Friday, September 23, 2016

Retro Winter Wear | 70's Fashion

Sweaters are my Achilles Heel.

Big and bulky, preferably, but I like tight knits too, just so long as they fit properly. It all has to do with the fiber, that is why I love to crochet. One of these days I'll actually sit down and make myself a sweater. One day I'll actually learn to knit.

But in the meantime, lets look at some late 70's pieces.

If you aren't familiar with these two faces, let me introduce the 70's rendition of the Hardy Boys. Parker Stevenson and Shaun Cassidy played 3 seasons as the famed detectives and I will admit right here and now that I have seen many of them more times than I can count on one hand. Also in the series were episodes of Nancy Drew. The episode I will be relating to has the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew and is called Mystery on the Avalanche Express (Se 2, Ep 19).

Sweaters in the 70's and thereabouts were not often bulky like they were in another 10 years, neither were they as fitted as they are today. Like Frank and Joe's sweaters in the picture above, colors and patterns of the sweaters of this period still held aspects of the colorblocking of the 60's.

Joe's sweater reminds me of one my mother wore in her senior pictures. It has been worn by each of her girls. The only difference is that mother's was navy blue instead of off-white.

The sweater Nancy (played by Janet Louis Johnson instead of the regular actress Pamela Sue Martin) wears here is a turtleneck in neutral browns fading to black. It has a delicate style that makes it both casual and dressy. Although you can't tell by this picture, she wears black dress slacks and a pair of low heels.

One thing I really love about this period is the style of wearing a button-up under a sweater, often with longer points to the collar. The Hardy Boys did this regularly, which is why I have always considered them classy.

George (also played by a different actress) wears a pink, ribbed turtleneck sweater with a short waist. This picture doesn't do the piece justice but I also wanted to point out her hair. George wears her hair short, about shoulder-length, and curled away from her face in flybacks, akin to Farrah Fawcett's style during that time. This is actually a popular style of the period and I would love to see it return.

Here is another splendid and yet different example of 70's hair. Nancy wears hers long and just barely wavy at the tips, and here she clips the front portions back with a brown barrette. Notice also the soft neutrals of her makeup: lined eyes but soft, skin-toned shadow, gentle blush and faint pink lip color.

The gentleman also in the picture is a stark contrast to her carefully manicured appearance, I am afraid. The "shagginess" of men's hair styles were very different from the clean-cut of the many previous eras, though not always a bad thing. I think it is the moustache that ruins the look for me, but alas, it was fashionable.

This isn't the best picture for this example but I simply adore the close knit scarves the girls are wearing. Nancy's is wide and fringed while George's is knotted at the bottom presenting a narrow design. I recall a teal scarf my mother used to wear that was long like theirs and knotted at the bottom. Most of the scarves I have made are bulky but I think I might try my hand at this look sometime this winter.

Shifting from sweaters, I want to point out for a moment the bold color of their clothes. I am not fond of primary colors on anything, but I think the retro charm of these coats and suits appease my distaste. In fact, I would much prefer these colors to the bright neons of today. Of course, Nancy's coat does not qualify but her toboggan is made of at least four primary colors. 

I also would like to add a note on the waists of their coats and sweaters. They are either tucked in or short, coming to just below the natural waist. Ordinarily I would despise short waists, but when they are paired with pants that sit at your natural waist, I understand this wouldn't be a problem.

I have come to the end of my clothing review, except to mention Joe's jacket. I would call this style a Joe Hardy staple. It never fails -- if Joe wears a jacket, this is the style he wears, jersey material, zippered and drawstring hood.

But what really piques my interest in this picture is the room. The group is staying at a lodge in Budapest for the skiing competition and this room bears the old world style of dark wood and white walls. Beautiful!

As a creative person who has a nodding interest in textiles, as well as a fascination with anything retro, I immediately caught sight of the patterns on these books. The address book (as I am assuming it is) has a lovely multi-green circular pattern cover while the planner is a rosy pink floral. A small bag sitting just on top of the two is of shimmery rose gold. Isn't it a contrast how now days the style is to match up each bag or item in your purse but back then it didn't matter? I'm sure you know which I would choose.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed it and will come back soon. Meanwhile, leave me a comment letting me know what you thought about it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

It Takes Commitment

The internet is rife with videos of harrowing ventures, strange talents, jaw-dropping virtuosos, and of course, cats. I normally ignore these for the most part, mostly because they take up too much time, but also because of their sensationalist nature. On occasion a family member will "make" me watch a particular video, usually one they think is in my line of interest. One such video featured a young man playing a magnificent piano variation of Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal. His playing looked effortless but at the same time complicated, evidence of years of practice.

