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Lady Violette

The Romantic Lifestyle

Posts Tagged ‘For Children’

“To Be or Not To Be Gorgeous? That is the question!”

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Charming Dorothy Lamour with Her Beautiful Long Brown Hair!

Please Note: This is a true story, but I have changed the names to protect the privacy of the people involved.

My friend Sara, who was almost 7 years old, was visiting and we were decorating our own fancy paper to write letters on…She loved to come over to my house to make holiday cards and write letters, bake cookies for people, and wrap presents…and do all manner of  girly things like try on hats from my collection, sample perfumes, make her own jewelry, learn to sew, and one of her favorites, of course, dress up and experiment with clothes and hairstyles.

She has very long brown wavy hair. She lives with her dad and he is not the best hairstylist! In fact, he was going to cut her pretty hair off just so he wouldn’t have to detangle it. My father did that to me when I was about her age and it nearly caused my mother to leave him. They had a terrible long fight. I was certainly traumatized by the experience, but that is another story. I have always identified the experience with being scalped!

To avoid such a mishap in this little girl’s life I offered to teach Sara to take care of her own hair. She should learn to do this and she should understand that it is beautiful and her own unique asset. I showed her pictures of Dorothy Lamour too, so that she could see how one lady had kept her long brown hair as her trademark over her entire life. Their hair is very similar.

Sara thought Dorothy Lamour was very glamorous! I think it is good to introduce little girls to appropriate role models. Dororthy Lamour is one of my personal favorites! Keep in mind, this is Lady Violette speaking, and I like classic vintage style, so I identify feminine beauty with the actresses in old black and white movies. Do you not agree with me that they are quintessentially more glamorous than Mily Cyrus and Lindsay Lohan?

Sometimes Sara spends a weekend at my house. If so, in the evening, we wash her hair, comb it out, part it down the middle and let it air dry in it’s natural wavy patterns. It is thick and about three feet long. Isn’t she lucky? While her hair is drying we do crafts or watch a movie. She generally picks out the movies. Her favorites are The Adams Family movies, especially The Adams Family Values, which I also think is hilarious. My favorite scene is the one in Morticia and Gomez’s Favorite Bistro when Angelica Houston burns up the floor dancing the tango. Morticia also has long beautiful dark hair!

Sara likes to go into my closet and pick out something to wear. I like to just stand back and watch to see what what happens. One of her typical selections was a long white cotton and lace Victorian Style nightgown, a set of two very long flapper necklaces hanging down the front, and a pair of vintage purple satin high heels that were treacherously high and too long. All in all, the effect was mesmerizing! Especially because she later fell asleep in this delightful ensemble while reading a book in a big armchair with her feet, in the violet ballroom dancing shoes, propped up on a giant overstuffed footstool! A version of Sleeping Beauty!

Sara’s father doesn’t like me. He is not really a friend of mine, she is my friend. I met her through an adult girlfriend whose husband knows her father. When I heard about the situation my girlfriend and I decided to help this little girl out. Her father is an investment specialist of some kind. Young and apparently successful financially. He seems very rushed and very wound up all the time.

Apparently he was married to her mother, but that didn’t work out and he ended up taking the daughter when she was a baby! He has raised her, but he lacks skills in The Feminine Arts! He doesn’t see this as a problem. When women are around his daughter, they do! She is not learning the basic skills women learn from other women which they need in order to survive and succeed in this world. Her dad pooh poohs these skills saying they are valueless and she doesn’t need them. He says, “I’m teaching her other things, she won’t need those!” He implies that he means that he will eventually be teaching her to play the stock market and manage real estate, and plan corporate take overs and other things like that.

