Thursday, 4 August 2011

The Dragstalgia Fascinator

A few months ago a received a lovely email from burlesque and pin-up model Miss Phoenix, offering her modelling services for Off With Her Head. We got to talking and when she told me that she was going to be the official flag girl for this years Dragstalgia ( I offered to make her a fascinator for the event, and what we came up with is the Dragstalgia Fascinator.

I was inspired by the idea of the chequered flag and by hot rod flames and combined them to come up with this piece. The base was constructed from heavy cotton in a chequered print with cotton interfacing ironed to the reverse side, lined with wool felt and edged in with bias (I ended up using black bias instead of the red). The flames were constructed from 3 layers of sinamay in flame colours and decorated with Swarovski crystal accents.

I was really pleased with the finished result and shipped the piece of to Miss Phoenix who, despite the windy, wet weather during the weekend, managed to wear the fascinator and get a few great shots during the day!

Miss Phoenix can be contacted at the following:

Products I Love!

As a busy Mum, its important to me to finds beauty products that work and involve a minimum of fuss. I dye my hair, its a dark red/brown and I've been this colour for some time now. Normally I get my little sister round in an afternoon to help me dye my hair but with a one year old running around its not entirely practical. So, when I saw the adverts for the new John Freida Precision Foam Colour which promises a 'quick and easy application' I decided to give it a go.

I selected shade 5R - Medium Red Brown which is as close to what I've been previously using and decided on Monday evening to set aside half an hour to dye my hair. I have to say I was very, very impressed! It is one of the easiest and mess free products I have ever tried. In the past I have had dye all over the bathroom, on the walls, (yep, bright red too on a cream wall!) carpet, radiator and all over the sink by the time I was finished, but the non-drip foam was fantastically easy to apply. I didn't need combs or clips to separate my hair or a third arm to make sure the back got covered properly. You simply add the colour to the developer, tilt 5 times to mix and then squeeze to get a foam which you just smooth over your roots and then massage into the rest of your hair, wait for 30 mins (no longer) then rinse and apply the conditioner and you're done! Easy!

This product gets a 5 out of 5 from me, although the only downside for me personally is the limited colours available... I'd love a really vibrant bright red or purple please!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

So tell me, do you feel lucky??

This summer I've been busy working on a new range of fascinators inspired by the old school style tattoos, you know the ones... cherry red hearts with scrolls that have words like 'LOVE', 'ALWAYS'  and 'MUM' written in script across them an popular tattoo imagery such as anchors, swallows and cherries! Well I've some up with a range of 6 designs, that I hope you'll love as much as I do and I thought I'd share the design process as well as the finished pieces.

Sometimes, not always, I start with a blank piece of paper and a box of coloured pencils and fine liner pens! Then from that concept drawing I produce a prototype from cotton and wool felt.

There are 6 different designs for this range (at present, but I have a few ideas for some others!) - AHOY, LUCKY, LOVE, CHERRY, SWEET and ALOHA. Cotton print fabrics for each design are selected and each heart is cut from a template. Cotton interfacing is then ironed to the reverse of the fabric. Matching or sometimes contrasting wool felt hearts are also cut from the template and matched up with the cotton pieces which are then bound together and edged with bias.

Decorative elements for each piece are then selected. Pieces such as the banners, text, swallows and cherries are hand cut from wool felt and appliqu├ęd to create a 3D effect.

I'm really please with the finished pieces! I think my favourite one has to be LOVE!

I took these with me to London for The Roost photo shoot with photographer, Ange Harper, and they received lots of positive feedback from both the models and photographers there. The lovely Lilah, who if you've seen my website over the years you will be well acquainted with, modelled a couple of designs for me, my favourite on her is LUCKY! Would you mess with this feisty Femme Fatale, tell me punk do you feel luck, well do ya??

