Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Have any of you noticed that completely new movies are running on cable TV? This excellent horror film House of the Devil was on one of my HD channels this week. It was very creepy. I didn't know it was a new film until I looked it up on IMDB. It faithfully recreates the feeling of the "girl in peril" films of the early 1980's. The suspense got to me. I was watching it alone when everyone was asleep and I kept having to switch on the guide to minimize the picture to get some relief.

My husband and I watched this classic The Devil Doll this week. It was good! Lionel Barrymore cross-dresses to foil his enemies.

I tried to go through the guide on my tv and find old movies to tape. TCM is showing a LOT of Boris Karloff. They aren't so great..

Here's another really great classic. Ever seen Haxan? It is a 1922 Danish "documentary" about the legends of witchcraft in western Europe. The imagery is unforgettable. Since it is such an old film it has this weird authentic look. Calling it a documentary is pretty much a stretch since it seems to me an excuse to stage creepy and shocking stories of superstition through the ages.. Anyway, it plays on IFC pretty regularly and it easy to get at Netflix.

Is it just me or is everyone sick of vampires? I got through just two of the Twilight books. What a pathetic girl. Those teenagers are supposed to be smart and they have the dumbest conversations ever... Zombies are way more fun. Did you see Zombieland?

I'm not into the popular torture movies that are out lately. I also don't like it when these are stories of real life murderous rampages, that's too upsetting. I like ghosts, hauntings, good vs. evil, foreign horror, classic horror, and horror with comic relief. I also experience movies intensely since I am a strongly visual person, so I like to see this genre on my television where it isn't nearly so scary. Also, feel-good movies all the time are too saccharine.

Click HERE for an interesting article about why people sometimes choose unpleasant experiences.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Felt S'more Needlebook

These are some needlebooks I made for a beginning Brownie Troop. Their leader contacted me and since it happens that she is from my hometown and these Brownies go to my very own elementary school, I took on the project.

Felt S'more

I used that Ecofelt which is made from recycled soda bottles. I also machine stitched the components because it went a lot faster and I had only a few days to finish them.

Felt S'more

They each have a chocolate colored monogram. The closed needlebook can also be used as a pincushion.

Monogrammed S'mores

These were fun to make! I have a couple left that just need to be handstitched together.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Flirty Taco Chips

These are the flirty taco chips I stitched up for ritapizza in our Tea Towel Tour on Craftster. This is a pattern by Jacque Davis that she made available free in the Hoop Love group on Flickr. Get it HERE.

Taco Chips Embroidery

They are bathing in guacamole. I decided that if Rita doesn't like guacamole, then it is spinach dip. Rita reports that she does like guacamole so all is good! I used chain stitch throughout, except on the eyes and boys' faces. The chain stitch gives the ladies puffed up collagen lips which I like (in stitching, not in real life..)

Here in Chicagoland we have the best, most delicious corn chips ever in the history of taco chips. If you eat Tostitos, I am sorry for you. These are in every store in Chicagoland in big displays. They are so fresh they taste like they are right out of the fryer. They only have four ingredients: corn, lime, corn oil, and salt. They are made locally by El Ranchero. We call them "Chips-in-a-Green-Bag" at our house. I don't know if other people call them that, but it seems like when I say that everyone around here knows exactly the chips I refer to.

Interestingly, their price seems to fluctuate with the price of corn, but they are always a better price than commercial brands. My son is one of those kids who really likes very crunchy snacks. If we don't have green apples and Chips-in-a-Green-Bag in the house, I better get to the store quick!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Maurice Sendak

Watching the hype about "Where the Wild Things Are" has me reminiscing about the books I loved as a child. Do you folks who were kids in the 1970's remember the Really Rosie specials that aired on TV? My mom had a record of these stories in her classroom and I would always listen to them and read along in the books when I went in to her school to "help out".

Here's the catchy "Chicken Soup With Rice":

I especially loved "Pierre". Yes, that's Carole King singing:

Let me know if you remember these too. Once when I was a teacher I had the Chicken Soup With Rice book and I talked to someone about the song and they thought I was totally crazy and didn't remember it at all.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Wolves on T-Shirts

I suppose you've heard about the Three Wolf Moon shirt phenomenon. Last May it was all the rage. You can still get the shirt on Amazon but it isn't the #1 selling item anymore. It is a really stale internet meme, but Dwight wore the shirt on The Office, so I share a video I shot with my family months ago.

We went to the Wisconsin Dells way back in early May (and didn't know about the Three Wolf Moon shirt) . The Dells are home to gorgeous upper-midwestern scenery, excessively fun waterpark hotels, and tourist trap souvenir shops. This shop was near the Ripley's Believe It or Not! museum, which we had just visited for laughs. We found several other versions of this shirt. Our favorite was one we called "Purple Wolves in Love":

These are all extremely elaborate designs for t-shirts. They are all quite um.. distinctive. Please note, I know the plural of deer is not "deers". It was just a slip of the tongue.

Also: This article at the Onion seems relevant: CLICK HERE.

