Friday, March 28, 2014

Favorite Things Friday || Clothes

Here we are. The first Favorite Things Friday that I can post about what ever I want and I have no idea what I want to post about so I post about clothes. Clothes. I'll try to make this interesting. Maybe a few of you would like to try a similar challenge to the one I give myself....

A while back I made a short and not so sweet post about my Ulcerative Colitis and how my rather painful flare ups were the reason for some of my long intervals between blog posts in the past. This month is 6 months in remission! I am so thankful for that! However, even though I am grateful that I do not have as sever a case of UC as others experience, I do have to control it with some pricey meds. Now, back to the clothes...

I decided a while ago that I would never pay over $10.00 for an article of clothing ever again. This rule does not apply to pants and shoes which I buy much less often than other items. Even though I shop for clothes roughly the beginning of spring and the beginning of fall, I notice that I can buy enough for a few outfits without spending a whole lot, that way I don't have to worry quite so much about all the medical "fun."  Every so often if I know I've been sticking to the $10 or below rule and I find something that fits very well and is a nice color etc. then I'll buy it. To be honest though, I don't know the last time I've ever spent over $20 on anything, including pants and shoes. 

There are a few blogs that I follow about dressing modestly for outfit and sewing ideas, Pinterest is also one of my go-to's  as well. Clothes shopping was never one of my favorite things, but ever since bringing some sort of necessary challenge to it, it has become much more interesting. I make a beeline for the clearance racks whenever I go shopping now. Fall of 2012 I spent around $50 and when I did the math of the suggested retail prices at home, I found out I purchased about $350 worth in clothing! That included a water resistant winter jacket from Totes (you know...the umbrellas) for $24.99. I guess that was the last time I spent over $20 then. 

Anyway here I am right now, in my $6 shirt and $1.99 cardigan. The jeans I have on were about $18 I think and I've had them for at least a couple of years now. Pardon the yellowy color...



 Finding low priced, nice looking items when I need new clothes is for more than just a challange. I believe the management of money and shopping for more affordable items is part of good stewardship. I know God has provided and will continue to provide for my needs whether it's food, clothing, medicine, etc. and when I have more than I need I am able to give to others.




Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Peter Pan Collar and Lace Edging Crochet Patterns

--If you find errors in either pattern, please leave a comment so I can make the necessary corrections! Thank you!--


PETER PAN COLLAR



Notions:
Aunt Lydia's Crochet Thread size 3
Hook size F/5-3.75mm 
Yarn needle
Button (optional, coller can also be made with tie closure)
[I stitch very tightly, you may find it necessary to use a smaller hook. However this whole project is fairly flexible and you can use different yarn weights and hook sizes as long as you size the collar around your neck as you go.]

Special stitches:
v stitch: v-st, (dc, ch 1, dc) in same stitch.
shell stitch: shell (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in same stitch/ chain space (ch sp)

Notes: "dc in next dc" in rnds 3 - 5 refers to the one dc between each v and shell stitch, not the dcs that are part of those stitches.

To begin: ch 79 [You can ch any multiple of 3 plus 1 ch to create the size of your preference.]

Row 1: [for tie closure] sc in each ch across.

Row 1: [for button closure] sc in 9th ch from hook and in each ch across. (70 sc)

[first sc can go in any multiple of 3 away from hook, depending on size of button. Remember, the larger to button hole, the more chs you will need to begin to fit the collar comfortably.]

Row 2: ch 3 [counts as 1dc] turn, *sk next sc, v-st in next sc, sk next st, dc in next sc* repeat from * to * end row with dc in second to last sc. (17 v-st, 18 dc)

Row 3: ch 3, turn, shell in ch sp of first v-st, dc in next dc of previous row, *shell in next ch sp, dc in next dc* repeat from * to * end with dc in last dc of row 2.

Row 4: ch 3, turn, *(3dc, ch1 3dc) in next ch 1 sp, dc in next dc* repeat from * to * ending with dc in last dc of row 3.

Row 5: ch 3, turn, *6 dc in next ch sp, dc in next dc* repeat from * to * end with dc in last dc of rnd 4. Fasten off.

Button Closure: sew button onto top corner of collar without button hole with thread or yarn scrap.

Tie Closure: ch 80, sl st through each sc of rnd 1, ch 80. Fasten off. Weave in ends.


CROCHET LACE EDGING



Notions:
Aunt Lydia's Crochet Thread 
Size 8/1.5mm
Yarn needle

Notes: Unsure what size crochet I used, it was veeeery thin, but you could use whatever size you think looks nice. The thread just needs to be thing enough and your fabric loosely enough knitted or woven that you can get the crochet hook through with ease.

To begin: 
Join thread to item with sl st.