Tattoo Inspired Fascinators RRP £30.00, available from the website and Etsy store at
Introductory offer - get yours now for £25.00, offer ends 31st August.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Modelling for James Corrin/Captured Light

At the start of July I popped down to London for the day to take part in the annual Roost Photoshoot organised by Ange Harper ( and as well as supplying a large suitcase full of hats for the other models to use I got dressed up and modelled for a couple of the photographers too!

The first set I have to offer is by James Corrin (, a fantastic photographer who really put me at ease, and as you can see he produced some fantastic images!

Cherry Fascinator by Off With Her Head (
Clothes, Styling and Make-Up all models own.

Sunday, 24 July 2011


Last night, Alan and I had a baby-free evening and headed off out to the DCA to see a showing of the 1986 movie 'Labyrinth' starring David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly. 

Having loved this film for as long as I can remember and owned it in many formats (VHS, DVD and now Blu-Ray), I was excited to see it in the cinema. This was the first time I had seen it on the big screen and I was not disappointed! There were around 100 off us fans packed into the cinema at the DCA (which has some of the comfiest cinema seats I'm sat in for a while). As the movie started there were murmurs of anticipation, the now somewhat dated CGI owl flew across the screen, and the opening scene of Sarah reciting lines from the Labyrinth commenced. Throughout the movie you could here others reciting lines that we all knew and loved, not least the whole 'You remind me of the Babe' part which I did too join in with! We all laughed and the goblins and at the gratuitous crotch shots, and sang along with the songs and a few of us even applauded at the end too!

It has been, and will always remain one of my favourite movies of all time. Alan and I even had 'As the world falls down' played at our wedding this past march! I've always had a soft spot for anything Jim Henson and Brian Froud! This was a real treat for me and I highly recommend that if its coming to a cinema local to you, go and see it!

Finally... can anyone guess who this is... he was perhaps the 'star' of The Labyrinth back in the day... but my hasn't her grow up!

Friday, 24 June 2011

Fascinator Friday... How you can get involved?

Well its a little late on this Friday, but here I am after a long shift at work, seeing off the Hubby for his weekend away gaming a settling Kaylee to bed, to tell you all about just how you can get involved in Fascinator Friday!

We all know that hats and particularly fascinators are becoming more and more popular, not least thanks to the many fascinators worn in recent months by the new Duchess of Cambridge! And I'd like to create a reason for us normal folks to wear their fascinators with pride... and so I give you 'Fascinator Friday'... the one day of the week when for no other reason than because you can, you don your favourite fascinator with pride!

And I'd like to see the results of our little campaign to bring back the hat into everyday wear, so please email me with your pics... and once a week as well as showcasing some of my favourite pieces I've found on Etsy I'll also pop up a couple of pictures from my Fascinator Friday gang... so if you'd like to get involved then simply send your pics to

Thats all for this week... its been a hectic week and I'm going to settle down with a good book and the tennis for the rest of the night... talking of tennis, pop back next week for my Fascinator Friday, with a Wimbledon theme, just in time for the finals!!

Friday, 10 June 2011

Its Fascinator Friday... Wedding Edition!

Well its now the middle of June and we're well into 'wedding season'. Having recently been a Bride myself (Alan and I we're married this past March!) I know how important those little accessories are in finishing off your wedding day look! So I've had a look through Etsy again this week and picked a couple of my favourite pieces by some more very talented milliners that are sure to add to that special day.

First up as always is my own piece... the 'Something Blue' Fascinator, hand-crafted in a crisp white cotton and lace, backed with matching wool felt, trimmed with ric-rac and three handmade white lace roses, the centre of each filled with pale blue bead stamens. This pretty little fascinator is sure to add a touch of country chic to your outfit.

Secondly I found this amazing piece by Boring Sidney. This piece ticks so many boxes for me, its quirky, beautifully made and Tim Burton inspired!! I adore Tim Burton and especially the movie Big Fish (I actually just treated myself to this on Blu-Ray this past week!), so a fascinator named 'Ping & Jing' after the siamese twins in the film really grabbed my attention! An amazing piece of work, custom made to order!

