Friday, August 18, 2017

Parasols - History of Fashion Accessories

Parasols were used in France from early in the century. In the end of the eighteenth century, the parasol’s cousins, umbrellas, were used to keep the rain off; and parasols to protect from the sun both in Britain and America. The basic umbrella was invented more than 4,000 years ago. There is evidence of umbrellas in the ancient art and artifacts of Egypt, Assyria, Greece, and China. These ancient umbrellas, or parasols, were first designed to provide shade from the sun. An umbrella or parasol is a folding canopy supported by wooden or metal ribs, which is usually mounted on a wooden, metal, or plastic pole. It is designed to protect a person against rain or sunlight. The word “umbrella” typically refers to a device used for protection from rain. The word parasol usually refers to an item designed to protect from the sun.
A parasol is defined as a light usually small umbrella carried as protection from the sun. The word parasol literally means ‘for sun’ in Spanish. The name parasol, which we know today, comes from its old Italian French name parasole, which is derived from the Italian word parare, which means prepare or ward off, and the Latin word sol, which means sun or sunlight. So, use the parasol and ward off the sun! Parasols originated in the East Indies about 5,000 years ago. In 3000 B.C., the Egyptians used parasols as a sunshade for sun protection. This was a royal privilege and bearers did the carrying. Around the 1st century B.C. the parasol spreads to ancient Rome and Greece. It took the Italian Renaissance in the 16th century to introduce the parasol to European soil. King Louis the XIV soon after brought them to France. A parasol appeared on a street corner in Windsor, Connecticut, in 1740 carried by a fashionable lady. It had been brought all the way from the West Indies and may have been the first parasol in North America.
Because of their high cost and limited manufacture, parasols of that early age were almost exclusively used by nobility, royalty and clergy, symbolizing wealth and power. Another very important cause of parasols popularity was the view point on beauty, which often demanded that rulers and nobility carry pale skin that was not tanned by sun, a tradition that survives even until today in Japan, where pale skin is regarded as one of the most important factors of female beauty.
 The parasol is most often associates with fashion trends in Victorian society in England and the United States. Perhaps the main reason for it popularity was the Victorian admiration, or even obsession for a fair complexion. It was more than a sign of beauty, it showed the world that a woman was a lady and didn’t have to work outdoors. The parasol was as a much a part of a well-dressed lady’s outfit as were her gloves, hat, shoes and stockings. A fashionable lady carried a different parasol for each outfit. They became popular gifts for men to give their ladies. Like the fan and lacy handkerchief, the parasol was both practical and helpful aid to the subtle art of flirtation. Parasols continued to increase in popularity until the Edwardian era in the early 1900s.
Lace parasols have had a long and rich history in Europe, especially during the 1600s and early 1900s. Apparently, it is from these eras, which saw the height of the opulence and elegance in Europe's society, that lace parasols today are associated with items of luxury, feminine class, and elegance. Nevertheless, their expensive price, women owned lace parasols in different colors to match every outfit – a long dress gown or dress with fitted top and full, heavy skirt, which was the central clothing for women at the time. When riding in a carriage, ladies would make sure that their driver pulls down the carriage's convertible top so her lace parasol is beautifully exposed.
While older women have long used parasols for protective purposes, it has been only recently that young women have seen them as a fashion accessory. After remaining out of fashion for about ninety years, parasols had a resurgence around 1990 as many women no longer considered it healthy or wise to be in the sun too long. Increased awareness about skin cancer contributed to the renaissance of parasols. Parasols are being carried again in increasing numbers in the U. S., Great Britain, France and especially Japan. There was an exposure in a baby showers’ trend to use the sunshade parasol as a center piece. The parasol is a true newest and oldest fashion accessory trend.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Literary Eats

If you like to read and to eat, you probably will enjoy the
Emily Dickinson's Gingerbread,
Ernest Hemingway's Picadillo,
Eudora Welty's Onion Pie and
400 + other recipes from American Authors
past and present.
Here is a book written by Gary Scharnhorst
entitled "Literary Eats."
Please enjoy both good reading and good food!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Devotion to Create

The strong sense of home: "Home, Sweet Home!"

Another two pieces of completely excellent expression:
"X-mas in July!"

Delicious beautiful production of soul-invigoration.
One word is yelling: "Yami!"
Every time I pick it up, I find the love 
for vanilla, pistachio, and chocolate flavors
of ice cream on a hot summer day.
Design style: flat applique 
Method: crochet
Colors: off-white, green, and brown
Accessories: buttons
Time: 30 min for each
Handmade: Ms. T. @ 2017

Friday, August 4, 2017

Oysters Rockefeller

Let me introduce you to the "Taste of Tradition" - a recipe from a collection of appetizers that are very appropriate for August's Seafood Season.

So, here is my first highlight of the ingredients:

36 oysters on the half shell        1/2 tsp. celery salt
2 c. cooked spinach                    1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. chopped onion                  6 drops Tabasco sauce
2 bay leaves                                6 T. butter
2 springs parsley                        1/2 c. bread crumbs

Now, let's move to the step-by-step instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degree
2. Place oysters on backing sheet
3. Put spinach, onion, bay leaves and parsley through food grinder or chop finely in food processor
4. Melt butter in skillet; cook spinach mixture for 5 minutes, and add bread crumbs
5.Spread spinach mixture over oysters and bake for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and serve hot.

Home-growing parsley

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

After the Rain

Here I come creeping, creeping everywhere...

In the noisy city street
Silently creeping
And cheering the sick at heart.

The summer rains will pass by,
the sun will come out -
hotter as ever,
and my flowers will grow and shine
brighter as ever.
Flowers and smiles go together
as August month is ruling.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Just Before the Rain

Hot summer day. Just before the rain.
Suddenly above me, the sky got dark. The sound of thunder roaring.
The palm tree's leaves awaiting the rain.
Far away the sky is still light, but not where I am standing.
It started to drizzle.
I took a quick shot of the view and hurried up indoors. 

Friday, July 28, 2017


Bougainvillea is one of the showiest vines you can grow.
 The large plant practically smothers itself in big clusters
of papery bracts.
While bougainvillea is tropical,
it's usually grown as an annual in cold-winter areas.

Bougainvillea is a kind of thorny ornamental plant, bushes, and trees with flower-like spring leaves near its flowers. Different authors accept between four and eighteen species in the genus. They are native plants of South America, from Brazil west to Ecuador and south to southern Argentina.

The "flowers" are modified leaves, called bracts,
that are long-lasting and bright.
They appear periodically throughout most of the year,
but are especially plentiful in the winter,
when the splashes of color are a welcome sight.
Bougainvillea blooms in fuchsia, red, white, yellow, and orange.

Bougainvillea require full sun and perform better
when their soil is left a little dry,
 making this a perfect plant for the drought-tolerant landscape.
It needs to be protected from frost and freeze.