Saturday, March 29, 2008

Stuck at work...

While daughter Laura blogs her romps around Memphis and treks to Kentucky, I am stuck at work.

Normally I would have switched days and gone with her, but I already had scheduled to take a bunch of days off two weeks from now for a trip to Charleston, Savannah and Hilton Head. THEN I'll take off another couple of days to have my BGF Gail come to town for Bluebonneting.

I really felt like I should not take even more time off from work.

Laura made it a goal to visit all fifty states before she turned fifty. She beat her time by twenty years. I so wanted to go with her as she crossed the state line between Tennessee and Kentucky and check state number 50 from her list.

I mean, this is the competion of a GOAL, like getting a degree, or buying a house. Something worth celebrating! We talked this morning and she had a blast last night in Memphis, staying up until 1 am having fun with people she met along the way. I am happy that she is happy.

I am trying to tell myself that what I am doing here at work is important too. Finding a book on Scarlatti, showing someone how to research abortion, helping people (waaayyyy too many people) learn how to buy a print card and use a print card to print their paper.

That last "help" is the main activity of the day for me.

I explain that to print something from any computer in the library you either need a student ID card, that comes with a dollar's worth of print on it's magnetic strip, or you need to purchase a print card, which means BUYING from a machine a piece of plastic with a magnetic strip for a dollar, then putting the card back into the machine and adding "value" or a money amount to the card.

I point, walk, explain this process over and over.

Students still want to give me money for printing, or borrow a print card, or claim they have no money for printing. Mind you, we give them a dollar's worth of printing (10 cents a page) just for being a student to begin with.

Students also ask me to find text books in the library collection. They come in looking quite pleased with themselves for being so clever to think of just using the library's copy of the text book instead of actually purchasing a copy for themselves.

We don't have text books in our library collection.

I point out that if we did have a copy of the text book being used for each class on campus, ONE person would check the text book out, and the other 59-250 people taking the class would have to go buy the text book anyway.

That doesn't seem quite fair to everyone now does it?

SOME times a nice teacher will put a copy of the text book in the reserve room, where a student can use the text book in the room, but NEVER take it out of the room. This leads to discussions about the idea of copying pages from that book....and guess what?

We are back to "I don't have money to print, can I borrow your card?"


Then I have the people who ask me to look up a book for them. They can't remember the title, or the author. Something about history, or trigonometry (um...would that be a text book? Yes? We don't carry text books...)

I also have people who have found a great article on a database, but can't find it again. Could I help them?

Sure...we have about six hundred databases, let me get started....

People would like to know when we will close tonight. And where the bathroom might be. They need to use our headphones. They need something to write with, and scratch paper. But mostly they have questions about printing.

So in between helping them (about 20 people in four hours time) I sit and check blogs, scan ebay, and read a book about where we will vacation all the while thinking about Laura achieving her goal.

I remind myself that these students all have a goal in mind too. They hope to get a college education. Right now they hope to just finish their current class assignments. They also check their email, read myspace, watch Youtube and sports.

It is much more interesting going through life with a goal. Having an interesting goal is even better. (Much better than so many typical goals, like to lose weight or repaint a bedroom before guest arrive...) Dreaming big keeps life exciting.

Sometime though, you just have to be excited about the fulfillment of other people's dreams.


Now for the fun stuff:

Video directions on how to make a large scarf into a bag to hold a small purse! Whoo hoo! I can put my small purses inside a scarf and save myself a ton of weight when tromping around.

And more crinoline hats from a millinery site of hats created by Nigerians who sell in Charleston!
This crinoline/horsehair hat thing is getting to me in a good way. I think I am going to actually have to make one soon. I'm going to make it a goal...

And so it goes with milliner me. So tell me: What is your BIG goal?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Millinery: Those Cats in Those Hats

Laura was bored the other day...the cats were there, so were some hats and her camera.

Tiggie made his feelings about this known. Hat wearing is not part of his modeling genre.

She snuck up on Hart in his nap bed.

He was pretty puzzled to wake up only to find he had been behatted.

(Why can't I ever take a nap without someone or something laying on me?)

Laura thought the pink hat looked great with his pink nose.

Tiggie had headed to the master bedroom and thought Laura had forgot about him. He settled in for a nap, but Laura had other plans for him.