When I met Sara, at age seven, she had not learned any of that yet! Nor could she have cared less. I asked her where her dad worked and what he did and she didn’t know! She had never gone to work with him or anything. My girlfriend and I asked him if she might spend a weekend with us sometime, hanging out, baking cookies and the like. He emphasized that she didn’t need to learn that kind of thing, but he thought that would be okay. The fact is, and we know it, he sees us as willing to “babysit” his daughter for free so he agreed to let her come. The first time I picked her up on a Friday afternoon for an overnight, I had to search him down to return her on Sunday night at 10PM! I had offered to have her over for one night, but he left her and disappeared for the entire weekend. He didn’t call to check in and he didn’t return my calls – until he was ready! This was okay because she was safe, and she was not any trouble, but it was not the arrangement. I was having her over for her sake, not to help him out with childcare. However, his behavior made the fact that she needed it all the more apparent. He had such a sense of entitlement! He just expected I would entertain his little girl and take good care of her until he decided to show up to reclaim her. He didn’t call to check on her and see if she was happy or wanted to come home! Shockingly, he expected me to pay for everything too. She came with no spending money and no overnight supplies, or clothes, no hairbrush, not even a toothbrush. She just arrived. Remember, she was just a seven year old.

She was in desperate need of attention. She had not had a bath or shower for at least 3 or 4 days. Her long hair was dirty and tangled, her dress was wrinkled and limp and she had been wearing the same shoes, socks and underwear all week. Her fingernails needed trimming and filing. She looked bedraggled. Like a little waif! But she was really excited! This was like going to heaven for her.

I got her to my house, suggested she take a shower and we wash her hair and made that a part of getting ready to bake for the evening. I said we needed to be really clean for the baking process. That worked. I could tell she felt much better afterward. She was shy and self-conscious earlier. I could see that she felt insecure about looking so bedraggled.

My grown up girl friend who had introduced us came over after work and we did end up baking cookies that night. That good wholesome old fashioned activity that totally grounds you! We had a blast! And there was nothing cuter that seeing seven year old Sara standing on a wooden kitchen step stool, with an apron on, mixing cookie dough and happy as can be. She was laughing and cracking jokes and turned out to be hilarious. This was the first time in her life that she had ever baked! No one had ever done it with her before. Now, in my book, that is child deprivation! She loved doing dishes too! She hadn’t ever done that either! Somebody she has never seen comes into their apartment and cleans when she is at school and her father is at work. Wow!

That weekend in addition to hair washing and styling, and baking, we also watched movies, including The Adams Family, Adams Family Values, and Les Miserables, which she loved. We did our nails, and tried on vintage  hats, and made homemade cards and stationary with rubber stamps. She had never done any of these things! She also accidentally spilled almost an entire bottle of Violetta de Parma eau de toilette all over herself not realizing you only need a tiny dab to smell good!

By Sunday afternoon,  Sara  had been with me almost 48 hours. We still had not heard from her father. He was a full day late in arranging to get her back and he hadn’t even called. She was not a bit worried. In fact, honestly,  she probably was happy about it! I, luckily, was able to hang out with her and had nothing else scheduled. We were crafting with rubber stamps and I suggested we make some of our home made greeting cards for some people we mutually knew – a couple of grownup women friends of mine who were aware of this little girl’s situation and would be appropriately delighted to receive a card she made. She was all for this idea and we mutually decided to put some of the cookies we had made in little bags for them as well! Everybody likes to receive a gift of homemade cookies, right? This project took us the rest of the afternoon…

We were drawing and writing on cards when, suddenly, Sara looked up at me and asked me, “How do you spell Gorgeous?”

And I spelled it out ” G_O_R_G_E_O_U_S” slowly and clearly.

Then as she finished writing it, she said, innocently, “I don’t know how to spell it, I just am it!”

And she was right! Next card please!

She diligently thought of people who might want them and made cards and packages of cookies for another four hours! I taught her how to tie several kinds of bows.

Then we tackled her long hair again. We brushed it a hundred strokes and I braided it for her and I explained that it would not get tangled if you slept with it in braids and that doing so had the additional benefit of making it really wavy and pretty when you took them out in the morning! She decided she would try sleeping with her hair in braids that night.

