Friday, July 14, 2006

Millinery: How the purple block came out: It's The Berries!

This may look simple, but it was not.
It took a couple of tries to get it right, as I struggled with brim issues, and silk too fine to hold a swirl, but here is the finished product.

It is made from an eggplant colored parasisol straw hood, first blocked on a profile block, then low rise crown block, and finally the tip was re-blocked for more rise. Brim is hand shaped.

Hat band is hand dyed (not by me!) china silk.
The ribbon store owner requested they not be identified.
Wonder what THAT is all about.
The rest from Leko.

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Millinery: A trip to buy ribbons

Yes...I did go nuts.
And yes, it does add up.
Wonder if it might be cheaper to just become a drunk?
Then I could to AA meeting, and they are free.
There aren't any RA (Ribbon Anonymous) groups.


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Don't you just love Myrtle?

Myrtle is everywhere! Crepe Myrtle that is...she is blooming at every intersection, around every parking lot, and is frolicking down the parkway on the road out of Kingwood.

I keep trying to stop on the streets to take Myrtle pictures where there is no parking available. Not everyone appreciates a flower freak hanging out of a car window, blocking traffic. I wonder how people could NOT want to stop and stare at all this beauty along with me!

Crepe Myrtle comes in white, pink, lavender, deep rose, grape, and fuchsia. The south's version of lilac, but sadly, without the scent.

Myrtle does have more than one "party piece" though: After she does her tulle prom dress turn in summer, she steals the show again in autumn, clad in her blazing golds and apricot colored leaves.

And she is not afraid to appear in the nude winter her bare limbs are a smooth pinkish gray with lovely subtle colors splashed about as accent tones.

She also adds brown jingle bell shaped pods to her finger tips, just in time for the holidays.

She sheds her bark as she grows in lovely curls of rusty brown, and is frequently spangled with anoles, bright green colored lizards that pose on Myrtle's limbs, secure that they have found a perfect setting for their tropical reptilian selves.

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There is a new park in Kingwood, that is, new as in developed last year. I kept meaning to visit it, but was always too busy.

Yesterday I decided that "busy" was going to mean going to the park and taking pictures.

The park has a semi-circular path, and along the path are benches with trellis on the sides and over the top, designed to provide shade.

These passion flowers were twining up and over the benches, scenting the air with the most seductive perfume imaginable. I could imagine sitting down and never being able to leave the magical mesmerizing colors and fragrance.

The flowers have a secret: The under side of each flower has its own magic: The stamen is orange yellow when seen from behind, and the sepal and petals are arranged in an alternating purple/green/purple/green

I love flowers with a secret surprise. And if it wasn't for the fact that it is in the low 90's in that park, I think I would find a lovely lavender and green gown and a purple hat to wear, and I would go sit on one of those benches and write poetry.

It is so beautiful there, I'd bet the poems would just write themselves
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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Millinery: General Andrew Jackson weighs in.

This felt roll brimmed hat was purchased without trim in New Orleans in December 2000. It was perfect to wear in the foggy wintery coolness of that lovely town.

As it was nearly Christmas during our visit, the town had actors strolling around dressed as historical characters that had lived in New Orleans in the past.

As luck would have it, General Andrew Jackson was taking a morning walk when Bernie and I were out early, sight seeing. I was wearing this hat, as it was purchased, without a single bit of decoration yet added.

General Jackson paused upon seeing us, tipped his hat to me, and said in a decided tone:

"Madam, my compliments on your chapeaux".

And continued on his way.

I didn't even get a chance to inform him of the fact that we lived on "Old Hickory Street", (we resided in Dallas area at the time.)

Nor did I have the opportunity to tell him that my husband's great- great-great grandfather served as a dragoon under his command in the War of 1812.

The General looked in fine fiddle clad in his uniform, and I hope he fared well during the last bout of unpleasantness that troubled that fine city.

Now there are two feathers in my peacock hurls, (the grassy looking stuff), a jade and gold pin, vintage velvet bow, velvet leaves, and vintage netting with dots as a hat band.

And Tiggie wants to know when do we invade Japan? Posted by Picasa
"Of all the shades of blue, you are the most funky, unique, and independent.
Expressing yourself and taking a leap of faith has always been easy for you".

This bit of psychobabble insight about myself was gleaned by taking the quiz:
"What color blue are you?

Feel free to take the quiz yourself!

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Millinary: Not right the first time.

Remember the other day when I was gleefully blocking four hats in one day?
The blue one turned out great!

The pink one...well, it has turned into one of those "if first you don't succeed..." projects.

The first blocking I thought the little raised bumps in the straw weave were cute. A nice textural detail. So I put them on the outside when I blocked the hat.

Then I was just stumped with what to do with the excess brim. I wanted a wider brim but the shape would only allow so much distance. So I just pleated the excess under. That looked great, on the block, but when I tried it on....em, well, I'm not so sure this is such a great idea. But dang it, maybe if I just fold the brim up into the hat and stitch it to the crown. Using a chain stitch so it will come out easy if it is not quite right.

The thread caught on each bump. Worse, when the folded inside the VERY raw prickly spikes of straw ends were against the head and forehead skin. OUCH!
I considered a heavy sweat band. Then thought probably everyone will wonder why I made the hat inside out. Not everyone appreciates texture.

So I ripped out the chain stitch, stitch by stitch, as it didn't pull out at all!

And have re-blocked. Made the crown taller, and rolled the edge of the brim.

Today I will head out to the fabric store to figure out a band fabric, as the tacks left dark gray marks around the hat. You can see the marks if you look closely above the pins in the last photo.

PS: I just finished Fanny Flagg's new book "Can't Wait to Get To Heaven". Put on a straw hat, pour yourself some pink lemonade, pull up a lawn chair under a tree, grab that book and give yourself a summertime treat.

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