Thursday, 18 December 2014

December inspiration round up - Take 2

Hello my lovelies, I just thought I'd drop in again to share a few more things I've been drawing  inspiration from recently. OK, so I know it's still more than a week since I shared my last list of inspiration here, but I've come across such a lot of things that I have found inspiring and am using in my work the moment or certainly will be in the future that I thought t was time for another post. At the very least it helps me keep track of it all and I love sharing it with you folks too.
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First up are these beautiful windows created by Laurence Whistler, and was blown away by their beauty and intricacy. I've always loved stained glass windows but these windows, created for St Nicholas Church in Moreton, are somehow even more powerful just being etched into plain glass.

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beautiful art deco patterned wall paper
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So I've been working on a beaded fascinator over the last week and my inspiration has come from these lovely art deco patterns. I think it has grown from my interest in geometric patterns that I mentioned in a previous inspiration post here.  I love the interlocking repeat of them and the curved forms but to be honest at the moment I'm finding it pretty tricky to  recreate this on my work, for some reason it hasn't quite come out right yet. 
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Next is this beautiful Hat created by Lilly Dache in 1937, I love finding examples of vintage millinery that could just as easily be worn today, and this piece would not look out of place in a 2015 collection. I'd never heard of Lilly Dache  before I came across this and a few other examples of her work on Pinterest and it made me realize how little I know about milliners from previous eras. Whilst studying millinery we were always discussing current milliners' work or that of our tutors (or occasionally our tutor's tutor) but never looked at historic milliners.  So maybe a new years resolution should be to get to know more about milliners of the past.

I came across this lovely image in this months Oh Comely (which by the way happens to be one of my favorite magazines ) it conjured memories of den making when I was little. Why are only children allowed to make dens? I think building a creative den to hide away from the world for a day  would be great. I don't know whether my boyfriend would be too pleased if  I made a tent out of sheets in my living room like I did when I was little- the cats would love it though, I'm sure.

Lastly and not least is this work I came across by Sarajo Freiden, I have recently got back into sketching and doodling and am trying to work more in my sketchbooks. I love looking at examples of other peoples sketchbooks and journals for inspiration and ideas on layouts etc. I love he textures she creates in her line drawings and  the way she pieces together work in her sketchbooks from various other pages and papers ( something I do quite a lot too as I'm always sketching on scraps of paper in work) 

And here is another wee  round up of other things this week:

Enjoying - visiting Chapter's festive food fair with friends

Working to the sounds of  – Anything by Carolina Chocolate Drops

Snacking on - Festive Mincemeat  Muffins

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Inspiration round up December 2014

So I know that it most certainly hasn't been a weekly feature since I post my last inspiration round up post here. However I really want to make this a regular feature, I'm not going to let the fact that time has once again slipped me by put me off. So here are the 5 things that have  inspired me over the last few weeks.

 1. Htozkaya- First off this lovely Etsy shop that I came across recently really did impress me, The lovely floral accessories that Nika creates are  so delicate and I was surprised to see that they were made using air dry clay. I love the fact that her pieces are so wearable yet original and creative. This is definitely two qualities I strive for in my own work and I always love seeing them in others. You can see more of her work on sale over at Etsy here.

    2. This amazing cycle path that opened in The Netherlands in November. I'm always impressed    when a designer combines beautiful visual designs with an environmental solution, you don't really come across them that often  but this is a really great example. The glowing solar powered path's designs have been inspired by Van Gogh's painting Starry Night and must be a joy to cycle on at night time. You can find more about it from this article.
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3. I mentioned Manish Aurora's work on my last post, and I am still really inspired by his Autumn Winter 2014 collection. Some of the designs are a bit 'out there' for my own personal taste but I love the combination of modern and folk references and the use of print and colour. ( Plus there are so many hats which is always a winner for me) .