Rnd 1: ch 4, sl st 3/8 inch into fabric. Rep around without pulling on previous sl sts. Join with sl st in first sl st.

Rnd 2: sl st  in first ch 4 space, ch 3 (counts as 1 dc and ch sp)  tr, ch 1, dc, ch 1 in ch 4 sp. *In next ch 4 sp dc, ch 1, tr, ch 1, dc, ch 1. Rep from * around. Sl st in third ch of ch 3.

Rnd 3: (sl st in next 3 ch sps, ch 2, dc, tr, dc, hdc, (scallop)) rep around until last 3 ch sps. Sl st in next 2 ch sp.

Rnd 4: sl st in first 2 st of scallop, *sc in tr of scallop, ch 4, rep from * around, sl st in first sc.

Rnd 5: sl st into first 4 ch sp, * 2 sc, ch 4, 2 sc in same sc* rep from * to * in each ch 4 sp around. Sl st in first sc.

Rnd 6: sl st in next sc an in ch 4 loop, *ch 3, sl st in ch 4 loop, rep from * around. Sl st in first ch 4 loop.

Rnd 7: ch 4,* in ch 3 (sp tr, dc, hdc) sc in ch 4 loop, in next ch 3 sp (hdc, dc, tr) tr in next ch 4 loop. Rep from * around. Sl st in top of ch 4. 
Fasten off, weave in ends.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Favorite Things Friday || Carrie Underwood Sound of Music Review Part 4

Edit:
Last Friday  I made a horrible mistake and said there were 5 von Trapp boys and 2 girls. Scratch that reverse it. For someone who has been a fan of all things von Trapp for over 20 years, that was a doozy. There are in fact two boys, five girls. Still...boys should not wear floral lederhosen. Ever.

There were a few other mistakes, I'm sure. I will try my best with proof reading this week!

Actors, Singers, and Dancers

NBC's Sound of Music Live, as a whole was very entertaining and full of talent. While Carrie Underwood is very much a singer without as much legitimate theatre experience as many of her co-stars, I feel like she tackled the leading role of Maria very well considering that Julie Andrews' portrayal is SO well known and Carrie certainly had some big shoes to fill. 



I think the performance I enjoyed the most was Laura Benanti as Baroness Schraeder. She delivered her lines believably and is definitely a talented singer. I think that, although her background is in theater, she was able to tone down the bigness of theatre expressions which definitely worked in her favor for a live television production. Coincidently, Ms. Benanti understudied and then starred in the 1998 Broadway revival of The Sound of Music as Maria von Trapp.

Tony award winner Audra McDonald was wonderful as Mother Abbess. Unfortunately she received some negative tweets about her race and the role she was playing. True, the Reverend Mother during Maria's time at Nonnberg Abbey was not black, but this play is someone's representation of those events. None of it was 100% authentic but that didn't really effect Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse's story or Rodger's and Hammerstein's songs. This was The Sound of Music, not South Pacific.



People sounding like they were switching in and out of accents was something that bothered me quite a bit. When an actor is going from speaking in a character accent to sounding like their self, essentially they aren't staying in character. On the subject of accents, Admiral von Schrieber was one of the only characters with a German accent. This seems unnecessary and in fact rather cartoony, giving the villain a thick "foreign" accent compared to the rest of the cast. 

At the very end I was a little confused by the second Bible verse that Reverend Mother quoted. Of course the first was Psalm 121:1 which is quoted in the 1965 film version. The next verse quoted on Sound of Music Live was part of Isaiah 55:12 "For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing." I'm not sure if this verse was quoted in the original Broadway production but it the words didn't really seem to fit the mood in the play at that moment.
When looked at in context to Isaiah 55:11-13 it makes a little more sense that a family of refugees doing what they feel to be God's will would be feeling peace. I don't think joy was being felt by the characters in the play or by the real von Trapps as they were leaving Austria. 

As much as I found "wrong" with this play I did enjoy being able to see The Sound of Music performed almost true to the original Broadway performance.
I would give the performance of the cast Sound of Music Live 4 out of 5 stars. This was live. They had one chance for everything. Some of the cast were not as experienced as others and I would venture to guess that the majority of viewers were comparing this to the 1965 film where actors were granted as many takes as necessary for scenes against a beautiful Austrian back drop. As a whole the cast and crew of Sound of Music Live did a great job with this massive musical undertaking. 

So Long Farewell
I was going to quote James Cagney as George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy(1942) about his new play  titled Popularity. Mr. Cohan urges the audience to "Please, miss it." 

Now, I don't think NBC's Sound of Music should be missed, but appreciated for what it is. A live televised theatre production. It was done well, but to be enjoyed should not be compared with an on location film. Lastly, it should be remembered that Theatre and film can never rewrite the true story of the von Trapp Family.

