Monday, July 14, 2014

Fair Thee Well

Another fine Oregon Country Fair has come and gone. I always feel bittersweet about it all---
exhausted and filthy, I am glad to get home to my own bed (and toilet---the Bucks are the major downside to any festival), but I am sad to leave the magical atmosphere behind. That is what a fair is, though--a "time out of time", another dimension, and you can't be in it constantly. It's temporal existence is what defines it and enhances it, therefore enhancing our lives in the mundane world. 

I got some good pictures of one of my favorite aspects of the Fair, the random costume parades. People can get very creative with their handmade outfits, like the flamingos above.

 I never did catch these Amanitas parading, but I think they were with the flamingos and possibly that troll on the side :)

 These enigmatic ravens really caught my attention.

These parading trees are a well-loved mainstay of the Fair.

And look at this guy! He is apparently called the "Recycle Bull". He really reminded me of that old woman character in the movie Labyrinth who has all kinds of stuff on her back and keeps trying to give it to Sarah. This is the first time I've seen him at the Fair.

Look! It's a fork! In the road!

 The life-sized chess board.

I wanted the pink petal dude to give me a flower blessing but he was running along too fast for me to catch up.

I don't know what the deal with this guy is, but he is pretty darn cool. And very scholarly-looking. Come to think of it, I think he is near the Library. Which has actual books!

Giant sock monkey! Always appropriate :) Was it made with giant socks?

The killer whales on stilts fast became a favorite.

I always look forward to visiting the wicker dragon. 

 Another parade favorite.

This lovely lotus with a female figure in the center glows at night.

Well, I am leaving for South America in just a few days---hope your summer is going well and see you (with pictures) when I return :)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Thrift Store Therapy---Skirtastic!

 Time flies when you aren't doing the things you are supposed to be doing...I've got the Country Fair in less than 5 days and then a trip to South America. Have I organized or even begun packing? No. I've thought about it, if that counts, ha ha!! I did use these upcoming events as an excuse to thrift (because any excuse will do), and came across some great skirts:

I am very fond of tacky vintage 70s photo-real fabrics---this one is a riot of flowers on an A line skirt.

Here is an interesting orange skirt with embroidered flowers. I think this one will be worn to the Fair and will also be the basis for my VOGOFF submission, "Madame des Waldes". wink wink

I found another skirt in the same style as the one above, but with an interesting house design, plus ribbons to adjust the hem:

Then I came across this darling mid century blue poppy print skirt, cotton, with a metal zipper. Probably 50s.

This skirt will be on sale in my Etsy shop. Which reminds me---I am having another code sale there, this time for a whopping 35% off!! Only for about a week though. So, enter the code GOGO35 when you check out and get the big discount!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Rose Tea

I have the best old-fashioned roses in my yard. Pink, with compact petals, they are super fragrant and prolific. I've taken to drying their petals every year and saving them to make rose tea.

You can pay quite a bit for "rose tea" blends in the stores. Instead, I make my own. I buy plain, loose leaf black tea and mix in the dried petals.

You can put other things in with the rose petals--here I put some cardamom pods in as well.

Drying the petals is a simple, pleasant task. I lay down a clean tea towel in a warm, dry place out of the sunlight. I pluck the petals and lay them across the towel, making sure that they are not all on top of each other so they have room to dry without molding.

 Then, I just let them sit there until they are dry to the touch. I don't have air conditioning so I find that when it's a hot day, the petals will dry out indoors within a 24 hour period. You could do it outside as well, but make sure they are in a shaded, covered place. I suppose you could use a dehydrator or dry them in a very low oven as well. Just be sure to use the fragrant kind of roses, usually the heirloom or old fashioned roses. The hybrid roses we have these days are bred mostly for looks and aren't very fragrant. And of course, make sure the roses you are using haven't been sprayed with pesticides. I've found the color of the petals concentrates as they dry:

I store my dried petals in clean, recycled glass jars. Store them in a dark cupboard---light exposure will discolor them.

You could also use these in bath mixtures or salt scrubs.
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