Saturday, December 20, 2008

The ArtSpace Holiday Sale

This year's holiday sale at ArtSpace Maynard has come and gone. I decided to participate in it even though it was happening only five weeks after my c-section. It certainly was hard work and my back and abdomen were sore after the three days. Fortunately my Mother and a couple of friends came at different times to help me out and cover for me while I was nursing. The baby was there with me for some of the time while Dad tried to catch up on his own work. Here are a couple pictures from the sale.

Unfortunately, I didn't sell as much as I would have liked. I could blame it on the economy, but I won't. I had been on bed rest for a while before the show—I just hadn't had a chance to make the hats that I know people would have wanted. I sold enough, though.

Monday, November 24, 2008

My Favorite Hat Wearer

I don't care how she wears her hat, this little girl is my absolute favorite!

Please allow me to introduce my sweet little daughter, Adelaide. She was born on November 1st and weighed in at 5lbs, 5.2 oz.—so little. We're all doing really well on this end, but the new scheduling takes some getting used to.

She's already three weeks old. I wanted to tell you all about her sooner, but her decision to eat every three hours has kept me a little busy. It's amazing how I took my free time for granted. Seems that the simplest things take forever to get done.

She seems to be growing so much from day to day—I figured I'd grab this picture while I still could. It would have been amazing to see how easily she fit in the hat three weeks ago.

People say, "Oh, she's going to have the best hats!" The pressure is on! Hopefully I can get back to the studio soon and get to making her something special for that cute little noggin of hers.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Hat for a Good Witch

I've mentioned in a couple of other postings that I have a client who commissions me to make hats for her. A few weeks back she asked me to make a witch hat for her Halloween costume. As usual, she was the perfect client—she gave me a few small guidelines and told me to do my stuff. I love that.

I was put on bed rest by my obstetrician, so I made the hat while laying on my living room floor. There were millinery supplies everywhere!

Here's a picture of the hat. Sorry that it's not the best quality—I couldn't get to the studio for a better picture.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

ArtSpace Open Studios

This weekend is ArtSpace Maynard's annual open studio event. Come on by and see me, my hats, and the Denishé studio.

Unfortunately for me, my doctors have put me on bed rest. So I won't be able to help as much as I'd like to with the hats. Since I don't want to miss Open Studios, I will be sort of lounging in my studio. I will have two lovely assistants there to help me out, though.

There are about 75 artists in the building—lots of art to see. Come visit if you can.

I'm including an image of a hat that I'll be showing at the studio. Come try it on.

Friday, September 19, 2008

True in Blue

I want you to picture this woman wearing her mini top hat in grocery stores in Thailand—that's what she said she would do when she bought it last year before heading off for a year of studying abroad.

Mellington is no small character and if you meet her you'll never forget her. So I was pleased when she got in touch with me last year and was interested in buying a hat. She made stopping at my studio one of her things to do as she headed eastward from Olympia, WA.

Mellington's an artist, too. She's a metalsmith. You can see some of her work on her Web site, but please know that she's been slacking off while she's been traveling and the site is in need of update.

I love it when people really wear their hats. Mellington looks like she belongs in this, don't you think? She puts it on and it becomes part of her.

A Munchkin in a Hat

Well, Levi (my friends'Sara and Doug's baby) got his hat and it fit perfectly. It fit so well in fact, that I think I'm going to have to stretch it a little bit by the time the cold weather comes around. I certainly don't mind that. He looks so cute that it kills me. He's about three months old now.

Thanks for the pictures, Levi. The camera loves you!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Black Cocktail Hat

Okay, so things have slowed down in the Denishé studio, but I'm working hard to get back on track. I mentioned in my last post that I was working on a black cocktail hat. Here's a picture of it. These things always look better on real people, so I hate having to show you a hat on this dummy, but it's easier.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Yes, I still make hats

It's been hard getting back to work. My growing abdomen is a
major distraction. There's lots of nesting going on at our house,
which is making life feel a little chaotic. But my darling husband
is working hard at minimizing my physical and emotional distres,
good guy that he is.

