Saturday, April 30, 2011

Fascinators (Women's Hats)

The Royal Wedding showed off its finest.  Some links for your enjoyment are included at the bottom of the post relating from fashion to the sanctity of marriage.

But first, let's talk about the hats almost all wedding celebrants were wearing yesterday.  I learned from a television commentator a new term for those hats that sit on the side of the head: "fascinators".

The hat style, as SIL Charlotte remarked, it not new.  In fact, fascinators were quite in style in the 18th and 19th centuries.  Here is Marie Antoinette in what could be called a fascinator on her head:
Hats are not required to sit atop the head, but can be an adornment to an elaborate hairdo.  Marie shows her up-do to advantage with the fascinator adding at least 10-12 inches to her height!

From yesterday's ceremony, note the hat that Posh Girl wore yesterday with a sleek pony tail:

Kate Middleton has generally favored Philip Treacy as her favorite hat stylist.  Now that she is Catherine, Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cambridge, Mr. Treacy will likely continue to be a designer icon world-wide.

Remember Catherine in this Philip Treacy hat?

So an old made new style is coming back for hats.  The Fascinator!  Let's all run out and buy a few.

Satanica on Etsy has these lovely fascinators for sale at a reasonable price; swing over to this page to see more and/or to purchase on Etsy (everything hand made).

As promised, web links, courtesy of Living the Grand Life:

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Top Down Summer V Neck Sweater #2

Finished is Heidi's Top Down Sweater, rendition 2, with a lace inset under the neckline:

While listening to the Knitting Pipeline, Paula mentioned that BConstanze on Ravelry uses Picasa to make collages of her knitting projects, so I thought I'd give it a try and came up with this:

All Pink!
Details on this sweater can be found here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Updates on the Tea Party for the Royal Wedding (from Ravelry)

Sharing updates from the Anglophile tea party group on Ravelry...

Queenie, complete with this avatar she has on her informational page, said
As you can guess by my user name, I think I am royalty. I have always said that I just need the birth certificate to prove it. That said I have backed out of a girls weekend, and tickets to the opening night of the Joffrey so I can devote the entire day to my pretend world. Years ago my DH bought me a tiara with genuine cut glass “diamonds” so that will be atop my head all day long. I am a sad sad sad individual
And Auntsugar adds:
While I wish I could come to your tea party I suspect I will hostess one of my own with the neighbors across the road. I will also be making pastry cups for the curds I preserved last summer,both made with the luscious very dark large egg yolks from her mothers chicken eggs, and the fresh, huge raspberries off their bushes! This is an Easter treat for her whole family. I wonder if the weekend figured in the bride and grooms decision to marry that weekend? The commute for me would be too long even in the virtual world. So do enjoy and savor you lovely scones and creme.
I added:
Yesterday I cruised over to WalMart for the weekly haul, strolled through the kids’ toy section, spotted a rhinestone tiara, thought hard about it, but then walked on by.
I am still thinking I should go back and get that tiara and wear it at breakfast.
Cristi adds:
I’ll be watching the wedding in real time.. since I live in England.  I’ve been getting wedding “fever”.. I’ve just finished watching the William and Kate special on BBC1. I’ve got all my wedding kit. :) and the day off.. because the day has been made a bank holiday.. yay!!

I took this picture in Sainsburys the other day.. yes I’m a saddo.. but I bought a bit of everything.

Looking forward to Friday..
Our Colorado/English breakfast menu is still being discussed.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Dressing

Aww, my girls way back when in Billings, Montana:

You know it was a long time ago if black and white film was still in vogue.

Martha Stewart tells you how to make these carrots filled with trinkets.

Instructions are here:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Maundy Thursday

What is Maundy Thursday?  In short, it is the day commemorating the Last Supper with Jesus and his disciples.

More information about the word "Maundy" from here:
1. (obsolete) A commandment.
2. (obsolete) The sacrament of the Lord's supper.
3. The ceremony of washing the feet of poor persons or inferiors, performed as a religious rite on Maundy Thursday in commemoration of Christ's washing the disciples' feet at the last supper.
4. The office appointed to be read during the ceremony of feet-washing.