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 4.Princess Kaiulani-  I came across this film whilst flicking through the channels one lazy afternoon this week and was instantly drawn. I love a good costume drama so this seemed like the perfect afternoon viewing. I was really impressed with the lovely costumes and beautiful story but also taken aback that I had never heard of the country's history. The film also has a lovely soundtrack so if you need a good afternoon film this is definitely a good choice.

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5. Last but not least my lovely friend Kathryn gave me a copy of The Art and Craft of Gianni Versace. For some reason I have never really paid much attention to Gianni Versace's work until now. I suppose I have always been more focused on the big British Fashion designers such as Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood but this book really opened my eyes to the wonderful work that this designer created both for fashion and for Stage. I especially love the last chapter that details some of the techniques used and the close up images of  the garments.

And here is a tiny general round up of other things:

Sipping cups of - Pukka Teas Night time blend ( but only before bed)

Working to the sounds of  – Fleetwood Mac - Tango in the Night

Snacking on –  Cheese and Banana Toasties.
Hope you are all having a lovely week. Jessie xx

Friday, 21 November 2014

Inspirational Millinery- Pompoms Galore!

original image source via pnterset
Hi there everyone, it's been a while ! As always when I'm working on costumes for a play my blogging seems to suffer ( along with my social life and  everything else for that matter!)

I've been working on a great production of Oh What A Lovely War  put on by Everyman Theatre company to mark the centenary of the start of WW1. Surprisingly, one of my biggiest jobs on the show was  making pompoms to be worn as part of the actors Pierrot style clown costumes worn thourghout the performance .   Can you belive I ended up making over 100 pompoms? Here is a sneaky pic of our lovely cast in action in their costumes.

I thought at first that I would after completing my mammoth pompom making task I would  never want to see another pompom again, But I have actually grown to find a strange satisfaction in making them and  now keep finding myself wanting to make a pompom just for the sake of it. Which lead me to think maybe I could use them as a cute trim for millinery work and started looking at how other designers had used them.
Here are few of  my favourite ones:
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 I love the  shear volume of pompoms used in this piece by Soren Bach, the colours are so striking and vibrant. This piece is so much fun and I bet its quite cosy as well.

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Well what can I say, Dita always wears a hat so well, she could probably put anything on her head and it would luck great. What I particular love about this Sonia Rykiel piece is that the muted tomes and simplicity make the piece feel chic and elegant, whilst the scale of the pompom used gives it a playfull twist.

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This piece by Awon Gulding is another really playfull take. I love fun creative millinery that is  still wearable  It's such a simple idea but executed really well and I love the idea of having ice creamed themse accessories! 
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I think this has to be my favourite hat out of the m all, created by Maish Auror I feel that this is the type of hat I could wear very day  yet it's still really stricking and creative. the embroidery and coklour pallete tie in nicely with the one simple pompom and the piece it'self has a lovely folk art feel. Also  how can you not love the make up used worn by the model, it's so fun and creative but I doubt I could get away thith wearing it down the street!

Anyway I hope my little  collection of popoms hats has brighted up your day, I'm off to  make some more pompoms and then  find a use for them xxx