I emphatically said the young man had a great deal of character and that I could never be so committed to something. Being a virtuoso at anything takes patience and commitment, and because I have many interests and passions, I have a hard time reaching the point of excellence in one in particular. Only the other day I told my rather amused Mother that I wish she and Dad would have raised us Victorian style. I explained that the strict nature of old era parents would have made me a better person, one more likely to commit and endure. Obviously, I was joking. I have learned my share of accomplishments, and in a worldly perspective, I do well enough. But when you measure your "well enough" up to someone else's, you're most likely going to feel short a few intellectual notches.

Commitment in Prayer

Just the other morning I was chaffing myself for my shortened prayer time when my thoughts on this matter began to connect. Prayer is one thing you shouldn't simply be mediocre with. Never being able to play Beethoven is regretable but never hearing God speak to you personally is devastating.

God's Word Says

Furthermore, reading God's Word will mean nothing to us unless we have the Holy Spirit guiding us in understanding His Word. There are many scriptures that speak of the necessity of seeking God's clarity in scripture. Ephesians 1: 17-18, for instance, where Paul prays for the Ephesians, "the eyes of your understanding being enlightened" (emphasis added). I recall Philip's discussion with the Ethiopian in Acts where Philip asks if he understands what he is reading. The Ethiopian returns with, "How can I, unless someone guides me?" (Acts 8: 31, NKJV).

Simply put, without God at the center of our being, we have no hope of surviving this world we have been placed in. If we expect to have a relationship with God we must speak to Him and listen to Him speak to us.

Our Responsibility

Some may have a responsibility to be proficient in an instrument, a sport, or etc, but we all have a responsibility to be proficient in prayer. I'm sure you have heard the term "Prayer Warrior". Possibly the image that follows consists of a group of busy-bodies prying into the lives of others. Sadly, prayer warrior-ing can have the impression of being outdated, or at best, too difficult.

In an attempt to define the meaning of the term, I would recommend you watch the Kendrick brother's film War Room (2015). This film shows how putting prayer first in your life, aka putting God first in your life, makes a person perfectly balanced and able to survive, no, thrive in this life.

But whatever you may call it or how you feel toward it, we all have the responsibility to pray like a warrior would fight.


Prayer has been one of the hardest things in my life to make time for. Oh, I pray daily and throughout the day, but sitting quietly and letting God speak to me is another thing. I love my God and dearly want to hear Him speak, but my impatience often wins out. As I said regarding the pianist, I do not think I could ever have the commitment it takes to be a proficient prayer warrior, despite the importance. I am tempted at times to believe it is yet another thing I will never excel at. But here is a good question I remind myself with, would God ask something of us that He knows we do not have the ability for?

We must weigh the importance. How much does a relationship with God really mean to you? If you want the intimacy of a good friendship with God as He intended for each of us, shouldn't you then be ready to sacrifice whatever it requires? Your answer to these questions are crucial to your future. A pat answer only harms yourself.

Commitment in Everything

In general, anything worth doing takes time and commitment. Sometimes when it is a particular interest it can come easy, but often it takes endurance. Tending to your spiritual well-being may seem less important than other things, but it's reward will far surpass any worldly accomplishment. That feeling you get when you receive your degree, finish an elaborate piece at Carnegie Hall, watch your business reach it's newest high, or get promoted in your job to a position you have been wanting, is nothing compared to the feeling you will get when Jesus says, "Well done."

I hope this post has given you some food for thought. Feel free to leave me your thoughts on the matter in the comment section below!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Ginger Peachy's New Header is Complete!

After many months of promises I have now finished my new blog header!

It has definitely taken longer than I expected but I am very pleased it is finished. Do I like it? Yes, though I can always find more that needs done to it. But I am not touching it anymore. It stays as is until I decide to make another one.

However, my blog remodel is still not yet complete. I have a few more little things that I want to change around here but it shouldn't take long. Color changes, font changes, things like that.

I have come a long way, I must say. From my first header over three years ago to my new name header and now my proper header. I've learned a lot too, mostly about digital art.

First Header
Under Construction Header
Latest Header

When was it I began my remodelling? February? I think so. At the beginning of this year I wanted to spend some time giving my blog a much needed makeover before I found other work. And as I have said, I was intent on making money with my blog there for a little while, and I wanted it to look professional.

