Saturday, July 08, 2006

Window Treatments

When planning window treatments for french doors and transome window, it is important, if you have a lovely view, to enhance such view, rather than have the window treatment block or compete with the view.

Or just chose your drapery to compliment your cat.


Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 07, 2006

Millinery: A Travel Hat in Blue

Last week I ordered four "hoods"
(unblocked hats) from Leko. And today I went to town making my parasisol straw hats!

First step: Dunk the hood in a plain gelatin pack/1 qt. boil water mixture as a sizing.
Second step: In this case, with the blue hat, I pinched it flat, in layers, and then ironed it while it was still damp.
Third step: Decorate! (Recognize the trim?)
Fourth step: Hem the brim edge.
Fifth step: Put in a label (darn, I'm all out of labels!)
Sixth step: Wear to the store.
Seventh step: Blog all the fun!
This hat can be worn SO many ways! I want a peach colored one.
Tomorrow I'll show you what I did with the other hats!
And isn't Joan wonderful?

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Millinery: Joan At Work

A white shantung silk Daphne styled hat, with satin rose.

A three part black velveteen oversized beret, trimmed with heavy black lace, iridescent black beading and painted silk butterfly. Peach satin lining. This was the first hat I made in millinery class. Everyone at home laughed until it was seen heading down the runway in a fashion show. The runway spots made it unbelievable! Posted by Picasa

My hat room sewing area. Joan is wearing a Cotton print Daphne with a three minute rose trim and ombray navy ribbon hat band.

Millinery: Introducing my assistant "Joan".

She just arrived from ebayland yesterday.
Isn't she perfect? Her eyes are so life like, her eyelashes elegantly curled, her lipstick a fresh tulip pink. And her taste in eye shadow...turquoise and toast. Bliss!

I have been trying all my hats on her, a retrospective pasttime, with all the good vibes and enpowerment that I last felt as a girl child dressing up my dolly.

I remember the first doll I had as a child.

I named her "Joanie". I have no idea why she had that name. She had blue eyes that opened and closed, a soft stuffed plastic body, and wire-like red-brown longish hair, done ala "Lucy", curls as a bang and top notch, and the rest of the hair was long and ended in curls at her shoulders.
Joanie had a GREAT wardrobe, Grandma sewed swell stuff!
She even had a bonnet hat!

Assistant Joan is looking fine in all my hats. She looks sultry in cocktail hats, innocent in fabric hats, condescending in brims. Watch for her in future blogs...and possible modeling my hats on ebay!
 Posted by Picasa


My hero Erin McKean over at Dressaday gave a nod to
with Rowena's online dress pattern. AND...Rowena shared what to do with a big ol' "on sale for two bucks" plain tee shirt: Make it into a skirt.

That's right, just stretch out the collar, sew the sleeves closed, and slip that puppy on!
As Rowena put it: The pocket form a cowl-like shape at the hip (like i need more hip cowlage).

I used a XXL tee that was handily available, stretched the neck out, stitched the sleeves closed, ran an iron over the sucker and bob's your uncle, I had a new skirt just perfect for a quick trip to the post office, dry cleaners, and grocery store. The former breast pocket is the perfect size for parking my cell phone, and the side pockets were handy for sunglasses, keys and other "at the ready" stuff!

Unbelievably comfortable.

Rowena made her "shirt-skirt" from a bright green tee. Wonder how stripes would work? Or one with printing? I'd have to be careful what the shirt said in back, as it would be read right across the "beam".

Pictures are of the back and side.
In case you wonder: My waist is about 33 inches. Imagine how cute this would be on someone who successfully watched their weight!
Posted by Picasa

Recapping the 4th

I took a few days off...but I'm back in the ergonomically correct computer desk saddle again.
The Fourth of July was a blast. I decorated the entry table, and the front yard (see pictures). Just a light touch compared to last year when we had a huge brunch and even the chandeliers got festive!

Bernie, Jeff and I blew up stuff twice-a "test run" on Friday night, and then Armageddon on the actual day. My hardest laugh of the year is always delivered courtesy of late teen males chasing each other through a vacant field firing roman candles at each other. This year a guy slipped and fell, his friend raced up and shot him as he lay. Hilarious!