I decided that I just needed to make something to get
me back in the swing of things. And I'm very practical
and goal-oriented, so I wanted whatever I made to
have a destination. A good friend of mine just had
a baby in June, so I decided I'd make him a hand-
felted hat for the fall. I ended up making a couple
because baby heads are tricky little things—some
babies have huge heads and others are so tiny.
And baby's are tough for other reasons—they spend
a lot of time on their backs and they'll just pull things off their heads. So, as I said, I made a couple of hats and I'll probably have a fitting with him.

Other than that, I picked up an old, unfinished project. A black
disk hat—very feminine. It has a bright pink lining and a big black
bow on its surface. Today I'm also going to be applying some long
black stripped quills. It's the kind of hat I'd want to keep, but
that's just not right.

So it looks like I'll be back in the groove soon. Keep your fingers
crossed or something.

Monday, July 07, 2008

My Latest Creation

A few months back my husband and
I got a little surprise. I've waited until the first trimester was
over and all the family were told before posting. Yup, I'm pregnant!
Of course, some of you already know that. Still, I thought it would
be good to let you know what's keeping Denishé hats so busy—and
not with hats. We've had doctor's appointments and ultrasounds and
we've been traveling around trying to tell as many people in person
as possible.

I've got the summer to make hats and grow my belly. My next show will
be Open Studios here at ArtSpace Maynard on October 4th and 5th.
That will probably be my last show for 2008. The baby is due in
November, and as I have some back problems I'll probably have to
take it easy toward the end there. Not sure what will happen in
the spring—I figured I'd play it by ear and see how I'm taking to
this mothering thing. ;-)

Here are the FAQs on the baby thing: We're not finding out the baby's
gender. We don't have any names picked out. When we do come up with a
name we probably won't make it public—everybody's got an opinion and
someone is bound to hate what we choose. People are welcome to send us
name ideas. The baby is due Nov. 20th. Yes, I'll probably end up making
more kid and baby hats as a result of this.

I hope you're having a good summer and wearing lots of straw hats.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Heat and Hats

Art in the Park was on Sunday.We had record-high heat. It must have been about 100° and so humid. After setting up all of our stuff, we were sweating so badly that I didn't feel like trying to sell a single thing. The show started at 10:00 and by 2:00 we hadn't been able to get a single person to try anything on. After two it got better—the sun shifted and we got a little shade, but still it was damn hot! It did turn out to be a good enough show, but it was brutal weather. If I could have sold my shade I would have made more money—it was about 20° cooler in my tent.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Life has been busy!

How does life get so busy? I've been feeling guilty because
I haven't posted in a while. So I'm here to apologize and
tell you what's been going on.

My husband and I have been traveling a lot, so free weekend
time has been pretty limited. We've been to Florida and Maine,
and later this month we'll be going to Portugal. Postings
will be pretty limited during that time.

I also had a show. Paradise City's Spring Northampton show on Memorial
Day weekend. It's a nice show and I did well. I'll include a couple of
photographs from the show. The young lady in the blue hat with the
veil is Hannah. She's got a lot of spirit and is a bit of a "squiggle"
(I hope I got that right, Rebecca).

And here's a photo of me and Rebecca. She bought this hat some months back and has told me that she wears it everywhere, making it a very good purchase from her sweetheart of a mom. Rebecca is an artist in her own rite and is trying to get her Etsy store started. Definition Delicacies is word and definition focused jewelry. I'll be getting a piece from her soon, I hope. Sorry she's got nothing up on Etsy right now, but the stuff's great and she's certainly a bright entrepreneur who will go far.

This coming weekend is Art in the Park at the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, Mass.
That's a fun outdoor event with live music and happy people. Who doesn't love happy people?

As for making hats... I usually slow down a bit and do paper-
work after doing a show, so I won't make anything new for a
few weeks unless the creative bug can't be contained.

I hope you're having beautiful weather wherever you are and
that your allergies aren't as bad as mine are.

