Sunday, January 2, 2011

From Hairshirts to Hippie Hats and Headbands - Happy New Year 2011

Happy New Year to all the blog-readers and loyal followers of Dispatches from the Deise from my first post in 2011 - I've been blogging just over two years now since I started just after Christmas 2008, and it's been a great journey as I've catalogued various events in my life and numerous random ramblings. I've enjoyed reading other blogs, following many, commenting on some (not enough!) and having over a hundred followers of my dispatches. It's an interesting and diverse community, and without any literary or journalistic pretensions, blogging's a great creative outlet for any aspiring writers - at every level.

Family photo - Christmas Day 2010
I hope you like the family photo taken on Christmas day on the patio - we were all wrapped up for a walk before the turkey dinner, and it was absolutely freezing. The next day it was about 8 degrees Centigrade (above freezing) - and the thaw has persisted but more frosty Arctic weather is forecast - just in case we get comfortable and complacent. The water's back by day, and down to a dribble at night; the pumps are turned off to fill the reservoirs as there are more leaks in the Irish water supply than Julian Assange could dream of in a lifetime - the County Councils here would give Wikileaks a right run for its money.

I wish everyone a wonderful 2011 despite the state of the nation and the economy and the dread and dismay we'll all find in out payslips in about a fortnight or so when the first haircuts of the hairiest hairshirt budget in history kicks in.
Cloche crochet hat with flower - on me.

I am trying all the positive mantras - lucky to have a job, many worse off than me, and amn't I lucky to be a vilified public servant - albeit frontline so maybe my job won't be one of those targeted for the chop if Fine Gael get into government after the General Election - probably March now. I just hope their expected partners in government, Labour, (my party affiliation) will be able to rein them in - Eamon(Gilmore) better make sure his charm offensive knocks the socks off Inda (Kenny) enough to stall the Blueshirts' proposal to slash and burn the public sector as they promised in their recent budget alternative. 

Jany and me with her creation - New Year's Eve 2010
 A question for 2011 - will Bono ask the IMF and the World Bank to Drop the Debt for his own country as he has so eloquently advocated for so-called Third World Countries? That would be a supreme irony as he has lost a lot of street cred since U2 headed off on a tax break of their own to The Netherlands when they moved their assets offshore for higher tax exemption savings - all strictly legal but morally very questionable given his holier-than-thou banging on about helping poor countries - surely the best way to do so would be to pay taxes in your own country?
Random-dyed pink flower detail on headband - crochet

Purple flower detail on headband - crochet

Crochet flower headbands

My thinking is that it can only be uphill from here as we can't get any worse than 2010 from an economic and national morale standpoint - it was a new low for our collective national psyche when the IMF rode into town, and we are still reeling from the shock of losing financial sovereignty with the bailout of €85 billion.

But enough misery - this Christmas and New Year I have been mostly crocheting new projects for myself and teen daughter and her pals - there's a resurgence in Hippie nostalgia and retro headbands and hats have become de rigueur -  at least around here.

Jany, d-i-l in-waiting, has been instrumental in reawakening this fashion fad as she has been busy with scarves, hats and headbands for little Sofia and her work colleagues. So when she showed me how to make 3-D flowers with the help of a wonderful YouTube tutorial from the wonderful Art of Crochet by Teresa, I was hooked ( I know, I used that pun in a recent post - guilty as charged!). You can see how wonderful it is in the link above or the video clip below.

I want to share some finished projects with you too, and maybe inspire you in the potential for a new cottage industry in the lean days ahead - a stall at the local Farmers' Market would be a terrific outlet for the crafty among you. You could do worse for in this age of austerity! 

Jany never crocheted till a few months ago and now she's teaching me techniques and new skills every week - so it's no excuse not to get down to it if you're motivated enough.If I can do it anyone can.

self-timer pic - scarf and hairband/headband with flower

Headband with flower - self-timed pic.

a bit too-close-up! flower cap with brim

 The Art of Crochet by Teresa - amazing tutorials on everything you need to know to crochet


Rudee said...

Happy New Year, Catherine!

Mimi said...

Happy 2011, Catherine!
I totally agree re Bono, especially as he avails of the services of this state. Charity begins at home. I'm sure you heard the jokes about the 2010LiveAid Ethiopia, in aid of Ireland!
Your crochet projects are very impressive, partic the white brimmed hat. People are great putting videos on utube, so helpful!
So, wishing you joy, peace and health in 2011 -that has no I, no M and no F!!

