Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Introducing Ginger Peachy!

I have finally settled on a name!

Introducing Ginger Peachy!!

Now when you want to find me you can type in my new address, ginger-peachy.com, and there I am. Of course, you can still type in the old address and get there too.

It is so nice to go from that long URL to something simple and easy to remember.

I thought that I was settled before this when I decided on The Mossy Mushroom. But I didn't like the article in the name, and yet I couldn't get the domain without it.

My sister was the one who unknowingly gave me the idea for Ginger Peachy. And when she said it it was like a bell went off in my head. It was what I had been waiting for for a while and finally it happened.

I felt it connected to me in many ways. One, "ginger" is another name for a redhead (which I am, if you didn't know). Second, saying your "ginger peachy" was like "I'm doing great!" and sounded very positive for a blog title. And thirdly, the colors that come to mind when you think of ginger and peach are the same orange and yellow-like colors that I love to use.

Naturally I spent a few days thinking on it to be sure because I still didn't want to give up The Mossy Mushroom. But I could tell I was really leaning toward Ginger Peachy.

I bought the domain from Go Daddy for 99 cents, can you believe it? I compared it to NameCheap and Domain.com and a handful of other registrars but decided to go with Go Daddy after all. I was skeptical, and still am, but we'll see how they turn out.

If you didn't know that you can set up a custom domain for your BlogSpot I would advise you to visit Dana's post at WonderForest.com and check out how simple it can be. Granted, her post is a few years old and some small things have changed. For instance, instead of "add a domain" in your blog settings it says "add a 3rd party URL". And then a few other things like the amount of time it took for your URL to verify. She said it would take a few hours but mine worked instantly. Obviously people have updated since the post, and that can be expected, but it worked, needless to say, anyway. And I couldn't have done it without Dana's incredibly explanatory tutorial.

So what is next on my list for remodeling?


You will have noticed my hastily made banner...

I thought a good explanation would be in order and what better way than a new banner. But trust me, I plan on sketching out something much more artistic than that so keep on the look out. It may take me a few weeks, but most likely it will take me a month or so.

After that comes the color changes and the template updates and the favicon and et cetera. I also plan to put a watermark on all my pictures. Formerly I didn't take my pictures seriously because I am not a photographer and just take photos for my blog (though I still wanted them to be professional quality). But I see the importance of it now.

I must send a most grateful thanks to my mother for helping to get me out of a rut. I have this incredibly bad tendency to let things --simple things-- become too important. I was treating my blog like a business and expecting perfection. Plus, I wasn't really enjoying it either. Mom helped me clarify what I really wanted out of my blog and now I am ready to start again with less intensity.

So what do you think about my ideas?

What do you think about my new domain address?

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Mod Party

Jeannie appears suddenly on Tony's car to inform him of an invitation to a mod party.

If you've ever watched an episode of I Dream of Jeannie you will have most likely noticed her bright and exuberant costume. The episode we're looking at today nearly takes the cake.

It's called The Mod Party and gives a glance at the more eclectic styles of the period not often showcased in this series. Ready to be inspired?

Jeannie shopping for (and modifying) the perfect mod dress.

In this era "mod" is a term usually used to refer to something from the 60's. As you may have guessed, "mod" is short for modern, as opposed to "trad" which stands for traditional.

Originating in London, it was used to describe "young modern jazz fans who dress in sharp modern Italian clothes". Culture broadened the term and others since have said that it "had its roots in the 1950's beatnik coffee bar culture" where radical art students hung out in the early Bohemian scene.

By the time it became big in America it mostly stood for all that was new and was related more to pop culture and British musicians. Need I bring up the heavy influence of the Beatles?

Mrs. Bellows surprised to hear Lt. Nelson going to a party when he was supposed to be at her husbands meeting.

On a more average note, here Mrs. Bellows wears the classic 60's fashion for women. The coat is a lovely taupe wool while the fur adds the perfect touch of class, but can you guess why I love it so much? The buttons!! They are easily 2 inches in circumference and absolutely incredible. (Visit this post for another look at spectacular buttons).