Monday, May 05, 2008

The Finished Commission

Well, it's done. I love this hat. I sent it out to the client today. I hope she's as pleased with it as I am. It's a buckram wired frame with cotton batting to plump up the ultra-suede fabric, and copper-colored straw accents. I just love working with this woman and hope to be able to post more work for her in the near future.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Here's the dress

The commission is coming along well and I'm excited
to send it to my client. I thought I'd post a a picture
of the dress. I hope to get the hat photographed next
week before I send it out.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Nice Commisson

I've been blessed to have a customer who, on many occasions,
has commissioned me to make her hats. That in itself should
be a wonderful thing, but the really great thing about working
with this client is that she doesn't try to tie my hands.
She gives me some basic guidelines (she's fond of the little
cocktail hats) and tells me to do my thing.

This particular time she sent me a dress that she's going to
be wearing to an art museum event, a satiny little number the
color of a brand-new penny. I got to go out on a hunt for the
perfect fabric and immediately fell in love with some upholstery
material that I found. It suits the dress so well because the
dominating color is the same color in the dress and the little floral-like embellishments are the color of the satin material
when it appears in shadow—as it does around the collar where there are folds and gathers of the same material.

I'm really excited about the project and am including sketches of the design that I hope to execute once I get the
thumbs up from her.

Monday, April 07, 2008

It was a tough show

It just so happens that I caught a cold the day before we were to set up for
the Craftboston show. It certainly added to the challenges. I sanitized my
hands every five minutes or so. Generally speaking, I'm pretty miserable
when I'm sick—just ask my husband. But I've discovered that nothing
makes me forget that I'm sick quite like selling a hat. I love helping people
try them on.

I got back in the studio and started working like made last week, that is,
after I put all the show stuff away. And I was ready to do the same today,
but we had another steam pipe leak. This time is was closer to my work
area. It's tough being in a building that is over one-hundred years old and
has plumbing the same age. It seems that when a pipe gets replaced the
rest of the system suddenly can't handle all the water flow. I was frustrated
enough to drop a few four-letter words, which my studio mate promptly
forgave me for. Let's hope the contractors can get this straightened out
tomorrow so I can get back to work.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Next Show: Craftboston

Well, tomorrow I start setup for Craftboston.
This will be my third year participating. It's been only
ten days since my last show, and I have to admit that I'm
feeling a little tired. I had left hats to be finished in
these last days, so I had to wrap those up. Then I came
up with a few ideas—I had promised I wouldn't make any
new work! We just finished shooting them all and I've
tagged them and they're ready to go. I so wish I could
just take a few weeks off from selling, but I guess that's
what April is for—that and for making more hats.
you're going to be in Boston and would like to attend
the show, here's a link to a coupon. The password you'll
need is exhibitor08

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spring will come, right?

It's a dreary day in Massachusetts—sleet and freezing
rain—but spring will come, right? I'm in the process
of working on a hat that is making me feel hopeful.
I brought it down to the local coffee shop so I could
work on hand sewing it while chatting with some of
the locals.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hat People

During a lunchtime discussion with fellow ArtSpace artists
I was asked about the Paradise City show and how it went
overall. In that discussion I had a simple realization that
I wanted to be sure to add to my blog:

Hat people are nice people.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Three Great Kids

I promised I'd send along a picture of those kids I met. The two girls are friends and the boy is the brother of one of the girls. D, H, and J (abbreviated for their privacy) were a lot of fun. I'd love to keep J around—it's so hard for me to find a gentleman who looks really fabulous in hats.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Day two of Paradise City Marlborough

The show has been good so far. I've met many people
and have had many chances to "play" with some who
have been nice enough to let me put hats on them.
I still get really surprised when people say, "I'll
take it." It's especially so when the hats are what
I consider to be "more challenging" (really get
attention or are strange in some way).

I'm especially appreciative to my Mom. She came out
to help me sell. She's such a good mom. It's helpful
to have her, too—when people say something about me
being able to wear hats because I'm younger than they
are I just point to my mom. They have to agree that
she looks good in the little hats, too.

There are so many wonderful things to see at the show
that I almost want to call friends individually and
tell them to stop in and see such-and-such artist.
There's just no time to do that.

I met a group of amazing young people today—two girls
and a boy, all under the age of fourteen. Not only
were they sweet and polite, but they were very nice
about being gentle with my hats. I love sharing them
with young people because they don't really have much
experience with hats. Anyway, these kids were just
lovely. I'll try to post a photo or two that I took
of them in my next posting.

