Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hat Block Buying

My latest addiction is adding to my collection of hat blocks.  I originally only had two that I bought from Guy Morse-Brown, a fabulous block maker where I would happily spend every penny I have. Their website is if you want to take a look. However, I now have four hat blocks... I have discovered that I can combine my love of Ebay and feed my addiction to hat making... Not good for my wallet-especially as I am in the process of buying a house with Mr EB so am already feeling very poor!  At least on Ebay I can stick to my do not spend more that £40 a time rule. I've always had this rule with Ebay, as I don't want to spend loads of money on something then find out that it's a fake or have it not turn up etc etc. I've only ever been totally shafted on Ebay once when trying to buy a pair of spotty tights that never arrived-I never got my money back but hey, at least it was only £5.  So I never spend more than £40 on Ebay because that is the most I am prepared to loose on one item. 

So far I've got two off Ebay and I've just been trying out the first one to arrive.  It is a fairly basic but very useful shape; I've seen them called button blocks for the obvious reason that it looks a bit like a big button-

So it was out with the black sinamay and feathers I've had hanging around for ages and off we go! Blocking sinamay is so much pleasanter than buckram, because the sizing is no way near as sticky and the fabric is no where near as tough and is much kinder on your hands.  The finished shape did take a bit of levering off the block but once off it's a lovely rounded shape and I am rather pleased with the finished decorated article-

Close up of the decoration

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I hate veiling!

The problem with veiling is that it is very springy.... Just when you think that you've got it all beautifully pinned just where you want it it springs away and usually wraps itself around every tool that is within reach and ties itself in a big knot! So after much swearing and cussing I finally got the veiling secured on this hat as a nice little birdcage veil that does not look like a total balloon!

The ribbon roses before being attahced to the hat base.

Monday, July 05, 2010

National Transplant Week!

Today is the start of National Transplant week, and as this is a very important issue to me I thought that I would follow the example of several of my friends and do a blog post about it.  One day I may well need a double lung transplant due to my CF so I am always keen to raise awareness of the shortness of donor organs. To start with here are a few facts about organ donation:
  • You are more likely to need a transplant than become a donor.
  • You can donate kidneys, liver, lungs, heart, pancreas and small bowel - saving up to 9 lives
  • Corneal tissue can give someone eyesight
  • You can choose not to donate particular organs/tissues
  • 94% people agree with donations, 96% would accept an organ - but only 28% are on the register
  • 8000 people in the UK are waiting for transplants but less than 3000 are carried out each year
I've always found the figures about transplant rather depressing.  I know that so many people when asked say "yes I would donate my organs"  -so why are they not on the list???? I really get annoyed when people make daft excuses, like they've not got round to it yet...Well why not???? It is so easy to register and takes just a few seconds to register online. Here is a link if you have not already registered-

You could also consider donating blood, without which many operations, including transplants, would not be able to take place.  I have several friends who have received transplants and when you see just how much difference a new organ can make to someones life then you would not hesitate to join the register. Even tho some of my organs can't be used for transplant (for obvious reasons!) I'm still on the donor register as someone who needs them is welcome to the whichever of them can be used, when I've finished with them or course...

If you are wondering whether or not you should join the donor register then just ask yourself one question- Would you accept a transplant?  If the answer is yes, then you should join the register. It is not exactly ethical to accept someone else's gift if you are not prepared to be generous in return.