Monday, May 26, 2014

Outdoor Spring Tea

Spring has sprung and seems to have flown by!

But before Spring leaves for the year I wanted to be sure to celebrate the warm days with an outdoor tea with friends! For the occasion I invited friends Wendy and Betty over and set the kettle on the burner!

For this tea I used my Lenox Butterfly tea set which seemed very fitting for a spring tea.

On the menu was peppered turkey tea sandwiches with honey mustard and avocado, white egg salad sandwiches with chives and lime mayonnaise, and ham and swiss tea sandwiches with kalamata olives and pickled bell peppers to start. The second course was mushroom turnovers, spanakopita with spinach, ricotta, and feta, and savory pastry bites with feta and caramelized onions. For desert we each got a mini fruit tart, a choice between raspberry cheesecake, vanilla bean cheesecake, or chocolate cheesecake, as well as a choice between pistachio macaron, key lime macaron, and raspberry macaron. For tea selections I had a green blooming tea with jasmine, as well as a decaf sweet coconut thai chai tea.

The tea and tea sandwiches I made myself. The savories I got from Trader Joe's. And the desserts I picked up from Whole Foods. 

A Nice Day To Spend In the Warm Sun With Friends Over Tea.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Happy Belated Double Kitty Birthday Party!

Un tres joyuex anniversaire pour mes chats!

Which means a very happy birthday for my cats. Not too shabby for remembering all that high school French!

My dad started the tradition in our house of celebrating Murkurie's birthday when she turned 1 back in 1996. I still remember the Cold Stone ice cream cake he got her. There's a picture somewhere of it with me with a very bad home-made haircut having to hold Merk off the table by the cake otherwise she would have really just gone for that cake! She did get a slice of it but just a little bit. There was a lot of forgotten birthdays between then and the last couple years but I'm happy that for the last couple of years we have not forgotten to give her some kind of birthday bash!

This year we celebrated late and decided to celebrate with a double birthday since both Merk and Wolfgang have birthdays in April and it was now May. I am also late in posting this blog... This happened during the first weekend of May.

Getting the Party Ready! Kitty Tea Cups of Cat Sip, Kitty Tea Pots, and Birthday Cakes!

A Cake For Murkurie and a Cake For Wolfgang

For Merk's birthday I got her a single layer white cake with lots of pink and lots of icing. She likes icing!
For Wolf, I got him a tiramisu. I don't think he really cares for cake so I picked out one I like ;)

We invited all the house cats to come so I set up four cups and saucers of Cat Sip but unfortunatly only two cats showed up. Wolf was a no show for his own birthday party! And I didn't really expect B.K. to come since she's feral and all but I thought it would be nice to invite her.

Murkurie Inspecting the Kitty Birthday Cakes

Merk Likes Her Cake Most

Cats Having Fun At the Double Kitty Birthday Party

C.C. Cookie Also Wants to Inspect the Kitty Birthday Cakes

Action Shot! Kitties Having Fun!

Candles Are Lit!

Merk Is a Bit of a Pyromaniac

Watch Out Merk!

Happy 19th Birthday Murkurie! Happy 2nd Birthday Wolfgang!

Happy 19th birthday Murkurie! Happy 2nd birthday Wolfgang! Wishing you good health, lots of good comfy warm cat naps, lots of chicken treats and cracker treats, and wishing you many more happy kitty birthdays to come!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Hell Bunny's Emilie Dress, A Dress Review

Hell Bunny's been making quite an impression on me these last two seasons.

Actually, make that last two years.

While I've always admired their signature 1950's style halter dresses from the last couple of years, I'm really excited to see the new styles they have been coming out with lately. Last Fall/Winter (2013) they came out with beautiful 40's style dresses (the Mae West dress, the Nell dress, as well as the Madden dress). The Fall/Winter before that (2012) their styles were also equally impressive with their Suzy Parker dress, Posey dress, Evie dress, and Sandy dress. And they haven't been limiting themselves to awesome dresses only for the cooler months. Last Spring/Summer (2013) they had the awesome Melanie dress, and the Lazy River dress. This Spring/Summer (2014) they have the beautiful Sheila dress, and Claudia dress previously reviewed respectively here (An Apple a DayThe Vintage Dancer Dress, A.K.A. Hell Bunny's Clauida Dress ). These are just a few of my favorites from this brand. One more to add to the list is their Emilie dress. I got this dress from JBR Clothing.