Jeannie showing off her "customized" outfit for the party.

Here is another dress I first saw in the I Dream of Jeannie dress-up game. And guess what, I loved it! That is, then, when I was younger. I look at the mix of purples now and can only shake my head. A plum colored hat, belt and hose, with violet boots. Tsk, tsk.

But that green is pretty awesome.

A good look at late 60's shoes.

Dig those shoes, man!

This episode of I Dream of Jeannie was pretty simple, spending most of the running time showing off the peculiarity of the mod party guests costumes and dancing, while playing only lightly on Tony and Roger's present difficult situation. It was obvious this was more of a "mod" fashion show.

Jeannie exclaiming over how fun the party is.

Tony sheds the normal blue military dress suit and dons some pretty crazy styles: a mustard yellow button-up with autumn-toned tie and a short-waisted periwinkle blazer with chocolate colored corduroys.

Roger, a little more tame in his color choice, wears a macaroni yellow button-up, blue tie and gray plaid blazer with blue jeans.

The arrival of the Bellows cause Tony and Roger a little awkwardness and Jeannie tries to help.

When Dr. Bellows and his wife show up by surprise, Jeannie transforms Tony and Roger's clothes to something that would look like they were going hunting as an excuse for them being there instead of at Dr. Bellows meeting. As usual her accuracy of the time period is a bit off.

As a breath of conservative air, Mrs. Bellows wears an orange party dress with long pearls. This dress looks close to something I saw in the store the other day, and I must say, I really wanted to get it. Although I don't normally wear orange (greens and mustard yellows being my favorite) I would love a version of this dress.

And did you notice her hem? I know I have brought this up before but the 2 to 3 inch hem has sadly gone out of style. In my opinion, it looked nicer and was more practical for preventing the flyaway skirt.

And that does it! I know you will agree that the styles here from 1967 are not all too foreign from the style of today. If only they would keep up the integrity of the material as well as the cut.

Be sure to tell me what you think in the comments below!

Facts on the Mod culture taken from Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mod_(subculture)

Friday, March 18, 2016

Teddy Bear Toddler Tote Crochet Pattern


Here it is, ladies and gentlemen! As promised, one spanking new crochet pattern: the Teddy Bear Toddler Tote.

I think it passed the toddler test. I was able to give it to my niece personally (thanks to their surprise visit!). When I handed it to her she immediately took it and put it over her shoulder and next she put it in the back compartment of her doll stroller and took off. I'm telling you, she's a smart cookie! Knows exactly what to do.

Now that I think about it, for being only 23 months old I should have left off the front flap for easier access to the inside, but I am happy with the way it turned out and, as I said, she's smart and will get around it without too much trouble.


Teddy Bear Toddler Tote

Skill level Easy

Finished size 6” x 6” with 14” strap

Materials
Medium weight yarn (approximately 100 yards of color A [pink], 25 yards of color B [dark brown], 15 yards of color C [light brown])
Crochet Hook H (5.00mm)
Black embroidery floss and needle
2 black shank buttons
Yarn needle

Gauge
3 sc = 1’’
3 rows = 1’’
Gauge Swatch: 1’’w x 1’’h (2.5 cm x 2.5 cm) ch 4.
Row 1: sc in second ch from hook and in each ch across: 3 sc
Row 2 – 3: ch 1, turn, sc in each sc across: 3 sc
Finish off.


Pattern
Piece #1 - Back
Row 1: with color A, ch 16, sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across: 15 sc
Row 2: ch 1, turn, 2 sc in first sc, sc in next 13 sc, 2 sc in last sc: 17 sc
Row 3: ch 1, turn, 2 sc in first sc, sc in next 15 sc, 2 sc in last sc: 19 sc
Row 4 – 20: ch 1, turn, sc in each sc across: 19 sc
Row 21: turn, sl st in next sc, (sl st, ch 1, sc) in next sc, sc in next 16 sc, leave remaining sc unworked: 17 sc
Row 22 – 38: ch 1, turn, sc in each sc across: 17 sc
Row 39: ch 1, turn, sc2tog, sc in next 13 sc, sc2tog: 15 sc
Row 40: ch 1, turn, sc2tog, sc in next 11 sc, sc2tog: 13 sc
Row 41: ch 1, turn, sc2tog, sc in next 9 sc, sc2tog: 11 sc
Finish off.

