Saturday, July 07, 2007

Mail Call!

We got a small package in the mail the other day.
Since we weren't expecting anything, it was a bit of a surprise.
We were even more surprised to open it and discover it wasn't for us.
The boys have apparently made the mailing list at Sheba Cat Food Company.

The boys always get a can of Sheba as a special treat on Sunday morning.
Guess word got out...and now they not only have Sheba sending them deluxe black packages with gold trim (very classy!) but they also now have a menu to consult.
A menu of the "Premium Cuts" meat selections for their consideration.
Is this going to be something like the fruit of the month club?
Will a different cat food flavor be delivered each month?

What next.
Kobe beef?
Shushi grade tuna?

Wish someone would send Bernie and me a sample package of premium cut meats.
Where do we go to sign up?

And when did the boys sign up?
And where?

I think we had better start keeping a closer eye on those two.
They may look like they are just lounging around.
But I think they are doing more than that, and we just don't know it.

I think I'm going to go hide the postage stamps right now.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Millinery: Five Hats in One Day: Gray

For Christmas my daughter gave me six straw parasisol hoods.

Awhile back I blocked five of them in one day.

This is the story of the fourth of the five hats that I blocked in one day.

Remember what the hoods looked like before they were blocked?

The gray one in the middle is the hood that this story is about.

When I first began to make all those hats that day, I took each of the hoods and dunked them one by one into a bath made from hot water and unflavored gelatin.
Here's the subject of today's post, the gray hood, lolling unsuspectingly in the tub (grin!)
In the cabinet below where the gray hood bathed sat a plain old wooded salad bowl.
It had been a wedding gift to me back in 1976 and it had seen a lot of salads, lots of potlucks and a whole lot of family dinners over the years.
Thirty years of same old, same old.
But on that hat making day, that salad bowl was about to have an adventure.

Swooping it up out of the lower kitchen cabinet, I tried the salad bowl on my head.

And it fit!

Sorta...more or less. Anyway, it was big enough I could stick my head inside of it.

Quickly I wrapped the salad bowl in saran wrap.
That really surprised the salad bowl. Usually saran wrap just went over the top, to cover the salad.

Saran wrap all over felt...well, a bit odd.

The saran wrap had to be done this way this time because I knew I was going to pull the gray hood out of the bath and pop it onto the salad bowl turned upside down, and I wanted to make sure that they wouldn't stick to each other as the hood dried.

Now if you are sensitive, you might want to avert your eyes at this point. The next thing that happened to the hood and the salad bowl was a little bit painful.

I'm sure the salad bowl didn't mind too much that I stuck him on his bottom with tacks.

He is a very brave salad bowl. He's had toddlers roll him around, and people knock inside him with salad tongs.

This was probably the hardest thing he has ever had to face.
At least the little holes won't show when he goes back to his regular job.

Knowing how much it must have confused the straw hood to be pulled from a nice warm bath and then suddenly be stretched over a wooden salad bowl, I didn't fuss with the edge of the hood; I just rolled it back in a loose fold.

Then I left the bowl and hood alone for awhile while the hood dried. It's always hard to tell when a hood is dry just by looking, the best way to tell is to feel it. If it feels cool, it is still damp.

After awhile, when the hood was no longer wet, or cool, I took the dried straw hood off that big old salad bowl.

Then I folded that gray hood a bit, added a piece of lace from Switzerland and an old button from my grandmother's button box, and suddenly, with just a few stitches, I had made a hat.

This hat looks different from every angle, a "Robin Hood" style from the back, a cloche look from the side, and a touch of riding cap from the front.

The lace from Switzerland, and the button from Grandma.
I think the top view of a hat is important too, because often you are sitting while you wear a hat, and the first view a person approaching you might get is from the top.

So there you have it, the story of a hood, a salad bowl, a piece of lace and a button.

Stay tuned for the last hat in the series, coming soon!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Flapper Girl Hatstand

Look who just blew into town.
A Modern Miss, who still looks pert after all these years.

These were my grandmother's hat stand and hat brush.
My mom just sent them to me, she remembers them in her mother's closet from when she was a girl in the 1930's. Hasn't Modern Miss sailed through the years with her beestung lips and penciled eyebrows looking winsomely coy?

She reminds me a bit of the oldest of Nancy Drew illustrations. I mean to catch the new Nancy Drew movie, just to see the wardrobe. One reviewer noted that each generation has their own idea of what Nancy looked like, thanks to different illustrators. I like Nancy as a Roaring Twenties gal, with a cloche. Now that girl, and Bess and George all had the greatest hats!

There must be a trend going here. Lately things from the 1920-1930's have really caught my attention. Depression glass, silk lingerie, hats and books seem to be the objects of my attention. It was a time when there was a very strong cultural shift from long and leisurely to short and fast moving.

Last night I came across a newish blog dedicated to the writings of the author Grace Livingston Hill, who wrote over 90 books between the late 1880s and the late 1920. She is a pretty "sweet" author, but her writings grew from the dilemmas of the day; old fashion values of purity and honor which were rapidly being replaced with the new thinking that "Anything Goes."
It was true then as it is still today, actually just "anything" doesn't always go well.