I can't quite put my finger on this dress... is it 1930's style? 1940's style? Maybe 50's or 60's? Whatever style it may be emulating, it's a beautiful dress. I'm kind of leaning towards 30's (judging from the length, the crochet collar, and the pleating style) but I could be wrong. It could as easily be seen as 1960's style. In any case, I will continue on to the details.

This dress is made from a cotton spandex blend but seems to be as easy care as polyester, not wrinkling easily. It has a heavier weight which makes it a good dress for any season with the right accessories. With a pair of sweater tights and a good cardigan I can see this easily being one of my go-to winter dresses though, the cap sleeves ensures it would also be a great summer dress when worn without a cardigan or tights. The material of the dress, although on the heavier side, has a slight stretch to it as well as a somewhat soft feel to it rather than thick and starchy, making it a very comfortable and easy to wear dress. The dress has a full circle skirt, giving it lots of twirl. There is pleating under the bustline around its tailored cut. This is balanced out with clean, simple, cap sleeves. The dress is adorned with a cream colored crocheted collar as well as pearl buttons down the collar which themselves are adorned with gold.

As many dresses as I have I don't really have too many black dresses, especially swing-skirted black dresses. So it's nice to add this little black dress to my collection, particularly an easy to wear one!

Hell Bunny Emilie Dress- Front View

Hell Bunny Emilie Dress- Side View

Hell Bunny Emilie Dress- Back View

Hell Bunny Emilie Dress-Close Up of Collar and Button Detail

Hell Bunny Emilie Dress- Close Up of Bustline Detail, Pleats, Buttons and Collar

It is so hard to photograph black! The pleated detail of the dress does not come out too well in the pictures. It has a lovely cut on top though.

One thing that does drive me a little crazy about this dress is the buttons. The backs of these buttons aren't flat but more like U shape which do nothing to stop the buttons from moving around. Does anyone have any suggestions to keep these buttons still!?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Making Little Hats AKA a DIY Tutorial on Fascinators

I am so excited about the new little hat I made over the weekend!

I've slowly been compiling quite a collection of hats, fascinators, hair flowers, and hair bows. It was within this obsessive frame of mind that I saw Trashy Diva's blog post on their new fascinator collection by Louise Green, Fascinator Frenzy. These hats and fascinators were so whimsy, cheerful, colorful and just so fun!!! I was dying to get my hands on the Louise Green Cherry Doll Hat! But then I saw the price. :( As much as I do spend my money I just couldn't take the plunge. And so I was sadly resigned to the fact that I did not and will not own the Louise Green Cherry Doll Hat. But that doesn't mean I would have to go without some whimsy, cheerful, colorful and fun little hats and fascinators of my very own. I decided to make my own. And here friends is my DIY tutorial on the new fun little hat I made over the weekend.

1) Start with a fascinator base. I bought this teardrop sinamay from seller guigkat on ebay. I have also seen similar fascinator bases on etsy.

(My trusty bff Murkurie overlooks my work.)

2) If your fascinator base doesn't already have a hair comb, alligator clip, snap clip, headband, elastic string, or neck tie (some kind of way to keep the hat on) you will have to get one of these items.

For this fascinator I decided to utilize a hair comb because the base itself is not too flexible so a snap clip probably wouldn't be too practical, I didn't know how well an alligator clip glued on to this somewhat nonporous surface of the hat would hold, and I didn't want to have the visibility of a headband, elastic string, or neck tie on this particular hat. 

3) I sewed on the hair clip to the back of the fascinator sewing around the base of the hair clip between the last two teeth on each edge of the comb. 

4) Next... things to put on the hat! For this hat, in the spirit of the Louise Green Cherry Doll Hat, I wanted to make something with fake fruit. I decided to make a grape fascinator!

5) And yet, while I was out gathering my grapes I saw this peacock feather in the same aisle. I thought, how lovely these colors go together! And you may know from my other past posts, A Good Peacock is Hard to Find, and  A Peacock for All Occasions, how much I do love peacocks!

6) I hot glued the peacock feather about halfway down the fascinator and at a jaunty little angle to give the hat some asymmetry, gluing the feather at about the eye of the feather and also at the base of the feather.

7) Then I sewed the feather on for extra reinforcement at the base of the feather.

8) Next I added the grapes. These I sewed on as well sewing around the stems of the grapes at the top middle of the bunch and also at the end of the bunch. I knew I wanted to have some of the grape leaves on with the bunch but the grape leaves that came with this bunch was super rubbery looking and not to my liking....

9) So I took a leaf off of my artificial grape vine in my house and hot glued that on to my fascinator!

10) And voila! My very own whimsy, cheerful, colorful, and fun grape fascinator!