Signed Cover Art

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June 30, 2011


I've always been fascinated with hats and head decor. Unfortunately, I'm just one of those women who can't do hats well. Something about my fat face, or the shape of it, or something, but I've never been able to find a hat I look good in (and can afford!).

The Victorian era had fascinators, which were not hats, but hair decor on a small base. Bonnets and veils were more common, but fascinators were worn during special occasions, such as soirees, going to the theatre, operas, and balls.

Fascinators were more common during the late Victorian and into the Edwardian period, and were more than just tail feathers. Sometimes wings, or even the stuffed bird would be used, as well as feathers, faux flowers, ribbons, and tulle/veiling.

Between 1914, to about 1920 (maybe a little earlier), the obnoxious styles of the earlier years took a back seat again, and stately elegance resumed control of the feathers and fascinator style.

Now, again, I need to be able to afford this stuff and I've seen prices for little bits of feathers on a felt base and was flabbergasted! How the heck can they justify charging that much for a bit of nothing?!?

So, I decided to do it myself.

Ok, first of all, I am NOT (and there is not enough ways to emphasize this!) a crafty sort of person. Hands on crafts and I don't do well. I'm the writer of the family, my sister is the crafty hands on type, and my brother is just smart as hell when it comes to computers.

I tell you this because it's my disclaimer for the following images. LOL.

I drag my daughter to the craft store because she's interested in making them as well. I think it's more along the lines of "Mom's doing it so I want to" rather than any real interest in the things.

I buy out the craft store. Well, not really, of course, but my monthly allowance was gone in a matter of an hour.

Click on the images for full size...
This would be MY haul...

Oh, no, not my daughter...

She's being picky and only has a couple of items in her basket. She then looks at my goodies and asks, "So, you're going to share the feathers, right?"

I said, "Maybe."

She frowned and then said, "I better get some feathers."

LOL. She got one bag.

And this would be her haul.
Ok, so we get home and I start making mine.

*Peers through the monitors to eye my readers* No laughing!

Again, click on images for full view...
This is the first one I made. Made for the left side of the head.
This was the second one. Made for the right side of the head.
That little stone in the center is a small piece of unpolished tiger's eye.

There ya go. My first two hand made fascinators. =)

But wait! I'm not done!

Today, I decided to make a couple more. Mainly because the local Highland Games is coming up and we have a clan tent there (I'm the Clan Muirhead secretary and personal assistant to the Clan Chief). I wanted something to wear with my Celtic clothes while there. Plus, I'm bringing my kestrel, SgianDubh, so I wanted to be a bit elegant as well (Ok, vanity, I know...but since I'm in the Parade of Clans, and having her on my glove, I needed to look a bit snazzy...).

Click on the images for full size...
For the right side of the head. Short tulle drape.

Then this one...

Click on the images for full size...

This is for the left side of the head and has four long tulle drapes.

I LOVE the iridescent feathers!

I think my next ones will have peacock feathers. =)

What do you think?

June 27, 2011

Summer Berry Tart

Makes 8 to 10 mini tarts

Crust -

1/2 cup shredded coconut (Used the toasted coconut for a different taste)
1 cup medjool dates, pitted
1/2 lemon, zest and juice

Put ingredients in a food processor and pulse into a fine, sticky texture. Take 2 inch size ball of mixture and form into little tart shells, pinching evenly with thumb and index finger. Chill while preparing filling.

Filling -

1 cup berries of choice
5 to 6 medjool dates, pitted
1/2 orange, zest and juice

Place ingredients into a food processor and blend smooth. Place a dollop into each tart shell and top with your favorite contrasting berry. Chill in fridge for at least an hour to set.

Berry Fruit Trifle

1 angel food cake or pound cake
1 cup fresh strawberries, washed, dried, hulled, and sliced thick.
1 cup raspberries, wash and dried.
1/4 cup + 2 TB sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
2/3 cup mascarpone cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

Dice the cake into small cubes and separate into servings.
Make the filling by combining the mascarpone, cream, vanilla, and 2 TB sugar.
Toss the fruit with 1/4 cup sugar and lemon juice. Set some aside for garnish.
Assemble by layering cake, fruit, cream, then repeat, and garnish with fruit.
Chill for at least 4 hours to let flavors set. Can be made 2 days ahead of time.

June 10, 2011

Sunny days ahead...

Well, unless you live in WA state, then you just have to wait and see, otherwise expect rain.

Still, in the personal life front, things are looking up. Spike passed his LPN classes, took his NCLEX and passed, and is now a licensed LPN. He interviewed for and was just hired on at a facility he really wanted to work at, starts tomorrow (Saturday). The issue I have with it is it's swing shift, 2 to 10pm, and being a nurse, he can't leave at the end of his shift, he has to wait for the next shift to be on and updated on what's happened, what's happening, etc, so he might not even get out of work until 11 or even later. The money is decent for a just graduated LPN though. I'm just used to my husband being home at night.

Still in our current living situation, but hopefully we'll be able to get that taken care of.

In the writing area, it seems my Muse is tentatively visiting again. Depression took its toll this past year and I've not really been able to sit and write. No matter what I tried, I just couldn't. This past week, I've managed to write 11,000 words, so I'm slowly returning. I'll probably do more writing in the evenings this summer, when I don't need to be up so early to get Spike and our daughter off to their respective required locations, and can stay up late waiting for Spike to get home.

Currently untitled, I'm working on book 2 in the Moonlight series. This takes place about ten years later after Moonlight and Magick. We may have cameos of Lilian and Matthias, but for now, there'll be two new characters. Her name is Rayne, and she escaped during a raid on the Custodes Secreti compound in Skylar Ranch, Washington. His name is Dante Navarro, a shifter whose claimed BlackWater, Washington as his territory. There's a connection between the two in more ways than just matters of the heart. It'll be up to them to figure things out. Add in a few enemies, a couple of mysteries, and shake well.

I know it's been rather quiet in the blog front. I'm sorry for that.

So, there you have it.