Friday, October 9, 2009

More of Quilts from the Village

These are quilts shown at the Lake County Fairgrounds by the Village Quilters of Lake Bluff/Lake Forest, IL.

"Stars in the Night Garden" by Kathy Stuart. This one was one of several of my favorites. She has crystals adhered here and there adding to the beauty.
Quilts from the Village Show 2009
Quilts from the Village Show 2009

"Sisterly Flower Celebration Quilt" by Ginny Moore. These are watercolor quilt bocks.
Quilts from the Village Show 2009

A whole wall of Sudoku quilts:
Quilts from the Village Show 2009
Quilts from the Village Show 2009
Quilts from the Village Show 2009

Three Roman Stripe quilts:
Quilts from the Village Show 2009

Another wall of quilts done in the same pattern. I don't know what pattern this is!
Quilts from the Village Show 2009

Amazing! I still have more photos from this show, so stay tuned! It's an icky rainy day here, perfect for cutting up fabric and making something new of my own.

Edit: I never got to that quilt, although I am planning it in my head. Instead, I have a migraine and am going to nap.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Quilts from the Village 2009 Show

There was a great quilt show right here in my town! This one was put on by a local(ish) guild: Quilts from the Village XI by the Village Quilters of Lake Bluff/Lake Forest, IL. That guild is a little bit far for me, but I think I really should join a local quilt guild.

"Stephanie's Quilt" by Sandra Lewis
Quilts from the Village Show 2009

"Museum Rose Sampler" by Caren Pfaff. Hand quilted by Nancy Pederson. This quilt was a finalist at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. It was on the cover of Quilters Newsletter Magazine and it made their 2004 calendar too.
Quilts from the Village Show 2009

"Savannah Sunshine" by Linda Warren
Quilts from the Village Show 2009
Quilts from the Village Show 2009

"Dreamcatchers...A New Beginning" by Wayne Sneath. This pattern is called "Montana Cartwheel"
Quilts from the Village Show 2009

"Erica's Snuggle Quilt" by Kris Johnston. It's all flannels and I think the border was that very soft snuggley stuff. My daughter and I really had to restrain ourselves from handling it.
Quilts from the Village Show 2009

I have more pictures that I will share later. It's a good thing I am not a professional photographer, I always come home from these shows with blurry photos. I take the pictures really quickly because I don't want to get in anyone's way and I don't want to draw attention to myself, although I did check and photos were okay at this show. Once my mom told a booth operator at a quilt show that I have a blog and the woman got very pissed off about bloggers. I calmed her down, but I don't like confrontations when I'm just trying to look at pretty things. I was going to buy stuff from her, but I hightailed it away after making nice-nice. Attention Bloggers! Make every effort to credit artists! Also, that lady needs to get with the times...

Also, What what the heck, Safari? Why do you always mess up my font sizes in Blogger. This is super irritating.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Craft Collective

Look what Melanie made!
Eagle Bead Project

Melanie is a member of our Chicagoland Craft Collective. Our group started through Meetup, but we are in the process of switching to a free host site. I'm thinking maybe ning, but possibly google groups might be better. I don't know. We've started meeting at a nice new venue: Craft Fancy in Arlington Heights. This great store has vastly improved lighting and electrical outlets!

Great work Melanie!
Melanie and her Patriotic Beading

We made these quick butterflies at our last meeting:

Felt Butterflies

Martha showed us all up by making this one with buttons:

Martha's Button Butterfly

And while we are on the subject of Chicagoland, I'm sad we won't be getting the Olympics here. My husband is relieved because of all the traffic/transit woes we already have, and that little problem of corruption in our fair city. I think we would make a terrific showplace for the world, but so will Rio. My area of Chicagoland would have had the equestrian events. Alas, it was not meant to be. We have friends and family from Brazil and are happy for them!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fall Flowers

October 1! Where did the time go? Since it's hovering in the low 40's in the morning this week, the first frost isn't far away. Sadly, this will mean the end of my favorite garden annual. I like to plant things carefully in the spring and then totally neglect them as they grow wild all summer. I do water, occasionally, especially when I notice the plants laying flat on the ground, wilted and suffering. Zinnias are very cooperative with my method. I start them from seed in the spring and transplant them in May. I usually do 2 flats of them in several sizes and colors and I plant them just about anywhere there is lots of sun

By mid summer they start to bloom and on the first day of school in August, they look lush and awesome. The blooms last a very long time and they really do not mind drought or hard clay soil. Unfortunately, these blooms can't take frost, so I'll probably enjoy them for only a few more weeks.

I also put in some gerbera daisies in a pot that was looking neglected. I first enjoyed these blossoms in my wedding flowers. I think these were on the table arrangements, but I got married a long time ago. I've never grown them, but they seem to have survived nicely even though I haven't watered them in awhile either.

My husband and I also learned that we aren't such good vegetable gardeners. The garden got a white mold all over the squash plants. I know it is an easy milk-water solution to treat this, but we got to it too late. We'll try again next year. Seeds are not a big investment, and it was fun to watch early in the summer. Chocolate zucchini bread is the most delicious quick bread ever.

I hope your gardens are looking beautiful for this last gasp of the growing season!