Friday, November 30, 2012

The First Workbasket Project

I've finished crocheting a project form the oldest of the Workbasket magazines that I inherited. It's issue 2959 December 1948. The pattern is called Pan Holder.
I used some fingering weight wool that I bought on ebay a long time ago. It was all the black and white but I'd overdyed some of it purple because, well, that's what I do. I sewed a layer of heat-resistant batting in between the crocheted sides because the squares have little open spaces and I'd rather not hurt myself - and it makes it safer, in my head anyway, if I use it to put a pan on. I would hate to scar our table. I've tried to make the pattern into a PDF but it didn't work. Any assistance in that would be wonderful! The next issue is 2965 June 1949. Some pages are missing from the center, but there are a couple of patterns that are interesting. I'll see what's in the stash that will work. See y'all next time!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Inheritance - Of A Sort

The other day I went to my parents' house to look for some of my things - the things that I didn't take when I moved out. Unfortunately, I didn't find what I went looking for (maybe it's all in another storage place) but look at what I brought home!
These are all sorts of patterns from my ancestors. They range from the late thirties to the mid-seventies. They are amazing. Some of them are unfortunately missing pages and have bits stuck together from moisture, but I'm so very inspired. See the one in front with the blue tag? It says "A Necessary War Measure" and explaing that wool from Britain may be hard to find. In today's all-available world it's sometimes difficult to think of a time when there was no 24/7 anything-you-want life. The four books in the front all have tops or sweaters that I adore. The Workbasket magazines in the middle range fron 1948 to 1976 (but no '60s) and I have a plan for them - you'll see. The top is mostly doily and tablecloth books. I think my grandma crocheted doilies, but my great-grandma must have, too. I have some plans for those patterns, too, if my hands hold up. So, where did all of this come from? Apparently my mom's cousin had them in his attic and was going to throw them away but mom saved them. I kind of wish they had some handwritten notes in them- you know, so I can picture which relative worked on what. I'd love to know if anyone made and wore any of the tops so I can emulate them. I do need to find a way to store them to keep them from getting more damaged. I suppose I should invest in some plastic sleeves or archival boxes. Right now I'm still entranced in looking at everything over and over. and how sad is it that I can't still order all of the wonderful dress patterns advertised in the back of the magazines? Just one more time I'd love to have a time machine...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hats Off

Around twenty years ago I had a hat that I wore all the time. It was slightly fedora shaped, black, courderoy, and from Avon. I wore it plain or wrapped with a scarf. Unfortunately, my ex-husband's stupid cat peed on it and ruined it. I miss that hat so much. I have lots of hats. Most of them are vintage - several only because they were new when I bought them and have gotten older. Three were gifts, given to me because I love hats and they were in the belongings of a wonderful lady who died. One is sadly in need of some restoration - a lovely 40's feathered beauty that needs reshaped and some new feathers. I'm going to wear my hats again, often, much to the dismay of my children. When my hair was long it was too thich for any of my hats to fit. Now that it's short they all fit perfectly. Yesterday I wore a round-brimmed one to the store. Yes, lots of people looked - maybe because it's slightly reminiscent of the one that Boy George wore in those colorful videos. Honestly, I don't care if people look at me when I'm feeling good and stylish and myself. They should look anyway. I walk tall and straight and smile. Perhaps they should try to emulate that a bit. (I hate that so many young people slouch! Ugh!) I'm planning to photograph my hat collection. Eventually they'll turn up here. You'll be amazed at the beads on a couple of them - the pumpkin one is spectacular. In the meantime, you can find me smiling and in a hat!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Time Flies

My baby girl will be twelve in six days. Twelve. Do you remember being twelve? She's a lot different than I was at her age. I played with Barbies and read Trixie Belden books. She's got a makeup collection and reads Seventeen. I know that a lot of it is from television and music. I mean, remember the controversy over She-Bop? Now there's nearly-explicit songs playing on the radio all the time and she knows what they mean thanks to her friends. I try to encourage her to enjoy being a kid, I really do, but it seems like any more kids are being forced to be grown-ups as soon as they can walk. This year I'll be taking her shopping with her birthday money again. Part of her growing up is her outgrowing jeans in the blink of an eye. In two more blinks she'll be packing for college (she wants to study cosmetology) and moving out. I'd better be enjoying the time I have with her. I need to enjoy still being taller than her, too, while it lasts.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Stash Fail

