Monday, February 20, 2012

Feather Hair Clips

I just finished reading Jane Eyre, and I couldn't put it down.  Time to cross another book off my list!  Jane, the main character, is a woman of simple taste.  She is content to wear her plain, handmade black dresses.  Adele, the French girl she cares for, lives for the lace, pearls, and roses adorned by the women of society that visit the estate.  I loved reading about the women in their flowing silk gowns with dainty lace gloves and fresh flowers tucked in their curls.  Those paragraphs saturated with elegant details inspired me.  I played around with some of the pretty treasures I've been collecting and came up with these little hair clips.

A few months ago, I found an unopened bag of gorgeous dyed leather scraps at Goodwill.  Flowers and leaves cut from the scraps serve as a base for the barrette.  I sorted through vintage buttons until I found a few that went well with the leather.  A glass wine decanter on my bookshelf has been slowly filling with buttons.  Whenever I see old buttons at thrift stores and estate sales, I bring them home to add to the collection.  I just can't help it; its like a compulsion.

I rummaged through the overflowing basket in my studio filled with scraps of lace, ribbon and beads. With careful consideration, I matched up bits of lace and ribbon or loops of gold thread and tiny faux pearls.  The hair clips didn't yet feel complete, I so attached a few feathers for texture.  With the feathers, they have a new look: a wispy, delicate feel.

To me, it feels like an accessory from one of Degas' beautiful paintings of ballerinas with a little burlesque edge.  I usually pile my curly hair up on my head in a bun, so I can see myself wearing one of the barrettes often.  It will be a great way to add some "I put effort into looking good this morning" without too much work.

All the materials in these barrettes are second hand except for the actual metal hair clips.  The supplies I used are all leftovers, either from Goodwill or handed off to me by friends and family.  I am so happy with the results.  Working with found materials is much more challenging than running to the store to grab new supplies.  In my mind, its harder to be inspired by what you have on hand than what you can find at a craft store.  Its also much more fulfilling.

Also, don't you love the mirror?  The H stand for 'Hatter' because it was part of an accessory line for the new Alice in Wonderland movie.  When it finally went on clearance at Toys R Us, I brought it home to sit on a try in my guest bathroom.  I like to think the H stands for Heather now. :-)

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