Friday, April 29, 2011

The Royal Wedding

Like a couple billion people, I watched Will and Kate marry today and wish them many happy years together. Loved every minute of it. Kate's Dress was exquisite and loved Pippa's dress. Carol Middleton's dress and coat was so elegant. The Queen looked lovely in her daffodil yellow outfit and I pray I can have skin THAT smooth at eighty-five!

I had never heard the term fascinator for a hat before, but the name fits. There were a few that were fascinatingly hideous. And a few awful dresses, worn by the same hideous hat wearers. I won't mention names, I'm sure you know who they are.

The entire ceremony was romantic and beautiful. Will and Kate seemed so happy.

I laughed when the Happy Couple was driving from the Palace in the Aston Martin. I'm sure each of my three sons, in the same position, would have said, "Honey, look, the bobbies have cleared out the people. Let's do some donuts around Queen Victoria's fountain while we have the chance!"

You think I'm kidding?

Anyway, it was a beautiful, wonderful wedding that I don't think I'll see the likes of again in my lifetime. Many thanks to all the hard working people who made it all happen so flawlessly for the world to enjoy.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pansy Garden


Our lamp post garden is the easiest garden I have because

A.) it is always planted in annuals and
B.) it is relatively small and
C.) I don't have to work around any tree roots or shrubbery

In past years I have tried zinnias because I love them and they are such a great long lasting cut flower, but they are warm weather plants that grow best from seed after the last frost...and even if I do buy them already in pots, they take so long to get established that it is late summer before I see a profusion of flowers.

So I went with a cool weather annual this year. The pretty pansy.

I didn't get all the leaves raked up last Fall and decided to use as many as I could to "compost" under the pansies as I planted them. Get two things done at once...leaf cleanup and planting.

One garden planted... and now on to the perennials.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Apron Appreciation

My mother learned to sew when I was in fourth grade. Back then, it was cheaper to make your own clothes, so she made dresses, mostly for herself, but sometimes for her daughters. One of the first projects I remember her doing was matching mother and daughter dresses for herself and the three of us girls. Sleeveless A-line dresses with a ruffle along the bottom, in a beautiful white fabric with large red daisies on it.

Here is a piece of the leftover daisy fabric, which I found recently. I absolutely love it! Always did. I wish Mom had saved the dresses, but they are long since gone.

When I was in sixth grade she offered me sewing lessons given by a local department store. I was good at it and liked it, though by high school I rather resented being expected to make any new clothes I wanted. I was envious of girls whose Mom's made them lots of pretty clothes. But, honestly, with five kids in my family by then, I knew that was beyond my mom's capabilities. In any case, I got enough practice at it that by high school I was able to take a basic pattern and make some creative changes to it. Like the time I copied a dress worn by Barbra Streisand in "Funny Girl". LOL

For decades I did not value or appreciate my sewing skills, even though in my early twenties, I was able to make my wedding dress from a beautiful Vogue pattern. It had a gorgeous French lace and hand glued pearls. (I couldn't find anything I liked off the rack.) I thought sewing skills were pretty mundane... "traditional women's work", but I've come to appreciate the talent and skill required. Mostly, I like the creative aspect of it and the uniqueness of whatever I've made because I almost never follow a pattern or directions exactly as they are presented. I haven't made my own clothes for decades, though I do have a few special pieces waiting to be made now. I gravitated to more artistic sewing...quilts and such.

I inherited all of my mom's fabric, most of it scraps, because she pretty much bought a pattern and fabric and made it, before she bought anything else. But there was a pretty little flower patterned fabric (three and half yards) that she bought and never got around to making whatever she had planned for it.

I decided to make matching aprons for my sisters and I from it. Two of my mom's skills and favorite things to do were baking and sewing, so this seems like an appropriate way to honor of her and put the fabric to good use. Here is the first one.

P.S. I just realized, as I was reminiscing about that first dress I made in sewing class that it was made from a daisy fabric also! Tiny white daisies on a turquoise background. How funny!