Monday, February 28, 2011

8 Commandments of Hat Wearing.......

Michael Cunningham: Photographer & Co-author of the book Crowns

I wanted to do something different in honor of black history month.  My church was having a hat day and I sooooooo longed to bring my camera and stand at the doorway and snap pictures as the women entered the sanctuary with their heads crowned in fabric glory.  There were all different colors, shapes and shades of fabric twisted and formed in ways that were inconceivable.

Taking photos did not sit well with me as it seemed very disrespectful to snap pictures in church. I settled for the next best thing- the internet.   
The heritage of black women wearing hats to church actually started during the slavery era.   It was an opportunity for women to shed the apron strings and and house dresses and don a style of sophistication.  It started with simply adding ribbon or flower as a decorative feature to a straw hat.  Wearing hats and dressing impeccably for church was a way to honor  and reverence God.  The covering of the head is even referenced in scripture.

Years later after slavery ended, hats not only became a status symbol by pairing it with matching gloves and pocketbooks (purses).  Hats are also symbolic of the length and breath that black women have come throughout history by celebrating their confidence and independence while triumphing over hardships.

Today hats are worn by older women or "women of a certain age" within the church.

Lastly, if you are brave enough to find and wear that stylish hat to church then here are some rules to follow.

9 Commandments of hat wearing
Thou shalt not wear a hat wider than the shoulders.
Thou shalt not wear a hat a shade darker than the shoes.
Thou shalt only wear hats with the colors of white, cream and pastels for Easter.Thou shalt not wear a hat with crumpled, wrinkled or droopy feathers or flowers. (That would just be plain tacky.)
Always look tasteful and tidy when wearing "the hat."
Remember your bone structure. If a hat doesn't fit the face, don't buy it.
Thou shalt not allow a hat to compete with accessories and jewelry.
Always let the hat be the focal point of the outfit. 

For additional pictures see Time Magazine photo album

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Valentine's Day Recipe for a Journal

Yes, I Love Valentine's Day but I loathe what greeting card franchises, flower shops and the retail industry as a whole has done to this day. For all the lovers in the house who do not believe in throwing dollars to the wind, I thought that I would introduce a little recipe for how to create a treat that your special one is sure to love.  Yes, guys you too can make is easy! 

And....if your special loved one is on a diet- there are ZERO calories for indulging in this recipe.

Ingredients for this treat:

-1 composition note book- 
(yes the black & white kind that you used in elementary school. Can be purchased at Target)

-4 pieces of scrapbook paper (lots of designs to choose from) & 2 pieces of solid color card stock

-1 spool of decorative ribbon

-2 decorative flowers & basic rubber stamps (look in the dollar bin at Michael's)

-1 package of glue dots, 3/16 in size.
basic black ink pad

-2  buttons that you have been meaning to sew back on to one of your outfits but you know it will never get done.  If you do not have any lying around the house, Michael's also sells a bag of vintage buttons.  Although it might be easier to go to JoAnn's and get a simple packet containing 2 buttons; especially if you do not have a use for so many buttons

(All items except the note book can be purchased at Michael's)

Take the composition book and place it front side facing you. Take the scrapbook paper & place it so the paper lines up to the edge of the black tape on the left side of the composition book and front of the paper lines up with the top of the composition note book. Use a little bit of your glue stick and place a small amount on the scrapbook paper to it in place.  Then turn the book so that the scrapbook paper is on the bottom.  Trace around the cover of the book onto the back side of the scrapbook paper, cut out using your traced line as a guide. Repeat these steps again for the back of the book.

This is your creation so you can design it according to your hearts desires.  
In my design, I liked the idea of mixing it up a little, so I used the card stock on the top of the book and the scrapbook paper on the bottom. You can cut sheets in half and mix in match. 

Be careful that you pay attention to which sheets you are using for the front of the book vs the back of the book.

If you dare, you can use the extra two pieces of scrapbook paper for the inside of the covers, so that you don't have the name page & multiplication tables staring at your loved one when they open this prized position.

Then design & create!  Use your can use your stamps on the card stock- like I did. I just did a random design, nothing formal. Have fun with it.

I cut 2 pieces of ribbon about 6inches.  I cut the ribbon bottoms at a 45 degree angle to get the pointed tips.  I used glue dots to hold the ribbon in place as well as glue dots to hold the flower in place over the ribbon.  The center of the flower is the button, also adhered with glue dots.  