Piece #2 - Front
Repeat Row 1 – 20 of back

Piece #3 – Gusset
Row 1: ch 5, sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across: 4 sc
Row 2 – 52: ch 1, turn, sc in each sc across: 4 sc
Finish off.

Assembling the bag
Single crochet gusset to Piece #2 by holding side of gusset to side of Piece #2 and working through both thicknesses. Be sure to start on the right side of the bag from the back so that the seam will face the proper direction.

Tip: it helps to use stitch markers to line the pieces up at the corners.

Single crochet Piece #1 to other side of gusset from the left side of Piece #2.


Border
Join yarn in any stitch of flap or top of bag and single crochet around.

Piece #4 – Strap
Row 1: ch 45, sc in 2nd ch and in each ch across: 44 sc
Row 2 – 4: ch 1, turn, sc in each sc across: 44 sc
Finish off.

Sew one inch of strap to gusset on both sides.

Piece #5 – Motif
Round 1: ch 11, 4 dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in next 6 ch, 4 dc in last ch, turn to opposite side, 6 dc in remaining ch, sl st in beginning ch-3: 22 dc
Round 2: ch 3, turn, dc in next 6 dc, 2 dc in next 5 dc, dc in next 6 dc, 2 dc in next 4 dc, dc in base of ch-3, sl st in beginning ch-3: 32 dc
Round 3: ch 3, turn, dc in same st, dc in next dc, (2 dc in next dc, dc in next dc) 4 times, dc in next 6 dc, (2 dc in next dc, dc in next dc) 5 times, dc in remaining dc, sl st in beginning ch-3: 42 dc
Round 4: ch 1, turn, sc in next 11 dc, (sc, 5 dc, sc) in next dc, sc in next 12 dc, (sc, dc, sc) in next dc, sc in remaining dc, sl st in beginning sc: 54 sts
Finish off.

Piece #6 – Muzzle
Round 1: ch 5, 4 hdc in 3rd ch from hook, hdc in next ch, 4 hdc in next ch, turn to opposite side of ch, hdc in remaining ch, sl st in beginning hdc: 10 hdc
Round 2: ch 2, turn, (2 hdc in next 4 hdc, hdc in next hdc) repeat, sl st in beginning hdc: 18 hdc
Finish off.

Piece #7 – Ear Centers
Row 1: ch 3, (sl st, dc) in 2nd ch from hook, (dc, sl st) in last ch: 4 sts
Finish off.

Sew ear centers to inside of ears.

Sew on buttons for eyes and stitch nose with embroidery floss.

Stitch motif to top of bag flap.


What do you think?

As always, if you run into any errors let me know so I can fix them. If you run into any problems or just need some basic help, also let me know, I will be glad to help!

Before I even finished this one I had an idea for a second one. I'm thinking a panda this time... But first I have to finish the baby blanket I am working on. My list of baby blankets to make for people grows before I can shorten it. Sigh. But I love to make them and I know the recipients appreciate it.

Update: You can purchase a copy of this pattern in PDF form at my Ravelry store! Click here to check it out.

This is an original pattern created and designed by Amy Yarbrough of Ginger Peachy. You are welcome to copy the pattern for personal use but do not sell the pattern, distribute, or reprint it. Feel free to share a link to the pattern. You can sell products made from this pattern but please credit me, Amy Yarbrough of Ginger Peachy. Do not mass produce or factory manufacture using my pattern. Thanks for respecting the wishes of the designer, and be sure to ask me if you have any questions regarding this copyright.


Coming soon, another look at eclectic 60's fashion!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Why I Think Today's Pants are Unflattering on the Feminine Figure

Once in a blue moon we'll watch an episode of Macgyver on Amazon Prime Video, and although it's no match for my favorite special agent TV series, Mission: Impossible, it's enjoyable for the most part. I like Macgyver's rugged ingenuity and hometown frankness, as well as the fact that his romantic "interludes" seem to have a smaller part in the show than others (such as Knight Rider and Airwolf).

