Friday, May 25, 2012

Festival Time

The Paseo Arts Festival is upon us again already.  Though I hope to be in my usual spot, I won't know until set-up this evening, so when you come out for art, music, friends, and fun, just look for this:
Have a fun, safe weekend, don't forget what Memorial Day is really all about, and I'll see you on the other side.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

One Thing Leads to Another

Last weekend I found myself at a Kentucky Derby party.  Now I'm conflicted when it comes to horse racing; the fantasy is beautiful and romantic, but the reality seems to get uglier every year, and knowing the things I know,  I don't think I could bring myself to attend a race in person.  However, when someone tells me there's a  party with food, drinks, and lots of hats, how can I not be intrigued?  I have rather a lot of hats, but they're mostly everyday flapperish affairs, or ringed, netted pillboxes passed down from my grandmother and grandmothers of strangers.  Back in the winter, though, I had dropped $5 on a wide-brimmed felt hat at a vintage show, because it was something I didn't have, and it looked rather dashing.  For this affair it seemed a bit underdone, so I scrambled around looking for some way to jazz it up, without turning it ridiculous.  (It turned out there were nearly as many silly, over-the-top hats at the party as elegant and beautiful ones, but I didn't know that beforehand, and it mightn't have mattered, as I prefer not to look silly in a hat.)  In the end, I put an old flowered hat over the crown, stitched it in place, and clipped a large purple feathery flower fascinator on the side, which doesn't show much in the picture.  It was fun.  It was a hot day, and I didn't know many people, but my pal Jeri and I had a good time nibbling from the hors d'ourve table, sipping wine and mint juleps, and engaging in people-watching.

A few days later I realized my cutlery tray needed a good cleaning.  Which led to a sorting of silverware, and a curiosity about all my mismatched pieces.  That, in turn, led to getting out the readers and magnifying glass, finding an informative silver pattern website, and passing several hours researching the name and date of origin of my pieces.  I even wrote them down, with descriptions and sketches, for future reference.  From there I had to dig out the boxed silverware I'd inherited from my grandmother, probably never used.  Though I don't know exactly when she received it, I do know it's the Community Plate Coronation pattern, designed in 1936 in honor of Edward VIII, who, of course, ended up abdicating the throne in order to be with his divorced, American lady friend.

My digging around for silverware led me to a basement cupboard where I rediscovered a box of china I'd bought years ago from a wandering hippy at an art festival.  (I was selling mosaic ware at the time, and she rushed home to bring me her box of mostly brown willow dishes, saying I could smash them up.)  Brown willow doesn't appeal to me the way blue willow does, but the box also contained several tea cups, saucers, dessert plates, and small bowls of this sweet pattern.

The weather is beautifully cool, damp, dreary, our outdoor secret haven, The Magnolia Room, is in full swing most evenings, and the berries are ripening right on schedule.

I'm thinking a fancy garden tea party may be in order....