Tuesday, 23 September 2014


Today I was going to write another 5 things that inspired me this week post but instead I re-read a piece that I had written in my journal the other day and felt I wanted to share it.
One thing that I have been really struggling with recently is  Fear , not in a things that go bump in the night kind of way but the type of fear that builds up from self-doubt and niggles away and can potentially stop you doing the things you really love in the world.
The last 6 months have been pretty fab and I have taken a real leap forward in my path towards a creative life and building a future where my sole income is gained by creative means and becoming a professional milliner. However I keep doubting myself and my abilities, and on days where things aren't going quite as well as I would like I find myself thinking that I am wasting my time, that I have spent way too long in my office day job, that the only way that I could ever  be successful is if I quit my day job right now and dedicate  all my time millinery even though financially this really isn't an option.  I know everyone has times of self-doubt but sometimes I can't help feeling like I have already somehow failed and that I can't finish any project I start. Never mind the fact that I have had plenty of successful projects, worked on  some really great theatre productions lately and  have even got some more exciting opportunities lined up. 
The trouble is these feelings alternately can hold us back,  stop us pursing  the opportunities that come are way because we don't feel that we could possibly be good enough and mean that we do ourselves and our talents a disserve is. To combat this I have dei8ded to focus on something my Grampa, Papa, told me in an email he sent me recently, that what is shown through my work and my blog is my passion about millinery.  When I read that in his email I was really touched  but then it made me realise that my passion  for what I do is something that my negative thinking cannot argue about. I am persistently passionate about Millinery and building a creative life. Otherwise I would have not pursued it for as long as I have, or spent my time travelling to  London from Cardiff so many times to attend all the great courses that have built my skills.
When I thought about it further is that I realised that all the people who I admire achieved their ambitions, goals and did great things because they were passionate about what they did. It wasn’t just because they were naturally gifted or lucky or savvy.
 So this is what I own to myself and what I need to do every day is spend time feeding and expressing my passion. This is how I will champion over my negative thoughts and succeed in my goals. I am passionate about creating beautiful millinery that makes people smile, about building a creative life for myself and inspiring others to do the same.
Hope your all having a great week. xxx


Friday, 12 September 2014

Inspriational Millinery from the metrapolitan Museum of Art

Happy Friday everyone, today's post is my next instalment of inspiring millinery, and today I haven't focused on a particular designer or era or  style but on a particular source of inspiration: The online catalogue from the Metropolitan museum of art.

Now I had never really considered a museum website to be a realm of millinery wonder, and I really don't know why because when I searched the Met website for the word hat,  over 3800 results came up.

The first piece I want to share is this lovely Egyptian cap. The information on the met website states this dates from between 3rd- 5th century I can't quite get my head around how old this is and yet the patters  and simplicity make it feel that it could still be worn today.
We now jump a few years to the rest that I picked out  from the met website archive all date from between the 40s and 50s  this was not a conscious decision but was just a coincident of the pieces that drew my attention this week. I have to admit at this point , I only browsed through the first few pages  but I know that  I can go back again and again to find new treasures. This red piece above was  created by Madame Suzy, I love its simplicity  and structural nature  and the combination of the snake skin centre and red felt around it.

This lovey piece is from Schiaparelli's 1940 summer collection. Having featured some hats from the relaunched  labels current summer collection last year it was lovely to  see a piece created by the Elsa Schiapparelli that would not have been out of place being worn today. I love it's Jaunty nautical feel and percher shape.

The final piece is this wonderous felt hat, this was the image that first drew my attention to the Met collection ( I found it on pinterest of course!) I just love the appliqué formed and it's sweeping shape, I have never thought to use millinery felt in this way building blocks of colour together to create motifs but it's definitely something I would like to try in the future.
Well I hope you enjoyed this glimps into some more inspiring millinery. Have a great weekend xxx

Monday, 8 September 2014

Weekly Inspiration round up- week 1

Hello Lovelies, hope everyone’s week is going well.
I thought I would a start little weekly feature sharing some of the things that have inspired my week.
This post was meant to go out before the weekend but I had a minor technical hiccup that delayed things a bit

So here is my round up of my 5 inspiring things for last week.
No.1 Sunflowers- my neighbours sunflowers are in full bloom at the mo and they never fail to brighten my day every time I walk past them, they are just so bright and Jolly

Image source, & sketch my own

 No.2 This lovely headpiece by Stephen Jones- I came across this whilst I was researching my last post, I love it’s light wispy structure and the way it seams to float around the head, (although I wish the model wasn’t smoking in the image- don’t think it adds anything to it really)


image courtesy of Stephen Jones at

 No.3 My photos of Cardiff bay- I’m still really inspired by the  bike ride I posted about the other week and am really inspired by some of the images I took, now I just have to work out  how to use them in my millinery.


No.4 Geometric patterns- yep I know I’m a bit behind here but  I love geometric prints at the moment and they have even inspired me to create this triangular lino print!

