The isolated villages of Brittany, in the northwest corner of France, were once known for their disctinctive headdresses and costumes. Now a younger generation is continuing the tradition.
ClIMBING OUT OF A TINY EUROPEAN CAR IS challenging enough; it’s nearly impossible in a hat 13 inches tall. Yet Alexia Caoudal, 87, and Marie-Louise Lopéré, 90, manage to cantilever out of the backseat of a friend’s silver Citroen with remarkable dignity, if not grace. Their host hurries to greet them with such smiling deference that they might be royalty.
Princesses they are not-the two women spent decades toiling in fish canneries. But Caoudal and Lopéré have achieved a certain celebrity in this bit of northwest France known as Bigouden country, in the Finistère region at the western edge of Brittany. They are the only women known to rountinly wear the towering headdress, or coiffe, that was once a part of daily life here.
Age has been their bodies, but the stiff lace stands tall atop their waves of white hair, like a lighthouse signaling: Here is a Bigouden women.
There are dozens of Breton constumes, varying by village, occasion, and time period. The once simple caps used by peasant women for modesty and protection from the elements evolved into fantastic shapes and sizes in the 19th and 20th centuries, inspiring artists like Paul Gauguin. In those times the coiffe “was like an identity card,” says Solenn Boennec, an assistant curator at the Musée Bigouden in Pont-I’Abbé. “It can reveal who you are, where you’re from, and if you’re in mourning for someone.”
By the 1950s, however, most young women had abandoned the old style. Today it lives on the Breton rituals and in social groups called Celtic circles, where young people like the ones in these portraits train year-round to compete in full costume at summer dance festivals. They also sometimes participate in weddings and a traditional religious pilgrimage, called a pardon, during the feast of a local patron saint.
“It’s seen as less old-fashioned now than when we were younger,” says 20-year-old Apolline Kersaudy, who joined a Celtic group when she was six. “Other friends don’t understand why we can’t go on summer holidays with them. But the circle is more important.”
Caoudal and Lopéré pull, comb, and pin their plaits up under a special black bonnet every morning, adding the lace top on Sundays and special occasions. Donning the full coiffe takes nearly half an hour and seems wildly impractical on this wet and windy edge of the North Atlantic. Is it comfortable? “We’re used to it,” says Caoudal, shrugging. Like others of their generation, the women speak a mixture of French and Breton, the rigional language. Full of colliding consonants, it’s similar to Welsh, a reminder of Brittany’s Celtic heritage.
Today’s young guard that heritage with a fierce pride. “I am Breton, and I am French,” says Malwenn Mariel, 17, a member of the Pont-I’Abbé Celtic circle. “But I am Bigouden first.”
A bigouden woman is frank and unafraid, the girls in the circle say. She doesn’t let anyone walk all over her. Like her headdress, she is a tower of strength. -Amanda fiegl
Find beautiful lace in wholeport now: http://www.wholeport.com/cate/lace/
Below are my favourite polymer clay tutorials. These works are very amazing. Anyone can become polymer clay master!
More polymer clay supplies in: http://www.wholeport.com/cate/ceramics-pottery/ Hope you get inspired and upload your works to wholeport Crafts board.
The cookies baked from these collection of creative and unusual cookie cutters is sure to attract kids attention with its unique shapes and designs.
Explore wholeport cookie cutters for more inspirations.
If you enjoyed the Homemade Lavender Soap Tutorial last week and you like the scent of coffee then you’re going to love what I’m sharing with you today! After playing around with a few more homemade soap recipes I created Vanilla Latte Soap Bars.
Have I ever mentioned that one of my favorite ways to relax is to sit in a busy Starbucks reading a good book? For some reason the combination of the noise and coffee aroma relaxes me. These soap bars remind me of the scent of my Starbucks latte!
To make the soap I used goat’s milk soap base cut into 13 cubes. I used 13 cubes because I found that this makes exactly 3 soap bars with my soap mold.
13 cubes of Goat’s milk soap base
1/4 cup brewed coffee
vanilla essential oil
Homemade Vanilla Latte Soap Tutorial
1. Brew one cup of coffee; set aside coffee grounds.
2. Cut soap into cubes and place in a double boiler or microwave in 30 second intervals (I used a large pyrex measuring cup over a double boiler).
3. Melt soap over low-medium heat.
4. Once soap cubes turn liquid add a few drops of vanilla essential oil. Slowly add in 1/4 cup of coffee and coffee grounds; stir well.
