Vegan Life, Crafty Beggars, and ideas welcomed!

Hello everyone and welcome to my latest blog post. How is the weather for you?! I know I have readers in far flung places, but here in Birmingham, UK, we are having the heatwave of all heatwaves. I hope you are all managing to stay cool, or having the chance to soak up the sun, whichever you prefer!

For this post, I have some exciting media updates for you, and I’d also like to request your thoughts and ideas for upcoming workshops, so unwrap your ice lolly, sit back and spend a few minutes with me in the world of millinery!

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I am really proud to say that I am featured in a double page spread about my millinery designs in Vegan Life magazine this month. It’s out now, in all good newsagents so you still have the chance to hurry out and grab your copy. It is written and photographed by a wonderful lady called Maria Slough. We had a 'fascinating' day down in London working with the gorgeous Jess Ciesco, our lovely model, and make-up by Yasemin Ciesco using Arbonne products. Isn’t it great to be part of a team all pulling in the same direction? A little bit of magic.

Maria is a fabulous photographer and a wonderful woman. She does a lot to campaign for animal welfare, bearing witness to heartbreaking scenes and doing everything she can to make their world – our world – better for them. There are big steps forward, but so many steps still to take and Maria is tireless as well as selfless in her fight for animals. You can follow Maria on Instagram @mariasloughphotography

Coming up in a couple of weeks, I will also be on the TV! Crafty Beggars is a programme on the Together Channel, hosted by the wonderful Julie Peasgood and Wendy Turner-Webster. It is certainly a programme to inspire, with lots of creative guests talking about everything from upcycling furniture to printing on fabric, from works of art using epoxy resin to making clocks out of vintage scrap. And millinery!! Whether you’re into glass, cards, jewellery, sewing, DIY or mixed media there are 10 brand new episodes packed full of inspiration, hints and tips from some of the best crafters and artists in the UK. And seeing as nothing rounds up a day of crafting quite like a delicious cocktail there are even a few crafty cocktail demos to tickle your taste buds!

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The show will be broadcast every day at 5.30pm for two weeks, starting on Monday 16th July. Yours truly will be on episode 10 on Friday 27th July!

The channel numbers are: Freeview 93, Sky 539, Virgin Media 269, and Freesat 164. You can find the Crafty Beggars website here: www.craftybeggars.tv/

Now to asking for your feedback! As many of you will know, I have been running a number of workshops this year. So far, they have been concentrated on fascinator making, with lots of trimming techniques using sinamay. There are going to be more workshops in person; both in Leeds and Birmingham. But for those of you who are further away or aren’t able to get to a workshop I am going to be creating online tutorials too. This is where you come in! If there is anything in particular you would love to learn, let me know! I can’t make any promises right here and now, but of course I would love to be teaching you what you would like to know!! Some suggestions so far have been:

  1. Blocking with sinamay – shaping the sinamay around a wooden shape to make a base, this would be a saucer or a button shape.
  2. Making faux feathers for trimming – showing you techniques with lots of different materials, making different styles of cruelty-free feathers.
  3. Free-form headpieces (an example shown below) – a way to create your own really stylish bases without the need for investing in expensive hat blocks, and a way to create exciting trims using sinamay and wire.
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So do let me know your thoughts, ideas and suggestions, either by leaving a comment below, or emailing me at rachel@warrillowstudio.com , I would love to hear from you!

If you are thinking of attending a workshop, but perhaps a little unsure, you can read about the experiences of previous attendees on my page at Craft Courses here: http://www.craftcourses.com/providers/warrillow-studio/reviews

Until next time folks!

Rachel x