She had been with me since 4PM Friday afternoon and her father finally called back at 10PM on Sunday evening! He wanted to know if he should come and get her? (Or what?) I said, “Yes!” really fast , not giving him a chance to suggest an alternative. He arrived about an hour later. By now she had been with me for 55 hours! It had been supposed to be a Friday night overnight with a Saturday afternoon end! He had not even checked in! I had left several messages on his service.

Of course she was very excited to show him what we had done when he arrived. She  dragged him into the kitchen showing him two plates of home made from scratch cookies sitting on the counter. She made him try them. She took him into the dining room and showed him the rubber stamping projects. She showed him the notecards and the cookie packages, now tied up with pretty little ribbon bows that I had helped her to make. She showed him the movies we had rented and watched. And she showed him my box of nail polish colors and her brightly painted toes and fingernails. She told him, but she really didn’t need to, that she was wearing violet perfume. She fluttered about giving him the full report of our girls retreat weekend and a full tour of my home. I might note she gave the tour as if it were now her home as well!

She made her dad wait in the living room while she went into the bedroom to put something on to surprise him. I wondered what that was going to be! When she came out she was wearing a vintage hat from I.Magnin! She had decided to model my 1950’s Italian Straw and Velvet Turned -Upside Down-Flower-Pot-Hat with furry pipe cleaner vines and velvet leaves, trimmed in a large pink silk rose! She came running out saying  “This is my favorite one! This is my favorite one!”  and laughing at how cute and funny she thought it was! And she added, “It is from Paris! And Ladies used to wear hats like this! ” She was bubbling over…

She was delighted and she was delightful! I was delighted too. We girls had had a great time!

Perry is his name, and he was not. He said, “That’s very funny, but it’s getting late and you should get your things together and we should go. Im sure Violette has other things to do.” (It’s getting late? What things? Where was he yesterday? He hadn’t sent her with anything! And I suddenly might have other things I needed or wanted to do with my time? Wow! Again!)

We had put her clothes through the laundry so she was wearing them clean when she left. And we had packed up her cookie and card gifts for people in a shopping bag with handles. And I had given her a few goodies to take home. She went off to get them.

Perry turned around to me and said, “Well, I see you have her wearing nail polish and perfume! Don’t you think it is a little early for that? As if I won’t have enough trouble with her doing that at the normal time they do those things when she is about 12 or  13! ”

I said, “That’s too late, It is normal to do it at this age for fun and to learn how. It’s just for fun, anyway.”

He replied, “Well, She’s my daughter and that is not how I am going to raise her. She won’t be needing any of that stuff with what I am going to teach her……..

I said,  “She will be best off if she gets exposed to both…”

He, “Her mother was like that and it was not a good thing!”

I wondered, “Was her mother a female female, who enjoyed being a girl? And then, perhaps, got married to Perry here, and got exposed to all his wonderful ideas and had a lot of conflicts and it didn’t work out? And he was very resentful, so he was taking it all out on Sara in this restrictive way? ” I could only surmise this, but it is, to be honest, what it looked like …

Anyway, he clearly hated people (especially women) like me!

They said goodbye, she gave me an enormous hug, I said I hoped we could do this again as I had had a great time, and they went home.

Perry never thanked me.

But he did allow Sara to come back as often as I was able to have her visit. And he always left her way over the agreed 24 hour time. I knew that would happen, as did my friends, so we tried to schedule her visits when having her for a whole weekend would not conflict with anything else. He never sent her with any supplies or provisions, spending money or gifts. He did send her to an expensive private school. He would drop her off there, in his black Mercedes, and leave her there all day, first for the school day, then with the after school daycare service, until they closed. He would pick her up, right at closing every day – about 6PM. She told me they would often eat dinner at Wendy’s or Jack in the Box. Then they would go home, to their apartment, he would sit right down to work on his computer. She told me that, the minute after they entered the apartment door,  he took off his coat, threw it over a chair, walked to the dining room table, pulled his computer out of it’s case, sat down, turned it on, plugged himself in, and checked out. She would do her homework, and get herself ready for bed. She said they didn’t talk much because he was always on his computer. She said he was very involved in it and she found it really hard to get his attention to ask a question or have a discussion. So, she left him alone and tool care of herself. Eventually, she would go off to bed and he would still be up, working (or whatever he did)  on his computer. She told me nobody ever came over.

