Monday, March 17, 2014

Body, Mind and Spirit

Not enough of mine to go around!

Straw and Cotton Sun Hat to Fedora

I don't have a ton of time, but it has been too long, and I am just so proud and happy with my hat making skills. I really appreciate my new friend and teacher Lee at If you want to learn Millinery or Hattery sign up for one of her classes. It is worth it. It is a lot of information for one day, so take it in two days like she suggests.

I like up-cycling and repurposing for the most part. So here are some of my latest finds and the end result.
I took this very large very plane sun hat I got at a Thrift Store for maybe $7 and turned it in to this fedora with a custom hat band that, I am sure, anyone would pay, at least, for than $50 for in a store, and the best part if that it fits me perfect.

Canvas Golf Hat to Fedora

White had looked like brown hat when I started. Here it is stretched on to my home made hat block

I also recently completed this hat on the right. My daughter knitted the awesome hat band for me. It was a white canvas woman's golf hat. It was given to me by a friend because it was dirty and beat up. I washed it, painted it and then blocked it in to an open crown hat in my size. I hand bashed the shape in the top, cut then shaped the brim, added a wire and grosgrain ribbon, put a new terry stretch headband inside and viola I have another one of a kind hat! The biggest issue for me with hats is the size. I have a very big head and there is nothing worse than a poorly fitted hat.

I have the idea to make my blocks a little shorter to see how the crown bashes with the shorter crown. I can always make them taller by adding some wood to the bottom when it's time to block the hat. I have a few more hats to block so I will keep you posted.

Go out and find something to keep you busy. I keep telling my friends that they spend too much time in their heads, swirling about things that happened yesterday, or things that may happen tomorrow, what he said, or what she said. Some drink to forget, or for inspiration or to hide. Fine hide, forget, what ever, but if you got nothing to show for it when your done you are wasting your damn time. Depression is something you feel. FEEL it! Express it!  If you give in to it, you just sit around feeling sorry for yourself, then you are wasting valuable time! Find something to keep your Body, Mind and Spirit busy!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Benefit for Brenda Golf Tournament

FEB 2, 2014

Go to the Benefit for Brenda Website or Facebook Page to learn more. It's a good cause!


New Year? Heck NO! New Life!

Now that the tumor is, mostly, gone and I am in my second year of recovery. The hell with New Year! I feel like I am starting a New Life. It's not like I didn't have activities before, it was just hard not to do things not feeling well, plus to location of the tumor had effect on mood and vision, and the headaches; Ugh. All that's seems to be gone; I have another MRI in a few months. Anway... blog

I worked in my garden today. I like to replant or propagate plants anytime I can; it's a great way to make the garden bigger it cures the over grown plant look and they can make great gifts. Today I broke up a overgrown Spider plant It started as 5 or 6 little puppies i took off of the mother plant. Then when that becomes overgrown in the pot I separate them into new pots with some new soil.

I use an old dry wall saw to cut thru the soil and the roots

I don't remember the name of this plant, but I do know that the new plant just grows off to the side of the mother plant. When it does it grows a beautiful pink flower out of the center. So if the person you give it to keeps it alive long enough they will get a great surprise when the new plant flowers.

With an Aloe Vera Plant; You can remove the babies and plant them; then trim the bottom leaves off of the mother plant and replant mom into some fresh soil. I also worked with some succulents; they are super easy just trim your overgrown plant and put the clippings in some fresh soil!

OK; so go out and get your hands dirty! I will try to work on the Blog more often in 2014 as part of my New Life!

I have a new Serger so I will share about that. Some new things that I am making; lots of free patterns on my Jomodad Pinterest page and some new sewing sites I found, like Craftsy - Online Classes and more.

I little preview of some of the Serger fun

OK... Bye see ya

Wow Almost forgot Pearl Harbor Day!

Saturday, September 7, 2013


To not look at or pay attention to:

I realized I have not been paying attention to my blog. I have been posting on my facebook account but that is a smaller audience. As usual my best excuse is I have had too much to distract me. Yet another surgery and yet even more art therapy. I have been working on hand made hat blocks and a flange.

I carved the pieces out of foam and then glued them together. Then I covered them with Durham's Water Putty

I added a pine 2x2 to the hat block for stability and strength. I hollowed out the legs in the flange to also provide strength and weight.

When I am finished I will coat with some Oil Based Varnish. There are a handfull of blog's that have similar information on how to build these blocks. I am making standard open crown blocks for fedoras and cowboys hats. You can make fascinator blocks as well.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Craving Carving

Hat Spinner

Every good hatter or milliner needs their tools. A hat spinner is where you put the block so that you can stretch the felt or straw body onto the block. You can spin in so that you can get a good grip from all sides. Traditionally these blocks are very basic. But those of you that know me know I can not do basic. Besides to buy one and have it shipped would cost as much or more than what I am making from scraps. But of course I happened to have some basic carving tools. When this is finished I will be able to display my block on it or place a hat on the block and display my hats on it.

I am using a Bass Wood and a Dremel Rotary Tool. You can get a cheap roto tool at Harbor Freight and it will last long enough to complete the job. Most crafters have a decent roto tool in their tool box anyway. I got a $12, 5 piece Hand Carving Set from Art Store. The blades are replaceable and can be purchased in a store. They are for Linoleum Block printing but worked fine for Bass or even a softer Balsa wood.

Dray out your design and think carefully about what areas will be low or high. To keep it simple just carve out one layer. If not think it levels and add dimension to parts are you go. There are much better resources for beginning carving then I so do your research on the web and have fun. You can get bass wood at Ganahl Lumber.

I have since painted the carvings.

Sunday, July 7, 2013


UGH! An onomatopoeia
(sometimes written as 

Ugh seems to be my favorite word these days!
I am very busy these days. Some good some bad. I took one Hat Blocking Class with Kay Durden in June and I am set to take a Hat Making Class with Lee Duncan in July. More surgery in Aug. Helping Mom around the house and etc. We're getting Jordan ready to drive and college. (He's going to study music at Fullerton College). We had a little Open House for him with his Role Playing Game Gang. On top of all that Leslie and I are putting are putting our condo on the market so... that's eating up any fun time for Mikey.

I am still playing with and learning about materials and different methods of making hats. I like the idea of reshaping and resizing old found hats. It has a re-use and recycle kind vibe to it. The drawbacks can be putting time and effort into something that is worn out or damaged. But! some hats are work or play time hats. So you tell me. Do old hats deserve a second chance at a new life? The above hat was made from the hat pictured below. Do you put your dog to sleep because it's dirty and beat up looking? People can tend to have a personal relationship to their hats. The big question for me now is: What do I do with all the Practice Hats? Who wants them? They are Large to X Large?

Anyhow: I guess I will do my best to keep up with all my YouTube and Pinterest and etc. To paraphrase Super Chicken: It's a dangerous job but somebodies gotta do it. I kinda new the job as dangerous when I took it.

OK. I go now.