No.5 The Molly makes blogging Special edition- I bought this a couple of weeks ago and have literally read it cover to cover and then some! It has given me loads of great ideas for this wee blog and even inspired me to do this post!

And here is a tiny general round up

The last week has mainly involved:

Sipping cups of - good old English breakfast tea

Working to the sounds of  – Laura Mvala: Sing to the moon

Snacking on – Sweet potato Falafels







Thursday, 28 August 2014

Inspirational Millinery - Stephen Jones for Schiaparelli A/W 14/15

For the last few months I have been so busy with my own millinery work I have barely been able to keep track of what the rest of the hat world has been doing.  So apart from brief glimpse from Ascot and sneaky peaks at some of my millinery friends work I have been somewhat lacking in actual millinery inspiration.
That has now come to an end as I am determine to hunt out  ( and share ) new and exciting millinery to keep myself inspired and up to date will all the hat happenings in the world!.
Today I thought I would start by sharing some of the hats created by the King of milliners Stephen Jones for Schiaparelli's fall 2014 collection.
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 I really love the use of fun and playful shapes used. Stephen Jones is undoubtedly the master of our trade but for me these hats captured a special essence of millinery, the ability to be witty and quirky without looking outlandish and irrelevant.
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There is such a nice understated nature to this cap with it's almost landgirl esque tie front which sharply offsets the oppulance of the embroidered jacket.
images above courtesy of style
I have to admit that the crochet pointed cap is probably my favourite out of the whole collection. Even though it is possibly one of the simpler pieces I know that if I were wear this on a cold winters morning it would bring a smile to my day. That for me is what millinery is about, creating beautiful pieces that make people smile.

Schiaparelli Haute Couture AW14 Paris Susie Bubble
image courtesy of
And who doesn't want a glorious party hat to wear on a cold and grey day?  xxx

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Getting lost and finding inspiration

Hello folks! Whoa it has been such a long time since I wrote my post here, certainly longer than I had intended. Over the summer I have been working on a fab outdoor theatre festival in Cardiff and honestly there were days when I struggled to find time for meals let alone any of my other projects and regrettably that meant my little blog has been somewhat neglected.
After the festival finished, I had all these high hopes that I would leap out of bed the next day raring to start writing all these fab blog posts I had been dreaming up whilst working however for two weeks I sat at my laptop with a complete block, suddenly all my ideas seemed silly and I really felt stifled after such a long time away from writing.
So after another frustrating day of trying to plan a couple of posts, deciding they were not good enough, scrapping in them in favour of finding the best content I could, not coming up with anything then spending hours googling  things like - creative blog post ideas, unique blog post prompts, or blog ideas to your inbox ( yupp I'm not joking).
Nothing grabbed me and I ended up feeling  more deflated and even more stuck than I was before. Suddenly all my plans I made in my busy time seemed to have failed,  Not loving my uninspired mood I decided it would be a good idea to go out and some fresh air to clear my head.
Now my wonderful and patient man is very astute when it comes to these kind of conundrums and when I told him my troubles he suggested that I should take a new route on my bike ride and that this may help with my creative block. Huffing and puffing in my mind thinking that all I really wanted was to go in to my nice safe familiar ride I decided not to be so obstinate I would give his suggestion a try.
SO I Cycled in the complete opposite direction, to my normal route ...
and came to a part of Cardiff I barely new existed.
There was sun, boats, swans and a landscape that I rarley see , even though I had only cycled for no more than 25 minutes,

 Suddenly my creative woes faded away, I started looking around and  this feeling started growing in side me - I felt inspired, that feeling I had been searching for  the last two weeks suddenly came back.

I started taking photos like a crazy person, bemused passers by must have thought I was a lost tourist, but I just wanted to capture all that was inspiring me. Soddenly I wanted to share what I was seeing, a blog post was born ...