This was one very lonely little girl and I vowed to have her over as regularly as I could to try to break her monotony and offer her some other other influences. I just wanted her to see there is other stuff out there!

About a year later, when she was eight, Sara gave me a beautiful snapshot of herself, at the beach, sitting on the sand in her little black tank bathing suit with her long wavy brown hair falling around her shoulders all the way to the sand itself! She looked like a little Ondine. in the picture! And her hair looked just as clean and long and beautiful as Dorothy Lamour’s. It is a really beautiful picture and I love it. Of course I have kept it.

Sara would be able to visit, and stay for entire weekends, because her father would dump her off to get rid of her. Sadly, he only saw us as a convenient and free childcare service. I say “we” because my sons were often involved. I was not going to say no if I could fit it into the rest of my life and make such a huge positive difference in someone else’s. I did this because I enjoyed doing it and I liked her. Of course she did not have a pet, so our dog Meko became the animal friend in her life. She loved him.

I eventually taught Sara to knit which she really enjoyed. Once she took it up there was no stopping her and she became quite proficient at figuring out more and more challenging knitting techniques on her own. She was a smart little girl. When I sent her home with knitting Perry was not enthused about it. He told me, “Knitting is a totally nerdy thing to do and a complete waste of time.” He would never finance knitting projects for her though he could well afford to. I provided her supplies and in spite of his attitude she became a dedicated knitter and worked at it almost every day. She was eventually making herself cute tams and scarves and leg warmers. And she loved to crochet lace edgings. This was just the creative outlet she needed and I’m sure it helped her deal with the stress of her home life. She had a lot of time to practice her knitting. And she was very focused. I have no doubt she will be a lifetime knitter.

I  hung out with Sara quite regularly about once a month over the next five years.  She was interested in the things any normal 11 to 12 year old girl is interested in. The last time I saw her we ran into each other at a Starbuck’s. She was with a girl friend from her school. She still had her lovely long brown hair. We talked quite a while. I did not get any indication that she was playing the stock market yet or interested in studying to do so. She did say she would like to take dance lessons. The friend she was with was doing that and she wanted to go too. Perry has not let her do that. He has reasons he thinks it is not a good idea. She also said she wished she had a bike. He had reasons not to get her one as well. I asked if she would like to get together and walk around Green Lake. She said yes, she would, and I said I would call soon to set up a time.

So a couple of weeks later I called her father’s office to arrange it. The weather was getting nice and I thought she might like to go to the lake with me and take a good long walk, have lunch, talk and catch up. I got one of Perry’s employees. I explained who I was and why I was calling. We had talked before, making arrangements for Sara’s pick up and delivery. She told me, “Perry sold the business. They’re gone.” I asked if there was a way I could get ahold of them. She said, “I talk to him now and then, I’ll tell him you called.” I said,”Okay.”

I asked who bought the business. She told me. It was one of the employees who has been there many years. A couple of weeks passed and I didn’t get a call back so I called the new owner and I asked her if she knew where they had gone.

She told me, “He moved, to the Cayman Islands and he took his daughter with him.” That was all she knew.

I haven’t received any return calls and I would be very surprised if I ever did.

I could only assume Sara was now living in the Grand Caymans with her father and, at age 12, (that preteen age he was so worried about! ), among other reasons, he has shunted her off there to get her as far away from all those things she won’t need to know anything about (like those damned Feminine Arts!) given all the practical life skills he is going to be teaching her….