Rita said...

Wishing you all good things for 2011. Thank you for sharing your family photos; love your crochet; wish I could do that.

Stephanie V said...

Love the hats and headbands. The flowers make them very stylish. BTW, in one of my crochet books, that flower is called an Irish Rose. Perfect, I think. And, yes, a farmers market would be a very good start for a little business.

Happy New Year to you and your family.

Catherine said...

Thanks for the comments - Happy New Year to you all and hope it was a good one!

Rudee I'm guessing you're more a knitting than crochet person! I'm making a scarf in a nice thick rib right now in random autumn rusty colours and with size 9mm needles. Big!

Mimi - glad you think ditto on Bono - it has rankled with me but I thought I'd be a lone voice as he is so idolised no-one will say a bad word about him -but this really maddened me. Hypocrisy of the highest order and it disappointed me as he and Ali Hewson went to Ethiopia back in the 80s with Concern or to visit projects. Glad you like the brim hat was a bit of an accident not sure how I got there but I liked it.

Rita - the same good wishes to you for 2011. GLad yo like the photos and we are all enjoying the crochet - though I am knitting at the same time!

Stephanie - the headbands are retro but nice! Amazed at the Irish Rose! But it's apt I suppose! Would have to be more productive to get going at the Farmers' Market but if I have a surplus I think I'll do a blog giveaway for fun!
All the best, Catherine xxx

Winifred said...

I love your crochet, especially your white hat. I remember wearing t=ones like that in the 'sixties. Theresa's website and YouTube clips are really great.

Your Christmas Day photo is a lovely one. Hope things turn out better for everyone in 2011. Like you trying to be positive and grateful for good health which money can't buy. Happy New Year Catherine!

Peggy said...

Hi catherine, thank you for your frequent visits and comments to my blog and may I wish you and yours a very happy and peaceful year ahead. I love your hats/headbands especially the white one very retro!!!
Best wishes

Catherine said...

Thanks Winifred - the white hat is very 60s and 70s - I have teen pix of me with similar hat as I posed with my pals on ancient 110mm film or Instamatic cameras? Certainly pre-digital or even my 35mm days! Yes, Teresa's site and YouTubes are great. I find it great to remind me of stuff I've forgotten from years ago!

Peggy - happy New Year to you all, glad you like the hats - that retro white one seems the favourite and it was all a bit experimental! So I should keep on experimenting it seems!

keep on visiting!

Pooch Purple Reign said...

i do remember hats like those when i was a little girl and my momma crocheted. sooo cute.
i am very hopeful for a more prosperous year ahead. it cant hurt to hope :)
nice family pic. happy new year to you
~laura x

Barbara Scully said...

Hey Catherine ya big hippie! Love the hat and hairbands. I had a crochet hat like yours for my Confirmation back in the 70s.

Positive mantras and affirmations are vital for us here in Ireland at the moment. I use them too. And (as you also mentioned) gratitude.

Hopefully our positive attitude and creativity will get this wonderful country back onto its feet sooner than later!

Happy new Year

Catherine said...

Hi Laura - those hats are making some comeback - I've seen lots of headbands around and have been inundated with requests from teen daughter's friends for themselves and their brothers' girlfriends and friends tween daughter latest request - the flowers are what seems to do it for them! Happy 2011 to you and yours too!

Barbara- Guilty as charged - I am indeed a big hippie! (less of the big would be welcome though - have managed to avoid the scattered tins of Roses, Heroes, Quality Street and Celebrations lying around the house, and am studiously baking for everyone else bar me! Have just done a batch for work tomorrow and the Cork branch of the family!
I can well imagine you being the height of fashion in your crochet Confirmation hat! Let's stick to the positive mantras - I'm enjoying my political fixes returning to central stage with the GE 11 coming up and normal service resuming with the Frontline and Week in Politics, and that'll give me venting scope! Hope the country gets well over this IMF speedbump!
Happy New Year to you and family too.

Ann said...

Hi Catherine, Happy New Year!!! I love the caps and headbands. Back in the day I had a collection of those caps in every colour one could imagine. I was known as the girl with the cap. Loved them...they kept my hair under control.

A change is as good as a rest. I hope when the gov't changes though they will work for the country and not for themselves as the crowd in power have done over the last few decades. Here is to hope!

Paulina said...

Great headbands, and thanks for visiting my blog!

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