Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Silver Lining of Sorts

Last week at this time (10:30 a.m.) I was sitting in a room at the courthouse waiting for my ex to show up for our third meeting with the state's attorney about his inability to pay support. He didn't show so I get to go back in two more weeks. Not happy. He has accused me of lying when I say that he won't be honest about his income and doesn't pay what he's supposed to or at all since September, but it's all true. But enough about him... after we left, Mom and I decided to check out the Goodwill in Peoria because we hadn't been there in ages. Holy crap. They barely had anything and it was all so out of our price range - I mean, $15 for shoes. Fifteen. Dollars. I can get new shoes for that! I did, however, find a couple of patterns that needed to come home with me.

The one on the left is one I've seen on a blog somewhere. I think my love of Stevie Nicks and her old stage costume of a leotard and chiffon skirt are coming to the front on this. Of course, that's a look only she can pull off, so I'll wear the leotard like I did twenty years ago - with jeans and crazy hair. I may try the pants and top, too, if I can find the right fabric. And on the right is another vintage shirtdress for my collection. This is from 1979 and looks pretty cool. It will also require just the right fabric, but I may have something to use for a first try. So I managed to get something good out of the day after all. Hopefully the next court date will be the last one, at least for a while. Today I'll be in another waiting room - both kids are home with fevers, sore throats, and headaches. Yay. A mommy's work is never done!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Button Cuff

You know I have a love for buttons. I've spent more than a little time on pinterest looking at beautiful things that people have made out of them and have seen an amazing array of cuffs. I decided to give it a try.

The large main buttons were made into a bracelet before but the string broke - these are rather heavy and I shouldn't have just threaded anything through them. I placed them first and added the rest a couple at a time. The larger red ones are the extras from a Halston III blouse, his line for J C Penney in the early 80s. I was surprised to find them in one of the jars that I got for Christmas. My original plan was to only use red but the fabric, silk from a vintage tie, is very colorful so I decided to add the white and blue.

It fastens with two loops made from a pony tail holder. They are perfect for use as a fastener since the skinny elastics don't work for my thick hair at all. I wore it today and it's really comfortable. Tomorrow I'll be going through my buttons again to start on another one (or more!) in some other colors. This first one isn't great since I didn't really know what I was doing, but it has really sparked my creativity. I should really get to work on some new dresses to go with my bracelets!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Socks For My Boy

I told Kerry that he should be wearing his wool socks to keep his feet warm. He replied that he couldn't find them - not surprising since his room is a disaster. He requested a new pair in Dallas Cowboys colors. He's a good boy for me, so I got out the dyes and had some fun.

I'm not sure how one of the gray stripes turned out a bit wider, but he doesn't care. He put them on right away and is excited to wear them.

Now if he would only wear a heavier coat...