So I sewed up the muslin of the pants that I told you about. They look pretty good - I had some issues with the waistband but managed to figure it out. When I got out the actual fabric, though, I discovered that it's too sheer to use as pants. I don't have any other suitable fabric to use, either. I have a few different pieces that I don't know what to do with - and can't remember what I bought them for. I have found some great designs on a site called Spoonflower - all kinds of wonderful different patterns and genres. I have my eyes on a couple of prints that will become dresses - once I find the pattern that's in my head. I finished knitting a cardi and am almost done with another - except for the buttonbands. The problem? Lack of appropriate buttons in my button stash. I have lots of buttons. Apparently, though, not any that work with whatever I'm working on. I should go through the yarn and button stashes together while I plan my next cardi. Maybe I should reorganize everything just to see what all I have. Of course, that may take several days and require help. I have a lot of stuff. Then again, I need a lot of help - but that's another story! If you have any ideas or tricks to share, please don't be shy! If you're one of those people who likes to organize, well, don't be shy about that, either. I'm off to try to talk myself out of knitting another Dalek.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Another Goodbye

I lost a favorite aunt last week. I always loved being around her but didn't see her much lately - being a parent and living away from everyone makes it hard to associate much with the family. She was so cool - imagine Eartha Kitt. Eartha Kitt laughing and hugging. She was beautiful and kind and smart. Now, of course, she's been reunited with her love forever, probably dancing and enjoying eternity with her soulmate. We've got our memories and an empty place where she used to be.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Fifty Years

Today is the anniversary of the death of my very favorite movie star. I have always, for as long as I can remember, loved Marilyn. I've collected books about her for years. I even had several collector dolls that sadly were sold by my ex. When I was younger I used to have "the walk" - you know, the one from Niagara. I had practiced it over and over until it was right. I could probably do it again with practice on days when the fibro is low. I have been wanting to work on my wardrobe anyway, so starting today I'm going to knit and sew some things that Marilyn would wear. As for today, I've put on my boobs (a well-fitting, flattering bra) and a too-sexy-for-most-people perfume and will paint my nails 50's red (a certain girl child hid my red lipstick because she doesn't like it on me). Later I'll watch The Seven Year Itch on netflix and be glad that she once graced the movie industry with her incandescence.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Biting the Bullet

I've had some patterns and fabrics sitting in my bedroom and living room for awhile now, waiting for me to make them. Honestly, I've been scared - once you cut, it's cut, unlike knitting where you can just unravel. I found, while looking through some other things, a length of white muslin. Just what I needed! I decided to make a pair of pants - I've signed up to sub again this year and pants would be more practical for school. After matching my measurements to the pattern envelope I cut the muslin. In a little while I'll sew it up and see how it looks. The pattern calls for a zipper, though, and I don't have any, so I'll have to take a swatch of my fabric to go zipper shopping. At least, I think it's the fabric I want to use. It's dark red with little gold designs on it. I have a bunch of it (I think it's from ebay a long time ago) and thought about using it for a dress but changed my mind. When it's all done I'll post a picture - if any of these housemates of mine will take a decent picture. I grew up with sewists around me. My Aunt Carolyn had a dressmaking business in her house. I remember going in her sewing room in awe that she could make such pretties - even wedding dresses. My Aunt Laurie actually taught sewing at a college and sells handmade pocketbooks, beautifully made ones. My mom even did some sewing for us and made my sister's prom dress out of some fiery red satin. I don't really know why none of the skills were taught to me. I don't remember ever being offered the opportunity to learn. I've tried to learn on my own - much easier now with the availability of online knowledge sharing, but I'm nervous about it. There are details that I have no idea how to do that make the finished garment look so much better. I want to get some books to help me. My knitting books are a huge help for me and I know that a sewing library would be so useful. I did make a lining for my messenger bag, though, by remembering things I've seen and taking measurements. I guess I wan't too worried about it because the fabric is some inexpensive quilting cotton from walmart. It turned out pretty good. I know it's not perfect, but I like it. I added pockets to it and decorated them with some vintage rick rack from my grandma. It's very cheerful and fun. I want to use my bag as a purse - and just might. (I've seen people with some gigantic suitcase-like purses!) So, I'm going to get sewing on some clothes. Besides, I need a reason to buy some pretty new fabric! I just need to pracice zipper insertion.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Tech Delimmas

Over the past two weeks I've had a lot of thoughts that I've wanted to blog about but was away from home. Of course, being me, I forget what was on my mind by the time I get to the computer. I think I'd like some sort of portable computing device. But - do I want a little purse-sized notebook? Would a tablet be the way to go? Which one? We do need a new home computer - one with super gaming powers for the boy child and great video viewing for the girl child and a bazillion bytes of memory. Are package deals available? Is that not a good plan? I get so overwhelmed by too many options.
I'm very disappointed and confused about the whole Ravelympics thing. I really don't see what the big deal is. My kids have Wacky Olympics every year at school. Is that copyright infringement?
Speaking of kids - Kerry was evaluated at Easter Seals last week. He has been officially diagnosed with Asberger's. Now the school and I can get together and get him on track. I'm so relieved to have information! It explains so much about my goofy little man.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Isn't This Cute?

