Wednesday, February 10, 2010

the milliner in me & a $2 find ..

i used to make hats .. i started making them back in the early 90s .. and then got into it heavily after the movie Howards' End in '92 .. loved the costumes in that movie ..

i have been sorting through my life in pictures .. and locating pictures of all sorts of things .. places we used to live ..shows we used to do .. the many ways our booth used to look (i used to take pictures all the time) .. and some of the things we used to make or have found. ..

so i found these pics of some of the hats i have made .. i used to wholesale some of them to a lady in dallas who said she was selling them to barneys .. i never knew for sure, but it always thrilled me that it could be ..

this one had hand pleated fans on a straw base .. it was created for a summer wedding .. the veil was detachable .. and trimmed in the same vintage silk as the fans and band .. where the crown meets the brim i accented it with a strand of vintage pearls ..

this one was also silk .. i used two colors .. one bronze and one cream .. the picture is a little faded .. but, the underside of the brim is pleated and gathered ..all of this is hand sewn ..

the feathers used in all my hats were vintage ..

this was one i was most proud of .. it is worked on a vintage felt base ..and i made it to go with a vintage edwardian tea gown i had purchased .. it has vintage pheasant feathers, egret feathers, ostrich feathers, wings and tulle and vintage ribbons ..

i love the way it looked with the dress .. i ended up selling the hat long before the gown.. in fact i still have the gown .. packed away in a box .. though it has deteriorated ..
i just thought i would share these things with you ..

also wanted to share this ..

back in the late 80s - before internet .. rod and i stopped at a warehouse sale on the edge of town .. it was a huge cold storage warehouse and the man running the sale also owned an antique shop on the other side of town .. among the vintage linens and dusty oak dressers and tables there was a large painting propped against the wall .. it was huge .. and though i don't remember the exact size .. i do remember that we had an old 1971 chevy impala .. and it barely fit in the trunk of the car .. by a mere fraction .. the sides of the frame were grazing the opening of the truck .. it was huge .. anyway, there was a piece of masking (sorry robelyn) tape .. it was marked $2.00 .. i turned to the guy and said "is that 2 or 200?" .. he said .. "oh, it's torn (which it was) .. so just 2 dollars". .. ok .. we'll take it .. so fast forward to 2010 .. i find the pictures of the painting and notice the painting is signed .. Richard Newton, Jr .. and he is worth thousands .. however, we did sell the painting at Canton the weekend after we found it .. we sold it for $1200 and that was in the late 80s .. so i think we did pretty good .. but still there is a bit of me that wishes i had held onto that painting .. but we can't keep it all ..
by the way .. keep watching .. i am uncovering some great photos of things we have found through the years ..



  1. Troy, you are a man of many talents and that painting, wow. You made an awesome profit on it!!

  2. masking tape? what's that? heehee
    I'll forgive you this once due to the fact that HELLO!!! You rock!!! I love that story!!! The painting is pretty cool!!!

    And the hats...those are gorgeous!!!! This is fun - keep it comin'!!!
    ;-) robelyn

  3. Troy, these are wonderful...I used to make hand made cards with ladies in these type of hats....sometimes I pulled apart old feathered hats and others (dstroyed ones) to use the materials on my hand made was good therapy.

    Im thinking about scanning the cards and posting them...but they lose soeothing when scanned.

    anyway love the hats in your post!


  4. The hats are amazing! You are so talented. Love that you made such a good profit on the paining...wish we could keep it all, but you are right we can't!

  5. Ohh your hats are simply divine!! I love your pics.. you are amazingly talented

  6. Awww, back in my other life I wanted to grow up to be a Hat Maker... (O:
    You did some awesome creations and aren't you glad you took and kept pictures. I'll be watching for the rest of your finds...and signed pictures for two bucks!

  7. You can truly do everything!
    You should make hats for the Kentucky Derby or Ascot. :-)

    That's a GREAT story about the painting! Better than any American Pickers episode, for sure!