I’d bet she didn’t know she would be moving there when we ran into each other that last time at Starbuck’s! Had she known she would have told me! I bet he surprised her with that news very close to departure time! Knowing him she wouldn’t even have had time to pack any belongings! I hope she’s okay…

But I am confident from what I saw at our last meeting, that, Dorothy Lamour and Lady Violette have had enough of a chance to have made a permanent impact! Sara is growing up to be a lovely young lady who, in spite of, Perry, has chosen to be gorgeous because she likes to be and she can tell that it is to her own best interest.

Perry emphasizes that he is an Investment Specialist and he values his financial prowess. I was investing in something else, her as a friend and as a person. I feel that the time I spent with her and the things we did together were worthwhile. I was making my kind of investment in her future.

I know my investment will pay off and Sara, in the long term, is going to be gorgeous!

Mondrian Tangentially Influences Rite of Spring 2011 Fashion

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Mademoiselle Coco Against Mondrian Color Blocks with Beautiful Hair Clips

“Did Mondrian paint this Color Block golf shed? ” wonders Mademoiselle Coco her intense gaze fixed directly on the camera while she concentrates on channeling Picasso’s portrait of his Diaghilev Russian ballerina wife Olga with her dark hair pulled back and pinned with beautiful flower hair clips.

Mademoiselle Coco’s Spring 2011 Resort Collection Pour Le Sport is inspired by the artists, dancers and intellectuals of the Diaghilev Ballets Russes in Paris 1909 – 1929 seasons.

The romantic and feminine collection features le style sportif focusing on body conscious base pieces over-layered with ruffled and tiered dancer style skirts, wrap around tops and tie on aprons. The peasant influences seen in costumes for Le Sacre de Printemps, Les Noces,  and other folk theme infused ballets are visible in flower embroidered blouses and tunics colorfully trimmed with embroidery and ribbons.

In keeping with the peasantly balletic theme the model’s hair is decorated with flowers. We especially like the new way of using all the flower hair clips you have, all at once, all of the time! It is the  fresh new take on flowers in the hair for spring and everyone will be doing it!

Mademoiselle Coco and Lady Violette advise: “If you want to look fresh, and you do nothing else this spring, wear lots and lots of flowers in your hair!

Ribbon Hair Flowers Clips are designed by Lady Violette for Mademoiselle Coco. This spring the designer, Lady Violette, continues to explore Mondrian’s belief that the artist should “discard all non-essentials” and “restrict your work to natural forms of beauty” as this pertains to caring for, dressing and designing the hair. In other words, keep things fairly simple. Just wash your hair with a delicately perfumed floral shampoo and wear some flowers in it!

2011 Spring Fashion Update – Coco Pour Le Sport

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Golfing Costume by Coco Pour Le Sport for Her Resort Collection Spring 2011

The perfect ensemble for Golfing and Vogueing from Mademoiselle Coco’s Pour Le Sport Spring 2011 Resort Collection features a classically styled  black cotton knit dancer’s leotard paired with a full and feminine vintage inspired pale pink cotton gauze three tiered skirt, a la Marie Laurencin. It’s topped off with Coco’s must-have fashion accessories of the season – beautiful fancy flower hair clips hand made from satin ribbons worn in multiples across the head.

Hair clips designed for Mademoiselle Coco by Lady Violette. Leotard – vintage Danskin. Skirt – from model’s own vintage collection.

In this Spring 2011 Coco Pour Le Sport Resort Season everything is about being frilly and girly while having fun doing it with a respectful wave to the classic beauties of the past!

A Worldly Paris Left-Bank Expression finishes the look!

” Real Flowers are Always Best!” for Wearing in Your Hair!

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

"She Wants Real Flowers Now!"

Here is a lovely 3 year old Coco showing us her latest favorite way to wear flowers! In her hair! She loves to put pretty decorations in her hair and is always experimenting. Upon request I made her a collection of hair ornaments using ribbons made into little flowers attached to clips. A big hit! And very easy to do. I’ll post a picture soon.

