I spent New Year's Day engaged in my traditional activity of updating my website. It's an exercise for both looking back and looking forward at the same time.
I took a break this spring and visited Chicago. The city scrapes the sky and seems to have a surprise at every turn. You can see some of my favorite shots on my Facebook page, including:
The Chicago Cultural Center which opened in 1897 as Chicago's first central public library. The interiors are modeled after two other palaces I have visited: the Doge’s Palace in Venice and the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. This building houses the largest Tiffany glass dome in the world. It's so spectacular that I visited it three times the week I was there.
The Armor Room at the Art Institute of Chicago houses a spectacular array of medieval and renaissance armor and weaponry, including two fully outfitted horses - one for combat and the other for tournament.
Art Above and Below which includes photos of the Tiffany atrium at Macy's. It was added to the building in 1907 and is the largest single piece of Tiffany mosaic in existence, as well as the first ceiling ever built with iridescent glass.
The Frank Lloyd Wright home in Oak Park inspired the hat at left, featuring leather applique patterned after one of the ceiling lights in his home (shown in the photo). This style is now available by custom order in my online catalog.
I took time out this fall to visit "Peacock in the Desert: the Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India" where I spent time studying the exquisite detail and array of textiles, jewelry, pavilions and animal trappings. The Seattle Art Museum was one of only two museums in the US to host this landmark exhibit. You can view my photos here and here.
This exhibit inspired me to experiment with padded embroidery, which resulted in another new addition to my custom catalog, shown at left. The motif is goldwork technique but executed in non-traditional materials, with bead accents and a shisha mirror at the center. I am currently working on a variety of leaf shapes in gold and silverwork which I plan to offer in my One-of-a-Kind catalog later this spring. Also keep an eye out for peacocks ...
Some designs take much longer to spill off my design table. But at long last, I am pleased to also offer Spanish Arches, inspired by wanderings around in Toledo in 2012. The hat is at left, the photos that inspired this hat can be found in this album. This hat is now available by custom order.
One update I wanted to make you aware of on my website is a change in payment options. I no longer accept credit cards directly through my website. You may continue to use your credit or debit card via the PayPal button at checkout. I also accept checks and money orders via the US Mail.
I want to thank those of you who bought hats through my website in 2018. A percentage of your purchases benefited World Kitchen, Planned Parenthood and Doctors Without Borders. You may continue to choose the beneficiaries of your web purchases from the drop-down menu on my check-out page. As an added bonus, if you made donations in 2018 to programs assisting refugee, homeless or hungry populations (food banks), send me your receipt or confirmation letter, and I'll give you 20% off any custom order you place between January - March 2019. Email me for further details.
My best wishes for all of you in this New Year. May it bring you all that you desire ...