In the last episode I noticed anew the style of 80's jeans for women. The woman had a waist! What's more, her loose fitting blouse didn't make her look boxy or heavy. I began thinking about the changes in the cut of womens pants over the years and felt it was time to address this (somewhat) important issue.

Let's begin by stepping back another 25 years.

In the movie Please Don't Eat the Daisies from 1960, Doris Day wears pants at least three times. Take a look at the cut.



Here's another example.



The style then was to come up to the natural waist, fit the hips and taper down the leg. Even if you aren't a fan of the fashion of the time, you have to admit she looked pretty chic. 

In this episode of Macgyver from 1985, actress Kay Lenz wears an average pair of jeans with a simple button-up blouse.



Here's another example of Kay's jeans.



Not a lot has changed in the two decades that had past between that movie and this show. The waistband was still located at the natural waist, fit along the hips and tapered down the leg. The only difference is in the length. Kay's jeans reach the top of her shoes instead of ending at the ankle like Doris Day's pants.

But the two styles have something very important in common --they give the wearer a waist and flatter the feminine curves.  

Despite the fact that Kay is wearing a loose-fitting blouse that shows none of her upper curves, she still looks feminine because she has a noticeable waist.

Fast-forward (if you'll pardon the outdated expression) to modern day and let's examine what has changed. 

(I intended a picture to show you exactly what I meant but Levi's does not allow the use of pictures from their site no matter what attribution you give or that fact that it will not benefit me financially. So if you click the link below it will send you to the proper product I am referring to).


Levi's 712 Slim Jeans for $88.00

Here is a pair of Levi jeans for this year. The fit is very similar along the leg, fitting at the ankle rolled up or reaching the top of the shoes if rolled down. And yet the feminine line of her body is diluted. 

There are little to no natural feminine curves to be seen here because her waistband has been relegated to the hips many inches below the natural waistline. 

Also with this style of jeans there is a question of whether the woman has a waist at all. On a slim woman like this model you naturally assume she has a small waist hidden under the loose shirt. But put this on your average Jane, who has at least a smidgen more belly fat than the model and what do you have? The muffin top. 

At this point you had better wear a loose fitting shirt, not because you like it, but because you despise the obvious flab that shows under fitted shirts. 

So you can solve this by attempting to lose the belly fat, but that is an issue of a different nature. And besides, even a woman with a tight stomach needs a waist.

There are many different styles of jeans, some of which deserve scathing reviews and others I wouldn't dare to compare to such feminine styles as those mentioned above. For example, the super skinny, with which you definitely need some spandex for those times when you drop your phone on the ground and need to pick it up without causing an embarrassing situation. Or those that look like they've been recycled from constructions workers, making you wonder if that $100+ was worth a one-time wear.


Levi's Wedgie Fit Jeans for $88.00

Now this pair from Levi's on the other hand is very similar to the earlier styles (click the link to view a picture of the product), with a few exceptions: I do not like the raw hem or the zippered ankle which obviously says grunge instead of chiq. But I have a lot of questions to ask of the style before I ever consider buying them (i.e. do they gap in the back, do they ride down, do they ride up as the crass name implies, etc.).

But if you ask me why I think today's pants are unflattering on the feminine figure I'd have to say with sound proof that it is due to the lack of waist. It just doesn't exist anymore! 


Well, I've had my say, and you've been a gem to read it all. Now tell me, what do you think about what I said? Surely you have an opinion, don't be a stranger, let me know in the comments below!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

March's (Creative) To-Do List and Crochet Pattern Sneak Peek

This month hosts some pretty spectacular events in the years repertoire. Namely, St. Patrick's Day, the first day of Spring, and most of all, Easter Sunday!


In my opinion, planning for a holiday is more enjoyable than actually celebrating it (if that even makes sense). And although we normally do next to nothing for St. Patrick's Day, this year I wanted to change that. Why waste a good holiday, especially one that has so much potential? I.e. Wearing green, decorating with green, fixing Irish foods, and talking like an Irish native.