For inspiration we looked at some pictures of the film actress Dorothy Lamour who was famous for wearing flowers in her long brown hair as well as necklaces, called leis, which are made of real flowers and are worn in Tahiti and Hawaii. Dorothy was very beautiful and in her vintage flower printed  sarongs, with big tropical flowers tucked behind her ear.

So Coco wants real flowers now! Here she is with real flowers in her hair! So inspirational and pretty!  A real one is always best!  And the inclusion of a couple of buds is lovely and so artistic! They can often be had easily and free from your own garden or picked from an overhanging rosebush in a nearby alley. This one happens to be a morning glory from a vine down the street that some might consider a weed. We see it as an exquisite art deco embellishment!

Children often have great style and fashion tips to offer which seem to come to them quite naturally. They are great with color and offbeat combinations. One can learn a lot and have a lot of fun dressing them and dressing up with them. And looking for costumes and children’s vintage clothing for them! I’ve found quite a few interesting old children’s things and given them new life! Look forward to seeing some in future postings…

Lady Violette’s Special Sauce Vinaigrette – a Wonderful French Salad Dressing Often Served Chez Violette

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

Lady Violette’s Sauce Vinaigrette

a Very Special French Salad Dressing often served Chez Violette


This makes about 1/2 cup.

Step #1) Combine in a lidded jar:

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/4 tsp. dry mustard

1 tbs. balsamic vinegar

1 tbs. olive oil

Attach lid and shake vigorously until well blended,

Step #2) Then, add:

2 tbs. olive oil

Attach lid and shake well again,

Step # 3) Then, add:

1 tbs. vinegar

3 tbs. olive oil

1 clove pealed and cut in half garlic

Attach lid and shake well again.

Step # 4) Place the covered jar in a cool place until ready to use. Shake well before using. Remove the garlic cloves then drizzle over salad greens, then toss greens to coat thoroughly. Add other vegetables, etc. (nuts, croutons) to the tops of the coated salad greens after dressing.

You can use other types of oils, instead of olive oil, such as walnut or hazelnut for a variation in flavoring. You can use fresh squeezed lemon juice instead of vinegar if you like. You can add 1 tbs. V-8 juice to the dressing during the final step for a  tomato flavoring. You can add 1/4 tsp. herbs de provence, ground fine in a mortar and pestle to the final step of mixing.

This dressing can be made and used immediately as part of your salad making routine or made a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator marinating with the the garlic clove until the next day. Allow it to warm up and “melt” before mixing it with the greens or you will have a gummy blob. I have microwaved it for a few seconds to rush this when in a hurry. Be careful not to do it more than a few seconds or you will ruin the dressing by cooking it which it will not like. It is safer, unless you are experienced, to let it warm up on its own at room temperature while you prepare the rest of your meal.

The most important thing is that you have to mix the dressing in the three steps as directed. It does not turn out properly if you try to mix it faster by adding all the ingredients to each other in the beginning. Don’t rush it!

Also note: I toss the greens in the dressing in a large bowl with a wooden salad spoon and fork before adding the remaining salad ingredients. This assures that the greens are all well coated with the dressing but the other additions retain their freshness and beauty by being gently arranged on the top of the coated greens.

You can serve the salad in a large bowl or on a platter or on individual plates. For buffets I like to spread it out on a beautiful antique or vintage platter decorated with flowers and garnish it with pretty colored vegetable and flowers carefully arranged around the sides. This is always very impressive.

Even children and adults who often say they hate vegetables get hooked on my salads! The dressing makes everything taste good and they actually discover that their taste buds have grown up to like salads and vegetables since the last ones they tried!

