Interview and Feature with Debra Shirley

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FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY, I got to interview and write a feature on the extremely talented hat and fascinator designer, Debra Shirley. You all know who she is from my Victorian photoshoot I did last year, my Burlesque shoot I did last year, my recent article on her with my latest hat from her in the, “BLACK VEILED BEAUTY” article, and more. If you haven’t seen all those posts, click on her tag here or type her name into SEARCH here to see all the posts I’ve done on her. 

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Here is my interview that I did with her. I absolutely am in love with Debra and her talent!!

1. How did you get into making these gorgeous hats, fascinators, and head pieces?
1).  Princess Diana inspired my love of hats at the age of 10, when I borrowed a book on her from the library. She was so stunningly beautiful in all of the hats that she wore that I’m certain she seared my 10 year old brain into linking beauty with hat wearing.  It did not occur to me that I could design hats until I was studying fashion design in my 20’s. Whatever class that I wanted to take during the summer was full and I did not want to remain idle so I ended up taking a Millinery class to keep busy.  I quickly became enamored with the art, and the skills involved in creating came oddly natural to me.
2. How long have you been designing your art?
2).  I first studied millinery in the 1990’s, and soon after was able to start a full time job as a Milliner in a high-end Bridal Salon in Chicago, designing wedding veils and headpieces. As can sometimes happen with trying to earn a living, I lost focus on my true passion for hats and playful headwear. It wasn’t until 2014 that I decided to devote time and energy into creating hats and fascinators and getting them out into the world.
3. Did you teach yourself or take a class when you were starting out?
3).  Veronica Chin, a very talented Milliner at Burning Bush Millinery was my millinery teacher when I first started out.  I took millinery 1, and 2 which is all that the school offered. The school ended up adding a 3rd level class to its curriculum, because of the interest of myself and a few other students at the time.  I learned classic techniques such as blocking, pattern making, wiring and embellishing.  I took what I learned and expanded as much as I could. Each time you make a new piece you can learn from it.
4. What are your favorite events to create your fascinators and hats for?
4).  I love to create hats and fascinators for any event that a woman wants to dress up for and feel fabulous. That could be a day at the horse races, a polo match, a ladies luncheon or even a special photo shoot!
5. What’s your main source of inspiration?
5).  Inspiration can strike in various ways. One of my favorite ways to be inspired is to work off of the colors or details in a dress or favorite outfit. I like to pull the concepts out of the print of a garment and bring them to “life” in headwear, as if the hat is an extension of the outfit.  Sometimes I am inspired by a separate component or embellishment such as a flower or feather.  One piece can get me excited and I start looking for other pieces to go along with it, until the next thing you know, its a finished hat!
6. What’s the best compliment that you have received from a client?
6).  The best compliment that I have ever received from a hat client?  It doesn’t get any better than  “I felt so beautiful wearing your creation” the key word is “felt”. I love when women “feel” beautiful  in addition to looking beautiful.
Debra and I have developed a great relationship and I’ve probably said this before but I’m so extremely happy that I met her and have become friends with her. I hope to see her soon. I hope you enjoy her beautiful photos to give you an idea of what she can create and make sure to check out all her sites.
P.S: Thank you Debra, my talented fellow artist friend!
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Happy Valentine’s Day!

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To all the LOVERS out there, I want to wish you all a beautiful, romantic, sexy, and sultry Valentine’s Day! I also want to express my LOVE for all my friends and fans that I’ve met through my sites, blogs, and my social media. I want to thank all my supporters for being so great checking my work out, supporting it, as well as all the articles and performances and photoshoots I do. 

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HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY TO ALL!

Little Black Bats

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Alright I have done many many many articles on jewelry and accessories, especially unique jewelry that is handmade and/or you can’t find anywhere else. I got a brand new store and special friend that creates amazing handmade unique jewelry. Her name is Jenna Michals and her company is Little Black Bats which is such a cute name. I instantly connected with her and her work. Little Black Bats mostly makes Halloween, spooky, and magical inspired pieces but they also make fun and funny pieces as well. I’ll include the store information at the end of course.

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   I bought two pieces from Little Black Bats. The first one is my dark circus cluster necklace which reminds me of a spooky Alice in Wonderland piece.

