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Jeeves & Wooster lampshades / Hat of the Day – late 1700s straw bonnet with yellow plaid trim

April 1, 2010

I ran across this website a while back and thought these Jeeves & Wooster lampshades, inspired by P.G. Wodehouse’s novels, were brilliant (no pun intended).  While not cheap, these bowler and top hat fixtures (which are fire safety approved – don’t try to make these yourself lest you burn down your house) add a touch of whimsy and a great conversation starter to any room.  You can purchase them here for just under £200.00 (ouch).

Jeeves and Wooster lampshades from


Hat of the Day Sketch

I really need to print copies of modern millinery so I can take it to my drawing station, which is nowhere near my computer.  Sigh.

So until I do that, today’s HOTD is another historical hat!  Surely you won’t be disappointed, though, because it’s a gorgeous spring straw bonnet with a yellow, sage green, and black stripe plaid ribbon trim, ca. 1795-1800.  I just bought some Prismacolor watercolor pencils and tried them out on this sketch.  I like them but they don’t have the spontaneity of traditional watercolors.  You should also make a color chart ahead of time so you know what the color will actually turn into once wet, as the color of the pencil isn’t true to the final watercolor.  These pencils would be ideal for field sketches, though, where you could capture the colors at the moment and then flesh them out with water when you get home.  No mess, no drying time, easy transport.  They’re also best for small illustrations as it takes 5 times longer to cover the surface with pencil than paint.  I felt like a kid again when I painted the water on top of the pencil because it felt like the coloring books we used to have with the color dots that turned into paint when you added water.  Very fun.  In fact, watercolor pencils would be great for kids for this very reason, especially younger kids when you might want to control the mess.

I must admit that I felt like Beatrix Potter doing this illustration, not only because it has the feeling of her drawings to me, but also because of the self-contained nature of the watercolor.  Just in time for Easter and spring.  Perhaps Jemima Puddleduck could be seen wearing today’s HOTD….

straw bonnet with yellow plaid trim, ca. 1795-1800

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