Magic Top Hat

Magic Top Hat
DIY Felting

TopHat1B

The crowning glories that are hats, tiaras, barrettes, bows, hair ties, scarves, wreathes, and other head adorments! I love ’em.

Of all mainstream accessories, the hat has an impact beyond any other, revealing its wearer to be a Goddess or God.

I’ve been learning to felt, to make myself wool felt hats.

Above is the first top hat I made. Felting aside, it might be helpful to your creative process in general to know that after I finished the hat, it did not quite suit. But adding one more thing turned it into my magic Faerie top hat. So if you don’t like your designs, an addition might change that.

In my case, a button I’d designed was the right touch. (Plus I feel faaahhncy wearing a hat I designed ornamented by a button that’s also my design.) If you want to make buttons, I sent my graphics to excellent Deborah, who laser-engraved them on wood discs. Her shop is at https://www.etsy.com/shop/AlaskaLaserMaid

Okay, on to felting. The white fuzz on the hat is not fuzz, it’s glimmering strands called Angelina, which I worked into the wool. I couldn’t get a photo to catch the glimmer.

If you don’t know what felting is, you start with a relatively raw form of wool, such as roving. Basically, you aggravate that wool to form a flat felt sheet or to sculpt it into a shape such as a hat.

I wanted a wool top hat, but couldn’t find much online about felting a top hat shape, at least not anything viable in terms of my income or physical disabilities. Started experimenting and brainstorming. It worked, voilà top hat, I’m jazzed!

Here are a few of my steps. I hope they help you make a top hat. If you know basic needle felting and wet felting, and are adventurous in your creative process, what I figured out should take you a long way.

But first, another pic, because it shows a happy accident: the hat reminds me of one I saw in an old photo of a witch. I feel witchy!

FDG2016Tphat

I have a foam hat form meant for making hats by combining needle felting and wet felting. The form includes a crown form, a crown extender (in other words, it lets you create a higher crown), and—if you purchase it separately—a brim form.

The form’s crown and extender combined were not high enough for a top hat, but I started getting ideas. I asked Marie, who sells the form, if I could purchase an additional crown extender. The answer was no, because crown and extender are manufactured simultaneously. (But she did ask to see pictures if I figured out how to use the hat form to make a top hat. Marie, I hope you enjoy this blog.)

So I bought an additional crown form with its extender, figuring I might need both anyway to get a high enough hat.

This photo I took has nifty captions to make things clear:HatForm

For my first top hat—the one pictured and discussed in this post—I used two crown forms, one extension, plus the brim form. For my second topper, which I’ll blog about down the line, I used both crowns and both extenders.

Speaking of blogging, I made the hat in dec 2015, making notes for this post as I worked, but it took four months to actually finish this post. That’s not a bad thing. As a blogger, I had to learn that if I always posted about creating, I’d have no time to create. Have you had a similar experience? I’d love to know.

The crown form has a beveled edge on one side, if you want a curved top to a hat. I didn’t place the beveled edge at the top, preferring to use the flat edge there, because toppers tend to have flat tops.

However, that put the beveled edge in the body of the crown. The resulting crown creases a bit in that place, and I felt okay about that, since I wasn’t trying for a formal top hat. I enjoy organic shapes.

To buy a hat form and tutorial with full directions on using it, go to http://www.livingfelt.com. I’m sharing some basic instructions in the most limited manner, and only those that relate to what I figured out. (In any case, full instructions are probably Marie’s intellectual property, and I respect that. Marie, if I used anything you don’t want me to, please let me know.)

Once you’ve laid wool on the form, you are supposed to do a good amount of needle felting, aka repeatedly jab a multiply-barbed needle into the wool to aggravate it until it mats somewhat into felt. Here’s the partially felted wool, shaped into a hat, and still on the form:HatOnFormThen you’re supposed to remove the partially felted hat from the form. Since the felt isn’t strong yet, removing the hat has to be done carefully or it will rip. This is more the case making a top hat; it was challenging to remove such a tall shape without it tearing too much.

Next, you’re supposed to turn the hat inside out, put it back on the form, and needle felt again. I skipped that. Per my previous remark, repeatedly getting a high brimmed hat on and off the form was going to destroy the felt. Instead, I found other ways to needle felt inside. I did put the hat back on the form once, right side out, to needle felt more.

This pic shows the hat after needle felting but before wet felting shrank it. Yes, it was so big it swallowed my head:
TooBig

Before attempting a top hat, I’d made at least two hats on the form. A tall unwieldy crown might’ve been unmanageable without lessons I could acquire only by the hands-on experience of making smaller crowns on the form. (I’d made tall crowned hats by wet felting alone, but that’s quite different from needle felting on a form.)

In any case, the form is a good investment, because it is an inexpensive way to make all sorts of hats.

