Today’s blog is brought to you by a block of bees wax. This hat, modeled by Pam, comes later in the tale.
The story begins with these bees wax fabric food wraps. I got them from my friend, Elisabeth Bailey, the locally famous cook book author. If, like me, you lose sleep over plastic in the ocean, and are always looking for alternatives to disposable plastic, then you should contact Elisabeth and buy a pack of six for $28. You can message her on her Facebook Page.
You could use them to wrap up goodies from Rose Bay Scratch Baking, who are at the Lunenburg Farmers Market every second week. Best cranberry muffins ever.
I have been using them to wrap bits of cheese. The wax coating allows the fabric to hold the shape of whatever you wrap it around.
You might look at one of these wraps and say, “Cool beans”….and think no more on it. But for me, these little wraps inspired a whole new obsession. Now instead of losing sleep over plastic in the ocean I am losing sleep over the possibilities of waxed fabric.
Actually, this obsession with waxed fabric began when I saw these adorable waxed canvas bags in the window of Luvly in Lunenburg, last summer. They are made by the Antigonish Bag Company.
Thinking that waxed canvas would make a great hat, I went about searching the internet to see where I could buy this fabric. I didn’t have much luck. But one year later, when I laid my hands on Elisabeth’s food wraps it occurred to me that one makes waxed canvas. Aaaahhhh….a total V8 moment.
So, then I started watching Youtube videos to learn how to wax canvas and this led me to all kinds of red neck survivalist videos. Really quite entertaining. Basically, you melt beeswax, or any other kind of wax mixed with oil and paint it on the fabric. Then you take a heat gun and melt the mixture into the fabric. I haven’t tried it yet, but I did get to the part where I buy 7 pounds of bees wax from my neighbour, Jason.
Holy Queen Bee, does this stuff ever smell strong! It’s a wonderful, sweet smell in small doses, but 7 pounds of it in my little studio smells like an Avon convention. I had to wrap it in plastic bags. Oh, the irony of it all.
Well, back to the hat. I bought some cotton canvas, hand dyed it my favourite colour and designed a new cloche hat. It’s quite practical without being waxed, but for the next round I will go all the way. Once the hat is waxed it will be totally waterproof.
I’m not sure if you are with me on this image, but I see this as a survivalist flapper cloche…. or Glamping hat. I mean, why not? It is a rugged canvas hat, but it just happens to be beautiful. I know of no law that says you can’t be glamorous while being chased up a tree by a bear.
I’m particularly excited by this little rose.
I learned to make the rose from this book, circa 1925, from The Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences, Scranton, Pennsylvania. I’m pretty sure my sister-in-law, Amy, got me this book some time ago.
As we speak, I am dying a batch of canvas, periwinkle blue. You can be sure that I will let you know how my next hat, fully waxed, turns out.
In other news….there is life beyond the walls of my studio. Last Sunday morning I happened to be walking Lego while this beautiful tall ship, carrying the students from Class Afloat, was entering the harbour. The Bluenose was there to greet her. So much fun to hear the two schooners talking to each other.
I was standing next to one other local woman and we talked of what a gift it is to live in a town where this sort of thing happens all the time.
To be honest, I’m not really a festivities kind of gal. Mostly I love to work in my garden. (Finally found some Rugosa transplants to start a hedge)
And make pretty hats in my studio. But I do love knowing that all these grand things are happening here and every once in a while I roll down the hill and join the party.
If, however, you need to escape the hustle and bustle of a lively Lunenburg summer weekend, then come on up the hill a few blocks and come visit me in my studio at the back of town. If you time your visit right there will be strawberries….or raspberries….or blueberries….. but always hats.