Friday, June 30, 2006

More baby bird pictures

I can't that a Jewish bird with a kippa?

Look at the size of those feet!

The hair drier was to dry off the babies, they had washed down a storm drain. Jeff used a tire iron to crowbar the drain cover off and rescue the babies. Posted by Picasa

Hero of the baby quail

Just a quick post: Jeff has lots of quail near his home, and these baby quails fell out of their nest. He rescued them from the ground, and called a rescue organization who will be caring for them in an appropriate fashion.

I love how cute their feet are, and that they all ready have their top notch, like a little hat.

How about that: A feathery bird with a hat, instead of a hat with a bird feather~sweet!

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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Reaction: You...and you.

"Americans, who shocked pollsters in 1985 when they said they had only three close friends, today say they have just two."

This from the June 2006 issue of American Sociological Review.

(Literary aside: I am aware that as a citation, that deserves to have a big red "F" scratched across it...since it doesn't include vol., pg, author, ed. etc.
PLEASE DON'T TELL ANYONE I CITED LIKE THAT! If you really want to know, I will look it up later and I will cite in the format of your choice: AP, MLS, Bluebook, or that gawdawful Turabian. A pox on the Houston Chronicle for not providing proper citation format in the first place!)

Where were we?

Oh yeah.

A study at Duke entitled "Social Isolation in America" was defining a "close" friend as being someone with whom you could discuss important matters.

The study's author admitted there was some confusion on the part of those surveyed as to whether or not email friends count as close friends. Email provided a new slant since 1985: Do you count as a friend for the purposes of this study those people with whom you chat via email several times a day, or IM, or blog with, but live miles apart in terms of physical location.

(For the painfully young: Those electronic options didn't exist back then. We oldies actually remember back that far!)

But letters did exist back then. Letters used to fly around the world, to pen pals, service people, missionaries, and students. People fell in love with letters. People developed world changing opinions via letters. Adams and Jefferson come to mind, this being close to July 4th and all.

Why didn't anyone back then ask if letter friendships counted?

The study was looking at the question in terms of social networks to meet emergency needs. The Katrina evacuees had friends to help them get out. Those who got left behind usually had little or no social network. A email buddy, it was suggested, may not be able to come get you when your car goes kaput, or bring you some meds from the store when you are down with a fever. Or be able take you in when a hurricane/fire/earthquake/flood/boils/frogs is/are about to destroy your city.

I actually do have lots of friends with whom I feel comfortable discussing important matters. Outside of family, who I also count as friends, I have three friends in San Diego, two in Denver area, one in Portland, one in Orlando, a cluster in Houston (most of whom look great in hats; see picture above of that lot), and even one in far off Switzerland.

I wouldn't necessarily discuss all my "important" matters with every friend. I like Mark Twain's quote: "Everyone is ignorant, just on different subjects".
(Another inadequate citation. Sorry.)

Maybe everyone can be a friend, just on different subjects?

Didn't it used to be that everyone would stop and help you if your car went kaput, and your neighbor would "know" if you needed some chicken soup to get better? Yet those same helpers were rarely treated to the kinds of private musings and navel gazing angst that often fuels modern friendship. They delivered the goods, and were gone. They were dependable, if not intimate.

The above mentioned article has been in my mental ponder fodder file for seven days now. I felt it was time to let the partially digested thought food leak from my mind and out my finger tip and on down the line electronically to you.

By discussing something important together, we become, as defined by the study, "friends".

As they say in class:


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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Modest chandelier chains, talking condiments, and son to visit

Being a milliner is a lot more fun than being a maid. But it is time to catch up on the usual housework. Our son is coming for the 4th of July weekend, so I thought I'd better get busy and dust the chandeliers.

If you have a son, and you have just read that last sentence without laughing, then your son must be one strange dude. My son wouldn't notice dust on a chandelier unless there was money attached to the dust!

I just happened to look up at my chandelier and was admiring my neatly covered chandelier chain and thought:

"I really should share my money saving decorating tip".

So here it is:

Don't spend $30-$40 for a chandelier chain cover.

(The need for such a cover was suggested to me by a professional interior designer, whose services I won in a raffle~I'd think twice before trying to win such free consultations in the future...after a designer visits you, you view your whole home with a sense of failure that only remedy is blowing your entire savings account).

Instead, use a roll of wired edged ribbon from your craft stash, and ta-da, by wrapping the ribbon around the chain, you now have clothed the naked. No longer will you avert your eyes from those brazen naked chains when, for a mere dollar or two worth of ribbons by the spool, modesty and cutting edge decore can easily be achieved!

I was feeling a bit blue after dropping B. off at the airport, sort of lonely for some reason. Wished I had some friend nearby to stop and visit. Decided to get breakfast at Taco Bell.

And see the picture...who knew condiments were such interesting conversationalist? As long as I like burrito supremes, I will never be lonely again.
Next time I will be sure to get the Hot and Spicy packets.
I hope they will not be too forward.
Judging from my chandeliers, you should know how modest I am...

