Saturday, August 19, 2006

Colorado and friends

So...I'm in Colorado, visiting my friend Gail, my friend from San Diego days, my dear friend for the past 27 years. Time flies, and we try to see each other when we can, call, write and generally keep ties to each other. It is so wonderful to have mountains and cool weather, Houston is baking!
Daughter Laura flies in tomorrow, and we'll keep at Gail's in Colorado Springs until Monday, then off to Denver to explore Denver onocology units, and staying with another friend, Jeane, a friend from when we lived in Dallas for two years.
Funny how I have friends scattered everywhere!
Then....on Wednesday Laura and I will head to San Diego, Bernie will join us, and we'll all celebrate my parent's 60th- SIXTY- year anniversary.

So that's where I'm hanging my hat right now. Colorado.

More later.....

Friday, August 18, 2006

Millinery: The truth about creating

Dawn over at the fourfiftythree blog got gutsy with the crafty creative community and gave us a gander at her craft corner. Not the magazine lay out version, with everything in precious place.

Oh no. She gave us a look at her craft corner as it is usually seen by her patient family members who put up this madness we call inspiration.

Silly me, I had to comment that I had posted my picture perfect hat room, and mused that my fondest wish was for an underling to attend to all my "pick up and put away" craft mess needs. (Preferable a librarian type who understands the need to file all craft items in Dewey Decimal order, at the least. I didn't tell Dawn that detail. She has enought on her mind what with making sock monkeys and smocking bishops and all...)

Old 50 something Dawn is a tough cookie. She must be, posting each day before dawn just to prove herself worthy of her handle. She shot back that she wanted to see the "real" hat room in action.

So here you go Dawn. One room is not enough when I get going, sometimes it spills over into the dining room. This catastrophy was created in 90 minutes in an attempt to create the perfect hat to wear to White Linen Night.

Actually, all that I created was the little trim on the white travel hat I had made earlier.
I wanted to make the hat match the linen dress.

Happy now Dawn?

The invitation still stands if you want to drop by Houston. After a glass of champagne, whether the room is tidy or a total disaster doesn't seem to matter any more anyway.

Cheers! And Crafty Creation and Millinery Inspiration to you all forever! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Do I look like an IT person, honey?

Images of Librarians in Cinema identified four items that are used to identify a librarian: A Bun, Glasses, Large White Collar, and "Shush!"

Tonight I wore my bun and glasses to the library. Just too hot for collars.

I had to keep asking people to SPEAK UP!!!! because everyone firmly believes there must be silence in libraries.

That means just move your lips and let no sound escape when speaking to the librarian. I do not read lips. Even when I ask LOUDLY "I need you to speak up" I still get just an occasional "d" or "t" sound.

How were we librarians so successful with this being quiet thing? I wish we had told everyone they needed to save sex for marriage and pay cash for everything. The world would be a much better place if we had.

And what did everyone want the librarian in a bun and glasses to do this evening? Did they need critical information, a suggestion for a wonderful novel, a statistic for a research project?

No, they did not. Although one woman wanted to know where Anthony Jackson (a person) would be found in Houston. Did we have a book that would help her find Anthony. Not a phone book either. I did what I could.

What everyone REALLY needed was IT work. I spent most of the night figuring out why their floppy disc was not working anymore, why their flash drive wouldn't fit into the computer (requiring me to get on my knees and try to slide the little tube thing up into the computer in a manner that mostly reminds me of inserting a tampon (excuse me for being blunt), trying to figure out why a class evalutation form would not send to the printer, and why the scanner refused to scan.

For this I got a Masters degree.

I got home and MY computer suddenly stopped internet connection. So I called our cable provider, and got put on hold about 5 minutes (a miracle!), and was made to tell if we had ether net or USB. Since I had just bought a USB cable, I confidently said "We have USB", to which the IT person said no, I had ethernet.


So I had to unplug everything, refusing to drag my modem out for its cabinet. Finally IT person firmly announced "You have a USB connection, it shows here. I will refresh it." Like I was really trying her patience.

All fixed. Sheesh.

Here's some great quotes from the Librarians in Cinema"The Image of Librarians in Cinema, 1917-1999"


Ray Tevis and Brenda Tevis

(This book was the continuance of a 1981 Library Science class at Ball State University, in which fourteen library science students took Ray's class "The 'Reel" Librarian." Five of the students later completed graduate papers focusing on the image of librarians in motion pictures.)