Finally, for the rock 'n' roll bride I came across this amazing fascinator by Janine Basil. I love all her work, especially the comic book inspired fascinators with slogans such as 'POW' and 'KABOOM' but I simply adore this little ivory heart adorned with little gold studs and lots of veiling! Certain to make a statement!

Thats all for this weeks Fascinator Friday... be sure to come back next week to find out how you can get involved in Fascinator Friday, as I attempt to make Fridays a day to wear your favourite Fascinator regardless of the occasion!

Friday, 3 June 2011

Its... Fascinator Friday!

I can't believe its Friday already this week, just not sure where the time has gone! Its been a busy week for me and the little one, with Baby Sensory class on Monday, a day of hat making on Tuesday, visits from Auntie Helen and Grandparents on Wednesday and 'real-life work' for me at the end of the week! And in between it all we've managed to sort out buying a new family car too!

The glorious summer weather has finally returned to Scotland ( it was 21 degrees C yesterday and promises to be hotter today). So this morning I've been busy searching out some beautiful fascinators that embody the spirit of summer to share with you!

First of all is one of my pieces that is available on a made-to-order basis. The Strawberry Dream Fascinator was originally made for friend and photography student Mari-Claire Francis and is now available to order in either its original hot pink colour or the colour of your choice. Handmade in shot silk, edged with matching satin bias, with lashings of matching veiling and three hand sculpted strawberries this fascinator is sure to get heads turning at your summer event!


Next up is this stunning 'Lily Pad'  fascinator from Anna Shoub. Made from twisted seagrass straw with a beautiful handmade flower created from a vintage handkerchief meaning that each fascinator will be unique! This is an unusual piece from a very talented designer that will certainly be the crowing glory to any outfit for that summer wedding or party!

I also recommend checking out Anna's Blog 'The Hat Junkie' -

And Finally... if you're after something a little more macabre, then why not this 'Death-Glam Hawaiian Delight' fascinator from Cara Crass! A gorgrous confection of bright orange simamay with magenta feathers and veiling, yellow orchids and a little guinea fowl skull! Divine!

Thats all for this weeks 'Fascinator Friday', thanks for reading and remember to come back next week to check out more creations and finds. Next week I'll be focusing on Bridal Fascinators!

Are you a fellow milliner?  Would you like your fascinator featured on my blog? Then please feel free to email me at

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

And the winner is...

Drum Roll Please.... the winner of my 1,000 Fans Give-Away is 'JennyWren' aka Sally of Sock creation's by sally!! Well Done to You and commiserations to those who missed out. Thanks for all the lovely comments you all left me, they really made me smile!

Interview with Natasha Scharf

As a long time Goth and a regular attender of Gothic events I was really interested to hear that a new book that explores the world of Gothic from its origins in the music scene to its present day metamorphosis is due to be released at the end of this month! Written by Natasha Scarf, former editor of Meltdown Magazine, this book promises to take a good look at the impact Goth has had across the world.

I had the chance to speak with Natasha and ask her about her past, the book and her plans for the future.
Natasha Scharf by Taya Uddin

Lisa - You were the Editor of the fantastic Meltdown Magazine, Tell us a little about your writing career?

Natasha - Well, I've been writing ever since I learned how to - I started my first fanzine when I was 7 although that had a very limited print-run and wasn't quite up to the standards of my later efforts! By 16, I was writing for our local newspaper and by 19, I was editorial assistant on an international classical music magazine during my university breaks! The seeds for meltdown were planted shortly after I graduated from a journalism degree and I juggled that while working for various media institutions. These days, I'm a full-time freelance music journalist and count Metal Hammer among the magazines that I write for - a publication that I used to dream of writing for!

Lisa - And so now you've written Worldwide Gothic. What can we expect from this book?