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   The second one I bought was a my “DEAD BUT DELICIOUS” green and black necklace which the moment I saw it in Jenna’s shop I had to have it. It’s a quote from a brilliantly funny and spooky film spoof called, “What we do in the shadow” from New Zealand. (By the way, if you haven’t seen that movie, you MUST see it. I connected with my sister Suzy Owen who is also from there, and we both saw it together the same night, just on different sides of the world.)

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Here is how Little Black Bats got started. Hope you enjoy this article and you must check out Jenna and the shop:

“Little Black Bats was born out of frustration of needing a creative outlet. In the very beginning, I was making laser-cut acrylic jewelry, but soon after realizing it wasn’t the right medium for me, I changed gears and started working with shrink plastic. It gave me the freedom I was looking for to create, and three years later, the wheels haven’t stopped turning. I seek inspiration from everything—mainly music, movies, gothic and horror subcultures, medical oddities, and more.”

Another thing I adore about Jenna as a person and why I think we became fast friends is that we have a lot of important things in common, besides both liking spooky fun, stuff include that we’re both artists, we both believe in supporting artists, we both have a strong work ethic, and more. Definitely check Little Black Bats on all their social media sites and especially the store. You won’t be disappointed.

Little Black Bats pages:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/littleblackbatsjewelry/

Instagram: IG name: @littleblackbats

Etsy Store: www.littleblackbats.etsy.com

Hello Everyone

 

Hi everyone, I haven’t posted in a few weeks because I’ve crazy busy with work and my family but I will be returning shortly this and next week with some new awesome features, tips and tricks, reviews, and fabulous new photo shoots and collabs do stay tuned!!! Thank you to all my supporters and friends. 

Xoxo Carlie Michelle

instagram: CarlieMichelle66

Black-Veiled Beauty

Here is my latest millinery creation from Debra Shirley. She is so talented and I love owning and wearing her amazing hats and fascinators. I was wanting a black hat and something different than my other hats and the other pieces I have from her and what I got exceeded my demands.

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   This black hat has black feathers with hints of glitter that are just enough to add that extra glamorous flair without being too much or cheesy. The hat also has a fish-netted veil which I absolutely love. I’d always wanted a veiled hat and thought they were so classy and elegant when I would see them displayed in stores. I have an upcoming event which this hat will be perfect for.

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   Debra is so sweet and is a great communicator with her clients. She makes sure that what she is wanting to make you is exactly what you want. Debra always makes sure that her vision and your vision are the same. I’m very glad I met her and she has become a sweet friend to me. I know I’ve said this before in previous articles I’ve posted about her but I recommend her to anyone who wants a unique piece of art that you can wear. Stay tuned for my upcoming interview with her. If you haven’t seen my previous articles I’ve written on her or my photoshoots I’ve done with her hair pieces, definitely check them out. And of course check out her shop posted down below. You always feel beautiful the moment you put any of her fascinators and hats on.

 

https://www.etsy.com/shop/millineryetc

Video from Sonja Morgan to Me

Another fabulously stunning lady that I’ve gotten to meet is Sonja Morgan. Like my girl Bethenny Frankel, I’ve enjoyed Sonja since she first joined the cast of Real Housewives of New York years ago and you’ve already heard me write and talk about her fabulous clothing line. Here’s her video that was sent to me by her, courtesy of my wonderful mom over the holiday season.

  Both of these ladies have inspired me in different ways and posting their videos is a little thank you from me to them. I was going back and forth between whether or not to share my videos from her and Bethenny, hence why I’m posting both of them now instead of when they first sent them to me in December, but I was so happy and excited to get them and this is my site so why not share these with all of you that support me.  And thank you for that. Hope you enjoy both this and Bethenny Frankel’s video in the post before this one.

 

 

If you happen to have any questions about Sonja or this video, feel free to leave them in the comments.

Video To Me From Bethenny Frankel

   Ok you all know how much I love Bethenny Frankel. I’ve met her and corresponded with her many times and have loved her the moment she joined Real Housewives of New York almost twelve years ago and have enjoyed watching her and her business grow. Her daughter is absolutely precious and her brand is all around fabulous. I also support and have donated to her charity, B Strong which I’ve written a few articles about, including on here. Just type in her name in the search area.

   Over the holidays she sent me this beautiful and kind video courtesy of my mom. It was a  nice feeling to know that Bethenny remembered when she first met me at one of her book signings I attended about seven years ago. 

   This is very special to me and I hope you enjoy. If you happen to have any questions about Bethenny or this video, feel free to leave them in the comments.