Jacopo Bassano (1542)
Jacopo Bassano's Last Supper, painted in 1542, is one of the masterpieces of 16th century Italian painting. Instead of the elegant grouping of figures in Leonardos' painting, which inspired it, this dramatic scene features barefoot fishermen at the crucial moment when Christ asks who will betray him, and the light passing through a glass of wine stains the clean tablecoth red. Recent restoration has only now revealed the extraordinary original colours, which had been heavily painted over in the 19th century, when the emerald green and iridescent pinks and oranges were not in fashion.
and about the dog at the bottom of the painting:
The themes painted by Bassano are predominantly religious but in the Mannerist style he includes many every day articles, rural people, barns and farmhouses. His work is devoid of the grand temples, the silk and furs of his contemporaries; Bassano’s depictions are of normal people, undertaking daily tasks. Many of his works are Franciscan in content, full of nature and animals, the focal points of his pictures are often surrounded by detailed images of farm animals, dogs and cats. His painting Two hunting dogs tied to a tree is credited with being one of the first animal portraits in Western art in existence.

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Party Invitation For Wills & Kate

Are you caught up in the Royal excitement of the wedding? If so, please come join in the party on April 29, 2011.  All details can be found here, where the party invitation says...
Let’s have a virtual tea ... to celebrate the Wedding of the New Millenium!
What are you knitting whilst preparing for the celebration? What are you reading (British literature, of course)? What are you planning for Aprll 29?
My husband and I will awake early (2 AM in the MST zone of the USA) and prepare a royal breakfast. Please bring a virtual British treat, along with the shared recipe, and join us for breakfast. We will discuss it all in the next week. Join in!
Supportive husband will be making a true English breakfast, including the full monty of
2 links good quality sausages
2 -3 slices bacon
2 flat mushrooms
1 -2 ripe tomato
1 large egg
1 slice bread
Optional Extras

1 slice black pudding
baked beans
cooked potato, thinly sliced
Later in the afternoon, we shall have scones and champagne!
And hats! Wear your hats!

One British Ravelry friend, HandWashOnly, said:
I work in a British boarding school. We will be at work on the 29th but we have the lessons off to watch the wedding (if we want) and are organising a whole school picnic lunch with bunting and plastic union jack bowler hats. We will be wearing red, white and blue!

I think regardless what people feel about the royals, the wedding is a fab reason to get together as a community!

So, because things might get a bit hectic as we try to sort our own celebrations, I am going to leave some bunting here and wish you a happy tea party!!
I shall be knitting on my V-Neck SummerTop Down Sweater whilst watching the festivities on the telly.

Please provide your virtual presence, complete with festive hat, perhaps a cucumber sandwith and an authentic English recipe. See you (virtually) around 2 AM here in the States. 
(No pajamas allowed.)

PS: Gifts for William and Kate may be given to their charitable trust that will support 26 charities of the couple’s choice, incorporating the armed forces, children, the elderly, art, sport and conservation.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sheep Picture by Craftlit Friend Amy & Watercolor

Fellow tourist to Wales in the UK took this picture.  Actually, this is a screen shot, and the original was much clearer.  Is that a magpie on that sheep in the background?

Here is my watercolor rendition of a sheep:

This sweet picture of a fairy is my next watercolor effort. My first attempt ended in the wastebasket because it had too much color in the background.

More Flower Fairies can be seen here.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Small Places

North Carolina friend Carol sent me an article about a 90 sq. ft. apartment in New York City.  The entire article with more pictures can be found here.

Obviously, there is a place for everything. And at $700/month rent, WOW!  Her back yard is Central Park.

But I am still impressed that one of my Scrabble friends in Calgary, CA has moved into a renovated loft above a 100 year old pub in a toney part of the city.  His apartment is a bit over 300 square feet.  (And cost is not a concern for him, as he is wealthy by most middle American class standards.) 

It is all in the mindset.  Now I need to go get rid of a few clothes.

After posting this, my friend The KnitNurd gave a further link to TumblewoodHouses, tiny houses that pack a wallop.  Wouldn't you LOVE to have one of these?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Grandmother's Bread (with yeast and fairly sweet)

From the 1960's, this recipe was my favorite food item my grandmother made on a regular basis. I copied it down at the kitchen table while she spoke it. I knew I would want it later.  Boy, am I glad I did because I have used this recipe for these many years after she has been gone.  It is a real comfort food for me.