Visiting son Jeff is still single, a fine Christian man, in business in SLC. He has a lovely girlfriend, but if he doesn't get married before he hits thirty I will be auctioning him off on ebay. Four years to go..... Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Millinery: A hat to go with a suit

This is a buckram framed hat. Buckram is a material that looks like stiff window screen, and it looks like the screen was coated with paint. I cut out a piece of buckram to make the shape of the top (tip) of the hat, another piece to make the sides, and another to make the brim. I actually used two pieces ironed together in layers to make the brim extra stiff.
Then I stitched millinery wire to each part. Millinery wire looks like regular wire covered with thread. Then I covered the wire with French Elastic, or bias. It looks like one inch wide gauze, but it is stiff. I stitched the bias so it encased the wire. Then I stitched all the pieces of the hat together, through the bias. Then I covered each piece with fabric. In this case, I used a white polyester satin, using the wrong side so it would look like crepe. All together, this hat took me about 15 hours to make: that includes shopping for fabric and ribbons, making the flowers, cutting out fabric and buckram, wiring, lining, putting in a sweat band.
I learned a lot about attaching a brim to buckram. I had done that before, but this time I was a lot more confident.
It was fun to try to make a hat to co-ordinate with a suit. I'll see if I can get Gayle to model her new chapeaux before she takes it home! She's a great customer, and a lovely friend.

PS: Finding the zebra stripped ribbon to match the suit's cuff and border was such great serendipity!
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Learning technology: Techie me? Not!

I'm still learning what can be done with my digital camera, Picasa, and Blogspot. I'm trying for a collage shot of the hat I just finished.

(To see the hat a little better, click on the pictures, and mouse over the picture on the next screen. It gets a little bigger). I think I will need to post three separate pictures though.

Monday, June 26, 2006

June 26, 2006: Stuff you might not know.

Did you know...

~You can make the photos on the blog much bigger by simply clicking on them? They will show up in a separate window, and you will have a "print" or "email" option for that picture available at that point too.

~You can also email any of the blogs to anyone you want to! Just click on the little envelope at the end of each blog and it will send the blog off to whoever you wish to share it with.
Easy-peasy! (That is my new favorite expression!)

(Feel free to blast them to your whole email address book! Imagine how many of your friends, even now, are desperately wishing someone, anyone, would send them a picture of a gecko, or a fine cocktail hat! YOU could be the person to help them realize that dream!)

~You can also leave a comment: It just takes a moment to create an account (it is free) and then you can add your two cents/praise/dismay or whatever after each blog. Your comment is emailed to me, and then I get to "allow" or not allow the comment to be posted.
Added bonus: you will then be signed up to make a blog for yourself any time you want. Knowing my readership, my mind just reels with the array of blog topics that this simple act could enable.

~The blog page shows my last 10 blogs on the side of the page.
But actually, ALL of them are still there. Going back to June 1, 2006.
If you click on the bottom archived title (usually mine either say Millinery or a date), then that blog will open and to its side will be ten more going back. If you are new reader, June 1 is my introduction page, and June 2 is my all time favorite so far.

~Top bloggers, those people who have lots and lots of people who read their blogs sometimes get contacted by publishing houses to have their blogs made into books.
(I'm rooting for "Dressaday" to become a book, she is a riot! and is in the top 10 of all blogs!).
If that ever happens to me, I will be sure to acknowledge each and everyone of my naggy "you should write a book" friends in the book.
But if you don't keep up with my blog, you won't be on the list.
At all.
So there.

And remember to cheer for my dear OSU Beavers to win college baseball tonight!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Millinery: Black Hats

The first hat (viewed from the side): The hat that started it all! It was purchased from Fleur de Paris in New Orleans. A signed Nicole LeBlanc design, I was lucky enough to meet her and view her work shop later on. Feathers, ribbons, flowers, a curving brim and a whopping price tag, it had it all. It seemed like such an enormous statement that at first B. hesitated to have me wear it to events, imagining that it was just too much.

He got over that.

Waaaaaayyyyy over that.

He now considers it one of my more discreet chapeauxs.
It is the only hat I have ever worn to a funeral. Or actually, a memorial service. I was in need of a deep brim to shield my teary face. I began to understand why for centuries women have worn veils to funerals and other emotional occasions: No one really looks great when overcome with emotion to the degree that tears and mucus and blotchy spots festoon one's face.
Jackie Kennedy was so right to shield her face in that deep veil.

This, by contrast, is a black hat that would simply never work at a funeral...indeed, it is what is known as a cocktail hat. Cocktail hats perch jauntily on the crown of one's head, perhaps tipped a bit over one eye, and look as wispy as a passing flitation.
Certainly not correct for a funeral event.
I made this hat, and have enjoyed wearing it to several evening events.
The third hat was an ebay purchase. It really doesn't work on me, but many twenty something girls have modeled it with great saucy style.
People are funny: Children especially so. How many times have I shown a child, somewhere between 8 and 18, these black hats and had them inform me that these hats are "perfect" to wear to a funeral. And alarmingly, how many seemingly estute adults have instructed me with the same degree of brevity, that these black hats would "look really great" for a funeral.
Now I wonder if when I was wearing my Little Black Dress with my cocktail hat at a cocktail party, if everyone imagined I had just come from a sad event, and hadn't time to change.
I didn't wear a hat at all to the last memorial service I attended. Just a long sleeved black silk dress. But I couldn't help notice a twenty-something "Miss" wearing a T- shirt with sequines and flip flops, and other Young Thing in a clinging dress cut "down to here and up to there" in a style that suggested amorous encounters with strangers, for her, was a common occurance.
I wonder what they would have said if I had shown them a black hat? Posted by Picasa