5. Pour into soap molds and allow to harden for at least one hour. Press mold to release soap.
This homemade coffee soap recipe smells amazing! I’m still fairly new to soap making but I’m really enjoying it so far. I plan to try new recipes and more natural ingredients as I continue to experiment. I have a few Spring/Summer scents that I want to try out, and of course share with you some new homemade soap tutorials!
For the ultimate skin-soothing bar of soap, you can’t get much better than this Baking Soda Oatmeal Bar. Made with Castile Rebatch, Oat Extract, Colloidal Oatmeal and baking soda, it has some serious nourishing power. Baking soda provides gentle all-over exfoliation, and oatmeal is renowned for its ability to calm irritate skin. Some customers may prefer this bar unscented so they can enjoy the gentle exfoliation of the baking soda and soothing effect of the oatmeal, but you can certainly add Lavender or Chamomile Essential Oil to give it a mild scent.
Regular soap has a pH anywhere from 8.5 – 10, and this soap is definitely on the low end of the spectrum with a pH of 8. It’s gentle enough for sensitive skin but strong enough to provide plenty of exfoliating cleanliness.
This is also a great recipe for beginning cold process soapers. It uses a rebatch base, which means the soap arrives pre-made and pre-cured; no dealing with lye! This tutorial uses the double-boiler method, but you can experiment with the plastic baggie technique too. For more on making rebatch soap, check out this Soap Queen TV video.
What You’ll Need:
16 oz. Castile Rebatch
16 oz. Sodium Bicarbonate
3.2 oz distilled water
.2 oz. Oat Extract
.5 oz. Colloidal Oatmeal
.2 oz. Rolled Oats
.8 oz fragrance or essential oil (optional)
2 lb. Wood Loaf Mold with Liner
ONE: The rebatch you order from Bramble Berry comes pre-shredded, so you won’t need to worry about that. Set your double boiler on medium heat and add the rebatch. Let the rebatch sit and move on to step 2.
TWO: Mix the baking soda with 3 oz. of distilled water. Stir with a whisk or spoon to combine.
THREE: Add the entirety of the baking soda/water mixture to the rebtach and stir.
FOUR: Add the Colloidal Oatmeal. At this point, the rebatch should start to melt down into more of a paste. If it hasn’t, keep stirring and turn up the heat slightly on the double-boiler.
FIVE: At the Oat Extract and stir.
SIX: Now play the waiting game! After about 20 minutes, the rebatch will start to thicken into a gloppy oatmeal-like texture. That’s what you want. You want to keep your rebatch hydrated, so you may need to add a little extra water if you notice any cracking or if the mixture turns to a clay-like consistency. Keep in mind that the more liquid you add, the softer the soap will be, and the more difficult to pop out of the mold.
We added a tiny (.2 oz) of extra water to keep the soap from getting too dry.
SEVEN: As you can see below, the ideal texture is that of mashed potatoes. At this point you’re ready to spoon it into the mold.
EIGHT: We used a Round Silicone Spoon to scoop the soap into the mold. Because it’s so thick, remember to tamp the mold on the table to eliminate any trapped air bubbles. Garnish with rolled oats.
Wait 2 to 4 days before unmolding. When send our rebatch already cured, so as soon as you cut it’s ready to use right away. Enjoy!
Many of you have been asking about adding baking soda to regular cold process batter. Our research and development team tested a batch using the same amounts of water and baking soda we used in this recipe, and the results are below:
Lye water and baking soda. Those are chunks are undissolved lye!
Lye water, baking soda and oil. Even after vigorous stick blending, the mixture still wouldn’t combine.
So there you have it! These photos definitely speak for themselves. While we don’t know exactly why baking soda reacts so poorly with lye and soap batter, our guess it has something to do with the baking soda and lye neutralizing each other, thereby interrupting the saponification process. When it comes to baking soda and soap, stick to rebatch!
Happy new year to all WholePort’s customers. On behalf of all our staff, I’d like to wish everyone of you a splendid 2014 ahead.
Today, we are going to make an essential oil soap with easy and everyday supplies. Just follow our tutorial and I’m sure all of you could make it! Let’s get rolling!
Tools and Materials to Prepare:
C.A few transparent soap base
F.A few dried flowers or fragrance
A. Soap mold of any kind. We’d suggest to begin with a basic one, rectangular would be fine.
Cut the soap base into small pieces
Put the soap base in steel cup and double boiling the cup until all soap base has been completely melted. Hint: Heat the cup with another pot full of boiling water.