(Keep it up sister. Just keep it up....)

(What was THAT????)

(Whoa...After all those danged hats, I needed a good lizard hunt to get my testosterone back up to man cat level.)

(Look deep into my are getting sleepy...sleepy....)
(We thank you Lord for this meal which you have provided....)
And now for the truth of the hunt:
See the movie of Tiggie and Hart hunting the lizard!
(No cats or lizards were injured in the making of this video. Obviously.)
(This blog post is dedicated to Hal, he who subtitled my blog Cats 'n Hats!)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Millinery: Hatty Inspiration and Frustration

Well, given that the Virtual Easter Bonnet Parade was sprung upon blogdom with almost no notice whatsoever, I must say having thirteen Parade entries wasn't too shabby.

Next year everyone will get a reminder to be prepared to spread the word, and have time to goad all your friends into wearing a blogworthy Easter bonnet.

This year's holiday season sure went fast; I didn't even have a chance to blog my St. Patrick's day go to work at the library outfit. You may remember the Shamrock hat in the blog banner up until March 18th?

There it is being worn upon my head.

I've been fussing with creating a similar style springtime/May Day hat. I like my ribbon work, but did a rookie error and forgot to block my buckram frame into a curved slightly cupped shape before I covered it in white silk.

I keep telling myself that it works anyway, but it just sits on the head jutting out in a way that bugs me. Plus the beads hang at a weird angle. Naturally this means I've got to start all over again if I want to really wear it.

My plan was to have french veiling wafting over the whole piece; I cut out ivory veiling instead of white too.


This piece is just bucking me every inch of the way. Except the ribbon flowers, of course.
What was I thinking...I don't even wear lavender anyway.

I'd really rather concentrate on making something like this hat:

(Is it wrong to take a picture of a picture in a magazine?)
The magazine was about wedding flowers; I thought this wedding hat seriously rocked.
The bride was carrying red flowers, and had a cherry theme to her wedding.
I gave it a shot this afternoon using royal blue horsehair (the name of the stuff the hat in the picture is made from.)
I got close but no cigar. I'll need a longer piece, and a curve buckram headpiece covered with matching fabric, or a piece of blocked straw.
It would only take the tip of a straw hood to make the small head piece to which the horsehair would be attached; but somehow I just wince at the idea of cutting up a whole hood just to get a five inch wide circle from the middle.
Now I do hope everyone has been watching the Complete Jane Austen on Masterpiece on PBS on Sunday nights.

I stumbled across the costume designer's comments about the hats worn in Emma. Such a great article about millinery design to illustrate a character's personality. You can read more about Regency millinery here.

I have to ask: Was I the only one who was amazed at Emma's brown hat with a triangle shaped crown?

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Virtual Easter Parade. Any interest in a virtual Kentucky Derby Day showing? We could wear our hats, and place our bets on our blogs.
Then we could invite friends over to watch the race with us (encouraging them to wear their own hats or providing hats from our collections.)

The Derby is always held the first Saturday in May...get your party thinking hats on and let me know if you think this would be a great idea!

Millinery: Easter Parade Monday

(Tuesday morning update: Parade goers are still arriving. If you caught this post yesterday, be sure to scroll down to see some more adorable hatted ladies that have been added today!)

Did you go to an Easter Parade after worship services yesterday?


You say your town just doesn't do that kind of thing...
That you only saw hats on little girls at church...
But secretly wished that you wore a hat, and that others did too.
Secretly you wish that after church you had trooped in a cheery parade down Main Street, chatting and greeting friends and neighbors dressed in their new Spring Time Best.

A few of us did wear a hat yesterday (see more pictures on yesterday's post) and with the awesome power of the electronic media of blogs, today YOU can take part in a virtual Easter parade.
Just post a picture of yourself in your Easter bonnet (whether you were actually wearing it or not yesterday...) then leave a comment back on this post that links back to your blog.
You are welcomed to post pictures of yourself as a child in an Easter bonnet; or someone you know who looked great in theirs.

If you give me permission, I will add your picture to the body of this post. Otherwise the links will serve as the parade "route."

Let the parade begin!

