It Takes Village

….. To Care For A Village.

New York’s Pathways Through History website lists 20 historic villages in New York State. These villages, both in-situ and relocated range from a small collection of buildings to a full replication of community. (I assure you there are additional collections of historic buildings that were not included on this list focused on enhancing our tourism.)

Please take a moment to learn about the historic villages and sites in your state/area. Find out how you can support them, whether that is time or money.

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Published in: on December 12, 2018 at 6:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

Itty Bitty Delight

Much to my delight, I discovered the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has a collection of hats in miniature, many of which are straw. These aren’t just miniature hats…. These are amazing, as in heart racing, how close can I get to my screen, put me on a plane now.

Yes, I have a problem.

Each piece is dated to the second quarter of the 20th century, but reflects earlier styles. The collection appears to be from Mildred Blount, of California. I asked Google more about her. She was a milliner for celebrities and films in the 1930s and 1940s. The LACMA collection pieces appear to be part of an 87 piece study of styles from 1680 to 1937 that was displayed at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. 87 piece! Can you imagine? Squeals!!!

Here she is working on some of the miniature hats. (this is the University of Texas blog post)

I am floored by the detail. The straw plaits Blount used are incredibly fine. This is straw we can not get today. I have 1 hank that I think would be the right size. It is the only hank Ive seen this size in person. Then the trims. We are going on 80 years old. The feathers boggle my mind. They are so full, fluffy, and shiny. Usually, pieces of this age have lost their vibrance at best. Nice job LACMA.

Okay, so, I was going to droll on about the details of each of these. But, I won’t. I want tpyou to go look at the collection. Drool. Zoom. Have your eyes pop out.

Published in: on December 12, 2018 at 5:00 pm  Comments (2)  

End of 2018…. On to 2019!

This really was quite the year. Because it was so filled, I need to go month by month to recap….

January – In January, I was on a head-dress and octagon pin cushion kick. The first was part of planning for my Symposium workshop. The latter was because velvet octagon pin cushions are just cool.

February – I had started February focusing on a set of posts looking closely at how women wore their bonnets and hats. But, everything quickly focused on Clara with her emergency surgery. I will forever be incredibly grateful to everyone who helped out and sent their love for Clara. She is doing very well. She loves doing zoomies up and down the hall of the new place. She finally allows gentle belly rubs too.

March – In March, I announced the release of To Net, or Not To Net: Revisited. I am very pleased with the reception of my latest publication.

April – April was very much about exploring straw hat shapes, including a new favorite, the Mousquetiare.

May – In May, I started getting really busy at work while I went into straw over-drive at home. I made this simple post that looked at the many styles I work with.

June – June was GCVM’s War of 1812 event. This was a must attend event for me because marked the one year point from being in the hospital. I also wrote a post I would like to draw attention back to “Pizza and the Piggy Bank.”

July – July, July was amazing. I had an incredible time at the museum’s Civil War event. It was wonderful seeing old friends and new. I had a beautiful day with friends at West Sparta’s Old Fashioned Day.

August/September/October – I had such plans for August…. But, plans change….. We moved ….. Dan left….. Damaged organs got cranky…. I needed to find a new normal….

November – With November came my much loved Domestic Skills Symposium and Preparing for the Holidays. I got back to sewing straw. Pieces disappeared (sold) from my shop so quickly most never were seen on FB. I also started p.aying with more videos on my blog and Instagram.

December – and that brings us to now…..

It has been quite the year with some wonderful “ups” and, fankly, some crushing “downs”. At the beginning of 2018, never did I image nearly losing Clara, then losing my home and husband. I was thinking about projects, straw, dresses, and what to write. So…..WOW!

I want to say some of you have been beyond amazing, truly incredible friends. Thank You!!

I do have to look toward 2019. No, I choose to look forward to 2019. I will have a new normal to figure out.

I also need to keep focused in my shop. It would be very helpful if you could take my quick survey to let me know what you are looking for in the coming year:

Planning 2019 Survey

Published in: on December 9, 2018 at 6:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

Year End Sale

This weekend I am offering an amazing sale opportunity!
Buy 2 items and get 20% off!
Buy 3 items and get 30% off!

Use Cupon Codes:

Yes, e-publications are included!

Published in: on December 7, 2018 at 7:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Tonight’s Millinery

This larger hat has a 22″ crown and petite brim. Really sharp.


Published in: on December 5, 2018 at 8:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

Straw Hat with a Great Brim Curve

Lazy post before I head to bed….

I finished this hat this afternoon. The straw had a mind of its own when it came to the brim. The straw was right. This brim dips more in the front, while the sides rise up, create a beautiful line. It is going to look great on someone.

Published in: on December 1, 2018 at 11:26 pm  Comments (1)  

Day of Giving

Locally, we call it ROC the Day. Online, I am seeing it called Giving Tuesday. What ever you call today, I hope you are able to give a little to a charity or cause that means something to you.

Here are my favorites, in no particular order because that would be too difficult impossible:

  • Kellers Kats – An amazing special needs feline rescue in the Rochester area. This rescue specializes in cats with CH and loss of limbs. ROC the Day link.
  • Hearthside Cats – A small town to rural rescue that goes above and beyond to care for the hardest of cases. ROC the Day link.
  • Genesee Country Village & Museum – My home away from home. Donations through the end of the year go to support interpreters of the historic village. ROC the Day link.
  • Cheyney McKnight – A dedicated historian with guts. She travels to hitoric sites bringing well researched programs on often difficult subjects.
Published in: on November 27, 2018 at 2:00 am  Leave a Comment  

A Monday Hat

One last hat befor Etsy’s Cyber Sale ends.



Published in: on November 26, 2018 at 7:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

Happiness in a Box

Weeks ago, I allowed myself to purchase a cdv. It was quite the cdv. Weeks pass and a friend sends me a message. That message lead to photos and drooling. I was good. I saved some pennies and bought one, only one. There is a reason I wanted this particular one.

The new block is a very close match to the one in the cdv. (yes there is more to the cdv. No, you can’t see it all yet.) If anything, the one in the photo is a little bigger and mine has more curve to the brim.

On a side note: I do not think that hat shown with the block came from that block, the crown is too big and flat. Either that, or hats really do photograph differently.

I mentioned the freezer in the video. Instead, I opted to spray it with lightly with vinegar to kill off what I think is a little mildew that occured during travel. I have to be careful with vinegar because it will disolve plaster. It has a musty smell to it, which makes sense since my understanding is it came from and old old old factory.

Published in: on November 21, 2018 at 2:46 pm  Comments (3)  

Beading Strawberries (and video testing)

Beading strawberries seemed to be the perfect project to test out the new tripod phone combination. Here are three videos, one without talking and two with of different lengths. I hope you enjoy the work. But, I would also like to know what you would like in videos. I am considering some for here on the blog and some for Patreon, if I decide to do that.


  • While the preview thumbnails appear upside down to me, once the videos play, they are right side up.
  • The audio is clear and loud on my phone. I can hear the thread going through the strawberry as well as the beeping noise from next door. On my tablet, it is very difficult to hear me talk. I will need to go back an see if yesterday’s video it the same. I will need to find out if the recording or the playing is at fault.
Published in: on November 18, 2018 at 4:15 pm  Comments (4)