"I wish I owned this library!...I'd get an axe and smash it into a million pieces, then I'd set fire to the whole town, and play a ukulele while it burned!"

-Lulu Smith, Librarian, played by Barbara Stanwyk in Frank Capra's Forbidden. 1932
(Question: I get most of this, Lu, but why the ukulele?)

"What good does it do to bring those children up believing in all this bunk. Peter Pan. Goldilocks. Happy endings. Lies! Lies! Lies!"

-Allie Smith, Librarian, played by Helen Twelvetrees, in Young Brides. 1932
(Question: Maybe we'd best not hire any more librarians with the last name of Smith?)

"...places I've never been to... Faraway places. Rangoon, Mandalay... And...somebody to
be there with you. Somebody you can be proud of and look up to. You don't know who. I guess all girls are that way when they're my age. Just crazyheaded."

Allie Smith, Librarian.
(Question: You mean like the "girls" at my library who tramp all over the globe every chance that get? I don't think it's an age thing, Allie. Just crazyheaded.)

"I work in a public library. That's why I don't keep any books around, but you may if you like."

Susan Merrill, Librarian, played by Ann Dvorak, in Gentlemen are Born. 1934

"After Monday at the library, it will be a pleasure to see somebody beat up, all bloody."

Susan Merrill, Librarian
(Question: Susan, have you met Lulu? I think you two are going to get along just great!)

"If you are married, you certainly cannot expect to keep your position. ...You have been depriving some other girl with no means of outside support from obtaining a position here...I will thank you not to used the library for future references."
Miss Graham, Librarian, played by Virginia Howell in Gentleman are Born.

Un-named Librarian, played by Hilda Plowright in The Philadelphia Story. 1940
(first American reel librarian to utter the trademark word)

McByrne (at the Information Desk): "Say, Where's the Information Desk?"
Librarian Kay Ryan: "Why, it's always been right here!"
McByrne: How long have you been in this racket?
Ryan: About a year.
McByrne: Like it?
Ryan: Most of the time.
McByrne: Gee, how do you stand the quiet in here?
Ryan: I'm hardened to it

Librarian Kay Ryan, played by Lynne Roberts, in Quiet Please, Murder 1942

"I've been reading for 70 years, it hasn't been nearly long enough"
Un-named Librarian, played by Adeline De Walt Reynolds in The Human Comedy 1943
(Question: Will she EVER retire?)

"If I had any mind at all, I'd be a brazen hussy."

Librarian Ellen Shavley, played by Virginia Mayo in Wonder Man 1945
(Question: If you had just half a mind, could you be just a plain old hussy?)

"You know, you don't look like a man who would be interested in first editions."

Un-named Librarian, played by Carole Douglas in The Big Sleep 1946

"Bye, girls. Always a pleasure seeing your freshly scrubbed, smiling faces. Remember our motto: Be on time, do your work, be down in the bar at 5:30"
Boss Mike Cutler, played by Gig Young, to Corporate Librarians in Desk Set 1957

Note to self: Buy more big white collar blouses, keep wearing glasses and buns. And take a IT class. And a lip reading class. And buy a ukelele.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Ah...Hart looks good in the Hat Room

Hart is trying a lot harder to pose pretty. I think he rang the bell with this one...his pink nose is just perfect with the Hat Room colors. If I squint, he looks like a third pillow.

This is were he hangs out for his afternoon nap.
And the other two cats rarely come by this room for a visit.

They clash with the pink.

And I think they know it. Posted by Picasa

Millinery: The Hat Room

Here's where I am when I say I'm in the hat room! It is our third bedroom, and occasionally I take down my work table and put up a cot for overflow guests.

My inspiration was the Fleur de Paris hat box, which is pink overlayed with black lace. I went a little peachier than their pink, more skin toned.

It is a great delight for me to have my own work space. Bernie helped me decide how it should function, and most of the items were available at Ikea, such as the glass fronted book cases and the tall cabinets. We worked together to put it all together.

My trusty Kenmore sewing machine, now 30 years old, it was the state of the art when I received it as a college graduation present. It still works great. But I'd like to give a serger a whirl.

The poster above the machine is from Haute Hats, a hat show staged at The Houston Museum of Fine Arts. The show had the biggest opening night crowd on record!

