Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Time is running out...

...for fun!  Last year I was wait listed for the American Institute of Architects ARE ASAP Challenge, a Biggest Loser like challenge for board exams.  The objective to take (& pass) all seven board exams in one year. (The registration board gives you four years so you don't lose your mind.) Off hand this past week I checked in with the coordinator to see if they were doing the challenge again this year & she informed me that I had a slot!  I am not gunho to take these exams but I can't pass up the coaching & support from other candidates. So starting February, goodbye free time - hello NCARB.

The last days of January was a weekend of meeting with my friends &; fitting in some handy work. First on Saturday I met with the girls at the library to make some jewelry.  Libraries are not just for books anymore. Denver Public Library produces a series called Fresh Life full of groups, classes & events. This week we went to the Hampden Branch to make Washer Necklaces. There was quite a turn out so we did have to patiently wait through loud hammering to use the metal stamps. The supplies were very basic: a bead chain, washers, jump ring, bead post, bead, pliers & sharpies.
 The stamps themselves don't seem hard to obtain since they were in last weeks JoAnn's ad. Here's the tutorial if you'd like to do this at home.
There's so much you can do with metal. I think someday I might try using my alcohol inks to try this:
After leaving the library we went to a local haunt, oddly enough for Aurora is the English Tea Cup. They do serve tea, but its quite americana. They do have a grocery though that can be fun. Here we are having tea with Her Majesty.
Sunday's class occurred with persistent pestering. Allyn's Fabrics has finally moved to a new location after sixty years in Cherry Creek. Not much has changed though. Still crammed to the ceilings, employees constantly busy giving individual service to customers & the only place in Denver you can buy real millinery supplies.  The current owner is the daughter of the original so she's been making hats since she was seven. A bounty of knowledge & will tell you some of it if she's got a spare moment.  In a dying art form, I hate to see masters not sharing some of their knowledge. So for YEARS I've been pestering her to teach classes. When I went in this week to get more corset looping for a series of berets I'm making, I almost exploded to hear that she had a class last weekend. It was just a fascinator class so a beginners class but I wasn't contacted.  I didn't pout or cry but I guess she could sense my disappointment because she offered to let me attend a private class this Sunday.  A class that I'm glad I didn't have to miss, it was a practice class with the ladies of her Model A Club before she teaches at their convention this summer.  Model A = 1928 - 1931 = JAZZ AGE!! When I'm not looking at images of architecture I'm looking at Art Deco for the inner flapper.

It would be an entire separate blog to tell about what I learned. In short it was tackling horsehair derby hats (think those horrid Easter bonnets from the '70s), removing the crowns to intracept more horsehair to create cloches that would ride down around the ears. 
The art is correctly ironing horsehair to do your bidding. If you iron in you get a curve, if you iron out it flattens. Pull it remains thin, Push it widens. We had lots of catalog images from National Bella Hess.
If you are looking for a style of the late '20s, your going to be wearing a helmet, so the '30s are more attractive. 

We also learned plenty of trim techniques like making leaves using french belting & cloques.  I already have an idea of what I'm going to make with some organza & appliques.
After studying for my exams though!