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Book Review, Kind Of

Back in 1989 my dear friend Debra and I each bought a copy of The Andy Warhol Diaries. She, being an artist, was a fan of his work. I was aware of who he was and trusted Debra's taste. We read it then. I don't remember a lot about my thoughts from that time. I'm sure I was shocked at all of the talk of drugs. I was probably more interested in his friendship with Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran. Well, I pulled the book out early in December to reread since I've been in a 1970s state of mind. This time through I've noticed so much. He talks a LOT about drugs in the 70s. Did any of the celebrities get angry and try to file lawsuits? I don't know that I'd want the world knowing that I did all sort of substances in front of my kids, for example. He didn't go into detail about the rumored debauchery at Studio 54, probably because the person he was talking to already knew all about it. I would like to hear more, though, being a bit curious as to how bad it really could have been. Andy worked so much. His work days seem to be twelve or more hours a day, sometimes even on Sundays. I've seen pictures of lots of his paintings, but there must be hundreds more for me to see, not including the private portraits that he did. I'll have to check the local library for some books of his art collections. After working until nine or so he'd go out with his friends for dinner and clubbing until the early morning and the get up and do it again. He must have been used to it, having lived that life for twenty-some years. There are some people, like Bianca Jagger, who are in the entirety of the diaries. He talked of a different group of people as he got more into the Eighties. Up-and-coming stars must have sought him out for publicity since he knew so many people and was seen everywhere. He seemed lonely, though. There are several entries where he spoke of wanting a romance. I imagine his schedule made having a boyfriend difficult, especially in those days of hedonism. I was very aware, this time through, of how many people died from AIDS. Living in the middle of nowhere, we didn't get too much news of AIDS until later in the Eighties. Andy starts talking about it in about 1982, although he referred to it as "gay cancer" because it didn't have a name yet. He was really worried about it, even without a lover. I wonder if people wouldn't give permission to have their pictures in the book. There are two sections of photos, but they're both small and the pictures are kind of blah. Andy talked about having a camera with him all the time. What happened to all of those pictures? Maybe they're all in another book somewhere. I guess the review part is this - it's an interesting book, especially if you're a fan of that era (mid-Seventies to 1987) or are a Warhol fan. The editor claims to have left it mostly intact, so if that's true it's a close look into the mind of an artist and celebrity. It's made me wonder, of course, what he would have thought of today. A person can become famous for a picture on Instagram. The internet has created a new world of celebrities. And reality television...Warhol's movies Eat and Sleep kind of started the "reality" genre in a way. I'm sure all of the Real Housewives would have loved having portraits painted by the same man who painted Jerry Hall and Liza Minnelli. Now I need to decide what to read next. Should I hit the library for a biography of one of the Studio 54 crowd? Maybe back to Sherlock Holmes? Dragons and wizards? I always have a tough time deciding. A final note for today...yesterday I was browsing CVS while waiting for a prescription refill and saw, in the Valentine's Day section, a gift set of Halston cologne and body lotion for $14.99. I wonder if it smells the same as it did when it was new. I let Eric know that I'd like to get it. It's a bit sad, though, that Halston is on the shelf while Coty Musk is locked up. Okay, that's all for today. No pictures, sorry. I'll share some knitting next time as soon as I get this project finished.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Planning Projects

Hi again! As I type the temperature outside is 1F. The wind chill is around -20F. School was cancelled all over the area because of the cold, and not just in Illinois. It's crazy cold in a big chunk of the country today. If it affects you I hope you're bundled up!
I have big plans for projects this year. I'm continuing last year's plan to knit up some of my big shawl patterns. I'm also knitting a lot of socks because I love my socks...and a couple of my favorite pairs are wearing holes in the heels. I'm going to try a sweater or two, too. I have some purple yarn that really wants to be a cabled cardigan.

One of the podcasts I listen to is having a hat knitalong this year. I think hats would be a good way to use up some of my single skeins of yarn and will come in quite handy on these winter days. I've been considering keeping a box to put finished things in that I can gift to people - I do know a couple of young men who might like wool hats and mittens.
During one of my sleepless nights I realized that I have a nice assortment of shirtwaist dress patterns - ranging from the 40s to the 70s.
I'd like to make a few of them up this year. I've made the oldest one before and wear it fairly often, so another one would get used. I think it would be fun to have a similar dress from different decades. I think I have one from the 80s, too, somewhere in my pattern collection...one of the blogs I read regularly said something about an Eighties Sewalong. I wonder if she's still planning it. I have a few different wrap dress patterns, too, that will be in consideration to be made. If only the fabric fairy would leave me a present!
I'm going to keep making things from my "Project Ideas" Pinterest board as well. Recently I asked some people if they make the things they pin and they all said no. Do you guys make the things you find on Pinterest?
My final plan for this year is to get Joshua healthy. He's still not well. Eric thinks I should talk to a different vet for a second opinion. I just know that it makes me sad that the poor kitty doesn't want to play like he used to and only has energy to walk from one napping place to another. He's far too young to be a lazy cat.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Winter Break Round Up

