Friday, February 08, 2008

Taking a break: Blooms, Butterflies and WIP

Brilliant sunshine brings us blossoms and butterflies.
I stepped outside for a break yesterday and saw a large yellow butterfly dancing through the air.

The Encore Azaleas were a huge draw!

As I focused my camera on one butterfly, I suddenly realized that actually there were two butterflies enjoying the the rosy blooms.

I looked it up: This is a cloudless sulfur butterfly.
The link has a picture of one of their beautiful chrysalis.
Now I will always be looking to see one in my garden and walks.

The sun shone through the butterfly's wings, allowing every marking and vein to be seen.

Usually I have little luck capturing butterflies with my camera; these two were pretty frisky and fluttered away over the fence many times as soon as I approached.
The flowers must have had delicious nectar because within moments they would be back again.
The pansies seemed to be soaking up the sunshine as well.

I love the delicate stamen eyebrows.

This pansy appeared white until I enlarged it; then all the subtle colors appeared upon the petals. Very Georgianna O'Keefe!

A couple of bewhiskered yellow violas.

Other violas appeared as though watercolored, with fade out colors overlayed with graphic design work stitched in black.

I'd entitle this shot: "Serious Faces in a Crowd"

This one would be named "Shadowed Stalker."
Tigs took one energetic leap at the butterflies, then went back to just patrolling the ground.
I think the shadow of his head is cute with his little ears triangling out.

This is "WIP: Work in Progress"

More to come about that tomorrow....

Guest blogger

I'm trying to finish a hat right now. So I'm going to let Tiggie do my blog today. He posted this on his blog earlier this week and I thought it was really good information.
Keep it in mind the next time you feel like taking a little nap.


I think I should give my fellow cats some tips on napping.
Most cats instinctively know how to nap; but with a little thought and pre-planning you can move your napping experience from good to great.

First of all, consider your background. You want to look good while you nap. The people are less likely to try to move you when you are picturesque.
I occasionally take a nap on top of the oak roll top desk for instance.
It is out of the way, and my fur blends well with the oak tones and the texture of the desk top as well.

See what I mean?

Artlessly allow a bit of yourself to hang over the edge of the napping area. Spread out.
Own the napping area.

Once your body has found its niche, lay your head down on top of your mitts.

A glass paper weight is a great design element. Doesn't it look as though it has captured my dreams?
Now my little buddy Hart doesn't understand this nap setting decision making process at all.
He tends to just leap up to the top deck of the inside cat tree and zonk he is out cold.

He is a grey tuxedo cat you see; he thinks he is classy just because he is always in a tux. Right now he is also pretty proud of having a Valentine pink nose.

You see, the most important thing about taking a nap is being comfortable.
In this picture Hart is comfortable, but I am not.

Now this is better for me.

I can snooze, and also occasionally look outside and enjoy the view.

There is a lot more space in this area if I spread out on the diagonal.
I wrapped Hart's tail around my back knees to keep them warm as well.
This is a perfect position for a long afternoon nap.
I am now one very contented cat.

(Hart: How does this keep happening to me????)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Happy Chinese New Years! do you plan to celebrate?
Going to Wal-Mart to buy more stuff that you don't need that was made in China?
Ordering out for Chinese food for dinner?
Watching a Chinese movie with English subtitles?

I dug into the back of my closet and pulled out my Chinese blouse to wear to work today.
Then I downed a Mexican frozen dinner for lunch and headed out the door.

It is the Year of the Rat.
When B. came into the kitchen this morning I told him so.
Apparently someone else was listening in on the conversation.

A few hours later Hart cruised into the patio with this now defuncted New Year rat.
True story.

We have never had a rat caught around here before.
I have never even seen a rat around here before.

Hart: Every year is the year of the cat.
And don't you forget it. Now where is my red envelope?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Millinery: Why didn't this happen when I was studying there?

Oh boy...I just saw this article copied below. I took my millinery studies at the Houston Community College; nothing like this happened while I was there!

Kate, Marie...we deserved this, not them!

January 30, 2008
Master Class with Lynn Wyatt and the World's Best Hatmaker

Clifford Pugh
Lynn Wyatt (center) and Philip Treacy (in blue hoodie) surrounded by Houston Community College fashion design students.

Students in the fashion design program at Houston Community College were ecstatic when master milliner Philip Treacy dropped in to say hello and brought his good friend, international style trendsetter Lynn Wyatt.

Treacy, who has designed eye-popping hats for Queen Elizabeth II as well as for runway shows by major designers like Ralph Lauren, Alexander McQueen, and Chanel's Karl Lagerfeld, had come to Houston for an appearance at Neiman Marcus. Before he crossed the pond from London, "they told me no one in Houston wore hats," Treacy said. "They do now."

Indeed, the luxury retailer sold a ton of Treacy's wonderous hats, which range in price from $600 to $10,000.

Franois Guillot/AFP/Getty Images
A Treacy-designed hat for the Alexander McQueen spring runway show.

Emmanuel Dunnand/AFP/Getty Images
Treacy designed this hat for the 40th anniversary Ralph Lauren runway show.

