For almost 17 years, my days have revolved, in glory and frustration, around being a mum. It’s an incredible role and the most amazing adventure I’ll ever know. Now, I am parenting from a distance as A & A decided to finish their last year of school living with their Nan. It is not so much quiet as still. The focus has drastically shifted and as I adjust to this new energy, I’m also contemplating how to reorganise my time and space.
So I've found myself empty nesting slightly earlier than expected...it is weird and somewhat wonderful. I have a devoted dog, a couple of cats and a few chooks for company, plenty of books, creative spaces, lovely friends and neighbours.
Just in case I was missing it, I get a regular dose of teenage angst three days a week at work, (I'm a high school teacher!), then I shake it off with some good old bibliotherapy, as I finish my working week off with a couple of shifts at the local library.
Despite any hesitation I may have felt, we made exactly the right decision. This is what we all needed. There is still some adapting and bump control to manage but change equals growth and new challenges, something to be excited about!
How many blokes, men, chaps, fellas take much notice of artistic and creative opportunities? Plenty no doubt. Change the demographics to the drought stricken north west NSW, how many men do you think will consider entering a hat or headpiece competition? Virtually none. This isn’t because they aren’t creative or have no skills, they have plenty of both of these, it’s more likely because they either don’t think they are creative or don’t think it has anything to do with them.
I believe that everyone is creative in their own way and as a member and supporter of Embassy Arts, encourage everyone to support local community initiatives and to have a go at something a little different.
I am positive that an injection of masculine insight, ingenuity and thinking outside the box from men’s sheds around the state would give all the gals a serious challenge and possibly take out the prizes!
The top hat above was made by one of my male students last year out of duct tape! So whether you google some tutorials for inspiration, use an existing hat as a base or look at what you have laying about in the shed, I’m sure most guys could come up with something amazing and original. As long as it can be worn it qualifies.
So fellas, we challenge you to the task!
Show us what you can do, we can’t wait to see what you come up with.
So, you have decided to enter the HEADonistic 2019 hat making competition, yay! What next? Need a boost?
It’s kind of similar to baking a cake. You need a recipe...or in our case, a plan.
I use mind maps all the time to help me with the why, the how-to and perspective. I don’t always know exactly what I’m making until I start. If you do have an idea, make a simple sketch and list the materials you think you’ll need.
The base is important because you want your headpiece to sit comfortably on your head without slipping or falling off. Sometimes the design will dictate what type of base you need. There is plenty of choice from an existing headband or hair clip, a hair comb, hat elastic, you can make a wire head band or use a fabric base like felt. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Why not use an old op shop hat or fascinator as a base. (Op shops are a great place to find interesting bits and pieces!).
This one was inspired by the strip of black and white plastic netting that a friend picked up off the street. I sewed some textured yarn onto it and scrunched it up to get the shape I liked, then I hand sewed it into place. The fake flowers were attached with wire and the metal flower is an old brooch that pinned on easily.
As you can see, the underneath still needs a base. For this one I will probably use some firm felt in a circle, oval or teardrop shape with a comb, crin or hat elastic to keep it in place.
Whatever you decide, just go with it. As much as possible, use materials you have already. If your plan changes, that’s ok, the starting point is what counts. Focus on creating without getting too caught up with the technical stuff. Help will be available at the workshop if you get stuck. Feel free to ask questions or leave a message. Contact me or Embassy Arts via Instagram or Facebook.
In the meantime, enjoy making some magic and stay posted for the next hat tip.
For me, it seems there is not much difference between wondering and wandering. It has always helped me find inspiration. Creative dabbling is good for the soul, I couldn't imagine life without it and often surprise myself by what I come up with.