Contract Regulations’ – to make sure I know a bit more about how to set up an online shop correctly.

So, these are the small steps I have taken over the last fortnight. How about you? What steps have you taken towards something you want to achieve?

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Time to Create and Motivate

I have spent the last few years dreaming of opening up my own craft shop cafe or developing a small craft based business. However, this is still very much a dream and although I have started to sell a few hats to friends and family I have not summoned up the courage to go beyond this.

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It’s all about the Sock Knit

img_3618Have you ever made yourself a pair of hand knitted socks? Over the last year or so socks have been on my ‘must-make-list’ and during the summer I finally managed to knit the first sock of a pair!

My sock was mainly knitted on a small circular needle and what I have loved most about the whole experience is how  my growing tunnel of stripy delight could be tucked in my pocket or handbag and whipped out at various locations.

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It’s been a while….

It’s been nearly a year since my last post – I hope you have kept well and had lots of happy adventures in this time. My life (on the crafting front) has become overtaken by hats and I’ve immersed myself in all things millinery to learn as much as I can.

Over the winter it was all about felt cloches and 1970’s style floppy hats with their shallow crowns.

Red Wool Felt Cloche with Black Trim Isabella JoiseGrey wool felt cloche with side sweep Isabella JosieCamel wool felt 70's style floppy hat Isabella Josie12919586_1206147316069739_218316324_o-3

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Millinery Tips and Techniques

All Milliners have their own techniques and ‘tricks of the trade’ and to help me in my learning, I’m keeping a record of these here – some many be useful, others not, if you have any suggestions or tips of your own please share them via the comment box. 

Blocking Tips:

  • Some Milliners prefer not to soak Sinamay to soften it, some spray their fabric to make it damp for blocking and then paint the stiffening solution onto the fabric once blocked into shape.soak sinamay in water
  • If blocking felt hoods using steam, spray a fine mist of water inside the hood to dampen it before steaming.
  • Cover blocks in cling film, plain plastic bags or foil to protect them before use.
  • If blocking velour hoods or black fabric pop some scrap fabric over the covered form before blocking.
  • Increase the size of a crown block by blocking over an old felt hood (covered in plastic). A 1/16th inch thick hood roughly adds 1cm to the head size.
  • Don’t soak fur pile hoods in water based stiffeners – block by steaming.
  • Lay rope on top of Petersham ribbon (or cling film) for shaping grooves or defining shapes in blocks.

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