Well it is now nearing the end of November 2017 and only ten months to go before the Sherringham 40’s weekend again (it seems to come round so quick). This time last year mum was bemoaning that her fingers were getting too stiff to carry on with her millinery, little did we know that it wasn’t her fingers that were to stop all of that. I miss her every single day and it doesn’t seem like 10 weeks ago that she left us. Owen at Guy Morse-Brown emailed to say that the new hat blocks were ready and did I wish them to be posted or would I go and collect them. Now collecting them is fraught with danger for me as it places me in the direct view of all his new ideas, new crowns, blocks and little millinery ‘must haves’ which sit there as I enter his workshop and threaten to play havoc with my bank balance. However I was very well behaved! I collected what I had ordered but I also took down some ideas for next year and I did not succumb any further than that. I have just finished blocking on one of my new hat blocks and it has come out beautifully, he did a great job just from a photo.

Now there comes a time in a milliners life when you just have to learn a few new tricks. Today they call it upskilling. Some years ago I was given as a free gift, a lovely set of millinery flower tools but obviously didn’t have the first clue as to how to use them. So there they sat month after month and year after year gathering dust in the workshop but then BAM! an email wings its way through my inbox from the lovely Anni Stafford-Townsend in Bristol offering a silk flower making day. I duly enrolled and had Anni showing me how to stiffen, cut, soften, paint, wire and most importantly of all, use the flower tools! on Habutai and Dupion silks. Anni’s workshop is also her shop in Bristol and is a wonderfully chaotic and creative place to spend a whole day. I thoroughly recommend that you visit her little establishment.

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