Thursday, December 17, 2009


Santa's Yule Fantasy.....
(and Chapeau #7)


Violet's Yule Wish...
(and Chapeau #6)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


A favorite character that I often play, Violet Moorfields, (for Foxmorton's not at home in a fancy dress!) still feels all warm & fuzzy inside from her most excellent Victorian event yesterday!

Because who doesn't want to don Victorian garb with a brand new bonnet and muff, revel in the smell of black powder and sing Ratlin' Bog betwixt your Very Best Girlfriend & Santa?!

In the way of employment there's really not much more a silly girl with a penchant for the smell of an attic, romance Jane Austen style and a goodly made pair of linen and lace knickers can ask for!

And if you're like take your moments where you can get them.

And savor them.

My favorites of delightful things heard throughout the day:

Santa: "Ponys are hard for Santa to deliver."

Merlyn: "Ye'll have more fun doing it than not doing it!"

And my absolute personal favorite.....
Random Mom: "So...this Victorian's all about the lace, isn't it?"

Aye lovie, 'tis all about the lace..........

And that, my friends, pretty much sums up the soul of a garby........


Monday, September 28, 2009


Ah, the Wee Bonnet......more time consuming yet, oddly, easier to make than all the other chapeaux.....go figure.

Hmmmm.....the things a hat can teach you.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009


So, on to: HAT #4...THE ADVENTURE!

Hat #4 was started with a loftier goal in mind than that of all the other hats, namely: Gracing my head.

Now that I knew what I was doing (I figured) I had greatness in mind for this chapeau. Two toned....the perfect battered button.....lush plume falling just so......oh, this was going to be the hat to make all the other hats jealous!

So then, why is that not my head in the photo you ask all innocent faced.
(Well, those of you on MySpace and Facebook who get more views.)

I'll tell you.

The whole thing ended in a bloody battle on my back deck and the hat won.

Oh, it started out pleasant enough but the damnable thing just kept slipping and sliding and the interfacing mocked me and the worst part is no matter how big I cut these bloody things they end up shrinking in the sewing process. The millinery faux pas (Seika-here we go. What's the plural of faux pas?) that go on inside my hats would turn a respectable hatter mad! They're my Dirty Little Hat Secrets. ;)

It was rather like what the White Queen told Alice: "It's out of temper. I don't know what's wrong with it. I've pinned it here. I've pinned it there. There's no pleasing it!"

So, I let the chapeau have it's way and we were both the happier for it.
The hat took shape.....I began to like the way it turned out and the whole process went back to what it was originally intended to be....going forth and making hats.

I call this one the Paddington Pirate I imagine that this would be the chapeau Padding Bear would choose were he to turn pirate.

And I like this hat. I like it a lot. Even if I can't wear it.

There's lots of things I like. And want. I'm just not willing to pay the price for them. Like cable TV with all the channels and real hardwood floors, and a high paying corporate job or a relationship that only half works.

So unless I'm willing to focus intently....measure exactly....cut precisely......and (shudder) follow the rules set forth by professional milliners
I'll just have to take my chances on creating the perfect hat that fits.

So, back to the Tea very own chapeau is still out there.

Monday, August 24, 2009



(pic hat #3)

I learned a lot of things this summer.

For instance I learned that if you put an "x" at the end of a French word it makes it plural. ie: Chapeaux = more than 1 hat.
And since that's what I'm ending up with plus I'm too lazy to go back through all the blogs to change it I just promise that I'll get it right starting now. ;)

I learned that I have absolutely no concept of size as is evidenced by the way my hats seem to be getting progressively smaller as the brocade gets more expensive. But mayhap I'm just really stingy or terribly afraid. LOL

I learned that my granddaughter's head can be best covered by using the following measurements: My mother's castle platter x the matching soup bowl + my least favorite wooden salad bowl - two inches.

I totally made up that formula but those items are what I used to make the first pattern.

I learned that having a 38 pound abdominal tumor and being stuck at home makes you forget some things and remember a whole lot of others. Like the stuff that really, friends, creativity and what will be important to me from now on.

I learned that I'm sorry to those of you I disappointed when I said in my last blog I was "shackled inside my home" and you though I was on house arrest. ;)

I learned that when you come home from the store and find a still icy Duncan Donuts iced berry-berry coffee on your front steps made exactly the way you love it (three Splendas & cream) with a thoughtful, still-wrapped, extra large straw beside it that you feel happy and sad all at the same time.

I learned that my daughter loves me enough to cater to my every insane whim without batting an eye or questioning my obsessive-compulsive requests and to be there every blessed second I wanted something. And I can't imagine any of it was easy.

I learned that my 14 year old granddaughter is capable of staying in my house for a week and ne'er moving a single thing out of place and still loving me when I returned home and said: "Can you pick up the dog poop before you go?"
(Of all people my friend Merlyn will appreciate the impossibility of this task!) ;)

I learned that my big dog snuggled next to me when I wake up in the middle of the night makes the pain go away better than another pill.

I learned that I have friends I didn't even realize I had.......friends I don't begin to appreciate enough.....friends who I'll adore forever......and friends I though I had....but didn't........

I learned that making hats makes me feel silly and good about myself and that creativity,
like big dogs, daughters and kindred friends has the power to heal.

So, much like getting my French plurals in the correct place I can't go back and change anything
about my life....I just promise I'll get it (more) right starting now.

Fair Winds and a followin' sea........


The Wee Hat

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Foxmorton's Chapeaux Adventure

Being the Summer of Naught for me for reasons that require a blog of their own I'm finding that being shackled inside my home for the summer has afforded me the opportunity to create 'till my heart's content. And that's a very good thing.

