A new Phoenix rises . . .

I received a commission late last year from a customer (whom I shall call Lady C), for a phoenix hat in purples and blues – the first of its kind in this color scheme, as up to this point I have only made this style in shades of red. After months of delay, this hat finally took flight and shipped out today.

Set against a deep purple wool background, this phoenix is crafted in a deep blue wool, which I padded for some added dimension. The wings are lavender leather and blue wool applique, held in place with navy yarn and silver cord. It has a cobalt glass beady eye : ) The hat is cuffed with a chocolate brown karakul, and has lavender linen lining and a silver-tone button at top. All materials in this hat are reclaimed except for the sewing thread and the silver cord.

Because this was “not the customary” custom order, I sent progress shots to Lady C to make sure my work was meeting her vision and expectations.

This hat has a beautiful and mystical back story …

A phoenix presented itself to Lady C in a dream, and when she said: “what is your name?” the phoenix replied: “rue de attar”. When Lady C returned from her dream, she googled the name and discovered a 13th century Persian Muslim poet – Farid Ud-Din Attar, commonly known as Attar of Nishapur.

Rumi, another 13th century Sufi poet, referred to Sheikh Attar as ‘the spirit’ and himself as ‘its shadow’, saying “Attar traveled through all the seven cities of love, while I am only at the bend of the first alley”.

Attar’s work, The Conference of the Birds is a poem he based on a passage from the Qur’an, where two men are said to have been taught the language of the birds. It is considered a significant work of Sufi literature. The work reminded me of the story of the Crow King and his Ministers from the Khalila wa Dimna – a 14th century Arabic fable that inspired my Three Crows Cap. So I was thrilled to bring yet another bird from literary legend to wearable art piece.

Thank you Lady C! I hope your new hat brings you more happy dreams and enlightening journeys …

Yreka!…

These are among the caps shipping out this week to Nature’s Kitchen – an organic bakery and gift shop in Yreka, CA. These are all hand sewn and crafted from recycled wools and found objects. (The tiger faux-fur is the only new textile in this grouping).

This trio of custom orders is for one of my collectors and is also scheduled to ship out this week. I hope you like them, Charlie : )

I’m still recovering from the killer cold I’ve had since January 5, but am back in the shop, catching up …

A Game of Duck Duck Goose …

For those of you who may have missed them, here’s a selection of custom and gallery works that I shipped out during Fall / Winter 2019:

Over the holidays, after the last custom orders have shipped and my galleries are catering to their customers, I turn to my ‘turn of the year’ tasks – updating inventories, photo collections, blogs, websites – mostly the mundane behind-the-scenes stuff that helps keep my business going.

It’s time I spend getting my “ducks in a row” for the fresh new year…

This year, stuff happened, timelines got skewed, and my focus shifted to family matters. My diversion over the last few weeks has been in building a family history blog to honor parents, now passed…

During that process I discovered how useful tags can be – they’re like the new Search Bar but more visual. As a result, I figured out how to add a tag cloud to my online store. I also tagged my best sellers and deleted styles that weren’t of interest according to my analytic tools. If your favorite hat got deleted, let me know and I’ll add it back in. I also updated my Portfolios to include recent custom works, and added my UPS / FedEx shipping address to my Contacts page. Give the page a whirl and see what you think!

I’ve now racing to catch up (hence the Duck Duck Goose analogy), including eight customers patiently waiting for their hats, and three galleries waiting for restock. Soup to make, taxes to prep, cats to pamper, and all the other little birds of-a-yellow-feather hiding in the corners. Perhaps my cats can help with that…

“…here, ducky ducky ducky…”