Thank you so much for reading these reviews. I will admit they show more than a little bias toward the 1965 Sound of Music film in spots. In case you missed the others and would like to start at the very beginning, a very good place to start, they can be found via the links below.:





Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Now on 'bloglovin' || Test Post

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Blog, Glob, Gob, God

Something I have been thinking about and praying about for a while now is how to incorporate God into my blog. I've posted Bible verses here and there and mentioned God a couple of times, but I feel like He deserves a little more than just a mention here or there. God gave me the talents I have and I want to use them. I love to use my talents and when I do I want to give glory to the One whom it belongs. 

I moved about eight months ago and started attending a new church. I went back to my previous church last Sunday evening and was asked to stand up and give a testimony. I had no idea what to say. I started talking about how it has been amazing to see how God has been providing for me even when I had doubts. I talked about how I quit my part time job at a grocery store because it would have taken nearly an hour to drive there from my new house. Within a couple of months I had not one, but TWO new jobs that I really love! I even get to use my craft skills  and knowledge at both jobs!

While my blog has a very small fan base which, honestly, can be kind of discouraging, I am SO thankful for each and every one of my readers. (Especially for my cousin who edited my blog spur of the moment last Friday. Yeah, she's cool. ;) ) This week I didn't do too much crafting because I had more hours at work than usual but I think God might be telling me to keep at this whole crafting thing. 

Last week I entered a giveaway just for the fun of it. It was on the Boyer Family Singers Blog for a Sense & Sensibility dress pattern. I had actually completely forgotten about it until I got home from work yesterday and checked my blog feed. I suddenly remembered the giveaway when I saw the blog preview entitled "We Have a Winner!" I skimmed the preview and gasped when I saw my name! There were over 600 entries!! I could not believe it! I am very, very grateful to have won! There will definitely be a blog post about the dress after I've sewn it. That may take a little while, though. I've got a few sort of "back logged" projects that I need to post about soon as well. Like I said last Tuesday, time, technology, and the weather have not all worked out in my favor the past few weeks...but I know Spring is coming!

"As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease." Genesis 8:22 NIV


I just joined the link-up party @ www.tamingrapunzel.com

Friday, March 14, 2014

Favorite Things Friday || Carrie Underwood Sound of Music Review Part 3

  Just so readers are aware, I have not seen the original, complete, stage version of the Sound of Music. I have read 5 books by Maria von Trapp, Agathe von Trapp's book, and Die Trapp Familie, the German movie that the Broadway show was based on. Also, This review is going to have to be in multiple parts. I am not as concise as a professional critic, and I think I have a lot more knowledge on this subject than the average critic would have, so bear with me here. I want to share some things about Maria's books and "how it really happened" along with some insight into the German movie, what I do know of the original  Broadway show, the 1965 film, and tonight's televised production.

That was my intro to these reviews nearly 4 months ago. I've forgotten some of what I thought or felt about the relatively recent Sound of Music Production on NBC last December which starred Carrie Underwood. However, I did take notes which I lost after part 2 of 4 and finally found exactly 1 week ago. 

This new Favorite Things Friday series will first consist of the last three Sound of Music Reviews and after that will feature a few of my favorite things. There could be blogs, Etsy Shops, or things about classic movies, music, etc. You'll just have to wait and see! 

Let's get started on this review.
___________________________________________________

Costumes and Inevitable Comparisons

Something that really stood out to my musical loving mind while watching NBC's Sound of Music Live was the fact that Uncle Max looked incredibly like Rooster from Annie. That was all I could think of every. single. time. he. was. on. screen. I think if he had shaved the pencil mustache it would have improved his character portrayal 200%. The facial hair worked for Richard Haydn in the 1965 film but he also spoke with a British accent. Basically, American+pencil mustache = Rooster Hannigan. I shouldn't fret about it after all the sun will come out tomorrow.

(I will not speak about the head pieces of the singers behind Uncle Max)


The children's play clothes made me roll my eyes. Floral sprays for girls AND the boys. Let's not forget there were only two von Trapp girls and FIVE boys! Kurt looks very much like he's about to cry or throw up. While the gold/tan damask in the movie is not exactly masculine, it is a neutral color and it is not flowers!


 Gold costumes were used in the NBC television production in the scene where Maria teaches Kurt the Laendler. In fact both Maria, Kurt, and the set were the same exact gold, peach, and orange hues in that scene. It was hard to tell where the people ended and the walls began. Perhaps it was to hide the fact Carrie isn't so light on her feet? She did catch her heel on her shirt and fall during one of her concerts...