Let the liquid soap cool down to about 50/ºC or 122/ºF，then add some essence oil and food color for better smell and pleasant look. Shake and stir, then pour the liquid to the mold for cool down.
To make more flavor into your soap. You could add some dry flowers to your soap. Pour 1/3 of the liquid melt soap base to the mold and then blend it with your dry flowers.
Wait until a thin film appears on the top, then pour the rest of the melt soap liquid. Wait until it cools down and wala…. your handmade flower essence oil soap is ready!
1. Make sure you put just right amount of liquid(water, cow milk, breast milk, black tea etc) to melt your soap base. Too much liquid will make your soap too soft. For every 100g of soap base, melt with 50g of liquid.
2.For every 100g of soap base, add 2-3g of essence oil. And do NOT use soap made with essence oil on babies.
3.For every 100g of soap base, add 1-2g honey to melt with the soap base. This could make your soap more smooth and add little color.
4.Do not add salt to melt with your soap base, since it will not make the soap any harder.
Finally, happy crafting your homemade essence oil soap!
Seize the moment! Our special Christmas sale is going to end soon on Jan 17th, seize the last chance to purchase our most popular items in 2013 with only 50% of the original price! Whether you are a fun of handmade soap, baking addict or crazy about sewing and quilting, WholePort has you covered. And with new Free Shipping policy, you could receive everything without paying extra for freight! (over $75 purchase, with super saver shipping only)
Check out our 50% Off Special Christmas Sale page here
Thanksgiving means more than just enjoy delicious turkey feast and family reunion now days when the street is filled up with ads about commercial Black Friday door buster sales. Too many things on the list to do and sometimes we may think last Halloween is too near to start preparing for a new holiday. But as long as it is holiday, WE CELEBRATE!
In this week’s post, we are going to suggest a few things that will make your Thanksgiving table a holiday delight for everyone on your guest list.
Dining Table Suggestions:
How about decorate your dining table with our fun cartoon candles in various themes or delightful cake toppers? I’m sure your family and friends would enjoy the warm atmosphere these little things add to your table.
Thanksgiving Gift Hints:
Check out our craft party event for more customer inspirations for your unique Thanksgiving gift hints and master piece they made with wholeport craft supply. Surely you can also make something light but pretty and creative to impress your guests and kids. Hand swen your own gifts with simple material with elegant and adorable attire. Try them out yourself!
Craft making could be tricky as well as fun. Just consider handing out your own unique handmade present for the Christmas and be worshipped in prayers would be thrill enough for me to start making something.
But to find a particular project to begin with could be quite troublesome. I often admire those craft masters and their stunning creations often made with the simplest and most common materials at hand. A brilliant artist idea would simply turn stone into gold. We found this interesting and easy-to-make socks snowman creation on facebook thanks to Linda Lanese. With little flower and cute button embellishment, the family of little snowman is just adorable! Check out facebook page for more details.
Our purchasing team also focuses on the biggest event of the year recently and presents a whole new series of cake and fondant molds for your Christmas table delights. The series includes decorated Christmas trees, Santa Claus, reindeer, jingle bells, cakes, flowers and much more! Check out our whole new series here
I guess with the above collection and ideas, I could certainly find my inspiration for a perfect Christmas handmade gift. Also I strongly suggest checking out at Wholeport Craft Club for more creations and inspirations uploaded by our happy customers. Wish everyone happy preparing your own unique Christmas handmade gift!
We held an interesting event called Pin It & Win It on Pinterest from April 28th to May 4th, lasting one week.
At this event, we encouraged Pinterest users to find interesting photos in our Baking Supplies category and pin them on Pinterest. These users are basically baking fans or even baking gurus themselves. Their followers or fans would re-pin the photos to their own likings.
These who pined the photos and had the most re-pins would win gift packages from us. We do it as a reward to the crafter community as well.
The 6 winners of this Pin It & Win It event:
Top 1: Elizabeth Langston
Reward: a gift package worth of US$30 from WholePort
Reward: a gift package worth of US$20 from WholePort
Reward: a gift package worth of US$10 from WholePort
Congratulations to them!
We already emailed the winners and asked for their shipping addresses. The gift packages will be shipped out shortly after. We sincerely wish them enjoy baking with our supplies!