Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Happy Christmas - some hatty gifts from my generous family

I was as excited as a little girl on Christmas morning. My husband and I were hosting and cooking delicious venison lunch for both sets of parents as well as his brother and his brother's girlfriend.

But more than that, there were some gifts to give and my new hat blocks wrapped up under the tree waiting for me to see them for the first time. I'll get onto the gifts for giving in another post.

I've shown you the two I bought myself in this post.

Firstly the dome block: apologies for the shocking photos - must have been after lunch when I was full of wine and food!

Next, we have the exciting one - the mini beret - and it's even more beautiful than I imagined (even if I can't get a decent photo of it)

I can't show it on Ermintrude properly as the block is solid - I'd have to remove part of her head!!! But you'll see once I've finished using this block just how it sits on the head

Finally I received a tremendous surprise from my parents. My Dad had picked up the blocks for me as he was working in Luton one day. Apparently he was chatting to the guys at Boon & Lane and asked them what I'd really really want. They were making something and said it would be perfect. I unwrapped a rectangular box that was heavier at one end, looked inside the box and squealed 'oh my god it's an egg iron!' I was shocked and overjoyed. There's nothing like a magical surprise on Christmas Day.

So here it is, my very own egg iron. Expect many exciting projects to follow

Thursday, 23 December 2010

My 100th post - getting excited about hat blocks again

Wow, just noticed on my dashboard that up until now I've posted 99 times!!!

I can't think of anything better for my 100th post than to share pictures of two of my new blocks (the ones my darling husband isn't giving me for Christmas - the ones I'm giving me for Christmas and I've given them to me early!!!)

Firstly I have to say they are absolutely beautiful. So much care and attention has been put into them - they've even stamped my name in them!!! The brim is suitably massive that I will be able to make anything on it and the shape of the crown is just what I asked for. They've also supplied a collar for the brim, which I completely forgot to ask for and which is charged as extra elsewhere.

Most importantly, here's some photos for you to enjoy - they're even better in real life - sitting next to me on the sofa begging to be stroked again...

These are made by Boon & Lane and I cannot reccommend them highly enough - lovely guys, beautiful blocks.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

My new blocks have been picked up today. I can’t wait to see them. I’ve ordered four from Boon and Lane in Luton. Rich and I had such an adventure when we went to order them – I’ve just checked back and I never told you about it!

I phoned the lovely guys at Boon & Lane on the Friday to ask about the process for ordering blocks. They suggested that seeing as we’re so local we popped down to see us and that they tend to open about 7:30 so we could go before work. We got on the train to Luton at about 6am on Monday morning. It had been snowing (the first time) and the sun wasn’t even thinking about coming up yet. The factory is on a little industrial estate near the station. We entered around the side and as soon as we walked through the door were welcomed by the sweet smell of sawdust.

I’ve never been anywhere like it and found it incredibly exciting. There were blocks EVERYWHERE, every available space was in use. We were shown around and then went up to what I guess you could call their sales room, shelves and shelves of samples. No wonder they don’t have photos of stuff up on their website – there’s just so much!

I was after some fairly basic stuff to give me the basis for making more commercial hats – a simple crown, a large brim, a dome (to take the fascinator/headpiece stuff to the next level) and something a little special for my Christmas present from Rich. The first three were easy, but picking something out from amongst the rest was nearly impossible – there was just too much choice! These things have to be seen to be believed – they’re all works of art in their own right. I eventually (with help from my wonderful husband) settled on a mini beret. I requested a few minor alterations (this bit taller, this bit smaller, etc) to make it 100% my own and then left that amazing place and ran off to work.

A few weeks later (they had said at the time they were very busy and might not be able to complete the order before Christmas) I got a phone call to confirm the order and to take payment and today my wonderful Dad has gone to pick them up (he is in Luton anyway so I don’t feel so bad, but thanks Dad, it’s really really appreciated). I can’t wait to see them (some of them, I guess I’ll have to wait until Christmas day for the others) – I’ve got so many ideas ready for them, including a black and white version of my yin and yang hat and a mini beret in teal inspired by the Gina Foster hat I fell in love with almost a year ago. I have the three working days off between Christmas and New Year and intend to spend most of that time blocking, stitching and enjoying my new babies.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Lots of secrets - just a quick peek

I’ve got a little further with the home-made hat block, but I’ll do a full update on that when it's actually started to look different. The last two weeks have been chocker block full of gift making and Christmas parties.

I’m really pleased with the Christmas cards Rich & I made together. We’ve embossed a star on the front and written Christmas wishes around it with felt pen. Not the most exciting cards I’ve ever made, but at least this time we made them all in an afternoon rather than making half a dozen, getting fed up and going to Woolworths (actually, what WOULD we do this year now Woolies is no more???)

But I’m afraid the rest of what I’ve been doing is a secret. All I can say is there’s a few people out there who are going to be very happy on Christmas day (I hope).

And on the hat front, I finally got an all-over sparkly sequined beret. We are joined at the hairline. I’ve wanted one of these for so long...and it goes so well with my coat...

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