My plans got changed, or rather put on hold, as hours of studious digital work took my eyes for a ride. Then I finally had my eyes checked and got some glasses, and you know what, I forgot about working on my header, can you believe it? I definitely didn't care for the temporary one I had created but after looking at it so often I guess it kind of blended in.

It was just this week that I actually remembered it, I believe. I was considering what kind of designing I wanted to do with my crochet pattern pdfs I plan to make available on Ravelry and I realized that my header would be good to use and that I hadn't yet finished it.

Well, I got down to business and here is my first try.

I finished this and was ecstatic at how well it turned out. I wisely told myself to wait until I could show it to my brother (and also give myself some time) before applying it to my blog. And I am glad I did. When I looked at it a few hours later I felt it looked cheap, or kind of childish.

At first I thought it was the colors, too bright and child-like. So I attempted to desaturate the colors. I changed the font color as well to a deep green and asked my family what they thought. It was then that my mother asked what it was that I particularly liked about this font, and I realized it was the font that made it look like a kid's story book hour. I told her that I liked another better but couldn't get the layout to work with it.

Lots of family advice later, I made the font I really liked work and ta-da! here it is. One weeks goal down! Next goal is the completion of my pdf design.

So what do you think? Obviously I am excited to have it up, but I want your honest opinion. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Ravelry Store Option

Trying to figure out your next occupational move is sometimes difficult. There are the jobs you want and then the jobs you can get. There are the fears and uncertainties, and then the anxious waiting for a response, good or bad.

After quitting Crochet Spot last October I knew I needed some time to think and gather my thoughts before pursuing any of the other options I had listed. I spent the first few months just relaxing. Mentally, that is, I still had plenty of housework and personal projects to keep me busy. When the new year came I put some much needed focus on my blog and went through a period where I was determined to make money with my blog. I researched and debated for a long time until deciding that at the moment the methods available were not either attainable or pleasing. As with so many things, blogging was beginning to be less fun and more business-like. I realized that I needed to step back if I wanted to love blogging ever again.

But once again I was back to the drawing board asking God, what should I be doing? Lately I have been feeling more and more as if it is time to start seriously pursuing some of my ideas. As I have the tendency to grow impatient and handle things my own way, I am carefully weighing whether this feeling is due to impatience and outside pressure to conform to the norm, or whether this is God saying it is time to get serious.

Recently I have pursued a position on a Christian magazine doing whatever they may need, preferably writing, but open for anything. I am at the present waiting for a response and simultaneously hoping and fearing the answer. What if they expect more than I can give? What if I let them down? What if I let myself down? Fear, as you can see, is winning out. But the hope in me still has a voice and I keep checking my inbox more than once a day. Okay, maybe more than three times a day. Maybe they won't answer me back. I'm hoping they will.

But in the meantime I ran across something that might fuel a thought from way back. Selling my crochet patterns on Ravelry.

I have been a Ravelry member since I started working for Crochet Spot so I have built up a lot to offer. And yet, only the other day while entering my latest crochet pattern, the Zaylee Baby Blanket, I saw that Ravelry offers the option of your own store. There is no listing fee, as is the case with Etsy, and they only receive a percentage after you have made over $30 a month. Plus, they handle the actual pattern delivery. This all seemed pretty cool so I started listing what I had to offer. At the moment there are only a few of my 'own' patterns that I can turn into pdfs to sell. I have so many designs, only they all belong to Crochet Spot. No problem, though, I have many ideas that I am working on, such as another couple of baby blankets, a doll outfit, and a multi-medium project for autumn that I am really excited about.

My first step is to finish the header I have been working on for this blog and use elements of it to design my pdfs. Then up they go and my store with it. I am calling it Ginger Peachy Designs, or Arts, or something like that.

I have seen where people have multiple stores they sell from so Etsy might me the next step. I am even considering getting an instagram to connect with crafters there and further promote my work.

The biggest question is whether I think this is God's will for me right now. I feel like I can say confidently that it is. I have been considering starting my own business for quite some time and at first, the thought of selling actual products was daunting. When I realized I could instead sell my patterns some years ago, I have been courting the idea ever since, without putting any actual effort into it at the moment. Now I think this is a good idea and one that God would want me to pursue. It is a small deal, you might say, and I agree. But even in the small things I want to be following His will, because I know that then and only then will I find true joy in this life.

If you have any advice or comments, feel free to let me know! That is what the comment section is for.