Friday, May 30, 2014

An Inspiring Pearl Necklace from a Queen

Though not usually one for diamonds and other precious jewels, I will readily admit my love of pearls. They are smooth with a creamy glow and tend to lend a certain delicacy to whatever they adorn. A simple pearl necklace can take a look and turn it into splendid.

So it's no wonder I was immediately inspired by this large teardrop pearl necklace in the 1940's movie, The Sea Hawk.


Larger than most pearls, this one is fixed on a long enough chain to enable Queen Elizabeth to drape it over her head with ease.


And true to the opulent style in which royalty is known to live, Queen Elizabeth (played by Flora Robson) places this new necklace given to her by the saucy rogue, Geoffrey Thorpe (played by Errol Flynn), around her neck to join the other many adornments. One can't help but wonder how much lighter she must be at night when she removes her jewels. But so suffers royalty.

What I'd like to do is mimic this simple design. Long necklaces are back in style, it seems, and this Queen Elizabeth inspired design would be lovely.

But I would already have made one and be showing you pictures now if it weren't for the lack of good teardrop pearl pendants in the "local" hobby shops. It's a sad thing to search and not find what you are looking for. But I still have my eyes open and one day I'll be able to show you those pictures.

Until then, take a look around and check out the other crafty things that inspires me. Or read what I've written on the incredible finds in the scientific world!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Crochet Today and Mollie Makes

Mrs. Muir Afghan, one of my designs.
It's not news that I really looked forward to each issue of Crochet Today magazine. As a crochet designer, I found it inspiring and very helpful. It encouraged me to be fun with what I made and enjoy what I was doing. It was a brilliant contrast to other magazines I've seen that tend to overwhelm you with technicalities and a sense of formality.

To my utter chagrin, Crochet Today is no longer putting out magazines. Instead I was sent the US edition of Mollie Makes for the remainder of my subscription.

At first I was disappointed at losing Crochet Today magazine but I wasn't too let down since I had previously wanted to look into the Mollie Makes magazine. The all around style of the magazine was alluring and fresh. I realized it wasn't solely a crochet magazine but I love a little inspiration in nearly any craft.

I read the first magazine through and was fairly pleased. It had what I expected, and yet there was an air about it I found irritating.

In the art world there is an amount of "free thinking" and "liberality" that I may not agree with but remains all the same. In my opinion, there is a difference between creativity and liberal free thinking.

Crochet Today kept themselves socially acceptable and subtly leaned toward liberal media while Mollie Makes is awash with it. When did social tolerance have anything to do with making pillows or tye-dyeing shirts?

It's hard for me to enjoy the crafts presented in the magazine when I'm bombarded with social agenda. For example, when they choose to write profiles on people who work on drag and burlesque costumes.

Why does being artistic and creative have to mean accepting all manner of lifestyles and beliefs?

Most of these world-views presented in such magazines, and the world as a whole, are wrong. Liberal thinking like homosexuality, the New Age Movement, and feminism, to name a few, are running rampant in our society but we have the ability, and the obligation, to stand up for what is right and biblical. God is clear about these things in His word. Why should we yield ourselves to this state of life?

In conclusion, though Mollie Makes has some interesting projects and inspiring magazine style, as a whole, I wouldn't purchase it and neither would I recommend it to anyone else.

This is my honest opinion. What is yours? I'm interested in what you have to say.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Cinnamon Style

If I haven't mentioned it already, my all-time favorite TV show is Mission: Impossible. Peter Graves is Jim Phelps, Barbara Bain is Cinnamon Carter, Martin Landau is Rollin Hand, Greg Morris is Barney Collier, and Peter Lupus is Willy Armitage. Any show or movie that follows is fan fiction. (I say this in good humor since I am a fan of the movies as well, especially Ghost Protocol).

The Impossible Missions Force, or IMF, is the epitomy of class, brains, and keeping it cool. They never get it wrong, except on the rarest occasion, and then the unknown only intensifies the action and their abilities.

Now I don't "worship" fictional characters, or any other for that matter, but I do have my favorites, as any ol' fan would.

Cinnamon Carter, the main female agent of the show until near the end of season 3 in 1969, is the essence of 60's fashion and aptitude. She handles every situation calmly and eloquently.

When I want a good example of retro makeup or hair I go straight to Cinnamon Carter.

They played with her looks here and there but for the most part her hair was short with the curls and body typical of the era. Her makeup was often made up of neutrals, unless the situation demanded otherwise, wide and defined eyeliner, flawless skin, and bright red lips. I've tried to copy her look on many occasion.

Not all her outfits were flattering in my opinion, as it went in the 70's, but they were the height of fashion. In this photo from the episode The Seal (season 2, episode 9) she wears a chocolate brown blazer over a cream-colored sweater and a matching brown pencil skirt. She was playing the part of a news reporter and adds a touch of "down-to-earth" by rolling up her sleeves.

A fellow IMF member, Barney Collier, poses as her photographer. In most episodes, Barney and Willy both wear uniforms of a dozen different professions, but this was a time when Barney had a good look going for him.

I love his gold button-up and hunter green suit coat. You can't see it in these pictures, but he is also wearing medium grey slacks. By leaving off a tie and unbuttoning the collar, Barney's usual firm demeanor is softened.

Something I can't help repeating, people just don't dress with the pride they used to. 

I'd love to hear you thoughts so leave me a comment below!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Pancake Urchin Eating Octocoral Colony

A few dives before the end of the Okeanos' 2014 expedition in the Gulf, we were blessed to witness yet another incredible moment of Echinoderm behavior. This time the species was a pancake urchin and it was eating a helpless octocoral colony!


On April 29, the Okeanos deployed the D2 in the morning like they had for previous days of the expedition. Later on that day, nearing the end of the dive, the team spotted a sea urchin and went in for a closer look. Here's what they, and all of us watching from shore, saw:


The urchin sidled up to the coral and opened its mouth cavity to reveal five white teeth arranged in a circle.


With languid movement but extreme precision, the urchin clamped its teeth down on one of the coral stalks and brought the piece slowly back into its mouth.


Unfortunately, the ROV pilots were unable to stay any longer in order to meet their allotted time schedule. But according to Stephanie Farrington, the Okeanos' on-board biologist, the urchin would proceed to eat the coral colony with the same painful lethargy until it was gone. Talk about taking your time with your dinner!

There is no telling what you might see when exploring the unexplored!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Video Footage of a Holothurian Feeding

If you read my post A Moment of Holothurian Behavior, you know how ecstatic I was to witness a holothurian feeding on the sediment. Well, a picture is worth a thousand words, so they say, and I want to compound that by showing you the video of it. This video is a collection of the highlights from Dive 6 on the Okeanos Explorer, taken on April 18, 2014. About 1:50 minutes into the video you will see what I tried to describe before, an amazing experience!

video

Though this expedition has already drawn to a close, NOAA's Okeanos Explorer will return in a few months for another expedition. Until then, I will take this chance to blog on some of the incredible things and creatures we saw, one of which fascinated me even more than watching this adorable holothurian feed, if that is possible for you to believe!

Video courtesy of NOAA's Ocean Explorer.