Let me know if this tutorial was useful, so I know what sort of tutorials you want.

I’m a freak for hats. Clothing is magic to me. Are you like me? Everything I come across in life seems to be a talisman or altar: pebbles, clothing, web pages, the kitchen table.

2015Nwsltr1

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Upcoming Direct Spiritual Transmission

LoveCalOpening to Love:
A Direct Spiritual Transmission
,
starting April 11, 2016.

You are held safely and securely in the branches of the World Tree, in a universe comprised of the Goddess’s Divine Love and all the gifts She wants to give you.

Receive a month-long direct spiritual transmission that supports your ability to open to Her blessings. The transmission helps you:

1) Let go of fear, ego-based goals, and other inner blocks that separate you from the Divine and Her beautiful gifts for you.

2) Live in service to the Goddess’s plan. Why do I want to help you do that? When you serve Her, you also put yourself in Her Divinely capable and immeasurably loving care.

3) Surrender to life and the Goddess. Why? Surrender allows the cosmos to make miracles for you. Surrender opens us to gifts from the Divine—love, wisdom, happiness, health, and more.

4) Trust Her love all the way down to your bones. She is a Pagan deity, so She wants you to enjoy life. Your trust helps your dreams come true.

Mrbld150BIf you don’t believe in the Goddess, the transmission will work in terms of whatever you believe is Divinely loving.

During the month, the spiritual transmission will happen five days of each week. Again, it starts April 11.

No need to attend an event, meditate, or do anything else. Just enroll for the transmission, and go about your business, while I do the work for you.

Receive! Scroll down to enroll: enter your phone number and pay securely with PayPal.


Please give your phone #.



* Upon receipt of payment, I’ll send you email confirmation of registration. No refunds.
* If you can’t afford payment, not to worry. Phone me to discuss scholarship, partial scholarship, or trade. 814-337-2490
* If you need more info, call 814-337-2490.

Mrbld150CNo experience needed. But even advanced practitioners are deeply impacted—for example, no matter how strong previous headway, it can be strengthened or regained.

A direct spiritual transmission is not a substitute for proper medical care by a trained physician, psychiatric counseling, or other therapeutic treatments. Participants are personally responsible for the consequences of their voluntary participation. This spiritual treatment is extraordinarily effective, but may not work for some individuals.

Relax into a loving world that cherishes you and brings you goodness and delight. Enroll for your direct spiritual transmission now.

HatFlw2

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Self-Worth

PrtctvDrgn2

Know your value. Do not give your time and energy away heedlessly or needlessly. Be a protective dragon, circled around a precious treasure—the gem that is you. You are the sacred child of Gods.

DragonNews

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My Marketing Bio

ASM4As a shaman, I support clients in everything from their love life to creative blocks to soul healing. This post demonstrates my ability to support your marketing.

Sell without selling out or burning out. Here’s proof my shamanic expertise combined with my business savvy can make your career successful. They created the following for me:

* I authored three best sellers.
* I indie produced a best-selling album of my music.
*How to Write a Book Proposal, a publishing industry classic by Michael Larsen, included an excerpt from one of my book proposals as an example.
* Guerilla Marketing for Writers cited me for my marketing savvy.
* The New York Times, USA Today, NPR, and Cosmopolitan featured my work.
* I scripted a TV segment produced by Barbara Walters, and I did not have to approach them to pitch to them. They found my website, which they liked so much they asked me to script for them.
* Most important credential: because I market my work well, it’s been able to help thousands of people. I feel blessed by that, beyond all measure.

SmYlwRctnglProfit from my abilities. Whether you express yourself as an artist, doula, or anything else, buy A Sacred Marketplace: Sell without Selling Out or Burning Out. It combines easy marketing tools with down-to-earth shamanism, to make your dream career a reality. Available only from the author at http://www.outlawbunny.com/order-your-ebook/

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Star Goddess Necklace

RegalNecklaceSmI guess it was inevitable my love of vintage jewelry would have me integrating vintage style metalwork into my wet felting and needle felting.

I needle felted merino top (yum, merino top is luxuriously soft) into stars by using star shaped cookie cutters, then wet felting a bit. Using more merino top, I made a tube bead to hang the stars from, plus some round beads.

Next came working out a design to integrate the metal work and some seed beads into a felted piece, which was more challenging than I’d expected, technically speaking, but a good lesson.

I call this piece “Star Goddess Trickster Necklace.” I hope it is fun and playful while also being stylish.

I’m enjoying felting myself pieces, and look forward to being good enough at felting to make felt talismans for my clients. When acting as a shamanic guide, I sometimes make charms for my clients, channeling a charm relevant to the specific issue(s) we’re working on together. Even when the clients can make charms, they find it useful to have someone else make one for them. Blessed be!