Natasha - Worldwide Gothic was no mean feat - it chronicles the goth scene from its birth in London in 1976 with the very first Siouxsie and the Banshees gig right up to the present day, looking at how it developed around the world and how it's changed over the years. I've been listening to goth music since I was a child and have been writing about it for many years but I have to admit that even I was surprised by some of the things I learned while researching this book! The toughest part was having to condense it all down over a very short space of time - it really is a culmination of my life's work.  I've packed Worldwide Gothic with new interviews and loads of full-colour photos, many of which have never been seen before - I'm really excited about the project and I can't wait to share my findings with everyone.

Lisa - Your cover image features the stunning Lady Amaranth. Did you have much difficulty in selecting the face of Gothic culture??
Cover Image by Taya Uddin

Natasha - To me, Lady Amaranth's image epitomises the most glamorous side of contemporary gothic and she always looks stunning. There are so many different interpretations of the gothic look and one thing I learned while researching this book is that those interpretations vary wildly not only from country to country but also from era to era so it was important to use a model who would be universally recognised as 'gothic'. Lady Amaranth's look ticks all the right boxes and I don't think anyone could argue that she doesn't look gothic!

But there are other ingredients to take into consideration too. I chose the photographer Taya Uddin to take the photo as her stunning imagery has just the right balance of darkness and light without being over-the-top or cheesy. The beautiful corset worn on the cover was made by the talented alternative designer Larysa K, whose corsetry has to be seen to be believed and the jewellery is by the famous Alchemy Gothic, who have been creating some of the most incredible designs since the very birth of goth (I recently had the privilage of visiting their factory in Leicester and was amazed to watch the pieces being crafted by hand). I should also point out that everyone involved in creating the image has roots in different parts of the world so the cover alone summarises worldwide gothic to me!

That said, there was only room for one model on the cover so I wanted to include a selection of some other well-known gothic models inside the book as well. These include AndromedaX, Fracture and Dark Morte and there are lots of photographs of goths from around the world as well as bands and musicians - this is a very colourful book that should surprise anyone who thought goths only wore black!
Bloodlust and Katie Korpse at  WGW by Stephen Milward

WGT goth by Stephen Milward

Lisa - In your time as editor of Meltdown Magazine you introduced us to a number of fantastic up and coming
bands/artists. Do you have a particular favourite amongst them?

Natasha - Oh, goodness! I never stopped writing about up-and-coming artistes even after what I refer to as 'the meltdown years' so it would be impossible to choose just one favourite. Music is constantly evolving and fashions are constantly changing - I must have written about hundreds of acts over the years (at least)! I can't deny that when a band or singer I've written about starts being referenced in blogs and other publications, I do feel a warm glow :)

Lisa - You've been as magazine editor, DJ, presenter and now author. What can we expect from you next?

Natasha - I've also done some acting, production and voice-over work! My boyfriend keeps saying that I ought to become a children's author next although I'm not quite sure if I'm ready for that just yet! Worldwide Gothic is actually the fifth book I've written so I'm rather keen to tweak my earlier efforts and see whether I can get any of those published. In the meantime, I shall be continuing with my music journalism and I have a few other magazines in the pipeline that I'm looking at contributing to.

Other than that, I'm a firm believer in taking whatever Fate throws in my path so I don't like to place too much
expectation in anything!  

Worldwide Gothic is published by ImpBooks and is released on the 23rd June 2011. For more details you can visit the publishers website Here.

Preorder your copy from Amazon for just £7.61!

Lady Amaranth and Natasha Scharf wear jewellery from the Alchemy Gothic collection
Lady Amaranth's corset is by Larysa K
Natasha Scharf's hair extensions have been dyed using Manic Panic semi-permanent hair colour cream and she is wearing make-up from the Creature Of The Night collection

Friday, 27 May 2011

Trains and the Kindness of Strangers!