Aha! It is a trick I learned from my mother. She would tell us, “You should taste that dish tonight. I am quite sure you really will find that you like it. Artichoke’s are a very adult culinary delight. I bet your taste buds have grown up since the last time you tried them and you probably are big enough to like them now! Try dipping them in this amazing sauce I have made for them (and you!) . It is really quite a lot of fun to peel off a leaf and dip it into my yummy Hollandaise.”  And we would try it and lo and behold she was right! We had grown up enough to acquire a taste for the exotic vegetable at hand.

Of course she used all manner of cute fancy little dishes and quirky specialized utensils to tantalize us into trying to eat with them. It was terrific fun. We would eat things with tiny silver pinchers, or two-tined specialty forks, even down-sized children’s chop sticks. She went to great lengths to introduce us to amazing exotic foods and teach us to cook along side her. These were wonderful old fashioned skills to pass down to me. My father rightly referred to them as “The Feminine Arts.” It is a great asset for anyone to know them. I pride myself on my knowledge of The Feminine Arts. And I am happy to be able to pass on some of that legacy to others should they wish to learn to practice them. They make my life more romantic and lovely to live, in practice, as well as in theory every day.

And here are some of my Lady Violette Basic Salad Recipes. So you have some ideas to get you going using the Lady Violette Sauce Vinaigrette

These are ideas. You can experiment. I like to use greens of all kinds with this dressing. Some of my salads are as follows:

Salad #1)

Lettuces

Water Cress

Sliced Tomato

Sliced English Cucumber

Sliced Avocado if desired

Salad #2)

Boston Bib Lettuce

Red Leaf Lettuce

Granny Smith Apples cut into small pieces

Walnuts

Salad #3)

Spinach

Thinly Sliced Red Onion

Sliced Kumquats

Dried Zante Currants

Sunflower Seeds

Salad #4)

Spinach

Sliced Red Onions

Greek Olives

Feta Cheese Crumbled

Cherry Tomatoes – Red and Yellow if available

Salad #5)

Spinach

Sliced Red Onions

Sliced Hard Boiled Eggs

Sliced English Cucumbers

Goat Cheese

Salad #6)

Lettuces

Sliced Herb Baked Chicken Breast (My Recipe)

Grated Cheddar Cheese

Green Onions

Tomato Wedges

Carrots,

Celery

Herb Croutons (Made from Rosemary Diamante Bread)

Pomegranate Seeds (if available)

Salad #7) This is my favorite!

Greens – Any Combination of Fresh Herbs and Lettuces you can get in season.

I often call this roadside salad in the summer as many or the greens can be gathered wild or from your garden

Berries – Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries, Huckleberries, Blackberries, etc.

Nuts – Select from your favorite varieties.

Sliced Oranges if desired

Edible Flowers – Especially Violets and Rose Petals, Pansies, Calendula, etc.

Fresh Mint Leaves

Bon appetite! From the kitchen of Lady Violette, Chez Violette

Lauren Bearcall in a Sock Knitting Consultation with Baaharaji

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

Lauren Bearcall Consulting with Baaharaji

Elegant Lauren Bearcall who is a movie star in real life, has recently started knitting, something she has wanted to do all her life but is finally taking up. (Doesn’t that sound familiar!) Her frantic filming schedule didn’t allow for this in the past. Fortunately knitting is something you can take up at any point in life! Note how she is dressed! Just like the glamorous film star she is! A beautiful vintage faux fur coat, a charming one-of-a-kind hat trimmed in French wired ribbons and berries, a necklace, and last but not least a very original wooden designer handbag. She has just purchased a set of the new short wooden double pointed sock needles – you can see them in her purse, by Clover! from Joanne’s Fabrics