Treacy rearranged his schedule to visit the college after after being impressed with the enthusiasm of an HCC fashion student who approached him at the Neiman Marcus event. He brought along a DVD of a recent runway show featuring his hats in Japan and his good friend, Wyatt, who is enshrined in the International Best Dress List Hall of Fame. They talked fashion and encouraged the students to follow their dreams.

Millinery: DVF

Diana von Furstenberg: Love the hat, the shoes and the gloves.

Now if we could just get the model to pull the dress and coat together a bit more...she looks like she was running late and just threw her coat on as she rushed out the door.

See the rest of the collection here. I'm digging it....

Millinery: Carolina Herrera hat

On the cat walk, Fashion Week:

Carolina: Love the hat. But I think we need to talk about the feathers.

MIllinery: What's that you say?

So it is Februrary, and Valentine's Day is a'comin'.
The temperature outside has dropped, and it is once again cold enough to justify wearing a warm hat to an casual event.

I figured my ruched red velvet Scottie would be kind of fun to wear this morning to
Bible study.
A perky shot of color to brighten up the day.
I really like this hat pattern.
After all, the pattern used to make this hat was created by my friend Kate Pernia and she named the pattern after me.
"The Jill"
Nice, huh?

A collage of vintage buttons serve as a decoration.
The hat should be a great conversation starter, wouldn't you think?
Something along the lines of "Oh that hat looks so warm!" or "How festive, perfect for Valentines Day!" or "I love those buttons; where ever did you get that hat?"

Or even just a plain old "Nice hat!"

What I got at was "You look like you should be at the USO."


Followed by "I feel like I should salute you or something. You look like one of the Lennon Sisters."

I really thought the woman was about my age or maybe just a few years older.

The USO?

Lennon Sisters?

Who salutes the Lennon sisters?

Weren't they the sister act on the Lawrence Welk show that my grandparents used to watch back in the 1960's?

So I did a google image search.
There were no pictures of the Lennon sisters in any hat even remotely similar to mine.
The Andrew sisters occasionally sang at the USO wearing army caps that are vaguely similar in shape, but they were never in red, nor velvet.
And certainly not with a dip in the front and decorated with vintage buttons.

Oh well.
Here's to the Lennon Sisters and the USO!
Carry on!

(I do wonder which Lennon sister I supposedly look like.)

The Lennon sisters today, performing in Branson Missouri. Great legs ladies!

Monday, February 04, 2008

If you were invited to a Valentine's Day tea...

If you were invited to a Valentine's Day tea, which of these hats would you choose to wear?

Number 1: Purple and pink floral. Link is here.

Number 2: Pink suede with art deco arrow. A VERY cool hat. More pictures available here.

Number 3: Victorian Wire Framed Lace hat. Link is here.

Number 4: 1960's pink cellophane straw with organdy rose. Link is here.

Number 5: Pink cocktail hat with rhinestones.

Number 6: Here
Just to get you thinking about Valentine's Day.
All the hats are available on ebay by searching "pink hat"
Most of them are going for around ten bucks.
What a hoot.
Pink tea and pettifours anyone?
Oh, and don't forget to shop for gloves to match!

PS: Here's a millinery suggestion for Spooky and Miss Kitty:

I doubt Tiggie or Hart will be interested in attending the party, even if I did get them a hat.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Mardi Gras comes to Kingwood-and you are THERE!

There are loads of Mardi Gras events across the Gulf Coast area; Kingwood was no exception.
While definitely bush league in style, it was close by (a five minute drive) and so Laura, Bernie and I headed out Saturday afternoon to see the parade and the street fair.
Want to come along?
OK we go!
Lady riding on a float...she had best mask in my opinion.

One of the cars carrying a King of the local Krewe.
A Krewe is a group that does stuff together for Mardi Gras.
Or something like that.

The thing to do is to stand along the parade route and yell out "Throw me some beads Mister!" to the people in the parade.

If you feel really festive you spend a few bucks and buy a mask to wear too.
We're not clear what Elvis had to do with Mardi Gras, but there sure were a lot of them.

Dogs usually have their own parade: They are known as the Barkus Krewe.

Beads, feathers, pink dye are all part of the fun.
This dog just did feathers.

Isn't this lad absolutely adorable?
No wonder why so many beads were thrown his way!
Bernie and I got a few beads ourselves.
I promise I didn't "flash" for them; Bernie threaten to.

Laura got a really cool set of beads that included a mask!

The street booth to adopt homeless dogs had this CD for sale.
Like dogs need songs to be happy...

I'm just amazed this kid isn't falling over from the weight of the beads.
Dressing up "Mother-Daughter" is never too late to do that, right?

I swear I do not know these people.

Total freak.

These two are rather nice together though.
A sushi dinner worked wonders.
Of course when you visit a street fair you do need to do a little shopping.
Where else would you be able to find cow hide toilet seats?

Such a lovely decorator touch.
So homey, so cozy.
So Texas.
(The funny boot shape is the outline of Louisiana. Why would anyone want the outline of the state of Louisiana on their toilet seat lid?)
Well now, wasn't that was fun?
Now I have a ton of beads draped over the lamp in my office.
And something to blog about, right?