Later I had a rocket zoom by just inches from my nose, the orange color and zinging sound was so invigorating! I jumped pretty far for a middle age gal. I truly feel sorry for people who haven't experience such unbridled and irresponsible firework mayhem. It is absolutely the best!

The Kingwood parade (which comes after the kid's fishing derby and bike decorating contest) is perfect. Home grown floats. One entry was the Kingwood "All-Girl Family Association" float, a flat bed truck done up in pink balloons and little girls in pink tee shirts, hair in a pony tail and BIG hair bows, and a huge sign reading "Daddy's Girl". Awww...cute!

Every car or float was tossing something; water bottles, candy, even frisbees. And then one truck came by and was tossing out rainbow striped popsicles. The little guy in front of us got one. He gleefully showed his mom, and then stuck it into his "goodie" bag, and went right back to viewing the parade, mindful that more goodies might be tossed at any second.

I had to laugh as his mom told him that he did need to eat that treat *right now*, as it would melt! See him in the next picture. Isn't he cute? And don't you just love the little patriotic hair bows on the girls?
Yes, life as it should be in America, right here deep in the heart of Texas!
Make plans NOW to come visit us next year! Yee haw!

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 02, 2006

You...and you. Part 2

Ever read Ellen Goodman? She is a columnist for the Boston Globe, and on July 2, her editorial was entitled "If you're 'outsourcing' friendship, you're not alone"

Apparently she and I had the same "mull" this past week: The Duke University study entitled Social Isolation in America.

That was the study I blogged about last week, the one that noted that most people now have only two people in their lives with whom they discuss important matters.

In it she decried those who have outsourced their "friendship" (those with whom important things are discussed) to "professional therapist, and, gawd help us, talk shows".

She also noted, as did I, that technology has changed the way we used relationship time. And that people are increasingly both in-touch and isolated.

Goodman observed:

"It's become easier to keep extensive relationships over time and distance but harder to build the deep ones in our back yard. In the virtual neighborhood, how many have substituted e-mails for intimacy, contacts for confidants and Face-book for face to face?"

The truth as I see it is that drop by/over the fence relationships are rare (although I DO have a lovely neighbor family who do actually drop by with their too-cute-for-words year old son.) Most people that I know would very seriously hesitate to just "drop by" to discuss/explore what is on their mind, for fear of throwing a wrench into a presumed tightly compressed daily agenda.
Most will no longer make a phone call either. If they do call, and actually get someone, they often apologize for calling, saying they meant only to leave a message.

There are those who will routinely drop an email with cute animal pictures, pretty thoughts, or earnest warnings of dire scenario, with nary more than a four word intro such as:

"This is really funny!"

A few other people attempt to keep the warmth of friendship at a pleasant glow via emails and cards with this level of intimacy:

"How r you? We r fine. The weather is hot. We went to my cousin's baby's b-day party. They had cake and ice cream. We are really busy, so I'd better go".

(Reading such missives puts me into a time warp, sending me back to elementary school letter writing units, reliving memories of struggling to end the letter. Is it "sincerly" or is it "sincerely" or "your's truely/truly? A ticklish problem, thank Word for spell check.)

The fact that such notes are sent at all keeps us in a finger touch of relationship.

Delightfully, a few friends are able to express themselves brilliantly in writing. I experience the fervor of their joys, the anguish of their trials, and the haunting heaviness of their relational or career enigmas. It is a joy to read their considered thoughts as an electronic elixir which is splashed before me only after they have refined the mix of phases, words, spacing, and font, in order to convey that which they have edited, rethought, and now wish to entrusted to me.

They write fully, and deeply. And mercifully, by expressing themselves electronically, they do not have to regroup against blurted comments or unguarded facial expression from me. Written response are more thoughtful, as an outcome of allowing the time for choice words and phrases to form. It may be minutes, or hours, or a day or two before the right words are sent back. But the words and phrases, and the friendship is often much richer than could or would expressed comfortably face to face.

I will be e-mailing Goodman about her suggestion that email is a substitute for intimacy. Email is what you make it. The level of intimacy always floats with the level of communication. If the ability to discuss important matters is the definition of intimacy, then shouldn't it be the communication, and not the media, that counts? Posted by Picasa