2015Nwsltr1

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Tech Paradoxes

My friend Michael Larsen sent me the essay below, thinking I might enjoy it. I more than enjoyed it: I think every person on the planet should read it. So, with his permission, I’m posting it here:

Byting Off More Than We Can Chew:
16 Paradoxes Created by Technology

1. The Internet simultaneously connects us to the world and isolates us.

2. The more tech fosters unity, the more it enables fragmentation.

MikeLarsen23. The more knowledge there is, the less we know.

4. We are in a state of information overload and information deficit simultaneously, and there’s nothing we can do about either.

5. The greater the amount of information available, the smaller the devices it goes through. Some day all knowledge will be available, but the device for accessing it will be too small to see

6. Tech was going to lead to paperless offices, but it generates more paper faster than any preceding technology.

7. However much good tech does, its potential for evil will always be greater.

8. The more powerful tech is, the fewer people there are who control it.

9. The more powerful tech is, the less power people have to control it.

10. The more powerful tech is, the greater its potential for diminishing the freedom and control of individuals and organizations.

11. The larger tech becomes, the more vulnerable it becomes.

12. The more tech serves us, the more we have to meet its needs.

13. The more tech empowers users for commerce, creativity, communication, and community, the more potential it has to control freedom.

14. Technology breeds frenemies; Amazon can be your enemy and your best customer.

15. The more tech increases productivity, the fewer workers there are who can buy what is produced.

16. The more time-saving devices we have, the less time we have. Someday, we won’t have to do anything, but we won’t have the time to do it.

Like climate disruption, tech disruption is a relentless, implacable, accelerating force unto itself. We embrace it for its benefits without understanding their consequences. Tech is driven by profit, competition, the need to grow and satisfy stakeholders, and an innovate-or-die pressure that force tech companies to be more concerned about profit than people or the planet, the essential sources of sustainability. The need for profit undermines idealism and makes the phrase “ethical corporation” an oxymoron. Tech disruption is as important as climate disruption, and we control both equally.

Mike Larsen is Co-director of:
* San Francisco Writers Conference: A Celebration of Craft, Commerce & Community www.sfwriters.org
* San Francisco Writing for Change Conference: Writing to Make a Difference www.sfwritingforchange.org

MikeLarsen

This essay is copyright Michael Larsen.

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A Sacred Marketplace Support Group

Update: This event has been rescheduled with a new day and time: we will meet every other Sunday, 4:00 pm est, starting mid-March. Full schedule is below.
————————————————-

A Sacred Marketplace Support Group

ASM4You could think of this as a combination support group and study group for my ebook,
A Sacred Marketplace:
Sell without Selling Out or Burning Out.
Mysticism + Marketing = Sales.

You can earn your living doing what you love for people you love. My ebook shows you how, by combining shamanic exercises with down-to-earth business know-how to make you a powerful entrepreneur. Draw on my shamanic expertise and business savvy; they created my three best-selling books and lifelong professional career as a shaman.

SmPnkWhen the group meets:

* Questions and discussion about the book’s material are welcome.

* Receive lessons tailored to you: I share my marketing expertise, while also giving intuitive guidance, both customized to your situation. Example of intuitive guidance: I might show you your inner blocks to successful marketing or prosperity, and how to heal them. Examples of marketing input: you might be given ideas to successfully promote your particular project or break through your current dilemmas.

* I give direct spiritual transmissions that augment your ability to serve community in the career of your choice.

You do not need to read the book before enrolling. You’ll have plenty of time over the course of the support group, to read the book between our meetings.

An easy pace: we meet seven times over three-months, so no rush. Instead of worrying about how to accomplish career goals, you enjoy supportive meetings. They are every other week—to fit into your schedule.

SmPnkWeeks we don’t meet, you receive a boost by email: words of inspiration to keep you going.

Readers tell me they’re having great results from A Sacred Marketplace. The book rocks! And it requires no additional instruction to provide its amazing benefits. Yet, here’s a chance for even more benefits, by combining personal support with the book.

For both newbies and successful marketers.

SmPnkNuts and bolts:

* Seven group meetings by phone. To participate, just dial the phone from anywhere. Your usual long-distance charges apply, and appear on your phone bill. The event’s area code is a U.S. #.

* We meet every other Sunday, from 4:00 to 5:00 pm EST, starting March 20.

* Reserve Sunday June 19, same time, for a makeup session in case I’m unavailable for one of the planned sessions.

* Upon receipt of payment, your place is reserved, and event phone #, etc., emailed to you. If you need more info, or want to discuss scholarship, trade, or payment plan, call 814-337-2490. No refunds.

SmPnk Scroll down to enroll: If you already have the e-book, choose the second payment option in the drop-down menu. Enter your phone number then pay securely by clicking the PayPal button.


