Category Archives: My Electric Bivouac

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A Pirate Hat with Style

Thursday, March 29th, 2018

Every year the Jackson Hole Community band performs a Halloween Concert and the whole band wears a Halloween costume. The concert is for the children but adults enjoy it as well. In 2014 I decided to be a pirate.

When I started planning my pirate costume, [future post],  I knew I wanted a unique pirate hat to bring it together. I browsed Pintrest for ideas, adding the word “steampunk” to the search terms to find that swashbuckling look I wanted.

Once I had an idea in my brain of what I wanted my hat to look like, I dug through my craft supplies, and shopped dollar stores, craft stores, and yard sales for unique bobbles and scraps that would work in my color scheme.

 


 

 

I needed a plain pirate hat that would fit my head and I could glue and hand sew things onto. I found this hat on Amazon.com, I would not recommend this hat for someone with a small hat size, but it worked perfectly on my medium to large hat size head and it is very comfortable. The price is well worth it.  I gathered my supplies and spread them out to see my palette and went to work.

Junk and broken jewelry and some perfectly good pieces from the 80’s. Funny how the jewelry I wore in the 80’s is now appropriate for a Halloween costume!

Sewing box, buttons, tools, craft flowers, doilies, and some fabric scraps to get me started.

 

The first thing I wanted to do to the plain hat was dress up the smooth top into something more feminine. I had a few lace and crocheted scraps I picked up at garage sales. I dyed them brown to use in various places on the pirate costume, [future post]. Learning from the mess I made dying some things black for my Gray Lady Costume, I used the liquid, not the powdered Rit dye. 

 

I used the crochet scrap with the peacock design and some Tacky Glue to glue the doily to the top of the hat and let it dry completely before doing anything else. I dry brushed the scrap with some gold craft acrylic paint to give it some depth and sewed some old looking buttons to the front to give it a finished look.


For a really great costume remember to add detail as many places as possible. With this in mind, I added bobbles to all three sides of the brim.

On the left brim I stacked some doilies with parts of a burlap flower I took apart. I added an old broken broach to the center and used my jewelry tools to add some dangles. When I sewed it all together I added a couple peacock feathers behind the flowers. Later I added some felt to the back of the dangles because it was making sounds while I was playing my flute.

 

On the right brim I sewed on an old broken bracelet with coins, added a trio of buttons near the front, and a skull and cross bone button above the bracelet.

Fot the back brim I used a fancy Gothic black lace choker i had purchased for another costume but didn’t use. I used a needle and thread to tack the ends down, allowing it some movement. 

To finish it up I added a big set of pink ostrich plumes behind the brim, by the peacock feathers, and secured it by sewing it on with a heavy duty needle and thread, (a thimble on my thumb and finger was a life finger saver for this project). The bottom of the set of plumes is tied with a leather strip so if seen it looks finished, and the plumes stay in place. I found the plume at a garage sale back the 80’s and had used it on a couple other costumes and for decoration over the years.

 



In 2015 I brought the pirate costume, [future post], with me on a trip to to Cabo San Lucas, we planned to attend a Halloween event on the marina. I had to wear the hat on the plane because it would not pack, it made for an interesting flight. While there I was given this mask that gave the costume a less kid friendly look. And when I returned… I was wearing the hat when customs took my photo.




I took the photos with the black background with my new iPhone 8.


Herbie vs. Cousin It

Monday, January 1st, 2018

I had to keep Cousin it locked away in a closet for Halloween until he made an appearance with the Jackson Hole Community Band at their annual Concert for the Kids.

Where’s Cousin It?

Pintrest is a fun place to find new ideas. While surfing one day I found easy instructions for making a Cousin It Halloween prop. All you need is:

  • A tomato cage
  • Plastic Wrap (I added this to keep skirt in place)
  • 2 or 3 Hula Skirts
  • A wire tie
  • Hat
  • Child’s sunglasses
 

Instructions:

  1. Tun the tomato cage upside down and bend down the stakes.
  2. Wrap the cage in plastic wrap.
  3. Wrap the hula skirts around the cage. If the cage is taller than the skirt is long start low and use wire ties to hold in place.
    • Use enough skirts to cover with a full head of ‘hair’. They are only a buck, don’t be stingy.
  4. Use wire tie to secure ends to top.
  5. Place hat on top.
  6. Place glasses appropriately, it can be stuck through the plastic wrap or taped to it.
 



That’s It! Well, almost….
 
Keep the cuz out of your cat’s reach. I proudly put my new decoration on the kitchen table and went to get my camera, I came back to a hula mess on the kitchen floor. Herbie could not resist for a minute, he had cousin it on the floor in pieces and was still torturing his prey.

Herbie killed Cousin It!

Hanging from a ceiling hook did the trick.

 


 


Cranberries & Pecans in Sherry

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

This chutney-like condiment can Served with turkey or game, as a garnish for ice cream, or on a cheese board. Great on a cold turkey sandwich too. I like to sweeten my oatmeal with a heaping tablespoon.

Ingredients:
Makes 2 Pints

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Lb (about 4 cups) fresh cranberries, washed and picked over for stems
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • Grated rind and juice of 1 orange  (If the rind is skimpy use rind of 2 oranges)
  • Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup quality dry sherry (use something you would serve)

Directions:

  • Bring water to boiling, add cranberries and
    simmer until the skins pop open.
  • Add sugar and grated orange and lemon rinds
    and their juices and simmer together 15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat; add pecans and sherry, stirring
    well to combine.
  • Spoon into a glass container.
  • Keep refrigerated.

 


Directions for canning (triple recipe):
Preparation Time: 2 1/2 hrs start to finish.
Tripling this recipe makes 1 case of 1/2 pint jars.

  • Prepare jars, lids, and bands for processing before starting.
  • Uses 4 12oz bags of fresh cranberries
  • After adding the sugar and grated orange and lemon rinds and their juices cook until it reaches 220*f.
  • Spoon into self-sealing sterilized jars. Fill
    to within 1/2 inch from top of jar.
  • Process jars in boiling water bath
    for 15 minutes.
  • Let cool.
  • Label jars and store in cool, dark, dry place.