Another huge thing is the era. The costumes in NBC'S Sound of Music Live were very much mid to late 1940s style. Even the hair styles were from the 1940s, especially Liesl's. The actual real life von Trapps lived out these events beginning in the mid 1920s. Georg and Maria were married on November 26, 1927 and they left Austria in 1938. That said, the condensed era also makes the movie costumes slightly off style as well. I heard years ago, I think in a Christopher Plummer interview he mentioned that Dorothy Jeakins, the costume designer in the 1965 film said of the costumes she made, "If they weren't supposed to zip, they didn't zip." Watch the film again sometime and you'll notice there are no zippers on any of the dresses!

Jeakins' design of the wedding dress in the film was actually fairly similar to Maria von Trapp's own wedding dress. You can see some pictures of the two dresses over on the  Edelwiess Patterns Blog
Carrie Underwood's wedding dress in this television production followed suit, pun intended, with the other costumes and just looked way too modern.

I know someone must've worked hard on the costumes for NBC's Sound of Music Live but it just didn't appear a whole lot of thought was put into it pertaining to the era. It looked as if the few costumes that didn't copy style or color of film costumes were sewn together from some vintage 1940s patterns. Beautiful costumes, but they didn't quite fit even for "The last golden days of the thirties." Assuming the setting of play and film both take place at the same time. Costumes get just 1 out of 5 stars.



Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sock and Awe

Well, one sock is coming along nicely. I'm on the fence about this whole knitting socks thing at this point after frogging the equivalent of about 1/4 of the project and still having another sock to make after this one. I WILL finish them! I have promised myself that. I've got a few weeks to go before they really need to be done.

Next on the agenda: the case of the missing Etsy updates. Yeah. Work, weather, equipment, etc. have all decided to no longer work in my favor for the time being. I'm still trying to get my "gimmick" though. That one product that is what I make. Of course there will still be other handmade and vintage items listed, but I want to have that one thing that I can tell people, "This is what I do. This is my shop. I would love for you to take a look!" ---Classic movie reference: This feels very much like Jimmy Stewart as Glenn Miller in The Glenn Miller Story when he was looking for a certain sound for his band. He didn't know what it was, but when he heard it, there was no mistaking it.---

Here's sock nĂºmero uno btw. In order starting top left going clockwise. I'm sure you could tell.:



That's basically all I worked on all week. Yeah. It's taking that long to knit a pair of socks...to knit ONE sock.

Okay, I should proceed with extreme caution in saying that I will post a blog on Friday. I have no name for the Tuesday posts yet, but I think Favorite Things Friday may stick! Very general, yes, but we shall see where this goes. I am hoping to finish up my Carrie Underwood Sound of Music reviews. I had two more parts to write when my notes went missing in action. I just found them a few days ago behind the cover of one of my books. Coincidently that book is "Sound of Music: The Making of America's Favorite Movie." By Julia Antopol Hirsch. I was doing research.  :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Lame is the Name of the Game

Ready, set, go:
Well, the weather hasn't been nice enough to get decent pictures with my not-so-decent camera of my newest items for Etsy or of the fat quarter skirt I sewed. I did have a nice day though.

My friend of 12 years and I try to get together at least every other month. We used to live a 5 minute walk from each other and since I moved we're now a half hour drive apart! Today we got together and spent most of the time in the car chatting away. We went into a specialty yarn store that I had never visited before. Most of the price tags made me feel like I need a different hobby. 

As we were leaving the cashier asked us if we had found anything. I said I was just looking because I'd never been in there before and had no specific pattern in mind so ALL that gorgeous yarn was pretty overwhelming. I felt like I was being watched and like I was stashing yarn under my coat because an ample portion of my arm knit scarf was sticking out at the collar. I felt silly for wearing it in the store but I told the woman what it was and she asked to see it because she'd only heard of arm knitting before and had never actually seen anything that was arm knitted. She called her friend over too look and said, "It's actually knitted, look at this!" Which gives me the feeling that she was skeptical about arm knitting and assumed, as I did at first, that it couldn't really be knitting and was just another one of those yarn crafts that was called knitting by people who didn't know what knitting was. (Forgive the snobbish sounding air there.)

My friend and I them made our way over to JoAnn Fabrics to quell the urge I now had to knit a pair of socks. I justified buying a $10.00 skein of Lion Brand Sock-Ease yarn by allowing my friend to pick the color and deciding that handmade socks would be a wonderful birthday gift. She always gets something handmade. It made me smile when I had to move cowl I made her for Christmas out of the passenger seat in her car before I could sit down. 

Now, back at home, I'm sitting on my bed and typing away with a double pointed needle, 64 cast on stitches, and a skein of Sock-Ease. There's also a messy trail of yarn on my pillow. I prefer working from the center of a skein but I always have trouble neatly finding the center. Does that happen to anyone else?