Wednesday, August 8

dabbling with doilies...

this past weekend it was tres hot. i do not fair well in tres hot weather and thus i wilted. upon hearing from my adopted auntie i now realize there is a term for such occurrences in one's body's reaction to extreme heat.  i had become a slug, a slug with an extremely frizzy coif. as i lay in my slug like existence on the floor with fan pointed directly at my clammy body, a thought came to mind. surely upon all surelies, this sort of heat is tres peachy for making doily bowls. i was overcome with a sudden urge to discard my slug like behaviour but alas, i did not have the strength. so i hatched a cunning plan, laying there, fan blasting away and sounds of the olympics coming from the other room where my man was not in a slug like state but very alert and active for one who had turned 45 that day, i noted.

a little squiffy
my cunning plan involved waiting till dusk, temps lowering somewhat to a point where i could lift my limbs once again. i mustered all i had, i knew i had no choice for now was the time to strike if ever a doily bowl was going to be made. i looked deep inside of me and i channeled my inner olympic athlete, (the one who just sitting on the couch watching telly a few days prior, suddenly got a foot cramp observing the track events). with all my strength i hurdled over the 'hop hop hop' board at the bottom of our stairs (to keep pesky short legged doggies from being pesky to cats upstairs), i took the flight of stairs at a speed a slug could only dream of and then a tight lefthand corner to my ransacked studio (reason for ransacking-ness will be revealed at a later date). there i rummaged around for willing doily victims and headed back downstairs to the kitchen to perform the doily deed. i marveled as i stood by the kitchen island, (once again trying without success to tame back the growing frizz a-top with a million bobby pins), how athletic i could be when overcome by the desire to dabble with doilies...

after a happy while, i took my doily bowl outside and placed it perfectly where i knew the hottie in my yard,  Mr Sun, would do his thing the following morn (please see below if you wish to know the nitty gritty of how i made my doily bowl). i went to bed with my fan (the plug in sort, not the other) and the very next day whilst overcome once again by slug like ways i very patiently waited for Mr Sun to do his thing. by the afternoon with mid 90 temps my doily bowl was cooked! not only cooked but upon inspection i noted it looked suspiciously so much more than just a doily bowl. it could if i so wished become a hat of sorts. i was a little wary to try this out for fear of my frizzy bonce getting caught in the stiff lace and a terrible scene would ensure where my man would have to take the scissors to the whole frightening entanglement and i would be left without doily bowl and without frizzy tresses. so my maturing years of wisdom told me "do not try this Tif". however what they did tell me to try, was making it in to a lamp. without further a-do i did. carefully i snipped a little cross in the base of the bowl, threaded through my handy dandy cord and plug set thingy-me-jig and then using a spiffy colour of thread, did a few natty stitches to keep it all in place. 

natty stitches doing their thing
now some may think it wise to find the center of your bowl before snipping, and i believe that is wisdom well used. i did not, therefore my 'doily bowl soon to be lamp shade' had a jaunty little angle thing going on. instead of weeping, i embraced its odd squiffy charms. after which i carefully stitched a short crocheted edging around a bit of the rim and added a rather lovely tag made from some rather lovely ribbon found out and about on a thrifty pottle the week before.

little crocheted edging stitched in place by hand
rather lovely tag made from a rather lovely second hand ribbon find
thinking safety first, i used a low energy light bulb and hung my 'dabbling with doilies' lampshade up, stepped back, and marveled at not only the fact it looked rather peachy but i had managed all that craftiness even in a slug like state.

how marvelous

nitty gritty of doily bowl making

1. i am quite sure there are 'how-tos' on youtube or around the crafty online community which might be worth a ganders first. other folks may use something more sturdy for stiffening the doilies

2. find a pile of old doilies, i used lightweight ones. cover a kitchen chopping board in foil. find a large bowl and cover in cling film (surround wrap) and place upside down on your foil covered board

3. using concentrated liquid starch, pour some into a shallow bowl. take one doily at a time and soak it in starch. be sure to really work the starch liquid into the lace. squeeze out liquid and drape over bowl. continue to add more doilies in this way, layering them over each other, smoothing them out as you go. when you are happy with your doily placement, double check there are no areas of doily which missed the starch solution.

4. place your doily bowl somewhere safe to dry, if Mr Sun isn't shining it could take several days to harden. do not be impatient, it is tres important it is completely dry. after which slowly and carefully ease off your doily bowl from the cling film and if any areas on the inside are not quite dry, leave a little longer.

5. starch can dry flaky, if this is the case, just blow on the odd bits and they should come off. as i said before, i am sure others have perhaps found better liquids to use.

6. leave as-is, perhaps stitch on a few bits here or there. or you can do as i did, make it into a hanging lampshade but do think of safety issues here and you may choose not to put a low energy bulb in but just hang it by a nice thread as a 'faux lampshade' :)