Sandi at Whistle Stop Cafe has a great collection of Easter bonnet kid shots on her post yesterday.

Next we have Min in a lovely royal blue vintage hat and suit. Her post includes shots of all her accessories, and an affirmation that men indeed do LOVE royal blue!

She later wrote about her Easter brunch, and what happened because of her hat.

Oh ladies, when will we ever learn the truth about men and hats?

Here's a link to a blog that has pictures from the real deal NYC Easter bonnet parade. I wish he had taken more pictures of the serious hats though.

Sara from Much Ado about Something wore this smart black and white chapeau. Black and white was very popular this year! Sara wrote a great post about how she felt wearing her hat, and what she saw around her. Be sure to catch her post.

Cristina over at Mad Hatter Wannabe created this hat for the occasion. Note her delicate ribbon embroidery holding the vintage veil smoothly in place.

Hmmm...there seem to be a trend here. Black hat ruled the day so far.

DO NOT MISS THIS! Miss Kitty and her blogging friend over at Moonbeams in a Jar go hunting for an Easter bonnet, and I promise you it is hilarious PLUS it has some great hats to boot. Be sure to scroll all the way down to catch the hats being modeled by Dad. Bonus material: Link to directions to make a hat shaped pin cushion!

Vicki from Words sent me a picture of herself as a child in her Easter finery. Love the hat, love the gloves. Although a tad large, Vicki said the purse and gloves were probably borrowed from her Mom, and the purse probably held a hankie and five pennies for the church offering plate.

I wish I could go back to the days of carrying just a hankie and a coin for offering; now days my purse carries everything but the kitchen sink!

Another ADORABLE parade post at Janel Messenger "Pearls" that you absolutely MUST NOT miss! Along with a Mother-Daughter photo; the little lass is wearing a bonnet that would make Jane Austen's characters turn green with envy.

Mom's hat is serenely elegant as well. Sigh. Girls in white dresses...perfect!

And get this: Both hats were lovingly made by Mom Janel; see comments to find the link to the hat patterns that she used. Well done Janel!

The LazyMilliner Mary Beth Klatt posted her Easter hat, and a rant to go with it. She braved a snowy Easter and some clueless people ("What is that on your head?" was one comment she received...) to add a touch of celebration and elegance to the day. Her black chapeau with a black and white dress was another vote for the currently popular black.

It really is never too soon for a girl to learn to work the charm of a sweet little Easter bonnet....

(Miss LauraRN, she who is the lady with the glasses at the top of this post, as seen in her first bonnet, that was my first bonnet as well...)

Hats and gloves, baskets and brother as additional accessories.

Looking nice at age 12.

Mother-Daughter photos are so charming, even when the daughter isn't!

Maureen at Tea and Friendship and her sister in 1969, modeling the matching dresses made by their mom in front of the blooming wisteria. Mom did good, didn't she?

To be continued....

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Mom and Dad D. and S., and Jeff: We missed you on this joyous day!
Like you said in your e-mail Dad, maybe next year we can be together. Maybe we'll have another Easter egg hunt yet.

We took pictures for you so you could share in our day. Here we are, all dressed up for Easter:

Laura borrowed one of my vintage hats, and I made my Easter bonnet to go with my dress. I blocked the parasisol capeline straw, and made the flowers from organdy, and created the middle of the flower from my vintage stamen collection. The ribbon is vintage too, as is the green veiling.

Yesterday Laura and I made Lovella's paska recipe. It is DELICIOUS!
We had that for Easter brunch along with chorizo. Weird, I know, but that was what we had.
I made Laura model my hat as well.

Oh boy, I LOVE taking pictures of Laura!

A closer look at the middle.

Bernie risked giving Tiggie an Easter hug. Moments later Tiggie was flying through the air as he decided to decimate Bernie with his claws.

The flowers in the garden are still gorgeous.

A good picture of both of us! Thank you Laura!

Tiggie got to try a paska bun. He was just so-so on it.
He said he'd rather have a Greenie cat treat.
We told him if he behaved himself he might get to have a Greenie egg hunt later on.

I played stick with Tigs; his flying lesson didn't seemed to have affected him at all.

I'm putting a link to a slide show about all of us HERE, and one of just Laura HERE.
We love you!!!
Happy Easter!