I happened to be awake at around two o’clock this morning, and was amazed by the brightness of the full moon. It was absolutely beautiful, and if we still lived right next door to the lake I’d have been very tempted to go for a little walk. I’m not sure why I thought this photo would express the magnificence of last night’s lunar spectacle, but it’s the best one I managed to take! Sad, really.
(It was two o’clock in the morning, don’t forget!)
As always, I’m at least two ideas ahead of myself, and I was lying awake thinking of all the things I’d like to be doing if I had either time or the money – preferably both!
Thing Number One is a cosmetics project that’s been lurking around the back of my brain for a very long time. I’m thinking that some kind of little Kickstarter-type of enterprise might work for this one though, as the thing that’s currently preventing me from doing it is having enough cash up front for certification assessments and a bulk-buy of ingredients. The idea is a (probably quarterly) Cosmetics Club, where you could pay a subscription to receive a lovely box of goodies four times a year. I was originally considering monthly, but several people have pointed out that a month isn’t very long to use up a box full of bath and body products, and also it doesn’t give me much time to experiment with recipes and make sure I’m sending out the loveliest things!
The whole thing would be branded as part of Mr & Mrs Magpie’s Inexplicable Emporium, complete with faux-Victorian packaging and a story to go with each item. I’m looking forward to that part just as much as I am to developing the products themselves! The main question really is where to start. There are three certification packages available:
- Lip Balms
- Body Balms, Butters & Oils
- Bath Bombs, Melts, Milks & Salts
The second two are probably the most versatile in terms of what I’d be able to make following a single assessment cost, so it’s really a matter of which to choose first – and then encouraging enough people to support the project in advance, so I can actually go ahead and pay for it.
Thing Number Two is MORE HATS!
I’ve been having some quality issues with the felt hoods I’ve been using to make the hats. I don’t think it’s a problem with my current supplier, I think it’s just a problem with machine-made felt in general. I have a number of experiments I want to try out in terms of making my own felt:
- Will the merino tops I’m using to make all these flowers be too soft to make a good hat?
- Will it look too “home made”, as opposed to fabulously and uniquely hand-made?
- Can I get an entire cloche hat out of one carded batt of more hardwearing fibres?
- Do more hardwearing fibres only come in “sheep colours”?
- If so, can I dye enough wool myself, using natural dyes? Or will they be too muted for my liking?
You can see I have a lot to think about! This one’s a bit easier than the cosmetics project in that the materials are a lot cheaper, and I have enough fibres already to answer at least two of these questions without having to buy anything new. I just need to find the time to do the experiments, and risk ending up with a little pile of horrible hats if it doesn’t work out!
Thing Number Three (did I even mention three things?) is also hat-related, and it’s MORE HAT BLOCKS! Today I received an email from Guy Morse-Brown with the preview details for their newest hat blocks.
Oh. My. Goodness.
I’d been pondering how to make some different cloche shapes by re-shaping the hats as they came off my existing blocks… but now I find I can buy not only two new sets of brim blocks which are already exactly the shapes I wanted (and which will fit together with the blocks I have already), but there’s also a single-piece cloche block which is simply STUNNING. The down side, of course, is that I’m going to need to find the best part of a thousand pounds in order to buy ALL THE THINGS, which obviously I don’t have. (Or less, obviously, if I don’t try and buy it all at once.) But I’ve been mentally designing hats for exactly these blocks for a while now, so it’s very exciting to discover that they’re actually available!
The plan for right now though, is to concentrate on getting as many hats as possible ready for my Indoor Market on Sunday. Anybody local to Reading, it would be lovely to see you at the Corn Stores! I’m bringing along a nice big mirror so you can try on all the hats, and I’ll be taking orders too.
I will be closing the Etsy store for the day, just to make sure I don’t accidentally sell anything twice, so don’t panic if you try to visit and find me gone! I’ll be back on Monday, once I’ve updated the listings for anything that’s sold.