Today Kaylee and I had a trip out to Edinburgh for the afternoon to meet up with friends and family and we decided that we'd take the train over for a change and a bit of a treat for Kaylee. Kaylee loved being on the train, seeing all the people, giggling every time we went into the tunnel and waving to the cows, cars and big airplane she saw during the journey. While she enjoyed the journey I can only say that as a parent of a baby in a buggy I found it a bit traumatic to say the least!

We left from Markinch Station in Fife and I am very happy to report that the refurbishments to the station are fantastic. The new 120 space car park meant that I could easily find a space to leave the car and being able to buy my ticket at the station made a very welcome change from what used to be not  much more that a village halt. However the winds had caused problems with the automatic doors which were now closed meaning that I had to walk around the the second entrance to the ticket office which was only accessible by a short flight of stairs. My only option was to take Kaylee out of her buggy, leave it at the bottom of the stairs and take her in with me to buy my tickets. Not ideal but manageable. 

Getting on and off trains with a Baby, Baby-Bag, and Buggy is to say the least... difficult! Luckily today we met some very lovely people who helped us carry the buggy on and off the train, not in the least a wonderful conductor on the First Scotrail train we got home, named Aileen, who when she checked my ticket just after we got onto the train, offered to come back when we were getting off to help us with the buggy and our bags leaving me free to carry Kaylee... she even put the buggy up for me and made sure we we're OK before sending the train on its way to Perth!

So I'd just like to say a BIG thank you to those kind strangers who made our day a little easier!

Its... Fascinator Friday

This is a new feature on my Blog that I'm going to be running every Friday. Its... Fascinator Friday! I'll be featuring one of my own creations every week as well as having a look at some fantastic pieces made by other talented Milliners!

So first up is my own piece... an Up-cycled Vintage Tie Fascinator in Teal Blue. I'd been asked by a couple of people in the past if I could do anything with vintage ties and I had thought about just recycling the fabric into something completely different but I really didn't want to loose the tie shape in the process. So I bought myself a couple of vintage ties from the Granny Would Be Proud fair in Glasgow and set to playing about with them. After some twisting and turning and pinning and tacking I had this organic folded form that I know would just look perfect on a headband!

I've done several different ones now and they are all available to purchase on my Etsy store.

Next up is this gorgeous Peacock Fascinator from Ella Gajewska. 

I love peacock feathers and found this while looking for some inspiration for a piece I've been asked to create for a friends wedding next year. Its so beautifully put together. I think it wouldn't look out of place on an Hollywood starlet of the 1940's or modern day!

Finally... I discovered this talented lady's creations the other day and I am in awe of her work! All her creations are so amazing but I particularly like her Pleated Chrysanthemum Kimono Silk Cocktail Hat.

The vintage kimono fabric is amazingly beautiful and the pleating on this hat is sublime. I LOVE this one! Aka Tombo Millinery is one of my favourite shops I've found on Etsy to date so I urge you to go and have a look!

That's all for this weeks Fascinator Friday... please come back next week to see what else I've been working on and what other creations I've discovered!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Etsy Finds of The Week!

I love Etsy, and as many of you will know I have my own shop there!

But I also LOVE to browse through the many amazing things that people make and sell through Etsy. There are some very talented artists and crafters out there, making and selling some very unique items. 
This week I've fallen in love with a bright pink bag! 

This Alice In Wonderland Book Bag by A Spoonful of Chocolate Hope is just adorable, and sells for $84.00. Take a look at their shop, they also make recycled book eBook and iPad covers too!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011


So Kaylee is now 10 months old! Where has the time gone... it really seems like only yesterday that I was being told she was breech and I was going to have to go in for a C-Section. We've started to plan for her 1st Birthday Party and have decided on a Gruffalo theme as its her favourite story!!