So here I am writing about this experience, I've shared a few of the photos I took but there are some more I want to do some work from and share them in the weeks to come. So even more posts will have been born from my little adventure

I suppose what I learnt from my mini adventure is that it only takes a small change in the context of what your working on , be it your working environment, in , the method used or the task that you are carrying out at that time - or in this case me going on an unfamiliar route whilst musing over my work, to reinvigorate you and get you back into the swing of things.

hope you're all having a great week xxx

Monday, 2 June 2014

From under another pile of papers! -A picture Post + my brand new todo list

Hello my lovelies,  gosh it's been a while since my last post, how time flies whilst your having fun!
The last 6 weeks have been quite busy, I've been working on a great theatre production of the play Equus by Peter Shaffer (one of my roles was making 6 rather large horse masks for the cast members), the run of the play finished last week and since then I have desperately been attempting to de-clutter my workspace (and surrounding living area for that matter I can be quite a messy worker when I want to be). Whilst I was going through yet another pile of papers stashed away on my desk I came across this rather fabulous image above. I can't really remember what project it was for and certainly don't know where it came from (if any one knows please do let me know) but I thought it had a real Frida Kahlo/ Billie Holiday feel to it and just wanted to share it with you all to brighten up your Monday.
It's not just my workspace I've been trying to tidy up, my latest projects have certainly taught me the need to a more organised time, so, although I have always been an avid list maker, I am currently attempting to make these more concise and focused. I am also trying to complete everything on one before I start another. I suppose you could call be a recovering serial to do list maker.

Here is this my attempt at a more focussed and realistic to do list for the my week ahead.;

 I'm am currently experimenting with a new hat pattern I have drafted and want to finish the first hat from it this week,  I want to update my portfolio with the theatre projects I've been working on recently and also get started doing some initial idea research for a film project I've been asked to assist on (I don't think I will ever get tired of mentioning that, I'm so excited to be working on a film!!)  Oh and lastly I wanted to get at least one blog post done which , well  um suppose I'm doing now  - which is great one task done - 3 more to go!

Anyway I will let you know on Saturday how I've got on with everything, in the mean time let me I would love to know what tricks and tips you all have on working on your own projects and how you find is the best way to organise your time. Hope you all have a great week. xxx

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

My adventures as Grover's Corners milliner!


So on my last post I mentioned that I would update you on what I've been up to lately. Well I've been lucky enough to have been involved with a really great theatre production of Thornton Wilder's play  Our Town which was staged at  Chapter Arts Centre just down the road from my little home in Cardiff.

It was directed by Ray Thomas and produced by Everyman theatre , a Cardiff based theatre company that I have been working with in various roles nearly a year. This was the first production that have  I assisted with the costumes on and I learnt so much  from the experienced and thoroughly enjoyed working with such a great team and cast.

One of my main tasks as costume assistant was to turn  5 tired looking boaters into wedding hats  for the ladies of the play to wear during the two lead characters' wedding. As you can see from the state of my work space above, I got stuck in pretty quick and it didn't take too long for my whole home to be strewn with various bits of flowers and ribbon.

I was trying to make the hats look simple and in-keeping with the tone of the play. It's set in a small New Hampshire town and I imagined that the characters would have trimmed their hats with  the flowers they had growing in their gardens and maybe a simple ribbon  with this in mind I put together each hat.

Here are a few  photos of the final results. I am pretty pleased to say I don't think that they resemble their previous lives as boaters and it was such a thrill to see them being worn on stage.


My favourite creation has to be Mrs Soame's hat, she is quite a loud character and makes a big scene of crying a the wedding, when I made her hat I wanted to make sure it was much more loud and over the top than the others  and  think it came across and suited the character really well.


I'm hoping to get a few more pictures of them being worn on stage so I'll share them in a later post if I do.

It was such a great experience and I want to thank everyone involved for all their hard work and efforts.

Now that it's over their is certainly no rest for the wicked, I've just started working on the costumes for Everyman's next production of Equus in May, which I can safely say is going to be completely different challenge!

I hope you enjoyed a glimpse of what I have been up to lately I've certainly enjoyed taking part and can't wait to share a glimpse of my next project soon.  xxx