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!