I am thrilled to introduce the Markham headband, named in honor of Beryl Markham, the English aviatrix with the private life that Just.Wouldn't.Quit.
Born in England, her parents moved her to an African British colony when she was four. Beryl loved the outdoors and loved men even more, with a particular affinity for writers and thrill seekers ... with money. While she married three times (her third husband was the writer Raoul Shumacker), it was her lovers that were so darned interesting - Antoine St. Exupery (author of Le Petit Prince), and both Karen Blixen's husband Blor and Karen's lover Dennys Finch-Hatton. Beryl rejected Ernest Hemingway, but didn't get the man she really wanted: the one who taught her how to fly.
Don't let Markham's love life lull you into flying complacency, because in the end she was an ace pilot. She was the first female to fly west-to-east across the Atlantic (it took almost a full day to accomplish), was Finch-Hatton's personal pilot, and spent many years flying to far-flung places in Africa acting as messenger, taxi service, ambulance, supplies carrier, you name it.
Beryl led a full, unconventional first half of her life. During that time, there's a photo of her at a formal affair in which she wore a tiara. Now, a tiara wasn't quite what I had in mind for this book's purposes; nevertheless, it was that photo which inspired this headband. Worked up in Louisa Harding's Grace Handbeaded, this one skein project is quick and utterly gorgeous. Initially, the lace inset is worked (it's super easy), and then a square edging is worked; button/button hole tabs are added at the end.
I photographed this in the mechanical area at Kenmore Air, and somehow I think Markham would have totally approved of the mix of conventional feminine and the unconventional backdrop. Below is what's just behind and out of the shot's frame:
As I think you can tell, I had fun photographing these designs.
|See all that lovely bling?|
The beads are woven
into the yarn by hand.
I'll provide updates here as more online channels are added from which the book can be purchased. In the meantime, look for the next installment of design previews later this week, and do feel free to like Leather, Lace, Grit & Grace's Facebook page and/or follow its wee Twitter feed @LeatherLaceGrit.