Favorite parts of the recipe include the words "beat with rolling pin" and the stains on the paper showing the age of the recipe.  And I do remember Mom beating the dough with a rolling pin!

Yesterday was cool and cloudy, and I made three loaves of this bread, although the original recipe said "Makes 4 loaves".
Loaves "under-cover"
All said and done, it was overcooked at 55 minutes (I confess to falling asleep while waiting for the stove buzzer), but still mighty tasty.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Aprons: Some Free Vintage Patterns

From The Sew Weekly, this week's theme is aprons.
As hard as it is to believe, there was once a time when women cooked in clothes that they didn't want to get dirty! Yes! It's true! And then the 1960s happened, clothing got a whole lot cheaper to make and buy and the idea of *not* wearing your party dress while you made some sort of gelatinous dish was born. While wearing an apron today has become more of a kitchy nod to the past, there has certainly been a resurgance of aprons as textile art.

Although I am not in that perfect age group to wear aprons, I still do it.

And IMHO, the perfect age group is either young (ages 4 to 29) or old (just a bit older than I!). 

Last week, I wore this apron to painting group, and got a funny look from a guy in an even older age group.  It probably is not attractive from the back view, if ya know what I mean, but it is very cute from the front:

A big lot of vintage FREE patterns for aprons can be accessed here.  Now go make one!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Knitted Gift: Top Down V-Neck Sweater

Finished after several attempts, Heidi's Simple Summer Sweater:

The yarn is 75% cotton and 25% acrylic, so it should be a comfortable summer sweater for cool evenings.

The steep learning curve is detailed on this post.

Details are here if you are an interested knitter.

Hope you like it, Charlotte!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Angry Birds...err...Petulant Birds?

Almost finished:

And with a little more attitude:

Oil, 11" x 14"

Now working on two large panels on wrapped canvas of similar petulant birds for home display.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Where Do You Knit? 2KCBWDAY7

Write about your typical crafting time. When it is that you are likely to craft – alone or in more social environments, when watching TV or whilst taking bus journeys. What items do you like to surround yourself with whilst you twirl your hook like a majorette’s baton or work those needles like a skilled set of samurai swords. Do you always have snacks to hand, or are you a strictly ‘no crumbs near my yarn!’ kind of knitter.

Since this is part of the Blog Along week posts via the Blog Hub group on Ravelry, I'll contain answering about where it is that I spend crafting time to simply "where do you knit?"
But let's create the entire environment of where I knit.  There is usually, if not always, some sort of background noise involved.

The noise is not actually annoying, as the word implies, but is just part of the usual sounds of life: television programming, radio coming in from the study of the husband,
 podcasts coming in through earphones via the MP3 player, dogs chatting with one another in the room, and dogs loudly conversing outside through what we humans deem "barking".  Also there might be the dishwasher chugging away whilst making those dinner dishes squeaky clean.

Let's go on to the actual place where I sit when knitting.  (And no, I never knit while standing up as I have observed sales personnel performing while  in yarn stores.)
This is the worn covering on the La-Z-Boy seat, poor thing:
It has had just too many hours of my bottom wearing against it while knitting.
This is my last post in the 2nd annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, so normal posting will resume after today. It's been great fun, thinking about specifics to do with knitting, and also visiting a whole load of new blogs. Big thanks to Eskimi for all her efforts in organizing this blog-along.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Wordless Post 2KCBW DAY5

2KCBKWDAY5: This is an experimental blogging day to try and push your creativity in blogging to the same level that you perhaps push your creativity in the items you create.

There are no rules of a topic to blog about (though some suggestions are given below) but this post should look at a different way to present content on your blog. This can take one of many forms, but here a few suggestions:
•Wordless, photographic post
•Video blog post
•Cartoon/sketch of an idea
•Write about a subject from a different perspective (for example, you could write about a day in the life of a knitted sock from the point of view of the sock).
•Interpretive modern dance (why does someone always suggest this?
•A poem or piece of rhyming verse
•Stop motion animation
Go on over to Eskimi's blog to join in with the blog-along.

"To read more posts on the topic ‘Whatever Happened to your ____"  from bloggers around the world, all blogging today, enter the code 2KCBWDAY5 into Google or your search engine of choice. Happy reading, and happy blogging."