Butterfly Dress Style

I love this dress and the idea behind it. It's two separate pieces that attach at the waist and shoulders. Unfortunately, they're really expensive. The website that sells them says that it's an authentic 50's style. Have any of you seen these before? I'd love to see some vintage pictures! 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Miscellaneous Items from my Mind

Last night I was once again thinking about what to blog about. Know what happened next? I slept. All of the ideas are now gone. I know that the sidebar needs updating, and it will be happening soon. I want to redo the list of podcasts and add some of the blogs that have been keeping my attention. Khloe has gotten into makeup in a big way. She watches videos on youtube all the time - mostly product reviews, not the tutorials that would keep me glued to the screen. (There are so many retro tutes! Every decade! I have to keep myself away. Seriously.)When I was younger I loved makeup and how it could change my face so many different ways. You know the rest - now I'm getting obsessed with makeup again. The mom responsibilities have stayed at the front of the line - food before lipstick - but it's tough sometimes. Oh, the trauma of being a mother! I'm having some surgery in two weeks. It's even invading my dreams. Stressing has begun. I've made arrangements for the kids and boyfriend to be taken care of while I'm gone so no one will starve or be lonely. I've even been told that I'll have a visitor! Unfortunately I won't be able to attend my bestie's daughter's wedding. Dang it. I was looking forward to cake and dancing. I've been doing a lot of knitting lately, of course, but I also have gotten my sewing machine out and intend to get back to making things. The lovely clothes on the vintage fashion blogs have me drooling and I know that the only way I'll have the dresses is to make them - unless I hit a really good church sale or something, but what are the odds of that? I still want that DVF wrap dress, too. I think I have pattern that's a good copy, but the real deal still calls to me. I'm looking for some 30's - 50's dress patterns - flowy skirts and nicely collared tops. I love the look of shirtwaist dresses but the buttons scare the crap out of me. I suck at buttons. It's probably because I can't spread everything out to place the holes and make sure it's all perfect. Which reminds me - a few years ago I sent a package of things to my aunt to show her my clothes favorites. I haven't heard anything from her. I tried to email her and her adress is bad. I recently sent her a letter asking her to get in touch but haven't heard back. What should I do? I had some patterns in there that I'd like to sew up. Sorry there's no picture today. I'd take one of the baby birds that live on out porch but their parents would probably attack me. They're rather fierce. The babies are cute, though, and are growing like crazy. They're messy, too. The porch looks like a bird-poop bomb exploded. Oh! I remembered something pretty big. Yesterday I was watching a movie with Louise Brooks - a silent called The Diary of a Lost Girl. It was pretty dark and gritty and not what I was expecting from 1928. Khloe watched it with me and actually liked it. She said that it would be better with talking but it was good. I about fell out of my chair. It is a good movie, though. I highly recommend it. There's several pretty dresses, too, and Louise Brooks is gorgeous with that dark shiny hair and those dark eyes. That's about it for now. Thanks for joining me today - and be on the lookout for a new video!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Evolving Style

You may remeber that, a few years ago, I had mentioned that I'd been experiencing pain in my feet. It has gotten much worse. I've been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I haven't had much luck with the different prescriptions yet - I'm still optimistic, though. Unfortunately my love of pretty heels has been sidelined. I've been very lucky to find that there are lots of flats that are pretty and stylish and not at all old-ladyish. I got these today - my first pair in my evolving personal style. They are quite comfortable. They will look nice with my usual easy-going look or the vintage style that I've always loved and want to incorporate into my closet. If my problems get worse I'll be investing in a few more pairs of cute and chic flats. Until then, my heels are still in my closet, waiting for another chance to have a fling.

Monday, April 16, 2012


I'm super excited. I now have the Harry Potter collection on my kindle. I can keep my favorite book series with me everywhere I go. I'm so glad that she decided to go digital! Mom and I share a kindle account so she'll be reading them for the first time.
I finally finished reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. It's a very long book, but it's really fun and interesting. I'm now enjoying the Percy Jackson series again. I want to read the Hunger Games next. My reading list is so long right now. I'm not very good at scheduling times for all of the things that I want to do each day.
My problems with my video camera and computer not getting along continues. I'm going to get an inexpensive one to work with until I can get my nice one to work right. I have so many things to show everyone! Being a fast knitter means lots of finished objects.
May starts a new term of the Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup. I'll be a professor in Muggle Studies this time around. Our prompts are looking really good, too. It will be a great term! It's not too late to sign up for sorting if you're interested!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Seriously, I Don't Understand

My boyfriend gave me a new videocamera for this past Christmas. Unfortunately, neither blogger nor blip seem to want to upload videos without a great deal of difficulty. The company that makes the camera, Sony, actually couldn't find it on their customer service page. I'm getting very, very pissed and frustrated. Do any of you have any advice?