I don't have many hats out, as I don't want dust and light to compromise them. The ones on top of of the books are colorful straws that are "just for fun" grab and go wear.

My books are shelved by topic, like a good little librarian ought to shelve her books.

Notice the styling girl on the chair pillow! Nice hat!
My black hat collection. The lacy valance was a scarf, and it is topped with velveteen, which I didn't catch with this picture. It looks a bit like a garter.
Work space: Hard to see, but the poster is from Philadephia Museum of Art, showcasing their hat collection.

Come by some time! I serve my guests pink champaign, and we try on hats for fun. Everyone just loves this room! Posted by Picasa

Summer in the Garden, part 2

Two other pictures taken this morning. The speckled clalidias and the stripped hostas are seasonal treats, warm weather only residents of the gardenscape.
Green, green, green. Three months from now this will be a blaze of colors, even some of the bonsai on the bench will change color.

I really need to experiment with filming the garden with sound. Then you could click on the link and hear the bird song that is a constant melody. Posted by Picasa

Garden in Summer

This morning in the garden everything is green, and heavy looking, like the weight of the morning dew point is quilting the gardenscape. My camera captures the humid density, making my photographs appear as though they were taken in a morning fog.

It isn't a cool fog, but rather the kind of fog that happens in the bathroom after a hot shower on a hot day.

A very slight breeze meandered through the garden at one point, and I imagined what it would have felt like if it had carried an iota of autumnal crisp.

It was almost like recalling a dream.

The Carolina chickadees sounded their "chickadee-dee-dees"vaguely, and another bird chuckled softly, sounding as does a reader chuckling quietly at a passage not shared by any one else.

School began yesterday here in the Houston area. How there can be any enthusiasm for learning right now eludes me. The college is about to go between semesters, with school beginning again at the end of August. It will still be hot then, and students will dress as though they were attending a summer camp, in shorts and tank tops, and sandals.

Dates on calendars of man's creation do not trump the seasons as proscribed by the tilting of the earth's axis, as promised at the time of Creation. Summer will not be rushed. Not here in Houston, not even for the chance to have an extra two weeks of football practice before the games of fall begin.

Right now the garden has few jewels to offer. This tropical flower, related to the spiderwarts, valiantly blooms in a pot on the patio. Just looking at it is a cooling experience, it has a pale yellow center, creating that classic blue/yellow/white fresh combination.

It's going to be a good day to stay inside. The windows are all fogged, as the air condition created spaces contacts the summer space outside. I plan to sew on a dress I have been sewing on with no particular time frame for completion. The house is cleaned and laundry is done, errands up to date. Isn't that how August is supposed to be, a time to dawdle a bit? Like being "snowed in" in winter, it is possible in Houston to be "humidity in" in summer.

Or at least, so say I. Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 14, 2006

Millinery: Silhouettes

A silhoutte artist created this image of me. I had always imagined silhouettes were created by projecting light at a profile, and then tracing the resulting shadow. At least that was how it was done in elementary school, both for myself in the 1950's and my own children in the 1980's.

A silhoutte artist works differently. She had me sit looking forward next to a window. She lifted her scissors and a piece of black paper and began to snip away as we chatted.

In about 10 minutes she was finished.


Since this was at a "hat ladies" event, I got to watch her capture several of my friends in their favorite hats. One clever gal brought a couple of her "favorite" hats (a favorite hat is which ever one make you feel pretty at the moment...) and had two silhouettes made that day. The price was certainly right, something like $20? Worth every penny.

Millinery guru Kate turned her silhoutte into her business card graphic and website logo.

It's an addictive pasttime, getting one's silhouette made. Let me recommended this old fashion way of capturing an image to everyone, young and old, men and women both. After seeing silhouettes with and without hats, let me also recommend having your silhouette enhanced with the addition of a hat, a lively one. You absolutely won't regret it.


(Oh, and by the way, I made the hat. It is a black velveteen buckram based hat, blocked on my wooden profile block, the one that is high in the front and lower in the back. It is trimmed with black satin bias edge...note how the artist captured that detail gleam...and black satin rosette on the side, with a vintage red feather emerging from under the rosette. The hat is just a crown/pillbox form, and sits back on the crown of my head. My bangs have gown out now, and it doesn't quite look right on me anymore. Too bad, I really liked wearing that hat. It was one of my favorites!) Posted by Picasa