Choose one of the following:
Please enter your phone number




FDG2015BAcclaim:

“I have always found Francesca to possess a rare combination of creativity and marketing savvy … What is most impressive is her fundamental humanity, her determination to make a difference in the world—and to do it with spirit, wit, and insight.”—Mark Chimsky, Editor in Chief of Books, Sellers Publishing

“Her insightful research in anthropology led to her innovative work in the modalities of spiritual healing.”—S.S. Kush, Professor of Anthropology

As a super independent marketer, I want to help you market with your own style, in a relaxed self-caring way. For artists, coaches, and you. Support yourself—the whole you. Enroll now.

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Beauty Right Now

When do we not share our beauty? When do we withhold beauty from ourselves? Beauty takes many forms.

Beauty is not just on the mundane plane, but I want to start there:

Do you ever save up beautiful items until it’s the “right time to use them” but the right time never comes? For example, make a lovely quilt that you never display on wall or bed? Or buy gorgeous beads that sit in a drawer forever while you use beads you like less? Or be given a beautiful scarf that would look perfect on you, but you have not worn it?

I do that sort of thing, sometimes, though not as much as when I was young. I was thinking about it just now as I was looking at this mobile I made last year:

Mobile1Sm

I’d bought beautiful metal pieces to make jewelry with and, no longer making jewelry, I’d let the gorgeous metalwork sit in a box. So I decided to make a mobile out of all sorts of things that I was waiting for “just the right time” to use.

It was an interesting exercise, because I used the pieces in the mobile that, until that point, I’d considered too special to use in a mobile.

Now I have a special mobile blessing my home. When I look at the mobile, it gives me a sense of peace, healthy self indulgence, and self-care.

I couldn’t get great photos of it, so you can’t see, for example, how much the crystals sparkle, or the radiance of the pearl-like shell. But the following two pictures of details show a bit. The first one shows some of the beautiful metalwork I allowed myself to use, among other things:

Mobile2S

The second picture shows three gorgeous bells that had just been sitting in a drawer. My mobile bells ring out:

Mobile3Sm

Today I was thinking about hoarding beauty on the less material plane. When do I—or you—not share beauty? Eg, refrain from giving a smile to a weary coworker whose desk we pass? Or refrain from online posting a picture of something beautiful we’ve made because we lack confidence or think no one will care? Or not think to give an extra blanket we have to someone who is homeless? Yes, these three examples play out on the material plane, but they are partially about spirit, including spiritual beauty.

Beauty takes many forms.

When do we withhold beauty from ourselves, eg not adding that little bit of grape juice to our glass of water so the water becomes yummy and has added electrolytes?

My prayer today is: My Gods, you’ve surrounded me with beauty. Help me draw on it right now, instead of waiting until “I’m ready.” Help me share the beauty I am, instead of waiting until “the right time” or until “I’m beautiful enough.” Help me support others to find and share beauty. Thank you.

2015Nwsltr1

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Patience with Wet Felting

Patience with Wet Felting
And the Oddities of an Artist’s Life

Here are two felt vessels made in 2015:

TwoVessels

The small one especially pleased me, because my pieces were too often falling short of my visions, but the small vessel came closer. I only started felting in 2015, so I guess it just takes time and patience. My pieces more and more are really starting to be what I want.

I made the smaller vessel by wet felting around a small rubber half-sphere:Brst

A friend sent me the rubber breast, which seemed strange until I learned the reason: My friend mailed me a Yule present. The place where my friend bought the gift also sells the wee breast to raise money for cancer research, so my friend had one added to the present.

OK, maybe it is strange nonetheless that my friend sent me a breast. But no stranger than my creative process: I’m always looking for things I can wet felt around; it was inevitable I’d eventually try to wet felt around the breast, LOL.

I bought the wool for these pieces from wonderful Marie at http://feltingsupplies.livingfelt.com

The wood piece on the larger vessel is a talisman. I drew a bird, which I commissioned the amazing artisan Deborah to laser-engrave on a piece of wood. Her shop is at https://www.etsy.com/shop/AlaskaLaserMaid

I imbued the bird with magic as i drew it and again after I received the wooden piece from Deborah. I use the felt pieces I make for shamanic purposes.

Patience and a rubber breast. Life is full! I am happy to have my new vessels on my altar.

2015Nwsltr1

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I Wish You …

2015WishSmI wish you a wonderful winter season.

May you get enough rest.
May you get enough fun.
May you stay true to yourself.
May the hearth fire burn bright within your home and your heart.
May the Divine love that flows through the World Tree embrace you, empower you, heal you.
May you know the beauty that you are and the beauty that is the dark winter months.
Blessed be.

BotmBevldNwslter

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