Happy new year! The kids are back at school after two weeks of being off for Christmas and I was so ready. They're much more manageable when they're on a schedule.
Our Christmas was rather small this year but nice. Both Kerry and Khloe asked for footwear - Kerry picked out a new pair of shoes from the Adidas website that were on sale with free shipping and got here in three days, just in time to wrap. I won't have any problems ordering from them again. He loves his new shoes and only took them off to sleep...although he was rather sick and may have slept in them a couple of times. Khloe has asked for brown combat-style boots since her birthday and I found a pair on Amazon that are perfect. She, too, has worn them non-stop since opening them. It makes me so happy when a gift is loved. Eric is not easy to buy for, so when he mentioned a cherry wine from Wisconsin that he'd had and liked I did a search and ordered a bottle from the winery and he enjoyed it. I also got him some cd's - Black Sabbath and AC/DC. He likes to rock. What did I get? Eric got me a sandwich maker, but mine is a double. I've used it several times and it's cool. The only tricky part is getting everything out without burning myself - it gets really hot. Mom gave me a set of Zephyr knitting needles from Knit Picks. They don't sell them any more so I think this was the set she'd ordered for herself a few years ago and doesn't use. I'll get plenty of use from them but knitting plans will come later. She also got me:
two new jars of buttons. She has me figured out!
Speaking of buttons, I spent Christmas Eve making these bracelets
inspired by some I've been seeing on Pinterest. The hardest part is deciding which buttons to use. I have a couple more planned, of course. The black and silver one is really long and can be used as a belt...once I tone up a bit. It fits now but is snug. I'm planning a brooch, too, but it's still in the "back of the brain" planning stage. Do you all have that? An area in your brain where ideas percolate until they're fully formed and ready to be born?
I'm going to be making this beauty soon
because it's gorgeous. I'm not sure what I have in the stash that will work. I didn't get any money for Christmas so new fabric will sadly have to wait. Doesn't it look like something Curtise would wear?
That's all for now. I'm in the house warming up a bit from shoveling snow out of the driveway. I can finally feel my toes again - and I'm wearing three pair of socks and winter boots. It's flipping cold out. I don't like it. I should go finish shoveling now before I get too comfortable...or maybe I'll save it for my son to do. Yeah. That's the new plan. I'll be back tomorrow to share my plans for this year. Stay warm, my dears!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Gifts Are Made

I didn't do as much gift-making this year as I have in years past because, honestly, the Christmas spirit is missing around here. A bit of a story that leads into what I did make... The Thursday before Thanksgiving we got the news that Eric's best friend since middle school had died suddenly. It was quite a blow. His kids all came to spend time with their dad because they knew how upset he would be. He very much enjoyed the company, of course, and while they were here both girls asked if I would make them socks. I agreed to because they were so good with their dad when he needed them most. The yarn for Meg's socks was easy to decide on, thank goodness.
The yarn was a gift from a House Cup friend a few years ago - it was waiting in the stash for the right project. I love how it knit up! The colors are beautiful together. Erica's socks took a bit longer - nothing jumped out at me. I finally came across a skein that I'd dyed a while ago.
It took a bit longer to knit these, too, because I couldn't believe how nice the yarn looked. My final handmade gift is a bit different.
They will hold lip balms and are for my brother's girlfriend's daughters. I don't know the girls very well, unfortunately, but they are both very sweet. I hope their mom doesn't mind them having glossy lips! I finally got around to putting our tree up yesterday. I then discovered that the box of ornaments, a big Rubbermaid tub, had gotten a lot of water in it when the basement flooded. I spent the afternoon throwing away so many ruined decorations. Worse yet, my star has disappeared. I made it thirteen years ago when the kids and I began our life without their dad. It was beautiful - cardboard, glue, and all of the glitters that I'd collected when I worked at the craft store. I'm heartbroken that we don't have it any more. I don't even want to decorate the tree now - it's in the corner in all its prelit glory, naked. Come January or so I'll start collecting glitter again to make a new star. It won't be the same, of course, but maybe this time I'll go with a silver, iridescent, and soft blue color scheme. Okay, enough with the down stuff! I have socks to wrap in the shiny purple paper that I had to get. (All of our paper was destroyed, too, so I got new rolls last week.) Tomorrow is the last day of school before Christmas break. Know what that means? Sleeping in! And probably rereading The Blood of Olympus - I love Rick Riordan's books so much. Did you know that his next series is Norse gods and mythology? So excited! So, tell me about your holiday plans and favorite books and crafts and stuff. I'll be back soon!