A fascinator for bridesmaids

I made fascinators for my bridesmaids, because the sort I wanted had sold out from the shop, and also because I realised I could incorporate the symbols that were whirling around my crazed Bridezillarish mind if I did it myself.

The fascinators were based around an ivory rooster feather hackle pad, decorated with a trimmed bleached peacock feather, and green brooches, sourced through hours of searching on ebay. The decorations were mounted on wire headbands, and backed with green felt.

The peacock feathers symbolised Juno, goddess of wives, and the green brooches picked up the colours of the wedding.

I was asked by a friend to make one for her, as she liked it. Success! Someone liked them enough to ask for one!

My friend has dark curly hair, and would like something understated, and doesn’t like silver.

I have an eggshell hackle which is softer than ivory but would still stand out sufficiently against her hair. I have covered buttons with fabric, rather than a brooch – which would be more understated. One is larger and the button is covered with silver grey satin and pale pink tulle, with a dusky pink fabric rose; the other is small brown satin with pale pink tulle.

I have two pairs of choices, whether to choose a peacock feather in its natural or in a bleached state, and which button to use. I will keep staring at it until inspiration strikes. I’n inclined to think the solution is a natural peacock feather, but with a larger brown button.

Anna Katrina Zinkeisen

We went to the National Portrait Gallery today, and I saw a self-portrait of Anna Katrina Zinkeisen.  The label said that she had gone to the Royal Academy and won a Landseer scholarship.  She later became a muralist and seems to have specialised in paintings for transport, which seems like something of a comedown for an RA scholarship winner. During the second world war she worked in clinical and pathological drawings.  It is not surprising that in war she would have needed to turn her talents to the real and immediate needs of people, but I loved her self-portrait and felt frustrated if she was only ever able to turn her hand to transport advertisements after the war ended.

The self-portrait showed a mature, beautiful, composed woman in what looks like a blue nurse’s uniform, with a scarlet red lining showing at the collar, holding her paintbrushes, and with a St John’s Ambulance bracelet on her arm.  She looks as though she has been caught rushing somewhere, and there is purposeful movement in the painting.  Her hair is also brilliant, immaculately curled and set.  She named her self-portrait Anna Katrina Zinkeisen (Mrs Heseltine) as though she wanted both her identities represented.  Perhaps her marriage gave her strength.

I rather admire her for painting such a flattering picture of herself.  Art or food?  I suppose she chose food, both in terms of using her talent to make a living from the transport paintings, but also in terms of using her talent in the war in order to help the war effort.  I’m glad she found herself rather stunning.

(Originally posted on Posterous in 2011)