Now at 10 months Kaylee is clearly on the move, she's mastered crawling (which she can now do at some speed), can pull herself up to stand and is beginning to 'cruise' from one piece of furniture to the next! With a more mobile little one we've had to seriously look at baby proofing the house... and its not as simple as cupboard catches and socket covers!! She's into everything! I used to have a pile of magazines under the little table but these were a big attraction, and great fun to pull down and throw over the floor. So I've had to invest in some magazine files to be put up on high shelves out of little fingers reach! Speaking of high shelves... it has become essential to move precious ornaments to a higher shelf too. We had invested in doors for the bottom half of our 'Billy' bookcases and these have now had cupboard catches fitted. Our under the sink cupboard in the kitchen has also had catches fitted although the door is kept closed most of the time to stop Kaylee from crawling into the Kitchen! Cables from computers and TV's have had to be organised and tidied too. 

One thing other Mums told me about and I am now very adept at is doing a 'daily sweep', checking the environment for small choking hazards such as pennies or small computer screws (anyone who lives with a computer geek will understand what I mean when I say these turn up all over the place). 

I'm sure there are some things we have missed in our attempt to create a safe environment for Kalyee to play in. This is all a learning curve for us! But... we wouldn't change it for the world!

For more information on Baby proofing your home check out this article from Baby & Pregnancy.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Off With Her Head Facebook Page reaches 1,000 fans!

I was pleasantly surprised the other morning when I checked in with my business Facebook page and found we had hit over 1,000 fans. Its fantastic that so many people have checked out what I do and left such nice comments on the page. So I thought that to celebrate I'd run a little give-away, and I've decided to run the give-away through my personal blog page, as I'm keen to promote my blog to those who keep up with what I do on Facebook too! So this offer is open to anyone who reads my Facebook Page, or Blog!

Its really simple... click to follow my Blog and check in here on my Blog by leaving a comment on this post, tell me what you like about my hats/fascinators, tell me which is your favourite, tell me what you'd like to see me make in the future, tell me what inspires you, anything really... even just a comment to say 'Hello'. Then in a weeks time I'll randomly select one person who will receive a FREE fascinator from our collection, as a thank you for getting me to that magic 1,000!

You can check out our my website here: Off With Her Head Website
Or visit my Facebook page here: Off With Her Head on Facebook!

Friday, 6 May 2011

Two new designs!

In preparation for this months fascinator workshop, I've been busy this week experimenting with new flower designs and creating two new little fascinators with the results.

The first design I've tried out is a black peony, made using black taffeta. The technique requires the fabric to be burnt around the edges, something that require a lot of care and attention! I'm kind of accident prone, so there have been a few cries of ouch and aaahh as I've burned my finger tips this week! But I'm very please with the end result. I've also been blocking my own sinamay bases too so these have been attached to a black circular base made from three layers of fused sinamay.

Then I played about with a little piece of orange acetate satin that I had spare from making flowers for the fascinator I wore for the Pin-up For Heroes calendar launch party last year, and created a pair of orchids using the same technique of burning the edges. These have been attached to a base of orange checked sinamay made again from three layers of sinamay fused together.

I'm quite please with the results of my experimentation this week, and I'll be putting these two little fascinators up on the website and Etsy shop later today, RRP £25.00 each.

A Family Trip to Blackpool

Last weekend we packed up the car and headed off to Blackpool to enjoy the bank holiday. We spent some time with my Aunt and introduced her to Kaylee. While we were there we decided to pay a visit to Blackpool Zoo, as Kaylee is now almost 10 months old and we thought that she would be able to enjoy looking at the animals! Her favourites were most certainly the Giraffes (which came as not surprise to us as she has her teething toy Sophie Giraffe, that she really loves).

We were lucky enough to see a stunning peacock showing off his gorgeous tail plumage!

My favourite was the Amazonia exhibit which allows you to walk through a recreation of the rainforest with free roaming spider monkeys. These cheeky little fellows were certainly not camera shy and I managed to get some really good shots of them!

Our own cheeky little monkey had a fantastic time!

Oh... and this is Sophie Giraffe!