Early morning coffee on the sunny deck, pencil and notebook in hand, I've done more writing under less stress than I've ever done before in my life. I've nowhere to be and absolutely zero responsibilities other than keeping my self washed, fed and alive. Rather a blessing in disguise and I don't intend to waste a single, glorious moment.

But with days that stretch to the next bowl of blueberries or afternoon nap with the dog one finds that reading and writing, delicious as they are, will only fill up so much time and space and so one begins to search for something just a wee bit more creative to do. And so, in a fanciful burst I decided to make hats.

Do I know how to make a hat? No.
Do I ever use a sewing machine? Nope.
Do I have the slightest clue as to how to begin, much less finish, a hat? Nay.

And why should that stop me?

Googled about and came upon a site that pretty much reflected my way of thinking: (and here I paraphrase) 'I don't know what I'm doing and certainly not by millenary standards so please don't tell them I said this because none of what I'm about to tell you is actually correct by the professionals and they get touchy about that but here's the basics of what you need to know, now.........(and here's the part that stuck with me)....

How absolutely beautiful is that?

Go forth and make hats.

You don't need to know what you're doing.....just go forth and make hats.

And so I did.

Hauled out some old brocade I didn't mind sacrificing and went at it. Started small (baby sized) just to see if I could do it and I ended up with THE wee-est, most perfect hat! I amazed myself.

And it's all done by hand (as I eschew machines of any kind). I'm not saying it looks like how I envisioned when I started-it sort of evolved as I went along-but as it grew into a chapeaux shape I was just so proud! It's quite jaunty if I do say so myself! I think I've a knack fer it.

And it's rather like me this summer.....not the shape I envisioned but evolving into something rather wee and yet grand all at the same time.

Of course now I'm fabric obsessed and can't wait to make many, many more and elaborate non-baby sized hats but hey, a wee bit of Chapeaux Therapy ne'er hurt a soul.

So bottom line.......I've staved off psychosis for another few days and save me your unwanted brocade scraps. (please)

Fair Winds......and remember...... take time to create.........

Saturday, August 8, 2009


It's days like these, remembering my favorite poetry, that I wish I were a more accomplished visual artist.......but on the plus side, I do own a wondrous runcible spoon!

The Owl and the Pussycat
by Edward Lear

The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
"O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are, you are, you are,
What a beautiful Pussy you are."
Pussy said to the Owl "You elegant fowl,
How charmingly sweet you sing.
O let us be married, too long we have tarried;
But what shall we do for a ring?"
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows,
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose, his nose, his nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.
"Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling your ring?"
Said the Piggy, "I will"
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon.
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand.
They danced by the light of the moon, the moon, the moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


With the help of two very fine musicians and my dearest friend,
Violet's song,Th' Hangin' o' Violet Moorfields is up on line.

Here are the details!

Ahoy Pirates!

Thanks to Mad Peg and her trusty computer skills
Violet's Song is up!

My heartfelt thanks to Dan Cleveland and Ron VanNostrand
from Home Slice (Common Taters)for immortalizing me in song!

You can find Violet's entire story at
under Th' Hangin' o' Violet Moorfields: Th' Noose Ain't Loose
or on MySpace at

And thanks to everyone for all your support!

For more debauched piracy check out our page at:

Tuesday, January 13, 2009



It appears that a French navy vessel has thwarted two attacks by heavily armed Somali pirates ultimately capturing 19.

All in all a good days take for a pirate-hunter but that leaves us with the most obvious question: What does one do with 19 captured buccaneers?

Pirates, being a notoriously unruly lot at best, have to be a bit difficult to contain. I would imagine it would be rather liken unto herding otters....liquored up otters.

And you absolutely know without question that at least one (though probably more) is garbed as Jack Sparrow; one, wee, kohl-eye rimmed, swaggerin', semi-dreadlocked, Somali Jack Sparrow.

Come know it's true!
Even landlubbers know that where ever 2 or more pirates are gathered in Neptune's name there's going to be a Jack Sparrow (or more) on deck.

It's expected.

And the other pirates just pretend not to notice. They're not embarrassed per se....just glad it's not them.

But imagine taking it upon yourself to hold 19 pirates prisoner.

Fiddle music at all hours of the night. Your rumpus room smelling of spilt grog and clam farts. And you'll spend all your time following behind them straightening throw rug fringe whilst the wee Jack Sparrow(s) repeatedly delivers the Somali version of "Undead that." And you can only hope they don't actually have the monkey.

And think what your insurance company will say regarding your claim of chipped finish to your antique credenza from stray Uzi fire.

19 Somali pirates?
Yeah, I'm not sure it's worth it.
I much prefer my pirates taller...with a single-shot flintlock... and definitely with a
bigger boat...uh, ship.

Though, on the plus side, 48 to 72 hours after their capture your dog is quite likely to be pooping
out stray pieces of eight.
So......keep a weather eye, mate!

IN OTHER NEWS: Studies show that quieter, meeker buffalo actually get more buffalo booty than their louder, more aggressive peers.

They were about to explain this Nerd Herd phenomenon but my Pop Tart dinged and I got distracted.

'Till next time......

Pirate on!



-Yes, I know the Somali situation is a dangerous one and "no laughing matter."
(thank you Beatrice Strickmyer of Okabena, Minnesota...and I'm very sorry about
your ruined cruise.)

-No, I have nothing against Jack Sparrow look-alikes. In fact sometimes, from a distance, they turn me on.

-Pieces of Eight lose 7.23% of their current value when passed from a dog's butt.

-No otters were harmed in the research for this blog.