Monday, May 24, 2010

French Flowermaking and Straw Braid Hats in Atlanta

This past weekend I taught French Flowermaking and Sewn Straw Braid at the Spruill Center for the Arts in Atlanta, Georgia. We had a full class of 10!

Below you see the fabrics hanging out to dry. Fabrics have to be processed with a stiffening agent in order for the flowermaking process to work properly. What a beautiful display of colors and textures!

After the fabrics are dry they are cut by pattern into petals and other flower parts. Flowermaking tools are used to shape the flower parts for assembly into a full beautiful flower. Note the stamens too.

Below you will see a creative use of petals. The pattern was for a rose, however, this student decided to use the petals to create a trillium. How nice! It was a class favorite!

The next 3 pictures show some happy students with their flowers. Depending on what fabric was used, how it was processed, cut and ironed, and then assembled, the flowers each have their own look. That's the beauty of creating these flowers.

Don't you just love this celery colored 'starbright' straw braid hat with the dual-colored silk flower?

Another example of the sewn straw braid, this time in azalea pink, with a lovely triple-colored silk flower. Nice use of the braid as an embellishment, as well.

We made two flowers in the class--one a rose and another was a cymbidiam orchid. Above you see a few of the orchid flower parts wired and ready to assemble.

The final assembly of individually beautiful orchids. Each one a work of art--just like nature!
Great job Atlanta students! Thanks for a delightful weekend!!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Headpieces for Thalian Hall--a Celebration!

I was recently asked to participate in the grand re-opening of one of our city's most recognizable and greatest landmarks--Thalian Hall. It was built in 1858 and is one of America's longest running playhouses. That's it on the left in the picture below.

Thalian was in need of a facelift. She was a beautiful old lady, but now is even more of a grande dame after her recent beautification.

A grand re-opening took place this past weekend--a black tie event to unveil the new Thalian Hall. Hostesses were in place around the 3 floors to guide guests throughout the evening. To differentiate them from the guests it was decided they should wear headpieces. That's where I come in. Below you will see the pieces I made to be worn both evenings.

Congratulations to the new Thalian Hall!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

New Millinery Shop--aMuse's New Beginning

aMuse has a new home! For the past 2 months I've been not only making hats, headpieces, flowers, and running the shop, but I've also been painting ceilings, walls, floors, and trimwork. It has been a loooong 2 months. BUT, as of May 4th, I've relocated the shop to downtown historic Wilmington, North Carolina. Wilmington was incorporated in the 1700's, is a beautiful city on the Cape Fear River, about 7 miles from the Atlantic Ocean.

Here is the building aMuse is housed in. That's aMuse on the bottom floor behind the black door and that's our storefront window. This building was built by a French baker in the 1870's. The bakery was where my shop is located, and the family lived upstairs in the 2 top floors. Cool, huh?

Here's my front window. Not exactly what I want, but with all the moving stress it is going to have to work for a week or so. The old shop didn't have a storefront window so this is a treat for me. Passersby will actually be able to see my work from the street!

The sandwich board!

Our next door neighbor. Not too shabby! This is the DeRosset House, a private club where many weddings are held. The gardens are magnificent as well as the restaurant and the lodging rooms. We like it downtown!
And now for a few inside shots.

Here is what was a pass-through window for the 1870's bakery. Now it is a display nook.

Candy pink slipper chairs in front of the double-sided original fireplace. Rustic but beautiful. Exposed brick and original ballast stones from Europe make for some great charm.

Jewelry cases housing our huge collection of vintage costume jewelry. We carry most of the top costume designer names from the 1940's, '50's, and '60's including Juliana, Vendome, Hobe, Ciner, Haskell, Kramer, and many others. Lots of bling!

We still have lots of work to do to get everything in perfect order. The atelier is still a wreck, but it getting better. Very fortunate to be in such a fabulous new shop. New beginnings....