Naturally, I began with my favorite craft store: Hobby Lobby.

Once again, Mom and I were disappointed in the selection of seasonal decorations (see Decorating a Valentines Heart Wreath for more). We've recently shifted our shopping to a different area and are consequently shopping at an alternate Hobby Lobby. We're hoping the blame lies with this one store and not all stores, and plan to test it at our earliest convenience.

So long story short, I didn't find anything for St. Patrick's Day and have resigned myself to whatever I can make. We'll see what that turns out to be.

I encountered the same problem with Easter decorations. I had hoped to find some garland but instead this is all I came up with -- paper eggs, ribbon, and plastic flowers.

I haven't decided whether I will paint the eggs or wrap them in pieces of scrapbook paper, but I plan to use the ribbon for hanging the eggs.


And those flowers! I did what I normally try not to do -- buy an item without having an idea for using it. But I couldn't resist it with these tiny flowers. Maybe I'll drill tiny holes and make earrings out of them...

Meanwhile, my crochet hook has not been idle. I am working on another baby blanket pattern, one of four on my list, and will have the pattern ready in a month or so. But before then, let me share with you my most recent design.



Introducing the Teddy Bear Toddler Tote!

My sister requested something for my little niece to be able to carry around, giving me some specifications for what she had in mind. Gradually this little piece came together and now I am thrilled to be able to share it with you.

What do you think? I will have the pattern available very soon so keep a look out.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Riddle Me This: What Is Perfect and Lasts Forever?


Glitch.

Slip.

Miss-fire.

Hesitate.

Fail.

Run out.

All are terms we use to describe the malfunctions of life. Try as we might, we simply cannot attain complete perfection in anything we create or encounter.

We believe we're close to it, and at times think we have achieved it with our technological advances, but in the honest sense of the word, we never reach it.

In this world we are accustomed to having to jiggle something to make it work, bang it, or try again. We're used to things running out, needing replaced, or updated. It is a given fact that nothing lasts forever.

Failing is a product of this sin-cursed world -- an aspect we cannot change, to our deepest chagrin. It affects us in every way, materially and immaterially.

For instance, have you ever met a perfect person? Or had a perfect relationship? We often hear the cliché, "Waiting for the perfect mate," but who has ever called their mate perfect? Even the most considerate person will fail at some point or another because they do not have what it takes to make the perfect friend, family member, employee, etc.

What do we honestly know about perfection?

In my opinion, the closest we can get to perfection in this world is a beautiful sunset or a crisp morning. We get glimpses of what it looks like, from God and His creation, but with our finite minds, how do we comprehend it? Do we ever experience it?

It's no wonder then that we find it hard to grasp the principle of God's unfailingness.

The prophet Isaiah recorded this very comforting prophecy:

"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength."*


Here is a look at God's unfailingness and how He extends the benefits to us. He will give us perfect peace and everlasting strength. It's hard to grasp, isn't it?

One thing is certain, that which is proven to us through this imperfect world, and that is that it is impossible to gain perfect and everlasting anything without God. Look around, you won't find it anywhere else.

With God there are absolutes.

Perfect peace means we can trust Him to supply our need. Our minds can rest at ease while He does what needs done.

Everlasting strength means He will never let us down. Never. Everlasting is unending and everything about God is everlasting, His faithfulness to us, His love, His mercy, His grace, and His justice.

I can't tell you how reassuring this is to me, knowing that though everything else will fail me at one time or another, God never will. Not even once in a while. Not once in a blue moon. It is still hard to comprehend and hard to remember in difficult times but it is an unshakable truth.

Friends will let me down, family will disappoint, life will strike its deadly blows, but God will never stop giving me peace and being there for me to lean on and trust in. He will never hesitate, run out, or glitch.

His strength is everlasting.


Tell me, what do you think? Is this a new concept for you? Would you like further references on this subject? I would love to hear your thoughts!

*Isaiah 27:3-4 (emphasis mine)