If you're in the Marlborough, Massachusetts area
tomorrow it's the last day of the show and worth
a visit. Hope to see you.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Oh, my trusty washboard!

I've been pained by the recent demise of my trusty
washboard. I bought it at an antique shop years ago.
I use it when I am felting my hand-felted hats. Sadly
it broke. My husband tried to patch it up by putting
some temporary strapping on it—buying me time to get
a little more work done before shows. I thought
getting a new one would take a while or involve some
searching on ebay, but it looks like the Aubuchon's
hardware in Maynard (just a few minutes walk) is
going to be able to resupply me. I'm sure it will
take me a while to get used to the new kid, but what
are you going to do? I'll still keep the old one.
While felting I enjoyed thinking about all the
clothes it has washed in its lifetime.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Is there really a bad hat?

I find it hard to decide sometimes whether a hat is bad or good. That includes both my hats and the hats of other designers. The thing is, there are all kinds of people out there—people with stories that are very different from my own. When making a hat I remind myself that mine is not the only face that will wear it.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Lion gets fitted for a hat

My five-year-old friend Elsa asked me if I could make a hat for her friend Lion. I've seen Lion in dresses and other garb, mostly around bedtime, when she takes up her designated role as sleep buddy. I was happy to outfit her. Lion was presented with the new hat today and wore it immediately. Elsa then honored the moment with a portrait. I think we're all pleased with the outcome. What are friends for, right?

A Denishé Signature hat: The "Volcano"

This hat is one of my signature hats. I designed it back when I had long hair. It's a great way of taking your hair and turning it into an embellishment for your hat. I try to always have a couple of these at each of my shows in various colors and brim styles. They're a big hit with little kids (and I do make kid-sized version), teenagers seem to think they're very cool, and even adults will be seen wearing them. I've sold them to people from age 3 to age 70, and everywhere in between. If you've got lots of gorgeous curls you're going to make this hat sing. This hat will even work if your hair is only about 6 inches long, too. Or, you can skip pulling your hair through altogether and just wear it as a warm hat.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Come see me at some shows

I've got a couple of shows coming up in March. I've been working like a mad woman since December—except when the studio was leaking and when I was sick—to make bunches of new hats. Here's a picture of a pile of hats that are waiting to be photographed and made ready for sale. The photographer will be here on Tuesday to finish up the shoot.

The first show is Paradise City in Marlborough, Massachusetts. They mix fine art with fine craft, which makes for an interesting show. That's taking place March 14-16. Here's a link to my Artist's showcase page.

The second show is Craftboston. I've done this show for the past three years. I'm always impressed by the work. Craftboston will take place March 28–30 at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston.

Even if you can't come out to see me, you'll find that coming to either of these shows will be inspiring, especially if you're an art-maker yourself.

Have you seen my Web site?

Happy Monday! Only one more leak in the studio last week.

The best way to take a look at the kind of stuff that I make is to check out my Web site I'm very lucky to have an unbelievably artistic friend who designed my site; Jeff Grader's illustrations are full of energy, comedy, and fun. And he makes his work quite simply because he's an artist. I don't think he'd be able to go longer than a day without making an image. I'm not sure if he's taking on other Web site work, but it certainly wouldn't hurt to ask.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Back at the studio... sniffle, sniffle

Well, I'm back at the studio after several days (and a wasted long weekend) with a cold that has turned into an upper respiratory infection. The sad part is that I was feeling so creative last week. This week I'm dragging.

On another note, if you like that black and white picture of me that I use for my profile, it was taken by a local photographer who also has a studio at ArtSpace Maynard. Susan Huszar does really great intimate black and white photography. She's also great to work with.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Me and a favorite hat

This is a picture of me in one of my most favorite hats. It's a mini top hat with veil and feathers for trim. I find that it goes great with both dresses and a T-shirt and jeans. It's really comfortable and it gets a lot of smiles.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Starting my Blog

Well, I've been meaning to do this for a while. Many friends urged me to. They think it would be a great way to keep people posted on what's going on in the Denishé studio. Aside from all the hat work going on around here, the studio has been plagued with some water leaks. Fortunately, no hats got damaged.