Although, this Journal was created for a friend who was delivering her baby girl on Valentine's Day.  You can create this journal as a simple, unique & quick gift for anytime of the year.

 Stay other recipes will be popping up throughout the year.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dare to dream

pic taken by me many years ago

Life is a funny thing.  Remember when you were young and you couldn't wait to grow up, be an adult, and get out from your parents home and live life? You even dared to dream and on a regular basis. My dreams....... I  was going to be a movie star, an artist, a track star and a dancer. Yes, I was going to be all those things.

Do you remember your dreams, what you were going to be, what you dreamed to be?

Recently during one of my blog stampedes I ran across a very interesting question- you know the type of question that makes you say hmmm. I can't say that I have the exact answer yet, but I am working on it.  So let me throw it out to you.  In 50 years, what do you want your life to look like? Even more simply put, where do you want to be in 50 years?

Yes, it is easy to say I want to be in a nice place or I want to be at a certain level financially but I am referring to something a little deeper than that...lately I have been reopening the door to those dreams that I dared to dream way back when; those same dreams that somehow have gotten buried under the sands of time. No, I do not want to be a movie star, a track star or a dancer.

As I matured, so did my dreams. I dreamed of owning my own gallery, of owning a home,  and traveling around the world; just to name a few. As time has changed, so have my dreams and my ability to dream BIG got lost in the real world.  I have decided to bring some of my dreams into the future and make them a reality....hoping that where ever I am in 50 years, I will not have any regrets on not fully living my out my dreams.

What are your dreams? 
Where do you want to be in 50 years?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

One little word...

We are hurdling quickly towards the end of the first month of 2011.  It has been a GREAT month.

I ended 2010 feeling motionless in my personal life.    After reading this post. It just emphasized my original thoughts of what I want for 2011.

I want 2011 to be full of MOTION. I want to GROW......
I want to pursue my DREAMS &  my GIFT, the drive to CREATE.

Most of all, I want to I did some praying, reading, and soul searching and I am developing my out look for 2011.  Then I read this and afterward, I realized that I needed my special word for 2011. One word, something that I can say that would quickly remind me and bring me full circle while keeping me in constant pursuit of what I want for 2011.

My word is: 

What is your word for 2011?  Don't be shy, tell me!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

To sushi or not to sushi

Sushi platter: tuna, salmon & salmon eggs, shrimp, & mackerel:  pic taken by my Mom

When I was young, I was a hamburger girl.  Every restaurant my parents took us (me & my sister) to, we ordered hamburgers.  We did this all the time at every single restaurant. It got to the point where my parents started taking us to restaurants that did not have hamburgers on the menu....or at least that's what I thought.

So fast forward, many years ahead. I no longer eat beef and I request to go to a Sushi restaurant with my parents.  My Dad is a Sushi Veteran and I wanted the true experience of having Sushi in a state that is located near a real body of water and not a man made lake.  I also knew that my Dad was going to request that I try something a little different. 

We ate salmon, tuna, california rolls, spicy tuna rolls, salmon eggs, shrimp tempura and......cooked eel. Yes, I said cooked eel.  I actually loved it.  It was my favorite part of the entire meal.  We ended the meal with fried tempura ice cream and green tea ice cream.  I do not recommend the green tea ice cream.

So this story serves as a reminder to me that sometimes you just need to try something different other than hamburgers......

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A new year with a clean slate

Happy New Year!

I must admit that I could not wait for 2010 to end and 2011 to begin.  2011 has started with a bang...but you can not move forward with out reflecting on the past. 

Creatively 2010 was a good year but there is always room for improvement. My blog being on the list of improvements.    My initial goal is to have as many followers as FB friends. Sooooo..... if you are reading this, my goal is to lure YOU in by committing to posting more consistently.

As you can see, I have done some updates to the site with more to come.  I ask for your feedback. Let me know what you think of the updates (new header with my photo), posts, & content.  What do you like? What type of content would you like to see more of.  

While I continue this journey, introducing additional tidbits, I look forward to receiving your feedback.  Even if I maintain my one dedicated follower, at least I know that I am still evolving artistically.  Join me.

Looking forward to having you join me in 2011 on my continued journey.