If you haven't had a chance to read Mrs. Hill's writing, take a moment and savor a few passages from the blog "Neat and Dainty as a Flower" as posted here.

And girls, do remember to gently brush your hats after wearing to keep then neat and dainty as a flower before you place them on a hatstand.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 331 Birthday America!

I hope I did that math right...and I wish you could have joined us for breakfast and a new tee shirt!
Me in my spiffy new tee shirt!
We had scrambled eggs, freshly baked blueberry scones with raspberry jam, fresh strawberries, orange juice and coffee (Starbucks Komodo dragon...there's a story about Komodo dragons that I must remember to blog about sometime.)
Then we raced off to the Kingwood Fourth of July Parade! Pictured above: The ONLY band. That was disappointing, but considering that it was supposed to rain, I guess it was OK that the school bands didn't march.

Everyone and their dog is in the parade. No, really, EVERYONE and their DOG!
(As long as the dog is decorated too.)
And yes, Otis and Indee, I thought of you, and could imagine you strutting in a parade with Moose antlers on.
Now that would be styling.

I just love how Kingwood kids get dressed up for Independence Day.
These two were in front of us. Loved the hair ties, and his head wrap.
We thought the parents were funny though. They told the kids that if they stayed out of the street they would get donuts after the parade.
EVERYONE in the parade tossed candy to the crowds. It didn't take long for these two to figure out that a bag of candy beats on boring donuts any day. They were rushing into the streets with the rest of the kids in no time.

Don't you just love the look of anticipation on the little girl holding the great big bag?
And I wonder where they guy got that flag shirt.
That ought to cover his 4th of July holiday attire needs for the rest of his natural life!

This, however, is a TEXAS flag shirt. Texas, now that's what is important, plain and simple. America's Independence Day is nice and all, but remember, it really is all about Texas around here.

Houston Mayor Bill White was in OUR parade! Little ol' Kingwood got the mayor of America's 4th largest city in our parade!
He's the guy following the car, wearing the red and white striped shirt.
I think someone ought to buy him more festive clothes.
He could do better than that, don't you think?

Kingwood High School's football team.
Yeah, we win.
A lot.

Some of the dogs just rode. I think he looks sad because he thought he was going to get to drive.

"Mothers of Young Children." Hmm, wouldn't it be funny to have a float called "Mothers of Teen Age Children", the moms looking all wild eyed, clutching phones and car keys, and acting all jumpy?
A car wash float that blew bubbles everywhere. It made everything seem magical because it was so wet and humid the bubbles lasted in the air for a very long time.
Right behind the bubble car was a guy shooting off confetti rockets. The confetti and the bubbles danced together in the thick humid air.

We do love our Armadillos.
When they aren't tearing up gardens, they lay on the side of the road, dead.
How cool is that?
Love the outfit: Hat, beads, camouflage shorts, cowboy boots.
(In his defense, they were throwing beads to the crowds, a la New Orleans style.)

The kids on the street knew exactly what to do when this parachute was billowed up. They all ran into middle and stood there grinning.

Orange is is is in....everyone else just doesn't get it.

It did rain steadily, but lightly and it was warm and humid. I'm still not used to the idea that I can be sweating in a rain storm.

And you will never guess who this is.

It's our favorite uncle....
Hi Uncle Scott!
Tiggie and Hart say hi!!!!!

(He had the best decorated vehicle in the whole parade. Good on you Uncle Scott!)

1. I didn't know there was a tribe called "Howling Gators"
2. I didn't know that they were the tribe of the year.
3. I didn't know they had a website.

Guess I'm just a little behind on my Indian history!

Red, White and MOooo!

A Fourth of July Bunny was in the parade. What a sweetie!

Doggie wear was fun to see too. The dress skirt fabric was gingham, with ants printed on the plaid. Cute!

Yes you DO look adorable in your little dress!
Dresses are IN this year!
Bernie looks adorable too. He added red hat and red shorts to the tee shirt all by himself.
30 years of marriage to me, and he has learned the secret to holiday dressing.

Best bike decoration ever.

These guys must have been awful hot in those uniforms. Whew.

Yes, I brought my camera too! And remembered to add a flag pin to my hat! I found my flag earrings, and am wearing a cotton bandanna soaked in water to keep me cool.

Pretty good turn out for a rainy Wednesday.

Orange is is in...and orange suckers match my shirt and socks.
I hope I don't trip on my beads.
Thanks for letting me hold your finger dad!

Duct tape + small flag= Car is now decorated.

Red leash, blue dog tags, Izzy is all ready for the day and wants to be friends.

Izzy also moves REALLY fast when you snap her picture. She moved behind her mom in a blink.
Don't boxers have the sweetest faces?

If you happen to have a skeleton, and you want to decorate it, it can be in the parade too.
Baseball hat, sunglasses...decoration: done.

Uncle Sam came to the parade too!

Despite the rain, and no marching bands, a good time was had by all.

If you would like to, you can enjoy more of parade by clicking here.

In the Spirit of 1776, I've posted a 76 picture slide show. Set the viewing at 3 seconds per, and you can see a parade in about three minutes without getting a drop of rain on yourself. I'm telling you, the kids are just adorable.

Happy Independence Day America!