Sunday, June 12, 2016

For The Well-Read Sex Symbol

As I mentioned last time, I planned to make something to celebrate Marilyn's birthday. I've read lots of biographies and they all say the same thing - Marilyn loved to read. She didn't finish high school and read to make up for the lack of education. The Marilyn Encyclopedia called her the "best-read dumb blonde" in Hollywood. I decided to make a bag inspired by another famous book lover-the Grainger Bag inspired by Hermione in the Harry Potter series. As for fabrics, I wanted to use stash. I decided to use some jeans that Eric had worn out and was going to toss. (In fact, the only thing I had to buy was a pack of denim needles for my machine. I had everything else.) You may know that Marilyn really rocked jeans. She was an early wearer in Hollywood and wore them in her movies, as well:

The bag turned out great -

It's big - almost 20" long and, well, let me show you a scale picture:

Inside the bag is the Encyclopedia, and the squares are an inch long. This bag will hold plenty! It has four pockets inside:

The lining fabric is quilting cotton that I bought a few years ago. I had made a dress that didn't turn out, so it's been added to the recycle box. I like how the pattern looks like the marbled pages inside older books. (I've seen tutorials for making marbled paper. It's been hard to resist trying it!) Because I used what I had, I had to make some modifications to the pattern. The strap is fixed in length, not adjustable. It hits me at my hip, which is just right. I didn't have a magnetic closure, so the top is open. Maybe, eventually, I'll make a buttonhole or add some other closure. Since the denim is old and worn I don't have to worry about it getting dirty - it can handle a trip through the washer. I can decorate the outside with some patches or get crazy with paint like Melanie did with her jeans, although she's much more artistic than I. Tomorrow I start a new job. I've been nervous and antsy for the past couple of days. Thank goodness my little shadow has been around -

He's always making sure I know that, well, he needs me and appreciates me - even if it is as the one who feeds him and plays with him. He was sleeping on the couch when I went outside to take pictures. I turned around and there he was, watching through the door. If anyone is looking for me, they can just follow the cat. It's crazy. Last week I planted four pepper plants. The bunnies have eaten three of them. But, look! A little pepper!

I love seeing little tiny vegetables. They're so cute. I saw a tiny baby bat when I was out, too, but didn't think to take a picture. I hope he made it back to his nest. I think bats are cool. We have a group of them that live in the roof of our porch. I like that they eat the bugs that bother me. That's all for today. I need to go be busy to burn off some of this pre-job stress or I'll explode. Then who would feed Joshua? Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Following The Muse

It's been a little while since I've shared any finished makes. I've been busy making more things! In April, I finished knitting a retro-inspired top called St. Moritz from a book called Knitting It Old School that I've had for a couple of years. I love how the top turned out, except the yarn is too rough to wear next to my skin. It felt fine while I worked with it and the swatch didn't feel bad - and I've used this yarn before in another color and it's great. I guess this bright magenta just wanted to be rough!

I also finally made a kimono-style jacket. The fabric has been in my stash for decades...and I kind of hate being old enough to say that! But the kimono turned out great. I used a "pattern" from pinterest and every bit of my piece of fabric. I made a sash, too, but forgot to take it out for a picture.

I also recently finished crocheting a drapey vest, also with deep stash. The yarn is from Goodwill, bought when the boy child was a new baby. A local yarn distributor had donated their whole supply. The labels are all in Greek, but I think this yarn is cotton with some nylon for the silvery strands.

I've been distracted, though, by my bead stash. Every time I start to work on something the beads grab my attention. I've found that they're a great way for me to refocus my thoughts when I get really upset (often, as it turns out, in my life). I just turn on some music and start stringing. Time flies by and I'm much calmer. I've finished these necklaces so far in the past four weeks or so:

The one on the left is an experiment - I strung about six feet of seed beads on some silk yarn (thread weight) and held it with a second strand of the silk to crochet a chain. Then I chained that chain with a bigger hook and tied it into a circle. It's really light for how chunky it is. I started it as a ind of prototype for an idea that's been haunting me. Since it turned out so cool my bigger project has been green-lighted. Last week was the anniversary of Marilyn's birthday - she would have been 90 years old. I'm working on a project to celebrate her life - and not just the glamorous movie star part. It's also from stash materials. Since she grew up in the Depression I'm sure she would appreciate and understand why. I've also had Theda Bara on my mind. I recently saw A Fool There Was, I think the only movie she made that still fully exists. It has stuck in my mind for both the beautiful clothes and the content. We still have movies about "bad" women who ruin the men who fall for them. Some things just don't change, do they? Eric borrowed the first season of Game of Thrones from a friend and we've watched about half of it. It's not doing much for me. I know it's hugely popular. I'm not seeing why. I don't like shows that take several episodes to a full season to get "interesting" - I want to like at least one character right away. I also don't care for "bad people are bad, good people are stupid" kinds of stories. I do quite like a new show called Houdini and Doyle that's on Fox. It's a police procedural, like so many shows, but it's main characters are Harry Houdini and Arthur Conan Doyle. I couldn't resist! The main police officer is a beautiful woman who reminds me of Hermione in her logical approach to things. The costumes are gorgeous. It's nice to enjoy a show after so many have crapped out on me. Of course, we're now into the summer television season, so I should maybe look for new stuff. I'm enjoying old movies so much, though, that I forget! I did recently watch The Great Gatsby. Kerry had told me that it's his favorite, so I had to check it out. I love the book and have read it several times (but couldn't find it for him to read, darn it!). It's a beautiful movie. I think it really captured the feeling of the book with the opulence next to the desolation in such a small area. I'd love to find an autographed copy of the DVD for Kerry for Christmas. Maybe I'll be able to save up enough in six months! Okay, I'd better get going. I have work to finish before the lure of the bead stash grabs me again. What will I do when the well runs dry? Oh, I'll think about that another time. See y'all later!