And she has brought in the very first sock she has ever knitted to show to Baaharaji who is a sheep and is also an accomplished knitter and teacher. Being a sheep he naturally knows a lot about wool. He is from India and is a guru of knitting! When he teaches sock knitting to a student he has them make a small sample sized mini sock for their first one in order to learn the techniques before they spend a lot of time and effort making a normal sized one. Ms. Bearcall is finished with hers and is stopping by to show it to him and make a plan for starting her wearable sized real pair. He is showing her a ball of Noro yarn to give suggestions on a type of yarn and color scheme she might use. The proper set up – choosing the right yarn and getting the right needles, and a good pattern are the keys to success. And, of course, having a good knitting instructor or friend to consult with – checking the process and advising as needed along the way – giving experienced advice and instructions. A good needlework book covering knitting and crocheting in a basic way with easy to see instructions is a good thing to have on hand! Baaharaji will recommend one coming up…

My Little Knitting Helper Working Away – on the Noro Sweater Project

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

My Dapper Tailoring & Knitting Assistant Tangeurro Bearo

Meet one of my assistants. Tanguerro Bearo. He is a tailor by day and an Argentine  tango dancer by night. They are called Tanguerros – thus his name. This explains his style in dressing too, Dapper vests and trousers and Natty suits to impress the ladies. A dedicated dancer, he attends milongas every night of the week. By day he works for me and we have the added benefit of listening to tango music all day long. He also DJs!

Here he is working on knitting one of the sleeves for the Noro sweater pictured earlier. Behind him is displayed the enormous crocheted  vintage rainbow granny square afghan, And it was quite chilly in the kitchen studio today so he has covered up with another of my hand made vintage crocheted afghans – this one is child size, also done of granny squares and is made in a green and red color way with orange, wine, brown and beige accents.

Tanguerro Bearo is an interesting gentleman and great fun to work with. It is always good having him around telling stories about his dances and his homeland of Argentina and sharing his culture with us while we create. He’s good company!

Note:  I will be adding a children’s blog soon featuring these characters but I wanted to begin to introduce them to you here on my blog.

Add Color to Your Life in the Winter – My Knitting Nook as an Example

Friday, February 11th, 2011

All the Colors in the Rainbow - The Kitchen Knitting Nook

It has been so drab and dark out lately that I’ve been redecorating daily to add color to my home environment. My local knitting shop closed suddenly and I decided to create my own perfect knitting environment at home. Hoping some of my knitting friends would like to come over to knit together as we did in the shop! This is an invitation to you guys!

It’s in the corner of my kitchen where I do all my creative projects, under the kitchen window, I have a black couch there and a glass coffee table, plain but allowing me to bring in elements of color for continual change. I thought it would be fun to show some of the various design looks I achieve! And where I make many of my things!

I knit and sew there. I take all my photographs there. It is the only place with enough light in the house for these activities. As kitchens are a social place for families I can be in the middle of all the activity while working on my stuff. I like the chaos, actually. It inspires me. Tea can be made easily as it is in the kitchen!

Here I have spread a crocheted afghan made of  yarns of all the colors in the rainbow against black – an instant brightener! And the wool texture as well as the colors creates inviting comforting warmth. I Knit a lot and love exotic yarns and fibers. This is a good way to show of one of my afghans and enjoy the visuals of projects in progress. I set up vignettes of “little helpers” to entertain children and inspire them to start leaning to sew, knit and crochet. I learned from my grandmother and mother when I was about 5 yrs old. Another one of those good old fashioned feminine arts that are so pleasurable and life enriching to know how to do. I will soon be blogging about teaching children to knit and sew and putting out my grandmother’s diary of hand sewing lessons for children. She actually wrote them down in a book as weekly lessons. Fascinating and still completely applicable today. I have taught several children to sew with them and it is time to get this information out to more people. This is an activity you can do with your child. You can learn to sew as an adult if you don’t know how through these lessons as well, as they will work for everyone. They are brilliant. Quite easy and no sewing machine is required. Watch for these. I am adding a tag for children as I will be writing things you can share with your child of all ages (that includes grown ups.) I was asked if I could teach a 24 yr old woman to sew yesterday and an 11 yr old girl today. Yes, I can! and I believe I can do it  this way. I have ideas for continuing into basic machine sewing as well. Watch for posts about sewing lessons coming soon.